Chapter 16

INTRODUCTION TO PART TWO

“As You Go”…

In the New Testament Gospels, Jesus never commissioned anyone to preach the Gospel without also commanding them to minister healing and deliverance. He told them “As you go…heal the sick, cast out demons… “

As the multitudes came for healing and deliverance, the spiritual harvest began to multiply so rapidly that new laborers were required. It was not long until 70 more disciples were needed and were also sent out to preach, teach, heal, and deliver.

It was this demonstration of power as they went that resulted in the rapid spread of the Gospel throughout the world. For this reason, this part of “Leaven-Like Evangelism” focuses on the healing and deliverance ministry that is to accompany the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.

Chapter Sixteen provides an introduction to the healing and deliverance ministry. Chapter Seventeen discusses variables that affect healing. Chapter Eighteen focuses on the ministry of healing and Chapter Nineteen concerns the ministry of deliverance.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

AN INTRODUCTION TO HEALING AND DELIVERANCE

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Write the Key Verses from memory.
    • Explain some of the current attitudes towards healing.
    • Identify five categories of sickness.
    • Define “divine healing.”
    • Identify the source of sickness.
    • Identify reasons for sickness.
    • Explain two end results of sickness.
    • Discuss the purposes of divine healing.

KEY VERSES:

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues:

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

(Luke 16:17-18)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter introduces the ministry of healing and deliverance which is to be preached and demonstrated as part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The words “healing” and “deliverance” are used interchangeably in these lessons. Both refer to the concept of wholeness of body, soul, and spirit which is taught in Scriptures.

In this lesson you will study current attitudes towards healing and deliverance and learn why proper teaching on these subjects is necessary. You will also learn about the source and reasons for sickness, gifts of healing, and purposes for healing.

CURRENT ATTITUDES TOWARDS HEALING

First, it is helpful to understand some of the current attitudes you will face as you begin to minister in this area. In regards to healing and deliverance, many believers have. . .

IGNORED IT:

Some ignore it because of Biblical warnings against false miracles (Mark 13:22-23). They regard this as a warning about all miracles. Some believe healing in theory, but ignore it in practice. Others ignore it because they cannot answer all the questions associated with sickness and suffering.

Some ignore healing because of fear of failure. We seem to have a double standard. We pray confidently for finances, wisdom, etc., but we are fearful to pray for healing. Others do not realize how rationalism and materialism have affected them. Many must “see to believe” and are consumed with the natural, materialistic world rather than the supernatural.

DENIED IT:

Some people deny healing and deliverance are for today because they have no theology, model, practice, or experience with it. The New Testament Gospels contain 26 accounts of physical healing. The book of Acts contains five. Physical healing is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and 28-30. James 5:13-16 gives specific instructions on how to pray for the sick.

There is nothing in the Epistles that modifies the Gospel’s teaching on healing. Praying for the sick was taken for granted at the time the Epistles were written, and there is no hint that divine healing was controversial in the early church.

COMPLICATED IT:

Many people complicate healing and deliverance with traditions of man contrary to the Word of God. You will learn about some of these traditions in the next lesson.

Others complicate it with experience because in the past they prayed for healing and did not receive it. But we must base our beliefs on the Word of God, not on experience (except where experience supports the Word). Bad role models of healing complicate this issue for some people as they have observed personality cults, people healing for money, deception, and undue focus on physical healing instead of wholeness.

Healing and deliverance are also complicated by imbalance. Any truth, no matter how valid, emphasized to the exclusion of other truths is practical error. For example, an over emphasis on the role of faith in healing has left sick people feeling defeated if they do not immediately receive.

DELAYED IT:

Some people delay ministering healing and deliverance because they do not have the answers to everything. They do not understand why some are healed and others are not. (You will study more about this in the next lesson.)

It is not necessary to understand everything about healing in order to minister or receive it anymore than you understood everything about salvation when you were saved and began to witness to others.

Some answers will come as you minister and experience God’s healing power. Other questions will never be answered. If you knew all the “why” and “how” about everything, then you would not need God. The Bible says “we know in part.” Healing concerns sickness and suffering and there will always be mysteries because the mystery of iniquity is at work (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

THE NEED FOR PROPER TEACHING

A review of the current attitudes towards healing and deliverance illustrate why we need proper teaching on this subject. Many are being destroyed physically and spiritually because they do not have knowledge of what God’s Word teaches regarding healing:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Healing (wholeness) is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom which we are commissioned to spread (Luke 16:15-18). Jesus called us to preach, teach, heal, and deliver. Healing and deliverance should not be left out, but neither should it be emphasized to the exclusion of the other two.

