Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    November 12, 1896

    “The Healing Touch” The Signs of the Times, 22, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    One of the most striking of the miracles of Jesus is told in the following few words: “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy; who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” (Luke 5:12, 13.)SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.1

    Leprosy was one of the most loathsome diseases known to the ancients, and the one the most dreaded. The leper was an outcast, compelled to keep away from even his own family. The disease was a slow, progressive death, the victim’s members dropping off one after another until death ended his misery. No other disease more aptly illustrates the defilement of sin; and this man, who was full of leprosy, very closely resembled the description given of the people, by the prophet Isaiah. “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” So as we study the miracle of the cleansing of the leper, we may know that we are to learn how we can obey the direction, “Make you clean.”SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.2

    In the first place, the leper had confidence in the power of the Lord to heal him. He said, “Thou canst make me clean.” That is a great point. Very few really believe that Jesus Christ can cleanse them from sin. They will admit that he can save from sin in general,—that he can save others,—but they are not convinced that he can save them. Let such learn a lesson of the power of the Lord. Hear what the prophet Jeremiah said by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Ah Lord God behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17.)SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.3

    He who brought the heavens and the earth into existence by the power of his word, can do all things. “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Psalm 115:3. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3.) “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” (Hebrews 7:25.) Christ has been given “power over all flesh.” (John 17:2.)SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.4

    So much for his power. Of that the leper was assured; but he was not sure that the Lord was willing to cleanse him. He said, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” We need not have so much hesitancy as that. We know that he can, and he has given us ample assurance of his willingness. Thus we read that Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Galatians 1:4.) It is the will of God that we should be sanctified. (1 Thessalonians 4:3.)SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.5

    Christ comprises everything. He is “the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24.) All things in heaven and in earth are in him. (Colossians 1:16, 17.) Therefore the apostle Paul says: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32.) The willingness of God to cleanse us from sin, is shown in the gift of his only-begotten Son for that purpose. “These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.” (1 John 5:13-15, R.V.) So we may “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16.), knowing that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.6

    But the most striking feature of this miracle is the fact that Jesus touched the leper. There was not another person in all the land who would have come within a yard of him. But Jesus “put forth his hand, and touched him.” With that touch the hateful disease vanished. It is worth noting that in very many cases Jesus touched those whom he healed. When Peter’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her.” (Matthew 8:15.) That same evening, “all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.” (Luke 4:40.) In his own country the people were so unbelieving that “he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” (Mark 6:5.)SITI November 12, 1896, page 705.7

    In Matthew we are assured that this healing of the wick was “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our disease.” (Matthew 8:17, R.V.) We know that healing power went from him to the suffering ones who thronged round him to touch him (Luke 6:19); and this scripture assures us that he received into his own person their diseases, in exchange for his healing power. Now we have the blessed assurance that altho he is “passed into the heavens,” he has not lost his sympathy with us, but is still “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He comes close to us in pity, because “he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” In all our sin and degradation, we may have inspiring thought that Jesus does not despise us, and is not ashamed to come into the closest companionship with us, in order that he may help us. The prophet, speaking of God’s dealing with ancient Israel, said, “In all their afflictions he was afflicted.” (Isaiah 63:9.) Even so it is now. As an eagle bears her young on her wings, so the Lord puts himself under his people, bearing all our sin and sorrow. He takes it upon himself, and in him it is lost, by the same process by which at the last “he will swallow up death in victory.”SITI November 12, 1896, page 706.1

    Christ took upon himself the curse. In order that the blessing might come upon us. (Galatians 3:13, 14). Altho he knew no sin, he was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21.) He suffered the death to which we were doomed, that we might share his life. And this exchange is made when we come into touch with him, by confessing that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” How much we lose by holding Jesus off as a stranger, or by regarding faith in him as a theory. When we know that he identifies himself with us in our fallen condition, taking upon himself, and from us, our infirmities, how precious becomes the assurance, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”SITI November 12, 1896, page 706.2

    “The healing of the seamless dress
    Is by our beds of pain;
    We touch Him in life’s throng and press,
    And we are whole again.”
    E. J. W.
    SITI November 12, 1896, page 706.3

