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In John chapter 5 verses 19 and 20 we read what Jesus said to those who criticized Him for healing people on the Sabbath. He had just healed a man at the Pool of Bethesda and it happened to be a Sabbath when He did this miracle. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do:

What things He does these things the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that He does: and he will show him greater works than these: that you may marvel. "Jesus would never simply lay hands on anyone or command the healing of any unless He had been instructed to do so by Father.

In Exodus chapter 40 verses 36 to 38 inclusive we read about the cloud over the tabernacle that accompanied Moses and all the former Hebrew slaves through the wilderness. "When the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

The cloud of The Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. "Even all those thousands of years ago The Lord was trying to teach His people a valuable lesson "You don't move until I do. "The history of the church would be so very different if it could learn this valuable lesson today.

Laying on of hands by faith is only faith if God has commanded that it should be done at that particular time, Paul writes in Romans chapter 10 verse 17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. "Therefore if we lay hands on somebody and pray for their healing without having been instructed to by God what we are doing is not in faith it is presumption, No wonder there is not much of the healing power of God seen in churches of western nations.

In Luke chapter 5 verse 17 we read something of great interest to this study. "It came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town in Galilee, Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them."

This phrase is particularly interesting because in the English language no statement is neutral. If we read that the captain of the ship was sober that day it implies that there were many times when he was not. Similarly with this verse from Luke's gospel, the fact that it says that "the power of The Lord was present to heal" must imply that this was not always the case.

We have just seen that Jesus could do nothing of Himself but only what Father was doing so we must consider that when we call a meeting in order to pray for people who need healing whether the power of The Lord will be present to heal on that occasion or will it be that healing is not what Father is doing on that particular occasion? Let us look again at another interesting section of John chapter 5 which tells us what happened before the verses we have looked at so far. The verses are 1 to 13 inclusive and are quoted below:

"A certain man was there, who had an infirmity that had lasted thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him there and knew that he had been sick for a long time He said unto him, "Do you want to be made whole?" The man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another gets down before me.

Jesus said unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. Immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry your bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk.

Then they asked him, who was it that said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? He that was healed knew not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. "If we are honest with ourselves and God there are very few Christians who would not, having seen such a great miracle happen when they prayed for someone, go around immediately and pray for everyone in sight.

Knowing that Jesus is full of compassion why is it that He did not do this? The answer can only be because Father didn't tell him to do that, He only told Him to pray for that one person, having done so in obedience to Him Jesus leaves the scene immediately.

Did you notice that when blind men came to Jesus to receive their sight Jesus healed them in at least three different ways? The first one we shall look at is the story of Bartimaeus found in Mark chapter 10 verses 46 to 52. It reads thus: "They came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Many told him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Son of David, have mercy on me. Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.

They call the blind man, saying unto him, be of good comfort, rise; He is calling you. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. Jesus answered and said unto him, what would you have me do for you? The blind man said unto Him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. Jesus said unto him, Go on your way; your faith has made you whole. Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."

John chapter 9 is a different case altogether. Verses 1 to 7 tell the story. "His disciples asked him, saying, master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came up seeing."

A third occasion is found in Mark chapter 8 verses 22 to 25. "He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man unto him, and begged Him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spat on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw anything.

The man looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. "Why do you think Jesus healed these blind men in different ways? Was it just to prove He liked variety, or that He fancied doing things differently at that time?

It is almost certain that Father directed Him to heal these men in these ways and that because Jesus always took instruction from Father He was successful on every occasion. Why though did Jesus ask the man if he could see anything? This is the only time Jesus did anything like that. However, this is an important lesson for us.

The man did not say "I'm not going to let the devil have the victory by saying that I still can't see alright, or its by faith that I am healed so I will say that I can see clearly and everything will be fine. "The man didn't say either of these things. He was being real with Jesus and telling Him the situation as it is not how he might like it to be.

Isn't it true that sometimes we are so super-spiritual that pride will not allow us to be honest and admit our weakness either to our brothers and sisters in Christ or to God. Because this man was honest with God he saw the job through, if he had been proud and super-spiritual he would have forever seen people as trees walking. If we do not want to be honest with our brothers and sisters in Christ, at least let us be honest with God.

Have you ever noticed how some people will come forward for prayer, apparently receive their healing and the next month they are back asking for pray for the same sickness or problem? If you have the most likely explanation is because you have been praying against the symptoms rather than getting down to the root cause.

If you break of the head of a weed in your garden you may have noticed that it grows back again quite quickly, that is why when we pray for healing for people we need to deal with the root cause not just the symptoms. There are many illnesses etc. that come as a direct inheritance of our ancestors.

