message by rick warren

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren

BEGIN THE HEALING: TELL IT TO THE LORD

“He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me?with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead .… And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers.” (Lamentations 3:4-6, 8 NLT)

We all go through a time when our lives seem to be falling apart. We lose our job. A relationship falls apart. Someone dies. Our health takes a turn for the worse.

In those times, we’re tempted to think God has abandoned us.

But he hasn’t.

The ancient prophet Jeremiah was in the same boat when he wrote the book of Lamentations. His country, Judah, endured an economic tailspin and was terrorized by a foreign enemy. He witnessed incredible inhumanities committed against his people. People were out of work and starving to death.

Where did Jeremiah start? He told God how he felt. In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah says: “He [God] has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me?with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead .… And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers” (NLT).

Does it surprise you that these words are in the Bible? Jeremiah, too, felt God had forgotten him. But Jeremiah didn’t ignore what he was feeling. He didn’t sugar-coat the situation. He told God what was on his heart. In fact, Jeremiah spent five chapters telling God what he thought about the situation. He told God, “This stinks!”

Why would God put that kind of passage in the Bible? He wants you to know that he can handle your anger, your gripes, and your grief. Jeremiah spends an entire book of the Bible blowing off steam. If God was big enough to handle Jeremiah’s pain, he’s big enough to handle yours, too.

Swallow your emotions, and you just hurt yourself. Your stomach will keep score!

Instead, unload them on God.

When my kids were little, they’d throw temper tantrums. Their temper tantrums didn’t make me love them any less. They didn’t make me doubt my decisions. They didn’t make me feel like less of a father.

They reminded me that my kids were immature. They didn’t know what I knew.

God doesn’t love you any less when you throw a temper tantrum. He doesn’t owe you an explanation, but he is never afraid of what you have to say.

So tell him. It’ll be the beginning of healing.

TALK IT OVER

– What is going on in your life that you’ve been afraid to talk to God about?

– Why is it difficult to be honest with God about our struggles?

– Try writing a letter to God about your struggles. How does it help to put these words on paper? What can you more easily say to God by writing rather than speaking.

226

Healing Teaching

                                

                      Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.) 

XI. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – HOLY COMMUNION.

1. THE OLD COVENANT.

The Feast of the Passover was one of the seven major feasts, which the Jewish people were instructed by God to celebrate at Jerusalem every year. Each one has deep symbolic meaning for Christians today, especially the Passover.

a) The Holy Communion typifies the Passover meal. Mt 26:17-20, 26-28. The disciples, as they gathered around Jesus, were very aware of the importance of that day. They remembered that the mighty hand of God had delivered His people in a miraculous and wonderful way from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and that He had given them the Feast of the Passover to always remember that event.

b) The original Passover meal. Ex 12:1-14, 46. This comprised the roast lamb and unleavened bread. The following are important:

* The lamb was to be male and perfect (v5).

* Its bones should not be broken (v46).

* The bread was baked without leaven – which speaks of sin (v8).

* The blood of the lamb was applied to the door posts and lintels (v7). This was a sign from God that as they passed through those blood stained door posts, they passed into freedom and were redeemed from the tyranny of Egypt (v13).

* The lamb was to be roasted with herbs and every part of it was to be eaten (v8-10). The nourishing meal was to strengthen their bodies in preparation for the very difficult journey ahead. The Passover meal was therefore for salvation and health.

2. A NEW COVENANT.

I Cor 11:23-32. For 1,500 years the Jews had been celebrating the Feast of the Passover, but the blood of an animal could only cover their sins, but it could not take them away. God, however, spoke through His prophets that one day in the future a human lamb would come and die in order to deal with the problem of sin once for all. Looking towards this the prophet Isaiah wrote of the ‘lamb’ sacrifice, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth …. . For He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isa 53:7-8). The last of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, pointed to Christ as, “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). The following are of importance as we celebrate Jesus as the “Lamb of God”:

a) Celebrating His fulfilment of the Passover. v23. Paul wrote, “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (I Cor 5:7). Proper heartfelt participation will not only be a means of remembering His sacrifice for us, but it will also promote good health. As Jesus shared the bread and wine with them on that last Passover meal, He was making a New Covenant with them. The wine symbolised His blood, soon to be shed for their salvation. This typified the blood of the Passover lamb, spread over the door posts and the lintel. The bread (without yeast) symbolised His sinless life. His body would soon be so marred that in faith, “by His stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5). This typified the Passover lamb (perfect and without blemish), which became a sacrifice for our redemption and healing.

b) Celebrating His life. v24. As He sat with them that night, all human perfection was in Him. Throughout His life, Satan had tried to attack and destroy Him in every possible way (probably even trying to make Him ill as He ministered to the sick multitudes). However, at the end of His ministry Jesus could say, “the prince of this world comes, but he has nothing in Me” (Jn 14:30). Despite all the efforts of the devil, He was sitting there without sin and full of perfect health. Perhaps we could hear Him say, ‘When you celebrate this event in future, picture Me in your mind as I am this night, without sin, healthy and strong, kept by the power of the Father and preserved from all evil and disease. Realise that the Father wants you to be like this as well, as you appropriate all I have accomplished for you’.

c) Celebrating His death. v24, 26. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life …. the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (Jn 6:47-51). As we eat the bread, we are reminded of the sinless body of Jesus, which was full of health and strength at that time, but which was later crucified for us that we might by faith receive health as our inheritance. As we drink the cup, we are reminded of the payment of His blood for our sins, that He died in our place. There is sadness as we remember that it was our sins which caused Jesus to be nailed to the cross, but as we meditate on His death, we remember that Calvary was not a defeat, but was rather God’s greatest triumph. Through His death He, “destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil” (Heb 2:14). As we celebrate that victory, we rejoice to remember that Jesus has purchased perfect freedom for us from sin and all its evil effects of sickness and has restored to us everything that Adam lost (Col 2:9-10).

d) Celebrating His righteousness. v27-32. Not “discerning the Lord’s body” (v29) can be a big problem for some Christians and has sometimes resulted in much sickness. The Communion is to be a time:

* Of self examination (v28). Just as the Jews had been instructed to remove all traces of leaven (speaking of sin) from their homes, before keeping the Passover celebration (Ex 12:15, 19), so we are commanded to examine ourselves before partaking of the emblems of Christ’s body and blood. We read in Heb 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission”. As we turn from sin through confession and repentance, God has promised to forgive and to cleanse us (I Jn 1:7-9).

