THERE IS STILL BALM IN GILEAD
An average believer today asks questions. They query what they have heard and read in the Bible; the mighty miracles that Jesus did while in the flesh. Jesus walked on the sea, heled the sick and raised the dead, cleanse the lepers and opened blind eyes. People have also heard about mighty men of miracles like Alexander Dowie, A. A. A. Alen, Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa, John G. Lake, Keneth E. Hagin. But today the signs are no more there. The question then is what is happening?
Presently, the hospital wards are full of Christians who are filled with the Holy Ghost; whereas, they are supposed to be the ones delivering people from the hospitals, they are the ones hospitalised. So, people are wondering about what is happening and asking questions. This is exactly the situation in the days of Jeremiah that people began to cry unto the Lord. Jeremiah mounted from problem to problem because of the current situation, oppression and the affliction in his time and in his land.
When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?(Jer. 8:18-22).
As Jeremiah lamented God replied and said that he gave them up; he allowed the oppression to happen and continue because of their unabated idolatry, apostasy and iniquity. In other words, there is no course without a cause. Sinis usually the source and cause of human suffering. But the people kept asking is God no more in Zion? Hope upon hope, prophecy upon prophecy yet we see not the fulfilment of these prophecy. In verse 21, Jeremiah identified with the suffering of the people. He said “I am hurt” A normal minister of God must feel the hurt of the people and be concerned about what is going on despite personal hurt, because he is a burden bearer.
In our world now, so many people cannot eat, they are suffering and they are dead before they are really dead because of fear. Some have become hypertensive and suffering from insomnia; everywhere, there is a fear of contacting the Covid-19 disease so people are so fearful because nowhere seems to be safe.In verse 22, Jeremiah himself asked the question, is there no healing medicine in Gilead? Aren’t there doctors there? If there are there, why then is the health of the people not recovered?
Jer. 30:13, 15 says “There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.”
In verse 13, God is asking are there no minister or intercessors in Nigeria? Who can stand in the gap; standing between the living and the dead. I there anybody who can plead the course of Nigeria, Africa and the global world, the course of the living and the dying. Are there people standing on the walls of cities praying and holding unto the Lord for salvation. In verse 15, God is saying that He allowed all these thing to happen because of sin. Thank God that there is a lot of soul searching in the land. There is ongoing repentance because God is saying that sin is the cause of human suffering and affliction.
In verse 16 and 17 we see the promise of restoration. “Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after” (Jer. 30: 16-17).
Prophet Jeremiah saw the hurt, frustration and the sufferings of the people of his days. He saw people sick, wounded and broken who needed healing. Jeremiah’s questions in this passage is a poetic and prophetic search for hope and a plea for healing.
WHAT IS A BALM?
The Bible used the term balm metaphorically as an example of something with healing or soothing power.
WHAT IS THE BALM OF GILEAD?
This balm is an oily gum or resin exuded from the Bassam tree or shrub of the Gilead region of Israel. Gilead was a mountainous part of ancient Palestine, East of Jordan. We must understand that Gilead here is used metaphorically. When people are sick in those days, they either go to Gilead or go the seek for the balm found in Gilead. So, Gilead became the region of healing that dispenses healing to the whole nation of Israel.
We need to know that the present day Gilead is the Body of Christ. So, today, the Gilead the world should look up to is the Body of Christ. There is healing in this body. The Bassam tree is a shrub in the desert, not too tall with scanty foliage and very inconspicuous. It is not profitable for any purpose, it has no shade because it is not a tall tree; neither is it beautiful because it has thorns and it does not bear fruit. So, it can easily be despised of neglected. But on wounding it; or cutting it, out flows a precious gum or balm which is highly medicinal. This is a perfect picture of Jesus, the son of God. The Bible says “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”(Isa 53:5)
The greatest mistake that the enemy did was to crucify the King of glory. As they pierced the side of Jesus, a mixture of water and blood flowed out. That outward flow is the balm that is meant for the healing of the nations. Little did the enemy know that that faith in the wound, piercing and the flow from His side is akin to the balm of Gilead that we are talking about. It is the balm that heals people – sin sick soul, body sickness and mental sickness, all answer to the flow that came from Emmanuel’s side.
