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The figs did not and could not heal Hezekiah. His case was wholly incurable. They were simply a token that G.o.d had the case in hand, and were given at the command of the prophet, and not the physician, who seems to have had nothing whatever to do with this case.
25. Why did Christ use clay?
No doubt, for a similar reason, as a token that He was touching this man's disease. But the clay did not heal him. It was the water of Siloam, the type of the Sent One, which washed away both the clay and the blindness, too.
26. Was not Luke called the Beloved Physician?
Yes. He had been a physician, but be became an evangelist. Even if he practiced after his conversion, it was no reproach, nor sin; but if G.o.d had wanted to guard us against the fanaticism of Divine Healing, how easy it would have been for Him to record a single instance in which the early believers sent for Luke. He could not have much medical practice in such a wandering life as he led with Paul, and the only time we read of the two meeting at the side of a patient, was when Eutychus was killed, and then it is Paul, and not Luke, who seems to have been sent for, and who certainly was used of G.o.d to raise him from the dead. Luke himself, who writes the narrative, does not even use a medical term in describing it.
27. But did not Paul himself prescribe medicine to Timothy in telling him to take wine for weak digestion?
Well, if this was fermented wine, we must abandon the argument for temperance. If, then, it was unfermented wine, it was simply a diet, and not a drug, and used just as we would suggest tea or rare beef to a friend. G.o.d's Word does prescribe to us all varieties of simple, wholesome food, but not medicine. From Genesis to Revelation you will find no single explicit direction to use human remedies. But you will find numerous directions to bring your sickness to G.o.d.
28. How should I act if I should break my arm?
Ask the Lord to keep it from breaking. Then do not calculate on breaking it, or you may according to your faith. If you should meet someone who has a broken arm, tell him not to try any experiments on G.o.d. If they can trust Him, without doubt He will heal anything. But if they cannot surely do so or have any question about it, let them go to the nearest and best surgeon.
For yourself, trust G.o.d in the present moment, and do not have any supposes, else you may have Job's experience, "I feared a fear and it came upon me."
29. How should we act in reference to the sickness of others?
First lead them to get right spiritually, and learn the lesson G.o.d may have. Then tell them of the great Physician, and pray for right conviction and appropriating faith, but do not commit your faith further than they are ready to go of themselves, unless you are specially led of G.o.d to do so. Above all, do not allow them to lean upon your faith for their healing. If they can really believe and act faith, then take hold for and with them with all your heart, and when two of you are really agreed in spirit and faith, it shall be done.
30. What should we do in the case of children?
We may act for them if our own, or if they are substantially laid upon us by the Lord, so that we are responsible for them. But we cannot believe for the children of others where G.o.d is looking to someone else to a.s.sume this responsibility, as, for example, an unbelieving parent. In the case of the children of others we should be most careful in a.s.suming responsibility. In the case of the children of our Orphanage, we would not feel justified in taking this responsibility, in view of the law of the state requiring the care of an attendant physician.
In the case of our own children we may and should teach them to unite with us themselves in faith, and we will find it very easy to get their simple hearts to trust Jesus fully.
In all cases of sickness in others where there is danger involved and you have the responsibility, to meet the obligations of the law, it is a great matter, if possible, to have some regular physician who believes in Divine Healing within call, so as to be responsible if necessary.
31. If we are not immediately conscious of actual healing, after anointing, how should we act?
Keep your eyes off your symptoms and on Christ. He is your life. Your body must be reckoned as good as dead, and He depended upon for strength, moment by moment. Therefore look to Him, draw your strength from Him, and be not discouraged at any testing or seeming delay. In nature the root may be cut, and yet the tree only wither after many weeks; the serpent may be killed, and yet his tail will move till the sun goes down; the seed may be planted in September, and the winter snows and storms pa.s.s over it before the spring and summer bloom and harvest-"Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it till he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
32. How can I consider and call myself healed when there is no sign of it in my body?
How can I go away from the telegraph office and be at rest about the telegram I have just sent, when I see no trace of it as it goes flashing along the wires.
If I can trust a telegraph operator, can I not trust my G.o.d? Faith must always first "call the things that are not as though they were," and "against hope believe in hope," and "consider now its own body now dead," or more literally, "without being weakened in faith, he considered his own body now as good as dead, yet looking unto the promise of G.o.d, he wavered not through unbelief, but waxed strong through faith, giving glory to G.o.d, and being fully a.s.sured He was able to perform."
The healing is not in our own body at first-we consider it as good as dead, but in Christ's body, and as we look to it, its strength keeps coming into ours, and we "wax strong through faith."
33. But have we a right to call that real which is not real?
If G.o.d calls it so, we can echo His declaration. And faith always must first reckon and then receive. And when we go to the post office to collect our orders, we must send in our signed receipt before we get any money, so faith must ever send its receipt to heaven before it grasps its answer. And if we have not the faith to do this for Divine Healing, perhaps we have not the faith for anything.
34. How can I obtain and exercise true and effectual faith for Divine Healing?
Only by having Divine faith as well as Divine Healing. Only by counting your faith and yourself dead and insufficient, and receiving Christ for this wholly, throwing yourself upon Him for it absolutely, and claiming a faith as perfect as that which G.o.d requires and gives, faith that doubts not, that believes it has the thing which it has asked, and so has whatsoever it saith.
35. Is all sickness from the devil?
Sickness may arise from several causes. First, it is sometimes G.o.d's chastening, and while the devil is the instrument used, G.o.d is speaking and we must hear and repent, and learn His lesson. Secondly, it is sometimes Satan's tormenting attack when we are walking in obedience and service. He has power even to simulate all symptoms. He often attacks us after we have given a testimony against him, especially respecting healing, at other times when in G.o.d's special service. At such times we must resist him, and he will flee from us. We must not fear him. Especially we must lay him over on Christ, and He will conquer. But to know it is Satan is half the battle.
DIVINE HEALING AFTER TWENTY-ONE YEARS' EXPERIENCE A CONTRAST.
Testimony Of Henry Wilson Out of weakness into strength, out of pain and weariness of mind and body into power and gladness in both, out of the fear of disease into the joy of the Lord and the love that kills fear and casts it out. For seventeen and a half years of toilsome, painful effort to keep on one's feet, and do a little, the blessed exchange of twenty-one years of service without toil. Doing three times as much without one-third of the effort, and without the need or desire to touch a drop of medicine or stimulant. In the sad past, old beyond my years; now younger than at twenty-five, if vigor of body and clearness of mind are any test of youth; not to speak of the "joy unspeakable and full of glory" that illumines the soul.
If attaining one's majority gives a right to speak and act as not before, then this privilege is mine today; to say a few plain words as to what divine healing is after twenty-one years of unbroken peace and joy in believing in and living out the life also of Jesus in this mortal body.
DIVINE TRUTH A DIAMOND.
Like all G.o.d's truth this of "the Lord for the body" is a diamond with many facets or faces, and as we hold it up in the white light of the Holy Spirit it shines and sheds forth like a prism the very life and sweetness of the incarnate but glorified body of the Lord Jesus.
I. First, then, after twenty-one years divine healing is to me: NEW PERSONALITY.
The Incoming and Indwelling of a New Personality. It is a new man inside of the old, making the old new by this simple fact. It is texts of Scripture turned into fact. It is the words, "Christ in you" (Col. I:27) made flesh and blood and bone and tissue. "Christ dwelling in your heart by faith" (Eph.3:17), pa.s.ses from the page of the book into the heart and nerve centers of the man. All that Jesus said about the Bread of Life and the Water of Life have become what they say in a physical as well as a spiritual sense. In a word we have a new translation and a revised version of the Word of G.o.d not into English, French or German, but into spiritual meat, into mental brain food and cells of healthy and health-giving blood.
II. Second, and as a direct consequence of the first, divine healing is THE CONTINUOUS INFLOW OF A RIVER OF LIFE.
into our whole being from the indwelling body of Jesus Christ. The whole man partakes of the whole being of the whole Christ. Again words pa.s.s into realities, thoughts become things, ideas become vitalities. "There is a fountain filled with blood," becomes a present tense in a new and living way. "There is a river," greater than that of Buddha, really flowing into and through our being and like that in Ezekiel's vision making things live and move and have being where there was either death or at best only half life before.
SPIRITUAL GULF STREAM.
This continuous inflow of life from the body of the Lord Jesus becomes to us a veritable "Gulf Stream" in the ocean of our daily life. It permeates, penetrates silently and below the surface, the very texture and hidden parts of the human organism. It creates a new atmosphere in our whole consciousness.
Just as England is green and moist by the encircling influence of the Gulf Stream, while other places in the same lat.i.tude without it are cold and chilly, so is the soul and body which is bathed in this spiritual river green and fresh and vigorous, while others who know it not are cold, barren and aged. The words of Isaiah 58:II pa.s.s into fact. "He shall make fat thy bones. Thy soul shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not." Then from this flows the wonderful secret of SPIRITUAL RESPONSIVENESS III. Spiritual Responsiveness.
Medical men tell us of the patient "responding to treatment." The powerful drug or the inpoured oxygen seems to call forth the decaying organs into renewed energy. Alas, it is often only temporary, and the syncope that follows shows how unreal the vitality developed has been.
But in this higher therapeutic the inpoured oxygen of the life of Jesus does more than galvanize, it vitalizes and keeps alive the energies of the whole system. It pours in not oxygen, but something so deep and real that the Bible calls it not only life, but "the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus"-setting the whole being "free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).
IV. Next comes the wonderful process of a.s.similation.
Just as natural food and medicine must not only be received into, but digested and a.s.similated by the body before it can be effective, so once more in this spiritual materia medica every organ of soul and body becomes open and alert to meet the incoming current of the water of life. A simple ill.u.s.tration may help here. An iron pipe is placed in the current of a river. The water pa.s.ses into and out of the pipe, but the pipe knows it not, and in no way partakes of the nature of the water it conveys. Not so here. Our bodies are the pipes, not iron or even golden, in the River of the Water of Life (Rev. 22: I), but of flesh and blood, capable of and actually absorbing the life-giving stream as it pa.s.ses into us, until our whole being has not only absorbed, but consciously, willingly absorbed every particle of the vitalizing current.
