BEFORE THE BATTLE
Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:
C Write the Healing Promise from memory.
C List four common responses to healing and deliverance.
C Summarize warnings given to leaders who do not minister healing.
C Explain the need for proper teaching regarding healing and deliverance.
HEALING PROMISE TO CLAIM:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Before you begin your study of healing and deliverance it is helpful to understand some of the current attitudes you will face as you begin to minister in this area. In regards to healing and deliverance, many believers have . . .
One theologian reviewed some 87,125 pages of theological writings in libraries of
evangelical seminaries. Of these total pages, there were only 71 pages devoted to
healing; 131 pages to miracles; and 85 pages to signs and wonders. When the high
number of verses devoted to these subjects in the New Testament is compared with the low number of pages written on the same topics in modern theology , we see a trend to ignore the subject in many modern evangelical circles.
Some ignore healing because of Biblical warnings against false miracles. They regard this as a warning about all miracles (Mark 13:22-23). Some believe healing in theory, but ignore it in practice . Others ignore it because they cannot answer all the questions associated with sickness and suffering. Some ignore healing because of fear of failure . We seem to have a double standard. We pray confidently for finances, wisdom, and
guidance but we are fearful to pray for healing. Others do not realize how rationalism and materialism have affected them. Many must "see to believe" and are consumed with the natural, materialistic world .
Some people deny healing and deliverance are for today because they have no theology, model, practice, or experience with it.
The New Testament Gospels contain 26 accounts of physical healing. The book of Acts contains five. Physical healing is mentioned in I Corinthians 12:8-11 and 28-30. James 5: 13-16 gives specific instructions on how to pray for the sick. There is nothing in the
Epistles that modifies the Gospel’s teaching on healing. Praying for the sick was taken for granted at the time the Epistles were written, and there is no hint that divine healing was controversial in the early church.
Many people have complicated healing and deliverance with traditions of man contrary to the Word of God. You will learn about some of these traditions in Chapter Eleven.
Others have complicated it with experience. They may have prayed for healing and did
not receive it. But you must base your beliefs on the Word of God, not on experience
(except where experience supports the Word). Bad role models of healing have also
complicated this issue. People have seen personality cults, healing for money, deception, and undue focus on physical healing instead of wholeness. Healing and deliverance have also been complicated by imbalance. Any truth, no matter how valid, emphasized to the
exclusion of other truths is practical error.
Some people delay ministering healing and deliverance because they do not have the
answers to everything . They do not understand why some are healed and others are not . (You will study about this in Chapter Thirteen). It is not necessary to understand
everything about healing in order to minister or receive it anymore than you understood everything about salvation when you were saved and began to witness to others.
Some answers come as you minister and experience God’s healing power. Other
questions will never be answered. If you knew the "why" and "how" about everything, then you would not need God. The Bible says "we know in part." Healing concerns
sickness and suffering and there will always be mysteries because the mystery of iniquity is at work (II Thessalonians 2 :7).
THE NEED FOR PROPER TEACHING
This review of current attitudes towards healing and deliverance illustrate why we need proper teaching on this subject. Many are being destroyed physically and spiritually because they do not know what God’s Word teaches regarding healing:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
Healing (wholeness) is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom which we are commissioned to spread (Luke 16:15-18). Jesus called us to preach, teach, heal, and deliver. Healing and deliverance should not be left out, but neither should they be emphasized to the exclusion of teaching and preaching the Gospel. The Bible reveals that our churches are to be
healing centers (Luke 14:16-24). We are to see people healed rather than turned away:
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:13)
As believers, it is sin if we do not share the good news of healing and deliverance with a lost and dying world. The Bible says:
. . . to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)
Applying this verse to healing means that to know we are commissioned to minister
healing–and yet not do it–is sin. God gives some stern warnings to leaders who do not minister healing:
. . . Woe be to the shepherds . . . The diseased have ye not strengthened,
neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that
which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven
away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with
cruelty have ye ruled them . . . I will seek that which was lost, and bring
again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. . . (Ezekiel 34:2,4,16)
STARTING WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE
As you approach the subject of healing and deliverance, you need to do so with a proper attitude. Always remember that seeking and ministering physical healing is secondary to spiritual reconciliation through Jesus Christ which is the greatest miracle of healing.
As you approach this study you must disregard past experiences and the traditions you
have been taught. You must be teachable. One of the marks of wisdom from above is that
it is open to reason (James 3:17). You are in danger spiritually when you stop being
teachable. Remember that the sin of presumption is putting God in your little "mold."
Job’s friends sinned in this way. Universal application of individual experience is wrong.
Start this study as though you have never heard the traditional teachings of man or your
denomination on it. Accept what God’s Word says: If it says you are healed, believe it. If it says to lay hands on the sick, do it.
Do not enter this study seeking formulas and methods to receive or minister healing. The Bible gives no specific formulas, although various principles are revealed and we will deal with these. Instead of seeking formulas, understand that the Healer is within you . Seek to increase your knowledge of and intimate relationship with Him.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit are resident within. Healing is not something you seek from the outside, but you learn to release it from the inside. You are seeking only to understand principles that release that power within.
THE MINISTRY OF HEALING
Before you begin the ministry of healing and deliverance you should know that if you truly follow the example of the healing ministry of Jesus you will:
-Be a servant instead of a lord: Mark 10:44
-Grow weary, not rich: Mark 6 :31; John 4 :6; Acts 3:6 -Encounter unbelief of others: Mark 13:58
-Experience persecution from religious leaders (some of them are like the Pharisees-more concerned with law and tradition than life): Luke 6:6-9
-Experience persecution from those closest to you: Mark 6:4; Matthew 13:58 -Avoid publicity instead of seeking it: Mark 17:36; 8:26; Matthew 8:4
-Reject any personal gain or material benefits from God’s power: Acts 8:18-24 -Reject personal glory: Acts 14:8-18