Thursday, June 26, 2008

Everyone Who Has This Hope

This post concludes the chapters of the book Christ in You - The Hope of Glory. The entire book can be read online at the Heart4God website. (See link at bottom of Blog.)

Everyone Who Has This Hope

I John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called sons of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Consider the magnificent message in John’s words. The world did not recognize that Yahshua was the Son of God. In the same way the world does not recognize that there are sons of God walking around among mortal men in this hour. There are those who have been born of holy seed dwelling among those who have known only the birth of the corrupt seed of the first Adam. The Scriptures relate the story of Yahshua being born of a virgin as the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Mary conceived a son of holy seed.

Luke 1:35
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.

The same Holy Spirit now moves upon Adamic men and causes offspring to come forth in the likeness of God. The Holy Spirit moves upon mankind and a holy seed immediately begins to grow into the same image as the firstborn Son of God.

I Peter 1:23
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.

I John 3:9
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

The same holy seed has been placed in those born again of the Spirit that was placed in Mary. It is the seed of God. God does not have many kinds of seed. He has only one type of seed, and that is seed that contains all the genetic information to form a being fully and completely after His own image and likeness. Yahshua became the full expression of God in man. This same seed has been placed in you (if you have been born again) that you too might become the full and complete expression of God.

Ephesians 4:13
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

Yahweh has the heart of a father, and as a father He longs to have many sons after His own image. The destiny of these sons in the ages to come is glorious. What Yahweh has prepared for His sons is beyond our present capacity to comprehend. We shall be like the firstborn Son of God in His glory. After stating these awesome truths, John declares:

I John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If you truly have a vision of all that the Father has determined for His sons in the ages to come, then you will purify yourself. Does not the current impure condition of the church reveal that there is no such vision? Many are living as beasts, focused on consumption, living to satisfy their bellies. Christians are seeking things of a fallen world, a world that is passing away and whose glory is fading. They do not discern the high calling of God in Christ Yahshua. They do not see that they have an inheritance which is “imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away” (I Peter 1:4).

Certainly a lack of vision impacts Christian’s lives negatively today. Low living is the fruit of low thinking. King Solomon understood the relationship between vision and actions.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish...
Amplified Bible

The word for perish is the Hebrew ‘para’ and it comes from a root word meaning ‘to loosen.’ It is often translated as ‘uncovered,’ or ‘naked.’ Solomon understood that when the people have no mental sight, dream, or revelation, they begin to act in a loose manner that is akin to being naked. Such imagery is repeated in the New Testament.

Revelation 3:17
"Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked...”

Revelation 16:15
"Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame."

When men and women do not have a vision of the hope that is set before them, when they become focused on this present world and the pursuit of it, then they begin to uncover themselves. They expose their flesh rather than putting it to death. Because they have no vision of the glory before them, and they do not see that they risk forfeiting an inheritance of surpassing value, they walk carelessly and are led into many sins and numerous transgressions of the will of God.

The overcomers in Christ demonstrate a different attitude. Paul spoke to the saints in this way:

II Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since these great promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring our consecration to completeness in the reverential fear of God.
Amplified Bible

What are the great promises to which Paul is referring? The previous verse tells us.

II Corinthians 6:18
And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Yes, we have a future before us to walk as the sons and daughters of the almighty God! We will share His glory! We will walk in great authority! We will be as gods, being the sons and daughters of Yahweh! We will have access into His presence, and we will be partakers of His most holy things! If we have a vision of what awaits us then we will “cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit.” We will seek to be completely consecrated to God.

During this brief period of our life on earth, it is not readily apparent what we shall be. Yet all throughout the Scriptures our Father has given us indications of the glorious future that lies ahead for the sons of God. We are told that “for a little while” it is man’s lot to be lower than the angels.

Hebrews 2:6-7
But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him? Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels...”

The day is coming, however, when men will judge angels.

I Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we shall judge angels?

What kind of people should we now be? Should we walk as beasts; coveting, lusting, fighting, seeking temporal pleasures and possessions? If your life is focused upon the temporal pursuits of this life, then you have far too narrow a view of your life and future destiny. Look up! Raise your eyes! Observe what great things the Father has planned for His sons! And seeing all these things, purify yourself! Walk as one who is called to the image and likeness of God with a destiny to share His glory.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website:
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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Father's Work

This post continues the chapters of the book Christ in You - The Hope of Glory.
The Father’s Work

Yahweh has designed this present world in such a way that His sons might know His ways, and walk in an understanding manner before Him. One thing that has been common to all men is having a vocation or occupation. Although there have been some very affluent and decadent societies where men have received entitlements and given themselves to a pursuit of leisure activity, such has been an exception and not the norm.

Throughout the Scriptures, and particularly in the Old Testament, we find that almost without deviation sons were trained in the same vocation as their father. This was necessary in many instances, for the sons stood to inherit all that their father possessed. If a man was the owner of flocks and herds, then it was necessary that his sons be trained in animal husbandry. This pattern is readily seen in the life of Jacob (Israel) and his sons.

Genesis 37:2
Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.

Genesis 37:12-14
Then his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go." Then he said to him, "Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock; and bring word back to me."

We see in these verses that not only were Jacob’s sons trained to perform the work that Jacob formerly did in his youth, but they were called to give an accounting of their performance. Jacob’s sons were not faithful in their duties, and Joseph brought back an evil report of their conduct. This caused Joseph to be hated of his brothers.

As sons of God, we are similarly called to share in our Father’s work. We will also have to give an account of our performance.

II Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Much will be required of those who have been made partakers of the Spirit of Christ and who have received the word of God.

Luke 12:48
And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The message of having to give an account of the stewardship of the things entrusted to the sons of God is found profusely throughout the Bible. Many Christians are deceived in thinking that they are not called as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. They have been deluded by the lie of the clergy/laity doctrine. The Scriptures plainly reveal that the work of ministers is to prepare the body of Christ to do the work of God.

Ephesians 4:11-12
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service...

If you are not called to function in one of the ministries named above, then you are called to perform “the work of service.” What is the work of service? It is doing whatever God has appointed as your particular work, for He has formed all of His children to fit into the body of Christ as a functioning part of the whole, each one providing what is lacking in the other members of the body.

Ephesians 4:15-16
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

God did not place any of His children in the body to simply consume those things that others supply. There is a job assignment, a proper functioning of each individual member. Will not God be right to judge severely the vast number of idle members of the body who are paying no regard to that which they have been called to supply to the rest of the body? Please read the following parable of Yahshua carefully. He is speaking of the day of His return, and the recompense of all those who are in His household. If you are a child of God, then you are pictured somewhere in this story.

Matthew 25:13-30
“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour [of the Lord’s return]. For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.' The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.' But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

There are no members of God’s household who have not been entrusted with a deposit by which they can bring increase to the kingdom of God. All who have been born of the Spirit of Christ have received the Spirit of God to indwell them. They have each been allotted a measure of faith.

Romans 12:3-8
God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

You may discern that you are not gifted to the same degree as another. This may be true enough, for each is granted a measure of faith and grace. You may have the equivalent of one talent of gold, while another has five talents. You as surely have the Spirit of Christ indwelling you as every other member of the body of Christ. Will you be as the wicked servant and take this treasure and bury it in the earth of your flesh, bringing forth no return for the King? You should tremble at Christ’s parable. He calls such members of His household “wicked” and “lazy.” Heed the advice that Paul gave to Timothy.

I Timothy 4:14
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you...

II Timothy 1:6
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you...

In other words, employ that which God has given you. Stir yourself up. Arouse yourself from slumber. Do you not know that you will give an account of your stewardship of the gift of God? Do not allow yourself to be lulled to lethargy by the dullness of others. God will bring you to account for that which has been entrusted to you. Do not allow yourself to be cast into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Your Father in heaven is set about a work at this time. He is seeking to bring His sons and daughters to maturity, to the perfect image of His firstborn Son. He has called all in His family to enter into this work. Perhaps your part in this work is not a front line ministry. Will you say because you are not an eye that you are not a part of the body? All parts of the body are vital, and the body suffers when a part does not perform its allotted task.

One of the biggest killers among mankind is cancer. There are a wide variety of cancers. There is breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, cancer of the brain, of the lymph nodes of the prostate. There are so many types of cancer that I would weary you naming them all. Do you know what causes cancer? Cancer occurs when a cell ceases to perform the function it was intended for, and it begins to draw away the body’s resources for other purposes. One cancer cell begins to replicate other cancer cells just like it. They are not performing any helpful bodily function, but begin to disrupt the bodies proper functioning. These independent cells continue to replicate until they spread so far throughout the body that sickness and death occurs.

Cancer is a spiritual parable of what is occurring in the body of Christ. There are multitudes of God’s children who are living independent of the purpose for which God created them. They demonstrate no concern for the rest of the body. They are focused only upon self. They are not submitted to the design of the One who created them. Each day they arise and go about whatever activities they have chosen for themselves. They are without concern that their independent actions are acting as a drag on the rest of the body of Christ. Perhaps they are surrounded by other Christians who are living identically, and like a cancer cell in the midst of many others, they compare themselves among themselves and judge that they must be alright for all others appear just as they do.

What will the Great Physician do when He comes and finds this sickness in the body of Christ? He will cast out these worthless members of His body into outer darkness.

As a Christian there is a specific work appointed to you. You have been given a deposit of the Spirit of Christ, a measure of faith and grace. You have been entrusted with some gift whereby you can supply what is lacking in another part. Yahshua understood from a very young age that as a son He was called to be about His Father’s business.

