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The Healing Ministry Of Christ

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2023 10:38 am

The Healing Ministry Of Christ

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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March 14, 2023 10:38 am

March 12, 2023 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 8:14-17

            Topic: Healing, Sickness, Gratitude


            Download SCRIPTURE REFERENCE


In your Bibles, if you would turn with me to Matthew chapter number eight. Today, Matthew eight is we're going to read verse 14 through 17. And when you find your place in honor of the greatest book ever written by our king, let's stand and read verse 14 through 17. And he touched her hand in the fever left her and she arose and ministered unto them.

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils and he cast out the spirits with his word and healed all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah, the prophet saying himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses. Lord, once again with joy, Lord, we come into this house with thanksgiving. Lord, how could we be down today knowing that Christ sits on the throne, knowing that heaven is our home, knowing that in 100 years from now, eternal bliss will be all that we know. We live in a vapor right now. This is just a fleeting life, and as we live in this vapor length lifetime, help us to be faithful to you, our king. Help us to set our affection on things above, not on the earth. I pray today that if anyone doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ, that they might come today and confess Jesus is Lord.

Lord, protect your body today. Fill us with your spirit, and if anyone is struggling, maybe going through a hard time, may they find their peace and comfort in the God of all comfort. We ask it in Christ's name, and God's people said, man, you may be seated today. The Lord has divinely desired that there would be four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, giving us a panorama of the life of Christ in his ministry for those years. And each of the four gospels have a specific focus. Matthew's focus was to present Jesus Christ as the king of the Jews. Mark was focused on presenting Jesus as the servant king.

We have Luke's gospel presenting Jesus as the son of man and John's gospel presenting Jesus as the son of God, God in flesh. So, Matthew, as he presents Jesus as the king, he starts in Matthew chapter one, going through the genealogy of Jesus, taking him back to King David, showing that Christ had the right genealogy, and you have the birth of the king in Matthew one. Matthew chapter two and three, you have the recognition of the king as the Magi come and bow down and offer their gifts. You have John the Baptist also declaring Christ in Matthew three at his baptism.

In Matthew four, you have the purity of the king as Satan seeks to cause him to fall into temptation, but fails to do so as Jesus triumphs over him and Satan flees. In Matthew five through seven, you have the message of the king, as we looked in the last year over this great Sermon on the Mount. And then Matthew chapter eight through nine, there is a transition where Matthew begins to focus on the power of the king.

It's one thing to be king, it's another thing to have the power to bring to pass your will and desire. And what you find in Matthew eight and nine are ten miracles that are declared through these two chapters, elevating the glory and authenticity of Christ as the Messiah of God, the Savior of the world. The Old Testament declared in the book of Isaiah chapter 29, as well as in Isaiah 35, that when the Messiah would come, he would do miracles that would validate him. Jesus said in John chapter five, verse thirty five, for I have greater witness than that of John, because John the Baptist testified of Christ. But he said, I have a greater witness to John for the works which the father has given me to finish the same works that I do. Bear witness of me that the father has sent me. Nicodemus understood it, didn't he? In John three, he said. Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent from God.

How? He said, because no man can do these works except God be with him. Jesus said in John ten twenty five, the works that I do in my father's name, they bear witness of me. When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost to those great crowds in Jerusalem, he said in Acts two twenty two, you men of Israel, you hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourself also know. Now, what is absolutely captivating is when you get into Matthew chapter number eight, as Jesus begins to do these miracles to authenticate both his person and his message, he does so to those who are considered outcasts in that society. The first miracle he does is to a leper who would have been a physical outcast in that society. Then he brings a miracle to a Gentile who was an outcast among the Jews and then to a Gentile slave who was an outcast.

And then to a woman who was Peter's mother in law. According to Warren Wiersbe, the first thing these Pharisees would pray each morning when they rose up was, Lord, thank you that I'm not that I am a man and not a woman, a Jew and not a Gentile and a free man and not a slave. That's what the religious leaders prayed when they got up.

Pretty intense, right? And Jesus assaults their Jewish sensibilities. He brought them the truth and he did so in a clear and potent way. Today, I want to look at the healing ministry of Jesus and bring to light some extremely important truths, as well as exposing some false understanding concerning sickness, suffering, disease and healing. And this is such an important message for everyone here because all of us face health issues. We all go through a crisis at some point, whether personally or someone that we dearly love. We need these truths, friends, to be able to navigate those heavy seasons of life.

So first of all, let's look at the reality of sickness and suffering. Verse 14 says, And when Jesus was coming to Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid and sick of a fever. Now, some of you would say, well, if my mother in law was sick, that wouldn't be too bad. Well, that's not a good spirit, right?

And I'm not one of those. I love my mother in law. She's the best mother in law I've ever had. She's great. The only mother in law I've had, but she's awesome.

She is. But somebody will tell my wife I said that and it'll get back, you little birds. But in all seriousness, one of the great strains of life is sickness, isn't it? It's cancer, it's leukemia, it's strokes.

We've had some dear folks, one of the dear ladies in our church, not a member but had been associated with our church, had a stroke and she went home to be with the Lord just last week and Juanita Orting. Life is so fragile, so fleeting, so brief. You know, today there will be over 150,000 people that breathe their last breath on planet Earth. There's 100 people who die every second of every day.

