Lesson 13




Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:

C Write the Healing Promise from memory.

C Define "variables."

C Discuss the following variables that affect healing.

C Lack of teaching

C Unbelief

C Lack of faith

C Lack of power

C Personal unconfessed sin

C Refusal to be made whole

C Lack of decision and desire

C Problems with the request

C Lack of perseverance

C Disobedience in the healing process

C Improperly discerning Christ’s Body

C The evil spirit is not cast out

C Counteracting God’s work

C Violation of natural laws

C Appointed time to die

C Respond to these variables.


The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)


Why don’t more people get healed? Why are some healed while others are not? Why are sometimes very shallow and worldly Christians healed while more sincere and dedicated people have not yet received healing?

These are some of the questions you will face when you begin to minister healing and deliverance. This lesson concerns variables that affect healing. A "variable" is a factor that causes variations or different results .

God has promised healing in His Word. We must remember, however, that every promise of God is conditional on the response of man. This is why it is important to understand the variables that affect healing .


Variables in the ministry of healing are reasons why some people get healed and others do not. Before you begin this study, it is important to remember that you will never have the answers to every question or problem you encounter in healing and deliverance.

Our human nature wants to understand everything. The first temptation of Eve by Satan centered on this very issue. The desire to know all things stems from rebellion over unanswered questions. This problem of human nature is one you must conquer in order to minister healing and deliverance effectively.

The Bible does reveal some variables that affect healing and deliverance, but you will

never have answers to every question in this area. If you did, you would have no need of faith. The Bible is clear that some things are revealed to us, while others are not:

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

In healing and deliverance, you must learn to put aside unanswered questions and leave the secret things with the Lord.

Healing and deliverance are part of the Gospel just like salvation. When you minister healing and deliverance and some do not receive, you may be tempted to give up. But consider this: Do you stop preaching salvation just because everyone who hears the message does not get saved?

Why then are you so quick to stop ministering healing and deliverance because not

everyone receives? Most likely because in healing and deliverance, pride enters in. You tend to be embarrassed when you pray for a visibly sick person and they do not get
healed. Others can see this because it is external. If someone responds for salvation but does not really get saved, people cannot see it because it is internal. Your pride is
affected by what people can see externally.

You will never have answers for all the variables that affect healing any more than you

will for the factors that affect responses to salvation . Some get saved, some do not.

Some get healed, some do not. However, the Bible does reveal some of the variables that affect healing and deliverance. It is important for you to understand these so you can help others work through them to receive healing .

Here are some of the most common variables:


Lack of knowledge about healing, its principles, source, how to exercise faith, and receive it can affect healing . God said:

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

Jesus said:

Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

Some people do not receive healing because they do not understand God’s Word and His power.

Faith for healing comes by hearing the Word of God concerning healing (Romans 1 0:1 7). The Bible calls the Word of God the seed. Some people try to reap a harvest of healing without the Word of healing being planted in their hearts. The seed cannot work unless it is in you. Before saying "I am the Lord that healeth thee," God first said , "If thou wilt diligently hearken unto my Word.” The Word precedes healing.

How many people would get saved if they never heard a message on salvation? How many would get saved if the main points of a salvation message were:

-It may not be God’s will to save you.

-Your sin is for God’s glory.

-The day of salvation is past.

Yet we hear these statements about healing:

-It may not be God’s will to heal you.
-Your sickness is for God’s glory.
-The day of healing is past.

People must be taught the Word of God regarding healing just as they are taught about salvation. It is the seed of the Word about healing that brings forth a harvest of healing.


Unbelief may result from . . .

1. Thinking God cannot heal.

2. Thinking God can heal, but He may not choose to heal me.

3. Thinking God can heal, and He may heal me , but not now .

4. An environment of unbelief that prevents healing.

There are several Biblical examples of how unbelief hindered the work of God. In the city of Nazareth Jesus . . .

. . . did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)

Jesus was amazed that people would not believe:

And He marveled because of their unbelief. . . (Mark 6:6)

The Bible says:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

Read the story of the healing of Jarius’ daughter in Mark 5:35-40. You will discover that those who hindered the environment of faith were put out of the room while Jesus
ministered healing.

