And He Healed them all: What about Job? Part IV.mp3
I Cor. 12:1-29
Tonight we polished off our teaching on Job by further clarifying Elihu’s position in Jobs life.
Elihu was a messenger and a Mediator.
In this context what was a messenger? The word messenger used here is Malak and is the same word used for angels. It simply means to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; one delegated to represent another or speak their words – an ambassador.
What is a mediator? It means an interpreter or teacher.
So Elihu was delegated with authority from God to represent God’s uprightness and interpret what was happening to Job in that light.
“If there is a messenger for Him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’” ~Job 33:23-24
That God looks for mediators under the Old Covenant is evidenced by these verses Ezek. 22:29-31. It is also clear from these verses that God does not always find one. However, in the case of Job, God found a mediator named Elihu!
We also mentioned that Elihu provided a covering for Job.
“Give ear, Job, listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me; Speak, for I desire to justify you.” ~ Job 33:31-32
The word justify is a TERRIBLE translation! It is actually the Hebrew word for atonement which means a covering.
So Elihu was saying to Job “I desire to act as a covering for you”. Again, this is something which Job later did for his three friends.
Then we went forward in our teaching on healing to talk about Healing in the New Covenant.
Technically we have already covered some of this in that we reviewed every example of healing throughout the book of Acts, but we are now looking at how and through what mediums healing is realized under the New Covenant.
Healing as a spiritual gift
This is mentioned in a list of gifts distributed to each of God’s children by the Holy Spirit in I Cor. 12:7-11.
This chapter requires a little explanation because it is so generally misunderstood.
The chapter is actually divided into three parts which are listed as an overview to the chapter in verses 4-6… (I uses the Wuest Translation here because it more clearly represents the thoughts which are present in the Greek.
“Now, there are…
- different distributions of spiritual gifts, these gifts being diverse from one another, but there is the same Spirit.
- there are different distributions of various kinds of ministries, but the same Lord.
- there are different distributions of divine energy motivating these gifts in their operation, but the same God who by His divine energy operates them all in their sphere.”
~ 1Cor. 12:4-6
As you can see the first “group” is called spiritual gifts and they are given by the Holy Spirit.
The Second group are ministries appointed by Jesus as Lord over His body.
The third group are Energies which are operated and appointed by the Father.
Now the first “group” – being spiritual gifts as given by the Holy Spirit, are addressed in verses 7-11,
“But to each of us a manifestation of the Spirit has been granted for the common good.
- To one the utterance of wisdom has been granted through the Spirit;
- to another the utterance of knowledge in accordance with the will of the same Spirit;
- to a third man, by means of the same Spirit, special faith;
- to another various gifts of healing, by means of the one Spirit;” ~ 1Cor. 12:7-9
…and the list continues.
The other two groupings I address briefly in the recording, but here I will say this…
- Gifts are given to EVRYONE in Christ’s family and that gift is for the benefit of everyone else BUT the one to whom it is given. This is important because people can get into much trouble trying to use the stewardship they have been given over a gift to benefit themselves. All stewardships are essentially being placed in the capacity of a Trustee. Trustees cannot use what they have been granted stewardship over for their own personal gain. In like manner, neither can those who have been entrusted with a gift, use that gift for their own profit, but for the profit of everyone else.
- Ministries are illustrated in this chapter as body parts which teaches us two things in particular. One – that everyone is necessary, even the those whose ministry seems less important. Two – that everyone in the body has a place where they belong. Feet, for example, do not belong on the head, nor eyes on the thighs. Ministries have to do with location within the body and associations with certain people in the body. Ministries are represented throughout the book of Acts but perhaps the clearest example which helps define them is found in Romans 11:13.
Rom_11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,”
What is Paul saying here? He is saying that though he IS an Apostle (which is one of those in the third list) his ministry as an apostle is TO THE GENTILES. Most of the other apostles were called to the Jews in certain locations. James was an apostle to the Jews in Jerusalem. This has to do with location and people to whom you are called. If Paul were to have gone to the Jews in Africa, he would still have been an apostle and doing that work, but he would be missing his ministry by a long shot.
- Energies – These are ones called AS gifts in the body. They are represented in verses 27-29, the defining words are “ARE ALL” verses “DO ALL HAVE”. A spiritual gift is something everyone has, but to BE an energy in the body is to BE something very few are called to be. These ones are also represented in the list given in Ephesians 4:11. The way in which they are “energies” is they prepare the body to do their work as verses 12-14 indicate.
Back to gifts..
The gift of healing is specifically mentioned in verse 9…
“to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,” ~ 1Cor. 12:9.
The word healing is a Greek in the plural, and means to cure different kinds of disease which need different kinds of healing. This means that no one person will likely have a manifestation of the “Gifts of Healings” which cover all sicknesses and diseases, but which will most likely address only a few. This is not a hard rule – it is mostly an observation from nearly 30+ years of ministry. Furthermore, no place in scripture (of which I am aware) precludes the idea that any one person might have gifts of healings which cover everything. It is merely an observation based upon limited scriptural evidence and much personal experience.
Other examples of this exact same word use in found in Matt. 10:1, Acts 9:34 & Acts 4:24-30.
So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘WHY DID THE NATIONS RAGE, AND THE PEOPLE PLOT VAIN THINGS? THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” ~ Acts 4:24-30
The scriptures are not clear about this, but it seems that this gift offers miraculous healing rather than a slow mending together. HOWVER – NOTHING ABOUT THE WORDS IMPLIES INSTANT HEALING – but we can safely infer it from the fact that they did NOT employ the same word as was used in Mark 16 – “recover”.
The last thing to remember in this group is that these gifts work and manifest AS THE SPIRIT WILLS. It is NOT something we just turn on/off at human will or discretion.
The final example we began to look at is back in Mark 16, which we had previously covered.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs (miracles or wonders) will follow those who believe:
In My name they will…
- cast out demons;
- they will speak with new tongues;
- they will take up (put away or remove) serpents – Act_28:1-6
- and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them;
- they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” ~ Mark 16:15-18
Remember we said that if Mark 16 can be trusted as belonging in the canon of scripture then every believer can lay hands on any believer and they WILL recover. This is a “sign” which follows those who believe these things.
It also includes nothing hurting us, whether in something we eat or if something attacks us like snakes (or by extension spiders).
In closing on this I will offer a personal example.
When I was about 18, I was running my grandfather’s lawn maintenance business for him. Part of that work included driving out east to some very overgrown area and unloading the grass and trimmings onto a man’s property who we paid for that purpose.
One day as I was getting ready to leave I felt a sharp pain on my right ankle. I looked down and saw a hole in the ground and nothing more. Being a young man, I thought nothing more of it and went on. A short while later as I was driving, I felt a strong impress to worship God in the Spirit. As I was praying and singing in tongues I heard the Lord speak to me. Unfortunately I do not recall what He said, but I felt drawn to look down at my ankle and saw two holes in the fleshy part of my ankle which was leaking some brownish clear liquid onto my sock. Later, when I returned the trailer out east, I saw the hole and a snake near it (which I killed). I cannot claim that it was a poisonous snake for sure and it doesn’t matter specifically, except to serve as an example of God’s protection. It had nothing to do with my faith, just God’s goodness. The Apostle Paul had a similar experience in Acts 28:1-6.
For more, listen to the audio.