Today, more than ever, people need the Lord. Sin has cut people off from God. Misery and suffering may be found everywhere. We tell people that Jesus Christ is the answer. But we must do more than talk. We must demonstrate Jesus Christ. The Bible shows us how this ought to be done. We must live a life of love. We must also show forth the power of Jesus Christ to bless, heal and break the power of evil. Christ has commanded all these things. If we fail in one of these areas we have missed the standard that God has set. Jesus Christ is now expecting results from his servants. We should listen to His Word.
There is now a great contradiction between what Christ said and what the church shows. Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also." (John 14:12). The New Testament is a model for ministry. Jesus showed his disciples how to do the ministry. The pattern is still valid for today.
Jesus Christ plainly said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues … they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:15-18).
The churches that have ignored or rejected this passage of Scripture are ignoring an important instruction of Jesus Christ. The power of the gospel operates only when Christians believe it and obey it. This booklet is written to help you be effective in ministering healing to the sick people in Jesus' name. To do this you must believe the Word of God more than the theology and practice of many church leaders, who do not practice this ministry for a variety of reasons. You must have the courage to believe the Word of God for yourself and act on it. If nobody you know operates in this ministry God is still speaking to you. He expects you to exercise leadership in this area, so that God will be glorified and more people will know Jesus and his love in a practical way.
Who are you?
If you truly confess Jesus Christ as Lord, you belong to Him. His Word says you are a son of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). You have been brought into God's family. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are an ambassador of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). You are called to operate on His behalf, for Him, through Him, with Him. You are called to do all in Jesus' name (Colossians 3:17). As a member of His body on the earth, Jesus wants you to continue His ministry of healing to the people of the world. You are His hands and feet. What Jesus did through his earthly body 2000 years ago he wants to continue through the church, which is His body today.
Jesus has not changed. The Bible says that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus came to do the Father's will, and the gospels show that Jesus "went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). You are called to do the same. You must believe this. The Bible idea of a Christian is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, a believer (Acts 11:26). As such, you are called to learn the trade of your master. Jesus will teach you to cast out demons, to destroy the works of the devil, and to heal the sick in His own name. Do not be fearful or unbelieving, but believing.
Healing is Part of the Good News
The same passage in Isaiah 53 which tells us of Jesus that "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon him, that the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" also tells us that "by his stripes we are healed". This is not just spiritual healing, as some have supposed, for the Word of God, if properly attended to, brings life to all our flesh (see Proverbs 4:20-22). A more literal translation of Isaiah 53:4 says "Surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains". This is made clear in Matthew 8:17, which quotes this passage from Isaiah.
What does all this mean? It means that Jesus' suffering and death purchased not only redemption from our sins, but also healing for our bodies. This is part of the good news of Jesus Christ. To fully please God, we must preach this part of the message also. This message is totally consistent with the example of Jesus in healing, and with the whole revelation in the Bible of God being "the Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15:26).
Faith for healing comes from people hearing the Word of God about healing (Romans 10:17). God send his Word today through preachers and heals people, delivering them from destructive forces (Ps. 107:20). How will people believe in Jesus as healer today if we do not preach Him as such? Jesus has given us this responsibility.
Whereas faith comes through hearing the Word of God, many times doubt and unbelief come by hearing the unbelieving, twisted theologies of some preachers. Some preachers, when speaking on healing, ignore every positive thing that the Bible says about the Lord's healing work, and instead concentrate on interpretations of some passages of Scripture which they claim show that God does not always want to heal. This is a serious error, and has weakened the testimony of Christians for centuries. If faith for healing leaves through the preaching, the message is no good.
Be Results Oriented
For people to be saved from sin, they must put their trust in Christ. I have found that effectively healing the sick in Jesus' name causes more people to trust in Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sins. As Jesus has worked through me to heal the people of so many kinds of diseases, many have believed in Christ's reality and put their trust in Him. Many people, when they have seen deaf-mutes healed, blind eyes open or even backs healed through the laying on of my hands in Jesus' name, have then believed in Jesus and trusted him for salvation. Besides showing forth the compassion and goodness of God, this kind of ministry is ordained by God to cause more people to believe in Jesus. It is not right to ignore this kind of ministry. We must choose to please God rather than merely pleasing men.
