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Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Prophetic Vision and the Healing of a Nation

In the previous discussions regarding the healing of a nation, the 'broadest' healing spoken of in the Bible after the Salvation of mankind, we have seen that

1. A Nation Must Recognize their sin or be shown it
2. A Nation must own their sin and admit it
3. A Nation must turn in Mourning from their sin
4. A Nation must plead with God for forgiveness, mercy and direction and guidance
5. A Nation must obey God

In the course of this healing process, which is very simply bringing a nation into God's correct order and to obedience, the Prophetic Utterance often occurs and is seen in prototype in the Assyrian/Babylonian exile. Warnings occur regarding the 'ill' or dissensioned nature of the nation long before the actual overthrow, as Isaiah and Micah prophesy long before the event. Nearing the time of Nebuchadnezzar's overthrow of Jerusalem, after Assyria has already taken Hazor and the North of Israel, Jeremiah cries in constant pleas to heed God's Word and call for repentance, but except for a few Rechabites, Jeremiah and a few at court, none hear.

The Affliction of Jerusalem

After Jerusalem falls, and the Jews are carried away into captivity the demoralization, alienation and 'dissolving' of the national spirit of the Jews takes place to the point that after 70 years in captivity, their national identity has waned, their resolve is gone. At the end of the period as mentioned before, Daniel discovers the time of a prophesied return is at hand by reading the book of Jeremiah. But other things happen near the end of captivity as well, heralding the healing of the nation that is to come:

-Nehemiah becomes the King's cupbearer and mourns for the re-establishment of Jerusalem (Neh 1:1-6)
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [certain] days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

-Cyrus declares for Ezra the rebuilding and restoration and replenishment of the Temple,

-Hadassah, or Esther, ascends to Queen in Vashti's place, and implores the King under Mordecai's guidance for the deliverance of her people from Haman's edict of genocide.

The time is at hand in the above passages for the healing of the Nation of Israel, but a few things are going on-

1. Certain key Jews are moved into position in a pagan nation: Daniel as court advisor, Ezra as courtier, Nehemiah as the King's cupbearer, Mordecai as the King's rescuer, Esther as the Queen of Artaxerxes.

2. The discovery of the prophesied time is determined for healing

3. Mourning and Repentance are called for and accomplished,

4. The Remembrance of the Afflictions of Jerusalem is made, e.g.

The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. Neh 1:3
I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Dan 9:3And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Esther 7:4
For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

The Remembrance first is made, followed by mourning.

More to follow....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Healing: Prayers of National Repentance Part II

Daniel continues in the prayer in Chapter 9, that will lead to the healing and restoration of Israel back to

1. Who She is as a Nation and
2. A recognition of what she has done which caused the Captivity and
3. The Supplication for God's Healing of the nations and return from Exile.

When Daniel makes the supplication to the God of Heaven, as has been mentioned, he is aware that the timing of the Return according to Jeremiah is at hand, and that the Lord is faithful:

I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Dan 9:2

...the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; Dan 9:4

Here is a critical issue in the healing of the Nation of Israel: THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT of THE COVENANT. The COVENANT is EVERLASTING and holy and has been from the beginning. This means that the 'RIGHT' state of Israel is when she is keeping COVENANT with her GOD. When Israel moved away from GOD 'missing the mark', a definition of sin and national sin, then she was in a 'diseased' state, and the intervention of God became necessary to bring her back into a whole and right state.

Blut und Boden

In Germany in WWII, there was a concept of 'blut und boden' or blood and soil, which entailed the identity of the German people or 'Volk' being so tied up in the land they lived in and on, that to be German was to be on Aryan soil, and to be on Aryan soil was to be German by necessity. This concept, many are not aware gave rise to the modern environmental movement, but caused a severe persecution of the Jews to drive them out of the bloodlines (blut) of Europe and off of the land (boden) to create a pure 'oneness' of people, spirit and land.(See Blood and Soil In the case of Germany, the concept was used against the Jewish people.

In God's Covenant with the Chosen people though throughout history, the promise of the Seed and Land, a Jewish form of blut und boden, was essentially different though because it was holy, set apart, in the purposes of GOD and meant for the salvation of the world. The late German form was merely an emulation of the COVENANT, essentially opposite from the COVENANT of the Everlasting nation and meant not for the preservation of the Jews, the oracles and vehicles of the Word of God but for the opposite. Why is this important in the discussion of the healing of a nation? Because there really is an issue of the healing of the Jewish nation being tied to them being:

1. In the Covenant
2. In Obedience
3. In the Land

in order to be in that perfect, healed state, an equilibrium and balance when all is as it should be, when they are in a 'RIGHTEOUS' state.

Why does this matter in the national healing of Israel? Because Israel, to be healed needed to be back in the Land!. It was part of her 'wholeness'. Is this true for all nations? It is somewhat difficult to answer because virtually all nations are on their own land. During WWII, a few monarchs and heads of state had to flee Nazi occupation: without their heads, nations such as the Netherlands felt downtrodden and hopeless: they were in a dissensioned state.
When their rightful leadership was back in place, their form of government, etc, they began to HEAL as a nation. Israel is a special case of the nations having survived in and out of the land for 5000 years, depending on how some historians count origins.


The Prophet Repents for a Nation in Captivity

One of the first things to realize as Daniel prays, is that without their 'permission' or even knowledge, Daniel, the prophet of exile takes it upon himself
to pray vicariously in repentance for the good of the nation. Why would God receive Daniel's prayer in this way? Would it not take the whole nation repenting? Well, it happens both ways: in Daniel, the prophet prays in Proxy as a representative of the whole nation of Israel in Babylonian captivity. In Esther we see the whole nation called to prayer for their self-defense and protection, including severe repentance.

We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O Lord, righteousness [belongeth] unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, [that are] near, and [that are] far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.-Dan 9:5-8

In Esther:

And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, [there was] great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. Esther 4:3

Now in Daniel, the Prophet stands in proxy of the people, declaring unto God in heart and soul, his sorrow over his and their sins which set them in captivity to a pagan nation. In Esther, we see both: Esther intercedes with the pagan King Ahasuerus for the nation of Israel, Mordecai 'stands in the gap' for Israel when he sees the nation about to fall to the wicked Haman, and later all Israel mourns, weeps, fasts, wails and lays in sackcloth and ashes, begging for the great hand of God to again defend the beleaguered nation. Is this merely about begging for protection? No, it is also about the healing of the nation beginning with repentance.

If a soldier is wounded on a battlefield, his wounds are not neatly attended to there: he needs to be dragged off the front, to a place of safety and some rest so that he can be healed and made whole. Rest is required. In the case of a nation, they are substantially asking to be 'dragged off the battlefield' to a place of rest where they would be made whole again, by the hand of GOD. REPENTANCE, both via a representative in this case a prophet or a Queen, or leader of Israel (Mordecai), brings the desired intervention and in all three cases, a miraculous healing of the nation. For Daniel, the Repentance is intense and severe and occurs amidst a pagan atmosphere, and risks the wrath of the king and courtiers.

Daniel notes that the nation has fallen to CONFUSION because of rebellion:

O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God [belong] mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Dan 8-9

and that the failure to obey the LAW (Torah) of GOD, has resulted in the 'diseased' condition of the captive nation:
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Why is national repentance needed? Because a whole nation sinned:
all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

We will continue with this study again shortly but a few points in summary are applicable not only to the Israel of long ago, but to all nations today:

1. We have fallen to a 'curse' by
-failure to hear God,
- failure to walk in His Law or Way
[I am the WAY , the TRUTH and the LIFE Jn14:6)

2. The 'Curse' of National Sin results in
-Inability to hear from GOD
-Captivity and brutal treatment
-A lack of Clarity as in confusion, lack in decision-making
-Lack of leadership and direction
-'Dissension' of the fabric of society

3. Both Prophets and Ministers of God need to Repent for the Nation and Themselves

4. The Nation Must Repent in Seriousness
-Calling on God with Praise, Fasting and Supplication
- Turning from the way they are on by obeying Christ's commands
-Spending the time necessary to seek out GOD's forgiveness and will.