Luke 2:49
And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary as a duty for Me to be in My Father's house and occupied about My Father's business?
[Amplified Bible]

Yahshua revealed through His words that He recognized that it was His duty to be doing the work of His Father.

John 4:34
My food is to do the pleasure of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

John 5:17-18
But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."

John 6:38-39
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 17:4
"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

John 5:36
"But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 9:4-5
"We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.

It is certain that our heavenly Father has a specific work for each of His sons. As disciples of Yahshua we are to be as focused upon apprehending exactly what that work is, and accomplishing that work, as was He. The Scriptures reveal that Yahweh has a very specific work for each son. None are to decide for themselves what this work will be. The Spirit of God will reveal it.

Acts 13:2
And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Consider the natural example of a son who is being trained by his father to perform a job with skill, integrity and mature responsibility. A young boy may enter into his father’s workshop to learn the trade of cabinet making. At first he is enthused by all the equipment and the thought of creating a masterful work that others will admire. He may want to jump right in and get to work, but there is much he must learn first. There are foundational principles to be learned, such as understanding the mathematics of cabinet work. He must learn how to measure all things precisely, and to calculate angles and understand basic geometry. He must learn the proper operation of all the tools in the cabinet maker’s workshop. He must understand proper safety procedures, and know how to cut and sand and shape wood without damaging it, or creating unnecessary waste.

The young man must also learn the discipline of patience, for a professional job cannot be rushed. A piece of wood must be sanded and stained. It must be varnished and sanded again, and then more varnish applied. All things must done at a proper time, in the right sequence, or the work will be marred. If the second coat of varnish is applied before the first has had time to dry, the finish will suffer in quality and appearance.

A young boy will not naturally be willing to exercise the patience necessary to do a job correctly, nor does he yet have the skill which comes only from experience. Should his father let him enter the work too soon, he will produce a flawed piece of work, and will inevitably meet with disappointment. If the son doesn’t share the same spirit as his father who is a master craftsman valuing quality, beauty and integrity, he will not be willing to submit to the discipline required to acquire the skill manifested by the father.

Many of God’s sons today do not value things as He does. Their hearts are filled with another spirit. They are seeking pleasure and ease and comfort and things for self. Accomplishing the work of the Father is not something that grips their heart. Due to this, they are unwilling to submit to the preparation which is necessary for their equipping. There is much that seems tedious, difficult, and dreary to them. They reason, why should I make my life a drudgery when others are enjoying many pleasant pursuits?

Whatever the Spirit would direct us to do now in this age is merely preparatory for the greater works to come. Do you think any who walk in careless disregard for the Father’s will in this age will be automatically transformed by the process of death and resurrection and be counted among the faithful in the ages to come. I tell you they will not. Those who resist the discipline of sons now in this age, will disqualify themselves for the crown that could have been their in the age to come.

Revelation 3:11
“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.

Several decades ago Bill Britton related a vision he had that brings forth the truths in focus here, making them easily understood.

The Harness of the Lord (Bill Britton)

There is a terrific operation of the Spirit going on today to bring the Sons of God into an absolute confinement to the perfect will of God. This is the Day of His Preparation, the day in which He is preparing the channel through which He shall pour forth His Glory for all the world to see. This channel is His Body in the earth, that glorious company of people who are being conformed through much tribulation and fiery tests to the Image of the Son of God. This is His "battle axe and weapons of war" with which He shall subdue kingdoms and overcome all His enemies. This is His "mighty and strong One" to whom He shall commit the work of judging this world. This is His Overcomer, His "great army" with which He shall bring the nations into submission. The weapons of their warfare are not carnal, natural weapons, but they are mighty weapons, mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. These are those who shall "be strong and do exploits."

But before God can commit this great and tremendous ministry into their hands, they must submit themselves to the discipline of the Lord, letting Him truly be the Lord of their entire lives. We have long since dealt with the question of open sin, but now God is dealing with the inward rebellion of our own wills. Some good Christians are not now being so dealt with, for they are not in this Firstfruits Company, but nevertheless there is a real dealing of God going on within those who are called into the High Calling of God. This is a very real thing, and is the work of the Refiner’s Fire. To those who are going through it, some of its aspects are horrible, but very necessary, and the end result thereof is glorious as we are brought into absolute and complete submission to the will of our Lord.

It was in a minister’s conference and convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma that God gave me a vision which I want to share with you concerning this harnessing of our own wills. There were more than 30 ministers present in this particular Thursday morning service, and God, the Father of spirits, was present to deal with His sons, to correct them and discipline them to absolute obedience to His will. There was such a stern dealing in the Spirit that no one could go to the pulpit and minister, there was a reluctance among the ministers to say anything except that which was directly ordered by the Spirit. And as those men of God sat there in the awesome presence of Almighty God, some of them having many years of ministry, some missionaries, all of them capable of getting up and preaching a powerful sermon, I was impressed by the way they responded to the discipline of the Spirit. And in the midst of this terrific dealing of God with our spirits, the Holy Ghost gave me a vision……

I Saw the King’s Carriage

On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, something on the order of a stagecoach, but all edged in gold, and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses, two in the lead, two in the middle and two in the rear. But they were not moving, they were not pulling the carriage, and I wondered why. Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage, on the ground on his back, just behind the last two horses’ heels, working on something between the front wheels of the carriage. I thought, "My, he is in a dangerous place; for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, they could kill him, or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him." But he didn’t seem afraid, for he knew that those horses were disciplined and would not move till he told them to move. The horses were not stamping their feet nor acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harness over their heads, but the pom-poms were not moving. They were simply standing still and quiet, waiting for the voice of the Master.

There were Two Young Colts in the Field

As I watched the harnessed horses, I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field, and they approached the carriage and seemed to say to the horses: "Come and play with us, we have many fine games, we will race with you, come catch us……" And with that the colts kicked up their heels, flicked their tails and raced across the open field. But when they looked back and saw the horses were not following, they were puzzled. They knew nothing of harnesses, and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them: "Why do you not race with us? Are you tired? Are you too weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life." But the horses answered not a word, nor did they stamp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master.

Again the colts called to them: "Why do you stand so in the hot sun? Come over here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us, it is so green and so good. You look thirsty, come drink of one of our many streams of cool clear water." But the horses answered them with not so much as a glance, but stood still, waiting for the command to go forward with the King.

Colts in the Master’s Corral

And then the scene changed, and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts, and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared, and they were put into the confinement of the Corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence, seeking freedom, but found that they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work on them, with his Whip and His Bridle. What a death for those who had been all their lives accustomed to such a freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What great crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, learned to perfectly obey the Master, and finished their training. All they knew was that this processing was the most horrible thing they had ever known.

Submission and Rebellion

One of the colts rebelled under the training, and said, "This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training." So he found a way out, jumped the fence and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. And I was astonished that the Master let him go, and went not after him. But He devoted His attention to the remaining colt. This colt, though he had the same opportunity to escape, decided to submit his own will, and learn the ways of the Master. And the training got harder than ever, but he was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master, and to respond to even the quietness of His voice. And I saw that had there been no training, no testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit, they were sinless in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing and training and discipline, then was made manifest the obedience of one and the rebellion that lay hidden in the heart of the other. And though it seemed safer not to come to the place of discipline because of the risk of being found rebellious, yet I saw that without this there could be no sharing of His glory, no Sonship.

Into the Harness

Finally this period of training was over. Was he now rewarded with his freedom, and sent back to the fields? Oh no. But a greater confinement than ever now took place, as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even the freedom to run about the small corral, for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master spoke. And unless the Master spoke, he stood still.

The scene changed, and I saw the other colt standing on the side of a hill, nibbling at some grass. Then across the fields, down the road came the King’s carriage, drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt, now made strong and mature on the good corn in the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold bordered harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet…… and envy came into his heart. Thus he complained to himself: "Why has my brother been so honored, and I am neglected? They have not put bells on my feet, nor pom-poms on my head. The Master has not given me the wonderful responsibility of pulling His carriage, nor put about me the golden harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?" And by the Spirit the answer came back to me as I watched. "Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master, and one rebelled, thus has one been chosen and the other set aside."

A Famine in the Land

Then I saw a great drought sweep across the countryside, and the green grass became dead, dry, brown and brittle. The little streams of water dried up, stopped flowing, and there was only a small muddy puddle here and there. I saw the little colt (I was amazed that it never seemed to grow or mature) as he ran here and there, across the fields looking for fresh streams and green pastures, finding none. Still he ran, seemingly in circles, always looking for something to feed his famished spirit. But there was a famine in the land, and the rich green pastures and flowing streams of yesterday were not to be had. And one day the colt stood on the hillside on weak and wobbly legs, wondering where to go next to find food, and how to get strength to go. It seemed like there was no use, for good food and flowing streams were a thing of the past, and all the efforts to find more only taxed his waning strength. Suddenly he saw the King’s carriage coming down the road, pulled by six great horses. And he saw his brother, fat and strong, muscles rippling, sleek and beautiful with much grooming. His heart was amazed and perplexed, and he cried out: "My brother, where do you find the food to keep you strong and fat in these days of famine? I have run everywhere in my freedom, searching for food, and I find none. Where do you, in your awful confinement, find food in this time of drought? Tell me, please, for I must know!" And then the answer came back from a voice filled with victory and praise: "In my Master’s House, there is a secret place in the confining limitations of His stables where He feeds me by His own hand, and His granaries never run empty, and His well never runs dry." And with this the Lord made me to know that in the day when people are weak and famished in their spirits in the time of spiritual famine, that those who have lost their own wills, and have come into the secret place of the most High, into the utter confinement of His perfect will, shall have plenty of the corn of Heaven, and a never ending flow of fresh streams of revelation by His Spirit. Thus the vision ended.

Interpretation of the Vision

"Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." (Habakkuk 2:2) "Harness the horses: and get up, ye horsemen" (Jeremiah 46:4). I’m sure that many of you who can hear what the Spirit saith to the Church, have already seen what God was showing in the vision. But let me make it plain. Being born into the Family of God, feeding in the green pastures and drinking of the many streams of the unfolding revelation of His purposes is fine and wonderful. But it is not enough. While we were children, young, undisciplined, limited only by the outer fence of the Law that ran around the limits of the pastures, (that kept us from getting into the dark pastures of poison weeds), He was content to watch us develop and grow into young manhood, spiritually speaking. But the time came to those who fed in His pastures, and drank at His streams, when they were to be brought into discipline or "child-training" for the purpose of making them mature Sons.

Many of the children today cannot understand why some of those who have put on the harness of God cannot get excited by the many religious games and the playful antics of the immature. They wonder why the disciplined ones run not after every new revelation or feed on every opportunity to engage in seemingly "good and profitable" religious activities. They wonder why some will not race with them in their frantic efforts to build great works and great and notable ministries. They cannot understand the simple fact that this Company of saints is waiting for the voice of the Master, and they do not hear God in all this outward activity. They will move in their time, when the Master speaks. But not before, though many temptations come from the playful colts. And the colts cannot understand why those who seemingly appear to have great abilities and strength are not putting it to good use. "Get the carriage on the road," they say, but the disciplined ones, those in God’s harness, know better than to move before they hear the voice of the Master. They will move in their time, with great purpose, and great responsibility.

And the Lord made me to know that there were many whom He had brought into training who had rebelled against the discipline, the chastising of the Father. And they could not be trusted with the great responsibility of mature Sonship, so he let them go back to their freedom, back to their religious activities and revelations and gifts. They are still His people, still feeding in His pastures, but He has set them aside from the great purposes for the end of the age. So they revel in their freedom, feeling that they are the Chosen ones with the many streams of living water, not knowing that they have been set aside as unfit for His great work in this end of the Age.

And He showed me that though the chastising seemeth grievous for the time, and the discipline hard to endure, yet the result with all the glory of Sonship is worth it all, and the glory to follow far exceeds the suffering we endure. And though some lose even their lives in this training, yet they will share alike in the glory of His eternal purposes. So faint not, saints of God, for it is the Lord that doth bring thee into confinement, and not thine enemy. It is for thy good, and for His glory, so endure all things with praises and thanksgiving that He hath counted thee worthy to share His glory! Fear thou not the whip in His hand, for it is not to punish thee, but to correct and train thee, that thou mightest come into submission to His will, and be found in His likeness in that Hour. Rejoice thou in thy trials, in all thy tribulations, and glory thou in His cross, and in the confining limitations of His harness, for He hath chosen thee, and He hath taken upon Himself the responsibility of keeping thee strong and well fed, so lean thou upon Him, and trust not in thine own ability and thine own understanding. So shalt thou be fed, and His hand shall be upon thee, and His glory shall overshadow thee and shall flow through thee as it goes forth to cover the earth. Glory to God! Bless the Lord, He’s wonderful! Let Him be Lord of your life, friends, and complain not at that which He bringeth to pass in your life.

Plenty in the Time of Famine

For in the hour when famine sweeps the land, He shall feed by His own hand those who are submitted to His perfect will, and who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. When terror stalks the land, those in His harness shall not be afraid, for they shall feel His bit and bridle and know the guidance of His Spirit. When others are weak and frail and fearful, there shall be those who shall be strong in the power of His might, and shall lack for no good thing. In the hour when the traditions of the religious systems have proven false, and their streams have dried up, then His Chosen ones shall speak forth with the true Word of the Lord. So rejoice, Sons of God, that you have been chosen by His grace for this great work in this last hour.

The fence which kept the colts in their own meadows and their own pastures mean nothing to the team in the harness, for the gates open to them, and they go forth pulling the king’s carriage into many strange and wonderful places. They do not stop to eat the poison weeds of sin, for they feed only in the Master’s stable. These fields they trample under their feet as they go forth on the King’s business. And so to those who are brought into absolute subjection to His will, there is no Law. For they move in the Grace of God, led only by His Spirit where all things are lawful but not all things are expedient. This is a dangerous realm for the undisciplined, and many have perished in sin as they leaped over the fence without His harness and His bridle. Some have thought of themselves as being completely harnessed and submissive to Him, only to find that in some avenue of their life there dwelled rebellion and self-will. Let us wait before Him until He puts His noose around us and draws us to His place of training. And let us learn of the dealings of God and the movings of His Spirit until at last we feel His harness drop about us, and hear His voice guiding us. Then there is safety from the traps and pitfalls of sin, and then shall we abide in His house forever!
[End Vision by Bill Britton]

Our Father has a work for each one of His sons in the age to come. We are prepared for this work as we submit that work He has entrusted to us in this present age. We must submit to the discipline necessary to perform our assigned task with a spirit of excellence and maturity. Those who choose personal liberty over the confinement of a Spirit led life will find themselves disqualified and shut out of the mighty works of God which He has prepared beforehand for His sons. Let us apply all diligence to follow hard on the heels of our Savior, not turning aside to the left or to the right. Let us heed the voice of the Spirit who declares, “This is the way. Walk in it.” Then at the end of this journey we can declare with the apostle Paul:

II Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith...

Heart4God Website:
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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, June 23, 2008

Death of Initiative

This post continues the chapters of the new book Christ in You - The Hope of Glory.

Death of Initiative

The first chapter of this book declared the value of taking a wider view of the work of God, for as we observe the end Yahweh has in mind for His sons we can better comprehend those things which are to be our present experience. Yahweh is looking for sons to whom He can impart His own omnipotent power and authority. In order to entrust the powers of the age to come to sons, these sons must be fully formed in Yahweh’s own image. To fall short in any measure in attaining to the character of God would result in incalculable harm to the creation.

Consider the message of the following passage from the gospels:

Luke 9:52-56
And they went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make arrangements for Him. And they did not receive Him, because He was journeying with His face toward Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”

Suppose Yahweh had granted James and John the power and authority to do whatever came into their heart BEFORE they learned the nature of the Spirit of Christ. These “sons of thunder” would have left smoking ruins all around in their misguided zeal for their Lord. Yahweh will bequeath an even greater power to His sons in the age to come, and therefore it is an absolute necessity that they come into a strict conformity to the Spirit of Christ.

The sons of God must learn a deep humility. They must not consider that any thought or ambition arising from the soul of man is of value. Walking humbly before God requires that a man move only at the command of God, doing nothing that arises out from self. It is an acknowledgment that only Yahweh is the source of righteous judgment and all goodness. Man can only act in righteousness and goodness when he has perfectly comprehended the mind and will of the Father.

Isaiah 11:3-4
He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge...

Righteous judgment is not arrived at by a rational examination of the facts. Even if we have a moral code to guide us and we apply all diligence to understand all the facts of a matter, our rational mind will not lead us to righteous judgment. The prophet Isaiah testified that the coming Messiah would not judge after the manner of men. The Son of God would not evaluate situations as He received input through His natural senses and then weighed the matter in His soul. The Messiah would judge with righteousness.

The majority in Christendom today overwhelmingly form their judgments according to the report of their senses as they weigh the facts in their soul. Many know of no other way to judge a matter. Little do they realize that they are operating out of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and they have not begun to judge things in righteousness. How often have unrighteous actions been upheld by Christian men, and righteous actions condemned? All the while those making the judgments think their thoughts are right and in keeping with the mind of Christ.

John 16:2-3
They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. And these things they will do, because they have not known the Father, or Me.

If we do not know Christ or the Father, even as James and John did not know the Spirit they were of, we will make judgments that are antagonistic to the judgments of God. You may believe you would never misjudge things so badly, yet if you judge any matter by the seeing of the eye or the hearing of the ear, you are already on the wrong track and operating contrary to the example of the firstborn Son of God.

Suppose you saw a man confessing the name of Christ and he was casting out a demon, speaking forth the word of God, or even performing a miracle. Would you not conclude that such an one must be walking in righteousness? Would you not judge that this person must certainly be one of God’s favorite sons, and walking in the pleasure of Yahweh? Yahshua did not judge in this way.

Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”

I scarcely believe there is a Christian today who would judge things as Yahshua did in this Scripture. Most would stand up alongside these and say, “But Lord, they were confessing Your name and doing many good works. They were casting out Satan. How can you condemn these as lawless?” If we judge events by what our eyes see and ears hear we will stumble badly. We will end up approving that which Christ condemns and condemning that which He approves.

It is pride to think that we can judge matters ourselves and come to a righteous understanding of a matter. The soul of man, no matter how educated in the things of God, is inadequate for the task of making righteous judgments. There is one unfailing source of righteous judgment in all of creation, and that is Yahweh. We only know righteousness, and we only judge a matter fairly, as we receive His mind and thoughts. This is how Yahshua judged all things. He looked to the Father and received His judgment.

John 5:30
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

It was not the hearing of the ear that Yahshua referred to in these words. It was hearing by the Spirit. Yahshua never did anything of His own initiative. He did not even speak a word of His own initiative, but only spoke the words the Father commanded Him to speak. Yahshua was at perfect rest in His soul. Yahshua did not allow His soul to direct His activities, or even to influence His actions. He stilled His soul and at every decision He looked to the mind of the Father and did only what He observed the Father doing.

John 4:34
Yahshua said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.

With these words Yahshua was declaring that the very thing that sustained Him and gave Him life was knowing the Father’s will and doing it. Anything less than this was a work of death. We ONLY know the will of the Father in any instance, we only comprehend His mind and thoughts, as they are imparted to us by the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 2:10-16
The Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The apostle Paul declares, “we have received... the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.” Many Christians will say, “Yes, this is true. Therefore my judgments are right.” DO NOT BE DECEIVED! Do you not understand that the soul of man has received the ability to judge right and wrong, good and evil, by eating of the forbidden fruit in the garden? This soulish sense of judgment is ALWAYS with us, and it is distorted and twisted, arising from our fallen humanity. The vast majority of Christians examine the facts as they are apprehended by the seeing of the eye and the hearing of the ear, and they look inside to discern what is the good path and what is the evil path. They think they have arrived at the mind of God when they have only consulted with their own soul.

Are you able to discern between the voice of your soul and the voice of the Spirit of God? Most Christians are failing to divide between them.

Hebrews 4:10-12
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The apostle is declaring that there is a Sabbath rest for all of God’s sons to enter. Yet like the Israelites in the wilderness, the vast majority fail to enter in. The Sabbath rest before the sons of God today is defined as coming to an end of our own works; “the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” Walking in Sabbath rest is manifested by doing nothing unless we have received it from the Father. This is what Christ was saying when He declared, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” You can call Christ “Lord” all day long, but if the works you are doing originated in your own soul then you have not begun to do the will of the Father.

Most Christians have almost no concept of the peril of being directed by their own soul. They consider that it is enough that they try to live a moral life, and that they devote some of their time to good works. Such a life is detestable to the Father. Yahweh does not want man to offer Him the fruit of his own soul. He wants man to die to self (soul) and begin to be directed and empowered in all things by the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Luke 14:26
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate... even his own life (psuche, soul), he cannot be My disciple.”

If you still live the life of your soul, being led of your own natural mind, willing things from your Adamic soul, pursuing the pleasures and desires of the natural man, then you cannot be Christ’s disciple. The reason one must hate their own soul is that they dare not be directed by it if they would follow Christ, for He never was directed by His soul. He did only those things the Father showed Him to do. The disciple of Christ must do the same.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Yahshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This was Christ’s meaning when He said many would come to Him on the day of judgment saying they did many good works in His name, but He would declare them lawless. These Christians were lawless because they did not submit to the leading of the Spirit in their works. They chose works according to the direction of their own soul. To do so is to be lawless, for a lawless man or woman has removed themselves out from under the rightful authority and have usurped this position. As disciples of Christ we must walk as Christ walked. He only did those things He saw the Father doing, and He was so perfect in this that He did not even speak a word of His own initiative. He only spoke that which the Father gave Him a command to speak.

John 12:49
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.”

John 14:10
"The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works."

How was the Father abiding in Yahshua? It was by the indwelling Spirit. Yahshua yielded to the indwelling Spirit in all things, and so must all who would be a disciple of Christ. Many who confess Christ as Lord are in great peril of being cast away as lawless.

The Scriptures provide numerous types and shadows to teach us this vital truth, and to instruct us in the path that all the sons of God must take. As we have seen, the Israelites in the wilderness serve as one profound type that has been cited by the author of the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 4:1
Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.

How does one fall short of entering into His rest? By failing to cease from their own works, those works that their soul would declare to them as being worthy and honorable. We must die to the voice of the soul of man and be led by the by the indwelling Spirit after the pattern of the firstborn Son of God. We have also seen that Joseph serves as a type of those who attain to the number of the firstborn. Joseph’s slavery in the house of one of Pharaoh’s ministers, and his later imprisonment in Pharaoh’s jail, is a type and shadow of those whose natural choices and activities are ended, and they now live to do the will of another. Only those who have been so trained to cease from their own works in order to do the works God has prepared for them will be qualified to rule and reign after the similitude of Joseph.

Another type and shadow of this same truth is observed in the words of Christ to Peter.

John 21:18-19
"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go..." And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!"

Although Yahshua was prophesying of the type of death Peter would die, His words were also a spiritual parable. When a Christian is young and immature spiritually, they go wherever they wish and do as they please. They are led of their own soul. In order to become spiritually mature a believer must no longer do so. They must surrender to the will of God in all things. They must yield to the Spirit and go where their own soul would not choose to go.

Yahshua established the pattern. His soul did not choose the cross. God chose it for Him. In Gethsemane Christ’s soul was brought to a place of death, and He fully surrendered to the will of the Father.

Matthew 26:38-39
Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me."

Christ accepted the cross before Him, and there is a cross appointed to every disciple. It may not be a literal cross such as Yahshua and Peter faced, but there is a Gethsemane appointed to every disciple where the desire of their soul must die in order that we might live only for the will of the Father.

Matthew 26:39-40
"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

Gethsemane is where the initiative of man dies. It is where we trade our will, for the will of God. It is the place where every longing, desire, thought, ambition, and will arising from the soul of man is crucified until only the will of the Father remains.

This is an exceedingly difficult matter to bring the saints to understand. We will never be fitted to receive the power and authority of the ages to come until we humble ourselves and become as little children before our Father in heaven. Little children expect their father to instruct them in all things. Little children are taught to obey without argument, and we must become as little children before our Father. We must hear from Him and do as He instructs us in all things. As we grow older we must never abandon the attitude of seeking to do exactly those things that are pleasing to our Father. He has given to us His Spirit to indwell us that we might know His will in every instance.

How did Yahshua know what to do, and what not to do, in each circumstance? He was led of the Spirit in all things. He observed what His Father was doing, and He did precisely what He saw.

John 5:19-20
Yahshua therefore answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

My heart is grieved as I observe among Christians an independence from the Spirit of God. I deplore the church’s doctrines which suggest the saints need not be led of the Spirit in the particular circumstances of their lives. Our training as sons after the image of Christ mandates that it is the Spirit that lead us in all things.

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Yahweh has not called His sons in training to be led of their own intellect. He has not told them to develop a code of Scriptural precepts and principles which they can use to evaluate all of life’s decisions. He wants His sons to be children of the Spirit.

II Corinthians 3:6
It is He Who has qualified us, making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ, not ministers of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code of the Law kills, but the Holy Spirit makes alive.
[Amplified Bible]

This present life serves as a training ground for the sons of God. Yahweh must bring His sons to an end of independent living. He must break them of making decisions that arise from the soul. He seeks sons who are intent upon His will and desire only. He does not want any man to presume that he knows what God would do in a particular situation. Yahweh wants all His sons to look to Him in all things. We are to see what works He is doing, and we are to do them in like manner. We are to hear His judgment in every matter, and then judge the same. We must not seek our will, but live for our Father’s will and pleasure.

A large part of our problem in arriving at God’s mind is that our priorities and goals are not the same as His. When we encounter great trials our immediate thought is to be delivered from the distress, sorrow, or injury. When we are brought to a Gethsemane, our soul will say, “Father, let this cup of suffering pass from me.” It is at this point that we must yield to the Spirit and declare, “Yet not my will, but Your will be done.” Yahweh is looking to what we will one day be, and He chooses our circumstances, trials and cross to best promote our growth as sons.

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares Yahweh. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Some have adopted a mindset where they believe they are to study the Scriptures that they might become adequate in themselves to make life decisions. Some have become so arrogant in this that they begin to demand of God that He do their bidding. They think this attitude is pleasing to the Father, yet such an attitude is foreign to the life of Christ. Yahshua was meek and humble, and He only did those things the Father commanded Him to do. He made no demands Himself.

We are not to do any works arising out from self. We are to allow the indwelling Spirit of Christ to reveal to us God’s will, and provide the power to do that will.

John 14:10
The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

As sons of God in training to share the glory, power and authority of our Father in heaven, we must die to our own soul’s leadership and direction. We must become sons in whom the Father abides and performs His works. This He seeks to do through the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...”

This verse has been quoted often in Christendom, but it is rarely experienced. At the end of this age there must come forth a firstfruits group of sons who make it a living reality. Their declaration and experience must become “it is no longer I who live.” The Spirit of Christ within must guide in all their works and activities, and it must be the strength which God supplies that accomplishes all things. The sons of God must no longer be directed by their soul. They must live for the pleasure of the Father.

Heart4God Website:
Parables Blog:

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Understanding Faith and Healing

Understanding Faith and Healing
Joseph Herrin (Updated 06-21-2008)

News headlines from an Associated Press article dated June 19, 2008 proclaim: Teen's Death Blamed on Faith Healing

The article begins:

GLADSTONE, Oregon (AP) -- Authorities say a teenager from a faith-healing family died from an illness that could have been easily treated, just a few months after a toddler cousin of his died in a case that has led to criminal charges.

Family members attend the Followers of Christ church. “The Followers believe in a literal translation of the Scripture, which states that the sick shall be anointed by elders and that faith will heal all. Death, if it comes, is God's will, they believe.”
[Source: The Oregonian: June 18, 1998 article]

Earlier deaths involving children from the church resulted in the State of Oregon passing legislation striking down religious shield laws for parents who treat sickness only with prayer.

