I am the God that healeth thee
I am the Lord your Healer
I sent my Word
And healed your disease
I am the Lord your Healer
“If you listen carefully to the LORD your God
and do what is right in his eyes,
if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees,
I will not bring on you any of the diseases
I brought on the Egyptians,
for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Recently I happened to meet a preacher who went a long rant about people who came to his church, got their miracles and then stopped coming to his preaching services. Here’s one such real life example he keeps facing; people who are unemployed came to him for prayers. Then those people get jobs by getting trough the job interviews. These people didn’t earlier get jobs for months. They then come to testify in church, in front of the entire congregation as to how after being prayed over by the preacher, they received their blessings from God and have so got a great paying job. Fast forward this to like three months later and the preacher then observed that many of these who received their jobs miraculously are nowhere to be seen at the church services. In fact now the very jobs they got blessed with are cited as reasons for not attending church, pathetic! This preacher was visibly upset for a moment when he mentioned this challenge he faced but yet after that kept praying for others who are in need of jobs etc.
Then there’s a thing that I too faced. I’d pray for people and they’d get married and but then reduce their church attendance, while there are many other couples who do attend church even after marriage. They then will avoid any religious seminars and guess what; being married is cited as the reason for that. Then few years later when the child is born and is sick, they are in ‘need’ of me for prayers. Only out of concern for the child do I pray for his or her well-being and they recover. After that if I try to contact the parents, they again go non responsive. Utterly ungrateful and opportunistic people!
Due to this, I later on modified my strategy towards such people. Basically, first identify such people and pray for discernment. Then don’t help unless explicitly asked for in a non ambiguous manner. And only then help as usual but expect them to not be grateful later on. So don’t invest too much into them. Instead go on to help the next person God sends in your life.
So what’s my point?
My point is don’t be selfish after getting your blessings. Firstly, honour the Lord God and don’t miss out on praying to him and loving him. Secondly, have regard towards those who prayed for you in your suffering. Thirdly, remember that miracles are not for your selfish agendas but for the glory of God. Finally, don’t make your blessings as an excuse to neglect coming to church nor an as excuse to reduce praying and avoid reading the Bible.
Now to people who still think all they need is a blessing and then disappear from doing their responsibility towards God, well I have bad news for you. You can try to give all the reasons you want but the Lord God knows the deceitful and the good right from the heart. The maker of all hearts knows really well how to judge them and obviously there is a Final judgement that will soon happen. And just to let you know, not every preacher will allow you to take them for granted. Even myself made a strategy as mentioned above. But let share just one strategy which another set of preachers use; don’t grant the miracle unless the person shows interest in continuing in the Word God. Rude as this strategy sounds to the selfish of heart, the good of heart don’t mind this at all.
Let me make it real to you. At a preaching convention, there was a woman in need of a miracle for her baby. Now this preaching was residential over a span of five days. This woman was desperate and was only looking for the preacher to lay hands on the baby so that her child recovers and then she’d immediately leave the convention half way. Signs were already showing up. She was skipping prayers and mentioning the baby as the reason. Arriving late in the preaching hall and citing the baby as the reason. Keeping on saying that she has things at home to attend to and what not. At the time of healing prayers the preacher felt the power of God at work. He prayed and a lot of people received their healing. Now that woman came to him for praying for her baby. But he realized in his mind that if he grants her the healing she will immediately leave the place. So he told her to wait till the final day of the convention. She was reluctant but had no choice.
Before any of you think what that preacher did wrong, please continue to observe what happened next. The preacher kept preaching the Word of God in its fullness and emphasized on believing in the Gospel, repentance from sins, faith for life etc. These are very vital topics in the life of a believer in Christ. Now on the fifth day the woman went back to the preacher and asked him to pray over her baby and this time he asked the Lord God to heal the baby of so and so disease. The moment the woman realized her child is healed she immediately made an excuse in the name of the baby and left the convention. The preacher was smart enough to call her only at the last minutes of the convention. He said he didn’t lack mercy towards the baby but knew in advance that the woman was more interested in the miracle than hearing the Word of God if the baby was healed first. Because he prayed that the baby’s health won’t worsen in those five days but only that the healing would occur last day.
Now, I myself don’t use his method about praying for people but I do get his point loud and clear; some people once they receive their miracle may make excuses to avoid hearing the Gospel, so do whatever you can to stop that.
My advice to those preaching and healing others in the name of Jesus Christ, would be that don’t let people treat you like an MVM. Some people incorrectly feel that they are entitled to all the time and efforts of those who pray for others and they don’t feel grateful towards them. Don’t be an MVM but a true minister of the Word of God. Be a pleaser of God instead of the people.
You might ask what is a “MVM”. It’s called as a Miracle Vending Machine. So again for those preaching healing in Jesus’ name, please remember that miracles are secondary and the glory to God comes first. Ensure that you explain the love and mercy of God as mentioned in Gospel and then pray for healing and miracles for those who come to you. And tell those people who might think the job they will get is due to their own ability then why are they asking you to pray for them? You can also tell them if they want a good spouse in marriage then why are they expecting you to fast for them but themselves don’t want to fast? Obviously, you don’t need to blunt too much but at the same time don’t be anyone’s door mat either especially when you know the gift of healing and miracles are not yours to claim fame for but are of God’s alone who is working through you.
Christ be with you!
Here are few photos a few preachers based off in South Africa who were preaching in Pakistan. South Africa now preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to various nations. The photo’s were taken in September 15-28th 2015, around the city of Lahore, Pakistan.
But first let’s know our man on the ground. Pastor Saleem Saddique (Graduate, Rhema Bible College, SA) from Tell The Nations Church, Pakistan. Here’s a photo of him in South Africa.
Pastor Saleem Saddique preaching in Pakistan
Here come my brothers in Christ, Martin Lloyd and in the next image Chris Chitts. Both are from South Africa. Pastor Saleem doubled up as their translator apart from being their host.
The preaching was spread over a couple of days. So expect them wearing up different clothes each day.
A baptism in Pakistan
Praying for a Pakistani man.
More preaching – Now in a ghetto.
Many people including those who were sick arrived for the preaching in the ghetto for their healing. The reviews were amazing!
Ministering to the people. Couldn’t get the name of the preacher in the checked shirt but I do wish him well.
Praying over a child.
Pastor André Smith doing the preaching as well as praying over others.
A little camaraderie after preaching.
A mission trip review.
Courtesy of the photos : harvest-timenews.com
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. (Mark 10:46-52)
Among the various good things Jesus is known as, he is also the Son of David. In the case of the Lord Jesus who was about to leave Jericho there was a blind beggar who needed the healing touch of the Lord. Would the Saviour of the world pass him by? Not at all, because Jesus heard his cry. If Bartimaeus would have chosen to fear the crowd he wouldn’t have called Jesus as the Son of David. Despite pressure from the crowd who tried to force him to stop crying out to the Lord, this man called for mercy from Jesus. Finally, Jesus said, “Call him” and the crowd now encouraged the blind man to come closer to Christ. Then the Lord asked him what does he want to be done for him. The blind man knew what is the most important thing for him which is nothing less than the recovery of his sight. And that is what he asked for.
Jesus then told him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And indeed the blind man was able to see. Praise be to God!
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (Psalm 146:8)
Bartimaeus had no option. He knew it’s going to be Son of David that day who could heal him or nobody else. When he referred to Jesus as the Son of David it was a great thing to say in those times. Because the Romans hated any competitor to the throne of Israel. Also for the Pharisees it would mean someone they must not refuse to give heed to in matters of the Law of Moses. While for the general Jews it would mean he was not just their King but also their Messiah. So calling Jesus rightfully as the Son of David had serious implications and yet Bartimaeus choose faith and not fear. He kept crying out to Jesus and was not ashamed of the Lord.
I pray that more people who are in need of healing, stop getting bothered by the naysayers, and reach out to Christ in prayer. I pray those who desire healing, become even bolder that Bartimaeus. Let them be bold against their past and simply believe in the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Verses for reflection:
- Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)
- You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.” (Isaiah 42:7-9)
- And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18)
Note: Credit for the YouTube video goes to Rest Easy Ministries
Any person who preaches the Gospel whether in church, home or elsewhere must take a serious note that they are to preach the complete Gospel. One must never get bullied or pressured to only speak the points of the Gospel that the congregation likes to hear such as healing and salvation but avoid topics like martyrdom and sanctification. You are not here to impress the people, you are in fact here to preach the Gospel. And this means that you are not to compromise with the preaching of the Gospel at any given point of time and place.
Sometimes the preaching of an incomplete Gospel might have the actual words of the Bible and even sound impressive but that still leaves a lot of gray areas in the spirit. For instance, saying that Jesus picked up his cross for you but skipping up the part of the Gospel where Jesus wants us to carry our cross and deny oneself, leaves a person to have a lot of guess work as to whether to indulge in worldly luxuries or spend time helping the poor and needy.
Speaking about the Gospel where you focus a lot on love but miss out on mentioning that Jesus actually rose from the dead, is basically an incomplete Gospel. As a result the person hearing such a Gospel will be surprised when someone actually mentions that Jesus had to die for us and then rose from the grave.
