Next to being saved from hell of eternal destruction, divine health is the greatest blessing we can have.
Some people might say, “No! It would be great if I had lots of money. Then, I can do so many things.” I’m sure there are people who have lots of money but not able to do anything with it because of health issues.
If someone is on his deathbed, I do not think he would say, “I wish I had made one more million.” I believe he would be thinking, “if only I could have my health back. There are so many things to do, so many people to say, ‘I love you’ to.”
You can also have a great family with wonderful children, but if you are sick, and cannot run around and play with your kids, that would be sheer misery. That is why I believe that health is the greatest blessing we can have while we are still here on earth. Without it, there is no way we can enjoy the blessings of God.
You will find that when Jesus walked on earth, most of His miracles were in the area of healing. That is because His nature is to heal.
The Bible says that Jesus “…went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38) He did not walk on water all the time, He did not calm storms all the time, but He healed all the time.
When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the Promised Land, He made sure that none of them were sick.
Psalm 105:37 He brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.
In Cecil De Mille’s production of the Ten Commandments, a blind old man shuffled out of Egypt with a walking stick. That is how Hollywood dramatizes the Holy Word. But it is incorrect.
God’s Word says that there were none feeble so that old man could not have been blind or bent over. Bible scholars estimate that there were about 2.5 million Israelites who left Egypt healed, healthy and whole. That was and still is God’s will for His people today – all healed, healthy and whole.
If it is God’s nature to heal, have you wondered why many Christians are sick? I am not referring to minor ailments like a cough or cold. I am referring to serious life-threatening illnesses.
Now, if the people of the world are sick, it should not surprise us. They do not have Jesus Christ as their protection, so it is not wonder they are sick.
But when believers are sick, I want to know why. And I do not want to draw my conclusions from human experience, I want an answer from God’s Word.
You might be surprised to know that the Bible gives one and only one reason why Christians are weak and sick, and die prematurely.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, said, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” Sleep here means death, not bodily rest. For Paul said, “For this reason…” He did not say, “for these reasons”. He was pointing us to one singular reason Christians become weak and sick, and die before their time.
And what is “this reason” that Paul was highlighting to us? He said, “… not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason….” So the reason the Corinthians became weak and sick was their failure to discern the Lord’s body.
If we discern the Lord’s body we will walk in His health and wholeness.
It means that they did not know why they were partaking of the body when they came to the Table. They had no idea why there were eating the bread. And this was the reason they were not receiving the divine life of their Saviour, causing them to be weak and sick, and to die prematurely.
Since truth is parallel, it means that if we do discern the Lord’s body, we will walk in His health and wholeness.
This is only logical. The same can be said of, what is the opposite of short? Tall. Or what is the opposite of small? Big.
So it follows that if Paul said, “…not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep”, then it must be that when we do discern the Lord’s body, we will be strong and healthy, and live long.
You would have thought that Christians would study this passage so that they can walk in divine health. After all, Paul had singled out this one reason as the cause of sickness and, ultimately premature death for many Christians.
Yet, it seems that most people in the body of Christ choose to focus on food and exercise as the key to living a healthy life. In fact, one of the best-selling themes in Christian bookstores is food. There are all kinds of books on what to eat and what not to eat.
I am not knocking these books. What I am saying is that God does not want us to focus on food or exercise as the key to divine health. He does not want us to put our trust in natural means to stay healthy. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…”
Some people think that they will walk in divine health if they are on a Mediterranean diet since that was Jesus’ diet. But let me remind you that the majority of the people whom Jesus healed were on a Mediterranean diet. They never had pork or prawns or any of that high-cholesterol stuff. Yet, they were still sick because natural solutions can only go so far.
By all means eat well and exercise. I watch what I eat by staying away from too much sugar. I do like desserts and will have them when offered. I also try to exercise but my trust in not in my own feeble human efforts. My trust is in God to keep me healthy. And God has ordained the Holy Communion as a key channel of health and wholeness for His people.
The early church believed this. That is why “…they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42) They majored on the majors. They made a big deal of those things that God made a big deal of.
They took God at His Word. It is no wonder that they experienced God’s power. In Acts 2:43, 46 we read that they broke bread from house to house, and many signs and wonders were done through the apostles.
Although the body of Christ today understands the importance of doctrine, fellowship and prayer, few in the church truly understand the significance of the breaking of bread (or the Holy Communion). That is why many are weak and sick, and die before their time.
Down through history, powerful doctrines like “justification by faith” have come under severe attack by the devil. This is what happened to the Holy Communion. The devil has pushed the church to two erroneous and extreme interpretations of this truth. On one side are the believers of transubstantiation and, on the other, are people who have reduced the Holy Communion to a mere ritual.
“Transubstantiation is the alleged process whereby the bread and wine offered up at Communion are changed to that of the real body and blood of Jesus Christ.
I believe that God wants to restore the true meaning and power of the Holy Communion to the church so that His people will rightly discern His body when they come to the Table. This will cause them to become strong and healthy, and to live long.
The Holy Communion will add years to our lives and life to our years.
