A Double Cure for a Double Curse
When Satan entered the purity of the Garden of Eden, in the form of a serpent, two “angels of darkness” followed hard on his trail — his coming brought the double curse of Sin and Sickness.
When Christ came into the dying world to redeem it from the curse, there came in His blessed footsteps “two angels” of light and hope — His coming brought the double cure, Salvation and Healing.
In the beginning the world emerged from under the hand of God, good, and pure and perfect.
In the Garden of Eden, the most perfect spot in a perfect world, He placed the perfect man and woman, Adam and Eve, whom He had formed from the dust of the ground and into whose nostrils He had breathed the breath of life.
In innocence and purity they dwelled ‘neath the flowing boughs and trailing flowers of rich fruit-laden trees. Busy bees droned contentedly in the perfumed air as the golden, mellow sunlight of a perfect day filtered through the dense green foliage of leaf and branch and splashed upon a floor carpeted with violets, moss and lichen. Birds of rich plumage flitted from tree to tree, and high above it all a songful lark sprang high into the open heaven showering the air with musical praise.
Into the tranquil beauty of this garden which His own loving hand had planted, God loved to walk in the cool of the day, communing with man whom He had made after His own image, and filled with His breath Divine.
How peaceful their abode! How blessed their communion! How blissful their freedom of body, soul and spirit! Theirs but one requirement — faith in the Word of the Father and obedience to His command.
But alas! The gleaming, malevolent, calculating eyes of Satan were watching from the distance. Seething hatred for God, and jealousy of man fermenting in his soul; cunning planning in his heart. Once he had been an angel of authority in Heaven, but because of jealousy, disobedience and treachery he had fallen as a flaming torch from Heaven drawing a third of the angels with him. (Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12-14)
The burning passion in his diabolic nature now longed for revenge — for a way to strike back. And here — here in this blissful garden of Eden with its stately trees, its hanging flowers, its luscious fruitage and its dancing, sparkling brooks and rivers where God had placed the children of His own dear handiwork, he had found the place for revenge!
Now whom did the Father so love as these children? Had He not toiled through the days to create the earth for his habitation? And what was there in heaven or on earth that so grieved and pierced the pure heart of the Father as disobedience and sin? Hath it not been written that: God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance? Hath He not said: The soul that sinneth, it shall surely die? Full well did Satan know that God in His justice would show no partiality. And though His heart was torn and bleeding the curse of His disapproval must fall upon the inmates of the Garden and the whole earth must be jolted and shaken with the impact of the fall.
With fiendish cunning Satan took upon himself the form of a flashing, scintillating serpent, (said at that time to be the most beautiful and subtle beast of the field) and in shimmering, graceful strides, and his most captivating manner he drew near unto the woman and began to sow the fateful seeds of unbelief within her heart:
“Yea, God hath said, that in the day ye eat of the tree in the middle of the garden ye shall surely die — but God does not mean that which He said Ye shall not surely die.”
The first lie the devil told the human family, the first seed of doubt he sowed in their hearts was that of doubting the veracity and absolute, unchangeable truth of God’s Word. He has been engaged with the same task ever since.
Behind the devil as he enters the garden, stand two fearsome demons of night. Our hearts are repulsed and shuddering as we gaze on each cruel face.
Oh Mother Eve! Could you not see them? Why were your eyes so blinded? On each shield, with which they cover themselves is the form of a venemous serpent with a parting, darting, poisonous tongue. In his hand each demon holds a fork with sharp, barbed prongs with which to pierce body and soul with fearful wounds, which no earthly power can heal. Oh Eve! can’t you see them, hand in hand, an invincible, inseparable pair — twin angels of darkness, agents of despair, relentless and cruel? Their names are written on their shields — “Sin” and “Sickness.”
But the eyes of Eve were riveted in fascination on the shimmering serpent’s form! Her ears hearkened to that smooth deceiver’s voice. Thus Eve was deceived, and in obeying the word of Satan she disobeyed her Lord, ate of the forbidden fruit, and gave Adam to eat also.
Soon came the footsteps of God, walking in the garden in the cool of the evening. “Adam, where art thou?” His voice rang out in tones of thunder that struck fear and quaking into those guilty souls who sought to hide them from His gaze. Quick as a flash His keen, all-seeing eye read the story and His heart was grieved and sad. They had sold themselves to the devil, and the twin demons of darkness laughed as they reached out through the gathering gloom, the more firmly to grip the erring ones on the prongs of suffering and sin.
Hand in hand came sin and sickness into the garden of life. Hand in hand they have walked through the years since that day. But instead of leaving His children in the hands of the devil to suffer the double curse they had brought upon themselves through disobedience, the great loving Father-heart of God began even then to lay plans for their redemption — a double cure for a double curse.
But there and then, even though man must needs be driven from the garden, God gave His first prophetic promise that through the seed of woman should come He that should bruise the head that bruised His heel. All down through the coming years that led by a winding trail, through many lands and many tears, on through the days of Abel, Seth, and Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David — even down to the cross of Christ — this promise was reiterated through the prophets and sages.
Thus it was that as far back as the days of Moses it was an understood fact that salvation and healing were provided in the atonement through the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. When Moses brought the children of Israel from Egypt and turned their faces toward the promised land God spake to them, saying: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
Clearly the Father signified that with disobedience and sin would come sickness and disease. Later when disobedience and sin had laid them low and fiery serpents bit them till they died God commanded that a brazen serpent (brass signifying judgment) should be lifted up in the wilderness even as Christ was later to pass through the judgment for us and be lifted up on the cross of Calvary. Those who looked upon the serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness had life for a look. They found therein the double cure — forgiveness for the soul and healing for the body.
When Miriam through the sin of criticism and backbiting fell ill of leprosy white as snow, Moses besought God for the double cure. After pleading the mercy and pardon of the Lord he cries, “Heal her now, God, I beseech Thee.” Numbers 12:13.
Of the double cure for the double curse the Psalmist spake clearly, saying, “Bless the Lord my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and who healeth all thy diseases.” Ps. 103:2, 3. Notice the first two benefits David mentions are those of forgiveness and salvation, which is to overthrow the powers of sin, and divine healing for the body to overthrow sickness and disease.
Isaiah catching sight of the Great Redeemer through the lifted veil, beheld Christ as the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. He sees in His glorious coming the double cure for the double curse, and declares of His work of atonement: “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities (notice the word ‘bruised,’ God had said of Him that He would bruise the head that bruised His heel) . . . and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53.
“But does not this promise refer to spiritual healing only?” asks one timid soul to whom the news seems almost too good to be true. No, Matthew 8:16, 17, describes Christ healing the sick, casting out demons, causing the blind to see and the lame to walk, and then tells us that this physical healing is the literal interpretation of Isaiah 53. Head the 17th verse and note Matthew’s interpretation of that promise. “This was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet saying: Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.”
The coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the seed of woman, was the coming of the great deliverer to redeem a stricken world from the curse. Speaking of His own mission Jesus plainly said. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19.
O blessed Light that shineth in the darkness, even though the darkness comprehendeth it not! O blessed Burden-Bearer carrying our sins, bearing our sicknesses, enduring our pain, would that the world might see Thee!
Oh, look, heart-sore world, canst thou not see the two great blessings that follow the Master wherever He goes, like two bright angels of light, who stand hand in hand, with shining swords bearing the sign of the cross and holding aloft the Spirit’s sword to cut thy bonds in twain? Salvation declares, “Thy sins be all forgiven thee.” Healing cries: “Be thou made whole, take up thy bed and walk!” and o’er mountain and dale, in valley or plain, within the palace and in the hut — wherever this dear Jesus of Galilee went He brought with Him this double cure, Salvation and Healing.
“Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts,” said He, “for whether is easier to say: Thy sins be forgiven thee, or Take up your bed and walk?” Whether is easier — who is there among us dare to say? For this heaven-born, heaven-sent pair stand hand in hand, shield to shield — a double cure for a double curse. In God’s plan they should never be divided.
When the short years of our Lord’s ministry, wherein He went about destroying the works of the devil, namely forgiving sin and healing the sick, were ended, the hour approached for His torturous death on the cross. Emerging from Gethsemane Garden when the long night was o’er, He was condemned before Pontius Pilate to die on the rugged tree.
But before they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, something of great importance must take place, something that makes our cheeks blanch and the tear drops to start at the very thought, they must bare our Savior’s back to the smiters, tie Him to the whipping-post, and flog Him with the cruel lash.
Did you ever wonder why?
Blow upon blow, fell on the tender, quivering flesh of the gentle Nazarene. The biting whip rose and fell again and again in the hands of the Roman soldier, till the great purple welts stood on the precious back that was so soon to bear the cross — fell till the drops of blood dripped upon the ground. Some forty blows were permissible in those days and men often fainted or even died at the whipping-post.
“Tell me, dear Spirit, Teacher and Guide, tell me WHY did they whip Him so? Was He whipped that my many sins might be washed away?”
“No, child, the blood on the cross was sufficient for that.”
“Then why did they pluck the beard from His face, and beat Him with cruel staves, was that for the cleansing of sin?”
“No, child, the Blood was sufficient for that.”
