Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cleanse the lepers

Okay, so Jesus gave us several evangelical commands. These commands are given to all Christian believers, and so all Christian believers have the authority to do them.

Preach the kingdom -- That Jesus Christ is Lord
Preach Salvation and baptize-- That Jesus Christ is saviour and that the believer has a new life because the believer has been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son, that we are dead to this world, that the law (symbolized as a dead wife) is dead to us and we now have a new spouse.

Most mainstream evangelical missionaries nowadays preach salvation. They don't really preach the kingdom. Thus many people say that Jesus is their saviour but they don't really obey him. And even when they obey Jesus, they don't really understand the principles of the kingdom, the largest principle being that through the blood and righteousness of Jesus a Christian has authority over demons and sicknesses.

This is why the rest of the Great Commission is not generally done.

Heal the sick --
Cast out demons --
Raise the dead --
Cleanse the lepers --

Christians are given the authority to heal when they preach the gospel. Signs follow the testimony and preaching of Jesus. Like when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and when Moses challenged Pharoah's magicians. The authority to heal is not the same as the gift of healing or the gift of miracles. The charismatic gifts are given for use inside the church as God wills. The authority to heal is given to all believers. The authority to heal is always present and is a command and is for those outside the church. The gift of healing and when used with the Prayer of Faith is for healing those inside the church. So it looks as if healing a believer is more difficult than healing a non-believer. Why? Because God wants everyone healed and so his healing power is present when Jesus is preached. Because the sin of the unbelievers doesn't get in the way of their healing whereas those within the church might have sinned a sin unto death or might be under unforgiveness, which is a despising of the great blood and salvation of Jesus Christ. Because the believer is in a war between two kingdoms and the believer and the church will have to know how to fight the spiritual battle.

But even when folks know to speak the Prayer of Faith and command healing for the sick and to command the dead to be raised (only after praying to God to see what God wants, btw), or cast out demons....they don't really discuss the prayer of cleansing.

Of course there is a difference between praying to God for someone to be healed and commanding a person to be healed. Jesus didn't really tell anyone to pray for the sick. He seemed to have assumed that all the healing will be commands.

So the way Jesus said it..it seems that praying for the sick is not the same as cleansing the lepers. When we pray for the sick, we say, "Be healed." The healing command can further be divided into

"Be made whole." and "Be Clean." But Jesus puts the cleansing prayer in its own category.

"Be healed" should be all-inclusive, shouldn't it?  But perhaps "be made whole" is a command that speaks to parts of the body -- seen and unseen-- that are not quite well-made or that have been damaged.

"Be Clean" -- in its own category-- seems to be about infection and contagion. True, the folks back in the day didn't understand germs and the mechanics of infection in the way we do, but they understood contagion, I think. People were not stupid. And although some like to think of it as a spiritual command (bringing the rejected leper into the fold, etc) I doubt it. After all the command is said to the body of the leper, not to the believers. It could also be combined with the prayer to cast out demons because demons are generally "unclean."

But I wonder... is there more to this cleansing command that needs to be studied? Although praying is about our relationship with God and not really about a methodology, some prayers require we be sticklers. For instance, Jesus said "Speak to the mountain." Most Christians do NOT speak to the mountain; they insist on asking God to move it.

So then:
Candida overgrowth, AIDS, Infectious disease, bacterial infection, viruses, amoebas, dysentery, cholera, stuff that run rampant through the human body but are not part of the body, things that the body needs to be cleaned of...uhm.

Should we be saying, "Be cleansed" ?????????
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