Bible Reading, Matt. 8:1-17.
Here we have a wonderful word. All the Word is wonderful. This blessed Book brings such life and health and peace, and such an abundance that we should never be poor any more. This Book is my heavenly bank. I find everything I want in it. I want to show you how rich you may be, that in everything you can be enriched in Christ Jesus. He has abundance of grace for you and the gift of righteousness, and through His abundant grace all things are possible. I want to show you that you can be a living branch of the living Vine, Christ Jesus, and that it is your privilege to be right here in this world what He is. John tells us, “As He is, so are we in this world.” Not that we are anything in ourselves, but Christ within us is our all in all.
The Lord Jesus is always wanting to show forth His grace and love in order to draw us to Himself. God is willing to do things, to manifest His Word, and let us know in measure the mind of our God in this day and hour. There are many needy ones, many afflicted ones, but I do not think any present are half as bad as this first case that we read of in Matthew 8. This man was a leper. You may be suffering with consumption or cancers or other things, but God will show forth His perfect cleansing, His perfect healing, if you have a living faith in Christ. He is a wonderful Jesus.
This leper must have been told about Jesus. How much is missed because people are not constantly telling what Jesus will do in this our day. Probably someone had come to that leper and said, “Jesus can heal you.” And so he was filled with expectation as he saw the Lord coming down the mountain side. Lepers were not allowed to come within reach of people, they were shut out as unclean. And so in the ordinary way it would have been very difficult for him to get hear because of the crowd that surrounded Jesus. But as He came down from the mount He met this poor leper. Oh, this terrible disease! There was no help for him human speaking, but nothing is too hard for Jesus. The man cried, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Was Jesus willing? You will never find Jesus missing an opportunity of doing good. You will find that He is always more willing to work than we are to give Him an opportunity to work. The trouble is we do not come to Him, we do not ask Him for what He is more than willing to give.
And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, “I will; be thou clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. I like that. If you are definite with Him you will never go away disappointed. The divine life will flow into you and instantaneously you will be delivered. This Jesus is just the same today, and He says to you, “I will; be thou clean.” He has an overflowing cup for thee, a fullness of life. He will meet you in your absolute helplessness. All things are possible if you will only believe. God has a real plan. It is so simple. Just come to Jesus. You will find Him just the same as He was in days of old.
The next case we have in this chapter is that of the centurion coming and beseeching Jesus on behalf of his servant who was sick of the palsy and grievously tormented. This man was so in earnest that he came seeking for Jesus. Notice this, that there is one thing certain, there is no such thing as seeking without finding. He that seeketh findeth. Listen to the gracious words of Jesus, “I will come and heal him..” Most places that we go to there are so many people that we cannot pray for. In some places there are 200 or 300 who would like us to visit them, but we are not able to do so. But I am so glad that the Lord Jesus is always willing to come and heal. He longs to meet the sick ones. He loves to heal them of their afflictions. The Lord is healing many people today by means of handkerchiefs as you read that He healed people in the days of Paul. You can read this in Acts 19:12.
A woman came to me in the city of Liverpool and said, “I would like you to help me. I wish you would join with me in prayer. My husband is a drunkard and every night comes into the home under the influence of drink. Won’t you join me in prayer for him?” I said to the woman, “Have you a handkerchief?” She took out a handkerchief and I prayed over it and told her to lay it on the pillow of the drunken man. He came home that night and laid his head on the pillow in which this handkerchief was tucked. He laid his head on more than the pillow that night. He laid his head on the promise of God. In Mark 11:24, we read, “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”
The next morning the man got up and called at the first saloon that he had to pass on his way to work and ordered some beer. He tasted it and said to the bartender, “You have put some poison in this beer.” He could not drink it, and went on to the next saloon and ordered some more beer. He tasted it and said to the man behind the counter, “You put some poison in this beer, I believe you folks have agreed to poison me.” The bartender was indignant at being thus charged. The man said, “I will go somewhere else.” He went to another saloon and the same thing happened as in the two previous saloons. He made such a fuss that they turned him out. After he came out from work he went to another saloon to get some beer, and again he thought he had been poisoned and he made so much disturbance that he was thrown out. He went to his home and told his wife what had happened and said, “It seems as though all the fellows have agreed to poison me.” His wife said to him, “Can’t you see the hand of the Lord in this, that He is making you dislike the stuff that has been your ruin?” This word brought conviction to the man’s heart and he came to the meeting and got saved. The Lord has still power to set the captives free.
