Spirit discernment is one of the rarest, if not the rarest thing today. This is true even in cultured Christian circles. It is strangely true how strangely lacking discernment is.
The outstanding characteristic of preaching today is the bewitching, bewildering mixture and blend of half-truths, positive non-truths, and utter absence of the really few essential truths.
The whole is covered with a more or less highly polished veneering of either religious talk or Christian verbiage. And the pleasing personality, vigorous mentality, fine diction, scholarly quotations and allusions, all this be fogs as to the real message being given.
This is true of all communions, and in all parts of Christendom, and into the mission lands, with fine exceptions.
But how shall we common folk know what teaching to accept about bodily healing? We are all busy earning bread and drink, boots and income tax. We can't all be experts. How shall we know?
And the answer is simple. A single ray of clear shining of the sun will pierce clear through the pretty French-gray fogs that gather.
There is a touchstone by which to test any teaching whether in type or on tongue. It's an acid test, unfailing.
And this is the test: the distinctive singular personality of Christ, and the distinctive solitary meaning of His death on Calvary and His living again afterward.
There is no blood-red tinge to the false teachings spoken of. It is never safe to accept supernatural healing except where the deity of Christ is distinctly emphasized, and the sacrificial blood He shed for us, as none other did nor could nor can, is made blessedly prominent.
The Devil hates the blood of the solitary God-Man. He fears it. He crouches terrified, and flees where it is emphasized and pled in prayer. It, it, the blood, spells out his stinging defeat. And right well he knows it.
Under all this vague verbiage, this befogging talk about the inspiration of the Book, and the virgin birth, and the tremendous event of the third-morning-after, lies the distinct Devil touch and trail, and hate and dread.
The healing that, without question, comes in connection with this false so-called Christian teaching has this twofold source.
It comes through the working of that natural healing and the right mental attitude of whieh we have commonly been taught so little.
God is always true to His truth, and to Himself, and to us men, even though the Devil himself seek to pervert things.
And further there is no question that the Devil heals, so far as he can, through this false so-called Christian teaching.
But two things should be keenly noted about the Devil's healing. There is a distinct line beyond which he cannot go. Over that line he is powerless.
Christ healed perfectly and permanently and instantly, and He still does when we allow it. The Devil's healings are never perfect nor permanent.
One remembers the Egyptian story. There the Devil's supernatural power was limited, sharply limited, and indeed within narrow limits. In comparison with God it was scanty, as though with an effort, and with a small result. And it was in imitation always, mere imitation.
The second thing to mark yet more sharply is this. The Devil's healing makes slaves. It is a striking thing, of which the instances are countless, that the healing that comes through the Devil's imitation of Christ leads to a servile degrading bondage.
There is a bondage of spirit, of mental vigour, and a moral bondage that has a vise-like grip. One stumbles constantly over these mental, moral wrecks.
That slavery can be broken only through the power of the blood of Christ, and then usually only through the severest mental and spirit struggle. But it can be broken. Christ, Christ 's blood, will set any one blessedly free.
Any one, any time, who will, may come to Christ, trusting as simply as a little child and as fully as the maturest man.
With all his perplexities and burdens he may come. And Christ never fails. His blood cleanseth from sin. It breaks the Devil's shackles. And it heals our bodies.
Observations for fully a quarter of a century, in many lands, with all sorts of persons, with countless interviews, confirms by personal knowledge what is being said. The Book of Life has furnished illustrations for all these statements.