The old ill.u.s.tration of "the pitcher in the river and the river in the pitcher," is more than fulfilled here. In divine healing, both the river and the pitcher are silent beings. One is the living body of the Lord Jesus; the other is the body of the believer, both in touch and harmony, each open to the other, each desirous of receiving and being filled with the other. "The Lord for the body and the body for the Lord, the river saying to the vessel, "Receive me," the vessel saying gladly, "Lord, I believe, Lord, I receive Thee, the Living and Life-Giving One, to fill me with nothing less than 'all the fulness of G.o.d'" (Eph. 3:19).
MYSTICAL BODY A REALITY.
V. Fifthly, "The Mystical Body of Christ" becomes something more than a theological or ecclesiastical idea to be more or less realized in a spiritual way by a few holy souls with special grace to attain unto it. "Christ the Head," "We the body and members in particular,"- "Members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones," and a dozen similar texts, pa.s.s once more from the realm of theory into the world of fact. They are what they say.
They say what they mean, and their deepest meaning becomes mine in a way too strong for words, and yet as simple as the holding up of my little finger, proves its connection with, and its continuous life from the heart within my body. In fact text after text like John 6:54-57, which we once thought merely beautiful parables of purely spiritual things pa.s.s down from heaven into the earth of our common life, and turn the earth of our physical being into a paradise of G.o.d and a very heaven of glory. At last we begin to see the profound truth that while every physical fact has a spiritual basis or background the converse is no less true. Every spiritual fact has its physical expression, and the expression in this case is as real as the fact behind it.
So "we are the body of Christ and members in particular." "As He is (in heaven), so are we in the world" (I John 4: 7). He is in the glory at the right hand of G.o.d, as far above us as heaven is above the earth and yet in our bodies of flesh and bone and tissue and nerves as near as the sunlight is to the flower it kisses and bathes with its enfolding life and power.
VI. Sixth. Texts which have been used to preach salvation and sanctification only become vivid pictures of divine healing. For instance, Revelation 3:20, the beautiful A, B, C text for the two first, is now one of the best in the Bible to show us how easily we may be healed if we will. "Behold I stand at the door and knock," etc. The door is now the thin veil or part.i.tion between us and the living Christ standing just outside. He knocks at (1) The eye door, and says, Lift the latch, and in a moment, "in the twinkling of an eye" (I Cor. 15:52) you will see Me waiting to give you health and victory over disease and all weakness of body.
(2) The ear door is closed. He knocks again. We open and hear Him say as He pa.s.ses in, "I am Jehovah that healeth thee" (Ex. 15:26).
PORES OF BODY BECOME GATES OF LIFE.
He knocks again at the door of the mouth. We open and begin to say, "Lord, I believe, Lord, I receive," and instantly He pa.s.ses in, bringing all He is and all He has with Him. And so of every human sense, which until now has been a "gate of death" (Psa. 9:13), of fear and forecasting of evil. Each changes its name because its nature is changed; sight, hearing, speech, yes, even the very pores of our body's so long channels of germ-bearing air, are transformed into little gates of life through which the sweet, wholesome tides of vitality flow in a steady stream, feeding and fructifying every spring of our natural life.
OVERFLOW OF SPIRITUAL LIFE.
VII. Divine healing is to me after twenty-one years of experience, the continuous overflow into the body of the life of Jesus already in the soul and spirit.
It is the very same life, only now filling and vitalizing the earthen vessel of this mortal frame.
It is "G.o.d manifested in the flesh" in a real and living way. It is human flesh made holy, healthy, happy, strong and effective for all its needs and service by the incorporation of the flesh of Christ.
It is the answer to all our questionings and criticisms about G.o.d dwelling with and within men.
MATTER, (I) REAL, (2) DIVINE, (3) GLORIFIED.
The human part of our being becomes as glorious as the divine. Matter becomes real because a real G.o.d has taken up His abode in it.
Matter becomes divine because "we," that is the whole, not half of us, "are partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
Matter becomes eternal because we have in it now eternal life. "He that hath the Son hath life."
Matter becomes glorious for He who is the Lord of Glory dwells in it, giving us a foretaste of the coming day when He shall transfigure the body of our humiliation that it may be fashioned after the body of His glory according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself (Phil. 3:21).
Hence divine healing when thus understood is a victorious life for the body. Not exemption from pain and sickness at all times, any more than the soul and spirit are at all times free from temptation, but victory over pain and sickness, by the continuous and overmastering inflow of the life of the Lord.
This is the philosophy and this is the Christianity of divine healing. A bright, cheerful, wholesome atmosphere breathing all around us, because a Living One has breathed into the heart and every organ of the body His own vitality and made each of them a living channel of healthfulness and blessing to others.