“Then why, Spirit of God, tell me why did they torture my Saviour so? Was God merely permitting the vindictive, fiendish wrath of an angry mob to be wreaked upon the head of His blessed Son? Else if His stripes did not cleanse me from sin, then WHY did they whip Him so?”
“Why, child! Do you not know the meaning of that lash, the cruel blows of the smiters’ scourge? ‘Twas thus He bare your suffering, and by His stripes ye are healed. Not a meaningless blow, not a meaningless pain did that precious Body bear. At the whipping-post He purchased your healing, bare your suffering and pain. On the cross He purchased your pardon, forgiveness and cleansing from sin. Healed by His stripes, cleansed by His blood — O blessed double cure for a double curse for all who will look and live.”
But have not these twain been separated, till only Salvation remains? Then His stripes were borne in vain.
Hearken to the words of the Master: “The works that I do shall ye do, and greater works than these shall ye do because I go to My Father. All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:18-20.
“As ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand, cleanse the leper, heal the sick, cast out demons, freely as ye have received freely give.” “Into whatsoever city or town ye enter heal the sick that are therein and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” And He sent them to preach the Gospel and heal the sick. And said, “These signs shall follow them that believe: in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17, 18.
Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever still brings the double cure for soul and body. There is still life for a look at the Crucified One, and they who touch the hem of His garment may still be made whole.
In the fifth chapter of James, the elders of the church are given instructions to anoint the sick (who call for them) with oil, and pray the prayer of faith, having the promise of the double cure … The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he hath committed sins they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be healed. What a sweet relationship there here exists between Salvation and Healing.
This does not mean that we will never die. There comes a day when the sands of the years are run and the child of God is caught up and goes sweeping home to glory. Thank God for that hope! ‘Tis not that they who claim the promise of healing fear death. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But it does mean that instead of suffering, and groaning all the days of our lives with a torturous disease, it is possible to look away to Jesus and take that for which He paid with cruel stripes, and the shedding of His precious blood.
Too long have we wandered in weakness and poverty, when we might have had His strength and riches! Too long have we lain starving, when we might have been feasting in Father’s banquet hall.
A man in straitened financial circumstances once bought a ticket for an ocean voyage.
“Now I must be very saving of my few remaining dollars,” he told himself. “I’ll just buy some crackers and drink water with them for the duration of my voyage, thus leaving a small sum for my arrival.”
Days wore by one by one, and the poor man became more and more famished for a good square meal and more disgusted with crackers and water. On the day that the steamer was scheduled to arrive in port he could bear it no longer, if it took the last cent, he decided that he must have one more good meal.
But when he made his way to the dining salon, its beauty and the fine food which was being served, course after course at the tables, the white linen and shining silver caused him to doubt. Such a fine dining room, perhaps he would not have money enough after all! Catching the eye of the steward he inquired:
“Sir, would you please be kind enough to tell me the cost of a meal in that dining room?” The waiter looked at the man with amazement and said:
“Why I don’t understand what you mean.”
“I want to know how much one good, square meal at that table would cost me, please.”
“Why you have a ticket for this steamship voyage, haven’t you?”
“Ticket? Why y-yes,” stammered the man.
“Then your meals don’t cost you a penny. They are all included in your ticket. Where have you been at meal times? Why did you not come to the table? Your place has been set and held vacant for you all the time.”
“Why I’ve been sitting in my state-room eating crackers and drinking cold water, every day, because I thought I could not afford the dining room.”
And, Oh dear ones, many of us have gone almost to the end of life’s voyage before realizing the good things included in our ticket. Salvation, Healing, the power of the Holy Spirit and rich life in Christ are yours for the asking. Draw near today and cry: Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me. I now appropriate Thy promises, and claim as mine the rich provision Thou hast made for me, even the double cure with its blessings for body and soul.
Aimee Semple-McPherson (October 9, 1890 – September 27, 1944), also known as Sister Aimee, was a Canadian-American Los Angeles based evangelist and media celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s. She founded the Foursquare Church, and was among the first to bring the relatively new Pentecostal movement to the forefront. She is considered to be one of the first “celebrity” pastors, and had a broad appeal among the social elite in Hollywood and around the world.
Today, she is a viewed by many as a divisive figure, even among Pentecostals. The fact that she was a woman is a problem for many, and her pair of divorces are even more problematic. However, God blessed her ministry in many ways, and the Foursquare Church continues to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Sister Aimee is one of the most intriguing ministers in modern church history. Whether you have a favorable opinion of her or not, her effectiveness for the Kingdom of God cannot be disputed.
For more from Semple-McPherson, you can visit her author page on our site.
This post is from her book “Divine Healing Sermons.”