100 people. I'm sorry, 100 deaths every minute of every day. 56 million people will die on average each year. I was talking to somebody the other day and they said, they were talking about 6 billion people on the Earth and I said, you need to update your number.

We're over 8 billion people on Earth right now. Suffering and death have become one of the great mysteries and challenges for people to answer. Job rightly said in Job chapter 14 verse 1 and 2, he said, man that is born of a woman is a few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down. He fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not.

And no one's void of this. We all deal with the reality of pain and suffering and sickness and death. Here in Matthew 8 we find that Peter's own mother-in-law is very ill. According to Mark's account of this, because this account of this sickness and Christ intervening here to heal her is not only in Mark but also in Luke chapter number 4. But according to Mark's account, when they arrived, some of the group realized that she's very ill and they bring that information to Jesus. Luke's account records that she had a great fever. Luke was a doctor so he could go in a little more detail. Luke 4.38 it says, and he arose out of the synagogue. Jesus did. So it's about noon.

It's just right after noon. They came and he entered into Simon's house and Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever and they besought him for her. We do not know the cause of the illness but we do know it was a very serious illness, potentially even life-threatening. In those days it's important to know that manual labor was just part of life. People didn't have the luxury of laying in bed for a day or several days if they just had a little bit of an illness because they still had to get done mandatory things that had to be done each day. And if you grew up in former years, you understood that people worked when they were sick.

Today we have a lot more ease with some of those things. So she's in bed. She's sick.

She's very, very bad off in this situation. And it's important to understand that even people Christ loved and God cared for such as this dear lady, she was sick. And so I want to answer the question, why are people sick? Why do people get sick?

Let me give you maybe eight or nine reasons. The first reason is because of what happened in Genesis 3. The Bible says in Romans 5 verse 12, Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed on all men for all have sinned. We get sick because we live in a fallen world.

We succumb to the effects of a cursed world. And because we're in this world of sin, we can face just natural illnesses sometimes. Secondly, sometimes we get sick or bad health because of sinful decisions we've made. I've buried several people in their 40s because of cirrhosis of the liver.

They drunk themselves to death. Sometimes illness and bad health come because people sin against us. I read recently about a precious girl who lost her eyesight because her mother was abusive to her and beat up her own daughter to the point of her daughter losing her eyesight. And that dear child lost physical health because of something someone else sinfully did against her. Sometimes illness also allows God to be glorified. Lazarus is an example of this in John 11. Jesus said in John 11, he says, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified. The blind man in John 9 was also a case of some illness.

In that case, the blindness of this man that Jesus said he was born blind, not because of anything he did, but that the works of God might be made manifest. The trials of our body and health are also ways that we can show our faith and devotion to God. You know, it's one thing to worship God when you're on the mountain.

It's another thing to worship God when you're in the valley. It wasn't the birth of Isaac that put Abraham's faith on display. It was his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. And it was our Lord's cross that revealed his love and devotion to both the Father and to us. Our suffering can also provide incredible opportunities for God to minister to us. In 2 Corinthians 1 verse 3, it says, Blessed be God, even the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and Father of mercies and God of all comfort. Notice what it says, who comforteth us in all our tribulations. And that goes into the next thought if you keep that verse up there. Our suffering can also allow us to expand our capacity to minister to others who suffer.

Verse 4, it says that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comfort of God. You know, we've had dear folks in our church who faced cancer. And I'll have sometimes, hey, can you go talk to so-and-so? They have cancer and going through that treatment that you also went through. And there's something so comforting to talk to somebody who's gone down the same road.

Sometimes we have folks who've lost their spouse and we'll have them talk to people who've been in those same situations who, because I've never lost a spouse, so I don't understand that. And I can give scripture and prayer and love and care and support. But there's something special about someone who says, listen, let me tell you, when I went through that, what helped me. And boy, I tell you, that is such a powerful grace that we can have one of another.

That's a wonderful way we can minister one to another. And you need to understand this, Christians and friends, that your pain is not wasted when you give it to God. The suffering that you go through, God can redeem that pain and use it for something wonderful in your life as well as in somebody else's life.

Sometimes there's more benefit than the physical health that we can have. Sometimes there's greater works that God is accomplishing through our sicknesses. We also need to remember that our greatest physical decline will one day ultimately bring us into the presence of God. So when the worst comes to us, which is physical death, it brings us to the best, right? We close our eyes in tears of death and we open them in tears of eternal glory in the presence of God. Revelation 21 verse 4 says, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.

What a day that will be, right? What a joy and a glory. So we see the reality of sickness and disease. Secondly, we see Christ's power over disease in verse 15. It tells us here in verse 15, And he touched her hand. Now Mark's account adds that he actually took her by the hand. He didn't just touch it, but it was more that he took her by the hand. And the fever left her, and she arose and ministered unto them. What's interesting about that is Jesus did not have to touch her hand. We already know that he healed people by his word according to verse 16, it says. But the previous miracle that he did in Matthew chapter number 8 up through verse 13, verse 5 through 13, he healed the centurion's servant by his word. He spoke. So they could have came to him and said, hey, Peter's mother-in-law is sick, and he could have said, she's healed, and she's healed, and she comes down. But instead he goes to her.

