A question many Christians have is, does healing belong to us as it did to the early church? Many would say I believe in miracles or that God can heal but the question is, is it for everybody?
Within the body of Christ, you can see three basic beliefs on the subject of healing in the modern Christian church.
1. Many believe healing has been done away with, that it was only for the early church and not for us today. This is probably the most wide spread belief.
2. Many believe God does heal as He sees fit, by some special divine act, or by some special faith.
3. The last basic group believes healing belongs to us as part of the atonement of Christ in the redemptive plan of God, along with the remission of sins.
The question becomes if the third is right, how could the second be right as well? Many Christians have either received divine healing or know someone who did. If this is true, why is not healing a part of the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Does God play favorites? Does He heal based on His whim, or, is He truly no respecter of Persons as His Word says He is? Is He truly the same yesterday today and forever?
Lets look at the Word of God for the answers to these questions!
Psalms 103:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4. Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6. The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
Even in the Old Covenant we can see that His benefits include both forgiveness and healing.
My question is, has God changed in His attitude toward healing the sick?
Malachi 3:6. "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
The Lord God Himself says I do not change. Aren’t you glad He doesn’t?
I think it is fair to say if the Bible teaches divine healing, it would be safe to teach even if we didn’t know of one single case of healing. Nevertheless, at some point in time, we have to come to the place where we believe in the divine truth of God’s Word, not on the Word of man, but the Word of God.
Exodus 15:26. and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.''
Exodus 23:25. "So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.
If God had the attitude for the children of Israel to be whole, how much more so now?
I believe that is a fair question and deserves a response. If this was true then, and it was true according to His Word, how much more now! Faith always starts where the will of God is clearly known and understood.
If someone has even the slightest doubt that maybe it’s not God’s will for me, then there’s no real confidence or assurance for the final outcome.
The Word teaches, the entrance of his Word gives light, and understanding to the simple. (Ps. 119:130.)
If I can get understanding of His will, and that will causes us to be able to receive the truth and reality of His Word, I want it, don’t you? Because knowing the truth is the doorway to being set free and made whole. I’m not talking about a mental assent to the Word, I’m talking about true revelation knowledge that comes from the entrance of His Word. It is my belief by both the Word of God, and my own experiences, that healing for the body is the legal right for every child of God. However, just because we have the legal right to something doesn’t mean we are partakers of it, does it? I want to be a partaker of everything the Word of God tells me is legally mine, don’t you? Let’s look at how we can not only know the truth, but walk in the reality of it.
Our faith can only be based on what the Word of God has to say, not on our opinions or the doctrine of man.
It is sufficient for our faith.
We can not have true faith outside of the Word of God.
Faith starts where we know and understand God’s will toward us.
There are reasons God's people don’t walk in His promises.
1. They can be out of God’s perfect will for their life.
2. Not judging ourselves as the Word makes it clear we should.
3. Weak in faith.
4. Ignorance of what His Word says. If you don’t know the truth, you can’t be made free, can you?
God said through the Prophet Hosea; Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
God's people are destroyed, not because God doesn't care, (If he didn’t care Jesus would never have come) but because we don’t understand.
That is a very sobering thought. Maybe we need to get more understanding!
Sickness and disease originally came from spiritual death, and spiritual death came because of sin. God told Adam in the day that you eat there of you shall surely die. We know Adam did not die physically that day.
Disease would never have come on man’s body if Adam had not sinned. God’s attitude towards sickness is the same as it is toward sin. His attitude is the same today as it was in the Old Testament. He never changes does He? Christ came to reveal God’s attitude toward man. If we want to see God’s attitude toward man in action, all we have to do is look at Jesus! Jesus was God’s will in the flesh. Jesus came to reveal the Fathers will toward man.
John 14:9. Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
Jesus plainly taught that oppression is of the devil.
When people were delivered from the oppression of Satan, their bodies were made whole; in other words, their bodies were healed. Some would say Jesus delivered them not healed them, but the Word of God says Jesus healed those who were oppressed.
Acts 10:38. "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
This verse of Scripture says that oppression is of the devil, not God. Jesus came and healed ALL that were oppressed of the devil.
