Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by George C. Clark, Sr.
“I am come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.”
“And as Jesus went away, he saw a man blind from birth . . . .
He spat on the ground, and made mud from the spit,
and smeared the mud on the eyes of the blind man, and said to him,
‘Go wash in the pool of Siloam’.
So he went away and washed, and returned, seeing.”
Already, flashing across today’s horizon, signs of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy of a mighty, last-day revival are being recognized by those whose care it is to look after the sheep. These humble shepherds, casting wistful, watchful, eager glances toward the heavens, long for the age-ending restoration and are seeing “a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand,” and they know, just as Elijah knew, that there is to be “a great rain.”
In the centuries since the days of the apostles, thousands of God’s children have fallen asleep without the privilege of seeing what we are about to see. These events will be made known to them only when the waves of time break on the shores of eternity. How we will rejoice together!
Many mock our expectation of a great visitation of God, but Jesus taught us to look for it. True doctrine always turns men’s eyes to God and His power, not to men and their words. “Now, when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with lofty speech or wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God,” Paul once wrote, “And my message and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith might not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1Cor. 2:1, 4—5). Synthetic theology can never rouse the hearts of God’s people. Only the power of God can do that. Living in the power of the Spirit of God is the “abundant life” that Jesus came to provide.
Without faith, it is impossible either to receive or transmit this power. Miracles do not even produce conviction in those who doubt. But if the issue of miracles is to be settled on the basis of human knowledge alone, skepticism will always be the answer. The power of God that brings us abundant life has nothing to do with knowledge. That power connects with our wills and affections.
When one is driven to desperation and finds himself unable to escape his plight by himself, it is then he is prepared to look beyond himself for a miracle. And it is only right that a child of God should look for the miraculous when he sinks into the depths of misfortune. The Father encourages us to do so. “Call upon me in the day of trouble,” says God, “I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Ps. 50:15). If we can only gather to our hearts the faith to cry out for help, as the Israelites cried in their bondage in Egypt, God will deliver us as He has promised, just as He delivered them.
No sooner do we speak of the ministry of Jesus than we are compelled to think of healing — opening the eyes of the blind, causing the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame to walk. With his word, he cast out demons and healed every kind of ailment suffered by men. We shouldn’t wonder at the masses following him. The masses always have, and always will, follow the power of God. We are told, “The common people heard him gladly” (Mk. 12:37), but Israel’s religious leaders, moved by envy at the people’s attraction to Jesus, cunningly turned many against Jesus with slanderous, false accusations.
Still, the same Lord who healed sick and suffering people throughout the promised land of old is challenging us today with this promise: “I am the Lord who heals you.” It is true, we do not have access to the seamless robe of Jesus, the blessed cloths of Paul, the shadow of Peter, the oil of the first elders, the prayers of the early disciples, or the laying on of the apostles’ hands; yet, we do have the Great Physician, the one who said, “I am the Lord; I change not.” He is “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today, and forever.” We are still living in Jesus’ day because he is alive! How wonderful is the realization of this truth! What irrepressible joy it brings to be able to say with the sweet psalmist of Israel, “O Lord my God, I cried to you, and you have healed me” (Ps. 30:2).
Reader, have you ever been healed by the power of God? To feel God’s healing power penetrating our bodies is an experience of unspeakable delight. Some seem to think that divine healing is some sort of magic. But, praise God, we who have been healed know better. We know that faith in God will deliver not only from sin but from sickness as well, for faith has complete mastery over every sin and disease known to man. The key to your healing, my friend, is your believing. If you have faith, you can be healed right now. You don’t have to finish reading this tract. Raise your hands and believe, and God will heal and make you whole this very moment! Yes, He will deliver you from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet!
Many people didn’t hear Jesus teach and see the miracles he performed during his stay here on earth, for instead of going to see for themselves, they stayed home and listened to the critics who said, “This man cast out demons only by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons.” Over the years, I have been deeply impressed at the enormous number who stay away from healing services but are always ready to listen to critics of them. We do not — in fact, cannot — place undue emphasis in divine healing, for our Lord showed when he was on earth that he was greatly concerned about the health of his people. How sad it is that so many of his people have so little faith in him for healing! We read that after the Lord ascended, his disciples went forth teaching everywhere, with miraculous signs following.
Jesus told them to teach others “everything that I command you.” But what had he commanded them? Among other things, he had commanded them to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.” Not only had he commanded them to do these things but he had demonstrated for them what he wanted them to do, as in this instance (Mk. 1:40—42): “And there came to him a leper, pleading with him and falling on his knees before him, and saying to him, ‘If you want to, you can make me clean.’ Then, deeply moved, Jesus, stretching forth his hand, touched him, and said to him, ‘I do want to. Be clean!’ And when he spoke, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.”
Many miracles were performed by the disciples after Jesus’ departure, and they were astonishing, as anyone can see for himself who will read the Bible. Their miracles equaled those performed by Jesus, just as he said they would (Jn. 14:12). But God’s point in having those wonderful stories of healing recorded is to show us that the true gospel of Christ brings both holiness and healing to man.
There is no limit to the power of God, and if you are a child of God, it is your right to live in that Abundant Life! Go up and possess it! Do not allow your faith to waver, and it will be crowned with the grace of God. Our Father’s power not only will heal but will also keep us healthy, as well as free from sin. We can be perfect in our generations, just as Noah was in his (Gen. 6:9).
Now, if you are ready for your healing, read this prayerfully: “He took our illnesses, and bore our diseases” (Mt. 8:17). Yes, friend, you do not have to bear your sicknesses, for Jesus bore them for you. You can be healed right now, and you can keep your healing, too! Do not doubt! Only believe! Believing is faith, and faith is believing God’s word — and He said you can be healed!
I know we have those who say the foregoing Scripture refers to the healing of the soul and not of the body. But notice how Matthew used that verse (8:16—17): “And when dusk had come, they carried to him many demon-possessed people, and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: ‘He took our illnesses, and bore our diseases.’ ” Is it not clear that the works of Jesus here in Matthew 8 fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy? It was Isaiah who also said (53:5), “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; chastisement for our peace was laid upon him; and by his wounds, we are healed.” We believe in the efficacy of Christ’s suffering on the cross, so why not believe in the efficacy of his suffering at the whipping post, where he received the cruel stripes from the Roman whip that heals us.
May God help us to overcome this doubting and cursed world and to put all our trust and hope in the one who inspired John, the beloved disciple, to write these encouraging words: “Beloved, I pray for you to prosper in all things and to be in good health, just as your soul is prospering.” Amen!
by John David Clark, Sr.
He had no lovely words to say,
and hurt, sincere, alone,
his eloquence was in his heart;
his language, here, unknown.
No audience would pay to hear
those unpretentious cries,
that rose from depths of thirst for God
and flowed out through his eyes.
And human ears can only hear
the words men’s lips impart.
They cannot see how God receives
the message from the heart.
We see the leaves; God sees the wind.
We see without; God sees within.
We know the words and deeds of men;
God knows what words and deeds intend.