This study will continue at a later date. by Elizabeth Kirkley Best

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Prayers of National Repentance: Daniel, Esther, & More

The national repentance which is required for the Healing of a Nation is clearly seen in several passages of scripture. The Ninevites turned in national repentance at the prophesying of Jonah; Daniel's repentance brought the vision of the future of Israel clear to the end of time, along with a Return to the Land, the national repentance of the Jews saved them in Medo-Persia from India to the Meditteranean [the following is by Elizabeth K. Best] from the foes raised by the edict Haman procured. Ezra demands by God a national repentance and the putting away of 'strange wives' in the purification of Israel, and there are a number of other times as well. [e.g. the repentance of Israel during certain wars ] Corporate confession of national sin came either by
1) The whole nation praying a confession or
2) By a person praying in Proxy for the sins of the Nation

Daniel's prayer is the essence of the prophet praying in Proxy for the Sins of Israel, supplicating God for the time which has been determined as the prophesied time for the end of captivity.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

The form is worth noting: First there is the
-THE CHARACTER OF GOD, and the critical

Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Following the praise and essential declaration of Covenant, which has kept Israel alive and protected her throughout captivity, the major tenets of the sin are listed:

Dan 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Dan 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Healing of the Nations- The Beginning of Healing in Exile- Repentance, the Anointed, and the Remnant-Part C

In discussing the nature and pattern of healing of a nation or the 'healing of nations' [both are a separate concern], we have already discussed that first, the 'dissensioned' state of a nation which has removed itself from the right ways of God must be recognized as lacking wholeness, being 'diseased' or corrupted and in a state of disequilibrium. Many examples of this appear in scripture, such as the Babylonian empire around the time of Belshazzar, in which the kingdom is wrested away from Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, or in the period in Israel just prior to the Exile, when Israel was in such a condition, that every prophet of the time is given similar prophecies regarding the destruction of the nation loved by God because of a sin state. Once the disease is recognized, though, or the dissensioned state of a nation, either of God's or the world, The second stage in healing in Scripture is a
1.call to Repentance,
2.the appearance of the anointed,
3.a Return, and
4.the re-establishment of at least a Remnant.

Repentance and God's Anointed

Jonah, the recalcitrant Prophet, eventually rises up in Nineveh, calls for repentance, the first rung in the ladder of the Healing of a Nation, and Nineveh, the vile city is spared the prophesied destruction for 120 or so years. Two things are characteristic of the prophecy that leads to that healing:

I. The Prophet is compelled to the Prophecy and Call to Repentance
II. While the Nation Repents and is healed for the next generation,
the original prophecy of destruction of Nineveh for its many crimes
still takes place at a later time.

So REPENTANCE, the first rung of a Nation's healing, can change the immediate fate of a nation leading it into a whole state in equilibrium, but the PROPHETIC PRONOUNCEMENT is still true. When Nineveh turns away from its repentance, the judgment returns. (See Nahum).

Repentance turns a nation which has fallen into distress back to the path of healing. In the Holy Scripture, to my knowledge there is not a time when God heals either Israel or any of the 'Heathen' nations without a heart repentance of that nation.

The Repentance of Israel

There are a number of instances of national Repentance in Israel, which lead to healing of Israel. The healing almost always involves a total restoration, abundantly above all that is asked or expected. Several examples of the national repentance of Israel are found in the Wars of Israel, in which the nation in repentance and supplication goes on to win a war after an initial failing. One such example is in Joshua's Battle with the Southern Canaanites in Israel's route into Canaan. In the first battle, God commands the taking of the mountain where the Anakim dwell, where the Southern Canaanites dwell, and Joshua and Caleb spy out the mountain, reporting back to Israel that they can take it though it be fearsome. Israel, though, despite the command of God, turns back, afraid to go to battle. [Numbers 14] They then turn to repent, but out of step with the Lord's command, they fail to do things the Lord's way and fail:

And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we [be here], and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
Num 14:41-44 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
Go not up, for the LORD [is] not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites [are] there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, [even] unto Hormah.

In the case of the defeat even with repentance, it was not a repentance fully, for they turn again to the battle, only without waiting for the Lord. They are soundly defeated.

In the Life of a Nation, the first and foremost step in healing a 'dissensioned' nation is for the problem to be identified, and acknowledged as sin and separation from the ways of God, along with a seeking of God with the heart and mind and soul not only of individuals, but of a whole nation.

There are times when on behalf of Israel, a few repentant prophets and people prayed in proxy for their people who had forgotten and despaired of turning back to their God. One such prophet, was Daniel, one of the most great trial-ed prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Daniel had been taken as a child from a royal family and in the midst of war and destruction and the sacking of Jerusalem was taken captive by the brutish armies of Nebuchanezzar. One really needs to meditate a bit on what that meant: royal children are spoiled at least a little: they have servants, a lush lifestyle and comfort and are tenderly treated. These were the children taken by a brutal army and ripped from parents,comfort, love and innocence: some were made into eunuchs, in a cruelty so unspeakable, that none could fathom any child having to face it.

Relocated, 'deported' to a foreign land under these circumstances, and placed in the palace of a horrendous King, only a few resolve not to lose their faith or identity: Daniel, given the Babylonian name Belteshazzar [not Belshazzar], and Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, of the fiery furnace fame. Even within the courts though, forced to read and study the abomination of dark arts and magic of the Chaldeans, Daniel notes as he grows in excellence, the timing due in the Jewish scriptures of the Return, and sees the need of the Healing and Repentance of the Nation of Israel, precipitous to the Great Return.

As with others at times of Israel's distress, Daniel, knowing his nation to be in a dissensioned state captive in Babylon, does not rush to think that all Israel will bow the knee and ask God to save and deliver them from Babylon. Most of Israel has grown old in exile in this time: the ones who were very young children are now old men, and many of a lesser character have forgotten the great need of repentance: they do not remember much about Israel, it became in Babylon as it became in the holocaust or Shoah: "Ha Eretz Y'israel", the semi-mythical Utopia of the Jews which in exile appears as the only hope, distant, unattainable and far away.

Daniel however is not willing to leave it as a distant and unattainable hope: through his studies of Jeremiah's prophecies and through prayer, constant prayer, he falls on his knees hoping to repent not only his own sins, but the Sins of a people, the nation of Israel.

Chapter 9 of Daniel details that prayer of national repentance and serves as a prototype of heart repentance for a nation in dissension or a nation in exile. The Book of Esther also contains national repentance and prayer as Mordecai and Esther place their lives on the line before a pagan King, Artaxerxes, and all Israel falls in fasting and prayer to save their lives. In Daniel, however, it is a 'proxy' prayer, as one 'warrior' intercedes with God for a whole nation which has lost its way, and does not even remember the true ways of Israel before her bridegroom.
Dan 9:3 ¶ And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Dan 9:3 ¶ And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

The issues and characteristics of national repentance will be examined in the next section before moving on to other issues of the Healing of a nation.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Healing: V-Healing of the Nations: Part B

The Ways and Characteristics of God's Healing of Nations.

Israel, eminent among the nations, was set as an ensign for the world to view as the way God deals with nations in general. In history, despite opinion, the scriptures declare it the only God-appointed Theocracy. The Only one. One of the earliest secular historical mentions of Israel, mentions the children of Benjamin, desert wanderers whose God was King, and later, contrary to God's heart, Kings and Judges were appointed in Israel, some very good, some very bad, and all a type and kind of Israel's Meschiach to come.

