Posts Tagged ‘Lord Jesus Christ’


The Fullness of Christ-is it for You?

  • Colossians 1:9-10 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • Colossians 1:11 “Strengthened with all power, according to the might of His Glory, UNTO all patience and longsuffering with joy.”

The Proof of Fullness

The evidence of power (and therefore fullness) is always endurance in the face of trials or hardship or tests of faith. The ability to endure under continuous or intermittent pressure that tests our faith in His Word is the foremost proof of spiritual power and the “fullness of Christ”.

This was the lesson of the Book of Joshua as embodied in the person of Caleb. Caleb was one who possessed the Fullness of God, as evidenced in his strength, passion and victory of possessions. He gained everything that God wanted Him to have, and had more to give away to his children. Fullness will always reveal itself in victory in the face of trials, and will always result in an abundance of blessing, so much so that your family will benefit and inherit!

  • The fullness of Christ will reveal itself in our life through joy in the face of hardship or even suffering. The fullness of Christ is never meant to be for an individual, but is always meant to be shared to bring others into His inheritance.

The Limits of being Filled with the Fullness of Christ

Even though we are made in the image of God, we are not God, so our experience of God’s fullness does have limits.  A. B. Simpson[1] used the following analogy to illustrate the limits of being filled:

Being filled with the fullness of God is like a bottle in the ocean. You take the cork out of the bottle and sink it in the ocean, and you have the bottle completely full of ocean. The bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle. The ocean contains the bottle, but the bottle contains only a little bit of the ocean. So it is with the Christian.

We can be filled with the fullness of God when we immerse ourselves in his love and in his ways and in his Spirit and in his word; however “we cannot contain all of God because God contains us;  . . . we can have all of God that we can contain. If we only knew it, we could enlarge our vessel. The vessel gets bigger as we go on with God.A. W. Tozer.[2]

Our Christian walk should be a journey towards spiritual maturity that allows us to experience more and more of Christ’s fullness and enable us to share Him with others.

1. Fullness comes from Proximity

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  • There can be no fullness apart from a daily abiding and depending upon Jesus Christ

2. From His Fullness we receive Grace upon Grace

John 1:16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

  • Jesus illustrates the principle of grace as the means to fullness. From the fullness of Jesus we receive His grace, so that we might be filled to overflowing, thus allowing His grace to pass on to others.

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

1 Timothy 1:14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 8:14-15 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

3. His Fullness gives you Blessing

  • Paul experienced the fullness of blessing – Romans 15:29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
  • We are already blessed in Christ – Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

4. His Fullness reflects the Fullness of the Earth

1 Corinthians 10:26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

  • We are to know the height, depth, breadth and length of Christ, for He is our inheritance.

5. The Church is the means of gaining the Fullness of Christ

  • The Church is His fullness – Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 4:10-13 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

6. The church must be built up to the Fullness of Christ

  • Eph 4:12 “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”
  • 1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • Colossians 2:6-7 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

7. Love is the Key to being Built up into the Fullness of Christ

Ephesians 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

  • Being built up in Christ requires us to be fully aware of our calling, our blessing and our inheritance, so that we might clearly see the breadth, length, height and depth of what Christ wants us to possess.
  • When we see that which we stand to gain, it should draw us deeper into love with Jesus Christ.

To continually experience Christ’s fullness we need to spend time nurturing our union with him.  We nurture our relationship with Jesus by becoming more aware of his Spirit within us, by being filled with his word (Eph 5:18b; Col 3:16a), and by being obedient to his word. But it begins with love.  Jesus promised, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  John 14:23

8. Dependence upon Christ through yoking and learning is essential for Fullness

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

  • If there is no decision to yoke completely our will and flesh, there can be no fullness.
  • If there is no continued decision to focus on Christ and learn of Him, there can be no sustained fullness.

Nurturing a close relationship with Jesus is easier said than done in our busy and materialistic world.  As we yoke ourselves to Christ, we must also weed out the thorns and thistles of life: the cares of this world, that may hinder our spiritual growth and prevent us from experiencing Christ’s fullness.  

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that, “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear [the word of God], but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:14-15 (NIV)We must allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the soil of our hearts to enable God’s word to flourish and be fruitful and multiply in and through* (see discussion of Ephesians 3:16-21 following)

9. The Fullness of Christ is measured in the unity of faith and knowledge of Christ in the church.

  • Fullness in Christ is Body related, not individually attained
  • Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ[3],
  • Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
  • Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

From His Fullness We Have Already Received

John 1:16 “of His fullness we have all received”

Just as God clearly marked the promised land to Joshua and the Israelites, all that we have in Christ is already been given us. Ephesians 1-3 provides every blessed boundary line of what we have in Christ. Just as Joshua knew what God had given them, it became the calling of the Israelites to GAIN all that land. This is where Ephesians 4-6 comes into view. After the calling comes the WALKING! We have the fullness of Christ, now we must learn to WALK in the fullness of Christ!