Such a compassionate, gracious God who physically journeys to where the need is. You've been in situations, I'm sure, if you have a number of years on your life where a loved one was maybe in ICU, maybe doing very bad in the hospital, I've been in many situations when I've come in the room or you've had this experience as well, and when they're in a very difficult way, in a very painful situation, what do they do when you walk into the room? They always reach their hand out, don't they? Maybe tears immediately come in their eyes, and you know what you do?

You don't even have to say a whole lot. You just come over and you just take them by the hand and you just stand there with them. Sometimes they have breathing treatments going on. They have other things going on.

There's not a lot of communication that could go on. A lot of times I'll read Psalms 23, John 14, Revelation 21, just share some verses with them, pray with them. Jesus Christ was one who, if you were in the hospital, he wouldn't just say be healed.

He would go to your room, walk over to you, and put his hand on you. That's the kind of God that we serve. He's so gracious and so loving. The Bible says he's the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation. Matthew here shows the third miracle of our Lord after coming off the mountain.

And again, he's displaying his power over disease. Do you remember when John the Baptist was in prison and he sent to Jesus and he says, Are you the one or should we look for another? John was going through a time of doubt. And how did Jesus respond to that? In Matthew 11, verse 4 and 5, Jesus answered and said unto them, Go show John again those things which ye do hear and see. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed.

You know what he's referring to? He's referring to the things that he did that were supernatural works that were spoken of in Isaiah 29 and Isaiah 35. What's interesting about that is John the Baptist comes on the scene in Isaiah 40, right?

Isaiah 40 is a chapter of the Old Testament written 700 years before John the Baptist was born saying that John the Baptist would be born and he would be the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way the Lord makes straight his paths, a desert and a highway for our God. He says, Go tell John the things that you've seen. Tell him what was written about and how it's come to pass through the miracles that I've done, the dead are raised to life, the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the gospel is preached to the poor. These miracles were undeniable. They were so staggering that the most ardent opponents of Christ could not deny the miracles.

They just had to slander him by saying Satan must be empowering him. Jesus stopped storms in their tracks. Not only did he stop the storm, but he stopped the waters from moving.

He walked on water, made fish go where he wanted them to go inside the fisherman's nets. He fed 20 to 25,000 people with five loaves and two fishes, and he did that a couple of times. He healed incurable diseases. He healed 10 lepers at one time. He cast out over 2,000 demons out of one man. Nicodemus rightly said, We know that you're a teacher sent from God because no one can do these miracles, except God is with him. But in spite of all the miracles Jesus performed, miracles did not cause people to believe.

It's just staggering. I remember as a teenager thinking, God, why don't you just do a bunch of miracles? And then everybody would believe. And he's like, Josh, have you never read the New Testament? In Matthew 11, verse 20 says, Then began he to abrade the cities. Notice the phrase wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not. Speaking specifically of Capernaum, where most of his miracles were done, they still didn't believe.

It's an amazing thing. Capernaum became like Egypt. I mean, God did 10 miracles upon Egypt. You'd have thought everybody would become a believer, but they still were so hard-hearted against God. Think about the man in hell in Luke 16. He says they need something more than the word of God. He says, You've got to send somebody back from the dead. If they see a resurrected person, then my five brothers would believe. And Abraham said to the man in hell, he says, If they don't believe the word of God, neither would they believe the one rose from the dead. The word of God is more powerful to produce saving faith than miracles. That's why the greatest thing you can give people is the word of God, isn't it? I mean, you can't go beyond that.

People run after all these other things. Now, I just need to digress into some things for a moment because it's important. Because God has chosen to authenticate the true message with miracles and signs and wonders, which only He did about three different times in human history. You need to understand there's only about three times in human history where great miracles happened. During the days of Elijah and Elisha, during the days of Moses, and during the days of Jesus.

Outside of those times, so you have Moses who authored the law, Elijah and Elijah who represented the prophets and Jesus representing the New Testament. Every time God allowed intentional miracles, it only those seasons to authenticate the messenger and the message. Now, let me ask you, if miracles were done to authenticate the message, who do you think would try to do lying signs and wonders to authenticate a false message? Satan, do you understand that there are groups around the world, so-called Christian groups, that profess they do all kinds of miracles, healing crusades, and they promote this stuff constantly? Jesus said in Matthew 24, 24, There shall rise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it be possible, it were possible they should deceive the very elect. Revelation 13, 14 says, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. There's going to be great miracles, signs, wonders. Now, I believe there are false prophets and false teachers today who claim to do miracles. They draw crowds after them and they promote false teachings. I grew up in charismatic churches for the first 15 years of my life. I was around churches that were always speaking in tongues, slain in the spirit, supposed miracles all the time. I believe that I was a Benny Hinn fan. And this is this is what I grew up in.

And I can tell you that's that that wrote ends in a painful way. One of the things that just saddens me so much when I look across Christendom in the world is the lack of discernment among God's people. It just blows my mind how people follow some of these false teachers. I can't even understand it. I don't understand how they just. I mean, like you can just peel back and see it.

