Monthly Archives: November 2014

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 1

This post has been a long time coming, and I can see it generating a few arguments. I can also see it setting some people free to receive healing, and for that reason, it is well worth writing it. I must just say that the ideas in the blog are not all my own, but I wouldn’t put them in if I didn’t agree with them. I have 12 reasons why people are not healed, so I’ll go through them and see how many I can fit on each post. If you would like to see the videos where I learned this, you can find them here.

First of all, in order for this series to make sense, you need to understand my basic views on healing. I believe that God wants all of us healed, all of the time. Jesus never said to anyone, “Sorry, but it is God’s will for you to be ill.”. He also never denied anyone who asked to be healed. If Jesus was doing God’s will (which He always did), surely He would have denied some people if God’s will was for some of us to be sick. Secondly, I believe that we should not pray for healing but command it. Why? Monkey see monkey do. Did Jesus ever gather around a sick person, call the disciples, and pray? No. Even if you use the incredibly thin argument of “We’re not Jesus”. How did Peter do it? How did Paul heal? No prayer I’m afraid, just commanding. If you’re now going to tell me that the Bible says that the elders should pray for someone who is sick, I’ll agree, but just look up that word pray. In this case it is the one case where it means ‘active-prayer’. Should that maybe rather be translated to ‘minister’? I’ll leave that up to you, but surely passages of scripture and examples by Jesus, Peter, Paul and others should outweigh one verse when we are deciding how to act? Thirdly, we have been given the authority to command healing. Jesus gave us the authority in Matthew 10:8. Here is a story to illustrate my point.

Imagine Jesus to be the sun (and the Son, see how that worked out?). The sun is always shining. Why don’t we see it at night? Because we are not facing the right way. Why don’t we see it when it is cloudy? Because the clouds are in the way. Does that mean that the sun is not shining, or just that we are not experiencing the sunshine because something is preventing it from getting to us? This is exactly the same with healing (and other things). Isaiah 53:5 says that by His stripes we were healed. Not may be healed. Were healed. This means that Jesus has already done what He needed to do in order for us to be healed, it is now up to us to use our authority to heal (ourselves and others). I know that this may come as a shock to some, it did to me, but knowing this has changed my life for the better. Please just note that I am not saying that we command Jesus to heal (He is not our puppet), I’m saying that we command the sickness to leave (or the person to be healed), in accordance with what Jesus died for. We’re telling the person’s body and the sickness what to do, not God. One more thing, we always do this in the name of Jesus. We’re not doing this in our own strength. If you agree with my statements up to this point, then carry on reading. If you have an issue with what I have already said, then I strongly suggest that you go away and pray out it, read the scriptures and ask God if I am talking rubbish or not. The rest of this won’t really help you if you disagree with what I have said so far.

Thanks for reading this post, which turned out to be the introduction. As I said, I want to share 12 of the ‘clouds’ that prevent us from experiencing the power of the ‘sun’ (Son) and all that He has to offer. This series is 5 posts long, as I talk about each ‘cloud’. If you disagree with anything that I have said so far, please find some scripture to back your arguments up, pray about it, and if you still think that I am wrong, show me why. I am not adversed to learning, provided it can be backed up properly with scripture. I used to just blindly believe what people told me, not anymore, I now believe the Bible (and those who speak truth from it) regardless of what others may say.

I hope that you are as excited about eliminating these ‘clouds’ as I am. Look out for the next post.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 25-28

Thanks for reading this, it is the last post in my Time to Acts series and is about the last 4 chapters of Acts. This is the most chapters that I have squeezed into a post, but it is a lot of repetition, re-telling of old stories and Paul appearing before rulers, telling his story. There are a few points that I would like to make though, let’s take a look.

Firstly, in Acts 28, at the beginning, Paul is bitten by a snake. This is after he has warned the soldiers not to board the ship, and he has reassured them that they will not die at sea. They all end up shipwrecked on an island after all of his good work, Paul gets bitten by a viper, and because of this, he is assumed to be a murderer. Then, when the viper’s venom has no effect on Paul, he is assumed to be a god. It shows just how people can change their minds based on what they see. Paul fixes his eyes on the Word of God and not what he sees around him. See the difference? Paul then goes around the island healing people, in fact scripture implies that everyone who had an illness came and were healed. This is one of my issues, I can’t find a single time in the Bible where anyone was told that they couldn’t be healed, or that God didn’t want them healed, so why do we do it today? I don’t understand this, it must be something that we are not doing right, and not the fact that God doesn’t heal anymore. I’ll leave that with you to think about.