Communal unbelief is one of the main reasons we do not see healing and deliverance

flowing in our churches as God intends. We are members one of another. If part of our spiritual Body does not believe in healing, this unbelief hinders its flow in our midst.

The Bible says, "These signs shall follow THEM that believe." This verse is speaking of believers (the Church). The verse does not say "him that believes," referring to an
individual. It was not the faith of one or two solitary evangelists that resulted in the
healings recorded in the book of Acts. It was the faith of a Spirit-filled Church as a whole.

If Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth because of their (communal) unbelief, is it not also true that our communal unbelief hinders healing? Today a large part of the

Church is opposing that for which the early Church prevailed in prayer. They have not
accepted the Biblical attitude towards sickness. They have not been taught the Word of
God about healing. Yet, they point to those who fail to receive healing as an accusation
against those trying to minister healing. But it is a failure for which they communally are largely responsible.

We see more salvations because there is almost universal acceptance of the doctrine of salvation in fundamental churches. But we do not see many healings because we are often compelled to labor in the face of tradition, rejection, and unbelief.

Those who preach the full Gospel of salvation with healing and deliverance are often

obliged to labor in a "Nazareth" of unbelief. As a people of God, like the sick man who came to Jesus, we need to cry out , "Lord, we believe . . . Help our unbelief" (Mark 9 :24 ). If communal unbelief does not affect the flow of the healing ministry, why did Jesus not minister in fullness in Nazareth?


Unbelief is the attitude that God cannot or will not do something. Absence of unbelief does not necessarily mean you have faith. For example, an atheist does not believe in God. An agnostic is neutral. The lack of unbelief on the part of an agnostic does not mean he has faith in God.

You must replace unbelief with faith in God because it is the prayer of faith that raises up the sick (James 5 :15 ). You must appeal in faith, speak words of faith, and act in faith. You must walk by faith and not sight. "Walking by sight" is looking to the condition of your body or symptoms. Satan tries to prevent healing by getting you to look at
symptoms and to others who claimed to be healed, but were not.

It is not faith in your faith or faith in the faith of another . Faith does not heal . It is God who heals. Paul perceived the cripple had faith to be healed by God (Acts 1 4:8-10). It does not take a "great amount" of faith to be healed. Jesus said faith the size of a
mustard seed was very powerful. Jesus met people at the level of their faith. Where they felt it was necessary to have His bodily presence, He went. Where they believed it was not necessary, He spoke the Word from a distance and healing occurred.

(Note : Generally we w itness more healings in Third World nations than in W estern nations because there is an attitud e o f co m m un al belief . W hat God say s , the y b eliev e . They exp ect the sup ern atural as pa rt of th eir
everyday lives . M any people in the W estern world are not as receptive because of materialistic orientation and humanistic reaso nin g . )

When the sick are not healed, people usually try to say lack of faith is the reason. But as you are learning in this lesson, there are many other variables to consider. Jesus never condemned people who sought healing for their lack of faith. In the Biblical record, sometimes faith was a factor in healing, while other times it does not seem to be a factor.


Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes healing does not occur because of lack of power of the one ministering. Perhaps they have not received the endument of power by the Holy Spirit described in Acts 4. Perhaps they substitute love and sympathy for the sick in place of power. They may pray prayers of comfort rather than healing prayers. Their lack of power may result from doctrinal error or tradition.


The Bible confirms a direct relationship between individual sin and sickness in some cases.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
(James 5:16)

David said , "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me ."

God has not promised to destroy the works of Satan in the body while a person is clinging to the works of the Devil in their soul. If there is iniquity in the heart of the one who is sick, he may not be healed. If there is iniquity in the heart of the one ministering, healing may not occur because the Lord is not hearing him .

An unforgiving spirit or holding a grudge hinders healing. Jesus said, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." If God cannot forgive you when you do not forgive others, He cannot completely heal you, for healing involves wholeness of soul, spirit, and body.


Jesus asked the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda:

"Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6)

Often, we seek only healing or deliverance. God wants to deal with the whole man and heal body, soul , and spirit.