Jesus expected results from his disciples. When his disciples could not cast out the demon from a boy, Jesus called them an "unbelieving and perverse generation". Jesus often rebuked his own disciples for their unbelief and hardness of heart (Matthew 18:17). He told them on one occassion to "Heal the sick there" (Luke 10:9), not merely to "pray for the sick". Disciples are supposed to be taught to do all that Jesus commanded the original twelve (Matthew 28:19). If you are a disciple, you are called to be close to Jesus. You are called to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit, preach the Good News and do the works of Jesus.
What Makes the Difference?
We have all seen prayer for the sick with little results. This can be discouraging, but it does not invalidate God's Word. Circumstances should be judged by God's Word. We should never judge God's Word by the circumstances. So what factors make the difference between a weak healing ministry and an effective one?
a. Knowledge of what God wants
Some ministers beg God to do something for the poor suffering ones. This kind of praying would be fine if God had not revealed His will and intentions on the matter. We err if we somehow believe that the Lord may be unwilling and our prayers might persuade the Lord to be compassionate. The Lord is willing to heal and has promised to respond to faith. "The prayer of faith shall heal the sick and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:15). Scriptures that show God's will concerning healing are many. They include Exodus 15:26, Psalm 103:3, Isaiah 53:4,5; Hebrews 13:8; Mark 16:18 and of course all the practical examples recorded for us in the four Gospels and the book of Acts.
b. The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
We are commanded to be continually full of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To ignore or reject this commandment is to sin against Jesus Christ. God wants us all to speak in tongues (Mark 16:17; 1 Cor 14:4). This should happen when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit. We can see this from a careful study of the Book of Acts. But being full of the Holy Spirit involves more than speaking in tongues. It involves a life of praise and thanksgiving, a life of prayer and seeking the face of God. It involves a life in the Word of God, a life actively lived to please God. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who through faith obey Him (Acts 5:32). Our Father is very willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13). Since it is the Holy Spirit who actually does the healing, we must be full of Him so we can release His power through our hands and mouths to others who need healing.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus says, "Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:23,24).
Faith means being sure of God's will and acting accordingly. Here Jesus gives us the secret of faith. You must speak to problems, be they demons, disease or whatever, and command them to go. Believe you will have what you say, and you will have what you say. And when you are praying and God puts a desire on your heart to pray for something, believe that to be God's will and believe that you receive what you asked for.
One way I apply this practically in ministering to the sick is as follows. Many people in the world have back problems. When someone with a back problem comes to me for ministry, I lay hands on the sore spot and command the muscles, tendons and ligaments to relax there. Then I command the bones to move into place. I believe that what I say will happen, and then I tell the people to bend over, acting out their faith. This has brought instant relief to sufferers hundreds of times through my personal ministry. These methods are based on a practical common sense application of the Word of God.
Trials of our faith
Faith is tested when results don't come immediately, but in these cases we may need to leave the results to God and trust that He is working. It is a serious error to doubt that God has done anything when no manifestation of healing comes immediately. God's Word has already declared that "with His stripes ye were healed". That should be enough to settle the question of God's will for us. Many times I have found after ministering to the sick that people received the manifestation of healing a little while later, despite the fact that it did not manifest immediately. God is faithful when we believe.
d. Knowledge of our authority under Jesus Christ
Jesus gave us authority over diseases and evil spirits (Luke 10:19). He expects us to believe that and use that authority. There is a strong relationship between faith and the understanding of authority. The Roman centurion in Matthew 8:5-13 understood authority and recognized it in Jesus. Jesus said about that man that he had not found such faith in all Israel. Jesus really does have all authority in heaven and earth, and his purpose is to destroy the devil's works, including disease (1 John 3:8). When we believe this and understand that he has authorized us to do it in His place, we too will operate with faith and confidence. For you see, acting in Jesus' name means acting under his authorization, doing what He told us to do in His place.
