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The Persecuted Church

 

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Christ's MIRACLES

All the miracles of Jesus pointed to him as the Messiah. Jesus did not just heal the sick and raise the dead for the express purpose to take suffering away, but to produce the credentials of his kingdom. Jesus life ministry was to physically heal so that they would know from these healings he was their Messiah, as was done in Mk.2. For which is easier to say, thy sins are forgiven you or to say, arise and walk? But that you may know that the son of man has power on earth to forgive sins."The signs and miracles were to have Israel make a decision on his messianic claims.

The miracles done before Mt.12 were for the benefit of the people, faith was not necessary for all. After Mt.12 and the rejection of him being the Messiah led by the religious leaders he responded to individual people on the basis of their faith . Before the Mt.12. rejection Jesus’ policy was, tell the people what God has done for them. After the rejection there is a policy of silence, they are told not to tell everyone.(Mk.5:43) The miracles continued but instead of their purpose of pointing to him as the Messiah, it changed. It then became the training for the disciples who would be the Apostles. They would be given authority under his leadership to do similar things. Jesus said the only sign given to Israel would be the sign of Jonah "his resurrection". Jesus now wanted people to come to their own conclusions on who he was. The apostles did miracles in the book of Acts but they were generally to the gentiles not the Jewish nation. Since the nation had already rejected him as their Messiah.

There are approximately 35 miracles recorded by the apostles in the gospels John writes in 21:25: "there were many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." Out of  31/2 years of his ministry which covered approximately 1400 days, only 35 miracles were recorded, certainly Jesus could have performed all these in one week or even one day. But the authors were lead to pick  out certain ones  throughout His ministry. Their emphasis was Jesus, his teachings not his miracles. They pointed to him.

Does it take less faith to be used of God with a handicap or more faith ? It takes more! It is the person that is well and able to move freely that does not have to trust God for everything as someone who is not in health. they unconsciously can do all the menial chores that become major for those handicapped. When one is handicapped even the smallest of things can be a trial.

We are told by word faith promoters all one has to do is apply these laws which work by the law of faith and God must heal.

Gal 3:5: "Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Here Paul says its not by any law or methodology but by faith.  It's not faith by itself, it's by the hearing of faith. Meaning by learning and understanding the word, God gives  the Spirit with power.

James 5 the prayer of faith for the sick- the prayer of faith will make them well (Act 20:35 Rom.6:19 14;1 1 Cor. 8:9-12 anointing with oil was used as a greeting for someone it was also a medical term). This was all a practice of medicine not just a religious rite for their day .  A.T. Robertson,  scholar of New Testament Greek, says in this connection, The use of olive oil was one of the best remedial agents known to the ancients… in James we have God and medicine, God and the doctor…"medicine and having a doctor was accepted (remember the good Samaritan poured oil in his wounds) This illness was connected to some sin in which the person had chastening from the Lord by.  This is only speculation as far as the application to it is a general promise for all. Notice it is the prayer of faith from the elders who are called that will heal him.

This was to take place in the local church body from the elders that personally knew the person. Not by some fly in evangelist who is here today and gone tomorrow. This does not mean that God does not use someone from outside the local church body, however the bible presents no healing services or miracle crusades that tour from city to city, country to country.

We see it is not the sick ones faith that counts but the prayer of faith over him. This could refer to the gift of faith which would operate in the local body or that God himself gives the elders the faith to believe for healing. Certainly this not meant to be something they muster up on their own.

1 Jn. 2 is also used for a standard promise. " That you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers". This was another greeting to Gaius who John wished for him to be healthy in body as his soul was. Gaius was probably sick yet he was doing well spiritually. He probably was an example of faith in the sick condition he was in quite the opposite of what the faith teachers tell us. It is not a promise for all just as Gods promise to Abraham having an innumerable offspring isn’t for everyone. 3 John 2. John began his letter with a friendly greeting, expressing his desire that Gaius "may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers".

This verse, however, according to James Bjornstad in his article, "What's Behind the Prosperity Gospel?", published by Moody Monthly  1986 issue, "is nothing more than John's personal wish for Gaius. We should not take it as an universal promise or guarantee of health and wealth". The Greek word translated "prosper" in the KJV means "to go well with someone". This wish for "things to go well" and for "good health" was the standard form of greeting in personal letter of antiquity, just as a friend today might say, "I hope this letter finds you all well". Just as in Jesus time they said shalom peace unto you, or like saying go in peace. This did not mean one would have peace in his life because it was not written as a promise.

The best interpreter of scripture is scripture itself, If a verse is not self explanatory one verse should explain the other.

What of the gift of healing

1 Cor.12:9: "To another the gifts of healing." Gifts are given by the Spirit as he distributes them according to his will. Even the Holy Spirit is a gift. The Corinthian Church Paul stated they "came behind in no gift."(1 Cor.1:7)

It is in this epistle only that we see this particular gift mentioned, neither Peter, James, Jude or John mention it in their epistles even though the apostles exhibit it in the book of Acts. So we can see the focus is not on the power of God for miracles by itself. Although the Corinthian church had all the giftings active they were still those among them who were sick and weak from the communion service. Having this gift in full activity still prevented them from healing their own fellow believers. Why?

Because this is not at our disposal to turn on and off whenever we want. The gifts were and still are dependent on God. Miracle crusades, traveling city to city on a tour is just as unbiblical today as it was in the apostles time. While it does say Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and sicknesses, it was mostly a spiritual healing. Mt.4:23: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues, Preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sicknesses and all kinds of disease among the people." Mk.6:6: "He went about the villages in a circuit, TEACHING." Lets preach first as we were told to and let the healing be up to God.

 

I'm rich!    

 

 

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