Posted by: Tom Graves | September 29, 2014

BLOOD MOON TWO – OCT. 8!!!

BLOOD MOON TWO – OCT 8!!!

God declared in Psalm 104:19a that: “He appointed the moon for seasons…” We read the word seasons and have a tendency to think of the four seasons, spring summer, fall and winter. But that is not what God is talking about! The Hebrew word translated seasons, both here and in Genesis 1:14 is Strong’s H4150:

H4150 מועדה   מעד   מועד

mô‛êd mô‛êd  mô‛âdâh

mo-ade’, mo-ade’, mo-aw-daw’

From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed). (emphasis mine)

Notice that first of all it is an appointment with God. And those appointments are God’s feast days. Leviticus 23:2 says: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Both times the word feasts is used in this verse it is the same Hebrew word, H4150, used in both Genesis 1:14 and Psalm104:19!

So then, what is a BLOOD MOON and what does it have to do with God’s feast days? Have you ever had the privilege to observe a total eclipse of the moon? It can take a couple of hours from the time the shadow of the earth first falls on the moon until the shadow completely leaves the moon. Once the moon is totally in the earth’s shadow, something remarkable happens, the moon turns blood red, hence the term BLOOD MOON.

This is the second of four BLOOD MOONS that occur in 2014 and 2015. The amazing thing about them is that all four BLOOD MOONS occur on God’s Feast days (see Leviticus 23 for the seven Feasts of the Lord). This one occurs on the Feast of Tabernacles or SUKKOT which occurs on October 8, 2014. Each of the Feasts of the Lord is prophetic in nature. For example, Passover was prophetic of the Crucifixion and Pentecost was prophetic of the coming of Holy Spirit. The Feast of Tabernacles is considered by many to be prophetic of the Second Coming of our Lord.

I think God is using these BLOOD MOONS that occur on His Feast days to get the world’s attention. Joel 2:31 states: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” This is quoted by Peter in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, another of God’s Feast days. (See my blog BLOOD MOON COMING for a complete discussion and dates of all four). For a great concise overview of the seven feasts, go to http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Introduction/introduction.html

It is very significant to me that since the first of these four BLOOD MOONS, which fell on Passover, April 15, 2014, Israel has been at war with Gaza because of Gaza’s continuing rocket attacks on Israel. This follows the pattern of significant happenings in Israel as I noted in the following quote from my blog BLOOD MOON COMING:

“This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. ‘Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.’ Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.”

There are those who question whether these BLOOD MOONS actually have anything at all to do with Israel because the first two were not visible in Israel. The fact is, the fourth BLOOD MOON, which will also occur on the Feast of Tabernacles on September 28, 2015 will be visible in Jerusalem. It will be at its peak at 5:47 AM Jerusalem time [1], just before the moon sets and the sun rises on a new day! The Second Coming is certainly going to issue in a new day for the earth!

CAN I SEE IT?

It is significant to me that this is the same scenario for those of us who can see this second BLOOD MOON! Where I live In St Augustine it will be at its peak at 6:55 AM, EDT, just before the moon sets and the sun rises on a new day! To determine what time the BLOOD MOON occurs at your location and if it is visible to you, go to http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2014-october-8 and enter your location at “Eclipses viewable where you are .”

Please note! This BLOOD MOON occurs on the morning of October 8th and not the night of October 8th. If you wait until Wednesday night you will miss it!

Coupled with the fact that, on the Jewish calendar, we are in a SHEMITAH year, this should be a very exciting time. Watch for more significant events happening with Israel. If you would like to know more about the SHEMITAH year and what it signifies, check out my blog “SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

May you have clear skies and good viewing and may the Lord quicken to you the reality that His Second Coming is very, very close, “…even at the doors.” (Matthew 24:33b).

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

[1] Link for the fourth BLOOD MOON visible at Jerusalem: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/israel/jerusalem?iso=20150928

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | September 16, 2014

“SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

“SHEMITAH” – WHAT IS IT?

SHEMITAH is a Hebrew word referring to a command of the Lord. It is a command that when Israel failed to carry it out, they were sent into exile for seventy years in the land of Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied that it would happen: Jeremiah 25:1-3 & 8-12: “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon…saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; BUT YE HAVE NOT HEARKENED… Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.  And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; AND THESE NATIONS SHALL SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON SEVENTY YEARS. AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, WHEN SEVENTY YEARS ARE ACCOMPLISHED, THAT I WILL PUNISH THE KING OF BABYLON, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”

Daniel read these words of Jeremiah while in exile in Babylon. At this point in time, (539 B.C. [1]) Daniel was an old man and Babylon had been defeated by the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus) just as Jeremiah prophesied, so Daniel knew that release was near and he began to intercede for Israel, Daniel 9:1-3: “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” I would encourage you to read Daniel’s prayer in verses 4-19.

In this same year (539 B.C. [1]) God moved on The King of Persia to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, Ezra 1:1-2: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Is not God amazing? He had Cyrus provide all the materials to build the temple and Cyrus also released all of the golden artifacts that had been taken from the temple (verses 7-11) and he also released the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:1-70).

WHAT IS THIS “SHEMITAH” THAT ISRAEL VIOLATED?

What was the command that when Israel ignored it, brought about the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and a seventy year captivity of Israel in Babylon? The command is found in Exodus 23: 10-11: “And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it REST (H8058) and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.” In Leviticus 25:1-7 God describes this seventh year as “…a Sabbath of rest unto the land.” In verses 8-24 God establishes the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” as the year following seven Sabbath years or once every fifty years. During the “YEAR OF JUBILEE” all land is returned to its original owner. “SHEMITAH” is further explained in Deuteronomy 15:1-2: “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a RELEASE (H8059). And this is the manner of the RELEASE (H8059): Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall RELEASE (H8058) it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S RELEASE (H8059).” Notice it is “…the LORD’S RELEASE.” What God intended to be a blessing when obeyed, became a curse when disobeyed!

Here are the Strong’s Concordance definitions noted above:

H8058 – שׁמט- shâmaṭ – shaw-mat’

A primitive root; to fling down; incipiently to jostle; figuratively to let alone, desist, remit: – discontinue, overthrow, release, let rest, shake, stumble, throw down.

H8059 – שׁמטּה- shemittah – shem-it-taw’

From H8058; remission (of debt) or suspension (of labor): – release.