The Bible reveals that our churches are to be healing centers (Luke 14:16-24). We are to see people healed rather than turned away:

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:13)

As believers, it is sin if we do not share the good news of healing and deliverance with a lost and dying world. The Bible says:

Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good (to know about healing and  that we are commissioned to minister it) and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

(James 4:17)

God gives some stern warnings to leaders who ignore healing:

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye

brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. . .

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. . .  (Ezekiel 34:4,16)

STARTING WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE

As you approach the subject of healing and deliverance, you need to do so with a proper attitude. You must disregard past experiences and the traditions you have been taught. You must be teachable. One of the marks of wisdom from above is that it is open to reason (James 3:17).

You are in danger spiritually when you stop being teachable.

Remember that the sin of presumption is putting God in your little mold. Job’s friends sinned presumptuously in this way. Universal application of individual experience is wrong. Start this study as though you have never heard the traditional teachings of man on it. Accept what God’s Word says: If it says you are healed, believe it. If it says to lay hands on the sick, do it. What it says God will do, expect Him to do it.

Do not seek formulas and methods to receive or minister healing. The Bible gives no specific formulas, although various principles are revealed and we will deal with these. Instead of seeking formulas, understand that the Healer is within you. Seek to increase your knowledge of and intimate relationship with the Healer Himself.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are resident within. Healing is not something you seek from the outside, but you learn to release it from the inside. You are seeking only to understand principles that release that power within.

Recognize that if you truly follow the example of the healing ministry of Jesus that you will:

l.           Be a servant instead of a “lord”: Mark 10:44

  • Grow weary, not rich: Mark 6:31; John 4:6; Acts 3:6
  • Encounter unbelief of others: Mark 13:58
  • Experience persecution from religious leaders: (Some of them are like the Pharisees. . . more concerned with law and tradition than life): Luke 6:6-9
  • Experience persecution from those closest to you: Mark 6:4 and Matthew 13:58
  • Avoid publicity instead of seeking it: Mark 8:26; 17:36; Matthew 8:4
  • Reject personal gain or material benefits from God’s power: Acts 8:18-24
  • Reject personal glory: Acts 14:8-18

DIVINE HEALING

There are many types of healing in the world today:

Psychic Healing: This is a term used to describe mind over matter, witchcraft, shamanism, and occult healings.

Supernatural Healing: There are sources of supernatural healings which are not of God, so we will not use this term in our study. Satan can perform supernatural works (Exodus 7:8-13).

Medical Healing: This type of healing is aided by doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medicines. As we will learn, legitimate medical healing is not in conflict with God’s Word, but is an extension of His goodness.

Natural Healing: Healing that occurs through natural body processes is actually God in action. Natural body processes display His nature and His great handiwork in the human body. Natural healing also includes the use of natural methods such as proper diet, vitamins, rest, etc.

(Note: Medical and natural healings are in a sense divine, because in reality it is God that causes the healing.)

Faith Healing: This term is often used to mean healing by God. We will not use it, however, because it tends to focus attention on the faith of either the one ministering or the recipient of the ministry.

Divine Healing: The Word “divine” focuses attention on God, not the responses of faith by man. It also distinguishes it from occult practices of psychic and supernatural healing.

In this study we will use the term divine healing. “Divine” pertains to the one true God and His nature, as revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible. “Healing” means to cure or make whole.

Healing can include relief from spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and demonic conditions. Healing is not immunity from sickness. Our bodies are in the “process of decay” and open to Satanic attacks as long as we are in this world.

Divine healing is when the one true God reveals His nature, fulfills His promises, and acts upon His provision in the atonement of Christ by curing a person and making him whole in body, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and spirit.

Divine healing can be both instantaneous (miraculous) or gradual (a process). Although miraculous, instantaneous healings more fully demonstrate the divine presence and power of God, divine healing which occurs as a process is no less a healing than those which are instantaneous. (See Mark 8:22-25.)

SICKNESS AND DISEASE

When we speak of sickness or disease we mean any condition which is out of proper divine order as it was created by God. There are five categories of sickness:

SPIRITUAL SICKNESS:

Spiritual sickness is sin. If it is not dealt with, it is terminal spiritually. Healing for spiritual sickness is forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. It is the greatest healing of all, as medical science and natural healing processes can do nothing for this condition.

PHYSICAL SICKNESS:

Physical sickness may result from organic disorders. They are problems that can be observed and detected by physicians. The actual structure or tissue of the body is damaged in some way.

