Divine Healing

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It is God’s nature to come against all that afflicts and torments those who come to Him “believing.”
God is the giver of life. The Bible tells us the enemy, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy but the Lord has come that we might have life and life more abundantly.
This is an abundant life that God has given to us, a life where the blessings and promises of God are available to those who will receive them by faith.
God is love, it is His nature to love. God heals because it is an act of love. God reason for delivering Israel, for loving them as a nation were not because they were some great wonderful people but because of His love.
He had promised to be faithful to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His covenant keeping character was displayed:
Deu 7:7  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
Deu 7:8  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deeply woven into this relationship that God has with His people is His love. God is faithful. A good rendering of the word faithfulness in the old Testament is “steadfast love”.
So let’s embrace a truth here. God, the great physician, is our Healer because He is Lord of the universe. He is sovereign over His creation. He has power to wound and to heal:
Deu 32:39  See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
God can employ sickness for His own ends, although a person must always bear in mind that He is not the author of sickness, Miriam was made sick, then made well as an object lesson in judgment to the people:
Num 12:10  And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
Num 12:11  And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
Num 12:12  Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.
Num 12:13  And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
Num 12:14  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
Num 12:15  And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
King Jehoram was permitted by God to suffer a fatal illness as a matter of judgment on sin:
2Ch 21:18  And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
2Ch 21:19  And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
Job was permitted to undergo a severe physical testing, but it is clear from the biblical record that the disease and trouble that plagued Job were brought upon him by Satan.
God, the Sovereign of heaven and earth, merely permitted this satanic activity within prescribed bounds for a higher purpose and actually used it to win a victory over Satan:
Job 1:20  Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
Job 1:21  And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:22  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 19:25  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
What is important to bear in mind is that God stood above and beyond the works of the adversary, ultimately displaying His delivering power.
As we said before sin brought with it sickness and death. God by nature is against sin, sickness and death. His love and grace made a way for deliverance from the penalties of sin. Through the atonement brought by Christ at Calvary not only was the curse of sin broken, but our deliverance from sickness was also cared for. Healing was in the plan of God from before the dawn of time.
Since God is the great physician provision was made by God under the Law for both spiritual and physical restoration.
The Law gives special attention to the priests, whose ministry points to our great High Priest Jesus who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and sympathizes with our weaknesses:
Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
We have to talk about these things because what the priest did were a shadow of things to come through Christ.
So the priests, through the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices, made atonement for the sins of the people. An examination of the atonement in the Hebrew Bible shows that in most cases it refers to a ransom price paid for redemption and restoration. This points to the redemption through Christ, His shedding His blood in our behalf and in our stead. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood:
Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Jesus would be the One who would protect us from God’s wrath by taking away our sin.
The phrase sacrifice of atonement means making atonement in order to remove the guilt of sin. In the old Testament you found the mercy seat as a place of atonement:
Exo 25:17  And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
The reference to the Atonement and the atonement cover or mercy seat has its background in Leviticus 16 which deals with the annual Day of Atonement provided in the Law. On that day the high priest went to sprinkle the blood of a sin offering on that solid gold cover of the ark of the covenant. Inside the ark were the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the heart of God’s covenant with Israel.
These commandments the the people had broken; the broken Law called for judgment and death. But when the blood of a spotless lamb was sprinkled, representing the sinless life of Christ, God saw the sinless life instead of the broken Law and could give mercy, blessing, restoration and healing.
The primary purpose of the atonement was cleansing from sin:
Lev 16:30  For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
It is also perfectly clear that that atonement brought release from the penalty and consequences of sin in order to bring restoration of God’s blessing and favor.
When the people complained after the judgment that followed the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abriram, God sent a plague on the Israelites. Moses then sent Aaron out into the congregation to make atonement for them, and the plague was stopped:
Num 16:46  And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
Num 16:47  And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.
Num 16:48  And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
We read also that when the men of Israel were numbered, they were to give one half shekel atonement money for their redemption and prevention of a plague upon themselves:
Exo 30:12  When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
Exo 30:15  The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
Atonement, then, provided for the consequences of sin, including sickness. The Bible makes it clear that there is no way an individual can pay a sufficient price for personal redemption, so God, out of His love and for the glory of His own name, provided the atonement:
Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Psa 65:3  Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
Psa 78:38  But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
Psa 79:9  Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.
Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
That this atonement provided not only for the sin but also for its consequences is pictured by Hosea buying back his wife at a great cost to himself when she had deserted him, gone after false gods, and was to be sold in the slave market:
Hos 3:1  Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
Hos 3:2  So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
Hos 3:3  And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
Hos 3:4  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
Hos 3:5  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Hos 13:4  Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
Hos 13:14  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
Hos 14:4  I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
This atonement is further illustrated by the bronze serpent hung up on a pole in the desert when God’s judgment caused poisonous snakes to bite the Israelites. All the people had to do to live was look at the bronze serpent:
Num 21:9  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
All this found its fulfillment and was accomplished through Christ at Calvary:
Joh 3:14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It was there that He made full atonement for the whole person. The New Testament speaks of this as redemption, which has essentially the same meaning as atonement. Through Christ we hae received redemption and the forgiveness of sins:
Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Again, atonement provides for the consequences of sin. Even where sickness is not the direct result among the works of the devil Jesus came to destroy:
1Jn 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
And knowing this we see that it is included in the provisions of the atonement.
The Bible indicates, however, that until Jesus comes we, along with the rest of creation, affected by the results of Adam’s sin, groan because we have not yet received the redemption of our bodies:
Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Only when the dead in Christ rise and we are changed do we receive the new bodies, which are like His glorious body:
1Co 15:42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
In the parallel between redemption and atonement, we see that the provision for our bodies is the redemption spoken of in Romans 8:23:
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
We receive the forgiveness of sins now in connection with the redemption of our souls. We shall receive the redemption of our bodies when we are caught up to meet the Lord and are changed into His likeness:
1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Our Heavenly Dwelling
2Co 5:1  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Divine healing is a foretaste of this and, like all the blessings of the gospel, flows from the atonement.
The Book of Isaiah, called by some ‘the old Testament Gospel” clearly predicted that the benefits of the atonement would extend to physical healing. In the great fifty-third chapter of this great Old Testament book, Christ is presented as the Suffering Servant, who in His own person becomes the penalty offering for sin, making atonement even for those who despise and reject Him.
Verse 5 gives us this wonderful prophetic announcement: “By His wounds we are healed.” The context of this verse demands that it not be spiritualized to cover “soul-sickness” only for the preceding verses speak vividly of physical suffering.
Matthew gives a more literal rendering of verse 4; “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases”:
Mat 8:17  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
 
“Infirmities” including all kinds of sickness. For Isaiah, the coming Messiah who would make atonement for His people would cure diseases not only of the soul, but of the body as well.
 
The passage in Matthew is a definite link between the Old Testament prophecy and the ministry of our Lord Jesus. Matthew records that during Jesus’ Galilean ministry, He “healed all the sick,”which “was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah”:
The passage in Matthew is a definite link between the Old Testament prophecy and the ministry of our Lord Jesus. Matthew records that during Jesus’ Galilean ministry, He “healed all the sick,”which “was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah”:
Mat 8:17  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Clearly the Holy Spirit inspired the Gospel writer to declare that the ministry of Jesus was an anticipation of the benefits of the Cross and was the realization of the promise given about seven hundred years before.
 
The Apostle Paul saw in the death of Christ a remarkable face. Christ was made a curse for us so that we might be set free from the law’s curse on sin:
 
Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Gal 3:12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The implications of this truth are staggering! Those who by Faith reach out to appropriate the full dimensions of their salvation in Christ can receive in their own bodies deliverance from the curse. Death itself is the last enemy to be destroyed, and death will be the common lot of believers until the time of the resurrection and Rapture, when we shall all be changed and our new bodies become immortal and imperishable, no longer subject to death, sickness, disease, or decay:
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
But deliverance from the ills that plague the body presently is an aspect of the curse that God has put into subjection to the faith of the believers.