We will never walk in the fullness of Christ unless we realize that our very walk depends upon Him. If we have received Him, let us put on Him! Joshua did not have the strength of weapons and soldiers to take the land promised to him. But the Captain of the Host did! Joshua and his leaders had to learn to always “enquire of the Lord”! They had to follow the Captain if they were going to achieve victory and fullness! As Charles Spurgeon preached:

“There was not in John any good thing but what he received from his Master. There was not in the noble martyr Stephen one grain of courage but what he received from Christ. Paul, Apollos, or Cephas—these had nothing but what they took from Him. If they received everything, why should we hesitate to do the same? Of ourselves it is also true that all our Graces came from Jesus. This is true of the greatest saint and true of the least.”

Fullness of Christ is the Basis of True Ministry

Our ministry and service for the Lord is measured by the degree of Christ that we have to minister. A minister of Christ is one who ministers Christ, who is able to minister Christ because he has Christ to give, has the Holy Spirit of Christ to impart Christ. Ministry is not meant to be in an “official capacity.” Ministry is never on the basis of “office” or “position” or “degree.” Ministry is because of Christ having you and you having Christ.

Remember the Shunammite woman’s son who died in the days of the Elisha the prophet? In her distress she sent for Elisha. The prophet sent his servant Gehazi, and Gehazi went with the prophet’s rod in a professional or “official” capacity. “I am the servant of the great prophet, and I have his rod, the symbol of his office.” And Gehazi went in this “official capacity” and put the rod on the young man; but nothing happened. There is no power in what is merely “professional.”

The woman was not to be satisfied with this official effort. She clung to Elisha, and would have nothing second-hand but only himself, and when he came in what did he do? He spread himself upon the young man, hands to his hands, feet to his feet, lips to his lips, in an utter identification of himself with that death, himself being in life, and he literally, by reason of the life in him, lifted that lad, so to speak, out of the grip of death. It was life by the living, and there is no other way. “Fullness begets fullness, life begets life, grace begets grace”

The church is that which comes into contact with conditions of spiritual death and, because it has the living, risen Lord in it, breaks the power of that death, and delivers there from, and proves the testimony of Jesus, that He it is who lives, and Who became dead, but is alive for evermore. That is the testimony of Jesus.[4]

God’s Purpose as to Fullness for His People

Biblical Pictures of the Way to Fullness:

The Levites in Joshua
  • Fullness as to Sonship
  • Fullness as to Worship (type of church)
  • Fullness as to Heavenly Example (no possessions, cities of influence)
The Bronze Man in Ezekiel 40:3-4

Ezekiel 40:3-4 When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”

1. The Linen Cord of Measurement (line of flax)

No measurement is given unto it. We are not told how long that line was, but we do know that it was used for the greater measurement. When we come later to the river in chapter forty-seven, it is not the rod but the line that is the instrument of measurement; and we find that that river becomes too deep for man.

This clearly corresponds to what Paul said in the Letter to the Ephesians. There he spoke of “the love of Christ, which passes knowledge.” We are here in the presence of something that is far greater than human measurement. Since the Bronze Man represents the Holy Spirit, there is no measuring the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is without measure.

2. The Rod of Measurement.

These are two ways of measuring. One is what we may call the “measureless measure”, the Measure that has no limit. That is the great fullness of the Spirit. The other is that which is brought down to things in everyday life. This rod was used to measure all the details of the House of God.

The Bronze Man shows us there is great fullness of Christ (measureless); He also shows us that this fullness is applied to the minute details of the House of God. The Son of Man is the Righteous One, and He is God’s standard of measurement. God measures everything by Him…This is why the letters to the seven churches in Revelations are not simply a “dispensational thing.” They are in reality the Letters to the churches throughout all the age whereby Jesus Christ is measuring them according to His Fullness, and showing them where they are failing to overcome and attain unto His Fullness! The letters apply to every church in every age, for we will all be measured by His Fullness and whether we have gained it!

3. The Lesson of the Corinthian Church and the Fullness of Christ

1 Corinthians is an example of the fullness of Christ being diminished within the church by the intrusion of the fleshly or carnal man. Paul held up the measuring rod against the church when He said: “I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Paul brought in this Righteous Man to correct the things that were unrighteous. By bringing in the Righteous Man, he put out the unrighteous man. By bringing in the Man of the Spirit, he put out the man of the flesh. That is exactly the meaning of this Man of brass with His measuring rod, so that first of all the object in view is Christ. He governs everything.

Fullness of Christ as the Bread of Life

Exodus 16:16-21 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’ ” And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

  • Gathered much – to give to others
  • Gather just enough – had no lack
  • Gather as much as you can eat, early and daily
  • Do not leave it lying around, it is of no use
  • This bread melted in the heat, but there is a bread that does not wither in the heat-The Word of Life

John 6:32-38 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

A Picture of Fullness is Measured by Reaction to the Heat of Life

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Matthew 6:10-11 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,

  • Fullness of Christ in our life always results in Cool Shade for others in the “heated times” of their life.
  • This is illustrated in the application of the Manna to Grace Giving.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Fullness of Christ as the Waters of Life

  • Christ is the Water of Life, and all those who abide in Him have Living Water flowing from His Fullness within.

