Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Are all disasters or sickness caused by sin?

Now and then, we may hear in some Christian circles,
… ‘prophetic’ proclamations of God’s judgment because of some sin,Grace judgement
… or statements correlating a disaster or humiliation with some sin or ‘sin’,
… or some spiritual cause  for some sickness or issues.
A case of Cause-and-Effect.

Interestingly, in most cases when this happens… its usually someone else’s sin, rather than one’s very own.
Imagine what would happen to us, if God reacted like that each time we sin in thought or deed?

Analyzing cause-and-effect is a common, and is a helpful problem solving tool.
However, in some cases by looking for external factors to solve personal issues, … this may influence the human desire for change, or taking responsibility of the issue.

So … what does the Bible say?

Is this premise or assumption always true?

 


In the Bible,  we find that God’s forgiveness of our sins is freely available through the blood of Jesus, however, this does not entirely shield us from the consequences of our sin or bad decision/action.  For example, for the case of David & Bathsheba, God forgave David, however he had to bear the consequences.

Beyond Adam’s sin that introduced sin into the world,
in the Bible,
some disasters or sickness is a consequence of human sin/disobedience
… but not all.

In Exodus, Pharoah did not let Israel leave slavery in Egypt.  As he hardened his heart, … God sent plagues upon the land, but preserved Goshen where the Israelites lived.

Here’s another 2 Bible examples:

2 Chronicles 26:16-21 (NIV)
16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.”

19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him.

21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.

Uzziah’s role/ministry or anointing was king, not priest.  When he presumptously tried to power himself into the role of priest in the temple, it resulted in serious consequences.

We need to know and respect the limits of our role/ministry, anointing.

On a further note.
Perhaps, after King Uzziah’s irreverent and prideful act in the temple, … it was only when he died, that Isaiah recorded this experience in the temple  …

Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV)
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

In the New Testament – Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).

Acts 5:3-5, 9,10(NIV)
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

 


How about the well-known example – Sodom?

Consider Abraham’s intecession for the city, and God’s response

Genesis 18:23-26, 32 (NIV)
23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”

We do not know the size of the population of Sodom,
but
if there were 10 righteous people in the whole city,
God would not have destroyed the city for the sake of the 10 righteous.
(If the population was greater than 1,000, 10 would be less than 1% of the population)

Sadly, there were less than 10 righteous people in Sodom.
Nevertheless,
God did hear Abraham’s intercession,

Genesis 30:29 (NIV)
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.

 


So, …..
are ALL disasters and sickness caused by sin?


 

Jesus said,

Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)
… for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Luke 6:35,36
… For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

In Acts, there are 2 prophecies given by the prophet Agabus.

Acts 11:27-30 (NIV)
27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

In this prophecy, Agabus predicted a famine, an impending disaster on the Roman world.
No cause or reason was given.
No sin or repentance was mentioned.
(although there was wickedness and idolatory in the Roman world.)

Rather, … the disciples made practical preparations for it.

In the Old Testament, Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream and predicted an impending famine (Genesis 41).
No cause or reason was given.
No sin or repentance was mentioned.
(although there was wickedness and idolatory in Egypt.)

Rather, … Joseph led Egypt to make practical preparations for it.

The second prophecy given by Agabus,

Acts 21:10,11 (NIV)
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”

Agabus gave a personal prophecy to Paul, a righteous apostle faithfully serving the Lord.
Something terrible and unjust was going to happen to Paul.
No cause or reason was given by the prophet Agabus.

1 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV)
For we know in part and we prophesy in part

In both instances, Agabus, a true prophet, only spoke what the Lord showed him.  He did not add to God’s prophetic word.

For Job, his sufferings and the disasters upon his family was not caused by his sin, and other reasons as alluded by his friends.
God testified about Job “… There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job 1:8 (NIV)
In the end, Job was vindicated, restored, and God blessed him.
His friends were rebuked.

Consider …
when Jesus was on earth, he spoke prophecies about Israel,
but, He did not prophesy against the occupiers, the Romans.

In the Old Testament, the Lord mercifully shepherded the children of Israel, in spite of them straying from Him and His ways.

Psalm 106:43-46 (NIV)
43 Many times he delivered them,
    but they were bent on rebellion
    and they wasted away in their sin.
44 Yet he took note of their distress
    when he heard their cry;
45 for their sake he remembered his covenant
    and out of his great love he relented.
46 He caused all who held them captive
    to show them mercy.

Lamentations 3:31-33 (NIV) 
31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

 


Jesus explains it this way, when asked about suffering and disasters

Luke 13:1-5 (NLT)
 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple.

“Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. Is that why they suffered?
Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.

And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem?
No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”

Jesus used 2 examples — an unjust massacre & a tragic accident.
Jesus answer — it was not caused by the sin of those who suffered (worst sinners).
Irregardless, what’s important is … get right with God now!
unless you repent, you will perish, too

Note also, Jesus emphasised this, by speaking it twice.

On a further note …
in this account, the incident of Pilate the Roman governor of Judea murdering the Galileans was common knowledge.  Jesus was silent on the morality of Pilate’s act.

John 3:17 (NKJV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.