* When we discern the mystical body of Christ (v29). This is possibly the deepest and most important aspect. Paul says that when we are born again, we become part of the body of Christ (I Cor 12:13). As we walk in right relationship with Him, so we must also with the other members of the body – for we are one. Jesus said, “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:23-24). If someone has sinned against us, we need to forgive. If we have sinned against someone, we need to repent and ask their forgiveness.

* Of warning for the unrepentant (v29-30). The result of continuing to be unrepentant for known sins, when we take communion, can result in sickness and even death. The opposite is also true, that when we repent, we can appropriate His promise in Ex 15:26, “I will put non of the diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you”.

* To remember that the celebration of Christ’s death on a regular basis can become a real source of spiritual, mental and physical health and strength. However, in order for it to have the full effect intended we must, “judge ourselves” then “we shall not be judged or chastened by the Lord” (v31-32).

                               

Healing Teaching

                                     

                            Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.) 

XII. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – EVANGELISM

1. GOD WANTS HIS CHURCH TO BE A MEANS OF HEALING.

Jn 12:32. God’s purpose for the church is that He is lifted up and as a result there is a great impact upon the heathen world, resulting in multitudes finding salvation and many new churches being established. This can only happen as we believe in a God who wants to restore a great anointing to His Church, with signs and wonders following. The Holy Spirit is working throughout the world to fulfil this, let us be obedient to His call. The following are important to keep in mind:

a) Only God heals. Ps 107:19-20. In Ex 15:26 we read, “I am the Lord who heals you”. We cannot know all about divine healing, for it is only God who heals and it is He alone who receives all the credit. We are simply called to believe and to actively put our faith into operation by praying for the sick. He will do the rest. We must not become discouraged if people are not healed, for that is in His hands, but we can be filled with joy as people’s lives are effected. People are usually thankful if somebody prays for them. Even though at times they are not healed, they do have a hope and a knowledge that they are cared for by God through His Church.

b) Only God’s anointing breaks the yoke. Lk 4:18-19. New Testament evangelism means reaching out to the lost in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, believing for signs and wonders. Training, organisation and publicity have their part to play, but they are of no importance without the power of the Holy Spirit to save and to heal. The early church had few of the things which we today count as important, such as wonderful buildings, colleges, sound systems, guitars, keyboards or Christian films, but they did have the anointing of God. As God has not changed, so His anointing has not changed.

c) God has laid down His blueprint for healing. Lk 10:1-9. In the New Testament we have examples of Jesus, His apostles and disciples and the early church. The Acts of the Apostles is full of great miracles, which Christ did through those early believers. It is not only an historic account, but also a Divine blueprint for the church in all ages, for God never intended the miraculous to disappear with the death of the apostles. Let us never forget the dynamic effect of miracles in the early church.

d) God cares for us and has answers for our needs. Mt 11:28-30. People are drawn to Him today through such signs, as they were nearly two thousand years ago. It is often difficult for people to admit they are sinners in need of a Saviour, but a sick person is always very well aware of his need of healing. True New Testament evangelism should meet the spiritual, as well as the physical needs.

2. THE GREAT COMMISSION.

Mk 16:15-18. Healing should accompany every evangelist and believer as a sign following, for such miracles are an essential part of the Gospel today. Those churches which are growing throughout the world are those who are moving in the power of the Holy Spirit with signs following the proclamation of His Word. We are to follow Him as His disciples, believing also for miracles to happen (Jn 14:12-14). The following are required to see this come about:-

a) We must believe that the Great Commission includes healing and miracles. Acts 5:12-16. The early church certainly believed this. Jesus said, “these signs will follow those who believe” (v17). His Commission has not changed for two thousand years and is as relevant today as it was then.

b) We must be obedient to the Great Commission:

* To “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (v15). Rom 10:14-15.

* To “lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (v18). Lk 4:40. He said that those who believe should lay hands on the sick, therefore the onus is on those who believe and not primarily on the person being prayed for. As we are obedient and pray in the Name of Jesus, we show compassion and identify with them in their sickness, thus we become an extension of the Lord’s hands and we can have faith that healing will be imparted.

* To “cast out demons” in His Name (v17). Lk 13:11-13. We read in the Scriptures that in many instances, Jesus cast out demons of sickness. This same authority is given to the church today, for He has “disarmed principalities and powers” (Col 2:15). Demons have to obey us and sickness has to retreat, before the might and authority of His Name.

3. KEEPING OUR EYES ON GOD AT ALL TIMES.

a) Recovery is not necessarily immediate. Mk 8:22-25. We must not lose hope or faith after we have prayed for somebody, for the healing may take time. It is good to have a positive faith in the Word of God, which cannot lie. Often in the case of praying for Christians, it may be good to encourage a study and memorization of healing Scriptures. This may well increase their personal faith for healing (Rom 10:17) over a period of time.

b) Medical advances are a blessing sent by God. Mt 9:12. There is a case in the life of the Apostle Paul when he advised the taking of medicine for stomach problems (I Tim 5:23) and once he left one of his travelling companions behind due to sickness (II Tim 4:20). He wrote in Gal 4:13, “You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject.” This “physical infirmity” may well have related to his eyes (v15). It could possibly also have been his “thorn in the flesh” (II Cor 12:7-10). We can see through this that even one of the greatest apostles did not always see healing through his prayers. We know also that Luke was a physician (Col 4:14) and would have used his abilities for the blessing of others, for it is never recorded that he denied having and using these abilities.

We have faith that God does heal miraculously, but in reality we also know that not all are healed in this life (sometimes even after much prayer). It is wise never to shun the advice of doctors, for then we can walk in the reality of their diagnosis and can know what to trust God for as regards healing. He is a big God and He may use the medical profession to bring blessing.

                                

Healing Teaching

                                     

                        Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

X. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – WORD, GIFTS AND ELDERS.

 

1/. HEALING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD. 

Proverbs 4:20-22. God wants His children to receive healing by faith in His promises found in His Word. This can happen in the following ways:

a) Through the preaching of the Word. In Ps 107:19-20 we read, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and He saved them out of their distress. He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions.”. The sick person may receive by faith a revelation of the Holy Spirit that God has or will heal him.

b) Through righteous living in obedience to His Word. In Ex 15:26 we read, “If you diligently head 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 non of the diseases on you which I brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you”. Some other Scriptures: Ex 23:25-26. Dt 7:12-15. Ps 91:1-3, 9-10. Prov 3:7-8.

c) Through continuous reading, memorising, study and especially meditation of Scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote in Rom 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. Sometimes a gradual healing takes place, as faith rises in the heart. Some of the following Scriptures may be a blessing to memorise or meditate on: Ps 103:1-3. Isa 53:4-5 (Mt 8:17. I Pet 2:24). Acts 3:6. 5:14-16. 9:32-35. 10:38. 14:8-10. 19:11-12.

2/. HEALING THROUGH THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT.

I Cor 12:7-11. Often an evangelist will receive some of these gifts in order to pray for the unconverted (as well as Christians). Also Christians can receive healing through the blessing of such gifts, given to individual members of the body of Christ. Paul wrote, “earnestly desire the best gifts” (v31). These “best gifts” may be the ones most needed at a particular time for a particular need of healing. The gifts of healings (note the plural) may often work together with other gifts of the Spirit such as faith, the working of miracles, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom and discernment of spirits. Often Jesus caste out a demon of sickness and as a result the person was healed (Mt 4:24). Sometimes the gift of discernment is needed to know whether the root of the sickness is demonic, in which case the demon of sickness can be dealt with by the gift of faith. In other cases a word of knowledge is needed to know whether the sickness was caused by (for example) an event in the past and the word of wisdom may be needed to know how to pray. The gift of miracles would be needed in the case of creating an eye for somebody born blind and the gifts of healings for somebody to receive better sight. It is important to move out in faith and to use the gifts He has given us for the blessing of the body of Christ, giving all glory to Him when there is a healing, but not becoming despondent when the healing is not immediately apparent.

3/. HEALING THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.

Jms 5:14-16. It is always good for us to have the support and prayers of the church leadership, when we are sick. We read in v14, “Is anyone among you sick,” which is addressed to Christians. Let us look at this passage:-

a) v14. The sick person is to call for the elders of the church. Note that the initiative rests with the sick person, not with the pastor or elder.

b) v15-16. The sick person needs to confess sins and faults. There may be sins which are not repented of – perhaps unforgiveness, wrong attitudes or bad feelings towards somebody. The result of acknowledging and confessing sins is to bring them into the open, where they can be dealt with. Healing may be held back, due to a lack of true humility and repentance. The following are important:

* Confession to God. Ps 51:4. We sometimes find it difficult to find fault in ourselves. We must be willing, however, to be honest before God and to allow Him to search our hearts and to put His finger on anything wrong in our lives. It is good to come to Him in a spirit of humility, sincerely seeking forgiveness, not making excuses or blaming others, but rather taking full responsibility for our actions. He is a loving Father who does not want to embarrass or to shame us, but rather that we may be healed.

* Confession to people. I Jn 1:7. It may be good to confess to the elders in private. However, if the sin has effected others, it may be necessary to confess and to ask forgiveness from those we have sinned against or even to do so before the church (if necessary). In some cases it may mean that restitution is needed (Lev 6:1-7).

c) v14. The sick person should be anointed with oil. The Apostles, “anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them” (Mk 6:13). Oil symbolises:

* The Holy Spirit. I Sam 16:13. We are therefore calling upon Him to come upon the person.

* Light. Ex 27:20-21. The candlestick in the Holy Place was actually an oil lamp, therefore it was the oil that gave the light. When we anoint with oil we are saying, ‘Father we recognise that we are doing this in the light of Your Presence and that nothing is hidden from You, for You know all things and nothing dishonest or insincere will escape Your attention. Therefore help us to be completely honest before You and others. If the sick person now seeking You has faults of which they are genuinely unaware, may the light of Your Presence reveal these things that they may be dealt with.’

* Healing. Lk 10:34. The wine was to cleanse and the oil was to heal the wounds. Oil is probably the oldest medicine known to man and has a soothing and healing effect. However, when we anoint with oil, we are not applying it as a medicine, but rather as a symbol of healing, for we look to the Holy Spirit to impart His healing to the person.

* Unity. Ps 133:1-3. We are united in that we are all sinners saved by grace. The person anointing with oil needs God’s grace for healing to the same measure as the one being prayed for.

d) v14-15. The elders must now pray the prayer of faith. To remind us of the importance of faith we read in Heb 11:6, “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. Our faith must be in God to heal, not in our own ability, experience or manner of praying.

                               

Healing Teaching

                                  

                        Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

IX. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – PRAYING IN FAITH. 

The Bible says that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:1, 6). Faith is also a gift (Heb 12:2) and is very different from presumption. The following are some aspects related to praying in faith.

1. FAITH IN A BIG GOD.

a) It is based solely on what God’s Word declares. John 17:17. The Bible says, “let God be true and every man a liar” – Romans 3:4. Our faith does not look to any other source for confirmation or encouragement. If we are to pray in faith, we must know the Word of God, concerning His will about healing. To know it we must read, study, memorise and meditate on it. The more we do this, the more our faith will increase (Jn 15:7).

b) It knows the will of God. Matt 8:1-4. The leper said to Jesus, “if You are willing, You can make me clean” (v2). He hahewd no doubt that Jesus was able to heal him, but he doubted whether Jesus had the will to heal him. Jesus replied, “I am willing, be clean” and the Bible says, “immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (v3). We must also be certain in our hearts about the fact that He wants to heal. (There are sometimes things in our lives, which can delay healing, such as unforgiveness or sin, but the desire of God is still to heal).

2. FAITH IS BOLDLY SPECIFIC.

a) It has a definite object. Mark 10:46-52. Jesus asked, “what do you want Me to do for you?”. The blind man was specific, “that I may receive my sight” (v51). We too must ask specifically and not vaguely.

b) It confesses boldly. Mark 11:23-24. Paul wrote, “since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke’, we also believe and therefore speak” – II Corinthians 4:13. The literal meaning of the word ‘to confess’ is ‘to agree with’ or ‘to say the same thing’. We need:

* Our confession to agree with the Word of God.

* To confess in faith to ourselves and others what we have prayed for and (by faith) received.

* To act on the confession of faith. Many do not receive healing, because they do not act on the words of faith that have been spoken. James wrote, “faith without works is dead” – James 2:20).

3. FAITH HAS RIGHT MOTIVES.

James 4:2-3. In this passage we see that there are two main reasons we do not receive – we do not pray (v2) and when we do ask, we pray with wrong motives (v3). We are simply channels for God to use in order to fulfil His purposes, for we in ourselves can heal nobody, nor can we heal ourselves. God is extremely jealous of His glory and will not share it with another. Jesus said to His disciples, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Pride or personal gain should have no place in the heart of one who prays for or receives healing, rather let us always give honour to Him for the wonderful things that He alone has done, for it is not our faith that has caused the miracle, it is God’s power and grace.

4. FAITH IN GOD, DESPITE SICKNESS.

Our faith must be in a Heavenly Father, who loves us and wants the best for us, despite whether we are healed or not healed. It is good to trust Him for healing, but we must also be honest and admit that not all are healed, when prayed for in faith. We need grace:

a) To trust in Him despite past disappointments. John 5:2-8. In Mark 5:25-26 we read, “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.” This woman had been disappointed over many years, yet when she reached out by faith and “touched His garment” (v27), she was instantly healed (v29). Sometimes we have received medication for many years and have been prayed for many times, yet we are not healed. Our trust must still rest in a Father who loves us and wants the best for us.

b) To continue steadfastly in faith. Matthew 7:7-8. God often heals over a period of time and very often our faith is tested, because the healing is sometimes not immediate. True faith endures and continues to believe steadfastly, even when the healing is not immediately evident, for its foundation is the Word of God. In Heb 10:23 we read, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” He continues, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward” (v35).

c) To continue to believe that God loves us and wants our best, despite not being healed immediately. Romans 8:28. We are living in a fallen world system and sometimes we are called to show His grace, as we go through suffering. This suffering (whether physical or not) can often entail much grace and faith. A loving sensitivity with a lack of condemnation for those who are not healed (including ourselves) is most important. Whatever happens He has promised, “never to leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5).

5. STEPS OF FAITH FOR HEALING.

The following can be of help, as we pray and seek God’s healing for our body:

* Be sure that you are in a right relationship with God and others – I Corinthians 11:27-30.

* Seek the presence of Jesus in you life, for it is He who will give your heart the faith you need – Romans 12:3.

* Saturate yourself with God’s Word – Rom 10:17.

* Continue to expect a miracle – trust in Christ’s power – Matthew 7:8).

* If you are not healed immediately, continue to remain in a loving relationship with Him – John 15:1-7. Through all situations we can grow spiritually and it is good to examine your life to see what changes God is trying to bring about in you – Romans 8:28.

* Call for the prayers of others – the elders of the church, family members and Christian friends – James 5:14-16.

* Attend a service where a person with a respected healing ministry is present – Acts 8:5-7.

* Keep on rejoicing, whether healing comes immediately or whether you have to wait for it Philippians 4:4, 11-13.

* Have peace in your heart that God’s delays in answering prayers are not denials of those requests. Sometimes God has a larger purpose in mind that, when realized, results in His greater glory – John 11:4, 14-15, 45.

* Our focus of faith needs to be on God, but also realize that the Bible acknowledges the proper use of medical care – Matthew 9:12.

                              

Healing Teaching

                                     

                          Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING. 

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

VIII. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – SPIRIT AND SOUL.

Some doctors have said that more than 30% of all physical sickness originates in the mind or emotions. Such mental and emotional attitudes as worry, fear, anxiety, insecurity, morbid introspection, nervous tension, jealousy, frustration, anger and pessimism can be powerful and destructive forces. These can result in high blood pressure, heart problems, circulatory diseases, asthma, stomach ulcers and chronic headaches. However, God desires our total health and well being. Correct teaching can help us avoid many of the pitfalls and traps that produce sickness. By putting the following into operation, we can better walk in health:

1. HAVING A WILL TO BE RELEASED:

a) From the past.