John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

  • Fullness of His Living Water comes only to the hungry and thirsty

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

  • The Living Water of Christ is never meant to be contained (filled), but to always flow outward as an eternal spring of life to others.

John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • The Word of God is the source of the water of Life. Jesus is the Logos!

Psalm 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

  • The Word of God will be the River of Life for all Eternity

Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

  • The Living Water always produces a fullness of life and fruit!

Ezekiel 47:12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

How to Gain the Fullness of Christ in your Life

Here is the Key: Ephesians 3:16-21 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

1. Inner Strength of Spirit!

If you are to take the Word of God and the indwelling Spirit and grow into the fullness of God, it begins with inner strength. You must be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man. You must allow the Spirit to have control of your inner man.

Your inner man will be strengthened when the Holy Spirit has control of it, when you yield to Him, when you no longer are ruled by yourself, when you no longer do just what you want, but where you learn moment by moment, step by step, one day at a time, to yield control to the Holy Spirit.

If there is to be a change in your inner man it’s going to be by the strengthening of the inner man through the Holy Spirit. And that comes as you yield to the Spirit. Every time you yield to the Spirit a decision in your life, you strengthen the muscle of your inner man a little more and as you continue to do that your inner man gets stronger and stronger and stronger and it’s easier to say yes to the Spirit and no to sin.

Sin decreases as you yield to the Spirit because you strengthen the inner man and it becomes easier to say yes to the Holy Spirit.

2.  The Indwelling Christ

When you yield to the Holy Spirit, He controls your life then Christ settles down and becomes at home there. Verse 17; “That Christ may ‘katoikeesis’, settle down and be at home in your hearts by faith.” Christ wants to be at home in you. He wants to settle down. He wants to have a clean life. One that He doesn’t have to be running around cleaning and sweeping and chastising and chastening. The blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, God Himself in human flesh wants to live within the believer in fullness. He’s there because you have been born again and declared “righteous” and “just.” Christ wants to give you His fullness, His righteousness, His peace, His strength, and His power. He wants to dominate you so that II Cor. 3:18 becomes a reality.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

You are changed into His very image. Ephesians 4:13 becomes your reality.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

You come to the full measure of the stature of Christ. In other words, Christ likeness, Christ permeating every part, every fiber, every ounce of your being with His wonderful person and presence. The “imprint” of Christ is upon you, just as the “imprint” of God was upon Jesus!

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…

So, as you yield to the Spirit of God, your life is under His control. You mind is set upon the Holy Spirit.  You are walking after the Holy Spirit, and Christ can settle down and be at home. When Christ is at home in your life, it is because you have yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

3. Immersed in the Incomprehensible Love of Christ

a) Love is foundational

The third thing which must happen is revealed in verse 17: “In order that ye may be rooted and grounded in love.” Without being rooted and grounded in the Love of Christ, you cannot know His fullness. Love permeates all the Christ wants to do in your life. Selfishness and pride must be rooted out and replaced with His agape love.

When Christ fills us love fills us. Look what it says in verse 17; “When Christ dwells in our hearts, Christ settles down and is at home in our hearts, and so we are rooted and grounded in His love.

This is the foundation of the fullness of Christ, experiencing His love firmly in the core of your being. You can’t have a love experience unless His love is your foundation. As Christ fills your heart love rules. Love is the foundation. Love is the bottom line. Love is that which everything else is built upon.

According to Romans 5:5, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” The moment we’re saved God’s love comes in us. His love is there and it’s expected that we love. It’s the most normal thing in the world for a Christian to live a love life. In fact, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and said – “Nobody needs to teach you how to love, you are taught of God to love one another.”

If you don’t experience a total life of love, it is not because it isn’t there, it’s because you have never allowed it to function. Love is the most normal thing for a Christian to do. The Spirit of God comes into your life, He fills your life with love, He begins to rule your life, you yield to Him, Christ settles down, He is at home, His love permeates, and as it permeates your life you should be characterized thirdly, by incomprehensible love. And it should start by being the very root and the very foundation of your life. The very basis of your life.

b) His Love must become your own!

Not only is it the foundation, but verse 18 says you must be able to comprehend this love. In the Greek the verb comprehend is a compound verb “katalambano” which is an intense verb meaning to seize or grasp for your own. It pictures the brass ring from the old merry-go-rounds, that were there to be grabbed it you tried hard enough. For the love of Christ to be foundational in your life, you must desire it and grab hold of it! You literally seize love; you make it your own as a way of life!

The love of Christ is such a treasure because it is the gateway into the fullness of Christ. It is the most desired thing, something you want to seize, something you want to grasp. Something you want to cling to.

c) His Love can be Experienced in a miraculous way.

Ephesians 3:19 “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”

Paul says we can experientially know this love even though it surpasses our ability to know.

The knowledge here is the knowledge which is experienced. To live a life built on love, to live a life that grasps every possibility of love in every situation is only possible when you’re filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God who causes Christ to be at home in every dimension of your life, bringing the fullness of His own love.

