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Faith and Medication Part 2 (Is It Wrong for Christians to Use Medication? Correcting the Olive Oil Syndrome)

Prize Chukwuka 

Jesus' disciples didn't exactly follow His instruction. But don't worry Jesus didn't club them to death, neither did He call down fire from heaven to consume them, as some religionists (Men of Ten) would imagine. God is not about to kill or punish you because you have not exactly kept pace with His instructions. He's not mad at you because you missed it. All He wants from you is that you stop depending on your own efforts of trying to please Him, but to rely on Jesus' righteousness which is by faith in all them that have received Christ Jesus through the New Birth. The more you walk with God by faith (and that's the only way you can walk with God), the more you will realise that God is not an austere God, but a Father who always desires for His kids to get the best of Him. 
I was shocked when I first noticed that Jesus disciples didn't exactly follow His instructions the way He instructed. Although Jesus wasn't mad at them for not carrying out the instructions He gave as He wanted. But then the disciples, by missing the point, failed to understand the realm of faith that the Master was trying to introduce to them. 
In Mark 6:7-13, we are told that Jesus sent His disciples out two-by-two, to go preach the Kingdom of God. In that passage, we are informed that Jesus specifically instructed them not to go with anything else, other than their staff (vs. 8,9). But as you read verse 13, you will notice that the disciples, apart from going with their staffs also went with oil, and were anointing people with it. This wasn't what Jesus told them to do. He asked them to go only with their staffs. Rather, they went along also with jars of oil. This is the way many Christians are operating today. They are in many ways still operating with Old Covenant mentality. They carry along with them excess religious baggage. 
First of all, why would Jesus tell His disciples to go with their staffs? The reason is that the staff was the symbol of a shepherd. So in asking them to go with their staffs, He wanted them to go with the mind set that he was sending them out as shepherds of His flock, and not as wolfs to devour the flock. He wanted them to see themselves as shepherds. 
Why go only with their staff and nothing else, not even a material medium to help them to help carry out their work. This was so because the Lord did not want his disciples to depend upon any material medium as a means of exercising the power of God. He did not want them to operate with Old Covenant mindset.  
But then the next question is; why then did the disciples go with oil? What influenced them to do so? The disciples went with oil because they were still held bound to their traditional beliefs (Old Covenant Religious beliefs). After all they were still under Judaism, under law. They were still operating with Old Covenant Jewish mentality. You see, the Jews had the custom of carrying oil with them everywhere they went. The Companion Bible by E.W Bullinger points out that anointing with oil was a common Jewish practice as at that time. Is it any wonder James specifically indicated that it is the prayer of faith that saves the sick (James 5: 15a), not the prayer of faith plus the oil. 
God desires today that the Church (Believers in Christ) operate in such a way that harmonizes with the revelation of our union with Christ. 
By instructing the use of oil to anoint the sick, the apostle James wasn't encouraging the use of oil as a spiritual means of healing anyone. He was simply drawing our attention to the fact that we as Christians are not forbidden to use medicinal remedies as a means of physical or bodily relief, if the occasion so requires. For instance the great apostle Paul once told Timothy to use some little wine for his stomach's sake.

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thy often infirmities." (1 Timothy 5:23).

Some people read this verse and wrongly assume that Paul said that they should drink and drink their brains out. This is not what Paul is saying. Here Paul is talking about using wine in a medicinal way. But then we must of course understand what type of wine Paul is referring to here. It has nothing to do with alcohol consumption. He is not referring to intoxicating wine as some folks wrongly assert.
You see, there are two Greek words translated as wine in the New Testament. First there is "OINOS". This refers to non-fermented (That is; non alcoholic, non intoxicating) grape juice, non alcoholic wine for short. The second is "SHEKAR". This refers particularly to fermented (That is; intoxicating) grape juice, alcoholic beverages or strong drink of any type. 
The wine Paul was referring to is oinos, not shekar as some people erroneously imagine. You can look this up in your strong's concordance. 
Jesus we are told also turned water into wine (oinos). You remember that incident that occurred in Canaan of Galilee (John 2:1-11). 
Jesus was also called a winebibber (Matt. 11:19). The word winebibber is translated from the Greek word "OINOPOTES". It doesn't mean "DRUNKARD," as certain people wrongly assume. This word simply means "a person who loves drinking wine". 
Why am I pointing all of these thing out here? I am doing so just for us to get the records straight. The wine referred to in these passages have nothing to do with alcohol, ethanol, or anything "nol"
Nevertheless, this does not mean that taking a drink or beverage that contains alcohol is sinful. There is nothing sinful about it. Its not a big deal. As a matter of truth, Jesus said it is not what goes into a man that defiles the man, but what comes out of his heart, (Matthew 15: 10 - 19). So you see, under the New Covenant, God never condemns anyone for drinking alcohol. There is no condemnation for anyone who drinks alcohol. Drinking alcohol or anything that contains "nol" is not the issue in our deal with God under the New Covenant. The new covenant is not about what you eat or don't eat. Its not about what you drink or don't drink. You are free to eat or drink whatever you want.  Yes! you are free to eat or drink anything you want. However, this doesn’t mean that everything edible or drinkable is beneficial. Some things are harmful to the mind and body. 
You see, what you eat or drink is not the issue. That's not the problem. The real problem is the unrenewed mind. The degree to which your mind is renewed determines how you live your life. It determines the level of transformation you experience in your life. (See Romans 12:1)

In James 5:15, the apostle specifically points out that it is the Prayer of Faith that heals the sick fellow. The Greek word translated here as heal can also "SAVE" is "SOZO." This word has several meanings, such as; deliverance, protection, preservation, save, etc. But here it is used specifically in relation to bodily healing. Young's Analytical Concordance points out that the meaning also includes, "to keep sound". This includes to mind and body soundness. 
The New Testament in Modern Speech, by the late Richard Francis Weymouth, renders James 5:15 as following;

"Is any one ill? Let him send for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, after anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will restore the sick man,..."