Luke 13:16. "So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound think of it for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?''
Being a daughter of Abraham is another way of saying she is a daughter of God’s Covenant.
Jesus said, Satan has bound this daughter of Abraham. God didn’t bind her, Satan bound her 18 years. Jesus came to loose her, didn’t He? Jesus was revealing God’s will toward mankind and His will toward sickness and Satan. You will not find a single instance in the New Testament where God was glorified by one of His people being sick, No Not One! He was glorified when His people were healed and set free from satanic oppressions.
1 John 3:8. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose
the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
As we have seen by the Word of God, oppression is of the devil, and Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil didn’t He? Jesus came to destroy sin and Jesus came to destroy oppression which is a result of sin.
John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
If you are full of sin or sickness, you're not walking in the more abundant life of God are you?
You can be set free from both. I am not saying or implying that if you have sickness in your body that it is because you walking in sin, or don't love God, or are not sincere in your belief, not at all.
I know what it is like to be sick and need healing. I believe however that we have a part to play in this.
We have to receive it and truly acknowledge it. In my own experience it took nearly 1 1/2 years before I could fully receive the Word on this subject. When that finally happened, I was healed nearly instantly. Just as we have to receive and acknowledge that Jesus shed His blood for us so that we can have eternal life, we must receive and acknowledge that Jesus body was broken so that we can have healing for our bodies. Faith comes from knowing and understanding the Word of God. If you have never been taught along these lines, you can not truly have faith in this area of your life. Faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God. Whether it is for salvation or for healing.
A good place to start is the Passover. There were no sick among the children of Israel, not one sick person. They All partook of the Passover meal. They were all delivered out of the bondage of Egypt.
And they were all healed. This was a type of the coming Christ and our redemption.
He told His disciples how to partake of the Passover meal.
Mt. 26:26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body.''
27. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.
28. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
He told them to take and eat His body, and to drink His blood. They had to partake didn’t they, He offered it to them, but they had to partake of it. He told them to partake. It is God's will that we partake. That is something He will not do for us.
They didn't understand this at that time. Later Peter looking back at Calvary said in; 1 Peter 2:24. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.
Peter was looking back at Calvary when he said, by whose stripes you were healed.
It is never my purpose to place condemnation on anyone who is sick, God forbid. My purpose is to encourage people to reach out and receive for themselves. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but that through Him we might have life and have it more abundantly. I want people to look these things up for themselves, and see what the Word of God has to say on this subject. I have seen God's healing power work in me and that of my family and others as well. I could share many marvelous testimonies of healing. Testimonies can encourage, but our faith has to be based on what God's Word has to say, not on someone's testimony. Let's look on…
Romans 6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Thank God for His grace. According to God’s Word, we are saved by grace, and by grace we can defeat the devil. As a matter of fact we are told to resist the devil.
James 4:6. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''
7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
When we are submitted to God He gives us the grace to resist the devil. But we have to do the resisting, God will not do that for us, and when we resist the devil, he will flee. God’s Word is on the line and He can not lie. He will watch over His Word to perform it. It shall accomplish that which it was sent to do. It will not return void!
It is not the will of God the Father, that any one of His children have sickness or disease--None! Remember the 103rd Psalm. Vs.3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases. You can not separate them, Jesus paid the penalty for both, so why not enjoy them both? They are freely given, and given at an incredible cost.
James 5:14. Is anyone among you sick? 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.
15. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
We see that healing and the forgiveness go hand in hand. I'm not here to start an argument, but to start an encouragement. I know that's not proper grammar, but I hope you take my point.
Remember Jesus said to the paralytic man who came for healing, be of good cheer your sins are forgiven you. Then He went on to say…
Matthew 9:2 And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.''
6. "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'' then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.''
7. And he arose and departed to his house.
8. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God who had given such power to men.
Jesus forgave the man’s sins, and then to prove it, He Healed him. You will notice the result was that people glorified God.
If you have already made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life then thank God, I would like to encourage you to also accept Him as your Healer. He is both you know? Find out for yourself that He is both. Acknowledge Him as your savior and the forgiver of all your sins, and also acknowledge Him as the healer of your body; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.
The Olive Branch