Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Can God Heal Me

I received an email three years ago from a young man in India. He said, "I'm lamed, I walk with sticks, can God heal me?" I replied, yes God can heal him. I also send him several quotations from the gospel pointing out many occasions when Jesus healed the blind, the lamed, the deaf, and those possessed by evil spirits.

He wrote back reminding me that he wasn't interested in what happened 2000 years ago. He wanted to know if God can heal him today. Adding, he is embarrassed by his handicap that he hardly goes out. He feels very uncomfortable among people, is lonely, miserable and has no friends.

It was obvious my Indian friend had heard about the healing miracles of Jesus in the 1st century. He wanted to know if those miracles could be repeated in the 21st century. In his own life experiences, and the experiences of people he knew he could find no evidence of a lamed person who threw away his crutches, and walked on normal healthy legs. He is right, there is no religious institution where you could find a priest able to heal the blind, the deaf, or make a lamed person walk again.

What perplexes my Indian friend is that if it's true that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, the lamed to walk and raised the dead 2000 years ago, why are priests, praying in the name of Jesus, unable to repeat those miracles in our time? The difficulty of finding a satisfactory answer to this question led the German philosopher Nietzsche to claim that "God is dead."

Nietzsche implied that God once lived, but is now dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nietzsche is wrong  because he misunderstood the death of Jesus on the cross. Consequently, he couldn't accept the resurrection of Jesus, and failed to see the difference between the body and the spirit.

My friends, God is not dead. His Holy Spirit lives among us, and those who seek him in spirit do hear his voice, and do see him. The reason some people hear and see God, while others don't depends on how we seek God. Many believers think that praying, fasting and mentioning the name of God in every conversation is the path to God. These religious activities are important, but more important is practicing the word of God. 

Without practicing the word of God, all else fails in relating us to God in spirit. In the gospel you will find many laws and rules of conduct, among them are two divine laws that connect us directly with God in spirit. These are: to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The other is to love your neighbors as you love yourself.

When you love God, you would want to know his will by reading the gospel daily. This would lead you to the next level in your spiritual development, and that is to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning to do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.  

Why are these two the most important laws in the gospel? They open the doors of our souls and let in the Holy Spirit to live in us creating a direct connection with God, and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear spiritual revelations. These spiritual revelations present to us the evidence that God exists. The indwelling Holy Spirit also brings us God's wisdom and power to enable us create the conditions in which what we pray for takes on physical form.

While the Holy Spirit lives in our souls, we are informed by revelations of our power to heal the problems in our minds, body and souls. But just as our bodies and minds when ill need medications or surgery to return to good health; so too our ailing souls need the word of God, to help us do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, in order to invite the Holy spirit to dwell in our souls. 

While the two mentioned cases may seem separate, they do overlap with each other. When your soul is healed by the gospel, your mind is informed by God's wisdom toward righteousness, and your body is strengthened by God's power toward good health to enable you create the conditions where the things you hope for your happiness will become yours.

This spiritual principle brings me back to my handicapped Indian friend. He wants to be healed by God because the gospel tells him God can heal him. However, it's important to know that God heals us in two ways. He may take away the effects of our problems, or take away the problems. In the first case, the problems remain, but their negative effects on us would go away. In the second case, both the effects and the problems go away. Not surprisingly, believers prefer the second case, but this does not always happen.

Concerning my Indian friend, I will say his physical handicap does not cause him as much problem as the effects of the handicap. The effects are that he has limited mobility and suffers from self-pity. He sees himself less than people around him, and consequently is discouraged from lifting himself off the ground and pursuing his dreams and happiness. 

Let's assume for a moment that the effects of his handicap were taken away, he would still be a handicapped person, but his mobility wouldn't be limited because he would have a motorized wheelchair, a car he can operate with his hands, and handicap ramps on every building he wishes to enter. His enhanced mobility would boost confidence in his ability to do what others can do, and end feeling inferior to others. He would feel comfortable among people, and begin to attract new friends into his life.

These are the things my Indian friend wants and hopes for, and as I said before, the Holy Spirit can help him give physical form to these things. But, the Holy Spirit wouldn't intrude into my friend's life, and take away the effects of his handicap. Through prayers, he has to invite the Holy Spirit into his soul. Not only that but he also has to cleanse his soul by reading the gospel daily, and doing onto his neighbors as he would want done onto him.

I agree that this spiritual principle is unsophisticated, but Jesus intended it to be so. He wanted every body to understand and benefit from it, regardless of one's station in life or education. Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of this spiritual principle many have missed the mystery in it, and have gone after exotic and sophisticated spiritual principles that have led to confusion and break in the relationship with God.

More than anything the foundation of our relationship with God is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can have no spiritual relationship with God. In Mark 1:7-8, we read that John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.

John's water baptism is for the repentance of sins, but baptism by the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, connecting us with God in spirit, empowering us to resist the temptation to do verbal or physical harm to our neighbors, and bringing to fruition what Jesus said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot be had with money, or prayers, fasting and being a devout servant of the church. Only a heart purified by loving God, and loving your neighbors as you love yourself can transform your soul into a comfortable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, many believers miss what has to be done to realize the transforming effect of loving God and their neighbors, as we read in First John 3:18,"Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."

In verses 21-24 John added, "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his command and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."

Whatever the size of your problems, I want you to be certain beyond any doubt that the Holy Spirit, working through your thoughts and actions, can help you eliminate those problems, or their negative effects on your life. If you have questions regarding how this could be done, send them to me for answers. Meantime, get more detail on the power of love and faith at:  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Understanding The Mystery Of the Gospel

When you read the gospel as historical events that happened 2000 years ago, you would gained some knowledge alright, but would miss the substance of the gospel. What is the substance of the gospel?

The gospel is spiritual food for your soul. As you read the gospel and understand it, the words are transmitted from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind which is the mind of your soul. During the transmission from your conscious to your subconscious mind, the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul.

How the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul is a mystery. Unlocking this mystery requires the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to elevate your consciousness to see, hear and understand spiritual things. This is not as hard as you might think. While the words of the gospel are transformed by your subconscious mind to spiritual food for your soul, the words also inform your conscious mind to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself.

In other words, you cannot receive the Holy Spirit without demonstrating your love for God, just as you cannot demonstrate your love for God without loving your neighbors as you love yourself. Many believers mistakenly think they are demonstrating their love for God by praying, fasting and living piously. While these religious activities are important, they are significant in the eyes of God when accompanied by practicing the words of the gospel.

However, you cannot successfully practice the word of God without involving your soul in the process, which is why it's necessary to hear and read the gospel daily to provide your soul the spiritual food it needs to cleanse itself for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

I know you may find the transforming of the words of the gospel into spiritual food hard to believe. I will go further to say it's alright if you are skeptical about the notion that words printed on the pages of a book could be transformed into spiritual food for your soul. I say this because I was once just as skeptical until I learned to elevate my consciousness.

Your reality depends on the level of your consciousness, or on what you are aware of, therefore it's reasonable to say other realities exist of which you are not presently aware, but could become aware of. For example, without the microscope you couldn't have known about the micro-organic world. Similarly, without faith you cannot become aware of the spiritual world.

Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, "Have faith in God, Jesus said. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea, and he does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

This spiritual principle is the most misunderstood among believers. What do we pray to God for? Do we pray for bread and meat to feed our families? Do we pray for shelter to protect us from the weather? Do we pray to God for good health? 

All these things are necessary for our survival, but have you ever heard of a starving man who prayed to God, and suddenly bread and meat appeared on his table, or a family who prayed to God, and suddenly the leak in the roof of their house stopped during a heavy rain, or a man who prayed to God, and suddenly got healed from diabetes, tuberculosis or cancer?

Very few people, if any, would say they have heard about or seen such miracles, and the reason is miracles are not every day events. Yet, if we shouldn't pray to God for material things, then what should we pray to God for? In answering this question it's important to know that God is a spirit, he is not a magician. 

When Jesus said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," he meant when you pray to God, you will receive the Holy Spirit who will give you God's wisdom and power to enable you create the conditions in which the material things you need would become yours. 

This view is supported by Matthew 6:28-33 where Jesus said in part, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Here, God is telling us to first seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, then we will have divine wisdom and power to enable us get the material things we need.

You see, God does not ordinarily find jobs for the unemployed, or put bread and meat on the table of starving men. Off course, God could if he wishes to do so; in which case he would perform a miracle. But again, miracles are not every day events. Miracles happen only when your thought and God's thought coincide, in which case your thought is lifted to the level of God's, making what you hope for to instantaneously become yours.

Therefore be wary of people who tell you, all you need do is pray to God and you will have what you ask for. Also be wary of people who tell you to send them a certain amount of money and God will give you what you pray for. Again, remember God is not a magician. He is a caring spiritual father who wants to empower you with his spirit to help you create the conditions where you can put bread and meat on your table, stop the leak in the roof of your house, and afford to see the doctor when you are sick; not by wishfully thinking the things you need for your survival and happiness would miraculously appear in your hands, but by applying God's wisdom and power through your thoughts and actions.

I have spent my adult life thinking about the mystery of the gospel, and have found that faith is the key to understanding that mystery. The argument that faith is to believe blindly is wrong. When you go back to read the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, you will find that faith is the pursuit of knowledge. Faith asks us to seek and find the substance of what we hope for, and the evidence that God exists. I see nothing related to blindness in the pursuit of knowledge. Meanwhile, you can begin your search for spiritual knowledge through faith by reading my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith.

Let me add that regardless of what you feel about God and the gospel, don't be content with the notion that God exists, end of story; or that God does not exists, end of story. In which camp you find yourself, it's important to seek more knowledge about God either to confirm what you believe, or to change what you believe. And you can begin with asking questions.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Receiving The Holy Spirit

When the Holy Spirit enters your soul, you will be changed. You will see and hear things that others don't see and hear. You will experience an elated state of mind convinced that you have found the solutions to all the problems in your life.

Unfortunately, seeing and hearing things and elation are also indicators of schizophrenia and mania. So how do you distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the effects of a mental illness?