Israel though, was not loyal in heart, an adulterous wife, so much so that by the time of the Babylonian destruction, the image of her in God's heart was presented via the prophet Hosea forced to take a harlot for a wife. While Israel had been before in exile or under foreign rule, such as under a Babylonian King for 8 years earlier in her history1, or in the Egyptian exile, it had not always been a judgment because the the extremity of sin. By the end of the Division between the Southern and Northern Kingdoms, with 10 of the 12 tribes willingly rebellious not only in national issues but issues of false worship, and with the degradation of sin brought to bear, a severe 'breaking off' occurred, as a limb in need of completely being reset, and the Northern Kingdom was taken captive by Assyria, and the Southern, later by Babylon. [Babylon and Assyria had both been one nation, but had split and was used as an instrument of God's chastisement]

God's dealing with the nation of Israel and his healing process included several
1) The 'Disease' Process of Israel falling away from God
2) The Beginning of Healing in Exile- Repentance, the Anointed, and the Remnant
3) The Dealing with a Rebellious King: Healing earthly sovereignty
4) Restoration to Health.

The Healing of 'a' nation is one thing, the healing of 'the' nations, is a very unique thing in God's sovereignty. The healing of any nation at any time, follows the pattern and meanings of the healing of individuals. Most often it includes
repentance of a people, even a 'heathen' or pagan/unbelieving nation, towards the truth of the true God of Heaven. An example of this is found in Jonah. Jonah, a genuine prophet of God is called to Nineveh, the people who have brutally treated Israel, to preach judgment and repentance for the salvation of Nineveh.

Jon 1:2-Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

Jonah, however having seen the brutality and destruction the Ninevites wrought on Israel, runs the other way, on the Ships of Tarshish [comfort and ease], only to find the vital severity of God in dealing with recalcitrant prophets. Eventually though, after a short travel into death and the depths, he is thrown on the shore of Nineveh to do God's bidding, and the call is made and answered with more repentance than even Israel was willing to do at the time:

jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Jon 3:6-8 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that [is] in their hands.

to be continued


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Healing: Part V: Healing of the Nations

We will return in this blog shortly, to a discussion of the different kinds of personal healing which are made manifest in Jesus' life on earth. Most of what we have discussed so far has been from the individual's perspective: physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, healing and deliverance, and the Healing of the Cross. Before moving on though, to the particulars of the 'kinds' of personal healing, we stop to describe an aspect of scripture and teaching that in modern times has only been briefly alluded to, but is just as essential and works similarly in macrocosm to personal healing. The issue is the "Healing of the Nations".

The clearest scripture that deals with the "healing of the Nations is in Revelation:

Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

We think often about the idea of the healing of bodies and occasionally of minds, but we do not think often about the "healing of nations", and yet if one looks at the world today, it becomes obvious, that healing is more needed on the national level than anywhere else. To most, that would mean a lack of conflict, and while that certainly would be central, it does not imply a one world government. In perfect healing, diversity can exist and so can peace, but that is not often understood today. The Healing of Nations though, is only mentioned in those exact words once, but is seen as a theme throughout the Old and New Testament.

Israel as the First Among Nations

When issues of healing nations arise, Israel is most often the 'prototype' which God holds up, to show how He deals with nations. This is why we can often apply the principles and commands God used in dealing with Israel to other nations across the centuries, because though Israel was unique as a divinely appointed theocracy among nations, it also acted as a 'firstborn' and ensample for all to learn from.

Jeremiah, Israel and the Potter's Wheel

In another bible study, we discussed the issues of national healing with regard to the Potter's Wheel Jeremiah mentions, while speaking of the Potter [God] being both the Creator and Destroyer of the pot: the word itself can refer to both. When a nation is either not formed correctly or strays from a right path, healing is necessary, or the nation is destroyed, that a new thing may be created. This is why there is a constant cry from God's heart throughout scripture to bring Israel back to her God and to righteousness: to 'right ways', for it is not in the heart of God to destroy even a recalcitrant nation. The passages in Jeremiah which deal with the breaking of a nation though, also shows a standard way God deals with a nation He rightfully deals with: with the harsh and sometimes almost unbearable 'destructions', come also covenant and promise of healing, making whole, and setting right the nation which has erred.

Jer 19:8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

But with the multiple curses in addition to the above, comes a prescription for repentance and 'turning around', away from the sins which caused God to judge Israel, and example of which is found in Jer 22:3

Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.
Jer 22:4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

And even when severe and devastating judgment is sworn by God against the Land, God always couches the rebuke and judgment, in His trait of Justice, with His dovetailed trait of mercy:

Jer 23:3-5 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

So that we see a threefold primary dealing with a nation which is 'diseased' and in need of healing:

I. The Statement of Sin and Call to Repentance, with a detailed description of forthcoming Judgment
II. The Giving of a Prescription or Command for Obedience which will turn the course of judgment, and
III. The Promise given upon forthcoming Judgment when Israel [or nations] fail to repent, of Mercy, and the covenant of taking the desolations and turning them to the good.

The one difference between Israel and other nations in the way God deals with them, is that God does not seem to be under any 'contractual' or covenantal obligation to restore or have mercy on a 'pagan' nation, especially if it is an enemy of Israel. Assyria and Babylon, once they had been used as God's 'sword' against his own people as an instrument of judgment and chastisement, is not promised a return to grandeur, and in fact neither returned to the grandeur of the time ever again! In sum, though, the above pattern of God's dealing with and healing broken and even rebelling nations often holds.

II. Therapeia and Ethnos

The word used in the expression "healing of the nations" for healing is Therapeia, from which it is obvious, we derive our modern English word 'therapy' and 'therapeutic'. BlueletterBible.com uses the following definition:

Service, care (hence healing), household.

And 'therapon', a related word is a servant or person who renders service.

The ideas which emerge are a submission and service, within a body, and those principles at least are quite applicable to the healing of nations.

Ethnos, from which we derive the word 'ethnic' refers to nations which are Gentile, pagan, or foreign, often described as 'heathen' or a 'people'. Various levels of persons within a government are similarly derived such as 'ethnarches' which means governor, ethnikos, which refers to a pagan or Gentile , or Ethnikos as an adjective referring to 'after the manner of Gentiles'.

While a word study is not enough by itself to intuit all of God's purpose or plan in the healing of a nation, it is clear that the intent of God with regard to even Gentile nations [goyim] is healing and 'setting right' and 'making whole' and according to their divine and expected purpose. A fascinating aspect of this study, which we will examine in more detail later, is that it is the Leaves [Phyllon] of the tree of life, the one that sits in the midst of Eden and Heaven, that are 'medicinal' to the healing of nations, and I posit that to mean both metaphorically and literally.

We will turn in the next study, to look at what the characteristics and descriptions are of 'national' healing.

08/26/2007 E.K.Best Contact Us

Healing: Part V: Healing of the Nations

We will return in this blog shortly, to a discussion of the different kinds of personal healing which are made manifest in Jesus' life on earth. Most of what we have discussed so far has been from the individual's perspective: physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, healing and deliverance, and the Healing of the Cross. Before moving on though, to the particulars of the 'kinds' of personal healing, we stop to describe an aspect of scripture and teaching that in modern times has only been briefly alluded to, but is just as essential and works similarly in macrocosm to personal healing. The issue is the "Healing of the Nations".

The clearest scripture that deals with the "healing of the Nations is in Revelation:

Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Healing and Deliverance: Part IV---Healing of the Cross

All healing, ALL really begins at Golgotha. There is surely no way around it. While even unbelievers can be healed by a Believer filled with the Holy Spirit, lasting, life-changing and permanent healing comes first with belief, and that at the Cross. We have already discussed why in has to begin there by the nature of the Atonement, the great Sacrifice, the great EXCHANGE which took place there.

When I was an unbeliever, and I was one of the more vocal, I dismissed all of the above as foolishness and nonsense. I was both humanist and pragmatist. I believed what I could see, touch, experience, and hear, and was not given to local Christians with southern accents in Gainesville telling me to 'get saved'---in fact, I believe that drove me far from the real Messiah. It took years to come to understand that there was a God, a wondrous God, and that He was not just a pantheistic 'notion' or Oversoul, but a real, living true life-breathing healing God. Both modern Jews and Christians, though they may have attended synagogue or church all their lives, first have to come to that 'revelation': that God, the God of Heaven, not one of man's conception is real, true and working in the world.