Authority is expressed through words. We should command demons and disease to go. We can even command the parts of people's bodies that are out of order to be made new. We can command bones in the spine to move into place. All this should be done in Jesus' name – that is, in Jesus' authority. You must believe in your heart that Jesus has commanded you and authorized you to do these things.
"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Pride is operating when we try to take the credit for things that only God can do. Stubbornly holding to traditional ideas that downplay healing ministry is also a form of pride. Concern for our reputation, and what others will think, even the fear of man are all rooted in pride. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?" (John 5:44). This principle is valid today. There are many within the church hierarchy whose faith is paralysed because they are too busy considering whether a certain course of action will bring them approval and honor from the men in their denomination, or not. This will lead to wrong motives and a lack of obedience to Christ, to whom we owe our first allegiance as Christians.
To overcome pride and unbelief we should seek humility. Usually both prayer and fasting are necessary. Fasting humbles our flesh, and brings us to a place of sensitivity to the moving of God's Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the executive power of God on
earth. Therefore we must listen to Him if we want things to work well in ministering to the sick.
f. Focus (Matthew 17:14-21)
We must be focused to do this ministry well. Jesus called his disciples "perverse" when they could not cast out the demon in Matthew 17:17. That word "perverse" meant that they were not focused. In verse 21 Jesus points out that prayer and fasting was necessary. Prayer and fasting increases our focus and allows a build up of God's power and faith within us. Many times when we are weak physically through fasting, then we are strong in God's power.
There is more to divine healing than can be included in a brief booklet like this. To be effective, you must focus your mind on the parts of the Word of God that relate to divine healing. You should meditate deeply on them until doubt is overcome.
We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are vessels for the Lord. We must seek purity and practical sanctification in order to be as useful as possible for the Lord. When our hearts weighed down with worldly cares and sins, we become like blocked channels. The healing life of the Lord through us is reduced to a trickle, or stops completely. Although God can move through a believer with sin in his life, this is a dangerous place to be. We might easily be deceived into thinking that God approves of us because of his works of power through our life. But this is not necessarily the case (Matthew 7:21-23).
Focusing on God's Word will help purify our minds and hearts. Purity helps us to draw close to Jesus. If we love Him, why should we let ourselves become dirty with fleshly sins and wicked thoughts and imaginations. This is not the way to draw close to Jesus.
By seeking purity we show our love for Jesus and our lives will bring honor to the Lord. Our love for Him and others will be sincere. When Jesus works with power through our lives we will see it as an occasion to truly praise God, not to glorify ourselves.
Impurity grieves God and can quench the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Therefore let us seek purity so that our faith can reach new levels and our lives bring pleasure to God.
Many times Christians need deliverance from evil spirits, which may oppress the soul. We must learn to take authority over evil spirits seeking to work in our own lives, and be cleansed through confession, repentance and faith in the Blood of Christ, before we can effectively move in the kind of faith that gets results in the ministry of divine healing.
What are some different ways people receive divine healing?
Divine healing may be received in many ways. Below some of the more important ways are discussed. All of these methods have worked in a multitude of cases, and testimonies can be given to support all of this. But this is not done here for the purpose of space.
Calling for the Elders of the Church
- James 5:14,15
- Is anyone among you sick? 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. And the prayer of faith will save [heal] the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
This is a command of the New Testament. In cases where simpler methods have not worked, it is the instruction of God that we call the elders of the church to come to the bed of the sick one and do these things. God assumes here that the elders are able to pray a prayer of faith. If your church leaders are unable to do this, perhaps you should find a church where the elders can and will do their part in this matter. Then God gives his promise, “The Lord will raise him up.” Wonderful promise!
