What Do You Know About Divine Healing?
DIVINE HEALING “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have
“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:19-20)
When the disciples were sent into the different areas of Palestine, they received a double power from Him: the ability to cast out unclean spirits and the ability to heal all that were sick and weak:
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matthew 10:1)
He gave the same powers to the seventy who came back joyous about being able to see demons subject to His Name:
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (Luke 10:17)
Because of Your Unbelief…
On the very day that Jesus was transfigured, in fact, while he was still on the very mountain, a father brought his son to the disciples. This son had been possessed with a demon and the man begged the disciples to cast it out, but they couldn’t. When Jesus arrived, he cured the child, and the disciples wanted to know why they hadn’t been able to do it this time, as they had before. Jesus’ answer was simple: “because of your unbelief”.
It wasn’t the will of God that had defeated them, or any lack on the child or the father that had kept the healing from taking place. It was, quite simply, a lack of belief on the parts of the disciples.
These days it is only rarely that you see belief in divine healing within the church. There are two main reasons for this, for the times when people even consider it at all. One is that many if not most people consider divine healing a thing only accomplished in the early churches. They believe that because it was their purpose to establish the foundation of Christianity, that these “signs and wonders” needed to be shown at that time in order to further the Christian message.
If we were to rely on that logic, then we are at a place in history where we need those signs and wonders more than we ever have. With the decline we see on a daily basis of moral values, and the rise in the amount of depravity that is considered “normal” and to be “understanding of”, then we certainly need a real show of Christian power to convert more believers.
The second reason is that some believers think the church as lost these gifts by some fault of its own. It is because, they say, that the church has become worldly that the Spirit no longer shows up in power. They say that because the church has not remained in direct contact with the Spirit and things that are unseen, that men and women of faith and of the Holy Spirit are not entirely given over to God, that is why the manifestations as well as the gifts no longer operate the way they did in those primitive times.
Which of those two suppositions might be more closely in line with the Word of God? Is it that the will of God Himself has suppressed the gifts of healing? Or is it man that bears that responsibility? Is it God’s will that miracles no longer take place or that He holds back the faith that makes them happen? Or is it the church that bears the guilt of a lack of faith?
What does the Bible say?
There is no place in the Bible, either spoken by Jesus Himself or written by any of His disciples, Apostles or followers, that should lead us to believe that the gift of healing was for the early church alone. It is actually the exact opposite: Jesus gave specific instructions on the mission of His followers just before He ascended into heaven, that appear to have an ongoing application, with no limitations:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15-18)
We see others who carry on the idea that healing has never grown out of style, nor has it reached a place where it is no longer applicable to the lives of believers. Paul, in fact, states that the gift of healing is actually one of the operations of the Holy Spirit. James was very specific when he gave commands on this particular matter, with no restriction of time mentioned. In fact, throughout the Scriptures, you can find this power granted to all in direct relation to the amount of faith, and the amount of the Spirit in the person’s life.
Some people also have said that every time God does something new, it is His ordinary manner of doing things that miracles should be worked at that specific time. However, this is not the case. Consider, in that case, the people of the Old Testament who loved and trusted in God. All through the lives of both Abraham and Moses, during the Egyptian exodus, under the command of Joshua, all through the times of the judges, under David’s reign as king as well as under other godly kings and even throughout Daniel’s time. Miracles happened over the course of at least a thousand years without fail. If God only moved to allow miracles at the beginning of each major move of dispensation, this would not have been the case.
Some same that because early Christianity needed those miracles more, they happened more in those days than they do now. But what about the way that the gospel combats unbelief wherever it is found in this very day and age? It is hard to believe, and even impossible, that those unbelievers found in Ephesus in Acts 19:11-12 could possibly have needed the miracles any more than those in areas where, even now, there are hostile forces at war with believers. For those of us who have never seen or experienced it, the idea that Christians are still, even right now, being tortured, tormented and murdered for the sake of the gospel, is a heinous thought indeed. But that is exactly what is happening in many areas of the world, where some have never even heard the Name of Jesus preached, let alone His saving mercy and grace, and His divine power to heal.
Even when we think of the immense unbelief, ignorance and advancement of depravity in the very midst of nations supposed to Christian, shouldn’t we then come to the conclusion that these manifest acts of the Spirit are grievously needed to sustain believers, strengthen their testimony and prove that they have God on their side?
There is so much weakness and doubt, even among Christians. Their faith, now more than ever, needs to be resurrected, stimulated and put into action by some shred of proof, some morsel of evidence, that the Lord is in the midst. After all, a major portion of who we are is flesh and blood, so it should come as no surprise that God will provide His presence in that very flesh and blood.