Next we hear Paul plead his case, and again, there seems to be one thing in particular that gets everyone upset. This is not the first time that we have seen this statement get a reaction, let’s take a look at it. Acts 28 – 28&29, “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.” Why do people tend to get upset when it is said that someone else may also be entitled to their benefits? It seems that it is not enough that we have something, we want others to go without in order to give us the advantage. If everyone in the world was given a BMW, most people who already drove one would be really upset. It is not the fact that they have a BMW, it is more the fact that others don’t. This is rather sad. This needs to be the exact opposite in the Kingdom of God. What you have is worth nothing unless you give it away, you being able to heal is useless if you don’t heal. Being a prophet is useless if you don’t prophesy. This is the same with all aspects of the Kingdom of God, we need to be telling others about it, and giving it away, otherwise it is pointless. Completely the opposite to what the Pharisees were up to, trying to have it all for themselves. This is what Paul has been trying to teach us throughout the book of Acts (thanks to Luke for writing it).

Thanks for joining me for Time to Acts, that is the end now. The posts will continue, but I will write about various topics as God leads. Thanks for reading this. Let me leave you with a question.

What have you been given to use for God’s glory? What are you doing about it? We don’t all have to be TV evangelists, in fact if everyone did what God had called them to do, we may not even need TV evangelists. Let us all discover what God has called us to do, and what He has given us to contribute. If we all bring what we have, and do what we have been called to do, God will move powerfully through his people and we will see the revival that we all desire.

God’s power, our actions.

Be blessed.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 23&24

Here we take a look at 2 chapters, and see Paul stand trial and eventually go to prison. All because he taught people to follow Jesus. When I read scripture like this, it does make me wonder what I would do in a situation like this. I face mild persecution, nothing like what Paul went through. Now I am not saying that we should go out looking for trouble, but we should preach the Word, and not be afraid of what may come our way. Let’s take a look at some parts of chapter 23 and 24.

We first see Paul up against the Pharisees and Sadducees. Paul gets them arguing with each other, so much so that the commander gets Paul out as he fears that Paul may have been killed in the process. This inspires a group of 40 Jews to get together and make a pact to kill Paul. It always amazes me how people will go to such great lengths to keep the Truth quiet. We see this kind of thing happening today in countries all over the world, and it is rather sad. Christians getting killed for preaching the Word of God. Those of us who live in countries where it is safe(er) to preach the Word, do we do it? It is even sadder that we have an opportunity to reach others and we often don’t take it.

Paul is then taken away, for safety, by the commander. He ends up in a prison at Herod’s quarters where he awaits a trial. Later on, he is brought out and asked to plead his case, which he does, he says the following: “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.
17 “After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God. 18 My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ceremony. There was no crowd around me and no rioting. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there—and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me! 20 Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high council[c]found me guilty of, 21 except for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’”

Paul is then put back in prison, and ends up staying there for 2 years! Here is the thing, the Lord spoke to Paul in verse 11 (of Chapter 23) and told him that he would be going to Rome. Now he is in prison for 2 years for doing nothing wrong. How many of you have felt that you have heard from God, but it is just not happening? How many of us are waiting to see prophesies come true in our lives? Keep believing, keep trusting, and keep doing what God has called you to do and you will get there. I think of some things in my life which hasn’t happened quickly enough for me and how frustrated I get because I get impatient. Paul spent 2 years in a prison, waiting for God’s word to happen. Could you do that? I don’t know if I could. I need to learn from this and be patient. Yes, take action (if God has called yo to), pray, speak positively, keep believing and meditating on God’s Word, keep reading the Bible and praising God… But don’t lose faith. Don’t let the unbelief sneak in. I am not teaching this from a point of having done it well, I am talking to myself here as much as I am talking to anyone else.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 21&22

Acts 21 and 22 sees Paul set off on his mission, after he was warned that he would be bound, beaten and possibly killed. Paul decides to go anyway. Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important to him than his own life even is.

