Is Biblical Healing Still a Reality?
Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 11, 2010
KJV Proverbs 3:6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 8. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
Have we ever followed God in all our ways? Ask any Christian and the answer most likely will be, “those days ended when Adam and Eve left Eden.” Before sin, man walked with God. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: KJV Genesis 3:8. God did not stop walking with man when Adam and Eve left the garden. We know this because, Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. KJV Genesis 5:24. It’s amazing how many misguided beliefs the word of God will dispel.
Do we allow God to direct our paths or do we forge our own? When we establish our own path do we cease to acknowledge God? Many Christian leaders teach us to follow our own paths, we are responsible for our own destiny, if we get into trouble all we need to do is pray for relief. When something bad happens, it is either a trial from God or Satan is the cause of our grief. Not only do their theories contradict one another, they fail to teach responsibility. But Solomon tells us, we are supposed to acknowledge, to know God, in all our ways, not only when it is convenient for us. Solomon is driving home the point, when we know God in every facet of our lives, He will direct our paths. Solomon used the Hebrew word, yashar, which means, right, pleasant, prosperous. This is what our paths will be when we know God.
Who teaches us to be wise in our own eyes? It seems the younger people are, the more pronounced the problem. Kids seem to have all the answers, they seem to think they know everything at a very early age. Young people convince themselves, “old people don’t know a thing.” They often have less respect for God than they do for their parents. Where do they learn these concepts? They think they are wiser than their years.
Could this be why we see so many young people suffering from diseases usually found in the elderly? If we take a practical look at the words of Solomon we may surmise, this is a punishment the young have brought upon themselves for being wise in their own eyes. It stands to reason, if they want to appear much older, they must accept the consequences. Is this a form of poetic justice, or physics taking its toll on a generation growing up before their time? Or is this history repeating itself?
The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. KJV Deuteronomy 28:27-29
When Moses wrote about the diseases seen in Egypt, he included not only the physical, but the spiritual. We often forget the connection between spiritual and physical healing. We forget how a kind word can heal a broken heart. How an encouraging word can make the difference between victory and failure. What does it mean to be spiritually blind, to walk in spiritual darkness?
KJV Isaiah 42:18. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19. Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? 20. Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.
KJV 2 Corinthians 4:3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
KJV John 12:39. Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40. He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
A person who is spiritually blind cannot understand or comprehend God’s word. Spiritual blindness refers to people who have eyes but cannot see what is in front of them. It refers to those who read the word of God but cannot, or refuse to understand. This may be caused by preconceived ideas, or a life style contrary to the word of God. It refers to a lack of understanding from the heart. Based on the texts above, this inability to comprehend is self-induced. It refers to the same conceit described in Proverbs 3:7. When people are in this spiritual condition, God can do nothing to heal them. But when people abide in God’s word, He promises to heal them.
KJV Proverbs 4:20. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
KJV Exodus 15:26
26. And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
KJV 2 Chronicles 7:14
14. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
According to the above texts, there is a direct connection between abiding in God’s word, having a direct relationship with Him, and physical healing. This may seem strange to us, because this is not what most Christian leaders teach. They tend to collect a few well chosen texts to support a position that physical healing is a miracle that could only be accomplished by Jesus. Knowing they can present a position based on little or no Biblical proof, and the fact, it is highly unlikely anyone will ever question their opinion, they present a position based on an interpretation founded upon human reasoning.
Most of us realize, physical and spiritual healing are gifts Jesus gave His followers. At some point the gift of healing was lost. Why was it lost? Is this gift still available to Christians? To answer these questions, we have to refer to God’s word. This fact has been established by the texts already presented.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. KJV John 15:7, Psalms 34:15, Matthew 21:22.
Do these texts also refer to the gift of healing? Will the gift of healing be restored when we learn to abide in God’s word? We like to put our own interpretations upon the word of God, convincing ourselves this is proof that we are lead by the Spirit. Few people realize, Satan was the first to put his own interpretation on God’s word. When Satan tempted Christ, he appeared to use the word of God, but changed it ever so slightly. This method proved to be successful in the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, Jesus met Satan on the terms he introduced. As Satan attempted to twist God’s word to suit his understanding, Christ provided texts to put the subject in the proper light. This is how we are supposed to answer questions, with the proper use of scripture. We can do this only when God’s word abides in us.
Many Christian leaders provide a flawed or partial concept of prayer. Some teach how to pray for money and wealth. Others teach how to pray for family and friends, without providing a concept based on the Bible. Many try to convince us, we can pray for just about anything, because God is God. But few Christian teachers use any proof texts beyond Matthew 21:22. They establish an entire concept based on a single text and their personal feelings on the subject.
Many people feel comfortable praying the car will start in the morning. Or they pray for travel mercies. Have you ever seen the term travel mercies in the Bible? They pray for guidance but fail to read God’s letter to all mankind. This letter, the Bible, contains explicit instructions. When you do not understand the instructions, your prayers may or may not be answered. Prayers may be answered but you may not appreciate it, because the answer is not on your terms. The concepts we understand about prayer may not be Biblical, but that is not a reason to stop praying, because to a large degree, prayer is based on faith. Why is it people are willing to pray, based strictly on faith but Christian leaders do not teach to pray based on the instructions and guidance clearly established in the scriptures? If they read the Bible, they know God’s promises are often conditional. Why would teachers be reluctant to share these conditions with their followers?
Before we look at the concept of healing, we must first understand the concept of prayer. This can be accomplished by reviewing a few texts seldom presented in a study on prayer.
KJV Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
KJV Psalms 66:18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
KJV John 9:31. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
With God, many things are conditional. To understand a subject we must understand the conditions. If we do not understand the conditions, we cannot understand the subject. If we do not submit to God’s conditions, how can we hope to secure God’s blessing? Understanding can only come by collecting and reviewing all the texts on a particular subject. To gain a full understanding of the Spirit and His role, we look at all the texts describing the Spirit and His work. If we want to study the life of Jesus we would collect all the texts on Jesus, Christ and all the prophecies using all His titles, the Son of God, Sun of righteousness, Counselor, Prince of Peace, etc. The more texts collected, the greater the understanding. Bible study was never meant to be a simple process of opening a Bible, reading a text and supplying your own interpretation. Bible study is a well organized, honest effort to seek God’s knowledge. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. KJV James 1:3-6.
To understand prayer we will review two examples. The first deals with a modern family with a twenty-five year son old living at home. It has been years since the twenty five year old has carried on a conversation with more than two words. He lives in the home, has his own room, eats the food, uses the water and electricity and still expects the parents to give him money to buy his clothes. He has a job, paying a little more than minimum wage but chooses to work enough hours to support his needs, spending all of his income on women, liquor and other vices. He pays nothing to help support the household. One day the son walks into the living room and tells his father he needs a car. Immediately the father gets up, jumps in the car and drives the son to the car dealer, where he lets him choose his new car. Of course the son chooses the brand new corvette loaded with every option.
This seldom happens in real life, although to some extent it does. If we are loving parents and good Christians, shouldn’t we do all we can for our kids? Or should we? Don’t we put conditions on our kids for the favors we do for them? Why do we put conditions on our promises? To protect our children. In the example, the son may have been an inexperienced driver. He may have used the corvette for less than ethical purposes, such as impressing others and drawing attention to himself. There may be a number of reasons to deny his request. Does that mean the parents do not love the son if they refuse to grant his every wish?
This is the point where most lessons end. That story is used only to illustrate a very important point. The story has little or no hope of teaching a spiritual lesson. It may teach a moral lesson, but spiritual lessons can only be taught by the word of God. To understand this point we must review a Biblical story involving prayer.
Jeremiah 34 records a scene when Jerusalem was surrounded by Babylon. They knew Babylon was coming and they tried to do everything to prepare. They prayed to every god under the sun. They listened to all the false prophets, who agreed with their desired outcome and did all they could to silence God’s true prophets, because they didn’t appreciate the message they were delivering. They tried to forge alliances with a number of enemies, including Egypt.
It seems Jerusalem forgot what happened to them in Egypt. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river. KJV Exodus 1:22. This reveals another important lesson taught in the life of Moses. One of the keys to understanding the books of Moses is to understand the preparation Moses had to undergo as he advanced from step to step. Pharaoh had ordered every son born to be cast into the river. Pharaoh’s law was not disregarded but was honored. The difference was, the preparation. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. KJV Exodus 2:3.
Consider the temptations the Hebrews faced in Egypt. Idol worship, diet, and abuse are just a few. Now consider the temptations faced by Moses. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water. KJV Exodus 2:10. Who can estimate the temptations Moses faced in Pharaoh’s court. They must have been far greater than those faced by the Hebrews who were separated from the Egyptians. But Moses was ready because he had been prepared by his mother. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. KJV Exodus 2:7-9. God also prepared Moses before he was able to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.
The key to Moses’ success was his preparation. This is a lesson we need to understand prayer and to understand the gift of healing.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
KJV Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
A number of God’s promises are conditional. John tells us, we must keep God’s commandments before we receive His blessing. Luke reminds us, we must forgive to be forgiven and if we condemn, we are also condemned. This is what eventually happened to Jerusalem, when they faced the threat from Babylon. When everything else failed and they had their backs to the wall, they finally turned to Jeremiah. This demonstrates how far they drifted away from God. Instead of going to God directly, they felt they had to go through Jeremiah. This may have been a half hearted prayer, but one God answered, on one condition. God told them to free every Hebrew slave. That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go. Jeremiah 34:9-10. They had no other choice, they freed the slaves. Soon afterward, the Babylonian army left, and the entire city rejoiced. The leaders found life a bit more difficult, because they no longer had slaves to do their work for them. For many of them, life seemed unbearable. Someone noticed, the threat had been removed, there was no reason to let the slaves remain free. But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had freed, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. Jeremiah 34:11. They reinstated slavery and the rest is history. Babylon returned, over threw Jerusalem and all the leaders were either killed or carried away to slavery in Babylon. God made the point, prayer is conditional.
The gift of healing is also conditional. To find these conditions and understand them, we need to study all the facets of healing.
Following is a group of texts commonly used to study the healing powers of Jesus.
KJV Matthew 12:22. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
KJV Matthew 15:30. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: 31. Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
KJV Matthew 21:14. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
This collection of texts do not begin to explain the complete story of healing. There is no doubt, Jesus had the power to heal the sick, to make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, heal the lepers, and change people’s lives. To understand the complete story and find out where and how Jesus received this power, we need to review many moral texts.
KJV Isaiah 53:4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
This prophecy in Isaiah foretells the death of Jesus and the powers He is given to save us from sin. This prophecy definitely deals with spiritual healing, but does it also deal with physical healing?
KJV Matthew 4:23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
KJV Matthew 9:35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
KJV Luke 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
KJV Luke 5:15. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
KJV Luke 6:17. And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; 18. And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. 20. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
KJV Luke 8:1. And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, 2. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
KJV Luke 9:11. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
All of these texts have two things in common, they all deal with healing and preaching the word of God. Beyond a doubt these texts prove; Jesus established a relationship between teaching the word of God and the power to heal. If Jesus connected teaching and healing, common sense would tell us, His disciples also followed this rule.
KJV Matthew 10:1. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
KJV Matthew 10:7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
KJV Mark 3:14. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15. And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
KJV Mark 6:12. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
KJV Luke 9:1. Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 4. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. 5. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. 6. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. KJV Luke 10:1, 9.
The goal of a disciple is to become like the teacher. We see this accomplished in the above verses. When Jesus healed, He also taught, preaching the kingdom of God. The disciples were successful when they followed the pattern set by Jesus. This should teach us something. If Christians taught like Jesus, they would have the gift of healing.
Christian leaders do not teach healing in the proper context revealed in the Bible. Today Christians prefer to replace the method Jesus taught with the man made term of faith healing. Where is the Biblical proof for their theories? Can they prove their belief from the Bible? In many cases the answer is no. Little wonder we see so little proof of healing in the world today.
Other Christian leaders claim the gift of healing died with Jesus or the apostles. If this were true, why does Luke write about a group of seventy disciples sent out by Jesus to teach and heal? The Bible provides proof these assumptions are false.
KJV Acts 3:6. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
KJV Acts 4:29. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30. By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
KJV Acts 8:6. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8. And there was great joy in that city.
KJV Acts 10:36. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37. That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
KJV Acts 14:9. The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10. Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 11. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
KJV Acts 28:8. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
KJV 1 Corinthians 12:7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
KJV 1 Corinthians 12:28. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
KJV 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: 15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
KJV Acts 5:14. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 17. Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
The Bible records many accounts of healing after the resurrection of Jesus. These texts provide us with valuable information necessary to understand the gift of healing. The disciples healed in the name of Jesus. This was a reminder that the power did not come from them but from Jesus. This is an important detail to consider if the gift of healing is ever to return.
The disciples continued to preach the word of God. This connection established by Jesus continued as long as the gift of healing was available to His followers. This gift was not only available to the apostles, but it was offered and used by others. The examples of Paul’s ability to heal serves as an example.
Although Paul had written a large portion of the New Testament, he was not one of the twelve apostles. God considered this such an important point, He recorded the appointment of Judas’ replacement in the book of Acts.
KJV Acts 1:22. Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 23. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
The gift of healing is included in the list of spiritual gifts. Why would Jesus remove one spiritual gift and allow the others to remain? Especially one so closely related to teaching?
The scriptures verify the fact, healing is closely associated with teaching. Jesus gave this gift to the apostles, seventy disciples, and continued on through Paul, and is included in the spiritual gifts. The question still lingers, what happened to the gift of healing? There is one thing for certain, if the gift of healing would be lost, God would have left us with a warning. To find this warning we need to find the answer in the word of God.
KJV Isaiah 3:7. In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. 8. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 9. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. 10. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
KJV Isaiah 6:8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 11. Then said I, Lord, how long? and he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12. And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 13. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
KJV Jeremiah 6:13. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. 16. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
KJV Jeremiah 14:19. Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble! 20. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.
KJV Jeremiah 15:16. Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. 17. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. 18. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? 19. Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.
KJV Ezekiel 34:1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3. Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
KJV Nahum 3:18. Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. 19. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
KJV Zechariah 11:16. For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Isaiah shows there will be a failure to understand. When people do not understand they cannot be healed. Although the context of Isaiah 6 deals with spiritual healing, it establishes a direct correlation between knowledge and healing. You can clearly see why the New Testament put such an emphasis on the relationship between the two.
Jeremiah points out the fact that when Israel turned from God and established their own ways, God could no longer heal them. For some reason Jeremiah recognized the fact, they did have a minor ability to heal, but this could not be equal to God’s ability. God calls for their return, but they would not listen, they were stuck in their own ways. Somehow they were convinced their ways were better, or easier.
Ezekiel 34 contains a prophecy, warning about the lack of proper teaching and guidance. To understand the prophecy we need to understand the key word shepherd. A shepherd can either represent Jesus or other religious leaders. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. KJV John 10:11-17. Because those shepherds could not properly teach (feed) the people (flock), they could not heal them in the physical or spiritual sense. Nahum and Zechariah also establish these facts.
The rebellion against God continued. The New Testament lists a number of accounts in which Jesus was challenged by the ruling religious powers. They were waiting for a Savior. They read all the prophecies, but they did not understand them. In Jesus’ time, the religious leaders instructed the nation of Israel, but their interpretations were completely wrong. They were looking for a savior, but on their own terms. They allowed their imaginations to out weigh the word of God. This spiritually blinded them. The following texts illustrate the severity of their mistake.
KJV Matthew 13:15. For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
KJV Matthew 19:2. And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
KJV Matthew 21:13. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
KJV Mark 3:1. And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
KJV Mark 6:4. But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
KJV Luke 6:6. And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. 7. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 9. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
KJV Luke 13:12. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. 15. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
KJV Luke 14:2. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. 3. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? 4. And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
When we study texts relating to accusations and challenges laid on Jesus and His healing, we see a number of interesting patterns. Many of the challenges came on the Sabbath. For some reason, Jesus preferred to heal on the Sabbath. This enraged the religious leaders, who prided themselves on keeping the Sabbath and imposing their self-made rules upon others. It was as if they had a belief that enforcing the law drew them closer to God. Enforcing their rules became more important than the Sabbath itself.
Many of their rules were not based upon scripture. Jesus asked them, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matthew 15:3. Jesus pointed out this mistake many times. “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Mark 7:8-9, Mark 7:13, Matthew 15:6.
We all know how this story ended, or continued. In order to stop Jesus from teaching and healing, they crucified Him on the cross.