If you claim to be a Christian but you don’t have love as the root and the ground of your life, the problem is not that the people around you are giving you trouble, the problem is clear back in verse 16, you have never yet yielded the control of your life to the Holy Spirit. The very first evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, Galatians 5:22.

The absence of love is the presence of sin. The absence of love is the presence of iniquity. The absence of love means you’re not walking in the Spirit.

The entirety of the Law is summed up in one thing—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And your what? “Neighbor as yourself.” That’s the whole law, right there.

Ephesians 5:2 Paul says to “Walk in love.” What kind of love? The kind of love that gives yourself as a sacrifice. Biblical love always involves sacrifice. Humble yourself at the Cross. Yield to the Spirit of God. Let Him have control of your life so that Christ can settle down and fill your life with His love.

d) Know the boundaries of His Love

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

We are able to grab this love in its fullness. This love extends in all directions and covers every situation.

 Jerome said that the love of Christ reaches up to the holy angels and it reaches down to those in hell. Its length covers the men on the upward way and its breadth reaches those drifting away on evil paths.

  • „ How long is this love? Eph 1:4; It began … “Before the foundation of the world.” Eph 2:7; “That in the ages to come He will show the exceeding riches of His grace…” How long is His love? From eternity past to eternity future.
  • „ How deep is His love? Eph 2:1-3; Deep enough to reach us when we were dead in trespasses and sin.
  • „ How high is His love? Eph 1:3; High enough to take us and bless us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places. High enough, Ephesians 2:6, to raise us up together and make us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.
  • „ How broad is His love? Eph 3:12 – broad enough to build up the entire body of Christ through the ages.

Its breadth — it can reach anybody. Its length — it runs from eternity to eternity. Its depth — it reaches to the pit of sin. Its height — it takes us to the presence of God and sits us on His throne. That’s His love.

This is the kind of love we are to build our life on. This is the kind of love we are to comprehend and seize at every moment. This is the kind of love we are to experience and know. The kind of love that reaches to parties that hate each other. The kind of love that runs from one part of our life to the end of our life. The kind of love that reaches to the person in the deepest pit. The kind of love that can lift up a person to the very presence of God. That’s the kind of love we are to know. This is the kind of love which will bring us into the fullness of God.

4. Internal Fullness of God

As a Christian, if you follow this sequence you can be filled with all the fullness of God. It’s one thing for you to be filled with the Spirit in verse 16. Another thing for you to be filled with Christ in verse 17. But now to be filled with God, the eternal God, the almighty God, the creator God, the sustainer God, the God of the universe, the God who made it all, the God who fills it all can fill you?

Incredible…Incomprehensible…Inconceivable…Impossible? NO! Very Possible!

We are to be full, full, full, full. Paul says it over and over and over and over. In Ephesians 1:23 look at it, he says; “The body, the church, is the fullness of Him that filleth all and all.” The fullness of Him that filleth all and all. In chapter 3, we’ve just looked at being filled with all the fullness of God, verse 19. Chapter 4 verse 10; “That He might fill all things.” Chapter 4 verse 13; “That we might come to the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Chapter 5 verse 18, “That we would be filled with the Spirit.” God doesn’t settle for anything less than total fullness. (John MacArthur)

The word pleeroo, fullness, is a word that is used many times in the New Testament to speak of total fullness. That is its meaning. Picture a scale which reflects your life. There is to be no level balance, a little of you and a little of God. NO! The scale is to tilt totally in God’s favor. He wants all of you so He can fill all of you!

It isn’t a little bit of God and a little bit of us… it’s the fullness of God. It’s the fullness of Christ. It’s the fullness of the Holy Spirit. God wants, literally, Himself to fill us so that as Paul said to Titus, we adorn the doctrine of God. (Titus 2:10)

What Kind of God are we filled with? This is Amazing Truth!
  • „ II Samuel 22
  • „ Job 26
  • „ Job 36

5. Internal Power is the Result

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

When all this happens the explosion takes place. The engine roars. Verse 20 is the great doxology. The great benediction. “Now unto him who is able,” …when a believer follows these paths, when you follow these sequences – “Now God is able.”

As powerful as God is you hold the trigger that determines whether He’s able in your life! You are the key to God accomplishing all that He would through you!

Now that you have inner strength, now that you have the indwelling Christ, now that there’s incomprehensible love, now that you’re filled with internal fullness, the fullness of God, now He is able to do what?

“Exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” That power doesn’t work in you until now. Verse 20 does not become reality until verses 16 to 19 have been fulfilled.

God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think. Don’t ever say, Lord, I don’t know if You can use me in this situation. He can. Beyond your dreams, infinitely beyond. When the church gathers together, it gathers with the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when it separates every believer goes out of here able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think, if he follows the pattern right here.

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman’s tells about a man who gave this testimony at one of his meetings:

“I got off the Pennsylvania depot as a tramp. And for a year I begged on the streets for a living. One day I touched a man on the shoulder and I said -Hey, mister, can you give me a dime? As soon as I saw his face I was shocked to see that it was my own father. I said – Father, father, do you know me? Throwing his arms around me with tears he said – Oh, my son, I found you. I’ve found you. Not only a dime, but all I have is yours. And then this man said “Men think of it, I was a tramp. I stood begging my own father for ten cents when for 18 years he had been looking for me to give me all that he was worth.”