In the case of schizophrenia, the affected person suffers from hallucination. He sees, hears, smells and feels things that others don't. These effects of schizophrenia become a problem and indicate a mental illness when they begin disrupting the normal life of the person. When he cannot properly function in school, at work, or maintain relationships, its time to seek psychiatric help.

Under schizophrenia the affected person also suffers from delusion. He refuses to change what he believes to be true even when presented with irrefutable evidence that his belief is not true or logical. For instance, he may believe people around him are cheating, plotting to poison, or spying upon him. He may also have delusion of grandeur and believe he can accomplish things beyond his immediate resources and ability.

In the case of mania, the affected person may be either elated, or irritable and angry. He would have racing thoughts, increased talking, faster speech than normal, risk taking, grandiose plans and impulsive behavior. Normal people do experience some of these characteristics of mania, but these become indicators of mental illness when they disrupt the person's normal life.

On the other hand, while the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would enable you to see and hear things that others don't, you would have this experience no longer than a few days. Better still the experience wouldn't disrupt your normal life. If these revelations begin to disrupt your normal life know that they are not from God, they may be the effects of a mental illness, or from evil spirits.

This is the reason priests don't normally teach the mystical underpinnings of the gospel. If they did, they would be introducing us to the activities of spirits. And since in the spiritual world there is no telling when we would run into evil spirits and be misled or harmed, priests seek to protect us from direct contact with spirits, and when we do come into direct contact with spirits the experience is gently explained away.

Priests have a good reason for protecting us from receiving direct revelations from spirits. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would occur in the church if half the congregation began seeing and hearing things that others don't see?

Well meaning as the priests are, we don't need that protection. We need to know the mystical underpining of the gospel in order to understand who is God, and his relevance in our lives. Agreeing with this is why Jesus spoke in parables telling us earthly stories to explain spiritual principles aimed at helping us understand the nature of God, and his relevance in our lives, and letting us know we can have direct relationship with God by worshiping him in spirit and in truth.

Matthew 13:3-23 is one such parables. Jesus told the story about a farmer who went out to sow seed, pointing out that the seed stood for the word of God, and those who hear, understand and apply the word of God in their daily lives would receive the Holy Spirit.

Before I lose you let me say quickly that receiving the Holy Spirit, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a mystical process. In our conscious state of mind, you and I cannot understand this process. To understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we need help from the word of God.

By hearing, reading and practicing the word of God we prepare our souls for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but practicing the word of God is not easy. If it were human relationships would be far better than they are today, and consequently most of the problems we face would have been solved.

Still, practicing the word of God is doable when done on the foundation of love. A love that is willing to give without expecting something in return. I know I've caught your attention because what I'm saying is very seldom done. In the natural course of our lives when we give we expect something in return. For example, when you treat your neighbor kindly, you expect him to treat you kindly in return. If he doesn't you would stop being nice to him.

But the gospel teaches differently. It encourages us to treat our neighbors kindly, regardless whether they treat us kindly or not. This is hard stuff to swallow, and is the reason so many people are unable to practice it in their daily lives. Instead, we practice the dictum: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth which leads to spiritual emasculation and blindness. We are forever hearing but not hearing what matters, and forever seeing but not seeing what matters for our happiness.

Knowing that humankind was headed for disaster is the reason God came in the person of Jesus and lived among us, so that we might receive the Holy Spirit by hearing and practicing the word. By hearing and reading the word, we acquire faith by which we can see God, and strengthen our love for him.

Our love for God can be demonstrated only by practicing his word. And what is the word of God? In the form that matters the most, the word of God is this: love your neighbors as you love yourself, meaning do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you. Loving your neighbors as yourself is the mystical underpinning of the word of God.

If you love your neighbors as you love yourself, you wouldn't accept any revelation that told you to do onto your neighbors what you wouldn't want done onto you. For example, you wouldn't accept as a legitimate revelation to steal your neighbor's property, or take his wife or husband, or do harm to your neighbors, because you wouldn't want your neighbors doing these things to you. The mystery in this spiritual principle is that love opens the door to your soul for the Holy Spirit to live in you, protecting you from been misled or harmed by evil spirits.

By this spiritual principle God has revealed to you and I the mystical underpinning of his word. You don't need a PhD, or a Masters Degree, or even a high school diploma to understand the word of God, and have a direct spiritual relationship with him. Certainly, Jesus and his twelve disciples didn't have PhD and Masters degrees, yet they understood the mystical underpinning of the gospel, and taught it to all who had ears to hear.

To be sure, the word of God is a mystery, but by his grace we now know that by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, we can transform our souls into hospitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit, making us three persons in one, as God is three persons in one; making us children of God, as Jesus is the son of God.

As a child of God, remind yourself daily that the Holy Spirit lives in you. Know that the Holy Spirit will not make you do what you don't want to do. The presence of the Holy Spirit in you, makes available to you God's wisdom and power. It's your choice to use them to create the conditions in which the things you hope for will become real in your life.

If you have questions send them to me for answers. I don't charge for answering your questions. I received the Word freely and freely I give it to you. Meanwhile, read my articles on "The Meaning and Application of Faith."

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