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Healing: The Birthright of the Christian

by Les Sherlock

NOTES

Now available here as a Kindle book

Introduction


Healing is not man’s idea, it is God’s! After Gen 22:11–14 (Jehovah-jireh - the Lord will provide), the earliest revelation of His nature linked with His name in the Bible is found in Exodus 15:26: Jehovah–Rophe (I am the Lord who heals you). Throughout the Bible this theme is repeated; but a vital part of receiving what God wants to give is faith (see later). The aim in this study is to counter doubt, and through ‘hearing by the Word’ enable faith to grow: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17); and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Before we start, let us look at five criteria for interpreting the Bible, which could be called five principles: there may be more, but these will be referred to in this study.


  1. The most obvious, plain and straight–forward interpretation of a passage is the one which should be assumed to be correct, unless this produces an obvious contradiction with the rest of the Bible teaching on the subject.
  2. Where there is more than one possible interpretation of a passage, the correct one will be that which most closely follows the rest of the Bible teaching on the subject.
  3. The only version of the Bible which is inspired of God and infallible, is that of the original autographed scrolls on which the writers (i.e. Moses, Isaiah, Luke, Paul, etc.) wrote. Therefore, it is legitimate to refer to various translations and, where possible, the original language, in order to reach a correct understanding of a difficult passage.
  4. Where there is more than one possible English translation of a passage, the correct one will be that which most closely follows the rest of the Bible teaching on the subject.
  5. There is an old saying: ‘in the Old Testament is the New concealed; in the New Testament is the Old revealed.’ In order to understand the teaching of the New Testament, its roots in the Old Testament must be taken into account. In order to understand fully the Old Testament, the revelation of the New Testament is essential. So the Old Testament is interpreted by what is found in the New, while the New Testament is interpreted in the light of its Old Testament foundations.


Healing was promised under the Old Covenant


Deuteronomy 7:15 …the Lord will take away from you all sickness...

Also see Deut 28:1–14.


Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.


Ps 103:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases).


As the New Covenant is better than the old one (Hebrews 8:6 He (Jesus) is also mediator of a better covenant…) the new must therefore include all that was promised in the old along with additional benefits.*


* see also Hebrews 8:7–10:25

Abraham’s blessing


Abraham was given the Old Covenant,* and the blessings of Abraham are for the Christian:

Galatians 3:14, 16, 29 …that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus… Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your seed," who is Christ… And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

* See the whole of Genesis chapter 17, summed up in Gen 17:2, 7

God is always the same


God does not change (James 1:17), and if He wanted to heal bodies under the Old Covenant, He must want the same today, under the New Covenant.


Jesus healed all sicknesses


Matthew 4:23, 24 …all kinds of sickness/disease.

Matt 8:16 …healed all who were sick.

Matt 9:35 … every sickness/disease.

Matt 12:15 …healed them all.

Matt 14:14 …healed their sick.

Matt 14:35–36 …all the sick who touched His garment were healed.

Mat 15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him… and He healed them.

Matt 19:2 …great multitudes …He healed them there.

Matt 21:14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

Mark 1:34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases…

Mark 3:10 For He healed many…

Luke 4:40 …all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.

Luke 5:15 …great multitudes came together to… be healed by Him of their infirmities.

Luke 6:17–19 …a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

Luke 9:11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He… healed those who had need of healing.


Of course, there are many more examples of Jesus healing the sick, but the above are those which describe many people receiving this ministry. Jesus never failed to heal any who came to Him. While it is true He did not heal everyone He saw* there is no example of anyone asking for healing being refused, or failing to be healed when Jesus ministered to them.


* e.g. the man lame from birth at the temple gate (Acts 3:2–11), whom one presumes must have been there when Jesus went to the temple; also the people waiting for the moving of the waters (John 5:1–9)

What if you had been there then?

If you as a sick person were able to be a part of the crowd, all of whom were healed by Jesus (Matthew 8:16), it is inconceivable that He would say to you, “I will heal all of them, but not you.”


He is present today:

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.


He said:

“He who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12).


He is:

the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).


So if He was willing then, He must be willing now.


Jesus commanded His followers to heal

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Jesus sent His disciples out to heal all kinds of sickness/disease (Matthew 10:1, 8) and told them to teach all disciples to do the same:

Matthew 28:20 …teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.


Jesus’ promise


Jesus promised healing through those who believe in His Name, since the great commission included healing:

Mark 16:15–18 …Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to every creature …He who believes and is baptized will be saved …And these signs will follow those who believe …They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.


Jesus paid the price for healing


Healing was included in Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself:

Isaiah 53:4–5 Surely He has borne our griefs*  and carried our sorrows** …and by His stripes we are healed.


* Hebrew, kholee—sicknesses

**Hebrew, makob—pains

Proof that Isaiah does mean physical sickness (principles two and five) is in:

Matthew 8:16–17 …He ...healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

1 Peter 2:24 …who Himself bore our sins in His own body…by whose stripes you were healed.

Jesus paid the price for your healing. You don’t pay twice for the same thing: so why should you pay the price for your sickness (i.e. continue to suffer it) when He has already done so?


Jesus’ Name

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Everything the early Church did was in the Name of Jesus. This means they acted in His authority: the authority of who He is and what He won for them in His suffering, death and resurrection. So when we read:

In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk (Acts 3:6)

…a part of what was being called upon was the victory over sickness that Jesus won by His ‘stripes.’


The early Church


Healing was seen in the early Church:

Acts 5:16 …a multitude gathered… bringing sick people… and they were all healed.

Acts 28:9 …the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.

If it was the Church’s work then, it must be now: God’s requirement for the Church has never changed.


God treats everyone the same


Acts 10:34 …In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.

Therefore if He wants to heal some, then He must want to heal all.


The gifts of the Holy Spirit


Healing is one of the Holy Spirit’s gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:9 …and to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. He would not impart gifts contrary to the Father’s will.


God’s promise


The sick are told to expect healing:

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 the sick and the Lord will raise him up.


An apostle’s prayer

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John prayed for health:

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

He would not pray contrary to God’s will.


The teaching of the Apostle Paul


1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

The body is God’s temple; surely God wants perfect, not damaged temples?


1 Corinthians 6:20 …for you are bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We should not only glorify God in our spirits but in our bodies: does not a healed body glorify God more than a sick one?


Romans 8:11 He …will also give life to your mortal bodies…

God will bring about change in the believers’ bodies.


Received through faith in Jesus

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Jesus promised we would receive whatever we ask if we have faith in Him, as can be seen in the following scriptures.


Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you that if two of you shall agree on earth as regarding anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in Heaven.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.


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 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.


John 14:12–14 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.


John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.


Sickness comes from Satan


Job 2:7 So Satan…struck Job with painful boils.

Acts 10:38 …Jesus …went about …healing all who were oppressed by the devil…


Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan:

1 John 3:8 …the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.


20th century experience

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In the first issue of Redemption Tidings, the magazine published by Assemblies of God, dated July 1924, the very first article was written by Smith Wigglesworth. Since God is no respecter of persons, surely we have the right to the same experience as one whose life was within living memory? (Although the writer is too young to have met Smith, his parents attended his meetings). An extract of the article follows:


“I received several letters and telegrams about a certain case, but when I arrived I was told I was too late. I said, “That cannot be. God has never sent me too late anywhere.” God showed me when I went that something different would happen from anything I had seen previously. The people I went to were all strangers. I was introduced to a young man who lay helpless, and for whom there was no hope. The doctor had been to see him that morning and had declared that he would not live through the day. He lay with his face to the wall, and when I spoke to him he whispered, “I cannot turn over.” His mother said that they had had to lift him out of bed on sheets for weeks, and that he was so weak and helpless that he had to stay in one position.


