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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Audio Version from Healing of the Nobleman's son

Here is the audio version from last August on the healing of the nobleman's son, from 2007. It may be found currently on Gcast or Sermon.net/judahsglory

Friday, November 13, 2009

The healing of the Withered Right Hand:
Jesus Heals on Shabbat

Among the healings that the Lord and Savior did, recorded by eyewitnesses, a few are described in detail, and a few receive a mere mention. A few are mentioned only once in one Gospel, and others have detailed parallel descriptions in all three of the synoptic Gospels each adding a little more detail (although never contradictory). The great healings, attended by many, have been repeated over and over both from scripture and in story form, such as raising Lazarus from the dead, or the Madmen of the Gadarenes, or Jairus' daughter. Among the healings that the Lord performed in his earthly ministry though, several have the distinction of having been performed on Shabbat {the Sabbath}, and the one in our current study, is the healing of the man with the withered hand.

Healing and Shabbat

Jesus had already well begun his teaching, preaching and healing, when one Shabbat he enters a Synagogue and encounters a man with a withered hand. Just prior to his encounter with this man, he has already healed a man with palsy, and encountered some Pharisees on another Shabbat who question why he allowed his disciples to pluck ears of corn to eat while walking through a corn field, on this day of convocation. The Old Testament was filled with God's commands regarding what was right to do on Shabbat and what was not allowed. Work on any day of 'holy convocation' was to cease, especially on Shabbat, to point to the work of God ceasing in Creation on the 7th day, the Sabbath or Shabbat of God, the 'Seventh Day Rest' which would point forever to His Messiah and Savior, our sabbath rest.

Through the years though, one rabbinical scholar after another sought to define what constituted 'work' and what did not, forgetting the gift of rest and peace, and instead trying to add man made ordinances regarding what was acceptable behavior and what was not. Some of the strictest extra-biblical requirements were policies of not eating an egg layed on the 7th day, or even traditions today among Orthodox groups regarding not wearing fragrances, or certain types of clothing on certain holy days.

As Jesus was walking though, through the corn field with his disciples just a short time before this healing, he began to bring forth correct teaching on Shabbat, a teaching which this generation has too often ignored: it was not in any way to be done away with, or ignored, nor was it to become a legalistic burden, but it was to be a day of quiet restful time with the Lord and with others, studying the Word, worshipping, and gaining peace. Jesus taught the arguing Pharisees, beginning with an exception to tradition, the story of David and his men eating the shewbread, which was normally forbidden, in order to sustain life for God's purpose. His central teaching on the second of three shabbats used to teach, was:

Luk 6:5-And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

The Third Shabbat, Another Synagogue

On this third Shabbat in a row, though, in Synagogue, the issue of the Shabbat arises again, only this time, the question becomes whether one can heal on the Sabbath. Jesus and his disciples are in a Synagogue, and they encounter a man with a withered hand. The Greek word for the adjective 'withered' is 'xeraino', and it is quite literal, carrying with it descriptors of 'shriveled' rigid, dired up, or 'pineth away'- in short the hand is not able to be used because of some form of atrophy.

There is another aspect though of this healing that makes it a little unique compared to some, that it is the man's 'right hand'. In the Holy Scriptures there are many references to the 'right hand': it is a reminder of power and authority, or 'rightness' of designation, so for the right hand to be withered, and as most are right-handed, the condition means the man is quite incapacitated, and without power.

The day that Jesus encounters the man, he is in the house of God teaching. Note that there a number of healings that take place in the synagogue or just after, and it is often with Jesus teaching in the Synagogue. That is rather curious to some, as we so often picture him wandering the Judean mountains, with crowds flocking around, but on the Shabbat, Jesus was found teaching in synagogue. No sooner does the man with the withered hand come forth, but the Pharisees begin to object:

LUKE 6:7
And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. Luke 6:7

Mark 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

MATTHEW 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had [his] hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

Isn't it a characteristic, even today, of legalistic people that they never watch themselves so closely as they watch other people, waiting with baited breath to catch an error that they might condemn them, all the while seeing it as 'exhortation'. One need not be unsympathetic. Often when we begin our Christian walk, in an effort to closely obey the Lord we love, we fall into a pit of legalism where we try to obey every 'jot and tittle' of the Law, and then we try to obey it for those around us! It is also difficult to find a balance because many feel that anyone who holds tight to the Word is a legalist, and that is simply not true: the commands of God while not 'buying' or 'earning' Salvation, are there for a reason, and not to be ignored. The two most common errors are to walk in to the house of God with 'lists' and 'inspect' whether all are following, or on the opposite extreme to gloss over all God's teaching and commands with an 'it doesn't matter, I'm forgiven.' Neither is a correct position. These Pharisees, and many of the Pharisees which were encountered in the New Testament were not all the ones that condemned Jesus and wished him dead, but some, as in this healing were people whom he worshipped, fellowshipped and ate with. Most mentioned though, were quick to ask why he did every little thing the way he did it, and most, as we see in this passage, had the motive of trying to find fault.

At another place in Scripture, it notes that the wrath of man will praise God. Why would these Pharisees, in this culmination of God's plan on earth, be constantly examining Jesus for error and fault? The answer lies in his role as Passover Lamb: before a Lamb was declared the excellent sacrifice it needed to be for Passover, it had to be inspected by the priests to determine that it had no flaw nor imperfection and that it was the 'right kind of Lamb' (see Leviticus). Without knowing it, those these and other Pharisees bore him ill will, they were at the same time 'inspecting the lamb': they questioned his healings, his teachings, his doctrine, his companions and even his food.

The Healing

God often has a way of using the wrath of man, though to the benefit of those who believe, and it was even moreso with Jesus in his earthly ministry. The Pharisees intent on detecting error, actually gave witness from the opposition to the veracity of the healings and 'perfection' of the Lamb. If none of the Pharisees had seen this or other healings, they could have denied the healings with some degree of latitude, since healings were not abounding in the first century until Jesus came. Seeing though, the healings in front of their eyes, and in the case of the withered hand, directly, in a house during or after a dinner, the local members of the sect could no longer deny the power of God attendant on Jesus' healing of the man.

How does Jesus react? Instead of what we would do, going into a diatribe about how we shouldn't be too legalistic, or some such thing, he begins to teach: he seldom returns even a rebuke when teaching is still a possibility. Luke 6:8 notes that he perceives their condemnatory musings, even before they speak:

"But he knew their thoughts...."

and in Mark, though it is not stated, it is implicit that he knew because he questions them immediately after the healing. It is part of the prophetic nature to as Jesus himself puts it, "know what was in a man", although it was more true with Jesus than any merely human prophet. In Matthew, we see a parallel of Mark's rendering.

Matthew 12:11-2Mark 3:4Luke 6:9,3-5
And he said unto them, What man shall thou be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fell into a pit on the Sabbath Day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out?

How much more then is a man better than a sheep?

Wherefore it is lawful then to do well on the Sabbath Days.

Jesus asks," Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath Day or to do evil: to save life or to kill?
(They held their peace)

Then said Jesus unto them, Is it lawful on the Sabbath Days, to do good or to do evil? to save life or destroy it?

[The sheep in the pit is not here, but in 6:3 before the healing]

Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with them; 4 how he went into the House of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

5 And he said unto them, That the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

Another note, and a mistake often made, it does not appear that this is the SAME Sabbath as the one on which the corn was plucked, but most probably the same Pharisees. Luke 6:6 shows that Jesus taught at the Synagogue the day of the healing

...he entered into the synagogue and he taugh: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

Before describing the healing, there are two things about this passage that seem eminent: 1) it is a right hand which is withered, and 2) it is a 'withering' or condition in which the limb has become fruitless.

The Right Hand

The fact that the man's hand which is healed on Shabbat was the right hand may indeed be seen as significant, as the right hand in the Scriptures is denoted as a place of authority, power, and favor.
God's right hand gives the Law, or Torah (Deuteronomy 33:2)-a fiery Law, and the

Anointing of a High Priest, the blood covering is of the right hand/thumb as in Leviticus 14:25-8; 14:7, 14:14; 8:23 and Exodus 29:20.

The Power of God is denoted as at the Right Hand in Exodus 15:6. and

Protection of God in the same passage.

Joseph receives the Right Hand of blessing in Genesis 48:17 and Sisera is killed (and Israel delivered) by Jael's Right Hand in Judges 5:26.

The AUTHORITY of God is at his Right Hand in 2 Kings 23:13, (and in Messiah's position in the Godhead), and

Salvation of God by his Right hand is seen, e.g. in Psalm 17:7, 18:35, 20:6 and 44:3, 138:7 and 139:10.

In Psalm 21:8, the Right Hand finds out enemies, and in Psalm 26:10 is associated with 'all righteousness', and inversely, shows 'terrible things'.

The right hand additionally in the Scriptures is associated with Triumph (Ps 89:42 and Victory Ps 98:1, with Judgment Ps 109:6 and Justice 109:31 (stand at the right hand of the poor), Safety and God's favor: Psalm 110:1,5 (exaltation-'Sit thou at my right hand), Valiance 118:15, Corruption, if bad (Ps 144,18), a right wise heart, as in Ecc 10:2; in Creation and Sovereignty in Is 48:13 (Right Hand hath spanned the heavens), Leadership (Isaiah 63:12 as in the right hand of Moses), and favor as in Hab 2:16. In separation of sheep and goats at the end, the sheep go to the right hand in Matthew 25:3,4 and the Right hand of power is mention in Matthew 26:64. When Satan wishes to do evil or does evil, he is said to stand at the right hand as in Zechariah 3:1. The Right hand is one of righteousness in Is 41:10. The Right hand of the Bridegroom embraces the bride in Song of Songs, 2:6.

While another whole study could be written to understand the depth of the meaning of the mention of the 'Right Hand' either of God or Man in the Scriptures, this should suffice for the moment to show that in this healing, and in God's sovereignty it is no insignificant thing that the withered hand is the right one. (See notes for other attributes of the 'Right Hand').

Withering Heights
'Withered' is mentioned only 25 times in the scriptures, but is also significant. The idea of withering denotes a lack of fruitfulness, a lack of 'works' death, impotence, and a heart that has given up. (e.g. Ps 102:4,11; Is 27:11; Lamentations 4:8, etc). Jonah's gourd withers, and so do believers who have no root and fall on bad ground. The most telling meaning of 'withering' though, is when Jesus curses the fig tree, a clear indication that the 'Gardener' has come looking, in the 3rd season for fruit on the tree of Israel, and finding none, declares it fruitless and of no use.
Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

So we can reason that a 'withered right hand' is not without significance, and refers in this healing not only as the healing of a physical condition, but as a sign to the Pharisees debating healing on Shabbat that their Messiah is the answer to the 'withered right hand' of Israel.

Jesus' Command

This has been a somewhat circumvent route to describe the encounter with the Pharisees at that after Shabbat dinner. The healing though questioned, was at hand and was to the point. Jesus says:

Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Luke 6:10.
Then saith he unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like the other.
Mt 12:13
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Mark

What was Jesus' concern with the Pharisees? Not legalism per se, but the thing it does to the spirit: hardness of heart. And what was the command in healing by the Messiah? Stretch forth thy hand. He commanded a hand in an 'unwhole' and dissensioned state, to be made whole, the aim of all healing. (See Being Made Whole). The man apparently does according to the command, and the hand which was not only incapacitated but showed no seeming chance of recovery, in an instant was made whole, immediate as other healings.

Obedience was the key for the man with the withered hand. When we seek the healing of Jesus, and we wish an immediate healing, we must also anticipate his expectation of immediate obedience.

The Reaction to the Restoration of the Withered Hand

Seeing an unexpected miracle of the first order done right in front of one's eyes one would expect would bring about astonishment and amazement. Instead, for the dinner attendees , self-appointed guardians of tradition and sticklers for uniformity, the reaction was one of madness and vengefulness, two frequent companions. In Luke 6:11 the Madness is noted:

And they were filled with madness and communed with one another what they might do to Jesus

While the intimation of vengefulness against Jesus is seen above, the two parallel verses show the evil intent towards him even more intensely

Mark 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Luke 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

In the second two verses, the language is defined and violent: instead of rejoicing at the wondrous work of God they had just seen, they begin to plot not only among themselves but among others that hate Jesus, to destroy him. It is one thing to act with rage against those who anger us for one reason or another, but it is far more sinister to plot the overthrow of another with painstaking planning. It is alos of note that they sought out the Herodians, the State connection, whom they were certain would also want to get rid of a kind of power they could not fight. Voltaire once said that when it comes to money, all are of the same religion. It appears that when it comes to trying to overthrow the Love and power of God, religion takes a back seat also to the criminal intent.

It is not unknown to Jesus that they intend violence, destruction and overthrow. He leaves this area of Galilee immediately, the hospitality grown cold, and withdraws to the sea. Multitudes though follow, with the expected astonishment and far greater acceptance of this divine Rabbi. He had come to heal the Right Hand of the Withered tree of Israel, and as is taught in scripture, in the third time (millenia) when the first fruits are expected (see Bag L Omer) and when the first fruits are dedicated to the LORD.

We will continue next time in discussing the healings of Shabbat.
more to follow.ekbest

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Healing of Peter's Mother-In-Law

Of the over 30 healings in the New Testament, with several others in the Old Testament, one of the briefest accounts is the account of Jesus entering into the house of Peter, and healing the mother of Peter's wife. Peter, recall is the one to whom will be given the 'keys of the kingdom', he is Cephas, the stone, who is turned in Messiah, to Peter, Petra, the Rock on whom Yshua will build his Church. Although much is written then, by and about Peter, little alludes to Peter as a family man, save for this passage. We can immediately tell that Peter has a wife, a house, and a Mother-In-Law who is living with him, perhaps the reason for his later perseverance. (Just a little first century humor). There was once a bumper sticker put out by some Catholic folks, that said "Peter was a married priest", and if they had only meant the universal priesthood of believers, they would certainly have been correct!.

Just Before & After the Healing

The healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law takes place early, in Capernaum, near Nazareth.
Matthew gives a little more detail regarding the events preceding the healing, but the healing itself is noted in Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31 and Luke 4: 38-39. Several events precede, including the deliverance of the demoniac in the Synagogue in Nazareth, the Sermon on the mount, and two healings in the vicinity of Decapolis, namely the healing of the Centurion's Servant, in which the great faith of a non-Israelite was noted, along with the centrality of faith, and the healing of a Leper.

Before and after the healing of Mrs. Bar Jonas' mom, other healings occur. After the healing, by the very evening of the healing, multitudes come seeking healing.

Mar 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Mar 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
Mar 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

Though the description of the healing at Peter's house is brief, it is the healing just prior to conditions Jesus would face for the rest of his ministry: large crowds bringing his constituency to his door: the sick, those possessed of devils, lepers, and others in need of the touch of the Lord.

