Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Door of Divine Healing Ministry is NOT shut

Preamble: This is the sermon (notes) for my sermon at a Divine Healing Service, for 24 May 2014 (It flows like an article, and so, you should have no problem reading it through) [the underscorings are only to assist in my sermon delivery].

Opening text: Rev 3:7 – 8a

7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. …

No, I am NOT going to preach about the end times or anything like that.  Neither am I going to preach about the key of David specifically. 

But in 2 Tim 3:16 we read that Scripture is useful for teaching and correcting; and so, I am going to use these 2 verses to start speaking on a subject that is close to my heart – the Divine Healing Ministry.

As to the key of David, in verse 7, for today, what I want to say is that, verse 7 was saying the Lord Jesus holds the Master Key in the Kingdom. If you ask the experts in the locksmith industry, they will tell you that the Master Key can open all of a set of locks. I believe many don’t know about this. 

For example, for an entire block of locker cubicles, when I have the Master Key, I can open every one of the cubicles, even though you have your key to your cubicle.  I learned that it got to do with the rod pieces design in the locks.

And so, your locker door I open, you cannot shut, for you can shut it, I will be able to open it again. 

Verse 7 says, “What he {Jesus} opens no one can shut, …”  
Verse 8, “…… See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” 

What I am saying, is that we have Jesus, our Lord as the one having the Master Key, and so, no one can shut the door in His face, and so, too, when He opens a door for you, no one can shut it in your face.  People can try it, the demons can try it, but if the Lord intends it to be open for you, for as long as He intends, He opens it back, maybe even before you notice it, that someone is trying to shut it.

If you are asking about that part of the verse 7 that said, “and what he shuts no one can open.”, oh, that’s NOT difficult! 

If He can open a door (and He can, since He has the Master Key), He can change the lock, you cannot open it, can you? Is that NOT what you do when you lost your key to your house?  You use, say, your wife’s key (the duplicate) to open the lock, and then you change the lock, so that whoever has your lost key, he cannot open your door.

Now, what does this key and open door stuff got to do with the place of the healing ministry in the church?

Is there a legitimate place for the healing ministry in the church, today? 

Does God heal people of sicknesses or demonization or demon-possession, in this modern time? 

We know from Scriptures, God opened the doors of various ministries in His church. 

Eph 4:11 gives us this: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,” 

Then we also read in 1 Cor 12:28, this: “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.”  

People like to talk about the Eph 4:11 list as the 5 fold ministry, put down by the Apostle Paul. 

But 1 Corinthians was also penned by Paul, and it has the mix of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with some of the ministries falling under the 5 fold ministry, and Paul did word them as God appointed them in the church. 

So, is healing a legitimate ministry in the church; we see it in the 1 Cor 12:28 list, together with some of the 5 fold ministry, don't we?  It is a legitimate ministry, if we are prepared to be plain about it. 

Additionally, James 5:14 said this: “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

God has opened the healing ministry door in His church at large, no one should or can shut it.  But today, we do find many churches all over the world, and even in Singapore, they do NOT believe in doing the healing ministry. 

Many churches will pray for you for other things, like to find a life-time partner or a job, but when you are sick in the body, they will NOT pray for you to be healed by God. 

But why?

A common reason given is that, that ministry door was already closed with the passing on, of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, arguing that the foundation of the Church has already been laid.

But unfortunately, if that is the correct way to look at it, (to me) then people have NOT been true to themselves, for if the healing ministry door is closed, the same could also be said of the 5 fold ministry, for commonly Eph 4:12-13 is linked back to Eph 2:20 by people to support Church foundation completion, when Eph 4:12-13 was directly flowing from the 5 fold ministry (the 5 fold ministry is listed for us in v11). 

If foundation completion meant cessation of ministry, then 5 fold ministry was to cease as well.  But we can see that the 5 fold ministry is alive in the very churches which accept NOT, the healing ministry or ministry having elements of being supernatural.

There is a deception or delusion in our community that some of us are given in, to.  Now, if a person comes to you asking you to pray for him to get a job or a life-time partner, you will pray for him; you would, wouldn’t you?

But another who is sick, you will NOT(?), on the purported belief that if the sick gets healed that would be supernatural.  The door of the supernatural, purportedly, has been closed and so, you would NOT do it – to pray for the sick; you think you would be going against the Word if you do so?! 

Let’s ask ourselves, for the job-seeker, do you believe God would help him to get a job, when you pray for him?  Yes or No? 

No!  That would be you are against the Word, praying in disbelief!  We ought to be ashamed of ourselves if we do that!  Still pray when you don't believe in God's intervention. 

