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Soul Salvation Follows Divine Healing
"Soul salvation" often follows divine healing. And this is the reason why unbelievers sometimes appear to often be healed quicker than Christians. This is because God wants to lead them deeper with Himself! This does not reflect on His promises to heal believers. But it may reflect the lack of knowledge and trust in God which demands a more immediate miracle to help their faith.
There is a place of covenant relationship with God that brings health as well as healing. Romans 4:3-8 shows that as we trust in God and demonstrate obedience, this releases God's power on our behalf. Also, Romans 1:16 tells us, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Abraham had to trust God against the evidence of his own body, in having a son after he was "too old." Believers must see that their relationship with God can go beyond the limits of their natural age or experience. This must be the attitude of faith for forgiveness and healing. It is based on faith, not feeling. It shows up in the birth of Isaac when Abraham and Sarah were both elderly! Romans 4:18-20 describes it this way, that Abraham, "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, 'So shall thy seed be.' And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God."
Remember that the same principles work for forgiveness of sin as for healing miracles. The Greek word (sozo) to "save" is the same as "to heal." Those sent by God to bring salvation (from Abraham onwards) had miracle healing ministries. Abraham had a healing ministry as a prophet, when his own lies and sin had led the heathen into sickness. Genesis 20:7 records God's instructions to the heathen king. "Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine."
The early Christian teachers relied on miracles to bring in converts. They did not rely on some man-made program! Romans 15:17-19 tells us, "I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed. Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."
Along that same line, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Galatians 3:5 says, "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" And Hebrews 2:3-4 says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?"
God's healing ministry is meant to apply to both body and soul! But others may object, saying "Sickness can prove a blessing." Why not simply accept it as the 'Chastening of the Lord'?" The main reason not to accept is because the bible does not teach that folk become better people because of sickness, but in spite of it! Sickness is named "captivity" by God (not "blessing"). Job 42:10, "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." Job was a "saint" in spite of his sickness, not because of it!!
Jesus Had A Healing Ministry
Christ called his own healing ministry "deliverance" in Luke 4:18. He said, "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."
Jesus saw sickness is a bondage, not as a merit! Look at Luke 13:16, which says, "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath BOUND, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"
Christ directly attacked sickness by His words. He did not pray for grace for the person to carry it! Instead He removed the sickness from them. Luke 4:39 gives one example: "And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them."
Divine healing must be done with authority through the prophetic word! There must be an expectation of something immediately happening as a result. Sometimes I ask people to do on the spot, what they have not been able to do before. But I only do this when I discern the power of God is working in that way.
Unfortunately the faith is often lacking in many churches, that anything at all will happen! Don't fall prey to that mindset -- expect the healing process to begin now!
There is a mindset or theology about suffering that goes like this: There is a merit can only come through voluntary suffering (e.g., suffering which can be avoided). Logically, there is no merit in carrying something (like sickness) which you cannot get rid of! The scripture that is used to support this thinking is the one that says, "Taking up our cross." Proponents of this thinking tells us that taking up our cross is referring to choosing sickness. But that's not what it is talking about. It covers severing of ties with worldly connections and lusts by the disciples of Christ, as per Galatians 5:24, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
This character refinement/merit in sickness theology is a wrong mindset. Christ carried the cross voluntarily on behalf of others, but He was in charge of the process from beginning to end! If you carry what Christ carried for you, this does not honor what God has done when He died for your sickness!! (cf. 1 Pet 2:24.)
In fact, scripture teaches that sickness is the curse and chastening of the law, carried by Christ. (The curse is detailed in Deuteronomy 15:15-45.) Christ took all these curses on the cross so that you could be free!! This is clearly stated in Galatians 3:13!
In fact, the details of the crucifixion are significant! He carried every known effect of disease by:
Christ crucified by Romans also shows the curse of the "defeat of Jews" while His "body stripped of all" showed the curse of poverty! Stand in this liberty and be made whole!
Let me summarize why sickness is an enemy of God's will.
First, God's will for us is wholeness. 1 Thessalonians 5:24-25 tells us that God wants us to remain whole. Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus died to redeem us from the devil. God offers man property in both the Old and New Testament covenants (Job 42, Psalm 1, Matthew 7:7-11).
Next, God promises bodily healing for the obedient in Exodus 15:26. It is part of God's nature to heal us (Psalm 91:2-15), and God promises healing to the repentant (Psalm 103:3).
Both soul salvation and body salvation (e.g., healing) come after repentance and faith. Under both covenants, trust in God releases power (Romans 4:3-8). Abraham trusted God against evidence of own body (Romans 4:18-20) and his received a supernatural impartation that allowed a 100 year old man to have an infant son. The same principles work for forgiveness and healing (Matthew 8:25). And when God sends someone to proclaim salvation, God also gives them the ability to bring physical healing (Genesis 20:7). We see that today as well. Some prophetic people, like John G. Lake, were actually so full of the power of God, that germs died as they touched their hands!
God does not call sickness a blessing, He calls it a "captivity" (Job 42:10). Christ called His healing ministry "deliverance." God wants His people free from sickness and disease and the oppression of the devil.
Is it possible to live in the Spirit, under the anointing of God in such a
way as not to be sick?
We will see that in our next lesson.