Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Prayer Cloths and Special Miracles
What can YEHOVAH God's people do when they become sick, and there is no local minister of YEHOVAH God whom they can call upon for prayer and anointing, as the Word of YEHOVAH God directs in James 5:14-15? Here is vital information for all such people who desire prayer for healing of sicknesses and diseases.
by HOIM Staff
The apostle James declared: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:14-16) -- or "has great power and impact."
Then, in Mark 6:13, we read --
"And they [the 12] cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them."
Another component of YEHOVAH's healing process is mentioned in Mark 16:15-18, notice!
"And he [the risen Messiah] said to them, 'Go into all the world [of Israel] and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe. In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues [languages]; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
You will find mentioned in the Book of Acts many sick people who were healed when YEHOVAH's servants laid their hands upon them. While the use of oil is not always mentioned, when we study all the passages dealing with healing -- including James 5:14-16 -- we see that the oil is a vital component of the anointing process. And we should remember that the word "anoint" means "to rub with oil."
While YEHOVAH's Word clearly indicates that oil represents YEHOVAH's holy spirit, we know that it is not the oil itself that heals. We also realize that it is not the person performing the anointing who "heals." So does it matter which person or elder does the anointing? What does James say in the above verses? "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:15).
"Healing comes from FAITH! It is God who heals! Is it the faith of the individual or the faith of the elder that heals? James says to 'let them pray over him, anointing him with oil' and then 'the prayer of faith will save the sick' (verses 14-15). It is most likely the faith of both. The one comes in FAITH to be healed, yet the elder also has faith in the Creator of the Universe, on whom we are calling in prayer to heal the sick" (UCG, article on healing).
Now we come to a critical question -- since the oil represents YEHOVAH God's holy spirit, which particular oil should we use to anoint the sick with?
Can Olive Oil Represent YEHOVAH's Spirit?
Olive oil is often mentioned as representing YEHOVAH's spirit. Notice the following:
"Olive oil can also be seen as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (or possibly of faith) in Jesus' parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)....Not every reference to olive oil in the Bible is symbolic of course. But there are passages in which olive oil can be a picture of the Holy Spirit, the One who sanctifies us, fills us, readies us to see Christ, and brings us light, joy and spiritual health" (www.gotquestions.org/olive-oil-symbol.html).
Then, at www.woosterbaptisttemple.org we read --
"A. Olive oil is a constant type of the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments."
William F. Dankenbring, in his article Mystery of the Olive Tree, writes,
"The [olive] oil represents holy anointing by the power of the Spirit of God. The apostle John wrote of God’s Spirit as an ‘anointing.' He declared: 'But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him' (I John 2:27).
"Jesus Christ explained, 'And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever -- the Spirit of truth' (John 14:16). He added, 'However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth' (John 16:13). The Spirit will tell us 'things to come' (same verse).
"[Olive] Oil, therefore, is a type of the Holy Spirit -- as are water (John 7:37-39) and the wind (John 3:8; Acts 2:1-4)."
Dankenbring goes on to say --
"Olive oil also symbolized gladness and joy. David wrote of the Messiah, 'You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God,, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions' (Psalm 45:7). When the Messiah returns, He will give the people 'the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3).
"Joy, symbolized by olive oil, is the second fruit of the Holy Spirit listed by the apostle Paul: 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [meekness], self control (Gal.5:22-23).
"God’s Spirit is the Spirit of joy, and joy is associated with the oil of the olive! The olive tree is also associated with the Festival of Joy -- the Feast of Tabernacles."
One more example exhorts the same idea:
"So let's look more closely at this oil, the olive oil. The unwise virgins took no oil with them. How foolish they were! I want to tell you what the [olive] oil does. Then you'll know something of the work of the Holy Spirit. Later on we'll go on to other types of the Holy Spirit, like fire and dew and rain, and wind (the breath of God). But [olive] oil is the most important one" (www.finestofthewheat.org/Percy_Gutteridge/HS-08_The_Holy_Spirit_As_Oil.php).
So, is this true -- does olive oil truly represent the spirit of YEHOVAH God? Let's examine the attributes of the olive tree to determine if it accurately testifies of YEHOVAH's spirit and of the Messiah.
Notice what we find at www.righteousbranch.org (article, Rethinking the Olive Tree):
"Creation testifies that the branches of the olive tree produce bitter fruit…so bitter, in fact, that the fruit is not palatable raw from the tree but only after fermentation or pickling. At the center of this bitter fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Its flesh is plump and oily. The olive tree awakens or blossoms in the spring after other fruit trees have already awakened; the small blossoms are hidden by evergreen leaves. These small blossoms are largely wind-pollinated; most olive varieties are self-pollinating. The fruit is harvested in the 'dark' portion of the year, after the intensity of the heat has passed, as the hours of the darkness of the night exceed the hours of the light of the day...Furthermore, did you know that the olive tree is regarded as an invasive 'weed' tree?"
So we have a tree that has (1) Bitter fruit, (2) seed as hard as stone (3) plump and oily flesh and (4) self-pollination by the wind.
Throughout the Word of YEHOVAH God people are compared to trees; and their fruit is what they do and say. The fruit of bitterness is associated with a rebellious, disobedient people (seeStrong's H4805, H4784), people who will not hear the Word of YEHOVAH God. Further, from the article, Rethinking the Olive Tree, we read:
"Throughout the Word of יהוה, the children of Israel continuously rebelled against the commands of יהוה and are described as 'a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of יהוה [Isa 30:9]. In regards to the seed of a tree, the seed is found within the fruit. At the core of the bitter olive fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Likewise, at the core of stubborn and rebellious people who will not hear the Word of יהוה ' are hearts described as 'hard as stone'. Regarding the fruit of the olive tree, each cell contains a tiny droplet of oil; this olive oil is expelled from the flesh.
"According to the Word of יהוה, the rebellious people were full of arrogance and pride and are referred to as 'waxen fat, shiny', 'enclosed in fat, 'hearts as fat as grease'. This conveys the imagery of flesh that is full of oil or grease. In creation, trees can be pollinated by the wind or by bees and insects. (Remember the Hebrew word for 'bee' is 'deborah' [H1682] which is associated with 'command' or 'word' [H1696].) Metaphorically speaking, Paul describes someone who is pollinated by the wind as being 'tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes' [Eph 4:14]. These bitter and rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone and waxen fat were carried away by falsehood, lies, traditions and doctrines of men. They would NOT receive the Word of יהוה. In other words, they were pollinated by the winds of doctrine as opposed to the Word or 'debar” of יהוה."
YEHOVAH's spirit does not promote rebellion! Nor does the Messiah --
"In contrast, Messiah was not rebellious. He was not bitter. Rather the Righteous Branch from the stump of Jesse was the faithful, sweet, Seed of the Word of יהוה. He was not proud or arrogant. In fact, He did nothing of His own fleshly desire. His heart yielded to the desires of His Father. He was pollinated by the commands (“debar”) of His Father. He spoke nothing of His own accord but only what His Father commanded Him. There were no falsehood or lies in Him. He guarded or watched over His Father’s Words. Perfectly. As a result, He was stricken, beaten, shaken, crushed. But He wasn’t destroyed. He was the First-fruit of the resurrection, the first to 'awaken' from death or sleep. He was clothed in garments of righteousness and justice; He was called the 'Just One' and the Righteous Branch" (ibid.).
So what tree -- and oil -- testifies of the Messiah?
The True "Spiritual" Oil
Is there a tree that serves as an accurate witness testifying to these things? We need a tree that is (1) watchful (2) first to resurrect or awaken (3) white garments of righteousness (4) pollinated by the Word or “debar” (5) is the first-fruits (6) has flesh withering in the heat (7) is stricken…beaten…shaken…crushed but not destroyed and (8) has a sweet, single, edible seed.
"YES there is such a tree! There is a tree known as the watchful tree. It was created to be the first of the fruit trees to awaken from its winter slumber as the heat and light noticeably increase at the dawn of a new cycle. Upon awakening or “resurrecting” from a state of dormancy or sleep, this tree clothes its naked branches in white blossoms.... Within six to eight weeks of pollination, these first-fruits are harvested, but only a few; these first-fruits are hand-picked before the intensity of the heat arrives. The other fruits remain on the branches to mature in the heat so the inner core may grow firm. The flesh of the fruit splits open and withers in the summer heat so that all that remains is a sweet, single, edible seed. No flesh remains.
"In the seventh month following blossoming -- in the 'light' portion of the year at the intensity of the summer heat -- its branches are ready for harvest…the second and final harvest for this tree. Harvesters strike, beat and shake the seed from the tree. This tree is renowned for its seed, a seed known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. When this seed is crushed, it yields a remarkable, golden oil as well as a choice meal or fine flour.
"What is this tree? This tree serves as the pattern for the lampstand in the holy place -- producing the fruit of light. A branch from this tree serves as a sign to the rebellious and was chosen to represent the High Priest and the house of Levi…the earthly priesthood…the servants of יהוה. Our Heavenly Father showed this tree to Jeremiah in a vision to communicate that He was watching over His Word to perform it. The seed of this tree is shaped like an eye (hint, hint -- the very thing a person uses to be 'watchful'). This tree that testifies of Messiah -- the Righteous Branch -- is the sweet ALMOND TREE!" (Rethinking the Olive Tree).
