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Insight #4 April 23, 2016
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Second Quarter 2016 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Get Up and Walk"  Faith and Healing
April 23, 2016

 

Introduction

            The author of this lesson brings up a profound thought when he states “If God were to make a list of what He most dreads, it would certainly deal with the loss of either our familys or our own eternal life.”

            Another way of approaching the overwhelming reality of God’s burden, but from the perspective of when the redeemed are on the blissful shore, is captured in a timely poem by Gabriele Taddei.

 

In time eternal they will ask,
Unknowing of the countless saved
Walking with Him by that river
About those marks so deep and grave

 

Lovingly the Savior tells them
Agape love for all mankind
And as they wonder in amazement
From their gaze a tear He hides

 

The call of death He chose to answer
Yes if only just for one
Yet now He looks with greatest pleasure
A countless host adore the Son

 

We may forget our closest loved ones
In eternal timeless joy
Love scars He bears, His mind reflective
Bring memories of this girl that boy

 

A look to us brings satisfaction
Precious burden carried home
His labor reaped, His grief rewarded
The Man who trod the press alone

 

Yet now He waits with earnest longing
Every moment of each day
For one more son, for one more daughter
One less tear to hide away

 

Restored by grace into His image
To all the world constrained proclaim
What wondrous love is this presented
For Him the woe, for us the gain

 

You may doubt the gifts been given
Purchased by the life so dear
Then look beyond the starry heaven
For the source of every tear

 

All love, all feelings, all compassion
Find their source in His own heart
The pain we all are ever feeling
Have there been carried from the start

 

            There is no truth to a perspective of God being the ‘Unmoved Mover.’  He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. (Heb 4:13)  All healing—or lack of relief of symptoms both physical and emotional—is within our omnipotent God’s purview for our eternal benefit.

 

Sunday—Touching the Untouchable

            How do we relate to those who are physically unstable? Doctors place them on life-support if warranted.  When one has leprosy it is an entirely different story. The doctors were obliged to pronounce a curse on him and warn him or her to flee from the haunts of men. (MH 68)

            Here is elder Jones commenting on the word and cleansing.

            “Jesus says to every one of us, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." It is through the word that this cleansing is wrought. The Lord does not propose to cleanse you in any way apart from his word, but through the word which he has spoken. There, and there alone, are you to look for the cleansing power, receiving it as it is in truth the word of God which effectually worketh in you, and accomplishes that which he pleases. He does not propose to make you pure except by the power and indwelling of his pure words.

            A leper said to Jesus, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." And Jesus answered him, "I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Are you mourning under the leprosy of sin? Have you said, or will you now say, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean"? The answer is now to you, "I will; be thou clean." And "immediately" you are cleansed as certainly as was that other leper. Believe the word, and praise the Lord for its cleansing power. Do not believe for that leper away back there; believe it for yourself here, now, immediately. For the word is to you now, "Be thou clean." Accept it as did those of old, and immediately it worketh effectually in you the good pleasure of the Father.

            Let all who have named the name of Christ receive his word to-day as it is in truth the word of God, depending upon that word to do what the word says. Then as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish," even so it will be now to the glory of God."

A. T. J. {October 27, 1896 ATJ, ARSH 685.8} Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald

 

Monday —The Roman and the Messiah

Here is a lesson that Dr. Waggoner shares about limiting Jesus’ ability to heal:

"The Comfort of God" The Present Truth 13, 37.

E. J. Waggoner

True it is, our Lord is not here personally present, as He was when upon the earth; but He has not left us orphans; His Holy Spirit, the blessed Paraclete, dwells in every soul that desires the life presence of God. In the development of faith and character, it is better, it is expedient, that Christ should not be here in person.

When He was here, men limited His power to His bodily presence. "Lord, if  thou hadst been here, my brother had not died," was the limit of faith. It was a Roman centurion who saw the great truth which God's people could learn only by Christ's absence. "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. " {September 16, 1897 EJW, PTUK 583.2}  The Present Truth Articles

Conclusion: The Roman had more faith than Martha who depended on Jesus’ visible presence.  Who do you identify more with?

Alonzo Trevier Jones adds his voice to what this Word accomplishes.

           FAITH is the depending upon the word of God only, and expecting that word only, to do what the word says.

          Justification by faith, then, is justification by depending upon the word of God only, and expecting that word only, to accomplish it.

          Justification by faith is righteousness by faith; for justification is the being declared righteous.

Faith comes by the word of God. Justification by faith, then, is justification that comes by the word of God. Righteousness by faith is righteousness that comes by the word of God.
The word of God is self-fulfilling in creating all things, "he spake, and it was." And when he was on earth, he stilled the raging sea, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave sins, all by his word: there, too, "he spake, and it was."

{January 17, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 40.2} Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald

 

Tuesday —Demons and Pigs.