    “Feeling at Liberty” The Signs of the Times, 22, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The religion of Jesus Christ is not simply one of emotions. It does not quench feelings, but it consists of more than emotions. It is a fact. It holds good when a person can have no emotions. It holds good when the body is paralyzed, and the nerves are numb,—when there is scarcely enough consciousness left to take notice of anything, and the mind has almost ceased to work. The man who knows Christ does not then have to reason out his hope, but rests in the consciousness of the fact of the life.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.1

    It is a glorious truth that the religion of Christ needs not to be reasoned out. We do not have to trace evidence, and weigh arguments to know at any time what it is. This does not mean that God discounts the intellect with which he has endowed his creatures, but that faith is superior to reason. Human reason, not guided by the Spirit of God, leads to folly. Faith is the guide of reason; but the truth of the Spirit of God is not to be reasoned out, else there would be partiality; the kingdom of heaven could not in that case be received by a child as well as by a philosopher. But “the world by wisdom knew not God.” (1 Corinthians 1:21). The righteousness of God is not revealed to reason, but to faith. When one is at the very point of death, and the brain so sick and sore that it is a positive task to think at all, one can lie perfectly still and know that he is accepted, not because he feels that he is, but because God has said so. He need not look about to see if his feelings correspond to the demands, but he can rest in the Lord, knowing that he is in his hands.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.2

    There are times, and they will come to every Christian, when he will not feel that he is free. He may be depressed in body. The weather often has an effect on people, and at any rate we are all still in the flesh. The flesh is still unconverted, and it will always remain so; for it is enmity against God, and can not be subject to him. It will demand that we serve it in this and that thing, and will demand satisfaction. Then is the time we want to know that we are free. If there is any doubt then we are in danger.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.3

    The devil knows the weakness of the flesh, and he will work to regain his position. You say: “I am in doubt, and do not know. The other day in meeting the Lord seemed to set me free; but I do not feel so now. If I were free why should I feel so depressed?” And when we begin to hesitate and temporize, the devil, who is an expert in his art, brings us into discouragement and captivity. It is a fact that the Lord has proclaimed liberty to the captives. He holds the keys still, and the devil never can get hold of them. He has loosed the bonds of every man. David says, “O Lord, truly I am thy servant; ... thou hast loosed my bonds,” and it is true of every soul. There is not a soul in the world who might not say with truth, “Thou hast loosed my bonds;” and it be continued to say it on the authority of God’s word, he would continue free; for the Lord has proclaimed liberty to every captive.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.4

    It is not a matter for feeling, but for practical use. When the enemy comes to destroy, when the flesh would rise up to assert its domination, then is the blessedness of this word, “I am free.” God has freed from that power, and he has power to maintain the freedom. Why should the experience of so many professors be fitful, now rejoicing and then again gloomy and full of doubt? God has declared freedom; will he put us in prison again?SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.5

    How many times we hear people talking about being in the dark—“it was light, but now it is gloom.” They have simply allowed Satan to thrust them into the dark cell, because they wandered near Doubting Castle. Bunyan had the truth of the thing when he told the story of Christian and Hopeful in Doubting Castle. They had been lying there in the dark for a week or more when Christian bethought himself of the key of Promise which he had in his bosom, which opened every door and gate in the castle, and they walked at liberty, because they believed the Lord.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.6

    Now why should we be in Doubting Castle when the Lord sets us free and enlightens the gloom? We have the promise that the word is not far off. It is not in heaven, that we should go up to bring it, nor across the sea, that we should send for it. It is night thee, even in thy heart. So to every one that key has been given, and all can be free all the time, if they will use it. The Lord never puts us in bondage, and the time for us to assert our liberty is when the enemy would drag us back into captivity. He would be a strange man who, when the notice came to him in prison that he had been pardoned and set free, should wait until he felt free, before walking out at liberty. It would show that he did not believe in the genuineness of the pardon, or that he doubted its authority. It is because people do not believe God, that they refuse to assert their freedom when he proclaims it to every soul. E. J. W.SITI November 12, 1896, page 4.7

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents