We ended part one of this message dealing with Jeremiah 8:22, where the Lord is figuratively speaking of the nation of Israel as though she is physically sick, and inquires of them, “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” That verse alone should be enough for us to realize that God is not against physicians and medicine, even if there were no other references available, but there are others, and we will get them into this message. Naturally God is dealing with the spiritual condition of the nation here, but He uses this natural example to make His point clear. In other words, If you were physically sick you would know what to do, you would get hold of some balm, (medicine) or even call in a physician, so why do you not take the same care for our spiritual health? You know what you should do, so why are you not doing it? No. The truth is, sin and rebellion had so blinded them, they were ignorant of any spiritual reality, and God had to remind them that there was a cure for their condition. We see God using this same terminology in connection with another nation, in Jeremiah 46:11, so let us notice what He says. This nation is looked upon as an unbeliever, that cannot accept the reality of Israel’s true Jehovah. The nation was Egypt, and they were not altogether ignorant of the works of the God of Israel, but they just simply could not leave their gods, to trust in the God of Israel. Let us read verse 11. “Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.” Why is God refusing to allow Egypt to be cured? Because of the way they treated the people of Israel. But the beautiful setting is there, for us to see that the same medicine mentioned for Israel was also mentioned for Egypt. Therefore you would say, God is a divine healer; He does not need medicine, let me just ask you this, Have you ever heard of white corpuscles in the blood stream? Why do you suppose the Creator put them there? If He was going to heal all of His children by a divine act every time, there would be no need of them having white corpuscles to fight against sickness and diseases that are detrimental to a person’s health. Of course we all know it is an absolute fact, that no doctor can heal, but common sense also teaches us that the Creator has enabled them to discover certain medicines, and certain procedures that can assist in the natural law of healing that works in our physical bodies, and that law of healing works whether a person is a Christian or not. It simply boils down to the fact, that many times the natural elements of our body that were put there by the Creator to fight against sickness and disease, become weakened in one way or another, and medical science has discovered ways to aid and strengthen those natural means. That is all they can do, for all healing is of God, whether it is through His law of healing, or by a divine act of His sovereignty. Therefore we need to shake our minds, and get the cobwebs out, so we can stop letting the devil whip us up and down the road through sheer ignorance. Furthermore, there is no reason for anyone to feel that this message is designed to promote doctors and medicine; for it is an honest effort, not to push any certain idea, but to set people’s mind free from ideas of bondage, so they are able to receive a true leading from the Lord. Then once your faith in God is grounded upon what the Bible declares to be the will of God for you, there is nothing that can shake that. You could hear a dozen different versions of how men think we ought to live and conduct ourselves, and none of that would change your scripturally founded faith. That is why we need to examine all, or at least many of the different circumstances in the Bible, where people were healed, so we do not try to limit God to one certain way of doing something for us. We ended part one of this message dealing with Jeremiah 8:22, where the Lord is figuratively speaking of the nation of Israel as though she is physically sick, and inquires of them, “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” That verse alone should be enough for us to realize that God is not against physicians and medicine We ended part one of this message dealing with Jeremiah 8:22, where the Lord is figuratively speaking of the nation of Israel as though she is physically sick, and inquires of them, “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” That verse alone should be enough for us to realize that God is not against physicians and medicine, even if there were no other references available, but there are others, and we will get them into this message. Naturally God is dealing with the spiritual condition of the nation here, but He uses this natural example to make His point clear. In other words, If you were physically sick you would know what to do, you would get hold of some balm, (medicine) or even call in a physician, so why do you not take the same care for our spiritual health? You know what you should do, so why are you not doing it? No. The truth is, sin and rebellion had so blinded them, they were ignorant of any spiritual reality, and God had to remind them that there was a cure for their condition. We see God using this same terminology in connection with another nation, in Jeremiah 46:11, so let us notice what He says. This nation is looked upon as an unbeliever, that cannot accept the reality of Israel’s true Jehovah. The nation was Egypt, and they were not altogether ignorant of the works of the God of Israel, but they just simply could not leave their gods, to trust in the God of Israel. Let us read verse 11. “Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.” Why is God refusing to allow Egypt to be cured? Because of the way they treated the people of Israel. But the beautiful setting is there, for us to see that the same medicine mentioned for Israel was also mentioned for Egypt. Therefore you would say, God is a divine healer; He does not need medicine, let me just ask you this, Have you ever heard of white corpuscles in the blood stream? Why do you suppose the Creator put them there? If He was going to heal all of His children by a divine act every time, there would be no need of them having white corpuscles to fight against sickness and diseases that are detrimental to a person’s health. Of course we all know it is an absolute fact, that no doctor can heal, but common sense also teaches us that the Creator has enabled them to discover certain medicines, and certain procedures that can assist in the natural law of healing that works in our physical bodies, and that law of healing works whether a person is a Christian or not. It simply boils down to the fact, that many times the natural elements of our body that were put there by the Creator to fight against sickness and disease, become weakened in one way or another, and medical science has discovered ways to aid and strengthen those natural means. That is all they can do, for all healing is of God, whether it is through His law of healing, or by a divine act of His sovereignty. Therefore we need to shake our minds, and get the cobwebs out, so we can stop letting the devil whip us up and down the road through sheer ignorance. Furthermore, there is no reason for anyone to feel that this message is designed to promote doctors and medicine; for it is an honest effort, not to push any certain idea, but to set people’s mind free from ideas of bondage, so they are able to receive a true leading from the Lord. Then once your faith in God is grounded upon what the Bible declares to be the will of God for you, there is nothing that can shake that. You could hear a dozen different versions of how men think we ought to live and conduct ourselves, and none of that would change your scripturally founded faith. That is why we need to examine all, or at least many of the different circumstances in the Bible, where people were healed, so we do not try to limit God to one certain way of doing something for us.
THE PHYSICIAN AND HIS MEDICINE
Alright now, we have looked at a prophecy concerning Israel where the Lord used the word balm as a medicine for their sickness. Then we looked at a prophecy concerning Egypt; where the same word was used, but in a negative way. No matter how much medicine they used, they would not be cured, for the hand of God was upon them because of the way they had treated His chosen people Israel. So now, let us go to Jeremiah 51, and start reading in verse 7, where we will find a prophecy to Babylon, a different nation of people, but He still uses this same word BALM, in relation to medication for their sickness, and in each case where this word is used in a figurative way, the necessary balm for their sickness would be genuine repentance. Israel was given a chance to repent and be healed, and Egypt had gone too far to repent, so let us see what He says to Babylon, here in Jeremiah 51:7. “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” The children of Israel were in Babylon at this time, so the actual fall of Babylon was still in the future when this prophecy was given. It is telling in advance what is going to happen to this city when the time does come for her to be dealt with. But God has used Babylon to chasten His own people, and He sees that they are going to become so apostate and high minded that they will have to be brought down, and this prophecy is for that future time. It actually became effective the night Belshazzar the king saw the handwriting on the wall, and Daniel was called in to interpret it. The interpretation was this, “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Now let us read verse 8. “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; and take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.” God is not actually saying, Take a basket full of balm, and give it to them, so they can be healed. But He is making the point, that by the time this prophecy goes into effect, she is going to be in such a state of sickness she will need a cure, and such a cure is available, if you just had the mind to know how to use it. So we must see here again, that balm is used in a figurative sense, meaning, Repent, Babylon, Turn from your hideous ways. But did they repent? No. The Babylonian kingdom was given over to the Medes and Persians; after Belshazzar was slain. But what we see in these three instances, is how God used in a figurative sense, the likeness of medicine in all three cases. To Israel He said, Have you forgotten already, that there is a healing remedy? You see, it was for His children, but they had forgotten about it. What had they forgotten? They had already forgotten about their God. He says to them, You are like a hurt man; you are in pain, and because of that, I am hurt. But He is still reminding them, that there is balm in Gilead, and also physicians, but you had better hurry. But to the Egyptians and Babylonians, even though He used the medical terminology, they were not going to be healed. In the case of Egypt, He would not even allow them to be healed, and Babylon would not meet the healing requirements. Now some of you may say, Just what have you proved by these scriptures? We have established by the scriptures, that God is not against the use of doctors and medicines, and from these Old Testament scriptures, we have also seen why it was not a strange thing for Jesus to speak to the people in parables. God had been doing it all along. Let us just go to Luke 5:30-32, where Jesus used this same terminology, that we have seen in Jeremiah. This is where Levi the publican, became a disciple of Jesus, and made a great feast in his house, where Jesus and His disciples were also included among the many guests that were invited. Naturally Levi being a publican, and also man of the other guests as well, the Scribes and Pharisees looked upon the whole thing as a gathering of no good sinners that were not fit to associate with, so they murmur and find fault. Notice these three verse though, and see how Jesus responds. “But their Scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? Jesus answered them saying, They that are whole need not a PHYSICIAN; but they that are sick. (In other words, the doctor is for sick folks, and these people were spiritually sick, so the great Physician came upon the scene to heal them. There is your figurative application, just like we saw in Jeremiah.) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” When Jesus went into Nazareth where He was raised up, and taught the people in the synagogue, they marveled at the wisdom with which He spake unto them, but they simply could not get their thinking above the fact that He was a home town boy. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? Are not his brothers and sisters right here with us? They were offended at Him, and that caused Jesus to say to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” The did not know He was the great Physician. He laid hands on a few sick folk, and healed them, but there were no mighty miracles done there. His ministry was really launched at, and around the area of Capernaum, and as we follow Him through the gospels, we are going to see many healings, but I am not quite ready to do that.
FRUITS OF REBELLION
At this time, I would like to go back to 2nd Corinthians, chapter 16, verse 7-14, where we may see a little of how God dealt with King Asa, king of the two southern tribes which was called by the name of Judah. We have already mentioned King Hezekiah, how when he cried unto the Lord with his whole heart, after God’s prophet had told him to set his house in order, because he was going to die, the Lord answered his cry, and added 15 years to his life. But now we want to see what happens when a man allows his heart to be filled with pride, and fails to seek unto the Lord in his time of distress. In the former years of his reign a large host of Ethiopians has come against Judah in battle, and at that time Asa cried unto the Lord for help, saying, Help us O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. The Lord heart his prayer and began to fight for him against his enemies, and Asa’s army just literally wiped them out. God sent His prophet to Asa saying, “The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.” But even though Asa was a man that desired to see his people follow the right ways of the Lord, and in spite of all that he did to rid the land of idol worship, success went to his head, and his heart became puffed up. Therefore when the king of the ten tribes of Israel came against him, instead of seeking the Lord for help as he had done before, he called upon the king of Syria to help him. King Baasha was driven back, and Asa thought everything was going his way, until a prophet of God spoke to him saying, “Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because thou didst rely on the Lord, He delivered them into thine hand.” When the prophet finished his message to him, it was more than Asa could stand. He became enraged at the prophet, and had him put in jail, and because some of the people might have been affected by what they heard the prophet say, he began to oppress them. Naturally the Lord is not going to let him reject the message of His prophet, and conduct himself in this manner without some chastisement. So when he became diseased in his feet, and went to the physicians instead of calling upon the Lord to heal him, God would not allow him to be healed, and he died a year later. Now think seriously. Was it because he called in the physicians, that the Lord refused to help him? Absolutely not. It was because of the way he had been living his life, and the spirit he had taken on. He enlisted military support from another nation, knowing that God had already told him that He would be with him as long as he would do right. Then he refused to accept the words of God’s prophet when he was sent to rebuke him, and retaliated by persecuting some of the people that he thought might have been influenced against him by the words of the prophet. It was after all of this, that he became diseased in his feet, and his heart was still rebellious enough that he sought the help of physicians, rather than the favor of God, knowing full well that God would be with him, if he truly repented and humbled himself. God just allowed that condition to take him off the scene. God takes no delight in healing people, just so they can have a healthy body while they are traveling down a road of rebellion against Him. There are some Pentecostal preachers that will use this case to preach against going to doctors, and taking medicine though, without even considering what led up to the final hours of Asa’s life. They will say, You see there, that man went to the doctor. That is why God would not let him get well. They will not even bother to look back at Hezekiah’s case, where the prophet of God instructed his servants to use medication on his boils. Do you think for one minute, that God needed that poultice of figs in order to heal that boil? You would be foolish to believe that, yet God chose that route to get the job done. Therefore I say to you my brothers and sisters of this great family of God, When you come in contact with these preachers who will refuse to pray for a person unless they stop going to the doctor, shun them like you would the plague. They are operating outside of their God invested authority. They will get you into trouble. I am not saying God will not heal many of the people they pray for; I am only saying that they are unnecessarily forcing innocent souls to abstain from a natural provision that God has allowed, and it is all because they have misread and misapplied the word of God. They push their pet doctrine ahead of everything else, and claim that the blessings of God are conditional upon one’s adhering to that doctrine; and most of those doctrines are doctrines of devils, because they are Antichrist (not according to the word of God) in origin. If you could just see the souls that have been wounded and bruised, and their minds twisted, by the way God’s word has been handled, it would grieve your heart. That is why I keep reminding you that Jesus never preached one sermon on divine healing. It isn’t necessary. Where the gospel is preached, God is always present to heal, if the healing would serve a purpose in His overall plan. But you believe me, When God calls a man to preach the gospel, He does not call that man just to specialize in getting people healed, so they can go merrily on their same old way of life. Furthermore when Jesus rebuked anyone for their unbelief, it was because they had lost their way with God, and not just because they did not have faith to be healed. As I said already, When Jesus appeared on the scene in Israel, that whole nation was at a spiritual low. They had lost their way through the word of God, and were depending on rituals and certain routines, if they had any thought about God at all. That is why Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief.
SOME DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
Coming back to the New Testament now, we want to look at various instances where people were healed by a divine act of God, and examine the circumstances. In the 17th chapter of Luke, we see where ten lepers were healed, and only one of them came back to thank Jesus for cleansing him. Only one man out of ten that were cleansed was truly thankful for what had been done for him. The other nine had something else on their mind. It is not even written what they did. We just have to assume that they were like a lot of people are today; they wanted to be strong and healthy, in order to pursue certain interests in life. It is like saying, Oh, if God would just heal my foot, I would do my utmost to be a champion runner. But once the foot is healed, God is left completely out of the picture. One woman came to Bro. William Branham, out in California, when he had a prayer line, all decked out and painted up, but she was there to ask for healing. Bro. William Branham saw what her trouble was, and asked her, What would you like to do, if God would heal you? I do not remember exactly what it was that she wanted to do, but it was some worldly profession, like singing, or dancing, or something along that line. In other words, brothers and sisters, many of the people who seek God so earnestly for something for their flesh, when they get it, they will burn it up for the world, and never even give glory to God for what they received. On the other hand there are those like the little woman that had the blood disease for twelve years, and had spent everything she had on physicians and medicine, and was still no better. When Jesus came to her town, she did something that no one had ever done before. She knew her chances of ever getting to see Jesus face to face were next to impossible, but something began to move within her, prompting her to press through the crowd that was following Him, with the hope that she might be able just to touch the hem of His garment. She had said within herself, “If I may but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be whole.” Where do you suppose she ever got such an idea anyway? I believe the eternal Spirit was prompting her to think like that. He is always the one that moves everything into position for what is going to take place. Nothing happens merely by chance. Everything works precisely according to the plan of God, the Father of all creation. He is the one that was urging that little woman to do something no one else had ever done before. She approached Jesus from behind, working her way forward through that great crowd that was following Him. I can just see her. With all the strength she has left, she squeezed between this one and that one, little by little, but with such determination, until she finally got close enough she could lunge forward just enough to touch his garment. That was all it took though, for when she touched that HEM, she touched HIM, for she was healed immediately. Jesus suddenly turned saying, Who touched me? (In Mark, it says, Who touched my clothes?) Nevertheless the point is, The little woman was inspired by the Spirit of God to do what she did, and through her persistence and determination she was enabled to fulfill that urging and touch the hem of His garment, and she got exactly what she desired, complete healing. Jesus looking at her standing there trembling, after she had confessed what she had done, and why, said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” Now, Saints: You can believe me: this little woman was not seeking to be healed just so she could be a better dancer, or singer, nor anything else like that. She wanted to be a better child of God, and she was willing to invest some energy and effort to attain what she desired of God. I believe there is a lesson to be learned from that very thing. Some people act as though all one need to do is just sit down somewhere, fold their hands, and wait on God to do everything that needs to be done for them. That is the kind of attitude that says, If God wants to do it, He will. Technically that is the truth, but I feel that it is the will of God for us to pray and study His word, and show some attitude of wanting to come to terms with Him. Now I certainly do not mean that we are to bargain with God, but I do mean to impress upon you the fact that god wants us to commit our lives completely into His hands in total surrender, and we will only do that when our prayer life, and our study habits are pointed in that direction. Any way you look at this woman’s healing though, you just have to accept the idea that God does certain things completely contrary to the usual way, strictly for the purpose of showing that He is God in every situation, and that He is not limited to any certain form. His word is His sovereign choice. In every other instance, Jesus either prayed a mass prayer for the people, or layed hands on them, or something like that where He did something to effect the healing, but in this case it worked the other way, the recipient exerted all the outward effort, and obtained the same results. But let me add this, Not without the leading of the Father. Our human efforts are vain in such matters, unless we have the leading of the Spirit of God to do what we do.
GREAT MULTITUDES FOLLOW THE SIGNS
Let me take you to the 14th chapter of Matthew and show you what that little woman’s bold endeavor led to, after the word had spread, about how she was healed just from touching the hem of the garment Jesus wore. I will just fill you in a little without reading all of the chapter. When Jesus was told how King Herod had been offended by John the Baptist, and he had him beheaded because of it, Jesus went out from the people in a boat, to a desert place where He could be alone for a while. But before very long, a great multitude had traveled around the Sea of Galilee on foot and found Him, and the Bible says He was moved with compassion toward them, and healed the sick among them. But by this time, it was getting late, and the disciples came to Jesus, and asked Him to send them all away so they could go into the village and buy food for themselves. (We are going to see here, another situation ordained of the Father.) Jesus said, They need not depart; you feed them. The disciples replied, Lord, we only have five loaves and two fishes. But Jesus said, Bring them to me, and then have the multitude to sit down on the grass. He blessed the food and gave it to His disciples to distribute to the multitude, and they were all fed, and had twelve baskets full of food left over. Jesus then sent the multitude away, and his disciples were sent by ship, (or boat) to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and He went up into a mountain to pray. That night, He came to his disciples walking on the water, when they were caught in a storm, and their little ship was being tossed around by those big waves. When they saw Jesus walking on the water, they became even more afraid, for they did not know that it was Him. Then He said, “Be not afraid; it is I, and that is when Peter said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. Jesus just merely said, Come. Well, you all know that story. Let me get to the part I wanted you to take note of. In verse 34, we read, “And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased; and besought Him that they might only TOUCH THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” Do you see the difference here? Now they were coming to Jesus saying, Will you just pass through our town? You won’t even have to pray for anyone; if you will just walk by and let them touch the hem of your garment, that will be enough. They were looking for benefits. Those great multitudes that followed Him, had no revelation. They did not care all that much about hearing Him preach the word of God. It was the loaves and fishes, and the healing they were interested in. It is the same way today. The great multitudes are still following the signs, looking for something for their natural bodies, rather than food for their undernourished souls. That great multitude that followed Jesus, and was fed with the five loaves and two fishes, were following Him without any revelation of who He really was. Then when they did begin to get a revelation, after He fed them, their attitude and motive was wrong. They were ready to take Him by force and make Him a king. That is why He got away from them, and went up into a mountain to pray. When that same bunch of people caught up with Him again, they began saying, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? In other words, How did you get back over here? We saw your disciples leave without you. Jesus did not even answer their question. Notice how He responded, as we go to John 6:26. (John gives some details here, that Matthew did not give.) “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” They received no revelation whatsoever from all those miracles they had witnessed, but when they found someone who could feed thousands of hungry people with one little boy’s lunch, they were ready to make Him their king. Jesus began preaching the word of God to that gang, and by the time He finished, He had taken from them everything they thought they had. They were ready to stone Him. That is why I made the statement earlier, that in one place a hundred people might be healed, and only one truly become a believer, and other times, one could be healed and a hundred would believe. That is just a number I used to give the example, but let us go to the 3rd chapter of Acts, where Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray, and you will see what I meant. A lame man lay there begging, and when they stopped, and Peter said, Look on us, he thought they were going to drop some money in his cup, but what he got was better than that. Peter, looking at him said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. He then took that man by the hand, and lifted him up, and at that moment the power of God healed him completely, and he entered into the temple with them (the Bible says) walking, and leaping, and praising God. That caused a great gathering of people, for they all knew this was the crippled man that had sat by the gate begging. But Peter noticed how all the people were looking at him and John, and this gave him a chance to preach the gospel to them. He said, “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.” Brothers and Sisters: You can read the rest of it later, if you care to, but my point is climaxed in the 4th verse of chapter 4, for it says that about five thousand men believed, even though Peter and John ended up in jail because of it all. There we see one miracle of healing, and five thousand believers as a result of it. What made the difference? It shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that God, the great Creator, the eternal Spirit ordained every bit of it to be exactly as it was. He has never let man run it, and He never will. The sad face of it is, Too many people are out here trying to save the world the way they want to. But you believe me, it is not going to work that way. It is all going to be exactly as the Creator designed it to be. Those early disciples did not need to preach on divine healing to get people healed. They just preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God confirmed their word with miracles of all sorts, but He did it according to His will, just like Paul wrote to the Hebrews. The world, and especially this nation have had their opportunity to walk in the light of truth, and they have for the most part, chosen their own self willed way, and they are so foolish as to believe that God will add His blessings to their carnal efforts, but I have news for them, God has left them groping in the darkness of a form of religion. The light of truth is fast leaving the Gentiles, and only the little bride of Christ however few there may be of them, are the only exception. They will have light, even though darkness is all around them. Furthermore, this old world is on the brink of a drastic change, because of the spirit that is taking over the minds of people. You will never be able to just drift along in a haphazard way again. The time is at hand when every individual soul will have to take a stand on one side or the other. All middle ground is fast disappearing.
