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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Light of the World Opens Blind Eyes: The Healing that Declared Messiah!

The Beauty of the Word and the Healing of a Man Born Blind.

By the time one of the Gospels concludes it is noted that the things that Jesus did, healings, miracles, and such, if they had all been recorded could have filled volumes.

john 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

That mention in Scripture, referred to only the things he did in the last three years of his life, his 'earthly' ministry as many call it, and doesn't even include every healing, anointing, work or miracle which has happened since by his power in those who believe. Among all the miracles and healings though, while others were more eminent and astounding such as walking on water, of all the healings in the Bible save for the raising of Lazarus, the healing of the Man born blind since birth carries an eternal significance, for in addition to the act of healing, it heralded the declaration that Jesus, Yshua Ha Meschiach, was the Messiah of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, expected for centuries.

After Jesus heals the man at the Pool of Bethesda, and after he teaches about tolerance and forgiveness for the woman caught in adultery, following the feast of Tabernacles, in Chapter 8 of John, he pronounces that he is the "Light of the World".
(See Promise of Messiah: Light of the World) This also is no small pronouncement, for he explains what that means to the darkness that holds this world so tightly, John 1:5,9
Jhn 1:4 -5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. and...

John 1:9 That was the true LIght which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

So soon after celebrating the feast of Tabernacles, the Light of the World which lasts beyond one feast, explicates his role as the Light of the Whole world, forever.
Now the Light of the World can do many things excellently, but a magnificent feature of Yshua was that he could make darkness flee. Spiritual darkness, Social darkness, the darkness of sin, and the darkness of the physical body in blindness. The declaration of his being the "Light of the World" precipitates, the healing of the man born blind since birth.

The True Test of the Messiah

Why is the healing of a man born blind since birth so significant? Because, as shall be seen, even the common people counted this as the sure sign that the Messiah had come. Why this sign and not another?

1. The sign had been prophesied, notably in Isaiah, and
2. It was the one 'impossible' task, that even the great prophets of God, since Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Elisha had not performed.

It was not to be merely the opening of blind eyes: Jesus opened many blind eyes. In his role as liberator, much of his ministry was spent delivering people from the bondage of deafness, blindness, lameness, mental and spiritual afflictions and most critically the bondage of sin and unbelief.

Isaiah and the Messiah Who Heals the Blind

The verses and promises Israel clung to in Isaiah as a litmus test of Messiah were:

Isaiah 29:18 "the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity"
Isaiah 35:5 "the eyes of the blind shall be opened..."
Isaiah 42:7 ...to open blind eyes
Isaiah 42:16: I will bring the blind by a way they knew not...
Isaiah 42:18- "look ye blind that you may see"
Isaiah 42:19 "Who is blind but my servant or deaf....."
Isaiah 43:8 "Bring forth the blind people that have eyes"
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind..."
Isaiah 59:10 "We grope for the wall like the blind...

and in other passages:

Lamentations 4:14 They [referring to Israel] have wandered as blind men..."
Malachi 1:8 blind not allowed for sacrifice.

Two important issues arise here: one is the test of Messiahship in the healing of one born blind since birth, and one is that the blindness that Yshua meant to heal was more than mere physical blindness, but the spiritual blindness that had beset Israel since her birth: there eyes had been darkened at many times in history to who they were, to what they were, to who and how great their God was, and to the Salvation and Deliverance of God which came to be repeated over and over in the course of God's wilderness people. Note a few lines above where he compares Israel to the blind:

Lamentations 4:14 "They have wandered as blind men..." or in Is 56:10 where even the watchmen are blind.

The porch of Solomon was not the only place God had declared that He was the Light of Israel. Remember the burning bush of Moshe or the pillar of fire in the Wilderness of Zin: there were other times the Light of Israel and the world appeared. Between the theophanies though, there were great periods of darkness in Israel, when eyes were darkened. It was that Spiritual darkness that Messiah came to deliver out of, and He did it first, by performing the long awaited miracle of the opening of blind eyes, or a man who had never seen a thing, who was born blind.

The Blind Guides of Israel

As soon as the eyes of the man are opened, without even completely knowing who Jesus was or where he was from, he began to expound his way and light to the Pharisees, who at another time Jesus called
"Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch"

In Matthew 23:16 he refers to:

Mat 23:16 Woe unto you, [ye] blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor![Ye] fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.[Ye] fools and blind: for whether [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

Before any confrontation with the Pharisees and other leaders of the Temple, Jesus, Yshua, rebukes them for being blind themselves, and for leading Israel into Spiritual and moral blindness. It is no small wonder that the Great Love of God incarnate would do that, as he had seen firsthand what those men had done to Israel: selling the holy things of God as merchandise, merchandising their positions, buddying up to Rome while young zealots gave their lives for Israel, and breaking every law of man and God. They were merciless, though keeping Shabbat by refusing to lift even a finger lest it be declared work. They made sure the Temple's coffers were filled with the paltry riches of widows they had swindled with 'corban' laws. The high priest Caiaphas and his cohort Annas were not even from Levitical lines: they had bartered their positions from Rome, and yet these were the men , who by the end of the healing on Solomon's Porch, were declaring that no true prophet came out of Galilee!---showing they did not even know the Word of God very well, for several had including Jonah, Elijah, Elisha and others of the 'minor' prophets. Yet these men, who had taken the Spiritual leadership of Israel by force and merchandising, patronizing Roman authorities, were sitting in judgment, of one who had just healed the eyes of a man born blind. While this is getting ahead of the study, the blind man, who can now see, retorts against the Pharisees:

Jhn 9:30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and [yet] he hath opened mine eyes.

So the Scriptures to this point, have noted that Israel was too wont to walk in darkness herself, and that by this time in History, even the leadership was blind to God's true ways, or to a real, living, breathing, powerful Messiah. Sounds familiar.

Luke 4:18, further notes that a part of Messiah's "inaugural address" is the 'recovering of sight to the blind:, a reflection of the passage in Isaiah 61.

Blindness and Sin

Messiah came to deliver from sin. There is no question even in unbelievers' minds that this is the essential task of God's Christ, or Messiah. [Meschiach in hebrew].
Nor should there be doubt that sin is equated with darkness and blindness. Even in descriptions in Zechariah of the Anti-Christ, it speaks of him having one eye darkened:

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.