Jesus laid hands on the sick on many occasions and in this way imparted the healing power of the Holy Spirit to their diseased bodies. Jesus touched the hand of Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:15, and the fever left her. Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead by taking her by the hand and speaking to her (Matthew 9:25). By touching the eyes of blind men Jesus healed them also (Matthew 9:29). Many other examples could be given.
Many times also it was enough for the sick themselves to touch Jesus, or His clothes. Mark 6:56 says that “as many as touched him were made well”. This is a variation on the idea of laying on of hands but the idea is similar. The healing power of the Holy Spirit flows from Jesus through a physical contact made in faith.
Jesus gave this ministry to all believers in Mark 16:17,18. “These signs will follow those who believe: In My Name … they will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” Jesus wants his ministers to lay hands on the sick and transmit into their bodies the wonderful power of the Holy Spirit, which brings healing, deliverance and release.
It is biblical to pray and intercede from a distance for those in sickness. The centurion did this in one sense, knowing that a word from Jesus was enough for the healing of His servant. In the Old Testament, Abraham prayed for the healing of Abimelech and his family and was heard (Genesis 20:17). In Numbers 12:13 Moses intercedes for the healing of his sister Miriam from leprosy, and she was healed by the time seven days were up. It is Biblical to pray for others. We are told to ask in Jesus’ name, and we shall receive, that our joy may be full (John 16:24).
Prolonged intecessory prayer will often prepare the way for God to move miraculously and suddenly in divine healing. Such prayer involves a struggle with the powers of darkness. We are not often aware of the reasons for the spiritual struggles involved in getting answers for some of our prayers. Persistent faith is important here (Luke 18:1-8).
Listening to Preaching on Divine Healing from the Word of God
Since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ [God]” (Romans 10:17) one way to grow in faith for God’s promises to be fulfilled is to hear anointed preaching on the subject. We need not only to read and analyze, but to really hear faith-filled preaching of God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. In third world countries many are healed in great evangelistic rallies by simply hearing the message preached. Even listening to taped messages can be of great benefit to our faith.
Many benefits are promised to those who meditate on the Word (e.g. Joshua 1:8). The Hebrew concept of meditation includes muttering something to oneself over and over again. This causes the words to enter deeply into the human soul and spirit. In this way, faith can be developed for things which look impossible to the natural eye.
Proverbs 4:20-22 promises healing to the flesh of all who attend to God’s Word, focus on it and do not let it depart from their heart.
One of the ways faith comes is by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). If we keep hearing the Word of God about healing, eventually faith will be developed in that area. We need to meditate on the Word until our hearts are speaking the Word back to us, and we are really hearing it. After we have begun to hear the Word, we need to keep hearing it, pondering it, and turning it over in our minds so that doubt and unbelief has no place to enter.
Confessing the Word in the first person
Closely related to meditating on the Word is the idea of declaring with the mouth the promise or declaration of the Scriptures in the first person (that is, using the words “I” and “me”).
This is far from the only method of healing, yet it has its place. The classic example of this is to refuse to talk about the pain one feels, but rather to declare, for example: “Jesus took my sicknesses and carried my pains, and by his wounds I am healed” (Is. 53:4,5; 1 Peter 2:24).
The more we believe something, the more we will say it (2 Cor. 4:13). And the more we say something, the more likely we are to believe it. If it is true that repeatedly hearing lies results in deception, then it is also true that repeatedly hearing the Word of God, especially out of our own mouth, will result in faith. This is because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). As we prayerfully hear the Word with a soft, good heart, new faith germinates and grows in the previously barren areas of our lives.
Doubt is overcome by devoting oneself to meditation on the Word. Declaring the Word releases power and can change the spiritual climate governing our situation. This is a good reason to speak the Word of God out in the face of all kinds of negative and threatening situations. In order to do this, however, we first need to believe that God’s Word can over-rule the circumstances of our lives. Secondly, we need to know the Scriptures relevant to our particular case.
