I do not believe that the powers of the future eons are here. I do not
believe that the special healing that is for that day is now in force.
As I see it, we have the power and the blessings that have been available
to the saints all the while under Paul's ministry.
We are encouraged to pray with assurance. Nowhere are we told to
pray, believing that what we request will not be granted. This is true
in the matter of healing, as well as in all other matters. And healing
includes vastly more than the curing of physical diseases. There are
many other disturbances to be healed. Christ is Head over all, and, as
such, He is given to the church which is His body, and the church is the
complement by which all in all are being completed. This can be
understood only if we think of this passage, Eph. 1:23, as teaching that
the church is the complement by which all are being completed in all
respects. This seems to be the mission of the church, in part, and
Christ is given to the church for this purpose, among others.
The scripture recommends wine as a healing agent. Another passage speaks
of oil. Thus God has placed healing properties in medicines---not merely
in the two mentioned above, but also in many others that were unknown in
the days of Paul and James. And the fact that the oil is mentioned in
the Circumcision scriptures, does not make it any less valuable to us.
Neither may we conclude that a sip of wine would not have been as
helpful to Matthew, for instance, as to Timothy, if the former had been
afflicted with stomach trouble.
God had shown Himself particularly interested in the health of the
people. He enables every school of healing to achieve favorable results.
But He has also been, in every administration interested in healing
without any agent except faith. He has placed healing power in
affirmative attitudes of mind. He told us about it when He said, "A
merry heart doeth good like a medicine".
Paul tells us of Faith's law. He illustrates its working. The law
of faith is the principle by which faith operates. In his illustration
Paul mentions the fact that back in what we call Old Testament times the
blood of Christ was a propitiatory shelter through faith. Faith made the
blood available to the people. The salvation of which the blood speaks
will be realized by all, in the glory, but in the earth life, it was
real to only those who believed. The illustration is in Rom. 3:25,26.
Just before this, he tells us that the righteousness of God through
Jesus Christ's faith is FOR all, but it is ON only those who believe.
Faith does not cause anything to exist. It makes available to us in this
life, what God has for ALL mankind in the glory. ALL have the
righteousness of God that is through JESUS CHRIST'S FAITH. ALL shall
enjoy it in the glory. In this life it is to be enjoyed by US, through
All mankind are saved in grace, since God is the Savior of all mankind.
But only those who believe are saved in grace THROUGH FAITH. Salvation
belongs to all; faith makes it available for our enjoyment now.
Justification is in the blood of Christ, and all have it, from God's
viewpoint. But man does not have it from his own viewpoint until he
believes. This is called justification by faith, and those who have it
may be having peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
While Paul mentions faith's law, Christ tells how it works, without
mentioning it by name. "According to your faith, so be it to
you". Since faith is not confined to the era of Paul's writing,
faith's law works in all administrations alike, Habakkuk said "The
just one shall be living by faith", and Paul repeated it, and so
did the writer of the Hebrew epistle. The pathway of faith may be traced
all the way through the history of the human family.
What we have to use in the glory, we may use here, to a certain extent,
through faith. Salvation in all its fullness includes health, joy,
possessions, friends, home, etc. These we have, to use in the glory.
Faith brings them to us here, in a limited sense.
At that period when Paul had "outside fightings; inside
fears", II Cor. 7:5, he was sick a great deal. Later, when he
learned the truths of Phil. 4:4-19, we hear no more of his sickness. His
writings during this later period are full of good cheer and
encouragement. According to the instructions he gives now, we are to
rejoice in the Lord, and be lenient with others. We are to know that the
Lord is at hand---this is practicing the presence of God. We are told to
let nothing be worrying us. In everything, by prayer and petition with
thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be known to God. While in this
glad frame of mind we find the peace of God. All this is based on faith.
Without faith we are neither lenient with others nor patient with God.
And we are to remember that a very important thing is THANKSGIVING. This
cannot be done if we have outside fightings and inside fears. And faith
is the only attitude that can take away these unhappy emotions.
Faith leads to such a pleasant disposition that we cease to
"harp" on the failings of others. Instead, we take into
account that in their life which is grave, just, pure, agreeable,
renowned, etc. We not only CAN see good in them, but we prefer to THINK
of this good, rather than of their faults.
Faith leads us to not only rejoice in what the Lord does for us
directly, but also in what He leads others to do for us. I thank every
person for every deed of kindness shown to me, even if it some job for
which I am paying. All who serve me, either for pay or without
remuneration, are my friends. This is especially true of all who donate
money or other valuables to my support.
Faith initiates us into the practice of being content and humble. And
this gives us strength for all in Christ.
Faith gives us a desire that all saints shall lay up treasures that will
increase to their account. It leads us to admonish them to give freely,
believing that, in so doing, they are laying up money in a bank that
does not fail.
Faith gives us the assurance that God has made every provision to take
care of our needs, in accord with his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
We do not doubt that it shall be well with us here, and in the future
The law of faith responds favorably to our expectation, and we are not
disappointed. It causes our body cells and our possessions to make a
favorable response to our words of well-meant praise. Yes, even the
circumstances of our life will be more congenial to us when we greet
them daily in faith.
I do not make a division between what is usually called our spiritual
interests, and those of every-day life. There is only one department to
my life. God, through Christ, gives me food for my spirit, and food for
my body. There is no essential difference between a dinner of bread and
meat and vegetables, and a "dinner" of gospel teaching that
builds me up in spirit. As I greet my friends on the street daily, it is
no different from greeting them in the place set aside for worship. When
I go from a store with a bag filled with groceries, it does not differ
from going from the meeting house with my spirit filled with teaching
that cheers me.
Sitting at my typewriter spelling our words of cheer to someone, is the
same as standing before a congregation handing out the "word of
life" in a sermon. When I write to someone, saying, "In my
loving thought I bless you and your loved ones and your
possessions", there is the same importance attached to it, that is
attached to the writing of a "sermon" for someone who has
asked for "light" on some scripture subject.
Our attention is sometimes called to Paul's "thorn in the
flesh". "It is physical affliction", says one. "It
was a messenger of Satan", says Paul. A messenger is usually a
person. No one would say it was an actual thorn. No more may we conclude
that is was actually in the flesh. Rather, he was at Paul's side. The
apostle prayed that he might withdraw. God would not cause him to do so,
for the mental torment he caused was necessary to keep Paul humble.
There is no hint of physical affliction.
God is interested in health and spirituality. Why should He not be, when
we represent Him, and are supposed to express Him in our life? Man as
spirit is the one who has dominion over the other creatures, but man as
body must have health, in order that spirit may do its work. Man as
spirit functions through mind, and it is in mind that faith and love are