* Personal events. Ephesians 4:22-24. Events in the past can be stumbling blocks to present spiritual growth and healing. As He indwells our spirit, He takes control of our lives (mind, will, emotions and actions) and in the process spiritual growth takes place. We then start to believe for release from past events and for divine health.

* Generational bondages. II Corinthians 5:17. We read in the Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:5-6, “For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commands.” Through no fault of our own, according to this Scripture, we can be effected by the sins of our forefathers. By faith, however, we can renounce and cut off this curse and be released into our full inheritance as children of God.

b) From demons. Luke 8:26-36. In this case the Greek word used for “healed” was ‘soz’, which means ‘heal, save, make well or whole’. Sometimes we can be effected by demons as a result of what we have chosen to be involved in, particularly in areas of::

* False religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam.

* Cults such as the Watch Tower Society or Mormonism.

* The occult such as palmistry, oujah boards, spiritism and the New Age.

2. HAVING A WILL TO RENEW OUR THOUGHTS.

I John 4:18. A recent important development has been the diagnosing and treating of sicknesses, which start in the mind. These sicknesses are not imaginary for the person is physically ill, however, they have been produced originally by the patient’s mind. In Proverbs 23:7 we read, “as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. Whatever a person allows his mind to dwell on, he will become. Fear can destroy both mental and physical health. For example if a person is afraid of sickness and always thinks about the possibility of becoming ill, those very thoughts can produce the ailment of which he was afraid – Job 3:25. We are made for faith not for fear. Faith strengthens and fortifies us, but fear demoralizes and destroys us. In Isa 26:3 we read, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You”.

3. HAVING A WILL TO RENEW OUR EMOTIONS.

Psalm 119:28. Negative emotions which are not brought under control can also be destructive to health. Many Christians are controlled by their emotions, rather than controlling them. They depend too much on ‘how they feel’. If they feel a little depressed, they allow it to rule them and every small disappointment or upset plunges them deeper into despondency. Such emotional indiscipline will seriously effect the health and can result in serious illness. As God’s Word is reliable, so our emotions are unreliable. We were never intended to be ruled by their emotions (which go up and down), rather we are given the power to rule over our feelings, imaginations and moods.

4. HAVING A WILL TO RECEIVE INNER HEALING.

When sickness comes from the mind or emotions, firstly there needs to be inner healing, then physical healing. God can easily heal the physical illness, but if the problems still remain within, then the illness will return. For example it is easy for Him to heal a stomach ulcer, what is more difficult is for the inner healing of the mental attitude, which caused the ulcer. Worry, stress and anxieties may well cause the sickness to return. The Word of God, however, has the answers. Let us:

a) Walk in honesty with Him. I John 1:5-10. By humbling ourselves and walking in the light concerning anxieties, worry and stress brings us into a position where we can be healed. It may sometimes be good to speak with honesty to somebody we can trust, so that these can be brought into the light and be dealt with through prayer.

b) Cast our burdens on Him. Proverbs 3:5-8. This means casting every worry, fear or negative attitude upon the Lord. Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give your rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30. Before we can do this, we must surrender our life completely to Him, then it all becomes His personal property and His responsibility. As we give Him our burdens, He will then keep us in perfect peace and health. However, if we insist on carrying them ourselves, then He is prevented from fulfilling His purposes.

c) Bring your thoughts and anxieties into captivity. II Corinthians 10:3-5. Sometimes there are troublesome thoughts that never seem to leave us, but we must not be ruled by them. Paul wrote, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Tim 1:7). We may need to:

* Receive freedom through forgiveness. It is so important to forgive others and to take responsibility and ask forgiveness for our own actions.

* Be released from strongholds. It is good sometimes to receive prayer and ministry to deliver us from demonic influences, which have gained a foothold in our minds or emotions, due to traumatic events in the past or by our involvement in the occult, false religions or cults.

* Receive His good thoughts. His desire is for our peace and wholeness. In Philippians 4:8 we read, “Brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things”.

* Continue to resist any Satanic influence – James 4:7. Satan will try to gain lost ground, but Jesus said “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” – John 8:36.

d) Meditate on His Word. Psalm 1:1-3. In Proverbs 4:20-22 we read, “My son give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh”. There is great healing value in reading, studying, memorizing, confessing openly and meditating on Scriptures – let His Word become part of our life. As we feed regularly on the Word and put it into practice, our thoughts and emotions will stabilise and we will no longer be tossed here and there. We will rather become steady as the Word of God is steady, for it gives purpose and strength to the mind and heart.

                              

Healing Teaching

                                  

                     Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

VII. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – NATURAL HEALING.

The desire of God, when He created Adam and Eve, was that we live in good health. The result of rebellion was sickness, but before the fall He had already created us with natural laws of healing and had endowed us with wisdom and an ability to care for our bodies. The following are some of the ways in which we can walk in health:-

1. GOD GIVEN REMEDIES.

Psalm 139:14. God has created in us natural laws of healing – for we are, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Our body has an amazing resistance to sickness and when well treated, it will often restore itself to health. There are many marvels that God put into place in order to keep the body healthy, a couple of which are:-

* He placed a protein in the blood called ‘fibrin’, which continually travels around the system without causing problems. However, if a person is wounded and blood starts to pour from the wound, this substance begins to stick together and to form a clot, thus stopping the flow of blood from the wound.  

* White blood cells are also part of the body’s wonderful defence mechanism. When infectious diseases enter, some of these white blood cells quickly rally to the point at which the bacteria entered. They begin to attack, by devouring the foreign organisms. One result of this can be seen in a boil, which is full of bacteria. Eventually it bursts and the defeated bacteria is all caste out.