Since “death and life is in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21, we ought to believe that we can have what we say in line with God’s Will, which is revealed in His Word. There is creative power in words. God used them to create the Universe. We use them all the time to influence our world. Since God wants us well, we should speak words of life over our bodies and not words of defeat and discouragement.
When we truly believe from the heart, and when we talk and act consistently with that faith, God works. Such faith is a gift from God. God wants us to believe His promises. He knows when we believe. By holding onto our confession and patiently waiting for God to move we will obtain the promises (Hebrews 6:12; 10:23).
Confessing the Word concerning healing in the first person means to say out loud the declarations of Scripture concerning our healing and to make it personal. This can help build faith and also, “by calling things that are not as though they were” we can follow in the footsteps of Abraham (Romans 4:17-21) and see God intervene to change the circumstances.
Such confessions do not force the hand of God. Rather, they express trust and confidence in the integrity of God’s Word. It is a verbal affirmation that the thing God says about healing applies to us. Confessing the Word like this does not always bring instant results. Instead it works to progressively grow us up spiritually and release us from fear, doubt and discouragement so that faith can work.
Many other confessions concerning healing or anything else can be constructed using God’s Word. When done by the Spirit of God, it can release great power into our lives – harmonising us with God’s plan for blessing.
Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, HE WILL HAVE WHATEVER HE SAYS. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Jesus is not really talking about literal mountains here. “The mountain” refers to any obstacle, problem or negative thing in your path. Like a mountain, it looks like it is impossible to move. But Jesus said, if you tell it to move and don’t doubt in your heart, you will have what you say! This principle is applied to ministering deliverance and healing to people.
We command the mountain of demonic oppression to leave a person and it goes. We command the bodies of others or our own bodies to come into line according to the principles of perfect health, and they do. It works when we understand that God wants it to happen, because of His nature, His compassion and His written Will – the Word of God. It works when we take this Scripture seriously and believe that God could use us in such a way. If we doubt any of these things, it probably won’t work for us. We then need to purify our hearts and minds and become more like Jesus, who knew the Father perfectly and operated this way all the time with perfect confidence.
In Jesus name, we can command muscles, tendons and ligaments to relax, and bones to move into place. We can command internal organs to be made new, or nerve connections to be fixed. All this is to be done in Jesus’ name. If we believe it with God-given faith, God will do it. This “believing” though is not something we generate, but something that is imparted to us through our relationship with God and our knowledge of His ways. We still need to depend on God in all of this.
We are not commanding God here, but we are commanding the mountain – the body or the problem, to move. God is sovereign. He has commanded us to imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1). We put this Scripture into practise in obedience to Him. Mark 11:23 reveals an important principle to those with ears to hear. We are called upon to voluntarily submit to God’s Lordship, but this often means active faith rather than passive weakness. We have authority in Jesus’ name when we live under the authority of Jesus Christ in a practical way.
The story is told of a misionary in China who was afflicted with many smallpox sores and was in serious danger. The Lord instructed her to praise Him for His promises of healing. When those praises were greater than the problem, she was miraculously healed by the power of God.
In the same way, God is pleased when we thank and praise Him for His promises. This develops character in the face of difficulty. It glorifies God, and often results in a wonderful manifestation of divine healing.
Obedience to a Divinely given Instruction
In the gospels Jesus often gave instructions to people seeking healing. For example, he told the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:7). It was obedience to Christ’s instruction which released the healing to that man. It can be the same today, since God still has His ways of communicating with us.
I personally know a preacher who was healed of a skin problem when he obeyed the Lord and began to preach in the open air in his city. People may also receive physical healing when they put things right in a relationship either by restoring what was stolen or by forgiving those who have unjustly treated them. These are things the Holy Spirit may show us to do. And often, we will fail to receive divine healing until we do the very thing our conscience is pressing us to do.
A minister of divine healing may give an instruction in the name of Jesus to a person seeking healing. Obedience to that instruction will release healing if the instruction truly was from the Lord. Many times the instruction will involve doing something that was impossible or difficult to do before. I have been led many times to tell those with back problems to thank the Lord and then touch their toes. Many times they are surprised at the way the Lord instantly heals them at that moment. This happens both with non-believers and with believers.
