Sunday, July 1, 2012

Is Malady God's Megaphone?

Can The Anointed Ever Be Sick?

Question : I have a question, people who were anointed, were they ever sick? The disciples and apostles, were they ever sick? I searched the Bible and I did not come across a clear answer. I have been getting hints since I have been sick, it makes me think that may be I am not anointed. I cannot agree with that. I look at my sickness as, 1) God want to speak to me and the only way he could he had to slow me down for me to listen. 2) I look at this period in my life as another purification moment I am going through. What is your take?

Answer : The word “disciple” refers to a learner or follower. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent out.” These two words, disciple and apostle are used interchangeably in the New Testament which shows that all apostles are true disciples first who learned to imitate and follow Jesus in every walk of their life.

It is a good question that many of God's people get tripped with. Let us see first, what for the anointing of God is given to all disciples of Jesus Christ.

The anointing is received for three purpose to be fulfilled in a believer's life.

1) The with-anointing that stays with a believer is a assurance of God's sovereign protection over his life on earth
(John 14:17; Jer 15:20; 1:8; Jos 1:9). This anointing comes automatically when a unsaved person believes in Jesus to become saved from sin and becomes a child of God (John 1:12).

2) The in-anointing that is given in us, is for us to know the will of God and use it as a streering wheel to drive our spiritual life
(John 14:17; 1 Cor 2:12; 2 Cor 1:21-22; 1 John 4:4). This anointing also comes automatically when a unsaved person believes in Jesus by accepting himself as a sinner and receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior (John 1:12; Rom 8:9).

3) The upon-anointing that comes upon a believer is given to him in order to be a witness for Jesus to all the nations of the earth
(Acts 1:8). This comes when a person sincerely seeks and thirsts for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4).

The anointing with us which works in a sovereign way is accessed by our faith. This is the reason God told Joshua not to fear but be of good courage so that He can intervene to save and deliver him whenever some danger arises
(Jos 1:9; Jer 15:20). Surely as much as we have faith in God's sovereign protection and healing, that much we will be shielded from the sicknesses and diseases that try to attack us (Matt 9:29). Sometimes what we have believed in the past, God will test us through with the same to prove that He will never fail even when we are faithless at the time of trial (2 Tim 2:13).

John G. Lake had a ministry of healing, and one time when he was in Africa there was a great plague. Every one around him was dying of it, and he tended the sick, and buried the dead. There was no medicine for any person who were dying but John G. Lake boldly prayed and healed many of them, and finally the medical ships came with help. The doctors on the ship told Lake that he should take some of their preventative measures so that he would not get sick by the contagious plague that was spreading rapidly. But he told them that it was not necessary because,
“The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made [him] free from the Law of Sin and Death" (Rom 8:2). He also demonstrated to them the reality of this. He took some of the frothy foam that came from the mouths of the dead victims of the plague and put it on a slide. They put it under a microscope, and saw that those germs were very much alive and active. Then he told them to put some of those germs on his hand, and as they put it on his hands, all the germs died when they were on his hand. The were amazed by this, but simply Lake showed that the power of faith is greater than the curse of sickness which in the beginning has the root cause in the fall of man in to sin and leads to death at the end (Rom 5:12; 6:23). They had no right to exist in or on his body. He was holding himself immune from the deadly plague of sickness by faith in the higher power and a higher law, the Law of Life in Christ Jesus, and that anointing power of God mixed with his faith, killed those germs.

Then the Apostle of love John spoke about the in-anointing by saying,
"20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him." (1 John 2:20, 27). These above Scriptures shows that the anointing within is given by God to all the believers to know the right thing from the wrong thing, evil thing from the good thing, truth from the lie and find the deceivers from the true proclaimers of the gospel. In short, a thing that is evil like sicknesses and diseases can be allowed by God to refine and sharpen his children. The anointing makes us understand whether any sickness or disease is allowed by God for us to receive grace to endure it or we should rebuke the evil and see an instant deliverance from the oppression of the devil and his demons (1 Cor 10:13).

One of the exemplary practioner of faith was apostle Paul who had a severe physical infirmity that God allowed to keep him from falling in to spiritual pride
(2 Cor 12:7). Paul himself clearly said that he came to preach to the Galatians because he had a physical infirmity that sovereignly retained him in that place in spite of his intention to move away from that place (Gal 4:13-14). This serious sickness troubled him in such a way that it made his appearance to look very weak and trembling before the eyes of people (1 Cor 2:3). It was demonic messenger of Satan that God allowed to beat him, but Apostle Paul did not passively accept this thorn in the flesh as a blessing to carry, but he hated it and pleaded with the Lord continually until God said to him that he will not heal him for three times (2 Cor 12:8). Then God promised that he will give a sufficient grace enough to make him perfectly healthy by His strength inspite of His weakness in his natural body (2 Cor 12:9). He was empowered with the mighty power of God in such a way that He began to take pleasure and boast in the demonic infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions and in distresses which came against him, for Christ’s sake he began to rejoice in his weakness and as a result experienced the power of Christ rest upon him in a supernatural way. When he was weak in himself, God started to work very strongly in him (2 Cor 12:10).

