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Love, Power & Health

I used to be involved in the "charismatic movement."  It is the belief in the gifts of
the Holy Spirit being available not only to the original apostles, but to us here
today.  When one first experiences the power of the spirit, he or she can be
overwhelmed with a new and exciting spiritual journey.  It is like coming alive to
something wonderful you had been missing right before your eyes.  All of a
sudden, God becomes real to you.  Many worldwide have experienced
prophecy, visions, dreams, spiritual tongues, healings and most importantly,
transformed lives.  I personally have seen God's power come and "touch" an
unsuspecting person, incredibly changing them while sometimes even taking
them physically down to the ground.  Many of these were people who would
never allow themselves to be taken by surprise, if they could have stopped it
from happening.  During these "manifestations" of God's spirit, often times the
different giftings or healings would appear.

There is one fine example that now comes to mind.  I remember a very
reserved, non-charismatic lady in particular.  "Leslie" came hobbling into the
sanctuary of a local church, about an hour before the service was to begin.  
Immediately, I had asked her, "What happened to you?"  She replied, "It is a
back problem that I recently found out from my mom, runs in our family.  Both my
mom and aunt have it and have been told I am destined to have it, also."  Well, I
was immediately under the impression that Leslie had believed a lie about her
health and so I told her if she wanted us to pray for her, she should come up at
the end of the morning service for us to "lay hands" upon her in prayer.

Someone must have seen the surprise on my face when Leslie came up for
prayer that day.  We had many invitations over approximately two years for
people to come up and receive prayer, but never had she come up for herself.  
She must have thought prayer wasn't for her, or that we might embarrass her.  
Still bothered by her limp, I felt inclined to read her a passage from Galatians
which stated that we are not entitled to curses, but blessings.  The mind is a
powerful thing.  I knew she had believed whole-heartedly that she was cursed
with some form of a hereditary disease and therefore had fallen ill.  As I spoke
those freeing words to her, I waved my hands toward Leslie and the spirit of
God poured upon her like a river!  She struggled to remain standing, but
eventually succumbed to the power and fell completely to the floor.  She just
wanted to be healed and stood up very surprised that day.  Her healing had
come to her by simple faith, but also in a new and unique way.

With all the great things I witnessed by the power of the spirit, I knew there were
major things missing with our beliefs.  For instance, we did not see all people
healed as Jesus spoke of and demonstrated.  A good friend of mine once said,
"It is like being up to bat in a baseball game.  When you make contact with the
ball and drive it out of the ballpark, it is a great feeling.  You know it can be
done.  However, what about all the other times you swing the bat and do not
connect?  How can you hit the ball perfectly every time?"  He was making a
good point.  If we are correct with our current beliefs and they are identical with
Jesus' teachings, why are we not having a 100% success rate with healings and
miracles.  Who failed to heal?  Was God too weak  in power to heal one person,
but plenty more powerful and more willing to heal another?  I believe what God
would give to one, He would give to another, as well.

I think our message has been wrong.  In fact, I believe we totally missed Jesus'
core message as demonstrated by his life.  I firmly believe we still do not know
him or even ourselves, yet.  I think at times when we have seen miracles and
healings we have "connected" with a true faith and understanding, in line with
God's spirit...truth.  When we haven't connected with God, I believe we have
missed the mark and fallen short of truth.  What was his message?  John stated
in Revelation, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."  I believe John
was saying that when we look at Jesus' life of miracles, healings and
unconditional love, we are seeing who we really are to become.  We become
Him (Jesus) by coming to the knowledge of the truth of who we are and what we
already have.  His life prophesies or reveals God's plan for the future of
mankind.  This is Christ: being one with your heavenly Father.  Here are some
questions to contemplate with regard to Jesus' message and ministry:  

Question Fifty One: The scriptures state "God is love," "Perfect love casts out
all fear," and "Now there is no condemnation."  How then, can preachers preach
and teachers teach a message of fear, condemnation and guilt?  Is that "love" in
light of Jesus words, "Love your neighbor as yourself," and "Judge not lest you
be judged?"  Why didn't Jesus preach a message of condemnation?  (Romans
8:1; I John 4:8,18)

Question Fifty Two: Is fear, condemnation and guilt even from God or is it
man-made?  Are not these the very things Jesus set people free from?

Question Fifty Three: Whom did Jesus speak against, the common people or
the religious leaders who led by fear, guilt and condemnation?  (Matthew

Question Fifty Four: We are told in the New Testament of the Bible, "God is
love," while the Old Testament tells of a God who kills women and children.  Can
they be the same God when several verses tell us, "God does not change?"  
How can there be a God of opposites?  (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17)

Question Fifty Five: Many believe it is not always God's will to heal sickness.  
How could this be true if Jesus "healed all that were oppressed of the devil,"
and exclaimed it was His will to heal?  God is either a healer or non-healer, if He
is eternal and true. He has to be one or the other.  What about the scripture,
again, that says, "God does not change?"  Could it be God's will to heal all
today?  (Matthew 13:15; Acts 10:38)

Question Fifty Six: Jesus said, "You will do greater works than these."  If we
are correct in our current doctrines and dogmas, why haven't we seen these
greater works?  Could it be we have missed his message?  (John 14:12)
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