MIRACLES IN MATTHEW (LEPROSY)
Today we are going to be talking about the atonement. What Jesus did for you. The "atonement" means He took your sins and sicknesses upon Himself. He not only took your sins upon Himself but He also made healing available to you. So when you hear the word "atonement" especially in the Old Testament, it means to cover. Atonement means to cover your sins. The Old Testament priests made sacrifices as atonement for sin, but today instead of sacrificing the animals on the altar, we receive communion. That's the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament. When the people came for communion or the atonement in the Old Testament, they came and their sins were atoned for or covered, but they had to come back as soon as they sinned again to have their sins covered again. Now, praise God that we have 1 John 1:9."If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
When we receive communion today, your sins will be forgiven, but you might walk out of here today and sin again. So do you come back and have communion again? No. This is in remembrance of what Jesus said. Jesus said I give you a better covenant, a new covenant. If you sin you don't have to come back to the church and receive the communion but you have 1 John 1:9 which says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We are going to see something today that I believe will really bless you. Matthew 8 picks up where Matthew 4 left off. Matthew 5-6-7 are parenthetical. The bible says at the end of chapter 4, beginning of chapter 5, that Jesus went up into the mountains. Why did He go up there? The multitudes became go great that He had to take time out and bring His disciples up in the mountains to train them, because He couldn't handle the multitudes of people. That's what we are doing in the church today. It's not just up to the Pastor any more. The Pastor has to disciple the people and get them prepared because the multitudes are going to come in. You need people to go to all different places. Matthew 5:1, Jesus went up in the mountain and that began the Sermon on the Mount. So chapters 5-6-7 were a training period. Matthew 8:1, "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him." Verse 2, "And behold there came a leper and worshipped him...." Notice the first individual healing was a leper. Not a man with palsy, not a blind man, but a leper. This has great significance about what Jesus has done for you. Verse 2, "And behold there came a leper and worshipped him saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." I know you can heal me. Verse 3, "And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him saying, I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Now remember, leprosy is sin. Aids is sin. Leprosy in the Old Testament was sin, aids in the New Testament is sin, the times we are living in. It's unfortunate that there are other ways to receive aids, you don't always have to be in sin. But we are talking about the origin of sin. The origin of aids is sin. The origin of leprosy in the Old Testament was sin and because of the way the people lived, this terrible disease of leprosy came upon them. They would not turn from their wicked ways and turn to God, so God allowed leprosy to come upon them. Verse 4, "And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." This is what Jesus told the leper to do. Now there are three things I want you to see here. 1. It is always God's desire to heal. Always. Because there are many people in many churches who want to take healing out of the atonement. They believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross but they don't want to believe that Jesus died so you can be healed. They say, if it's God's will to be healed. That is not what God says in the scripture. He says, I will. It's his desire to heal. 2. There is a definite link between sin and sickness. How do we know this? Because in Verse 3 it says, immediately his leprosy was cleansed. The word leprosy means sin and sickness. Many of the other diseases in the Old Testament were sicknesses but they weren't sin. We are going to go over this. So we know from Verse 3 that there is an inseparable link. The two go together. 3. In Verse 4, Jesus told him to go show himself to the priest. We see here that an atonement is necessary for sin and sickness. Don't forget that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are in the New Testament, but they are Old Testament books. They are the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. That's why you see so much of the Old Testament teaching in these books. Even though it's in the New Testament, they are Old Testament teachings. You don't hear anything about leprosy in the New Testament from the Day of Pentecost on. Actually the New Testament begins in the Book of Acts, from the Day of Pentecost. Now another thing you are going to see and you are not going to like this, is that sickness is a type of sin. Now I just ruined the whole morning because nobody is going to raise their hand and say I'm sick. But you're going to see this as we teach it, that sickness is a type of sin in the New Testament. Just like leprosy in the Old Testament was sin.
