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Category Archives: Bible study

I, the Lord, Am Your Healer — Post by Michael J. Findley

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And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

Exodus 15:26

Most believers in Christ fall into two camps — People who believe in faith healers and people who believe that the gift of healing, along with others, like speaking in tongues, ceased at the end of the New Testament period. Just as God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, God does not want or desire diseases for His children. Yet, both sin and disease exist. C.S. Lewis wrote about the Problem of Pain. How could a God of love allow pain? How could a God of love allow disease?

The purpose of disease is clearly laid out in God’s Word. Since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment. Sin and disease are part of this material existence. We are sinners both by birth and by choice. We have inherited the sin nature of Adam and we choose to sin. Disease can come simply through our sin nature because of choices other people made or because of choices we make.  When a culture is obedient to the Word of God, that culture is freer from disease than that culture would be if it were disobedient.

It is not an issue of individuals but the principles by which the culture as a whole lives. They are not pushing people into poverty by government theft, they do not have sexual license but uphold marriage. Both poverty and sexual license result in more disease. People care about the conditions under which animals and food sources exist. They are not consumed by greed to the point of polluting food sources. Violating the principles of God’s Word has consequences, and one of these consequences is disease.

The purpose of divine healing by God in this generation is as a sign gift. It is to bring people to Himself. They must understand that even people who are healed are still going to die, and may still get other diseases. When Jesus healed people, it was a very small percentage of those who were sick, and he had a specific purpose in each one. In the days of King Ahab, a famine ravaged all of the people, but one woman was chosen to shelter Elijah and receive food. Many lepers lived in the days of Elisha, but only Namaan was healed. We must understand that our life is like a vapor. We certainly wish to be healed physically in this brief lifetime. All diseases can be a means to bring people to accept the Lord as Messiah. This is looking at the larger picture to see disease as a tool to bring people to repent of their sins. We must realize that life is brief and everything should be seen as a means to glorify God.

So God says if we obey Him that He wants us to be healed. What cause explains why  disease and death still exist? Disease is a judgment on sin. Gehazi received the leprosy of Naaman as a judgment on his sin. All sins that we commit affect other people.

The ultimate result of sin will be the destruction of the heavens and the earth, after which we will see a new heaven and a new earth, free of disease. God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.

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Jannes and Jambres and Other False Teachers: Just Plain Stupid

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2 Timothy 3:6-9 ISV

For some of these men go into homes and deceive foolish women who are burdened with sins and swayed by all kinds of desires. These women are always studying but are never able to arrive at a full knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men oppose the truth. They are depraved in mind and their faith is a counterfeit. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those two men, their stupidity will be plain to everyone.

I always wondered something about those magicians of Pharaoh’s back in the time of Moses. Why would it be a good thing that they could duplicate God’s plagues the first few times? Then I remembered that, in the scientific world, the first step to getting rid of a problem, such as a disease, is to duplicate it. Knowing the nature of the problem is at least helpful in discovering its solution.

Perhaps, then, the magicians were really scientists. So maybe Pharaoh was cheering them on those first few plagues, saying, “Yes! You’ve duplicated the problem. Now get to work on the solution!”

However, there came a time when, not only could the magicians no longer “do likewise with their enchantments”, God even allowed the Hebrews to be spared some of the plagues while they continued to decimate the Egyptians. I can imagine Pharaoh, and that point, changing his tune. “You idiots! All you ever did was make more frogs and bugs! Now you can’t even make bugs! What good are you?” If Jannes and Jambres were not beheaded or impaled, I guess they were at the very least looking for new jobs.

2 Timothy 3 is talking about religious con men. They keep deceiving women who claim to be trying to learn truth but never manage to do anything but fall for every quasi-religious self-help scheme that comes along. Jannes and Jambres were solid with Pharaoh, I bet, before Moses and the ten plagues came along. Note that many scholars say the plagues were each a different frontal attack on the gods and pagan religious practices of Egypt. God attacked and undermined their pet sins, since their entire society’s structure was based on a false religion. He intended to show them His truth by destroying their foundation of lies.

So Paul takes the example of Jannes and Jambres, who had similarities to the false teachers of his day, and explains how the women of his time could stop being deceived by them. If you just get rid of your sins, ladies, these false teachers will be exposed to you for the liars they are, and the truth will start making sense to you.

This problem is still common today. What will it take for silly women nowadays, laden with sins to stop listening to the latest spiritual scam artist? I want to say that they need to get rid of those sins they are carrying around with them. The Bible clearly says, in many places and ways, that we have to purify ourselves or a. The Lord will not hear us, and b. we will not hear Him.

It’s not that there aren’t any good religious self-help books. But let’s study the Scriptures, not the latest religious best seller, to learn how to stop being silly and burdened down by sins Christ died to forgive and cleanse and make disappear. Then we’ll know how stupid some of these self-help wizards are.

Images from Kozzi.com and 1Photos.com

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Bible study, general writing

 

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