The Truth About Divine Healing
(Series of articles from the Sacramento Union)
by John G. Lake
July to August, 1927
Chapman said, just before his passing, “I believe the gift of healing is a far greater divine attainment than the gift of the evangelist.” No wonder professor
A. B. Bruce said in his Miraculous Elements of the Gospel, “Cures should be as common as conversion, and Christ’s healing miracles are signs that disease does not belong to the true order of nature and are but a prophecy that the true order must be restored to us.”
There is no question but what there is a universal longing for such a faith for the healing and quickening of our mortal bodies as this. Professor Bruce well expressed it in his Union Seminary lectures, which have been a power ever since their utterance:
What missionary would not be glad to be endowed with power to heal diseases as conferred by Jesus Christ on His disciples when He sent them on their Galilean mission? I know the feeling well. I spent part of my apprenticeship as a preacher and a missionary in a once prosperous but now decaying village in the west of Scotland, filled with an impoverished and exceptionally disease-stricken population. There I daily saw sights which awakened at once intense sympathy and involuntary loathing.
There were cases of cancer; strange and demoniac-like forms of insanity; children in arms, twenty years old, with the face of a full-grown man and a body not larger than an infant’s. I returned home oftime sick at heart and unable to take food.
What would I not have given to have had for an hour the charisma of the Galilean evangelists! And how gladly would I have gone that day not to speak the accustomed words about a Father in heaven ever ready to receive His prodigal children, but to put an end to pain, raise the dying, and to restore to soundness shattered reason. Or had I found someday, on visiting the suffering, that they had been healed, according to their report, in answer to the prayer of some saintly friend. I should have been too thankful to have been at all skeptical. I should then have seen how He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, and we were to represent God whose supreme purpose is, as Jesus so clearly showed, to forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases.
The place of the gift of healing in the great message of Jesus’ full and complete salvation has been voiced in prophetic foregleams all through the Christian centuries, as truly as the coming Messiah by the mouth of the prophets before the appearance of Jesus.
During recent years, it has broken forth in many quarters with most unusual power. As far back as 1884, Rev. R. F. Stanton, DD, a leading Presbyterian clergyman who at one time was moderator of the general assembly of the Presbyterian church, wrote in a little volume entitled Gospel Parallelisms these remarkable words:
It is my aim to show that the Atonement of Christ lays the foundation equally for deliverance from sin and deliverance from disease; that complete provision has been made for both; that in the exercise of faith under the conditions prescribed, we have the same reason to believe that the body may be delivered from sickness as we have the soul may be delivered from sin; in short, that both branches of the deliverance stand on the same ground and that it is necessary to include both in any true conception of what the Gospel offers to mankind.
The atoning sacrifice of Christ covers the physical as well as the spiritual needs of the race.
Colleges Lag in Science Teachings
Dr. John G. Lake defined the major branches of learning as follows:
Physiology is the science of the body.
Psychology is the science of the soul.
Pneumatology is the science of the spirit.
Ontology is the science of being.
Our schools and universities teach physiology: the laws, direction, and care of the body. In the past thirty years, psychology has found recognition so that not only the universities teach this science, but lectures on psychology are in every city and hamlet. Even business houses now give psychological courses for their employees and salesmen. Yet the psyche of man will die, and the soul is mortal. Psychology is a natural science.
What are the facts of pneumatology? Firstly, that man is triune in his nature and structure—spirit, soul, and body. Secondly, that the spirit and soul are divisible. On this question, the Bible says concerning the Word of God: “Piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12).
Psychology—soul science—says that the soul is the seat of the affections, desires, and emotions; the active will, the self. “My soul,” said Jesus, “is exceeding sorrowful” (Matthew 26:38). “And Mary said, My soul [self] doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46–47).
A type of semi-scholarship, represented by modern material scientists, has despised the Bible. No university in the United States is sufficiently advanced in scholarship to possess a chair of pneumatology.
The apostle Paul at Ephesus was received into the school of Tyrannus, a school of the Grecian philosophies. Psychology was the basis of their philosophy. Tyrannus recognized Paul’s knowledge of pneumatology, the higher science, and established a chair of pneumatology. There, Paul taught the Christian philosophy, pneumatology, and psychology as Christian doctrine and experience. This resulted in the establishing of the Christian churches of Ephesus with 100,000 members. It resulted in the appointment of Timothy as the first Christian Bishop of Ephesus.
An outcome of this teaching in the school of Tyrannus was that the Grecian philosophies were discarded for the higher teaching of Christianity. From this school came Thekla, a Grecian noblewoman, a God-anointed healer, whose ministry of healing is said by students to have set a record.
And still there are those who would deny the right of Christian ministry to women.
The revelation of Jesus Christ as Savior and Healer through the simple teaching of the cross surpassed in Paul’s estimation every other knowledge and led him to declare:
I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:24)
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.(Romans 1:16)
Who has authority to pray for the sick? Is this holy ministry only given to the few? Is it a ministry to all Christians or to the clergy only? Jesus said:
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Ask, it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Luke 11:9)
These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they [believers] cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17–18)
The apostles were commanded to go into all the world—to make believers in every section. The signs were to follow the believers, not the apostles only.
This was heaven’s characteristic. It was the trademark of the Christ on His goods. It was the brand, the stamp burned into the soul of the believer with heavenly fire.
Baptism in the Spirit of Jesus was Christ reproducing Himself in the believer: To what extent was this reproduction to be a fact? We contend that Jesus taught that the believer was empowered by the Spirit’s incoming and indwelling so that he was Christ’s ambassador on earth. Then he must perform Christ’s most holy ministries to the sinful and sick just as Jesus himself would do.
If this is true, then the believer is a priest in every respect. The believer must then perform Christ’s priestly ministry.
The believer, then, is expected to heal the sick. Jesus said that a believer should lay his hands on the sick and heal them—they were not to die; they were to recover. They were healed through the believer by the power supplied from heaven by Jesus Christ to the believer.
We desire to ask, “Should the believer-priest also forgive sins or pronounce absolution to the penitent seeker after God?” We believe he should. We are sure that it is the privilege of the modern church to see this tremendous truth that was purposed by the Lord to be the glory of Christianity.
Jesus said the believer should cast out devils. He believes he should. He does it. The devil is ejected from further possession.
How did he do it? By the exercise of the bestowed power as Christ’s believer-priest, he exercises spiritual authority over the devil in the candidate and frees him from control.
In this, he has performed the Christ-function. The sick likewise are healed through the believer-priest. In this also he performs another Christ-ministry. Then how about sin? Why does not the believer-priest by the same spiritual power and authority destroy the consciousness of sin in the soul and pronounce absolution for sins that are past?
We are asking these questions in order to discover what the believer’s ministry as Christ’s representative is.
We are not alone in our faith that the believer should perform the full ministry of the Christ:
“I am a priest.”—Robert Browning
“The early church lost its power when it lost sight of its high priestly office.”—Bishop Burnett
“The church needs to realize in new ways the inherent priesthood of Christian believers.”—Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops, 1906
“The authority to pronounce absolution and remission of sins that are past and fulfill the aspirations of the soul for the future, I believe to be spiritual and not ecclesiastical and traditional, and to belong equally to everyone who has received such absolution and remission, and such gifts of the spiritual life.”
—Lyman Abbott (1835–1922)
“The experience of the Free Church confirms what we should expect from study of the New Testament and modern psychology, that the priesthood of all believers rests on sounder evidence than the priesthood of some believers.”—Rev. Dr. Glover of Cambridge
“With the Quaker it is not that there is no clergy, but that there is no laity, for we are all priests unto the Highest.”—John H. Graham in The Faith of the Quaker
“I am ever in the presence not only of a Great Power, or a Great Lawgiver, but a Great Healer.”—Lyman Abbott
Therefore, every believer on Jesus Christ is authorized by the Lord to do as He has done, assured of Christ’s assistance:
Greater works than these shall [ye] do, because I [Jesus] go unto my Father.(John 14:12)
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)
Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)
The miracles of Jesus have been the battleground of the centuries. Men have devoted their lives in an endeavor to break down faith in miracles. Yet more believe in miracles today than ever before.
Pseudoscience declares miracles impossible. Yet the biggest men in the scientific world are believers in the supernatural and know that miracles are the discovery and utilization of which the material scientist knows nothing.
The miracle realm is man’s natural realm. He is by creation the companion of the miracle-working God. Sin dethroned man from the miracle-working realm, but through grace he is coming into his own.
It has been hard for us to grasp the principles of this life of faith. In the beginning, man’s spirit was the dominant force in the world; when he sinned, his mind became dominant. Sin dethroned the spirit and crowned the intellect. But grace is restoring the spirit to its place of dominion, and when man comes to realize this, he will live in the realm of the supernatural without effort. No longer will faith be a struggle but a normal living in the realm of God. The spiritual realm places men where communion with God is a normal experience.
Miracles are then his native breath. No one knows to what extent the mind and the spirit can be developed. This is not the power of mind over matter, but the power of the spirit over both mind and matter. If the body is kept in fine fettle, there is almost no limitation to man’s development.