I came to understand surrender, though, and to understand what was done on that dark afternoon on Golgotha 2000 years ago. We were healed. When the veil rent, the partition between man and God was gone: we could walk again with Him in belief and with his righteousness instead of our own, in the communion which had not been seen since Eden. So among the tasks on the Cross which were accomplished were

1. Our Healing [by His Stripes we are healed]
2. Our Righteousness
3. Our Salvation- safety, oneness with God,
4. Deliverance, from Death-- 2 Cor 1:10
5. Deliverance from Hell and Everlasting Judgment
6. Deliverance from Satan [the destroyer]
7 Deliverance from the Power of Darkness

We have already discussed how the Stripes of his Cross healed us, it was the exchange which was to lead to ours: His life for ours. Righteousness, the gift of God we could never attain on our own, was a healing to what we would need to do, to be with God, to have life eternal, and to be 'fit' for His presence in Heaven. Even in the Old Testament, this concept of 'righteousness' is replete: the concept of it being a total GIFT from God that man could not earn, is not a 'Christian' concept, but a Jewish one---every passage dealing with righteousness in the Old Testament, shows it to be a gift of God, and not an earned quantity, because, our righteousness is not sufficient to ever match His. When through Jesus' [Yshua's] blood and death, the righteousness of God was imputed to us in divine mystery, it was again, the healing that brought us into wholeness: He was the cornerstone and plumbline bringing God's creation back into line, back into right order for the purpose it was intended, in Love. We talk so little about the love of God these days except in a general sense, but it is more than good works, caring for the poor, the lame, the hungry, blind, deaf and so on---it is the undeniable reaching out of perfect whole unadulterated Love by the perfect Spirit of God, for the imperfect: us. Not only are we "imperfect", but before 'regeneration', we are vile in His eyes, but He can see past to our healing, to the person we will become in Him. Given this healing, we are delivered to FREEDOM---the perfect law of Liberty.

Now if we are given to liberty, we are no longer under the bonds of darkness. Darkness in the Bible is a symbol of spiritual darkness and sometimes the occult or demonic activity, seen for example in the description in Zechariah:

Zec 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword [shall be] upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

or the description in Daniel of the Abomination of Desolations:

Daniel 8:23: a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

The healing of 'deliverance from Darkness' is a powerful one: often physical healing and 'mental' or 'emotional' healing are tied up in this deliverance. The Modern Mind does not comprehend the notion of 'darkness' except perhaps in a metaphorical sense, but anyone who has confronted the occult, though they may not be very 'spiritual' has seen or felt at least some of what the Bible refers to. Even hard hearted hard core police officers investigating real cases of ritual abuse and worship report 'feelings' or a sense of something overpowering. I was trained in a Psychology Department at a major Southern University. 'Darkness' and the occult were almost never mentioned---in fact, just as God was considered the premiere 'off topic' conversation, the notion of a heaven or hell, or the existence of a real entity of evil, was considered laughable: we were all far too 'sophisticated' (a psychological term for spiritual blindness) for all of that. Yet still, in metaphor or out, even some Psychologists have noted the idea of 'evil' or darkness. The eminent existentialist, mentioned before, Dr. Rollo May wrote a series of essays on Psychology and the Demonic: he noted the concept within psychotherapy of something that 'overpowers' the person, that the person become controlled by or enslaved by, although he stopped short of religious views, and attributed it to primarily cognitive-emotional phenomena, e.g. depression. One particularly fine address in 1961 at the National APA [American Psychologist Association] given by the then head of the APA, reknown psychologist Murray was entitled "Psychology and Satan".

While it was the first [and perhaps last] keynote address of the APA which will be always remembered, the Chair made some remarkable points for a psychologist: He said, that " here is where our psychology comes in with...its prevailing views of human personality, its images of man obviously in league with the objectives of the NIHILISTIC SATANIC SPIRIT, Man is a computer, an animal, or an infant. His destiny is determined by genes, instincts, accidents early conditionings and reinforcements, cultural and social forces...there are no provisions for creativity,... for voluntary decisions... no power of ideals, no bases for selfless actions...if we psychologists were all the time, consciously or unconsciously intending out of malice to reduce the concept of human nature to its lowest common denominator, and were gloating over our successes in doing so, then we might have to admit that to this extent, the satanic spirit was alive within us" Murray, Past President APA 1965 Keynote Address.

So, at least in metaphor, 'darkness' and the occult and even the 'Satanic' spirit, exist in concept not only in lived faith, but in theology, psychology, and even philosophy, and believe it or not in the Legal System!!! Several cases which have involved the practice, for example of exorcism, when brought to court, had to establish the reality of 'possession', a widely held recognition across cultures and religions. [See : "the Exorcism of Emily Rose."]

Even outside of the Christian walk then, there is at least the notion, that 'whatever' spirit it is, even just sort of generic one, there is a wave of what we are referring to here as 'evil' or darkness---the popular author and psychologist Scott Peck, while his doctrine is somewhat secularized, gained fame by positing the unstated observation of many psychologists, that true 'evil' really does exist.x

So then, darkness, and what the Bible refers to as 'the power of Hell' and Satan, while many in secular society today do not agree on the nature, most see at least the 'effect' in observation: police investigating ritualism, lawyers trying exorcisms, psychologists confronting sundry cases including ritual abuse and psychopathologies, theologians wrestling with the goodness of God, and even historians and ethicists trying to come to terms with the Shoah and other genocides.

Yet in the teachings about the healing and deliverance afforded us on God's Cross on Golgotha, we are promised that the obedience of the Messiah included power over darkness, over sin, over death, and over Satan.

Spiritual Darkness

What the Bible refers to as 'darkness' can run the gamut from unbelief, all the way to the 'dark' arts. Darkness is a theme which can be only momentarily expounded here, but which is frequently referred to in Scriptures, in both the Old and New Testament. 'Darkness' is mentioned in the beginning of the Creation when the world was 'dark and void' referring to a literal darkness, but also to a sense of 'nothingness', a juxtaposition of time and space without form or meaning, etc. Darkness is seen as part of the great judgment on Egypt when they would not allow Israel to go forth in the desert to worship God, and is part of the plagues, and the darkness then, intimating the great spiritual void of idolatrous Egypt in harming God's anointed people is mentioned as so great they could not see one another, which while meant literally, can be taken figuratively as well. Darkness is also mentioned in Psalms consistently as surrounding the place God dwells such as:

Psa 18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness [was] under his feet.
Psa 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.

Darkness also intimates, interestingly, a lack of understanding, a sort of spiritual and mental void or confusion, and is equated with chaos and the world being out of equilibrium and 'not whole'

Psa 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Psa 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Darkness is equated then with chaos, misunderstanding, reprobate conditions, and confusion and being less than whole.

It is also though eminently associated with dark arts and the occult: magic, and such and a darkened eye refers in several places in scripture to a person with unnatural power of an ungodly sort. Descriptions of the Anti-Christ in Daniel list this as a characteristic of the 'vile one' who arises to control the nations. The understanding of dark sentences is equated with the practise of the occult

Dan 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

Power Over Darkness

Healing comes in deliverance from 'darkness'. Colossians 1:13 says:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Part of the healing process which occurred on the Cross, was the deliverance from darkness, and as the scripture above notes: the giving of power over the power of darkness. We may be healed, not in the flesh from 'darkness', but in the "new man", in which Christ, the Messiah is indwelling, [the Light] and is Master over the darkness: this may be a somewhat awkward way to say it, but it is nevertheless true, that the power of darkness of any kind: occultism, confusion, witchcraft, satanism or unbelief and chaos, are under the foot of the conquering Redeemer. We will turn to discuss the idea of the healing of mental and spiritual afflictions later, but for now we note that to be whole, a person who has allowed themselves to participate in dark arts, practices or 'states' is healed through being delivered from the 'power' of darkness, by a power greater than darkness:

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The light of Messiah is so great, and the accomplishment of healing of such magnitude on the Cross, that the powers of darkness at work in the world, cannot overpower the light of Christ, and are subject to His sovereignty.