2. REMEDIES OF DIETARY AND GENERAL CARE OF THE BODY.

I Cor 6:19-20. We are stewards of all God has given us, thus we need to look after our bodies in every way possible. This concerns:

a) Our eating –  Proverbs 25:16.

* Those who eat too little. A bad diet can effect our health. We need to make sure that our diet is balanced and the food nutritious, containing the proteins and vitamins necessary for good health. In some cases this is impossible, due to lack of money or availability of food, but as far as is possible a good diet needs to be a priority, for it is much better to spend money on food rather than on hospital bills.

* Those who eat too much. Gluttony is considered a sin in the Bible – Proverbs 28:7 and should be withstood, as with other sins. We are, “not our own”, but rather we “were bought at a price” – I Corinthians 6:19-20. Eating too much without physical exercise creates fat tissues instead of energy, resulting in overweight and bad health – even sometimes causing premature death.

* Those who eat the wrong type of food. It has been said, ‘many people are digging their graves with their teeth!’ God has given us wisdom to know what is nutritious and what is not good for our bodies. Eating wisely will result in less sickness and a longer life.

b) Our drinkingProverbs 20:1. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:10, “drunkards …. Will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Those who drink too much alcohol (apart from causing many problems for others) can cause temporary or permanent damage to their liver, also heart failure, cancer of the gullet and a type of dementia. As with eating, we need wisdom with what we drink. Water and the juice of fruits have been given to us by God as a natural means of satisfying thirst and keeping the body healthy.

c) Our sexual lifestyle. I Corinthians 6:9-10. Scripture clearly states that God created man and woman to come together in sexual union only in marriage. This causes mental and emotional stability for the married couple and for their children. Also faithfulness in marriage protects from sexual diseases. On the other hand those who succumb to unrighteous sexual acts such as fornication, adultery and homosexuality increase considerably the likelihood of receiving one or more of the many sexual diseases rampant today – Romans 1:26-27. Remaining celibate while unmarried and faithful to one’s spouse, when married, bring wonderful benefits – mental, emotional and physical.

d) Our bodily exercise. Paul wrote, “bodily exercise profits a little” – I Timothy 4:8. In his day there was no mechanical means of transport and people in most cases had to walk long distances daily. Also there was far more physical energy used in the general chores of life. Today we need to simply press a button to accomplish many chores in the home or to get into our car, bus or train to arrive with little physical discomfort at our destination. As a result a sedentary lifestyle is common, which can result in much sickness. It is good to look after our earthly tabernacle – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and to take regular exercise, so that our bodies do not become a burden to us and to others.

3. REMEDIES OF MEDICAL CARE AND ATTENTION.

I Timothy 5:23. Sometimes it is necessary to seek medical attention. God can bring healing, as medical science co-operates with His laws. Since He is against sickness and disease, doctors are therefore co-operating with Him in His purpose of healing. Hospitals are houses of mercy, helping to combat the great plague of sickness that is in the world because of sin.

                               

Healing Teaching

                                       

                               Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

VI. HEALING FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY – THROUGH ATONEMENT.

Every blessing, including healing, comes to us through the victory of Christ at Calvary. The word ‘atonement’ means ‘to make at one with God’ or ‘to restore to divine favour’. In I Jn 2:2 we read, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (NIV). The purpose is to restore our relationship with God and all that we have lost as a result of the fall, including good health. Jesus has paid the full price for our healing:

1. HE CARRIED SICKNESS ON HIMSELF.

Isaiah 53:4. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” By faith we can appropriate the following truths from this verse:

a) “griefs and sorrows”.

* The word “griefs” is most frequently translated in the Old Testament as ‘sickness’. The Hebrew word used is ‘Choliy’, which means ‘malady, anxiety, sickness’. In II Chron 21:15 we read, “you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day”. Here the Hebrew word ‘Choliy’ is translated both as “disease” and as “sickness”.

* The Hebrew word translated as “sorrows” is ‘makob’, which is usually translated as either ‘sorrows’ or ‘pain’. In Job 33:19 we read, “Man is also chastened with pain (makob) on his bed”.

* With this is in mind we can understand the words of Matthew when he wrote, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Mt 8:17), which is an accurate translation of Isa 53:4. This supports the fact that physical healing is received through the atonement of Christ.

b) “Borne”. In this verse the Hebrew word ‘Nasa’ is used. This is the same verb as used in Isaiah 53:12, “He bore the sins of many”. Since the same verb is used in v4, “He has borne our griefs (sicknesses)” , we can understand that Christ “has borne” our sicknesses in the same manner in which He “bore” our sins. We know that He bore our sins by suffering as our substitute, this must therefore also be true of our sicknesses. Because He bore my sins as my substitute, I am free from them. In the same way, as He bore my sicknesses as my substitute, so I am free from them as well. Christ has borne both our sins and our sicknesses in Himself, so there is forgiveness and healing for all who would accept this by faith.

c) “Carried”. The verb “carried” (Heb ‘cabal’) can mean ‘to bear something as a penalty’. The same Hebrew word is used in Isaiah 53:11, “He shall bear (‘cabal’) their iniquities.” We can see that the same Hebrew verb is used both to carry or bear our “iniquities”, as well as our “sorrows” or “pains” (v4). As a result of Christ being “stricken, smitten of God and afflicted” as He bore our sins, we do not have to bear them. The wonderful truth is that if He has “carried” or “borne” our sorrows and pains, we do not have to bear them as well.