Matthew 10:7 - this is Jesus giving his disciples a command of what he wants them to do. "And as ye go preach saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Verse 8, "Heal the sick, cleanse the leper...." Now why if leprosy is a disease, why didn't Jesus just say, heal the sick? Did you ever stop and think about that? Why is cleanse the leper here? In other words, leprosy is isolated from all other sicknesses. Because leprosy is a type of sin. It's the only disease that is cleansed when it is healed. Out of all the diseases known to mankind. In Matthew 8, that man walked away and he was totally cleansed. Jesus is making a point here. Understanding about leprosy is understanding the atonement. That sin and sickness can be healed. That's why there is so much about leprosy in the New Testament. Jesus is showing us in the Old Testament that there is coming an atonement for you. And he showed us this by using the stories about lepers. In other words, a leper had to have an atonement for the sin and the sickness. What God does on the outside, He always does on the inside. Remember the ten lepers, Jesus told them to go and be healed. And what happened as they went? They were healed. Now as they went what was God doing? He was healing the inside of those lepers. And when you get healed on the inside, it comes out and you're healed on the outside. As they went, where were they going? To show themselves to the priest. Why? Because the priest had to make an atonement for them and pronounce them clean. Now you know why you have to understand leprosy in order for you to totally understand healing. If you understand what the leper stories are about in the bible, and you understand where leprosy came from, then you in the New Testament will understand that when Jesus went to the cross he atoned for everyone of your sins and everyone of your sicknesses. Leprosy is a picture of the atonement of Jesus Christ and what He did for you. Not only did Jesus, when He hung on the cross, take care of sin but He also took care of your sickness. There are many people in traditional churches that say, if it be God's will to be healed. Jesus, through the study of leprosy, if the leper was cleaned and cleansed in the Old Testament, his sin and sickness was taken away, why isn't it taken away in the New Testament? Why do people still say, if it be God's will? It is always God's will to heal. And He gave us a picture of this through leprosy. Sin and sickness was forgiven. Jesus Christ hung on the cross, sin and sickness was dealt with, now you have the privilege of receiving those blessings in your life.
I want to clear up the point that sickness is sin. Go to Mark 2 - you know the story about these four men with a man who had palsy. They put him in a bed and wanted to get him to Jesus because they knew if they could get to Jesus, the palsy man would be healed. When they arrived at the house there were so many people around it they couldn't get in. So they went up on the roof and chopped a hole in the roof and lowered this man down in front of Jesus. Listen to what Jesus said, Mark 2:5, Right now we are leery to bring people for healing to church because we are not really sure if Jesus is going to heal them. Let's be honest. You don't want to look bad if they don't get healed. But when these miracles start to happen, you're going to knocking on your neighbor's door and telling them what's happening down at the church. It is going to happen. Now you're not too sure about this because you don't see too much of it. You want to wait and see, but don't wait and see, begin to do. And when you begin doing it, Jesus will begin to do it. Just because someone died in your family, that doesn't mean that Jesus stopped healing people. We have to get passed that type of thinking. I don't know why so and so died. That is not for me to ask. It happened. One day when I get up into heaven, Jesus will tell me why. But in the meantime the bible says to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. And when you begin to believe it, then it's going to begin to happen. "...Son thy sins be forgiven thee." The scribes said that only God could forgive sins. Jesus was trying to show them that He was God. They didn't want to believe it. They were reasoning. Don't get caught up in reasoning, get caught up in what God says, lay hands on the sick. This is what Jesus said in Verse 9, "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed and walk?" Jesus was saying, is it easier for me to say your sins are forgiven or to heal your physical body? What is the difference? To forgive sins which is a result of spiritual death, or to heal a physical body which is also a result of spiritual death. But in either case, you are dealing with Satan's lordship over man. So what's the difference if you have sin or sickness. Jesus said it doesn't matter. The reason you are the way you are is because of Satan's lordship over you. And that is why I am here today, Jesus is saying, to show you that I am God and I have control over what Satan does and I can heal people. Verse 10, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy)." Notice it doesn't say the Son of God, it says the Son of man. God was manifested in the flesh, a real man just like you and I. People will say, well that's God, He can heal anybody. He said, I am the Son of man. I'm as human as you are. I did it, now you can do it. You have to be encouraged today church. Jesus was a human person. Yes, He was God but He was as human as you and I are. And He said, the works that I do you shall do greater works. But you don't have the confidence in what Jesus said. There is a way, a means and a time. For every sickness and disease that's in this room today, there is a way, a means and a time when you will be healed. And it's up to God. It's our job as people in the church to continue to pray and pray and pray as never before.
MIRACLES IN MATTHEW
Ps 23 - The seven redemptive names of God are in this one psalm.
Verse 1, "The Lord is my shepherd (Jehovah-Raah); I shall not want (Jehovah Jireh)". Verse 2, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (Jehovah Shalom); he leadeth me beside the still waters". Verse 3, "He restoreth my soul (Jehovah Rapha); he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake (Jehovah Tsidkenu)". Verse 4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me (Jehovah Shammah); thy rod and thy staff (word & spirit) they comfort me". Verse 5, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies (Jehovah Nissi); thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Verse 6, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
This morning I am laying a foundation for miracles in the book of Matthew which is the first book in the New Testament. It is also a book of transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In this book you will read about John the Baptist. He was a minister of transition and the last prophet in the Old Testament. Jesus is the minister of transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The theme for the book of Matthew is in Matt 1:1, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." The son of David is the king and the son of Abraham is the Jew. So the theme of the book is "Jesus, the King of the Jews". So much is said in one verse. Over in Mark it shows Jesus as the servant. Over in Luke it talks about Jesus being the ideal man. In John it talks about Jesus as being the eternal Son of God.
In the four gospels they all talk about stories of Jesus. Some overlap and they talk about the same stories, but there is only one subject that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John talked about. We will see this in Acts 10:37, "That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached." Verse 38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Jesus' ministry began when he was water baptized. For 30 years, Jesus had never preached or laid hands on anyone. Notice what happened in these two verses. 1. Jesus was anointed. How many believe you are anointed? 2. Jesus was clothed (endued) with power. How many of you believe you were endued with power when you received the baptism of the Holy Ghost? 3. It says he was sent out. There isn't a person here that is born again that is not a minister of reconciliation. Now if Jesus did all this work, He wants you to do the same thing and greater works shall you do. That's why he wants you to know how His ministry started so your ministry can start. Many of our ministries have not started yet because the anointing has been upon you, you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but you are sitting back and not doing the work of Jesus. This is what he wants to encourage each one of us to do. Some of us have done work of Jesus but stopped for one reason or other. Things came along in life and you got so carried away with your job, finances, new house, things of the world, that you forgot the ministry of reconciliation that He gave to you and you stopped bringing people into the Kingdom of God. You stopped laying hands on people out in the street. It was easier for you to walk by and pray for them, and you did nothing. So God is telling you here, this is how the ministry of Jesus Christ started. He wants you to do the ministry of Jesus Christ. He wants you to do what He said about you. You are a minister of reconciliation. He has anointed you with the same power that He has. Over in Acts 1:8, why do you think, if all there is to Christianity is being born again and bringing people into the Kingdom of God, then who's going to bring the rest of the people to God right now? Who's going to do it if we don't do it? Now if being born again was the only thing that Jesus wanted to do for you, why did He tell you in Acts 1:8 that you will be endued with power? Well, didn't I receive that power when I became born again? No. There is a subsequent experience after being born again. When the disciples went into the upper room they were born again. So why did Jesus say to them that, you shall be endued with power? That power did not come upon them when they became born again. This is so important. That's why this is the only event that is recorded by the four gospels. That He was water baptized and the power from upon high, the Holy Ghost came upon Him. He gave us the example. Many people say all you need is to be born again. You don't need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You don't have to speak in tongues. That's not want Jesus said. In Acts 1:8 He said you shall receive the power. Why? Because that is going to be a sign to the people that need to be brought into God's kingdom now. The harvest is ready, the time is now to go out and get these people.