Don’t ask your heavenly Father for a dime. Take all that He’s got to give. Don’t live as a beggar on a pittance when the resources are there to live as a king to His glory.


[1] A B Simpson (1843 – 1919) was a Canadian minister, theologian and author, who had a passion for evangelism.  He founded The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). Sourced from Sermonindex.net

[2] A W Tozer, The Counselor: Straight Talk about the Holy Spirit, 1990, p68.  Sourced from Sermonindex.net

[3]The word “knowledge” is epignōsis, “full knowledge, precise and correct knowledge.” “Perfect” is teleios, “mature, complete, full grown.” Expositors says: “The state at which unity is lacking is the stage of immaturity; the stage in which oneness in faith and knowledge is reached, is the state of mature manhood in Christ.” The words “mature man,” refer to the individual believer. The apostle has in mind the spiritual maturity of each saint. The words, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,” further define what Paul means by the mature saint. The expression “the fullness of Christ,” refers to the sum of the qualities which make Christ what He is. These are to be imaged in the Church (1:23), and when these are in us we shall have reached our maturity and attained to the goal set before us. Thus the whole idea will be this — ‘the measure of the age, or (better) the stature, that brings with it the full possession on our side of that which Christ has to impart — the embodiment in us the members, of the graces and qualities which are in Him the Head.’ ” The term, “spiritual maturity,” as applied to a Christian, is ever a relative one, not an absolute one. Paul, in Phil. 3:12 disclaims absolute spiritual maturity, while in 3:15, he claims relative maturity of Christian experience. This process of conforming the saint to the image of Christ begins in this life in the work of the Spirit in sanctification and is never completed in eternity, for the finite can never equal the infinite nor even remotely approach to it. Christ’s perfections are so wonderful that the saints will ever bear but a dim reflection of them. This is the distance between finiteness and infinity.

Translation: Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the experiential, full, and precise knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 1: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 101-102.

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Total Health

is “the dynamic and harmonious interaction of spirit, soul and body in the absence of mental, emotional or physical sickness or disease”.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it”. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

To be sanctified is to withdraw your spirit, soul and body from the unhealthy entanglements of our corrupt culture and experience true fellowship with the God of peace.

We are made of three distinct parts: spirit, soul and body. Total Health involves an understanding of how these interact with each other.

We are made in God’s image, and that means we are like God who “is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”.

There are three different laws operating within us-law of the spirit, law of the mind (soul), and the law of sin in the body (Romans 7:22-8:1)

When these three laws are in conflict with one another, we will experience stress, disease and even premature death. When they are in harmony with one another, we will experience health, peace and life.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace”. Romans 8:6

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

The Goal of Total Health

Total Health is not perfect health. Perfect health is not possible for we are all in the process of dying physically.

Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

Total Health is the ability to fulfill the purposes for which God created you. Before we were even born, God designed us to carry out great works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Our identity and fulfillment in life is to carry out these great works. We do not want any sickness or disease to hinder us from carrying out our life purpose. We have a limited number of days in which to accomplish the great works for which God brought us into this world. Our focus should not be on having better health but on completing our life purpose.

We were designed before conception

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

God promised His people that if they would love Him and keep His commandments, He would bless them more than all the other peoples of the earth:

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’ Deuteronomy 6:24-25

You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:14-15

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:1-6

Total Health: Being Made “Whole”

On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went, they were cleansed (katharizo). Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

1. Cleansing the Blood

As they went, they were cleansed.

katharízō; from katharós , pure. To cleanse, free from filth[1]; “to cleanse, make clean”,[2]

In a physical sense, this would refer primarily to the circulatory system, because the “life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11)

In a spiritual sense, to purify from the pollution and guilt of sin (Acts 15:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:26; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:14; James 4:8; 1 John 1:7, 9;[3]

In a spiritual sense, ‘katharizo’ refers to the removal of the pollution and guilt of sin.

2. Healing the Flesh

One of the lepers looked at his flesh and saw that he was healed which is “iáomai”; to heal, cure, restore to bodily health.[4] The physical symptoms of the disease had disappeared.

When our blood is cleansed of its impurities, the flesh can be restored to health.

3. Achieving Wholeness

Simply removing the distressing condition of the disease is not total health. Total health involves a restored relationship with God and the accompanying signs of joy, freedom, and inward peace.

The leper who returned to give thanks was the only one that Jesus told, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”. Well or whole is the word ‘sózō’.

