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We’ve started a series called Truth Exposes Lies. We’re talking about the Big Lies the devil tells concerning healing . What happens when you turn a light on in a dark room? The Light dispels the darkness.

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slide2

We’ve started a series called Truth Exposes Lies.

  • We’re talking about the Big Lies the devil tells concerning healing.
slide3

What happens when you turn a light on in a dark room?

  • The Light dispels the darkness.
  • That is the same when the light of the truth encounters the lies of the devil.
  • The lies are exposed!
  • Lies are keeping people in bondage.
slide4

Have you heard that people have died while lost in a blizzard? They were only 5 feetfrom their door.

Or, Have you heard that a whole generation of Israelites died in the wilderness because they did not believe God could do what He said He would do?

  • That’s the way it is for so many believers today.
  • God has made so much available to us.
  • But, because of ignorance to what the Word says or because of pride, many miss it.
  • They’re so close, yet so far.
  • It time to fill in that gap with the truth of what God’s Word says!
slide5

We’ve covered 3 lies so far:

LIE # 1: God Stopped Healing when the Apostles died or when the Bible was finalized.

1 Corinthians 13:10 – But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. (NASB)

  • Their reasoning is: when the Bible was finalized, we received the perfect.
  • Therefore, miracles are no longer needed.
  • But, the perfect is the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
  • Every early church father interpreted this verse to mean the 2nd Coming of Jesus.

Where do you find that miracles ceased in the Bible?

slide6

LIE # 2: God puts sickness on us to teach us a lesson.

Where do you find that in the Bible?

  • You don’t.
  • It’s not there!
  • We learned that God cannot give us what He does not have!
  • He doesn’t have sickness to give us.
  • He is the God of life and not sickness.
  • Point of clarification

Point: Sickness does not come from God.

slide7

Lest you misunderstand me, I’m not saying every sickness you have is directly because of the devil.

  • Sickness entered the world in the 1st place because of original sin and the fall of man.
  • It is a result of the curse which came on the earth.

Galatians 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for us.

  • On the one hand, Jesus died on the cross to remove the effects of sin . . .
  • On the other, He would not contradict Himself and give you sickness to teach you lesson.

If He died to remove the curse, why would He give you the curse to teach you a lesson?

slide8

Unfortunately, some sickness can also come because of lifestyle choices and habits.

  • You can’t directly blame those on the devil.
  • We choose to eat or smoke or drink or pop something in our mouths that leads to sickness.
  • That is our choice.
  • But, in the big picture, all sicknesses originated from original sin and the devil and not from God.
  • But, that’s not to say that some sicknesses are caused by an afflicting spirit.

Luke 13:11 –He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.

slide9

LIE #3: God Does not Will that all be Healed.

3 places where you see the perfect will of God:

  • Heaven
  • The Garden of Eden
  • Jesus’ Ministry—He healed them all!
slide10

LIE # 4: Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh was a Sickness.

  • This is another tradition that has been used to keep people in their sicknesses.
  • Remember many of these traditions developed as result of a lack of power in the Church.
  • Let’s set this up:
slide11

2 Corinthians 12:2-6, 7-10 – I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know—only God knows.

  • The context for this passage begins in Ch. 11.
  • Paul defends his apostleship against the false apostles.
  • Apparently there was a group who was criticizing him and he felt to defend himself.
slide12

Caught up to the third heaven . . .

  • Paul reveals that he visited the 3rd heaven.
  • There are 3 heavens in Scripture.
  • When the word is translated heaven in our Bibles, we need to decide which heaven it it.

1st Heaven – This is the sky which we see around us.

  • The atmospheric heaven.

2nd Heaven – This is the starry hosts or the galaxies we see beyond our earth’s atmosphere.

3rd Heaven – This is what we traditionally call heaven.

  • It is where God is.
slide13

Understanding this answered a question I had when I was young.

Matthew 24:35 –Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.(NASB)

  • That used to confuse me because I thought heaven was eternal.
  • I shelved it until God answered it.
  • I have since come to find out that heaven is actually the 1st Heaven.
  • The problem is with our understanding and not with God.
slide14

When God recreates earth, He will also recreate the atmosphere around the earth.

  • Why? The atmosphere is filled with evil.

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

  • The heavenly places is the 1st Heaven.
  • The devil has used the atmosphere around the earth as his headquarters.
  • The entire atmosphere is charged with sin and is in need of renewing.
  • So, God will not recreate the 2nd or the 3rd heavens but only the 1st Heaven.
slide15

Visited Heaven

  • Paul had the experience of visiting heaven.
  • We have heard testimonies of people having the same experience today.
  • We are not told when this happened except that it happened 14 years earlier.
slide16

3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell. 5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses.

slide17

If there was anyone who had the pedigree to boast, it was Paul.