It is no use talking about what great faith we have if we are not willing to obey the practical instructions of the Lord to our situtation. Faith without corresponding actions is dead faith – no use to anyone.
Sometimes sickness persists and we don’t know why. Prayer and fasting (not eating food) is a divinely instituted means of getting breakthoughs in difficult circumstances. In humbling ourselves this way, we can receive grace from God and hear His voice more clearly. Our prayers tend to have greater power also in times of fasting.
Fasting has the side effect of releasing the toxins out of our body which have accumulated, perhaps through a less than perfect diet, or for other reasons. Often just eliminating these toxins will have a positive effect on our health. Natural things are not to be despised. Why should God keep on healing us if we insist on abusing our bodies with tobacco, excessive alchohol or gluttonous behaviour?
Fasting helps in breaking the power of sin and disease and demonic strongholds in our mind. It will also enable us in many cases to receive a far greater anointing with which to minister to others.
Sometimes sickness and illness, especially those sicknesses and illnesses of a chronic nature, are the direct result of the work of an evil spirits. In Luke 13:11-16 we read of “a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up”. Jesus healed this woman by a word of command. Regarding this case said, “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (vs 16).
Here is a clear example showing that even a child of God can by physically afflicted or bound by an evil spirit. For further evidence on this point, see my booklet on “Deliverance from the Evil One”.
The casting out of demons goes together with the healing of the sick in many passages in the New Testament, especially in the ministry of Jesus. This is no accident. In fact, understanding the ministry of deliverance provides major keys to an effective ministry of healing.
Many people, even many Christians, are under the power of a demonic curse which is affecting many areas of their lives, often including their physical health. Such people need to understand how to have that curse broken through repentance and faith in Christ, and to receive deliverance from it and any evil spirits associated with it.
In the gospels, Jesus often gave the authority to heal the sick together with the authority to drive out demons.
- Matthew 10:8
- Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
- Luke 10:9,17
- And heal the sick there, and say to them, “The Kingdom of God has come near to you”.
… Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
- Mark 16:17,18
- And these signs will follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons … they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
Philip the evangelist had one of the greatest healing and miracle ministries described in the New Testament. The Bible describes his meetings as follows:
- Acts 8:7
- For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
Again we see the ministry of deliverance working together with the ministry of healing.
The whole of Jesus’ healing ministry was summarized by the apostle Peter in his message to the Romans as follows:
- Acts 10:38
- How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and went about doing good and HEALING ALL WHO WERE OPPRESSED BY THE DEVIL, for God was with Him.”
This verse provides additional evidence that divine healing is the will of God, since it is a means by which the works of the devil are destroyed. It was not God who was putting sickness on the ones Jesus healed. The Scripture reveals that these diseases were the work of the devil.
The same principles used in casting out demons effectively may be used in healing the sick. However, it is not necessary to talk a lot about the presence of demons. Such talk can be counter-productive in some cases. The best thing to do in many such cases is just to treat sickness like a demon and expect it to go when confronted with the Name of Jesus, the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit.
In many cases Jesus ministered healing by casting out demons. A few examples will suffice:
- Matthew 12:22
- Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
- Matthew 9:32,33
- As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel.”
- Mark 9:25
- When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter no more!”
The word translated “demon-possessed” here in the original in no way implies total ownership by Satan or demons – but rather a condition of being affected by evil spirits. Sadly many Christians are unwilling to face the possibility that these kind of Scriptures may be relevant in some of the cases they may know of, even amongst believing people. There are many cases where spirits of infirmity must be driven out or driven away before real healing can take place.
In many cases demons are affecting people, re-inforcing the power of sin in their lives. When the demonic stronghold is broken, the grace of healing can flow more easily.