Physical sickness also results from functional disorders. This is illness resulting from a malfunction of an organ or part of the body. They include a variety of problems in which a problem in one part disturbs the whole organism. Most common are heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, peptic ulcers, and allergies. Functional illnesses which continue unchecked can result in organic illness. Because of the integrated nature of man, illness in one part affects the whole.

EMOTIONAL SICKNESS:

Emotional illness is caused by harmful emotions such as anger, hatred, bitterness, etc. God has to touch the inner emotions to heal this. Some call this “inner healing,” although the term has sometimes been abused and been expanded to include experiences the Bible does not teach.

MENTAL SICKNESS:

Mental sickness is a mental condition occurring from retardation, illness, breakdowns, birth defects, and psychological conditions not caused directly by demonic presence.

DEMONIC CONDITIONS:

Demonically caused conditions include possession, oppression, and demonically caused mental and physical conditions. Demonic conditions require a special type of healing which is called deliverance. Deliverance and healing are related, but Scripture differentiates between them:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases.

And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2)

THE SOURCE OF SICKNESS

There is one original source of sickness, although there are varied reasons why a person gets sick. Paul verified this when he said “for this cause many are sick” (1 Corinthians 11:30). Satan is the source of all evil in the world. Sickness and death entered the world through man’s sin. (Study Genesis l-3 and James 1:17.) Satan kills, steals, and destroys. Jesus is the source of abundant life:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Jesus said He came to save men, not to destroy them. To “save” includes healing as well as salvation.

Disease and sickness are part of the curse, but Galatians 3:13 declares: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” The body is for the Lord. It is not for ourselves, disease, or sickness. Sickness destroys the body like sin destroys the spirit. Disease steals health, happiness, money, time, effort, thought, and strength. It kills and destroys. Even accidents destroy. It is obvious in all these cases that “some enemy hath done this” (Matthew 13:12).

Because sickness has its source in Satan, you should resist it just as you do temptation and sin. When you resist temptation and sin you are fighting spiritual warfare. When you resist sickness you are also fighting spiritual warfare.

Satan provides the destructive elements of sickness. Although every disease is not a direct attack of demonic spirits, the elements of sickness exist in the world because of Satan. For example, you might catch cold when you go barefoot in freezing weather. This is not a direct attack of demonic spirits, but the elements of sickness which result in your cold exist in the world because of Satan.

Every disease comes from a germ of life. Just as your spirit gives life to the body, Satan gives life to germs. In the natural world, God takes a living cell and multiplies it to bring forth life. (A new child is born.)

Satan counterfeits good with bad. He takes a living cell (virus, cancer, etc.) and multiplies it to bring forth death. (This is especially true in the physical condition of cancer. It is cells in rebellion against the creator. That is why often when the flesh is cut to remove the cancer, the rebellion just moves to another part of the body.)

When the spirit of infirmity is cast out, disease in your body dies. As long as that germ of life exists in the body, the disease lives and continues its destructive work. Because the source of sickness is Satanic, his power must be bound and cast out.

If you understand how God views sickness you will never doubt its source:

-God calls sickness captivity (Job 42:10). Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18).

-Jesus called sickness bondage (Luke 13:16). He came to set people free with the truth (John 8:32).

-Jesus viewed sickness as oppression and healed those who were oppressed (Acts 10:38).

-The Bible calls sickness and death enemies (1 Corinthians 15:26).

-Sickness is viewed as loathsome (Psalms 38:7).

-Sickness is called evil (Psalms 41:8).

THE REASONS FOR SICKNESS

There is one source of sickness, whether spiritual or physical, and that source is Satan. But the reasons sickness comes upon us are varied:

VIOLATION OF SPIRITUAL LAWS:

When man sinned, death began to work its corruption in the body:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:13)

For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

A person’s sickness is not necessarily caused by their own individual sin, however. Jesus made this clear in the example of the man blind since birth (John 9:1-3). If God punished sin with sickness, every sinner and sinning Christian in the world would be sick. It is true that sin and sickness have a connection, but we must be careful in the way this is applied individually. It can be used as a convenient way to neglect the sick and rationalize our own powerlessness.

One of the worst misapplications of Scripture is that sickness is because of a person’s individual sin or lack of faith (which is sin).