It's so clear. And I don't know whether they're I believe many people in these charismatic churches are truly saved. And I believe they're genuinely in love with God. And but but I do know there's a large percentage of people that can be in some of these groups that can be very deceived.

And they many of them can have faithful teachers, but some of them have very false teachers. I I could do things to deceive you as a pastor. Just know that I could be a deceiving pastor if I wanted. And one way I could do that and I could do this in a way to make you think that I'm like some ultra spiritual person. Like I have some special anointing by God. And if I wanted to do that, this is what I would do.

I would come up here today and I would say something like this. You know what? I didn't even prepare a sermon today.

I'm not even going to prepare anything. You know what? I feel like God has is going to give me something this morning to give to you.

And you know what? God's telling me right now that there's there's three people in this room that have cancer. And he's telling me right now that God's going to cure you today. He's going to do a miracle and I could stir this congregation up and people start clapping and getting excited. And God's going to work in your life. And if you have leukemia, God's going to and I can start rowing people up and getting them into emotional ism. And then what you and I say, you know, God's given me a word right now.

He's given me a word. There's a message coming directly from God and I could start saying it. And then you would begin to think, you know what?

That must be an ultra spiritual guy. What God doesn't speak to me like that. And God gave me a vision last night, last night upon my bed before I came today. And I began to pour out to you something God supposedly told me in a vision. And all of you would think, you know what? God, that is an anointed man right there. You know why we don't do that?

Because there's nothing special about me, but there's everything special about that book. We lift up the word of God. That's where we go to the law and to the testimony. If they don't speak according to this book, let them be silent. We're not looking for a new word from the Lord or some vision or dream.

We just I don't need a vision when I have a verse. You know how many miracles John the Baptist did? Nothing. You know how many people he healed? No one. You know what he did?

He stood up and he preached the word of God. That's what we do. You know what? You all feel that level of deception that could happen? Was that kind of like, oh, you understand what I'm saying? These guys are one of sometimes pad their pockets, gain influence. I'm telling you, I could do that if I wanted.

I would be a false teacher and I would have to lose my soul to do that. But what a tragedy that goes on. And I need to point out one group that's that's taking worldwide influence right now is a group out of Redding, California. It's called Bethel Church. Bill Johnson heads up this group.

They produce a lot of music. They hold firmly to what's known as the new apostolic reformation. They have apostles. There's no present day apostles.

The apostles had to see the risen Christ and be called directly by him to be apostles. Apostolos. I understand the Greek word. There's two different meanings to that. One is we're all an apostle in the sense of one who is sent.

The word apostolos just means sent one. So God has sent all of us to proclaim the gospel. But there is a difference between apostles being sent and the 12 apostles.

That office has closed with the New Testament, but it elevates men. It makes people think they're super spiritual. They emphasize in that group experience over scripture. Mysticism over the word of God and what the apostles have to say over the plain text of scripture.

They elevate their spiritual leaders as miracle workers. They've overemphasized spiritual warfare. Everything's a demon of something. You have a demon of depression, a demon of a headache, a migraine.

You need to get rid of that demon of finances. Everything's a demon. At Bethel and charismatic, many, many churches around the country, they claim to be able to heal and do miracles. They have all kinds of supposed signs and wonders, and they follow them up with blatant false teaching. They have, according to Bethel, physical healing was purchased in the atonement. Many teach inside of the charismatic churches that salvation not only involves spiritual healing, but physical healing. Now, currently, you need to be healed physically now. Once Bill and his wife, Benny Johnson, declared that Reading would be a cancer-free zone in Reading, California, only to have people who sadly died of cancer in their church. They also say the Christians should never pray for healing by saying, if it is your will, God, because by faith, we know it's his will. I've had people say that to me. Make sure you don't say if it's God's will.

Really? I thought Jesus prayed that. Didn't Jesus pray that?

Lord, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done. Shouldn't we pray for the will of God? Johnson alludes to Isaiah 53 five, and it says this. But he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him. And with his stripes, we are healed. Peter brings up this passage in First Peter chapter number two, verse 24. He says, who his own self bear our sins in his own body on the tree.

What did he bear on the on the tree? His our sins and his body on the tree. That we being dead, the sin should live into righteousness by whose stripes were healed. He's talking about salvation, cleansing of our sins. Peter is clearly referring to that spiritual healing. Now, here in our text in Matthew eight, Matthew alludes to this is also including physical healing. He says in verse 17 that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah is the prophet saying himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses. What you need to understand in verse 16 and 17 is Jesus was at this time literally eradicating sickness from all Palestine. I mean, he healed everybody.

Now, in the salvation that God has given to you. Will you receive a body that one day will be cancer free, no longer able to be sick or no longer able to able to die? Is that true? Yes.

But do you have that body now? No, that promises future, isn't it? And so. The promise, I like what the expositor's Bible commentary says. He says, from the perspective of the New Testament writers, the cross is the basis for all the benefits that accrue to the believer.