The Bible testifies that the parable of the olive tree is one of bitterness and rebellion. Figuratively, the olive tree represents a bitter and rebellious people with plump flesh that is full of grease and a heart as hard as stone. The oil of the olive tree does NOT represent the spirit of YEHOVAH God. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of Messiah, the Righteous Branch, the First-fruit of the resurrection, the faithful Seed of the Word of YEHOVAH God, the Light of the world. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of the one who guarded or watched over his Father’s commands to protect them from doctrines, traditions and lies of men. Neither do the branches of a tree which produce bitter fruit accurately testify of believers who are producing the fruit of repentance, receiving the Word of YEHOVAH God, producing the fruit of light, first-fruits of the resurrection. Our Heavenly Father created the sweet almond tree to serve as such a witness.
The article concludes by admonishing that "we need to think about what we proclaim in saying that we are grafted into an olive tree: the proclamation of a rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone, not receiving the commands or “debar” of, not walking in His ways, receiving lies, traditions and doctrines of men, a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of יהוה.The attributes of the sweet almond tree bear witness to a faithful people, a faithful Israel, trees of righteousness, a people who are grafted into the Righteous Branch, a people who are walking in the ways of יהוה."
Now that we have determined that the almond tree -- not the olive tree -- is the Tree of Life, and that the tree that the Messiah was crucified on was an almond tree, we can see the tremendous significance and symbolism that the lamp-stand in the Holy Place of the Temple -- fashioned after the almond tree -- brings to mind. YEHOVAH God created a tree with certain attributes that testify of the Messiah and bears witness of the fruit of righteousness. Those of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia are considered to be branches grafted to the almond tree which fruit represents "fruit in keeping with repentance." This tree accurately represents a faithful people -- a people who are called by YEHOVAH's Name, a people referred to as Israel.
Now we come to the question of the oil. In all my years studying the Word of YEHOVAH God I have never heard anyone question the concept of mingling elements from two different trees in a holy and pure place such as the Temple. The oil from the fruit of an olive tree into a lamp that is patterned after an almond tree? An in-depth study of the Bible will reveal that YEHOVAH God does NOT condone mingling.
In 1841, a man named John Kitto questioned by inference the type of oil used in the golden lamp-stand in the Holy Place. He wrote:
"The drupe of the almond has a leathery covering, not pulpy or edible, like that of the peach. Its productive value lies in the well-known and much-valued sweet kernel of the stone, or nut. These kernels yield on expression one-half their weight of oil, the well-known oil of the almonds, which is more agreeable than the common expressed oils. It is remarkable that this oil is not once mentioned in the Scriptures. Indeed even olive oil is not very often mentioned by name; and we think that in many of the cases in which 'oil,' simply, is mentioned without the specification of its quality, it is wrong to suppose that olive-oil is always intended; for it is incredible that the oil of almonds could be unknown to, or unvalued by, a people who sought after and employed vegetable oils so largely as the Hebrews" (Palestine: The Physical Geography and Natural History of the Holy Land. London: Charles Knight & Co., 1841, p. ccxii).
Therefore, we must conclude that the oil used in the menorah or lamp-stand in the Holy Place of the Temple must have been almond oil -- NOT olive oil. Almond oil is truly representative of YEHOVAH God's holy spirit!
What If No Minister is Available?
Obviously, YEHOVAH God desires His people to call upon His ministry for prayer for healing when they become sick, ill, or afflicted with some disease. But what can we do if there is no such minister available locally whom we can trust, who is proven to be a true minister of YEHOVAH God? Since so many people do not have a local minister, whom they can sincerely trust to do as James says, and there are so many scattered people who need prayer for healing from time to time, we at Hope of Israel Ministries have prayed about it, and have determined to follow the example of the Scriptures, and the apostle Paul.
We read in the book of Acts how the apostle Paul was used by YEHOVAH God Almighty to do special miracles of healing the sick and casting out demons through sending special cloths to the sick and afflicted. Luke records: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11-12). Here we see that pieces of cloth from the apostle Paul's clothing were used to extend the gift of healing beyond his physical presence.
Due to the size of ministries these days however, and the number of people requesting anointing, it is impractical for elders to tear off patches of their clothing to send to the sick, so prayer cloths are a practical way to handle these requests.