The Lord has made special provision for our health and this is all found in the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, when we come to partake at His Table.
It is one of my greatest passions in life to see the body of Christ receive every single thing that our Saviour suffered and died to give us. And I know that when God’s people are correctly taught about how healing is dispensed at the Lord’s Table, health and wholeness will follow. It will add years to our lives and life to our years.
When we recognize that the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for His people and we teach the church to rightly discern the Lord’s body when they come to His Table, God’s people will be healthy and strong, and will live long.
Having established that the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for His people, it is time to find out how to experience that divine life that comes through discerning the Lord’s body.
Notice that Paul said that it was not a failure to discern the blood, but a failure to discern the body that caused the people to be weak and sick, and to die before their time.
1 Corinthians 11:29-30
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
When I used to take communion I did not understand the importance of the two elements and the significance of them. God has since shown me that the body and blood is a two-fold application in the Communion. The wine, which is His blood, is for our forgiveness. And the bread, which is His body, is for our healing.
The Corinthians, like most Christians today, had no problem discerning the blood. Paul’s epistles make it very clear that the blood of Jesus brings forgiveness of sins.
In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
IN Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…
Because the Son of God paid the penalty for your sins with His spotless blood, you can go scot-free when you put your trust in His blood to save you. When you partake of the wine, know that you are forgiven and have been made righteous. The blood of Jesus has given you right standing before God, so that you can come boldly into His presence. And when you pray, you can be sure He hears you.
That is how you discern the blood and most Christians understand that. But not many know how to discern the Lord’s body.
To do that, we must first know what the bread represents. Jesus established that the bread, which is His body, is for our healing. How do we know that? When he spoke to the Syro-Phoenician woman regarding her daughter’s healing, He called healing “the children’s bread”.
The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”
Notice that when she asked Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter, He said that is was not good to give the “children’s bread” to the “little dogs”. What does “bread” refer to? It refers to the healing that she was asking for. And what do “dogs” refer to? They refer to non-Jews or Gentiles like herself.
So Jesus was actually saying that healing was only for God’s covenant people and not for Gentiles who were not included in the covenant then.
Now that we know what Jesus meant it should also be noted that the bread is referred to healing and not deliverance. The Bible treats disease and demon possession as the same thing since they both originate from the devil.
Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and “…healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. Notice that disease is due to the devil’s oppression. This, disease and demon possession are both the results of oppression by the devil and we need God’s healing for these problems.
From this incident, it becomes clear that Jesus sees healing as the children’s bread. The woman put her faith in that little crumb, and that act released power to drive the demon out of her daughter.
So the bread, even a small crumb, which is His body, is for our healing since we are now God’s children and fully entitled to the healing bread.
I believe that when Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26;26), the disciples did not need any explanation like the one I just gave.
They knew that He wanted to impart to them His life, health and wholeness. These men were with Him every day and not once did they see Him sick. Not once did they see Him come down with a flu, fever or stomachache. He never had to say to them, “Can one of you preach the Sermon on the Mount for me? I don’t feel up to it today.” The Lord was never sick.
More than that, He was vibrant, full of life and full of health. When those who were without hands and feet were brought to Him, they were made perfectly whole. The body parts they needed were imparted to them from the heavenly store when they touched Him.
And his body was so filled with life that even His clothes were soaked with His health. The Bible says that a woman with an issue of blood for 12 years came to Him knowing that He was her only hope. (Mark 5:25-34)
She had spent all her money and suffered many things from many physicians. And what was the result? She was not better, but instead, became worse! Yet, with just one touch of the hem of His garment, she was immediately healed of the affliction.
If the hem of His garment could be soaked with His health, can you imagine His body?
No wonder Luke said, “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19) When a doctor, and Luke was a doctor, says this, you know that it is for real.
There was no need to tell the disciples that when He said, “Take, eat; this is My body,” He was imparting His life, health and wholeness to their bodies. They knew better than anyone else that taking the bread meant ingesting His health into their mortal bodies.
The matzah, a flat bread eaten during the Passover, is a good object lesson of what Jesus’ body symbolizes. The Mishnah or Jewish oral laws gave instructions on the preparation of this bread.
According to these laws, the bread was to be unleavened, baked, pierced with holes and striped. No leaven was used because leaven in the Bible represents sin, and Jesus is the perfect, sinless Son of God. That is why He is able to take our sins upon Himself.
His body was burnt because the full fury of God’s wrath against our sins fell on Him. This fire was supposed to fall on us and our families, but it fell on Jesus instead.
His side was pierced and He bore those merciless stripes on His back so that our bodies might be made whole.
As you partake of His broken body, know that His body was broken so that yours can be whole. When you partake in this spirit of faith, something happens to your body. You become strong, healthy and you will live long.
By now it should be clear that the blood and the body have two different applications. This is consistent throughout the Bible.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” (Isaiah 53:4) Griefs and sorrows in the Young’s Literal Translation states that “Surely our sicknesses He hath borne, and our pains – He hath carried them…”
Matthew 8:17 says, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses”.
