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    April 24, 1893

    “The Cleansing Touch and Word” The Signs of the Times, 19, 25.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy; who seeing Jesus, fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” Luke 5:12, 13. This is one of the things that are written that we might know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and it is a forcible illustration of how if we believe we may have life through his name.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.16

    Such a wonderful cure had never been performed before since the world began. From that day to this, medical science has been impotent in the presence of the dreaded disease, leprosy. It was a most loathsome disease. The one who had it was shut off from human society, except from those who had the same disease. They were regarded as in the highest degree unclean. As the disease progressed, the different members of the body dropped off. It was actually a living death. The man could look on and see the death preying upon him, ever advancing, and had the certainty before him of final, complete death. For him there was no hope.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.17

    This man was “full of leprosy.” He was evidently in the last stages of the disease. It had begun to prey upon his vitals, and in a short time he would drop into the grave. It was then that he saw Jesus; and when we consider his condition, we can appreciate the wonderful faith shown by the words, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” There was not the slightest doubt of Christ’s power to save. Jesus immediately responded to the cry of faith, saying, “I will; be thou clean.” And immediately the leprosy departed from him.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.18

    Sin is a sore disease that is preying upon the vitals of every man. Like the leper, men are filled with it. “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged, and gone backward. Why will ye be still stricken, that ye revolt more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and festering sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.” Isaiah 1:4-6, Revised Version.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.19

    Like the leprosy, sin is progressive death. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:6, 7. “For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.” “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:18, 24.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.20

    The leprous person was separated. So the sinful person is separated from God. He is unclean. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God.” “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Ephesians 4:17-19.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.21

    But although the sinner is by his very uncleanness separated from God, yet God is not afraid to come near and touch him. Jesus was moved with compassion as he saw the poor leper, and he is the same now. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. Therefore, like the leper, we may come with boldness to a throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. For there is a “fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. And though the person be full of sin and uncleanness, our High Priest “is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.”SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.22

    Jesus not only has the healing touch, but his words have power to heal. The Psalmist says concerning his dealing with his people of old that “he sent his word, and healed them.” Psalm 107:20. Mark, recording the healing of the leper, says that Jesus touched him, saying, “And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:42. The word of Christ also cleanses from sin, and it was to make us realize this fact that the healing of the leper was recorded. Said the Saviour: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:1-3.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.23

    Do we believe that the word and touch of Jesus made the leper clean? Then we may know that the same word and touch will make us clean from sin. He who does not believe that the Lord can cleanse him from sin, no matter how vile he may be, does not believe the Bible record of the miracles of Christ. But merely saying that we believe does not answer the purpose; we must accept the cleansing. There is another important truth taught in this lesson.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.24

    Jesus said, “I will; be thou clean.” Read these words of inspiration: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Galatians 1:3, 4. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14. So we ought to come to the Lord with a great deal more boldness and confidence than the leper did. He knew that the Master had the power to heal him, but he said, “If thou wilt.” God has given us such abundant evidence of his willingness to save us from our sins that it would be casting discredit on his word if we should say, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst save me.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Thus has he shown not only his willingness, but his longing desire, to save men. He has left nothing undone, and has kept nothing back. “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31, 32. He who doubts the willingness of God to hear and save those who wish salvation, must doubt the very existence of God.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.25

    Well, then, what is the final lesson?-Just this: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” 1 John 5:14. Now we have learned that it is the will of God to save people from sin. That is why Christ came to earth to die. There can be no question that it is the will of God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Therefore we know that whenever we come and ask for cleansing, that moment he hears us. But this is not all. “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Verse 15. So, as soon as we ask in faith, the work is done.SITI April 24, 1893, page 356.26

    The word of salvation has already gone forth. “To you is the word of this salvation sent.” The word is full of healing power. We come to the Lord, saying, “Lord, I know that thou hast the power to cleanse me, and I know that thou wilt.” We know then that he hears us. We do not then have to wait for the word to come to us, “I will; be thou clean,” for it has already been spoken. So, when we know that he hears us, we know that we have the things that we desired of him. Our faith appropriates the power of the word, and its righteousness is ours.SITI April 24, 1893, page 388.1

    Who is there that does not need freedom from sin? It is ours, if we will but receive it. Thousands say that they believe, and yet they find no relief. To such the miracles of Christ are not a reality. They are but as idle tales. When they receive the word as it is indeed, the living word of God, then they will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and, believing, they will have life through his name.SITI April 24, 1893, page 388.2

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