Monthly Archives: May 2012
Understanding Healing, Sickness and Disease! Was Divine Healing Always Instant in the Gospels? Part 7
(Ver 1.1) Today’s lesson is Part 7 in the Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of Healing, Sickness and Disease”. I have been led by God recently to teach on this subject of healing for someone and I do not always understand the reasons for doing everything that I do, so I just try to be obedient. I do know there are many people in the church in need of a divine touch from God so this subject is good for everyone to know even if you do not need the same today. I have already covered a lot of information in this Bible lesson series that will not all be repeated exactly as stated before, therefore if you have not read every lesson from the beginning, I would recommend that you start reading with “Part 1” before you read today’s lesson. Today’s lesson is a continuation of the last lesson to some extent about the question that I received “Is divine healing always instant”. I have been answering this question from a reader about why healing does not always appear to take place immediately after we pray and ask God to heal us. This is a very common modern problem found in the Body of Christ. Many are taught wrong and have based their beliefs on this wrong information resulting in failure to receive what God has already given to them. In the last lesson I taught on Daniel’s prayer and how that his answer sent from God was delayed for a period 3 weeks because of a spiritual conflict occurring in the unseen dimension between heaven and the earth. We discovered that God had heard Daniel’s prayer the very first day and sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel with the answer but yet the answer did not arrive for these 21 days. Obviously this is a pattern that we need to learn from to understand what is potentially occurring for us today.
The failure of humans to receive from God is often based upon their ignorance of not understanding that they also have an enemy that is purposely attempting to block their answer of God from coming. When this occurs they often fall into a vicious cycle of unbelief that God did not answer so I must go and ask God for the answer again. However, this new request usually just starts the same process over where we find that God hears and sends the answer but because it does not instantly occur again, the cycle repeats to almost a daily pray and ask God for an answer and if nothing happens tomorrow I just need to pray and ask God to send the answer again and again and again. I know people that have prayed for 10 years asking God for the same answer over and over; not realizing that He had tried to send it the first time they asked like we read in Daniel. I’ll probably shock some people today, but if you prayed about the same healing more than once you prayed the second time in unbelief that God did not hear you the first time. Unbelief is the opposite of faith and believing and Satan has just defeated you by the very simple tactic of causing a modest delay in time to occur. If you read the Gospels closely you will find that Jesus honored faith and nothing else. Those that demonstrated faith got healed and those that did not usually got nothing. God is still the same today.
Today I’m going to try to go through some Bible examples found in the Gospels where Jesus the Son of God in person could not or did not heal anyone instantly and discuss why not. These examples will help to bring clarity to why it might also take time for you to receive from God. In other words these new exceptions to the “instant miracle” belief will help us to understand that God does not always control what is happening to get someone healed. We can learn from these new profound examples some additional factors about divine healing that will be comforting and helpful if we can accept them for what they teach us.
IS DIVINE HEALING ALWAYS INSTANTLY MANIFESTED IN THE GOSPELS?
Truly while reading the Gospels we can see Jesus doing what appear to be many instant healings and miracles for many people. There are so many clear examples of instant healings and miracles found in the Gospels that they almost dominant the entire message causing many people to believe that this is God’s standard and only way of doing it. It also causes many modern people to wish they lived when Jesus was physically here on the face of the earth just so they could get healed that easily and quickly. For example, we can read about the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda that instantly rises and walks in John 5:2. There is another healing of two blind men that instantly receive their sight found in Matthew 20:34. Another blind man in Luke 18:43 also received his sight immediately. A leprous man was immediately healed by Jesus in Matthew 8:3 and Mark 1:42. There is more than enough evidence for instant types of divine healing to understand that this is a potential way for healing to occur but is it the only way that God’s power operated on the earth in people? I believe that it is a great mistake to think that this is the only way it can happen. Never lock God into your religious box of limited information and understanding. Never place any restrictions or limitations on divine methods and how they must operate to satisfy you or your fallible human requirements. You are a fool if you think that you control God, what He does and how He can do it. You are going to have to read and study the rest of the entire Bible to insure that God does nothing in a non-spectacular instant miraculous way in order to discount those types of alternate methods of gradual or progressive healings. So while I do not deny that instant miracles can occur even today, I also choose to see that there are some other very interesting recorded events in the Bible that need to be balanced with the knowledge of these instant types of miracles and that is my goal today in what I teach you.
Attempting to be balanced in all of God’s word will cause us to walk more down the center of the road keeping us far from falling into either side ditch of extremism on our left or on our right. For example, one ditch side of extremism on the subject of healing will try to say that God never heals anyone anymore while the other ditch side of extremism will scream God only heals instantly or it is not God. Both are just excessive positions that do not teach the actual balanced truth of God. Learn to avoid the ditches of extremism and that information will possibly help you more than anything else that I say today. Learn to base your beliefs upon sound doctrines using balanced principles and that will raise you above the level of deception that occurs in many man created teachings. But, before we go to these new Gospel examples let’s review a radical concept given to us in what God has created in this natural world about healing.
NATURAL HEALING, IS IT ALWAYS INSTANT?