“The young man said, “My heart is so weak.” I assured him, “God is the strength of thy heart and thy portion forever. If you will believe God, it shall be so today.”


“Our Christ is risen. He is a living Christ who indwells us. We must not have this truth merely as a theory; Christ must be risen in us by the power of the Spirit. The power that raised Him from the dead must animate us, and as this glorious resurrection power surges through your being, you will be freed from your weaknesses and you will become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. There is a resurrection power that God wants you to have and to have today. Why not? Receive your portion here and now.


“I said to these people, “I believe your son will rise today.” They only laughed. People do not expect to see signs and wonders today as the disciples saw them of old. Has God changed? Or has our faith waned so that we are not expecting the greater works that Jesus promised? We must not harp on any minor key. Our message must rise to concert pitch, and there must be nothing left out of it that is in the Book. It was winter time, and I said to the parents, “Will you get the boy’s suit and bring it here?” They would not listen to the request, for they were expecting the boy to die. But I had gone to that place believing God. In Romans 4:17, we read of Abraham, “(I have made thee a father of many nations), before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” God help us to understand this. It is time people knew how to shout in faith as they contemplate the eternal power of our God to whom it is nothing to quicken and raise the dead. I come across some who would be giants in the power of God but they have no shout of faith. I find everywhere people who go down even when they are praying simply because they are just breathing sentences without uttering speech, and you cannot get victory that way. You must learn to take the victory and shout in the face of the devil, “It is done!” There is no man who can doubt if he learns to shout. When we know how to shout properly, things will be different, and tremendous things will happen. In verse 24 we read, “They lifted up their voice with one accord.” it surely must have been a loud prayer. We must know that God means us to have life. If there is anything in the world that has life in it, it is this Pentecostal revival we are in. I believe in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the speaking in tongues, and I believe that every man who is baptized in the Holy Ghost will speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives him utterance. I believe in the Holy Ghost. And if you are filled with the Spirit you will be superabounding in life—living waters will flow from you.


“At last I persuaded the parents to bring the boy’s clothes and lay them on the bed. From the natural view point, the young man lay dying. I spoke to the afflicted one, “God has revealed to me that, as I lay my hands upon you, the place will be filled with the Holy Ghost, the bed will be shaken, you will be shaken and thrown out of bed by the power of the Holy Ghost, you will dress yourself and be strong.” I said this to him in faith. I laid hands on him in the name of Jesus and instantly the power of God fell and filled the place. I felt helpless and fell flat on the floor.


I knew nothing except that a short while after the place was shaken, I heard the young man walking over me and saying, “For Thy glory, Lord! For Thy glory, Lord.”


“He dressed himself and cried, “God has healed me.” The father fell, the mother fell, and another who was present fell also. God manifested His power that day in saving the whole household and healing the young man. It is the power of the risen Christ we need. That young man is today preaching the gospel.


“For years we have been longing for God to come forth, and, praise Him, He is coming forth. The tide is rising everywhere. I was in Switzerland not long ago, preaching in many places where the Pentecostal message had not been heard, and today there are nine new Pentecostal assemblies in different places going on blessedly for God. All over the world it is the same; this great Pentecostal work is in motion. You can hardly get to a place now where God is not pouring out His Spirit on hungry hearts. God has promised to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and His promises never fail. Our Christ is risen. His salvation was not a thing done in a corner. Truly He was a man of glory who went to Calvary for us, in order that He might free us from all that would mar and hinder, that He might transform us by His grace, and bring us out from under the power of Satan into the glorious power of God. One touch of our risen Christ will raise the dead. Hallelujah!”


Some objections to the expectation of healing

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God sends/allows sickness in order to teach us lessons, produce greater maturity and/or purify us.



If this were true, then:–

  • As we will never in this life reach the stage where there is no further progress to be made in the above areas, we would all be continually contracting illnesses.
  • On the other hand, if this premise were true, then once each lesson was learned, there would be no further need for the sickness and so it would have to go: we can expect healing as there is no place for permanent sickness in the above argument!
  • Those with permanent disability and/or the worst cases of illness would either not be allowing God to complete the work for which the illness came, or demonstrate that God is unfairly doing a work in them while leaving others unchanged.
  • Those who do not suffer ill health would be more ready to learn and obey than the sick.
  • The passages which teach healing (quoted earlier) would say that healing is only for those in whom the sickness has achieved its purpose.


Matthew 7:7–11 Ask and it will be given to you …If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven...?

We would not give sickness/disability to our children for any reason; is God less compassionate or loving than us?


When Jesus met the sick, He had compassion and healed them. He didn’t say, “God is teaching you something,” or “God is receiving glory through your sickness, so you must remain ill.” Jesus said the Father is just like Him :

John 14:9 …Jesus said … He who has seen Me has seen the Father…

Jesus never gave anyone any illness, nor left any sick person who came to Him unhealed; so the Father must be the same.


While the New Testament shows God can and does bring good out of every situation, it does not teach that He deliberately makes people sick to teach them something, or refuses them healing in order to bring glory to Himself through their patient forbearance.


God chastens His people and sickness is one way He does it.

Hebrews 12:6–7

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Nowhere does the New Testament say God uses sickness to chasten us. The way He chastens us is by His word:

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given…for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

An example is seen in the Corinthian Church who were in error. God did not send sickness or disaster, but His word (in this case via Paul’s letter: 2 Corinthians 7:8–10).


In the Old Testament, God is spoken of as sending disasters/sicknesses. Because He does not change, there must be occasions when such things are His will.



It can be argued that God does not send such things, but permits them under certain circumstances. This is not the place to discuss it, but for the purpose of answering this point, it will be assumed that God did sovereignly send them.


God does not change, and all that He swore to do in the Old Covenant, He is committed to do. That is, if you obey God He will give blessings, if you disobey He will bring cursings (Deuteronomy 28:1–68). So at any point where God is spoken of as bringing disaster to His people, He is simply keeping His word, which He swore to them. But the New Covenant was instituted in the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:25), who took the curse so that we should not have to bear it (Galatians 3:13). We never receive the effects of the curse, which we deserve for our sin, disobedience, etc., because Jesus took them instead of us. Every sickness is included in the curse of the law (Deuteronomy 28:58–61). Jesus took the curse on Himself, so there is no longer any curse for us to take. Therefore God will never visit us with judgment as may have been the case with Old Testament generations, because He has done it once for all in Jesus Christ on the cross: having already judged sin once in Him it would be unjust to judge it a second time in us! So it cannot be God’s will for us to suffer any aspect of the curse—which includes sickness.


Five Bible passages ‘proving’ healing does not always come


Of these five, four are historical accounts of events, rather than actual teaching on healing. We will look at them first.


Job was righteous yet suffered terribly.

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However Job’s experience is interpreted, he was not living under the New Covenant, so his experience of suffering cannot necessarily be applied to those who are.


The overall lesson is that his disasters all came from Satan:

Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils…

His restoration came from God:

Job 42:10 And the LORD restored Job's losses…

…and this was before the New Covenant. Satan may try to attack us with sickness, but the experience of Job shows we can expect God to restore us.


Job said:

...the thing I greatly feared has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25).

You reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7) and it is possible that his expectation of disaster, his faith in things going wrong, caused the break in the hedge of protection, which had previously surrounded him.:

Job 1:10 Have You not made a hedge around him.


It is inconceivable that God would remove His protection from anyone for no other reason than Satan’s accusation. If this were to be the case, then we would all be vulnerable to every attack of the enemy and could not rely on God’s protection. This is contrary to:

Jeremiah 15:20–21...For I am with you to save you and deliver you," says the LORD.  "I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked...”


Job found something from which to repent:

Job 42:6 …I abhor myself, and repent…

Whatever it was, this could have been the vulnerability leading to his disasters.


We may never really know why Job’s afflictions came: but if we stand in faith as he clearly did, even when he was in the depths of despair,* then we can expect the same kind of deliverance he experienced.

* Job 19:25–26 I know that my Redeemer lives…that in my flesh I shall see God.

What about Paul’s thorn in the flesh? 2 Corinthians 12:7–10

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We are told what the thorn was—it was a messenger (angelos—angel) of satan (2 Cor 12:7). This Greek word is only translated ‘messenger’ in English versions of the New Testament when describing John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:27) and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25). On all other occasions, it refers to spirit beings and is translated ‘angel’. In other words, when referring to humans it is translated ‘messenger’, and when speaking of spirit beings it is ‘angel’. So if the correct translation is ‘messenger’, then the thorn is a human being, in which case it cannot be sickness and therefore has no relevance to the topic of healing. If it should be translated ‘angel’, then it can only be some kind of demon, as satanic beings are described this way elsewhere (Principles one and two):–


2 Corinthians 11:14 satan ...an angel of light...

Matthew 25:41 ...everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels...

2 Peter 2:4 ...the angels who sinned...

Jude 1:6 ...the angels who did not keep their proper domain...

Revelation 12:7, 9 ...the dragon and his angels....


We are told nowhere in the New Testament that God wants us to be afflicted with a demon; on the contrary, in every encounter of Jesus and His followers, the demons were cast out.


It does not say, “God gave him a thorn in the flesh”, but “...a thorn in the flesh was given to me...” (2 Cor 12:7). We cannot assume this was sent by God when the Bible does not actually say so.


The reason is given as “lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Cor 12:7). There could be two interpretations of this:– either Paul was becoming proud because of the revelations and this took Him from under God’s protection and left him exposed to satan’s attack; or satan could see Paul was increasing in spiritual power and authority, and launched a desperate attack in order to prevent it. The notion that God would give revelation to Paul, then realize it might ‘exalt him above measure’ so gave him a demon to keep him humble, conflicts with New Testament teaching about God’s nature. However, even if this were the case, there are few people alive today who have received Paul’s degree of revelation, and would qualify for such treatment!


“My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9).

Nowhere are we told that God gives grace so we can put up with demons—we are only told to cast them out. A study of what grace is for in the New Testament, shows that on this occasion it was for ‘help in his time of need’.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need

and to resist the devil

James 4:6–7 …God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

God’s grace was not for Paul to put up with the demon, but to get rid of it. (Principle 2).


“I pleaded with the Lord three times” (2 Cor 12:8).

Nowhere in the New Testament does God say He will resist the devil for us. He tells us to do it. He was not telling Paul he had to put up with it, but that He had given him the resources to eject the demon himself (Principle 2).


“I will boast in my infirmities…” (2 Cor 12:9–10).

This could be paraphrased as “When I reach the end of my resources, I meet the beginning of God’s. Therefore, I am most strong when I realize how weak I am.”


It may be that the symptom of the demon’s presence was some sort of sickness: in other words perhaps the demon attacked Paul with some illness. But as we have seen, both in this passage and throughout the New Testament, Christians have the right to eject demons from their lives.


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 Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. 2 Timothy 4:20


If the Church needs the gift of healing,* then it is because sickness will come. The issue is not that we will never ever be attacked by Satan with sickness, but that if we are, we have the right to healing.

*1 Corinthians 12:9 … gifts of healing by the same Spirit

There are various reasons for people not being healed (see later), almost any of which could have been the case here; but as there is no information in this text, it is impossible to use it to prove anything either way.


Most people used in the ministry of healing at some time have been attacked by sickness and the battle has lasted for days, weeks, months or even years before they have experienced release.


What about Timothy’s stomach? 1 Timothy 5:23

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Wine is not a medicine, but Paul obviously believed it would solve the problem. Therefore the trouble could have been caused by what Timothy was (or was not) eating or drinking. He may have had a faulty diet. We cannot expect God to heal us while we misuse our bodies in a way which is causing a problem. Correct the error and the problem will go. The comments regarding Trophimus also apply here.


In the teaching in Isaiah 53, the Hebrew words could legitimately be translated not to include physical healing.



On the basis of Principles 4 and 5, Matthew 8:16–17,* which specifically states that this passage does refer to physical healing, is irrefutable. There can be no doubt regarding the translation of the Matthew passage: the following versions of the Bible all say Jesus’ healing of the sick was fulfilment of Isaiah 53:4:– Authorized, RSV, NIV, Living Bible, New English Bible, Jerusalem Bible, New King James, Modern King James, Berkeley, Schonfield, J.B. Phillips, New American Standard, Good News, Amplified, Jewish New Testament and Nestle’s Interlinear English/Greek text.

*When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND BORE OUR SICKNESSES."

Some claim the Matthew passage means Jesus fulfilled Isaiah during His earthly ministry, so it no longer applies to physical healing today. But if this were so, then the early Church would have been unable to minister healing in the Name of Jesus as they did in the book of Acts, and Peter, quoting the Isaiah passage, tells us that this healing was through His stripes (1 Peter 2:24).


In the past I have been asked to state there are other legitimate interpretations of these five passages than those written here. I am happy to do this, but the implication is obvious: if the opponents of my interpretation wish me to accept that their view could also be valid, to be consistent they must be prepared to accept the same for mine! So we now have two or more possible, opposing, ‘valid’ viewpoints. What criteria are we going to use to determine which is right? I look to the many other Bible passages on the subject, which I believe make a very convincing argument. As there are no other Bible passages for the contrary viewpoint for these five, what is going to be used to prove it? (Principles 2 and 4).


Death was conquered at the cross but everyone still dies. This demonstrates that we can only experience the spiritual benefits of the cross now, but will have the physical benefits in the next life.

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If this were the case, then no–one would ever be healed. The fact that they have been, as shown throughout the New Testament, demonstrates that it is not true.


There are at least four things Jesus suffered to achieve for us:– Victory over sin, sickness, satan and death. We must be consistent. If the victory over sickness does not apply to this life, then neither does victory over sin and satan. Yet we are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), sin has no dominion over us (Romans 6:14) and satan has to flee from us (James 4:7). However, while death has been conquered, it will not be destroyed until the end (1 Corinthians 15:24–26).


We are frequently told in the New Testament that the Christian will experience suffering.



Throughout the New Testament, the suffering we are told to expect is the result of either persecution or difficult circumstances, but never sickness. See such passages as: Matthew 5:10–12, 38–42; Luke 6:20–23; 12:4; 2 Corinthians 1:4–11; 6:4–10; 11:23–28; Philippians 1:29; 4:12.


We are told to take up our cross.

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The cross we are to take is described as ‘death to self’, but never sickness. See: Romans 8:13, 35–37; Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14; Colossians 3:5.


We are told to take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23); does God really want us deliberately to take sickness every day?


If sickness is the cross Jesus told us to bear, then by going to doctors to relieve/heal our illnesses, we are disobeying Him. He told us to take up the cross, not put it down, which is what our use of medicine is intended to do to sickness.


The full benefit of salvation is only obtained in heaven.


While this is true, it is also the case that there are many benefits now. We are (not ‘will be’) the sons of God (Galatians 3:26; 4:7), with all the rights of sonship. Jesus gave up all His former rights when He became man,* yet still healed all who came to Him and said we would also do these works, and even greater works as well (John 14:12). Was He lying, mistaken, or telling the truth when He said we would do what He was doing?


*Philippians 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

What about David Watson and Joni Eareckson?

David, a man used by God mightily in evangelism, died from cancer in spite of the prayers of many. Joni has remained paralysed from the neck down for many years, following a swimming accident. Again much used of God and a great blessing to many, in spite of her terrible handicap.


Any of the reasons given later for healing not taking place could apply. Only God knows what is in a person and we cannot argue from the silence of our ignorance about them. David, Joni, and many other people have suffered and do suffer from sickness, and I would never want anyone to think I consider them in any way to blame for their own situation. Far from it: I have the utmost admiration for them.


Having said that, we take our teaching from the Bible, not other people’s experience (Romans 3:4, discussed later), although the latter is a valid reason for re–evaluating our understanding of the Bible’s teaching! I am not going to look at these giants of the Faith and say, “Because they are not healed, therefore I cannot expect healing.”


Faith does not look at what is seen, but what is not seen. If one is going to stand in faith on the word of God in spite of what one’s own body says to the contrary (Romans 4:19), one should certainly not do otherwise on the basis of what another’s body says to the contrary!


Teaching that healing is available for all causes distress to those who have not experienced healing.



We take our doctrine from what the Bible says, not what other people experience in their lives. This argument is like the one given for not preaching the fullness of the Holy Spirit, not speaking in tongues (because of distress caused to those who do not experience it) and even for not preaching the gospel! It is not a valid argument. On the other hand, love, compassion, sympathy, sensitivity, prayer and intercession should be directed toward those who have not yet received their healing.


You are not healed from all your physical problems: are you not therefore a hypocrite?

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I’m glad I asked myself that! It gives me the chance to emphasize perhaps one of the most important principles when approaching the Bible. Romans 3:4 says: Let God be true and every man a liar. In his commentary, Albert Barnes sums up this verse as follows:


“The meaning of the expression in the connection in which Paul uses it, is, that it is to be held as a fixed, unwavering principle, that God is right and true, whatever consequences it may involve; whatever doctrine it may overthrow; or whatever man it may prove to be a liar.”


It was many years ago, when still a teenager, I realised my life did not accurately reflect what was promised in the Bible. Was I to modify my interpretation of the Bible, or accept it was I who was wrong and wait in faith until the day when my experience came into line with what was promised? I chose the latter, and it remains my attitude to clear teaching found in the Bible. I have experienced so many things promised in the Bible that I know I can trust God for the few things I have not yet seen in my life.


We may not presently see every sick person healed, but we certainly see some who are, and there is no reason why you or I should not be one of them. I am thankful I was a member of a local church* where it is taught the time is rapidly approaching when the mighty gifts of the Holy Spirit in healing will be poured out in a greater measure than seen previously. Until then I shall continue to proclaim what is shown very plainly in God’s word as an act of faith, regardless of my personal experience. If this makes me a hypocrite, then so be it: I prefer it to calling God a liar!


*If we wish to see God move in the way only He can, we have to do things His way, rather than think we know better than Him and do things our way. It seems to the writer that the church I attended, being structured very closely to the New Testament pattern (i.e. shared leadership), with all its people standing in faith for healing (as they did for my daughter, with a day of prayer and fasting on the day my wife and I laid the anointed prayer cloth on her—see Proof of the Pudding, later), qualified in this regard to see the ministry of healing move into another dimension.

Some possible reasons for healing not taking place

Unbelief

Matthew 13:58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 17:19–20 the disciples came to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief.

Lack of faith

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Matthew 9:22 …your faith has made you well.


Lack of patience


Hebrews 6:12 …through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Faith is believing what God’s word says and ignoring anything to the contrary.* Patience is constantly thanking God for the answer before it comes and continuing until it is seen:

Mark 11:24 whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

See also Luke 11:5–8 (the man knocking for bread) and Luke 18:1–8 (the persistent widow)). Unless we persist, even if there is no immediate result, we will give up before experiencing the healing. If Naaman had given up after dipping six times in the Jordan, he would have remained a leper (2 Kings 5:1–14). Faith is asking God for what He has promised (and persisting until assurance comes); patience is resisting the temptation to keep on asking (which implies God did not hear during our original time of prayer: Proof of the Pudding, is an example), but continuing to thank and praise Him until the answer arrives.

*You own a property, but one day squatters move in and take possession. It is your house, but they have it and refuse to let you in. So you go to law and after due process the police come along, eject the squatters and your house is returned to you. Likewise, Jesus won your health through His sufferings, but Satan wants to take it from you. Don’t own the illness he throws at you, but go to ‘law’ - your right to healing through the work of Jesus - and stand on your rights. The sickness has to go: it may be immediate, or take days, weeks, months, even years, but it must go.

Lack of the anointing

Luke 4:18 …the Spirit of the Lord ...has anointed me;

Acts 1:8 …you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you

2 Timothy 1:7 …a spirit of…power…


Without the anointing of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit cannot be seen, for He is the executor of them. On occasions, Smith Wigglesworth ministered healing to people on their death beds, at least once seeing the sick person actually die before being raised up. If he had not been there, they would not have lived. Until the Church is in the place where men and women have the anointing to minister healing, healings cannot take place as they should.


One’s belief system


If we believe that it is not always God’s will to heal, then we will be unable to stand in faith for it until it comes.


Exceptions?


There may be occasions when God directs a person used in the healing ministry not to pray for a particular person on a particular occasion (perhaps reflecting those to whom Jesus did not volunteer healing). If this is the case, there will be a reason for it (e.g. ‘Timothy’s Stomach’ discussed earlier, ‘unforgiveness’ and ‘the past’ discussed later), although this will not necessarily be shown to the minister. This is no reason for anyone else to think God will not heal them, and the assumption should always be, unless God clearly reveals otherwise (and one would expect Him to show the ill person why), it is His will to heal.


Stubbornness

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Refusal to change. The tendency by some is to think of God as sovereignly choosing to heal this person, not heal that one, and we can never really know whether it is His will to heal or not. This is wrong! There are some things God is unable to do: He cannot sin (James 1:13), He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2) and He cannot change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). The covenants He has made with man, the commandments He has given and, in fact, the entire Bible, could be considered a description of His nature, which is always the same. So in that sense, He cannot choose how He is going to act: He always acts according to His nature, and it is our responsibility to find out from His Word what is His nature.


Hebrews 6:12–18 tells us God is so determined we should receive His promises, He has given us two unchangeable things on which to rely: His nature and His oath. If I do not experience what others have enjoyed from God, then I must see if my behaviour or attitudes need to change and take appropriate action, because He will never change.


Unforgiveness


We cannot ‘earn’ God’s gift of healing by our righteous living: it is a gift of His grace (i.e. unmerited). However, it is possible to block God’s work in our lives by disobeying Him.* If we move out from under the covering of His protection, we are then vulnerable to satan’s attacks. One key area is that of unforgiveness: Matthew 6:12 …forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors… a dangerous prayer to pray if we hold grudges! There have been numerous examples of people suffering from sickness, who received their healing when they forgave someone against whom they had been holding resentment for something from the past.