The agreement of eyewitness accounts is very close. Jesus enters the house, is notified of the great fever which the woman suffers, and heals her.


And when Jesus was come into Peter's House
,he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 8:14


And forthwith, when they were come out of the Synagogue
they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew,
with James and John. 30 But Simon's wife's mother lay
sick of a fever, and anon, they
tell him of her.v Mark 1:29-30


And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and the besought him for her. 4:38

The Disease/Infirmity

The disease or condition at hand is very simple and spelled out: a fever, or 'great fever'. A fever can be for any number of reasons which we are not told. Infections,flu, other illnesses, can produce fever, but we are given no more information than the short description. The healing is just as simple, by the Lord and Savior, only this one has one distinction: Yshua, Jesus, heals Peter's mother-in-law without words.



And he touched her, and the fever left her, and she arose, and ministered unto them.


And he came and took her by the and, and lifted
her up; and immediately, the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. 1: 31.


And he stood over her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

Note the following elements:

1. Jesus stands over her and touches her (he is never worried or reluctant to touch the sick,even lepers or those with contagious diseases.

2. Jesus lifts her by the hand. This happens also with Jairus' daughter, and when Dorcas is healed later, by Peter who was there.

3. Immediacy: As with all healings in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, the healings around the time of Messiah are immediate. In a few cases, the Disciples cannot heal although it is usually in the casting out of devils, due according to Messiah as a lack of faith, prayer and fasting. All the healings of Yshua, Jesus are immediate, either by Word or touch.

4. The Healing was COMPLETE: Jesus did not touch her, and then say, now in a few days you should feel a little better and then later even better. This healing is so complete that she rises right away, and replete with energy and health, begins to serve the others, including the Lord. Now,isn't that a keen remark on wholeness: that real healing leads to the benevolent service of others!

5. The healing involved, a) taking her by the hand, b)touching (note the 'finger of God'), and c)lifting her up. God does not have to do things the same way every time, nor does he: there is no 'method' for it is the power of God that heals, occasionally even when Yshua is not in the presence of the infirm person, but these things are often seen in the healings of both Old and New Testament.

6. This Healing followed preaching, in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Synagogue, it follows at least 2 other healings, and by the evening of the Mother-in-Law's healing, is followed by the healing of a multitude.


This healing of the fever is so brief, as are a few others, that one wonders why it is mentioned, given the more intricate details of others, but nothing described in the Gospels is without cause. It is as mentioned, the first healing of a relation of the Apostles. Peter later goes on to be a great healer in the days following Pentecost. Simon, James, Andrew and John are there, among the first who were called to "follow me". We learn a few lessons from this short passage which are valuable:

The immediacy and completeness of the healing, that the touch of Messiah is enough and Words are not always required nor vice versa, and that a man Peter with a healthy marriage and extended family could be not only just as effective an apostle, but the very Rock on whom Jesus would build his Church. We learn that healing in fullness means we turn to serve others. And we learn that no healing is too small to bear significance.

Many Blessings in Yshua, Our Lord and Savior.
E.K. Best.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Raising of Dorcas from the Dead: Peter at Joppa

Healing From Death: The Grace of God Encounters Joppa Again
click Here for audio teaching

In the last study we saw that Peter healed a man sick of palsy for years. These healings by Peter are particularly of note because they occur right after a major pivotal event, of the turn of the Gospel to the Gentiles, marked by Cornelius' baptism in the Holy Ghost, and that of his whole household. Both Peter and Paul were eminent emissaries of the Gospel going out to the Gentiles, but both were astounded that Gentiles could receive what they considered a divine right only of the Jews. Peter, a rough, working class fisherman, had nevertheless apparently always observed dietary laws, as he was overwhelmed by the vision of the sheet lowering from heaven with all kinds of animals and creeping things, with the command to take and eat. The vision was not dismissing the law, quite the contrary, it was as always, establishing it, as God's point to Peter was that all things are clean when declared so by God. Peter's adherence though to orthodox Judaism is seen when he confronts God about the fact that he has never eaten anything unclean, although through the baptism of Cornelius, the Roman, he comes to understand in the 'mixed' northern regions, that God did indeed send a light to the Gentiles.

Likewise Saul, (Paul), a student of Gamaliel with a formal higher education , zealous for the Lord and orthodox faith, is appointed not only to his own, but especially to the Gentiles,in what must have been a struggle for a man who did not care even for slight hellenistic influences in the faith.

Here, though, as Peter attends to the baptism of Cornelius, and his household, shortly there follows a move of the Holy Spirit in large numbers of persons coming to the Lord and Savior, often precipitated by an event of healing. In the last study we saw Peter healing Aeneas sick with palsy for 8 years and persons in 2 towns turn to the Lord. Now,an even greater miracle of healing takes place : the raising of Dorcas from the dead. This is the first post-Pentecost miracle of raising a person from the dead. It was no coincidence that Peter was nearby.

Tabitha of Joppa

Peter has just been in Lydda, the next town over, about 11 miles apart. Tabitha (meaning 'gazelle') also called Dorcas (meaning the same), was indeed characterized by grace having been a benevolent person helping many in Joppa. She was known for her good works and alms deeds. (9:36)

Dorcas dies (9:37) and her body is laid in an upper chamber, where many women meet to weep and sorrow over the woman who has aided and even clothed them. The disciples of Joppa, aware that Peter was over in Lydda and had just healed Aeneas, rush to him.

Act 9:38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring [him] that he would not delay to come to them.

Peter comes immediately to Lydda, and is confronted by the Widows weeping and showing the garments which Dorcas had made them. Note that the one raising from the dead in the Bible that is different from all others is the raising of Lazarus. Only the Lord could have waited 4 days, beyond when belief held that the soul departed from the body/earth, and called back Lazarus. When the disciples near the event, it is with immediate response. There is no doubt that the woman had truly died, but it left a real gap in the ministry in Joppa: she had cared dearly for those who had no one to rely on.

The Raising of Life

The account of raising Tabitha from the dead is brief:

But Peter put them all forth and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, "Tabitha, Arise". 9:40

The first thing Peter does is:

1. Put them all forth: he creates some space between him , Tabitha and onlookers. Jesus had constant problems with crowds thronging healings and miracles, as though it was entertainment, but it was not, it was holy.
2. Peter kneeled. While there are certainly no 'requisite' positions to heal, do miracles or call out devils, this does show a state of reverance and respect for the work of God.
3. The Command: he turns to the body and says, "Tabitha, Arise".

We spoke before of the command to rise or 'Arise'. It is said often in healings and in most of the times Jesus raised from the dead a child of Israel. It is a command to life, and a command out of a dormant state. The voice of God alone can call forth life, and when the Holy spirit indwelt believers, they could as Jesus, Yshua noted do the same miracles, not because they had become something special or better, but because the Living God dwelt in them. This is no 'trick' or 'ritual' or way one must heal, but an understanding of what the healings meant and were for: they were always to show God's power, to show sovereignty over death , disease and the demonic, and to preach the Gospel, first and foremost.

The Result

There is no detailed or unexpected end here,:

And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 9:41

When life returned, it was, well, LIFE. He called her to arise, and she opens her eyes and arises. Note sometime the whole phenomena of people being given sight or opening there eyes in the first century in Israel. He makes the blind to see, and so did his disciples, although here, it is sight coming back from death. Strength came back to her to: she did not wallow at death's door for a few days or weeks, but as soon as Peter extends his hand, Tabitha is back. Her ministry can continue.

