Soul Food

But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”  9 Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe . . . 3 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.  Ezekiel 2:8-3:3 NKJV

In the above text, God gave the priest-prophet Ezekiel a vision of an out stretched hand giving him the Word of God and he was caused to eat it. He opened his mouth and ate it until his stomach was full, and the Word of God was sweet as honey. I call this soul food, i.e., food good for the soul and spirit.

Every since Adam disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, mankind has been on a downward slide of sin, sickness, bondage, and spiritual defeat. Eating caused mankind to be defeated, but eating can also bring great victory in Christ Jesus. It is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit both physically and spiritually. In the same way that the physical body needs natural food, man’s soul and spirit needs soul food. I am not talking about natural soul food like: fried chicken, corn bread, collard greens, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato pie, etc. Spiritually speaking, the Bible symbolizes God’s Word as food and drink, and you are what you eat.

The Word of God is food for the soul with nutritional power to transform one’s life by the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2; Jas. 1:21). Jesus had this in mind when He commanded Peter to feed His lambs and His sheep with “soul food.” In fact, the metric that Jesus used to gauge Peter’s love for Him was his obedience to feed—not natural food but soul food—to His lambs and sheep (John 21:15-17).

Soul food ranges from milk to strong meat (1 Cor. 3: 2-3; Heb. 5:12-14).  Milk is fed to the babes and solid food to the mature in Christ. The apostle Paul admonished and charged Timothy (a young pastor at Ephesus) to preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) —not politics, history, psychology, sociology, or theology. I am reminded of Job’s insatiable hunger for “soul food.” Notwithstanding Job’s severe test and trials, he esteemed God’s Word more than his necessary food (natural food, see Job 23:12).

Unfortunately, much of the preaching and teaching in today’s Church is junk food, leftovers, recycled food rather a fresh Word of God. God wants His people fed and to eat the “whole book of the scroll” as He commanded Ezekiel. The spirit and soul needs soul food, and you are what you eat!

 

 

 

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You Are What You Eat

 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them . . .” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13a NKJV

God commanded the first man (Adam) not to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree (Gen. 2:16-17). Every since Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, mankind has been on a downward slide: our life spans are shortened, we are vulnerable to sickness and disease, and perfect health is the exception rather than the rule, but thank God for Jesus who has given us victory over sickness (Isa. 53:5: 1 Peter 2:24).

Satan wants to steal your health, and he often uses the food that we eat to make us sick. The Serpent got Eve to eat; Eve got Adam to eat and the rest is history. Sin and sickness in the earth began with eating. You are what you eat. It is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit.

So, what is good food? Only God can define what is good for His creation—mankind. After God created man on the sixth day of His creation, God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it” (Gen. 1:29). This diet consisted of vegetables and fruits, grown organically. Much of the food we consume isn’t organic but rather the food is man-made and manufactured with technology, artificial, and genetically modified. Such foods are attributable to many modern day sicknesses and diseases. In fact, more than half of the population in the United States of America is managing or treating a disease with prescription drugs. You are what you eat!

Again, human beings were vegetarians before the Flood but after the Flood, God gave Noah and His family permission to eat meat (Gen. 9:1-3). Why? In the in the post-flood world, undoubtedly, there was a greater need for animal protein in man’s diet due to a loss of nutrients in the soil and changed climate conditions the great Flood caused; and, God emphatically stated man’s dominion over creeping things and things that moved upon the earth (animals). The dominant eats the subdued.

The key to unlock the door to good health, ideal weight, longevity, and vitality is God’s Word—not Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s advice to Eat Right for Your Blood Type. In today’s world, there are many diets ranging from Paleolithic to Vegan, but the best diet is the one that works for you. We are free in Christ Jesus (Rom. 10:4; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1) to eat whatever God has created but it is important to balance our freedom with wisdom in light of God dietary laws as outlined in Leviticus chapter 11. But in Christ, there is only one food rule: “for every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1 Tim. 4:4-5). You are free to eat whatsoever you want, but you are what you eat!

 

 

 

 

The Third Verse

“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” . . . Exodus 20:3-5 NKJV

In the Ten Commandments, God warned His people against the sin of idolatry, i.e., serving or worshipping anything or anyone other than Almighty God Himself (Text). Many Christians—although sincerely ignorant—have made the U.S. national anthem a god or sacred symbol. They seem to conflate the U.S. flag and national anthem with their Christian faith. To do so is idolatry—plain and simple! Not to mention, they are oblivious of the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it affords all citizens to revere or desecrate the flag and the anthem.