* We reap what we sow.See Matt 6:12; 7:16-18; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Cor 9:6; Job 4:8; Prov 22:8; Hos 8:7

The past


There have been examples of people suffering in their bodies as a result of their tinkering with the occult, infidelity, other ‘forbidden’ areas, and in some cases even inherited problems through previous generations in their immediate family doing the same. The writer is reluctant to assume everyone automatically has such problems and therefore needs ministry for them. However, it is plain that there must be a reason for people not receiving deliverance, and for some this could be the case. Receiving ministry (i.e. prayer from others) to denounce these things and be delivered from their effects could be necessary before healing may be experienced. But remember:

2 Corinthians 5:17 … Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

When you were born again, everything from the past was done away with and you were given a new life. Your birthright is freedom from all that bound you before, so:

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not again be held with the yoke of bondage.


So Why are Some People Not Healed?

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The simple answer to this question is that I do not know! What I do know is this:

  • God is good
  • God never changes
  • He has given us His word to show us His perfect will
  • His word unequivocally teaches that healing is God’s will for us


If we do not receive healing, then perhaps one of the reasons given earlier in this section could be the answer. Perhaps it is something else. Certainly, if we believe that it is not always God’s will to heal, then our experience is likely to be according to our faith.*


* Matt 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."

On the other hand, if we do believe His will is to heal, we could then fall into the trap of trying to bring it about by ‘believing hard enough’, or praying enough, or reading enough of His word, or any of the other things we may feel will open the channel of His healing. However, the message of salvation is that there is nothing we can do to achieve it for ourselves: salvation is entirely the work of God, from start to finish. Since the word ‘salvation’ includes healing, the same must be true for this too. For my more detailed study on how we attain to what God wants of us, see What Does the Lord Require. The very fact of trying to do things ourselves can hinder the work that only God can do.

Earlier I briefly touched on local church government. Since most churches are organised significantly differently from those described in the New Testament, I do wonder if this could be another significant factor? Doing things our way in this area rather than God’s way is surely another route to fall into the trap described in the previous paragraph? My study on Church Leadership looks into this area in a little more detail than is possible here.


We must also remember we have a powerful and malignant enemy, whose hatred of mankind is second only to his hatred of God. We can see quite clearly, throughout the Bible, the devastating impact he has had on God’s people. The fact God did not remove him from the scene thousands of years ago can only indicate that the way He is dealing with him is the best, and probably the only, way possible. Of course, in God’s economy His priority is not necessarily ours, and surely His main concern is our eternal future rather than the very short temporary life we presently lead. However, we do have God’s promise of protection from Satan here and now,* which can only mean that if his attacks do manage to get through to us, this is not what God really wanted - just as the fall of Adam and Eve was not what He wanted.




*For example, Psalm 91:1–16

The prime weapon of Satan is deception: if he can get us to believe his lies, then he certainly will succeed in bringing damage to our lives. None of us is invulnerable to his lies, which is why it is so crucially important we base our thinking on God’s truth in His word, rather than our own reasoning or what we see around us.


This is why, at the end of the day, when challenged with evidence that God does not heal, I reply that I refuse to consider it! The only consideration is what is found in God’s word, which can never fail and never pass away.* It may be a fact that some people have suffered badly and died premature deaths through sickness; but the truth is that God has promised healing and we must base our lives on His truth, not on the facts we can observe around us.


*Matt 24:36

If or when we are attacked by illness, disability, or anything that is contrary to what God has promised us, we do not deny that it has come - this would be foolishness; but we do deny its right to be here. The symptoms may require treating with medical intervention while we fight the fight of faith, but the victory God has promised us is assured as long as we ‘faint not nor fear’.* However black things may seem, or however long it may take, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,** must be our watchword, and when it is, we have the right to expect the same quality of deliverance that Job experienced.



* From the hymn, ‘Fight the Good Fight’,    
   by J S B Monsell. See here.

** Job 13:15

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On a Positive Note

Five Steps to Healing  (from Kenneth Hagin)

  1. Absolute surrender to God (1 John 3:22)
  2. A pure heart (Psalm 66:18)
  3. Realization that the body belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; Romans 12:1)
  4. Feed constantly on God’s word (Proverbs 4:20–22; John 8:31–32)
  5. Exercise expectant faith in God’s promises (Hebrews 11:6; Mark 11:22–24)


Last Thought


By [1] grace are you [2] saved through [3] faith… not of works… (Ephesians 2:8–9).


[1] Grace means God giving us what we do not deserve. Our works—the things we do, whether good or bad—neither qualify us to receive, nor disqualify us from receiving, what he has promised (although repentance from sin may be a necessary element:

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers. But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil.*



* 1 Peter 3:12

[2] Salvation means ‘wholeness’ for:

  • spirit—a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17);
  • soul—He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3) (renewed mind, released emotions, a strengthened and sanctified will)
  • body—life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11).

[3] Faith is the key. If you believe God does not want to heal you, then it will be to you according to your faith; but all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).


We cannot see clearly into the spirit realm (1 Corinthians 13:12), so we can only know what is real from what God tells us—which is why He has given us the Bible (Psalm 119:105). He has not given us His word to trick us, or raise our hopes only to dash them again, but to show us what He will do—

My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips (Psalm 89:34)


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The Proof of the Pudding… a personal testimony by the writer


On 9th March 2006 my 34 year–old daughter flew to Africa as an unpaid volunteer to work for a Christian charity, undertaking administrative work for a doctor, and leading worship for the small team out there. She had given up her job of eight years as a manager of a large medical practice, being responsible for the finance and the computers, in order to do this.


On Wednesday May 3rd, after a bout of food poisoning followed by diarrhoea and sickness, she awoke with a violent headache. Initially it was thought to be migraine, but by the Friday began to act rather strangely and so was taken to the nearest hospital, where one of USA’s top neurosurgeons was working. Some of his equipment had not been working for weeks, but on that day it started functioning again. Two scans were taken, but did not appear to show any cause other than migraine. She was taken back to where she was staying and some of the team were constantly with her from that time forward. They had felt that worship was a vital weapon in the Christian’s armour, and continued praying and worshipping with her.


On Friday evening she had two seizures and the next day returned to the hospital for a lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis. By 11.00 a.m. The specialist had concluded that there was a clot in the sinus vein, which is in the brain at the left side of the back of the head, and one of the main routes for blood returning to the heart. A scan also showed that there had been a small bleed in the area of the clotted vein, probably some time Friday evening. This is very rare: to have both a clot and a haemorrhage simultaneously is most unusual.


While she awaited evacuation to Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, prayer and worship continued non–stop for her. For about an hour some 50 children gathered outside her window to sing worship to the God who hears and answers prayer. Undoubtedly her survival at this time was not only the result of the skills of the medics, but the devoted prayer and worship of the many people who selflessly gave themselves to the battle—and particularly the charity team, some of whom went two or three days without sleep. She finally left on Saturday at 10.00 p.m. for a five–hour ambulance journey to the airport. From there she took a four–hour Lear Jet flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, accompanied by the director of the charity, who continued the prayer/worship vigil (joined by a nurse working with the charity and her friend, a few days later). A relative, living just 30 kilometres from the hospital and undertaking charity work out there, was awaiting their arrival at the hospital and he and his family joined the ever increasing numbers praying for her.