IMPLICATIONS OF JEREMIAH’S LAMENTATIVE QUESTIONS
Jeremiah asked “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?(Jer. 8: 22). The analysis of this lamentative question portrays both the spoken and unspoken questions in the minds of people in contemporary times. The people seem to be asking:
- Is there no more power, anointing and help from the church, the body of Christ? – An average believer goes to church and comes back with his problem. When you go to crusades, you’ll see many rolled on wheel chairs into the crusade apparently attracted by the advertisement and announcements that the sick will be healed, the lame will walk and the blind will see but sadly, you’ll see the lame being rolled back the same way they had gone into the crusade. This raises a lot of questions in the minds of people; they wonder and ask in astonishment “Is there no more power and help from the body of Christ which is the church of the living God”?
- Why does it appear as if the Church has become helpless and clueless in the face of mounting and daunting national and global challenges.
- Can we still expect any personal, community or national solution from God's Mount Zion?
- Where are God's mighty miracle workers as we had in the days of old?
- Where are God's anointed and compassionate soul savers and soul healers likethe Billy Graham, T. L Osborn, Benson Idahosa and A. A. A. Allen of old?
- If the nations of the world are helpless, should God's church also be helpless? If the science and technology, wizardry, ingenuity and creativity of the world now prostrate before ordinary virus like Covid-19, should God’s church also be helpless?
- We no longer see our signs and wonders have ceased. Real miracles have become so scarce. Is there no balm in Gilead?
THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH
- There is still a healing balm in Gilead - The church.
- This balm is no longer the physical ointment from Gilead, but a person - Jesus Christ the son of God.
- He is both the balm and the physician and He is still in Gilead.
- He was nailed to a tree, wounded and pierced; blood and water flowed from His wounded side – that is the balm.
As many believed in all these truths and invoked the power thereof have received their healing. When Jesus is adequately, correctly preached declared and lifted, He acts. The problem is that it is the ministers of the gospel that are lifted not Christ. As long as Jesus is overshadowed, He keeps to Himselfbecause He is meek; He will allow you to run your church the way you will. The billboards carrythe pictures of ministers; they are more popular than Christ so, folks no longer have faith in the wounded side, their faith is in the man of God that is coming to preach. As long as that continues; we will have our problems. As long as we don’t hide behind the lowly man of Calvary and make him the focal point projecting Him, we will continue to have scarcity of balm in Gilead.
On the other hand, the reality is also that church folks also do not help matters. Except the church leadership invite a very popular man of God as a speaker in their programmes, the members will not attend. So, there is more faith in the man of God than in the God of man. That is the crisis in the church today. Preachers are more popular than Christ myself inclusive.
Somebody said “If on Sunday morning a church is packed to capacity with people jostling for space in to attend three different services; the pastor of that church is very popular.” He said “If on Sunday evening, the church is packed full with people maybe only one service, then the church is popular and important in that city.”He further said “If on Wednesday the church is full for an intercessory meeting where they are praying for salvation of souls and the healing of the nations; then, Jesus Christ is popular”. This is so because Jesus is known for prayers. He prayed while alive, He prayed at His Baptism and His last breath was prayer. Presently now in heaven, He is praying. The Bible says in Hebrew 7:25“… he ever liveth to make intercession….”That prayer will not cease until the day the church is raptured. He is in an everlasting intercession for the work He left behind on earth and so, identification with prayer is identification with Christ.
The Lord revealed to me that unless the church returns to three things, the siege over us will not lift. He can show mercy momentarily but we will run into greater problems.If the church does not return to (i) the real ministry of intercession for souls (ii)ministry of soul saving - evangelism and (iii)the preaching of holiness. Unless the church returns to these three cardinal mandate, the church will continue to be irrelevant and God's power will not manifest as it should.Men are busy running religious activities not knowing that they have locked the owner of the church outside. The owner of the church says in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”.
THERE IS STILL BALM IN GILEADTESTIMONIES
TESTIMONY 1 – BRAND NEW HEART REPLACED A DISESED ONE
It can be proven that there is still balm in Gilead. We must never lose hope there is still power in the church. When Jesus is properly projected, He will show up.