Philippians 3:4-9 –Even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: 5 a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God's law; 6 a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting Christians; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God's law Book.

slide18

7 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash — along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. 8 Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant — dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ 9 and be embraced by Him. (MSG)

slide19

Paulwas very educated and credentialed.

  • He also had seen Jesus in a vision and now he reveals that he had gone to heaven.
  • Yet, he did not choose to boast in those things.
  • He rather chose to boast in the Lord in contrast to the false apostles &their self-centered boastings.
slide20

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

slide21

For those of you who don’t know, some say this thorn was an illness Paul had.

  • He asked God 3 times to heal him, and God refused.
  • Their reasoning goes something like, See, God doesn’t really want all to be healed because the Apostle Paul wasn’t healed . . .
  • This is another tradition which developed because of a lack of Holy Spirit power in our churches.
slide22

Context

Where is sickness mentioned in the context of these verses?

  • Paul doesn’t even mention it anywhere in the chapters before and after this.

Where do they get that?

  • KJV uses the word infirmities in verse 9 – I will most gladly boast in my infirmities…
  • None of the modern translations translate it infirmities but use weaknessinstead.
  • They are not reading this in context but just trying to read their own bias into it.
slide23

Eye Trouble

  • Some say that Paul had eye trouble.

Galatians 6:11 – Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.

  • That doesn’t necessarily tell me he had eye trouble.
  • What it tells me is that he needed reading glasses.
  • When I don’t have mine on, I write with big letters.
  • Let’s go back to the context of these verses and see what it really is.
slide24

What does the Bible call thethorn in his side?

. . . there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

  • Thorn = an evil spirit which motivated people

It was an evil spirit that tried to hinder Paul from preaching the Gospel.

  • Everywhere he went there were persecutions, trouble and dangers.
  • The only other time this phrase thorn in your side is used, it refers to the Canaanites.
  • The Canaanites would be a thorn in your side if you do not destroy them (Num. 33:55; Judges 2:3).
slide25

V. 10 –That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  • This is talking about the hardships from people he endured preaching the Gospel.
  • The thorn in his side was actually an evil spirit sent to stir up trouble wherever Paul went.
  • The devil desperately tried to stop him and the advancement of the Gospel.
  • He threw as many roadblocks as he could in Paul’s path to stop him.
slide26

Remember Paul was a pioneer missionary.

  • He preached in previously unreached areas.
  • So, everything pertaining to his life needs to be filtered through that context.
  • He preached.
  • The devil attacked.
  • And Paul was getting weary of it and asked God 3 times to remove this evil spirit from Satan.
slide27

God’s Response

9 My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.

  • Poweris actually the word dunamis where we get word dynamite.
  • It is used to describe the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

God: When you are unable to overcome in your human strength, My dynamite power will enable you to overcome. I receive greater glory in you overcoming obstacles than if they were removed.

  • When human strength fails, the power of God excels!
slide28

Look at what Paul says in the previous chapter.

  • This is a testament to the Power of God at work.

2 Corinthians 11:22-30 – Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.

slide29

26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

slide30

Pastor’s Burden

28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? 30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

slide31

What commitment!

  • We read that and marvel at all Paul went through.
  • You can definitely say that in Paul’s weakness God’s Power was made strong.
  • God received greater glory in bringing Paul safely through all his trials than He would have in removing them.

Sometimes God calmsthe storm, but, more often than not, He calms the child in the midst of the storm.

slide32

Often that takes greater power than to still a raging storm.

  • God is concerned about your growth and what is going on in the inside.
  • The more times He brings you through the storms, the stronger you are going to be.
  • What’s even more amazing is that Paul did not die until he finished the race God had laid out for him.

Look at how many times had the devil tried to kill him?

  • God brought him safely through them all!
slide33

In his last letter before he was martyred, he wrote:

2 Tim 4:6-8 – As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.

  • He finished his race!
  • God’s promise had been fulfilled—My grace is sufficient. My power is perfected in your weakness.
slide34

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But He said to me, “My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I [Paul] will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses . . .that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!(AMP)

  • I love that picture: That the power of the Messiah may pitch a tent over and dwell upon me!
slide35

When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death itself, picture Jesus’ tent of Power pitched over you and dwelling on you.

  • Nothing is impossible with God! Absolutely nothing!

Remember:

  • There’s no sickness too bad that Jesus can’t heal you from it.
  • There’s no bondage too strong that Jesus can’t set you free from it.
  • There’s no sin that is too awful that Jesus can’t forgive you of &restore you to the Presence of God.
slide36

Conclusion

What are you facing now that your human abilities and strength are not able to overcome?

    • Family Situation
    • Healing—physical or emotional
    • Finances, a Job or a better working environment
    • Restoration of your Marriage
    • Alcohol, drug or nicotine habits
  • Whatever it is, God wants you to know that His Power is more than sufficient to meet your needs.
  • And, His Power is here today to heal, to deliver and to set you free!