This is one instance where religious leaders put their beliefs in front of the health and well being of their followers. We are seeing this pattern repeated today. In the days of Jesus the conflict centered around truth, the law, and health. We see the same debates today.
Many religious leaders are standing up against a national health care bill. None of these leaders are taking a stand to ensure their followers receive the best health care available. None of them are asking why they, as religious leaders, are no longer able to heal those who come to them. Instead, they are fighting for principles they do not fully understand.
When religious leaders should be speaking out against the present health care system and suggesting ways to improve it, they are mysteriously silent when it comes to positive criticism on the subject. By their actions they are supporting the corrupt and immoral practices daily conducted throughout the health care system. On a daily basis insurance companies are denying services based on financial concerns. Religious leaders should have been speaking out against these practices years ago. It appears Christian leaders are casting a blind eye to the insurance companies while they continue to play God with people’s lives.
The US Patent office and court system allows companies to patent processes and buy and sell patents on human genes. This practice allows companies to control and limit, or eliminate testing, treatment, diagnosis, and charge whatever fees they consider necessary. Christian leaders sit idly by while companies carve up God’s creation, the very likeness of God into bits and pieces like it is nothing more than a pot full of coins. The purpose of these practices is to increase profits, by eliminating competition. When genes are patented, no one has the right to test, treat, or improve on diagnosis and treatments without first paying high fees imposed by the patent holder. This amounts to nothing more than providing medical companies with a way to enforce controls on medical costs and treatment. These companies control who gets what treatment at a cost they determine. A true Christian would question why their leaders are silent on these issues. While Christ taught us to freely heal and comfort our fellow human beings, Christian leaders are vocally protesting any type of change or restraint on companies, who believe they should control every form of healing.
It’s strange to think, Christian leaders are willing to support these medical companies while they cannot understand why they do not have the gift to heal. We have to question the motive of Christian leaders, who entrust this spiritual gift to medical companies, whose main concern is profit. Like the religious leaders in the days of Jesus, their principles and beliefs have blinded them.
We could never compare the health care system to the healing powers of Jesus, but the concept remains the same. The number one concern for the shepherd should be the care of the sheep, their followers. Properly teaching them and caring for their health and well being is the job of the leaders. When we see religious leaders encouraging their followers to take up arms and rebel, based on principle, this is far from the type of example Jesus left us. Until we recognize this fact, the healing cannot begin.
Is this the reason we have lost the gift of healing? Because the love of money has blinded those entrusted with the process of healing? Is there a way to regain this spiritual gift? God has also recorded this promise to give us hope and instructions. God has never stopped calling His people back.
KJV Jeremiah 3:22. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.
KJV Isaiah 58:6. Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. 9. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
KJV Isaiah 57:18. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.
KJV Psalms 103:2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
KJV Psalms 107:19. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. 20. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. 21. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
KJV Jeremiah 17:13. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. 14. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. 15. Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now.
KJV Isaiah 30:26
26. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
God’s promises are true. The ways of God are not the same as man’s. The debates over the health care plan are a perfect example. We hear a lot of people criticizing any proposed plan. The staunchest critics stand their ground without a single suggestion on how to solve the problems we face. But with God, we are given a choice, guidance and instructions that show us how to solve the problem. At times God gives us only His assurance He is there to take care of us when we choose to return to ?Him. Other texts supply us with the conditions of His promise. It stands to reason, God cannot restore the gift of healing while the curse of greed controls the only system we know and trust. Where is the word of the Lord? It is not being properly taught when it comes to the subject of healing. Will the spiritual gift of healing reappear when we let the word of the Lord come to us as it was intended?
No matter what course Christian leaders decide to take, they cannot interfere with God’s plans. One day healing will come to this world. No matter how hard the medical industry holds onto and expands their greed, no matter how much money they make, no matter how many laws they are able to enact in their favor, they will one day fall.
Much of the book of Revelation contains prophecies concerning money and the economic condition of this world when Christ returns. To a large degree our health system is based upon financial concerns. Money is the driving force behind every decision made. Studying this matter should be a concern in our day, as we see these conditions unfold. Additional study may provide answers to the questions we face today. Whether we study or not, if the medical industry changes or not, it will not alter God’s plan. The decisions men make will not hinder God’s promise to one day restore healing to this world.
KJV Acts 10:38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
KJV Revelation 22:1. And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.