            Beyond wondering why the demons would request occupying the pigs when ordered by Jesus to leave the precious human hosts, E.J. Waggoner firstly addresses the event in light of religious liberty—the religious liberty to follow the city dwellers order to Jesus and his disciples to “depart out of their coasts”.

            “The gospel knows nothing of force. Christ never forced him-self upon anybody. When the Gadarenes besought him to depart out of their coasts, he went immediately. Why? Was it because he was not as intensely interested in them as in the inhabitants of Galilee? Not at all; but because he recognized their right to reject him and his teachings if they chose. When he sent out his disciples, he gave them instruction to the same effect. If any should refuse to receive them, they were to leave them, and allow the day of Judgment to settle with them for their willful rejection of the gospel. We repeat, The gospel knows nothing of force; its cry is, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The privilege of every man to freely accept the provisions of God's grace, implies the equal privilege of every man to reject them. Religion that is not voluntary is of no value”. {July 1888 EJW, AMS 50.3}

            In another place Dr Waggoner has this encouraging counsel for the sinner whose words Jesus rightly interprets.  Do you feel like Peter when he voiced almost the same words as those of the Gadarenes “Depart from me”?

            “These words were addressed by Simon Peter to the Lord on one occasion when the Saviour had manifested His Divinity by causing a miraculous drought (catch) of fishes. See Luke v. 1-8. Peter said, when he saw the miracle, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." It was the expression of the natural feeling of the human heart, when made by the presence of God to realise its sinfulness. It is the feeling in the hearts of many to-day who are touched by the Spirit of God, and convicted of sin, and know not what to say. {June 21, 1894 EJW, PTUK 385.7}

            But the Saviour did not depart from Peter, and in this there is encouragement for all sinners who feel their unworthiness in the sight of God. The fact that Peter realised that he was a sinful man, so far from being a reason for Christ's leaving him, was the very reason why Christ could not leave him. He had come all the way from heaven to earth, at the sacrifice of all that He had, to be with sinners and to take them by the hand and lift them out of their fallen state. And therefore He could not then, and He cannot now, leave a man because he realises that he is a sinner. When we feel and acknowledge our unworthiness in His sight, so far from doing anything to drive Him from us, we are presenting to Him His own all-powerful reason for not leaving us to ourselves. {June 21, 1894 EJW, PTUK 385.8} The Present Truth Articles

            Praise God for deliverance from the demons and the doubt of our sinful hearts.

 

Wednesday —“Get Up and Walk.”

                        When Jesus saw their faith….

                        Elder Waggoner has an entire booklet on the forgiveness of sin titled “The Power of Forgiveness”. Here is a quote:

            “When Jesus, illustrating the forgiveness of sin, said to the man, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house," the man arose obedient to his voice. The power that was in the words of Jesus, raised him up, and made him well. That power remained in him, and it was in the strength that was given him on removing the palsy that he walked in all the time to come, provided, of course, that he kept the faith. This is illustrated by the Psalmist, when he says: "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Ps. 40:1, 2. {1894 EJW, POFO 3.1}

            “There is life in the words of God. Jesus said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63. The word received in faith brings the Spirit and the life of God to the soul. So when the penitent soul hears the words, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee," and receives those words as for living words of the living God, he is a different man, because a new life has begun in him. It is the power of God's forgiveness, and that alone, that keeps him from sin. If he continues in sin after receiving pardon, it is because he has not grasped the fullness of the blessing that was given him in the forgiveness of his sins.” {1894 EJW, POFO 3.2}  The Power of Forgiveness

            Elder Waggoner comments in another place on the phrase ‘be of good cheer’ and offers this encouragement for the difficulty that you and I are are going through.

            "Be of good cheer; rise, He calleth thee." That is reason enough to be of good cheer. Everybody on earth ought to rejoice, because God has called all. "Be of good cheer;" when? Now, no matter what your condition or circumstances. "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." In the midst of tribulation, our joy may be full, from the mere knowledge that we are the chosen of God. "He loves me, and has chosen me," sings the heart of the maid, as she thinks of the lover, who to her is best of all. Even so our hearts should sing for joy, as we remember that "He loved me, and gave Himself for me." He has given the highest possible proof of His love to us and all mankind. {November 29, 1900 EJW, PTUK 755.5} The Present Truth Articles

 

Thursday — Let the Dead Bury the Dead and Conclusion

            Concluding the link between faith and healing Elder Jones says.

            “This is faith, genuine faith. It finds in the word of God itself all sufficiency to accomplish all that the word expresses. And over and over again, in fact in all the cases recorded in the New Testament, it was believing the word spoken and thus receiving the power of that word to accomplish of itself the thing that was spoken—it was this faith that healed the sick, restored the palsied, made the impotent to talk, and forgave the sinner. This is believing God. This is faith.” {May 31, 1894 ATJ, AMS 170.16} 

~Richard Kearns


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