Paul then gets warned again by some women who prophesied that he would be bound and beaten in Jerusalem. Once again Paul decides to go anyway. As predicted, he starts off by upsetting some people who take him outside and start beating him. When the soldiers arrived on the scene, they stopped beating Paul, and the soldiers took him away. It was good for Paul, as the people planned to kill him. Paul then told the commander that he was a Jew, so the commander allowed him to address the crowds.

Paul goes on to tell the crowds what had happened to him on his travels, to which the crowd listened intently. At least until Paul mentioned that God had also sent him to the Gentiles. This really upset the Jews as they didn’t hold the Gentiles in high regard, especially when it came to God’s anointing. This caused them to get angry again and call for Paul to be beaten again. This time, Paul asked the Roman soldiers if they were allowed to beat an uncondemned Roman (knowing full well that they weren’t allowed to). The soldier was shocked to learn that Paul was a Roman, and it saved him from a beating.

When Paul then faces the council, his story causes a split amongst the members. Some believing that Paul should be put to death and others believing that he was of God, and should be left alone. This is what the first group decided to do. And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.” This is what I believe was the thorn in Paul’s side. These kind people who followed him around trying to kill him. Persecution. Not an eye illness.

The Romans get wind of this plan to kill Paul, so they send soldiers to get him and take him to Antipatris. This is done effectively, so Paul eventually ends up in Herod’s Praetorium, awaiting his trial.

I know that I have covered that section very quickly, but that leaves us with Paul in a bit of a predicament, awaiting trial. The point of this is to show you that Paul knew what he was getting into, and he chose to go anyway. Now we can question his intelligence, and his strategy, but we can’t question his commitment to what God had called him to. What has God called you to, and how committed are you to it? This is the question that I am asking myself.

Think about it. Make the right decisions.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 20

It is time for Acts chapter 20. I was originally going to combine this with the next few chapter, as it really is one big story, but there is so much to learn in each chapter that I ended up splitting them. Please do take note of the common story and theme throughout the next few chapters.

First of all, there is a fellow sitting in a window, who falls asleep and falls out of the window. As you would expect, he dies, but then Paul goes outside and raises him from the dead. How cool is that? We often ‘limit’ healing for people who have had no choice (like an illness which the person didn’t cause themselves). How many people would say that falling out of a window is a tragedy but you shouldn’t have been in the window in the first place (I hear my mother asking us why we would do such a silly thing). Here is the question. If this happened today, how many of you would actually attempt to raise the person from the dead? Probably not many. Then we ask why we don’t see miracles like this anymore.

Now Paul is trying to get to Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost, but he knows that it is going to be a difficult time. He states the following in verses 20 – 24. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Wow. I’m not sure if I will be saying the same thing there. I mean I know that what I teach will often generate a reaction, and people have said some pretty hurtful stuff to me because of my faith, but I have never really been in any physical danger (that I know of). Paul knew that he was going to be locked up, very possibly beaten, and even potentially killed. He went anyway. Spreading the gospel was more important to Paul than his life. Where does our calling from God fall in our priorities? I’m not suggesting that we all give up our day jobs and move to North Korea to preach the gospel and risk our lives (unless god calls us to do so), I’m just asking how important it is to you. What is more important to you that what God has called you to? Your free time, family, job, money, or even your life? Preaching the gospel was more important than all of these things to Paul. You see, so often people use verses like this to try and guilt us into doing things. That is not my intention. I believe (I’m still working on getting my actions to match up) that God’s way is best. I believe that God has got better things in store for us than we could ever achieve on our own. He is a good God, He doesn’t want to drag us off to a place where we won’t be happy, He has created us for a purpose, and we won’t be truly happy until we step into what He has for us. If you make it into heaven one day (I hope that you have accepted Jesus as your saviour and will do), ask Paul if he regrets going to Jerusalem. Paul will have some regrets, but I doubt that this was one of them. God has the best in store for our lives, but we settle for less because we don’t trust God. This is the bottom line. I’m not condemning anyone, I include myself in this too, but I am always deciding to trust God more and more. It is a decision, not a warm fuzzy feeling. Join me in deciding to make the right decisions.

