Monthly Archives: August 2009
(NKJV) Isaiah 53:1-12, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked — But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53:5, “…and by His stripes we are healed.”
Psalm 103:3, “…who heals all your diseases.”
So many preachers/teachers and believers interpret these texts, particularly Isaiah 53:5 as to the physical. Reading these two verses IN context clearly reveals that they are rather unto spiritual healing. Isolating a text from any passage and replaced by assumption does nothing but violence to the true meaning. Many heresies and wrong teaching are the result of such carelessness.
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
We see from these two passages in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103 that they are in the context of sin – our spiritual disease. It is important to note, at this point, that God DID heal physically and still does. But sadly our focus today is on the miraculous; signs and wonders, rather than on the imperatives. Our interests are consumed with the gifts rather than with the Giver of the gifts – God Himself and our relationship with Him. This reminds me of how the disciples were amazed and taken up with power, phenomenon, miraculous, the extraordinary, rather than the core essentials.
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Such manifestations are never the test of genuine saving faith.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
This is one of the most alarming and heart searching texts in scripture. Our one and only foundation is that we are in THE saving relationship with God through Christ Jesus and that we know we are His for eternity.
We are so obsessed, ever seeking the miraculous that we are just like the people as in John 4:48,”Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
The pressure on us today is to perform or witness signs and wonders (we’re inclined to believe that God is not in our midst if such things do not take place). We constantly hear of ‘healing meetings’ held at such a place and at such a time. Where is this warranted in scripture? Did Jesus advertise in advance? Did the apostles announce up-coming healing events? Certainly not – the signs and wonders followed.
The preaching of the Word. How we have it the wrong way around. We’ve kicked pure doctrine out and welcomed in a marathon of experiences; many of them demonic, I kid you not! The testing of the spirits – discernment, is a practice almost extinct in the church today. But that’s another subject in itself.
The greatest phenomenon or miracle, apart from the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, is to witness a hard bent sinner heading for eternal destruction, all of a sudden being turned by the sheer might, power and grace of God, into a son/daughter of heaven. Nothing impresses me more than this; translation from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Herein lies the manifestation of why Christ came into the world. It certainly thrills the angels and the whole of heaven rejoice over this.
Luke 15:7, 10, “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
I wonder where our priorities are; this is the miracle of all miracles! Wherein does our excitement lie?
So, if our text from Isaiah 53:5 “…and by His stripes we are healed.” implies our physical healing, there is one valid point I bring to your attention: Why does physical death still take place in a believer’s life? Christ HAS overcome death and it no longer masters us because we are in Christ, but we still physically die. Surely if this verse is interpreted in such a way as to our physical healing, then the effects of original sin (the fall of man from Adam affecting ALL in the human race) causing decay unto physical death would end in a believer’s life – right? No! As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16,“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
The results of the fall of man still affect the physical; it affects the whole of creation until the redemption of our body at the end. Let’s look at what Paul said in Romans 8:19-23, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Sickness still abides and we’re all prone to it – even the believer. Some Christians today experience physical healing and some don’t. Take Joni Erickson Tada for instance, who has remained in her wheelchair for decades and yet she ministers to people all around the world. God in His providence will permit and use sickness for His glory.
This verse Isaiah 53:5 in its context can only be interpreted as unto our spiritual healing.
References to spiritual healing in the Old Testament:
Psalm 6:2; 30:2; 60:2; 107:20; 147:3
Isaiah 6:10; 30:26; 57:18-19; 61:1
Jeremiah 3:22; 6:14; 8:11; 14:19; 15:18; 17:14; 30:13, 17; 51:8-9
Hosea 6:1; 7:1; 11:3; 14:4
We will understand these verses only when read in their context.
The issue with Israel was her continual backsliding; a divided heart. Psalm 78 describes her condition, as verse 8 reveals: “…And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
Wasn’t Israel’s REAL need for an alteration deep within, a change of heart? A wound (original sin) that was incurable. Ezekiel 36 speaks of what was to come in replacing the heart of stone with one of flesh. Verses 26 and 27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
Paul speaks of the circumcision of the heart in Romans 2:29, “…but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” And Colossians 2:11, 13 “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,… And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…”
In Isaiah 53, we see that Christ:
– bore our griefs
– carried our sorrows
– was afflicted by God
– was wounded
– was bruised
– was oppressed
– was chastised
– was cut off
– was stricken for our transgressions
“He (God) made Him (Christ) who knew no sin, to be sin for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21
“…You made His soul an offering for sin.” Isaiah 53:10
For our transgressions, for our iniquity, He poured out His soul unto death, paid the price for our peace and reconciliation with God.
Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Ephesians 2:16, “…and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”
Colossians 1:20-22, “…and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – “
Hear Peter expound on Isaiah 53:5 in 1 Peter 2:21-25, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Here, scripture plainly interprets scripture as Peter mentions ‘by whose stripes we are healed.’ Is there anything pertaining to physical healing in this context? Some may argue to show that it was for physical healing in verse 24 where he states, “…who Himself bore our sins in His own BODY.”
Now, if we read Leviticus 8:14, “…And he brought the bull for the sin offering. Then Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering…”
Then, Leviticus 16:20-22, “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.” Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. “The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
This was a fore-shadow of the Christ that was to come. These verses link strongly to Isaiah 53:6 and 11 “…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” and “…for He shall bear their iniquities”. The Judgment we deserved was executed upon Christ, therefore if we are IN Christ (born again, as to acknowledge and receive Christ as Lord and Savior of our life) there is no condemnation, we are not under that judgment any longer. The Judgment remains upon those who reject Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.
We were once enemies of God and under His wrath – one man’s sin imputed to all mankind, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned –“ Romans 5:12. But the good news is, as Paul states in Romans 5:8 that God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And also in verse 10, he declares that when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son. This reconciliation is truly made effective by spiritual rebirth or our spiritual healing.
“By whose stripes we are healed.”
Healed from what?
Romans 3:10-18, “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
In Ephesians 2:2-3, “…in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
Ephesians 2:16, “…thereby putting to death the enmity” (between God and man).
Healed into what?
Into Christ, as reflected in the following scriptures:
Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” Verses 19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
Colossians 1:12-14, “…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
“We are a new creation in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Galatians 4:7, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us (Romans 4:22-24).
2 Peter 1:4, “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
So, we have the healing of reconciliation and fellowship with God. We are a new creation having been set free from sin (Romans 6:18, 22) but we will still on occasion fall into sin. But we are not mastered by it or slaves to it; rather we are slaves unto Christ and His righteousness. (Romans 6:17)
Galatians 5:17 clearly reveals that there is a fight with sin until the end. We’re not perfect yet. Not until our glorification, as is stated in Romans 8:23, 30 and Ephesians 1:13-14. Our glorification (having new bodies) at Christ’s appearance will be eternal freedom from sin. We will not be bothered by the shadows, the environment of sin and the evil in the world as we enter into perfection. Our total, final and complete healing will take place in glory as stated in Revelation 22:2, which will be the healing of the nations.
But we ARE healed to stand right in God’s eyes because of Jesus, for He bore our sins in His body – it was the only way. There is no other effective way to be healed.
– healed because Christ took our place
– healed because we’ve been born again by the Spirit of God through the grace of God
– healed because we’re justified
– healed because we wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness
– healed because we are at peace with God
– healed through sanctification
– healed because His Spirit lives within us and we are empowered to live righteously and pleasing in God’s sight
– healed to conform to the image of Jesus Christ
– healed to be presented without spot, wrinkle, blemish or any such thing at the end of time
– healed to live with God eternally
Let us not water down God’s Word or bring it down to our level of understanding, but rather be subject to the authority of it and so be elevated to behold the wonder, beauty, power and glory of what He has revealed.
Isaiah 53:5, “…and by His stripes we are healed.”