Tags: Biblical doctors, Biblical medicine, blogging, doctors, Doctors in the Bible, Luke 5, medicine, milestones, Robert Palmer, The Great Physician
The Deep End just keeps getting deeper. Things have really picked up during the second half of this year, and another milestone for all-time views was surpassed a couple of days ago. If you are a subscriber or a regular reader: Thank you. I am always surprised (and absurdly pleased) when someone is helped by one of the posts on this site, and I am grateful to God that He has allowed me to continue blogging. Any fruit that is produced is His fruit, and abounds to His glory.
In honor of this momentous occasion, and with many of my friends battling colds, flu, and even pneumonia at this time of the year, I thought it would be a good time to re-set the category called Biblical Doctoring, which started off with a series of posts under the acrostic D.O.C.T.O.R.
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
1. Doctor’s Orders
2. The Doctor Who Never Fails
3. Satisfied Patients
4. The Great House Call
5. The Great Physician
6. Two “Right” Feet
7. The Remedy for Mood Swings
8. Diverting the Flow of the Word
9. Dr. Law and Dr. Grace (*)
10. The Crisis
* most-read post in category
Tags: 1 John 5, altar calls, Great White Throne, Jesus Christ, John 3, Paul Washer, Revelation 20, salvation invitations, terminal illness
I once heard a preacher say to his congregation: “You are in the Bible.” This is a strange statement because the events that are recorded in the Bible, for the most part, took place thousands of years ago. What he meant was that you might very well be one of the ones standing in the crowd described in this passage of Scripture:
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 20:11-14 (emphasis added)
Obviously, if you are reading this, you are not yet among the “dead,” and I pray that you will never go to face God before His Great White Throne in judgment, but we must deal clearly and directly with that possibility.
You may have heard preachers say that you can find yourself in the Bible in another, less-frightening place. They will tell you that you can insert your own name in this well-known Bible verse:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that [insert your name here] should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The words that are supposed to be replaced by your name are “whosoever believeth in him,” referring to believing in Jesus Christ. If you will believe the truth about Jesus Christ and call upon Him to save you from the just punishment for your sins against God, then He will give you eternal life. If you will be the “whosoever” of John 3:16, you can avoid being the other kind of “whosoever:”
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Being unsure about any of this should bring you to a crisis. A crisis is a critical, crucial moment. It is when you come to a fork in the road of your life and you have to make a decision to go one way or the other. Going back is not an option and standing still is not an option.
Here’s an example: Pretend you are in the doctor’s office. You have been there many times before – for checkups and for minor treatments. Usually it is routine. Every once in a while you get some medicine, or at worst a mildly painful injection, but you always leave the doctor’s office with the hope that everything is okay – that you are going to get better. But this time it’s different. Instead of the doctor telling you it’ll be okay, he is very serious. His voice almost shakes and this scares you. He is telling you something you have never heard before and never expected to hear in a million years. He says you have a terrible disease – it is all over you – it has invaded your body and will eat you alive – and you will die. He goes on to explain some of the details about your condition. He has test results. He has x-rays, and they show that your body is black with this disease. He is trying to tell you there is a chance to survive – but only one chance. You must have surgery right now – right this minute – no thinking it over, no talking to your family and friends, no second opinion. Get to the emergency room right now and submit to being cut open – or die.
Now you see the meaning of a crisis: only two choices. No standing still, no waiting, no going back. Trust your life to a surgeon or die. Could you accept such a diagnosis? Or would you begin to hesitate? “I can’t be as sick as he says. I feel fine physically. I am strong. I am relatively young. Surgery is a major ordeal. It’s serious, my whole life will have to change. No more eating whatever I want, drinking whatever I want, no more staying out late doing whatever I want. I can’t just lie down on an operating table and trust a surgeon to cut me open. I like to be in control. I’ll control this with medicine. I’ll exercise, eat right, get more rest, change my lifestyle. I’ll do it in my own strength.”
When the doctor begins to plead with you and threaten you, you cup your hands over your ears, and you run out… thereby cutting yourself off from the only remedy.
Is this what goes through your mind when someone corners you with a Bible or tries to tell you that you are going to hell without Jesus? “This is too much to face. I can’t just trust God. Everyone will laugh at me. This is a big step. What if God really does give me a new heart and I don’t like to do the fun things of this world any more? What if I become God’s child and, like a good father, He begins correcting me when I sin? I like to sin – I don’t want God’s Spirit living inside me making me feel bad all the time. I can’t just stop doing the things I do for fun – the things I’m addicted to. Maybe I can cut back some. I’ll work on it myself. Maybe I can change the kind of person I am. I’ll go to church more often. I’ll even volunteer to do some work there. I’ll show God I’m not so bad.”