2. HE SUFFERED IN OUR PLACE.

Isaiah 53:5. “By His stripes we are healed”.

a) His suffering at His trial and at the cross. All that happened to Jesus Christ had a purpose. We read in Isaiah 50:6, “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” and again in Isaiah 52:14, “So His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men”. These prophecies were fulfilled during His trial and at the cross – Matthew 27:26. We can therefore appropriate by faith our healing through the sufferings of Christ nearly 2,000 years ago for Peter wrote, “by whose stripes you were healed” – I Peter 2:24.

b) His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read in Luke 22:44, “being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground” . Later, “when they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head …. then they took the reed and struck Him on the head”, thus pushing the thorns into His skull – Matthew 27:29-30. We can see how we can receive healing by faith not only for our physical ailments, but also “by His stripes we are healed” in our minds – as in agony “His sweat became like great drops of blood” and as the thorns went into His head, resulting in His blood pouring forth from the wounds.

3. HE PURCHASED OUR HEALING AT CALVARY.

Christ purchased wholeness (perfect soundness) – for spirit soul and body through His death. The Greek New Testament confirms that our redemption in Christ includes healing as well as forgiveness. The verb in Greek for ‘save’ is ‘sozo’, which means ‘save, heal, preserve, be made whole’. The word translated “saved” in Romans 10:9, “You shall be saved” is the same word (‘sozo’), which is translated “whole” in Mark 6:56 – “as many (sick persons) as touched Him were made whole”. The word ‘sozo’ is used in both cases – for being “saved” and for being “made whole”. If we agree as Christians that Christ’s sufferings atone for our sins, so we must also agree that they give us healing. He is still ‘Jehovah Rapha’, the ‘Lord who heals you’ – for He changes not – Malachi 3:6.

                             

Healing Teaching

                                  

                      Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

V. HEALING FOR CHRISTIAN TODAY – OLD COVENANT.

1. HEALING WAS PART OF THE COVENANT.

Dt 7:12-15. God had called the Israelites to be a special people, who would be greatly blessed by Him – as they continued to listen to His judgements and to keep them (v12). In response to their obedience, they would receive the wonderful blessing of healing and health given in v15. The church is also a called out people – I Peter 2:9-10, who can by faith receive the blessings given to His people the Israelites. The following are some of the blessings of healing under the Old Covenant, which can encourage us in our faith today.

a) As they followed God with all their hearts. The psalmist wrote, “Bless the Lord. O my soul and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction”– Psalm 103:2-4. This promise was fulfilled as they:

* Were obedient to His Word – Proverbs 4:20-22.

* Were obedient to His Law – Exodus 15:26.

* Served God in the Promised Land – Exodus 23:23-26.

* Cried out to Him in their need – Psalm 107:19-20.

* Had intimate fellowship with Him – Psalm 91: 9-10.

b) As the prophets were obedient to His Word

* Elijah revived the widow’s son. I Kings 17:17-23.

* Elisha raised the Shunammite’s son (II Kings 4:32-36) and brought healing to Naaman. II Kings 5:9-14.

* Isaiah brought healing to King Hezekiah. II Kings 20:1-7.

c) As they looked towards the coming of the Christ:

* His crucifixion – Numbers 21:5-9. The children of Israel sinned by complaining to God about their wanderings, resulting in God’s judgement by being bitten by snakes, which produced sickness and death. However, as they looked towards the fiery serpent on a pole they were healed. Jesus referred to this in John 3:14-15, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.

* His atonement – Isaiah 53:4-5. They could look forward to the coming of the Redeemer who would bring healing through His suffering.

2. PROVISION FOR HEALING IN GOD’S NAME.

There are names given to God in the Old Testament, which speak of His redemption and healing. Those who copied the ancient manuscripts would write the word for God as ‘YHWH’, which we would pronounce as Yahweh. This means, ‘The Self-existent One who reveals Himself’. Each one of the following portray His different aspects:

a) Yahweh Yireh (Jireh) – “The Lord will provide” – Genesis 22:14. Faced with the awful prospect of sacrificing his only son, Abraham heard the voice of the Lord cry, “Do not lay your hand upon the lad” (v12). God had provided a sacrifice in the bush nearby. After this, “Abraham called the name of that place YHWH Yireh”. This story is a picture of the Redeemer, which He would provide in Christ. In and through Him we have all things, including healing.

b) Yahweh Rapha – “I am the Lord who heals you” – Exodus 15:26. Before God delivered His people from Egypt, He proved Himself as their Saviour and Deliverer. He now revealed Himself to them as their Healer (if they were obedient to Him). In the Old Testament, healing was an important part of redemption. The Bible says that the New Covenant is better in every way than the Old. If the Old Covenant made provision for healing of the whole person, how much more so does the New Covenant.

c) Yahweh Nissi – “The Lord is my banner (or victory)” – Exodus 17:15. Moses stood with his hands lifted up to God, as a result the Lord gave them a great victory over the Amalekites. He then built an altar to the Lord and called it, “Yahweh Nissi”, in recognition of the Lord’s victory. He desires that we be victorious in all our lives, including our health.

d) Yahweh Shalom – “The Lord is peace” – Judges 6:24. The word ‘peace’ in Hebrew (‘shalom’) means ‘well-being’, ‘wholeness’ or ‘everything necessary for our complete well-being and peace’. After the Angel of the Lord had promised a great victory to Gideon, he became afraid because of the encounter. God, however, said to him, “Peace be with you, do not fear, you shall not die” (v23). Gideon’s response was to build an altar there to the Lord “and called it Yahweh Shalom” (v24). Through redemption, “He (Christ) is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He delivers us from all fear and gives us peace in all situations.

e) Yahweh Roi – “The Lord my shepherd” – Psalm 23 :1. We read in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all”. Since we are the sheep of His pasture, it is wonderful to know that Christ is our Great Shepherd, who not only died for us, but also cares for our every need, whether in health or ill health.

f) Yahweh Tsidkenu – “The Lord our righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:6. Jeremiah was given a prophecy by God that He would, “raise to David a Branch of righteousness …. This is the Name by which He will be called: Yahweh Tsidkenu” (v5-6). The fulfilment of this prophecy is that Jesus has made it possible for us to become the righteousness of God in Christ. He accomplished this by becoming sin for us and taking the penalty and judgement of God upon Himself in our place. His redemption not only saves us, but also declares our righteousness before the Father (I Cor 1:30). If we are righteous, then we can believe that sin and its results of sickness, “shall not have dominion over us” – Romans 6:14.

g) Yahweh Shammah – “The Lord is there (or present)” Ez 48:35. In eternity God’s dwelling place, the New Jerusalem, will be renamed Yahweh Shammah. Adam was driven out from the very presence of God, but as the redeemed of the Lord, we have His presence continually now (whether in sickness or in health) and also in eternity, where there will be no ill health.

