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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.