ON GUARD AGAINST CULTS
It seems that ever few days we hear something in the news about some extreme religious group somewhere. We are living in a day when God could do a thousand miracles and they might not even be mentioned in the news. But you let some fanatical group somewhere do something to get the attention of the news media, and it will be top news for days. Do you know why? The devil, knowing that his time is short, is trying to do everything possible to discredit every true work of God. You do not find the news media publishing much to discredit the big name churches, they are just after everything that stands apart from them. In other words, All the major denominational churches are in one way or the other, already on their way back to Rome, back into the open arms of mama. (Roman Catholicism) Therefore they will be a tool that the devil can use when the time comes. But little groups of true believers that refuse to be a part of that ecumenical image of the old Roman beast, are a thorn in the flesh to all those liberals that call themselves Christians. So when some fanatical group does something to get their name in the news, it is usually worked around to reflect on every little assembly everywhere. Certain people are just looking for any reason they can find to brand everything outside of their main denominational churches, a cult. We know we are not a cult, and we know, that by the standards of the Bible we are not fanatical, but you try to tell one of those trinitarian theologians that we are not a radical group, after they find out that we are a one God people. They have no revelation, so they do not know the difference. They just know that we are living in an hour when every evil device imaginable is being propagated under the cover of religion, and that includes gambling, prostitution, and every sort of worldly involvement. Those who know the truth, know that Roman Catholicism is the biggest cult upon the face of the earth, but you will never get very many of these world pleasing, compromising, so called Christians to see that. Now here is my reason for saying these things. Every little group that starts up, has some scripture from the Bible they use, to rally around, and those that major on a certain verse or two, always have them lifted out of their scriptural context. That is basically what we are dealing with in this message on divine healing, but there are dozens of other areas where you find the same thing. The most heart rendering one that I have heard of though, has just been brought to my attention recently. It concerns certain groups whose main doctrine is built around the scriptures that speak of disciplining children. They have taken scriptures like, “a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding, (and) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, (and) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him, (and here is one I imagine they really lean on, Prov. 23:13-14) Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul to from hell,” And they have built a doctrine around them. They meet together and beat the little children. Did you ever hear of such a pitiful misuse of the scriptures? Of course we all know there are plenty of scriptures that deal with correcting our children, but a good parent does not even need to go to the Bible and find a scriptures that authorizes him or her to discipline their children. That is a God given responsibility that goes with parenthood. But I will tell you one thing, God never had anything written in the pages of His holy word, that would authorize anyone to do what those poor deranged souls are doing in this twentieth century. They will never deliver their souls from hell by beating their children half to death. But my point is, There are certain groups springing up, that are doing this very thing, in the name of religion. Is it any wonder the authorities are looking for religious cults? The world is full of them. Religion is a cover from much evil and ungodliness in the world, and just knowing this, ought to cause every true believer to set his heart on getting his life in line with the word of God. We have all been guilty in former days of taking certain scriptures and giving them more place than God ever meant for us to, but as we grow in the stature of Christ, we ought to realize more and more that god’s plan of salvation was designed to set the inner man free from bondage of sin and death. The outer man reaps many benefits from it though, because of being the temple where the inner man dwells, but the flesh should never be given first place. Emphasis should never be placed upon something for the flesh at the cost of neglecting the inner man. Furthermore divine healing is definitely not a case of mind over matter. It is a divine act of a sovereign God, and every other genuine healing regardless of what the person might have been subjected to by medical science, is still of the Lord. Divine healing is wrought through an operation of faith, but even still, we have to realize that even the faith is an impartation from God. Furthermore I cannot help but stress the fact that salvation is not tied to divine healing, and a person’s faith simply cannot be judged by whether they get healed or not.
ONLY THE PREDESTINED WILL UNDERSTAND
Healing for our body is a benefit that God appropriated through the atonement work at Calvary, but it is not an absolute necessity that every believer be healed. Many times it almost seems like God is more merciful to sinners than He is to the believers, but that is because everything God does to, for, and through the believer, is done to bring him or her to a closer relationship, or fellowship with Himself. On the other hand, that sinner might be judged by the very way he treated the grace and mercy of God that was bestowed upon him. God gives them a chance to either accept or reject him, some one way, and some another. Our human feelings would like to see everyone healed, and there is nothing wrong with feeling like that, but that in no way authorizes us to preach only on divine healing. That is why some say the promises of God are not fulfilled; those promises were lifted out of context, and projected ahead of the gospel message that is to supercede all such promises. When you go out with the idea of getting people healed, and then teaching and instructing then into the kingdom of God, you are putting the cart in front of the horse, so to speak. It is also a mistake to tell people how easy it is to get saved, for unless the Spirit of God is drawing that soul he could never be saved, no matter what you tell him. The world is full of “churches” today, simply because the gospel has been so watered down that anyone, anywhere, can just gulp it down, and go right on doing what they had been doing all along. Brother! If you will preach it like Jesus and His apostles preached it, it will change the lives of those that receive it! You do not have to worry about driving people away by preaching too hard, if your revelation is in line with the word of God either, for every predestined seed is going to hear his or her call. If the others get offended and leave, you just leave that in the hands of God. I will give you one guarantee by the authority of the word of God, There will not be any empty chairs at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and neither will there be anyone standing around looking for a place. Saints would you agree with me, that the Father knew exactly how many would be there, from before the foundation of the world? You know He did. Why are we to preach the gospel then? So those predestined souls can hear their call to come home, and so all those that hear it, and reject it, will be without excuse. The blood that Jesus shed at Calvary was for the sins of the whole world, (In other words, It was payment in full for the sins of all who will accept it as such.) But only those whom the Father foreknew will accept this atonement work as being sufficient. All the rest who hear the gospel will in one way or another reject the Savior, Jesus Christ. Does that mean that God picked some to be saved, and the rest to be lost? Not like a lot of people think of it. Predestination is a reality only because of God’s foreknowledge. Because He could look down through time, even before He ever inaugurated His actual work of creation, and see all who would ever believe the gospel and be saved, He could pronounce them to be predestinated to full heirship in His great family. There is nothing so difficult to understand about that, if you have a spiritual mind, and after all, no others are supposed to understand it. Furthermore every predestined soul is going to receive their portion of everything that is related to their particular hour of time. The various prophecies of the Bible will every one be fulfilled in the day that they were given for, and in that day God will be the one that draws some people up to the level of that prophecy. In other words, No prophecy of the Bible will be fulfilled without some people somewhere, and at sometime understanding it. God prophesied through Isaiah, chapter 7, verse 14, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel,” and in Matthew 1:23, we find that the name Emmanuel means, God with us. But did that prophecy mean that the son of this particular virgin would be God with us as soon as he was born? Absolutely not. He lived on earth thirty years being a perfect Son of God, before that became a complete fulfilled reality. Did all believers through time understand that? No. But the apostles of Jesus and the saints of that first church understood it perfectly. It was only after the tares got into the church, that this true revelation of the Godhead was lost, and it did not happen suddenly, then. It took many, many years for all those saints that had a true revelation to die off. Then on this side of the Dark Ages, when God began to restore to the church the revelation of His oneness, those one God people still failed to see that Jesus was not God in the flesh until after He was baptized by John at the age of about thirty years, and the Spirit of the Father descended upon Him, and abode with Him. It was when the great eternal Spirit came down and incarnated Him, that Jesus in fulfilled reality became God with us (Emmanuel.) You can turn right over to chapter 9, verse 6, and see the same thing again. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” He was given the name JESUS as a little new born baby, and that name encompassed everything that is found in that prophecy, for JESUS is the redemption name of the eternal Father. But those various titles are only applicable after the Father incarnates Him at age 30. God’s prophets were unctioned to speak such prophecies in a way that they would cover His finished objective, but every phrase of them did not become applicable at the same instant. Some of it will not apply until Jesus rules on earth in the Millennium, but it can all be recorded in one verse of scripture. Anyone can pick up a Bible and read Isaiah 9:6, and know that it is a prophecy concerning Jesus, but only those to whom God reveals it, will understand the application and complete fulfillment of it.