From these definitions, we can see that God intended for “SHEMITAH” to be a time of rest and release from debt, a blessing. When violated the negative side is manifested, a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse. God also further commanded in Leviticus

THE CAUSE: A VIOLATION OF “SHEMITAH”

How do we know that it was a violation of this “SHEMITAH” command that caused so much trouble for Israel? II Chronicles 36:15-20: “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: TO FULFIL THE WORD OF THE LORD BY THE MOUTH OF JEREMIAH, UNTIL THE LAND HAD ENJOYED HER SABBATHS: FOR AS LONG AS SHE LAY DESOLATE SHE KEPT SABBATH, TO FULFIL THREESCORE AND TEN YEARS.”

“SHEMITAH” IN THE NEWS TODAY!

“WASHINGTON – Why are so many Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere standing up and taking notice of an Israeli government action to set aside $29 million to encourage local farmers to observe an ancient biblical commandment to let their fields lay fallow every seventh year? Modern Israel hasn’t paid much attention to this ancient commandment – until recently. 

More and more farmers and consumers are expressing concern about fruits and vegetable[s] intentionally grown and harvested in the seventh year – also known as the Shemitah year, or Sabbath year. Now the Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders are hoping to work together to reinstate the practice. 

The next Shemitah year on the biblical calendar begins Sept. 25, 2014 – Rosh Hashanah, the civil new year.” [2] (For an explanation of the Jewish calendar go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar )

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, while studying the “SHEMITAH” has documented some very interesting discoveries connected with “SHEMITAH” years and “YEARS OF JUBILEE.” [3] 

For example, 1917 was a “YEAR OF JUBILEE” and on November 2nd of that year, Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which states: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” [4] In other words, God returned the land of Israel to the Jewish people in a “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” As if that wasn’t amazing enough, fifty years later, between June 5th and 10th, 1967 in what has become known as “The Six Day War,” Israel regained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. More of the original “Promised Land” was returned to Israel in the “YEAR OF JUBILEE.”

DOES “SHEMITAH” ONLY APPLY TO ISRAEL?

Here is where it really gets interesting and a little bit scary. In light of the definition of the negative side of “SHEMITAH,” as “…a shaking, a throwing down, an overthrow, a curse,” Rabbi Kahn discovered that the September 11th, 2001 attacks that resulted in the collapse of the twin World Trade Towers, (literally, “a throwing down”) occurred during a “SHEMITAH” year. [3]

“In his book and movie works, Cahn, reveals that the two greatest financial calamities in American history occurred on successive Shemitah years following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks on the U.S.

September 17, 2001, six days after the 9/11 attacks, the stock market re-opened and suffered the greatest point loss in its history, to that date. The market dropped 700 points, or 7 percent in one day. In response, the Federal Reserve slashed the nation’s interest rates, ushering in a period of economic devastation for the U.S. Sept. 17, 2001, was the end of the Shemitah year – Elul 29.

Seven years later, September 29, 2008, would prove to be even worse! The days leading up to that date saw the government bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in the U.S., in a bid to prevent the collapse of the two. Shortly thereafter, Lehmann Brothers once considered the pinnacle of financial firms, reported losses of 45 percent and filed bankruptcy rather than accept a government bailout. The stock market dropped 777.7 points or 7 percent, wiping out all gains of the past seven years. Thus making it the largest ever one-day drop in the U.S. stock market history. Sept. 29, 2008, fell on Elul 20, marking the end of the Shemitah year in Israel.

What followed was an implosion of the U.S. and world economies.” [2]

Are these simply coincidences or are they warnings from God because America has been consistently turning its back on God more and more each year since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade was passed, incidentally, also in a “SHEMITAH” year? What does the future hold for America?

As noted earlier, Rosh Hashanah, on September 25, 2014 marks the beginning of the new “SHEMITAH” year. This “SHEMITAH” year will end on September13, 2015. Since this will be the seventh “SHEMITAH” since the last “YEAR OF JUBILEE” that means September 14, 2015 will mark the beginning of the next “YEAR OF JUBILEE!” Couple that with three more “BLOOD MOONS” occurring during this time on the Lord’s Feast days; October 8, 2014, Feast of Tabernacles, April 4, 2015, Feast of Passover, and September 28, 2015, Feast of Tabernacles. Add to that, a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 which is Nisan 1 on the Biblical calendar. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year as opposed to the civil New Year which is Rosh Hashanah.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

I believe it means we are living in the most exciting times that have ever occurred! Jesus is coming soon and He is going to fully establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Luke 21:25-28: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”

Hebrews 12: 26b-29: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, LET US HAVE GRACE, WHEREBY WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR: FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.”

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Repent of any personal sin and repent on behalf of our nation according to II Chronicles 7:14 and ask God to heal our land. Pray for a great awakening in America. Pray for The Kingdom of God to come on earth even as it is in heaven according to Matthew 6:9-15. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, according to Psalms 122:6. THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1] Dates from THE REESE CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLE, Bethany Fellowship, 1980

[2] Link to article:  http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/israel-rediscovers-shemitah-in-time-for-blood-moons/

[3] Link to video, “America’s Rise and Fall” – Jonathan Cahn  http://youtu.be/CmGDJ3kJqU0

[4] Wikipedia article: “Balfour Declaration”

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | September 8, 2014

“SHADES OF AZUSA…”

“SHADES OF AZUSA…”

I had the privilege of spending a week in Orlando at the Voice of the Apostles conference during the month of August. About 6000 folks were there. I got to sit under the teaching of Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Joseph Garlington, Rodney Howard Browne, Claudio Friedzon and others. It was a glorious week. There had been no “theme” set for the meeting and all of the speakers were invited to speak on whatever God put on their hearts. Almost every speaker spoke on the coming great awakening that God is bringing, not just to America, but to the world.

The speaker that impacted me most was Jack Taylor in a breakout session. I was trying to decide between 4 choices for this session and God made it plain that Jack Taylor was who I was to go hear. He is now 81 years old and is believing God for 20 years more in ministry if Jesus tarries! (He looks not over 70 – I’ll be 69 in October so he was such an encouragement to me that God is not through with me yet.) He spoke on the Kingdom of God – an eye opener for me, even though I have taught, preached and wrote about the subject! He made it come alive and set it in its relationship to the Church the world and the Gospel. He recommended E. Stanley Jones’ book, “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person.” I got the book and have completed reading it already. It is opening up so much insight into the Kingdom of God. E. Stanley Jones was 87 when he wrote this book in 1972. It is based on his life experience of studying the Word and the Kingdom of God and in preaching the Kingdom of God all around the world. I would highly recommend this book to you. It will bless your heart.