Some years ago, I was invited to Johannesburg South Africa to minister in a meeting but unfortunately we had a delay with the flight in Kenya so by the time I landed in South Africa, the meeting was almost over. But as I envisaged the delay, I had already called one of my disciples in South Africa to hold forth for me so that I can rush from the airport without going to the hotel to change so that I can meet up with the tail end of the he programme. So I was rushed to the church and they called on me to just round off the meeting so that the people will see me and can be confident that I am already on ground for the second day. As I finished rounding off the meeting and was about to go out of the auditorium, they called my attention to an Indian man laid on a stretcher at the entrance of the church. The man was to have a heart transplant the following day so, they brought him to the meeting to contact anointing for the surgery to be successful. I asked if they could bring the man the following day to be ministered to properly and they said no that the surgery is holding the following morning costing them hundreds of dollars; they asked me to agree with them in prayer. So, I laid my hands on the man and prayer for him in tongues for a while and I left.
I finished the meeting in South Africa over the weekend, I rested for two days before departing for London. As I landed in London on Wednesday, my phone rang. As I picked the call they started shouting and praising God. I asked them what happened, they told me the planned heart surgery of the Indian man I prayed for in South Africa was canceled. I asked why and they narrated to me that when he got to the hospital, the doctors had to run some preliminary test before proceeding with the surgery and it was in the process they discovered that the disease they discovered in the heart was no longer there. They asked him to come the second day and day after repeating the same test and they couldn’t find any trace of the heart disease. In fact, the team of experts that was called said that what they are seeing in their scan is a brand new heart and there is no need of any transplant anymore. The man in appreciation of what God did for him dropped all the money he would have paid for the surgery on altar of the God who gave him a brand new heart. The man is still alive till today.
TESTIMONY 2 – TWO KIDNEYS HEALED
Another woman in London saw me preaching and I was sweating profusely wiping it with my handkerchief. The woman fastened her eyes on my soaked handkerchief. Within her she was convinced that my sweat soaked handkerchief is the highly anointed mantle that that she needed to be healed. She has been battling with two failed kidneys for which she undergoes dialysis twice a week. She requested from the host pastor to plead with me to let her have the handkerchief. The pastor asked her what she was going to do with the handkerchief and she said she is going to wrap it around her belly and cover it up under her dress and claim her healing through the power of God in me. The pastor obliged her she did as she said. By the next appointment for her dialysis what the doctors saw confused them, they saw rejuvenated kidneys so there was no need for any dialysis. They asked her to come for the next appointment and the same thing happened. They now had to ask her to come once in a month and by the time they have monitored her for six months, they asked her not to bother coming again because what they were seeing are two brand new kidneys. By the following year it was the picture of the woman that adorned the cover of the church magazine with the bold caption two kidneys healed.
TESTIMONY THREE – THE SPIRIT OF DEATH DISGRACED BY APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY
One of my friends, a professor in the South-West of Nigeria in whose church we normally run an annual prayer school should have been in the grave by now. Death claimed another notable pastor in the city where he livesand it was like it is his turn. He was very sick and pinning away. He has done all he could, he had gone to South Africa to seek medical help, I have raised prayer altar for him and it was like death was knocking.I have to approach daddy Adeboye for help. I told him we have prayed the little prayer we know how to pray and requested that he be brought to daddy Adeboye’s presence for ministration. It was during convention so daddy said he could come and that after the night session he will see him. So, I called my friend that daddy has opened a rare window of opportunity; I asked him to rush down to redemption camp. He came and thirty minutes’ audience with daddy G. O. laying his hands on him and that was all. He was completely healed and he is back on his feet till today. The power of death left him immediately. There is balm in Gilead.
TESTIMONY FOUR – CORONA VIRUS HEALED AFTER PRAYERS
One professor from the South-South of Nigeria who had been to our church before sent me a text message last week telling me to raise prayers for him because he was feeling all the symptoms of corona virus and he is afraid that he was going to die. We took time to pray and I just believed God. Second day I was afraid to call him thinking they must have rushed him to the hospital. By the time I called him after four days, he picked the phone with a tone of joy telling me that he is back on his feet completely healed and free of all the symptoms. Whatever happened proved that there is balm in Gilead.