When I was in Australia a lady came to me who was much troubled about her son who was so lazy. I prayed over a handkerchief which was placed on the boy’s pillow. He slept that night on the handkerchief and the next morning he got up and went out and secured a position and went to work. Oh, praise the Lord, you can’t shut God out, but if you will only believe He will shut the devil out.
Jesus was willing to go and heal the sick one but the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus was delighted with this expression and said to the man, “Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” And his servant was healed the self-same hour.
When I was in Australia a man came up to me. He was leaning on a big stick and said, “I would like you to help me. It will take you half an hour to pray for me.” I said, “Believe God and in one moment you will be whole.” His faith was quickened to receive an immediate healing and he went away glorifying God for a miraculous healing. The word of the Lord is sufficient today. If you will dare to believe God’s Word you will see a performance of His Word that will be truly wonderful. Here we have with the centurion an audacity of faith, a faith that did not limit God. Failures come when we limit the Holy One of Israel. I want to encourage you to a living faith to believe God’s Word.
The next healing we read of here is the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother who was sick of a fever. Luke tells us that Jesus rebuked the fever. The fever could hear. The moment it could hear it went. Jesus had a new method. Today there are a lot of folks who try to sweat out a fever. You can’t sweat the devil out. He can stand all the heat that you can apply to him. But if thou canst believe, deliverance is as sure and certain for you as it was for Peter’s wife’s mother.
I received a telegram once urging me to visit a case about 200 miles from my home. As I went to this place I met the father and mother and found them broken hearted. They lead me up a staircase to a room and I saw a young woman on the floor and five people were holding her down. She was a frail young woman but the power in her was greater than all those young men. As I went into the room the evil powers looked out of her eyes and they used her lips saying, “We are many, you can’t cast us out.” I said, “Jesus can.” He is equal to every occasion. He is waiting for an opportunity to bless. He is ready for every opportunity to deliver souls. When we receivce Jesus it is true of us, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” He is greater than all the powers of darkness. No man can meet the devil in his own strength, but any man filled with the knowledge of Jesus, filled with His presence, filled with His power, is more than a match for the powers of darkness. God has called us to be more than conquerers through Him that loved us.
The living Word is able to destroy satanic forces. There is power in the name of Jesus. I would that every window in the street had the name of Jesus written large upon it. His name, through faith in His name brought deliverance to this poor, bound soul, and thirty-seven demons came out giving their names as they came forth. The dear woman was completely delivered and they were able to give her back her child. That night there was heaven in that home and the father and mother and son and his wife were all united in glorifying Christ for His infinite grace. The next morning we had a gracious time in the breaking of bread. All things are wonderful with our wonderful Jesus. If you would dare rest your all upon Him, things would take place and He would change the whole situation. In a moment, through the name of Jesus, a new order of things can be brought in.
In the world they are always having new diseases and the doctors cannot locate them. A doctor said to me, “The science of medicine is in its infancy, and really we doctors have no confidence in our medicine. We are always experimenting.” But the man of God does not experiment. He knows, or ought to know, redemption in its fullness. He knows, or ought to know, the mightiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not, or should not be, moved by our outward observation, but should get divine revelation of the mightiness of the name of Jesus and the power of His blood. If we exercise our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ He will come forth and get glory over all the powers of darkness.
At eventide they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.” The work is done if you only believe it. It is done. Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses. If you can only see the Lamb of God as He went to Calvary! He took our flesh that He might take upon Himself the full burden of all our sin and all the consequences of sin. There on the cross God laid upon Him the iniquities of us all. There on the cross of Calvary the results of sin were also dealt with. “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage.” Through His death there is deliverance for you today.
HUSBAND HEALED OF DOUBLE RUPTURE AND OTHER ILLS
One year ago my husband was instantly healed of double rupture of 3 years’ standing, dropsy (2 years), a weak heart, and tobacco chewing (47 years), and praise the Lord, it was all taken away when the shock from heaven’s battery went through him. Nine weeks ago today we went to Portland, Oregon, to hear Brother Smith Wigglesworth, and my husband was healed instantly of heavy blood-pressure and varicose veins which had broken in his ankles and for a year had to be dressed twice a day. No doctor could help him, but praise God, Jesus was the doctor and healed him. Should anyone wish to write me, I shall be glad to hear from them and will answer all letters.–Mrs. Frank Nephews, 202 E. 1st St., Newberg, OR.