Join me for the next posts, where we continue to follow Paul’s journey and learn from it. Think about what has been said here, and how important God’s calling is to you. Think about what decisions you can make to allow God’s power to flow through your life. The Bible says that it is better to give than to receive, but it also says that if we prove ourselves with a little, we’ll be given much. The more you step out for God and trust Him, the more He’ll do through you. Who knows, you may be the person raising someone from the dead one day, or leading many people to the Lord. If so, it would all have started because you started trusting God more and more, and deciding to do what He has called you to do over what you want to. This is my mission. Make it yours.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 19

It is time for chapter 19, and as usual, there are some lessons to be learned here. Let’s take a look and see what this chapter has to say.

The first part is showing that it is necessary to be baptised in the Spirit and in water. I grew up in a baptist church, and I now attend a church that does believer’s baptism. I believe that when people make a decision to follow Christ, they should get baptised in water as did Jesus. I don’t believe that this should be done as a baby, but only when you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Having said that, baptism in the Spirit is just as important, if not more so. Baptism in water is an outward expression of an inward change, you are merely showing everyone there that you have been born again. It is not magical, the water is not blessed, or anything like that. It is merely an act of obedience that shows that you are born again. Being baptised by the Spirit is powerful. There are very often immediate signs that follow, like speaking in tongues, prophesying or the like. This is what I believe releases you into your ministry, this is what equips you with the power of the Holy Spirit, to do what you have been called to do. I don’t think that anyone should go into any ministry without being baptised in the Spirit. You can do it, but you won’t be as successful as you will be with the Holy Spirit. So how do you get baptised in the Spirit? Paul laid hands on the people and they were baptised by the Spirit. Ask someone who has been baptised by the Spirit, and they can lay hands on you to receive the same.

The next part is interesting. God worked so powerfully through Paul, I’d love to have pieces of cloth that I have touched, healing people. That would be awesome. I am not as dedicated as Paul, but I still want to see people set free from illnesses of all sorts. Then we have a word of warning, the Jewish exorcists trying to do the same thing. Trying to cast a demon out in the name of Jesus. There are so many movies nowadays about demons and exorcisms and they are mostly rubbish. If you think that what happens in these movies is true, you’re mistaken. The only authority over demons is the authority that we have been given by Jesus. No amount of garlic, ‘good magic’ (there is no such thing) or chants are going to help. Jesus name is the only thing that works, but not everyone can use it. The seven sons of Sceva tried, and they came off second best. A distant second at that. Jesus’ name is not a magic word that we throw around, there is power in it because of what He did, and He has put that power in the hands of those that follow Him. The problem is that we have people who don’t know Jesus, posing as the ‘authority’ on ghosts, the afterlife, spirits and the like, when we as Christians are scared of them. I think that it is time that we deal with the demonic and answer the tough questions. Imagine if we all used our prophetic and word of knowledge gifts, there would be no need for psychics. Imagine instead of ghost hunters on TV, we had Godly people educating us about evil and how to avoid it. Imagine instead of dressing up like a zombie for halloween, your child was filled with the Holy Spirit. Imagine how much better off we’d all be.

Next we have some more issues for Paul, as if he hasn’t had enough already. This time it is over money. The people who make the idols, make a fortune from selling them, so they don’t want the people to stop worshipping them. I wonder how much of this goes on today. Why do governments try to stop things like ‘healing in the streets’? Why would they want to stop people getting well? Why would they not want us to heal illnesses, handicaps, mental illness, pains, disabilities and the like? Is it because there is so much money generated through medicine, doctors and hospitals? Who knows. Ask yourself this question, they are always going on about how bad smoking is, but they never ban it. If you drive drunk they ban you, why not ban smoking if it is so bad for people? Money. This is what it so often comes down to. People worship money and not God. So here is a personal question. What have you compromised on because of money? This is not to condemn you, just to make you think about your priorities. This has been a hard lesson for me of late, I’ll share more with you after this series on Acts.

Richard