Following her arrival in Intensive Care, she appeared to be improving satisfactorily, even being able to speak to my wife and me on the telephone the following Tuesday. However, that evening another blood clot developed and she spiraled downwards. On Wednesday morning we received a phone call saying that she was in a very serious condition and we should fly out to her as soon as possible. Within about eight hours we were on a flight to South Africa.


On our arrival we were told she had improved slightly, but when we stood by her bed she was paralysed on her left side and unable to speak, the damage being in the speech centre of the brain. She had pulled the I.V. line out of her neck while unaware of what she was doing, and the resulting bleed was difficult to stop due to the anticoagulants in her blood (the manager of the I. C. U. told us that it was a real problem as they dare not press on the wound in case they stopped the flow of blood to the brain). My daughter could just open her eyes, and barely move her head to nod “yes” or “no.” The few tears trickling down her cheeks from time to time and the occasional weak smile were her only other means of communicating with us.


When we flew out to her, there were two conflicting thoughts constantly in my mind: “she is going to die;” and “we are not going there to mourn, we are going there to fight.” This is Africa, where the spiritual world is recognised more readily than in the West. Witch doctors abound and we were sure this was the result of a curse by one local to where she had been working (it had happened to someone else some days before). So, on the authority of the Bible we first commanded the curse to leave her.*



* Proverbs 26:2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.

Note that because my daughter was, and is, blameless through the work of Jesus, there was no cause for the curse to latch onto:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him..

* Psalm 7:10–16 My defence is of God, who saves the upright in heart. God  is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day… He (the wicked) made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.

**James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

***Acts 19:12 …so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
James 5:14  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.

****Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.


The Bible is God’s word and is the law of the universe, which is why it is so important to know what it says—one day your life could depend on it! In this context ‘law’ does not mean ‘rules,’ as in the rules of the land, which people can chose to obey or disobey. It is ‘law’ as in the law of gravity: it does not matter whether you know about it or not; or whether you like it or not; it always works and can never be avoided (although there are times when it requires faith in order to activate it). Jesus said that heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s word will never pass away (Matthew 5:18; 24:35): so the fact the earth is still here is proof the ‘Word’ still functions. Therefore the curse had no choice but to obey and depart. Additionally we had the right to command it to return to its source.*

We then commanded the powers of darkness, which had been attacking her, to leave her and not return. Our authority for this was four–fold.

  1. As her father, according to God’s word I had authority over my unmarried daughter, and while I would never abuse that authority by bossing her about, it does mean that no devil could touch her without my permission: this has never, and will never, be given.
  2. As children of God we have the right to resist the devil and see him flee.**
  3. She was still a member of the Church where we worship, and therefore under their authority. They too were in agreement that she should be delivered, the evidence of which was the day of prayer and fasting all the members undertook, and the cloth the leaders of the church had prayed over and anointed with oil.*** We placed it on her forehead at this point, and then under her head for her to rest on for a few days afterwards.
  4. We were supported by the authority of agreement,**** and by now there were not merely two people agreeing on her recovery, but nearer two thousand (and probably more).

We then prayed for God’s healing, and for his angels to surround her, protect her, and minister His healing to her. Finally we prayed for the Holy Spirit, whose presence is within her, to bring about God’s will in her spirit, soul and body.

At first there appeared to be little change, and the temptation to do it all over again at our next visit was strong. But to do so would have been to declare it had not been effective the first time and therefore destructive to faith, which is an essential element in the law of God’s word in which we were depending. So, on our succeeding visits we continued to remind the devil that he was ‘fleed’ (to borrow a Kenneth Copeland expression); remind the curse it was returned to its source and could not come back; and to praise God for the healing work He was undertaking. Most of our succeeding prayer took the form of praise, echoing the work the charity team had begun.

The following day we read a Psalm over her, which my wife had seen on the plane:

Psalm 41:1–3 Blessed is she * who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver her in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve her and keep her alive, And she will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver her to the will of her enemies. The LORD will strengthen her on her bed of illness; You will sustain her on her sickbed.


* Obviously we changed ‘he’ and ‘him’ into ‘she’ and ‘her’!.

Within 30 hours of seeing her so close to death, she was sitting up, her voice fully restored, laughing and joking with her friends. Eight days after she had been at her worst, she walked back into the ICU to thank the staff for their part in saving her life.


In 14 days to the minute from when we had first stood by her bedside, we were landing at Heathrow Airport with our daughter at our side. In four weeks to the day, she was playing keyboards during worship at our church. On 5th July, two months after the problem started, with all her tests completely clear, she was discharged from the stroke clinic in England where they had been monitoring her condition as an out–patient.


On the 8th August she saw the haematologist for the last time, who told her she could stop all medication as there was nothing wrong with her! She returned to Africa on 27th August, to continue the work she had begun.


We were able to speak to the Johannesburg Neurosurgeon, several times (his formal report can be seen at the end of this section). During those conversations he said,

“We were damned whatever we did…” *
“If I had operated I would have killed you. We could only use drugs…”
“She has been very lucky…”
“We were at the last resort…”
“In those situations, at four in the morning, you don’t want to be in medicine…”


* Drugs to solve the clot would make the bleeding worse and visa versa.

I asked how he rated her recovery:

“Remarkable, dramatic, what words can I use? I was really scared,” he said.


My daughter heard him replying to a nurse who said “You saved her life!”

“I didn’t save her life—God did!” he replied.

Undoubtedly it was his skill, experience and knowledge, along with that of many other medical people, which preserved her life. But, as one of the nurses said to me, “We can only do so much.” When my daughter needed ‘luck;’ when the Neurosurgeon had reached ‘the last resort;’ God stepped in and worked a miracle for us—the biggest miracle I have ever seen.


The application to this event is obvious: no matter how big your problem, no matter how difficult your circumstances, when you need a solution turn to Jesus Christ, who has conquered every foe that would seek to attack us.


The Neurosurgeon’s report

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(In this report, words in brackets are mine as explanatory notes.)


Date of Consultation: 7 May 2006

History:



About one week ago she developed an episode of diarrhoea.

This was followed by severe headache, nausea and vomiting. She was diagnosed in *** to have had a transverse sinus thrombosis (blood clot) with a left temporal lobe haemorrhagic (bleed) infarction (area of tissue death due to lack of oxygen) and was transferred to South Africa mainly for throbolitic (clot–busting) therapy as her condition was not stabilising there. She is a non–smoker but was using the oral contraceptive therapy (for skin and monthly pain problems). She has no other history to suggest she has other predisposing factors to thrombosis.

When she arrived her main complaint was headache and she had no major neurological deficits that she was able to describe.


*** I am deliberately withholding names of people (other than my own) and places.

Past Medical History:


She was healthy with no real medical problems and no known allergies.


Examination:


Her general and systemic examination: She was haemodynamically (blood circulation) normal. She had normal saturations on nasal cannuli. She was apyrexial (no fever) and she had no neck stiffness.

Neurological Examination: She was alert and orientated. Cranial (skull) nerve examination was entirely normal with a mild right sided homonymous hemianopsia (blindness for half the field of vision) as well as an expressive dysphasia (unable to speak).

Facial nerve function was normal and she did not have any hemiparesis (paralysis of one side of the body).

Cerebellar (brain) function was normal.


Investigations:


CT scan of the brain done in *** revealed that she had a venous infarction (area of tissue death) of the left temporal lobe with a clot within the transverse sinus and sigmoid sinus down to the jugular bulb.