If there is someone in the family at one time who was an alcoholic it is more likely that you also will become one at some stage in your life. Has someone in your family committed suicide? If so the fact is that unless it is not broken in the spiritual realm then you are at much greater risk of doing the same as you would otherwise be.

There are a number of other things that are similar and the illnesses and addictions mentioned below are by no means exhaustive a list, just a few examples: smoking-related illness, cancer, blood disorder, mental illness, poverty, depression and many other things.

Some people say that since the perfect (Jesus) has come we no longer need words of knowledge, discernment or many other of the listed gifts of The Spirit, but when you pray for people who are sick ask God to reveal to you the root cause of their problem, in most cases He will, then you can pray so very much more effectively.

Many people ask why God allows sickness after His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection yet we can see from scripture that all sickness can be traced back to the time when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and hence sin and sickness entered the world. A fair question would be "Why do we allow sin in a world that Jesus has commanded us to rule over in His name?"

You have only to walk through the streets of your town to be able to identify many different things that are going on in your nation without anyone acting to prevent these sins from continuing. There was a man some years ago who was admitted to hospital with an enflamed appendix. He could not understand why God would allow it to happen to him since he had served The Lord for many years, indeed right from his youth.

He was quickly admitted to hospital and after the operation had the opportunity of talking to other people about what he loved to talk about most Jesus and the true gospel. He was allowed a few days stay in hospital to recover from the operation, during which time literally half the ward and the whole of the staff working in that ward came to salvation through Jesus.

When Joseph met his brothers after many years he made a profound statement to them. He said the following: "But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, the salvation of many people. "We must not forget that there is such a thing as spiritual warfare and that there is no such thing as a truce between you and the enemy.

If you refuse to attack him then you will ensure that he can attack you with impunity. This is the reason we are given the full armour of God and why we should put it on every day, so that we may be able to stand the attacks of the evil one. When you start looking at things with a negative point of view the devil loves it, because then you do not praise

God but when you do praise God he hates it and will not stick around. In James chapter 1 verse 2 we read a breath-taking statement and suggestion, to do something that is far from easy to do. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.

But let patience do her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. "There is also an equally wonderful promise .Romans chapter 8 v 28 reads: "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are called according to his purpose."

When the original Hebrew slaves came out of Egypt they failed to enter the Promised Land because they were always moaning, being negative and looking at the difficulties rather than looking at God who had the answer in His hands quite literally.

You will fail to enter the Promised Land if you do likewise. God has done all that is necessary for you to reach full maturity in Christ and to reach the fullness of His stature in Christ, whether you succeed or fail now depends on you. In 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 24 to 27 inclusive we read: "Every man who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: but I train my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

In all fairness to everyone concerned it has to be said that there are a number of cases where the suffering of people with illness is the result of greed and fraud. For instance, in 1976 there was a severe earthquake in Sicily the large island off the west coast of Italy, because of this quake many thousands of people lost their homes and most if not all of their possessions.

A great deal of money was raised through international appeals to help these people but most of the money raised never did get to help these people, much of it was diverted into the bank accounts of members of The Mafia and other criminal organizations. Because of this many people became ill with water-born diseases as they could not get any clean water to drink they had to drink whatever liquid was available and in many cases this was only infected and dirty water. As a result of this many of them died and those who survived became extremely ill.

This is not an isolated case, when their were many different concerts around the world organized by Bob Geldof to raise millions for those in Africa who were starving, many millions of pounds was given to several different nations in order that they would be able to feed their poor and starving nationals, however once again much of this money was diverted for the financial benefit of many members of those governments before any of it was given in their nation for the starving.

Whilst the rich in many western nations get even richer hardly a thought is given to those in places like Uganda, many of whom are orphaned children who many nights go to bed without having been able to have even so much as a single meal that day. Because they cannot get hold of clean drinking water they drink what they can and this leads to the spread of many horrible diseases like cholera.

It would cost only the equivalent of one day's spending on defence by a western nation to eradicate malaria from the world if only the nations would get together and act but they consider that it is not economically viable for them to do this. Other diseases could also be eradicated from the world if those in wealthy nations decided that this is what they wanted to do.

Many companies however make vast amounts of profit from selling drugs to nations where such diseases are common place so in one sense you can see why they think that way.What is needed is a change of heart in mankind; this is something that only God can bring about. Many people suffer greatly through wars, these will all cease completely and there will be nobody left starving or even having to go to bed hungry when Jesus begins His reign on earth of 1000 years.

Clean water will be available to everyone freely and the world will know a compassion that has been absent from this world for millennia, as is written in the book of Revelation chapter 22 and the second half of verse 20: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

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