Grace tidings: Redeemed from the curse

In John 14:9, Jesus said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father.” If you want to know what God is “really like,” look at Jesus. God is just like Jesus. Jesus said, “he that has seen me has seen the Father.”

How often do you hear some ministers of the Gospel telling their congregations that God will curse you if you don’t pay your tithes quoting Malachi 3:8-10? This could be either through ignorance and failure to rightly divide the Word of God or mere manipulation of the congregation by the preacher. Christ took away all our curses (Galatians 3:13-14).

While I am a firm believer in giving, it is not so that I avoid a curse from God. Curses are from the devil not from God.

Satan is the destroyer. Jesus is the deliverer. In his first Epistle, John says, concerning Jesus, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Again, the Bible says in Luke 9:56, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” He added, “The thief (Satan) comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In this verse, Jesus is contrasting the works of God with the works of the devil. You see, that which steals, that which kills, that which destroy is the devil’s work. That is plain enough, isn’t it? Jesus made another profound statement in this verse when He said, “I am come. . . .” Who is He? The Bible teaches that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh.

In John 14:9, Jesus said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father.” If you want to know what God is “really like,” look at Jesus. God is just like Jesus. Jesus said, “he that has seen me has seen the Father.”

Furthermore, if you want to see God at work, look at Jesus. In John 14:10, Jesus said, “Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.” The way the Father, working in Jesus, healed people was through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We read in Acts 10:38 that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. These are the works of God. (This and other scriptures plainly call sickness Satanic oppression.) When Jesus said, “the Father . . . does the works,” it meant that He did all of the works that Jesus did.

For example, when Jesus was aboard that tiny boat in the Sea of Galilee and rebuked the storm (Mark 4:39), it actually was the Father rebuking the storm through Jesus. If God caused the storm, God would be working against Himself if He rebuked it. The same holds true with healings. If God is the author of sickness and disease, yet God healed people through Jesus, then God would be working against Himself (Jesus said in Mark 3:24–25 that a house divided against itself cannot stand.)

Jesus’ description of the Father in the 14th chapter of John; His statement in the 9th verse of that chapter (“he that has seen me has seen the Father”); His statement in the 10th verse (“the Father that dwells in me, he does the works”); and the scripture from Acts 10 (“he went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil”) make it impossible for me to accept the teaching that disease and sickness are of God.

The very nature of God the Father refutes that argument. Jesus plainly taught in these and other scriptures that disease and sickness are of Satan. Let us examine the 13th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, for example. Here, Jesus was in a synagogue when a woman who was “bowed together” entered. The Bible says “she could in no wise lift up herself.” I suppose she had arthritis or some disease of that nature, because her body was locked in a bent position. Jesus called the woman to Himself and said, “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” Then He touched her. Evidently God’s healing power was transmitted by that touch into her body. She straightened up and was instantly healed. The synagogue leader became angry, pretending that his anger was because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. Jesus made a profound statement in reply. He said, “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” (v. 16). Jesus said three positive statements here: (1) Satan had bound this woman the entire eighteen years; (2) Jesus said she ought to be loosed; and (3) the reason she ought to be loosed was because she was a daughter of Abraham. “Yes,” somebody might say, “healing belonged to the Jews.” (Anytime you get a good scripture that promises you physical, material, and financial prosperity or blessing, somebody always says, “That was just for the Jews.”).

Let us turn to Galatians 3:13–14: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” Now look at the 29th verse: “And if you be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Are you Christ’s? Are you His? You know that does not mean you are Abraham’s physical seed or physical descendant. But if you are Christ’s—if you have been born again—you are Abraham’s spiritual seed, and you have fallen heir to the promise.

Now look at the 7th verse of this chapter: “Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Jesus said, “This woman ought to be loosed from her infirmity because she is a child of Abraham.” And God is saying the same thing today: “You (spiritual) sons and daughters of Abraham ought not to be bound by sickness or disease. You ought to be free.

Thank God, Jesus came to redeem us from the hand of Satan, from sin, and from sickness, because Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13). To find out what the curse of the law is, we must go back to the law—the first five books of the Bible. There we will find that the curse of the law is poverty, sickness, and death God established a covenant with the children of Israel as they were en route to the Promised Land after coming out of Egypt. God warned them that if they refused to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments they would suffer many afflictions (Deut. 28:15–68).

 If they were obedient, however, God promised, “And you shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in your land: the number of your days I will fulfil” (Exod. 23:25–26). People believe you must get sick to die, but God did not say so. God said He would fulfill the number of their days. He did not say they were not going to die—but He said they would not have to die because of sickness or disease.

Healing belongs to us under the New Covenant (or New Testament) just as it belonged to Israel under the Old. New Testament believers are redeemed now from spiritual death. We are redeemed from sickness and from poverty.

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