Today’s news comes on the heels of another high profile story out of Wisconsin regarding the Neumann family whose 11 year old daughter Kara died in late March while her parents were praying and trusting God to heal her. The parents are now battling government charges of second degree reckless homicide. The Neumann’s were not part of any organized church, but they subscribed to the faith healing teachings of Unleavened Bread Ministry and its teacher David Eells. The Neumanns contacted an elder at UBM the day before their daughter Kara died, saying she was very sick, asking to speak and pray with David. David called the Neumanns and prayed with them for Kara’s healing. In a series of news releases following the death of Kara Neumann, David Eells shared the following:

When I called they shared concern for their daughter, Kara, who had started getting sick in just the last day or so (not as is reported for the last 30 days). They asked me to pray and agree with them in prayer, basically because she appeared pale and listless (not a quote). They did not seem overly concerned because they had had healings before. This is not an unusual kind of request to us. I and our elders and prayer ministers are used to praying for the sick and have seen many healed by our Lord. We do not dictate to people about whether to go to the doctor or not but agree with their faith as the Bible says: {Matthew 18:19} Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. We are not commanded in scripture to send people to the doctor but to meet their needs through prayer and faith. As anyone here in the ministry will tell you, we are not against doctors for those who have their faith there and never condemn or restrict them in any way. But we know that the best one to trust in for healing is Jesus Christ. The foundation for receiving this benefit from Him is repentance and faith in His promises. {1Peter 2:24} who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
Jesus, Whose faith was perfect, gave healing to anyone who had faith and still does. {Mt.8:13} And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; as thou hast believed, [so] be it done unto thee. And the servant was healed in that hour. ... {9:22} But Jesus turning and seeing her said, Daughter, be of good cheer; thy faith hath made thee whole. ... {29} Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it done unto you. {30} And their eyes were opened. I am very sorry that I have not yet manifested the faith of Jesus or His discernment when someone else has the repentance and faith needed. However, even in my weakness God's grace has healed many.

The day after I first spoke with the Neumanns they called me again from their car, very concerned as they followed an emergency vehicle with Kara in it. They told me that she had stopped breathing and asked if I would pray that The Lord would spare her and raise her up, which I did. I called on our prayer ministers and elders to pray for her, too.

In these words we can discern the doctrine of David Eells, to which the Neumanns also subscribed, concerning faith and healing. We also observe that the results the ministers at UBM have received have been inconsistent. David Eells stated, “I and our elders and prayer ministers are used to praying for the sick and have seen many healed by our Lord.” No percentages are listed. It would probably also be accurate to report that David and the elders and prayer ministers at UBM ministries “have seen many (NOT) healed by our Lord.” Kara Neumann being one example, for David admits that not only he, but also the prayer ministers and elders at UBM prayed that she would be healed, and after she quit breathing they prayed that she would be raised back up.

Those involved in these incidents subscribed to a doctrine based upon their understanding of various Scriptures, including the following from James.

James 5:14-15
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

David Eells made reference to this verse when he wrote, “The foundation for receiving this benefit from Him is repentance and faith in His promises.” This passage from James mentions both repentance from sin and faith. Since the Neumanns called the elders of the church found at Unleavened Bread Ministries, and the elders prayed for healing, why did healing not result? According to that which David Eells shared, either sin must have been present, or faith must have been absent. David expresses humility concerning his own weakness in offering a prayer of faith, for he has said, “I am very sorry that I have not yet manifested the faith of Jesus or His discernment when someone else has the repentance and faith needed.

In this writing it is not my intent to condemn anyone. All who are involved manifest a great sincerity in their beliefs, a deep commitment to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord, and a willingness to suffer deeply in order to be found faithful to their beliefs. My heart has been burdened by the depth of sorrow and grief that results from such a loss. Having lost a dearly beloved child (Kara means “beloved”), they have had to face the criticism and condemnation of the world at a time when they are wrestling to understand why their child was not healed. UBM ministries, and David Eells in particular, have also borne the brunt of much condemnation, being mentioned in relation to Kara’s death by national news outlets such as ABC, and then picked up by a host of smaller news outlets and lambasted widely across the Internet.

This writing seeks to point out an error in belief relating to the doctrine of faith and healing. It seeks to present a sound understanding of this matter that further unnecessary tragedy might be averted. It was only a couple weeks ago that I learned of David Eells association with the Neumanns. I subsequently wrote to him, asking him to re-examine his doctrinal beliefs relating to healing. I sent him a copy of an article I wrote in December of 2000 titled Faith and Healing, that had been written after witnessing s similar event in the lives of a family with whom I was familiar.

David responded by stating that he did not have time to read lengthy e-mails, and he felt that his doctrinal beliefs were sound. I expressed to him briefly that a necessary ingredient of faith is receiving a word from God specific to our situation, and without such a word there is no foundation for faith. If God has not said He will raise up one who is sick, and made known the manner in which the healing should be performed, then there is no basis for faith. David responded, “I have a lot of experience in healing for 35 years and God has been my healer consistently by just holding to the Word. I notice that the people who have to have God speak to them never get the consistent results.

I wrote to David a second time. I asked him if he did not consider the death of Kara Neumann to be “inconsistent results.” Clearly there have been many other times when David and the elders at UBM have prayed for people’s healing and they have not received the result they have sought. Is it not possible that there is a flaw in the doctrine they are operating upon? I sent a second e-mail about a week later asking David to please read the article in order to judge this matter. He was courteous in his reply, but once more declined to read what I had sent him. David wrote me back the following:

I have had consistent healing and have watched those who waited for a word from God to tell them they could believe His Word, do without healing. I believe the WORD can be stood upon. I raised 5 kids without doctors or medicine. I saw broken bones, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gycoma (sic), etc healed consistently. Why would God have to tell you His word is true.

The proof of the truth is that it works. The Rhema / Logos theory does not. By their failure to get results God is asking these people why they don't belive (sic) His Word.

The secret is that When one is humble to the written Word by acting upon it, it beomes a Rhema to him. If God says you are healed - 1 Pet. 2:24. then you are. You don't have to ask him - are you sure? - is this truth?

David used I Peter 2:24 as a scriptural example of a blanket promise of healing. I wish very much he had read the writing I had sent him, for in it this verse was examined in context, revealing that it is not speaking of physical healing. It is concerned only with spiritual healing from the penalty of sin.

Peter is quoting a passage from the prophet Isaiah, so let us begin by looking at Isaiah’s words, which are also quoted widely in support of a doctrine of universal healing from sickness and injury.

Isaiah 53:5
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.

A question that many have glossed over is, “What kind of healing is the verse referring to?” Many saints have not studied this verse “as a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.” Looking no further than the surface to gain understanding and to find their interpretation and application, they have failed to arrive at the truth. They see the word “healed” here and make an assumption that the verse is speaking of physical healing. Assumptions are very dangerous, leading to sorrow in many occasions. The word healed is not used exclusively in relation to physical sickness. We speak of someone being healed of a broken heart. This is healing of the soul. God’s has spoken through the use of metaphors extensively throughout the Bible. In one place He refers to a judgment upon Israel by scattering her among the nations as having wounded her.

Nahum 3:19
There is no relief for your breakdown, your wound is incurable.

Incurable, means there is no healing, but it is obvious that a physical healing for sickness is not what is in view here. In another place Yahweh speaks of afflicting Israel due the her numerous sins, and the word healing is mentioned.

Jeremiah 30:12-14
For thus says Yahweh, your wound is incurable, and your injury is serious. There is no one to plead your cause; No healing for your sore, no recovery for you. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the punishment of a cruel one, because your iniquity is great and your sins are numerous.

It is obvious here that physical healing is not the subject, but healing from the penalty of sin. The passage from Isaiah must also be examined carefully to determine what type of healing is in view. If it is not speaking of physical healing from sickness, disease and injury, then those who seek to form a doctrine of universal physical healing from the verse are in great error.

There are many clues in the context of the verse that make its meaning clear. Large portions of the prophetic books of the Bible are written in a poetic style that was common to the Hebrews. One of the features of Hebrew poetry is the use of parallelism. Parallelism is the repetition of a thought, either restating a thought using different words, or making a contrast to the thought by stating its opposite. This is seen clearly in the Psalms.

Ps 6:1
O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath.

Ps 7:9
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous...

In these two verses we see examples of parallelism. In the first verse the same thought is stated in two different manners. In the second verse parallelism is again used, but this time the thoughts are in contrast to one another. By understanding this feature of Hebrew poetry the translators of scripture have been able to discern the meaning of many obscure words. Because they knew a thought was restated, or contrasted, they were able to compare known words with words they were uncertain about and come to a clearer understanding of the word’s definition.

As students of the scriptures, we can also use this device to more clearly determine meaning when we perceive parallelism is being used. Look again now at the verse from Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:5
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.

It is clearly evident that parallelism is being used in this scripture. Is the parallelism restating the same thought, or is it a contrast? As we look at the verse we see that the same thought is restated. The first clause is:

“He was wounded for our transgressions...”

The parallel clause is:

“He was bruised for our iniquities.”

We see here that the words “wounded” and “bruised” are parallel to one another, speaking of the suffering of Christ before and during His crucifixion. We also see that the words “transgressions” and “iniquities” are parallel. These parallel clauses are clearly speaking of Christ suffering for the sin of man.

This verse is very interesting in that it repeats the original statement not once, but three times. The next sentence contains two more perfect parallels to the original statement.