The Outcome at Joppa: Repentance and Belief

As stated elsewhere healing is for the Love of God making people whole, but it is foremost for preaching the Gospel, and those two things are not separate. The book of Acts states:

And it was known thoughout all Joppa; and many believed in the LORD. 9:42

When Peter healed at Lydda, Saron and Lydda both came to the Lord. The raising of Dorcas causes her town Joppa to believe. Joppa was where Peter had stayed with Simon the Tanner just before being called to Cornelius' house in Caesarea: Israel was beginning to be enlivened by the Holy Spirit of God---eyes opened, raised from the dead, and the dead bones of Ezekiel did indeed begin to knit together flesh and sinew, in the promise of the Savior.

A Footnote: On Raising Souls from the Dead

The question has arisen more than once in considering the many miracles and healings of God why we do not raise from the dead more in Holy Spirit filled congregations and practice. Certainly many have seen real healings, and the assumption is always that we are just not 'prayed up enough' or that it is not God's will, and both of those can be true. There is though a consideration of whether we really should even if we can unless absolutely directed by God in obedience. Since healing is to show God's love for us and preach His Gospel, it would have to be for His purposes and not ours. More than that, when we consider 'love', once a person is gone, if they had faith in the Savior, they would not want to return to such a struggle as this earth: they are held in God's presence and love and it is more than one could want. The desire to have a person return from the dead is to appease our own suffering, despair and longings, and is more to allay pain than other reasons much of the time. Note though that when Jesus raised Lazarus, the widow of Nain's son, and Jairus' daughter, it was to show the glory of God and to testify to His being the Messiah. No raising from the dead, even that of Dorcas, could bring about more that that: it was a testimony and a work of God. The resurrection of Christ, completed the work of the blood atonement and redemption of man from sin, the other times people were raised from the dead it showed the love and power of God but could not ever approach that unique and necessary purpose.

If a person is brought back beyond the time God has for them on this earth, the raising would surely testify to God's power and love, but years lived beyond God's purpose are not often fruitful or rewarding. Interfering with God's wisdom on such things can cause suffering untold. It is not that even that miracle cannot happen today, there are accounts of it. (John Knox is said to have raised a boy from the dead). The biblical accounts were of Children of Israel, coming back to life for more than one purpose. While seeing such a remarkable occurrence would very possibly bring many to the Messiah, the terrifying thought of playing too loose with life and death, has haunted the human race since the garden. Only utter obedience to Yshua through the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha'Kodesh, in my opinion, should be the impetus for such a thing, and that to glorify God, or bring many to covenant. Healing, and raising the dead, preaches the Gospel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peter Heals a Palsied Man at Lydda

Last weekend I was watching a video clip of a Pastor doing the rather expected task of preaching a little and singing 'Victory in Jesus'. Certainly, that is not headline news, save for the fact that this preacher, a man named 'Ring' had lived with cerebral palsy, a debilitating motor disease , preventing normal smooth motor functions such as easy speech and limb movement. By the time many with cerebral palsy are in their 30s, they cannot speak and movement may be exaggerated and contorted.

This preacher though, was remarkable, in that while he took a little extra time, he spoke with articulation and sang one of the best renditions of the song I had ever heard---a great feat since we have all heard it a thousand times! Why could this man, at his age preach a very fine sermon and sing with an anointing, when his counterparts afflicted by the same condition could do very little? The main difference was the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Yshua HaMeschiach.

In the book of Acts, right after Saul is met on the road to Damascus, right after Ananias heals the blindness of the great soldier of God who will come to be, right after spiritual blindness is healed by the Light of the World, there is a description of a lesser known healing of a man named Aeneas, by Peter, the apostle holding the keys to the Kingdom.

Aeneas was stricken with Palsy, and had been 8 years in bed in the town of Lydda. Lydda, meaning 'strife', is about 9 miles south of Joppa, where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner. (formerly called Diopolis under Roman rule). The Book of Acts does not give a great deal of information about Aeneas or his condition but does say:

Act 9:33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.

Eight years is a long time in any condition which imprisons a person, whether it is a disease or not, but in moments, the seemingly uncurable ailment is a thing of the past.

9:34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: Arise and make thy bed.

Note that Peter mentions two names immediately: Aeneas' name, and the name of Jesus Christ. He doesn't go into a discourse of 'how the whole process works', or even quote scriptures supporting the doctrine of healing, but post haste says the following:

1. Aeneas (called by name)
2. Jesus Christ (calling on The Name)
3. Maketh thee whole ('the thing is done', Jesus makes whole)

We spoke about wholeness much earlier in studying healing: a person who is ill, possessed, or a person in some physical or other earthly or spiritual 'distress' is a person who in some part of their lives are not 'whole' not 'statis'. One is brought back to wholeness in healing, and here it is by calling on the NAME of the Lord Jesus.

The second part of the verse, is the COMMAND following healing.

Arise and make thy bed

The word 'Arise' or rise, is used often in healings or commands by either Jesus or his disciples. The word arise is anistemi: which can mean anything from 'get up or stand up to 'come back to life', but it is an 'enlivening' from a static state. What a remarkable word, 'arise' is to some one who has been encumbered by palsy for 8 years---even more remarkable is the command to do a mundane but heretofore impossible task: make thy bed. Peter via Jesus restores the man to normal life, where one rises up and makes his bed, and carries it and goes about his business. The obedience is immediate:

9:35 And he arose immediately And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned toward the Lord.

We said before that healing is to pronounce the Gospel: the Good News, that God has not only not forgot his covenants with Israel but has come to fulfull them, and that the power of God through healing and miracles is not only not gone from the earth, but is at the hand of the Lord, to point the way to the greatest healing: Salvation. The gospel and healing brings Repentance, and many, as in other healings in Acts, turn to the Lord.

The Sum of Aeneas' Healing

Here then is the sum of the healing of Aeneas by Peter:

1. Peter enters into Lydda and encounters Aeneas, 8 years with palsy.
2. Peter calls Aeneas' name
3. Peter names 'THE NAME' of Jesus,
4. Peter points to Jesus making Aeneas whole
5. Peter through the Holy Ghost commands "Arise...and make thy bed"
6. Aeneas immediately obeys
7. Two towns see him and turn to the Lord. (Lydda and Saron)

Healing is for the Gospel and the gospel for healing. It is only through Salvation that we are made totally whole.

by ekbest09

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Saul, Receive Thy Sight: The Healing of Divine Blindness

Saul was on the road to Damascus, enraged. These 'little christs' (Christians) , followers of the way, had been nothing but trouble since the day that itinerate rabbi from Galilee started preaching. Saul had stood in the background like many, and let the Sanhedrin handle things: they thought it was over when Annas and Caiaphas turned him over to Rome for crucifixion, but it wasn't but a few days and the followers of 'the Way' had spread all over Israel that Yshua had risen from the dead: they kept talking of him 'conquering death'---and the Temple folks couldn't really counter dozens of eyewitness reports, and worse, they could not find the body.

The followers of the one called 'Yshua' which they kept referring to as the "name above all names" were also performing some sort of 'miracles': people were still getting healed, and every time some one got healed, whole towns were believing that Yshua was the Messiah. () The Messiah! Saul had been brought up at Gamaliel's feet, and for a man to claim he had been God's Messiah: it so enraged Saul, that he became a champion of putting down the 'Way' and its followers,

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed [them] to prison.

