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We are now ready, in a practical way, to examine the means by which Christ heals and how people are to come for healing. What I am about to share with you comes from our forty years of global ministry.
Here are the four bases, which I will develop in more detail for the rest of this lesson:
JESUS HEALS THE SAME WAY AS WHEN HE WALKED AMONG US
The means by which Christ heals has not changed. Christ is still healing by the same means, as He used when in His body here on earth (Heb 13:8). How did He heal?
His ministry was based on personal prayer and continuing intimate relationship with God, His heavenly Father! John 11:41: "And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, 'Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me.'"
This is followed by a prophetic command, given publicly in John 11:43: "And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!'"
The healing minister should pray in private beforehand, and then, at the direction of the Lord, give the sick the word of God in public. Similarly the sufferer should pray privately and get a word of promise for himself or herself.
One of my friends with TB read the bible daily, and in the hospital, got the Scripture of Malachi 4:2, which said, "But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." He felt an anointing of the Spirit on this passage and signed himself out of medical care. A week later on his own farm in Co Fermanagh, Ireland, he found that all symptoms of his disease had left. He is still enjoy healing, over thirty years later!
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH IN HEALING
The sick person should ideally be in contact with a local church, where prayer and faith by others is offered, especially where the sufferer is too ill or too young to pray for himself (Matt 9:2). The Scripture particularly emphasizes this small group relationship for the Christian, rather than attendance at mass meetings.
James 5:14-20 says, "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 offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
The Christian should be attached to a fellowship and have confidence that he can call in prophetic and prayerful elders when he is sick. He should also be in a place where correct teaching is given, according to the lessons already set out on God's will is to heal the sick in this series.
I cannot emphasize too much, how important such small group relationships are proving round the world, especially in follow up to the healing process!
THE POINT OF CONTACT AND THE PROPHETIC WORD
A point of contact should be made for healing at the actual moment of the prophetic word of command. This can be done through the laying on of hands and anointing of oil to show the activity of the Holy Spirit in healing anointing. Let me emphasize James 5:14 again. It says, "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord."
The Lord Jesus instructed the first apostles to do this, even before Pentecost. Mark 6:13 tells us, "And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."
In special cases, the healing minister may be led to use prayer cloths (Acts 19:11). This is another scriptural point of contact, and in my own experience, should be limited to special cases, as the sick should be given the opportunity to hear the word and be taught, wherever possible. We have had miracles however, by this means in Southern Ireland.
The Spirit will also give direction and commands at times to certain actions. For instance, the prophet Isaiah (Isa 38:21-22) instructed contact with figs as a key in the healing of King Hezekiah.
The healing minister should take time to draw attention to reliance on the finished work of Christ on the cross and not to his own gifting (1 Pet 2:24). Peter did this at the major miracle recorded in Acts 3:13-18. Similarly, Christ refers to the saving power of Moses' serpent in healing a whole nation in Number chapter 21. If you are in touch with the Spirit, the same forgiveness and healing process can happen now, if the sufferer will not look at his own worthiness, but at the grace of God (John 3:14-17). Similarly the minister himself should be moved by the compassion of God for the sick, and the desire to see Christ glorified in the process, not his own reputation or finances!
Proceeding from this basis, be prepared to command the sick person to do what was impossible before. Christ healed people by asking them to put their faith into action. This can only be done with divine authority! Christ seems to have done this with several sick people, even when the atmosphere of the meeting was charged with criticism! Here is an example from Mark 3:3-5, "And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand, 'Stand forth.' And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, 'Stretch forth thine hand.' And he stretched it out and his hand was restored whole as the other."
At this point, it is good to emphasize to the sufferer that you must not "try to have faith" but simply obey the word given to you by God. Then you can naturally do whatever God is showing. The anointed word will come with power to obey it. The word of man will lack that ability; the power just won't be there. Also, begin to thank and praise God for the healing and tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than keep quiet (Ro 10:10)!
POINT TO CHRIST AND NOT MAN AS YOUR HEALER
Peter was very clear on this in the book of Acts. Acts 3:12-13 tells us, "And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, 'Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.'"
After healing, pass on the good news to other sufferers! Use the testimony to be a help to other sick ones. Dedicate your life to Christ. He has healed you to make you a channel of blessing. Jesus told those whom He healed, to share with others (Mark 5:18-19). The only exception to this rule is when the demands for healing are so great that the healing minister becomes exhausted!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR HEALING
Before the actual healing takes place, it is vital to have a time of personal preparation for the healing minister and the sick person.
In the early Pentecostal days at the beginning of this century, folk had to attend several teaching sessions on healing and receive tickets, before any healing ministry took place! As a result, the healings tended to be permanent, and a deeper work was done in the character of the folk involved. Basically, there are some fundamental steps in preparation:
Leviticus 19:31: "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God." Lev 20:6: "And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people." Isaiah 8:19-20: "And when they shall say unto you, 'Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter,' should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Acts 19:18-19: "And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver."
(See also 1 Tim 4:1-2 and 1 John 4:1.) This renunciation should be done aloud by the sick person of his own free will, so that the healing is clearly done by Jesus alone. Where this is done, symptoms of previous "healings" by the means may return, but the power of the Name of Jesus, can give genuine results.
Before coming to prophesy, be sensitive to what should be done in public and in private. For instance, Christ took the dumb man apart from the crowd, so that when he was healed, he would not be embarrassed or deafened (Mark 7:33).
A lady in England, came to a new relationship with the Lord, after losing her first love, under pressure to get rich. I told her of the baptism of the Spirit through the laying on of hands, but in the presence of the Lord, I was carried away to see Calvary and the sufferings of Christ for mankind. When the vision ceased, the lady was already speaking tongues of praise! "I never laid hands on you," I protested. "No, Keith," she replied, "you did not need to do so. Under the healing anointing in this room, Christ Himself ministered to me!"
Her husband was ready to turn down her new faith. Quietly, she showed him her legs. Every one of her varicose veins had been completely healed by the power of the Lord through His anointing! Christ had obviously made her whole, and her husband soon followed her to church.
This completes this teaching series on healing. May the Lord empower you to speak forth His words of healing.