New Wine for New Wineskins June 2012

By , June 1, 2012 12:43 pm

Jesus’ History Is Our Destiny (Part 5)

Jesus the Healer

John 20: 30 – 31

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Whenever the church ends up in a position where it has become nothing more than a monument or memorial to a historical Jesus or a previous move of the Holy Spirit that has been consigned to history or when it has become the promoter of a new and reconfigured culturally relevant and politically correct Jesus it is in trouble.  We are here to be a continuation of Jesus’ life, an amplification of Jesus’ message and an extension of Jesus’ works.

That is why the New Covenant very clearly reveals to us that Jesus’ history is our destiny!  We don’t have to look any further than Paul’s life and ministry as it is recorded in the New Covenant.  It is basically a continuation of Jesus’ life and ministry – preaching, teaching, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead!  Scripture is clear!

1 John 4: 17

…as He is, so are we in this world.

That is why we are taking a trip through the first few chapters of the Gospel of John that I believe will help us to not only see Jesus’ history but also discover our destiny!

John 5

Jesus the Healer

Before we go any further we need to understand that Jesus is love and compassion personified!   Now that is settled you may have to fasten your seat belt if you are going to receive this message!

Verses 1 – 15

1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

1.    HEALING IS A CHOICE

Jesus – who is love and compassion personified – speaks words that have the potential to offend and hurt the soul!  In this encounter at the pool of Bethesda Jesus addresses the two areas that can cause the most offense!  The word of God is sharp!  It cuts through the soul to access and engage your spirit!  We shouldn’t be surprised if our soul cries out in pain when that happens!  Our soul doesn’t know how to live by faith because it was never designed to do so on its own!  Our soul  is up and down and all over the place.  It is dependent upon feelings and the environment and external stimuli, etc.  It is affected and governed by experiences that can be felt and seen.  Most “revival” settings attract people at a soul level more than a spirit level and that is why the majority of revivals are relatively short-lived!  Your soul will eventually become tired and worn out even in the midst of an atmosphere of excitement!  You’d have to be pretty dead not to enjoy this kind of atmosphere but God has a much higher plan!

The word of God is not designed to connect with our soul, and so that is why some folks feel that they have to compromise and dilute or soften the word to suit the soul.  But we were designed to live out of our spirits.  Jesus said that our spirit is always willing to receive and walk out the will of God!  It is our flesh that is weak!  The soul realm is what stands in the way of God’s will that is revealed to our spirit from being manifested in our body!  That is why Romans 12 says that we are transformed when our soul is renewed!

Our spirit takes hold of the word of God and doesn’t let go of it until the word is fulfilled regardless of external circumstances!  That is why Paul and Silas could be heard praying and singing while chained in the depths of a stinking Philippian dungeon with their backs ripped open!  Paul had a word that promised deliverance from every attempt of Jew or Gentile to silence him!   How do you think Paul was persuaded that neither “death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ? (Romans 8: 38 – 39)

He was persuaded because he had come through them all by simply standing on the word that promised him deliverance!  When the word changed and he was told he was coming home he wrote and told Timothy that he was still persuaded but now his persuasion was taking him to a new level as he was promoted to the ultimate glory!  When God changes his word to you it will always take you to a better place!  The New Covenant is established on better promises!

The parable of the sower where Jesus explains what happens whenever the word of God is preached reveals three categories of people who received the word in their souls and eventually lost its benefit in their lives and one type of person who retained the word and became fruitful because the word was received into their spirit!

Healing is a choice at two levels.  At the first level:

(i)    Do You Want To Be Healed?

To a sick person – particularly someone who has had a long-term sickness – this question could be grossly offensive!  But the reality is that we choose whether or not we want to be healed!  Healing has already been provided and so all we have to do in order to access that healing is take God at his word!  The paralysed man thought his healing was dependent upon his location and receiving help from someone else but when he simply obeyed God’s instruction to walk in the healing that God’s word promises and provides thirty eight years of misery were over!

Remember – healing is a choice at two levels.  At the second level:

(ii)    Do You Want To Stay Healed?

Later on Jesus addresses the second area of of the healing message that can offend the soul – the connection between sickness and sin!  Whether sickness has afflicted us as the result of a particular sin or as the result of failing to live by faith in the fullness of God’s provision in healing is immaterial!

The word of God is clear that whatever is not of faith is sin.  Sin means to miss the mark or to come short of the glory of God.  But Scripture declares that although we have all sinned and come short of God’s glory we have been freely justified (cleared and acquitted) by his grace through the redemption accomplished by Jesus at the Cross!  If we have been cleared and acquitted of the crime then it stands to reason that we are no longer subject to any judgement attached to the crime.

God’s people came out of the bondage of Egypt through the application of the blood of the Passover lamb – and everyone came out healed!

Before the Cross Jesus went around demonstrating what he was about to make freely available to all who would believe in the fullness of his provision.  At the Cross he established forever what he had been demonstrating!  As believers we come out of bondage through the blood of Jesus – the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world!  We come through the Cross healed!  We come through the Cross to enter and possess our promised land!  To live in the superabundance of God’s provision!