The Hebrew word 'kahal' for darkened refers to a dimming, or darkening, in which the light is decreased, and while that seems very straightforward and it indicates that sin, which is often defined as 'missing the mark', is a dimming of the glory which we were meant to have, and the more one sins, the more darkness prevails. Darkness leads to confusion, chaos, the dissension of the Spirit and an inability to hear from God in prayer not to mention trouble in the world: it is often the case that before a number of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit work in power, sins may need to be repented of. Darkness also, is found at the edge of Glory, including God's abode we call 'Heaven'. (see Genesis 15: The Horror of Great Darkness)

Sin and Punishment: Who Did Sin?
As Jesus encounters the man born blind, the people who gather want to know the following:

9:2 ...Master, Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind."

In Ancient Israel as today, we often assume that when we see trial or trouble the person must have deserved it somehow, and while that can occasionally be true, it can also be from happenstance, providence or even as a test of faith. Note that

1. Blindness since birth was equated with sin
2. A Generational Effect is noted-that the sin of a parent could cause a consequence in the child's life.

The second point is indicative of a lack of teaching about sin, for in Jeremiah, God does a new thing:

Jer 31:29-30 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Basically, the sins of a father were to be no longer visited upon the son, although initially this was the case:

more to follow....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Troubling of the Waters: Jesus Heals at Bethesda


One of the most well known stories in the New Covenant is the telling of the healing of the man, infirm for 38 years, at the Pool of Bethesda. Jesus has just a few days before been at a feast day, and following, he heals a Nobleman's son after rebuking him a little for wanting to see only signs and wonders. The healings begun, and two miracles of healing into the Gospel of John, Jesus arrives at Bethesda.

There was at Bethesda a pool, surrounded by five porches, and the sick of all kinds waited at the pool for what was said to be an angel 'troubling the waters'. We have in our cultures today, similar places, such as Lourdes and Medagorje in the Catholic religion, or the portion of the Ganges for several religions in India, in which pilgrims from all over the world go to bathe in the waters believing they have a divine element which heals diseases. The Pool of Bethesda, known in Israel for the same, attracted the infirm and impotent from all over who sat among the columns, with stairs going down into the pool, and it was reported that whoever was first to the water, was healed of whatever infirmity ailed them. John 5:2 remarks that there were 'a great multitude', and lists the types who waited the stirred waters:

1. Blind
2. Impotent ( a variety of illness)
3. Halt (motor dysfunction and lameness)
4. Withered.

Angels were not at all unknown in Israel: they had a strict Scriptural interpretation of Angels as the emissaries of God advantaging the Children of Israel in many ways in their history, such as the visitation of Abraham and Sarah announcing Isaac, or the 'dragging' of Lot's family from Sodom, bound for destruction, or the angel guarding the way back into the Garden of Eden, the paradise of God. So the saying of an angel troubling the waters, was based no doubt upon some divine observation.

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool , and troubled the water:
Whosoever then first after the troubling of the water, stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.5:4

At least one other 'troubling of the water' is mentioned in Scripture although in an inverse way: in Ezekiel 32:2 in a lamentation for Pharaoh, Pharaoh is described as troubling the waters for contention:

...and troublest the waters with thy feet, and foulest their rivers. (Ez 32:2)

Both words, Old and New, for troubling, mean what one would naturally assume: the Greek tarache, meaning disturbance or troubling, and the 'dalah' [daleph, lamed he]
means to churn, stir up, or trouble. An amusing side note is that a related and very similar word, delaya or delayhu, is the name for 'Delilah' in Hebrew, who troubled Samson's waters to no end!.

So whatever the mechanism or reason or etiology, the waters stirred by the angel at Bethesda was certainly convincing enough, that a multitude, including this man waited even for years to make their way down into the pool, although one had to be first. If one looks at photographs of the pools, of the remnants left, one can see why a man unable to walk well or at all would have a very difficult time ever being first to the waters: it was impossible to get down the stairs in time amidst the many rushing into the waters.

The Man with the Infirmity

the man with an infirmity was said to have had it for 38 years. John 5:5. Jesus, as it is mentioned elsewhere, knowing what was in a man, encounters the man, and and immediately knew how long he had been in that condition.

Jesus ....knew that he had now been a long time in that case.. Jn 5:6

and said to him

Wilt thou be made whole?

Now, these remarks seem minor, but they contain a lot of information: the first verse points to one characteristic of our Lord and Savior that often gets 'read-over', that he knew people based upon their spirit: one verse puts it 'he knew what was in a man'. Jesus was already conversing in his Kingdom, living in the ways of Heaven- a person was 'known' to him without asking, and this can be seen as the 'conversation' or citizenship of heaven, when it is noted in .... that we will be 'known as we are known.'.

1Cr 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

So Jesus encounters the man in utter truth, because he can see all about him, with the loving eyes of Heaven.

There is more though, in the statement 'Wilt thou be made whole'. I have discussed a sort of 'model' of the person which is central to the Mind of Christ, in the concept of 'wholeness' vs 'dissension'. When a person is whole and right, he is everything that God meant him to be, although most of us never get near to this. Since sin entered the world at the Fall of Adam and Eve, most of what is in the world conspires to make us anything but 'whole'. It is well within the description God gives of the Potter and the clay: the fresh lump of clay begins whole and without imperfections but with air bubbles, too much slip, dirt and particles, hits, uneven pressure etc, the clay can become either a vessel which can be used, or so 'dissensioned' that it can be ruined forever.

Our lives are very much that way: though we may have differing 'temperaments' or a few other characteristics, those things rudimentarily given at birth are meant in God's plan for our lives to contribute to the 'wholeness' of what we are to be and do in his loving care. Most however, do not find God young, and the world hits hard, and blow after blow, hurt after hurt, sorrow after sorrow, depending on the degree, a person becomes 'dissensioned' from what he or she was to have been, and the healing process, whether it is mental, emotional, spiritual or physical, involves 'making whole' or bringing the dissensioned state, back into the 'shape' or state(not always literal) that it was supposed to be. This places in divine context Jesus' words: 'Wilt thou be made whole', referring to physical wholeness, but the later events show that Jesus is concerned uttermost with the man's spiritual wholeness.

The Willingness to be made Whole

There is also here a fascinating note of the 'willingness' to be made whole!. I have been around many deeply troubled people in my career and in life: some were overcome by grief and mourning, some by depression, some by deeply distorted states of imaginations and even hallucinations, what the world refers to as psychosis, and while they will participate sometimes for years in therapy, they do not want to change. It is hard to believe, that those who are hurting and in horrible circumstances would not want to be whole and well, but they feel a certain amount of 'comfort' in their circumstance: they know it and though it is painful, they prefer it to the unknown, even healing. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke once remarked after abandoning psychotherapy, that he was afraid that 'if his demons left, his angels would leave also'. Like Rilke some feel safe in self-destruction, a premier oxymoron, rather than accepting what a healing might bring. John 5:7 though implies it is not only his willingness but the inteference of events and others that encumber him:

Jhn 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

This passage also speaks to the nature of man, even in divine things, and more so in this day and time: pushing and shoving others out of the way in order to get even a healing from the Lord. This selfishness on the part of others kept this man in suffering for 38 years, and yet of all on the porch that day, he was the one appointed to healing and later defending and declaring the Gospel!!! However, the wait was worth it, for Jesus himself, not a mere emissary came to him, and well, life just wasn't the same later. At that point he did not need the Angel nor the healing waters, for the Living Water confronted him directly and healed him.

The Command of Healing

In this healing, Jesus does not mix a substance, nor lay on hands, but as in many healings, only speaks the healing, even 'commands' the man to be whole. He starts interestingly, with a command, that was not possible before--to

1. Rise
2. Take up thy bed and
3. Walk Jn 5:8

Most would expect, that Jesus instead would have just said 'be healed', or something similar, but He was giving also the frame of faith. When God intends and speaks, the thing is already done. It is a foregone conclusion. That bed, and that bent condition had imprisoned the poor fellow for 38 years! Now, in a moment, in front of the living Messiah, he is instructed to pick up that prison and take it with him. It no longer binds him: he binds it!

What was the result?

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath 5:9.

The man obviously immediately BELIEVED and OBEYED and wholeness and healing followed in an amazing way.

The Legalists and the Healing Messiah

Now legalists in any religion attend to every word of doctrine hoping to catch error almost always in everyone but themselves, and this healing was no exception. And as the healed man, goes immediately to show his healing as is commanded in the Old Testament, (Lev 13:2-59) to the priests in Israel to declare the healing, but is met with the legalisms so many meet with today in the House of God: they do not attend at all to the healing, except for the way it was done, by whom, and why on the Sabbath day. They do not give thanks and glory to the LORD for such a miraculous healing, or rejoice that the LORD is among them, but instead look to 'get the guy who did it'.

John 5:12

What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed and walk?

1. They turn to accuse the Healer (the Messiah)
2. They accuse Him of a crime that doesn't exist
3. They seek strife on the Sabbath [Shabbat]

So really, they are the ones sinning against God: the crime doesn't exist!. It is wrong to work on the Sabbath in such a way that defiles the rest and quiet God gives to be alone with Him and rest from labor in joy and health, but it is nothing but the work of God to heal on the Sabbath, and it is 'ok' with God! Jesus points out later that it is not wrong to do good on Shabbat!

Mk 3:4
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life or to kill?

They want to know who did this thing? but the healed man did not know, he just knew he believed.
And he that was healed wist not who it was; for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place John 5:13.

Note that Jesus did not stay for the accolades, Healing is to make whole not for reward, which is always rightfully his.

These men would have reversed the healing of 38 years of misery, just to win an argument. Don't we have them in the church today?

Sin No More: Can the Healing Be Undone?

There is though a small codicil of faith necessary for the healing to continue, direct from the Savior's mouth. Jesus finds the man later in the Temple, for it was of essence that the man come to know the Messiah:

Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. Jn 5:14

Jesus notes that there is a relationship between healing and sin. It was commonly known and believed that sin and healing were related: remember when the blind man was healed in the Temple, and the question Israel had for Jesus was 'who did sin, this man or his parents ?' (Jn 9:2) When the disaster of the tower of Siloam occurred, again the same question came up. Jesus there also noted that they did not sin more than others. Another time, Jesus notes that the reason for an infirmity was to show the Glory of God, so that illness and hardship and even disaster can be:

A. For no reason at all, other than natural occurrences
B. As a judgment from God
C. Because of Sin
D. To show the Glory of God

and that these things can occasionally overlap. Job, the perfect and upright man, finds all gone in a moment, including his health, for no sin. Daniel, dedicated to the LORD in the last days of Jerusalem before the exile, finds himself torn from his parents, and alone in captivity for most of the rest of his life, and so did Joseph at 17, but it was for the glory of God.

But sin and disease and healing CAN be related and must not be overlooked. We do not like as a society or even as a world today to receive such notions as the 'judgment of God', we somehow feel that a God of Love is just generally o.k. with our destroying his world and everything and everyone in it. Therefore we never repent, and the world is seldom healed. The Church at the end of the holocaust, millions of deaths later, looking the other way at best, debated whether Germany should really have to repent at Stuttgart. Here, however, Jesus is warning the healed man, to sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee' Jn 5:14.

The healing can be equated with Jesus' description of the casting out of devils or demons as in Luke 12:44-45

Then he said, I will return to my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty , swept and garnished. 45 Then goeth he and taketh with himself 7 other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Devils and the Healed Person

This is not a popular teaching in a day when men consider themselves so sophisticated they can make it alone without God. Devils? We have 'psychology' whatever that is, and mental illness with diagnostic categories, not 'devils'. C.S. Lewis, in the Screwtape Letters, mentions that the greatest demonic strategy of Satan is for modern man not to believe he exists. So, professing to become wise, they become fools, and the foolishness of God surpasses the wisdom of man in a slight paraphrase.

In Luke 11:25, the process of 'casting out' a spirit or devil or demon is spoken of by the Messiah himself:

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and finding one he saith, I will return unto my house when I came out. 24 And when he come he findeth it swept and garnished.25, Then goeth he and taketh to him 7 other spirits more wicked than himself and he entered in and dwell thee and the last state of that man is worse than the first. John 24-26.

This passage also refers to the healing of the man at Bethesda and Jesus' warning. The nature of it is
1. The Spirit (causing the possession or infirmity) is cast out.
2. The spirit or devil 'walketh thru dry places
3 The devil 'seeketh rest'
4. Finding none (no rest for the wicked)
5 Seeks to return and
6. Finds the original host 'clean'.

The 7 plus 1 devils, overthrow the original host, and it is sin which has made it possible: returning to the practice or sin which caused the first possession to occur. The healing can be undone, and the last state worse than the first.

This also points to the process of devils and disease as well: the dissensioned state is one of 'overthrow'--whether in a person, a family, a city state or nation. Even the unbelieving existential psychologist Rollo May wrote about the phenomena psychological. He called the demonic anything which overpowered a person. When a person is then healed by God himself, if he chooses to go back to the state of distress, the result is seven fold worse, and that can be readily seen in persons who for example come to the LORD, live life in the LORD for a little while, sobering up, giving up drugs, adultery, gambling, or any of the thousands of things people are delivered of, and then, deciding it is easier (?) to live in the flesh they just quit and go back. Often, the latter state is worse than before they walked with the Lord.