Later, Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilate for trial, where He revealed Himself personally to Pilate.  In the trial, Pilate concluded 3 times — “I find no fault in Him” (John 18:38, 19:4,6), despite the searing accusations hurled against Jesus.
There were no accusations about Jesus’ remarks on Pilate or the Romans.
He was blameless, sinless.
Finally, Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified because he claimed to be the Son of God (John 19:7) 

In another situation, when asked about sickness, Jesus answered this way,

John 9:1-3, 6,7 (NLT)
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind?
Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered.
“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes.He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

why was this man born blind?
Interestingly,
while they were analysing about cause-and-effect,
(focusing on the problem).
no one asked Jesus for healing.

Jesus acted by healing the man — “do the works of him who sent me”

By faith, the man simply obeyed Jesus, he went and washed and came back seeing!

What’s important is … Jesus healed the man!
so the power of God could be seen in him

The focus is not the problem
… but always the solution — Jesus.
“I am the light of the world.”

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me … I am the light of the world.

1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power

On a further note …
To the question, “Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
Jesus said “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins”
Not his own sin.
Not the sin of his parents or ancestors, … i.e. not generational causes.

Furthermore, Jesus did not condemn anyone in this account.

Please also read Ezekiel 18.

In the healing miracles of Jesus & His disciples in the Gospels & Acts, the focus was always on Jesus power over sickness and demons,
(instead of long interviews of person’s history or ancestry.)

Interestingly, in the healing of the blind man in John 9, he received healing first before he knew who Jesus was.  God’s grace and mercy.
In the account, he was  healed, …. then, his healing was thoroughly investigated by the religious leaders.

John 9:1 7 (NLT)
17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”
The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.”

After he was released by the religious leaders,
he met Jesus again.

John 9:35-39 (NLT)
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

 

Let’s also consider the healing of the boy who had a deaf and dumb spirit in the book of Mark, chapter 9,

Mark 9:21 (NIV)
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Although the father informed Jesus that it was from childhood that his son had the problem, Jesus did not investigate further what caused the affliction during his childhood, or the child’s history.

Jesus encouraged the father to put his faith in His authority and power,
“Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Then, J
esus rebuked the impure spirit
the spirit
 came out … the boy stood up. 

Focus on Jesus,
and listen to His wisdom and direction.
“Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
Jesus replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Right at the beginning of the book of Mark (chapter 1), Mark records,
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed.

(Mark 1:35 NIV)

Prayer is paramount.

Let’s read an example from the Old Testament.
There was a period when Elijah stayed with a widow, and God miraculously supplied their daily needs.

1 Kings 17:17-22 (NKJV)
17 Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?”

Tragedy struck, the widow’s only son died.
She thought it was her fault, … i.e. her sin brought the calamity of sickness and death.

19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” 21 And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” 22 Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.

Instead of diagnosing or analysing what sin the woman had committed,
Elijah brought the matter straight to the Lord.  “Give me your son.”
Like Jesus in the earlier story, Elijah did not condemn her or her son for any sin.

Elijah cried out to the Lord three times,
and the Lord heard the voice of Elijah.
By the Lord’s grace and mercy, the boy revived, was raised from the dead.
Praise the Lord!

Hence, persevering prayer to the Lord is our focus,
as we depend on Him to intervene, by His grace.

 


In conclusion, be careful,
Correlation does not imply causation
(a phrase used in statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other – Wikipedia),

Truth = what does the whole Bible say ?
(beyond just a verse here or there)

Let’s be led by the Holy Spirit and His word, trusting in His power,
and not rely on our pre-conceived assumptions,
formulas, recipes, one-size-fits-all methodologies, special prayers, etc,
when we minister to others in truth, love and compassion,  like Jesus.

Let’s not be like Job’s three friends.

Romans 8:14 (NASB)
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Our focus is Jesus.

John 3:17 (NKJV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.


Footnote.
In science, causation has to be proven by evidence-based statistical analysis of data, suitable data sample sizes, reproducible, and peer-reviewed.  Not based on anecdotes or one’s own personal experience (sample size of one).


  Prophecy Stepping Stones

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
June 1, 2015
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License

 

 


 

Advertisements

Information

This entry was posted on June 1, 2015 by in Daily Rice, Ministering Spirit & Truth, Prophecy, Stepping Stones.

Blog Stats

  • 11,351 views from 105 countries
Albania Armenia  Australia Austria Bangladesh Barbados Bahamas Bahrain Belgium Belize  Bolivia  Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana  Brazil  Brunei Bulgaria  Canada  Chile  China Croatia Curacao Cyprus Czech Denmark Egypt Estonia Ethiopia  European Union Fiji Finland France  Georgia  Germany  Ghana  Grenada Guatemala  Guyana Honduras Hong Kong SAR Hungary India  Indonesia  Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan  Jordan  Kenya Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia  Lebanon Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malaysia Malawi Malta  Mauritius Mexico Montenegro Mozambique Myanmar (Burma)  Namibia Nepal Netherlands  New Zealand  Nigeria  Norway Papua New Guinea  Oman Pakistan Peru  Philippines  Poland Puerto Rico  Qatar  Romania Russia Rwanda  Saudi Arabia  Serbia  Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Africa  South Korea Spain Sri Lanka  St Vincent & Grenadines Swaziland  Sweden  Switzerland Taiwan  Tanzania Thailand Trinidad & Tobago  Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom  United States  Uzbekistan  Venezuela Vietnam  Zambia  Zimbabwe

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: