No one single topic seems to separate Christians into groups faster than the topic of Christian Healing. The statistics of user searches on this website show that this topic is high, very high, on the minds of our visitors; the view rate for ‘Healing Prayers’ being among the highest of any category. Strangely however, at the same time, it is a topic which we seldom ever hear preached from the pulpits of our half empty Churches, while at the same time, it packs to overflowing the halls and venues of ad-hoc Christian Healing ministries.
There is something about Christian Healing which seems to strike to the heart of Christians, no, to the hearts of all men and women. I recall a fervent atheist telling me “If your God heals me – I will believe!” Hollow words, of which we are warned, but telling, nevertheless. (But even in this man’s words one finds referenced the evangelistic mode of Jesus, as instructed by Him in Luke 9:2; preach and heal. Jesus augmented this in v10:7-10 asking them to fellowship, eat & drink, heal and then preach.)
What does the Bible say about healing? I find a number of passages very interesting and enlightening as they set a foundation for Christian healing, upon which we can build a Biblical understanding. Let us look briefly at three.
The first is The Epistle of 1 James 5:14 “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” In the Greek, there is a change in tenses between the first question and following admonishments, such that one could reasonable add an exclamation mark to the question mark. In other words, James is saying that there should be no sick among you – but if there are….then… Next, we see that the ‘elders of the church’ (plural) are to be called. Not an elder, but the elders. This is a clear requirement for the leaders of the whole church, if not the whole church, to come together as a corporate body to pray for the sick (the weak). First Thessalonians 5:14 also calls similarly for the support of the weak, of the sick. Next we see the call for prayer for the sick and the anointing with oil. In Scripture, oil is both a medicine (as in the ‘Good Samaritan’ parable of Luke 10:30-37) and a symbol of the Spirit of God (as used in anointing kings, First Samuel 16:1-13). We must therefore see oil as representing both the medical and the spiritual spheres of life. This symbology, which seems to have been lost in the modern Church, is important, for Christians should not separate the physical and the spiritual. Remember, Jesus Christ is Lord over both the body and the spirit.
The second passage is Matthew 10:1 “And when He had called to Him His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” What is quite clear here, is the link, the direct association, which Jesus saw and taught between the physical and the spiritual. In Matthew 10:1 Jesus empowered his disciples and followers to heal and thereafter, each time they went out to evangelist, they were to heal also. As Jesus sent out the 12 (Matthew 10:8), he told them to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give.” When He send out the 70 (Luke10:9) He told them to “heal the sick …… and say to them, The Kingdom of God has come near you!”
The final introductory passage is that of the Great Commission which Jesus gave to his eleven as they sat around the table saying, in Mark 16:15-18
“Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well.”
From this passage, it is clear that not only is Christian Healing biblical, it is both required and expected, of and from all Christians. If you believe, you will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed. This is what Jesus tell us and promises us. Look at the imperative here – the promise from Jesus himself: we will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well. Notice it says will, not might, not perhaps, not sometimes.
Once can also note the link between healing of the sick and the casting out of demons, through the New Testament. One clear example of this is found in The Gospel According to Luke 4:40 which describes one of the healing sessions of Jesus himself: “And the sun sinking, all, as many as had sick ones with different kinds of diseases brought them to Him. And laying hands on each of them, He healed them. And also demons came out of many, crying out and saying, You are the Christ, the Son of God! And rebuking them, He did not allow them to speak; for they knew Him to be the Christ.” Many of those whom Jesus healed were, if not possessed by demons, were certainly effected by demons, or demonised. From this we may reasonably surmise that some sickness is caused by, or associated with, the presence of demons or evil spirits. The names of the spirits of death, infirmity, pain and crippling are examples.
However, within western society and especially within the western or western taught Church, there appears to be a great general reticence, a great reluctance, even to bring up, or to discuss, let alone preach, on the demonic and the spiritual. The Chinese, Indian and South East Asian communities and nations with backgrounds in Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism do not have this phobia, yet still some of their Church leaders refuse to preach or teach on Christian Healing or the spiritual or the demonic. “What if we preach on the Holy Spirit and He does not turn up to heal?” – is a well known offering. “We don’t want to scare the new Christians” is another. This position is, I argue, not supported by scripture.
What are some biblical reasons for healing not happening? Let us look at some examples:
Ignorance of God’s Word:
Isaiah 5:13 “For this My people go into exile without knowledge, and their honourable men into famine, and his multitude is dried up with thirst.”
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your sons, even I.”
Hebrews 3:12-13 “Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins shall not be blessed; but whoever confesses and leaves them shall have mercy.”
Mark 11:25-26 “And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive it so that also your Father in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Exodus 23:24-26 “You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them. And you shall not do according to their works. But you shall surely pull them down, and surely you shall smash their images. And you shall serve Jehovah your God, and He shall bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. Nothing shall cast their young, nor be barren in your land. The number of your days I will fulfill.”
Ungodly & Unholy Covenants:
Exodus 23:31-33 “And I will stretch your bounds from the Red Sea even to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the river. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it surely will be a snare to you.”
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 “And it shall be, if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come on you and overtake you.
You shall be cursed in the city, and cursed in the field.
Your basket and your store shall be cursed.
The fruit of your body shall be cursed, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep.
You shall be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out.
Jehovah shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.
Jehovah shall make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land where you go to possess it.
Jehovah shall strike you with lung disease and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish.
And your heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth that is under you iron.
Jehovah shall make the rain of your land powder and dust. It shall come down from the heavens on you until you are destroyed.
Jehovah shall cause you to be stricken before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a trembling to all the kingdoms of the earth.
And your body shall be food to all birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth. And no man shall frighten them away.
Jehovah will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with the haemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, of which you cannot be healed.
Jehovah shall strike you with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart.
And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you.
You shall become engaged to a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, and you shall not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, and you shall not gather the grapes of it.
Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you, your sheep given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them.
Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail for them all the day long. And there shall be no power in your hand.
The fruit of your land, and all your labours, shall be eaten up by a nation which you do not know. And you shall always be oppressed and crushed, and you shall be mad because of that which you shall see with the sight of your eyes.
Jehovah shall strike you in the knees and in the legs with an evil ulcer that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
Jehovah shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone.
And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations where Jehovah shall lead you.
You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather little in, for the locust shall eat it.
You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but shall neither drink the wine nor gather, for the worm shall eat them.
You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint with the oil, for your olive shall drop off its fruit.
You shall father sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity.
All your trees and the fruit of your land the locust shall possess.
The stranger within you shall get up above you very high, and you shall come down very low.
He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever.
Because you did not serve Jehovah your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies which Jehovah shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the lack of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Jehovah shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand, a nation fierce of face who shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.
And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your livestock, or flocks of your sheep, until he has destroyed you.
And he shall besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down, throughout all the land. And he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which Jehovah your God has given you.
And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which Jehovah your God has given you, in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you.
The man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his sons which he has left; so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his sons whom he shall eat, because he has nothing left to him in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates.
The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not have ventured to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them secretly for lack of all things, in the siege and anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in your gates.
If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH YOUR GOD, then Jehovah will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your seed great and persistent plagues; with evil and long-lasting sicknesses.
Also, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid. And they shall cling to you.
Also, every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law, Jehovah will bring them on you until you are destroyed.
And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of Jehovah your God.
And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to destroy you and to bring you to nothing. And you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it.
And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, which neither you nor your fathers have known, wood and stone.”
And among these nations you shall find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest. But Jehovah shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind.
Yes, there are biblically based reasons for healing not working and all come under the name of ‘sin.’ However, all the above and be addressed and can be confessed, repented of, and forgiven. It just takes the will to do so, plus a little time and effort. It also required faith: faith being trust in that which cannot be seen. Just because one has never seen Christian healing in action, does not mean that one cannot either be healed by it, or heal others with it. For in Christian healing, we are but the vessels; God does all the real work. When the supernatural power of God arrives, the demonic spirits must leave. They, the demonic, know that Satan was defeated by Jesus and Jesus reigns with all power and authority. Jesus has given us this authority, and if we but use it, we too can vanquish both the enemy and sicknesses.
The enemy knows well our power over them in the name of Jesus, unfortunately, most Christians remain blithely ignorant and instead, let the enemy trample over them.
Thank you for opening my eyes to Christian Healing and showing me that it is biblical and I have been empowered by Jesus to heal others in His name. I pray, Lord, that You will teach me and train me, that I may heal Your people as an integral part of my evangelism for Your Kingdom. Lord, I offer You my body and my will as a living sacrifice for Your use. Please use me Lord, such that You will be glorified.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen and Amen and Amen.