I had encountered one such person from another religion who claimed to know everything about Christianity as he attended a lot of Christian worship services at a particular place. I felt that he was boasting too much, as a person who hears the complete Gospel won’t brag about his knowledge as the Gospel clearly speaks about being humble. So I asked him, “I hope you know that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead on the third day, do you?” And to this he replied that he doesn’t believe in the resurrection at all because this was something he heard from me for the first time and never heard it in the church he attended. I told him to read the Bible and see what the Gospel actually says about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and he was still in shock. In hind sight, this incident made me realize that certain preachers are consistently NOT preaching the complete Gospel.
Now the following seven points are just a few of the effects and dangers of preaching an incomplete Gospel to the people:
1. People are not clear about who Jesus is
2. People are not sure if they are to leave their sins
3. People are not sure if they should pray for healings and miracles
4. People are not warned of persecutions and rejection they might encounter
5. People are not on guard against false prophets and false gospels
6. People are not encouraged to do good works
7. People are not sure of their salvation
A detailed explanation is given below for each of the above points so that you understand them better.
1) People are not clear about who Jesus is
It’s completely vain to preach a Gospel which doesn’t clearly identify Jesus as the Lord and as the Son of God. I wonder how do people even tolerate a preacher who doesn’t want to mention Jesus, not even one bit in church. If you don’t mention that Jesus is the Lamb of God how are they to understand his sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf?
Here are a few verses to consider:
- The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)
- The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
- Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-28)
2) People are not sure if they are to leave their sins
I notice that certain preachers avoid any mention of repentance. They will say stuff like ‘You don’t need religion. You only need Jesus’ as if they really know what they are saying. (On a side note, if you not sure whether if Christianity a religion or relation, then I’d say it’s both. To know about why I said that please refer to my earlier post Is Christianity a religion or relation?). The fact is that people have to both accept Jesus as their Savior and also repent of their sins.
Anyone who says that once you repent, each and every of your future sins are automatically forgiven can read my earlier post titled : ‘The heresy of pre-forgiven sin‘ which shows you must repent every time you sin.
Here are a few verses to reflect upon:
- No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
- Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)
- “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)
3) People are not sure if they should pray for healings and miracles
Some preachers try to focus a lot on good conduct but leave out the fact that miracles in the name of Jesus did happen in the Gospel and can still happen today. Miracles and healings are for today and have not gone by with the Apostles. They are still available for the glory of God. It’s vain to talk about miracles and healings as something that were only available at the time of Jesus but now it’s gone. (You can refer to my post titled Signs, wonders, miracles, deliverance and healing are for today, which explains it up).
Here are a few verses to ponder upon:
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)
- As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Matthew 11:20-24)
4) People are not warned of persecutions and rejection they might encounter
If all one is preaching is about the comforts of heaven and the joy of salvation but not warning the people about the persecutions and rejection they might encounter on account of believing in Jesus Christ, then they won’t be ready for it if it were to happen to them by any degree. This is not about scaring them but helping them be prepared to hold on to their hope in Christ even in the face of danger to life or ridicule by others. If Jesus could speak about that, why are you fearing to talk about the same thing?
Here are a few verses to think about:
- and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. (Matthew 10:22-25)
- “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
5) People are not on guard against false prophets and false gospels
If Gospel that is preached doesn’t warn against false prophets and the false gospels which emerge from these deceivers, then even though that Gospel is very clear on repentance it is still needs a lot of catching up to do. Because the people won’t have a clue and so be off their guard when false gospels, false prophets and even false Christ’s come to them and as a result believe in lies which can be damnable heresies.
Here are few verses to take heed of:
- And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christ’s and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. (Mark 13:21-23)
- Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
- As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.…. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. (Matthew 24: 3-5, 11)
6) People are not encouraged to do good works
Any preaching of Gospel that relies solely on mental assertions but doesn’t encourage to do good works is lacking the depth of love in action. Your good works are meant so that you glorify the Lord God. We are called to be both hearers and doers of the Word of God.
Here are a few verses to put into action:
- In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
- Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1, NLT)
- Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:28-29)
7) People are not sure of their salvation
Preaching the Gospel in such a way that it overemphasizes on doing good works but does not speak in clear terms about salvation can end up confusing people. There might be a danger that people will incorrectly presume to their own hurt that their goods works will grant them salvation. So it’s important that the salvation is preached to them as per the Gospel instead of any man made doctrine.
Here are a few verses to believe in:
- When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26)
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
- The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:35-36)
- Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
A suggested prayer:
Dear Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ your Son. Please forgive me if at any point of time in my life whether knowingly or unknowingly I did not preach the Gospel in all its fullness. Give me the courage and hope to preach the Gospel for your glory and without any fear. Bless my will power and memory so that I recall your greatness, mercy and victory in the Gospel and exhort those who hear it to believe in Jesus Christ. Be with me Holy Spirit that those who hear the Gospel from me and are in sin turn back to their One True Shepherd so that they love and serve him all the days of their life. Amen and amen.