To be effective in casting out demons we need to understand our authority as believers to use the name of Jesus. We also need to say ‘no’ to our fleshly desires. We need to abide in Jesus and seek to be full of the Spirit of God at all times for maximum results. Also, we need to understand the work of Calvary and the power of the blood of Jesus for ourselves and others.
The Gifts of Healing, Miracles and Faith
Since God’s gifts have not been revoked from the church, we can expect to still find ministers operating in the special gifts of healings, miracles and/or faith. Such ministries will normally demonstrate a high degree of the power of Christ as they minister in His name. This can build our confidence in God’s willingness to heal and work miracles.
However, it is also important to develop our own faith in God’s promises, rather than rely on the faith or anointing of a man of God. Our healing and our faith received through such anointed ministry may be challenged when the anointed minister is not around. Then we will need to understand and believe the promises of the Word, and rebuke the disease ourselves in Jesus’ name.
Receiving Holy Communion with Understanding
Just as the cup in Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper represents the blood of Jesus which deals with our sins, so the bread represents the Body of Christ which was broken for our healing and health. Many of the Corinthians were sick and some died because they did not properly discern the Lord’s body in the bread. (1 Cor. 11:29,30).
The flesh of the lamb in the passover meal in the Old Covenant is a type of the Body of Christ in the New Testament. It is interesting to note that not one of the 3 million or so Israelites who left Egypt were feeble or sick after eating the flesh of that lamb (Psalm 105:37). How is it possible that so many church members are sick, while the Israelites were so healthy? Could it be that the church has ignored a vital meaning of the Lord’s supper as it applies to us? The flesh of the Son of God is supposed to have power when received by faith to impart physical healing to our bodies. This is in line with all God’s healing covenants and the declaration of Isaiah 53:5, “By his wounds we are healed.”
If one takes the Lord’s supper in faith, one can therefore expect not only a spiritual blessing, but also a physical healing. The Lord’s desire is that we come to the table of the Lord with a prepared heart and mind, so that we can fully partake of the goodness of the Lord’s gospel blessings for us at that time.
How To Minister Healing
You may be led by the Holy Spirit to use any or all of these methods in ministering to a sick person. Once you have prayed yourself and taken time alone with God, do not be afraid to move out in any of these methods, according to the impulse you receive from the Holy Spirit within.
In mass evangelism, it is usually best to preach the gospel with boldness and include references to God's healing promises. After calling people to repentance and leading those who want to receive Christ in prayer, it is usually then a good time to minister healing. Every situation is different, but be involved with your whole being. It is often necessary to lay hands individually on the sick in Jesus' name. When you do this, use your faith to release God's power through your hands into their body, and specifically command the body to do what is necessary for healing to take place. If possible, instruct the person not to pray themselves while you are ministering, for that can be a hindrance. Then, after ministry, get the person to say "Thank you Jesus", because thanksgiving expresses faith and nullifies doubt. After that, look for a change. If the person had a bad back or problems moving something, instruct the person to do something that was difficult for them to do before – bending over or moving their leg or arm. If they were deaf you should test the ear out. It is often at the point of personal action that the healing actually manifests. Get people to act their faith. Their own faith will unite with yours in agreement, and God will do the work by His power and grace.
In personal evangelism, you can minister to the sick. Seek to put the person at ease, always ask their permission to lay hands on them and pray. Show love and sensitivity in the way you minister. Rely on the Holy Spirit to do a work.
A Final Exhortation
Are you a servant of Jesus Christ? Be not unbelieving but believing. Go in the name of Jesus. You bring them the good news. Preach the full gospel. You teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded. Bring healing to the sick, and break the bonds of demonic oppression. Jesus Christ sends you. He is with you even to the end of the age and will never leave you nor forsake you.
For further reading, see "Divine Healing – A Scriptural and Practical Guide" which deals more in depth with issues relating to divine healing, including theological ones and the barriers of traditional unbelieving theology.
Highly Recommended: "How to Heal the Sick" by Charles and Frances Hunter.