As we can see, each of these redemptive Names reveal the various blessings God has made available to us through Christ. Healing and health is not the special privilege of a favoured few, it is rather the redemptive right of all who fulfil the covenant requirements. God was Yahweh Rapha –“I am the Lord that heals you” to Israel and He is the same for us, for He declares, “I am the Lord, I change not” – Malachi 3:6. He is also our victory (Yahweh Nissi), our peace (Yahew Shallom), our Good Shepherd (Yahweh Roi) and is ever present (Yahweh Shammah) in times when sickness strikes. He is our righteousness (Yahweh Tsidkenu) and He loves us and will provide for us (YahehYireh), whether in sickness or health.

                            

Healing Teaching

                                        

                              Rev. John Willoughby

A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO DIVINE HEALING.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

IV. EARLY CHURCH – PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES OF HEALING.

1. THEY BELIEVED IN HEALING.

Mark 16:15-20. They were obedient to the Great Commission to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick (v20).

a) They encouraged people to be healed – Acts 3:1-8. Peter reached down (v7), took the cripple by the hand and began to lift him to his feet. It was at that precise moment, as the man began to rise in faith, that the power of God went through his body and completely healed him. Without the active encouragement of Peter, the miracle may never have happened. Peter not only spoke the word of faith, but also acted in faith.

b) They acted with boldness – Acts 4:13. People marvelled at the boldness of Peter and John, recognising not only that it was the result of them spending time with Jesus, but also that the Risen Christ was with them. This was not the brashness of self confidence, but the quiet authority of those who knew that God was with them and residing in them to confirm His Word in their mouths and actions. When the local authorities forbade them to speak in the Name of Jesus, they did not retreat but rather sought Him earnestly in prayer for a greater anointing (Acts 4:29-30). Bold action was born in those believers who knew the divine authority they had been given to heal. People came for healing, but many left with salvation. Such actions are the result of :

* Knowing that God has made a healing covenant through the Atonement.

* Having a thorough understanding of the Word of God in relation to healing.

* Knowing God’s will concerning healing.

* Possessing an assurance of faith that God will heal.

* Believing that God will confirm His Word with signs following.

c) They performed many signs and wonders amongst the people – Acts 5:12-16. The early church was welcomed into the local community, through the signs and wonders, which God granted them. It proved to be one of the most vital keys with which the doors to the heathen world were opened and as a result the Gospel spread rapidly during those early years. There is an authority evident in a ministry confirmed by the power of God:

* Miracles dramatise the presentation of the Gospel.

* Miracles confirm the truth of the message.

* Miracles attract the multitudes.

* Miracles convince the unconverted that the work is really of God.

d) Miracles and healings were part of the ministry of an evangelist – Acts 21:8. All were called to do the ‘work of an evangelist’, but Philip was the only person in the New Testament specifically designated with the ‘ministry of an evangelist’ – Ephesians 4:11. We can therefore learn something from his ministry in Acts 8:5-8, which included preaching Christ, miracles, healings and casting out of demons. The impact upon Samaria would never have been the same, without the preaching of the Gospel with the accompanying signs and wonders. 

2. THEY PREACHED HEALING.

John 14:12. Many of the early church had been in direct contact with relatives of people who had known or heard of Jesus and the early apostles. They also had received a new infilling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The miracles and healings were not just doctrines, which they believed in, they were an integral part of their lives.

a) They preached the Word of God – Rom 10:17. Preaching of the Word carries a divine weight of authority and will create faith in the hearts of the hearers as nothing else will.

b) They spoke by the power of the Spirit – Acts 4:8. The disciples had been changed by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Prior to Pentecost, Peter had denied the Lord three times (even once before a young girl). He now preached with a new spiritual boldness, proclaiming the Lordship of Christ to the very people who had crucified Him. It is good to study and to prepare well before ministering the Word, but nothing can take the place of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:19, to bring conviction and to encourage faith for healing.

c) Miracles and healings confirmed the message – Acts 8:5-8. Jesus predicted that supernatural signs would accompany the preaching of the true Gospel – Mark 16:15-18.

3. THEY MINISTERED AND TAUGHT HEALING.

a) Miracles and healings established converts in the power of God – I Corinthians 2:4-5. The wisdom of men (philosophy and logic) can never establish men and women in the Christian faith. However, when the Gospel is ministered with signs following, the converts are established in the revelation of that supernatural power of God.

b) Miracles and healings were taught and encouraged in the early church. They taught that:

* The gifts of the Spirit were integral to the spreading of the gospel and to their own mental, emotional and physical well being, as the living witnesses of His resurrection power. I Corinthians 12:1, 7-11.

* It was the responsibility of the individual member to recognise their need of prayer by calling for the elders, who would anoint with oil and pray in faith for healing – Jams 5:14-15.

* Forgiveness of sin through open confession was important, allowing fellow godly believers to pray for one another in faith for healing – James 5:16.

                             

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