“The chastisement of our peace was upon Him...”

“With His stripes we are healed.”

It is easy to discern that the words “chastisement” and “stripes” continue the parallels found in the words “wounded” and “bruised.” All four words describe various forms of suffering. It takes a little more Bible knowledge to discern the parallel in the last part of these clauses. What is meant by “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him”? When someone sinned under the Levitical Law an offering had to be made to atone for the sin. One such offering was called a “peace offering.” This is the meaning of “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” This thought is further stated in the following passage.

Colossians 1:19-20
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross...

The cross was the place where the peace offering was made and it restored the relationship between God and man where sin had caused a division. It is evident then that the first three clauses of this verse from Isaiah are all dealing with sin and Yahshua bearing sin’s penalty. Could we not expect that the final phrase will bear the same meaning? Let us examine it.

“And with his stripes we are healed.”

I have already noted that “stripes” is a parallel to “wounded,” “bruised,” and “chastisement.” All of these words are linked to Yahshua paying the penalty of sin. How then are Christians able to break the established parallelism and declare that Isaiah is now writing about physical healing when all the other clauses have been speaking of sin’s healing?

The word that is interpreted “healed” in this verse is elsewhere interpreted as “repaired” (I Kings 18:30), and “be made whole” (Jeremiah 19:11). The scripture from Kings is speaking of “repairing” the altar and the scripture from Jeremiah is speaking of destroying a piece of pottery so that it cannot “be made whole” again. We see then that the word can have a diversity of meaning, and we must look to the context of the passage it is found in to determine its application.

If you still have doubts about the meaning of this verse from Isaiah, you need only look at the verse in its context. The rest of the passage contains these words:

Isaiah 53:6,10
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but Yahweh has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him... But Yahweh was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render himself as a guilt offering...

The stripes Yahshua suffered were an example of Yahweh putting His Son to grief that He might render Himself a guilt offering. What is the purpose of a guilt offering? It is to atone for sin. By His stripes we were healed from our sin guiltiness.

To conclusively settle this matter, we need only look at the New Testament to observe how the apostles understood this Scripture. The very Scripture David Eells cited, refutes his conclusion.

I Peter 2:24
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

The subject of this verse is sin and righteousness. The final clause relates to all that has been said before it. “By His wounds you were healed” from sin that you might live to righteousness.

It is a great manifestation of poor Bible interpretation that would lead a person to conclude that these verses were making a general promise of physical healing from all sickness to Christians. Tragically, many saints have taken such verses and attempted to stand upon them and claim physical healing. God never intended this verse, or others, to be used in such a manner. Christians cannot take a verse which speaks of reconciliation between man and God through the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah and use it as a basis upon which to demand that Yahweh heal them or a loved one.

The doctrine that declares that God has made an universal promise of healing to all Christians is based upon scriptures such as these which are misunderstood. People may be very sincere in their misunderstanding, but their sincerity does not change the meaning of God’s word. It must be “rightly divided” and this requires that the saints apply themselves to diligent study as “a workman that need not be ashamed.” Another scripture that David Eells quoted in support of his doctrinal stance is the following:

Matthew 18:19
Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

The faith teachers of the day make great use of this verse to suggest that Christians can have anything their lustful hearts desire. But surely a mature Christian does not believe that the “anything” stated here actually means “anything” that man can think up? Does this mean if two Christians agree together that God should give them both a million dollars, that Yahweh is obligated to do so?

James 4:3-4
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?

James reveals that there are some limitations to those things we can expect to receive from God. Is it possible that there may be other conditions that must be met in order for a prayer to be answered? Is it possible that Christians are to discern the will of God in each situation before they make their request? The Scriptures reveal that the answer is an emphatic “YES!”

George Muller, the minister who established large orphanages in England in the 1800's knew much about prayer and faith. In 1880 he preached a sermon where he shared the following:

Had it been left to us to make promises concerning prayer, I do not know that you or I could have done any more than say, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Yet, while the promise is so full, so deep, so broad, so precious in every way, we have here, as becomes us with other parts of the word of God, to compare Scripture with Scripture, because in other parts additions are made, or conditions are given, which, if we neglect, will hinder our getting the full benefit of prayer.

George Muller went on to detail a number of conditions that were attached to the simple “Ask, and ye shall receive.” First, our petitions must be according to the will of God as is revealed in I John 5:14.

I John 5:14
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Brothers and sisters, we have to get the whole counsel of God on a matter. If you would seriously contemplate this matter of prayer and faith, you would surely have to acknowledge that God will not do anything the mind of man will conceive simply by his asking for it. What a mixed up world this would be. Mankind would end up ruling in the heavens. God would be at the beck and call of man, existing to meet man’s every whim, to move at man’s command. This is a total overthrow of the authority of God over His creation. A true and mature understanding of prayer and faith must acknowledge that man must at all time be subject to the will of the Father. If man asks “anything” according to His will, He hears us and will answer from heaven. If it is not according to His will, then man has no expectation of God granting His petition.

George Muller’s life provides a good study in the foundations of faith. Mr. Muller always sought the mind of the Father before making any decision pertaining to care of the orphans. Any time an expansion of the ministry was considered he would still his soul, and come to a place of complete rest where he was able to receive the knowledge of the desire of God in the matter. He never wanted to be found to have acted presumptuously, for God is not obligated to meet our needs if we have acted in presumption. Mr. Muller sought the knowledge of God’s will in all things that he might carry out the work in the manner the Father desired.

The Scriptures declare that true righteousness is found in caring for widows and orphans.

James 1:27
This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Despite the fact that the Scriptures declare that it is in keeping with the character of God to care for widows and orphans, it would have been presumptuous for George Muller to determine on his own initiative the form of this ministry. At the height of his work with the orphans Mr. Muller was caring for thousands while making their daily needs known only to God. God moved mightily in sending provision, but there were many long years where faith was tried severely. In these days it was necessary for George Muller to look to God and declare, “Father, I did not begin this work of my own initiative. I was led by your Spirit in all things. I am therefore confident that You will supply every need.” George Muller’s faith arose out of his having waited upon God and received a word of direction from Him.

True faith ALWAYS includes a word from God providing direction for our path. Let me declare this again, for it is at this point that many stumble and suffer great sorrow.


Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God.

The expression “faith comes by hearing” is not translated literally into English here. The word “by” is a translation of the Greek word “ek” which literally means “out.” It would be more accurate to translate this statement as “faith comes out of hearing.” In other words, faith must have something to arise out of, and that which it arises out of is something we hear.

Where does hearing come from? It comes from the (rhema) word of God. The Greek word rhema literally means “to utter, speak or say.” (Definition from Strong’s Concordance of Greek and Hebrew Words). Let us then look at this verse anew with this understanding.

Romans 10:17
So then faith come out of hearing, and hearing by the utterance, the speech, or saying of God.

We see then that faith always arises out of hearing God speak to us. If God has spoken nothing, we have nothing out of which faith can arise.

Let me declare this again, as it is vitally important.

Faith always arises out of hearing God speak to us. If God has spoken nothing, we have nothing out of which faith can arise.

If a man, woman or child has not heard anything from God, faith is not present, and belief is not possible. What many are calling faith and belief is merely positive thinking, or misplaced confidence based upon a wrong understanding of God’s word. Some might say, “Don’t the Scriptures speak God’s word to us, and don’t they promise that He will heal all who believe?” David Eells has stated, “The secret is that When one is humble to the written Word by acting upon it, it beomes a Rhema to him. If God says you are healed - 1 Pet. 2:24. then you are. You don't have to ask him - are you sure? - is this truth?

No! This is error. The natural mind of man can read the Bible and come up with an infinite variety of ways in which to apply it to his circumstances. The Christian is not to do so, however. The Christian life is to be one directed by Christ through the indwelling Spirit.

John 10:27
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me...”

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Christ knew the Scriptures better than any other man of His day, yet He never operated out of general principles derived from Scriptures. He did not begin His ministry until the Spirit descended upon Him and remained. Immediately He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to fast for forty days. His entire ministry was characterized by a complete submission to the will of the Father as it was revealed to Him by the Spirit. He plainly states how dependent He was upon the Father to know His desire in every circumstance and situation.

John 5:19-20
Yahshua therefore answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Christ NEVER determined for Himself who He would heal, or how the healing would be accomplished. He looked to the Father, and whatever the Father showed Him He did “in like manner.” If the Son saw the Father healing a blind man by taking spittle and clay and making mud to place on his eyes, He did exactly as the Father showed Him. If He saw the Father healing ten lepers by telling them to go a present themselves to the priest, knowing they would be healed along the way, then He instructed them exactly according to what the Father showed Him.

Christ never healed by formula. He never quoted from Isaiah or another verse mentioning healing, and said “Based upon this verse, you are healed.” Neither do we see the apostles ever healing in this way. They all walked according to the leading and direction of the Spirit who has been given to make known to us the thoughts of God.

I Corinthians 2:10-12
To us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God...

If any man had the ability to apply the Scriptures according to His understanding, surely it was Yahshua. Yet He strictly avoided ever being led in this way. He never made a decision apart from discerning the will of the Father for that situation.

John 5:30
I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

The Son of God never acted presumptuously. Although He said He was greater in wisdom than Solomon, He did not judge things Himself. As He heard from His Father, He judged. Whatever the Father revealed to Him, that He did “in like manner.” It is the tendency of natural man to gather what facts he can through his natural senses, and then make a decision based upon the facts and his own understanding of righteousness. This the Son of God never did.