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. It flows from the Atonement. When Jesus said, ‘It is finished’:
Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
the work necessary for the redemption of the whole person-spirit, soul, and body was complete. The ministry of Christ was a healing ministry, for He bound up broken souls and bodies. Divine healing was ‘not something peripheral” in His ministry, but was an important witness to His identity:
Joh 10:37  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
Joh 10:38  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
He went about preaching, teaching, and healing. Provision for all to enter into this ministry and its benefits was made possible by Calvary:
Mat 10:7  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 10:8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18  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.
Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Luk 4:18  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 brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 10:9  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
So is it God’s will for believers to enjoy the benefits of divine healing today? During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He and His disciples healed all who came to them:
Mat 8:16  When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Act 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.
Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
 
Jesus carefully selected a group of followers to whom He entrusted the task of carrying on His ministry, for He fully intended that greater works, in the sense of more numerous works, than He had done should mark the lives and ministries of His disciples:
Joh 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Joh 14:13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave this ringing promise o His faithful apostles and disciples: “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well”:
Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18  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.
The Apostolic Church practiced divine healing, as Jesus clearly intended. The authority of Matthew 10:1 was never rescinded:
Mat 10:1  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.
It was expected that supernatural deliverance from physical disorders should characterize the normal assembly in the first century. The Book of Acts shows it did. Not for two centuries or more did the practice of divine healing disappear from the Church.
It was one of the last vestiges of supernatural power that the decaying church lost as the years wore on.
Eventually the medieval church distorted the practice laid down in James 5:14 by making the biblical provision for healing into a sacrament of last rites, which they named ‘Extreme Unction.” Instead of encouraging faith for healing, all it was supposed to do was help a dying person through the pains of death.
James sets down the principles believers in all ages should observe for receiving divine healing:
Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? 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:
It is useful to notice that healing was to occur within the local assembly, it was not necessary to travel to a great shrine or a great healer. The “prayer of faith” speaks of the conditions necessary for receiving healing. It is by grace through faith that all God’s gifts and blessings are received. Prayer is the avenue of communication between heaven and earth, the key that unlocks the resources of God for needy people. The sick are to exercise the initiative, calling for the elders of the church to pray with and for them.
A further condition for healing is supplied in this very important passage. Though the Bible does not say that every sickness is caused by sin, some are. Therefore, the provision is made that if candidates for healing have sinned, they are to confess their sins. This indicates that the way must be clear, cleared if need be by confessing sin, for receiving blessing from the hand of God.
Our relationship to the Lord is not mechanical, it is personal. Anything that hinders personal fellowship with a holy God stands in the way, jeopardizing the reception of the fruits of Christ’s atonement in our lives.
It is important to notice also that no one in the New Testament demanded healing. People came to Jesus asking Him for it. They did not look on healing as their right, but as a gracious privilege extended to them. It is clear also that as the privilege of believers, the promise of healing did not rule out suffering for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s.
And whenever such suffering becomes necessary, we are expected to be prepared to follow His example:
Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
1Pe 2:19  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Nor are we to look at divine healing as a substitute for observing practices of good physical and mental health. Jesus recognized the need of the disciples to get away from the crowds and rest awhile:
Mar 6:31  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Jethro saw that if Moses did not delegate some of his responsibilities to others, he would wear out:
Exo 18:18  Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
Divine healing is not a means of avoiding the aging process. Although it is true that Moses retained his natural strength and a clear eye until the day of his death:
Deu 34:7  And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
That privilege was not given to David or Elisha:
1Ki 1:1  Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
1Ki 1:2  Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
1Ki 1:3  So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
1Ki 1:4  And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
2Ki 13:14  Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
The gradual breakdown of old age, pictured so poignantly in Ecclesiastes :
Ecc 12:1  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Ecc 12:2  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
Ecc 12:3  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
Ecc 12:4  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
Ecc 12:5  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
Ecc 12:6  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Ecc 12:7  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
This is the common experience of believers as well as unbelievers. And although healing is still available to the aged, the part that is healed usually continues to age like the rest of the body; an eighty year old who is healed is still eighty years old.