What The Bible Says About Unbelief and Healing
There is proof in the very words of the Bible that tell us plainly about the gift of healing and the lack of belief that can cause it to falter. Doesn’t the Bible warn us and tell us that we need to guard against that thing known as unbelief? Aren’t we warned to stay away from anything and everything that can turn us away from God? Isn’t it easy to see, by the reading of the Word, that history has shown why those warnings are even put out for us in the first place? Don’t we see example after example of what happens when a believer moves backwards instead of forward, or seeks to please the world more than pleasing God? It is during those times that the faith becomes weak and the spirit that is at work in the world then takes the upper hand in life.
Up until the about the third century, it wasn’t at all odd to see numerous healings by faith in Jesus. However, after that, those healings became more and more hard to find. If we know much of what our Bibles say, we would know that it is always the lack of belief that keeps God from working His mighty wonders.
If we could only learn to truly believe in those precious promises of God. He has never gone back on a single promise He made. Jesus is still completely able and completely willing to heal both body and soul. Salvation, even in this day and age, offers us the possibility of holiness and healing. The Holy Spirit stands ready to manifest His power in various ways. Even this very day, if we ask why that power is no longer seen as often as it once was, the answer would still be, “because of your unbelief”.
The more we allow ourselves to be sanctified by personal experience in faith, the more we will see such things as faith healing. In fact, these two things go hand in hand at all times. The more the Holy Spirit lives inside a person, and the more He acts within the very souls of believers who allow it, the more we will see him work miracles in the body. It is actually these miracles that help the whole world to understand just exactly what redemption means.
Jesus and Doctors
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be made whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:25-34).
We should surely be thankful that God gave us doctors. It is such a noble profession and many of them still try to do all that they can to alleviate suffering, with compassion. Some are even Christians and look after their patient’s souls as much as heal their bodies. However, the truth is still that Jesus is the first, best and greatest physician that has ever been or will ever be.
Jesus is able to heal those diseases that earthly doctors can’t because of the power granted to Him for the work of redemption. When Jesus took our own human bodies upon Himself, He delivered it from the control of sin and satan. He also turned our bodies into temples of the Holy Spirit as well as members of His own glorious Body.
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I ten take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid… What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:15, 19)
Even today, there are those who have been given up on by their doctors and yet still been healed by the Great Physician, Jesus. Considering what great things He is willing to do for them that believe, doesn’t it seem foolish that there aren’t more people that seek Him for their healing?
Of course, Jesus’ method for healing is much different than you might find from an earthly doctor. While earthly doctors look for remedies in both prescriptions and in natural medicines as well, Jesus, on the other hand, heals by divine power, the very power of the Holy Spirit. This difference is a vast one.
For a better understanding, let’s consider this example. An unsaved doctor that is extremely talented in what he does has a lot of patients that give him credit for their healing. God allows this result through the use of prescribed remedies, however varied they might be, in addition to the knowledge the doctor has of those remedies. Another doctor, who happens to be a believer, prays and asks God to bless the remedies he uses. Just like the other doctor, this brings many healings. However, there is a lack of spiritual blessings. Both of these physicians, even the saved one, becomes preoccupied more with the remedies themselves that what God might be choosing to do through them. In a spiritual sense, this healing will actually do more harm than good.
On the other hand, when Jesus is the sole source of healing the sick person, that person learns to solely rely on Jesus, putting himself in direct relationship with the love of Jesus and all His glory. In order to see this healing through to fruition, the person must confess and repent of sins and exercise a faith that is alive and fruitful. At that time, healing can come directly from Jesus, and that healing blessed both the body and the soul.
So then, the question becomes, “Does God give this medical knowledge to the doctors?” or “Don’t doctors get their ability to heal through Jesus?” We can rest assured both are true. However, it is also Jesus that has all the power to heal, so that He doesn’t have to give it to anyone in order for that power to be effective.
We must remember that Jesus is still a Healer and is still with us. He is always close and always ready to provide proof of His presence. Remember that this divine healing is a very real part of a faith-filled life. Even if there is no one around you who can help you pray, even if there is no elder around to pray the prayer of faith, you can still fearlessly go to Jesus all by yourself, in the same silence and solitude of the woman who strove to touch the very hem of Jesus garment.
Give your care to Him, be quiet before Him and say, “I will be healed”. It could take some time to fully break the chains that tie you to unbelief, but you can be sure that there is no shame to those that wait on Him:
“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.” (Psalm 25:3)
Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
But to Your name be the glory
Because of Your love and your faithfulness!