In the Greek, “infirmities” means bodily weaknesses. So we can see very clearly that Isaiah was saying that the Messiah would take upon His own body, our bodily weaknesses, sicknesses, and pains. In other words, Jesus bore not just our sins, but also our bodily weaknesses, sicknesses and pains. This is what some hymn writers of old called the “double cure”.
This double cure is evident in the Passover. The Lord’s Supper was first celebrated on the same day as the Passover because it is the true Passover.
Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup in the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
The Old Testament is the shadow, the New Testament is the real substance. Jesus is the true, perfect, unblemished, holy Lamb of God. So the Passover is a type of the Lord’s Supper.
During the first Passover, they killed the lamb and put the blood on the doorposts. This caused the destroyer to pass over their families because God said, “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you…” (Exodus 12:13)
The blood was for the people’s forgiveness. The blood covered the people’s sins and appeased the righteous requirements of God.
But what did they do inside the house?
Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
They ate the roasted lamb and the unleavened bread. This was to give them strength for the journey. It was not natural strength that they received. It was supernatural.
That is why there were “…none feeble”. (Psalm 105:37) It takes a supernatural work of God for 2.5 million people to all be healthy.
We know that this lamb was a mere shadow of the real substance. So if the body of a “shadow lamb” could bring such supernatural results, how much more the body of the true “substance lamb” our Lord Jesus Christ!
Here again, the double cure was at work – the blood was for forgiveness, and the body and bread were for divine strength. No wonder when they left Egypt, there were none feeble.
David described the double cure this way, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases”. (Psalm 103:2-3) Notice that His benefits include the forgiveness of our sins as well as the healing of our diseases.
Healing, like forgiveness, is not a promise. It is the blood-bought right of Christians.
When Jesus took our punishment on the cross, it did not just bring us forgiveness, it also brought us healing.
Most people, when asked whether they are sure of their forgiveness, say they are. They know that God has already forgiven them because of the cross. But when asked if they are sure of their healing, they say they are not.
I want you to know that at the cross, Jesus bore our sins and our sicknesses. And so healing, like forgiveness, is not a promise. It is the blood-bought right of Christians.
Because of what He did at the cross, we do not just have forgiveness, we also have healing. Forgiveness and healing go hand in hand. The faith that you have for forgiveness is the same faith that will bring your healing.
Healing through the Holy Communion can also be gradual. That is how it is working for me. I have suffered so much over the years with sinus issues, eczema; (suffered for 3 months with severe itching day and night), headaches, sleeplessness.
As I partake I am getting better and better over time. I will even do it at work. I believe that I am healed and I am realizing that it has nothing to do with me but putting my faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross. When he said, “It is finished”! I believe by faith that my healing is complete. I may have symptoms of it still being there but they are lying symptoms. The devil wants me to believe that I will suffer with these things for the rest of my life but I know in my heart that that is not the truth. The truth is I am healed of all my afflictions.
One other lesser known aspect of the Holy Communion is the power of proclaiming the Lord’s death. Paul said, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11;26)
You might ask, “What about the Lord’s death are we proclaiming and to whom are we proclaiming it?” Paul said it another place, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
So when we remember Jesus’ death, we are also proclaiming to the principalities and powers that they have been disarmed because He has triumphed over them.
Psalm 25:5 You prepare a Table before me in the presence of my enemies.
When you have Holy Communion you are proclaiming to demon spirits that Jesus reigns.
And when you release your faith in the finished, complete and perfect work of Jesus at the cross, every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. This means that every demon has to flee.
Jesus told us to have Communion often. So there must be something powerful about it. Do you think that He would make us do something often without having our blessing in mind?
Those who believe in the power of that one perfect sacrifice on the cross know that His blessings of health, wholeness, and preservation abound at His Table.
Once you are a believer, you are a priest. (1Peter 2:9) So you can partake of the Lord’s Supper and even minister it to others. You do not need a pastor to do it.
In the church, pastors do it because they are the spiritual authority over the people, and there must be order in how things are conducted.
But outside the church, you, as a royal priest, are qualified to partake on your own. Do as Jesus said – have it often. “How often?” you might ask. As often as you need to. It depends on how much you want His health and wholeness. I’m not saying that you must partake every day. But if you are sick, I would recommend that you have Holy Communion daily. There are people who are so radical that they take it like medicine – three times a day. And you know what? They get radical results. So partake because the Holy Communion is God’s channel of health and wholeness for you.
God has truly made it easy for His people to walk in divine health. We just need to come to His Table, put our faith in His broken body for our healing and partake. It is so simple, yet so powerful. This is not the time to examine yourself to see if you have sin in your life. When Jesus rose from the grave you automatically became the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You have sin but God does not see it. When He looks at you all He sees is Jesus because you are in Christ. When you partake of communion know that you are forgiven of all your sins, past, present and future. Know that you are healed because of the stripes that Jesus bore on His back. Every stripe that He was given He saw you and those things that are afflicting you today. This is a time to celebrate what Jesus did on the cross and what happened when He rose from the grave.