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Living Water 15
Living Water 15
Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
My joy knows no limits over all of you and the growth of your reliance upon the Gospel of Christ Jesus as your wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I pray that you abound more and more in your love for God and for those that you are Covenantally tied to in Christ Jesus as His Body: flesh and bones! In the Name of Jesus, may the wisdom that's been provided for you through a growing pursuit of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness by your thanksgiving, per Colossians 2:6-7 and Colossians 3:17, give you greater and greater victory in yourselves over yourselves and over your circumstances and environment as you grow in the meditation of Scripture, your testimony of thanksgiving over your tithe for all He's brought you out of and all He's brought you into in your Covenantal inheritance of the nations through the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and as you grow in the spirit of excellence, heroism, consistency, and enjoyment of the Presence of the Lord as He's revealed to you daily through the Gospel.
There's been an unwarranted caution of avoiding the topic of physical healing in a lot of Churches. Whether discomfort with ministering on the topic over not feeling that's one's calling and gifting, or whether it's reluctance to participate in any sensationalism that's previously been associated with it, nothing could be simpler in a Church context than to pray for the sick. The Scriptures say in Mark 16:
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. Mark 16:15-20
There's a lot in this passage, but let's notice that the context is signs that follow those who believe and proclaim the Gospel to every Creature, and one of them is they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. So, with the laying on of hands, we're trusting God for the recovery of those who've been ill. Does this sound hard or sensational? Not at all. Next, let's look at James 5:
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. 19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:14-20
In James 5, we're told that the elders of the Church should pray for the sick, anointing them with oil IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, and the prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise them up. If something is bothering their conscience that they've done and it's potentially WHY they're sick, then they should confess that to the elders of the Church before they're prayed for with the anointing with oil, and we're told the Lord will forgive them. There's reluctance on this point because of a Western aversion to anything that smacks of Catholicism among some Christians, but the Scripture simply says what it says, and this likely ties into the passage in John's Gospel that many are equally uncomfortable with regarding the remission or retaining of sins in John 20:22-23:
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Again, we're told that those who believe the proclamation of the Gospel are loosed from the wrath they've been under (Mark 16:15-16; John 3:36) and those who don't are held in chains for the day of the judgment of the Lord (Jude 1:6), or the sending forth of laborers by the Lord of the Harvest with the Word of God to testify to them again (Matthew 9:38; Romans 10:14-15; 1Corinthians 15:22-28; Ephesians 1:8-10; Ephesians 2:1-4; Ephesians 3:1-9).
James 5 says if the person needing healing has a convicted conscience about a matter that's been keeping them from their healing, they should confess it to the elders of the Church and then be anointed with oil IN THE NAME OF THE LORD for their restoration of their relationship between themselves and God and the restoration of their relationship between themselves and their bodies. The Scripture simply says to do it, and the Scriptures say these are signs that follow the believed proclamation of the Gospel. We're told in John 15:7 that we'll receive from the Lord in proportion to our discipleship, and in Mark 11:24 we're told that we'll receive whatever we're believing and expecting to receive, and Colossians 2:6-7, Colossians 3:16-17 and 1John 2:5-6 encourage us to walk in the Word of God until living manifestations of Him are being revealed to the world through us, so we should encourage the same in explaining to people how to develop a mode of receiving. We receive in proportion to our discipleship and following Him through the Word, by abounding in His Word and pursuing Him with thanksgiving 'til all of these things are added to us:
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17
5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1John 2:5-6
Recovery is a process. A renewal of the body from a diseased condition in proportion to the anointing that's working in their bodies through their discipleship to the Word, to thanksgiving, and the degree of faith and expectation that's growing in them as they walk in a pure conscience and forgiveness, wholeheartedly following the Scriptures in all things that pertain to life and godliness. Isaiah 10:27 says the yoke is corroded by the anointing. 2Corinthians 1 and 1John 2 cover our having the anointing in Christ Jesus that He ministered with, according to Luke 4:18 and Acts 10:38. Again, we're told in Colossians 2:6-7 and Colossians 3:17 to live lives of thanksgiving as we're pursuing His Word with our whole heart. Scriptures are plenteous about pursuing His Word with our whole heart, such as Joshua 1:8, Proverbs 4:20-5:2, Colossians 3:16-17, 1John 2:5-6, and many others! James 5 mentions the developed prayer life of believers for one another as being instrumental in their healing as they're pursuing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness by pursuing the Word, a pure conscience, and a thankful heart. Acts 24:16, Romans 2:15 are among the many passages of Scripture that speak of the importance of the maintained pure conscience that is indispensable to the life of faith that's diligently rewarded by the Lord in Hebrews 11:6.
So far, I've said nothing scary for any Churches that are primarily concerned with an accurate preoccupation with the Word of God and breaking it down with simplicity for their people, have I? Some try to speak of healing having passed away from the Church with the earliest disciples, but has prayer passed away? Is the Name of Jesus no longer the only Name given among men by which we must be saved in John 16:23, Acts 3:16, Acts 4:12 and other Scriptures? Or has discipleship to the Word passed away? Has the divinely commanded lifestyle of a pure conscience and diligent thanksgiving passed away? Have the commands to preach Good News to every Creature passed away? Then certainly the above is not only permissible, with the anointing with oil IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, but they're to be encouraged and commended as being in keeping with a lifestyle where faith is growing exceedingly, otherwise Christian ministries are unable to say that they, themselves, are maintaining a pure conscience in the exercise of their duties to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the Head of the Church, Christ Jesus, and that they're preaching and practicing the whole counsel of God!
Much argument abounds as to whether “healing” in 1Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53, and elsewhere means physical healing, and whether the fulfillment of Scripture spoken of in Matthew 8:17 is to be regarded on the same level as the remission of sin by faith in the Cross and resurrection of Christ Jesus on the part of someone embracing His Lordship and proving their repentance by their deeds of Church and Scriptural discipleship, but “recovery” in Mark 16, the salvation of the sick in James 5, and the quickening work of the Spirit on the physical body, in Romans 8:11, in one's sanctification per 1Thessalonians 5:23 and 2Thessalonians 2:13-17 are indisputably a part of the Church for as long as there's a Church that Christ Jesus is raising up in His image and likeness through the proclamation of the Gospel, regardless of the conclusions of the elders of the Church regarding whether the Cross of Christ was likewise for bodily ailments as the Scriptures themselves infer.
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For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2
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