TESTIMONY FIVE – BEDRIDEN MAN HEALED IN 24 HOURS
I was sending messages to my contacts to connect to our online Prayer Clinic service so I sent it to one of my old friends, a renown medical doctor about 70 years old who lived in one of the cities in England. I didn’t know he has been sick for long and was bedridden in the hospital. He got the WhatsApp message and replied asking me to please help him talk to his wife and console her because. At this juncture, I realized how bad the situation was. The following day, I called him and asked him how he was faring. I asked him if he was on dialysis, he said no but that they will soon start. I shouted no, It shall no stand. The Holy Ghost put certain anger in my spirit, I asked him to put the phone in his ears so I went on praying in the Spirit asking God to cause all organs in his body to begin to function normally. As I went on praying, his faith begins to build gradually and he became more audible. By the time I finished praying for him he was very happy thanking me for the prayers. By the time I called him the following morning I called him. He picked the phone with a very cheerful voice greeting me loudly. I was wondering what had happened when he told me he had been discharged from the hospital the same day I prayed. He said the doctors came and ran tests ion him and told him he would be discharged that there is nothing wrong with him anymore. The wife was overjoyed as I spoke to her thanking God. There is balm in Gilead.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH THE BALM INGILEAD: WHAT TO KNOW AND DO
- The Balm Is Fragrant and Precious
1 Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”
1 Peter 2:6-7 “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner”
Hold Christ in high esteem, regard Him as precious. Do not mess up with the Christ that dwells in you. How can you take a part of Christ for fornication? How can you take a part of Christ and give it to a harlot? Everywhere you go, Christ follows you. Can you carry Christ to a fornication bed? This is what many people do. They don’t regard Him as precious; so, He cannot manifest in their lives. To some Christ is there but there is enmity and forgiveness and bitterness within. So, Christ is incapacitated because He is not regarded as precious. Once you hold him in high esteem, regard Him and refer Him, He will manifest.
- Like The Physical Balm, He Has Marvelous Curative Powers
Isa 52:14-15 “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider”.
1 John 1:7“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”.
Col 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven”.
- Just as The Physical Balm Is Derived from The BassamTree; Not Just Any Tree Can Produce the Balm but A Special Tree
1 Peter 2:2 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed”
The preaching of the cross is the power of salvation. If you want the balm to flow, preach the cross –the tree, preach and emphasize the wound and the stripes. Prosperity message cannot heal, motivational message cannot heal, it will fill your head with so much knowledge and tickle your but it can’t heal sin and sickness, it is only the preaching of the cross that can do that.
Archbishop Benson Idahosa told us a story in those days. He said T. L. Osborn was ministering somewhere in India with thousands gathered. There was an old man in the crowdblind from his youth. He was brought there by his grandson. T. L. Osborn as usual preached about Christ and the cross. He preached about Christhe described the holy one, the righteous one, a good man and compassionate; going about doing Good. He preached about how Jesus healed the sick, walked upon the sea and eventually how wicked men arrested Him, tried Him and hung Him on the Cross.
As he was preaching, the blind man was following him mentally and became overwhelmed with sorrow about how such a good man will be killed. He was so touched that he began to weep and as he took out his handkerchief to wipe away his tears, his eyes popped opened and he was able to see. At that moment he began to shout that he could now see. When he came on the stage to share his testimony, his testimony healed other people. The balm flowed.
- The balm is good for all diseases and aches.
- It is easy to apply.
- It had to be applied by faith, prayer and righteousness.
This balm can heal our nations, lands, relationships, business and careers, bodies souls and our wounds. In the days of yore, Jesus standing on His two feet, healed blind Bartimaeus, delivered Mary Magdalene raised Lazarus from the dead, raised Lazarus from the dead, healed the woman with the issue of blood and a host of other uncountable healings. The balm is in heaven now as portent as He used to be.