But this does not mean that all such benefits can be secured at the present time on demand. Any more that we have the right and power to demand our resurrection body now. So we can't claim healing now because we can't claim our bodies now. So all he's saying is in verse 17 that this is salvation, but your bodies will be totally eradicated from all sickness.

But that's future. And he's given us a picture of that future reality by what he was doing in Palestine in that day. Just cleansing everybody. This is Revelation 21, verse three and four, that you wipe every tear from your eyes and no more sickness, death, sorrow, pain. But there's nothing wrong with praying if thy will be done.

That's the right way to pray, actually. Hank Canograph said healing is provided for the in the atonement, but it is not guaranteed prior to the general resurrection and consummation in history. At Bethel, they have a Bethel school of healing. They had some sad stories, though, that happened.

One man in their neighborhood had an asthma attack. Some of the students that were part of their supernatural school of healing there did not call an ambulance, but wasted precious time trying to heal the guy who ended up dying because they didn't get someone there in time. They have a debt raising team who claims to have resurrected 12 people from the dead. And then tragically, in 2019, they had a one of their lead singers. They had a two year old daughter who died. So sad. But instead of planning a memorial service and having a funeral, they spent a week trying to raise her from the dead and it gained national attention.

And tragically, obviously, the conclusion is she never came back to life. The reason I'm telling you this is because Jesus warned false teachers would come. Doing miracles or saying they're doing miracles and this stuff's going on now. And me preaching this is not me being faithless, it's actually me being faithful to the word of God. There is an importance for you to be warned of these things. Because if you believe that is the will of God for you to be healed and you're sick, then you're out of the will of God.

Right. And if you don't get healed, then you don't have enough faith in God. So so what's wrong with you? Not only are you physically doing bad, but spiritually, you must be really bad. And how can that affect somebody's life?

You think that's beneficial? You think I've seen people's life be ruined by that theology. Let me give you seven truths about Jesus and healing. Let's go to the let's go to the word of God about this. The first thing is this New Testament healings were 100 percent successful. Every time somebody came, they were healed fully. Matthew four twenty three says this.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing. What kind? All manner of sickness and how many? All manner of disease among the people. You know, one thing you'll never find in these supposed healing crusades is a clear organic issue coming back, like a withered hand that was totally or a missing body part or somebody who's literally paralyzed and medically verified to be so. It's always like some internal thing you can't see. You have bad pain. Right. Yeah, I have a bad kidney over here or something.

It's never organic. Matthew eight sixteen. Look what he says here. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils. And he cast out the spirit with his word and healed how many?

All that were sick. Chapter nine, verse thirty five of Matthew says, And Jesus went about the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogue and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. The disciples did the same thing in the book of Acts and Acts five, verse fifteen, and so much that they brought forth the sick under the streets and laid them on beds and couches that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. And there came also a multitude out of the cities round about under Jerusalem, bringing sick folk. And they that were vexed with unclean spirit and they were healed. Every one they healed lepers, blind people, no New Testament miracle failed.

They all were a complete success. People say, well, somebody might ask, well, what about the demon the disciples couldn't cast out? Well, didn't Jesus come and cast him out?

And what was the problem? Was it the demons possessed man's lack of faith? No, it was the apostles lack of faith. And people today say, well, you can't be healed because you don't have enough faith.

What a snooze. I don't know if that's the right way to preach it, but. What about Jesus healing the blind man who first you remember the guy Jesus heals and then he sees trees walking around, he says, tell me what you see. He says, I see trees, men as trees walking around, and Jesus then fully heals him.

Because I will see Jesus is struggling there to heal the guy. What Jesus did there was he had been teaching his disciples and rebuking them for their lack of spiritual sight. And then the next miracle that does is a guy who's blind and he lets the guy be healed halfway.

He's like, this is what you guys are like. You don't see you need some spiritual discernment to see the truth. And he healed the guy the whole way.

It was it was a point being made again. Every New Testament miracle was one hundred percent successful. Don't get me wrong. I believe God heals. Don't ever leave White House and say, oh, Preacher Josh doesn't think people can or God can do miracles. God doesn't heal.

No, he does. And there's been people who've been healed by things that God's been gracious. I didn't heal anybody. Nobody here's ever healed anybody. It was all of God, all of grace, all of his will. ABC Nightline report of Benny Henn.

Henn admitted. According to ABC Nightline, that he doesn't have medical verification of any of his healings. In fact, some of his supposed healings have turned into outright false in Kenya, Africa. There were four seriously ill patients who were who were released from the hospital to go to these miracle crusades. All four men who came to the crusade died.

All four. They have they have crusades where these people from other many poor, extremely impoverished, come and they give their money. And they have whole groups of people in wheelchairs. And when it's over, they go home. I've watched interviews with these people who weep. They thought they were going to get their miracle and they go home devastated.

So sad. Benny Henn himself has a heart condition. He says that God has not cured, even though he says he believes that God has promised all our healing whatsoever. He says that means not even a headache. You should have a sinus problem or a toothache.

You should have nothing. But he himself has a heart condition. And his parents had suffered from serious medical issues. Benny Henn said, quote, That was a very difficult thing for me because I told my daddy to believe. But he died. Now I don't know why.