Randy Clark taught mainly on healing and the use of the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge in ministering healing. At the end of one session, he had his prayer team members pray for anyone who needed healing. In general, I consider myself a pretty healthy individual but I have had three different “growths” on my body that I have been praying against for a while. One was a spot on the shin of my right leg, just below my knee. It was a little bigger around than a pencil eraser and stuck up about an eighth of an inch. It was motely grey in color. About a year ago, I wore short pants to the doctor’s office for a regular checkup and the Doctor saw it. He didn’t like it and wanted me to have it removed. I told him it had been there for years and I wasn’t worried about it. The second is a mole on my chest, just below my collar bone. It had been getting a little larger in the last few months. The third was a spot on the back of my right hand that came up about six months ago. It looked like a pile of salt had solidified on the back of my hand. I decided to go to one of the team members and show them the spots and I asked for prayer for healing. The team member prayed what I felt like was a great prayer, cursing the spots and commanding them to fall off my body. Nothing happened! At least nothing that I could see at the time.

It has been a little over three weeks now, and two of the spots have disappeared. The one on the back of my hand is the one that disappeared first. One day it was there, the next it was gone. There is only a small red spot where it had been. Yesterday, I rubbed my hand down my shin, just checking for that spot. It was also gone. I have no idea when it fell off. There is only a small scar left where it had been.  The mole on my chest is still there as of today, but it is shrinking and beginning to dry up from the right side. I thank Jesus for my total healing and deliverance from all three of these spots.

There were literally several hundred people who received some form of healing “on the spot” during the ministry times. A number of them gave testimony. The link below will take you to the first of  many testimonies which you can watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJEMwtDdDjk&list=PL5FF2057F3A25EBEB&index=1

Each main session would begin with about 45 minutes to an hour of praise and worship. After the worship session on Friday morning – we sang asking God for His fire- the fire alarms went off! They later announced it was a false alarm, they were looking for physical fire – but it was a spiritual fire that fell! When I shared this with a friend right after I got back, he responded “Awesome awesome awesome! Shades of Azusa…”

Let it be Lord, Let it be!!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Posted by: Tom Graves | August 4, 2014

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

Or NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN! PART 2

Are you aware that what is going on in Israel and Gaza is nothing new? In fact, it is simply a continuation of an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel and the Jewish people that has been going on for several thousand years. Ecclesiastes 1:9&10: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs actually started as a feud between two half-brothers, both sons of Abraham. One is Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah. The other is Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. (see Genesis 16 for the story). It was prophesied by the Angel of the Lord about Ishmael and his descendants, Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Ismael is the father of the Arab race. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is his descendant. However, this is simply an extension of the conflict that begun in Genesis 3 when Satan, as the Serpent tempted man to rebel against God. Genesis 3:14&15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The Hebrew word translated “enmity” in this verse literally means hostility and hatred. The hostility will be between Satan’s seed and the seed of the woman which is a direct reference to the coming of Messiah through the nation of Israel. The result of this hostility and hatred has been a continual assault by the enemies of God and His Messiah upon the nation of Israel, the Jews, in an attempt to eradicate them from the earth.

FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!

Psalm 83 expresses this very plainly. Psalm 83:1-8: “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, THINE ENEMIES MAKE A TUMULT: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, COME, AND LET US CUT THEM OFF FROM BEING A NATION; THAT THE NAME OF ISRAEL MAY BE NO MORE IN REMEMBRANCE. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites (these are the Arab nations of today); of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek (HAMAN was a descendant of Amalek, we will see him in a moment); the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre(these are the inhabitants of Gaza); Assur (this is the nation of Assyria which is modern day Iran) also is joined with them: they have holpen (helped) the children of Lot. Selah.” Is it simply an amazing coincidence that these nations and peoples who are today calling for the destruction of Israel were called out in this Psalm about 3000 years ago? This is no coincidence, rather it is the prophetic Word of God! Iran’s leaders have been repeatedly calling for the complete destruction of Israel as a nation. But that is nothing new. Some 2500 years ago the city of Shushan, which was the capital of the Medes and Persian Empire, was located in what is today modern Iran. There was a man that lived there by the name of HAMAN. HAMAN’S story is found in the Bible in the book of Esther which I encourage you to read in its entirety.

To set the context, about 100 years earlier, the Assyrian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled from ancient Babylon, conquered the nation of Israel and burned Jerusalem and carried away most of the well-to-do Jews. He took them into Babylon which was in modern day Iraq. Then the Medes and the Persians (Iran) conquered the Assyrians (Iraq) and that is where our story begins. (The same battles between Iraq and Iran are still being fought in modern times! There really is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!)

HAMAN had a hatred for a man by the name of Mordecai who was a Jew. But HAMAN’S hatred did not stop at one man. HAMAN’S hatred for the Jews was so intense that he wanted to see them all destroyed. HAMAN was promoted to second in command under King Ahasuerus and he saw his chance to get his diabolical plan put into action. Esther 3:8-10 &13: “And HAMAN said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, LET IT BE WRITTEN THAT THEY MAY BE DESTROYED: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto HAMAN the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy…  And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, TO DESTROY, TO KILL, AND TO CAUSE TO PERISH, ALL JEWS, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD, LITTLE CHILDREN AND WOMEN, IN ONE DAY, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” Sound familiar?

Listen to these excerpts from HAMAS’ Charter:

“1.) Hamas isn’t looking to negotiate a peace deal with Israel. It wants to destroy Israel. Quoting Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, the charter reads: ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’

“2.) Actually, Hamas’ charter goes beyond destroying Israel. It longs for Jewish genocide: ‘The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

“3.) The international community may love the peace process, but Hamas makes it clear in its charter that it doesn’t believe in peace conferences. As its charter states: ‘Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.’” [1]

The same demonic spirit that was ruling over the Persian Empire and that drove HAMAN is also driving the organization of HAMAS and is still ruling over and driving the nation of IRAN in calling for the extermination of the Jews. Thus my title is “FROM HAMAN TO HAMAS BY WAY OF IRAN!” The exciting part of HAMAN’S story is that God delivered the Jews from the order of extermination written by HAMAN, and Haman was ultimately hanged on the very gallows that he had prepared to hang Mordecai (you must read the book of Esther to find out how God did it).

Make no mistake about it, God is also going to deliver Israel from the threats of HAMAS and IRAN before it is all over and it is not going to be pretty! War never is!

Zechariah 12:2: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.”