We have been slow to come to a realization that man is a spirit and that his spirit nature is his basic nature. We have sought to educate him along intellectual lines, utterly ignoring the spiritual, so man has become a self-centered, self-seeking being.
Man has lost his sense of relationship and responsibility toward God and man. That makes him lawless. We cannot ignore the spiritual side of man without magnifying the intellectual and physical; to do this without the restraint of the spirit is to unleash sin and give it dominance over the whole man.
There must be a culture and development of the spiritual nature to a point where it can enjoy fellowship with the Father God. It is above mind as God is above nature.
Man’s intellect is ever conscious of supernatural forces that he cannot understand. He senses the spirit realm and longs for its freedom and creative power, but cannot enter until changed from self and sin; the spirit must beenthroned and in action rather than the intellect—spirit above both mind and matter.
God Destroys Sin—Sin Is Death
Does God always heal? “In him is no darkness at all”
(1 John 1:5). Can darkness come out of light? Can sickness come out of health? Is death born of life?
The issue resolves itself into this: Of what is the redemption of Jesus Christ constituted? What existing powers does He promise to destroy?
First, sin. When Christ’s redemption is completed, sin is gone. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Death entered into the world through sin.
Sickness is incipient death, death in process.
Jesus “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38). In Luke chapter thirteen, Jesus demanded His right to heal the woman bowed together with the spirit of infirmity as follows: “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond [be healed] on the sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16); and overriding traditions of the Jews, He healed her then and there.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
(1 Corinthians 15:26)
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
Sin, sickness, and death are doomed, doomed to death by the decree of Christ Jesus. Sin, sickness, and death are the devil’s triumvirate—the triple curse.
Heaven is the absence of this triple curse; heaven is sinlessness, sicklessness, and deathlessness. This is the ultimate of Christ’s redemption.
Dr. Frank N. Riale, field secretary for the Presbyterian department of education, is the author of one of the greatest books of the century, The Antidote for Sin, Sickness, and Death:
Today, science labors to eliminate sickness and declares, “There is no reason why men should die.” Science declares men are so constructed as to be perpetually renewed. Many great scientists declare the elimination of sickness to be their final objective.
Jesus anticipated the world’s need. He commanded His power for the use of mankind and invites us to help ourselves to His eternal quality and become, thereby, sons of God.
The Love of Jesus Healed the Sick, Afflicted
Take the shackles off God.
Jesus did not heal the sick in order to coax them to be Christians. He healed because it was His nature to heal. The multitude surrounded Him. His love gushed forth like an electric billow. “There went virtue out of him, and healed them all” (Luke 6:19).
Some modern evangelists have degraded divine healing by making it a teaser to bring those desirous of healing under the sway of their ministry. Jesus healed both saint and sinner—to the dismay of His apostles, who had not yet grown to the soul stature of Jesus. They reported to Jesus:
“We saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.” But Jesus said, “Forbid him not, for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” (Mark 9:38–39)
He met a man at the pool of Bethesda, a paralytic. This man did not ask for healing. Jesus went to him and said: “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6). Here Jesus was asking for the privilege of healing the sufferer. He healed him. His love compelled it.
Later, Jesus met the healed man in the temple and said: “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14).
Jesus’ action is a perpetual rebuke to the priestcraft who endeavor to use the possibility of the individual’s healing as a means to force him into the church.
The outgushing of His love for the world burst all bounds, and four times He healed multitudes. But some say: “This was Jesus. No apostle had such an experience.”
When Peter went down the street as the evening shadows fell, when his shadow reached across the street, “they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (Acts 5:15). The clear inference is that they were healed.
James, writing to the twelve tribes scattered abroad—not the little group of Jews constituting the kingdom of the Jews, but the whole body of the nation of Israel scattered throughout the world, both the ten-tribed kingdom and the two-tribed kingdom—shouts: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him”—not prepare him for death—but that “if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14–15). He is coming into His own.
Healing was the evidence of God’s forgiveness, heaven’s testimony that their sins were remembered no more.
Take the shackles off God. Enlarge your theologies to Christ’s standard, and the world will love and worship Him forever.
Jesus’ Healings Were Not Always Instant
Faith Is a Large Factor in Regaining Health
In one of the letters received from readers, this question is asked: “Why are not all persons healed instantly, as Jesus healed?”
The writer of this letter is mistaken in thinking that Jesus always healed instantly. A case in point is the healing of the ten lepers; as they went, they were cleansed. (See Luke 17:14.) The healing virtue was administered. The healing process became evident later.
