Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Paul’s Thorn in the flesh

August 3, 2012

What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? It’s a well kept secret in the church – don’t want too much truth out there spoiling our religion.

We say you’re a pain in the neck. That doesn’t mean discomfort just above the shoulders. In England we say for heavy rain ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’. 1000 years from now some historian may think that we used to have literal dogs and cats falling from the sky!

It’s in the Hebrew culture..

Num 33:55-56
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.
Judg 2:3
I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.

Both talking about a people group who are your enemy causing trouble.

So it’s clear that thorn in the flesh or thorn in the side is a Hebrew saying, not to be understood literally.

If we accept that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a people group who were his enemy it seems clear to me that this was what he called the circumcision party. The religious Jews who were infiltrating the church to bring it back to having to obey Jewish laws.

God said He wouldn’t stop that religious spirit in the church. He wants us to fight it. Why you may ask? Well, Jesus never cast out a religious spirit. He cast out every other kind, but not that. Actually, Satan’s fall when He was Lucifer was a religious fall – he wanted to be worshipped along side God.

Adam and Eve’s fall was also religious. They had been made already like God, but the temptation was that if they ate the fruit they’d BECOME like God. So they wanted by their own works to become that which God had already made them, which is at the heart of religion.

Why are some not healed?

July 31, 2012

The only explanation you’ll find in the bible is from Mat17 Mark 9. The problem is weak faith in the healer [oligopistia] or in some manuscripts unbelief [apistia]. This unbelief is like the father in the story – Lord I kind of believe (I believe you can do it for other people in other places or at other times, but I am struggling to believe that you can do it right here right no for me). So the meaning of apistia is very close to oligopistia – a weak though willing faith.

Jesus’ offered solution in Mark is prayer – ie bring the boy to Jesus which is what they had done. I haven’t quite figured out how that works for us, as is seems that the prayer still requires the faith that I lacked.

The solution given by Jesus is having the right kind of faith. Faith like a mustard seed. That means faith that may start small, but it is a living growing faith that puts down roots to take nourishment from the soil and leaves to photosynthesise energy from the Son [of God} and grows into a sapling and in time into a strong tree. [Parable of the mustard seed].

This is the only explanation the Holy Spirit chose to put in the bible. The only occasion where this question is asked in the bible. So, though the answer may be unpalatable to some or seem incomplete to others, I cannot find any further explanation in the bible, so I reject all the other answers given.

All of that being said, there were times when it was the faith of the sick person that healed them, not Jesus’ faith. So clearly the faith of the sick person has a part to play. I do suspect that fears or unbeliefs in the sick person could be pulling in the opposite direction of our faith as healers, making it more difficult for us to get the healing into them.

For example, if a person is drowning, thrashing around trying to save themselves, and a lifeguard comes up to save them, the drowning person needs to relax and entrust themselves to the lifeguard.

If they do not, they may prevent the lifeguard getting hold of them to save them.

If the sick person does not trust the healer or has fears about the healing process or what may happen if they’re not healed – or healed, maybe that makes it harder to get them healed.

This opinion has been formed from personal experiences plus stories I have heard told by others.

I put this thought forward like Paul did – I do not say it is from the Lord. It is my opinion, and I think I have some wisdom in it.

Why does it work that when someone is told they need to forgive in order to get healed, healing gets released to them following forgiveness?

I think that it is NOT the forgiving that makes a difference. It is the faith released in the sick person who believes that when they do this they will be healed.

Curry Blake teaches that it is not the method that matters, but faith. Wigglesworth had faith in the method of punching out devils. I say others have faith in the method of looking for roots. They find a root and then faith for healing is released.