This translation points out vividly the following facts; First it tells us that the anointing with oil was applied before the prayer of faith was made for the sick fellow. Notice what it says, 

"...let them pray over him, AFTER anointing him with oil..."

The anointing with oil and the prayer of faith didn't occur exactly together as one entity. They were two separate activities. The anointing with oil as you must understand wasn't a part of the prayer of faith. Otherwise James would have said, "the prayer of faith and the oil shall save the sick..."
Another striking thing we need to see is this, as Weymouth points out. I think this will shock you, but its the truth. Contrary to what most people teach and practice, the anointing oil was never even used in the Church service. "The anointing with oil" as its popularly known today didn't take place in a Church service or as a part of any Christian fellowship meeting in the early Church era. 
James' idea of anointing a sick person with oil was never for the oil to be used in a Church or fellowship meeting, as a part of healing service or any other Church program. This is the practice we find in most Church services across the world where olive oil is deified. Such practice is alien to the New Covenant system. This is stepping out of order, and is misleading. 
Notice the way Weymouth renders it,

"...Let him send for the Elders of the Church..."

If the sick fellow was in the Church meeting where the Elders were, why would he need to send for the Elders if they are there with him. You wouldn't say you are sending for someone or inviting them if they are there with you. 
"Send for" simply means that the Elders were not there with the sick fellow, then someone was sent to go fetch the Elders to the place where the sick fellow was. So you see the sick person had to send for the Elders.
If you say the sick person was in the Church or fellowship meeting, then invariably you are saying the Elders themselves were absent. Otherwise why would the sick fellow be sending for them. Secondly if you say that both the sick person and the Elders were in the Church meeting together, then why would the sick fellow send for them be looking for them if they are there? Maybe as someone jokingly said, they must have gone to eat, or probably they must have gone to use the convenience and everyone was looking for them. That is ridiculous! 
Obviously, the sick person wasn't in the Church fellowship meeting. So there was need for him to send for the Elders. The sick person must have been so sick that he probably couldn't leave home. Therefore it became necessary for him to send for the Elders. Hence, "the anointing with oil" did not take place in a Church meeting, so it never was and could never have been a part of the Church fellowship meeting. 
It is the misunderstanding of James 5:14, 15, that has led to many unscriptural uses of oil. Today we not only find Christians using oil in name of administering healing to sick folks, but we also find Church groups where pregnant women are told to drink oil in order for them to have safe delivery. Olive oil is also used in many Church groups for women seeking fruit of the womb. Some Christian workers seeking promotion in their place of work pour olive oil on their head in the name of seeking promotion, others rub it on their forehead and pour it on their door posts in the name of seeking God's protection. Some pour it on their car in the name of dedicating it. Yet we have those who use oil in the name of casting out demons. Some Bishops, General Overseers and Presiding pastors say they use it for consecrating or ordination into ministry. Some pour it on the ground in the name of conducting land liberation. Some say they use it for what they call anointing service (One wonders which service is not anointed). There are business men who pray over olive oil and drink it for the sake of seeking business connections. Some bathe with water mixed with olive oil and salt, or coconut water mixed with olive oil, for the purpose of seeking protection from evil spirits, and so on and so forth. The list just goes on and on. These things ought no to be, if Christians understood James 5:14, 15 in the light of our redemption in Christ. 
It appears Majority of Christians world over are ignorant of redemption truths, and as such they are vulnerable to satanic deception and religious manipulation. Most preachers exploit the spiritual ignorance of their members.
In the light of our redemption in Christ, in the light of the reality of our oneness with Christ, we do not need olive oil in order to heal the sick, or carry out any other spiritual activity. The power to heal the sick is not in the bottle of oil, its not in the oil, its not in how much one fasts or try to consecrate oneself. It is not in offering lengthy prayers. It is not in shouting. It is not in our human effort or self performance. It is not in self righteousness. The power is simply the Name of Jesus Christ. 
Someone asked me but is it actually that simple. I said yes! All it takes is; never doubt the Name. Meditate on the Name of Jesus Christ until it becomes a living reality in you. The Name is raw undiluted power. The Name seems not to work for many, not because there's anything wrong with the Name, but simply because majority of Christians do not understand how to draw power from the Name. They do not understand how to place a demand on the Name. 
Finally, by instructing the use of oil to anoint the sick, the apostle James wasn't encouraging the use of oil as a spiritual means of administering divine healing on anyone. He was simply drawing our attention to the fact that we as Christians are not forbidden to use medicinal remedies, just as Paul instructed Timothy to do (1 Timothy 5:23), as a means of physical or bodily relief, if the occasion so requires. Nevertheless, this should never usurp the place of faith as the surest means of receiving healing and enjoying divine health. 
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