It is just a small note, but the fact that devils find NO REST apart from a host person, shows a little of the nature of the demonic: restlessness, agitation, ill-ease, anxiety etc. In Hell, there are not 'hosts' to attach to so all live in a state of unrest. Nothing swept clean there. In short, the process of demonization is overthrow.

The healing of disease follows a similar patter when sin is antecedent, which we must assume in the case of the man at Bethesda, since he is told to 'sin no more'. Again though, sin is not always but often antecedent: sin can lead to natural causes of disease such as in smoking, drinking, etc, unclean habits can lead to septicemia, sin can lead to demonic activity as can be the case with stress and psychological disease, or sin can lead to disease as a chastisement.

Those who snub and ridicule the notion of all this also go without healing, and often lead chaotic, stressed , rushed painful lives without rest. Jesus, Yshua, Messiah is our rest and our peace, he is our healing, but we have to believe and receive. Until next time: many blessings, and no 'troubled waters'. ekbest

Monday, July 28, 2008

Healing from Death: The Resurrection and the Life, Raises the Dead

We know when Jesus said in John 14:6, that he was "The Way, The Truth and The Life", and that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me", that He was speaking no small truth. That statement looks so simple, with three descriptors of the Lord and Savior, that he is the 'Way'- in which all must walk to dwell in the Lord, and He is the Way to heaven, that He is the Truth, and we think we know what that means but it envelopes the Word of God, the Plan of God , the Salvation of God, the Doctrine of God and the light shining on 'the way it really is', and we at least once a year at Easter say he is the "Life", and we tell the story, which for too many has grown into a glorified 'myth' of how the stone was rolled and he rose from the dead.
Raising People from the Dead

While all the books in the world could not get to the bottom of John 14:6, or the fullness of the name Jesus calls himself in that passage, the most remarkable and the most neglected, is that He is the "Life". In these studies on Healing, and what Jesus, or Yshua did when he healed, how he healed, what he said, and the many other aspects of healing, the most remarkable 'healing' was that of raising four people in the Bible from death to life, and then 'taking captivity captive' by rising from the dead, near the end of His earthly ministry, an idea which receives very little sermon time. Why? because the truth is, most Christians nod in agreement to the Resurrection, but do not understand the fullness of what Jesus meant when He said He was the 'Resurrection and the Life'. But if he had not been the 'Resurrection and the Life', there would have been no Salvation, no healing, no gifts of the Holy Spirit, and we would have only a dead faith, with the memory of a Martyr who believed in love. Yshua, Jesus, however, was Love and Life, not just in a metaphorical sense but in a divine sense, a super-natural sense, and the power of God, seen even today in those who will follow true, is the continuing prima facie evidence of Jesus, our Life, and Resurrection, the Power of God, and the evidence of the Life which will continue after death before Him.

Yshua, The Resurrection and the Life

In the Gospel of John, Jesus declares that he is the Resurrection and the Life, and those he speaks to have under-estimated the resurrection thinking it refers only to an ethereal future event in which both the Torah and New Testament teach that all will rise.

esus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. John 11:23-27

It is not that they did not believe, nor even fail to understand that He is the Messiah (Christ is the same as 'Messiah'), and that Messiah is the Son of God, long waited for, but there is a distance between the cognitive understanding, and before-pentecost trust, and the trust which came after the Resurrection of the Messiah. 'I agree' is what the sisters say, but they still grieve, yet they are about to see something so startling, that it calls them outside the complacency of expected daily events.

God's Power and the Healing from Death

They had seen Jesus heal so many they could not be counted already. They knew he was the power and presence of God, and had adjusted to this divine event in theirs and other's lives. God's power had been shown before in Israel: Moses had raised a staff and waters parted to the Sinai desert, he threw his rod down before Pharaoh and it turned into a serpent, he cast a stick into the bitter waters of Marah and they turned sweet, and Elijah had brought back a dying or just dead child, and increased the oil and flour for a widow and her son, and throughout the wars of Israel, when the Children of Israel trusted in their God, many battles were won without lifting a weapon. {Occasionally God has one lift a finger].

Jesus, Yshua, however, had come at an appointed time, and dumbfounded the hierarchy of the Sanhedrin and Rome. They accused him of gluttony, drunkardness, wantoness, breaking the Sabbath, mental problems, and even being demonic, and He never argued back, He just continued to heal, teach, preach and prophesy, and show the Kingdom of Heaven as no other one had ever done before. They became so angry at the clear manifestation of the Messiah, that their one desire became His overthrow and death, wanting only to go back to 'the way things were'. But here was the power of God, walking around Israel, literally, taking down unbelief like Joshua [yshua, also] took down Jericho, and like Gideon took down the Midianites. [See warsofisrael.com].

The Power of God and healing from the Dead

Several in the Bible are mentioned as having been 'healed from death' or coming back from the dead, and most are by Jesus in the New Testament. Elijah heals the widow of Zarapheth's son after doing them well. The son at a later visit is sick unto death. The woman is concerned that her child has fallen sick because of some failing of her own, but as Jesus noted in a later healing, some sicknesses are for 'chastisement' but some for the showing of the Glory of God.

I Kings 17:18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thous man of God" art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son?

The widow, as many of all times, believes that the calamity and death of her son is her own doing, a sin, a failing, a curse, something she had done wrong. But the world is a Divine Battle, always with elements of the Curse of the Fall and the demonic confronting and battling against the ways of God and the people of God. There are real instances when bodily or mental 'sickness' comes about because of something we do: sometimes it is merely a natural consequence: e.g. wanton behavior may result in disease, over-consumption of alcohol may destroy the liver. Other times, disease and death may come from environmental factors which we have little control over: bacteria causes septicemia, radiation causes radiation poisoning, and many factors are suspected to be carcinogenic. Whether we develop diseases or handicaps because of these are accidents are partially because the world can be a hazardous place, and while God is sovereign over all, few fail to walk so close to Him to always hear warnings about what to eat or not eat, or where to live or other considerations. When we end up outside of God's will, fences do indeed come down, and a variety of worldly harms can enter in. We tell our children not to heed or speak to strangers, yet tragedy after tragedy arises when some do. It is not that we do not protect them, or take care of them, but there are the twists of life that lead us sometimes unknowingly outside of that protection, and so it is with God's ways.