Most American citizens, regardless of race, color or ethnicity, will warm-heartedly pledge an allegiance to the flag for which all it stands before and after Slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights movement; notwithstanding the historical imperfections of America and the ongoing struggle to find a more perfect Union. Citizens with a true and honest heart should find the third verse of the national anthem historically problematic and offensive with its painful reminder of America’s dark past—ungodly racist attitudes and discriminatory acts—which are often repeated in this day and time—especially racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Bigots and racists should no longer try to cover-up their “white privilege” and animus against people different from them—in an effort it seems—to assuage their historical guilt and fear of change. Anthem protestors are people simply exercising their First Amendment rights (freedom of speech and expression). Those “so-called” Christians with bigoted and racistic tendencies need to repent and commit themselves to the truth of the Scriptures in the Holy Bible, and juxtapose the third verse of the national anthem against biblical truth and values. Perhaps, then they could have more compassion and understanding for anyone of color who chooses to protest for their just cause during the playing of the historical unjust national anthem.

Pray for those who choose to protest injustices in our country during the playing of the national Anthem.  Respect those who peacefully make a stand for what they believe is right. There is so much propaganda and politicization surrounding the national anthem. Many are not aware that when Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the “song” that was eventually adopted as the U.S. national anthem, the song contained four verses. It is the third verse that brings insult, disrespect, and hurt feelings to the descendants of African slaves. The third verse is as follows:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

You might say: ”I never knew that there was a third verse”, or you may rationalize the problem away by saying, “only the first verse is ever sang anymore.”  But it is still the same old racist song written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner, whose lyrics penned in this “song” enshrines the legacy of slavery. It is not hard to see that the third verse of the U.S. national anthem literally celebrates the deaths of slaves. And, descendants of slaves are still being killed, often times unjustly in America. Where is the outcry of the “so called” Christian Church?

As a Christian, i.e., a follower of Jesus Christ, I am not ignorant of the enemy’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). I refuse to be sincerely ignorant or conscientiously stupid. Let’s not conflate Christian faith with patriotism. To do so is idolatry. Neither should we fail to do what God requires of us all: to seek justice, love mercy, and live in humility (Micah 6:8), and refuse to make unrighteous judgments against oppressed people (Isaiah 11:3).

Everyone under God living in a free country should be at liberty to decide to kneel, sit, or stand during the playing of a national anthem. In light of the third verse in the U.S. national anthem, “[y]our glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). Even though only the first verse is sang nowadays, the third verse is still embedded in the song, lurking behind the scenes. One bad verse of a song can make the whole song unacceptable. So make your decisions about the national anthem and let others make theirs. “Judge not, that you be not judged (Matt. 7:1). Pray rather than judge!

 

 

 

Video Messages Will Be Uploaded Soon

Videos from the series of messages entitled “Victory Over Sickness” will be uploaded soon.

A Picture of Health

[God] said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26  NKJV

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:15  NKJV

When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race and sin brought sickness and death upon Adam and his descendants. Likewise, Jesus Christ’s obedience unto death on the Cross brought life and health to all who believe in God’s Word (Rom. 5: 12, 17, 19).

God’s first conditional promise ever made to Israel, after their redemption from Egypt, was that if they obeyed His Word, He would give them victory over sickness—they would be a “picture of health.”  “Picture of Health” is an Idiom—an expression or the language peculiar to a person or group (Webster). For example, the Apostle Peter said that God’s people in Christ Jesus are “peculiar—distinctive or different from other people not in Christ (1 Peter 2:9). Good health was included among other things in God’s original plan for Israel (see Exodus 19). One of the things that would make Israel “peculiar” was that God would not bring sickness upon them, and if sickness came, He promised to take it away (text above).

The above promise can also be viewed as God’s conditional preventive health plan for His people: “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, He would not bring on you any of the diseases”, but rather He promised to remove the sickness and make you a “picture of health” (Ex. 23:25; Prov. 4:20-22). God heals by faith in His Word and His name (Acts 3:6, 16) and He desires that you be a “picture of health.” A picture is visible and can be seen. By faith in the Word of God and in Jesus’ name, what is your vision for healing? What do you see? Do you see yourself as a “picture of health? God sees in you a “picture of health.”