Please do not cover your eyes and cup your hands over your ears. Please do not run away. Sit still for a moment and stop thinking about what you’re going to do with the rest of your day. Put out of your mind the problems you will face at work tomorrow. Forget about what other people will think of you. This is about you and God. If you lie down and submit to Him, He is not like the earthly surgeon. Even if an earthly surgeon cures you it will only last for a little while. When God performs surgery, the surgery will be successful. The new heart that He will give you will be capable of loving and obeying God. You will care about eternal, important, valuable things – not the foolish everyday cares and concerns of this world. You can’t understand the joy of salvation until you experience it. Will you receive it today? Will you receive Him today?
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
I John 5:12
Tags: Dr. Law and Dr. Grace, famous sermons, heart problems, heart surgery, heart transplant, Jesus Christ, Law and Grace, Lester Roloff, Romans 3
Two of my favorite sermons of all time are Payday Someday by R. G. Lee and Dr. Law and Dr. Grace by Lester Roloff. Once I used Dr. Law and Dr. Grace for a Sunday School lesson, and I modified it a little. I’m going to present “my” version of it here, without any claim of originality whatsoever. For any part of it that is helpful, all the credit must go to Brother Roloff. For any part of it that is incorrect or unhelpful, all the blame must go to me.
Dr. Law and Dr. Grace is the story of two doctors. These doctors are very unusual. They are unusual for two reasons: (1) They never make a mistake when they diagnose a patient; (2) they never charge any of their patients any money. Despite these remarkable facts, however, most people still flat-out refuse to go to them for help.
Here is a prospective patient: He has read in the Bible that there is none righteousness, no not one, and none that really knowingly seeks after God. (Romans 3:10-11) But he knows something is wrong with him because of his symptoms, his condition, and his behavior.
So he goes to see Dr. Law. Dr. Law is always in his office. He is already waiting for this patient. There is no one else waiting to see him. The patient starts to tell Dr. Law about the signs and symptoms of his illness, but Dr. Law says he does not need the patient’s help to make a diagnosis. The patient is surprised that Dr. Law thinks he can make a diagnosis without any input from the patient, but Dr. Law says that he doesn’t “think” he can make a diagnosis – he already knows what the problem is: The patient has a heart problem.
The patient tries to argue: “But, Doctor,” he says, “I’m having trouble with my hands: They want to fight, and click the mouse on my computer at the wrong times, and point my fingers at other people who are having problems.”
“No,” says Dr. Law, “the problem is your heart.”
The patient objects: “It’s my eyes – they want to look at things I shouldn’t be looking at.”
“No,” says Dr. Law, “it’s your heart that has a problem.”
The patients pleads, “What about my tongue? I accidentally mashed my thumb the other day, and my tongue started cursing. My tongue always wants to be sarcastic and put folks in their place, and it is constantly trying to set forth all my own personal opinions.”
“No,” says Dr. Law, “the problem is with your heart.”
The patient says, “It’s my ears – the things they like to hear! It’s my feet – the places they want to go!”
“No, son,” says Dr. Law, “you’ve got heart trouble.”
The patient, exasperated, demands, “I need you to recommend another doctor for a second opinion.”
Dr. Law says, “There’s only one other doctor I would ever recommend for you, and since you won’t admit it’s your heart, it won’t do you any good to see him.”
So the patient sets out to find another doctor on his own, and he finds one: Dr. Vain Religion.
Dr. Vain Religion looks exactly the way a doctor is supposed to look, and a part of the patient somehow just likes him right away. The patient tells this new doctor that he has already been to see Dr. Law.
Dr. Vain Religion says, “Ah, Dr. Law’s too old. He doesn’t know the modern ways. He’s confused about the method and the message. He hasn’t attended the same doctors’ seminars that I have.”
The patient agrees. He did not like Dr. Law, either.
Dr. Vain Religion examines the patient and he says there’s nothing seriously wrong. He recommends that the patient go to church. He also recommends that the patient get baptized, join the church, get a job at the church, and start helping others.
The patient is willing to do these things, and in fact he does. However, none of this helps. The patient gets tired doing these things. He gets weary, and his symptoms keep coming back. He winds up getting extremely frustrated, and, in despair, at his wits’ end, he goes back to see Dr. Law.
Dr. Law’s diagnosis hasn’t changed, but the patient asks him what he recommends, and he says: a new heart. This is a big problem. Dr. Law recommends a new heart, which requires a surgical operation, but Dr. Law does not operate.
“Great,” says the patient, “what you’re telling me is that I require surgery but you won’t perform surgery! Doesn’t that mean I have to die?”
Dr. Law says, “As far as I’m concerned you do, but I just make the diagnosis.” Then he takes the patient by the hand and leads him through a door to another office, and introduces him to Dr. Grace.