If you break God’s law, you will suffer. This is suffering for your own sinful acts. For the  sinner, this is judgment. For the believer, it is chastisement. For example, a believer who engages in infidelity can get a terrible disease (like AIDS) just like an unbeliever can. Even if you keep God’s law, you may still suffer because you are living in a world filled with sin. The righteous sometimes suffer because of the presence of sin in the world.  An example of suffering for your own sin is someone who gets AIDS through their own sinful immorality. An example of suffering because of the presence of sin in the world is someone who gets AIDS through a blood transfusion.

Several Bible references confirm that sickness can be related to individual sin (see Mark 2:1-12; John 5:1-11,14; James 5:14-16; Psalms 38:3,7). Romans 6:19 confirms that infirmities come through uncleanness (sin). When we violate spiritual laws, we walk under the curse described in Deuteronomy 28. Sickness can also be related to corporate sin (see Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

Healing can be lost by returning to sin:

Afterward, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee. (John 5:14)

In this world, there will always be sickness just as there will always be sin. But we can fight sickness just as we fight sin through spiritual warfare.

SATANIC ATTACKS:

Sickness that comes through sin has its original source in Satan of course, but sometimes it comes through a direct attack of Satan and not because of individual or corporate sin. Job is one of the best examples of this. (See Job 1 and 2.)

Sin is Satan’s attack on the spiritual man. Sickness is his attack on the natural man. In the New Testament, as well as modern times, the righteous suffer the majority of Satanic attacks because we have been thrust into a war with Satan, and in any war there are casualties.

Satan attacks your body just as he does your mind. Your mind, body, and the old man of the flesh (lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life), are the ways he attacks. Although he attacks you physically as he does spiritually, he has no more right to dwell in your physical body than he does in your soul or spirit.

The operation of Satan’s forces in the believer’s body can be compared to guerrilla warfare. They actually have no legal right at all in the territory but seek to operate there anyhow.

DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH THAT THE SPIRIT BE SAVED:

God permits some to be turned to Satan for destruction of the flesh for disciplinary reasons. God does not put the sickness on them, but He permits it. You can read about this process in 1 Corinthians 5:1-7.

In “destruction of the flesh,” the Church turns a sinful man to Satan for destruction of the flesh that the spirit might be saved. The Bible reveals:

How it is to be done:

  • In unity.
  • In the spirit and power of the Lord.
  • In the name of the Lord.

Why it is to be done:

  1. Fornication.
  2. Behavior worse than that of the world (Gentiles).
  3. Pride.
  4. Lack of repentance.
  5. Evil in the midst of the people of God.

Its purpose:

  1. Individual: Destruction of the flesh in order that the spirit may be saved.
  2. Corporate: Purge out the evil before others are affected.

VIOLATION OF THE NATURAL LAWS OF GOD:

Some sickness comes upon us because we violate natural laws of God. For examples:

-Improper diet (overweight, underweight).

-Too much labor, feverish activity.

-Improper rest.

-Lack of self control which result in harmful emotions such as anger, bitterness, etc.

-Lack of positive relationships with others (bitterness, unforgiveness etc.)

-Exercise (too much or too little).

-Abuse of drugs and alcohol: Toxic chemical substances taken into the body.

-Violating natural laws such as the law of gravity, etc. (If you jump off a building, you may get hurt!)

-Deliberately placing yourself in jeopardy through dangerous activities and refusing to use safety devices (i.e., such as seat belts in a car, goggles in a workshop, a helmet at a construction site, etc.)

NOT PROPERLY DISCERNING THE BODY OF CHRIST:

Paul said many were weak and sick because they did not properly discern the Body of Christ and took Communion unworthily.

THE END RESULT OF SICKNESS

The end result of a sickness will either be. . .

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD:

A person is healed and God receives glory through their testimony, life, and ministry. Jesus said of the blind man:

. . . Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: But that the works of God should be made manifest in Him. (John 9:3)

Glory goes to God for divine healing, of course, but glory should also go to God for what is called natural healing of the body through its own processes. God created the body and displays His nature and creative power through natural bodily processes.

Glory should also go to God for healing assisted by medical means. The Bible says every good gift comes from God, and this includes medicines, vitamins, and other substances that benefit us physically. Many medicines come from natural substances in plants and elements that were

created by God in the first place. The problem arises when people give praise to medicines and doctors instead of realizing God is the source of all healing:

. . . They knew not that I healed them. (Hosea 11:3)

Sometimes a healing is delayed and a person is healed later or gradually. Consider these examples:

-Zechariah was not healed until the birth of John:  Luke 1:20

-Hannah could not bear a child until God’s timing: 1 Samuel 1:5-19

-Abraham and Sarah could not bear a child, despite Abraham’s faith, until God’s timing: Hebrews 11:11

A SICKNESS UNTO DEATH:

In John 11:4 Jesus said the sickness of Lazarus was not one unto death. This means there is a sickness unto death. There are two types of death mentioned in the Bible. Some who are turned over to the destruction of the flesh die a premature death so that the spirit might be saved.