The effectiveness of an anointed prayer cloth is, once again, based on faith in YEHOVAH God. Through faith, the tangible transfer of YEHOVAH's miracle-working creative power flows into the life of the recipient and births a miracle.
Following the example of Paul, elders in YEHOVAH'S Ecclesia will make a special prayer to YEHOVAH God on the sick person's behalf, anointing a piece of cloth with a small amount of almond oil (since this piece of cloth has not been in contact with a spirit-filled person such as Paul) and then sending it through the mail to the person requesting it. When the sick person receives it, he/she should go to a private place and ask YEHOVAH God for His healing while briefly placing the cloth on the forehead. Remember that YEHOVAH God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses how and when to answer the sick person's prayer -- according to what is ultimately best for that particular person. Also, one should keep in mind that the sick person should pray that YEHOVAH's will, and not his/her own, be done. When finished praying, that person should dispose of the cloth. Under no circumstances should that particular prayer cloth be given to another to attempt to heal that person's particular health problem.
One may use the cloth as often as they wish, and as many times as they feel necessary, if they are not healed at once, immediately. But when one is healed, then they should no longer keep the cloth but throw it away or destroy it. It is only a piece of cloth, and must not become an item of idolatry or worship. It is YEHOVAH God who heals, through the power of His holy spirit -- not the piece of cloth.
Many Examples of Healing in the New Testament
Even more amazing, I suppose, we find in the book of Acts, "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people...Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them" (Acts 5:12-15).
Luke goes on describing them: "There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one" (Acts 5:16).
These miracles were similar to those performed by the Messiah himself, who gave this power to his disciples. Matthew records that Yeshua sent forth the disciples on a special mission, preaching the gospel, and told them, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew10:5-8). Luke records in his gospel, "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick" (Luke 9:1-2).
The Messiah himself set us the example. "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35).
He gave this same authority and power to his true, converted, servants, led by YEHOVAH God's spirit. His parting instructions to his disciples were:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe ALL things I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20).
Yeshua is still with us, today. He has not departed and left us on our own. He now sits at the right hand of YEHOVAH God the Father, interceding for us as our High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16). He set us an example, that his ministers should follow in his steps, and perform the works he set forth before us, that he Himself did (I Peter 2:21; I John 2:6).
Yeshua said, in fact,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:12-15).
Yeshua the Messiah declared to two blind men, who came to him for healing, "Believe ye that I able to do this?" They responded: "Yea, Lord." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it unto you." And their eyes were opened and they were healed of their blindness (Matthew 9:28-30). Healing is a simple matter of faith -- and obedience to YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH will not heal one who knowingly and deliberately practices sin. If we come to Him obediently, keeping His commandments to the best of our knowledge, and then exercise faith in His promises and His instructions, FAITH IN THE MESSIAH, then He promises to heal us, "according to our faith."
Yeshua declared unequivocally, "Have faith in God." He went on, saying that if a person even asks a mountain to be cast into the sea (a mountain endangering us, or obstructing our pathway in serving YEHOVAH God), "and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:22-24).
This kind of faith itself is a gift of YEHOVAH God (Ephesians 2:8-10), and a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). As John wrote, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). This is not just our human faith, but the faith of the Messiah dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. As Paul declared, he sought to be found in the Messiah, "not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9-10). As Paul wrote, "Christ in you [is] the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
YEHOVAH God's Word is sure. His love is steadfast. As David wrote,
"Bless the LORD [YHVH, pronounced "YEHOVAH"], O my soul: and all that is in me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth ALL thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" (Psalm 103:1-3).
One of YEHOVAH's great titles, or names, is YEHOVAH-ROPHEKA, which means "God our Healer," "The LORD Who Heals you" (see Exodus 15:26). Another of His Hebrew title-names is YEHOVAH-YIREH, meaning, "The LORD Who Sees," "The LORD Who Will Provide" (see Genesis 16:13).
With these thoughts and examples in mind, we send out prayer cloths to those who request prayer for healing. These are simple pieces of cloth, or cut up handkerchiefs. They are anointed with almond oil, representing the holy spirit of YEHOVAH God.
When a person receives such a cloth from us, they should take it, place it on their forehead, and go and pray, on their knees, if possible, asking YEHOVAH God to heal them, in faith, according to His Word and the examples set in His Word, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, our Messiah and Saviour and Redeemer. If you are in need of prayer for healing, or some affliction, at any time, and would like to receive a prayer cloth, please let us know. We would be happy to pray for you and serve you in this way.
When an anointed prayer cloth is received, the recipient can have confidence that the prayers prayed over it are still at work, but he/she shouldn't put trust in the cloth itself -- rather trust should be placed in the God who answers those prayers.
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