Just like Dr. Law had been, Dr. Grace seems to be waiting for this particular patient. Just like Dr. Law, Dr. Grace does not charge any money. There is a world of difference, though, in their bedside manners. Dr. Grace is warmly welcoming. He beckons the patient to come into his office. He is extremely glad to see this patient.
Dr. Grace tells him that all his first-time patients have the same trouble: they all need new hearts.
The patient is still nervous and scared. “Is there anyone else who can assist you in helping me, Dr. Grace?” he asks. “Do you have a nurse? Can I call my wife, or my best friend?”
“No, son,” says Dr. Grace, “this is a personal matter, just between you and me. You can tell your wife and friends about it later.”
“I’m not an idiot,” says the patient to Dr. Grace. “There is no way this is going to be free.”
“I don’t want to mislead you,” says Dr. Grace. “The visit and the consultation are free, but the operation costs a great deal. However – someone else has already paid for it.”
So, by faith, the patient lies down on the table, with no anesthetic, and he submits to the operation. For the first time he sees his old heart the way it really is. It’s rotten and black. It looks terrible and smells even worse. Out it comes, and in goes the new heart!
This new heart is pure and clean, and the patient feels a new flow of life. After the surgery, Dr. Grace tells the patient that no follow-up procedure will be necessary. The operation was successful and permanent! He does however recommend some exercises: some kneeling, some lifting up of holy hands in love, some walks through the community, knocking on doors, some exercise of the vocal chords in praise.
Before leaving, the patient gets to meet the Friend Who had paid for his operation. This Friend has nail scars in His hands. He has a spear-pierced side.
The patient goes back to thank Dr. Law. After all, Dr. Law had been stern and obstinate, but he had helped to save the patient’s life. This time, Dr. Law looks different. The patient realizes that he will always love Dr. Law for leading him to Dr. Grace, and for helping him meet the Friend Who paid for his operation: the Friend Who was really responsible for giving him a new, clean, pure heart.
Tags: Babylon, Belshazzar, commentary on Daniel, Daniel 5, Ephesians 5, Euphrates River, hand of God, handwriting on the wall, siege strategy, Sunday School lessons on Daniel
The prophet Daniel had been a very important young man in the kingdom of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, the wicked and powerful ruler, had known him very well. As the years passed, however, Nebuchadnezzar’s successor came to power, and Daniel faded out of the thoughts of the movers and shakers in Babylon.
One day, however, a hand appeared out of thin air in the royal banquet hall, and began to write on the wall. The king was scared out of his wits. He did not understand what the writing meant, and none of his advisors could tell him. Suddenly, Daniel was remembered.
But the Daniel who was summoned to appear before Belshazzar was not the young whipper-snapper who had dealt with Nebuchadnezzar. This Daniel was probably about 82 years old, and he had no time or interest for the king’s frivolous gifts. (Daniel 5:16-17)
We can almost see Daniel, God’s man, shaking his stern finger at Belshazzar, and giving him the interpretation of the writing on the wall without fear:
But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified… In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
Daniel 5:23; 30
It is interesting to note the manner in which the Medo-Persian army invaded the supposedly impenetrable walls of Babylon. First they diverted the course of the Euphrates River, which ran under the walls, and into the city. When the water level went down they were able to go under the walls.
Water is very important to a city. Without water, two tragedies would befall the inhabitants. One, they would get thirsty. Two, they would lose the ability to maintain hygiene, thereby increasing the spread of disease.
In the Bible, water is a picture of God’s Word. (Ephesians 5:26) If the flow of God’s Word is cut off from His people, the people will get thirsty, they will become defiled, they will get spiritually sick, and, ultimately, many will suffer a form of spiritual death. The preaching and teaching of the Bible must be central in the local church.
Tags: 2 Peter 3, John 13, Lord Jesus Christ, mental health, mental illness, mental problems, Peter, schizophrenia, spiritual health, split personality
During his later years, Simon Peter, the disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ, was a shining example of a Spirit-filled Christian. However, this was not always the case. Like many of us, Peter started off his Christian life sometimes acting like a tantrum-throwing toddler or a moody teen-aged child. We’re talking about a man who went from refusing to allow Jesus to wash his feet in one breath, to demanding that He wash his whole body, in the next. (John 13:6-10)
What caused the change from this Peter to the man we see in the epistles I and II Peter: the spiritually mature believer? The answer is that he grew in grace and knowledge.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
II Peter 3:18
Nature teaches that the keys to physical and mental growth are a healthy diet, exercise, and caring companionship. These are good illustrations for the balance needed for spiritual growth also – growth in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Believers must partake of spiritual food: the bread of life, which is the Word of God. Also, they must be active in obedience and good works: Christian love, or “charity.” Finally, they must learn to fellowship with other believers in caring for, and being helped by, the Church.