Power Over Death

The premiere idea of Salvation, the healing and making right and whole of God and man his creation, the finished work on the Cross of Golgotha, is power over death. Believe it or not, this is not a new concept in the New Testament: the words O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? [1Cr 15:55 ]is found also in the Old Testament in Isaiah.

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it].

The power over death is a reality we rarely get ahold of and yet that is what our blood bought faith is all about: a real transaction took place that day on the Cross: we were 'healed' or 'delivered' from DEATH. Before we are saved, the idea of death is of either a complete end or some shadowy fearful unknown. But the Great Exchange on the Cross, and the victory won there on that hill, was a literal putting underfoot of death: we will not die, but live, and we will live the eternal life of God, since Jesus, Yshua, the firstborn of Creation, placed even death under his feet.
When I was a younger researcher I was in a department where a couple of persons were studying 'death threat' or 'death anxiety': they looked at how fearful and tense persons were about the concept of death, their own and others. Most people are very fearful: even Christians, but that fear can be healed, in knowledge that when we are imputed with His life and righteousness, we are given Life as a gift: eternal life and what we call death becomes a mere doorpost. When we are delivered not only of the fear of death, but death itself, we are able then to live the rest of our lives in victory and surrender---but not until then. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the theologian and leader of the Confessing Church in the Shoah noted near his death that the "last temptation is hope". Until we reach for surrender to eternal life, we are always holding out and begging for 'one last chance at life'---the hope that we will escape death. The power of our life however is magnified immensely when we surrender even that hope and boldly take hold of the power of the New Life, the gift of Golgotha and the rich man's tomb: that even death could not provide a darkness so great that the power of God could not overcome it.

Power Over Satan

Satan is a created being: he is not a competing 'god'. He was originally among the Angels or ministering spirits although a vaguely described war took place in Heaven and a third of the angels fell in rebellion against the sovereignty of God. The hows and whys, or the attempt to make sense to the contemporary unbelieving mind, is almost impossible, it is an issue of faith. There is however a definitive, divine battle which goes on unseen except in effect behind natural contentions. In Daniel, for example, an angel is detained for weeks because he says he had to confront the Prince of Persia: a 'principality' or power in a hierarchy of powers which are behind the national workings of this world. Satan has power in this world, but it has limits, and can be overpowered by the blood of Christ, the Word of God and "loving not one's life unto death". He is a defeated foe, but a real adversary. C.S. Lewis, a former agnostic, became a great Christian apologist and author and in the Screwtape Letters notes that unbelief in Satan is one of his greatest accomplishments: he prefers it, that His power may abide. The unbelief in a real 'Satan'--mostly because he has been trivialized into a cartoon character, is the reason for defeat in many Christian lives. He is all that opposes Christ, the Messiah, the Prince of the Covenant [Sar B'rit]. We have no victory over him until we have a power greater than him in us:

"Greater is he that is in us, than he who is in the world".

This part of healing and understanding the deliverance from the adversary of souls, is essential, because it means that we are not enslaved to what his power can do in our lives, and it is monstrous: there is a way out. It means there is recourse, even when we confront the terrible destructions he is capable of wreaking on nations and persons. Madeleine L'Engle in a novel "Wind in the Door" describes the process in metaphor as 'un-naming' and uses the name 'ecthroi', for the destroyer. The things in life, such as loss and horror which leave us in utter despair can be his work: our power over them, and hence healing, lies in our knowledge and belief, of the indwelling power of the HOly Spirit: dunamous, which grants us God's authority over even Satan.

Power Over Hell

Lastly, the Power Over Hell, is in line with the power over death and Satan: once our citizenship or conversation is in the Kingdom of Heaven, we are not going to Hell, the entropy which lasts forever. Our fear of death is a fear of what happens next, and when we are encompassed in our own flesh and sinfulness, without Christ, we cannot rest easy even if we seldom consider hell or heaven. Today, in the slight belief that is out there, there is a very erroneous assumption that all are going to heaven because God is Good. This is not the teaching of the Torah or the Gospel: both teach the need to abide in God. While God is a god of Love, He is also a God of Justice: and the wicked, and those who choose unbelief, enter at death by their choosing and His assignment, a place of intense suffering. One has to have the indwelling life of God inside at death: what is of God will go to live in the presence of God, in bliss, and what is apart from God, will live apart from God in eternity. It is not a matter of what we think is 'fair' but of what actually will happen. Jesus showed such power on earth that we can hardly doubt that His knowledge of the afterlife is in error, and He taught about hell, warning that it was better to go limbless than to suffer there. His concern was so great, that He willingly laid down his life for the Way out. His call away from that suffering, pain and diseased state, condition and place was continuous: He could see beyond the limits of earthly life. Once we are healed via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have rest and peace: death and hell, Satan and the powers of hell can no longer harm us. It is a place of surrender, which affords us the ability, even when facing the most horrible events of life, to be healed and whole, while others fragment and find twisted adaptations to this life. The healing is so great, we can face a willing death in peace.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Healing and Deliverance : Part III

The Deliverance from Death, Hell and Satan.

While we have already alluded to the primary importance of the healing of Salvation, the act of Messiah, that very black afternoon two thousand years ago on Golgotha, has fallen into such repetitiveness and sameness, that we often fail to see the depth and wonder of what was done there.

The first thing which needs to be seen, is the nature of the Choice that Jesus, Yshua, had to make: It bore several characteristics:

1.) Though he expounded it several times to His disciples, it was a choice no one understood, so it was a critical choice, made terribly alone to bring about the Will of God for the rest of human history

2.) It was a painful choice: the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, was human and divine agony, like none before or after. He willingly chose to obey and lay down His life, but counted the severe cost. I do not think it was only the mere surrender of will appointed and anointed since the beginning of time, but I believe He saw and had knowledge in His Spirit, of what it meant, though unseen, to take on the one war
no one else could fight, for His nature alone in history was different from other men. The painful surrender came in the light of what it meant to endure, taking on all the darkness, pain, suffering, sin and separation from God, since the beginning of man, in order to bring back the healing of the human race, starting with Israel, in a way only a rabbi could, who was completely human and completely divine.

3.) It was a choice which could not be turned away from in a person who while agonized from His human nature at the pain and loss it would require, was also beset by divine Love, so intense, that there was no other choice, for though Israel had turned for the umpteenth time to their own way, away from God, He could not withstand losing the ones He loved. He counted the cost.

The 'all in all' of His choice, was to heal man back to God. The disease of the Fall of Man had reached a point so severe, that if a healing did not come, the cancer of sin and separation had become so metasticized, that a complete cutting off [karet] would be necessary: it was then or never.

How Could a Crucifixion Bring Healing?

Promised and shadowed since the beginning, the idea of a healing sacrificial death was made clear from Genesis on. [e.g. Ps 22, Isaiah 6, 53 and others] Already mentioned is the sometimes baffling passage in Isaiah, "it pleased the LORD to bruise Him"---the idea that a severe suffering and wound, could please God seems anathema to a loving God, but the desire was towards an infinite healing. But the wounding of Golgotha, and the 'stripes' [see Section 1] in which our healing was found, represented first and foremost our healing to God from the 'crack in Creation' that occurred at the Fall, and secondarily the healing of every kind we would need for this life or the next. True healing was not possible outside of the events that day: healing had been seen occasionally in the Prophets in the Old Testament, such as Elijah and the widow's son

1Ki 17:23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

Like other gifts of the Holy Spirit, in the days before the Cross, it was not that God did not operate in the same way in His communication with man, but it was not available to all at all times, but given in part for the purposes of God attendant at the time. The fullness came at Pentecost, but was made possible by the death of the Cross. The deliverance of healing given on Golgotha, through the Stripes and through the accomplishing death and blood sacrifice, brought first, the healing and deliverance we call 'Salvation'. It was the healing through deliverance from

1. Death
2. Darkness
3. Hell and Satan

Healing from Death

Monday, July 30, 2007

Healing and Deliverance: Part II

, as we have discussed, has the characteristic of 'deliverance' which we have continued discussion. The layers of meaning and understanding of healing, though are not mutually exclusive: it is much more like the 'blind men and the elephant', in that as we examine from different vantage points, we see different aspects and colors of healing in the Word.