We do not yet have redemption of the body. However, the Bible does not tell us this to discourage us; it tells us this to make us realize that we must encourage and cultivate our life in the Spirit, for the Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies, ultimately through resurrection, and resurrection is our real hope:
Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
In fact, even though outwardly we are wasting away, meaning gradually dying, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day:
2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Actually, it is this inner renewal that makes us best able to have the faith to claim the privilege of divine healing. To the woman healed of the issue of blood, Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering:
Mar 5:34  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
 Great faith then receives healing through the simple word of the Lord.
But Jesus did not turn away from those who had little faith or weak faith. Those who are sick often find it not easy to express faith, and Jesus did a variety of things to help them. Sometimes He laid His hands on them or touched them:
Mar 5:23  And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
Mar 6:5  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mar 8:22  And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
Mar 8:23  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
Mar 10:13  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
Luk 4:40  Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
Luk 13:13  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Once, He put clay on the eyes of a blind man and gave him the opportunity to express obedient faith by washing in the pool of Siloam. At other times people expressed their faith by touching Him or His clothing. In the Book of Acts, Peter took hold of the right hand of the cripple at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to help him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Later there was a time when people were healed when Peter’s shadow fell on them. At Ephesus, “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and evil spirits left them.
There was no magic or virtue in the means used to encourage faith, however. Their faith had to be in the Lord, not in the clay, the shadow, the work aprons, or the practice of the laying on of hands.
This seems to be the reason for the great variety of means used, lest people get their eyes on some particular means rather than on God himself.
Sickness and Demons
Problems have arisen when some have taught that all sickness and disease is caused by demons. The New Testament recognizes that demons do cause sickness and disease and can cruelly torment people. But Jesus did not treat all sickness and disease as the result of demon possession or demon activity. The demon possessed are distinguished as a separate class, distinct from those who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain…those having seizures, and the paralyzed.:
Mat 4:24  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people who were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatics, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
It is obvious also that when Jesus touched the leper and said “Be clean” that no demon was involved in the leprosy:
Luk 5:12  And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Luk 5:13  And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
The paralyzed man brought to Jesus by His friends did need to have his sins forgiven. Even so, the forgiveness did not automatically bring healing. It was when Jesus spoke the word that the man was healed:
Luk 5:24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
Luk 5:25  And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
For all that, there is no indication of any demon power involved in his paralysis. Many passages make a clear distinction between sicknesses and diseases not caused by demons and those caused by demons:
Mat 4:23  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Mat 4:24  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatics, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Mat 8:16  When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Mat 9:32  As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
Mat 9:33  And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
Mat 10:1  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.
Mar 1:32  And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Mar 3:15  And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Luk 6:17  And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea-coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
Luk 6:18  And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
Luk 9:1  Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
In none of these examples is there any indication that any of these sicknesses caused by demons were of people in right relation to God. We must remember also that all of these examples took place before Pentecost.
It should be noted also that though demons can tempt and harass Christians, they cannot read our minds nor can they possess, inhabit, or “demonize” any true believer, one indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit:
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
When demons do attack us, we are not told to cast them out. Rather, we are to put our armor on, take our stand, and the shield of faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, all of which come from outside us:
Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
We have the power to resist the devil, who will then flee from us:
Jas 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We have been armed with divine power to demolish strongholds:
2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Jesus defeated Satan with the Word:
Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mat 4:10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
We too can “win victories with the Word, the sword of the Spirit:
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Finally we note that “Christ’s enemies accused Him of having a demon. It is a subtle trick of the devil that makes sincere people accuse Christians today of having a demon. Clearly, there are deliverances, but calling them deliverances from demon possession is unscriptural.
Healing and the Medical Profession
Others have tried to set divine healing in opposition to or in competition with the medical profession. This need not be so. Physicians through their skills have brought help to many. It is true that the Lord is the great Physician. It is also true that the Bible condemns King Asa because “even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians”:
2Ch 16:12  And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians
But Asa had already sought help from Syria in an act of unbelief and disobedience, refusing to rely on the Lord:
2Ch 16:7  And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
In other words, the emphasis is not that he consulted physicians, which in this case may have been heathen physicians, but that he refused to seek help from the Lord. It is evident that physicians had an honorable place in Israel:
Jer 8:22  Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Jesus also presented the medicinal use of oil and wine by the Good Samaritan in a favorable light:
Luk 10:34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luke the doctor was a dear friend of the apostle Paul:
Col 4:14  Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
When the woman with the issue of blood was healed, we are told she “had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse”:
Mar 5:26  And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
If it were wrong for her to go to physicians, this would have been the perfect place for Jesus to have said so. But He did not. Instead, He accepted the faith she then expressed and commended her for it. Even today God has performed many miracles for people given up by doctors.
