Revision June 1, 2005


In Christ

There is

Salvation, Healing, Deliverance, Protection, and Blessing




This book shows God’s love and plan for us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. In Christ we can receive salvation, which is the forgiveness of our sins and the joy of eternal life with God. Our Lord has provided for us the power of healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing.  In the beginning of this book, I will share my miraculous testimony of how I was taught the message of salvation. We will examine the word “sozo” to discover the power of healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing that Jesus has provided for us. We will examine the words of the prophet Isaiah which reveal the wonders of the cross.  At the end of the book, we will look more closely at healing and what the word “faith” means to those who believe. 


Regardless of whether you have never read the Bible, read it cover to cover, or may be just part of it; this book is written for you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will quicken your heart as you read.


Dedicated to our Lord and Savior -- Jesus Christ


by Allan Eich






Table of Contents




  1. Introduction


  1. Salvation -- Our Testimony


  1. What Christ Has Done -- Understanding the word “sozo” through Luke chapter 8


  1. Who Christ Is -- According to Isaiah chapter 53


  1. The Transfer of the Cross


  1. A Focus on Healing


  1. Faith of the Heart









Chapter 1



In Christ there is Salvation, Healing, Deliverance, Protection, & Blessing


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)


Most people would say the most famous and quoted scripture verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It is usually one of the first Bible verses taught in Sunday school. If you have watched professional football on TV then you  probably noticed a fan holding a sign that reads -- John 3:16. Of all the Bible verses, this single verse probably best describes the essential message of the Bible.  The words in this verse were spoken by Jesus and thus they have the power to convey the important message of life. This verse says that God, the Creator of the universe, loves us. 


God loves you and me so much that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us so that we could be forgiven for our sins and have eternal life. This is an awesome and marvelous message that is available to all who call upon the name of Jesus to be their personal Lord and Savior.  Even though this is the greatest gift, there is even more that God has for us through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. In addition to the wonderful gift of forgiveness and eternal life; there is also the power for healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing.  Through Jesus we can be healed physically, mentally, and spiritually; we can be delivered from oppression and addiction; we can be protected from harm and blessed beyond imagination.


The best word that describes what Jesus did on the cross for us is “sozo.”  The New Testament part of the Bible was written in Greek and the Greek word “sozo” is interpreted to mean to save, to heal, to deliver, to protect.  Sozo” is found in the New Testament over one hundred times. When we read about being saved, being healed, being made whole, being delivered from demonic possession, being protected; the actual original word in Greek is “sozo.” I have to admit that I don’t know Greek or any other language other than English. In fact, in high school I did rather poorly in my foreign language classes. However this Greek word, “sozo” is the most wonderful word and best describes what Jesus has provided for us.


If we return to the John 3:16 passage and read the next verse, we will find the word “saved” which in the Greek language is “sozo.”


For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,

but to save (sozo) the world through Him. (John 3:17)


What does it mean to be saved? Each one of us has made mistakes in life, and we will undoubtedly make more mistakes. We are all guilty of sin, which is following the wrong path away from God. Not one of us is perfect; we all make mistakes. Therefore we are all guilty of sinning and thus judgment for our actions. However, if we repent of our sins and believe in our heart that Jesus died on the cross for our sins; we can be forgiven. By receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are saved and given the gift of eternal life with Him through His grace and mercy.


Salvation is having a personal relationship with God. A fundamental step in getting to know God is reading His Word -- the Bible.  Reading the Bible builds faith.  Faith is trusting in the Lord.  Here is how I as a pilot, look at trusting the Lord and reading the Bible.


I have always wanted to be a pilot. I started taking flying lessons at age fifteen before I learned to drive a car. I was an Air Force pilot for six years and an airline pilot for the next twenty years. I started to teach flying in college as a flight instructor and later became an instructor/examiner in the US Air Force and with my airline. The number one rule that is taught while flying on instruments in bad weather is: “Don’t panic. Trust your instruments, not your feelings.”  Flying by the feelings in your body in bad weather can lead to disaster. Incorrect senses in our inner ear which provide a sense of balance will cause vertigo.  A pilot with vertigo (spatial disorientation) who is flying in the clouds may feel like he is in level flight yet he may be in a graveyard spiral. As a result, pilots are trained to ignore what they feel and trust their flight instruments. Reading the flight instruments in a plane is very much like reading the words in the Bible. As a pilot, you must trust what read on your instrument panel, not what you feel. Like a pilot, a believer must read their Bible and trust what they read, not rely on what they feel. Trusting in God’s words in the Bible are especially critical during the “bad weather” times in our lives.  When you go through that bad weather, remember to trust in God. Read His words and don’t rely on your feelings.




In the next several pages, we will look at trusting in the Lord and committing to Him. I will share our testimony and further explain the phrase “being saved”-- the salvation message.  Then we will look at the healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing that is available for us through Jesus who died on the cross for us.


Scripture to Meditate Upon

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

(Proverbs 3:3-6)





















Chapter 2


Our Testimony

This is a short story and testimony of events and miracles that changed our lives. My name is Allan and my wife’s name is Susan. I am an airline pilot who was raised as a Protestant (Presbyterian) and my wife is a nurse who was raised as a Catholic. We dedicate this testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ, who loves us all. 


Our story begins in the fall of 1996 when I was asked to teach a Bible Study class on the book of Revelation in our Presbyterian church. During that particular time in my life, I had not been reading the Bible regularly and my prayer time involved only an occasional prayer before bed. However as I prepared for teaching the Revelation class, I started to get back into Bible Study and started praying regularly. Wonderful things started happening, which is not unusual when you read the Bible and pray regularly. God started to show me things through coincidences. Coincidences are occurrences that happen by accident but seem to have some connection to each other. But these occurrences were not by accident - God was causing them. My wife, Susan, refers to these events as “God-cidences.”  Perhaps you too have experienced “God-cidences” in your life.


Several “God-cidences” occurred for me during and after the Revelation Bible class. For example, on Sunday morning, Susan and I were driving to church and I told her that several weeks ago I believed that God was only occasionally involved in our daily lives. I would have guessed that perhaps 10% of the time God was guiding us and the other 90% of the time the events in our lives just happened by chance. Now, however, my attitude had changed, and I believed that I had the numbers reversed. It may be more accurate to say that God was involved in 90% of our lives and that only 10% of the time things were by chance. I mentioned to her that the phrase “small world” implied coincidence, but I didn’t believe in mere coincidence any more. To me the phrase “small world” now meant that God was involved in our lives and that He was making things happen. God is in control and He has a plan for each one of us. I continued to talk with my wife about the phrase “small world” until we arrived at church. The church service began and it was just a few minutes into the sermon when the minister stated, “Oh, isn’t it a small world?” Throughout the sermon he continually used that “small world” phrase just as Susan and I had done while driving to church that morning. It is a small world and now when I hear that phrase, I know that God is doing something and we need to take notice because He is involved in our lives.


After the church service I noticed a display of free pamphlets near the church library. The pamphlets covered various subjects such as communion, baptism, and the Holy Spirit. Our church rarely talked about the Holy Spirit. I knew the Father as the Creator and the Son as Jesus, but I didn’t know very much about the Holy Spirit. So I took a pamphlet about the Holy Spirit home and read it. It talked about the way that the Holy Spirit works within us to comfort, guide and teach us. The Holy Spirit can help us with relationships with others, help us to pray, and empower us with gifts to help others. The pamphlet listed the fruit of the Spirit (characteristics of the Spirit) which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22).


Later that evening, Susan and our kids went to the church for a senior high youth program. I was not usually involved with this youth program because of my weekend schedule as a pilot. After a little while, Susan called from the church saying that the regular youth teacher had to leave and asked if I would come to the church and finish the lesson. I replied that I would be right over. I picked up the pamphlet about the Holy Spirit and prayed that I didn’t know what their lesson was about tonight but that we might talk about the Holy Spirit. Our church rarely teaches on the Holy Spirit and I wanted to share with the kids what I had just learned about the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit.  As I entered the classroom, I was amazed that the teacher who I was replacing was listing the fruit of the Spirit on the blackboard: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  I had no doubt about this connection or God-cidence.  I knew that I was there to continue this lesson for the Holy Spirit. God does show us things, sometimes through God-cidences. So many times we miss noticing those events or we just casually ignore them. We need to watch for those God-cidences and “small world” happenings because usually God is showing us something.



Several days later, in the Revelation Bible Study class, a member of the class whose name is Richard asked what it meant to be “born again.” He questioned the meaning of being “born again” and told the class that he had always felt that he knew God during his whole life. Richard said that if someone had followed God’s laws, been an active member of the church including work as a deacon and elder, and led a good life; then why would there be a reason to be “born again?”  The terms “born again,” “reborn” and “spiritual rebirth” didn’t make any sense to him.  Richard made the statement that he believed Jesus to be God’s son and saw no reason to be “born again.” Various class members commented on Richard’s question, but I failed as the teacher to provide Richard with a meaningful answer about being “born again” and salvation. During the next week, I would be led to a better understanding of salvation so that Richard’s question could be properly answered.


Over that weekend, I was called out to fly a trip to San Diego, California. On my layover I did something that I had never done before - I went to church while on a trip away from home. Some marvelous things happened for me at that Pentecostal San Diego church. During the service, I learned some wonderful praise songs and I went forward for the first time during an altar call because I had questions about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 


After returning home, I told my wife about all that had happened in the San Diego church. Then the night before our Wednesday night Revelation Bible study class something happened for Susan and I that had never occurred before. In the middle of the night, Susan woke up and sat straight up in our bed.  She said, “Wake up; I have a message from God for you.” I sat up next to my normally reserved wife as she spoke decisively and with authority. She told me about a message from God for me. Never before had Susan told me that she had a message from God for me. Several months ago, I might have been skeptical about God giving her such a message. In fact I would have probably told her it was just a dream. Or I might have said, “What are you talking about? I don’t hear or see any one.” However in the weeks prior to that night, I had been having an awaking in my relationship with God (many God-cidences); therefore a message from God through my wife was not a total surprise. So instead of questioning her, I just believed and had faith in what she told me. She said that God told her that I had blown it in class last week and failed to answer Richard’s question about being “born again.” I needed to explain being “born again” and the message of salvation to Richard because it was important for him to hear it. Never before had Susan ever told me that she had a message from God for me. She said that God had spoken to her, but not in a dream nor with an audible voice that she heard with her ears. She heard Him in some special way inside her. She was absolutely certain that it was God speaking to her, and I had no doubt either that God was indeed sending us a message. This was all new to both of us, but we believed.