Zechariah 12:8-10: “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: AND THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, AND THEY SHALL MOURN FOR HIM, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Romans 11:26: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Zechariah 14:12: “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Works cited: 

[1] Link: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/22/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-hamas-straight-from-its-charter/ There is a link in this article to the full charter of Hamas.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 28, 2014

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

Are you aware that what is going on in Israel and Gaza is nothing new? In fact, it is simply a continuation of an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel and the Jewish people that has been going on for several thousand years. Ecclesiastes 1:9&10: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs actually started as a feud between two half-brothers, both sons of Abraham. One is Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah. The other is Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. (see Genesis 16 for the story). It was prophesied by the Angel of the Lord about Ishmael and his descendants, Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Ismael is the father of the Arab race. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is his descendant. However, this is simply an extension of the conflict that begun in Genesis 3 when Satan, as the Serpent tempted man to rebel against God. Genesis 3:14&15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The Hebrew word translated “enmity” in this verse literally means hostility and hatred. The hostility will be between Satan’s seed and the seed of the woman which is a direct reference to the coming of Messiah. That means Christians as well as Jews!

CHRISTIANS IN THE CROSSHAIRS!!

We see this conflict beginning to play out, not only against the Jews and the Nation of Israel but also against Christians. While the conflict of Israel and Gaza continues to make daily news, the murder of Christians in Iraq is being totally ignored by the mainstream media. Consider this report from Christianpost.com.

“The end of Christianity in Iraq could be ‘very near’ according to Canon Andrew White, the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, as Islamic militants continue their attacks of Christians and the central government. ‘Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing,’ White said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 over the weekend. ‘We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off. Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.’”

“ISIS militants had warned Christians in the northern state of Iraq that they need to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be put to death, forcing thousands of them to flee the region. The militants have also been painting the letter ‘N’ for Nasrani, the Arabic word for Christian, in Christian homes in Mosul. Watchdog groups like International Christian Concern have said that up to a million Christians lived in Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 against the government of dictator Saddam Hussein, but that number has dropped to less than half.”

“Other church leaders, such as Syriac Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, who last week traveled to Washington to speak with federal government representatives and members of Congress, have also condemned the ‘mass cleansing’ of Christians from Mosul by what he called ‘a bed of criminals.’ ‘We wonder how could those criminals, this bed of criminals, cross the border from Syria into Mosul and occupy the whole city of Mosul … imposing on the population their Shariah (law) without any knowledge of the international community,’ Patriarch Younan said, referring to Islamic State fighters, according to Catholic News Service. ‘What happened is really kind of a cleansing based on religion. You have heard about what they did: proclaim — they announced publicly with street microphones, the ISIS – there’s no more room for Christians in Mosul, that they either have to convert, pay tax, or just leave. And they have been leaving now since then with absolutely nothing,’ he added.”

“Patriarch Younan noted that ‘there is no more Christian presence’ in Mosul, which he described as ‘tragic’ because it had been the largest Christian city in Iraq, and a nucleus of Christians for many centuries. ‘And we have at least 25 churches in that city. All are abandoned. No more prayers, no services, no more Masses on Sundays in Mosul because no clergy, no people there that are Christian,’ he said.” [1]

ISRAEL –GAZA CONFLICT!

The main stream media has made much of the claim that Israel purposely fired on a UN school causing a number of civilian casualties. Consider the following:

While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, ‘The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people.’” “On Wednesday’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: ‘The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what’s going to happen. Kids will be killed and that’s going to be on television.’ Krauthammer also took the media to task: ‘The U.N. is so committed to the Palestinian cause, and in this case, the Hamas cause, that it doesn’t even care about appearances. And after all, who, but you, and a few other outlets, are gonna report it? How many have reported the rockets in the school?’ Baier responded: ‘I don’t know. But it’s not many, I guarantee you that.’ The answer is none when it comes to the Big Three networks.”

“Despite the nonexistent coverage of Hamas using U.N. schools to conceal weapons, Thursday’s network evening newscasts seized on the opportunity to lambast Israel over the school that was hit – though it remains unclear who was responsible. [2]

Well, now we do know who was responsible for the rocket that hit the school! It was a Hamas rocket that went off course, but have you heard that on any of the mainstream media? I don’t think so.

MAJOR NEWS OUT OF ISRAEL: It was an errant Hamas rocket that hit the UN school, ooooops! UNRWA has admitted that a Hamas misfired rocket hit a U.N.-run school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, according to Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari…” [3]

Christians should not only educate themselves as to what is really happening, they should not sit by idly when others are speaking without knowing what is going on.

Psalm 122:6-9: “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (emphasis mine.)

Also pray for the Christians, especially in Iraq, but also all around the world where they are being targeted by the enemy.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1]  Link: http://www.christianpost.com/news/end-of-christianity-very-near-in-iraq-anglican-bishop-warns-123926/

[2] Link: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/07/25/networks-condemn-attack-un-school-gaza-ignore-hamas-hiding-rockets-sch?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Marketing&utm_term=Facebook&utm_content=Facebook&utm_campaign=Hamas-Schools

[3] Link: http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewsnews.co.il%2F2014%2F07%2F26%2Fmajor-news-out-of-israel-it-was-an-errant-hamas-rocket-that-hit-the-un-school-ooooops%2F&h=7AQGvLeSj&s=1

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 22, 2014

UNDERSTANDING GAZA!

UNDERSTANDING GAZA!

Are you aware of what is really going on in Gaza? Why is Hamas firing World War II vintage missiles into Israel that they cannot guide or control? Just what are they trying to accomplish? Why are they using civilians and children as human shields for their launch sites? In a nutshell, with the help of a biased media, they are still trying to turn world opinion against the nation of Israel. Why turn the world against Israel and the Jews?

I believe the answer lies in the fact that Israel and the Jews brought forth some 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world! You see, this is not simply about things that are happening in the natural realm. Rather this is an outplaying on earth of things that are happening in the spiritual realm. These are “signs of the times.” I believe we are living in the last of the last days! Jesus is coming again very soon! Revelation 12:7-9 & 12b: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Jesus, speaking to the Jews of His day, made it very plain that the world would hate them because of Him. Matthew 24:4-14: “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING, AND OF THE END OF THE WORLD?  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL NATIONS FOR MY NAME’S SAKE. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS; AND THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (emphasis mine.)

What is happening today in Gaza is at least in part, the beginning of the fulfilment of these end times prophecies. Consider the following article from “National Review.”

“Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

‘Here’s the difference between us,’ explains the Israeli prime minister. ‘We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.’

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel–Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent ‘cycle of violence.’ This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’s proudly self-declared raison d’être: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the bloodlust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? There is not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli in Gaza. Does no one remember anything? It was less than ten years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling diehard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted it[s] settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military, and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians.