This testimony of Paul the apostle is an example to the Church that when God confirms that a physical infirmity is allowed by Him for a special grace to come upon, we must persevere by faith against its oppression by standing in the power of God to glorify God through our lives. But all believers should not live in unbelief by accepting sicknesses and diseases as a blessing instead of resisting the demonic work of curse
(Mark 1:32-34; Luke 13:32). Those who say that God has allowed sickness or disease in their life should show what kind of grace they have received to glorify God, or else without the purpose of receving the grace of God, sickness and disease in itself does not have any value to glorify God in the life of any believer. So one should be careful to say that some disease or sickness is allowed by God in their life. The in-anointing helps to know this fine difference to hold on to God in pure faith when God really expects us and at other times not to live in presumption but to believe for healing. When a believer lives in presumption, it is of no value to his spiritual life.

We know that even though Paul moved in signs and wonders in his ministry
(Acts 13:50, 14:3-4, 8-9; 15:12; 19:11), he was not infirmity free in his life (Gal 4:13), in spite of physical infirmity attacking him, he lived an overcoming life of faith through God's grace (2 Cor 12:9-10). Doctor Luke was the first Church historian and medical doctor who worked hand in hand with Apostle Paul in the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-4). He was called "the beloved physician" by Paul (Colossians 4:14), and undoubtedly one reason for his ongoing association with Paul was the latter's need for frequent medical care (Gal 4:13-14; 2 Tim 4:11; Phlm 1:24).

Then Paul's apostolic son in the Lord whose name was Timothy, a co-working apostle with him
(2 Tim 1:2; 1 Thess 1:1; 2:6), had a stomach ache which afflicted him often. But as many Christians persume to live in faith by denying themselves medicine because of zeal without knowlege (Rom 10:2; 1 Cor 13:8, 12; 2:15-16; Prov 19:2), and then soon die before their appointed time foolishly when they could have worked for the Lord for a lifetime if they have diligently taken madicine when God has given them a opportunity to use it (Psa 90:10; 102:24; Job 14:5), he too tried to live like that but Paul found this out and had clearly advised him to take the medicine of wine which was used as a healing agent for the frequent stomach illness in those days (1 Tim 5:23).

These are examples that teaches us that we should not deny to take medicine even though we might be great men and women of faith. Paul's apostolic prayer warrior Epaphroditus was sick unto death with no hope of living anymore, but God had mercifully healed him and also had mercy on Paul who would have got so discouraged with sorrow if he had died because of it
(Php 2:27). Jesus himself spoke about the sick needing the doctor to help them with medicine for healing and he compared this with the sin sick souls of men who need healing in their souls through believing in Him for repentance (Mark 2:17). But our trust should not be in medicine but in the healing power of God who is able to heal our bodies with or without medicine according to His sovereign will in each unique situations that differ from one another. Just because the Lord acts in one way in a particular situation should not make us persume that we should act the same way in another situation, this was the biggest single mistake of Moses that made God to deny Moses to see the Canaan land of milk and honey (Exo 17:6; Num 20:8, 10-11). So in a particular situation in our lives, the Lord may allow us to believe Him in faith for a supernatural Divine healing, at that time when we believe what God says we will be healed. At other times the Lord will expect us to take medical guidance and medicine which He will provide through some means.

There are also times when we start to work independently apart from God, God might allow some physical affliction inorder to make us seek Him. This was what happened to king Asa in the Old Testament times in which he was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians
(2 Chron 16:12). Sadly this man died in his disease without receving the merciful and gracious healing of the Lord which He wanted to give him (2 Chron 16:13). But the King Hezekiah even though was predicted by the prophet to die in his disease, he sought the Lord intensely and received a fifteen years bonus lifetime to live prosperously and glorify God (2 Kings 20:1-11; 2 Chron 32:24). We should also always seek the Lord first, no matter what, then should go on to take medicine if the Lord wants us to go in that direction. Whether medicine or without it, ultimately it is the Lord who brings healing in our body.

God does sometimes make us seek him through our malady and also make us to slow down enough to make us listen to Him when we are doing the work of the Lord so busily or have got so involved in our day to day endeavours and have no time to silently sit and hear the voice of the Lord and seek Him privately. When we do not budge to God's way and do not judge ourselves when we are chastised, we may be even be judged with the world which may lead to untimely death as it happened in the Corinthian Church of the first century
(Heb 12:4, 6-7, 11; 1 Peter 4:6, 17; 1 Corr 11:30-32).

Finally Jesus spoke about the upon-anointing and exhorted all to receive it. Luke revealed this by saying,
" 4 ...He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”... 8 shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”" (Acts 1:4-5, 8). The upon-anointing is received to bring healing to all people who come to us and Jesus demonstrated it when, "...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38). The upon-anointing is received to become a blessing by doing good and healing all who are opressed by the devil. This is the anointing that every believer should receive along with the external evidence of speaking in tongues and become a witness to the Lord Jesus in our homes, neighbourhood, city, state, nation and nations around the world.

Once we believe and receive the upon-anointing, we will be easily be able to believe and lay hands on the sick and heal them in Jesus name
(Mark 16:18). I pray and hope that you would have understood the entire comprehensive and the very important truths about healing and its relationship to the various anointing, and the way we will be able to access the healing power of God without any doubt is when we really know the truth about it all.

Much Blessings....


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