We recognized that there have been abuses of the doctrine and practice of divine healing today. But we must not let that cause us to retreat from a positive proclamation of the truth of the Scriptures. The apostles were able to say to the lame man, “What I have I give you”
Act 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
It is instructive to observe that as part of the provision God arranged for in the Church was the ministry of “healings” listed as one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit:
1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Each local church is expected to have the manifestation of the power of God present. It is God’s gift to the Church.
The Purpose of Healing
Actually there are two major purposes for divine healing to be exercised in the Church today, just as there were in the Early Church. First, divine healing attests the power of God. Jesus healed on many occasions to arrest attention, to authenticate His message. In fact, in that day it was expected that divine healing would be the credentials of the Messiah:
Luk 5:23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
Luk 5:24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
The Apostolic Church also established its credentials by the demonstration of the power of God repeatedly, which frequently was displayed through physical deliverances:
1Co 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Signs and wonders, which include healings were attendant marks with which God blessed the preaching of the gospel in the first century, confirming the Word:
It is instructive to observe that as part of the provision God arranged for in the Church was the ministry of “healings” listed as one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit:
1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Each local church is expected to have the manifestation of the power of God present. It is God’s gift to the Church.
The Purpose of Healing
Actually there are two major purposes for divine healing to be exercised in the Church today, just as there were in the Early Church. First, divine healing attests the power of God. Jesus healed on many occasions to arrest attention, to authenticate His message. In fact, in that day it was expected that divine healing would be the credentials of the Messiah:
Luk 5:23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
Luk 5:24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
The Apostolic Church also established its credentials by the demonstration of the power of God repeatedly, which frequently was displayed through physical deliverances:
1Co 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Signs and wonders, which include healings were attendant marks with which God blessed the preaching of the gospel in the first century, confirming the Word:
Heb 2:3  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 2:4  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Second, divine healing attests the love of God. Christ healed, to be sure, to authenticate His message, but He also healed because of His great compassion on suffering humanity:
Mat 9:36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Mar 1:41  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
It is God’s nature to love. Healing is a breakthrough of that love in a world bound by the curse of sin. On the one hand, Jesus won a victory over death through His resurrection. On the other hand,k it s effect will not bring an end to death for believers until the time of our resurrection or if we are still alive at that time, our being caught away for the meeting with the Lord in the air. In this way the victory over death has been assured and the chains of sickness can now be broken. God’s love is exhibited in His provision within the church for divine deliverance from physical suffering.
Why are not all Healed
As has been observed, it is important to develop doctrine (teaching) from Scripture and not from human experience. Some who shrugged their shoulders in the opening years of the twentieth century, saying that Pentecostal manifestations were not being experienced, argued that they were obviously not for the present day. Thank God there were hardy souls, filled with faith and with a profound belief in the Word of God, who dared to believe in the Word of God, who dared to believe that the practice of the Church should not be the determining factor in developing doctrine or deciding what was truth. Just so, simply because many are not healed should not be the determining factor in one’s doctrine or teaching today. There are mysteries that transcend our understanding in this realm. Some answers we must leave with God. But we do know that it is God’s nature to heal; we know that healing has been provided for in the atonement of Christ. We know that Christ committed to the church not only the ministry of reconciliation but of healing.
Faith is the key that unlocks the door to divine blessing. When we have done our part, we must leave the rest to God. As someone has wisely said, ‘Where there is a greater atmosphere of faith, there will be more healings.’ Even the Lord Jesus did not perform many miracles in an atmosphere of unbelief:
Mat 13:58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
The provision is available. Positive preaching and teaching encourage faith. The Church must be alive in faith to experience the supernatural today. We humbly admit that we do not have all the answers to why some people are not healed. But we know and have experienced the biblical truth that God does heal today.

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