There was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank too and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques, and private homes to better expose their own civilians. And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: ‘What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?’

It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as a Washington Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.

This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance, and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.” [1]

Unfortunately, our nation has bought into this “madness” and is blaming Israel for what is going on at the present time. Consider the following article:

“The escalating Israel-Palestine crisis illustrates the ‘real tragedy’ of  the Obama administration’s inability to both fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and condemn Hamas for using Palestinian casualties to win political victories, American Enterprise Institute fellow Richard Perle said Friday.

The former chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board and former assistant secretary of defense told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV the United States ‘mustn’t play along’ with Hamas’ violent strategy. ‘The real tragedy here, at least with respect to American policy, is the apparent inability to say that not only do the Israelis have the right to defend themselves when they’re attacked in this way, but [that] we have no sympathy for Hamas, which is undertaking these attacks.’

The humane response of sympathy for the Palestinian casualties, Perle insists, ‘has the effect of encouraging Hamas to believe that it can win political victories.’

‘Their strategy is very simple,’ he said. ‘They launch rockets at Israel, Israel retaliates, they showcase the products of the retaliation – which is damage on the Palestinian side – and they are using that in a grand strategy of delegitimizing the state of Israel, and we mustn’t play along with that. Perle said it’s ‘a reflexive action’ of the United States to scold Israel for the deadly violence in Gaza, though ‘it’s a little worse with this president.’

‘The Israelis go to such unprecedented lengths to try to avoid civilian injury that they deserve to be praised for it, and they deserve to be praised for it by the president of the United States even while it is going on,’ he said. ‘Hamas, on the other hand, fires rockets at innocent civilians. You’ve got to be clear about what’s at issue here, and unfortunately we’re not nearly clear enough – and the virtue of clarity is that it takes away whatever political advantage Hamas hopes to achieve by cultivating casualties, which they can then exploit,’ he said.” [2]

It is nothing new for the enemy to use the tactics of placing innocent civilians and especially children in the line of fire to draw the ire of the world against Israel when the civilians and children are killed by Israel in an attack. Golda Meir, the 4th Prime Minister of Israel from 1969-1974 made the following statement: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than the hate us.”

Golda Meir      [3]

Christians should not only educate themselves as to what is really happening, they should not sit by idly when others are speaking without knowing what is going on.

Psalm 122:6-9: “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (emphasis mine.)

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1] Link:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383024/truth-about-gaza-charles-krauthammer

[2] Link:

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Richard-Perle-Israel-Hamas-Obama/2014/07/18/id/583639/?ns_mail_uid=51108628&ns_mail_job=1578142_07212014&s=al&dkt_nbr=pizi27gg

[3] Link:

https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/photos/a.350931762688.151625.19459912688/10152241874722689/?type=1&theater

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 15, 2014

BETWEEN THE BLOOD MOONS

BETWEEN THE BLOOD MOONS

What is a BLOOD MOON? Why is it important? If you are not familiar with this term or the issues involved, I urge you to read my earlier post “BLOOD MOON COMING!!!” for an explanation of the term. In that post, I made the following statement:

This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. ‘Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.’ Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.”

I think we can safely say we are now, today, seeing “…some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.” According to an article in the “The Huffington Post” on July 13, 2014, there have been over 800 rockets fired into Israel in the last few days. CNN News reported yesterday (July 14, 2014) that there had been 186 Palestinians killed in Israel’s retaliation, but there was no mention of any deaths in the rocket fire into Israel! If you ask me, that is a miracle! Over 800 rockets fired into Israel and not one death! God is miraculously protecting His people!

WHO STARTED THIS CONFLICT?

I have a friend in Israel who posted what I think is a great explanation of what has been going on in Israel and Gaza:

“The situation here simplified: Three Jewish boys were murdered just because they were Jewish by Hamas operatives. In an operation in the West Bank to find the boys, Israel arrested many Hamas operatives in their attempt to find the boys including terrorists who were released in the Gilad Shalit deal. A Jewish revenge group of boys killed an East Jerusalem Palestinian in a horrible manner, which led two days of violent riots across Israel by Arab Israelis. During those same two days, Hamas started sending many rockets to the areas around Gaza Strip, Israel answered those rocket barrages with two days of quiet and no response. Hamas made demands for the stopping of the rockets including releasing the Shalit Hamas terrorists from jail and opening up the borders in Egypt. Both Israel and Egypt do not want to give in to Hamas demands. A larger barrage of rockets were shot, and Israel responded with attacking military targets against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel is planning to hit Hamas so hard they will stop their rocket fire without the demand to release the Shalit terrorists from jail. Hamas is not giving up on their demands. So Israel is hitting harder each day and at the end of the day giving Hamas a chance to stop the rocket fire and give up their demands. So far, for three days, Hamas is sticking to their demands and renewing rocket fire.”

Unfortunately, the main stream media is portraying the whole situation as simply Israel attacking Hamas for no apparent reason. This cartoon hits the nail squarely on the head!

10513407_10204601414782077_8917525925180472761_n

Cartoon copied from Facebook post

THIS IS A SPIRITUAL CONFLICT!

What we as the Church need to understand is that this is not simply a natural skirmish between two groups of people. I have a friend who says, “If it’s happening in the natural, it’s happening in the spiritual.” That is certainly the case here. This is a battle that has been going on for several thousands of years between God and the Devil and it has been playing itself out ever since the children of Israel came into the Promised Land after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. After the death of Joshua; Israel went through the time of Judges, as recorded in the book of Judges. The repeating theme of this time may be summarized as follows: 1. Israel rebels against God (Judges 2:11), 2. God allows an enemy to overcome Israel (Judges 2:14), 3. Israel repents and God raises up a Judge or Deliverer (Judges 2:16), 4. The Judge dies, and the cycle is repeated (Judges 2:19). God warned Israel, Judges 2:1-3: “And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I WILL NEVER BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU.  And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I WILL NOT DRIVE THEM OUT FROM BEFORE YOU; BUT THEY SHALL BE AS THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. The inhabitants of Gaza are certainly a THORN IN ISRAEL’S SIDE to this very day.

If you look at the maps in the back of your Bible, you will discover that Gaza was a city in existence long before the Exodus, in fact the first mention of Gaza is Genesis 10:19. For most of the period of Judges, it was occupied by the Philistines (note the similarity to Palestine) who were worshippers of Baal. The conflict with the Philistines is recorded in Judges 13 through 16 which you will recognize as the Story of Samson and Delilah. Judges 16:21: “But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” But the story doesn’t end there. The Philistines brought Samson into their temple to make sport of him, but Samson called upon the Lord and he regained his strength. Judges 16:28-30: “And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

Then there is Joshua11:22: “There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in GAZA, IN GATH, AND IN ASHDOD, there remained.” (these are cites in the Gaza strip). David would later have to face Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines and a descendant of the Anakin or the “giants” (See Numbers 13:32-33 and I Samuel 17). David, as a teenager, would win a most unlikely victory over the giant Goliath with a sling and a rock, because God was with him! I Samuel 17:45, 46a and 48: “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee…  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”

I believe that God is with Israel today. How else can you explain the fact that not one Israeli has died as the result of over 800 rockets fired into Israel? On March13, 2014, before any of this conflict had begun; Larry Randolph delivered the following prophecy from a vision he had seen: “I saw the land of Israel like I was three or four miles up in the atmosphere. From the dust of the ground of Israel, I saw this image coming out of the dust and I recognized that – somehow in my spirit, that this was King David and he was fully dressed with a robe on and with a sword. And he stood up for war and this is what I heard when David said to Goliath, ‘This day shall God deliver you into my hand.’ And he ran toward Goliath… And I heard the Lord say, ‘The safety of Israel shall not be compromised!’” [1]

Psalm 122:3-9: “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

[1] Link to Larry Randolph’s prophecy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLgF0lMxwS8

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 24, 2014

PURSUING DIVINE HEALING

PURSUING DIVINE HEALING

Someone once said, “If sickness is from God, then hospitals and doctors must be from the Devil!” If we truly believed that God is the one who puts sickness on us for our benefit, then why are we so anxious to get rid of it? If sickness is from God then is going to a doctor and taking the medicine that he prescribed a sin? There are some who believe that and it puts divine healing in a bad light in many people’s eyes. They confuse faith with foolishness. If you believe God to heal your eyesight so you don’t have to wear glasses, you don’t take your glasses off and stomp them in the floor as a sign of your faith! That is foolishness. Faith simply stands on the truth of God’s Word. We had a lady in our congregation once who believed God for healing for her eyes. But instead they seemed to be getting worse. When she went to the eye doctor she discovered that her eyes were actually healed; they only seemed worse because her glasses now distorted her vision.

The truth is, sickness is not from God, it is the result of sin being in the world, thanks to Satan’s temptation and the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden! Sickness entered into the world because of Adam’s sin. Before Adam’s fall there was no sickness in the world and there is no sickness in heaven. Romans 5:12: “… by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…” The ultimate consequence of sin is death. Sickness lies between sin and death. It is the sequel to sin and the prelude to death. If there had been no sin in the world, there would be no sickness!

God is the healer, but man has failed to lay hold of the divine healing that God has made available, therefore, God has provided us with doctors, nurses, hospitals and medicine. It would be foolishness not to use them to try and gain relief from sickness and pain. However, it is just as foolish, if not more so to ignore the divine healing that God has provided. We should pursue God’s healing even more that we pursue healing from doctors and medicine. But do we; and if not, why not?

How then does one pursue divine healing? We shared that Communion is one way that God has provided for healing in last week’s post, “DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!” There are at least five other scriptural ways that we can pursue divine healing. Here they are in no particular order.

I. MEDITATING ON GOD’S WORD

Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, ATTEND TO MY WORDS; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. FOR THEY ARE LIFE UNTO THOSE THAT FIND THEM, AND HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.” I particularly like the Amplified Bible in verse 22: “For they are life to those who find them, HEALING AND  HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.”

The Hebrew word translated as “HEALTH” is Strong’s “ H4832  מרפּא  marpê’ mar-pay’  From H7495; properly curative, THAT IS, LITERALLY (CONCRETELY) A MEDICINE, or (abstractly) a cure…” (capitalization for emphasis mine). God is literally saying, “…ATTEND TO MY WORDS…THEY ARE MEDICINE…”

When God says “… ATTEND TO MY WORDS…” that means to give your undivided attention to what God is saying in His Word. Webster defines “attend” as “…to devote or apply oneself to…” Give God’s Word first place in your life. Don’t let other things distract you from spending time with God’s Word on a daily basis. If a doctor gives you a prescription, you take it faithfully at the times prescribed. How much more should you take “GOD’S MEDICINE,” His Word on a regular basis.

 Dr. Kenneth Hagin, who some call the father of the modern faith movement, was dying of an incurable heart disease as a teenager. He found these verses in Proverbs 4 and in faith began to meditate daily on the Word of God. He was completely healed and lived an active and long life serving God. He called God’s Word his medicine and he took it daily. Search the scriptures for verses dealing with healing. Meditate upon Jesus’ miracles of healing. Faith comes, i.e. is built up, by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

God has made three great provisions for man; salvation, healing and deliverance. Psalm 107:19-20: “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, AND HE SAVETH THEM out of their distresses. HE SENT HIS WORD, AND HEALED THEM, and DELIVERED THEM from their destructions.” The Word of God has healing in it! Lay hold of your healing from the Word of God!

II. THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS

I Corinthians 12:28: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, THEN GIFTS OF HEALINGS, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” God wants us healed! So much so that God has sent the Holy Spirit to endow some individuals in the church with “…GIFTS OF HEALINGS.” But because many in the church today believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have passed away, GIFTS OF HEALINGS are not found in most churches today. But take hope! That is about to change as a new wave of revival is beginning to sweep the world.

III. THE LAYING ON OF HANDS

Mark 16:17-18: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; THEY SHALL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, AND THEY SHALL RECOVER.”  I am aware that some will tell you that verses 9-20 are not found in the two oldest manuscripts, but they are quoted by early church fathers and God apparently had them included in the Canon of the Scriptures. That is good enough for me. These are the Words of Jesus, not just Mark. Jesus said that believers would lay hands on the sick and they would recover. That is a pretty strong promise. Can you stand in faith and believe it and go out and begin to lay hands on the sick?

But what if it doesn’t work? Then keep doing it until it does work. Most of those who have a successful healing ministry today give testimony to the fact that it took faith and courage to hang in there until they began to see results. I heard one minister talk about visiting the hospital to pray for the sick. He said the first seven or eight people died not long after he prayed for them. Not very encouraging to say the least, but he persevered and ultimately had a long ministry of seeing people healed.