Isaiah 11:3-4
He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge...

God the Father is the only source of righteous judgment. Only He can decide what will be done in every situation. He chooses to heal, or not heal (for example, Paul’s thorn in the flesh). He alone sees perfectly the cause for an illness, and we must discern His mind that we might know what He would have done. Consider the following examples from Yahshua’s ministry.

John 9:2-3
And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Yahshua answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

John 5:7-14
The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
Yahshua said to him, "Arise, take up your pallet, and walk." And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day... Afterward Yahshua found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may befall you."

In the first example Yahshua was asked if the man or his parents had sinned, causing his blindness. Yahshua said that neither had sinned. In the second example Yahshua discerned that the man’s sin had indeed precipitated his condition and He cautioned him to sin no more. How could Yahshua discern this? Certainly not by outward observation. It would be impossible to construct a set of doctrines or a theological structure to use to determine why a person is sick. It is only by the Spirit of God that this could be discerned. Yahshua was in constant communion with the Spirit and was always discerning the mind of the Father in this way. This is the same way that the saint of God is to approach every situation.

When we are presented with a situation regarding healing we need to discern the mind of God just as surely as Yahshua did. Yahshua never treated two people alike. He did not work by formula. He did not recite scriptures over everyone and proclaim them healed. He acted as God directed Him. For one blind man He simply touched his eyes and told him to be healed. For another He made mud from spit and dirt and applied it to the blind man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. For some afflicted people Yahshua cast out unclean spirits that He discerned to be in them. For some He simply told them to stretch out their hand, or rise up off their pallet. For some He said, “Your sins are forgiven.” In each situation Yahshua discerned the mind of the Spirit and acted accordingly.

Living by spiritual formula leads to an independence from a daily reliance upon the leading of the Spirit. We are called to “abide” in Christ. Yahweh has so designed the Christian life and experience so His children will seek Him always. Great error occurs when men seek to construct a theological framework whereby they can determine what to do in every situation. We are called to be a people of the Spirit, not a people of the letter.

II Corinthians 3:6
It is He Who has qualified us making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ, not ministers of the letter of legally written code but of the Spirit; for the code of the Law kills, but the Holy Spirit makes alive.
(Amplified Bible)

Those who declare that all we need is God’s word have made the Bible into an idol. This idol leads men and women away from a daily reliance upon the life of Christ expressed through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. Placing the Bible into a role God intended His Spirit to occupy renders Christians susceptible to many errors of judgment that result in heartache and loss.

Let us look at the example of the apostles to see if the doctrine of universal healing for all Christians holds up. The apostle Paul was a man of great faith. He was also used of the Lord to perform spectacular healings.

Acts 19:11-12
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

Notice here who it says was doing the miracles. “God was performing extraordinary miracles” and Paul was simply God’s hands in performing the work. Paul was directed by God in these activities and what the Spirit revealed to him he did in like manner. It is evident that Paul did not subscribe to an universal healing doctrine based upon a perceived Biblical promise. He only healed when Yahweh revealed it was His will to do so, and in the manner Yahweh revealed. There were times when Yahweh gave Paul no revelation for the healing of an individual.

II Timothy 4:20
Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.

How is it that a man with the spiritual maturity of the apostle Paul left an associate behind due to sickness? Didn’t Paul know that there was a universal promise of healing for all, and the prayer of faith would raise them up? We see that this absence of healing extended to Paul’s own life.

Galatians 4:13-15
But you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.

By Paul’s own confession he had a loathsome condition that afflicted his eyes. This was a prolonged condition, for trouble with his eyes is mentioned frequently.

Galatians 6:11
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Because Paul was nearly blind, he often dictated his letters and only signed his name at the end of them.

Romans 16:22
I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.

I Corinthians 16:21
The greeting is in my own hand-- Paul.

How did Paul respond to this bodily affliction? Did he seek to claim a blanket promise of healing perceived in the Scriptures, such as “by His stripes we are healed”? No! Paul sought the Lord concerning the matter.

II Corinthians 12:8-9
Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

I believe this loathsome affliction to his eyes was Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Of it he says he prayed to God three times about it “entreating” the Lord to remove the affliction. Paul entreated. He did not claim some general promise. Paul sought the Lord’s mind, and when the Lord revealed it was His will for the affliction to remain, Paul accepted it.

Paul’s actions lend no support to the faith healing doctrines that suggest God will heal all who have faith and repentance. Clearly this is not the case. God did not remove Paul’s sore affliction of his eyes. Will men suggest this was due to Paul being deficient in faith, or having unconfessed sin in his life?

Abraham is called “the father of faith,” and we can discern something very important about the character of faith from an examination of his life. Faith always consists of two parts: a word from God, and a response of trusting obedience. Most Christians fail to receive a word from God, so they have nothing upon which to base their faith.

Genesis 12:1-4
Now Yahweh said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation... So Abram went forth as Yahweh had spoken to him.

Abraham heard a word from God, and he responded with trusting obedience. God credited this faith of Abraham to him as righteousness. Faith comes out of hearing. Yahweh had to speak something to Abraham in order for faith to arise.

Consider for a moment that Abraham did not choose to leave Ur of the Chaldees, or Haran, at his own initiative. Abraham did not reason one day, “I am sure tired of this city. I think I will leave and go to a place I have never been before, and I will trust God to prosper and protect me.” No! This would have been presumption, not faith. Faith does not originate in the thoughts of a man. Faith ALWAYS originates in a word from God. Consider another event from the life of Abraham.

Genesis 22:1-3
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

Yahweh once more appeared to Abraham, giving him specific instructions. Abraham responded in faith. If there had been no word from God, there would have been no possibility of faith being present. Abraham did not have to wonder, “Does God want me to do this?” Abraham had heard God give him specific instructions and Abraham responded in trusting obedience. How many of us, however, have been tormented because we were not sure that we had heard God speak? How many have heard some man tell them that they needed to take a group of scriptures and stand on them, but they had no specific word from God relating to their circumstance?

David Eells is not a wicked man. He is seeking to walk faithfully to what he believes. He has observed God performing numerous acts of healing in his own life and that of his family. David has supposed that this is the result of having stood upon Scriptures that promise healing, but the truth of the matter is that God has given David Eells specific instruction concerning these things. Yahweh has led David to place the health of his family into the hands of God in order that He might demonstrate His faithfulness and power, and that David’s faith might be strengthened for days ahead.

In his testimony David shares of the Spirit leading him to take specific steps of faith, such as canceling all his insurance, including health insurance, and looking to God to provide healing. God gave me the same instructions back in 1999, and because I heard God and obeyed Him my family and I have seen Yahweh’s healing manifested in our lives in extraordinary ways. Just as Yahweh appeared to Abraham, Yahweh spoke to me. He gave me a specific word, and due to the presence of this word faith had a foundation out of which to arise.

I have never felt led to tell other men to tell do as God instructed me to do. Rather, I have told them to seek God to receive a word for their situation. Only then would they have the necessary prerequisite for faith. Only then would they be equipped to overcome the doubts and fears that accompany trials of faith. I have been enabled to stand and see the promises of God fulfilled by continually returning to what God spoke to me. I would encourage myself by praying, “God, remember that you spoke this to me, and I am not doing this of my own initiative, but at Your leading. Therefore I am depending upon You to fulfill what You have promised.” This is the only true basis for faith, resting upon the word God speaks to us.

I recently listened to an audio recording sent to me. It consists of an interview David Eells did on his radio broadcast with Rex Veron on June 15th, 2008. In the interview the subject of David recently experiencing a severe health crisis was brought up. Rex suggested that David was able to stand and claim healing from the Lord because the Lord had given him specific promises that had not yet been fulfilled in his life and ministry. David acknowledged that God had given him promises, but he said what he really stood upon was the Bible’s promises of healing. I am convinced that David is mistaken. Without the promises of God spoken to him, David would not have had the confidence to claim healing from God. Neither would God have been obligated to heal David, for God is only obliged to do that which He has promised. He has given no universal promise of healing in the Bible.

There are incidents in Scripture where the revealed will of God in bringing healing is not clearly stated, but it is always present. Faith always arises out of a word from God. Consider the following examples:

Luke 17:19
And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well."

On the surface it may appear that Yahshua is declaring that the leper who was cleansed was healed because he envisioned Christ healing him and believed it, therefore it became a reality. This is not the truth, however. The leper received a word of specific instruction and he acted upon it.

Luke 17:12-14
And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Yahshua, Master, have mercy on us!" And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed.

As we already read, Yahshua only did those things the Father showed Him to do. The Father showed His Son that the lepers were to be healed in this manner. Yahshua relayed the Father’s will to them, they responded in trusting obedience, and the promise of healing was realized. Let us look at another example.

Acts 27:23-25
Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

Here Paul makes the statement that he has faith in God. Again is this some mysterious principle or force that allows the miraculous to happen? No! Paul’s faith in God actually has a very specific basis. An angel of God appeared to him and gave him a word of revelation. Paul’s faith is not some general belief in God, but it is a trusting response to the word that God presented to him. Again we see the two ingredients of revelation and trusting response.