If we want to stay healed we have to choose to live by faith that will keep us out of sin and the sickness that sin opens the door to!  All sin is rooted in unbelief and so all we have to do in order to stay healed is stand strong in the faith that believes sickness no longer has any right to exist in our body and so we have the authority to resist it.  Jesus was very clear with this man who was healed from his paralysis when he told him to give up a life of sinning so that nothing worse would come upon him!

Jesus didn’t just come to provide healing for sick bodies – he came to heal us spirit, soul, and body! Do we want to be healed from our unrighteousness?  Do we want to be healed from our self-centredness?  Do we want to be healed from our physical sicknesses and infirmities?

Remember the ten lepers?  Ten were healed of the sickness that afflicted their bodies but only one was made whole – spirit, soul, and body!

Verses 16 – 30

16 So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
25 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man. 28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience
eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.

2.    HEALING IS A FIGHT

As soon as you choose to embrace healing for spirit, soul, and body you are going to attract persecution!

2 Timothy 3: 12

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Once the devil gets the message that you are choosing to walk in the fullness of your identity and inheritance as a son of God the full force of the kingdoms of darkness are going to be pointing in your direction!  People will come against you on the pettiest of issues and the issue will not always be the issue!  The enemy only has one objective and that is to kill the life that is in you that is a light and a witness to others that God’s love and power are real!

But in order to kill the life and destroy the witness he has to first of all steal the word!  That is why we are told to resist the devil steadfast in the faith!  We must recognise that we can do nothing independently of God’s word and the power of the Holy Spirit!  We don’t judge a situation by what we see – but by what we hear from the Father who has a complete perspective in every circumstance!

As reconciled sons of God we can stand in God’s presence without a sense of fear, guilt, shame or inferiority!  Jesus got into trouble by calling God his Father because that made him equal with God!   When you begin to talk about Him like you really know him personally you will attract all kinds of flak because relationship with God is what exposes the futility of religion!

A life lived by faith will produce the supernatural works of faith that will overturn the control of religious spirits and demonic strongholds and release God’s people into the fullness of their destiny!  When you preach the good news of the kingdom of God and people reject your message it is God that they are rejecting and so they are cut off from the life that he has made available to those who simply believe and accept the message of the kingdom!

Remember – if you are born again and still see your self as the sick trying to get healed you are missing the mark and falling short of the glory of God!  We are the righteousness of God with power and authority to resist sin in our own lives and tell others that their sins are also forgiven when they believe and receive everything that Jesus provided for them at the Cross. We are the healed with power and authority to resist sickness in our own lives and to minister healing to others who will accept the message that by Jesus’ stripes they are healed!   We are the delivered with power and authority to resist every manifestation of oppression in our own lives and to preach deliverance to the captives and set at liberty the oppressed!  We are the prosperous with power and authority to resist poverty in all of it’s disguises and preach good news to the poor!

All you need is faith in the Covenant promises of God!  In the OT God’s people kept on moaning about being hungry and thirsty when all of the time God’s provision was already there!  They had cried out to God and God had sent deliverance to them through a man.  But then they started looking to the man instead of to God!  No man can supply all of your needs!  Listen to what Jesus said to the hungry and thirsty!

Matthew 5: 6 (Amplified)

6 Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Why are God’s people still going on about being hungry and thirsty and singing songs about it when Jesus said that if we will accept the righteousness that is already ours we will be completely satisfied!  Mental, emotional, physical, and financial prosperity are all ours when we rejoice in the spiritual prosperity that belongs to us simply because we are born again!  You don’t have to go anywhere for your healing – you need to resist sickness in Jesus’ name in the fullness of faith!

Verses 31 – 47

31 “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33 In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. 34 Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. 35 John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. 36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38 and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.
39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
41 “Your approval means nothing to me, 42 because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. 43 For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44 No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God.
45 “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

3.    HEALING IS A TESTIMONY

Those who walk in the fullness of God’s provision of health and strength are the ones who can establish others in that fullness!  The generation who came out of Egypt under Moses leadership never made it into the Promised Land because of unbelief!  They rejected God’s word and then shifted the blame onto a man or onto their circumstances or onto whatever they could see as obstacles!

Sadly, we have the same scenario again as God’s people reject his word and focus on everything else that can be blamed for their failure!  If we are not the healed spreading the testimony of God’s healing power we are like the dog chasing its tail and trying to get in front of him what is supposed to be behind him!  Signs and wonders should follow because we are signs and wonders!

Revelation 12: 11

11 And they overcame…by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony

It is a tragedy in any generation when those who are supposed to lead God’s people appear to have little or no living connection with God’s power and authority and don’t seem to be able to recognise God’s power when confronted by it!  If Jesus was a healer then so are we!  His way!  By preaching the kingdom of God that cuts through the soul and engages the spirit!

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