*** I am deliberately withholding names of people (other than my own) and places.

Management:


In view of the haemorrhagic contusion (bleed) I at this stage elected not to give her thrombolitic therapy and instead managed her on fluid loading as well as Mannitol to try and control her headache. She was also given analgesics (pain killers) IV Tramal as well as anti–inflammatory agents to try and reduce her headaches.


Progress:


She initially did very well. However, on about day four post admission she developed progressive deterioration in her level of consciousness.

This was followed by a right sided hemi paresis (incomplete paralysis) and extreme drowsiness. She was only able to open her eyes to pain.

She was able to localize with the left side and was not moving the right side.

Her pupils had become 3mm and fixed bilaterally (both eyes). An urgent MRI of the brain as well as MR vengram was done which showed that she had developed extensive thrombosis into the posterior part of the superior saggital sinus.

This had resulted in some Ischemic (low oxygen state) changes in the right posterior parietal region. At this point in time despite the risk of haemorrhaging from the thrombolitic therapy, I elected to start thrombolysis and used Actilyse. I did a cautious initial loading of Actilyse of 50 mg as a loading dose followed by 2 mg per hour. (At this point we arrived and prayed with her). By the next morning this had a dramatic effect. Her neurological symptoms had reversed completely. The repeat MRI showed that the thrombus within the saggital sinus had almost completely dissolved. Actilyse therapy was continued for another day. After this therapy she was fully alert and orientated. Her dysphasia (speech) had dramatically improved and she had no residual hemiparesis (incomplete paralysis). She was then started on intravenous Heparin whilst Warfarin was started in order to maintain anti–coagulation.

On return home she will have to be investigated by a haematologist for possible causes of her hyper coagulable (blood clotting) state such as protein s or protein c deficiencies.

She should continue with the Warfarin therapy.













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Another View


There have been three ‘visions’ or ‘pictures’ received during or since this event. While it must be remembered that such things do not carry the same authority as scripture, they can, nevertheless cast additional light on what took place.


The first was described by a friend of my daughter from our Church. At the time she was at her worst, the friend saw a large, ugly demon attacking her, with long claw–like fingernails, which he was pushing into her head. A large warrior–angel came into the room, took his sword and severed the demon’s two arms, at which the demon retreated. The claws remained in her head, but began to wither away, and eventually fell out.


When she was back in England, my daughter had a picture of Jesus standing at the foot of her bed when she was so ill. The Father said to Him, “We must not let her die.” Jesus replied, “I know. I will take her haemorrhage, and blood clots, and head pains and everything else that is wrong, myself.” (This is what He did 2000 years ago, of course.)


The third came to my daughter on 3rd October 2006, while on retreat back in Africa. She writes:


I had a picture of being with Jesus—He hugged me very tight and for a long time and told me that this was His way of healing me. I asked Him, "Why did you save my life?” He looked at me a bit puzzled as if I shouldn’t have needed to ask and said, “Because I love you, of course!!”


Then He asked if I wanted to go for a swim (we were by the ocean)—so we went into the sea and went down, deep, really deep to the centre of the earth—it was hot with red lava spilling out—then He asked if I was ready and He held onto me very tight, started to swim upwards very fast, out of the water and flying up into the sky and then into space. Then we seemed to pass through some kind of force–field and entered heaven or the spirit realm.


I saw hundreds of thousands of angel armies preparing for war—row upon row of them. They were shouting Jesus’ name and waving their weapons—spears and swords, were clearly very powerful and were eager to get into the fight. I asked what they were doing. Jesus said, “Preparing for the battle but I have not released them yet.”


I asked, “What battle?”He pointed down to the earth. Parts of the earth had black oily slime creeping over it. There were also pinpricks of light and I asked what they were. He said, “These are the fires of worship” and He asked me to start more fires.


We continued to walk before the armies (all the time He was holding my hand). One large angel came and stood before us (taller than a man and very powerful looking). I asked who it was and Jesus said, “This is who I sent to save your life.” I said, “Thank you” to him and Jesus and the angel smiled at each other. The angel said, “You wouldn’t believe the battle we fought for your life.” He then knelt down before Jesus, took his hand and kissed it and then got up and left us.


The armies were still shouting Jesus’ name. Then another army flew just over our heads (I ducked!)—there was a tremendous roar as they went over, glorifying God as they went. Jesus was clearly the commander and they were all looking to Him for their orders and instructions to go.


Then the vision ended. Praise God!


Actually there were two miracles in my daughter’s experience. The fact she survived at all is the first, and while the sceptic may point to the treatment she received as the sole reason for this, it must be remembered that it was her neurosurgeon who said she needed ‘luck’ and recognised that his use of a drug, which the manufacturer says should never be used when a haemorrhage is involved, was highly dangerous. We are grateful he took the risk. Additionally it is known that the best chance of survival is immediate attention: the longer it takes to apply medical intervention after the incident, the less chance there is of survival or full recovery. It was a full four days before my daughter arrived at Intensive Care in Johannesburg for treatment to begin!


The other miracle was totally outside the ability of the medical profession to perform. With the brain damage she suffered, the natural expectation would have been that she would require months of speech therapy to learn how to talk again, and months of physiotherapy to learn how to walk.  Yet her recovery in both of these areas took a matter of days, with no help from any human source. Doctors with whom I have discussed this have firstly said how unusual it is for a clot and a bleed to occur at the same time, and secondly how remarkable it is that she has been able to resume a normal life so soon and with no need of any help to do so.

We received many emails and messages during the period, and I reproduce some key points from some of them, which also show the spiritual battle that was taking place.

Dear Les, Not sure when you'll be able to receive this but felt it'd be interesting for you and Gill to read. This is from Ingrid, a wonderful Dutch lady who runs the retreat centre in Jinja where the 4 of us went for the Transformation of the Heart week. She is VERY spiritual and discerning and mature and I believe its highly significant that the Lord woke her to pray for Bex. I wanted you to be aware of this to direct our prayers as we see the Lord bring victory for Bex.
Blessings to you all. Bex remains VERY much in our thoughts and prayers. In fact, my mind and heart is seldom elsewhere at the moment. Miss her terribly and can't wait to see her very soon. God bless you and protect you and minister to you as you trust in Him,
Much love, Jo

Dear Jo,
Thanks for keeping me updated. I had a strange experience thursdy night, I had malaria but woke up at approx. 2.30 in the morning and really felt I deep sense that I had to pray against the spirit of death and I saw myself cutting of the spirit of death from Bex. It was an experience I have had only onces before, that I really knew I had to pray against the spirit of death.
Than I read your mail. Sure there is a lot of stuff going on around you all, Ill be willing to share time with you on Thursday if you pass through JInja. Let me know what you decide also about the  booking you have here.
We can spend some time in soaking prayer which has helped many to deal with shock.
Blessings, Ingrid

Hi Phil,
I feel a little silly sending you this as I believe it is incomplete but here goes...........
had this whilst worshipping the night we prayed collectively for Bex and it keeps coming back to me...............................
The Blood that flowed from the Crown of Thorns, now adorns your head...(Adonai)
Yes! the Blood that flows from the Crown of Thorns now adorns my head ! (Bex)
I have crowned your head with the Blood I shed and restored you (Adonai)
Yes! You have crowned my head with the Blood You shed and restored me ! (Bex)
I believe God wants Bex to receive the revelation of His Crown of Thorns, it might well be her song to Him and her shalom!
lots of love Jennifer < >{

Clot

Clot
Was a word that made us laugh
When playing with our Dad.
I'd do something stupid
And he'd shout,
'Look out, you clot!'
And my sister would laugh,
So I'd bundle her to the ground.