Sózō; to save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction. Sózō occurs fifty-four times in the Gospels. Fourteen relate to deliverance from disease or demon possession. Twenty instances, the inference is to the rescue of physical life from some impending peril or instant death. The remaining twenty times, the reference is to spiritual salvation[5]

Three Aspects of Salvation

1. Salvation of the Spirit

Eternal Salvation of our spirit. This is the New Birth spoken of in John 3. This is what Paul described in Romans 10:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (sózō). For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (sózō)”. Romans 10:9-13

2. Salvation of the Soul

The regeneration and salvation of our spirit is instantaneous. The salvation of our soul (mind, will and emotions) is a continual process. It is accomplished through the control of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the washing of the Word of God. As we read and meditate on God’s Word, we build a Biblical belief system. This is what James was writing about:

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (sózō) your souls. James 1:21

The wholeness, soundness and health of our soul has a direct effect upon our physical health. This is the meaning of John’s greeting:

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

3. Salvation of the Body

The “wholeness” or “wellness” of our physical body is contingent upon obedience to God’s moral standards.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

When a member of the Corinthian church committed gross immorality, Paul commanded

When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

Three Primary Factors that Contribute to Health

1. Genetic Tendencies

We all inherit tendencies toward certain diseases based on weaknesses in our genetic makeup. They do not have to become diseases if we follow God’s way of life.

The challenge of finding hereditary disease genes:

Our expectation is that the characterization of a disease- instigating gene will greatly assist our understanding of how and why it causes a malfunction in the body. It makes good sense to go to the root of the problem. But to learn a gene’s secret, first you must find it. And finding it is not so simple. It is much easier to locate the neighborhood in the genome where a gene resides than it is to determine its exact address.

Lilliput and Brobdingnag: Beyond Gulliver’s Travels. The magnitude of the challenge arises from the vast amount of DNA contained in the diploid human genome, which includes all of a person’s genetic material. If strung out, the DNA in a single human genome would stretch to about two meters, but the diameter of the strand would amount to only about two billionths of a meter, 20 angstroms, a span a hundred times smaller than a wavelength of light. If the DNA from a single cell from every human being on the planet — 6 billion people — were stitched end to end, the resulting string would girdle the earth about 300 times. If the genomes from every cell of the 6 billion people were laid out end to end, they would extend 700 billion, billion miles — enough to wrap around our galaxy more than 700 times.

To understand the enormous problem of finding a gene somewhere on an individual’s strand of DNA, imagine that a single human genome is long enough to circle the globe. On this scale, the amount of DNA in a chromosome would extend for a thousand miles. A gene would span just one twentieth of a mile, and a disease-causing defect — a point mutation, a change in only one DNA base pair — could run as short as one twentieth of an inch. What we are thus searching for is comparable to a fraction of an inch on the circumference of the globe! In this immense morass of DNA, finding the exact address of a gene and pinpointing its fault makes for extremely tough going, and it requires all of the creativity and ingenuity of everyone engaged in the quest.[6]

An example of genetic tendencies in one family:

We were looking for a large extended multigenerational family in which we could observe many instances of the Huntington’s disease gene or its normal counterpart being passed on — and we knew of just such a family. Members of the kindred live in Venezuela in three rural villages — San Luis, Barranquitas, and Laguneta — on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. Because it is situated in the northern region of Latin America and Lake Maracaibo is actually a huge ocean gulf, Venezuela has long communicated directly with Europe, and many European genes have appeared in the local population. Story has it that some sailor with Huntington’s disease came over to trade and left his legacy, but we do not know if this is apocryphal.

We have been able to trace the disease as far back as the early 1800s, to a woman appropriately named Maria ConcepciÛn. We know that Maria lived in the “pueblos de agua,” villages built on stilts in the water next to shores too marshy, jungly, and inhospitable to accommodate human life. Laguneta, where many of Maria’s descendants live, remains such a stilt village.

Maria was the founder of a kindred now numbering close to 11,000 people, living and deceased. In the pedigree, there are 371 persons with Huntington’s disease, 1,266 at 50 percent risk and 2,395 at 25 percent risk for the disease. Of the 11,000, 9,000 are living and the majority are under the age of forty. In these small and impoverished towns, we estimate that there are over 660 asymptomatic gene carriers who are too young to show symptoms, but as years pass — if no treatment is found — they will surely die. It is crushing to look at these exuberant children full of hope and expectation, despite poverty, despite illiteracy, despite dangerous and exhausting work for the boys fishing in small boats in the turbulent lake, or for even the tiny girls tending house and caring for ill parents, despite a brutalizing disease robbing them of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — they are joyous and wild with life, until the disease attacks.[7]

2. Physical Constitution

We can inherit a strong physical constitution from our parents, yet through immoral or wild living pass along a weaker constitution to our children and grand children.

In the 1940’s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzyme less foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:[8]

POTTENGER CAT EXPERIMENT SUMMARY

GROUP A B C D E
FOOD FED Raw meat Raw milk Pasteurized milk Evaporated milk Condensed milk
1st Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses near end of life
2nd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in middle of life
3rd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age;
4th Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy No fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth

Source: Pottenger’s Cats, a Study in Nutrition

3. Various Stresses

Whether our genetic tendencies and weak constitution will result in diseases will be determined primarily by stresses in our lives (because of what we say, think and do).

There can be many causes of stress, such as time constraints, having too much to do, and having too many bills and not enough funds.

However, the greatest stresses come from inward attitudes such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy. These destroy the immune system.