SHOULD EVERY CHRISTIAN BE HEALED?
Brothers and Sisters: I have to put certain things in a message like this, that you might not quite understand at first, therefore I ask you to stick with me until we get it all connected together. We have to use certain examples in an effort to help you understand that you just simply cannot grab a verse here, and a verse somewhere else, and apply them just anywhere, and any way you feel like using them. They have to be applied where they will fulfill the purpose and plan of God, and that can only be done by the leading of the Spirit. When Jesus ministered on earth, He did not have a plan of His own, for by His own testimony, He did only what the Father led Him to do. He did nothing whatsoever, to exalt Himself, yet His perfect obedience caused the Father to exalt Him. Isn’t that how it should be? If God wants us to be anything, He is well able to make us that, but we have to surrender to His will first, and that is where so many people get themselves into trouble; they are too subject to self-will. Those apostles of Christ that went everywhere preaching the gospel after they received the Holy Ghost did not have a program of their own either. They completely exemplified the Lord Jesus Christ in their ministry. That is why it could be written that the Lord worked with them confirming the word with signs and miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. God does not work with a man that is running his own religious program, except in situations where He has determined that certain ones will be judged by what they have seen and just shrugged their shoulders and let it pass. I will just say it like this, God can do anything He determines to do, to accomplish His own purpose, but those He works with in His overall plan of redemption, are those that wait to be led of Him, just like Jesus did. Let me ask you something, and I want you to think seriously about it. If you had the power and authority to heal all manner of sickness and diseases, How many of you could walk through a large crowd of sick, diseased, and crippled people, and only heal one of them? Jesus did it, and so did His disciples. Did you ever wonder why? They were doing only what the Father led them to do. It was not because they had no concern for the rest; it was absolutely because they were being led by the Holy Spirit. None of us can look at the great mass of sick and infirm people without being concerned; but let me tell you something; it is not the purpose of God for every one of them to be healed. Now please do not ask me why, for there are numerous reasons. In the case of Lazarus, God had purposed to get glory through his resurrection, therefore ten thousand prayers for his healing would not have gotten him healed. Then you have situations where people knowingly, and willingly abuse their health until they get to the place where they are seriously ill, and then many times they expect to be healed instantly, as soon as some preacher prays for them. Such a person may just have to suffer with their condition until their body gets built back up to the place where God’s natural law of healing can work, and that person may be forced to seek the help of physicians and drugs to accomplish that. Saints, I hope this is helping you to better understand some of the things that are taking place around you. Maybe by the time we get finished with this message you will understand why sometimes we get healed, and at other times we do not. That is speaking in general terms, so maybe it would be better to say it like this, Some get healed, and others do not. Sickness and disease are a part of the penalty that was imputed to all mankind when the first man, Adam, sinned. Nevertheless there are two things to be considered. First, there are the white corpuscles in our blood, that were placed there by the Creator to fight against sickness and disease. Then, there is the provision for healing in the scriptures. That is a promise of God to the believer, but does that mean that ever believer will be healed? The answer is emphatically, No. But you can be sure of this one thing, The devil cannot take your life before God’s appointed time for you to go. I always think about Elisha, (not that this has anything to do with a New Testament provision for healing, but I do want to use this to make a point.) When it came his time to go, he died of a sickness. Yet there was Elijah that only had half as many miracles to his credit as Elisha, and when it came his time to go, God sent a fiery chariot to pick him up and transport him from this world without even seeing death. Do we question God? There is also another case in the New Testament where a precious saint of God took sick and died, and was raised back to life by the power of God, when the apostle Peter prayed for her. That was a lady named Dorcas, and you will find that recorded in the 9th chapter of Acts, so do not try to tell me that every one of them who do get sick should be healed, for you cannot make those statements line up with the scriptures. I am personally convinced that God has permitted certain things in the realm of sickness and disease among His people to linger on, because somewhere there are certain things that should be said and done in a way that will fit the scriptures. There are so many people out here in the world just trying to build a program of religion off of their own ideas, and hoping that God will accept the whole thing if they can draw enough attention, and get enough people supporting it, but that will never work with God. Public opinion, and public support may move the big politicians of the world, but it will never move God. He would rather have a half dozen people following His word with a true revelation, than to have ten million of them out here running their own religious programs. God knows exactly what He is going to take up from this earth in the rapture, and I can assure you, it will not be those who are always busy building some great program, and neither will it be those who just sit down and fold their hands, and wait, it will be those that are led by Him, to do what they are doing.
DO NOT DESTROY THY WEAK BROTHER
I want at this time, to deal with two scriptures that are not associated with divine healing, but they were used by Paul and John, to show how genuine faith works in the plan of God. Knowing that everything from God is operated through faith, it is essential that we gain a proper understanding of how that kind of faith works. We need to understand, that faith is not just something to get us healed when we are in trouble physically; it is something that should mold our lives into the very image of the one who is our pattern, and that is Jesus Christ. Through faith we believe and accept the whole plan of God, that was designed to lift us up above the world of sin and unbelief, and into a realm where we can have true fellowship with the Father. It enables us to communicate with Him, and causes us to produce a true work of God. There are not many kinds of faith as some would have you believe. The same faith that brings you healing for your body will bring you every other benefit that true faith can lay hold on, but salvation for your sin sick soul should always have the preeminence over every other benefit from God. A proper balance of faith will cover every situation of the believer’s life, whether it be spiritual, physical, or our material needs. Therefore as we go to the 14th chapter of Romans, I will first read verses 22 & 23, and then we will see how they fit into a message such as this. “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for WHATSOEVER is not of faith is sin.” Now you who are familiar with this scripture already know that Paul is dealing with the question of whether Christians should eat meat that has been offered in sacrifice to some idol. When the Gentiles received the gospel, that was a very real question in their minds, for Gentiles had always worshiped their pagan idols, and part of their worship practice was eating meat that had been offered to a certain deity, in the hope that some spiritual benefit would be derived from finding favor with that deity. But as the apostle Paul preached, and taught the plan of salvation to those people, he did his utmost to get them to see that whether they did eat meat, or whether they abstained from eating meat altogether, did not have anything at all to do with their soul’s salvation. Their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver their soul from the bondage of sin and death was not tied to what they would eat and drink. As we have already said, under the law the Jewish people who were being sanctified in the flesh to set a spiritual type, were commanded to abstain from certain meats, but that type was all consummated when Jesus Christ hung there on that old cross at Calvary. From that time on, what we eat has nothing at all to do with making us a better Christian, but as we said at the beginning, there are certain health benefits to be derived from selective eating. Of course you realize that these remarks actually cover two different situations, one as to whether Christians should eat meat that had been offered to a pagan deity, and the other concerning the clean and unclean under the Jewish law, and a person that is strong in the faith need not be concerned about either one personally. But the apostle Paul is concerned about those Christians that are still weak in the faith and do not know exactly how to handle some of these things. That is why he took the time to deal with this subject as he did. People have a tendency to judge others by their own personal feelings, that is, how they themselves feel about certain things; therefore Paul wrote, (Rom. 14:1) “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for GOD HATH RECEIVED HIM,” That should be clear enough for anyone to see. If God has received a person, who are we, that we would judge or reject that person? In verse 10, he said, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” I hope all of you realize that the judgment seat of Christ is not a judgment to determine whether a person is saved or lost; it is strictly a judgment of Christians to determine their rewards for faithfulness in what they know from the word of God. Knowing this then, Paul says, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” Can you see why? If you believe a certain thing is wrong, and you go ahead and do that thing anyhow, you have sinned against your own conscience. On the other hand, a person who is strong in the faith may be able to do that same thing without even a second thought. This is a general application of the truth that is contained in these scriptures but since Paul is dealing with eating meats, notice what he says to that person that is strong in the faith. Verse 15, “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably, (or with loving concern.) Destroy him not with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” In other words, It is the new birth that gets us into the kingdom of God, and since Calvary, meats and drinks, have nothing at all to do with our salvation. Those things had their place under the Law, still pointing to the cross, but after Calvary, only physical benefits may be obtained by observing certain eating and drinking practices. All right then, If the kingdom of God is not tied to meat and drink, why should those who know that, be subject to the convictions of those who are still in doubt? Simply because the last part of verse 17 says it is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and you cannot have peace and joy when you are fussing with one another about whether it is wrong to eat pork, or any number of other things that fall into the same category. You have warfare instead of peace and joy.
ALL THINGS ARE PURE, BUT?