I have heard the process that one must go through to see success in praying for the sick compared to a father training his son in the art of hunting. It begins with the son simply walking with the father and listening and learning, until one day the father gives the son his own gun, but no bullets. The son must learn how to carry the gun and how to use it safely. Finally one day, the father gives the son one bullet and instructs him to choose carefully how he uses it. This scenario repeats itself several times until the father is sure he can trust the son with his own box of shells. Right now for me, God gives me a shell every now and then. I have seen ruptured disks healed and restored, cancer disappear a couple of times along with some minor issues, but I am not yet seeing healing come on a consistent basis. Still, when the opportunity arises, I purpose to take the chance and step out in faith believing God will do His part and the desired results will come. One day, God is going to give me my own box of shells! I look forward to that day!

IV. ANOINTING WITH OIL

James 5:14-15: “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” There are not many churches that practice this today so if you can’t find someone else to anoint you, anoint yourself. I heard testimony of a young woman who felt God had told her to do just this, to anoint herself with oil. The only oil she could think of in her house was flax seed oil. She anointed herself with the flax seed oil, the power of God came and she was totally healed and delivered from her illness. Jeremiah 32:27: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”

V. SOW HEALING TO REAP HEALING

James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” First, get the sin out of your life and humble yourself before God by confessing your sins. I will acknowledge that it is a hard thing to find someone you can trust to keep a confidence and who will not reject you when you open up to them. I have experienced this type of rejection in the past. At the least, clear the air between you and God and let the Blood of Jesus wash you clean and then stand in the His Righteousness! II Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” Then go out and begin to sow healing into the lives of others.

Jeanie and I had the privilege of seeing the reality of “…PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED…” in a very dramaticway at the “AWAKE AMERICA” revival meeting in Charlotte NC in the late 1990’s. “AWAKE AMERICA” was the traveling arm of the Brownsville Revival from Pensacola, FL. During the prayer time at the end of the service, there was a man who was unable to walk and was in a wheel chair. One of the team, a revival preacher from South America came to the man and asked him if he would be willing to pray for others so that he could be healed. The man agreed. The team member pulled the man up out of the wheel chair and he and another team member supported the man and literally carried him from person to person who was waiting for prayer. The more the man prayed for others, the stronger he got until he was able to stand by himself and then walk. The team member then got in the wheel chair and the man began to push him around. The man’s wife had not been with him while all this was happening and all of a sudden she sees her husband up and out of the wheel chair pushing it. Her first comment was one of disbelief, “I don’t believe it!” Jeanie immediately said to her, “You better believe it!” God had healed and restored this man right before our eyes as he sowed healing into the lives of others. He left that night pushing his wheel chair! God is good!

Go out and sow some healing.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 17, 2014

DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!

DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!

Have you ever seen the old classic film, “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston? I remember seeing it as a kid, and have watched it several times since then. It won all kinds of awards and was voted one of the Ten Best Films ever. You can be sure that wouldn’t happen today. The scene that is most vivid in my mind is the scene where the children of Israel are preparing to leave Egypt on the morning after the Passover. There is a great group of people all lining up to march. There are older people on crutches, some on stretchers and even wagons and litters being pulled by animals, carrying the sick and lame. You may find it strange that that is the scene I remember most from the movie. Let me tell you why!

Early on in my ministry, at the recommendation of a well know speaker from the 1970’s I began reading the Proverb for the day of the month and five Psalms. For example on the 1st of the month, I read Proverbs 1 and Psalms 1, 31, 61, 91 and 121. One day while reading Psalm 105, which talks about the Exodus, I had a revelation in which I saw something that I had never seen before and I realized that the scene I just described from the movie was totally incorrect! Here is the verse I read, Psalm 105:37: “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and THERE WAS NOT ONE FEEBLE PERSON AMONG THEIR TRIBES.” Nobody was on crutches; nobody had to be carried or pulled on a litter. They had all apparently been healed, but when were they healed?

All of a sudden I realized that when God said in Exodus 15:26b: “…FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE,” He wasn’t just making a statement about something He was going to do, He was literally saying, “I AM THE ONE WHO HEALED YOU BACK THERE IN EGYPT SO THAT THERE IS NOT ONE FEEBLE PERSON AMONG YOU!” When did this happen? I believe it happened during the night of the Passover meal and was actually a result of eating the Passover meal which represented the body and the blood of our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ! Here is why I believe that.

In I Corinthians 10: 1-15, Paul is talking about the Exodus. Twice he says in this passage that the things which happened to Israel happened for examples for us. First in verse 6a: “Now these things were our examples…” and again in verse 11: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Because Paul seemed to talk only about the negative aspects as warnings and admonitions, we have a tendency to overlook the fact that there are also positive examples for us in the things that happened to Israel! It is noteworthy to me that Paul spends the next chapter and a half discussing the Passover Supper and its relationship to the Christian. In I Corinthians 11:23-26, Paul spells out the order and meaning of the Lord’s Table: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, TAKE, EAT: THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”

We saw last week, the benefits that came from His body being broken for us! Isaiah 53:4-5, KJV: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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.” Is Isaiah 53:4-5 talking about healing physical sickness or is it talking about healing spiritual sickness as some claim? Matthew 8:16-17: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” That is pretty plain! It is talking about physical sickness and Jesus “…Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Peter affirms that healing in the atonement is an accomplished fact! I Peter 2:24: “WHO HIS OWN SELF BARE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY ON THE TREE, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED.”  Notice the verb tense, “WERE!” It is past tense, no longer just a promise but an accomplished fact!

Notice that it was the stripes on Jesus’s Body that brought our healing, so when Jesus said, “TAKE, EAT: THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU,” what was He really saying? I think Jesus was referring back to Isaiah 53:4 -5 and affirming that the stripes He bore on His body brought healing for us and we can appropriate that healing as we take the Bread of the Lord’s Supper; even as the entire nation of Israel was healed when they partook of the Passover Meal! Paul apparently thought this way also for he warned us in I Corinthians 11:29b-30: about “…not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” Do you discern the Lord’s Body when you take communion, that there is healing available because of the stripes that He took on His body for our healing? Perhaps we need to take communion more often.

Are you aware that you can serve communion? Are you aware that God’s original intent for Israel was for the entire nation to be Priests before Him and not just the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi? Exodus 19:5-6: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  AND YE SHALL BE UNTO ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Remember, this is an example for us and God has made the same promise to us! I Peter 2:5&9 “YE ALSO, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ… But ye are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

If you are a believer, you are a priest before God and you can serve communion, for yourself and for your family and for others! The church I grew up in preached the priesthood of the believer, but as Jeanie would say, “It was both mandatory and prohibited.” We were told we were priests but then we were given the example that there are “Professional Clergy” who are set apart by God to do the special things such as baptizing and communion. But God gives us permission to do these things when He says that we are “…A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS…” and we are also “…AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST…” Begin to live your priesthood before God.