Now, if you believe God would intervene for the job-seeker, then wouldn’t that be supernatural.  That is the valid definition of supernatural, is it NOT? – God intervenes, giving rise to the impossible (or near impossible) becoming possible. 

When God intervenes, that is no longer natural, it is supernatural.  You can believe for God to intervene in all other things, but NOT when people are in need of healing?!  Why? Healing a bad thing? No-right! Is there NOT a deception or delusion?

I can give you some of the reasons (including real excuses) why some leaders are NOT praying for the sick, but I will NOT do it, today, because of time.

Rather, I want to stress to you that the healing ministry door was opened and still remains open; although Man will still die.

Sorry, no immortality for Man, even for the great healing ministers like Kathryn Kuhlman; but God healing people, and eventually people still die, is reconcilable by the Word; one day I will preach on it. 

That we, men, still die, that does NOT mean we should acquiesce (agree) with sickness. 

If you are sick, go see a doctor; go get prayed for (James 5:14).

Even when it is near impossible to be healed, be of right posture and continue to look to God for healing; meanwhile live life courageously despite limitations from your sickness; don’t give up. 

In Singapore, there are still some churches which have the healing ministry; and the International Healing Room Ministry has a few centres in Singapore, too. 

These are telling us that despite many churches shutting the door, God still keeps the door open. 

On a more personal level, when individuals shut the door, God will raise up other individuals who would minister healing; God still keeps the door open.

There are several grounds supporting the position that the door is still open (apart from the direct NT verse of James 5:14), but I will cover only one more, today (because of time-constraint), and then we will move into the ministry time, where we will pray and minister to those with needs.

What is this " one-more" ground?  It is this: That Jesus did so much of it (healing), in His earthly ministry, and what He said about signs and wonders, and miracles that we would do after Him, are pointing to it, the healing ministry door is still open.

I will skim through some of the healings accounts in the Word to show that Jesus and His then disciples did a lot of healings.  Because of time-constraint, I will just look at those in the Matthew Gospel. 

Be encouraged and let faith arise as we quickly go through them:

Healing of the “are you willing” leper: Matt 8:2-3 - A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Healing of the servant of the “Centurion of great faith": Matt 8:5-10, 13 - 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, of her fever: Matt 8:14 - When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

Demons cast out and all sick THERE healed: Matt 8:16-17 - When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

Healing of all kinds of sicknesses and diseases by Jesus: Matt 9:35 - Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  

Healing of various sicknesses, including expelling demons, by the disciples: Matt 10:1, & 7-8  - He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matt 10:1). Jesus’ instructions - As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Although here, in the Matthew’s gospel, there was no direct mention of actual healings done by the apostles (here we see Jesus sending them out), but in Acts 5:16, it was recorded for us, many sick, demonized and demon-possessed people were healed by the apostles.

A Gentile's daughter healed by Jesus (we can pray for non-believers to be healed): Matt 15:22-28 - A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Mute, crippled, lame, blind, etc. healed by Jesus at one seating: Matt 15:29-31 - Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Now if Jesus spent much time healing the sick, and also sent out His then disciples to do the same, can we easily dismiss the healing ministry, saying that the door has been closed?! Think about that. 

In fact, Bible scholars tell us that about 2/3 of Jesus' public ministry, and nearly 20% of the Gospel books' content, were devoted to healing.

Then there was the "much of the signs and wonders and miracles of Jesus (and those of the then disciples) were related to healing"; and in the Great Commission commandment given by Jesus to us all, we see signs and wonders and miracles, including healings, in it.

Great Commission: Mark 16:15-18 - 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

[I am going to draw to a close ....]
I believe some in our community is barking at the wrong tree – it is NOT the foundation of the Church is completed or NOT, rather is the Great Commission completed or NOT.  As long as the Great Commission is still on-going, signs and wonders and miracles, including healings (and that includes casting out of demons), will still go on – The Divine Healing Ministry Door is NOT shut.

1. Our Lord has the key of David, the Master Key that can open all doors and so, too, He can shut any door, and so, He controls all the doors, including the door of ministries in the Church.
2.  Ministries did NOT necessarily cease with the Church foundation completion. 
3. Divine Healing Ministry Door is still open.  Various grounds for that position.  2 looked at, today:  James 5:14 & Jesus ministry, together with what He said in the Great Commission Commandment to us.
Now, don’t say the Divine Healing Ministry is no more, rather go through the door, and seek the Lord on how to operate in the Ministry.  And for those needing healing, believe and go through the door.  This is our heritage; don't let people tell you no more healing will God do in the Church; that is a lie.

                                     ooo END ooo

Anthony Chia high.expressions

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