That Roman assembly was made up of both Jews and Gentiles; therefore it is easy to see how there could have been a verbal warfare going on concerning these things, and how it was necessary for Paul to write these words of wisdom to them. In verse 18, he says, “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to god, and approved of men.” He is talking there, about the fellow that believes it is wrong to eat pork, but in every other way he is godly, clean, and above the reproach of men. Brother, this is the wise, reasonable teachings that were administered to the church of the living God in that first age, in order that they could have universal peace and joy, and happiness, as the gospel reached out to the Gentiles. Notice verse 19, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense.” In other words, the man who eats pork is not going to destroy God’s ability to save the soul of the man who may not understand about these things, and even though all things are pure in a salvational sense, it is a work of evil for the stronger believer to deliberately do something that offends the weaker one. So he says, “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” That brings him to the question, “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” Now do you think Paul meant that the stronger ones ought to completely give up everything the weaker ones disagreed with? No, he simply meant, When you are in their presence, conduct yourself with love and respect, and with concern for them, so you will not be the cause of them doing something that they really believe is wrong for them to do. Many people do certain things just because they are around other people that are doing those things, but as soon as they do, they fall under condemnation. They condemn themselves for doing it. Therefore, Happy is he that always conducts himself in a way that does not cause him to fall under such guilt and condemnation. Naturally there are two ways to look at this thing. One is, we do things we just do not feel right about doing, simply because others are doing them, and then there are those things that the poor soul just never gets settled in his mind, whether they are right or wrong, yet his fleshly desire causes him to go ahead anyhow, but as soon as he does, here comes the feelings of guilt. You simply cannot grow spiritually until you get those things settled in your mind, by a true revelation of the word of God. Everything that a Christian does should have a channel of faith running to it. In other words, You should be convinced by a true understanding, that once you have done the thing, whatever it may be, the devil will not have any room to accuse you. This comes right back around to the issue of divine healing. I hope you are able to see why I used these scriptures. I wanted you to have an example from another topic of concern, that would fit right in exactly with the topic we are dealing with. Because people read that 23rd verse “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” and they apply it to other things, and rightly so, but instead of getting their faith anchored in the scriptures to eliminate such a thing, they just go through life being moved by circumstances, and then condemn themselves later. Here is one example. You have been taught that God is a healer, (and He definitely is) and that you have no need of a physician, nor of any drugs, and that if you submit yourself to either one, it proves you do not have faith. Yet you have a physical condition that no matter how much you pray for healing, nor how many times you have been anointed and prayed for, the condition gets worse, and worse. Finally the pain and misery get so severe, you have no choice but to seek the help of a physician, and as soon as you do, the devil jumps right on your back, and you feel so condemned. You feel like you have almost committed the unpardonable sin. Now let me ask you, Where did that kind of idea come from? Not from the Lutherans, not from the Baptists, nor the Methodists, but from the Pentecostals. Do you know why? They did not take the time to get down on their knees and search the Bible through to get the picture put together right. They say, God is a healer period, no buts about it, and they would condemn me for saying, Yes, but. Nevertheless, I still have to say, Yes, God is a healer; BUT He does not have to heal the way you demand Him to do it. Yes, He is a healer, BUT He does not condemn His children for seeking the comfort that a physician can offer while the healing is taking place, nor for taking something to fight infection, and so forth. I say, Let them criticize me for what I teach, all they want to, I am more concerned about poor souls that are always walking under a heavy load of guilt because of their teaching, than I am about their criticism of me. They may say, Damn the doctors, Damn the hospitals, and Damn their medicine; all they are after is your money, but I will just have to say, I have known the preachers that were just as bad. They preached faith for everything, and behind the scenes, they were worse than the Mafia ever thought of being, as they maneuvered their monetary programs. Besides working every angle behind the scene, they come out and preach a dogmatic message on faith for about 15 or 20 minutes, and then spend an hour to an hour and a half begging for money to support their, “work for the Lord.” They preach faith to the congregation, and they themselves are beggars. They tell you how much faith they have, but how much faith does such a preacher have? Think about that. If his ministry is a true, God ordained ministry, why will God not support it? Learn the truth about this kind of preaching, and learn the truth about divine healing, and about other things also, that have nothing at all to do with your salvation. Then when you read, “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth,” it will mean something to you. If that scripture had an application in Paul’s day, concerning a proper understanding of the word of God, and the will of God, it has just as much today. Instead of preaching condemnation all the time: Why do these preachers not preach on Romans 8, especially verses 1 & 9? There has to be some place for these scriptures to fit into the life of every true believer. Instead of preaching that you are saved today, and lost tomorrow because of some disobedience to their little doctrine: Why do they not preach on Romans 8:29 & 30? I will tell you why. They have no revelation of it themselves. Besides that, even if they ever did get a true revelation and begin to preach it, it would tear their program of religion all to pieces, so most of them do not even want to listen to the truth.
GOD IS LOVE
Brothers and sisters: I hope you realize that it is not my purpose to take from anyone anything that the Lord has ever done for them. I realize that God has moved upon the lives of a lot of people while they were still out there in those denominational churches, and I also realize that a lot of them that separated themselves from those systems after receiving a supernatural experience from God, failed to hear the word of God taught properly because they wound up in something else that was just as far from revealed truth as what they came out of. That is why so many of them end up with what we could rightly call a disease of the mind. No, I am not talking about an insane person; we are giving this a spiritual application. That is the state of a person that just never quite gets to the place spiritually where they can function without guilt and feelings of condemnation. They are always afraid they have missed God somehow. Let us just open our Bibles to 1st John 4:17, and look at something that is just exactly opposite to these feelings of condemnation. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” That word herein, means, by this, or through this, is our love made perfect (or complete.) Then we will have boldness when? In the day of judgment. What judgment is that? The judgment seat of Christ, of course. That is the only judgment a child of God will have to stand in. But tell me, Do you think a person that goes through life always confused and in doubt about the will of God for their life will be able to stand before the judgment seat of Christ with boldness? You know they cannot. That is why we need to get ourselves settled as to what God is after in our lives, and submit to it. Then we will be able to stand before Him with boldness. Not arrogantly, but with confidence. We will be able to stand there with confidence, if we have not lived our life on earth in doubt and fear, always wondering if we have done the right thing. Now we probably ought to read verse 16, to get the love connection in its proper place here, for it says, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love: and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” John has been called the apostle of love. Therefore because he had a burden to write expressing the love wherewith God loved us, he used terminology like, God is love. But God is also Truth, Righteousness, Spirit, Word, and all of a long list we could mention. But here John is showing how those who are truly born of the Spirit of God actually dwell in love, and love dwells in them because of that new nature, when they once get it settled and allow God to order their lives according to His will. Now let us again. “Because as He is, so are we in this world.” Now take a good long look at the Son of God, how He lived, and how He preached. Do you see a man that was always in doubt about what He was doing, or do you see a man that was never in doubt about anything that He ever did? Everything He did, He did it with the complete assurance that He was carrying out the will of the Father. Now will you agree with me, that God is seeking to mold us into the image and likeness of that perfect Son? Jesus is not just a scapegoat, whereby we just lay all our weaknesses on Him, and never really benefit by it, as far as any spiritual growth. No. Every time we take something to Him, and lay it on Him, it should lift us up to be a little more like Him, and because of that, we are brought into the understanding that as He is, so are we in this world. God forbid, that His children should walk through this life always in doubt, never having any answers from the precious word of God. The church world at large walks like that, because they are all full of unbelief, but born again children of God are to be renewed in the spirit of their mind, and as Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” As we take on the mind of Christ, we realize that all things are possible to him that believeth in God, but we also realize that all things are to serve a purpose of God, so we do not concentrate all our efforts on just trying to please ourselves. The more we think like Jesus, the more we will try to please the Father by allowing Him to direct our ways.
GETTING ANSWERS FROM GOD’S WORD
Now verse 18, has to be considered in the light of this boldness, or confidence, or assurance that we have because we seek to please the Father. It says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment.” This word love, is not to be associated with human love; it has to be a word that describes the true love of God. He first plants that love in us, and then He works in our lives to increase that love, so that it becomes more the love of God, and less that of human love. Jesus, in the world, being the very fountain of God’s love, saw man through the eyes of the Father, therefore He could look at the critics and say, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?” Calling that kind, exactly what they were. But when He hung there on that old cross He could look at that mass of humanity milling around and say, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. That was the love of the Father being expressed through Him. That is the love that caused Him to walk in the midst of humanity with the assurance, confidence, and boldness of a man that did not have to go to Calvary in doubt, wondering whether He had done the right thing or not. He knew He had done the will of the Father; therefore He could say, “It is finished.” In other words, He knew He had done everything He was supposed to do. That is why we are to seek to be like Him, so we also may have that kind of boldness, for as long as we are full of doubt, we have fear, and fear is a tormenting thing. “He that feareth is not made perfect in love,” or in the realm of love. As long as we have fear we are lacking something in our spiritual growth, and the only remedy for it is to find out what the will of God is for our lives, and walk accordingly. This is the very reason I used the scripture, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” for it applies to every area of life where there is doubt and fear, and not just to eating, or not eating pork. It is just like I have already mentioned about how I just automatically assumed that doctors, medicine, and hospitals were only for unbelievers, when I first began to witness the supernatural power of God in divine healing as Bro. William Branham prayed for the sick. As long as you believe like that, every time you have to take a member of your family to the doctor for something, you have that old tormenting feeling that comes to you through the avenue of doubt and fear. Now, going to the doctor is not sin on your part. But going to the doctor believing that it is wrong for you to do it, makes it sin to you. That is why I had to get the question settled in my mind once and for all, and I knew that my answers had to come from the pages of God’s holy word, and little by little they did. Once of the first things I began to see, was how Isaiah told one of the servants to take a poultice of figs and lay it on King Hezekiah’s boil. I said, “Right there is one answer.” Then I remembered reading how Paul wrote Timothy, telling him to drink no longer water only, but to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake, and his often infirmities, and I thought, “There is another answer,” for these are men of God. Brothers and sisters: You do not have to go through life doubting about such things, for the answer is in the word of God, and if you get serious enough about finding it, you will. Isaiah was not leaning upon the arm of flesh when he told the servant to take a lump of figs, and lay it on that boil, and neither was Paul, when he wrote that to Timothy. They knew God was the only healer they could look to, but they also knew how to exercise a little common sense, and sound judgment, without feeling any guilt, or being afraid they missed God.