Every man has an appointed time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2; Hebrews 9:2). Even Elisha, the great prophet of God who did many miracles of healing, became sick with “the sickness whereof he would die” (2 Kings 13:14). It is possible to just stop breathing and not be ill:

You take away their breath, they die, and return to the dust. (Psalms 104:29)

For the believer, the effects of old age can go either way. As an old man Moses had no effects of age. Joshua was “old and well stricken in age.” God preserved one supernaturally, while the other experienced the results of natural aging. Their spirituality had nothing to do with it. God sustains us whether our bodies follow the natural processes of age and death by disease or are supernaturally preserved. The goal of healing is not immortality. Divine healing does not achieve this anymore than medicine does. Even those raised from the dead by Jesus eventually died.

When a believer dies, it is the ultimate healing within the parameters of eternity. We make the mistake of living bound by time instead of eternity. As a believer, we are already living eternal life whether we live it on this or the other side of death.

THE GIFTS OF HEALING

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to the Body for the edification of the Body. Thus, gifts of healing are available to all and healing is available for all. An individual does not operate healing gifts himself. They are operated through him by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we are to seek the best gifts:

Covet earnestly the best gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:31)

When you pray for the gifts of healing, you are asking God to further develop that which is already in you, as all believers have the potential and authority to lay hands on the sick for healing. Jesus increased the resources He was given (Luke 5:22) and Timothy was told to stir up the gift within him (2 Timothy 1:3).

There are a variety of healing gifts because the word “gifts” is plural. There are a variety of diseases and different gifts (or means) of healing to cure them. If God wanted to heal in only one way, He would not have used so many different ways in the Bible.

Think of the various ways God works to bring a person to salvation. Can He not work in various ways to bring healing? Methods or gifts in themselves do not heal any more than they save. They are channels through which God’s power is manifested. In the Bible we find healing occurred by:

  1. Laying on of hands: The minister touching the sick.
  • People touching the minister.
  • Speaking the Word from a distance.
  • Speaking the Word in the presence of the sick.
  • Dealing with a person directly.
  • Healing because of intercession by another.
  • Praying.
  • Actions of faith: Healing which occurred from an act of faith taken by the sick person.
  • Various types of faith at work:
  1. Faith of one who ministers.
  • Faith of one who seeks healing.
    • Faith of friends.
    • Faith of relatives.
  1. Different “agents” used. Nothing was sacred about them, but they were a point of contact:
  1. Spit.
    1. Mud.
    1. Prayer clothes.
    1. Poultice of figs.
    1. Hem of garment of minister.
    1. Shadows of minister.
    1. Oil.
    1. Fingers in ear.
    1. Water.
    1. Touch.
  1. Special miracles:

God anoints some people with faith for special healings (like the Apostle Paul). For example, God uses some people to minister especially to cancer patients, etc.. This does not mean we should not minister in all areas of healing, for our command is to heal the sick in general.

All believers are commissioned to heal the sick, and although God does move through some in special gifts of healing, all should be involved in the healing ministry. Here are the people the Bible says should be involved in healing:

-Pastors and shepherds (spiritual leaders): Ezekiel 34

-Elders/deacons: James 5:14

-Ordinary believers: James 5:16; Luke 16:15-18

-Those with the special gifts of healing: 1 Corinthians 12:9

-The entire church a healing center: Luke 14:16-24

THE PURPOSES OF HEALING

The most obvious purpose of healing is making the sick well. But healing and deliverance serve purposes other than just making people whole. Healing and deliverance also:

DEMONSTRATES THE CHARACTER OF GOD:

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works. (Psalms 145:8-9)

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. (Mark 1:41)

GLORIFIES GOD:

And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them:

Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:30-31)

. . . for all men glorified God for that which was done. (Acts 4:21)

Part of glorifying God involves the proper fear of God. Healing results in such this:

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:43)

CONFIRMS JESUS AS SAVIOR AND MESSIAH:

Read Matthew 8:14-17 in your Bible. The healings recorded here confirmed words of the prophet:

. . . Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses. (Matthew 8:17).