Is Total Health Healing?

Total healing is not possible on earth, because the sentence of death and the curse of sin have been placed on the physical body of every person.

Total Health refers to fulfilling the number of years for which God designed us to serve Him and the quality of life we need to carry out the work He has created us to accomplish.

There are three types of illnesses given in Scripture. When you develop an illness, discern which of these types you are experiencing. Then, carry out the appropriate Biblical responses.

1. Sickness unto Death

As a believer in the Lord, you are indestructible until your work on earth is done. As one preacher said: “you are bulletproof!” Once you finish your work, there is no point in staying around here. It is far more glorious to be in the presence of the Lord!

If a believer has what the doctors describe as a terminal illness, but he believes that his work is not yet done, he can appeal to God for healing-not just to extend his life but to accomplish the work that God has called him to do.

This was the basis for David’s prayer in his old age:

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalms 71:17-18

In order to have this outlook on life and death, we must be good stewards of the time God has entrusted to us. We should be continually looking for better ways to redeem every hour by keeping it from going to waste and choosing the most profitable activities to advance God’s Kingdom.

If you were told today that you have a terminal disease, what reason would you give God for keeping you alive?

2. Sickness unto Chastisement

There are physical, emotional and spiritual consequences for violating God’s Laws. The most severe come to those who chose to violate His laws dealing with morality. If we cater to our fleshly wants, we shall reap the corruption of the flesh as Galatians 6:7 states.

The Bible also mentions specific consequences to those who dishonor their parents (Prov 30:17), violate God’s dietary restrictions (I Peter 1:15-16, Leviticus 11:44ff)

There are cause and effect health consequences when we violate God’s commands. In His mercy, God has established the communion table a place for thorough self-examination. Carry it out with the utmost care.

Careless Communion results in what Paul described:

“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30

If you are sick, ask yourself, is this God’s way of chastening me for not following His way of life? Consider the state of your soul as well:

  • Am I withholding forgiveness from someone who has hurt me deeply?
  • Am I resentful or regretful over something in my past, either because of someone else or my own actions?
  • Is there anything in my past for which I cannot bring myself to thank God for?
  • Are there any private sins that I cherish without confessing and repenting before Holy God?
  • Is there anything in my past that I have not found forgiveness for, and when reminded, I immediately jump on the Ferris wheel of regret?
  • Am I quick to get frustrated and even angry when certain situations arise?
  • Are there areas of my life I refuse to submit to God’s control?

3. Sickness unto the Glory of God.

God uses infirmities, sickness and disease to bring glory to Himself.

a) He Provides Supernatural Healing

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3

This infirmity was designed years before Christ healed him. Therefore, we must never attribute sickness, disease or impairment as sin on his part or his parents fault.

b) God’s Glory is Manifested in our Weakness.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God often gives us physical and even mental weaknesses to prevent us from depending on our own strength or ability rather than the supernatural working of His power.

The Five Factors Which Determine our Total Health

Sickness and disease can be associated with one or more of the following five factors. When proper care is given regarding these factors, you have the optimal potential to avoid or clear up the related diseases. The first three are the most important, according to Scripture.

1. What We Think

Intellectual thoughts travel through the limbic system of the brain, directly effecting many bodily functions. Research has proven a connection between the limbic system and emotional memory, which includes positive thoughts such as love, joy and peace; and negative thoughts such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20

There are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system. The Limbic System The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides and underneath the thalamus, just under the cerebrum. It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and several other nearby areas. It appears to be primarily responsible for our emotional life, and has a lot to do with the formation of memories.[9]

All emotional memories are stored and can be consciously or subconsciously stimulated by the senses. The brain, the heart and the intestinal tract release neuro-transmitters that result in physiological changes. The thoughts of the heart prompt the greatest changes in the body, as it is stated in Scripture:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7

Neurotransmitters Receptors

Neurotransmitters exert their effect by binding to specific receptors on the neuronal postsynaptic membrane. A neurotransmitter can either ‘excite’ its neighbouring neuron so increasing its activity, or ‘inhibit’ its neighbouring neuron, suppressing its activity. In general, the activity of a neuron depends on the balance between the number of excitatory and inhibitory processes affecting it, and these can occur simultaneously. Most neurotransmitter receptors can be divided into two types – ligand-gated receptors and G-protein linked receptors.

Stimulation of a ligand-gated receptor  enables a channel in the receptor to open and permits the influx of chloride and potassium ions into the cell. The positive or negative charges that enter the cell either excite or inhibit the neuron. Ligands for these receptors include excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and, to a lesser extent, aspartate. Binding of these ligands to the receptor produces an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). Alternatively, binding of inhibitory neurotransmitter ligands, such as GABA and glycine, produces an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). These ligand-gated receptors are also known as ionotropic or fast receptors.

G-protein linked receptors are indirectly linked to ion channels, via a second messenger system involving G-proteins and adenylate cyclase. These receptors are neither precisely excitatory nor inhibitory and modulate the actions of the classic excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and glycine. These receptors tend to have an inhibitory effect if they are linked to the Gi protein in the cell membrane, and a more excitatory effect if linked to the Gs protein. G-protein linked receptors are known as metabotropic or slow receptors and examples include GABA-B, glutamate, dopamine (D1 and D2), 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A,5-HT2C receptors.