I am parenthetically stepping aside from building this 'descriptive apologetic' to remark on what I have seen recently in covering the various aspects of healing in the Word of God. I have tried to be very careful and discerning, since the practice of healing, while one of the fundamentals of the Christian life, has fallen prey in this day and time to perversions and even 'showmanship', but really is now as always, a gift of God to set back his Creation in right order on every level from the body, mind and spirit, to marriages and nations. While I will cover the topic later, we need to understand that while we bandy the word "salvation" about freely, telling all they need it, we must come to see Salvation in its fullness. When Jesus,[Yshua] died on Golgotha, laying his life down freely in the ultimate surrender to God's Will that the 'second Isaac [Ihtzak]' only could perform, He became the stick thrown in the waters of Mara, which healed the stream. He first and foremost healed man to God: it had not been possible before that Moriah. With His blood bought and anointed salvation, that High Priest carried the covering all the way into the depths of Heaven, and Life, Chaim, was opened and available to all. From there, afterwards, all healing was possible, in fullness, not in portion.


Turning again though to our continued discussion, we have talked about the need for 'deliverance' from the pain and suffering of DISEASE and malfunction, which healing encompasses and results in. While we have covered at least lightly deliverance from disease and malfunction, we can see this aspect of healing in the healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law who was near death from an illness. When Jesus[Yshua] healed her, she did not just say 'that's better' but got up and in gratitude began to serve the guests.

And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. Matthew 8:14-15.

Healing was not just 'feeling better', but a real release, a sense of a return to a right state, and rest and peace, and the gratitude wrought service. This is also seen in deliverance in healing from


Withered hands are made whole, the blind are made to see, the deaf/mute to hear and speak, a definitive sign of Messiah! (John 9) The result most often is either gratitude or joy, as in the following passage:

And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:
The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. Acts 14:9-10
or again:

Act 3:7-9 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

It is the sense of deliverance in the physical healing of disease and malfunction which makes the healed person rejoice and even dance [leap] or shout or praise. Partly it must be the miracle, the experiencing of the real truth of God's power over the 'natural order' of things: persons of faith often persevere through terrible wildernesses of faith, trusting God but not "seeing" evidence, and when the fruit of faith shows itself through an abundant healing, deliverance begets joy. Deliverance also brings a sense of newfound freedom and a return to a peaceful stress free state: in healing there is a deliverance from pain, stress and anxiety, and constant cumbersome circumstances which the diseased or malformed encounter: the lame cannot run or climb or walk until healed and must compensate with crutches, arm strength and so on such that every task is an arduous one: once healed, a literal freedom also ensues.


A form of malfunction is also spiritual or what the world calls 'psychological' i.e. mental, cognitive and emotional trauma. Examples are replete: for example the Boy delivered of evil spirits in Mark 9:24-26.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, [Thou] dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And [the spirit] cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.


Other examples abound, and we will look at psychological and spiritual healing in Scripture in a further lesson, but even more than with physical healing, the healing of the soul and spirit, involves deliverance which is most often described in both old and new testaments as deliverance from evil spirits. Even one psychologist , Dr. Rollo May acknowledged the idea of the 'demonic' although he of course does not describe it Biblically. He described a psychological phenomena of the 'demonic' as something that 'overpowers' a person. This is not unlike the biblical view, except it falls short of a complete descriptions and remedy. The demonic or 'devils' overpower a person incapacitating them in some form including limiting reasoning, sanity, or usual behavior. This will be discussed later, but the deliverance aspect of healing is even more prevalent in possession of similar afflictions than the other, for the others involve a deliverance from hardship and physical bounds, but the healing from 'devils' involves a virtual setting free in which the person returns to an unbound condition.


We have already mentioned that we must be healed to others: friendships, marriages, children an dparents, families, and more: we need healing in fragmented relationships, especially ones in covenant and purpose which are ordained of God. But sometimes, to be healed we need deliverance FROM others: constantly in the Wars of Israel, Israel prayed and obeyed and were delivered from the enemy, healing the land and the nation in victory.

An example of a prayer for this kind of deliverance is

Gn 32:11

Deliver me I pray thee from the hands of my enemies"

Israel after deliverance was healed back to the land in peace and rest, the reward and outcome of a God bought victory. Acts 7:25 mentions

God would deliver them..

In the trials of daily life, we find ourselves both in microcosm and macrocosm having to be deliver 'from' other people in order to be healed in our spirits and minds to peaceful and restful living. A person who has a boss who is constantly critical, listing faults non-stop, and constantly calling insufficiencies into question, creates a state of feeling unsafe and unworthy: this makes the person feel unwhole, uneasy, anxiety ridden and fearful, and generally without rest. For some it becomes so great that a job change is required. Home situations can present the same problem: until they are brought into the pattern and order the LORD has given, there may be in extreme cases, even for the Christian a need to be 'delivered' from another person in order to be healed. I am not advocating divorce, in fact far from it, for even in cases of extreme dissension and occasional violence, the underlying causes are often healed by bringing the marriage back into its right purpose and order.

Healing, Deliverance and Marriage

Many marriages, for example, in which division and even hatred take hold, are often marriages out of order: women tend to want control over men, to the point that they overthrow their headship, which in turn makes husbands either wish to escape the relationship, or over-exert headship to the point that it becomes domination. When that happens, all sorts of havoc and chaos occur, turning terribly uncomfortable for all parties concerned including children. Violence can ensue, affairs, hatred, division, substance abuse and ultimately the end of the marriage. The marriage state, and order, has been disrupted and lost its equilibrium. Most Christians are aware of God's commands and order in marriage: loving surrender and submission of both parties, with the husband as head, and the wife as not a lesser human being, but surrendered to the role of support and upbuilding. When this order is correct: neither minds it: one position is not less than the other, but both work together for the benefit of both and family, in loving surrender to God's order, as a type and kind of the Church and her Redeemer, where love is the central value for both. While the wife is not the 'head' her position is not less, but necessary and critical to the excellent working of the family. Problems arise today in view of secular views of marriage in which if a woman surrenders to the headship of a man, many have redefined the nature of that surrender to being 'unliberated' but the truth is, that when it is correct, it is actually freeing to both husband and wife, and instead of a competition, the marriage becomes a loving cooperation for the benefit of both. Some women have no trouble in accepting the Christian command of 'dying to self' or 'counting one another better than oneself', but they seem to add a codicil of 'except for my husband'. Husbands on the other hand, if they loved their wives 'as Christ loved the Church' would not find a constantly rebellious, arrogant and cutting spirit, or cruel competitiveness which often ruins a marriage. A marriage is often healed by bringing correct views and order back to the relationship.

On the other hand, carrying through with the idea of healing as deliverance from others, some marriages, as with jobs, and other relations reach a point of no return, and in order to be healed a person has to be out of the relationship. Even Jesus spoke of a few exceptions while teaching that "God hates divorce". He mentioned fornication as one---he does not require a wife or husband to be subject continuously to extreme abuses. Remarriage may be debated in the House of God, but by in large, unless life is threatened or spiritual health and obedience, God's principle is first the healing of the household by delivering the partners into right relationship, and failing that, to deliver a person from for example a cruel or even violent person. Descriptions of the holy order of marriage are described in the book of Ephesians. But real, self-sacrificing love, on the part of two people surrendered to each other and the LORD, is not only the greatest principle, but the mainstay of healing.