Clot.
An innocent put down,
Now comes to put down my sister.
The funny word takes a dark stranglehold on her brain,
And squeezes,
And no - one teases her this time.

Dad's having none of it.
'The only clot is the devil, for having a go -
But no way is he going to take her!'

Pray.
We all pray.
Everyone we know - she must not be allowed to slip away.
So we pray
And thank and praise and
Pray.

The voice on the phone croaks a nervous 'Hello?'
I shriek in my best tone of banshee,
'You're not dead! Do you know
Who I am?'
The familiar laugh rings in my ears as she chokes,
'You're the clot!'
But I'm not cross,
'Cause she's not dead.
My little sister's not dead,
And I'm happy to be the
Clot.

©Rachel Clark 24/05/06


What Now?

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Faith is taking God at His word. He is the Healer: it is entirely His work. There is nothing for us to do, other than believe Him, ask Him, and trust Him to keep His promise. We do not need a famous ‘healer’ to help us (although the support of a local church is important). All we need is God’s word:

He sent His word and healed them (Psalm 107:20).


It is not for me to presume to tell you how to overcome any problem(s) you may have, although my hope is the scriptures used in this study will have convinced you beyond any doubt that the promise to you is your healing; but for any reader realising the promise of healing is their birthright, here are a few suggestions.


Find somewhere private, where you can audibly talk to God without being disturbed or heard. You do not need to be in any particular kind of posture or attitude: God hears you wherever you are and whatever your position. Talk to Him in the same way you would talk to anyone else—He is your Father.


If closing your eyes helps you to be free from distraction or to concentrate with whom you are talking, do so. Use your own words, but aim at incorporating the following items.


  • I believe Jesus died and rose again in order to take the penalty I deserved for my sin, and I accept His rule over my life. Father God, I have asked for Your forgiveness for my past sins and the cleansing of Jesus blood and know You have given it to me.

  • So I know I am your child, with all the rights You have promised in the Bible to Your children. I ask You to fulfil Your promise of healing for me.

  • Therefore I loose myself from any powers of darkness affecting me; I command them to leave right now, and bind them from affecting me again.

  • I command my body to be free from ___ (name your problem) and to come into wholeness in line with God’s word.

  • Holy Spirit I ask You to bring about the healing in my body that Jesus won for me.

  • Thank You Father, for healing me and setting me free. I look not at symptoms in my body but at Your Word, which promises whatever I ask in faith will be done.


It is what comes next that is most important. Every day, regardless of whether you see change in your problem or not, thank God for healing you. Don’t keep asking for healing (although there is a place for initially pressing through with your request until some assurance comes)—this implies God did not listen the first time and undermines your faith. The persistence seen in the Bible is in holding yourself before God as You praise Him for doing what He has promised. Walk by faith (believe what God has promised), not by sight (looking at any symptoms that still remain).


Because what we see, hear and experience has such a powerful effect on us, it is important to counter this by the truth of God’s word, which is more powerful and real than anything we observe in the physical world. So every day take one or two appropriate scriptures like medicine (a list of some are at the end of this study) and read them out loud to yourself several times throughout the day (purifying your mind with the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:26).


If you presently take medication for your problem, continue to take it, unless you are sure your symptoms have gone (and in any case get confirmation from your doctor that your condition has changed before stopping any medication). It can be a while, sometimes, before healing is complete, and in this period your body needs the medication it previously had to keep it going.


There was a classic case of a lady, years ago, with a large goitre on her neck. She received prayer for healing, and the next week testified to the church that she was healed; but people could see the goitre still there. Over the following months she continued to testify to her healing, until the elders of her church came to her to ask her to stop, as it was clear to everyone she was not healed.


That night she prayed to God, “I know You have healed me, but please will you show them you have done it?” The next morning, the goitre had gone! If her problem had been diabetes or some other disease requiring regular drugs in order to stay alive, had she stopped taking them when she was first prayed for she would have died before her healing became apparent!


On the other hand there can be occasions when a step of faith is needed, but unless there is very clear guidance, by a word of knowledge (for example), refusing life–saving medication would be very dangerous.


When your healing has taken place, get professional medical verification. In my daughter’s case (described earlier), she continued to take the drugs she had been prescribed until all the tests had proved negative and the hospital told her to stop taking them because they were no longer necessary.


If you have been helped by this study, the writer would be most encouraged to hear from you here.

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HEALING SCRIPTURES


As with every aspect of our Christian lives, there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn or achieve what we need: everything is entirely God’s work by His grace. Our part is to believe He will do what He has promised He will do. So no program or system is needed, or even helpful if we think by doing something in a particular way we will receive what we otherwise would not. So the following scriptures are not here to be used in some kind of program to gain healing; but passages on which meditation may be beneficial in supporting and building up your faith.


Exodus 15:26

Exodus 23:25–26

Deuteronomy 7:14–15

Deuteronomy 30:19–20

1 Kings 8:56

Psalms 1:1

Psalms 91:9, 10, 14–16

Psalms 103:1–5

Psalms 107:17, 19–21

Psalms 118:17

Proverbs 4:20–24

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 53:4–5

Jeremiah 1:12

Jeremiah 17:14

Jeremiah 30:17

Joel 3:10

Nahum 1:9

Matthew 8:2–3, 16–17

Matthew 15:30–31

Matthew 18:18–19

Matthew 21:21–22

Mark 11:22–24

Mark 16:14–18

Luke 6:19

Luke 9:2

Luke 13:16

Acts 5:16

Acts 10:38

Romans 4:16–21

Romans 8:2, 11

2 Corinthians 10:3–5

Galatians 3:13–14, 29

Ephesians 6:10–17

Philippians 2:13

Philippians 4:6–9

2 Timothy 1:7

Hebrews 10:23, 35–36

Hebrews 11:11

Hebrews 13:8

James 4:7

James 5:14–16

1 Peter 2:24

1 John 3:21–22

1 John 5:14–15

3 John 1:2

Revelation 12:11

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INDEX

Introduction

Old Covenant Healing

Abraham’s blessing

God is always the same

Jesus healed all sicknesses

What if you had been there?

Jesus’ command

Jesus’ promise

Jesus paid the price

The early Church

God treats everyone the same

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

God’s promise

An apostle’s prayer

Paul’s teaching

Received through faith

Sickness comes from satan

A 20th century experience

Objections to healing

God uses sickness to teach

God uses sickness to chasten

God sometimes sends sickness

Five Bible passages against healing

The problem of Job

Paul’s thorn in the flesh

Trophimus was sick

Timothy’s stomach

Isaiah 53 not about healing

Only have spiritual benefits of the cross

We are told to expect suffering

We are told to take up our cross

Full benefit of salvation only in heaven

David Watson & Joni Eareckson

This teaching causes distress

Are you not a hypocrite?

Reasons for healing not taking place

Unbelief

Lack of faith

Lack of patience

Lack of the anointing

One’s belief system

Exceptions?

Stubbornness

Unforgiveness

The past

So Why are Some People Not Healed?

On a Positive Note

Five steps to healing

Last thought

The proof of the pudding

Neurosurgeon’s report

Another View

What now?

Healing scriptures

Bible Options