In Mark 16:17 it says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." Believe me it takes power to cast out devils. He didn't stop by just saying become born again. He wants you to be filled, endued, clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's talk about this virtue, this power, this dunamos (Greek for power). Mark 5:25, "And a certain woman, which had an issued of blood twelve years." Verse 26, "And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse." When you have lost everything in life, there is only one person you can touch that will give you an answer. That is Jesus Christ. Some of you have come to depths in life where you just want to give up. Maybe some of you have become bankrupt. Some of you have been so sick, you went to every doctor in town and there was no answer. This woman finally came to the conclusion there was one who had the answer. You and I have to come to that conclusion. There is one who has your answer and that is Jesus Christ. Watch what happens. Verse 27, "When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind and touched his garment." She put herself in a position to receive. She had a plan and that was to touch Jesus' garment. Verse 28, "For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole." What you have said today is a result of what you said and believed yesterday. She confessed today what she wanted tomorrow. When she heard that Jesus was coming to town she knew that that was her tomorrow. She knew that she was going to get healed. What you say today will determine what you will receive tomorrow. Verse 29, "And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague." Verse 30, "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press and said, Who touched my clothes?" The "virtue" is the dunamos power or the healing power of Jesus Christ. Multitudes of people and he knew there was one that touched him. You can be that one if you prepare your words now and repent of the negative words you have said in your life. Negative words will stay with you. You should ask God to forgive you for saying these words. Cancel out those negative words in your life and begin to get your confession right. Many of you are suffering the consequences of what you did years ago. There is a consequence to any type of sin but God is a forgiving God. You must cancel those negative words out so that you can change your situation. Verse 31, "And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?" Verse 34, "And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." Jesus found her with his eyes.
Luke 6:19, "And the whole multitude sought to touch him; for there went virtue out of him and healed them all." Jesus walked with enough virtue in Him that it never ran out. Who knows how many this multitude was, but as many touched Him, virtue flowed out. And there is one thing that turns the faucet on, the handle of faith. Today if you can get hold and unloose that faucet of faith, the virtue will flow from heaven into your body. The virtue is always in the name of Jesus. It's always in the word of God. It will never stop. Luke 5:17, "And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present to heal them." Not one of them received healing in their bodies because they shut the faucet off. They came to argue with Jesus and to oppose Him. That is why the faucet was shut off. The bible clearly says the power of the Lord was present to heal them. He could have worked a great miracle in Galilee, Judaea and Jerusalem had those leaders had received what Jesus had for them. But they didn't want it. They wanted to stay under the law and their own ways and they shut the faucet off on Jesus. Verse 18, "And behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy; and they sought means to bring him in and to lay him before him." Verse 19, "And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus." Verse 20, "And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man thy sins are forgiven thee." Where there is faith, healing will always come. Jesus always responds to the faith. Teach, preach, heal - that's the roadmap Jesus Christ has giving to each one of us. If you're not instructed first, you will never hold your healing. Because the devil is going to come and try to steal the healing you received. After Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon Him, the very next order in His life was that Jesus went out into the wilderness filled with the Holy Ghost. It says that Satan came to test Him. When you get filled with the Holy Ghost, Satan will come and test you, and see if you are going to retain the power. Many people after they are baptized in the Holy Spirit never speak in tongues again. And that's sad. And the power is not in their life. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness and tempted His power. Then he lied to Jesus and said, All this power is mine. That's a different type of power, it was authority power. He said it all belonged to him and if Jesus would bow down he would give it to Him. Why did he make that deal with him? Because he knew if he could get the power out of Jesus, the power could never flow through you. And Jesus said no. He quoted the word, it is written. Praise God for what Jesus did for you in that wilderness because now the church has the power.
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