Deliverance as a means of healing, from others, can be as mentioned as small as issues between friends in mundane issues, or range to nations and wars against enemies. In the case of the Concubine which was beaten and raped to death by men from the tribe of Benjamin caused such consternation in Israel, that a civil war started, so bloody it claimed thousands before the other 11 tribes subdued Benjamin.
The healing of Israel in that case came only at the hands of intense prayer and supplication. We will later look at God's plan and teaching regarding the "Healing of the Nations" and how patterns and healing which apply on minor levels work also even internationally.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Healing of Deliverance

IN the last study we talked about one of the first definitional 'mainstays' of Healing: being made 'whole', and the idea of wholeness and perfection in a state of 'equilibrium' which is 'as God created it to be'. The fragmenting or dissolution of that 'right' state necessitates healing, and the dunamos power of God, brings back the compromised person or thing to its 'right state'. While that sounds a little 'jargon-laden', the previous study shows it to be Biblically correct.

The second 'mainstay' of healing is Healing as deliverance, or deliverance as healing.
When we are delivered from something we are

1) Made safe
2) Turned from distress to peace
3) returned from instability to stability
4) Turned from fear to a lack of fear
5) Turned from a captive state to a free state

Safety we understand, most of us covet it: we seek to be free from danger and trouble and save for a few we like to be apart from feelings of insecurity and distress. Distress characterizes a need for deliverance, we do not like to feel apart from a sense of well-being. When we enter in to states of "dis-ease", whether they are physical or emotional, we immediately look for ways to return to an equilibrium. Likewise, when we are in need of 'deliverance' we are in a state which is 'unstable'-
our course is not certain, our path not clear. Our condition is unsettled and could go more than one way. Fearfulness characterizes the undelivered: we feel in danger---in real life circumstances there are often real objects of fear, in cognitive and emotional states wanting deliverance, the anxiety which is often experienced is an undefined fear as well. When we are delivered of these states, virtual or what the world calls 'psychological', or even spiritual, we cease from fear. Further, when we are need of deliverance, we are not free, whether it be a 'real-world' experience or an internal one. A great hallmark of deliverance is the sensation and state of being free, for when we are bound by a lack of it, we feel anything but free: we also, simultaneously feel unable to make decisions and plans so beset by whatever is before us causing the harm.

Healing and Deliverance

As we talked about a return to wholeness characterizing the Healing of the LORD, we turn not to a totally separate aspect of healing, but a concomitant one. Deliverance as healing can take the form of:

1. Deliverance from disease and malfunction, spiritual, mental or physical
2. Deliverance from Others and danger
3. Deliverance from sin, death and Hell


When we get sick, we want to get well, when we face a life-threatening illness, we want to go back to the way things were before: we wish to be safe, content, and the same as we have always been.

Our most familiar repeated prayer, the "Our Father" contains a reference to the deliverance from a spiritual adversary: 'temptation' or trial, :

Deliver us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

That famous passage points to a setting free, and hence, making whole and right the person from the danger which confronts them. In this case, it is the danger of righteousness falling to 'sedition'--of coming undone and being shattered with wrong choices. Deliver us from trials and temptations we pray, that we might continue in a whole state. Most of the time it is good to seek back the state at rest, but occasionally, God confronts us with trials and temptations, even evil, for many reasons, e.g. to try our faith, or to lead us to a higher state of being and relationship with Him. This is at the heart of modern discussions of 'why bad things happen to good people' or why bad things happen at all---one of the reasons is the re-forming of the person into something better by what scriptures call the 'furnace of affliction'. It is like a physical breaking a bone to reset it, so that it can heal properly, for if he allowed the natural growth in the condition it was in, it could cause the limb not to work properly later.

to be continued....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mind of Christ: Healing: IV- types of Healing

Three Shades of Healing

I have noticed in my readings of the Word four 'categories' or broad aspects of healing:

1. Being Made Whole [to God, others and self]
2. Deliverance [from disease, and malfunction, and spiritual infirmity, from others, from darkness and the demonic, and from death, and
3. Rescue and
4. Freedom

Healing is much bigger than the mere idea of 'getting well': we have mentioned that before. Healing, divine healing entails not only a 'feeling better', but many aspects of something that is askew, corrupted or wrongful being made right, perfect and complete. In the Garden of Eden, when man walked perfectly with God, all was right, perfect and complete. There was perfect health, no shame or sin, no disease, hatred, and the communion with God and rest was excellent. When sin came, and man fell from Grace, we often acknowledge the hardships, pain in childbirth, toil and work and so forth that the Word mentions, as a result, but in truth, what one author called a 'crack in creation' took place, and everything which was formerly perfect in God's way, time, and place began to unravel and come apart. Instead of communion, there was separation from God and unbelief, or difficult belief. Instead of peace and rest, and tending the Garden there was work and briars and suffering. Instead of health and well-being there was disease, discomfort and illness. All of healing, including and foremost, the healing Salvation brings, is a 'making right' and healing back to God, in the way things are supposed to be and work.

An example of this, in disease, is that when disease occurs, the normal function of the body is in disequilibrium: it is apart from its normal work and health. When the body heals, it goes back to its natural, unaltered state: cells performing their normal function, a lack of discomfort, inflammation disappears, etc. Even in nature we see this: when trees become diseased they do not bear fruit, or their leaves become mottled, etc. When the are watered cared for, and tended, they return to their natural state, and the 'goodness' of the tree comes to bear. Divine healing must be seen in these terms, because it is a setting right, a return to the right ways of God, and a 'putting back together' the thing that was right and fully functioning. This applies to all kinds of healing whether it be the healing of emotions, souls, diseases, dysfunction, bodies, relationships, or even nations.

Being Made Whole

The idea of 'being made whole' is found clearly in Scriptures. Being made whole may be seen in
1. The Healing to God [Salvation]
2. Healing to Others [Reconciliation] and
3. Healing of the Soul/Self

Healing to God [Salvation]

The whole Word of God is replete with references about our need for salvation, or healing back to God in the way God had always intended, to be safe from grave danger and from wrath, and imputed righteousness, where our perfection is not ours but his.
It had to be God imputing righteousness to us, because the progress of the Fall from the first had caused a condition which made it impossible for man to ever attain the 'goal' of getting back right with God. So in Old and New Testament [e.g.Psalms, Romans] we see God performing the act which would bring back the righteousness needed to be in communion with Him. The most famous passage regarding healing and salvation we have already mentions:

"with his stripes we are healed", or

"Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Being Made Whole: To Others

When we are made 'whole' and 'right' with others, it is Reconciliation, and there ar e many mentions of it in the Scriptures: it is right to be made one with those we are separated from, both in the house of God and out, with friends, spouses, relatives, acquaintances and others. When there is a rift between ourselves and others, it causes the whole church to suffer, as well as us in our personal lives. Forgiveness is such a central concern for the believer that it hardly bears mentioning: it was among the last pronouncements of Yshua on the cross "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do." When we 'fall out' with others, for example in a church, it is never in a vacuum: it is like a small tear at first in a seam, but before the rift is ended, the entire garment can be torn to bits. When we reconcile with others, we solidify the body of Christ as a whole and healthy thing; when we reconcile with a spouse, or child, or parent, we cause healing in all lives involved and blessings which would not otherwise have risen. Examples of reconciliation are seen in 2 Cornithians 5:20, and Romans 5:10 ( reconciled to God):

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The Bible also talks about reconciliation and the house of God:

And so thou shalt do the seventh [day] of the month for every one that erreth, and for [him that is] simple: so shall ye reconcile the house.Eze 45:20

and in Matthew 5:24, we see a call to be reconciled to one another:
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

The healing of relationships one to another in right order is a critical part of Church unity and daily healing in life in general. Many marriages have partners who love each other, but are unwilling to accept God's order in the relationship: husbands confuse headship with domination, or wives subvert headship, and many do not understand the difference between order and an equality in Christ. When a marriage is healed in proper order, both partners are free and at peace, an oft indicator of
the 'right' or healed state. When Church members at war with one another make peace with one another and find reasonableness and love, the work of the Lord goes forward.
See I Cor 1:7. Again, the knitting together of those previously at discord, involves a 'making whole' and re-establishing order and 'rightness'.

Healing, Being Made Whole and The 'Self'

The whole realm of human experience we study under the rubric 'psychology' could rightly be assigned here more than to any disease process: what is today called the Self, but was traditionally called 'soul' [although theologians will argue endlessly about that] is the 'glue' that holds our self-experience together. Ask 100 psychologists what 'self' is, you will get 100 different answers. What we do know is that when 'self' begins to fragment and come apart, we see troubling behavior and thinking, and usually a great deal of pain. Freeman and Melges in the 70s looked at aspects of self-disintegration in relationship to drug use and other states of altered consciousness, and found that as a sense of time disintegrates, so does a sense of body boundaries and 'self', and vice versa. How God has put us together in time and space, though, which we probably can never understand, is less important than the very important lesson that as the natural right order of a person's sense of his self, of who and what he defines himself as, comes apart or disintegrates, a state of disequilibrium occurs and we define this as 'mental illness' . Hence when we see troubling patterns, such as 'clinical depression', psychosis, gender confusion etc, there is some portion of the person which is 'coming apart' and deviating from the the right order when the person like other healed things is in a state of peace and rest and 'integrated'. This does not mean that there is one 'normal' for all healthy people- people differ as often as the number of them---it does not define a set of behaviors or beliefs as 'normal'---what it does is show that unrest in the person however mild or severe, is the self turning on the self or coming apart: deviating from a right order. So psychological [as we call it] healing, should involve returning to the order in which God made it. [and in proper relation to Him].
Examples in scripture are not all directly stated but implied. For example: in Mark 2:17, it speaks of "they that are whole". In Mark 3:5 a hand restored to wholeness is mentioned. Mark 5:28 states

If I may touch but his clothes I SHALL BE MADE WHOLE.

Much of this is related to bodily healing, but several other passages devote themselves to this concept of wholeness:

Mark 5:34 Go thy way daughter, thy faith has made thee whole
be whole of thy plague.

to be continued....

The Mind of Christ: Healing III

Having established the idea of the act of healing and the power behind it, which is no less than the 'dunamous' power of the HOly Spirit, we also see that healing is part and parcel of Salvation, and that the Laying on of Hands is a foundational doctrine which must not be ignored, even in the modern Church. In the last section, we considered that the Laying on of Hands, in both the Old and New Testament conferred:

1. Authority & Sanctification [setting apart]
2. Blessing and Comfort
3. Anointing Purpose or Gifting and
4. Healing

Before we move into the Types of Healing, though, it must first and foremost be noted that the First and Greatest, and utterly pre-eminent Healing, is that of Salvation, of the healing of man to God. Since the Fall of Adam, there has been what one author called a 'crack in Creation', a wounding, a separation so great from God that man began to die. (Gn 3) We have since that time, been insufficient in our sin condition to heal that breach or stop that separation or the curses which have attended it since: instead of a Garden Paradise, we have made of the world a sorrow and heartache of every suffering, of fruitless labor, of tearing, enslavement and death. In our need, God saw since before the Fall a need we would have which we could never repair or heal, and since the beginning, when a Son of Adam was promised who would come to bruise the serpent, sin and death, putting the curse we brought on ourselves, forever under His divine foot.

Man in his separated condition, usually never gets close enough to God to obey Him even in the smaller things---and in our lost state, it was impossible even if we could to obey Him to a point of repairing our broken Covenant with Him. More than that though, the painful truth was that even if we could have obeyed, even if we could have listened and heard, it was not within our nature, purpose or ability to heal that sad abyss between man and God. Those of us who know Messiah, understand immediately, that the obedience required, and the Blood Atonement, required a divine son, not just 'of' God, but God himself, 'with God', of God, God". [Isaiah 9:6; John 1]

The greatest Healing then, took place in Salvation, the Salvation of the Jews, when our Messiah took upon himself the task, or indeed the War against the destroyer, to bring about our Salvation and healing to God, to heal the breach between Man and God, to destroy the curse of Sin which before redemption is a hard and impossible taskmaster, and to restore God's plan and Paradise, the Heaven of God and the New Jerusalem, to those who would believe.

Jesus, or Y'shua was about healing and Deliverance: He came to buy back the Bride of Israel, in an act of divine obedience only He and no one else could accomplish. His very Name carried the connotation of healing and salvation:

"and she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS for He shall
SAVE his people from their sins"

The word 'save' in Greek is 'Soza' and means to save, rescue, deliver and heal. This name chosen not by man but by God, showed the Savior's healing purpose, and He became the unsung King of Israel that day, Israel's Deliverer, the Meschiach, the rescuer of the Bride of Israel and all who would believe and be grafted on to her vine, and the great Healer of Israel, restoring His Bride to what her God-Given Glory demanded, to who she was, who she would be and to the purpose chosen before time at the foundation of the World, to bear His glory. So the first lesson regarding Divine healing, must always begin with Israel's healer, 'Jehovah Rapha', in the person of Yshua, or Jesus.
Indeed, most of His ministry before the Cross, was one of healing disease, pain, deformity, spiritual problems, and ultimately souls: He turned Israel back to their God, and away from the disease of mistrust and hardheartedness that the corruption of big business religion had caused, which even back then, had sold Israel to her enemies.

The Healing of His Stripes

The Word teaches in both the Old and New Testament:

"by His Stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5 and
"By whose stripes we are healed "I Peter 21:24

I used to wonder at this passage and one other:

"It pleased the LORD to bruise him",

The words for 'stripe' and bruising are similar: in the Old Testament, 'habbura' means a bruise welt, wound , injury, stripe or hurt, as used in Isaiah 53% and the greek word in I Peter 21:24 is 'molops' which means the same: wound, welt, bruise.
The ways of God though are not the ways of man: we think in far too limited a fashion regarding how far Love can go, especially the Love of God. Our momentary sufferings, even the cruel and bitter and unbearable, in God's hands often accomplish a major HEALING. The ultimate healing, our salvation was brought about not in a King's Palace or cool comfort, but on a brutal darkening day with the horror of crucifixion, nails, spears, beating, stripping and humiliation. The purposes of man though were forcefully overturned by God that day, and our healing became real.

The Old Testament word used in the Isaiah passage is 'rapa' or 'rapha', which carries the connotation not only of physical healing but of 'making whole', curing and recovering. This idea of restoration and making something perfect and complete, restoring 'wholeness' carries throughout scripture: we are told of the healing of nations, the healing of bodies, the healing of spirits, and lives. The New Testament word used in I Peter, is iaoma, which means healing and making whole, and 'freeing'. With healing comes freedom in some form or another, whether it be freedom from oppression, pain, the tyranny of another, a binding circumstance, or emotional pain and suffering. We become free to do God's will and purpose. We feel upon healing, a renewed vigor, outlook, strength and meaning in our lives.

The Wounding of the Cross

His woundings on the Cross led to our healing:

1. Within ourselves- psychological [whatever that is], spiritual and physical
2. Without: between us and others
3. Made whole and healed to God.

These great divine accomplishments were why it 'pleased the LORD' to bruise Messiah for our sake, and though the treatment He received in this diseased world was unbearable to even consider, the healing he wrought was everlasting. Our healing with God is the starting place of all healing: it is our 'soterion' our Salvation.
The King of Israel's accomplished purpose was noted even before his coming, when it was noted that He was risen with healing in His Wings.

Salvation, or soteria carries also the same purposes and connotations as that of its author: deliverance, safety, rescue and healing. Blueletterbible.com defines it thusly:

1) deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation

a) deliverance from the molestation of enemies

b) in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the souls safety or salvation

1) of Messianic salvation

2) salvation as the present possession of all true Christians

3) future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

Strong's describes it as "the State of believers being safe from Righteous Wrath in proper relationship with God, and deliverance, a state of 'not being in grave danger'. This first and great healing, makes the other 'wonders' of healing seem small and comparitively incidental.

Three Shades of Healing

I have noticed in my readings of the Word four 'categories' or broad aspects of healing:

1. Being Made Whole [to God, others and self]
2. Deliverance [from disease, and mafunction, and spiritual infrimity, from others, from darkness and the demonic, and from death, and
3. Rescue and
4. Freedom

These will be discussed in the next segment.
2. 84.