Christians who swing violently from one extreme to the other in spiritual matters are demonstrating spiritual immaturity. Those who are growing are marked by consistent Bible-study and obedience, active service in sharing the love of Christ, and in regular church attendance and ministry to the living saints.
Tags: 2 Chronicles 16, Asa, Biblical medicine, foot diseases, God's perfect will, King Asa, ordered steps, paths of righteousness, podiatry, two left feet
Asa was the third king of the Kingdom of Judah. The Bible records that he began his reign by walking in God’s will. As he trusted and obeyed the Lord for 35 years, he was blessed with success.
However, one who truly walks in the center of God’s will does not walk on a broad meandering thoroughfare. The centerline of God’s will is razor-thin. One step to the left or right can take you out of God’s perfect will, and 1000 miles in either direction can be just as damaging as that first step.
In that 35th year of his reign Asa took his first big step – a stumble, really – out of God’s will, and trusted the King of Syria instead of the Lord.
And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
II Chronicles 16:7
Instead of repenting, and getting back on God’s narrow path, Asa continued to order his own steps, ignoring the Holy Spirit’s counsel which had been given to his great-great-grandfather, David. (Psalm 37:23)
Even when God allowed him to contract a disease which reminded Asa that he had stumbled and was using his feet to walk away from the Lord, instead of back to the Lord, the reproof was not taken.
And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
II Chronicles 16:12
God, help us to follow You on the paths of righteousness, for Your name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
Tags: 1 John 1, acronyms, acrostics, Biblical acrostics, Ezekiel 3, Galatians 3, John 15, Matthew 5, Psalm 17
Acrostics, formed by taking the first letter of a series of words to make one word, can be helpful memory tools. For example, the acrostic, S.W.I.M., stands for looking in the Bible to “S.ee W.hat I.t M.eans.” If we don’t learn to S.W.I.M., we might S.I.N.K. (S.tep I.n N.ot K.nowing).
Over the past few weeks we have seen similarities and differences between earthly physicians and the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ. The following acrostic, using the word “D.O.C.T.O.R.,” may serve as a review of those lessons:
Dwell in Christ (John 15:10)
Offer yourself for regular examinations (Psalm 17:3)
Confess your sins (I John 1:9)
Take His instructions seriously (Matthew 5:18)
Operate in submission to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:2)
Refer new patients (Ezekiel 3:11)
Tags: abide, doctors, good spiritual health, John 15, Matthew 9, Psalm 139, regular check-ups, sin-sick, The Great Physician
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Have you been healed from the sickness of sin by the Great Physician? Only Jesus Christ provides the cure for sin.
Before the days of modern transportation, a person who had been successfully treated by an innovative doctor would sometimes physically change his residence, and move to the place where the doctor was located. This was so he could be near for regular examinations.
Jesus invites us to “abide” in Him. (John 15:4) If we do so, He will be able to continually “examine” us, letting us know if there are signs of our old sin-sickness creeping back in to make us ill. Regular check-ups, conducted by the Holy Spirit, are a key part of good spiritual health.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Tags: Biblical doctors, Biblical medical treatment, Biblical medicine, doctors, Ezekiel 3, Great Physician, satisfied patients, second opinion, word of mouth
The Great Physician, Jesus Christ, is greater than any earthly doctor. This can be seen in how He deals with pre-existing conditions, in the type of Doctor’s orders He gives, and in the success rate of His treatment.
People who have been well-treated by a doctor will always recommend that doctor to their friends. You may see a billboard or advertisement occasionally, but “word of mouth,” rather than paid advertising, is how most doctors get their patients.
If you’ve been healed from the fatal sickness of sin by Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, you should “spread the word.” Don’t miss a chance to tell people about the Lord.
And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
An earthly doctor likes to get referrals from patients, but the Great Physician has commanded us tell others about how He has PERMANENTLY healed us.
Tags: Biblical doctors, Biblical medicine, Doctors in the Bible, Ephesians 2, Galatians 3, Great Physician, healing, permanent healing, temporary healing
Doctors often take the majority of the credit for healing a patient. However, all physical healings are, at best, temporary. Earthly doctors, being human, are susceptible to mistakes. A patient may need a second opinion. A patient who has been proclaimed “healed” may suffer a relapse. But when you have been healed from the fatal illness of sin by the Great Physician, you have been fully and permanently healed.
When the Lord Jesus, the Great Physician, saves someone, it is by grace through faith, not of works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) If you have been healed from the sickness of sin, you were not healed by works, so you should not trust in works to keep you healed.
The Holy Ghost spoke to the Galatian believers through the Apostle Paul:
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
An earthly physician offers a temporary cure, but the Great Physician has the power to keep you healed, and to make you GROW.