Further, with a crowd of other regular Temple attenders, he haled one of them, a disciple named Stephen off to be stoned, for refusing to renounce the man they called 'Savior'. It was bad enough that Rome was trying to bring down the Jews, now there were growing thousands whom Saul and the elders of Israel thought might if this 'movement' continued to grow. He had to admit that Saul gave a better sermon than he had ever heard on the history of Israel and her God, but, well, he didn't cast a stone not really, but he watched the coats of those who did, and consented to the killing. He hadn't been the same since, though, because he just couldn't understand the power that Stephen had even during the stoning, nor the light that shone on his face, and it just enraged him even more.

The Way was growing in Damascus, where Saul had come from, so he sought permission of the Temple authority to go arrest everyone involved, and of course they were only to happy to oblige.

"And desired of him letters to Damascus to the Syagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem, Acts (9:2)

And so with some amount of blood on his hands, he thought for a righteous cause, he set out on the road to Damascus to overthrow "The Way, The Truth and The Life" as Yshua had called himself, only to confront the overthrow of what he had been: a religious, self-righteous man, zealous of Judaism, but without divine knowledge. He knew the Scriptures---but he was about to come face to face with the Living God of Israel, who would show the truth of Divine Blindness and how it is healed, using a blindness of the flesh to demonstrate.

Saul's Divine Encounter

He made it almost all the way to Damascus, when a an event occurred which Saul, in his life could never have counted on:

9:3 "...and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:"9:4 and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him,
"Saul, Saul why persecutest thou me?"

Whatever happened, it hadn't happened to him in synagogue before, and a couple of things are notable: 1) Saul recognized immediately it was from Heaven, and 2) He responds immediately acknowledging what he saw as the Lord!. Saul did not argue or confront, the mighty man of Jerusalem that he was, but instead, astonished says

"...Who art thou, Lord?"

The event caused him to fall to the earth! And the answer was not obscure, and would cement in stone the man's apostleship to come:

"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks"

One can only imagine the entire nature of the encounter, but the the Greek word for 'pricks' is kentron and can mean 'sting' or 'goad' and while most picture the spur that goads horses along, the intimation to Paul, was that he was going the wrong way intensely, and suffering because of it. It is a remarkable love that faced that enemy of God on that road, who instead of condemning him for Stephen's murder, saved him, but not without a divine lesson.

The Marks of Meeting the Lord

That it was the Lord is testified to by all of what happened. And the encounter matched some of the most significant encounters of man with God in the Old Testament as well.

1. The ones who were with him did not hear the direct interchange

Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

2. He encountered a 'light from heaven'

3. He was struck with 'trembling and astonishment'.

9:6 And he, trembling and astonished said, "Lord, what wilt thaou have me to do".

In the Old Testament, when Daniel meets with a vision of heaven these things also occur in part or in full.

Daniel 10:7 ...the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Daniel 10:8 Dan 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. (aksi 10:16)

or in Ezekiel 1:28

And I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

The command or aid to strength is given both times. The divine encounter of Saul on his way to persecute Christians, bears the marks of other encounters with God in the history of Israel by her prophets.

So far, then , the nature of the encounter which will involve one of the greatest healings of the Bible, follows the following pattern:

1. Saul is stopped from going an evil way
2. A blinding light occurs and Saul is rendered powerless
3. Jesus inquires regarding Saul's evil intent
4. Saul falls, trembling and astonished
5. Saul seeks obedience (below)

Saul's one redeeming quality is that he really did, even before salvation, have a zeal for God, his people and true worship, and a great knowledge of the Holy Scriptures much like a well-studied theologian today, only it was misdirected. The spirit of religion without a relationship with God is often a murderous one, or one of 'overthrow'.

Saul immediately understands on the spot obedience is required when he asks Jesus, Yshua, "...what wilt thou have me to do?"

Note : In the conversion, Saul was really getting the desire of his heart: union with God: he had sough it previously "intellectually" and by tradition. This 'conversion' though, will involve obedience and healing, but it is one of the few times in the Bible when God both smites with a condition and then makes the person whole, for a lesson to Israel. (e.g. Miriam or Moses struck shortly with leprosy and then healed.)

THE Lord's Command

When Saul encounters the LORD near Damascus, it becomes a turning point in Saul's Life, in Israel's life and in the Life of the World. The meeting also renders Saul, soon to be 'Paul' as fit to be an apostle: this enemy of the early believers, so zealous for their overthrow will shortly be their greatest defender and apologist! His letters will carry the Gospel of God to the next few millennia---but not yet. When Saul asks, the Lord, "What wilt thou have me to do?" (the response which should always follow an encounter with the Lord) he does not yet comprehend, that the task that lay before him will be the desire of his heart: to serve God in His Word.

The Pharisees over time have been seen pejoratively as some of the 'bad guys' of history. Most of the reason was their first century hypocrisy and opposition to the Messiah, and the term has come to mean 'religious hypocrite'. The real Pharisees though, were a sect of priests and their followers, who about 400 years before Christ, had sought to turn Israel back to the true practice of Judaism and the worship of the Living God, having seen so many fall away, and believing it was the reason for the Babylonian and Assyrian Exile. Over time though, and nearing the years just before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Pharisees had become tainted with the world and deals with Rome, and by the time of Annas and Caiaphas, the sect bore no resemblance to its founders, exercising its power more as a political body than a religious one, although it must be kept in mind that even at the time all Pharisees could not be cast with the same cloth: Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and Paul, all were of the sect. Saul, zealous for God but not with the knowledge or power of the living God of Israel, met heaven that day and hour, recognizing it immediately both as a well trained scholar and child, and now is about to receive an answer to his quest for God's will.

What Will Thou Have Me to Do?

Note that Yshua, Jesus does not immediately give him the blueprint for the rest of his life during the interchange. As is often the case, what the Lord was eliciting in Saul was faith, belief, and obedience/surrender. Jesus responds:

And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9:6

Saul's first task is to obey the Lord without question. Now, some alarm may rise at the sound of 'blind obedience'. The 'blind obedience' of some societies has led to nothing good such as in the 'befehlsnotstand of the Third Reich, or of other genocides or destructive mass movements. Blind obedience though to the Lord is a different thing, because the Lord has only our good at heart, and is omniscient.
Blind obedience to the Lord does not fail in accomplishing divine purpose. Saul had sought God before, but intellectually and by tradition. Now he is confronted with power, love and sovereignty.

Only the next step is given: "airse, go into the city". The calling is promised.
"Arise" is used often in healings and commands by both Jesus, Yshua and his disciples. The primary word is 'anisthemai'


which can mean to rise from a dormant state, or as in resurrection, and another Greek word is used often the same 'egeiro'


meaning approximately the same, frequently used by Jesus.

'Arise and go' is a call to action: it is used to send the disciples, it is used of the Jairus' daughter, raised from the dead (little maid, arise), and in a number of other passages, although here, it is calling Saul, to a new life, and a calling which so far exceeds his expectations that he cannot imagine it, nor certainly could the persecuted disciples.

As with Daniel and Ezekiel, only Saul hears directly and sees directly, the men with him only in part:

"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man" 9:7

The result of the encounter was dramatic and strength-robbing , also like Ezekiel and Daniel's encounters:
"And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened he saw no man: but they led him by the hand and brough him into Damascus" 9:8

Saul has come to overthrow, but Saul is overthrown. Saul has come to conquer, but has to be led into the city by hand, blinded by the Light of the World. The Light of the World has rendered Saul physically blind, to show the spiritual blindness which the leaders of Israel had succumbed to.

The Healing of Divine Blindness

There is a sequence to the healing of this 'Divine Blindness'. In almost all other cases of blindness and healing in the Word, the blindness is physical and is healed by the Lord. Here, though, Saul is divinely blinded, and then healed.

