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THE HEALING MINISTRY

DECLARING THE WORD OF TRUTH AND FACTS ABOUT HEALING AND PERFORMANCE OF MIRACLES.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE TRUTH ABOUT HEALING USING THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WHY HEALING IS STILL FAILING TO THIS GENERATION AND HOW PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED ON PERFORMANCE OF FAKE MIRACLES.

KNOW THE CAUSES FOR FAILURE OF HEALING IN THE CHURCHES AND WHY IT DOES HAPPEN TO THIS GENERATION.

 

Greetings to you all who have been called to the Grace of God the Father through Our Jesus Christ through gift of salvation from Our Heavenly Father.

Now the subject today will be about Healing and miracles that are going on now and why it is fake healing and other sorts as we go on to the article. I beg in you in the name of Jesus Christ read this article and you shall be helped.

There is a problem a big problem that Christian Believers I mean the Born Again Christian that have not realized concerning the Healing in the church and why people to get healed and also why have people continually to be deceived by the Pastors today to be healing the church.

 

Firstly we must understand two aspects of healing or call them streams before we can know more about Healing from the Holy Spirit who has been given power to perform miracles and do all the other works on earth.

  1. There is healing for Un believers and Miracles for un believers
  2. Healing for already Born Again Christian, and we shall look at both of them in details in the article.

 

 

Now before we start the subject there are also other things that we have to learn about sickness because this has been a big task and a big obstacle to this generation and the solutions have not been provided that’s why the devil has been deceiving people with miracles for healing using these false prophets and most chritians run to such instand healing after seeing someone on TV infront of the Camera and they run to the Pastors they saw on Television, here in Uganda we have seen the likes of Kakande, Ronnie Makabai of ETM Church, we have seen even Kayanja, Namutebi and abroad we have seen the likes of Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meryer and others who fall in the same categories and when we look at the way these people we tend to think they are using God’s power which wrong, one thing we should not take lightly is the way God works, when you look at these people they use only one kind way of performing miracles for Healing, that is putting people in the front of church or infront of the TV on camera and they Pray for them as if everyone needs to prayed for, now that kind of healing is a Crum work not God’s way of working God has so many ways of doing healing for the same disease and this generation has not understood that, they are being deceived,

 

 

Let’s look at some principles of sickness before we tackle healing in this generation why it has failed and why it is still failing.

  1. sin , there are diseases that have come up in people because of sinning
  2. there are diseases that have come as result of curse from the old generation may be it was curse and people in the current generation in that family have not repented about it and it follows them. This is from disobedience of God’s law and word
  3. There is sickness that come as result of poor diet
  4. Sickness that is caused by the devil as attack since you are in the world.
  5. There is sickness that comes when no one sinned in the family or even the person carrying it but God allowed it for purposes of his Glory to show his power. As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. John9; 1-4.

 

Regarding the above sickness , therefore they cannot be healed in the same way, sometimes God wants people who have sinned to Repent and get their diseases and sometimes there are those who have been cursed and therefore God has compassion on them because they did not sin and they may need to forgive their sins and be prayed for and get healed, and also there are these who did not sin but they are suffering the sickness that Satan brought to them and such a person would need to Authority by the person praying to command the demons out of them person by praying, Not everyone would be prayed for. And there are also those who lacked good diet and they got sick therefore such a person would only need to get the right diet for him to be okay, and I believe 99% of the diseases need Spiritual healing and where there is no the Holy Spirit of God there would be no healing because Jesus Christ was using the power of the Holy Spirit to set captives free and heal the sick.

 

Now the healing style for this generation is a Crum work by the people praying, they think every disease would need praying for, there are diseases that goes away by worshiping and praising, there are diseases that get healed as you abide in the word of God or only getting counsel from a standing man of God who is up right, there are diseases that will need you to listen to testimonies of others and as you listen you get healed from that captivity too, there are diseases that will need you to listen to the word of God from the righteous person because the of the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit and so forth… There is one thing that God hates because we tend to copy one style way of working his works which is very wrong and this despises God’s glory and shuts the Power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Holy Spirit works locally, not globally. He is not interested in large audiences or getting onto television. He prefers to work in a particular locality with local people. When Peter’s mother-in-law was healed, the entire neighborhood came with their sick. They realized something special was going on, because they knew Peter and his mother-in-law. Some that had seen her with the fever saw her again healed. They did not need further proof.

As soon as healing goes onto the public stage, questions get asked. Was the person really healed? Were they pretending to be sick to get close to the great preacher? Were they as sick as they claimed? Did the sickness come back next week? Has the healing been authenticated by their doctor? God does not need this junk.

The Holy Spirit prefers to work locally. The people living close will know the person that is healed. They can quickly work out for themselves if the healing is real. When Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth, “his neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging” could see that he was healed (Jn 9:8).

One reasons that we do not see as many healings as we would like is that we look in the wrong places. We expect people to be healed on the stage at the front of a church or on television. The Holy Spirit loves to work locally. If we went and prayed for our sick neighbors, we would see greater healings.

 

 

When you look at the healing today it has been like a comedy in fact, they make fun of things on television, you see people getting healed as if they had planned it, one thing Jesus Christ was not heal people in the same way, and he was setting examples that God doesn’t use the same way of doing his works, that’s why he says my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts, of course that is very true, we human tend to copy one way of doing things and yet God has got so many things of doing the works he wants to accomplish so if we understand this principle we shall not deceived by the Miracles that we see happen on TV and in Public Crusades that people try to do.

 

Jesus Christ used to go where the diseased people have been seen by the neighbors and were witnesses that those people would see and believe, Jesus Christ was always led by the Holy Spirit where he would want to perform miracles and bring people of God in captivity so listening to the Voice of God was very key to the Ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ because he would find that the Holy Spirit had prepared the hearts of those people to receive deliverance. The most important thing for Christians to understand is that the gift of healing is for unbelievers. It is mainly for evangelism and not for Christians. Jesus ministry was mostly evangelistic. He came to save the lost, so when healing the sick, he was often ministering to people who had not yet received the benefits of the cross. Therefore, much of his healing ministry belongs in this first stream. Similarly, many of the healings in the Acts of the Apostles were for unbelievers.

The healing of an unbeliever in an evangelistic situation is based on the mercy of God. The person healed is not entitled to the benefits of the cross, because they have not yet surrendered to Jesus. The Father lets them have the benefits of the cross because he is merciful.

Jesus had a unique method of evangelism. He would preach the gospel and then heal the sick and cast out demons to confirm his message. Here are two examples.

The most important thing for Christians to understand is that the gift of healing is for unbelievers. It is mainly for evangelism and not for Christians. Jesus ministry was mostly evangelistic. He came to save the lost, so when healing the sick, he was often ministering to people who had not yet received the benefits of the cross. Therefore, much of his healing ministry belongs in this first stream. Similarly, many of the healings in the Acts of the Apostles were for unbelievers.

 

The healing of an unbeliever in an evangelistic situation is based on the mercy of God. The person healed is not entitled to the benefits of the cross, because they have not yet surrendered to Jesus. The Father lets them have the benefits of the cross because he is merciful.

Jesus had a unique method of evangelism. He would preach the gospel and then heal the sick and cast out demons to confirm his message. Here are two examples.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people (Matt 4:23).

 

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. Looking at his disciples, he said:

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God
(Luke 6:17-20).

Jesus method was to go to a town and pray for someone who was sick. When a crowd gathered to see what had happened, he would preach his message. The healing confirmed Jesus’ message by demonstrating the power and compassion of God. When they saw the sick being healed, his listeners could not deny the reality of God or his mercy in Jesus.

Jesus gave the same commission to his disciples.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1,2).

As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give (Matt 10:7,8).

The pattern is receiving authority, preaching the gospel, healing the sick.

We have the same authority to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. Jesus promised that,

These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it (Mark 16:17, 18, 20).

Jesus promised that God would confirm the preaching of the gospel with the signs and wonders. Peter and John experienced this as they went to the temple and God healed a lame man. An amazed crowd gathered so Peter preached to them. Several thousand came to faith in Jesus, because God gave authority to Peter’s words before he had even spoken. The same was true for Paul and Barnabas.

Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders (Acts 14:3).

The Holy Spirit loves to confirm bold preaching of the gospel with gifts of healing and deliverance. This changes the nature of evangelism.

Normal New Testament evangelism is based round the healing of the sick. This is confirmed in Acts 8:5,6:

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.

The passage says that the Samaritans were amazed at the miracles, but only records that Philip preached the gospel. Luke just assumed that proclaiming the gospel includes healing and miracles.

 

 

Modern Evangelism

Most modern evangelistic campaigns are very different. The evangelistic meeting is often held in a church building, so a powerful publicity campaign is required to get people to attend. The evangelistic method is preaching a sermon, having an altar call and getting decisions. This method has had some success, but it is not the New Testament way.

New Testament evangelism is healing the sick/casting out demons and preaching to the crowd that gathers. This method was very successful for the early church, so we are unwise to do something different. Sickness is the key vulnerability of the modern world. Our affluent lifestyle has given people almost everything they need, but modern medicine has not been able to conquer sickness. A gospel confirmed by healing of the sick will be well received.

Jesus said,

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

If we do not have the power that we need for New Testament style evangelism the answer is simple: we should wait until the power from on high comes to us (see also Acts 1:4,5). I suspect that God would prefer that we do some serious waiting, so that we can do evangelism his way, rather than rush into doing evangelism our way.

Healing should be a normal part of evangelism. The good news is that God is merciful, but a cynical world does not believe our claims. Healing demonstrates God’s mercy and proves that Jesus is the Saviour. The best visual aid for the gospel is for someone who is visibly sick being healed (the other is baptism).

 

 

Strategy for Evangelism

Healing Evangelism should use the following strategy.

  1. Evangelists must understand their authority over sickness. Jesus destroyed the power of sickness and sin and gave his followers authority over them. There are no limits to his authority and power. He healed:
  • all diseases (Matt 4:23),
  • all people who came to him (Matt 12:15), in
  • all places (Luke 9:6).

Jesus authority has not changed (Heb 13:8) and he has given the same authority to us.

  1. As they go to share the gospel, evangelists should be led by the Spirit. They should go to a place where God has prepared people and wants to do things. This will usually be a public place where a crowd is likely to gather. Jesus was always in the right place at the right time (John 5:19). He exercised his ministry in public, but always where the Holy Spirit was moving.

One day as he was teaching.. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick (Luke 5:17).

And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all (Luke 6:19).

Evangelists should learn to recognize the power of the Lord. They should be led to the place where the Holy Spirit wants to gather a crowd to hear the gospel.

  1. Once in the right place, the evangelists should then identify the person that the Father wants to heal. When he went to the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus chose the paralyzed man out of the great number of sick people waiting by the pool, because he was the one that the Father wanted to touch (John 5:3).

The Holy Spirit will often point out the person to be healed, but sometimes the person will come to the evangelist. The lame man at the gate of the temple, came to Peter and John asking for money, but the Holy Spirit wanted him healed (Acts 3:3). When Paul was at Lystra, he saw a lame man whom the Holy Spirit had given faith to be healed (Acts 14:8, 9). The evangelist will listen carefully to the Holy Spirit to identify the person God wants to heal.

  1. The evangelists should lay hands on the person and command them to be healed in the name of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit has indicted that he wants the person to be healed, he will do what he said he would do and make the person whole.
  2. When a person is dramatically healed, a crowd will generally gather. One of the evangelistic team will take the opportunity to preach to the crowd. They will explain that the healing is a demonstration of the grace of God and the power of the gospel.
  3. The process will often involve drama and noise. In fact, more drama is better, because a bigger crowd will come dramatic. When Peter and John raised the lame man, a great tumult filled the temple area, the temple authorities were stirred up, but thousands came to the Lord.
  4. The evangelist should be prepared to pray for anyone who comes seeking healing. When they see what the Holy Spirit can do, many will come wanting a touch from God. They will be looking for God’s mercy, so he will not disappoint them. In the evening after Jesus had healed Peter’s mother-in-law, the whole town gathered at the door and Jesus healed many who had various diseases (Mark 1:30-34). The same thing happened when Paul prayed for a sick man on the island of Malta.

His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured (Acts 28:8,9).

  1. An evangelist should always follow the leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38, Luke 6:19). He is the one who heals, so we must let him operate how he wants. The order that he works will often be different. For the man by the pool of Bethesda healing came before repentance, whereas the paralytic lowered through the roof repented before he was healed. The order can be:

belief/deliverance
deliverance/belief
healing/deliverance
deliverance/healing.

The Holy Spirit will know the order required.

We should be careful not to get locked in one way of operating. The human tendency is to find something that works and then flog it to death. “Pray and Slay” is the current fashion. In contrast, Jesus always did things in ways that were different and unique.

Jesus healed blind people in five different ways.

Touching the eyes                             Matt 9:29
spitting on the eyes                          Mark 8:27
declaring they could see                     Mark 10:52
commanding the eyes to open             Luke 18:42
rubbing clay and saliva on their eyes    John 9:6,7

He touched one leper, but told the ten to go and show themselves to the priests. If evangelists listen to the Spirit, a similar variety of methods will be present in their ministry.

  1. Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs. When preaching the gospel and healing the sick, Christians should work in a group or two or three or more.

There is power in agreement. Jesus promised that when two or three people work together, he would be with them (Matt 18:19,20, Acts 3:4,5) Working in a group strengthens the body by releasing the gifts of the Spirit and faith.

 

 

Failures

Praying for the sick is a very risky business, due to the fear that nothing might happen. We are not perfect like Jesus, so we will have some failures. Some people that we pray for will not be healed. We must be prepared to be humble and accountable. If the person is not healed, we must deal with it.

We should never blame the sick person. We must be really careful not to blame sick people for lack of faith, because it does not make sense to expect unbelievers to have faith. We must not blame God, as that would insult the gospel and deny his mercy. It is better to say that “our faith is too small” than to let the person blame God or themselves.

We should use the experience of failure to learn. It is okay to go to Jesus and ask (privately) why someone was not healed

Why couldn’t we (Matt 17:19).

Jesus will answer and teach us how we can do better next time.

 

Reasons why people are not healed (unbelievers)

There are a number of reasons why unbelievers may not be healed in the context of evangelism. (They are not explanations for Christians being sick).

 

Failure to Command

Jesus always commanded sickness to leave. He would address the person and command the sickness. Here are some examples of his words.

Leper                      Be clean
Little girl                 Get up
Paralytic                 Take up your bed and walk
Deaf                       Be opened

He sometimes made a declaration: “You are healed” (Mark 5:34,39). He sometimes told the sick person to do something and they would be healed. He sometimes declared that the person already was healed.

Jesus never asked God to heal a sick person, but always confronted the sickness himself.  Likewise, the apostles never prayed for the sick, but always commanded sickness to leave. We must understand the authority we have in Christ. We cannot ask Jesus to heal people, because he has given us authority to heal them (Matt 10:1).

 

Not Enough Faith

Lack of faith is probably the main reason for people not being healed. Faith is essential for healing (Acts 3:16), but it can have different sources.

  • The sick person may have faith to be healed.

Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed (Acts 14:8,9).

This level of faith will be rare among unbelievers, as it is very hard for a person who is chronically ill to have faith.

  • Friends of the sick person may have faith. This was the case with the paralytic man lowered through the roof

Jesus saw their faith (Luke 5:20).

  • Usually the evangelists will be the ones with faith (Acts 3:1-7). They will have faith, because they understand their authority.

Faith is inescapable. Nothing will happen without it. The more miracles they see, the more their faith will increase (John 2:23).

  1. Persistence Needed

Mark 8:22-26 records that Jesus had to touch the eyes of a blind man twice to get full healing.  After the first touching, the man could see, but not properly. Jesus had to act a second time to heal his mind so he could understand what he was seeing.  If Jesus had to deal with the blind eyes twice to get victory, we should not be ashamed to resist sickness more than once.  Some serious sickness may need continuous confrontation over a period of time (2 Kings 4:32-35).

Lack of Discernment

Mark 7:33-35 and Matt 9:32,33 describe the healing of two different people who could not speak. They had the same symptoms, but the diagnosis and the solution were both different. The reason was that one had a physical impediment and could be healed by command, whereas the other had a demon that needed to be cast out. The symptoms were the same, so discernment was needed to know what to do. If a sick person is not healed, a demon may need to be cast out.

 

 

Sin

Unconfessed sin in the group may render their prayer ineffective. Before praying, the group should make sure they are at peace with the Lord and with each other. The group must be in unity. Pride is particularly dangerous when praying for the sick. Once we have seen a couple of people healed we can start to think we are experts. That sort of pride usually comes before a fall. We can only heal the sick under the anointing of the Spirit (Luke 5:17), so grieving him will make us powerless.

The sin of the sick person is not relevant, because they are dead in the stuff. The purpose of healing is to dig them out of sin. Jesus did not worry about the sin of the man by the pool, until after he was healed. He then told him to “Go and sin no more” (John 5:14). Once saved, sin does become an issue.

 

Compassion

Healing must never become a technique to win people for Jesus.

When Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matt 14:14).

The gift of healing must flow out of compassion. Healing without compassion does not reflect the love of Jesus.

Wrong Place where the Holy Spirit works

We all want to see the Holy Spirit healing the sick, but we forget where it happens. Here are two passages that provide a key to successful evangelism

And wherever he went into villages, towns or countryside, they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed (Mark 6:56).

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by (Acts 5:15).

Large numbers of people were healed in the streets and the market place. This is where the Holy Spirit prefers to work. I suspect that he sometimes gets bored with our meetings and longs to get out into the public places and heal the sick. If we want to see him doing this, we should follow him.

 

The Gift of Healing is for the Lost

Going to the lost with the gift of healing is very important. Over the last decades God has been restoring the gift of healing to the church. This is great, but we have tended to keep it in the church and only prayed for Christians. This is a mistake.

Praying for Christians is a good way to learn about healing, but we need to go on to praying for the lost. If we do not, we will often lose the gift. The Holy Spirit loves the world and is always moving out towards it to draw people to the Father (John 7:37,38). If we don’t go with him, he will go on without us.

Jesus blessed us so we could bless others. If we are just seeking our own healing, we are missing the point. We should be seeking healing for the lost who are in pain. When sending out the disciples to heal the sick, Jesus said,

Go the lost sheep (Matt 10:6).

We should do the same.

 

Obey Jesus

Jesus instructed the church how to do evangelism in Mark 16:15-19. He said we should go into the world (not stay in the church) and preach the gospel. We should expect God to confirm our gospel message, by healing the sick and other signs. This method has always been successful. It worked for the twelve and the seventy-two when Jesus sent them out. When the latter returned, Jesus saw Satan falling from heaven (Luke 10:18). Jesus method worked for Peter and John when 5000 men came to the Lord, as a consequence of one lame man being healed (Act 3,4). The same method worked for Paul in Malta, even though he was a prisoner (Acts 28:1-10).

Yet strangely, the church has ignored this method of evangelism through most of history. We dream up other methods of evangelism, like inviting an evangelist to the church and getting people to bring their friends (they rarely do) or putting on a concert or user friendly worship to bring people to the church. Yet we stubbornly refuse to use the method of evangelism that Jesus specifically commanded, so we should not be surprised that we do not have revival.

The evangelists with the anointing to heal the sick must be shooed out of the churches and into the world to demonstrate the love of God to the world, by healing the sick and preaching the gospel. This would bring revival.

 

Getting the Paradigm Right

The modern Western church has got its wires crossed. Most healing prayer for Christians is done by the pastor at the front of the church or by an evangelist at a healing meeting. The process is quick and dramatic, but it usually fails because the wrong paradigm is being applied in the wrong place.

Slam bam, “Be healed in Jesus name” works for unbelievers, because all they need to be healed is burst of God’s power. It does not work for Christians, because underlying cause of the sickness is not resolved. Finding out why the person is not able receive what Jesus has freely given may take time, words of knowledge, talking about issues or confession of sins. This is unlikely to happen under television cameras at the front of a meeting.

If their problem is lack of faith, a Christian may get inspired at a healing meeting and have a rise of faith to the point where they are healed. That is great, if it happens. However, lack of faith is only one possible reason for the sickness. Many other issues that can rob people of the healing that Jesus has earned for them cannot be dealt with on the stage at the front of a church. Peace and quiet will be needed to hear the Lord and sort out the problem.

Elders are the Key

James 5 is very clear. Sick Christians should go to the elders. It does not say they should go to the doctor. It does not say to go to a healing meeting, the next time an anointed evangelist is at a church in town. It does not say they should go to the church meeting next Sunday. It says that they should go to the elders.

Elders have avoided this issue for a long time. Christians have let them off the hook by ignoring the command and going to doctors and healing meetings. However if we deliberately ignore God’s command, we should not be surprised that numerous Christians are sick.

Paul did not see a church full of sick and dying Christians as something normal. He saw it as a sign that something is wrong.

That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep (1 Cor 11:30).

The word “why” refers to a cause or reason. Paul saw excessive sickness as a sign that something wrong was seriously wrong. One reason that sickness is so pervasive in the modern church is the unbiblical model that we have adopted for the healing ministry.

Healing for Christians is totally different than from the healing of unbelievers. This is the second stream of teaching on healing in the Bible. The healing of believers is based on the covenant.

Revelation

Christians need a revelation of the fullness of God’s covenant with us. We must understand the promise of the covenant that God has established and understand that healing is part of our covenant inheritance.

There was no sickness before the fall. Man was created in the image of God and he is not affected by sickness and death. Adam and Eve had access to the Tree of life to protect them from sickness and death. After they sinned, they were cut off from the Tree of Life. Their sin placed the whole world under a curse and brought death into world (Gen 3:24). As Paul said, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).

Sickness is part of the curse of sin. Just as the Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance (Eph 1:13,14), sickness is a deposit, guaranteeing death. Sickness is the firstfruits of death and a constant reminder of our frailty.

Old Covenant

Under the Old Covenant, sickness, plagues and epidemics were part of the curse of sin (Deut 28:21,22,27,28). Full health was promised to those who obey.

Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span (Ex 23:25,26).

This passage is not hard to interpret. God promised that those who serve him will be free from sickness and will live a full life span.

The experience of Moses confirmed this promise. He was one hundred and twenty years old when he went to be with God, but his eyes were not dim and his body was not weak (Deut 34:7). Caleb was as strong at eighty years of age, as had been when he was sent out as a spy (Joshua 14:7,8,10-12).

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God (Psalm 92:12,13).

The promise of the Old Covenant is clear. The problem was that it was conditional on obedience. Most people found it difficult to achieve the level of righteousness needed to be free of sickness (Heb 11:13,39,40). They never entered into the promised blessing, because they failed to obey God.

New Covenant

The New Covenant is a better covenant, containing better promises (Heb 8:6). The promises of the Old Covenant were not received due to disobedience and lack of righteousness. Jesus death on the cross changed that by providing perfect righteousness for all who believe. He paid the penalty for sin and disobedience, providing the benefits of the covenant to those who have faith in him (Heb 9:15). We no longer have to live a perfect life to receive freedom from sickness. That is now part of our inheritance in Jesus, through faith in him.

Jesus died on the cross to deal with all the effects of sin. As sickness is an effect of sin, it was also dealt with on the cross (Gal 3:13). Healing is part of the salvation package that Jesus established for his people. The Greek word for save (  sozo) also means “heal”. The salvation established on the cross dealt with both sin and sickness. Jesus restored everything that was affected by sin, including sickness.

Matt 27:26-30 records that Jesus was flogged, spat on and struck with a rod. This was not needed to pay the penalty of sin. His death was all that the law required for sin. The additional beatings were for our healing.

This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases (Matt 8:17)

1 Peter 2:24 quotes the same verse. Our health was bought by Jesus flogging, in the same way that the cross dealt with sin.

Health is part of our inheritance in Christ, but although millions of people have claimed forgiveness of sin through the cross, very few have received the healing that was bought by his flogging. If he bore our sickness, we should not still be bearing it. We need an understanding of his salvation that includes healing, so his pain and agony is not wasted.

 

Walking in Health

Jesus is the model we copy. He is the standard against which we measure our lives. There is no evidence that Jesus was ever sick. He never failed to turn up at a meeting because he had a cold. He never took time off his ministry, because he was in bed with the flu. The thought of Jesus being sick just not make sense. If Jesus was full of health, we should expect the same.

Jesus victory over sickness means that health is normal for God’s people. Full health is part of salvation that we have received. Despite these facts, sickness is pervasive in the church. This suggests that there is something wrong in our understanding of salvation or the way that we are functioning. In this study I attempt to crack through this conundrum. I believe that the problem is with us and not with God. The first step to a solution is to understand the cause of sickness among Christians.

Satan is the Cause of Sickness

The clear message of the scriptures is that Satan is the cause of sickness. Sickness is an attack by the evil spiritual powers. Peter attributed all sickness to the devil.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:38).

Most observers see sick people, Peter saw people under the power of the devil.

Jesus made an interesting comment when he healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath.

Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her (Luke 13:16).

The people saw a woman so crippled that she could not straighten up. Jesus saw a woman bound by Satan. We must learn to see what Jesus sees. Satan is the cause of sickness.

Satan comes to steal, destroy and kill (John 10:10). Our health is part of what he tries to steal. Job had severe boils and sores. Satan was the direct cause of this sickness (Job 2:7).

I believe that sickness is the most common attack of Satan that we experience. Sickness is Satan’s second most powerful weapon. If we are sick, he has a foothold in our life. He can use it, when he chooses, to control us.

Christians blame Satan for too much sin. Most sin is really caused by our flesh. On the other hand, we do not blame enough sickness on Satan. He is responsible for most sickness among Christians. He is able to get away with this, because he has deceived us into believing that he is not the cause. He is quite happy being wrongly blamed for our sin, if it stops us from seeing that he is the cause of most of our sickness.

In Jesus, we are able to repel all the attacks of the enemy.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:38).

The key word is all. All sickness is caused by the power of the devil. The Good News is that Jesus was able to heal all those afflicted by him. He was able to do this because he was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power.

The Physical is Irrelevant

We need discernment to deal with sickness. Too many modern Christians only see the physical cause of sickness. The cause is contact with someone with an infection. This is not a Christian view, but is rooted in the modern philosophy of naturalism or materialism, which assumes that everything that actually exists is material, or physical. Materialism seeks to explain every event in the universe as resulting from biological, social, genetic, environmental or physical interactions. All events are determined by cause and effect, with no spiritual or external influence.

The Bible teaches something quite different. In God’s economy, nothing happens by chance. Random events do not stride Christians. Everything in our lives has a spiritual dimension. Everything that happens on earth is an interaction between the workings of God and the machinations of the enemy.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:10).

Although events may appear to have physical causes, the real cause is spiritual. For example, Eli the high priest was blind and could not see (1 Sam 4:15). A physical examination would have shown that Eli had cataracts. However, the scriptures teach that he was blind because he refused to do anything about his sons sins, but “turned a blind eye” (1 Sam 2:29).

An inspection of Job’s boils would identify the staphylococcus causing problem, but the scriptures explain that they were actually caused by an attack of Satan (Job 2:7). King Asa sought help from the King of Damascus. He died aged thirty-nine from an infection in his feet, but the real reason was that “even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord” (2 Chron 16:13).

Jesus healed numerous sick people. In each case it would have been possible to diagnose the infection causing the disease, but from God’s point of view, they were “under the power of the devil” (Acts 10:38). Jesus healed a woman who had been bent over for eighteen years and could not straighten up at all. A physical examination would have shown osteoporosis of her spine, but Jesus said, “Satan has kept her bound for eighteen years” (Luke 10:13-16). Christians must look beyond the medical facts and into the spiritual dimension to understand the real cause of sickness.

Permission to Attack

Satan is the cause of all sickness, but his powers are limited. In principle, he cannot attack a Christian. He has free reign over those who are not Christians, because they are part of the Kingdom of darkness. He can inflict whatever sickness he likes on them, but Christians are different. We have been rescued us from his dominion and brought into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13). We are covered by the blood of Jesus, so he cannot touch us.

Satan can generally only inflict sickness on a Christian, if he gets permission. Before he could touch Job with boils, he had to get permission from God (Job 2:6). If God has refused, Satan would have been powerless over him. Likewise, Satan cannot strike a Christian without getting permission from someone with authority over our lives. God is not going to give that permission, so he has to get from us. (Christian leaders should be careful that they do not give the Satan authority to attack people who submit to them).

One Cause Three ways

Satan is the cause of all sickness. He inflicts sickness in three ways.

  1. Sin gives Satan permission to attack us with sickness. When we sin, we lose God’s protection and leave our bodies vulnerable to Satan’s junk.
  2. Deception is the other way that Satan gets permission to hit us with sickness. He puts confusing words or thoughts into our minds. If we accept his deceptions, he gains some control.
  3. Direct Attack. Satan is a cheat and will sometimes attack without permission, especially when a person is moving forward for God.

The method for dealing with sickness depends on how we have been attacked.

  1. Repentance heals sin.
  2. Revelation repels deceptions that leads to control.
  3. Resistance repels a direct attack

The cure must fit the cause. The Holy Spirit is able to reveal what we are facing. If the Christian cannot discern it, the elders of the church should be able to help. Once we understand the cause, defeating it is straightforward.

Sickness through Sin

We must face the fact that we are sometimes sick because our sin has given the devil access to our lives. This truth is unpalatable, but inescapable. Sin can give sickness right of entry into our lives.

We must be careful about this truth. Some sickness is the result of sin, but some is not. The blind man healed by Jesus in John 9:1-3 is the exception that proves this rule. Like Jesus, we must discern the difference when confronting sickness. We cannot just assume that sickness is caused by sin, but we must be aware that it could be. Here is the truth.

  • All sickness is caused by Satan.
  • Only some sickness is the consequence of sin.

Types of Sin

I am a sinner, so the cause of my sickness will often be sin. This can happen in various ways. Christians should be aware of them all.

a) Personal Sin

Some sickness is the consequence of personal sin. Jesus spoke very directly to the man who had been paralysed when he found him in the temple again.

See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you (John 5:14).

If he continued in sin, he would experience more sickness.

Numbers 12:1,2 records that Miriam became leprous, because she was critical of Moses. David records that he became sick after he sinned (Psalm 38:5-11). Asthma is sometimes caused by fear, and arthritis is sometimes caused by bitterness (see also Luke 1:20; 62-66, Prov 17:22; 16:34; 14:30).

Job said,

If I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
knowing that I had influence in court,
then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
let it be broken off at the joint (Job 31:22).

He is suggesting that a painful shoulder can be caused failure to help the poor.

 

Diet, Stress and Infection

Sometimes the sin is not caring for bodies adequately. Lack of sleep and stress can make us sick. Prayer is not the solution to this sickness. We must do something about the cause to be healed. Sometimes the lack of care can simply be poor nutrition or bad diet.

The Bible has clear guidance on hygienic latrines and washing (Deut 23:11-14); quarantining infections, mildews and dead bodies (Num 5, 19; Lev 17). Ignoring this teaching is a sin.

The scriptures provide good advice on diet (Lev 11, 17, 20; Deut 14). God’s people were warned against eating fat, long before heart disease became a concern (Lev 7:22). They should not eat blood (Lev 20:26). This advice is often ignored, because we don’t like Leviticus.

Christians should not expect God to heal them, if their sickness is caused by bad diet. Timothy had frequent sickness because he was drinking bad water and fasting excessively (1 Tim 5:23). He was sinning by not caring for his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul suggested a change of diet rather than prayer to resolve this problem.

c) Family Sin

The cause of sickness may be a sin in the family. Children can be affected by the sin of their parents. Children who do not honour their parents can shorten their lives (Eph 6:3). Sometimes the sin will have been committed by an ancestor, who has placed the family under a curse (Lev 20:20; Prov 26:2).

d) Church Sin

Sin in a church may be the cause of sickness. The church of Thyratira tolerated the spirit of Jezebel (Rev 2:20-23). This sin allowed many in the church to be sick and depressed. The sin of church leaders can affect the church as a whole. The church in Corinth had meetings that manifested the disunity in the body. Things that seem quite trivial to us resulted in much sickness and some people had died (1 Cor 11:29,30).

e) City or Nation

The sin of a political leader can affect the whole nation. All Israel suffered a terrible plague, because David counted his fighting men in disobedience to God (Sam 24:15). The sin of one man in a position of authority affected an entire nation (Gen 20:3,7,9,17).

Sometimes an entire city or nation may sin (Exodus 32:35). If a city or nation has a common sin, this can result in a common sickness among its people.

However there is no common curse of sickness (Psalm 91:5-13). Christians do not have to share in the curse on their city or nation. In Exodus 9:5,6; 12:29,30, the Israelites were kept safe when the people of Egypt were cursed for sinning against God, so he can keep us safe in a sinful city or nation.

Key 5: Repentance Heals Sin

If the sickness is the result of sin, the first step is to determine who sinned. This is really important. We should not assume that the person who is sick is the one who sinned. Once we identify the sin and the sinner, we know what to do.

If the sin is personal, the solution is simple: repentance. If the sin has been persistent, the sick Christian may need to confess the sin to friends or to elders to get free. Discipline may also be helpful for getting victory over the sickness.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (Heb 12:12,13).

If sickness is the consequence of sin in the city or nation, the Christian will need to stand apart from that sin. They must ensure that they are not participating in the community sin, but are standing with those who are resisting it. For example, if their city is resisting the Holy Spirit, they should make sure that they are always moving in the Spirit. They should pray for the city or nation.

If sin in the church is the problem, the person should pray for a prophetic voice to expose the sickness. If the leaders refuse to change, the sick person may need to look for a different church.

If the cause of the sickness is a family curse, it should be broken. Good teaching is available on this topic.

Laying on of hands for healing is pointless if the sickness is the consequence of sin. Many in the church are going forward again and again for prayer, but are not being healed. One reason might be unrepentant sin. Prayer for sickness is pointless, if sin is the problem.

 

Deceptions and Control

Sin sometimes gives Satan access to our lives, but most sickness is the result spiritual deception. Our minds are a battleground. Deception is a very effective weapon against us, because when once entrenched it leads to control. If the enemy can get us to believe lies about our health, he has control over us. If we agree with his suggestions, we have given him permission to do them.

Evil Schemes

Paul warns us to be careful about our enemy’s schemes.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes Eph 6:10-11).

Most Christians think we need the armour of God is to protect us from the power of the enemy. We should get rid of this idea. Paul does not warn about the devil’s physical power. As far as Paul is concerned, his powers are feeble, because he was totally destroyed by the cross.

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8).

We do not need spiritual armour to protect us from his power, because he is powerless. We need the spiritual armour to protect us from thoughts and suggestions that would give him control and allow him to harm us. We should stop worrying about his physical power, and learn to deal with his schemes.

If we are living in obedience to Jesus, Satan can only get permission to attack us by scheming. He must convince us to give him permission to attack us. He gains control by influencing us to agree with his deceptions. This is why we must be aware of his schemes.

His suggestions are the flaming darts described Paul (Eph 6:16). In biblical times, soldiers would attach some tar to an arrow and set it alight before it was released from the bow. These darts were fairly harmless, but became dangerous if they were not quickly extinguished. They could not damage a building, but if they were allowed to burn, the entire building could be destroyed. If they hit a person, their clothes might catch fire. Fiery darts must be extinguished quickly to prevent serious damage.

 

 

 

Understand his Cunning Schemes

Satan uses a variety of schemes. He will rarely try to persuade to enjoy sinning, because that would be a waste of time. His schemes are more subtle. When tempting Jesus, he made suggestions about how to complete his ministry. If Jesus had accepted these thoughts, he would have been defeated. Here are some of the schemes that Satan uses to rob us of our health.

  1. An attack of sickness often begins with the acceptance of a false thought.

God sends sickness
Sickness is normal

By accepting these false thoughts, we allow Satan to make us sick. Once we are shaped this way of thought, sickness has a stronghold in our lives.

Some of these thoughts come directly from the enemy. Other come from what people say to us. Many are the product of our distorted imaginations, but become less frequent as we grow into the mind of Christ. Where these thoughts come from does not really matter, if not dealt with quickly.

  1. Negative thoughts can develop built up layer by layer over many years to become a stronghold. It starts with single thought, then another is added, then more and more. When the enemy has shaped my entire way of thing about sickness he has a stronghold. It may start with the thought that “God does not like me” when a parent makes a negative comment about me. That may build into “God does not care about me”, after rejection by someone I love. The next building block may be “God will not heal my sickness”. The final thought might be, “God want me to be sick”.

The first deception opens the door a chink that leaves me vulnerable to another. The second one pushes it further open. If I allow these thoughts to multiply over many years, they can grow into a stronghold of sickness

  1. Anxiety and worry increase control. Advertisers know that thoughts attached to an emotion are more powerful. This is confirmed by Peter.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith (1 Pet 5:7-9).

Anxiety can lead to being devoured by the devil. When he suggests that something evil might happen, we can start to ponder it. If we brood over it for too long, we can become anxious. Once we become anxious, we have effectively agreed with his deception. If we do not deal with the anxiety, we are giving the devil permission to have a go.

Job made and interesting comment about his situation.

What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me (Job 3:25).

Maybe Satan was able to afflict Job with boils, because he had feared this happening. Getting anxious about something gives it permission to come.

Peter reminds us of self-control and faith. We have the power to accept or reject the thoughts that come into our minds. We can reject a bad thought from the enemy by countering it with a thought that expresses faith.

  1. Satan can use people from the kingdom of darkness to attack us. These attacks will usually be verbal. He hopes that malicious gospel or insults will cause to respond in an unchristian way. Christians can be attacked physically. Paul was flogged or beaten by the enemies of the gospel.

Ten Controlling Deceptions that uses to destroy Christian believers

The enemy uses various thoughts and suggestions to get authority in our lives. He does not use that permission immediately, but stores it up for a rainy day.

Strongholds can come in many forms. Our grumbling indicates where we are most vulnerable.

Here are some examples of the deceptions that that give sickness control over us. They can build into a stronghold of sickness (2 Cor 10:4).

Satan rules

Satan’s most successful deception has been to persuade Christians that he was not defeated by the cross. Many now believe that Satan is control of life on earth and will rule until Jesus returns. This evil scheme has gained him a lot of power to mess up the lives of Christians.

Sickness is normal

Many Christians have accepted the idea that sickness is normal. We believe salvation is for all, but we believe that healing is only for some. We just accept colds in winter, and we accept infirmity and weakness in old age. However, this is not true. There were no permanently sick Christians in the New Testament.

Sickness is normal for those who have rejected the gospel, because they are still under the dominion of darkness, but is not normal for Christians. Sickness weakens the body of Christ so it should never be acceptable to us

The belief that sickness is normal is the most serious “flaming arrow” that the enemy can insert into our minds. Once we accept this thought, he has permission to make us sick. God causes sickness

The idea that God causes sickness is one of Satan’s cleverest lies, but it is still a lie. God is good, so he cannot cause sickness. There is no sickness in heaven, so it cannot come from there. The appearance of someone dying of cancer is enough to prove that it is not from God. It is obviously the work of someone evil.

One of the names of God is Yahweh Rapha (Exodus 15:26). This name means God Heals. God is called “The Healer”, because healing is at the core of his being. God the Healer could not cause sickness. The suggestion that he causes sickness is an awful insult to his character. We should never say,

Sickness is good

This is a related idea, but sickness is not good. The Greek words translated as sickness are all negative.If I say that God has made me sick, I am really saying that God has made me feeble. That is nonsense, because he does not want his people to be weak. The most that can be ever said is that God uses sickness for good, but that does not mean much, because he can use any evil for good.

Paul’s visit to Galatia was the result of sickness (Galatians 4:13,14). He described it as weakness of the flesh. He was embarrassed at being sick. He and expected the Galatians to despise him. However, he did not say that the sickness was God’s will, although God used it to accomplish his purposes.

5. God is Sovereign

This is a true statement, but the enemy twists it to mean that God does not always heal. Christians will sometimes explain why they have not been healed by saying, “God is sovereign”. No one ever says, “Jesus is sovereign”, because it does not fit with our picture of Jesus. We do not say it out loud, but deep down, we think that God is meaner than Jesus.

The truth is that Jesus never refused to heal anyone who came. We cannot imagine him saying, “God is sovereign, so I cannot be sure if you will be healed”. He never said to anyone, “It is not God’s will for you to be healed. When a leper asked to be healed, Jesus said, “I am willing” (Mark 1:40-42). This settles the argument. Many Christians believe that Jesus defeated sickness on the cross, but they are unsure if God will do it for them. The record of leper is there to teach us a principle: God is willing to heal. If he is unable to heal, the reason will be in the church.

Sickness is Suffering

A common scheme is that God gives us sickness to make us holy. This is not true (sickness usually brings out the worst in me). God does allow his people to suffer, but they should suffer for doing right or for the name of Jesus, not through sickness (1 Peter 4:12-17). In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, Paul listed all the ways he had suffered for Jesus, but he never counted sickness as part of his suffering for the gospel. Jesus never refused to heal someone because God had made them sick to improve their character.

James 5:13-14 distinguishes clearly between suffering and sickness and gives different responses. If anyone is in trouble, he should pray, but if he is sick, he should call the elders. Trouble and sickness have different causes, so they require different responses. Biblical suffering does not include sickness.

7. Sickness is a Friend

Many Christians welcome sickness as a friend. Most of us have used sickness as an excuse to avoid doing something we do not want to do, like work or meeting someone we do not like. When we do this, we are giving sickness authority in our lives. Sickness is a curse, so we should never use it or welcome it. Illness is the kingdom of darkness intruding into our lives, so we should hate it with passion.

The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke (9:56).

Sickness destroys lives, so it is opposed to what Jesus is doing. He came to save and heal lives.

8. Loose Words

One evil scheme is to send sickness and see if we will give it permission to stay. Some people just accept with casual words. We should be very careful when speaking about sickness, because we receive what we speak (Mark 11:23).

No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill” (Isaiah 33:24).

I should not say, “I have the flu”. This is submitting to it and giving it control in my life. I would be claiming something from the devil for myself. It would be more correct to say, “I am being attacked by the flu”. I should not say, “I am getting a cold”, as this is prophesying something I should hate. I should say “I am being attacked by a cold, but I do not want it.

Pleading

Many Christians have been misled into thinking that they must plead earnestly to God for healing. Of course nothing happens. The reason is that God has already done everything that he can do for salvation (healing). There is nothing more that he can do except increase our faith and knowledge of his love.

Christians should not be begging God to heal them. Pleading only makes sense, if we could change his mind. We often pray like as if he is stingy, but might heal us if enough people ask him. This is nonsense. God is good. He wants us whole. He is not holding back his healing, waiting to see if we are desperate enough. We do not have to change his mind.

Some are pleading with Jesus, because they think he is kinder than God. We do not need to plead with Jesus for our healing, because he bought when he was whipped and beaten. We were healed by his stripes. Pleading with him implies that what he did at the cross was not enough for us. Pleading with someone who died on the cross to do more is absurd.

We do not need to persuade God to change his mind and heal us. We can ask God to give us a revelation of his goodness and love. We can ask God to stir up his elders. We can ask God to increase their faith, but there is no point in asking God for what he has already given us. That sounds like ingratitude.

There is no example in the New Testament of anyone praying in this way.

Dear God, please heal my sick brother.

The reason is simple. From God’s perspective the sick brother was healed when Jesus died on the cross. God has already what has to be done. Jesus work is finished. Everything that he can do has already been done. There is nothing more to ask for. The church should not be asking for healing, but it should be appropriating the health that Jesus has bought for us.

Perseverance changes God’s Mind

A related deception is that perseverance will change God’s mind. This odd idea is based on a false interpretation of the parable of the unjust judge recorded in Luke 18:1-7. Most Christians assume that unjust judge represents God and that if we persist in prayer, he will eventually give in and let us have what we want. This interpretation is a terrible insult to God’s character. The unjust judge actually represents the devil. He does not respect justice or care about people. He is a lazy adversary. He does not want to surrender to Gods will, but he is warn down by persistence and gives up, because he has not stamina.

 

 

Sickness causes Death

Most Christians assume that they will live until they get a sickness that cannot be cured. Death comes when fatal sickness strikes. This view is incorrect. There is a time for everyone to die, but the death of a Christian should occur when their work on earth is complete, not when sickness gets the better of them. Moses is a good example. He died when he had led the people to the Promised Land and his work was complete. Christians should die like Moses, when their service to God is finished.

Isaiah prophesied a time when everyone would live a full lifespan.

Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
he who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere youth;
he who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed (Isaiah 65:20,21).

This passage is not speaking about heaven, because people still die. The difference will be that one hundred years will normal and anyone who does not reach one hundred is considered accursed. For Isaiah, this promise was still in the future, but the ministry of Jesus has made it possible for us.

Now that Jesus has dealt with sickness, we should be claiming this promise in him. There is nothing more that he can do in the future, so we should expect this passage to be fulfilled now. Some people may still die young, but only because their work on earth is finished and God wants them to be with him.

Christians do not live until they get a fatal sickness. They should live until their work on earth is complete. Our lives should not end until we have finished all that God has given us to do. The Bible indicates that some people who ought to be living had died needlessly (1 Cor 11:30). That should not be happening.

On the other hand, we should also be careful about holding people back when their lives are complete. By praying for healing, we can stop people from dying. This prayer is not appropriate if their work on earth is finished. In some situations, we may need to give God permission to take home someone we love. This may be important if Satan is trying to stop them from dying (Jude 9).

Revelation defeats Deception

The devil uses deception and control to inflict God’s people with sickness. Because he was defeated by Jesus on the cross, the solution is relatively simple. God’s revelation is stronger than the enemy’s lies. We must resist his lies with declarations of the truth.

Paul advised Christians to take control of their thoughts.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5).

Negative thoughts about sickness are “pretensions” that are opposed to God. If we agree with these pretensions, they can give sickness a stronghold in our lives. The solution is to destroy them a revelation of the true knowledge of God.

 

Resist Dangerous Thoughts

We must resist all thoughts that allow sickness to get a hold in our live. The permissions that allow sickness to strike were often given many years before the sickness actually came. We must learn to resist all thoughts that give Satan permission to inflict sickness on us. Here are some examples of the types of thought that we should resist.

I get catch everything that is going around

Someone as work has a cold, so I am sure to get it.

My mother and grandmother both died of breast cancer,

so I will probably die the same way.

I have a weak chest. A cold always goes to my chest.

I get a headache, if I do not have enough sleep.

I feel a cold coming on.

My child gets lots of ear infections.

None of these thoughts are necessarily true. However agreement with them can give sickness permission to harass us. We resist them with revelation of the truth.

We must extinguish these fiery darts quickly, using the shield of faith

Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Eph 6:16).

When a bad thought from the evil one comes into our mind, they are best dealt with by words of faith. Simply thinking about a relevant promise of God’s will extinguish the thought, rendering it harmless. Dangerous thoughts can be destroyed with a declaration of faith based on the revelation in God’s word.

God does not make people sick

Sickness is not normal for Christians

Yahweh Rapha hates sickness

Statements of faith about our knowledge of God destroy the arguments and pretensions that impose him. Anointed songs of praise and worship are a great way to declare our faith.

Jesus resisted the devil’s words by quoting the scriptures; he did not argue or shout. He resisted with words, calmly stating the scriptures that were relevant to his situation and claiming them for himself (Luke 4:1-12). He commanded Satan to “get behind him”, which is similar to telling sickness to “get lost”. This is how to use the Shield of Faith against the fiery darts of the enemy.

Withdrawing Permission

The first step to getting free from existing sickness is to withdraw permission for its presence in our body. This is what the blind man did when he met Jesus.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see” (Mark 10:51).

He had probably accepted the thought that he would be blind for life. When he heard about Jesus ministry, he rejected that scheme. He declared his change of mind, by say he wanted to see.

Christians who has been sick for a long time can begin the process by declaring that the sickness has no right to be in their body. The best way to is to say,

I want to be healed.

This sickness does belong in my body.

Withdrawal of permission may not be sufficient to get healing. This is a spiritual battle and our enemy is a cheat. If I withdraw permission from sickness, its legal right to remain in our bodies is gone. However, the sickness may try to remain as a squatter or trespasser. Jesus warned that evil spirit whose lease agreement is terminated will often return with some strong companions and live in the house as squatter. They do not respect a court order, so they can only be forced out by superior physical power.

When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean . Then it goes and takes seven other spirits and they go in and live there (Luke 11:25-26).

Jesus was talking about evil spirits, but the same principle applies to sickness. If given a chance, it makes a home in our lives.

Destroying Strongholds

Sometimes a stronghold of sickness may need to be demolished one layer at a time. The deceptions may have become so entwined with their thinking, that the sick person has difficulty in recognising them. They may need help from friends with works of knowledge and insights from their experience.

Strongholds are destroyed by the knowledge of God. If the sick person has a gap in their understanding of God’s character, they may need Christian friends to teach them the truth.

The LORD is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid (Psalm 27:1).
Love of God should be the only stronghold in our life.

Direct Attack

Sin and deception can give Satan access to our lives, but sometimes he just attacks directly without permission. He a cheat and will do anything to win. Satan’s objective is to steal, rob and destroy (John 10:10). Sickness is his best method for crippling Christians, because most are not aware of where the attack came from. We assume that just got sick and do not realise that he is attacking.

We often gradually accept sickness without wondering where it came from. We often get a headache or a sore foot and just accept it, without realising that Satan is trying us out and testing out limits. If we accept insignificant sicknesses from him, he can give us more, when he chooses. He will do this at key times when he wants to disrupt our Christian service. Sickness will usually take hold slowly, but we are gradually being robbed of ability to serve Jesus.

Out bodies are a battleground and sickness is Satan’s weapon against us. The Holy Spirit is our weapon against him. Sickness is a confrontation between the powers of darkness and the power of God. Healing and deliverance manifest the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:2).

The devil often attacks when we go “all out for God”. An example from the New Testament is Epaphroditus (Phil 2:26,27). He was so ill he almost died. This was probably an attack of the devil, to disrupt his service of the Lord. Similarly, Satan attacked Eutychus, to disrupt a key meeting between Paul and the elders of the Church (Acts 20:9-11). Tabitha was a key leader in the church at Joppa. Satan tried to halt this work by attacking her with sickness (Acts 9:36-41).

Authority and Power

Authority and power are different and both are needed to destroy sickness. A judge has legal authority, but the police have physical power. A judge can declare that the owner of a property should have access and that a squatter must leave. However the squatter can ignore the judge. The police have the physical power to the remove the squatter from the property according to the judge’s decision.

Christian has authority over their lives, but as humans we have limited very power. The Holy Spirit has enormous power, but no authority over our lives unless we give it to him. Christians have authority over sickness, but we have very little power. The Holy Spirit has power over sickness, but can only act, if he is given authority.

Authority and power are both needed to defeat sickness. I can withdraw the authority of a sickness to be in my body, but I do not have the physical power to force it leave. Christians must learn to exercise our authority and release the Holy Spirit’s power. We sometimes make a lot of noise as a substitute for power, but sickness is not fooled. Only the Holy Spirit has the physical power to force sickness to leave our bodies. I must give the Holy Spirit authority to use his power to force it out of his body.

When I resist sickness, by commanding it to leave, this is like a court order removing its authority to be there. Sometimes the sickness will just ignore the court order. The Holy Spirit authority has the police power to evict the sickness from my body. I must invite him to come and force it out.

Willing and Able

The Holy Spirit is willing and able to deal with sickness.

  • The Holy Spirit has infinite power. The powers of evil are no match for him. When they come up against him, it is not contest.
  • The Holy Spirit loves to heal the sick. He is willing to evict sickness from our bodies.
  • He lacks authority unless we give it to him.

The Holy Spirit is willing and he has the power, but he is respectful when dealing with Christians. He will not force us to do anything. He respects our freedom (authority over our lives) so he will not push in if he is not invited. He will only deal with sickness when the issues of authority and control are settled.

If nothing happens when we invite him to evict a sickness, it is never because he is unwilling or too weak. The only that could prevent him would be that the issue of authority has not been sorted. If something we have said or done is still giving the sickness permission to be in our lives, he will not act against our will (authority). Therefore, if the sickness does not go when we give the Holy Spirit authority to remove it, we must be hanging onto thoughts or pretensions that overrule his authority. These need to be broken before he can go to work. The Holy Spirit cannot destroy these agreements for me. I have to take back the permission from sickness, because I gave it authority in the first place.

Key 9: Resist Together

If we are unable to resist sickness on our own, we should invite other Christians to resist with us. Sickness is tough to deal with. Resisting Satan while standing alone is difficult. It is hard to have faith when burdened with sickness. Resisting is hard when we are weak or unwell. We need others to stand with us and do battle on our behalf. If we are under attack by sickness, it is hard to stand alone. This is the main reason that the modern church does not have victory over sickness. Christians are often isolated, so Satan is able to pick them off one at a time. Christians have compassion for friends who are sick, and often ask God to heal them, but they rarely go into battle with them.

Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletus (2 Tim 4:20). This is the only case of sickness in New Testament that was not healed. There is no explanation, but Paul complains that his colleagues had deserted him and left him alone. I presume that he was isolated and under pressure, so he did not have the strength to overcome the attack on Trophimus. No one was standing with him.

Victory over sickness comes from being in relationship with Christian friends, who will go into battle against a sickness attack and push through to victory.

Christians need to be with people who have victory over sickness.

Two or three people have more authority than one standing on their own. The sick person might not be that confident in resisting sickness. If some friends join in declaring that the sickness has no legal right to be in his body, the sick person will be more resolute.

The faith of friends can be really important.

  • The paralytic had friends with faith for him to be healed (Luke 5:18).
  • The man by the pool had no friends to stand with him (John 5:5-7).

A sick person may be so overwhelmed that they struggle to have faith and speak with authority. The key thing that the friends can add is extra faith.

Resisting in Rest

All Christians should abide in Jesus. We must avoid a false understanding of spiritual warfare that confuses resisting with striving. A flurry of activity and noise will not gain victory over to spiritual attack. We do not need to “babble on like the pagans” (Matt 6:7). Victory does not come from many words or noisy commands. These activities are reliance on human strength, which is sin.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Is 35:10).

We must be careful not to get into striving against the enemy, because that makes us weak. Satan was defeated by Jesus on the cross, so all the “heavy lifting” is done. We resist the enemy by “standing” in what Jesus has finished. We will need to learn much more about resisting while resting in Jesus.

This becomes easier, if we understand the usually works by bluffing us into accepting his authority and power. We can resist his ideas by thinking or speaking the promises of God. This does not require a noisy activity. We resist sickness by declaring words of faith and inviting the Holy Spirit to force it out. The Holy Spirit does the physical work, so we do not need to strive or make a noise.

Elders

If the attack is really tough, we should call in the big guns. This is why James urged the sick person to go their elders.

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14).

If Christian is unable to deal with the attack with the help of friends, their elders should be able to do the job. The elders of the church should have experience in dealing with serious attacks of sickness. They will join with the friends of the sick person to get victory.

Peter and Dorcas

Peter showed what how elders should deal with sickness when Dorcas died in Joppa. He went to Joppa as an elder, because something was wrong in the Church. The devil had scored a home run in this infant church, so Peter sent and tipped the battle back the other way.

I am not sure why there were no elders in Joppa to deal with this problem. It may be that no elders had been raised up at this early stage of the gospel advance, or maybe the elders were inexperienced and just accepted that Docas’s death was inevitable. Anyway, some of the disciples knew they should call on an elder to deal with the attack.

Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” (Acts 9:38).

Peter came to Joppa and took the battle to the enemy.

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40).

Peter prayed and got assurance from God that her life on earth was not complete. Once he knew that this was a attempt by the devil to take out a key leader in a fledgling church, he resisted the devil by commanding her to sit up. She was healed immediately. Peter restored the church in Joppa to the way God wanted it to be. Sickness and death had intruded where they do not belong, so Peter got rid of them.

Another example is Paul speaking to the Church in Troas. A young man called Eutychus fell out the window and died. Paul went down and laid on him to bring the man back to life. . Paul was acted as an elder to correct something that had gone wrong in a church. The devil had killed a key young man whose role on earth was not finished. Paul restored him so that the church would be complete. If he had let the devil win, the church would be weaker in two ways. It would lose a valuable member, but more importantly, its level of faith would be weakened. A good elder could not let that happen.

The Holy Spirit can teach us how to defend together with these weapons. The Shield of Faith in Ephesians is oblong like the shields used by riot police. Roman soldiers could form a line and lock their shields together in a continuous barrier. If one was attacked, the others did not watch and criticize (as often happens when a Christian gets sick), they joined together to protect him against the attack. When they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with shields in place, they could withstand a powerful attack. Christians should copy this model. This level of solidarity does not come automatically from being part of a church, but by being in strong relationships with other Christians, who can know us well enough to see how we are being attacked and love us enough to stand with us.

The spiritual armour verses are preceded by a chapter on submission. We cannot use the spiritual armour in isolation. Even the shield of faith cannot cover our backs. The spiritual armour is only effective, if we are standing together in submission to each other.

Key 11: Resisting means Submission

In Ephesians 6:10-18 the word “stand” is used three times. The Greek word translated as “stand” is “histemi”. It means to stand, stand firm, make a stand or hold one’s ground. It is from the same root as “resist”. When attacked by sickness, we should stand against it. We stand against it and we stand in what we have received.

Peter said something very similar. There is a clear pattern in 1 Pet 5:5-9:

  • Submit to one another (Eph 5:21)
  • Submit to your elders
  • Submit to God
  • Be vigilant
  • Resist the devil
  • Stand in the faith

Too many modern Christians (some quite mature) are wandering around on their own. We have too much independence and too little submission. Submission has become a dirty word, but without submission, we cannot be part of the army of God.

Submission and Spiritual Authority

When we submit to each other, we are giving others the authority to speak into our life and to act on our behalf against evil. This is a key to getting victory. God has made me free, so another person can only have authority in my life, if I give it to them. I give another person authority in my life by submitting to them. If I submit to the elders in my church, they have authority to resist evil on my behalf. The more I submit to them, the greater spiritual authority they will have to resist any evil that is attacking me.

This relationship between spiritual authority and submission is not well understood. We often ask other Christians to pray for us, but without much affect. The reason is that they have very little authority in our lives. They cannot have authority, if we have not given it to them.

We tend to assume that a large number of people praying for us will be more effective against the attacks of the enemy. This is not correct. When resisting evil, two or three Christians who have real authority in our lives, because we have submitted to them, will be much more effective. Asking a lot of people to do battle with us is pointless, if we are unable or unwilling to submit to them.

Submission and authority go together. The word translated as “resist” is the Greek word “ant-histemi”, which literally means to “stand against”. Therefore, resisting is the same as standing. The meaning of the word “submit” is to “place ourselves under”. Therefore we must stand under Gods authority before we stand against the devil.

When Paul said that elders would watch over and care for us (1 Tim 5:17), he used the Greek word “pro-histemi, which means “stand before”. When we submit to elders, they are standing before us and with us. The word “stand” is plural in the Greek New Testament. Standing is not something that we do on our own. We must stand together with others to achieve victory. A soldier who stands alone is easily defeated.

Faith is Essential

Faith is the key to claiming our inheritance. The scriptures teach that we receive everything earned by Jesus through faith. If we remember that salvation and healing are the same word, Eph 2:8 can be translated as,

By grace you have been healed, through faith (Eph 2:8).

Without faith we cannot receive the healing that God has promised (Heb 11:6)

Faith is not a desire to be healed. Nor is faith a belief in the truth of Christian healing. We can believe that Jesus wounds earned healing for Christians, but not have faith to receive healing. Demons believe that God exists, but they do not have faith to receive salvation. Faith is a certainty deep in our being that God will do what he has promised. It is acting on what is believed.

Faith and Action

According to Romans 10:9, faith has two aspects. It begins with belief in the heart. What is in the heart is then manifested in some word or action.

Faith = {Believe in heart
{Confess with lips

The Greek word for confess is “homologesis”. It literally means “same word”. When confessing we agree with God’s word.

Faith is certainty in the heart, but it also requires some action to make it real. Faith without action is just a rattling gong (James 2:17,18). This can be seen in the healings described in Matthew 8,9. The person being healed always took some action or made a declaration that demonstrated the faith in their heart.

  • The leper said to Jesus, “You can make me clean!”
  • The centurion told Jesus not to come, but just say a word.
  • The ruler said, “Put your hand on her and she will live.”
  • The bleeding woman touched Jesus garment.
  • The blind men said, “Yes!”, when asked if he was able to heal them.

Each person made a statement or took an action that demonstrated their faith.

 

Faith is Evidence of the Unseen

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews says that,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1 NKJV).

Faith is not the same as hope. Hope is uncertain, whereas faith is certain. Many Christians hope that God will heal them, but that is not the same as faith. Faith gives substance to hope. The word substance can mean title deed, so faith gives me ownership of what I hope for. (The Greek word translated as substance (hupostasis) is linked to the Greek word for submit.)

Faith is evidence or proof of things that we cannot see. The Bible tells us that there are two types of “things” in this life: seen and unseen.

We do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (1 Cor 4:18)

The things that we can see are temporary. The unseen things come from God and are eternal. Faith is being certain of things that are not seen. God may have promised them to us, but we need faith because we cannot see yet seem them. When we receive them, we no longer need faith, because we can see them. Faith is only required for things that are unseen.

Living by Faith

Paul told us how Christians should live.

We live by faith, not by sight (1 Cor 5:7).

We should not live according to the things that we can see. We live by faith, which is certain about the things see we cannot see. God has promised,

By his wounds you have been healed (1 Pet 2:24).

The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).

Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

These verses are the eternal promises of God. They promise things now that we do not yet see. We cannot see Jesus wounds or the healing they have earned. We cannot see the demons and sickness fleeing. Faith is being certain of these things and living as if they have happened.

If I have money in my bank account, I cannot see a heap of notes and coins with my name attached to them. I will have a bank statement that is evidence of what I have in my account. My wallet may be empty, but I can go into a shop and buy something using EFTPOS with full confidence that I can pay for it. I have faith to make purchases, based on the evidence of my statement. I do not act on the basis of the empty wallet that I can see, but on the basis of the money in my bank account that I cannot see. I will only run into problems if the bank does not keep its promises, or if I spend more than is in my account.

Christians know that God will keep his promises. His word states that Jesus has earned healing for us. If Jesus has put healing “in the bank” for us, we can start living as if we have got it. In this context, faith is acting as if I have received the healing that Jesus earned for me. My symptoms may say that I am sick, but the Word of God says that I am healed. This is the conflict between what is seen and what is unseen. Faith is certain of what is unseen.

If I continue to walk everywhere, after someone has bought me a car, most people would say that I am a fool. This suggests that there is something wrong with a Church that continues to be sick, after Jesus has purchased healing for it. We urgently need the faith to appropriate the health that Jesus bought for us.

On the other hand, faith is not presumption. Belief in the heart must come first. If we have faith, action will follow; but action will not produce faith. Confessing or acting without faith is presumption. Faith is a gift from God. We must receive faith from him before we can do anything.

Symptoms

Abraham showed the correct way to deal with symptoms.

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith (Rom 4:19,20).

Abraham faced his symptoms squarely. He did not pretend they were not there. He faced the facts, but did not waver through unbelief. His faith was not weakened, but was strengthened by the promise of God. Despite the symptoms declaring his age, he continued to prepare for the birth of a son.

The problem for modern Christians is that we can see the “things that are seen” very clearly. We have scans and X-rays that help us to see tumours and fractures much better than was possible in the past. We have tremendous evidence of the things that are seen and tend to focus on them. We have become accustomed to living in accordance with what we can see. We must learn to live in the certainty of the promises of God that are not seen.

Sickness among Christians is not proof that God does not heal. God dealt with my sin on the cross. The fact that I still sin does not imply that God does not save us from sin. It just shows that I am a bit slow to take up the salvation that Jesus had earned for me. The problem is with me, not with the cross. In the same way the fact that I am sick does not imply that God does not heal. The problem is with me (or more likely the church). We should never let our experience determine our theology. Our theology and our beliefs about healing must be based on what God has said and done.

Increasing Faith

The first step is for the church is to be honest about its lack of faith. We should not pretend, or go into condemnation, but should look to God for a solution.

  1. We can pray for faith (Mark 9:21-24). The Holy Spirit will increase our faith if we ask for it.
  2. We should immerse ourselves in the biblical accounts of Jesus’ healing. Faith comes from hearing the Word (Rom 10:17). As we feed on the promises of God, our faith will grow.
  3. We should seek to be filled with the Spirit. Faith is a gift from the Spirit (1 Cor 12:9), so the Holy Spirit is the source of faith. Stephen and Barnabas were men who were full of the Spirit and Faith (Acts 6:5,8; 11:24). People who are full of the Spirit will also be full of faith.
  4. We should start on easy things. As we rejoice in small victories, our faith will increase. Seeing miracles increases faith (John 2:23).
  5. We should get with other Christians to pray. Christians should work in a group. There are several reasons for this.
  • There is power in agreement. Jesus promised that when two or three people work together, he would be with them (Matt 18:19,20, Acts 3:4,5).
  • Faith is strongest when we function with other Christians we trust. Peter and John had faith to heal the lame man, because they were operating together (Acts 3:4).
  • Working in a group releases the gifts of Spirit.

Faith overcomes fear. This is important, because fear of sickness is something that we have to deal with. The word cancer really strikes fear in people’s hearts. The trouble is that fear kills faith (Luke 8:50). As faith grows, fear will be squeezed out.

Practical Issues

Pray in Private

Understanding the cause of sickness will dramatically change the way that the Church ministers to Christians. The process will be much slower, but more thorough. Ministry to sick Christians should generally take place in private, often in someone’s living room. The sick person will ask some friends or the elders to come to him to pray for him (James 5:14). A lot of personal stuff may need to be dealt with, and this is best done in private. The sick person should not be prayed for at the front of the Church, in view of the entire congregation. Doing this is a distortion of the other healing stream. Publicity is fine, when using the healing gifts for evangelism, but praying about the cause of sickness should be done away from the public gaze.

Peter demonstrates this contrast. He healed a paralytic in Joppa in public.

There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord (Acts 9:33-35).

Peter was operating as an evangelist, so the healing was public and many came to the Lord. When he got to Joppa he operated differently, because Dorcas was a Christian. Peter he went into her room and prayed on his own. He did not know the cause of her illness, so it was best to seek the Lord in relative privacy. The cause might be something that would embarrass her friends and family if it was revealed in public. The Lord might have told Peter not to worry, because he wanted Dorcas to come home, but I suspect that he already knew that was not the case when he decided to go to Joppa. Peter out what was going on in private.

Work in Teams

Several people will pray about the sick person. James talks about elders (plural). There might be a team of elders and a couple of friends present. Having a healing team will ensure that all the spiritual gifts needed are present. We should not expect one person to do everything. If someone gets a word of knowledge about sickness, we should not assume that they have the faith to heal for the sick person. The Spirit may have given the gift of faith to someone else in the body. For example, when the man at the beautiful gate was healed, Peter did the talking, but he said “Look at us” (Acts 3:4)! John may have had the gift of faith that produced the healing.

A solo minister is not appropriate when praying for Christians, because they are unlikely to have both the faith and the discernment needed. The gifts of discernment and word of knowledge will often be more important than the gift of healing. The latter gift is more important for the evangelism, but discernment will be more important in a healing team dealing with Christians.

Four spiritual gifts might be needed to get a sick Christian healed: word of knowledge, discernment, faith, healing. The Holy Spirit can give all these gifts to one person, but he prefers to give them to different people so they will need to work together, as this strengthens the body.

Get the Reason

The first step is to find out why the enemy has been able to inflict the sickness. This is really important. Nothing can be done until the cause has been identified. The healing team will wait on God (for several days if necessary) until they know whether the sickness is the result of sin or deception or direct attack. The gift of discernment and word of knowledge will be important for answering this question. Again, this is very different from the modern ministry of healing, where the first step is to pray for he person to be healed. Praying is really pointless if the reason for the sickness is not known. This is the key reason why many Christians are not healed. Once the cause is understood, the team can deal with it.

1. Sin

If the healing team discerns that the cause is sin, they should be compassionate when conveying this to the sick person. They may guidance from the Holy Spirit about how to communicate a hard message. Nathan spoke to David in a parable, when he needed to see that he had had sinned (2 Sam 12:1-7).

The sick person may need time to work through the issue. The solution to sin is repentance, but only the Holy Spirit can produce repentance (John 16:8). The healing team will give the Holy Spirit time (often several days) to do this work. Praying for healing before repentance is complete might lead to lack of victory. Once the person has repented, they may need to confess the sin to their friends or to the elders. Those who confess their sins will be healed (James 5:16).

Once the person repents, the symptoms of the disease should disappear, but sometimes prayer by friends or elders may be needed to shift them. The healing team will declare that the sickness has no longer has any authority to remain with the person and command it to leave. They will release the Holy Spirit to restore the parts of the body that are damaged. Faith will be important.

The prayer of faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).

 

 

 

2. Deception and Control

If the sickness is the result of deception and control, the process will be different. The emphasis will be exposing the thoughts and beliefs that give the sickness authority to attack the Christian. A word of knowledge or gift of discernment might be needed to expose any spiritual strongholds or controlling deceptions.

Once the root of the problem has been exposed, the healing team will join with the sick person in withdrawing any permission that has been given to the sickness. They will unite in inviting the Holy Spirit to force the sickness out. They will give him permission to do his job.

3. Direct Attack

If the sickness is a direct attack from the enemy, the healing team will resist the sickness directly. They will not plead with God to heal the sick person, but will resist the sickness by commanding it leave.

Persistence

Getting complete victory may take some time. This is the nature of spiritual warfare. Sometimes an initial attack may fail and the army may have to retreat and regroup before attacking again. Even when the army has a quick initial victory, the battle is not won. The enemy may counterattack again and again over several months, before giving up.

Satan does not give up, just because he gets one hiding. He always tries to come back. The healing team must be ready for these counter attacks. One of the healing team will keep in regular contact with the person healed. They will help him avoid thoughts or words that would give the sickness permission to return. They will pray for his faith to be strengthened.

If the sickness returns, the team will come together to deal with it. They will not blame the sick person for lack of faith, but will see it as a problem they must deal with together. The team will stay on the case, until Satan gives up and goes off somewhere else. This is a battle of wills, but if the Christians understand their authority, they will always win.

Walk in Health

The person healed will learn to walk in the truth. John prayed that believers would live in health.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (2 John 3-5).

We must live in the truth that Jesus destroyed sickness.

Deal with Failure

Those praying with sick Christians must always deal with the consequences of their actions. We are human, so things will not always happen as we expect. If things go wrong, we must find out why and deal with it. We must never, never dump the responsibility for our failure on the sick person. Elders have a particular responsibility in dealing with any failures. If we just leave the person unhealed, they will feel that they do not enough faith or that God does not love them. They will just end up feeling condemned and vulnerable. This undermines the faith of the church.

Sickness can be hard to handle, so we must not pretend it is easy. If we cannot get victory over sickness, the church and especially the elders should accept responsibility. They should be willing to admit that they do not have enough faith. Leaders must stop dumping their lack of faith on people who are sick. Many of their people in their churches long to be healed. They have prayed and tried hard to believe. They should not be condemned. The failure lies with a Church that has been robbed of its inheritance.

The time has come for this burden to be lifted off the sick and put back where it belongs on the church. The first step is for the church as a whole to take responsibility for its lack of faith and failure to get victory over sickness. Then we can then start seeking God’s his solutions. We can get together and start battling through to victory, until we receive all that Jesus promised.

Avoid Perversity

Lack of faith is a serious problem for the modern church and the reason we receive so little. Jesus called his generation an unbelieving generation (Matt 17:17,19-20). In many ways the same description applies to the modern church. We have been made into an unbelieving generation by our education and scientific approach to life. We have forgotten that true science cannot deal with the spiritual dimension to life.

Our lack of faith is perverse, because Christians trust many odd things:

  • Copper bracelets,
  • Bee venom,
  • Oils
  • Magnetic blankets

Christians talk of their favorite cure, but we seldom hear them declaring what God can do. Some of the things they trust do work for a time. Satan is quite happy to take away the symptoms for a while, to get us to trust in a lie. However, in the end, the only way to deal with a satanic attack is to stand against him holding the shield of faith. Like the man beside the pool, Christians are looking to other things, when they should be looking to Jesus (John 5:7).

Spiritual Covering

Spiritual protection is not taken seriously by the twentieth century church. Spiritual warfare is not something that we are free to do when we choose; we are engaged in it all the time. While we know we are on the winning side because Jesus has won the victory, we can never be complacent

Part of the problem is the many Christians have been deceived by a false doctrine of “covering”. This doctrine states that we are covered and protected from evil by submitting to a pastor/leader or being part of a church. However, there are several problems with this doctrine.

  • The doctrine of covering is not taught explicitly in the scriptures, it is based on an allegorical interpretation of Boaz’ garment in the book of Ruth and the cloud in Exodus. The robe and the cloud are symbolic and not the cause of protection. Trusting in a vague and ambiguous doctrine of spiritual protection is dangerous.
  • The covering doctrine makes spiritual protection into something magical. Belonging to a church does not automatically guarantee a person is protected from attack. In reality, protection comes from being in relationship with Christians who recognize an attack and will battle through to victory with us. Ruth was protected because Boaz was a man of authority and she submitted to him. The Israelites were protected by the presence of God under spiritual authority of Moses.
  • A pastor can only provide protection that is as good as his own. Modern Christians do not realize that the pastors/leaders they trust are extremely vulnerable to spiritual attack themselves, so they cannot provide strong protection. Pastors and elder who don’t have victory over sickness cannot provide protection to their people.

Christians everywhere are being decimated by evil because they do not understand the real nature of spiritual protection. Spiritual protection is critical for protection against sickness.

Live in the Right Place

Territory and geography are really important for spiritual warfare (Dan 10:20; Eph 1:21; 6:12). The spiritual pressure in a city or country is not evenly distributed, so the place where we choose to live or work may affect our health.

  • If we live close to the stronghold of the spiritual forces that dominate our city, we may experience stronger attacks of sickness. Christians are often heroic and choose to live in the toughest part of the city. However, a wise general attacks where the enemy is most vulnerable, not where it is the strongest.
  • If the intensity of the Holy Spirit’s presence is strong in the area where we live, because there are more Christians there, walking in health will be easier.
  • When a Christian lives in isolation from other Christians, they will be more vulnerable to attacks of sickness.
  • If we work at a business, where the people in authority are defeated by sickness, we may experience stronger attacks of sickness. By submitting to their authority, we become vulnerable to the same attack. We should be aware of this and stand against that sickness.
  • Some Christians have been attacked by sickness, when they moved from a spiritual stronghold where they were safe to a house in a “better area” under more spiritual pressure. The quality of the housing will be a poor indicator of the spiritual pressure in an area. Spiritual pressure is discerned spiritually.

Christians should be aware of the spiritual implications when they change their place of residence. We may be called to move to an area that spiritually tougher, but we should be prepared. If we are defeated

Be Honest Always

That does not mean that we cannot be totally honest with God about what is happening to us. We can say,

This pain is tearing me apart

My heart is so heavy that I feel it will break.

I know how I should be responding, but I just cannot do it.

We do not need to pretend. We can tell the Father about our feelings and our struggles. He can cope with honesty; but we must not tell God what he should be feeling or doing. Job is a good example. He let it all hang out, but one important thing that he did not do. He refused to accuse God.

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing (Job 1:22).

When dealing with pain and death we can be honest with God about what is going on in our lives. He is glad when we are open with him and ask for help. However, we must guard our hearts lest our pain turn

Asking why God allowed a Christian to die is an insult to his character. God is good. He did not create sickness and there was no sickness in the Garden of Eden. Sickness was created by the devil after the fall. He invented cancer and tuberculosis. If anyone wonders why God did nothing about this, the answer is that he did. God send his some Jesus as a human. The flesh of Jesus back was ripped and torn by Roman whips.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed (Is 53:5).

His wounds provided healing for anyone who will believe and receive. Jesus anointed his people with the same Holy Spirit and commissioned his church to heal the sick and cleanse the leper. Given what God has done, we should be asking a different question. We should be asking why the Church had not fulfilled its commission.

Elders and Pastors are Responsible for Sickness

While Christians are asking why God allowed someone to die, a totally different question is being asked in heaven.

Why did the Church allow that person to die?

Jesus has earned healing for his body, so he expects the Church to put this victory to work. The main responsibility rests with elders and pastors.

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church (James 5:14).

This is a challenging word for elders and pastors of churches with sickness. God has said to them:

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy (Matt 10:8).

Your prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).

God has given elders and pastors responsibility for healing their people, so they should not be appointed until they have proved they can resist sickness in their family and household. The qualifications of an elder say that they will “care for the church” (1 Tim 3:5). The Greek word translated as “care” is only used in one other place in the New Testament. The Good Samaritan used the same word when he asked the innkeeper to “care” for the wounded man until he was well (Luke 10:34,35). Care includes healing of sickness. Potential elders should have learned to deal with sickness in their family.

Warning to Pastors

Ezekiel had a severe warning for pastors who do not heal sickness in their flock.

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock… You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured (Ezek 34:2,4,5).

He says that God is angry with the pastors who do not heal the sick in their flock. They should be helping those who are being attacked by enemy and setting them free. In God’s eyes, healing the sick is more important than preaching sermons. This is a serious challenge for elders and pastors.

When Jesus saw the people suffering from sickness and disease, he was filled with compassion (Matt 9:35,36). He knew they were harassed by Satan and like sheep without a shepherd (pastor). He did not ask God to heal them, but prayed that God would provide good shepherds for them. Many Christians are still harassed and without a shepherd. The Church desperately needs pastors and elders who can set their people free from sickness.

Teaching people to be satisfied with sickness is not the solution, because it devalues the work of Jesus. The disappointment will only disappear when the church is walking in all that God has promised and established through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Healing is the only antidote to this disappointment.

Christians should expect their elders and pastors to heal their diseases. If they are sick, the problem is with their leaders, not with God, so crying out to him will be a waste of energy. Sick Christians can pray that God will stir up their elders. They can ask him to give them insight and wisdom. They can pray that their elders will grow in faith and the power of the Spirit, but seeking God for their healing makes no sense, because he expects pastors and elders to do the job.

If pastors and leaders allow their people to get offended at God over sickness, they are letting them blame God for something, which they should be doing. This is a dangerous game, because if Christians stop blaming God, they might start blaming their pastors and elders. Allowing people to blame God seems to be easier than taking responsibility for dealing with their sickness.

Conclusion

Many Christians have been praying earnestly for healing but their prayer not been answered. Many pastors have been praying for people who go forward at their meetings to be healed, without getting victory. The problem is that we have our spiritual wires crossed. The biblical pattern is clear.

Non-ChristianChristian
Healing is based on Grace

Needs a Gift of Healing

Healing is Gift from God

Healing part of the covenant

Needs a spiritual victory

Getting what is already ours.

Most Christians are using the wrong method when they deal with sickness. We are trying to use the gifts of healing for Christians, when we should be using them for the lost in evangelism. Christians are asking God to heal them, when he has already done everything that is necessary for salvation (healing). Christians should not be asking God or to heal them. They do not need to plead with Jesus for healing. He has already provided healing for us when he was whipped and beaten. We do not have to ask for it, but we do need to appropriate what he has already been given to us. We receive what is our by faith. We also need learn to resist Satan, standing in faith.

God has given his people authority over sickness, and Satan (Matt 10:1):

  • Christians have authority over sickness in their bodies
  • Fathers have authority over sickness in their family
  • Christians have authority to heal unbelievers
  • Elders have authority against sickness in their disciples.
  • If we resist the devil together, he will flee.
  • Christians preaching the gospel have authority to heal unbelievers.

Instead of asking God to heal us, we must use our authority to get rid of sickness.

Christians should be claiming the full promise of the Gospel. When Jesus was flogged, his skin was torn open and his muscles lacerated by several pieces of glass or bone on the end of the whip straps. Only death was necessary for forgiveness of our sins. Jesus body was broken for our healing. If we do not walk in his healing, his pain was wasted.

This article outlines some important biblical principles. Of course, principles alone will not bring victory over sickness. No one has ever been healed by a principle. Healing comes through the presence of Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Faith comes from hearing the voice of God. We must learn to hear the voice of the Spirit, so that we know how they apply to the situation we are facing. As we follow the leading of the Spirit, his power will be released in our lives.

The Parable of the Five Sons

A rich man was going overseas to live. Before leaving, he sent his eldest son to buy a new car for each of his six sons. On his way home, this son was killed in a car accident, but the other cars arrived safely. The father locked the new cars in a large garage. Before leaving, he gave each of his five remaining sons a key to the garage and told them to use their cars and enjoy them.

When he had gone, each son tried to open the garage with his key, but none of them could get the lock to open. They tried and tried, but they could not get into the cars.

 

They often telephoned their father and asked him to give them a car. The father would say, “I have bought a car for each of you and I have given you the key to the garage”. The sons did not realize that all five keys had to be used together to open the door. In the end, they gave up trying to get at their cars and just got used to walking.

People were surprised to see the sons of a rich man walking. If someone asked why they were walking, they would reply. “Our father does not want us to drive in cars. His will is for us to walk. Walking has improved our patience and perseverance. Accepting that we cannot have everything we want has been good for our character”.

They stopped asking their father for a car. They believed that by walking without complaining and accepting their fathers will, they were growing in maturity.

They would sometimes look at their keys and wonder wistfully what it would be like to drive a good car. However, they would quickly put the keys away, because they didn’t want to doubt their fathers love. They never thought to ask their father how to use the keys.

Meanwhile, the father living overseas was sad. Sitting in the garage were five lovely cars, one for each of the sons. They would have been perfect for his sons.

The five cars in the garage were:

  • Holden Commodore
  • E-type Jaguar
  • Audi
  • Lexus
  • Saab

These cars had all been paid for in full, but they had never been used. The saddest thing was that buying the cars had cost the father the life of his eldest son.

 

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