Jehovah Rapha

And [God] said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you” . . . “So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. 26 No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. Exodus 15:26; 23:25-26 NKJV

When God delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, He revealed Himself to them as Jehovah Rapha—the Lord that heals you—the One who cures, repairs, and makes whole. He promised not to bring sickness on His people, and if sickness came, He further promised to take it away if they “served the Lord” i.e., worshipped Him and did the work of the Lord.

Even if sickness came, God’s promise was two-fold: (1) He would take the sickness away, and (2) fulfill the number of your days. Sickness and disease don’t determine how long you live—but God! Jehovah Rapha gives you victory over sickness to fulfill the number of your preordained days. Man’s life span has increasingly shorten since Adam’s fall except for Methuselah who lived 969 years. Adam lived for 930 years; Moses lived for 120 years; David lived for 70 years; Jesus lived on earth 33 years; and, Paul lived for 66 years. In each case, God fulfilled the number of their days.

Is it always Jehovah Rapha’s will to manifest healing? Well, it certainly was for the man born blind (John 9:1-3). But Paul left his disciple, Trophimus, sick at Miletus (2 Tim. 4:20); and Paul himself lived with a painful infirmity that he described as a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7-10). God manifested healing, as an act of mercy, when another disciple of Paul, Epaphroditus, was sick unto death (Phil 2:25-27). So, is it always God’s (Jehovah Rapha) will to manifest healing? Yes, healing is Jehovah Rapha’s nature and what He promised (Ps. 107:20), but if it seems not, it’s only because He has something better!

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Seven Manifestations of Healing

And [God] said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  Exodus 15:26 NKJV

Many of God’s commandments that He would later give to Israel, during their wilderness wanderings, were purposed to keep His people free of sickness. For example, the dietary laws (Lev. 11), the personal hygiene laws (Lev. 14, 15), and laws against sexual sins (Lev. 18)—all these commandments, ordinances, and statutes were designed to prevent deadly diseases. If Israel obeyed, God promised not to bring any of the diseases on them that He brought on the Egyptians.

Disease is an abnormal bodily condition that impairs the normal functioning of one’s body, manifested with signs and symptoms (Merriam-Webster). So, how does God heal? God heals naturally, spiritually, and supernaturally. He sends His Word to heal and deliver you from the threat of destruction, i.e., the grave and the pit (Ps. 107:20). Sickness and disease have its manifestations, but healing also has, at least, seven manifestations:

The only Source of healing is God–all healing comes from Him. God heals by (1) natural recuperation (Ps. 30:2-3). God designed the human body to heal itself (See Ps. 139:13-16); (2) God also uses medicine as a substance to treat and cure disease (Prov. 17:22; 1 Tim. 5:23); (3) Jesus spoke respectfully of physicians and surgeons being used of God to manifest healing (Matt. 9:12); (4) the laying on of hands, and God promised that the sick would  recover (Mark 16:17-18); the prayer of faith to saved and raised up the sick (Jas. 5:14-15); deliverance from evil spirits of infirmity (Luke 13:10-13); and, miraculously by speaking the Word (Matt. 8:5-10, 13; John 4:46-54). The first three are natural manifestations of healing. The fourth and fifth are spiritual, and the sixth and seventh are miraculous manifestations of healing.  Faith is the common thread that runs through all manifestations of healing.

                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Means, Methods, and Manifestations

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16 NKJV

You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 NKJV

Four times in the Bible that God says: the just shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Does faith in God allow for healthcare practitioners to administer medical care to His people? Are physicians, nurses, surgeons, specialist, and other medical professionals of God? If all things are created by Him and for Him, and for His pleasure, the answers to these questions can be answered in faith, foolishness, or presumption. It is foolish to think that all physicians and medical care professionals aren’t of God; and, it is presumptuous to think that if you have faith, then you will never need medical care. This kind of faith “places God in a box”, at least in your experience. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb.11:6), but faith must be unfeigned, i.e., genuine, sincere, without presumption, or hypocrisy.  Unfeigned faith recognizes that God is all in all (2 Tim. 1:5; Eph. 1:23), and that He alone can heal and is not limited to means, methods, and manifestations.

What does the Bible say about healthcare professionals? Mid-Wives had an acceptable practice in childbirth (Gen. 35:17; 38:28; Ex. 1:17). Both Jesus and Paul spoke respectfully of physicians (Matt. 9:12; Col. 4:14). Furthermore, Proverbs 17:22 says that, “[a] merry heart does good, like a medicine.” Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that medicine is good—not evil. Moreover, physicians are required to swear not to violate the “Hippocratic Oath: “First do no harm.”

In addition to exercising the power of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands, the gifts of healings, and the working of miracles, does God use alternative means and methods to manifest healing? Absolutely (see John 9:1-7) —and some manifestations are gradual (Mark 8:22-25).  Remember, God used a lump of figs to heal King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:4) and Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for a stomach ailment (1 Tim. 5:23; John 1:3). The bottom  line is: what do you sincerely believe? (See Matt. 9:23-30). There is nothing in the Bible that suggest that God is displeased with medical science or various health treatments (James 1:17; John 10:10). Thank God there can be victory over sickness via alternative means, methods, and manifestations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Does God Allow Sickness?

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 ‘Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NKJV

Would God, who is good and loving, allow sickness? When you repent of sin, God’s promise of forgiveness is realized. He delivers you from the eternal consequences of sin; however, He doesn’t promise to undo all of the earthly consequences of sin. Our sin can have physical and mental side effects that cause great suffering, but the question is: why does God allow it?                                                                          

Many believe in sincere ignorance or error that sickness is the result of sin only—not so! The man born blind (John 9) and Lazarus (John 11)—their sickness was allowed so that God’s glory would be manifested. Sickness is often the result of living in a deeply marred fallen world. Yes, some sins may open the door to sickness. In this writer’s view, the primary sources of sicknesses are: sin, Satan, human behavior, and environmental conditions.

God’s first conditional promise made to Israel when He redeemed them from Egypt was that He would not bring sickness on them if they  listen to Him, lived right, gave ear to His commandments, and kept His statutes (Ex. 15:26). Those who contract sickness that have honored God’s conditions—just know that God didn’t do it, but He allowed it. So, does God allow sickness?—Absolutely. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours. His ways “are past finding out (text).

For example, God allowed sickness because of David’s sin (Ps. 38:3-8); to defeat Satanic attacks (Matt. 17:14-18; Luke 13:10-16); to test and refine our faith (Job 2:9; 13:15); to discipline us to be obedient and more dependent on Him (Ps. 119:65-71); for not discerning the Lord’s Body during the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:30); and, as earlier stated, to manifest His glory (John 9 and 11).  We know and trust God’s character, but in sickness we may not fully understand that God is at work for His good and for His glory (Rom. 8:28, 31).In the mist of suffering, God’s purpose isn’t always evident, but one thing is: He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). According to His sovereign purposes, God works according to His perfect will (Prov. 25:2).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Picture of Health

[God] said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26  NKJV

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:15  NKJV

When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race and sin brought sickness and death upon Adam and his descendants. Likewise, Jesus Christ’s obedience unto death on the Cross brought life and health to all who believe in God’s Word (Rom. 5: 12, 17, 19).

God’s first conditional promise ever made to Israel, after their redemption from Egypt, was that if they obeyed His Word, He would give them victory over sickness—they would be a “picture of health.”  “Picture of Health” is an Idiom—an expression or the language peculiar to a person or group (Webster). For example, the Apostle Peter said that God’s people in Christ Jesus are “peculiar—distinctive or different from other people not in Christ (1 Peter 2:9). Good health was included among other things in God’s original plan for Israel (see Exodus 19). One of the things that would make Israel “peculiar” was that God would not bring sickness upon them, and if sickness came, He promised to take it away (text above).

The above promise can also be viewed as God’s conditional preventive health plan for His people: “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, He would not bring on you any of the diseases”, but rather He promised to remove the sickness and make you a “picture of health” (Ex. 23:25; Prov. 4:20-22). God heals by faith in His Word and His name (Acts 3:6, 16) and He desires that you be a “picture of health.” A picture is visible and can be seen. By faith in the Word of God and in Jesus’ name, what is your vision for healing? What do you see? Do you see yourself as a “picture of health? God sees in you a “picture of health.”

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