FOREORDAINED FOR GOD’S GLORY
We have one Brother here in the church that lay in the hospital some years ago, with twenty eight broken bones as a result of an accident. Even the doctors had to confess that there was little they could do, for many of the little slivers of bone were so small there was no way for them to fasten them together. Since hearing his testimony, I have wondered many times what some of these divine healing preachers would have told him to do. Would they just told him, Now you will just have to believe God for your healing, and then leave him lying there in the ditch, or take him home and let him lie on the floor and wait upon the Lord? Is that the way you preach the healing benefits that were wrought at Calvary? I hardly think that is what God had in mind, when He had Isaiah write concerning Christ, “By whose stripes ye are healed.” No. That Brother was taken to the hospital, and the physicians and hospital personnel did what they could to comfort him, and they x-rayed him every day to make sure those little bone slivers did not work around and puncture and vital organ, but they all knew they were helpless to heal him. Then after a period of time, the Lord answered the Brother’s cry and healed him just as suddenly as he got messed up. But we know some will say, God would have done that the first day, if he would have just believed, and I will just have to answer them with the account of Lazarus, in the 11th chapter of John’s gospel. Jesus could have prevented him from dying, but God had already ordained this occasion whereby He would be glorified in raising Lazarus from the dead, therefore anyone trying to believe God for his healing would have just been believing in vain, for he was not going to be healed; he was going to die, and then be raised back to life. Jesus said it was all for the glory of God, and that is what I say about this Brother that had all those little broken bones; God was sanctifying a testimony of His power to heal by a divine act, but He did not expect the man to lie there in the ditch waiting for Him to heal him. No. He wanted all those doctors and nurses to witness this mighty deed. There are times when God has purposed to let certain situations get to the point where medical science has to admit that they have done all they can do, before He steps in to correct the problem, and everything that was done prior to His intervention was all a part of His foreordained plan. You cannot choose the time and place and the manner in which God must operate; you just have to trust Him, and do what you can to find comfort until your healing is manifested, either by a divine act, or by God’s natural law of healing, which ever He has purposed to be glorified in. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He could also have loosed him from all of that embalming wrappings and let him walk out of the tomb, but did He? No; He let him float out, still wrapped up like a mummy. That way, there was no doubt about what had taken place. The critics could not say he was not dead, for they were allowed the witness the whole thing. Did that make believers out of all of them? Not as far as any salvational benefit; but they did have to admit that they had seen a man raised from the dead, and a large number of them did believe. From them, God received glory, and all the rest were left to give account of their hypocritical deeds when they stand before God in the judgment. He left them without excuse. Those hypocrites even tried to kill Lazarus, so they would be rid of that living testimony, but God had already accomplished His purpose in it all. Even if they had been able to get Lazarus out of the way, they could never have cancelled out that testimony. All those who did believe, were spreading it far and wide, and others were coming to see this Jesus that had done this great miracle. Now Brothers and Sisters: I know you can all appreciate, and rejoice in this wonderful thing the Lord did for Lazarus, but I wonder just how many of you can rejoice just as much over the fact that God ordained this whole episode for His own glory, and that His only begotten Son should be glorified also? That is what Jesus said, when Mary and Martha sent word to Him that their brother was sick. (John 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.” If any of you think there is a contradiction there, you just have to realize that Jesus was referring to that final state of death that all must face if time tarries past their allotted days. Lazarus truly did die, but Jesus knew that his death this time, was only for a short time. That is why He could refer to it as sleeping, in verse 11. Naturally we know that this same terminology is applied to death in other places in the Bible, but not with the same deliberate usage that Jesus used it here.
JESUS FACING APOSTATE JEWS
Let us go into the book of Mark now, where we will see Jesus in the early days of His ministry, as various instances had began to draw attention to Him. Israel had been through 400 years of spiritual apostasy, and even though those Scribes and Pharisees were very religious, they were not very spiritual. Their religion was just legalistic, a ritual they went through, and forced upon others, and they did not like to have anyone coming along, that would upset their applecart. Unbelief was so predominant, it caused Jesus many times, to look at certain of them and say, “Oh ye of little faith.” He even said it to His disciples when they got scared and awakened Him because of a storm that was tossing their boat around. When they ran back there to Him and said, “Master: Carest thou not that we perish?” The first thing He said to them was, “Oh ye of little faith.” What a contrast. Here was a man of perfect faith, walking among men that had lost all touch with the supernatural God of their Fathers. Besides that, they were so hard hearted they would kill anyone that showed them up for what they were. Notice verse 1, of chapter 3, and you will see what He was up against. “And He entered again in to the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, (Who watched Him? Was it the drunks, the gamblers, the prostitutes, and such like? No, it was the religious people of that day that were watching Him.) Whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse Him.” Those pious religious leaders could not have cared less about the poor man that needed to be healed; all they cared about was that their own image be protected. In their own eyes, they were the great men of God, and they felt like if God ever did anything, He would have to go through them to do it. That is the same old spirit that has been on your denominational churches ever since God began to stir the fire of Pentecost in some hungry souls in this twentieth century. Their unbelieving hearts are so crusted, they publicly denounce, and challenge what God is doing for and through some others who did not graduate from their great schools of theology. They do not hesitate to proclaim that God does not do signs and wonders among His people anymore. That was only for the days of the original apostles, to get the church started. Well I have news for them, God has not changed one bit since those days; it is man that has changed, that those Scribes and Pharisees were hardened in their hearts, and had lost all reality of God’s supernatural power. It was because their religious programs had crowded God out of the picture. They did not leave Him any room to do anything for them, and it is the same way in your big name churches today. They have their services planned to the minutest detail, and their programs printed up way in advance. They know who is going to pray, what songs are going to be sung, what the sermon will be, and in what order it will be done, and how long it will take, and they do not allow God any space in their program. That is why they do not recognize Him when they are made aware of Him doing something for some little hungry soul some place. In other words, the same spirit that caused those Scribes and Pharisees to say, after they had witnessed the power of God in operation, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils, also causes many of those great Doctors and Professors of theology to react the same way. Those Jews stood there watching Jesus, just to see if He was going to heal that man on the Sabbath day. In other words, He must have been doing this sort of thing already, for them to be there like that, and He was not going to let them interfere with something the Father was leading Him to do, so He just looked at the man which had the withered hand, and said, “Stand forth.” Then He said to His critics, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?” But they held their peace at that time. It just goes to show, that when such characters as these meet wisdom face to face, they have to keep their mouth shut, lest they suffer defeat by their own words. “And when He (Jesus) had looked around about on them with anger, (I can just see His eyes blazing with fire as He looked at that unbelieving bunch of hypocrites, and knew that they were there only to find fault) 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.” Now watch these Pharisees, the holiest of all religious people in that time, what extreme lengths they went to, trying to destroy Jesus. Verse 6, “And the Pharisees went forth and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might DESTROY Him.” The Herodians were that bunch of backslidden political Jews, that had sold out to Herod, and were ready to carry out every diabolical plot he came up with. They were Jews by birth, but beyond that they were just a bunch of politicians; and this bunch of holy Pharisees went to them for help in getting rid of this fellow that was out there healing people on that Sabbath day. Isn’t that a perfect picture of world religion today? Don’t let anyone break our church creed, even if you have to kill him to stop him. Jesus broke the Sabbath according to their tradition, so they were ready to kill Him for it. Verse 7, “But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: (The sea of Galilee) and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, (That is both areas of Israel) and from Jerusalem, (religious headquarters) and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, (all the way from southern Lebanon) a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him.” This lets us know that He had already been ministering long enough for the word to be spread around about the great miracles He performed. “And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues.” He did not want to be so crowded, that He could not see how to minister to the people, so He boarded a little boat. Notice verse 11, how these demons know exactly who He is. “And unclean spiritus, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” His ministry had already grown to a proportion where it was not so much Him touching the people any more; like at first when He would just touch an individual here and there. Now the multitudes are pressing in upon Him, and the power of God is causing them to make every effort to touch Him. Even those who were demon possessed were not sought out by Jesus; God the great eternal Spirit moved upon them, and caused them to fall at the feet of Jesus, as the multitudes gathered around Him. But, Saints: You must see here, that no one is following a program, nor ritual; the Spirit of the Father is directing the whole thing. Those poor souls which were demon possessed did not make any certain plans about going to Jesus; they were just moved by the power of God to fall at the feet of Jesus, and they would just lay there shaking under the power of Satan, until the power of God delivered them. Another thing I would have you notice is recorded there in verse 12. “And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known.” Jesus was not seeking recognition for what was being done. He was not prone to go around saying, “I am the Son of God. It was others that called Him that. You will find Jesus referring to Himself as the Son of man most of the time. When He went in to the country of Gergesenes, two demon possessed men met Him, and what happened? Did He have to say, I am the Son of God, I will set you free? Absolutely not; those demons knew exactly who He was, and taking control of their vocal cords, those demons spoke right out of the mouth of those that were possessed saying, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” They knew who He was, and they knew what they had coming to them, so they begged Him to let them go into a herd of swine, and the whole herd ran violently down the mountainside, and into the sea where they all perished. That upset the people of that region so much, they asked Jesus to leave their coasts, and He did exactly that. But my point is, It was the demons that identified Him as the Son of God. Just prior to that, a certain man had come to Him saying, “Master, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest,” and Jesus answered him saying, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the SON OF MAN hath not where to lay His head.”
THE SON OF MAN
When Jesus left the coasts of the Gergesenes, and came back to His own city, a man sick of the palsy was brought to Him on a bed, and the Bible says that when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the palsied man, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” The Scribes thought, but did not speak of it, “This man blasphemeth.” Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whither is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the SON OF MAN hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thine house.” When the multitude saw that the man was healed, they marveled and GLORIFIED GOD, which had given such power unto men. He identified Himself even in this touchy situation, only as the Son of man, and you will notice that the witnesses standing by, glorified God when the man was healed. That is why I keep reminding you, that everything that is done by the power of the supernatural should always be turned to glorify God. Man has no right to rob God of His glory by puffing himself up to be something special. Without God, man could do nothing. In the 16th chapter of Matthew, Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the SON OF MAN am?” They mentioned various one’s and then He asked them straight out, “But whom say ye that I am?” In other words, you have told me what others are saying; now tell me what you personally believe. Simon Peter spoke right out, “Thou are the Christ, the SON OF THE LIVING GOD.” He never denied being the Son of God, but ninety nine times out of a hundred, He referred to Himself as the Son of man, and left it up to those who received a revelation of His deity to proclaim that He was the Son of God. He did not want recognition except what the Father directed upon Him. That is why Paul wrote to the Philippians (2:7) that He made Himself of no reputation, but rather took upon Himself the form of a servant. He never did run a big newspaper ad announcing that He was going to have a big healing crusade; He just simply did what the Father led Him to do, and the crowd was always present with their various needs, ready to be healed. Brothers and Sisters: When you are doing only what the Father leads you to do, you never have to hang your head, and leave town as a failure. A lot of these modern day Pentecostal preachers run their big ads promising signs and wonders of every sort, and then they blame the people who come expecting to receive something from God, and say the reason they do not receive is because of their lack of faith. They never even consider the fact that their promises may have overstepped the purpose of God. That is why I have said, If Jesus was walking on earth today, He would drive some of these preachers up a wall, for they would never know whether they could depend on Him to keep an appointment they made for Him or not. He would just as likely pop up somewhere else, other than where they wanted Him to be. In all of His 3 ½ years of ministering on earth, no one ever knew ahead of time where He was going to be. That in itself ought to tell us something. He expects us to follow Him, rather than us running on ahead, and Him trying to keep up with us. Now this may not be the way you would have expressed that, but I believe you get the point. They never knew when He was coming to their town; they just had to be ready when He came along.
THE PERFECTING AGE
Now lest you get off on the wrong track with what I am saying, I feel that I must keep going back and reminding you that Pentecost in the early years of this century was truly a move of God, regardless of what carnal men have done with it. The supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost had to be restored back to the end time church of the living God. Whatever she started out with, she must end up with. Pentecost was a move of the Spirit whereby God put emphasis upon the display of the supernatural after the church was once again walking in the light of His word. They did not have the light that we have today; but they were no longer in the Dark Ages. I will have to say also, that all during the Reformation there were times when various ones experienced a supernatural move of God. But there was never anything to compare with what happened in the early years of this century, when God sovereignly began to pour out His Spirit upon hungry souls that were walking in all the light they had. The Reformation was taken up mostly with the restoration of major doctrines, to the church, instead of a display of the gifts of the Spirit, but coming into the twentieth century, it seems like God just opened up the fountains of heaven, and let the supernatural have the preeminence for a time. Since then, many books have been written, of what God did during those early years of the Pentecostal revival, but as I read some of them, I can see that even though they may have meant well, a lot of their efforts were invested in trying to stimulate faith for the supernatural, instead of just reporting what happened. They emphasize faith for healing, faith for deliverance, faith for this, faith for that, when all the time God’s objective is not to have the bride church majoring on the supernatural, but to get the supernatural back into the church as it was in the beginning, and not necessarily to the same proportion of display, for in the early church, people were drawn to the gospel many times through a miracle of some kind, and in the end it will be for the benefit of the people of God, without a great display to the world. In other words, This is the age of setting things of God in perfect order, rather than drawing multitudes to hear the gospel. It is all a perfect plan of a perfect God, to perfect a people for His precious name. I believe you can see why it was necessary for God to restore the gifts of the Spirit to the church, before He sent a messenger with a message that would turn the church world upside down, and start true believers on the road to perfection. This end time church is to have an understanding of every doctrine, and every precept of the New Testament, so they can be brought back into a true fellowship with God. That will only be accomplished through the light of His word shining deep within our soul, and only to His true people. He wants to administer all of the benefits that were activated at Calvary. That in no way rules out the fact that many things are taking place among the ranks of those who preach the supernatural, and discard everything that pertains to the doctrine of Christ, but all of it is accomplishing a purpose in the plan of God. For Matthew 13:30, lets us know that God has instructed the reapers to first gather the tares and bind them together in bundles to be burned. Therefore I ask you, How do you suppose this is being done? These tare bundlers are preachers that preach enough of the Bible to be called a preacher, but never enough to feed the hungry soul of a predestined seed of God; therefore those who love to rally around the preacher, and his message, and have no love for the truth of God’s complete word, are being tied together, and their hour for burning will be when God says, It is time. I know some of you get uncomfortable when you hear these things, because you have loved ones that are right out there in al of that, but nevertheless God’s word will stand true, no matter whose family members are guilty of casting truth aside, to follow some man’s teaching, or a denominational church covenant. Paul wrote in 2nd Thessalonians 2:11, that God Himself would send them strong delusion; that they should believe Satan’s lie, and be damned. Naturally I am not going to try to identify every one of these that fall into that category; the Lord will take care of that in His time, but I will tell you this by the authority of the word of God, There are not a half dozen ways to choose between, when it comes to being born again. There is only one way, and the formula can be found in Acts 2:38, and the only one’s that will ever reach that place in God, are those which were foreknown of Him from before the foundation of the world. Others go through the necessary formalities, if I may refer to it like that, but because they never really receive a love for the truth, they never reach the fullness of the new birth experience. They will jump, and shout, and cry along with everyone else in the presence of the anointing, but sooner or later, something will take them off on a wild goose chase, and eventually they will be tied up together with others like them, and they will not even know that they have already been bundled up for burning. Does this sound hard hearted to you? I am only telling you what is written in the book, and I had nothing whatsoever to do with writing it. Knowing these things though, lets me know also, that many true children of God are in for a good whipping from the Lord, because they have allowed themselves to be swayed by various circumstances to the point where they flirted around with, and courted the same sign seeking spirit that has caused the multitudes to follow the signs, and toss true doctrine into the ditch. It lets me know also, that when a man will only stand and preach divine healing, never touching the essential theme and objective of the atonement wrought at Calvary, he has missed the whole redemption program. Furthermore because he is using God’s supernatural power to draw attention to himself, the day will come when the Lord will say to him, Depart from me, you worker of iniquity; I never knew you. If you think that is not the truth, just open your Bible to Matthew 7:21-23, and read it for yourself.
YOU MUST SEE THE SON OF GOD
Let me just take a minute here, and try to show you why many men who have enjoyed what seemed to be a successful ministry along the lines of divine healing and the gifts of the Spirit, will in the end be rejected of God. Bro. Jackson: Are you trying to tell me that God would use a man in a ministry like that, and then cast him into hell? How can God use a man who is not a true servant of His? The answer to that is very simple. God will stand behind His word, and reward genuine faith, no matter who preached His word, nor what their motive for preaching may be. Some preach, more to make a name for themselves than for any spiritual benefit to anyone. Others have found that people who follow the signs are very generous with their offerings, and they preach because of their greedy lust for wealth, and the things that money can buy for them, and some preach out of a human concern for people in need, but they have not been called of God to handle His word, so they still come short of fulfilling a true ministry of the living God. Regardless of their motives though, they are able to stimulate faith in many people to lay hold on a provision of the scriptures, and God will heal them, or even answer their prayers for other things, but they are left void and destitute of being able to go any further in the truth of God’s word. That is why, when they are taught that God is three persons, they could not care less, for they have no revelational insight. They are made to believe that nothing else matters, just as long as they believe in Jesus, but that is only a half truth. God does not expect anyone to be a full grown Christian as soon as they believe in Jesus as their only way of salvation, but believing in Jesus is more than just a mental concept of what can be read from the Bible. If you are not believing in Him according to a true revelation that actually causes you to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, to be like Him, you are not believing on Him according to the scriptures. Therefore I say, If God permitted people in this age, just to believe anything they choose to, and then in the end He accepted all of them, He would have to raise up that early church from the dead, and apologize to them. For many of them were martyred, simply because they had a revelation of God’s one true way of salvation, and they would not compromise that revealed truth, even to save their lives. Out here in the realm of religion, there are those that identify themselves as Full Gospel believers, yet they believe in the trinity, and they refuse to preach doctrine, claiming that doctrines divide the body of Christ. That is just another half truth. True Bible doctrine does divide, not the body of Christ among themselves, but it will divide, or separate the true body of Christ from those apostate, Antichrist systems of religion, and those who call themselves Full Gospel, and still believe in a holy trinity as no exception. That is why Matthew 7:21-23, will one day be a reality. Just listen while I read it to you. This is the words of Jesus Christ Himself. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? (Some of those that enjoyed the loaves and fishes, asked Jesus one day, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered them saying, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” Then farther on down in that same chapter, John 6:40, we read these words, “And this is the will of Him that sent me, that ever one which SEETH the SON, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Now tell me saints, If Jesus meant what He said here, and we know He did, How in the world could all these who believe that Jesus is the 2nd person of a holy trinity have everlasting life? First one must see Him, and of course that pertains to seeing Him through a true revelation of the Godhead, and believing on Him according to that revelation, then comes the desired benefit, eternal life, and without that, no man can work a true work of God.) “And then will I profess unto them, (we are back in Matthew 7:23) I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Brothers and Sisters, we are taking this slow, and using all these various examples, because of the importance of making a revelated application of the scriptures. People are dying every day, and others are suffering terrible pain and anguish of soul, because of a careless, fanatical application of some scripture, used out of its original context. Some of you may feel that we are making too much out of this, but let me ask you this, Do you read the newspapers? Do you catch the news broadcasts on television? Do you have loved ones that are involved in one of these fanatical cults? Have you forgotten the incident where over 900 people were poisoned as a result of following something that started out under the disguise of certain misapplied scriptures? Do you believe that going to the doctor, or taking a dose of medicine is a sin against God? Maybe some of you have no concern along these lines, but there are a lot of precious God loving, God fearing saints that do have problems along these lines, and we want them to have all the help that the word of God can give them. As I said already, I know first hand how we many times we suffer needlessly, simply because we are taught wrong, or because we just assume certain things are to be a certain way. If I could have read a message like this when I first came out of the Methodist church, I never would have had to fight those battles in my mind, whether to take one of my children to the doctor when it was burning up with a fever, or not. I just simply assumed, that if we were to be restored to the apostolic gospel of Christ, we would have to depend upon the supernatural power of God for all our healing. Seeing such a display of the power of God in the ministry of Bro. William Branham, just caused me to assume that it had to be like that sooner or later. It was when we had to give in and take the little children to the doctor, and sit there in the doctors office feeling like we were sinning, and yet in just a few short hours the medicine would have the situation under control, that I was driven to the scriptures, determined to find the will of God on this subject of divine healing. I thank God, that He allowed me to stay free from the teaching of a lot of Pentecostal preachers I heard during those years back in the 1950’s. They all had their version of how a person ought to live, and their version of how divine healing should be applied to our everyday life, and I am here to tell you, a person that tried to regulate their life by what we were hearing, had to end up in utter confusion, and God knows how I hate confusion. I just simply cannot remain in the presence of it. I have to get away. The devil loves confusion, and he will do everything possible to create it, but I am persuaded that God expects His true children to get free from it at their earliest opportunity.
I have another personal testimony that I want to share with you for the glory of God, and to let you know even better, why I teach divine healing the way I do. This is how God has dealt with me, to keep me free from regular Pentecostal persuasions. In the year that our third daughter Naomi, was born, an elderly sister in the church, that God had used in the ministry of prophecy at various times, came to me and said, Bro. Jackson: I feel like the Lord may want to name the little baby when the time comes. I feel like if this is true, I will hear from Him by the time the little one is born, so you call me before you name the child. The little baby arrived on the scene in July 1955, so I went downstairs to the telephone, and called the Sister to tell her the news, and find out if she had anything from the Lord about naming the baby. When I told her the little baby had arrived she said, What is it? I said, It is a little girl. She replied, I already knew it would be, and I already have a name for her. Then she told me that it was given to her in a prophecy, and that she was to be called Naomi Ruth, and that I would know this was the truth because of a little birthmark that I would find on the back of her shoulder, and she described to me what it would look like. I thanked her, and then she said, There is more to the prophecy, but this is enough to let you know what to name her, if you accept this as being of the Lord. I went right back up th where the babies were, and the nurse had just finished bathing her, and she was turning her over on her face, getting ready to lay her in one of the little baskets, and when she turned her, I saw the little birthmark, and it was exactly as the prophecy had said it would be. I was not able to get the rest of the prophecy until our next church service, but that little birthmark was all I needed to see at that time, and by the time I returned to my wife’s room, the nurses were already asking, What are you gong to name the baby? Of course we named her Naomi Ruth, and that little birthmark stayed there for several months and then began to disappear, and finally, all we could see was just a little trace of it under the skin. But when I saw it there, I knew the prophecy was from God, and that settled it. When I finally did get to read the rest of the prophecy, it was in poetic form, and went something like this, Though thou hast sought my face for a son, yet not thy will, but mine be done. It went ahead and stipulated some other things, and then told how that in the end, I will visit thee again. I will pluck the seed and plant it, and thou shalt have a son, and David will be his name. That was right at the end, after telling me how I would go through a season whereby I would be tried and tested. Now Brothers and Sisters: I want to say this for the sake of every criticizing preacher that will ever hear or read this testimony. After my wife became expectant with our fourth child Lois, the one that the doctor said was a tubal pregnancy, I was stricken with a condition that put me completely to bed. As I have already said, I am so thankful for the sovereign way God dealt with our lives on those days, for we could have just as easily, had our minds crammed full of Pentecostal preachers’ junk. Yes, that is exactly what a lot of it amounts to, just man-made junk. I have already told you how we rushed my wife to the hospital emergency room, and how the doctor diagnosed her situation as tubal pregnancy, and told us how serious it could be, and how discouraged I became because of it. I told you also, how God intervened in that situation, and enabled my wife to go on back home with me, in about three hours time, and she carried the baby without any more trouble. Naturally because of the prophecy that came when Naomi was born, we were expecting this one to be the son that was promised, whose name was to be David. But just about two months later, after the emergency room ordeal, I was stricken with a condition (Som of you will remember it) that put me to bed, and started me through a time of testing that I will never forget.
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES
I awakened one night in October (1956) with a high fever, and chills, so terribly sick. The doctor was called, (back then, they would make a house call if need be) and when he came, and finished checking me out, he said Raymond: You are in for a long siege with this thing. Besides that, you will never be able to father any more children. Naturally in my mind, I began reasoning, Well we already have three girls, and our promised son is on the way, so we will just rest with that. Then the doctor said, Raymond: You are going to suffer a lot of pain, so I am going to leave you something that will help take the edge off, and help you bear it. He left me a bottle of pills, but Praise God, I never did have to take even that first one of them. I never suffered any pain at all. Those pills sat around there a long time, and were finally discarded. While he was there, the doctor gave me a shot of penicillin, and that is when I discovered that I was allergic to it. He was called back out to the house, when I started vomiting, and that is when he said, Raymond: You are allergic to penicillin. That was the end of penicillin for me. But other than being confined to my bed, I went through that ordeal without pain, and without medicine. Even the length of my sickness was cut short by the great hand of God, that intervened to work it all out. (I tell this for the glory of God; I had nothing to do with it.) A brother here in the church, related to my wife, brought Bro. William Branham down one night. Now let me say this, Bro. William Branham was not like a lot of these Pentecostal preachers, that come in and stand over your bed saying, Do you believe God can heal you? Do you believe He will do it? No, they sat there for quite a while, just talking, and fellowshipping and when they were getting ready to leave, standing there beside my bed, Bro. William Branham just reached over and took my hand, and said, Bro. Junie: Don’t worry. Everything is going to be all right. Somewhere, and somehow, this is all for the glory of God. Now brother, it takes a real man of God to say a thing like that, right in the midst of what I was going through. You will know why I say that, when I tall you this. In April 1957, when my wife gave birth to the little baby, it was not the son we were expecting, it was another little girl, our fourth daughter Lois. Brothers and Sisters: You can never even imagine what went through my mind, when I heard that. All during that illness, I held on to the prophecy promising me a son, and believing all the time that my wife was carrying that son, knowing only that the doctor had told me I would never be able to father another child, and just comforting myself with the conclusion that, If this be the will of God, then so be it. But when I learned that the little baby was not that son, it put my head in a spin. I had to wait nine long years for that son, and I could never even begin to describe to you my thoughts during that time. (What would you have thought, if you had been in my place?) I finally got to the place where I began to feel like there was nothing to the prophecy concerning a son. I was looking at my physical capabilities, or rather my incapability, and allowing doubt to take over my thoughts. But the very year the horse dream went into effect, my wife became expectant with another child, and in April 1966, the little boy arrived. Not because of my faith, but because God had promised him to us God is the faithful one. He never forgets a promise. Of course I realize that many preachers will criticize me for this, but that is just the way God worked with us during those early years after we left the Methodist Church. He is the one that kept us from following the general line of Pentecostal belief at that time in our lives, for all of this was new to us. We had never experienced, nor even hardly heard about people going through a prayer line and being healed, or slain in the Spirit, where you would just lie on the floor unable to get up, until the power of God released you. All I can say is, God just simply did not want me to get mixed up in all of that, for I very easily could have been, if He had not worked circumstance in our lives to prevent it. I can look back now, and see why, for the way they teach divine healing out there, is not the way it really is at all. But I have to admit, I walked through certain conditions during those years, where I was really tried and tested, and if I would have submitted my mind to what certain Pentecostal preachers tried to shove off on me, I would have ended up in utter confusion myself. I just have to thank God for leading us in a way that prevented it, and realize that He had a purpose for dealing with us as He did, and also realize that it is not the purpose of God for me to teach my personal experience as a universal doctrine for the bride of Christ to follow. Therefore I give you these testimonies, not to establish doctrine, but simply to show you that God is not bound by man’s ideas about how certain things have to work.
LET GOD BE GOD
God is sovereign, and divine healing is a reality, but are we to take a dogmatic stand and try to force God to work the way we want Him to, or will we determine in our own mind, that we are going to follow truth, and let God work in our lives in a way that He will receive glory from it? The day we try to establish a fixed rule as to how the grace and mercy of God may be applied, we shut God out of the picture, for He will not work where His hands are tied. I am not saying He will not help anyone under circumstances like that, I am only saying that He cannot be forced to honor your pet doctrines. God may sovereignly deal with an individual that has suffered a lot of things in his, or her physical flesh, and make that person know that they will never need to go to a doctor again, nor take a pill again, but that is not for the purpose of establishing any kind of doctrine for the universal church; it is simply for a testimony in that person’s own life, and that person will never need a doctor, nor a pill again. Just be sure that God is the one that tells you that though, or we may be reading about you in the newspapers, as we have others who listened to the wrong voice. God can deal with your life either way, without going against His word, when it comes to the question of divine healing. He can either be glorified by keeping you well, and never letting you get sick, or by letting you get sick, and then healing you, and He can heal you with, or without the help of doctors and medicine. Which ever choice He has made cannot be altered by your stubbornness though, for if it is His purpose to testify to a bunch of doctors and nurses, and you refuse to go to the doctor, you are not in His will, you are resisting His will. Then when your stubbornness about your doctrine of healing gets you dragged into a courtroom, where carnal minded judges and juries have to take control of the situation, Where is God’s glory? I am not making personal attacks; I am only dealing with reality. God expects His true children to grow up a little along the way, and you cannot grow spiritually when you are bound hand and foot with a manmade doctrine. Neither do you glorify God when you can just barely drag yourself around, and you refuse to accept available help by saying, I don’t believe in going to the doctor; I believe we are supposed to trust God for our healing. Of course we are supposed to trust God for our healing; but where do you get the scripture that forbids God’s children to see a doctor? Saints, I hope you are listening to me, for we are living in a serious time. Satan is doing everything he possibly can, to bring reproach upon God’s true church, and any time you hold on to something you picked up out there in spiritual Babylon, you are contributing to his cause. Don’t allow yourself to do that.
Brothers and Sisters: We had hoped to get all of this in two issues of the Contender, but there are yet some things I want to deal with, in an effort to tie up all loose ends of this very controversial subject, so look for the conclusion in our January 1984 issue, if the Lord allows us that much more time. Until then, may His great wisdom guide us in our daily lives as we approach this new year of uncertainty.
Continue reading – Divine Healing: What it is and what it is not, Part 3