Because man is body, soul, and spirit, the concept of wholeness implies dealing with all of these. We cannot emphasize physical health apart from our soul and spirit nor healing apart from salvation . God is a spirit. He relates to you through your spirit. Your spirit governs your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional life. Your whole life is spiritually based. Because you are a spiritually based being , healing of the body begins in the spirit.

When God created man, man’s spirit was to be the governing power of his life on earth. It was to have supremacy over the mind and body and bring them together into a unified whole man in which God would live. Originally, in the Garden of Eden, man was in close spiritual relationship with God.

In prohibiting access to the tree of knowledge in the Garden , God was forbidding man to live on the level of physical and intellectual knowledge. When man sinned his spirit was submerged and he chose to live by his intellect. When his mind ascended above the spirit and took over, the spiritual part of man died (or ceased to function as the source of his response to God and to life). From that time, there was a separation of spirit, mind, and body, which resulted in a lack of harmony between man, his environment, and his creator .

Healing is more than the absence of sickness. It is more than a healthy body. It is the

return to proper functioning of every part (body, soul, spirit; including the mind, emotions etc.) in harmony with every other part, the environment, and the Creator.


Jesus asked the lame man at Bethesda:

"Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6)

At this point, the lame man had to make a decision. Some people do not want to be

healed . They enjoy the sympathy , pity, and attention they receive from being sick . Some receive medical benefits through pensions or legal settlements and they do not want to lose them. Others have a great desire to go be with the Lord and do not want to be
healed. Some people use their sickness as an excuse to avoid work and manipulate others.

Deal with such issues with compassion. Do not make people feel guilty for having these feelings . Their sickness has allowed them to exist emotionally until they could be led to a better way of life.


There are sometimes problems with requests for healing that hinder its manifestation:


First, and most basic, is that sometimes we do not ask for healing. We turn to medicine for help or to friends for comfort:

. . . ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)


Sometimes, prayers are hindered because they are not specific:

. . . ye ask amiss. . . (James 4:3)

When you are "amiss ," you are not specific in your prayers. You did not hit the target.


Sometimes, we pray with the wrong motive:

Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)

Some people want to be healed, but do not want to change their sinful, worldly,

uncommitted life style . They want to be well so they can go back to doing their own thing.

People should consider these questions: What is your motive for wanting to get healed? Is it so you can return to self -centered living ? Is it so you can rush around doing good works instead of accomplishing God’s specific purpose for you?


The Bible identifies several other factors that will hinder receiving answers to your prayers:

-Sin of any kind: Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28 :9; Isaiah 1:15; 59:1 -2

-Idols in the heart: Ezekiel 14:1-3

-An unforgiving spirit: Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:23

-Selfishness, wrong motives: Proverbs 21 :13; James 4:3 -Power hungry , manipulative prayers: James 4:2-3
-Wrong treatment of marriage partner: I Peter 3 :7
-Self-righteousness: Luke 18:10-14

-Unbelief: James 1:6-7

-Not abiding in Christ and His Word: John 1 5:7 -Lack of compassion: Proverbs 21:13

-Hypocrisy, pride, meaningless repetition: Matthew 6:5; Job 35:12- 13 -Not asking according to the will of God: James 4:3

-Not asking in Jesus’ name: John 16:24

-Satanic hindrances: Daniel 10:10-13; Ephesians 6:12 -Not seeking first the Kingdom: Matthew 6:33


Sometimes we do not persevere (continue) in prayer long enough. Paul himself had at

first preached while being ill (Galatians 4:13 -14) and was later healed . Prayer apparently had no immediate effect on Epaphroditus who almost died (Philippians 2:27) and
Trophimus who was left behind ill (II Timothy 4:2 0). Yet they both eventually
recovered. (Note also that Paul continued to pray for the sick despite that in these cases there was not immediate healing .)

Some people think if you ask more than once for healing it is lack of faith. Jesus did not teach that persisting in prayer showed lack of faith. He encouraged perseverance. Luke 11:1-13 teaches the importance of persisting in prayer in the parables of the inopportune friend ( 5- 8) and the widow and the judge (l-8). The example of Daniel also encourages perseverance. God heard his prayer from the first time he prayed it, but Satan hindered the angel who was sent with an answer.

The Prophet Elisha prayed one time for fire to fall from Heaven, but he had to pray seven times for rain to fall . Do not give up if healing does not occur the first time you pray.
Remember that there are the "asking, seeking, and knocking" levels of prayer. Sometimes you ask and get an immediate answer. Other times you must seek and continue to knock to receive an answer.

In the natural world, people will go to doctors and hospitals many times until their

physical problem is resolved. Why do they lack the perseverance to continue to seek divine healing from God?

Remember: The battle for the body is spiritual warfare manifested in the physical realm.
Continue to persevere in prayer until you know your petition is heard. When you have
that confirmation in your spirit, then begin to praise God even if you do not yet see visible

-Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel began praising God in a loud voice before they actually saw the answer to their prayers.

-Jesus thanked God in advance for raising Lazarus.

-Once Abraham had assurance of the promise of a son, he did not keep on praying. He believed and glorified God.


In the healing process, sometimes God gives special instructions which seem foolish to the natural mind. For example, God told Naaman to go wash in the muddy river to
receive healing (II Kings 5:1-14). Sometimes a simple act of obedience is all that stands between you and a miracle.


Weakness and sickness result because we do not properly discern the Body of Christ . To "discern" is "to learn and understand something by examining, investigating, and
discriminating.” (See I Corinthians 11:27-30. For additional background also read Luke 22:2-20, Matthew 26:27-29, and Mark 14:22-25.) We can fail to discern the Body of
Christ in three ways:


We fail to discern when we do not understand the meaning of the fruit of the vine and the
bread which are symbolic of His blood and flesh. This is what happened when Jesus first
gave this teaching in John 6:6 6 and many turned back from following Him . They did not
understand the spiritual meaning of what He was teaching. While many discern the blood
for remission of sins, they often do not understand the true meaning of the body. The
body is for healing, so we can eat of it and be healed (see John 6:48-58 and Luke


Sometimes we fail to discern our relationship to brothers and sisters who are part of the
Body of Christ. We eat and drink unworthily if we do not maintain unity with our
brothers and sisters in the Lord. Paul explains in I Corinthians 3:1-13 that carnal
Christians involved in division cannot eat the meat (flesh, body) of the Word because of
their carnality .


We eat unworthily when we take communion with an unexamined life. Weakness and sickness result. This is why Paul says to examine yourself spiritually and repent before taking Communion.


Some do not receive healing because their sickness is the work of an evil spirit which

must be cast out. They need more than a prayer for healing. In conditions caused by an evil spirit the Bible records that the enemy was cast out in order for healing to occur.


If you are praying for healing while indulging in harmful practices, you may be

counteracting God’s work. For example, if you retain bitterness and anger it may affect the healing of related physical disorders such as ulcers, high blood pressure, nervous
tension, etc .


The same God that said "I am the Lord that healeth thee" also gave many natural laws for health and cleanliness to His people. Some people do not receive healing because they violate these natural laws. For example, a person may continue to drink alcohol and
wonder why they are not healed of their liver condition. They may continue to smoke cigarettes and wonder why God does not heal their lung cancer.


The Bible teaches that there is an appointed time to die (Ecclesiastes 3: 2 and Hebrews

9: 27). Even the great prophet Elisha, who did many miracles of healing and deliverance, became "sick with the sickness whereof he would die" (II Kings 13:14 ).

You will learn how to deal with this variable when you learn how to minister to the terminally ill as part of the instructions on ministering healing in Chapter Fourteen.


We opened this lesson with several questions:

What variables affect healing? Why don’t more people get healed? Why are some healed while others are not? Why are sometimes very shallow and
worldly Christians healed while more sincere and dedicated people have not yet received healing?

The variables you studied in this lesson are some of the factors that affect healing and deliverance. Always remember, however. . .

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are

revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Faith requires just that : Faith . If you have all the answers, you do not need faith. God only asks that you act in faith upon His Word, not provide answers. Luke 4:27 records that there were many lepers in the time of Elijah but only one was healed. We are not told why this was so.

Our attitude should be as that of a famous evangelist who ministered for many years in healing and deliverance. Rev. F.F. Bosworth said:

"I , for one , will preach all the Gospel if I never see another man saved or healed as long as I live. I am determined to base my doctrines upon the immutable Word of God, not upon phenomena (experience)."