In this passage, though, there is no specific reason given why the child became ill unto death. In the passage in the new Testament regarding the death of Lazarus , Jesus remarks,

Jhn 11:4 When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

God himself designed the moment, so to speak, not 'inflicting' and 'afflicting' (although it is not out of his ability to do that too), for as Jeremiah speaks, "he doth not willingly afflict the children of men". God's wrath is real, and he sometimes directs harsh judgment to His world, but it is to satisfy his nature of Justice, for although He is so much a loving God that the New Testament states "God is Love", His nature did not change from Old to New Testament, and Jesus Christ is still "the same yesterday , today and tomorrow'.

But Jesus IS LIFE, so to some degree, it is easier to understand that He can give or take life, and less easier to comprehend when He puts it in the hands of His Prophets and Healers. In the New Testament, though, the power of God, the dunamous power of the Holy Spirit INDWELLS the believer, and obedience to the commands, ways and words of the LORD, lead us to understand and practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as healing. Healing even from death, is still just as possible for the God whose name is the Way, Truth and the Life as ever, for it was even done in the instance of Elijah and the son in Zerapheth as then or now. God's breath gives life, and it has since the beginning. God's Word is life, and the disposing of the number of our days are His.

Providence, and Raising of the Dead

Does this mean that if we only get 'right' enough with God that we will live disease free, and go on living this earthly life without end, or even to the fullness of a normal lifespan? No, not really, for the Sovereignty of God is bigger than that. When we pray our wishes and wants constantly, without regard for God's will, we too often get what we want, only to our detriment. I heard the story once in a sermon of a mother whose child was about to die, and in despair, she cried to God and said, "You can't have him!" The son recovered but became anything but a blessing, into crime and drugs, etc, and died, unsaved. It is a hard truth which we all rebel against, that not just the 'outcome' of life is at hand, but whether or not a life should last, for example, indefinitely. This is not the euthanasia issue, but one of surrender to God in His wisdom. Some live on, deadly incident after deadly incident, while others, turn their head slightly and a blood vessel bursts. Our job is not to end life, but to bear the understanding of God having his way. I worked with parents who had infants die for many years. Is there anything more seemingly unjust than a stillbirth? Yet those tiny lives often accomplish more in changing hearts then some old men and women dying in their 90s. It is what God wills, and to turn back again to the Widow's son, or Lazarus, or the little maid, or the Widow of Nain's son, whether it was deserved, by accident, or set apart for the glory of God, to show God's work in the world, it is i his hands and discernment is called for so as not to blame the victim of tragedy. Job's circumstance and the lengthy discourse of whys and wherefores regarding why God would allow a just man to go through all that Job went through, the loss of children, house, belongings, health, and a wife turning from faith so much as to tell Job to curse God and die, the discourse is about
whether Job did wrong, although the total answer can be summed up by one declaration:

Job 19:25-7 For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:
And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.

So back to Elijah, after some explanation, the Widow's son has died, as evidence by 'no breath left in him, an(vs17) and by Elijah being asked if he was come to slay the son, and when healed, the note that his 'soul' returned.

1Ki 17:20-24 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
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. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou [art] a man of God, [and] that the word of the LORD in thy mouth [is] truth.

Note a few things about the above passage:

1. The child has died, but a reason is not given
2. Elijah takes a 3 fold 'prophetic stance' for the child's restoration
3. Elijah's prayer is for the 'child's soul to come into him again.

The result is the revival of the child.

It was custom and tradition in ancient Israel, that by the 4th day after death, the soul was completely gone, and could not return under any circumstances. This is important, as here in this 'well before Pentecost' raising from death, it was at or near the time of death, and the action was of a prophetic stance or prayer. God actually did the healing by request 'restoring' the child's soul.

New Testament Raising from the Dead

In the New Testament, there are several times beside Jesus' resurrection, when Israelite were raised from the dead. These include the Widow of Nain's Son, healed on the bier (Luke 7), and the 'Little Maid' to whom Jesus called 'Talitha Cume' [Little maid arise], and Lazarus most notably. Dorcas is raised in Acts after Pentecost. The healing from Death, though must be seen as something more than mere healing of which thousands of instances were spoken of. All of the other types of healing we have looked at in these studies: the healing of deafness, dumbness, blindness, lunacy, and demonic possession, are instances of restoring a distorted condition back to a whole and excellent state. Raising the dead, though, involved
reinstating Life back into the person, so the dynamic is a little different.
In the next section regarding 'Healing From Death', we will look at the New Testament instances of the most phenomenal Restoration of life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

His Eyes were Blind, He could not See...Bar Timaeus

"And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus , the son of Timaeus sat by the highway side begging."

I would like to begin "in those days" as though the blind no longer have to beg, but the truth is, physical blindness today, is often treated just as inhumanely now as back then: we have a sort of "chrono-centricity" in which we think we are far advanced and more 'mature' than back in the first century a.d. but the truth is, if anything, while our technology has grown, our hearts have stayed the same, or perhaps grown even more cold and brutal.

As the disciples and Jesus came to Jericho (and went out of Jericho*) they encounter a blind beggar by the name "Bar-Timaeus", or son of Timaeus. That day, they were in no small number, and 'blind bartimaeus' would probably have gone unnoticed to another crowd of this size, but when Bartimaeus heard that it was "Jesus of Nazareth", Yshua the "nazarim" something in his spirit caused him to 'cry out'. Before the healing, before even the gaze of the Lord turned to him, he cried out something rather unusual, for a Jewish beggar with no sight---not 'help me', nor 'give me something', but

"Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me." 10:47

Eager to calm the crowds and hustle and bustle, many charged him to be quiet, after all, the real Jesus of Nazareth was at hand, and seemingly to many, if he were the Messiah, he would have no time to deal with this poor blind man, whom most saw as the bottom rung of the social ladder of Israel. This encounter has been written of no doubt thousands of times, but the healing often gets little more than a brief pause, and the 'cry' of an Israeli beggar for his Lord and Savior, receives almost none.

The more they tried to stop him, the more he continued in his plea and purpose [like much of Israel], he cried out "all the more"

"Thou son of David, have mercy on me."

Why did the blind man call out son of David? The title "Son of David" is mentioned exactly 23 times, 9 in the Old testament. The titles 'son of Man', son of the Blessed, son of Adam, and son of God as well as son of the most High and others are also mentioned.....to be continued when the thieves are gone.

note 1: skeptics sometimes point to this passage as an 'error' for how could Jesus be coming and going to the same place. Do a little research and find out why this is no error!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Light of the World Heals the Blind-Belief and Unbelief

Of all the healing Jesus, or Yeshua did, the one most tied to his Messiahship was that of opening the eyes of the blind. Even more than that, the one true mark of Messiah would be that he could heal one born blind since birth. Blindness caused at a later age, while robbing the person of sight, was often from disease or accident, and even the healing of that though miraculous could always have been assigned to some unknown process correcting itself. IN all of Israel however, no one had been healed of blindness since birth, and the equation of physical and spiritual blindness is readily apparent: The Light of the World, came to open eyes, hearts, ears and minds in more ways than one.

There are many instances mentioned of Jesus healing the blind in the Holy Scriptures, and they are far fewer than the number he actually healed: it is mentioned that if all the works he did were reported, there would not be enough room in all the books in the world: God is a rather prolific author of healing and other works of grace. Further, the people of Israel recognized that the true "Son of David", another name for Messiah, would heal one blind since birth in addition to others, for in one instance (Mt 12:22) after healing one possessed, blind and dumb, the people responded,

"And all of the people were amazed and said "is this not the Son of David."

Jesus and the Man Born Blind Since Birth

While other healings of the blind will be attended to later, the study here will focus on the healing in the Temple of the man born blind since birth in John 9. This healing of blindness above others is unique and intricate: there is far more than merely correcting or restoring vision, but instead a discourse between the Light of the World and the Blindness of the World, between Religion and Relationship with God, between Unbelief and belief.


Jesus begins, by attributing to himself yet one more name, 'the Light of the World' which is also an 'office' of Messiah. He has not just come to BRING light into the world, he has come AS Light in the World. There is a metaphorical allusion to day and night as well:

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is DAY; the NIGHT cometh, when no man can work. 9:4

Night and Day

Blindness is equated then with night and sight with day. Jesus dies as evening approaches, and rises with the break of the third day. Psalms reports darkness at the outer reach of glory

He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.Psalm 18:11

and sinners, in the end, in unbelief and non-acceptance of God's 'way out', are cast to outer darkness.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

While there are many references to day and night in the Bible, these are eminent, along with the plague of darkness which fell on Egypt, a type of the world, when Pharaoh refused to let the Children of Israel go free.

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Exodus 10:22-23.

The darkness and light of the Bible, the day and night, and vision and blindness, are all mentioned similarly with differing emphasis. While the literal darkness, night, and blindness have literal meanings, they point likewise to unbelief, not just cognitive unbelief or conversely for day and light, belief, but the unbelief of the soul. That is the point of the divine battle always, and is the pivotal choice of eternal life.


All of this is essential to understand in the healing of the man born blind since birth, for Jesus had come not only to do the one healing, but to make a major point to Israel and her leaders regarding belief, and light and day, and an Israel which would live in full worship of God in the Light of the Day. Following the discourse on night, Jesus says

As long as I am in the world, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.[my emphasis] 9:5

We will see three principles emerge in the healing:

1. The man was blind from birth, and it was a DIVINE APPOINTMENT-for the purpose of showing the glory of God.
2. The Blind condition was equated with sin, at least sometimes.
3. The Blind condition and sin were seen as ancestral.

The equation of blindness with sin , perhaps committed byhis parents or himself showed the view of blindness as punishment. Jesus corrects that view at least in this case:

"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 9:3.

The work was an APPOINTMENT, an ANOINTING, waiting for the time of Christ, set apart since the beginning: it was a healing ensign, of God opening the eyes of Israel, blind since birth, to the degree of his love and salvation.

Right after making it clear, that he, the Messiah was the light of the World, the healing takes place:

9:6 When he had thus spoken he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle

and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

It is announced right on the doorstep of the great healing which will confirm him as messiah. The Light of the World opens the eyes of the blind.

In the performing of the miracle, first the LORD speaks: as noted in another healing, a healing requires nothing more than the LORD speaking as when the centurion intercedes for his servant , 'only speak the word'.

Jesus next mixes spittle and clay. Here is the potter and the vessel, and he has a little repair work to do. Adam was drawn from the clay, and Jesus, the Creator is using clay to restore this created vessel at a point in time. Lastly he "anoints'
the eyes of the blind man: the sight which will be given all Israel is tied up in the healing of this man. This blindness had a purpose during all the years when its anointing could not be seen.

Jesus Speaks

"and he said unto him, Go and wash in the pool of Siloam
which is by interpretation 'sent'.

The command of the LORD is the only effort required, although there is a physical means, and the obedience to the command results in the healing. The passage continueds

He went his way, therefore and washed and came seeing.

The otucome of obedience is sight on two levels, for the man will now see much. The healing of the blind since birth was a first in Israel and heralded the presence of the Messiah (in part II we will see, that Jesus definitively declares, he is indeed the Messiah.)

IN 9:8-9, immediately after this hitherto unseen miracle, the first reaction of onlookers is to question the miracle, remarkable since the immediate difference was seen:

Some said, This is he: others said He is like him; but he said, I am he.

The observers weren't even sure it was the same man: they had nothing to compare the opening of always dead eyes to.

Therefore they said unto him How were thine eyes opened?

The response of the healed man, speaks for centuries for all Israel, for all believers:

He answered and said,

A man that is called Jesus made clay
and anointed mine eyes
and siad unto me
'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash' and I went and washed
and I received sight.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound...was blind, but now I see. Here is the response of all believers to the cynical:

I don't know how he has opened my eyes, I don't know how he has saved me, I don't know how his power and love abides in me know through the indwelling of the HOly Spirit, I don't know HOW one man dying on a Cross can be born of a virgin and carry all sin to the cross and put it to death once and for all, I don't know, but I have seen it, and it was Jesus.

The crowd immediately seeks to find Jesus at the wonder, but the healed does not know for the moment where he has gone. 9:12.

Following the prescription set forth in Leviticus, the healed man was brought to the priests, in this case the Pharisees (13)

Darkness Creeps in

Immediately following the great light of the healing and belief, the divine battle steps up to plate again, and Unbelief makes it's attempt on dismissing the Messiah and the Miracle. Their first strategy is the strategy of all religionists: fault-finding and nitpicking. The target is Shabbat: the Sabbath day, in which there is to be no servile work.

9:14 And it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

Shabbat is a day of rest, worship and light : a perfect day for the blind to be healed for both Old and New Testament teach that it is not wrong to do good on the Sabbath. But the Pharisees needed Jesus to be a sinner to make their argument: in their eyes, bending down obtaining clay and mixing it with spittle was work. Back in those days, some argued that even eating the egg of a chicken which was laid on Shabbat, should be forbidden as it caused the chicken work. While there was an intense effort to obey God's commands concerning the day of rest, [I observe the Sabbath rest failing only a little once in a long while], the rules and nitpicking can rob the day of joy, which was supposed to be an integral effect of the day. The Pharisees did not perfectly obey either: Jesus at another passage refers to an ox being pulled out of ditch so that even a Pharisee would not lose the animal or cause suffering or monetary loss as being o.k. on the Sabbath, but here they did not want a man to receive sight from God on the Shabbat due to a technicality! Not even a sin, but an interpretation of what work was. They exhibit another characteristic of religious unbelief:
Condemnation, an overly critical nature of everyone and everything, and even a murderous spirit. In the face of a miracle they see only minute details to condemn and do not attend to the wonder. We have all met these folks in Christian circles: we have even tended to it ourselves at certain times: we have both an obligation to keep doctrine accurate and excellent without dissension, but to also be filled with grace, peace and love. It is the extremes though that kill faith: not of the person trying hard to obey for themselves, but in the people who will not let others live and breathe without an analysis.

The man born blind explains the course of his healing by Jesus to the Pharisees, and true to form, their response is Condemnation.

Therefore, said some of the Pharisees,

This man is not of God
because he keepeth not the Sabbath Day[he was the Sabbath]

Others said,
"How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?

And there was division among them.


1.The Pharisees immediately without much investigation condemn
2.Pharisees cause strife and division where there is none
3. Pharisees commit condemnation on the Shabbat or Sabbath, a serious sin,
accompanied by slander, and yet worry about mixing clay and spittle for a once
in a lifetime healing.

The nature and course of the healing has been described in this short study. We notice
I.that it occurs on Shabbat, that it is a first,
II. that it is a sign of Messiah, and
III.that it is a physical portrayal of the Light of the World granting light and vision where none was before.

In the next study, we examine the divine importance of this great healing of the blind, and then will continue later with other healings of other blindmen in Israel.

Blessings from Elizabeth K. Best
Director, Judah's Glory
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,
and no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6

See Judahsglory.com/biblestudies.html and other Bible studies at warsofisrael.com and propheteuo.blogspot.com and housethatwillnotdie.blogspot.com.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jesus Calls Out a Deaf and Dumb Spirit

We usually think in this culture, of deaf and dumb as going together, and being totally of a physical origin. We reason that if one cannot hear, then it only stands to reason that one will have difficulty speaking. The idea though of 'a deaf spirit' seems foreign to the modern mind, which has great difficulty comprehending a divine battle which includes 'entities' such as demons which take a person partly or wholly captive.Oddly, though, we have already mentioned that even in the realm of secular unbelieving Psychology, the concept of the demonic, rather differently defined exists. The example used prior is that of Rollo May's concept of 'the Demonic in Psychotherapy' in which he defines 'demonic' as any process which overpowers and controls the person to the hampering or exclusion of free will. The observation of 'possession' has existed in Church history from the beginning though, and the 'modernization' of the concept of the demonic actually supports the idea and observation, but the teachings of Jesus were definitive that the 'power' which controls and intrudes was that of a demon spirit, while the modern concept attributes it to some unknown , hopefully explainable process.

Deaf and Dumb

In the New Testament, most deaf are mentioned as also dumb, and as being possessed or controlled by a spirit or demon (devil), but interestingly, blind and dumb appear as cohorts frequently also---perhaps the greatest implication there supports the idea of a supernatural control, because there would certainly be no rational physical common cause of blindness and dumbness. While we will look at Jesus' healing of the blind shortly, and the implications, we shall continue for now considering Jesus' healing of the deaf and/or dumb, by a 'calling out' of the Spirit. He uses a word, "Epaphratah" in one calling out, which many who study the Bible read once or twice and never consider beyond the Aramaic, but it points to an aspect of Jesus' ministry which few address: the keyholder, with the keys to all, opens and closes and it is in his sovereign power likewise to open eyes, ears and hearts as well as Heaven and Hell. How could a grave contain, the one with the Keys?

The Structure of Jesus Calling out the Deaf and Dumb Spirit
In Mark 9:20-23, a Child is brought to Jesus for healing and consideration, notable because the child was a) brought to his attention by the disciples and b) because the disciples could not heal the child. Says the Scriptures:

And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth.

The passage notes that
A. The Spirit tore him
B. He fell on the ground
C. He 'wallowed foaming'
D. Jesus asks the father 'how long' and the reply remarks of a child 9:21b
E. It casts him
1. into the Fire
2. into the Waters and
F. It is destructive and seeks to destroy.

One of the first characteristics of the 'possession' or control of the boy is that the disciples, as mentioned could not heal the boy, and they asked Jesus about it. They had already been able in his power and name to call out demons and heal, but this boy did not respond. Jesus suggests prayer and fasting, as a remedy, but, the characteristic which stands out is that when the father of the boy is quieried, as to how long the boy has been in the 'condition' he remarks 'of a child' in other words, since the boy was very young, so the hold on the child was of a lengthy period, and one must assume that the spirit which had bound the child was deeply entrenched. Later in Scripture, Jesus refers to a spirit cast out and the 'house being swept clean', but that if allowed to enter in again, the posession is seven times worse. Just as the Holy Spirit abides in us for the good, for salvation, healing, wholeness, and order, the longer one walks in the Holy Spirit, obeys God's word and stays in it and keeps in surrender and obedience, the person grows strong in the LORD, and more powerful in the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are unencumbered. We see Christ more in the person as a result. But conversely, especially in an unsaved person, when a demonic force enters and takes control, leaving the person with no 'divine' support or opposition, it 'encamps' and sets up a stronghold. Sin is often the entrance point. Some who have dabbled in the occult will report black moods, or odd occurrences in their life even some time after the 'dabbling'. Demonic spirits, or as the New Testament refers to them 'devils' set up shop, so to speak, inhabit, 'arrange' the furniture in metaphor, and a lengthy time of no opposition can produce real physical symptoms.

This is no doubt a troublesome and unpopular point of view for those not immersed in the Scriptures, but it is a clear teaching.

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

more to follow....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Healing of Messiah: Types of Healing: I Deaf and dumb

The Healing of Messiah

We have recently been considering the 'Healing of Nations', the groundwork of which we have laid and will continue at another time, but we turn now to the Healing of the Person, and the types of Healing that Jesus , Yshua conducted in His earthly ministry. In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 61, the pronouncement is made of what the earthly ministry of Messiah, the King of Israel will contain, and it is reaffirmed in the reading of Jesus in the Temple at the beginning of his ministry, with miracles as signs and affirmations of His Messiahship:

Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Luk 4:17-9 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

It is very clear that from the beginning, one of the roles and declarations of Messiahship was HEALING, and deliverance from the many forms of captivity, which include what we now call 'psychological' bondages but which were recognized in the 'divine battle' as 'imprisonments'. It is interesting to note that even in modern psychology, the concept of the 'demonic' has been reintroduced by such an eminient psychologist as Rollo May, who defined it secularly as something --an event, person, emotion, state which so overpowers a person as to control him or her. So the phenomena are observed even today, though the defintions differ.

The Healing of the Person is seen in scripture as healing of the Deaf and Dumb, the Healing of the Lame, of the Blind and of the Demonically possessed, along with leprosy and other conditions. Healing of the Deaf and Dumb, while easily ascribed to 'healing' is almost more of a deliverance, from captivity, or from a possession of an unclean spirit. Deafness and dumbness often are seen hand in hand as those deaf find speaking difficult, but oddly, blindness and dumbness are mentioned together in scripture especially when the malady of ascribed to possession. The Greek word 'Kophos' is used to describe both referring to a bluntness or dullness in hearing or speaking, a lameness of tongue.

There had been healings before Jesus the Messiah came to Israel: Elijah healed the widow of Zarepheth's son, and Naman sought healing from the Prophet, Miriam was given leprosy and had it removed and so did Moses, and so on, but out in public right before Israel's eyes type healings were a new thing, and they accompanied the teaching of the Kingdom of God in such a powerful way that none could ignore.

Types of Deafness

Deafness and Dumbness both are thought of in Scripture to be both literal and figurative: One deaf may be

1. Physically deaf
2. Spiritually Deaf
3. Deaf to the World, as in the idea of a 'deaf' Messiah, deaf to all that is not God's way.

Consider the following passages:

Exodus 4:11 "whoh maketh the dumb or deaf or the seeing or the blind? have not I the LORD [the Lord has sovereignty over deafness, blindness and dumbness"]

Psy 38:13 But I as a deaf man heard not and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth....14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not."

Is 29:8 In that day shall the deaf hear [physical deafness, sign of Messiah]
Isaiah 35:5 ...ears of the deaf unstopped." {"}
Isaiah 42:18 "Hear ye deaf"---[spiritual deafness]
Isaiah 42:19-Who [is] blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? [the 'deaf' Messiah?]
Isaiah 43:8 bring deaf that have ears...
Mt 7:16 their ears shall be deaf...

The Messiah Heals the Deaf

In Matthew 11:5, when the servants of John the Baptist are sent to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah or should they look for another, he replies with the following:

he blind receive their site and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the DEAF hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them...

and in Luke 7:22

Go your way and tell John what things you have seen and heard. how that the blind see and the lame walk , the lpers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to he poor, the gospel is preached...

It is clear that one of the signs of Messiahship was the ability in the full view of Israel to heal the deaf and heal all these others.

Deaf and Dumb

While deaf and dumb are most often mentioned together coming from the same word, it is interesting to noted that occasionally dumbness is associated also with BLINDNESS in the New Testament:

Then was brough unto him one possessed with a devil, BLIND AND DUMB...Mt 12:22.

mT 15:30-31 describes all sorts of infirmities being cast at Jesus's feet for healing, lame blind, dumb, maimed and many others. The healing of these diseases and unclean spirits and the making whole of dissensioned lives and spirits was a sign of Christ's compassion, and His empathy for the hurting in Israel.

more to follow....

Healing of Messiah: Types of Healing: I Deaf and dumb

The Healing of Messiah

We have recently been considering the 'Healing of Nations', the groundwork of which we have laid and will continue at another time, but we turn now to the Healing of the Person, and the types of Healing that Jesus , Yshua conducted in His earthly ministry. In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 61, the pronouncement is made of what the earthly ministry of Messiah, the King of Israel will contain, and it is reaffirmed in the reading of Jesus in the Temple at the beginning of his ministry, with miracles as signs and affirmations of His Messiahship:

Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Luk 4:17-9 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Healing of Messiah: Types of Healing: I Deaf and dumb

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beth-El: House that will Not Die:III-broadcast

Genesis 13-14, Strife, Famine, Division and War Meet the House that Will Not Die

The House That Will Not Die begins with a call to an unknown man, in the city of Haran, to go out into the desert to a particular place, where God will tell him what to do. He was not famous, or a great preacher, for at that time, the House of God was not yet fully come into vision. But Abram obeys and before the story is over, there is the wonder and mystery of Beth-El, the house that will not die, and the High Priest who receives a tithe of men, and a Father of Faith willing to sacrifice even a son of Promise on Moriah.

The House That Will Not Die, is established at Beth-El, and a second altar between Beth-El and Hai, or Ai. It is met immediately with opposition: first of famine, then of division and strife after a return from Egypt where the flesh won out for a time,

Gen 13:6-7 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
then outright war, and the temptation to worldly riches.

This satanic opposition to the House Eternal fails because of faith, and surrender of Abram, and each time his faith is rewarded with the great plan and house of God moving forward in a powerful way.
Gen 13:13-7 But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered.
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

There are set in the foundation of this House the following:

A. An Altar of Sacrifice-Ch13
B. A Promise of Land and Seed-Gn 13-15
C. The Wine and Bread Gn 14:18-
D. The High Priest and a priesthood 14:18-
E. The Tithe Gn 14:18
F. The Presence of God

A pattern of faith is set by Abram in the following:

A. Surrender to God's will and call
B. Faith over sight
C. Humility
D. Prefering the Spirit over the flesh
E. Repentance from 'dead works' in the flight to Egypt

Even after a momentary fall to the carnal in the escape to Egypt, when rectified, Abram returns to the second altar near Beth-El, and calls on the name of the LORD.
Faced with division and strife in the 'cattle war' Abram takes the 'less desireable' land preferring peace to contention, and prevails and grows. Faced with war to regain the more carnal Lot, he expends his own riches and men, and wins Lot back and defends and establishes the safety of the fledgling but growing house of God. His move adds another altar. Turning down the riches of this world offered by the King of Sodom, he is instead enriched by God, and the presence of the High Priest, Melchisedek, the King without ancestry, graces the growing House.

Each step of faith leads to the firm foundation of Beth-El. Each act of faith resulted in promise, blessing, and foundation of a House that Will not Die and has lasted till today.
2. 84.