"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Does the prayer of faith always result in healing?

I have friends who believe that, or should I say, I had friends who believe it. When I dared to question their belief they chose not to speak to me again. Curious reaction – they were either unable or unwilling to defend their belief.

What is the prayer of faith? Is it demanding that God heal someone? Or is it asking God to heal someone but adding the caveat, “nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done?” Many will say that adding the caveat is copping out – if the person isn’t healed then it’s God’s will. Of course, what’s wrong with that?

They will then say that it is always God’s will to heal the sick. “By His stripes we are healed,” they quote. Aside from applying a generality to specific situations, they miss the point that if that were always the case, then those with a gift of faith would never die. They would simply pray the prayer of faith demanding the God heal them and they can never die, unless death sneaks up on them while they’re not looking. Nor do they realize that by not including the caveat, that they are raising their will above God’s; God’s will is unacceptable in this case.

Sometimes God will yield to the will of His servants and grant them what they ask. He did that for Hezekiah, one of the most godly kings ever to reign in Judah. He granted him another 15 years of life after his appointed time. If the faith healers had been present they would have hailed this as a great example of how faith healing works.

But then 15 years later Hezekiah died and Menasseh ruled Judah. Menasseh was the most evil king ever to rule Judah or Israel. He destroyed all the good works his father had done and then some. He sacrificed two of his own children to a pagan god, holding them over the altar and slitting their throats. Charles Price says he was demon possessed.

How does this all tie together? Menasseh was 12 years old when he came to the throne. He was born after Hezekiah’s appointed time, and all of Judah paid a very heavy price for Hezekiah’s selfish prayer. Be careful what you pray for; you may unleash terrible consequences.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Millennium

The Millennium, or The Millennial Reign

I’m hoping to open a discussion on this subject, so if you have any opinions or questions please respond in the ‘comments’ section. Where you disagree with something, please provide scripture references to support your argument. Thanks.

What is the Millennium?               
It is a one thousand year period on earth that immediately follows the return of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. On Christ’s return Satan is bound for 1000 years (Rev 20:2) and effectively nullified until the end of the period when he will be loosed and allowed to foment one final rebellion involving Gog and Magog (Rev 20:7,8).

What will it be like?
During that time – and it is not definite that we are talking a literal 1000 years – Christ will reign on earth. Scriptures indicate that there will be peace; that the wolf will lie down with the lamb, the lion will eat grass, and children will play near snakes without fear of being bitten (Isaiah 11:6-8; 65:25). However, I am not clear whether these scriptures refer to the Millennium or the resurrected earth. Such things sound as though the Curse has been lifted which does not happen until the end of the Millennium and God resurrects the New Heaven and the New Earth. (Matthew Henry’s commentary affirms that the second reference has to do with the New Earth, but the first certainly appears to be in line with the Millennium Reign.) For more on the New Heaven and New Earth see: Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1.
Who will be there?
Everyone who survives the Great Tribulation will be there, at least in the beginning. It is likely that those people will continue to have limited life-spans and will die of natural causes – for the most part. They will be replaced by their children and grand-children, etc. It is also clear that those who are martyred for Christ will also be there. They will reign with Him for the entire period (Rev 20:4).

Most Evangelical Christians teach that all the saints will also reign with Christ during this period – I have not found scripture to support this, or even that saints who were not martyred are even present, except those few who are likely to survive the Great Tribulation (Rev 20:5). Feel free to correct me here…

Will there be sin?
Those people – probably half or more of the world’s population – who enter live into the Millennium will still have a sin nature that they will almost certainly pass on to their children (hence, they will not live the entire 1000 years). Consequently, sin will exist but not at the intensity with which it flourishes today. While Satan will be bound (that he would not deceive the nations any longer- Rev 20:3), there is no indication of anything happening to the demons during this period. They may still be able to cause afflictions, or they may simply try to fly under the radar until their leader returns. But it seems clear that their influence will be greatly diminished if not completely muted.

Regardless, the Bible says that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. If there were no sin, He would not need to rule with a rod of iron, but also, there will be very little tolerance for sin. Furthermore, Truth will be taught in schools and all through society with little opposition from people influenced by evil. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). Also, there will not be the constant pull of the media toward the lusts of the flesh. Today’s pornographic society will be destroyed.