1. Saul is struck blind on the Damascus Road
A. It is for a purpose Acts 9:15.
B. To Illustrate Spiritual Blindness of the Pharisees (considered

9:40-41 And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

C. Saul is three days in the dark (no food nor water)

God has planned Saul's healing though, before he is struck with heaven's 'blindness'. As Saul is being led into Damascus, another disciple, Ananias is being called, to go to Saul and heal him. Ananias is

1. Called and anointed for the healing
2. Sent to Saul
"Arise and go into the street which is called Straight and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus for behold he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision, a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. "

3. Declares to Saul the purpose of the blindess
"Go thy way : for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the gentiles, and Kings and the children of Israel."

God in calling Ananias, removes fear of the once-persecutor, and announces first to Ananias the agent of healing that Saul is to be

a. A chosen vessel for God
b. A bearer of God's name to the Gentiles
c. A bearer of God's name to Kings
d. A bearer of God's name to the Children of Israel

4. Explanation to Saul of his experience and laying on of hands

"Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost."

All fulfill prophecy, and all were the TRUE intent of Saul's heart. Note that Ananias feared at least in part (9:14-5) to go see Saul for he heard that he was coming in the high Priests authority to bind "all that called upon the name". What a crime they were persecuting back in first century Jerusalem! Calling on the Name. God takes away the fear and sends Ananias to Saul in perfect love. Yet lest the love of God be untempered with the justice of God, He gives to Ananias a prophecy of Saul's forthcoming ministry and call

"For I will show him how great things he will suffer for my name's sake.9:16"

The laying on of hands has been discussed previously in this blog as one of the main pillars of practice for the Christian, in authority and anointing, as well as healing.


The healing of Saul's Blindness is instantaneous:

"And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received his sight forthwith and arose and was baptised."

Baptism here is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the indwelling that comes with belief and faith. The scales fall away and sight returns to this pillar of Israel, set for the defense of the Word of God. With Moses, God showed his power by having him put his hand to his bosom, and taking it out it was leprous, then putting it in again, it was clean.

Exd 4:6-8 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand [was] leprous as snow.
And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his [other] flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

Here is our God, 1500 years later, speaking to another Jewish leader about former and latter signs that herald his Way and the great consequence for turning away from the 'sign' or 'ensign' of God. (see also Numbers 21:9)

The Light of the World had again healed a blind man, only this time the application was not only to one man, but to blindness in Israel. He meant for the scales to fall and for His spirit to live WITHIN the tabernacle again. Saul's healing is received, his fast ends, and he is strengthened (again like Daniel and Ezekiel) and he then spends several days in Damascus with the disciples he had come to harm, who now care for their enemy in the love of God.


Saul unlike most believers at first, already had a lifelong education in the Word of God, and in the 'governance' of Israel. He was anything but unlearned. He was not learned yet though in 'walking in the Spirit' and attending to the things of God, yet he almost immediately began to preach that Messiah had come:

"And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues that He was the Son of God" 9:20

This had to have astounded early synagogue worshippers who knew Saul only as a student of Gamaliel and right hand of the Sanhedrin. (:21) Many were saved at Damascus by the innate disposition and Holy spirit filling that Saul had: he PROVED that Jesus, Yshua was Ha Meschiach, the 'Very Christ', the very Messiah of God, by the Scriptures.

Those who lost Saul to 'The Way' * though reacted the way they did other folks who brought thousands to the LORD: they took counsel to kill him. Consider those murderous religious folks who had made their bed with Rome:

-They plotted to silence the man born blind, healed by Messiah
-They plotted to kill Lazarus
-They plotted to kill Jesus
-They now plot to kill Saul

George Bernard Shaw (hardly a christian) once remarked about noticing about how cowards are always screaming to have things killed. This great healing of both real and divine blindness in Israel, turning a religious zealot into a herald of the Word of God and a healer himself, was so clearly a sign of God that no one could protest. Those not right with God plotted to kill the evidence that Yshua HaMeschiach, Jesus of Galilee and Nazareth, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God, was real and had come for His bride, Israel. That just had to be stopped, now didn't it?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Preaching and the Healing of Messiah: The Reason for Signs & Wonders is the Gospel


As I was studying the book of Acts, I noticed one particular passage, in which the Apostles got in trouble for healing a lame or impotent person, and when they respond to the Magistrates who later imprison them (we will consider the event in a moment in more depth), their answer encompasses on of the best pieces of oratory in history! They manage to gracefully answer the Magistrates and then within a few sentences, preach the whole of the Gospel. That little piece of preaching may not be the great sermon of Stephen being stoned, nor Paul on Mars Hill, but it was concise and perfect, and points to the reason for healing, signs and wonders: the preaching of the Gospel of Yshua HaMeschiach, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Lord, the Adonai of Heaven.

It is not that God does not love us enough, that he would not have healed any, and it is not told just how many He healed followed Him, but it is often told that many did. Everytime though, that Jesus healed, the Gospel went out, and it was by faith. And every time preaching followed the healing, it included several major 'essentials' which Israel needed to hear, to believe and be made whole. That healing to God was the most important thing of all, leading to and being part and parcel of Salvation wrought by faith. Healing was so integral to preaching the Gospel that if the preaching that followed was not mentioned in every passage in detail, it can most certainly be observed to be a sort of preaching in itself, for it declared openly the power and healing of God through Jesus, Yshua.

The purpose of this study is two-fold: 1) to show that healing and preaching go hand in hand, and both declare the Gospel (prophecy also is in league with healing, but that is a study for another time), and that 2) there was a certain way the Apostle's preached, and that they were always 'instant in season and out', even when being arrested , beaten and imprisoned.

There is no doubt that unlike the Church today, they took the harvest of Souls very seriously in the wake of Messiah's ascension, and with the filling of the Holy Spirit: they knew that as long as they preached the Gospel, they would not be held accountable in the final judgment of any they failed to inform. They did not want that blood on their hands. How unlike today when people are concerned if they even share their faith, they might have a moment's dissension in their reputation! The followers of Yshua in the first century had eyes only on the eternal; they were unwavering in their purpose having seen the pearl of great price which caused them all to leave all for the great calling of the Lord and Savior.

Healing and Preaching

I will not belabor what a whole book would be needed to cover, but throughout the Scriptures, Healing and Preaching go together. This is even more so in the New Testament than the Old, but in both the Old and New Testament, healing serves as a declaration of God's nature and power. When Elijah heals the widows son, it declares the power of God through the prophet. When Miriam is blighted with leprosy and then healed, it was to declare God's anointed and the consequences of disobedience. While examples abound, the Old Testament incidents foreshadow the primary intent of healing in the New Testament, the preaching of the Good News of Salvation.

In the New Testament, almost every incident of healing, is followed by a preaching of all or part of the Gospel. When Jesus heals (we have covered a number of His healings in this blog), he turned often to those He had healed and those who witnessed the healing and would exact from them the most critical thing He was looking for : faith. When Jesus healed the centurion's servant he was so impressed at the Centurion, a roman's faith in the Son of God, that he gave him great accolades:

Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard [it], he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

When Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda, he notes to the man and others that he has been made whole and is to sin no more. When the Pharisees rebuke Jesus for the healing on the Sabbath, and equating himself with God, Jesus explains He is doing His Father's work, and expounds a bit on His purpose and mission, and then stating:

Jhn 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The Gospel is preached by the Son of Man, himself.

After Pentecost, though, when thousands were saved at a time, the apostles and disciples took to the streets and every public forum within reach, healing, performing miracles, and preaching the Gospel . Peter and John are put in jail after a stir by Magistrates for the healing of a lame man and preaching the resurrection from the dead. They are in jail overnight and then tried before the 'reappearing' Annas & Caiaphas. Alexander and John are there. Annas and Caiaphas recall presided over the Temple Trial of Yshua, Jesus, and then turned Him over to Rome. Now, Peter and John, the stalwart leaders of the church, face the same. Yet even when they are arrested, even before the trial, just after the healing of the the lame man, they preach the 'essence' of the Gospel, succinctly and quickly, as though the hearers might never hear it again, or at least as though they couldn't take that chance!. The very short sermon is declared:

Be it known unto you all and to Israel
That by the name of Jeus Christ of Nazareth,
Whom Ye Crucified , Whom God raised from the dead,
even by him doth this man stand before you whole. 4:60

The means of Preaching Post-Pentecost

This same pattern is found in most post-Pentecost preaching by the Apostles and early disciples. There is both
A. An order to what is preached
B. The Content of What is Preached, certain points are always made,
C. An urgency of what is preached.

In the healing of the lame man, people want to know where the power of healing came from, and Peter and John address the crowd, with the knowledge of Jesus and the power of God. When a blind man is healed by Jesus in John 9, the Light of the World is preached. There are countless examples. Yet once can take an even closer look, to learn what the Holy Spirit filled disciples knew was most important to preach, even in a crisis and even in the face of danger. Look again at the above passage and we will note the most important lessons:

Who the Gospel was directed to:
Be it known unto you all and to Israel,

The Name of Jesus
that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (the name of Jesus , the "name above all names"--- Phl 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:)

Our Sin Against Him

whom ye crucified (Note that this sin was above all others!)

The Resurrection

whom God raised from the dead,(the greatest display of God's power and sovereignty)

The Cause of Healing-Power of God
even by him doth this man stand before you whole
(They declare the power of God is behind the healing, and the Resurrection of the one we all killed).

Note that while not expounded in depth, the whole of the Gospel is presented, including one more major point which is seen in post-pentecost preaching, repentance. In the passage above, though not stated outright as in other preaching following healing and 'signs and wonders' , the pointing out of our sin towards the LORD's Messiah, implies a need for repentance. So then in sum, we see the very basis, the foundation of what must always be preached at healing, and indeed anywhere else, even when there is only a brief time span, and with no excuses:

1. Who the Gospel is for : first Israel, and then the Gentiles
2. The Name of Jesus: not just who Jesus is, but the Power and Sovereignty of His Name
3. Our Sin: We crucified our own Messiah, the gift of God, by our own nature, and likewise, the preaching of the Cross and what was done there.
4. The Resurrection: the utter Love of Sovereignty of God over death: Salvation
5. Repentance (here implied, but elsewhere clearly called for)
6. The reason for the healing or miracle.

More on the nature of 'Pentecostal' Preaching

In another passage in Acts, we see the same similar PILLARS OF PREACHING which follow healing, but certainly can stand alone as daily preaching as well. Consider the following passage: Acts 3:12-25, another case of Preaching after healing which leads to Salvation and 'being made whole'. This is the healing of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful.

Act 3:12-26 And when Peter saw [it], he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let [him] go.But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. AAnd it shall come to pass, [that] every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.


Acts 3:12 Ye Men of Israel... (note it is always the Jews first)


The god of Abraham and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers, hath glorified his son Jesus;


whom ye delivered up and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 3:13

3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer be granted unto you

(this passage also declares Messiah's innocence).


3:15 And killed the Prince of LIfe, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Note up to now, that Yshua, Jesus is delivered and denied to the 'State' the Roman Government when innocent, so part of Our sin against Him, and theirs at the time is the betrayal of innocent blood, so innocent that even the brutal Pilate could tell. It was also the betrayal of an innocent Prophet, the consequences which were deadly and well known in Israel, and there are several times in the Gospels when people referred to Yshua, Jesus as a prophet. (Matthew 13:57; 14:5; 21:11,46; Mark 6:15; Luke 4:24, 7:16,39 13:33, 24:19.) And lastly, most significantly, we crucified our Messiah, the gift from God that we not die forever. The notion that we must hammer people with individual sins like drinking, drugs, sexual sin, lying, etc is far secondary: the apostle preached the sin our what we did to Jesus. Repentance of the other things comes later. Our first sin for repentance is what we did against the LORD and SAVIOR.

Consider also that while in this passage it does not say the "name of Jesus" as in others, He is in vs 15 called the Prince of LIFE, in the preaching of the resurrection. The apostles are convicting their hearers that they chose death over life, and the Prince of Death over the Prince of Life. The sin against God was even greater than the sin at Eden. Why? Because after Eden, God did not have to give us a 'way out'. Ever. And here, after centuries of toil, brambles, thistles, heartache pain and sin, God was not only giving the human race a way out, but was allowing us to sacrifice His son to provide that way out, and we rejected the gift. And yet, the gift, made it possible for us to be made whole, healed to God, and given eternal life. That is why when we reject Him yet another time, no 'way out' remains.
The ultimate choice was foreshadowed centuries earlier

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

The passage also notes the Resurrection, as in others, without which there is no Life or Gospel, only a dead martyr. And it shows as well that when we see and receive, look and believe, as Spurgeon used to cry, we are WITNESSES. The word in Greek is 'martyria' from whence comes the word 'Martyr' and 'testimony'. We do not just die for our faith as 'heroes', nor preach according to styles or methods, but we are to TELL WHAT WE LEARNED AND SAW---that is when belief in others comes. Who is Jesus? Why did He die, When did you see His Resurrection and what did it mean? We often get that in a night here or there in church when people give their testimonies, but we are to preach it regularly to the unsaved.


And his name, through faith in his name hath made this man strong whom ye see and know, yea, the faith which is by him hath given him the perfect soundness in the presence of ye all.
The prior passage already called him the Prince of Life, but this more detailed preaching that the first we looked at in the beginning, notes that HIS NAME has power, and is not to be taken lightly: real, not metaphorical or convened power. What made the man whole? FAITH IN HIS NAME. Healings, prayers and miracles are always in the NAME OF JESUS, the NAME OF YSHUA. Darkness cannot touch his name, and no name is above his. Further, one sees the preaching of faith. Not a self-generated, 'get myself ready' kind of faith that some preach today, but the faith given by God as a gift that makes a person whole.


One thing in Acts 3 which is not in all, but still in many of the passages of the apostle's preaching is the emphasis on the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies, or Messianic prophecies which were fulfilled by Jesus, Yshua, with an emphasis on the 'Suffering Messiah.' Why did the apostles teach about the fulfillment of prophecy? Because there could be no Messiah who did not fulfill every prophecy of Messiah in the Torah/Tenach. Had to be. Israel had to have more than just signs and wonders, even in power and Love to rest assured that this man Jesus, the Rabbi of Rabbis, was who he said he was. And He had to be presented as a suffering Messiah. Why? Because Israel, partially mistakenly was looking only for a worldly King in Messiah who would come and deliver them from their enemies and from death. In Ancient times, both a suffering Messiah and a Kingly Messiah were noted by rabbinical teachers in the Book of Isaiah. Many surmised that there might be two Messiahs, although no one could estimate a 'suffering' King of Isaiah 53 and other passages. "It pleased the LORD to bruise Him" did not meet with former ideas of the great deliverers like David, Saul, Joshua, the Judges or Abraham. And crucifixion was never a Jewish form of a death penalty, but even Jesus on the Cross pointed to Ps 22 by reciting a passage from Psalm 22 that pointed back to the whole psalm about a crucified Messiah.
All the prophets prophesied some aspect of Messiah: his birth, birthplace, characteristics, ministry and so forth, but the Holy One Jesus had to be tied to those prophecies for the 'imprimatur' of Israel. SO Acts 3:18:

But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath fulfilled.


We mentioned just earlier, that implied in our sin towards the Savior was our need to repent. Anyone in church for awhile knows that 'repent' means a literal 'turning away'. The turning away is from sin, darkness, death, old ways and all that keeps us apart from God. This passage is more direct about the need to repent. Modern concepts some fear are little more than 'saying you are sorry' or demeaning someone to do right, but repentance in the early church and in the true Gospel sense means to turn away from what is not of God. Why? Because it's killing us. People coming to the LORD fear giving up things they think they love, but are really addicted to: drugs, cigarettes, sleeping around, ill business practices, and so they do not want to come to the LORD because of what they think they will have to give up. But like bad food and poisons, those things are killing us little by little and robbing us of life, health, being 'whole' and living in the presence of God. So included is a call to repentance, first and foremost away from the death of an earthly life without God, to Life through Yshua, Jesus, the prophesied Messiah:

Call to Repent

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD.

Note also that after the conversion or turning, comes REDEMPTION, 'that your sins may be blotted out' (referring to the Book of Life), both biblical and Jewish. And what follows is the reward of heaven:
when the time of refesing shall come from the presence of the LORD"

with the vail rent in two, the blessing comes directly from the Throne of Heaven. The time of refreshing is also used as describing Pentecost and the Second Coming.
Calling for repentance then, in Preaching following healing or in general, is not a condemnatory oratory of how bad people are, but of the great reward from turning from death to life and being made whole and given eternal life. Much of our current preaching which has at least remained 'fundamental' in the correct usage of the word, has too often been 'telling people off' for how bad they are in their sins and how they need to get 'saved' without ever teaching what that even means. Or how real it is.

What more of the 'refreshing' is told? The next point of the apostle's preaching is


3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you; 3:21 Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

The sending of Jesus after his ascension comes first through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit Comforter, the spirit of Jesus, the 'Parakletos', who walks in and with us in this world, keeping us in the presence of the LORD, and later, the passage speaks very clearly to the 'all in all' the 'restitution of all things' when Messiah comes again, and which the prophets told from the beginning. Abraham is the first named prophet, but God spoke to more than one even before Abraham, and even as early as Noah and Enoch, the endtime promises began to form, although Genesis 3:16 included the LORD's triumph in a Messiah from the start.

Acts 23-24 turns to a discourse on Moses prophecy of 'The Prophet and from Samuel and then returns to preaching.


What does being saved mean and why is it preached? I sometimes wish we could use a few other words, because some repeat 'get saved' so often it has lost its very mighty meaning. Yet the Cross, the sacrifice, the blood akedah, meant that our sins are gone in the Covenant of Covenants. He took our sin away. What joy would there be if we still had to earn some part of salvation? Two mistakes are made today in teaching that all we have to do is nod at the Cross in acquiescence and then forget living in and for Christ, or to believe that Jesus opened up a way but we still have to struggle to get in and may not. We are admonished to persevere, and we are admonished to trust in the finished work of Messiah on the Cross. We hear "I know whom I have believeth and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I delivered unto him until that day", and we hear 'faith without works is dead'. Theologians struggle but it is not really a contradiction, rather a dialectic. If the way had not been open by Messiah, we would not go to heaven. If the blood had not paid the price, we would not go to Heaven. Yet if we receive and accept Him and His way, why would we choose to get out of it? Or return to the slavery of sin? Why would we choose to get off the way, when we chose it for ourselves? Acts 3:26 says

Unto you first, God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you in turning away everyone of your from his iniquities.

Corrie Ten Boom referred to a similar idea as saying it was like a ceiling with two ropes hanging down, and they look opposed because one cannot see the rope intertwined into one above the ceiling out of site. So here is the healing Messiah, who once He heals and saves does not really expect one who experiences total love, forgiveness and eternal life to say, No, I'm sorry Lord but I want to go back to destruction, death, horror and nightmares without anyone to turn to." The Messiah is the Way, The Truth and the Life, and that is not to be dissected.

The Preaching at Pentecost

Going backwards in Acts a little, we find again the same elements of preaching, healing and miracles at Pentecost: It started with

1. The Miracle of the tongues of flame which appeared at Pentecost, and
2. Questions about how

"how hear we every man in his own tongue"...2:8

Peter, the Rock on whom Messiah built his church stands to preach and answer, using not a formula, the the soul of the Gospel, so to speak

ACTS 2:14
1. TO WHOM: Men of Judea and all ye who dwell in Jerusalem

Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Acts 2:21, Then it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the NAME of the LORD shall be saved.

(that's a mighty powerful name), and yet in Acts 2:21, it immediately shows to 'way out' to those infected with and beset by sin, and a divine curse since Adam which they could neither bare nor rid themselves of.


Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know


...Ye have taken by wicked hands and have crucified and slain;


Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.


This is just a shade different from direct prophecies of Messiah, but the apostle preaches about the men who foreshadowed Jesus, Yshua and who He would be such as David, the King of Israel, Joseph rejected of his brothers, whose body was born to Canaan after saving Israel, and a myriad others. Even the resurrection is foreshadowed in 2:27 's reference to Ps 110

'thou wilt not leave my soul in hell'

He emphasized that David believed in Messiah:

Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit on his Throne: He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that his soul ws not left in hell neither his flesh did see corruption. 2:30-1.

There were a few more references that Peter made, such as 2:36 GOD MADE HIM LORD AND CHRIST, 2:38 REPENTANCE: repent and be baptized for the remisionof sinces and receive the Holy Ghost.and 2:39 PROMISE IS TO THE JEWS FIRST , the Covenant and Prophecies of Messiah.


In concluding these examples of many, about the nature and topics preached by the early CHURCH in the days near Pentecost, it must be stated above all that the intent here is never, never to suggest a 'formula' or 'method' for preaching. Healing was an opportunity for preaching, and the preaching always gave a reason for the healing and where the power came from: Jesus. It would be remiss though not to make clear that real preaching , like healing comes not from a set of standards or 'points' but from the Holy Ghost. Jesus was very clear in telling his disciples not to even plan what to say before the magistrates and rulers, for He said that what they should say in that hour would be given them. Now, too many take that as an excuse not to prepare a sermon, but the real preparation is time in the Word of God, even more than outlines and commentaries. Preachers often remark that they had a sermon prepared but the one that came out was different: the Holy Spirit knows who is there, what they need to hear, what passage is timely and anointed, and who should preach, heal, sing, etc, so for all our planning and study, we cannot nearly do what the Holy Spirit can, and our job is to listen, pray, keep in the Word and surrender to the will of the Lord and not our own. This study though came of an observation, that those brave Holy Spirit filled men of the first century, who had been there at Pentecost, been with the LORD just a time before, preached with more wisdom and less encumbrance than we have or use today. Their early preaching helps direct and form preaching today, and corrects doctrine, and points to loving preaching. The Word wins souls, the Holy Spirit preaches Messiah and lifts Him up and draws all men to Him. We yield first to the working of the Spirit. ekbest.

Note: Alexander who was present when the apostles were tried, was the brother of Rufus, both sons of Simon of Cyrene who bore Jesus' cross on the road to Golgotha. Alexander was with Paul when the riot occurred regarding Diana of the Ephesians: he tried to testify but they started shouting.

2. 84.