God has provided at least five other ways for us to obtain healing. We will talk about these in next week’s post. For now, get before the Lord and deal with any sin that might be in your life, confessing and repenting of it. Then get some bread and wine (or grape juice if you are a tea-totaller) and begin to take communion, believing God for your healing!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 10, 2014

DIVINE HEALING IN THE SCRIPTURES

DIVINE HEALING IN THE SCRIPTURES

Is there a scriptural basis in the scriptures to believe God for divine healing? I believe there are at least four major scriptural bases for believing God for divine healing. And when you cover four bases, you have hit a homerun! So let’s go for it all! Here they are in no certain order because I don’t think you can say one is more important than the other, but when taken together, they should increase your faith to be able to receive all that God has prepared for those who love Him!

I. HEALING IS ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF THE COVENANT

Psalm 103: 2-5: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; WHO HEALETH ALL THY DISEASES; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

In the Old covenant, or as we know it, the Old Testament, God made a number of covenants with individuals and with the nation of Israel. Throughout these covenants, God would reveal Himself and His covenant benefits by revealing His various Names. The first revelation came to Abraham when God had asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. With the knife raised to slay Isaac, God stopped Abraham and revealed Himself to Abraham as JEHOVAH-JIREH which means the Lord will provide. Genesis 22:14: “And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”

The second covenant Name that God revealed came to Moses and the children of Israel soon after they crossed the Red Sea and before they came to Sinai. The story is found in Exodus 15:22-26. Briefly, Moses has led the children of Israel three days journey into the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea. They are in need of water and come to a place called Marah which means “bitter.” The water there is bitter and the people cannot drink it and complain to Moses. “And he (Moses) cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” (vs 25)  God here gives a very vivid picture of the work of Christ on the cross, i.e. the tree. Then God reveals Himself as JEHOVAH-RAPHA when He says (vs 15b) “…FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.”  The amazing thing about this verse is that many have taken the first part of the verse to mean the exact opposite; that God is actually the one who puts sickness on us. They have come to that conclusion because they don’t understand the use of Hebrew verbs. Robert Young, LL.D., author of YOUNG’S ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE to the BIBLE, in “HINTS AND HELPS TO BIBLE INTERPRETATION” explains in paragraph “70 (b) Active verbs frequently express a permission of it…” In other words, there are times when a verse seems to say that God is the cause of something when in reality, it is saying that God has permitted it to happen. I believe that is the case in Exodus 15:26: “…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put (i.e., allow or permit) none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought (i.e., allowed or permitted) upon the Egyptians: FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.” I think this is a correct interpretation, because Acts 10:38 plainly states that the devil was the one behind the sickness of every person that Jesus healed! Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, AND HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with him.” It seems to me that if God was the one who had put the diseases on some of these people, Jesus would have had to say, “I can’t heal you, God put that on you for your benefit, to make you a better person!” But Jesus never said anything like that, He simply healed all who came to Him and asked for healing!

Healing is in the Old Covenant, but we are under a New Covenant, Read the eighth chapter of Hebrews! Here is verse 8: “But now hath he (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he (Jesus) IS THE MEDIATOR OF A BETTER COVENANT, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED UPON BETTER PROMISES.”

II. HEALING IS IN THE ATONEMENT

I love the way God chose to start the 53rd chapter of Isaiah! Isaiah 53:1: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” In other words, God is saying, “What I am about to say here will sound too good to be true! Will you choose to believe it?” There are many who have chosen not to believe it. We talked about them in my last post. They are called Cessationist and they deny that healing is included in the Atonement. Let us see what the scriptures actually say!

Isaiah 53:4-5, KJV: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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.”

Isaiah 53:4-5, AMP Bible: “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and  pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and  iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and  well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and  made whole.”

The word that is translated “griefs” is CHOLI in the Hebrew and literally means sickness and is translated as sickness 12 times, as disease 7 times and only 4 times as grief. Most notably, every time the word sickness is used in Deuteronomy 28 discussing the curse of the law, it is CHOLI. We will talk about this later.

For now, let us let the Bible comment on itself. Is Isaiah 53:4-5 talking about healing physical sickness or is it talking about healing spiritual sickness as some claim? Matthew 8:16-17: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” That is pretty plain! It is talking about physical sickness and Jesus “…Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Peter affirms that healing in the atonement is an accomplished fact! I Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED.”  Notice the verb tense, “WERE!” It is past tense, no longer just a promise but an accomplished fact! Healing is in the atonement!

III. JESUS SET US FREE FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW

As I mentioned earlier, sickness is a curse of the law. Deuteronomy 28:61: “  Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring (permit) upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” Even if it is a sickness not specifically listed, it is included in the curse of the law! Galatians 3:13-14: “CHRIST HATH REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” You can read the blessings in the first 14 verses of Deuteronomy 28!

I love the way Paul phrased it in Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Sickness is in the world because of Adam’s sin! Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Sickness is sequel to sin and the prelude to death! But God in His Grace and Mercy has made possible deliverance from both!

IV. HEALING IS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus revealed God’s will concerning healing for mankind. Matthew 6:9-13: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Lay hold of this truth! There is no sickness in heaven! Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: for the former things are passed away.” Oh but you say, that is for the future. Not so, it is for now.

Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING ALL MANNER OF SICKNESS and all manner of disease among the people.” And Matthew 9:35: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING EVERY SICKNESS and every disease among the people.”

Then Jesus delegated the responsibility of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Twelve Apostles, Matthew 10: 5-8: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS: freely ye have received, freely give.” That was a pretty tall order, but lest you think it was only for the Twelve Apostles, consider Luke 10:1 & 9: “After these things THE LORD APPOINTED OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come… And HEAL THE SICK THAT ARE THEREIN, AND SAY UNTO THEM, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU.”

Then Jesus told us to go and do the things He did and the things He commanded His disciples to do when He gave the Great Commission. Matthew 28: 18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Do you hear what the Great Commission is really saying? What should we have been taught? Not just to love one another and share the Gospel with others when it’s not too inconvenient. We should have been taught to do the things that Jesus commanded them to do! “.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS.”

Jesus made it plain in John 14:12-14: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

If you ask me, that’s not just a homerun, that is a Grand Slam!

Be Blessed and Healed in Jesus’ Name

Tom and Jeanie

References:

Some material gleaned from: Randy Clark, Equipping You to Heal the Sick, a four part DVD teaching series, DVD1, “Biblical Basis for Healing”

 

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