The next morning, I called and visited several people to learn more about being “born again.” One of the friends that I turned to was Irma who runs an outreach rescue ministry in the inner city. She helps people turn away from alcohol, drugs, and crime then turns them towards the Lord. She helped me understand the meaning of being “born again.” Later that night, at the Revelation Bible Study class, I explained to about twenty-five fellow Presbyterians that God had told Susan to tell me that I needed to properly answer Richard’s question about being “born again.” This was an unusual thing to say in our church, but the class accepted my explanation and everyone, including Richard, listened carefully to the salvation message. That night Richard told his wife that for the first time in his life, he knew what it meant to be “born again” and how to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.


Four days later, on Sunday, November 10th, I discovered the reason for having to talk about being “born again” with Richard. To our surprise, Richard died suddenly of congestive heart failure. God loved him so much that He sent other people into his life so that Richard would know the most important message in life, the message of salvation, before he died. From that experience we all learned about being born again including me. Thankfully Richard had received Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior before his death and is now with the Lord.


The Message


I want to share with you what I have learned about being born again. The phrase “born again” comes from the beginning of the third chapter of the gospel of John in the Bible. This is what Jesus tells a man named Nicodemus:  


I tell you the truth; no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. (John 3:3)


We are all born physically once, but we must also be born of the Spirit to see the kingdom of God. We become born again when we commit (trust, ask, accept) Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In this same chapter that Jesus talks about being born again, is the most quoted scripture of the Bible - John 3:16. It says that God loves each of us so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that each one of us can be forgiven of our sins and given eternal life.  


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that who shall ever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)


The word “believes” is a very powerful word that can mean different things to various people.  For example, what do I mean when I say that I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son? Perhaps a different perspective would provide a better understanding of the word “believes.”  Consider the statement that Satan believes (knows) that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. So what is the difference between Satan believing and us as Christians believing? The difference is that even though Satan knows and believes that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, he does NOT ask and accept Christ into his life.  It is one thing to believe something with just our mind; and it is a completely different thing to believe with our heart (your spirit).  Anyone can believe with their mind, including Satan.  The important difference is that we can ask and accept Jesus into our lives. In the  John 3:16 passage, the word “believes” means that we trust Christ and ask Him into our lives and commit to Him as our Lord and Savior. Once we ask and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are saved (salvation) and are given eternal life. Jesus was born into this world for us. He died on the cross as the sacrificial lamb (the Lamb of God) so that we could be forgiven for our sins. This is what John the Baptist said when he saw Jesus coming toward him,


Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  (John 1:29)


Sins are the things that we do wrong that cause us to be apart from God. It is by God’s forgiveness (grace) that we can be saved through Jesus Christ, our Savior (the one who saves us). We have all sinned, none of us is perfect. So God gave us a Savior who takes away our sins. We can NOT work our way to Heaven with just good deeds.  We are saved through Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.  If we could just lead good lives to save our selves then why did Jesus die on the cross? Reason: God’s grace and mercy. Jesus paid the price for our sin. Being “saved” or being “reborn” is a phrase that means we trust, ask and accept Christ into our lives and that we are spiritually reborn. This is the beginning of a personal relationship with God. At first, we may not experience “lights from heaven” but our lives will change as we walk and talk with Him.


A personal relationship with God means that we talk to Him in prayer and know Him through the Bible but most importantly that we love Him. Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love God:


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all  your mind.

    This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as

     yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.  (Mat. 22:37)


What does it mean to love God? Consider the following analogy. How would you feel if you asked someone to marry you and this was their reply: “Yes, I’ll marry you, but I don’t want any of the heart-felt emotion of love. I just what to be practical and logical. I will work with you faithfully, take care of the house with you, and help you raise a family. I will serve you, but don’t ask me to have an intimate personal relationship with you or to love you.”  That is not the type of relationship that most of us would want nor is it the type of relationship that God wants with us. God wants our love more than anything else we could possibly give Him. Then, because we love Him, we will serve Him.  Our faith must go beyond what we believe; it must be a dynamic part of all that we do. Our salvation does NOT depend on our good works; however through our relationship with the Lord good works should be a result. 


Consider our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us as we have a relationship with our own children. As parents what we want most from my own children is their love. There isn’t really anything that they could do or give us that we could not do or get for ourselves. What we really desire is their love. Our children could serve us but actually care less about us or even hate us. They could just serve us so that we will feed them and buy them things. But what we really want from them is their love, not just their service. God is our Heavenly Father and He wants our love more than anything else that we could possibly give Him.


Instead of finding God with just your hands or mind, come to Him with all your heart.  Come to the Lord with an open, surrendered, childlike heart and ask to become closer to Him. Christian faith is all about love. It is NOT about being religious and following certain rules. If you go to a church that is wonderful but just going to church doesn’t necessarily mean that you have accepted the Lord with all your heart. Christian faith is all about having a personal, loving relationship with God. It is about a first time commitment (accepting Him as our Savior) and a life time relationship (following Him as our Lord). Salvation is God’s gift to us, but we need to each accept that gift individually. We accept His gift with a prayer and by asking Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.



All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.   (Acts 2:21, Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13)


The Rev. Billy Graham’s book, The Holy Spirit, offers these words under the title of “How to Become Born Again”. “How do you accept this gift? Acceptance is by a simple act of faith in which you say ‘Yes’ to Christ. If you have never accepted Christ into your life, I invite you to do it now before another minute passes. Simply tell God you are a sinner and you are sorry for your sins. Tell Him that you believe Jesus Christ died for you, and that you want to give your life to Him right now to follow and serve Him as Lord the rest of your life.” A prayer from your own heart is the best, but this is an example of such a prayer:


Dear God,

I confess that I am not perfect and that I have sinned. I repent of my sins and ask you to forgive me and change me. I accept Jesus Christ into my life and believe in my heart that He is my Lord and Savior.  I commit my life to you. I ask for the Holy Spirit to be with me and guide me…


Talk to Him. He loves you. Ask Him into your life and love Him with all your heart. Ask & Love.

Read His book. It is the number one best seller. Find other Christians who love the Lord.

There is nothing more important in your life than having a relationship with God.


Share the message. ARE   4/2005



Scripture to Mediate Upon

God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.  We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  (1 John 4:8-16)





Chapter 3

What Christ Has Done

SOZO - From the Eighth Chapter of Luke


The New Testament part of our English Bibles is a translation of the original scrolls that were written in Greek about 2000 years ago. “Sozo” is the Greek word that means to save, to heal, to deliver, to protect, and to bless. This word is so important because it shows what Jesus has provided for us. You have probably heard the phrase that “Jesus Saves.”  Well, the word “saves” in Greek is “sozo.” We will see that this one single word describes the wonderful things that Jesus provided for us by His death on the cross.  I will use the eighth chapter in the Gospel according to Luke to illustrate how the word “sozo” is used in the scripture.  Notice in this one single chapter how the word “sozo” is used to mean to save, to heal, to deliver, to protect, and to bless. Therefore Jesus’ sacrificial death provides not only spiritual salvation and eternal life; but also physical and mental healing; deliverance from demonic oppression and possession; protection against the storms of life; and the removal of the curses against us thus providing blessing.


Here is a preview of the stories in Luke chapter 8 and how the word “sozo” is used. In the parable of the four soils, Jesus talks about being “saved spiritually” or salvation, which is the Greek word “sozo.” In the story of Jesus calming the storm, his disciples cry out be “physically saved” or rescued from the storm. Again, the original Greek word for being rescued is “sozo.”  When Jesus delivers the man from the legion of demons, the words “the possessed man had been cured” literally is translated to mean “sozo.” When the woman touches Jesus’ robe and she is instantly healed, the word “healed” is actually “sozo.” When Jaruis’ daughter is raised from the dead by Jesus, the phrase “she was healed” is translated from the word “sozo.”  The miraculous power of Jesus on the cross is summed up in a single word -- “sozo.” 

This miraculous powers of healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing are available to us today, just as salvation or being born again are available now.  Jesus saves (sozo).


Luke Chapter 8

This chapter is a good example of the story of Jesus’ ministry and his message. Since there are several important themes in this chapter, we will review this chapter more thoroughly. The chapter begins with by  identifying some of the followers of Jesus.



The Good News

Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.


Notice that in addition to the twelve men, there are several women who are with Jesus as well.  Jesus’ followers were not only men, but women as well. In fact, one of those women who is mentioned is Mary Magdalene.  She was the first person to see Jesus at the tomb on the day of His resurrection. It wasn’t Peter or John who first saw Jesus, -- it was Mary Magdalene. This is significant since women were not treated equally with men during that time. Yet, she was the one who Christ first appeared after his resurrection from the dead. Jesus didn’t first appear to a great king, but to a common woman who believed. So no matter who you are, Jesus can reveal himself to you just as He did to Mary. Never underestimate God’s love for you.


Parable of the Four Soils 

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."  


The parable of the four soils is found not only in Luke 8:4, but also in Matthew 13:1 and Mark 4:1. Parables compare something familiar to something unfamiliar. Parables compare the known to the unknown. Many times parables compare something in the physical world to something in the spiritual world. Jesus taught in parables to compel the listener to think and to conceal the truth from those who are too stubborn or prejudice to hear what is being taught. In the parable of the four soils, we see that Jesus is talking about four different people and how they respond to God’s message of the good news. It may also be a parable about just one person and four different phases or times in his or her life.


When He said this, He called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." His disciples asked Him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'  


In this passage, Jesus tells us to listen carefully. He quotes one of the most famous prophets in the Old Testament -- Isaiah. This passage comes from Isaiah, Chapter 6, verse 9-10 where the Lord says: "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused (hardened); they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” 


Some people hear only with their ears; some listen with their minds to find reasons not to believe; and others listen with their heart because they have faith and truly want to grow with the Lord. As we continue to read this chapter, ask the Lord to give you faith to spiritually see, to spiritually hear, and know in your heart that His words are true. Also keep in mind the last sentence -- that those who want to see, hear, and understand - - they would be healed.


The Explanation by Jesus

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.


Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil (Satan) comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved (sozo -- salvation).


Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.


The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

(Mark 4:18 says the “worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things.”)


But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.


There are four choices available to us when hearing the word from God:

  • We can allow the Devil (Satan) to steal the word of God away from us by not believing Jesus in our heart. Notice the word “saved” in that passage.  It is the Greek word “sozo,” to save which refers to salvation.  
  • We can believe for a while but when testing comes, there are no roots -- no solid foundation, thus we fall away. I feel the word “believe” in this sentence is referring to believing with only some “head” knowledge instead of  “heart” knowledge.  Head knowledge is acknowledging in your mind that Jesus exists. That isn’t a foundation, but it is a beginning.  Heart knowledge is knowing, trusting, committing, and loving Jesus as Lord and Savior. That is a solid foundation that a personal relationship is built upon. Notice the passage does not say if testing occurs, but when testing occurs.  We all have tests. How are we handling our tests in our lives and are we using the Word to water our roots in Jesus?
  • We can be so consumed with life’s worries and pleasures, that we do not mature as Christians.  Notice that we are not to worry. We either trust in Him and leave the worries to Him or we don’t trust Him and worry.  Consider the pleasures of life that consume us -- there is nothing wrong with pleasure, the Lord wants us to be happy. But is the pleasure more important than God?  Is it replacing God as your focus in life? Also notice that worries and pleasures do not allow us to mature.  This would be like the lukewarm Christian or church as talked about in the Book of Revelation (3:14) which is the church of Laodicea. Jesus doesn’t want a lukewarm church or a lukewarm Christian. He says, “Because you are lukewarm -- neither hot or cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”  There is no middle ground with God.  He is either first in your life (hot) or he is not (lukewarm or cold).
  • Finally, we can hear the word with a noble and good heart and thus produce a good crop for God.  Notice that we hear with our heart.  The heart represents love. The heart also represents the spirit. Thus we hear in love through the Spirit what the Lord is saying to us and thus produce a good crop for Him.


Listen Carefully for God’s Message for You

"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."


Allow me to repeat part if this scripture again - -“consider carefully how you listen.”  This means that we are to listen in faith that God is speaking to us. I believe that explains the next sentence which at first may not sound correct. Let me paraphrase -- Those who have, will be given more; those who do not have, yet they think they have, even that will be taken away. It sounds like the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. I believe that is the correct interpretation but it is not about money; it is about faith. Those who have faith and use it, get more faith. Those who do not have faith will continue to be poor in faith. Therefore we should listen in faith and use our faith or it will be taken away.

Jesus’ True Family

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see Him, but they were not able to get near Him because of the crowd. Someone told Him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."


Mathew 12:46 says, “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” I think that defines the members of Jesus’ family -- those who do the will of the Father in heaven are part of His family.  As a side note, the Bible names Jesus’ family members.  Joseph and Mary had other children to raise besides Jesus. His four brothers are Joseph, who would be known as Joseph Junior in our day; James, who wrote the book of James in the Bible; Simon not to be confused with Simon Peter the apostle; and Judas who is known as Jude who wrote the book of Jude in the Bible. Their names are found in Mathew 13:53 and Mark 6:3.  (The Bible also briefly mentions Jesus’ sisters, but no names are given.)


Jesus Calms the Storm

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, He fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"


In Matthew 8:25 the disciples cry out: “Lord, save us (sozo)! We’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" He asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him."


Notice the phrase “save us” from Matthew 8:25. In the Greek Bible, the word “sozo” means to protect. They are asking the Lord to help them and protect them from the storm. During the storms in our life, we have two options; we can worry or we can trust in the Lord.  Confess our need for God and trust that He will take care of us. Faith is completely trusting the Lord. Ask Him to help you.


Lord, Help (Sozo) Me

I remember a time when I cried out, ‘Lord, help me.”  It was in April of 1971 when I was taking one of my first solo flights and almost my last. I know the month because pilots are required to keep a log book of their flying times and I still have my first log book.  I had soloed a Cessna 150 airplane at the age of sixteen on April 10th, 1971. The day of the first solo flight usually consists of a few trips around the airport traffic pattern with the flight instructor.  It is his last chance to make sure that you can safely take-off and land. For one of the landings, he usually simulates an engine failure by bringing the throttle to idle and wants to see you glide in for a landing. If all goes well, the instructor has you park the airplane and he signs your student pilot license stating that you can fly solo. Then it is off into the wild blue yonder by yourself.  It is exciting as you depart the ground and soar into the sky knowing that it is all up to you now.  The normal procedure is to perform three takeoffs and landings alone, which now qualifies you as one of the few people who can fly.


The next day, my flight instructor sent me out to the practice area by myself to do some air work such as   stalls. A stall is a maneuver that pilots practice that involves raising the airplane’s nose (angle of attack) to stall the wing so that it stops creating lift.  A stall is not about the engine stopping, it is about reducing the lift on the wing. Once I flew into my practice area, I set up to practice stalls.  I reduced my airspeed and raised the nose to enter the stall. Once the pilot hears the stall warring in the cockpit and feels the buffeting on the wings; he recovers by lowering the nose while keeping the wings level and adding power.  But it didn’t happen that way when I did it by myself. 


When I felt the buffeting from the stall, I used the yoke (steering wheel) in an effort to keep the wings level instead of using the rudder pedals with my feet.  I didn’t know that moving the yoke and ailerons on the wing were ineffective. The correct way to keep the wings level was to use my feet on the rudder pedals.  As the airplane started to roll, I added full power as I was taught and then tried to lower the nose. But the torque from applying the power turned the airplane upside down and I entered into a spin.  I had never seen a spin much less had any idea how to recover from one. The plane was spinning rapidly to the left with full power and pointed down toward the ground. To put it mildly, I was in a lot of trouble. 


If you have ever been in a life and death situation, you may recall that time seems to slow down as your mind wonders on odd thoughts. I recall thinking about our normal family dinner at six o’clock sharp every night. I thought about my father coming home from work then sitting down at the dinner table and asking my mother if she knew why I was not home for dinner tonight. My mind answered, “Because he spun into the ground in an airplane.” Parts of my life briefly flashed before me then I did the only thing that I could do. I cried out to the Lord, “God, please help me!”


God then planted a thought in my mind. “Allan, you are pointed at the ground with full power, why not reduce the power to idle and you will live longer.” So I complied and reduced the power to idle. Now I was getting close to the ground and so I let go of the yoke (steering wheel) and surrendered the airplane.  That turned out to be exactly what I need to do, because after I reduced the power and let go of the yoke, the airplane stopped spinning and recovered by itself.  I didn’t know that it would do that, but God did.  I didn’t know to reduce the power and just let go. Airplanes are designed to want to fly, not spin. (The aeronautical technical term is “dynamic stability.”)  I got back up to a safe altitude and returned back to the airport.  God saved (sozo) me. Many times when we are faced with problems, the answer is to let go and let God handle it. Surrender it to Him. When I took my hands off the controls and surrendered the airplane to Him, the spinning stopped.


So that I don’t get one scared about flying, let me explain that I was a sixteen-year-old student pilot and I had some poor flight instruction. I would recommend that anyone interested in learning to fly, find a good instructor. I later became a flight instructor at Kent State University and I personally taught the errors that can be made in stall recovery from my own mistakes. Stalls and spins are actually nothing to be afraid of if you have been properly trained in using the rudder pedals. Many years later, I bought an aerobatic biplane and performed loops, rolls, and spins for fun. Flying is also one of the safest forms of transportation assuming you don’t go flying with a sixteen year old who wasn’t taught to use the rudder pedals.  I have heard the experts say that flying is more than thirty times safer than driving. I glued a saying in my Dad’s flight case that read -- Flying won’t be made safe until they do away with the drive to the airport. Now let’s go back to the eight chapter of Luke and discuss more about deliverance and healing (sozo).



They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized Him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion (as many as 6000)," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and He gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs (Mark: 2000 pigs), and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured (sozo -- deliverance).


Here the word “sozo” means to deliver from demonic possession. If there is any doubt about there being a devil and demons, then consider this passage. This man was not just mentally unstable, he was possessed and Jesus allowed the demons to go into the pigs. Some people think that there is no demonic possession, just mental health issues. If that were true, why did as many as 2000 pigs rush down a steep bank into a lake and drown when confronted with Jesus? Remember that Jesus also mentions the devil by name in the parables of the four soils. More information concerning demons and deliverance will follow in a later section.


Jesus Heals and Restores Life

Also recorded in Mat 9:18 and Mark 5:21

Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.  (In Mark -- “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”)


As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you (sozo -- healing). Go in peace." (The King James version says ‘made whole”-- healed).


While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more." Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Sozo -- resurrection power)  When He arrived at the house of Jairus, He did not let anyone go in with Him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep." They laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. But He took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" (In Mark – in Aramaic “Talitha koum.”)  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but He ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.


Notice the faith of the woman with the issue of blood who believed (knew in her heart) that if she just touched Jesus, she would be healed (sozo).  Also notice the faith of the ruler of the synagogue when he fell at Jesus' feet and said, “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”  This leader had no doubt that through Jesus, his daughter could be healed. When the little girl was healed (sozo) and rose from the dead, notice that Jesus surrounded himself with only believers. It was just Peter, John, James, the father, and mother who were permitted to witness the event. There is tremendous power in falling at His feet and surrendering to God. By trusting and believing in Him, miracles do happen.


A Mother’s Surrender

I recall a time when my own mother faced a very difficult time in her life when her youngest child almost died. My brother was about two years old when he suddenly got sick. The doctor said it was just the flu and she shouldn’t worry. Several days had passed and my baby brother was still not eating and started to have difficulty breathing. My parents took him to the hospital where tests were done to find the problem. However the doctors could not find the problem. My brother’s health was failing and he started to have convulsions. They put him on oxygen. Later, the doctors told my parents that my brother would not survive the night. My mother watched her baby boy on the hospital bed as his little body tossed violently against the restraints.  It was too difficult for her to watch her son’s struggle.  She felt helpless.  She cried out to the Lord and told him that this situation was unbearable. Her prayer was that she could no longer handle this situation and asked the Lord to carry this burden. She told the Lord that her baby was in his hands. She surrendered her child to the Lord.


Within a few minutes of my mother’s prayer, a young intern came into the room and said that he wanted to do some tests.  From those tests, the intern discovered that my brother was diabetic. Insulin was administered and he survived the night.  My mother believes that God answered her prayer for her son when she surrendered the situation to Him.  My brother was healed (sozo) by God through a young intern. Today he is happily married and has two adorable children.  Faith is surrendering to God and trusting in Him.  It doesn’t mean that all of your problems will be solved the way that you expect; but it does mean that God is with you and loves you. He has a plan for your life even if you don’t see the real ending yet.


We have found that the word “sozo” means not only to “save,” but also to protect, deliver, and heal. It was also used for salvation in the parable of the soil where the Devil steals the word away so that they may not believe and be saved. It can mean to protect or rescue from harm such as the story of Jesus calming the storm.  Sozo can mean to deliver from being possessed and oppressed such as the story of the man and the legion of demons.  It can mean to heal, like the story of the woman was healed by touching the hem of the robe of Jesus and the resurrection healing power of the young daughter.  Therefore through Jesus who died on the cross for us, we can overcome life’s problems and obstacles.  The miraculous power of Jesus on the cross is summed up in a single word -- “sozo.”  This word is used in the New Testament more that one hundred times to describe the saving, healing, delivering, protecting, and blessing power that is available to us through Jesus Christ.


The word sozo is at the very heart of who Jesus is. Before his birth, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to name the new son – “Jesus” because He will save (sozo) his people from sin. The name Jesus in Hebrew is actually “Yeshua” which means “the Lord saves.”


Scripture to Mediate Upon

She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus (Yeshua),

because He will save (sozo) his people from their sins.

(Matt 1:21)



Chapter 4

Who Christ Is


Isaiah 53


In the last chapter, we focused on the word “sozo” from the New Testament which describes what God has done for us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Through God’s love and sacrifice, we can receive salvation, healing, protection, deliverance, and blessing. Now, let’s turn to the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.  Many people believe that Isaiah is probably one of the greatest Old Testament prophets. Isaiah is quoted at least 50 times in the New Testament and he is quoted many times by Jesus. In fact, recall that in our last chapter on Luke (chapter eight), Jesus refers to Isaiah’s words concerning hearing and understanding.


Isaiah prophetically writes the last 27 chapters of the book of Isaiah about 150 years before it actually happens. He foretells the future of Israel and writes about a future king who will some day free Israel and specifically gives his name as King Cyrus. According to historians, King Cyrus of Persia read this prophecy about himself 150 years after Isaiah had written it and was so convicted that he released the Israelites to return to their home land. Cyrus not only released the Israelites but gave them silver, gold, materials, and supplies to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. God used a prophetic word that He gave to Isaiah to change the history of Israel 150 years in the future.


The Bible -- 66 Books          Isaiah -- 66 Chapters

A fascinating parallel can be made between the Bible as a whole and the book of Isaiah.  The Bible has 66 books and the book of Isaiah also has 66 chapters. 


Law and Judgment              Old Testament books 1 thru 39 Isaiah chapters 1 thru 39

The first 39 books of the Bible make up the Old Testament which is the law and judgment. Likewise, the first 39 chapters of Isaiah generally deal with the sins of Israel and Judah; and thus God’s judgment under the law against them.




Restoration and Jesus         New Testament books 40 thru 66 Isaiah chapters 40 thru 66

The last 27 books of the Bible are the New Testament which bring a message of forgiveness and grace through Jesus. Likewise, the last 27 chapters of Isaiah prophetically tell about with the future Messiah – Jesus who brings forgiveness and grace. 


In the last 27 chapters, Isaiah writes about Israel’s release from captivity (the law), the restoration of the nation, and the building of the new temple. Likewise, the New Testament part of the Bible tells about our restoration with God through Jesus, just as the last 27 chapters of Isaiah tell of the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple.   It is a prophetic picture when Isaiah speaks of building a new temple in Israel and the New Testament speaks of us being the new temple of the Holy Spirit of God.


Isaiah 40, which parallels the beginning of the New Testament, contains this verse -- A voice of one calling in the desert: “Prepare the way for the Lord.” (Isaiah 40:3) This Old Testament verse is quoted at the beginning of the New Testament in Matthew 3:3 with this reference to John the Baptist preparing the way of the Jesus. Just as Isaiah 40 foreshadows the beginning of the New Testament, so does the last chapter of Isaiah relate to the last book of the New Testament. The book of Revelation tells about a new heaven and new Earth just as the last chapter of Isaiah. (Isaiah 66:22 and Revelation 21:1)


Isaiah also prophetically tells about Jesus in the exact middle of the last 27 chapters which is related to the New Testament. Between chapter 40 and chapter 66, is chapter 53 of Isaiah. Just like Jesus is the center of the New Testament, Isaiah places Jesus in the center of his prophetic chapters. It is here that we will see that the cross is the center of all of God’s provision. The middle verse -- verse six of this middle chapter summarizes the New Testament -- LORD has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (rebellion and sin) of us all.  God has provided one answer to all our problems.  The answer is Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.


Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him. 3He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  


4 Surely He took up our infirmities (sickness) and carried our sorrows (pain),

 yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.


5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by his wounds we are healed. 


6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;

and the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus)  the iniquity (rebellion) of us all.


7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open his mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth. 8By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken.   9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.


10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, He will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11After the suffering of his soul, He will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. 12Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


After reading Isaiah 53, there should be no doubt that he is prophetically talking about Jesus.  His life was a guilt offering for our transgressions (sins). The Lord God laid upon Jesus the iniquity (rebellion and sin) of all of us so that we could be forgiven.  Jesus was pierced (his hands pierced by nails to the cross) for out transgressions, crushed (killed) for our iniquities and the punishment was placed on Him so that we could have peace and a forgiven relationship with God.


Also note verses 4 and 5 which say that He took up our infirmities (sickness) and carried our sorrows (pain)… and by his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah not only tells of salvation, but of the healing that Jesus has provided for us by his sacrifice on the cross. Perhaps some of you are skeptical about divine healing and aren’t really sure that Isaiah is talking about Jesus. Perhaps you would like this passage in Isaiah to be proven true or authenticated.



Authentication is a word that I first learned while flying as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. As a pilot, I flew C-141 Starlifters and we would travel all around the world. I was blessed by having the opportunity to visit many counties in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Because of our world-wide mission, we carried secret authentication documents on all overseas flights. These documents included a code book that contained secret words for the day. By using this code book, we could verify that a radio transmission from headquarters was authentic. If we received a transmission that would have us divert to a different airport, we would ask for authentication. We would ask a question and headquarters would provide a secret answer to our question with reference to the code book.  Authentication is verifying that the source is true.


So can we authenticate that the passage in Isaiah 53 is really talking about Jesus? Yes!  

Jesus himself authenticates Isaiah 53 in Luke 22:3, when he quotes verse 12 of Isaiah 53.


 “It is written (meaning in the scriptures): And He (Jesus) was numbered with the transgressors and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me.  Yes, what is written about me (Jesus) is reaching its fulfillment. (Luke 22:37)


Jesus quotes Isaiah 53 and says that this was written about Him. Jesus authenticates Isaiah 53. Jesus was numbered with the transgressors despite having a sinless life. He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.  The LORD has laid on Him the iniquity (rebellion) of us all. His life is a guilt offering. He will justify many and He will bear their iniquities. He was pierced for our transgressions and was crushed for our iniquities.  The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.  He took up our infirmities (sickness) and carried our sorrows (pain). By his wounds we are healed.


The cross is a divine transfer in which all the bad things due to our sinfulness came upon Jesus and the good things that belonged to Him became ours.  What is the sin that we commit? It is not just breaking the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament (Exodus 20).  Sin is not necessarily committing a terrible crime. Sin encompasses pride in self instead of being humble and acknowledging that God blesses us daily. Sin is complaining like the generation of Israelites who never entered the promise land. Sin is being critical of others and “seeing the speck in their eye when there is a plank in our eye.” (Mat7:3-5) 

I mention these sins because these are some of my own faults -- being prideful, complaining, and being critical of others.


Let’s define sin more precisely. Sin could best be described as failing to give God His rightful place in our lives.  After all, if God was the center of our lives, would we want to do any thing that displeases Him? Perhaps the greatest sin of all could be described as disbelief -- not believing and not trusting in God. After all, disbelief in God is the only unpardonable “sin.”  Jesus says that all sins can be forgiven except grieving the Holy Spirit which is failing to believe and have faith in Him.


Everything we will ever need whether spiritual, physical, emotional, or material has been provided by the cross. Jesus on the cross said “It is finished,” meaning it is totally complete. Everything that we need is given by God in the sacrifice on the cross. That sacrifice unlocks all the treasures of God’s provision. The perfect sacrifice -- completely perfect, nothing omitted. The cross is the center of all of God’s provision. Consider this fact -- the life of the Son of God (God himself) is more than a sufficient atonement for all of mankind. All the evil that is due to us, came upon Jesus; so that all the good due to Jesus, earned by His sinless obedience, might be made available to us. This is God’s grace and mercy.


       Grace -- getting what we don’t deserve (forgiveness).

       Mercy -- not getting what we deserve (judgment). 

God has given us the key of grace and mercy through Jesus, to unlock the door for salvation, healing, deliverance, protection, and blessing.


Scripture to Mediate Upon


He (Jesus) took up our infirmities (sickness) and carried our sorrows (pain)…

He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,

and by his wounds we are healed.


We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;

and the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.


He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken.  


The LORD makes his life a guilt offering,


By his knowledge (by knowing Him), my righteous servant will justify many,

and He will bear their iniquities.


He poured out his life unto death, and “was numbered with the transgressors.”

For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


(Isaiah 53)



Chapter 5

The Transfer of the Cross


A divine transfer took place on the cross. All the bad things that we deserve because of our sin and rebellion was placed upon Jesus and in exchange all the good things that were His become ours.  It is like a friend taking off his new warm coat in the middle of a winter storm and giving it to you in exchange for your dirty torn tee-shirt. Jesus is that wonderful friend who loves you so much that He would sacrifice himself on the cross for this transfer to take place. Listed below are some of the things that were transferred between Jesus and each one of us.


·        Jesus took our sin, so that we can be made righteous with His righteousness.

·        Jesus was punished, so that we can be forgiven.

·        Jesus died on the cross, so that we can have eternal life. 

·        Jesus was wounded, so that we can be healed.

·        Jesus took upon himself our curses, so that we can receive blessings.


Jesus took our sin, so that we can be made righteousness. (based upon 2 Corin. 5:21)

In Isaiah 53:6 it says that we all, like sheep, have gone astray (sinned). Each of us has turned to his own way and the LORD (God) has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin and rebellion) of us all. Jesus took upon Himself all the sins of the world -- past, present, and future. Jesus became sin on the cross for us. In Second Corinthians 5:21, Paul says that God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us.


Here is how I came to better understand this concept. Several years ago, I had a layover in Pensacola, Florida and I wanted to go to the Brownville Revival meeting.  As the hotel van service was taking me to the revival meeting, I stirred up a conversation with the van driver.  I was curious about his impression of the revival. We briefly talked about what he had seen as he had taken people who had come from all over the world to those revival meetings. He told me about the stories of people who were brought in on wheel-chairs and left walking. He told me about the stories of people who come in as drug addicts and left their drug addiction behind. He then asked me a question that had puzzled him for a long time. He said since Jesus was the son of God, why when Jesus was on the cross did he cry out to God saying, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" To paraphrase -- why have you left me? (See Matt 27:45-46 and Mark 15:33 for the scripture reference).


I must admit that at that time, I didn’t have a good explanation for him, but now I do.  Through out Jesus’ ministry, He had fellowship with the Father. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. But during those last few moments on the cross, the Father departed from Jesus -- his beloved son, so that all the sins of the world would be place upon Jesus. Jesus became sin. In fact those are the words used in 2 Corin. 5:21.


God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us,

so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corin. 5:21)


Jesus became sin.  Sin is contrary to the nature of God.  So God the Father departed, leaving Jesus to become our sin.  For the first time, Jesus was alone and suffering the weight of all our sin. Jesus then announces, “It is finished” and dies. I believe our sins killed Jesus. He sacrificed himself for you and me. It wasn’t really just the Jewish leaders or the Roman soldiers who killed Jesus; it was all of us.  A better way to state this is to say that Jesus died because of me. That makes it personal. When a person can admit that their sins killed Jesus then they truly understand what it means to have Jesus as their personal Savior.  Jesus willingly laid down is life for me and the rest of mankind. All the sins of the world were placed upon Him. His death was the sacrifice or the atonement for our sins, so that we can be forgiven.


For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous(Jesus)  for the unrighteous (us),

to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)


During the last supper, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt 26:28) This is a clear message that a new covenant for the forgiveness of sin was through his sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, so that we can be made righteous with His righteousness.


Jesus was punished, so that we can be forgiven.

Isaiah 53:5 said that He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. In other words, our sin was placed upon Jesus so that we would have peace (forgiveness) with God. As long as our sin is not forgiven, we can not have peace with God. God will not make peace with sin. Sin must be dealt with. In order to have peace with God, there must be judgment and punishment. Jesus took the judgment and punishment for us by His grace and mercy. Here are two New Testament passages that emphasize this theme:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Rom 5:1-2)


In Him we have redemption (being bought back) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. (Eph 1:7-8)


Isaiah 53:10 says that His (Jesus) life is a guilt offering.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world through his sacrificial death. (John 1:29) Jesus was punished so that we can be forgiven.


Jesus died so that we can have eternal life.

Jesus died on the cross so that we have eternal life.  He willingly sacrificed His sinless life for our sinful lives so that we would have eternal life. Isaiah 53:8 said that He (Jesus) was cut off from the land of the living (died); for the transgression (sins) of my people, He was stricken (killed).


Here are some scriptures that emphasize that believing what Jesus did on the cross results in eternal life.

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)


Jesus said to her (Martha), "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25-26)


Jesus was wounded so that we can be healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

Isaiah 53:4-5 says that that He (Jesus) took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows (pain/diseases)… and that by his wounds, we are healed. In the New Testament, Isaiah 53 is quoted in Mathew 8:17:


When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Him, and He drove out the             spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet             Isaiah: "He (Jesus) took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."


Did you hear that? The New Testament again authenticates and quotes Isaiah 53.  It even mentions Isaiah as the prophet saying that Jesus took up our sickness and disease. Recall that Jesus authenticates Isaiah 53 when He quotes it and announces that this passage was written about me (as recorded in Luke 22:37).  Jesus has taken our sins and our sickness away. Besides this Isaiah 53 passage being quoted in Matthew, it is also quoted by one of  Jesus’ closest disciples -- Peter.  The disciple Peter also refers to Isaiah 53 in 1 Peter 2:24 -- He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree (cross), so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.


On a side note: In some other languages such as Greek, a tree means a live tree and/or a dead tree (wood or lumber). They make no distinction between the fact that it is a living tree or a piece of lumber. So the term “tree” here refers to the wooden cross.


The key point is that through Jesus’ work on the cross, we are healed. Notice the tense in the scripture above -- by his wounds you have been healed. Jesus already healed you by his sacrifice on the cross, just like He forgave your sins. The next chapter we will deal more with healing.


Jesus took our curses so that we can receive blessings. (Galatians 3:13)

Jesus became a curse so that we would receive blessing.  Paul writes in Galatians 3:13 that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse  for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (or cross)."  Here we see that on the cross Jesus became a curse for us; He took upon himself our sins and the curses that were against us. In exchange for Jesus taking our curses, we received the blessings that rightfully belonged to Him. 


Isaiah 53:11 says that He (Jesus) will bear their iniquities. Iniquities are not only the sins of rebellion, but also the consequences or curses that they bring.  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us so that blessing would come to us. Many Christians believe in blessings, but what about curses?  We bless our food, we bless our families, and we bless others when they sneeze. “God bless you.”  But are there curses too?  The Bible uses the word bless or blessing over 400 times (excluding where it means happy or fortunate) and uses the word curse over 200 times. Thankfully blessings out number curses two to one. Blessings result from hearing God’s voice and doing what He says. Curses result from doing things without hearing God’s voice and not doing what He says.


Blessings and curses usually are not limited to an individual, but usually extend to families, tribes, and nations. Once released, blessings as well as curses tend to continue for generations. Consider the passage from the Ten Commandments:


            And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of            the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an      idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You       shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,           punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who      hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my        commandments.  (Exodus 20:1-6)


If there are any doubts about the fact that God gives blessing and curses, read Deuteronomy, chapter 28. The entire chapter deals with blessings due to obedience and curses due to disobedience. Another important passage is found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:


            This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and        death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you         may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to Him. 


God gives us the opportunity to receive blessings through Jesus, but there are also opportunities that that may lead us to curses as well. Therefore we know that according to the Bible some curses may come from God, but what are some other sources.  One of the most common sources of curses originates from our-selves. How do we curse ourselves?


First, we must keep in mind that words have power. God’s words are so powerful that He spoke the universe into existence. In Mathew 12:36, Jesus said,”I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Think about some of the words that we speak that result in curses upon ourselves. How many times have you heard someone say the phrase, “I can never do anything right!” It is a curse that they are pronouncing over themselves that they will never do anything right. Or consider the parent who uses this phrase over their children by saying, “Can’t you ever do anything right, you are so bad!” Don’t speak those curses. Speak the positive, not the negative. Speak life, not death.  I am NOT saying that every problem we have is the result of a curse, but I am suggesting that you consider that sometimes it may be the cause. Here are some common phrases that can invoke a self curse and cause problems.


Some phrases that can cause curses:

“This is driving me crazy” or “I just can’t take it any more”

Results in mental or emotional breakdown.


“Whenever someone gets sick, I catch it too” or “I’m so sick and tired of…”

Results in chronic sickness.


“I never have any money” or “I can never afford anything”

Results in financial problems.


“It always happens to me” or “I’m just clumsy”

Results in being accident prone.


“Over my dead body” or “I’d rather die than…”

Results in suicides and unnatural deaths.


Now some people may be say, “Yeah, but I don’t really mean that.” Well, let me ask this -- Do you believe your words have the power to bless our food and bless your family? Most people answer, “Yes.” Along those lines, don’t you think that the same tongue that blesses, can curse as well.  Remember that words have power even if spoken without thinking what you are really saying. The heart speaks through the mouth. Speak blessings, not curses.


Here is a list of some of the causes of curses:

  • Self imposed curses
  • Pledges or oaths that bind people in ungodly associations or some secret organizations
  • Curses spoken by others with relational authority- father, mother, minister
  • Disrespect for parents
  • Curses spoken by servants of Satan
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Involvement with the occult, witchcraft, divination, fortune telling, or astrology


Now some people may think that fortune telling is not so bad. But consider the source of fortune telling.  It is sometimes a hoax, but sometimes it operates from a source that is not of God. There are demons (fallen angels) and they do talk to those who are willing to listen. But some people say, “Well, I just like to have my fortune told for fun. I don’t really believe it.” Well, whether they mean it or not, they are opening a door to the demonic. The Bible tells us not to be involved with these things.


            Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices        divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium     or spiritist or who consults the dead. (Deut 18:10-11)


Whether we like it or not there are curses, but these curses can be broken because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus became a curse, so that we receive blessing. Here are seven guidelines that can be helpful in being released from a curse.  It is only a guideline, NOT a formula or a procedure. But it should help open some possibilities that perhaps you may want to consider.


1. Confess your faith in Christ and His sacrifice as your Savior

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (sozo). For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved… "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (sozo)."  (Rom 10:9-13)


2. Repent of all your rebellion and your sin

Tell God the mistakes (sins) that you have made and tell Him that you want to be forgiven. Tell Him everything. He already knows everything that you have done. He is just waiting to hear you confess it.


3. Claim forgiveness of all sins

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9-2:1)

If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. In other words, don’t let pride get in the way of admitting that you are a sinner just like everyone else.


4. Forgive all other people who have ever harmed or hurt you

See the Lord’s Prayer in Matt 6:12-15

Forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.


For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


After all, if we truly believe what God has done for us by forgiving our sins; how can we not forgive what someone else has done to us?  Unforgiveness is a weapon used against us. Don’t let it fester and cause you pain. Release it to Jesus and take it out of your heart. Also see the parable concerning unforgiveness in Matthew 18:21 concerning the unforgiving debtor. Renounce the curse by forgiving the person.


5. Renounce all contact with the occult

Ask God to show you anything offensive to Him in your past.  Sometimes we take pledges or get involved with ungodly things as teenagers, so repent and renounce any past contacts with the occult.

6. Pray for release

By hanging on a cross, Jesus took upon Himself all our curses.  We don’t earn it; we just receive it by God’s grace and mercy.  The prayer may sound some thing like this --“Dear God, I ask you to release me from every curse over my life in the name of Jesus.”


7. Receive by faith

Faith means that God promised it, so you have it. We will talk more about faith in a later chapter.

Keep in mind that these guidelines would be difficult to do without the help of the Lord. So ask Him to help you. Once you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, He will always be with you to help you. 


Always Blue Skies Above


Do you know that every day is a sunny day?  Pilot’s know that it is possible to find the Sun even if it is cloudy and rainy. As a passenger in an airliner, you have probably noticed that once you get above the clouds; it is sunny.  In order to find the Sun, all you have to do is climb higher. Most of the clouds are within a few miles of the atmosphere. Usually an altitude of 37,000 feet (7 miles) gets you above the weather and in the Sun.  So once you get above the clouds, it is sunny as Florida even though it may be cloudy and raining on the ground.  So when you are having one of those depressing days when nothing is going right and it is raining on your parade, remember that it is sonny above the clouds. All you have to do is climb higher in to the heavens and seek the Son.


You can leave the depression behind and praise the Son who loves you so much that He gave His life for you. You have a choice. You can leave the clouds and the rain behind. Just leave it and climb higher. It is so easy even a child can do it. Just think about your Savior and praise His name. Don’t focus on the rainy day; focus on what really matters. Love the Lord with all your heart. When you are in love, nothing else really matters. Climb higher. Seek the Son. He is always there even if it is raining on the ground. There are always blue skies above.

Scripture to Mediate Upon

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.   (Heb 13:5)





Chapter 6

A Focus on Healing


In the introduction to this book, we began with the most popular scripture in the Bible -- John 3:16. We then looked at the next verse and later learned the Greek word -- “sozo.” From that single word we discovered all the things that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross - salvation, healing, protection, and deliverance (which is a release from a curse), thus a blessing.


Now let’s look at the verses just before John 3:16. Keep in mind that Jesus is having a conversation with Nicodemus and tells him that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (flesh) and of Spirit. You must be born again. Then He says in John 3:14-17:


Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save (sozo) the world through Him.

 (John 3:14)


I was puzzled for several years why in the middle of these important key passages concerning being “born again” there was this one sentence talking about Moses and a snake. To find the answer to that question we need to refer to Numbers 21:4-9.  In this Old Testament passage, the Israelites are complaining against God about their conditions.  How many times are we guilty of complaining about our circumstances? Complaining is a sin. It means that we are not happy with what God has provided for us. Complaining is focusing on the negative instead of appreciating the positive. Many times when someone is complaining it means that they want something else. They are coveting.  That is a word that I learned when I memorized the Ten Commandments in Sunday school.  “Thou shall not covet” (King James version Exodus 20:17). So let’s translate that verse in today’s language. Do not complain, it is a sin. Instead of complaining be thankful. My wife reminds me of this periodically. So I say, “Lord, I repent of complaining and I give you thanks.”


Now back to Moses and the snake story. Since the Israelites are complaining, the Lord sent venomous snakes among them. The snakes bit the people and many of them died. So Moses prayed and the Lord responded by saying to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then anyone who is bitten by the snakes can look at the bronze snake on the pole and live.  So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.


Now I could understand this passage if a lamb was placed on a pole as a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God -- Jesus. In other words anyone who looked up to the Lamb of God -- Jesus on the pole (cross) would be healed and live; but using a snake made no sense to me. In fact, a snake to me usually represents evil so why put a symbol of evil on a pole and look up at it?  Then the Lord revealed to me why He had them use a snake.  The snake was evil; in fact it represented what was hurting the people. The snake represented their complaining to the Lord and their mistrust in Him. As a foreshadowing of future events, the snake represented our sin and curses. When Jesus was on the cross, He became sin and became a curse just before He died.  When Jesus died on the cross, He took upon himself all the sins and curses. Those sins and curses were placed on the cross just as the snake (which symbolized the curses) was placed on a pole. So when we look at Christ on the cross in faith we are released from sin and curses and are thus healed just as the Israelites looked at the snake on the pole, they were healed and lived.


Thus far, we have seen that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that we are healed.  Healing can involve all three aspects of our lives -- physical, mental, and spiritual. Jesus did it all on the cross. In fact, He even commanded us to remember this by sharing in the Lord’s Supper.


While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26 and also see Mark 14:22  Luke 22:14  1 Corin 11:23)


Communion is about the body and blood of Jesus.  Most people understand the cup is His blood for forgiveness of sin so that we can experience an eternal spiritual life.  But what about the bread. What does the bread represent? The bread is His body which is given for us so that our bodies have life and are healed.


In John 6:48 Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna bread in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."


What is the “manna” that Jesus refers to in this passage? It is about God feeding the Israelites in the desert after the parting of the Red Sea.  Moses then led Israel into the desert. After three days they had not found any water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Here is a prophetic picture of the Lord using a piece of wood (the cross) to transform something from bad to good.


There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there He tested them. He said, "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, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26)


Then He rains down manna from heaven. The Israelites ate manna for 40 years until they reached the promise land. Notice the phrase, “I am the Lord, who heals you, then God sends bread from heaven.

There is a relationship between the bread and healing. Just as there is a relationship between the blood and forgiveness.


The scriptures tell us in Romans 5:12-19 that sin entered the world through one man -- Adam.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass (by Adam) was condemnation for all men, so also the       result of one act of righteousness (by Jesus) was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.


We know that sin entered the world through the fall of man through Adam (Genesis 3). It was through sin that death entered this world for the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). When sin entered the world so did sickness and disease. The ultimate consequence of sickness and disease is death. So if sickness, disease, and death entered through Adam’s act; then Jesus’ act of sacrifice or righteousness brought us healing and eternal life. God’s answer to ultimately all our problems is found in Jesus. 


I have heard people say -- How do I know if it is God’s will to heal me?

Answer -- God provided Jesus on the cross to heal me because He loves me. Perhaps a better question is -- How can I receive the healing God has already provided for me through Jesus? 


Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “if it is God’s will to heal me…” The phrase originates from the story of the leper who said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." (Matt 8:2)  But Jesus corrects the leper’s theology and reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," He said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Jesus is always willing. There is no scriptural reference of Jesus saying that He did not want to heal someone.  If you are considering Paul’s thorn in his flesh was a sickness as recorded in 2 Corin 12:7, then perhaps there are some exceptions. After all, God is sovereign and He does know best. But I don’t think this was a sickness for Paul. The scripture says it was a messenger from Satan that torments him and doesn’t call it a sickness.


Jesus’ ministry was centered on the forgiveness of sins and healing.  Recall the story in Mark 2:3-11 where some men lower a paralyzed man through the roof to meet with Jesus.

            When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."   Now some    teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that?     He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit       that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and He said to them, "Why are you thinking     these things?  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up,     take your mat and walk'?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on Earth to       forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."


Jesus forgave sins and healed people 2,000 years ago just as Jesus forgives sin and heals now.  His ministry is forgiveness and healing. It has not stopped. Of course God is sovereign and He can do anything, but his ultimate desire is for each of us to be healed physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.


Some people say, “I believe that God will heal me” which really means “I hope that tomorrow He will heal me.” However the scripture, “by His stripes we are healed” is not in the future tense, but it is in the present tense. Faith is in the heart and is in the present. Hope is in the mind and is in the future. One of the strategies of the Devil is to delay. The Devil doesn’t flatly say that we can not be healed, because we would not listen to him, because we know that with God all things are possible. Instead the Devil says you will not be healed today, but maybe tomorrow. Don’t listen to the Devil, instead claim God’s word --“By His wounds, we are healed.”  Claim God’s promises. Don’t deny the physical appearance, but claim the spiritual truth of God’s word.  


Some people don’t believe that there is a devil or that demons don’t exist. Perhaps they think that Jesus didn’t really cast out demons, and that those people just had some mental disease. Recall the stories in the eighth chapter of Luke where Jesus delivers (sozo) a man possessed by demons. The legion of demons left the man and went in to the herd of pigs. Then the pigs ran off the cliff. If it was just a mental disease that Jesus healed, why did the pigs run off the cliff? Or consider the story of the four soils. Jesus specifically mentions the devil by name as the one who steals the seed (word of God) from their hearts so that they can not be saved (sozo). Or consider the passage in Matthew, chapter four, when Jesus is confronted by the devil in the desert -- the temptation.  If there is any question that there is a devil, then look more closely at the Bible references about him so that the truth can be known about who the enemy is. In John 8:44, Jesus says that the devil is a murderer, a liar, and the father of all lies.


Now, why don’t we always experience the physical healing immediately? Some have asked why they are not healed instantly when they have faith and believe in God’s word.  Why don’t they experience the physical healing immediately?


There may be several reasons why we don’t experience the physical healing immediately. First, consider a possible curse. We know that Jesus became a curse for us and delivered us from curses, yet the curse needs to be broken. Sometimes healing is tied to a curse, perhaps a generational curse that needs to be broken before healing takes place. Recall the steps offered in releasing a curse.


Along the same lines as curses, consider demonic warfare as a block to healing. The devil doesn’t want us to be healed and he is battling against the armies of heaven to prevent it.  That means that we must pray through a healing in spiritual warfare.  Remember the prophet Daniel prayed, yet the angel sent to him was detained by a demonic force for twenty-one days (Dan 10:12-13). Daniel faithfully prayed and fasted during that period and eventually the angelic messenger arrived after being assisted by the archangel Michael. The answers to our prayers may be hindered by unseen obstacles. Prayer may be challenged by evil forces. The best way to proceed is asking God how to pray through the obstacle.


Sometimes the answer to why we don’t immediately experience a healing may be a parallel with the story of God giving the Promised Land to Israel. He gave them the land, but they had to wage war for seven years to actually possess it. The first obstacle that Israel had to overcome in possessing the land was the city of Jericho. God told them to march around the city over a seven day period and on the last day; they marched around seven times before the walls fell. In this case, God’s plan involved seven days. In other battles it involved only a day, but the entire process of possessing the land was seven years. Don’t assume that every physical healing will take seven years and don’t assume that it will always be immediate. God is sovereign; He has a time table and a plan. Since we don’t always know the time, we need to have faith and trust in his promise of healing. We have been given the healing just as Israel was given the land.  So sometimes we have to work through the promise with God to experience it. Sometimes God uses doctors and treatments that take time for healing.


Why doesn’t everything just happen now?  

Why are there challenges in life?

Why doesn’t God just fix them all now?


Simple reason -- because we aren’t in heaven. We are on Earth. This is a place of choice where there is good and evil. Due to original sin (separation from God), we experience the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Our earthy parents- Adam and Eve made that choice, just as we sadly make the same choice every day.  Sickness and disease exist in this world.  Sometimes we can cause sickness ourselves such as by smoking then getting lung cancer. But many times, sickness just happens no matter what we may do.  God also has an anointed time that each of us will die.  (There are exceptions such as Enoch, Elijah, and those during the tribulation.)  It is just how things are in this fallen world. In the future, every tear will be wiped away, but for now we will face challenges and battles.  However we have a key to overcome difficulties. The key is God’s love through Jesus.  Have faith and believe in Him, so that the walls of sickness and disease will fall down.


The truth of the matter is through Jesus, we are healed. Pray through it and believe it. Never quit.

Keep in mind that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). The truth is who He is and what He did on the cross for us. It is written:  The truth will set you free. (John 8:32)


Is it honest for me to claim a healing when I see the physical evidence of sickness in my body? If you are looking at yourself in your natural condition, then it is not honest. But if you are looking at yourself as God sees you in Christ, then you have the right to claim victory. We are to believe that we are healed based on the word of God, not on the basis of our feelings or five senses. Of course, we are not to say to others that our healing has been fully manifested before it has happened in the physical realm. But we can say to those who ask that we standing on the Word of God.


Scripture to Mediate Upon

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.  (Psalm 103)

Chapter 7
Faith of the Heart


Faith is an allegiance, a belief, a trust, and a confidence in God. Faith is believing that God wants to be involved in our lives. Faith is a continuing personal relationship between the believer and God, and affects every area of his life. Faith is trust.  A steady, unwavering confidence and trust in all circumstances that God is working out His purpose and blessing for each one of His children. Faith is a commitment to God’s plan for me. Faith makes God’s possibilities available to us.


In the English language “faith” is a noun and “believe” is a verb; but in Greek, the words “faith” and “believe” mean the same thing.  Thus exercising faith is believing. The opposite of faith is unbelief.  But faith is not just head knowledge because even the demons know of Jesus.


 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that.” (James 2:19)


Even the legion of demons that possessed the man in Luke chapter eight knew who Jesus was. Faith is more than mere knowledge of the mind. Faith is from the heart in love and commitment. The demons don’t commit and love the Lord, but we can.  By confessing with our mouth and believing in our heart that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we become saved.  When we believe in our heart; we are committing our lives and love to God in the heavenly realm. When we confess with our mouth; we are confessing in the natural realm. The words that we say have power.


That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Rom 10:9-10)


Believing in the spiritual realm (heavenly realm) and confessing in the natural realm (the earthly realm) are important aspects to receiving the blessings of God. This key is important to healing as well.  Believing and confessing means that we are standing on God’s promises in faith. Faith is not based on the five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, or tasting. Instead it is based on the word or promises of God. Faith is saying and believing what God says, then acting accordingly. In John 6:28-29 Jesus is asked, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent." The works of God is faith in Him. It is by faith and believing that God counts us as righteous; it is unbelief that makes us unrighteous.


Let the Weak say I am Strong

Several years ago, the Lord gave me a special song called “Give Thanks.” I first heard this song in a church in San Diego, California while I was on a layover. It was during the time when I was learning about being born again and loving the Lord. I mentioned this experience in my testimony in Chapter 2 of this book.  I had been a US Air Force pilot for six years and an airline pilot for twelve years, yet I had never attended a church on Sunday while flying on a trip. But that Sunday in San Diego in 1996, I attended a church and heard contemporary praise music for the first time.


I remember walking in to this church and seeing people with their hands raised and singing praise songs.  I had never seen people raise their arms before while attending other churches. I later discovered that their arms were raised to show their surrender to the Lord. Recall the western cowboy movies where the bad guy says, “I surrender,” and raises his hands. It is like the sinner (us) surrendering to God by raising his hands. The raising of hands can also be related to going to a sports game when we raise our hands and yelling, “Yeah, Team.” Well, why can’t we raise our hands in church and say, “Yeah, God.”


In addition to the raising of hands, the words to the songs were projected up on a big screen in front of the church so that everyone could raise their hands to the Lord instead of holding a hymn book. The songs were simple songs that could easily be learned. The contemporary praise songs were so simple to learn that after just a few lines, you knew the words and could close your eyes while singing. That’s when it hit me. When I saw the people with their hands raised, their eyes closed, and singing these simple love songs to the Lord; it was then that I realized that they were worshipping.


They were believing that God was there and they were singing love songs to Him. In the past, I remember singing songs in our church, but I don’t know that we were singing them to anyone. We were just singing songs about God or about being a Christian. But these people were singing worship songs to God as though He was actually before them.


Now please don’t misunderstand my intention. We can praise and worship the Lord with wonderful hymns and we can love Him in quiet times with our hands folded. But for me, I didn’t really start to grasp worship until that moment.  It isn’t really about the type of song; or about whether you sit or stand; or about the type of church; it is all about the condition of the heart. This is the point in my life that the light went on in me that worship was about loving God. Perhaps you have a song or hymn that has special meaning in your relationship with God. My Grandmother’s favorite hymn was “How Great Thou Art.” 


The first praise song that I heard was “Give Thanks” in this San Diego First Assembly church. It is the song that the Lord has given me. About a week later, a friend named Don gave me a CD of contemporary worship music. Don was not aware that “Give Thanks” was the first song that I had heard previous week.  I had never listened to contemporary praise music on a CD before and so this was all new to me. While I was driving to the airport on my way to work, I decide to try this new CD. I was surprised when I discovered “Give Thanks” was on the CD. As the song played, I sang along and tears began to flow down my cheeks. I realized that God was “talking to me” through this song and that this song was his gift to me.


Several months later while flying from Charlotte to Denver at 35,000 feet, a flight attendant called the flight deck with a request. She wanted to come up and tell me something. Once she came forward, she said something that I will never forget. She said, “Captain, the Holy Spirit told me to sing a song to you.”  Well, you should have seen the expression on the co-pilot’s face. I have to admit, that this was a new thing for me as well, but I replied, “Ok, I am listening.” She sang “Give Thanks.” 


When I got home, I told my wife, Susan, about the flight attendant singing “Give Thanks” at 35,000 feet.

The next night Susan and I went to a new church on the other side of town, called Victory Assembly.  At the beginning of their service, they sang praise songs. Then the pastor came forward to give the sermon. He said, “Before I begin the message tonight, I feel the Lord has laid upon my heart a song that we need to sing, that we haven’t sung for several years.” The pastor walked over to the music leader and together they looked through a file cabinet of music. After a few minutes, they started to sing “Give Thanks.”

Susan and I immediately knew that this was a special place for us. After the sermon, they had prayer time. Susan and I went forward as a couple for the first time to receive prayer. The pastor’s wife prayed for us.  Susan became rested in the Spirit and had a dream-like vision. She saw herself as a little girl running and playing with Jesus. They were laughing together. She said that she felt an over whelming love, like a liquid love that just flowed over her. It was the love of God.


Let me recite the words of the song, “Give Thanks” and explain what the words mean to me.

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy one,

give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ, His Son.”

The first thing that I was shown was that God was confirming to me that Jesus Christ is His son who was given to me and you. This song that the Lord has given to me is my proof or confirmation that Jesus is His son and our savior. There is no doubt. God authenticated it for me. Second, I learned that we are to give thanks in all circumstances. The scripture passage that goes with this is found in 1Thes. 5:17- Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. We are to always be joyful because no matter what happens in this world, we can have abundant joy in knowing that our Father loves us and we will one day be with Him forever. We are to continually be in prayer with Him. We should keep Him in our thoughts throughout the day and talk to Him. We are to give thanks for all circumstances because He blesses us continually. Now sometimes we face difficulties in life, but consider them challenges that we can overcome through Him. God’s will for us lies in the answer that He provides in Christ Jesus.


There is one more line in “Give Thanks” which says “And now let the weak say I am strong; let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done, give thanks.”


To me, this means that the weak are the ones who need healed; thus in faith they must believe that they are strong (healed) according to the word of God. The poor are the ones who are poor in Spirit and lack faith. They need to confess that they are rich in the Lord because of what Jesus has provided for us. It is all about faith that through Jesus Christ that we are made strong and rich. We are talking about an exceedingly abundant wealth and enormous strength in the Lord through faith. So let the weak say “I am strong” and let the poor say “I am rich” because of what God has provided for us in his son Jesus Christ through faith.


This simple praise song is a guide for healing and it begins with faith of the heart.  Just begin by giving thanks to God because He had given the sacrifice of Jesus Christ His son so that we are saved and healed. Now confess aloud that the weakness (the sickness) has been made strong (healed). We are not poor in the spirit if Jesus Christ is our Savior. We are rich and blessed abundantly with the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us.  Once you have asked the Lord for healing; believed and confessed it; then thank Him for your healing. Continually give thanks to Him and meditate on his words.


God’s words are power. When we use God’s words that are in the scriptures, there is power. God’s words are so powerful that He cautions us not to use His words in his name in vain.  It is the third commandment it states the following:

            "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,                                                                               for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Ex 20:7)


It is important to read and meditate on God’s words because they are for life and healing.

            Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight,

            keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole             body. (Proverbs  4:20-22)


Here is an acronym for the meaning of faith. FAITH- Forsaking All, I Trust Him.


Here are some passages concerning faith:


            Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) 


Our senses tell us what is seen, heard, and felt; thus conditions that are real, but not final. Our faith tells us of the substance and evidence of things not seen, heard, or felt, but that are just as real. The Holy Spirit dwelling in a believer is invisible, yet the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts operating through the believer are evidence of His presence.


            We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corin 5:7) 


The world says -- seeing is believing. Faith says -- believe and then you will see. In the Lazarus story, Jesus said to her, “Did I not say if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). If you believe, then you will see.


            Whatever is not from faith is sin.  (Romans 14:23)

            And without faith it is impossible to please God.  (Heb 11:6) 


People try to please God on some basis other than faith, such as morality, good works, church membership, charitable contributions, and other religious activities. But without faith, none of this is acceptable to God. God’s people did not enter the Promise land because of their unbelief and that generation perished in the wilderness. (Heb 3:16-19)  In order for us to enter the kingdom of God, we need to have faith. Unbelief is the basis for all sin. If we were to have complete unvarying faith in God’s goodness, wisdom, and power; we would never have any motive for sin. Sin is the desire to be independent of God. Faith is the desire to be with God.


In Romans 10:16, Paul quotes Isaiah 53:1 when he says:


            But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our    message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard    through the word of Christ.


Notice how the Lord has brought us back to Isaiah 53 with hearing the message of faith.  Read God’s words and meditate upon them. Faith is to be confessed and worked out in action. Faith will be tested in times of tribulation. Confession is saying the same with our mouths as God says in His Word. “It is written” is a powerful tool. Jesus used that phrase three times to counter the Devil’s temptation.  Faith leads to salvation. Salvation is expressed in works which are motivated by love. Faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26)  Good deeds don’t produce faith; but good deeds are a result of faith.


Our faith, joy and confidence should not rest merely on what God has done for us- his blessings, gifts, and provisions. God’s purpose is that we find our highest satisfaction in nothing and in no one, but Him. Spiritual maturity occurs when God alone becomes the source of our deepest joy and highest devotion.


There are many challenges in this world of choice, but they can be overcome by faith and trust in God. Hold fast in the faith that God is with those who trust in Him. Meditate on what Jesus has done for you on the cross. In Christ there is salvation, healing, protection, deliverance and blessing.


Scripture to Mediate Upon

The righteous live by faith.

Habakkuk 2:4  Romans 1:17  Galatians 3:11 Hebrew 10:38







                                                          Additional Chapter

Chapter 8

Kelly’s Story of Her Healing -Walking by Faith with the Lord

Written by: Jesus

For more than seven years a young mother has been bound by a wheel chair, but this chapter is being completed as Kelly stands on the word of God by faith. It is our belief that she will walk as this book is completed.  God’s timing is always perfect.


Kelly’s Testimony


This section is copied from my journal entry that I made in May 2002. It is written in the third person.

Allan is myself and Susan is my wife. Kelly and Ryan are our new friends.


In 1995, Kelly was twenty-eight years old and had been married to her loving husband, Ryan for eight years.  They had two wonderful children, a boy who was seven and a girl who was two. Ryan was a successful investment planner and they lived in a nice house in a growing community. Both Kelly and Ryan were born again believers and their focus was on the Lord. 


Life was just about perfect for Kelly and Ryan, but suddenly tragedy struck. After taking a routine tetanus shot, Kelly’s body had a severe reaction. She was hospitalized and almost died. After months in the hospital, she was left paralyzed. At first she was unable to move and had difficulty breathing. After several months she was able to sit up in a chair and later regained the use of her hands. Presently Kelly can be seen sitting in a wheel chair, unable to move her legs. But she has a smile on her face because she knows that the Lord has always been with her and that she will walk again.  She talks with God all the time and He has told her that the day will come when she will be suddenly healed. 


Three years ago Kelly heard an audible word from the Lord. The word was “Shasta.”  She was not sure what the word “Shasta” meant, but she believed it may be a leading to go to the Shasta mountain area in California and to a church called Bethel in the town of Redding.  Kelly believed her healing to be connected to this church, but she has been waiting for a confirmation from the Lord to go there.   


Recently Kelly read a magazine article about the deliverance and the sudden healing of a girl in a wheel chair in the Bethel church in Shasta, California. She was reminded of the word that the Lord had spoken to her three years ago about healing. The next Sunday they attended a church called Morning Star and met with some friends named Allan and Susan.  Before the service begins, Allan and Susan invite them to dinner at their house and to watch the movie, “Matrix.”  The movie is all about taking leaps of faith and overcoming fear, doubt, or unbelief. Kelly tells them about hearing the audible word “Shasta” from God. She asks Allan and Susan to pray for guidance for her concerning this word. 


That night Allan awakes and the Lord reminds him of the word “Shasta.” His initial thought is “Shasta - Root Beer” but it may be “Shasta -- Root Bearer” meaning one who bears a root. This root may refer to a generational root which Kelly bears through her father which may be the root cause of her disability.


The next morning Allan and Susan call Kelly to tell her about the generational root that she may be bearing.  After talking with Kelly on the phone, Susan goes to the post office and Allan goes outside to work in the yard. Allan prays to God that if Kelly is to be taken to Shasta, California that God would give him the word “Shasta” today.  An hour later Susan returns home from the post office (a place where we get messages) with a bottle that she had found laying in the post office parking lot and gives the bottle to Allan.  The label on the bottle says “Shasta Mountain Spring Water.”  Susan was unaware that Allan had prayed to be given the word “Shasta” if Kelly was to be taken to Shasta, California. (This water bottle is from Shasta, California and is not sold where we live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.) Susan says that finding the bottle was strange. She tells Allan about talking with a man who happens to look like Don Potter (a worship leader in Morning Star Ministries). This man is driving a hippy type van with California license plates.  The bottle was most likely left by God through this man.


The man had gone into the Post Office to inquire about mailing a package. He wanted to know the cost of sending the package, but then told the Postal employee that he could not mail it until two o’clock. He took the package and returned to his van. It is an odd for the man not to want to mail package until two o’clock, but perhaps the Shasta bottle was left by this man and he might have been an angel.


Later that night Allan uses the internet find out how to get to the Bethel church in the Shasta, California area.  To his amazement he sees a picture of the real Don Potter (Morning Star Ministries) on the Bethel website. That is how Susan described the man at the post office from California. Note the God-cidence.  While on the internet, Allan also notices that the towns around the Bethel church have the names of the characters in the movie “Matrix.”  The towns are named Trinity and Anderson which are the names of the two main characters in the movie that they had watched just a few days earlier.


The next night Kelly is reading the Bible to her daughter and happens to read a passage with the word “Bethel.” The next morning her husband, Ryan prays for a word from the Lord and “randomly” opens his Bible.  He reads the word “Bethel.” Allan flies a trip later in the week and his copilot tells him that he attends a church called “Bethel.” Susan sees a billboard with the word “Bethel”.  The two couples attend a home group meeting and the sign in front of the house points to a church called “Bethel.” The word “Bethel” keeps coming up. Bethel is the name of the church in Shasta.  Bethel means “house of God.”


On May 8th 2002, Kelly and Ryan along with Allan and Susan follow God’s leading and go to Shasta, California. It was our hope to see Kelly walk out of her wheel chair, but it didn’t happen at that time.


God does miracles. He speaks to us because He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. He can use a water bottle as message and He can speak through a movie.  He is our deliverer and our healer.  He is our heavenly Father who has a plan for each one of us.  His triumphant plan for Kelly is unfolding.


Two Years Later

Now the miracle unfolds as I complete this book in May of 2004. Recall the man who left the Shasta bottle in the post office parking lot.  He wanted to know the cost of the package but would not mail it until two o’clock. In the natural world it makes no sense to wait until two o’clock to mail a package. But in the spiritual prophetic world it may be about God’s timing. The package for Kelly’s healing can’t be sent until two o’clock. It is all about God’s timing. Perhaps two o’clock means two years later. It is now two years later. I am waiting to complete this sentence.


Suddenly on this day  ____________, Kelly walked. 


This is Kelly’s story but watch as your own story unfolds, because God as a purpose and a plan for your life. Believe.