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
According to the Bible many of the invisible qualities of God can be seen in things that God has created in our world around us. We therefore need to analyze what did God create and does it relate to our subject today? Is there any healing in the human body that occurs naturally? I think that you can easily understand that the normal human body was designed to fight against sickness and injury and that this process was certainly designed by God.
Do you agree that God created natural healing? Doesn’t our natural physical healthy bodies have God’s divine healing systems normally pre-built in that are designed to repair themselves or to at the least help to fight off sickness or injury that have attacked us? Are any of these naturally designed divine processes instant? I believe that you can clearly see they are always consistently gradual and never an instant manifestation. Have you ever thought about that? The natural realm is a direct contrasting opposite to what seems to occur in the majority of the Gospel accounts. Could God have created an instant repair system in the body of man if He so desired? Obviously I believe that God is more than capable, intelligent and powerful enough to do that if that is what He wanted to do. However, our natural immune system was certainly a sovereignly designed feature that came from God and it is not an instant process. This immune system was given to every human being for the purpose of helping us obtain health. Naturally if we cut our external skin organ the process of self-repair normally takes over to correct the problem but again slowly over time. God created blood coagulation as a normal part of the initial process to stop the flow of blood in cuts. The scab will eventually form and the skin will eventually repair and heal. This is clearly a divinely designed healing process with multiple and progressive steps. It does not instantly happen and it requires time to be fully fulfilled. Therefore even in the created natural realm God designed non-instantaneous ways for divine healing to occur. So I have just given you two different example patterns for healing to occur by God’s design. Some of these Bible examples were patterns of instant divine corrections and others in the natural realm were not instant healings, yet still miraculous none-the-less over time. Using this information let us now go into some non-instant healings found in the Gospels.
JESUS HEALS A BLIND MAN IN BETHSAIDA
We are going to start our examination of a specific Gospel healing story that is often overlooked or ignored in the huge number of healing accounts recorded. This new additional example of divine healing in the Bible should further expand our knowledge that not every healing that Jesus performed was an instant miracle display of God’s extreme power. We will go to the book of Mark and begin to read in chapter 8 and verse 22:
Mar 8:22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
Mar 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
These are really fascinating verses beginning to unfold. Jesus comes to a town where some people living there lead a blind man to Him and ask Jesus to touch him. Why were these people bringing this blind man to Jesus and what did they want or expect to occur? Obviously the intended purpose was for Jesus to heal him with His touch. Here is where we need to stop and figure out why then does the anointed Son of God take this blind man out of town where they are before He heals him? Why not just touch the blind man in the town and instantly heal him? Wow, those are very tough questions to answer so we normally ignore them and keep reading not understanding the importance of what is happening here. What does leaving town, have to do with the blind man getting healed? You really need to ask God some specific questions if you ever expect to hear specific answers when you read and study the Bible. If you do not observe what is being said in the Bible you will certainly miss at least 99% of the main message. Let me try to answer those questions by what happened in another location with Jesus. Do you remember when Jesus once went into His own hometown and what happened there when He tried to heal the people? In this story found in Mark 6:5 it says that Jesus could there in that city do NO mighty works (miracles) except to heal a few minor sicknesses. Evidently we learn from these two stories that in some physical locations it matters to Jesus and determines what He can or can’t do. This is actually very important because this information will still hold true for today and your physical location in the world. The location of where you are presently can and will affect if you are able to receive your healing. I have observed this before and perhaps you have also. In churches that do not teach about divine healing, rarely does any divine healing ever take place. In other churches that teach divine healing strongly there is an atmosphere of expectancy that permits God to heal.
Why are some cities open to receiving miracles from God while other cities like Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth and Bethsaida were not? Jesus teaches us in Mark 6:6 that it was their unbelief in Nazareth that limited what God could do there. Wow, religious people struggle with that statement tremendously. However, I did not say it God did in His Word. So if you reject His words do you not also reject Him? According to the Word of God, people have the power to limit what God’s power does on the earth and this human power was called unbelief. I know I’ll get some negative comments from certain kinds of carnal religious people for saying that, but I’m just reading the Bible. I hope you are doing the same. Notice by this defined truth that if unbelief has the negative power to cause us to not receive from God then by the law of antithesis your belief contains the positive power to receive from God. I hope you heard and understood what I said, it was very important. Check your surroundings and see if everyone around you believes with you or are against you. If they are against you then it could cause an atmosphere of unbelief that can hinder the flow of God’s power.
Apparently from this information we must conclude that the people in Bethsaida were also full of the same type of negativity called unbelief and this was the primary reason why Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the city. Notice that Jesus only laid His hands on the blind man once they were fully out of the city, but also notice that before He did this that He only did it after spitting on his eyes and that is another very interesting twist to observe. What does spitting on the blind man’s eyes have to do with his physical healing or the power of God’s ability to manifest? I probably will not be able to answer that question to the fullest satisfaction of many readers today. However, it is very noteworthy to search your Bible to see that at least 3 times in the Gospels Jesus used spit to heal someone and these 3 different people were only healed because Jesus first spit.
Why is it that some people in the Gospels got healed by a touch alone and others by spit, a touch and a longer process? We are forced to conclude that either God’s power alone was not effective in these specific cases or that there are other unknown factors that were involved that kept this blind man from seeing instantly. I vote for number 2; that there existed other unknown or unstated factors that existed and that God’s power did not fail them or treat them uniquely differently. I cannot believe God’s power or lack of power was the problem in this blind man’s case in Mark 8. What would happen if someone came and spat in your face? What would your reaction be if you did not see it coming? Shock, surprise, and even potentially anger could arise from someone doing this unexpectantly to you. I believe Jesus did this on purpose to get a reaction and to set the expectations for something new to happen. The blind man certainly felt the spit hit him and this was not what he was expecting so that changes his attitude to expect something different. This is actually a good lesson to learn from. Don’t expect how God will heal you just expect it to happen and it will.
I did not really emphasize this point but in verse 23 the last thing that Jesus does is to ask the blind man if he can see anything? That is an amazingly interesting question for the Son of God to ask. Does He not know that the man was healed after He has spit and touched his eyes? Do you think that after you pray and ask God for healing and He has sent the answer, is it possible that God is asking you are you healed? I believe He is, even if you cannot hear it. You need to figure out how to answer that question correctly before it is asked to you. Let’s continue to read the answered response given to us from the Mark 8 blind man:
Mar 8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
The blind’s man’s first words to Jesus were “I see”. That is a positive faith statement whether you understand it or not. It indicates that there was at least some progress in his eyesight after being led out of the city, Jesus spitting on him and touching him. Previously the blind man could see nothing and now he says that he sees men that look like trees walking. You need to learn to speak positively no matter what is not working fully. This statement represents a progressive healing process occurring in steps. The message is clearly presented that something was different in this blind man based upon some unstated and unknown factor. Now, examine Jesus’ response to the man’s answered words of seeing partially but not clearly:
Mar 8:25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
Here we have an example for every minister to potentially follow. If you lay your hands on someone and they do not begin to recover fully we could learn that Jesus stopped and did it again. Why does the great God in the flesh need to do something twice? I personally believe it was for two factors for us to see. One is to teach us what to do as men and second is to show us how to increase the faith of the person that we are ministering to. Jesus never wavered in His belief that the man was healed. However Jesus’ faith and the anointed power of God were not the only factors involved in the blind man receiving his healing. If you do not understand how faith works, you will never understand what is happening in this story. Jesus took the blind from the city to eliminate him from the surrounding force of unbelief (lack of faith). Now alone together with Jesus the single isolated blind man’s lack of faith is the only factor that needs to be overcome. While the blind man was being led out of the city by Jesus, he could have stopped Jesus and said “I’m not going” and walked back into town at any time. The blind man exhibits a certain measure of faith simply by silently being a follower of Jesus without questioning or having any proof that anything positive will even happen to him. That reality exhibits very simple faith to be led without knowing the outcome. In fact it corresponds to a N.T. verse that says we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). The blind man walking out of town took a level of belief in someone that the blind man could not see and thus he fulfilled this verse literally. Do you understand what I am trying to say and how it is an important part to my lesson?
After getting the man out of the town Jesus continues to work on increasing the man’s faith level to receive. Jesus does this by first spiting in his eyes. This spirt is a tangible physical feeling that the blind man could immediately feel and it was also something totally unexpected for him to experience. Therefore the blind man is now beginning to expect the unexpected to happen to him. What happens when you experience something that you did not expect? I believe it sets a pattern for you to begin to expect more of the unexpected. No doubt no one had ever done this to the blind man for this reason, so this causes the blind man to start expecting something new to happen. Jesus then lays His hands on the blind man’s eyes and the tangible anointing of God could now flow from Jesus’ body into the blind man’s body and no doubt he could feel this power also. Afterwards Jesus removed his hands and asked him a direct question. When the man opens his eyes and sees for the first time things were definitely better than before but yet still not perfect. So Jesus touches the man’s eyes again and the anointing again flows and this time he opens his eyes and sees every man clearly. This is pretty awesome stuff if you can see what is happening.
There are two main factors that must be present for the majority of divine healings that takes place in the Gospels. These two main factors that must be present are first the quantity of God’s power that is present and administered and second the quantity of the person’s faith to receive the power of God’s Grace given. Both must be present and working together in unison, agreement and harmony or the divine healing will not take place. Of course there are still exceptions to every rule. The fact that God can still give to anyone a gift of healing even to someone without faith has occurred in the Bible and still does occur in the world today occasionally. For example, the lame man at the pool of Bethesda was an example of a gift of divine healing without any mention of faith being present. However, do not count on God doing this for you. You don’t have any promise in the Bible that says He will do it this way. This is completely up to God and He will decide to do it and not you. Many times I have seen God do this in third world countries for people that have never heard about God or Jesus.
THE DIVINE ANOINTING PRESENT FACTOR
Let’s briefly talk about the variable of the anointing factor. God’s anointing can be given to every man in various measures of power and effectiveness. Practically no two men on the earth possess the same level of anointing from God. We can learn this fact in many verses but one of the clearest examples is found in the life of Elijah and Elisha. Both men were great prophets of God and both did extraordinary feats for God. However, Elisha asked for a double portion of the anointing that Elijah possessed. Let’s go back and review this quickly in the O.T.:
2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
2Ki 2:10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
God is described to be omnipotent or “All Powerful” in the Bible. These descriptions of God provide us key qualities that we do not fully comprehend. God’s power is what I will call limitless or unlimited, yet God still places self-imposed limits on what He does by His own sovereign freewill and by His own Word. Levels of this power of God can be transferred as an anointing on spiritual beings like angels and on the people on the earth. Elijah was anointed by God and he called down fire from heaven that consumed all of the prophets of Baal. Elijah also stopped it from raining on the earth for a period of three and half years and then commanded it to rain and it did. Now, Elisha observes the great things that God has done through Elijah and only asks for something greater and if you read on in the Bible, you will find that it was granted to him. The number of great things that Elijah did, Elisha did twice as many. Go study it for yourself and see that God’s power was variably given to men. However, we can learn that no other man had as much of the power of God’s anointing as Jesus did. Acts 10:38 tells us that God anointed Jesus with this power to drive out and heal everyone oppressed by Satan. Satan as you may recall from reading in Ezekiel 28:14 was also anointed by God. Therefore Satan had power given to him by God also. We learn from Acts 10:38 that Satan used this power to oppress people with sickness and that God countered this oppression with Jesus bringing healing. However, let me show you a scripture that appears to claim that Jesus had the entire anointing power of God according to the Word of God whereas Satan and others did not:
Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
God tells us that the measure of the Spirit that was present upon Jesus had no limitations that were set. This is a very interesting statement that is full of implied truths. It indicates that every Christian today has the Spirit of God by limited measure. This simply means that we all have God’s power but not in the fullest measure like Jesus when we pray for someone else. However God’s power not in the fullest is still powerful enough to solve every human situation and problem. Do not discount God’s power to say I don’t have enough to get someone else healed today. Do you remember what Peter said to the lame man at the gate of Jerusalem? The lame man wanted silver and gold from the Peter but Peter said those I do not have, but such as I have, give I thee and commanded him to rise and walk. Peter was anointed to heal and he knew it. He offered this anointing to the lame man and he received it by his level of expecting and walked that day.
I probably need to do a separate series on just the anointing of God and how it works. What we need to know today for receiving healing is that when a man or woman of God comes and lays their hand upon you that their level of anointing power is a factor for the amount of power delivered. Still understand this if you are alone in your house with no one to pray for you, God is ever present and the power of God is always available. The difficulty in this approach is that many times there is no point of contact that is readily available to receive. You see when Jesus spit on the blind man and laid his hands upon his eyes this represented an observable, physical and tangible contact point that could be felt externally. This power transfer contact point greatly enhances a person’s faith in receiving the power of God. Jesus certainly understood this and this is why Jesus was led by the Spirit of God to do what he did in healing this blind man.
I really was planning on doing more than one healing in the Gospel today, but I have gone long enough in this lesson with presenting many new things to think about. I do not want to overwhelm you with too much new information or it will just go in one ear and probably exit the other. Let’s recap with a quick overview of what you should have taken away from today’s Bible lesson.
- The blind man’s healing in Bethsaida was not instantly manifested.
- In fact the unbelief of the city of Bethsaida causes Jesus to remove him from that place before ministering to him.
- Jesus spent personal time building the man’s faith so this faith was important to be present in the man in order for him to receive his healing. Therefore, spend time in building your faith.
- The blind man literally walked by faith out of the city of unbelief in order to receive and was healed.
- The blind man’s healing was a limited multi-step process and took time.
- Jesus had to lay hands on him twice for the healing to be fully received.
- The anointing factor of the power of God is variably given depending upon who is administering God’s power.
- Even a small amount of the Power of God is all that is needed to heal anyone.
I know I made a lot of other important points, but you can go back and reread them to get them all. I suggest that you reread these healing lesson over and over to help build up your understanding and your faith in God’s word. Thank you for taking the time to read and for your willingness to hear from God. God bless you as we continue in this series.
(Ver 1.1) Today’s lesson is Part 6 in the Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of Healing, Sickness and Disease”. This is a very important Bible subject to study because it eventually affects everyone and you will need to know about it someday even if you are perfectly healthy today. Without understanding this subject in detail, you will not be able to pray and ask God for healing with any confidence that He heard you and has answered. Therefore, in this series we have been exploring the Bible foundations to recognize God’s truth and perspective on the complex subject of where does physical healing, sickness and disease actually come from! What are the sources to each reality? I have already covered a lot of information in this Bible lesson series that will not all be repeated exactly as stated before, therefore if you have not read every lesson from the beginning, I would recommend that you start reading with “Part 1” before you read today’s lesson. Today’s lesson is an attempt to answer a question that I received from the last lesson on healing. The question came from a reader and asked “Is God’s healing always instantaneous?” You see there are some common Christian misconceptions that if I pray and ask God to heal me today and it does not immediately show up externally, then nothing happened, or God did not hear me, or God did not answer me, or God said no, or possibly I just failed to receive. There are actually so many possible outcomes and explanations of the outcomes for prayer that I cannot fully describe them all here. There are so many questions placed in the minds of people by Satan to get them to not believe in what God has said to them in His Word. If you allow these questions to remain unanswered you will be easily defeated.
WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT
I am going to start the answer to my reader’s question by teaching briefly on a related dependent subject called faith. Faith is a dominate theme subject found in every part of the Bible. The Old Testament references are largely hidden or not stated plainly, but they are there when you discover how to look for them. I have a whole series on the subject of Understanding Bible Faith so if you want to learn more about this subject you should go and read that because it is essential to receiving anything from God. Faith is a belief based system. Faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). What we begin to see as we study the N.T. in detail is the failure of people to become a doer of the Word of God. The primary reason for not doing the Word of God is either ignorance or rebellion. Adam rebelled, but people today are mostly ignorant. God said in Hosea 4:6 that my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Therefore what you do not know today will cause you to fail and to be destroyed tomorrow. You see God gives you a very important instruction in the New Testament and you can ignore it or you can choose to learn what He said and then implement it in your prayer and Christian life here on the earth and this will help you to succeed. Read this statement of God:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
What does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? Remember what I said earlier that faith is a belief based system based upon hearing God’s word. God is teaching you not to look on the outside in order to determine what exists on the inside of you. There are two distinct contrasting realities given in this one verse that are directly opposed to each other. These two conflicting things are your flesh and your spirit. Faith is an internal spiritual force and sight is an external physical reality. God is basically revealing your internal spiritual beliefs are by far more important than what you can see or feel on the outside in your body. I don’t know if you understand the point that I am trying to make to you yet. Where is your healing needed? Obviously the healing is ultimately needed in your external physical body. But where according to God does healing need to start or come from? Again, it is obvious to me that healing comes only from the Spirit of God by our internal faith. Therefore external healing must come from the Grace of the Spirit of God through your faith in an unseen internal God in order to be made manifest. What I am describing is an internal spiritual process that causes the external to be seen. Let’s verify the location for your faith as revealed to us by God in His Word and this might help you to understand what I am teaching:
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Here in this verse God says that your spirit is capable of believing things that your physical eyes cannot see. Righteousness is another Grace of God given gift. Can you see your God given righteousness? Technically it is impossible to see your righteousness with your physical eyes. Therefore the only way we know we are righteous is by reading it or hearing from the Word of God and that is called faith if you believe it. Therefore, righteousness is a spiritual gift concept and not a physical entity. But, yet God says with your spirit you can still believe that you are “righteous” regardless of what you feel or see on the outside. That is what God describes as “Heart Faith”. In this verse there is a powerful combination being described. Your beliefs working in conjunction with your spoken words can produce your healing and health in your physical body. You probably don’t see it but I have looked up the words in the Greek and know that this is what they say. The word translated as “salvation” is the Greek word “soteria” and this is an all-inclusive work of God that means to “to deliver, give health, and to save”. This saving and delivering work of God is part of a revealed process. It requires what God gave us by His grace first and then what you believe with your heart called your faith second and then finally the corresponding works that causes you to confess with your mouth unto your final accomplished “salvation”. Remember that “salvation” can mean “health”. Are you getting what I’m saying yet? Also notice that this is a defined process of implied duration and not an instantaneous manifestation.
You are a spirit being that lives in a natural physical body. This human body is a five sense dominated machine; these five senses are sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. However, to walk by faith is an internal spiritual belief in something that you have no proof or evidence of possessing (righteousness, salvation, healing, etc.) which is supposed to be independent from what your senses are telling you. Uh oh? What did I just say? If I prayed to God and asked Him for divine external physical healing what exactly am I supposed to not be looking at according to 1 Corinthians 5:7? If you said what it looks like from the natural doctor’s perspective, you are correct. Do not however misunderstand what I just said. I did not say to stop taking your medicine or stop seeing a doctor. However do not let what they say to you rule what you believe and confess. God is a greater physician than your natural doctor and He does not care what a natural doctor said to you. Your natural doctor could have told you that you only have 6 months to live. That report really means nothing to God. It only means anything to you if you let what your natural doctor said take precedence over what the Great Physician God said in His Word. I’m beginning to allude to a spiritual battle for your internal beliefs that will occur in between the time of prayer and the time that you actually see the answer from God. But we’ll get to that more as we continue.
WHY A DELAY IN THE ANSWER IS NOT A NO FROM GOD!!!
Do the answers of God come instantly or is there sometimes a delay or time lapse? We are going to attack the wrong belief of this potential wait time as being a non-answer from God using the Bible today in order to learn how to receive from God His divine healing power and promises. There is a certain example given to us in the O.T. of God giving the Promise Land to Israel. This example shows us the existence of two reports being presented to the children of Israel. Ten spies claimed that the land was not theirs because they were unable to possess it and they died in the wilderness with all those that did not believe with them. Two spies claimed the land was theirs because God had given it to them and entered into the land eventually as victorious conquerors. Was the Promised Land instantly obtained by the believers Joshua and Caleb? Obviously not, so why then do you believe that God’s promised healing must be instantly manifested? Was not the faith of Joshua and Caleb the determining factor for them entering into the promise? Are they not your examples to follow? We need to put things together correctly and learn the simple process of how faith works. Simple childlike faith in your Father’s words is also what is required for your victory. Faith is the answer to receiving anything from God. What God has given to us by His Grace is yours but it is not guaranteed to happen instantly even if you believe it. Let’s go back to the N.T. and understand this very important concept that I am teaching you for it is the basis for your answer from God:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
This is the third verse that I have given to you about faith and God has many others if you want to learn about them. I feel like faith is one of the 3 most important basic subjects found in the Bible to know intimately. God teaches us why the majority of the Christian people on the earth do not receive what God has given to them in this single verse. God declares that “faith” is more than a simple suggestion. God speaks directly to you and informs you that this is how you are required to please Him. If you have no faith, then you cannot please God, it is a clearly stated impossibility. God then informs you what faith is based upon, in the next statement. He that has come to God must first believe that God exists and that He is a God that rewards them for seeking Him. God gives you a prerequisite for two things to believe before you ever come and pray and ask Him for healing. This means that believing these two things about God is essential for receiving anything from the omnipotent Spirit Being that you have never seen and cannot prove exists. From this verse, there are two kinds of people that are implied to never receive anything from God. First, those who believe that God does not exist will never on this earth be bothered by God. Second, those that believe in a punishing judgmental God will never receive anything good from that God either.
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
You can see that God informs us in this verse that the Prayer of Faith will save (heal) the sick. God is teaching you how to receive healing and declares that it is only by your faith and your prayer working together correctly that you will receive. The key word “save” is the Greek word “sozo”. This again is an all-inclusive work of God dealing with spiritual shortcomings, physical shortcomings, emotional shortcomings and mental shortcomings. What you were lacking in these areas has been given to you by the Grace of God. However, just because they are given does not mean that you possess them like the children of Israel in the O.T. Therefore, what you believe right now is the root for why you are either saved or not saved, or healed or not healed today.
What I am doing is establishing several perquisite factors before the prayer of faith can occur. You see if you believe wrong you will have no firm foundation for what you are praying and asking for. For example if you believe that God will heal you someday in the future then you are not in agreement with what God says in His Word. The Bible says “How can two talk together unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3) God is revealing that the His power works for those that are in agreement with Him. How do you get into agreement with God? You must first learn what He has declared or promised you in His word and then you must believe it with your whole heart and never doubt it again. This is called confidence that what God has said is true regardless of what you are feeling or seeing in your body. This principle is exactly what caused Joshua and Caleb to become winners and not dead men in the wilderness. They had confidence and were in agreement with what God’s Word had declared and they eventually possessed it. That is the spiritual battle that will occur in you today. Just understand that because there was a significant delay from when God told Israel the land was theirs to when they finally possessed it, did not mean that God was the reason for the delay. Delays do not come from God. God was not the reason for the delay. The people were directly responsible for their own outcomes and results.
WHY THINGS SENT FROM GOD SOMETIMES TAKE TIME TO SEE!
Does everything sent from God come instantly so that we can see them immediately? This is actually a very important concept to fully grasp and I think from my previous example of the Promised Land you can clearly see there was a major time delay that transpired. What we need to do today, is to determine from the Bible why delays occur and whose fault are they so that we can understand that it is not God’s fault for them not occurring. Let’s explore a N.T. verse very quickly to help establish the requirement of time in conjunction with our need for patience while continuing to have faith in what our God has said:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
If time was not a factor for possessing the promises of God then there would be no need for our patience. I only need patience when I am standing in a long line of people that are ahead of me in line. I only need patience when stuck in heavy rush hour traffic and not moving forward. When I do not possess patience then I usually fail to receive what everyone else was in line to get. This could be tickets to a movie or the line to be interviewed for a job. We only need to have patience when there is a time delay for receiving what we desire or believe that we will receive. You can get into a line and ask the last person standing there if it is the line for receiving bread. If they said yes and you wait then you are basing your faith in a person you do not know and trusting they are correct and you will only find out if it was true if you wait to get to the front of the line. If after 5 hours you find out this is the line for vaccination shots and not for bread then you just wasted a lot of time using wrong faith. That is exactly why I teach so much about faith. If you base your faith on God’s word you should have confidence in His ability to perform what He has said and this is why you need patience.
Here is the main factor for why people believe wrong. It is what I call the omnipotence of God factor. If God is omnipotent (meaning all powerful) then why if we pray today do things not instantly happen tomorrow? Have you ever noticed that? I mean is God listening? Does God even hear us? Does God not care that I’m hurting today? Some prayers that I have prayed took weeks or months to see in the natural realm. Honestly some prayers I have yet to see. However, just because some prayers have not happened yet does not mean or prove that they will never happen. So I must continue to believe regardless of what I can see externally like a Joshua and Caleb type of Christian. Let’s investigate a new and very important Bible story example given to us by God and find out what other factors are involved in getting our prayers answered from God. We are going to look at the story of a praying man named Daniel. Come and read in Daniel chapter 10 with me:
Dan 10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
Dan 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
I want you to see the stated timeframe for this story first. God tells us that Daniel has been in prayer for 3 weeks of time. Do you ever pray for three weeks solid? Today that would be very tough to do with our busy lifestyles. I’m not teaching that this is what got the answer from God, I’m just saying there is a stated time lapse that has occurred for us to learn from. Don’t get all works based with me and think you have to do what Daniel did in order to get God to answer your prayer. That is a wrong motivational type of thinking and it should never be followed. We are led by the Spirit of God and not by what Daniel did. You are welcome to go and read all of these verses in Daniel 10 if you like but I’m going to skip down to verse 12 next:
Dan 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
The speaker in this verse is the angel Gabriel and he declares that God sent him to Daniel because of Daniel’s words. Words of course are the important stated factor for any prayer request to God. If you have no spoken words present then you have no prayer. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will answer your silent prayer without words. Daniel had been praying and asking God for wisdom and understanding and the angel shows up with God’s answer around 21 days later after Daniel first started praying. However the angel of God clearly says that he was sent to go to Daniel on the very first day. Why then was there a major delay of 21 days for the angel of God to arrive and tell Daniel the words of God if God sent him on day 1? Is heaven just 21 days from earth and it takes that long to travel between the two? I do not think that is what is stated, do you? Why then did it take so long for the angel to arrive on the earth? I believe that is an excellent question and we will see the answer if we read the next verse:
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Here we have a very important revelation given to us about why things from the Spirit of God often take time in the natural realm to manifest or appear. The angel of God with the message from God told us that he was sent the moment that Daniel prayed, but we are now informed that the “prince of Persia” withstood Gabriel for a period of 3 weeks. This “prince of Persia” is a code name for the angel Lucifer that also has great spiritual power and ability being an anointed cherub. It is stated fairly clearly that Gabriel and Lucifer fought for the duration of the three weeks until Michael another great angel came to help to get the message through to Daniel. What we see being revealed is a spiritual warfare that is unseen in the natural realm. Do you understand that this spiritual war occurs every time that you pray and ask God for anything in the natural realm? Satan is called the prince of the power of the air in Ephesians 2:2. What God is saying is the earth’s atmosphere is Satan realm of domain and rule. Every time an angel is sent to earth from heaven, they must enter this realm of air. Therefore, there is a continuing conflict between these two kingdoms fighting for control. This is the kingdom of light that God rules versus the kingdom of darkness which Satan rules. This is about the time where religious people try to tell me I’m a fool because God is in complete control since He is omnipotent. However, if it is true that God controls what happens on the earth, then why did God have to send the other angel Michael to help Gabriel? Does it make any sense to you? If you don’t believe me that is really not my problem. Just try to understand that like Daniel, this clearly means you have a spiritual enemy working against your prayers to God today. There is nothing new under the sun, everything will continue as it was in Daniel’s day until Satan is finally cast into the lake of fire.
What can we learn from this story of Daniel praying and God sending the answer? We can clearly see that God heard the spoken word prayer immediately the very first day and sent the answer directly without any delay. We can also clearly see that you and God have a spiritual enemy that is trying to stop the answer from appearing to you. Therefore, we can clearly see that God’s answers require time to come because of this spiritual battle that is taking place. What we cannot see clearly stated in this story is the faith of Daniel that was required to keep the answer coming no matter how long it took. Remember Hebrews 11:6? God said we must have faith in order to be pleasing to Him. Daniel was obviously pleasing to God in this story and he received the answer even though it took time to come. Therefore, Daniel possessed the God pleasing kind of faith even though it is not directly mentioned here in this story. We can observe Daniel’s possession of God pleasing faith being indirectly referenced in Hebrews 11:33 as he still possessed it when he shut the mouth of the lions. In the New Testament God tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12). God basically informed us in this verse that this spiritual war is still raging in the unseen realm after we pray today. Just try to accept the fact that Joshua had enemies possessing the Promised Land given by God. These enemies were shadows of the real enemies that you are facing today.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING FROM O.T. EXAMPLES!
There is a very popular Christian misconception (wrong belief) that divine healing is always consistently instantaneous and an immediate supernatural observable miracle or we must withdraw and believe that no one was healed based upon the observable circumstances. Uh Oh? That sounds a lot like someone is not going to enter into the Promised Land because they saw the giants again to me. That as I have stated is a contradiction to walking by faith believing in what God said instead of us walking by our sight. Many times this type of belief will cause certain people not to receive fully what God has clearly already given to them according to His Word. Go back and reread the Old Testament examples and understand how God gave the children of Israel the Promised Land back when He spoke to Abraham and yet they did not possess it physically for over 440 years. The first five books of the Bible were written by Moses and yet Israel did not fully enter into the Promised Land and take control of it until the book of Joshua. From this story I learned several things that I feel are very important for us as Christians to know.
- What the spiritual God had given to man from the spirit realm, man was still required to possess or take control of in the physical realm from the enemies that possessed it.
- Israel’s possession of the Promised Land was not an instant event, but was rather a process that took time to fully manifest?
- There were also very specific enemies that needed to be overcome and driven out of the land that were trying to keep the nation of Israel from God’s promise.
- What God said did eventually come to pass in spite of the stiff necked people that did not want to believe Him. However God did wait to get a new group of believing people that would have faith in His word first.
These are just four of the basic lessons that I learned from the children of Israel. Why is an Old Testament historical story so important for me to understand in the modern church? It is simply because God’s Word tells us that it is important. I am forming my beliefs based upon what God says and reveals in the N.T. and ignoring what people say. Let me show you something God says about Israel:
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Reading the context you should be able to recognize that God is saying that the stories written concerning the children of Israel were written as examples for all of us that live at the time of the end to learn from. Since we clearly live in the last of the last days on earth we are exactly those people and they are my examples to learn from. However, we can learn from two types of examples. One is a positive example that we should follow and the other is a negative example that we should not follow. Which one was Israel in this story example? I hope that you can see Israel was being a majority negative example not to follow in this story. The time of the church age is closing around us very fast and the final curtain is about to fall. Therefore, we are those people that need to learn from their negative examples before time closes on us.
What can we learn from the Old Testament accounts? I believe the Children of Israel were a type of the people in the church. Israel was in bondage in Egypt for 400 years as a type and a shadow of the people of the earth that were in bondage to Satan for 4000 years. Just as God sent Moses to deliver them from their bondage in Egypt so Jesus came to the earth to deliver us from our sins and the dominion of Satan. There are just too many revealed type examples of the children of Israel for me to teach them all in this lesson. Let’s skip down to the Promised Land and what it represents in Christian typology. Think of the Promised Land as being healing since that is one of my main subjects today that you may not yet possess. If God’s Word declares that He has already given to you your healing and yet you still do not possess it or live in it, then you are technically the one at fault, not God. I know people don’t like that statement, but that is what God teaches us in His Word using the type of Israel. Everyone likes to blame God for them not being healed and God says I have already given to you this spiritual land of health why do you not possess it yet?
Before there was an Israel, God looked at Abram one day and showed him the stars in the heaven and said to him to look because this was his seed in Genesis 15:5. However, Isaac the promised child was not born until Genesis 21:3 many years later. Was the miracle promised birth of Isaac instant or a slow process over time? Why didn’t the words of God suddenly appear so that Abram could instantly see them happen? I believe you can see from just the two initial examples of Abram and Israel that not everything that God declares is always manifested instantly manifested on the earth. In fact there appears to me to be some type of unstated factors for their fulfillment to even occur. You see we often set the wrong beliefs from reading only partial truths found in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 1:3 God looked out over the darkness and says “Light Be” and suddenly and apparently instantly light was present and thus many try to take that isolated truth and exalt it to a universal truth to apply it to everything that God says. This is jumping to the wrong conclusions based upon limited information and Christians do it all the time. If that was how everything that God said works then there would be no other verses found in the Bible that would display anything differently. Since I just showed you that what God said to Israel and Abram did not work that way we have to now adjust our beliefs to include some new additional information, balancing both realities. There are so many examples in the Bible of God prophesying something hundreds or even thousands of years before it actually occurs and then suddenly it happens and is fulfilled. How then do we resolve this new variable time conflict in the factor of our beliefs? Do you understand what I am asking you? Why are God’s words not always immediately seen as fulfilled if God is omnipotent and all powerful and capable of doing anything? Let me try to tie my question to the mainline subject of healing today. When were, God’s Words of healing spoken and when will they be fulfilled or are they already fulfilled now in relation to the factor of time that we live within. For example, read this next verse about healing very carefully:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Here we have another prime example of God saying to the church that we were already healed and yet many of the people in the church today are clearly not healed. Our hospitals are full of Christian people that are physically hurting and dying daily. This verse in 1 Peter 2:24 is a partial quote from a verse in Isaiah 53:5. The verse as written in Isaiah is translated as future tense as a porphecy that we will be healed by Christ’s work to come. However clearly in 1st Peter after Christ has died and was raised from the dead the work has been accomplished and it is referenced as a past tense done and completed work of God. Are there any direct connections of commonality found in this pattern with the observed statement spoken by God to Israel that “I have given you the Promised Land” past tense and yet they still did not have it physically in their possession? If you examine the phrasing here in 1 Peter 2:24 and look up the words in the Greek dictionary, everything stated is in the past-tense phrasing, like it has already occurred in the eyes of God. How can God possibly say we are healed when we are not? What we begin to observe is a major stated difference between two opposing points of view again. Two reports are being stated. You can believe the ten spies or you can be a Joshua and Caleb type of Christian and believe God. One statement is from God’s perspective looking at us spiritually saying we are healed and one statement is from our human perspective looking only naturally at the circumstances of things saying it is not yet fulfilled. How do we resolve this? I don’t have the time to teach you everything here in one lesson. This is where you must believe when you cannot see. I just want you to try to begin to see things differently from God’s perspective and that will start the change process on the outside to see it in the natural. Become a Joshua and Caleb type of Christian believing in what God has said while overcoming the natural observations that are conflicting with His word. Notice I did not say ignore them, I said to overcome them and that is totally different.
I think I will continue this lesson in another follow-up one to come. I have many more things to say on this subject but I have really gone long enough in this one. I so appreciate your faithfulness to study the Bible with me. I value your time and God sees our hearts and knows our motives for what we do. I think you can see that I spend a lot of time in writing these serious important Bible lessons. I do this for two main reasons. First I believe that God told me to do them so I am being led by the Spirit of God to teach. Second, studying the Bible helps me to learn from God and if it helps me to learn then I can certainly help someone else to also learn. God bless you tremendously and if you have any questions or comments on this or any subject please feel free to share them with me. God Bless you!
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may continue with “Part 7“.