He goes on to say his dad died of cancer and his mom of diabetes. Interestingly, the pastor and his wife at Bethel both wear eyeglasses. Isn't it ridiculous?

Like, I don't know how people don't open their eyes. And the reason we need to understand this, I'm not trying to be cruel, I'm not trying to be mean, I'm trying to protect people from delusional teachings, false messengers. Because if God wants everyone perfectly healed now and you're sick, then it's your fault.

You're off. You need to repent and believe God, and it's just not the case. Secondly, New Testament healings were undeniable. Among the most antagonistic people in the gospel, they could not deny the miracles of Christ. You know, after hundreds of crusades of Benny Henn, who's really the most notable one of these guys on TBN, the Christian Research Institute was given by them the three best healing cases from Henn.

After they researched it, they said all three cases were poorly documented and confused. And this was a Christian research that tried to see if there was evidence. They said if this is the best evidence that Henn can muster after years of miracle rallies, with a staff working at each rally to document cases of healing, then there is no credible evidence that he has ever been involved in a bona fide healing. Compare that to the New Testament, where in John 9 or Acts 4, the antagonists of Christ could not deny the miracle. It was so impossible. They're like, this has to be of Satan. In 2001, HBO documentary entitled A Question of Miracles followed the lives of seven people for a year after they had supposed healing at these miracle crusades. At the end of the time period, Anthony Thomas, the film's director, said that not one had actually been healed. He said, if I had seen a miracle at Henn's crusades, I would have been happy to trumpet it.

But in retrospect, I think they're doing more damage to Christianity than the most committed atheist. I grew up with it. This was my life. I was just like, man, this guy is so... I remember thinking God speaks right to him.

That's what I would think. I was blown away. New Testament healings were immediate and spontaneous.

That's the third truth. All of them happened. And they were also spontaneous and immediate. They were immediately healed. There was no like, you know, you're 50% better. I remember one dear lady in this church who came to this church and she said, you know, God's going to heal me, God's going to heal me. And I said, listen, you need to understand that sometimes God's will is for us to be healed and sometimes he takes us on to heaven and that's where our eternal healing is. But she got upset and she went down to a church about 10 minutes down the street who supposedly does healing stuff there. And she couldn't wait to write me back and say, you know what, I always had a healing thing there and I felt this heat come through my body.

This is what she said. I'm 65% better now. God healed me.

Well, I'm glad you're feeling better, but there's no 65% in this book. I'm not trying to be mean, friends, but that's deception. Let me give you an example. When I was in high school, I shouldn't probably say this because there are probably some rotten young people that will do this. But I remember we said, I heard about people coming to like, just the power of persuasion.

So you would tell somebody something, if enough people told them, then like they would believe it. So we had like 10 of us that went up to this kid and we were like, I said, man, you look sick. Are you feeling okay? And the first thing they do is like, oh yeah, I'm feeling fine.

I'm like, seriously, man, you look like you're off a little bit. And they're like, no. But then that gets them thinking. We had so many people do that to him in the day. By the end of the day, he literally went home sick. Like it got him sick.

He thought he was sick after a while because everybody told him that. I can tell you, the power of persuasion is an incredibly powerful thing. If you have somebody, you're healed, you're healed, you're healed.

You can begin to believe it and you can mentally begin to persuade yourself that you are, but that may improve you by, say, 65%. There was none of that that went on in the Bible. Fourthly, New Testament healings were not done for money. You know, Jesus never healed for money. In fact, Peter was offered money in exchange for healing power by Simon Magus in Acts chapter number eight.

Listen how Peter responds to him. But Peter said in him, thy money perish with you, because thou thought the gift of God may be purchased with money. Today, TV preachers have no problem asking for your money in response for healings. During a TV praise-a-thon, Benny Hintz said, I believe that God is healing people. Why are they making a pledge tonight? They're getting healed, making a pledge. Make a pledge, make a gift, because that's the only way you're going to get your miracle. As you give, the miracle will begin.

They pull in an estimated $100 million a year. Oh my God. Is that nuts? Who are these people?

Are you watching online? And you know what the Bible said? If somebody proclaims something that didn't come to pass, reject them, right? And in the Old Testament it said, really, they need to be killed. I'm not saying he needs to be killed. I'm just saying that's what the Word of God was saying in the Old Testament. Praise God we're under grace right now for these guys' sakes, I guess. The next reality, a fifth, is Jesus avoided publicizing his healings. In Matthew 8-4 he says, tell no man.

In Matthew 9-30, tell no man. Yet these supposed divine healers, they publicize it, they parade it around. A sixth reality of New Testament healings, New Testament healings authenticated a true message. And when you read the theology of some of these other people, it's so abhorrent.

It's like this is just so clearly false. And a seventh in New Testament healings didn't always depend on the faith of the recipient. Sometimes God healed people and he said you have faith and he would heal them, but sometimes they didn't have any faith. In Luke 17, there was 10 lepers healed and only one of them returned and expressed faith in Christ. The demon possessed man in Matthew 8-28 and 29 that we'll get here in a couple weeks, that man didn't have any faith. He was demon possessed. The crippled man in John 5 didn't even know who Jesus was till after he was healed.

John 9, he's like, who is Jesus? The blind man that God healed, he didn't know. The lame man that Peter healed wanted money.

Peter says, silver and gold have I none, but what I give unto you in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk. The man didn't express faith, but he was healed. Benny Hinn said, it's always God's will to heal. Never ever say to the Lord, if thy will be, don't allow such faith destroying words to be spoken from your mouth. When you pray, if it be your will, Lord, faith will be destroyed. It's always God's will to heal than the obvious conclusion is the sick and infirm are to be blamed for their own afflictions. Don't have pity on them. Call them to repentance. You see what happens? You think that can mess people up?

Yeah, because it's not true. Let me let me let me roll this into some concluding thoughts. The fourth truth. Is it God's will for all to be completely healthy and healed? Is that God's will? Well, you know, Paul was sick in the New Testament. The apostle Paul who did miracles. Second Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 10, talking about his thorn in the flesh, which also included, he says, their infirmities, which most often refer to physical sickness and diseases. When you read about his physical health in the book of Galatians, chapter four, listen to what he says. He says, in my temptation, that word temptation, parasmos is the Greek word, it can mean trial temptation, like a physical issue that he's dealing with, which was in my flesh, you despise not nor reject it, but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Where is then the blessedness you spoke of? For I bear you record that if impossible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Paul had some kind of an eye condition.

And he's like, so why didn't he heal himself? He said in Galatians 611, you see how large of a letter I've written unto you with my own hand. Why do you have to write it large? Because you couldn't see well. Well, that's kind of a humbling thing. When you write 13 books in the New Testament, you don't have good vision, right? Say, Lord, I need some eyes. And he says, hey, I'll give you someone to help be your scribe. I'll be with your eyes.

I'll make you depend on me so that every word you pin down you knows from me. You think, boy, God had been a lot easier if I just had good eyesight. I think God would come along and say, I don't know that you could handle all those blessings so much. Timothy had a stomach trouble. He got sick often. Instead of healing him, Paul said, drink a little bit of wine.

Look at what 1 Timothy 5 23 says. He said, drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. Who's been to a third world country? Raise your hand.

When you're in a third world country, what do they say? Don't drink the... Why not? Yeah, because when you do, you're going to find out. You're going to be on that porcelain, right? You're going to be hurting.

It lights you up. So what do you do? You've got to drink clean water. Well, what if you're in a country that doesn't have clean water?

Well, in the first century Palestine, you had basically three options. You had unclean water. You had goat's milk, and you had wine. So what they would do, and people say, well, their wine could not be fermented. Listen, I'm not for drinking. I don't drink myself. But you couldn't keep it from being fermented because there was no refrigeration process. Anyway, so what they did was he said, so Timothy was a guy who abstained from wine because he probably didn't want the people at Ephesus who had the God Bacchus there, God of the wine, and he's like, I don't want to have anything to do with that stuff because I don't want any of it to be a stumbling block.

But Paul says, hey, you're getting sick all the time. You need to mix some of that alcoholic content into your water so that it can kill off the bacteria. Does that make sense?

You would have done the same thing, and there would have been nothing wrong with that. So it was for purifying. It was for cleansing. It was for health. Why didn't Paul just heal his stomach?

Because he says, hey, there's other options. And healing was a temporary sign gift that once the message was authenticated, that sign gift moved off the scenes. Just like, again, miracles and signs came through Moses, through Elijah, Elisha, and then in the New Testament, and then they passed off the scenes again. Paul said he left his co-worker Trophimus sick at Miletum in 2 Timothy 4, 2. He says, harass us about it Corinth, but Trophimus, have I left at Miletum sick?

Why did you do that? What, any healing? So clearly God's own servants faced sickness. Sometimes illness allowed God to be glorified. Sometimes God wants us to know that his grace is sufficient for us. 2 Corinthians 12, 9, he says, my grace is sufficient for thee.

My strength is made perfect in weakness. I'm going to tell you something, friends. Every time I see Neil walk into this church, he's 95 years old. You're like, who's Neil? He's the 95-year-old man that walks like this.

Now, you all know what I'm talking about? Ninety-five years old, he's at the early service. I said, time change ain't going to hurt you, and he's like, nope. He's like, my watch updated, it got me up, and I'm here. Drives himself.

How many people think that he's 95 and he's like this for good, forever? Every time I see him, I'm just humbled. I'm like, Josh, you better have prepared a sermon that's worthy of faithfulness like that.

To honor the Lord and to bless his people. And there's some people you're sitting at home right now. That hour got you?

If a 95-year-old man can get up and be here, what reason did you have? Don't turn me off because I'm not done yet. They're like, yeah, I'll go ahead and turn him off. He offended me one too many times. Keep it on. Get on your knees.

Right? But I can tell you, friends, just know when you go through some trials in life, people see that and they think, man, their God must be real. Their God must be great.

They have every reason in the world to seek to blame God and cast him aside, but they are clinging to him. Man, God must be amazing. The world needs to see us sick. The world needs to see how we take illness. The world needs to see how we take death. The world needs to see how we take what they take.