I am convinced that every instance of faith includes these two vital ingredients, revelation and trusting response. Even in instances where both are not clearly stated, as one examines the situation it can be shown that both were present. For example, when the woman with an issue of blood came and touched the hem of Yahshua's garment and was healed, Yahshua told her that her faith had healed her. Was her faith some mysterious power to transact a miracle? No, she believed that if she could just touch Him that she would be healed. Where did this belief arise from? It clearly had its source in God for “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

Many people in the day in which Yahshua walked this earth heard of Him from the testimony of others. As this woman heard of the miracles He was performing she believed that He would heal her, too. Into her soul came the thought that if she could just touch His garment she would be healed. God was clearly the source of this thought and she responded in trusting obedience and was rewarded for it.

Did God speak to people in this way during the time of Christ? We know He did. Yahshua's own words to Peter when Peter declared Yahshua to be the Messiah were, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). Similarly, it was God who revealed to the woman with the issue of blood that she would be healed if she touched the hem of Yahshua's garment. If we conclude anything contrary to this, we end up violating other Scriptures which reveal that this is always the way in which faith works.

Consider what is revealed in the following words of Scripture:

Luke 5:17
And it came about one day that He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.

It was the Father who determined whether the power would be present to heal on that day and in that place. God is able to make His power present or absent at His discretion. If the Father had not made His power present on that day, then Yahshua would not have healed the paralyzed man who was let down through the roof on a pallet. What is observed in this Scripture is that healing is always at the discretion of the Father.

Yahshua was always looking to the Father to see what He was doing, and He was careful to do it in like manner. Consider the occasion when Yahshua went to the pool of Bethesda and saw a multitude of sick laying there. Yahshua observed the Father healing only one man, and this is precisely what Yahshua did, leaving all the others unchanged.

John 5:2-9
Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered... And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness. When Yahshua saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me." Yahshua said to him, "Arise, take up your pallet, and walk." And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk.

Yahshua demonstrated the manner in which all of God’s children are to walk. They are to look to the Father and see what He is doing and do it in like manner. We are not to assume things or act out of our own initiative. We are to be led into all of our activities, beliefs, and words by the Spirit of God. Consider now how this relates to James’ instructions to the elders concerning praying for the sick.

James 5:14-15
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

To understand this we must keep in mind what we have already seen. Faith must include revelation and a trusting response. Many people call for the elders to pray for them today and they are not healed. This passage is often quoted in many churches, but there is very seldom any healing that takes place. Why is this so?

It states here that not just any prayer will restore the one who is sick, but it is the prayer of faith. There must be revelation and a trusting response. Why are so many prayers of the elders ineffective? Because there is no revelation from God before they pray. Many simply pray some formulaic prayer, citing verses of Scripture that speak of healing, or saying “Lord, if it is Your will let this person be healed.” Is this a prayer of faith? Absolutely not. There is no revelation and therefore no word of God out of which faith can arise.

James states here that if the person has sinned his sins will be forgiven him. How is this to be discerned? In the same way that Yahshua discerned if a person’s sickness was due to sin or not. This comes through revelation of the Spirit of God. The position of elder is a spiritual duty, providing oversight for the souls of the saints. The elder is to be one who is Spirit filled and led by the Spirit of God. They should be capable of discerning such matters as they wait before God for direction.

Even after having heard God instruct me to trust Him for the health of my family, I encountered situations in others lives where I needed to know what to do. I knew I could not simply tell them God would heal them, for I had no word specific to their circumstance.

One day my wife and a close friend of hers went out to pick some peaches. When they got back the lady she was with said she was feeling very poorly. Her breathing became affected and she was experiencing numbness and tingling throughout her body. I was quite concerned, and began praying. I told the Father that I did not know what to do, and I asked Him to reveal what should be done. A few moments later a lady from the community dropped by and she took a look at this lady and discerned immediately that she was having an allergic reaction due to pesticides that had been sprayed on the peach trees just before they picked peaches. This woman had some Benadryl in her purse and gave one to my wife’s friend and she quickly felt better and in less than 30 minutes she was able to get up and eat a meal.

There are times when Yahweh chooses to use some natural remedy or treatment to affect healing. We find the apostle Paul giving the following instructions to Timothy.

I Timothy 5:23
No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

What is interesting to note here is that Paul did not do anything that the erroneous faith healing doctrine would suggest. He did not tell Timothy to stand on promises of healing found in the word of God. He did not tell Timothy to rebuke the devil. Paul did not even suggest that Timothy call for the elders of the church, for Paul was Timothy’s elder. Paul discerned that Timothy should drink a little wine for his stomach and his frequent ailments, and this is what Paul recommended to him.

As Christians we must be discerning of the Father’s thoughts for us. He does not choose to heal every person anymore than He chooses to make everyone financially prosperous. Though, just like this doctrine that suggests universal health to be promised in the Bible, many faith teachers today say there are a multitude of promises of universal wealth to all who will believe. Yet God chooses to subject His children to lean times financially as well as physically. Through these means He is able to reduce the strength of the outer man in order that the fragrant aroma of the life of Christ might be released through us. Concerning Paul’s physical affliction, he understood the following:

II Corinthians 12:7
To keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh...

I was born with a hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone Disease. From the age of seven to the age of thirteen I broke multiples bones and had numerous surgeries to repair these injuries. Looking back I can see the Lord’s purpose in this. Had I been a physically strong person I would have had a tendency toward pride and independence that would have been very destructive. Yahweh wanted to produce a son who was humble and who looked to Him at all times. To accomplish this He gave me a body that was easily broken. The strength of the natural man provides a barrier to walking in humility before God. Yahweh will often choose to subject His children to some affliction, or weakness in order to produce sons in His image.

I Corinthians 1:26-29
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.

God will choose to afflict His children in various ways for the sake of their own conformity to Christ. As we receive some weakness or affliction Yahweh has chosen for us, He provides a more abundant grace that the life of Christ might be revealed in us.

II Corinthians 12:9
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

God will not choose to heal all sickness, disease and affliction for He has chosen some to bear these things for their perfecting as saints. Though you stand and claim healing Scriptures from dawn to dusk, God will not change His mind concerning His will for your life. I have been much impressed from the time of my youth with the testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada. As a teenager she experienced a diving accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. She prayed for healing, and many others prayed for her, yet it was not God’s will to remove the paralysis.

As Joni came to accept the brokenness of her body, the fragrant aroma of Christ within her began to manifest more and more. Her compassion, tenderness, patience, and joy are of an unusual degree even among the saints of Christ. She has subsequently been enabled to impact the lives of millions through the testimony of Christ’s sufficiency in her weakness. She considers her wheelchair not to be a prison that holds her captive, but a throne upon which the Son of God can be manifest.

I read the book Joni when I was a teenager. In it she shared how some well meaning believers told her that if she would just have enough faith that God would heal her. This was like kicking a person when they were down. It is true that many stumble in unbelief, but as we have seen, faith must have a word from God out of which to arise. God revealed to Joni that it was His will that she endure this condition, and His grace has truly been sufficient. His power has been manifest through her weakness.

Believers, all of what I have shared with you is with the intent of bringing you to the understanding that in all situations we must discern the mind of the Father. We must not try to stand on general principles, for this truly brings about inconsistent results, and much unnecessary heartache. As the sons of God, we must emulate the firstborn Son of God.

John 5:19-20
Yahshua therefore answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Yahshua lived in a constant relationship of looking to the Father, and so should we. If we will come to Him in our time of need, He will answer us and show us His will.

I believe there is good reason that God did not just give the church a blank check regarding healing. If God had told the church that all they needed to do was embrace a principle or stand on certain scriptures, then the church would in effect become independent of Him. God wants His children to be intimate with Him. God wants His children to seek Him diligently and develop ears to discern the still, small voice of the Spirit. God wants communion with His children and He wants His children to be conformed to the image of His Son who did nothing of His own initiative. Yahshua was always beholding the Father. Yahshua was always looking to God to guide Him in His activities and even in the very words that He spoke. How much more do we need to do so.

John 20:21-22
Yahshua therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Much insight can be gained from these two scripture verses. Yahshua is commissioning His disciples. He is sending them forth as the Father had sent Him. How did the Father send Him? He is not telling them to be independent of God. He is not handing them an instruction book and telling them to develop principles of kingdom life to apply to every circumstance. He is sending them forth after His own example which was to walk in the Spirit.

This is clearly revealed in verse 22. Even as Yahshua began His ministry immediately after the Spirit descended on Him, so He has commanded them to receive the Spirit. He later gave them further instruction at His ascension, telling them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. This happened on Pentecost when the Spirit was given to the church.

The saint of God is to be led of the Spirit of God as he walks out his life. God doesn’t want the saints to be led of their own reason and intellect. This will not lead to the will of God. God knows man’s tendency toward independence and self initiative. He has therefore devised things to keep man from walking apart from Him.

Yahweh never intended for His sons to act independently of Him. He wants them to remain close and to hear His voice and be led into all things by His Spirit. The saint that is versed in the word of God, but does not know the voice of the Spirit is a prime candidate for following the voice of another. We must know God’s voice.

John 10:3-5
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."

Many will come in these latter days quoting Scriptures and speaking things contrary to the mind of the Father. Savage wolves will enter in among the flock. It will be absolutely necessary that the sheep know the voice of their Shepherd. Yahshua will lead them into all truth by His Spirit.

John 16:13
When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.

We are called to be a people of the Spirit. If you would like to read more concerning the principle of being led of the Spirit in all of our activities and ways, I would recommend to you the book Sabbath. It can be read in its entirety online.

If you would like to read how the Spirit of Christ has led this son of His to an experience of dependence upon God, manifesting His hand in healings and miracles of provision, I would recommend to you the book Evidence of Things Unseen. It too can be read online:

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063