Serotoning receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
5-HT1 Brain, instetinal nerves Neuronal inhibition, behavioural effects, cerebral vasoconstriction
5-HT2 Brain, heart, lungs, smooth muscle control, GI system, blood vessels, platelets Neuronal excitation, vasoconstriction, behavioural effects,depression, anxiety
5-HT3 Limbic system, ANS Nausea, anxiety
5-HT4 CNS, smooth muscle Neuronal excitation, GI
5-HT5, 6, 7 Brain Not known

Noradrenaline receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
Alpha1 Brain, heart, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, smooth muscle control
Alpha2 Brain, pancreas, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, presynaptic effect in GI (relaxant)
Beta1 Heart, brain Heart rate (increase)
Beta2 Lungs, brain, skeletal muscle Bronchial relaxation, vasodilatation
Beta3 Postsynaptic effector cells Stimulation of effector cells

Dopamine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
D1, 5-like Brain, smooth muscle Stimulatory, role in schizophrenia?
D2, 3, 4-like Brain, cardiovascular system, presynaptic nerve terminals Inhibitory, role in schizphrenia?

Acetylcholine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
M1 Nerves CNS excitation, gastric acid secretion
M2 Heart, nerves, smooth muscle Cardiac inhibition, neural inhibition
M3 Glands, smooth muscle, endothelium Smooth, muscle contraction, vasodilation
M4 ?CNS? Not known
M5 ?CNS? Not known
NM Skeletal muscles neuromuscular junction Neuromuscular transmission
NN Postganglionic cell body dendrites Ganglionic transmission[10]

[11]

The heart and brain

However, following several years of  research, it was observed that, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not  only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978).

Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002)

The brain in the heart:

After extensive research, Armour (1994) introduced the concept of functional ‘heart brain’. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a ‘little brain’ in its own right. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel  and sense. The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites (Armour, 1991).

Information from the heart – including feeling sensations – is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centres of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (Armour, 2004).

Thus, it was revealed that the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information  independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work. Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time; in the meantime, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host only through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system (Murphy, et al, 2000)

The heart’s magnetic field:

Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s  most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body. It was proposed that, this  heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004)

Heart field interactions between individuals

There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the ‘magnetic’ attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships. It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (McCraty, 2004).

Communication via hormones: the heart as a hormonal gland

Another component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying  the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. It was also found that the heart contains a cell type known as ‘intrinsic cardiac adrenergic’’ (ICA) cells. Theses cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters,  once thought to be produced only by neurons in the CNS. More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes  oxytocin, commonly referred to as the ‘love’ or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain (Cantin & Genest, 1986).[12]

2. What We Say

God states, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue”[13]. Positive words produce energy for health and peace, whereas negative words result in confusion and disease.

Positive words can be expressed in praise, verbal blessings, audible prayers and cries to God. The Words of God are alive and powerful:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

We are also instructed:

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Negative words are expressed by such things as curses, ridicule, mocking, gossip and false accusations. God compares such words to poison, fire , venom and arrows because of the effect they have on the physical body.

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. Proverbs 25:18

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:5-8

who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, Psalms 64:3

“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” Romans 3:13

Negative words must be neutralized with verbal blessings, or they will do greater damage to our health. We are told by Christ and Paul:

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. Luke 6:27-28

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”. Romans 12:14

3. What We Do

God designed man to function in intricate cause and effect sequences. He prescribed a way of life that is consistent with His holy standards. If these standards are violated by our lifestyle or behavior, we will experience corresponding consequences in our health and length of life.

Many times a lifestyle of promiscuity destroys the immune system and introduces destructive viruses to the body with the result of fatal diseases.

4. What We Eat

Our body needs proper nutrition. Note: your ability to digest food and assimilate its nutritional value is determined by what you think, say and do.

5. What We Inherit

Each of us inherits a genetic predisposition to death through Adam’s transgression. We each have genetic tendencies toward certain diseases. We also have in our body opportunistic agents that are ready to spring into action just as soon as our immune systems are too weak to stop them. These disease factors include Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi.

When the stresses of anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy are resolved by obeying the commands of Christ, the sickness or disease they caused often clears up.

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[2] William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Purge”. See Hebrews 9:14 & 9:22

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[4] Ibid, under “iáomai”.

[5] Ibid, p. 1353.

[6] Nancy S. Wexler, Clairvoyance and Caution: Repercussions from the Human Genome Project. The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project. D.J. Kevles and L. Hood (Eds) Harvard University Press, 1992, 211-243 at http://www.hdfoundation.org/html/clair.php

[7] Ibid.

[9] Boeree, C. George, Ph.D. “General Psychology”. Epublication, 4/21/2008 found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6004602/general-psychology-etext

[13] Proverbs 18:21a

For more information get “How to Resolve 7 Deadly Stresses” published by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, Inc, 2008. www.iblp.org