And we say, you know what? God is faithful. Listen, one day he's going to cleanse us of every illness, but until that day, Lord, if it be your will that I'm sick, let me be sick, but let it all be for your glory. I would love to be healed. I'd love my family members to be well. I'd love this person to be cured. Lord, we pray for that, but we trust you.

We trust you. You know what Paul said, God, can you get rid of this thorn in the flesh, this messenger of Satan buffeting me? And God said, Paul, you're in danger of pride.

You have been given so much. And for Paul, the greater danger was not a messenger of Satan that was buffeting him. The greater danger was that pride would fill him. Better to have a satanic attack upon your life than pride attacking your life.

That's how deadly that evil is. The next time you get sick or face a health issue, pray God will graciously heal you. Believe that he can. God, I know you can. I know that you have the power.

I trust in you. But pray as Christ prayed, Lord, let your kingdom come. Let your will be done.

You do with your servant as you see fit. Realize God can and will use our illness for his glory. You know, God can use our illness to cause us to be humble.

Anybody ever found yourself humbled because of some physical difficulty you went through? Yeah. Yeah, we've been humbled. Was that a good lesson?

Yeah. We didn't want it, but that was a healthy thing for us. Also, it causes us to depend upon the Lord. Anybody found your prayer life increasing when you went through those physical trials? Prayed more than you ever have, seeking the Lord.

You said, God, I want to get through. Some of you are here today because you went through some kind of physical something and it drew you closer to God or increased your faith. I've had people who've led other people to Christ in the hospital because they got sick and went to the hospital and some physical issue happened to them and that person ended up getting saved. We have a dear lady in our church now who's a member of our church because there was three of us that met her over at the hospital and by the third person who invited her to church, he's like, all right, I'll come. I was number two in the list, but I wasn't good enough to come for her.

There was somebody else that had to invite her. But God loves people so much that he will allow us to go through physical hardship. You say, how could God be so mean to let us go through physical trials to even bring people to salvation? Didn't Christ do that himself? Christ took death that we might have the gospel. Pain can cause people to repent. It can remind us of our own mortality, can cause us to set our affection on things above, not on things of the earth.

The benefits are incredible. And then let me close with one final thought in verse 15. Look what he says as we wrap up. It says, and he touched her hand. Jesus touches her hand and the fever left her and she arose. And what did she do, friends? And ministered unto them.

Isn't that great? The first thing she does after she's healed is she serves. What has your response been to the grace that God has poured out on your life?

Psalm 116 verse 12 says, what shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? Are you serving the Lord with your life? Are you involved in the ministries of Lighthouse anywhere?

You need to be. You need to be ministering to people here, serving, loving, caring for people. Get involved in the church.

Serve somewhere. I know there's people today in our church and even online that are facing physical health issues. You know, as a church family, we need to lift each other up in prayer, don't we?

Pray for one another, care for one another, love one another, minister to one another. If you have a burden, come and pray today. If you have a health issue, come and pray. Believe God can heal because he can pray for people that way. But also pray, God, if this is your will, if you desire this. But if you don't choose to heal me now, I know you'll heal me then.

And if you don't choose to heal me now, I know you got something better for me than physical health. There's literally things God has like like for many hands and people, they think the pinnacle is good physical health, but that's not the pinnacle. The pinnacle is being right with God.

That's the highest mountain you can come to. And God will use the lesser things like physical trials to bring you to the highest place. And so see that grace that can bring you to those realities today. If you don't know Christ, I'll be down front.

We have men and women that would love to talk with you. They could share with you from the word of God how you could be saved. But if you need to come and maybe today you need to cast a burden upon the Lord.

Maybe you've been carrying something. Why don't you turn it over to God? Maybe you have maybe you have some kind of guilt in your life, Lord. Are you punishing me for some, you know, sin can produce sickness in our life. But many times there's other things God's teaching us, growing us, molding us. Maybe today you just need to come and surrender to God.

Maybe some area you need to begin serving in. Why don't you come today as we sing? Let's all stand.

Let's all stand. Father, we just thank you for your word today. It's our joy to gather.

It's our joy to be here. Thank you for your word, your truth, your gospel. We lean into you today.

Thank you for opening our eyes and our ears to your truth. We don't want to be as the disciples who saw men as trees, but we want to see clearly. Lord, let us take your lessons and not be bullheaded and have to go through wilderness experiences, but to be humble, to trust in you through the hard seasons of life. Thank you that you're the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations. God, I pray today that you would put that gracious hand upon that life today that's struggling and hurting. Just like you touched Peter's mother-in-law, like you touched that leper, may you just put that special touch upon hurting hearts today.

Help us to be sensitive to people around us, to be people of empathy and care and love, to love others as ourself. Lord, help us to have big faith, to trust in a big God. Thank you for the pains of life. Thank you for the hurts, because you're doing something greater than we even realize this side of heaven. We might come to you like Mary and Martha and say, Lord, if you've been here, my brother had not died, but you say, oh, there's a better work that I'm about to do than his physical healing. God, I pray that you would give us understanding in these things. Save anyone today that's lost. We ask it in Christ's name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-14 12:05:57 / 2023-03-14 12:29:19 / 23

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