In Luke 5:18-26 the healing of a lame man and forgiving his sins confirmed Jesus as Savior as well as healer. Here are some other references where healing and deliverance confirmed Jesus as Savior:

If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 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. (John 10:37-38)

Jesus’ disciples saw Him do many other miracles besides the ones told about in this book, but these are recorded so that you will believe that He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in believing in Him you will have life.

(John 20:30-31, The Living Bible)

VERIFIES THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE:

And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

(1 Kings 17:24)

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of His grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3)

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

ENCOURAGES RECEPTIVITY TO THE GOSPEL:

And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners; and how he is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done from them, so that they, too, will believe and obey Him. (Romans 1:5, The Living Bible)

It is easy to tell people about the Gospel after they have been healed. There are several examples of this in the book of Acts. Healing opened the door for the Gospel to be shared for salvation, infilling of the Holy Ghost, and the church growth. See Acts 2:42-47 and 5:14 for examples.

Although healing encourages receptivity to the Gospel, always remember that it does not replace the preaching of the Gospel of salvation. The Word should be taught along with the demonstration of power through healing and deliverance in order to bring people into right relationship with God. Always remember that it is the Word that creates faith for salvation, healing, and deliverance.

Healing is a powerful tool of evangelism. In the recorded healings in Scripture:

-In 17 instances, healings took place in evangelistic settings: Matthew 4:24; 8:16; 9:2-8; 9:32-33

Mark 1:23-28; 9:14-27; 10:46-52

Luke 8:42-48; 13:10-13,16; 14:1-4; 17:11-19

John 4:28-30; 5:1-9, 14; 9:1-7

Acts 3:1-10; 8:5-8; 14:8-10

-In 16 instances, the healings had an evangelistic result: Matthew 9:2-8; 9:32-33; 12:9-13

Mark 1:23-28; 5:1-13, 18-20; 7:32-37; 9:14-27

Luke 5:12-14; 13:10-13,16; 17:11-19

John 4:28-30; 9:1-7

Acts 3:1-8; 8:5-8; 9:32-35; 14:8-10

-In 21 out of the 26 healings, there was either an evangelistic setting or result.

ESTABLISHES THE KINGDOM OF GOD:

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:9)

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. (Matthew 4:23)

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)

As you minister healing, remember that the Kingdom is not yet in its fullness. In the fullness of the Kingdom there will be complete absence of disease and death. The body, as well as the soul, is not redeemed now as it will be in the fullness of the Kingdom.

We are saved from the penalty of sin in the past and can be saved from its power in the present. In the future, we will be saved from sin’s presence. The same is true of sickness. Sickness is not a penalty for our past sins. We can be redeemed from its power in the present, but not from its presence until the future.

DEMONSTRATES JUDGMENT ON THE ENEMY:

. . . The prince of this world is judged. (John 16:11)

When you lay hands on the sick you are declaring that the prince of this world has been judged and the power of sickness and disease has been destroyed. Remember that it is the power of sickness that is destroyed, not its presence. We will only be redeemed from its presence when we come into the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

RAISES UP SPIRITUAL LEADERS:

Healing has been used to raise up great spiritual leaders. Paul was called to be an apostle of the Gospel at the time of His healing (Acts 9).

RESULTS IN GREAT JOY:

Read Acts 8:5-25. This passage explains the great joy that came to individuals and communities where healing and deliverance had been ministered.

AS YOU BEGIN. . .

A famous ruler named Julius Caesar, having determined to conquer Britain, sailed with his legions from France to England. Then he burned every ship used for crossing the English channel. It was either move forward in victory or die. There could be no retreat.

A ministry of healing and deliverance is for those who burn the bridges of unbelief and fear behind them. You will take either one of two positions towards healing and deliverance. You may be like Gamaliel, a New Testament leader, who stood on the sidelines and urged caution. He suggested to the religious leaders that they wait and see. Or you will be like Peter, who took the risk of action. He was healing the lame man, incurring the anger of spiritual leaders, and standing against authorities who told him not to preach or heal in the name of Jesus.

Always remember, you are a facilitator of healing, not the healer. You are only a channel through which the Healer within you flows to. . .

-People who face crippling malignancies and endure racking pain.

-People who are troubled by what life has done to them or are filled with guilt over what they have done with life.

-People who are frustrated, hopeless, and ready to give up.

-People who have lost loved ones or been hurt and their hearts sob with emotions too painful to contain, but too personal to express.

-People bound with chains of sin and demonic oppression.

-People facing death.

Ponder this question which Jesus asked: “For whether is easier, to say, `Thy sins be forgiven thee’ or to say, `Arise, and walk?'”