Again, Jesus laid His hands on a blind man and then inquired, “What do you see?” The man replied, “I see men as walking trees.” His sight was still imperfect. Then Jesus laid His hands on him the second time and he saw clearly. (See Mark 8:23–25.)
Healing is by degree, based on two conditions: first, the degree of healing virtue administered; second, the degree of faith that gives action and power to the virtue administered.
The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)
God Passes on Powers to Cure to All Followers
Jesus not only healed the sick, but performed a creative miracle on the man born blind. (See John 9.) Being born blind, it is self-evident the eyes were not a finished creation. Otherwise, he would have seen. The narrative reveals that the blind man did not know who Jesus was. Jesus did not make Himself known until after the miracle had been performed. Let us analyze the incident.
Jesus discovered the man born blind. (See verse 1.) He then spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle. Why? Because Jesus was a fundamentalist. The story of creation in Genesis says that “God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). Jesus, in finishing the creation of the eyes, adopted the same method. He stooped down, took up some dust, spat on it, and put it on the blind man. This was not healing. It was a work of creation.
In 1 Corinthians, the twelfth chapter, it is said that in distributing the gifts of the Spirit to the members of the church, one was given the “gifts of healing…[and] to another the working of miracles” (1 Corinthians 12:9–10). Healing is the renewal of the body from diseased conditions. A miracle is in the creative order. The case of the blind man was an exercise of creative authority, not the restoration of diseased tissue. The man was made whole.
The grouchers made their kick. The Pharisees examined the man and asked, “Who healed you?”
He answered, “I know not” (John 9:12).2
It is clearly evident to students of divine healing that sometimes the Spirit of God is ministered to the sick person to a degree that he is manifestly supercharged with the Spirit. Just as a person holds a galvanic battery until the system is charged with electric force, yet no real and final healing takes place until something occurs that releases the faith of the individual, a flash of divine power is observed, a veritable explosion has taken place in the sick person, and the disease is destroyed.
This tangibility of the Spirit of God is the scientific secret of healing.
A diseased woman followed Jesus in a crowd. She knew the law of the Spirit and had observed that it flowed from the person of Jesus and healed the sick. She was convinced it must also be present in His clothing. So she reasoned: “If I could but touch the hem of His garment, I would be made whole.” (See Mark 5:28; Matthew 9:20–21.) She did so. She was healed of a twelve-year sickness that had baffled physicians and left her in poverty.
Jesus was aware that someone had been healed. He turned to ask who it was. Peter said, “See how the multitude is thronging and jostling You.”
But Jesus answered, “Someone has touched Me, for I perceive that virtue has gone out of Me.” Jesus was aware of the outflow.
The woman was aware of the reception. Her healing was a fact. (See Mark 5:25–34.) Here, faith and the power of God were apparent. It was a veritable chemical reaction. Healing always is.
I believe the reason that people do not see the possibilities of divine healing is that they are not aware of its scientific aspects. The grace and love of God in the soul opens the nature to God. The Spirit of God resounds.
When the Pharisees asked the man who had been born blind, “What do you think of Him?” he replied, “He is a prophet” (John 9:17).
Later, Jesus found him and said to him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (verse 35).
The man replied, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” (verse 36).
Jesus answered, “I that speak unto thee am he.” (See John 37.)
The struggle of the centuries has been to free the soul of man from narrow interpretations. Jesus has sometimes been made to appear as a little bigot, sometimes as an impostor. The world is still waiting to see Him as He is: Jesus the magnificent, Jesus the giant, Jesus the compassionate, Jesus the dynamic—the wonder of the centuries.
Take the shackles off God. Let Him have a chance to bless mankind without ecclesiastical limitations.
As a missionary, I have witnessed the healing of thousands of heathens. Thus was Christ’s love and compassion for a lost world revealed. And thus, the writer was assisted into the larger vision of a world-redeemer whose hand and heart are extended to God’s big world, and every man—saint and sinner—is invited to behold and love Him.
Jesus Used Science to Heal the Afflicted
The Law of Contact and Transmission Was
the Medium through Which the Master
Mrs. John W. Goudy of Chicago writes, “How can you speak of divine healing as scientific if healing is through the atonement of Jesus Christ? How can the matter of atonement and grace be considered scientific?”
Atonement through the grace of God is scientific in its application. Jesus used many methods of healing the sick. All were scientific. Science is the discovery of how God does things.
Jesus laid His hands upon the sick in obedience to the law of contact and transmission. Contact of His hands with the sick one permitted the Spirit of God in Him to flow into the sick man.
The sick woman who touched His clothes found that the Spirit emanated from His person. She touched the “hem of His garment” and the Spirit flashed into her. She was made whole. (See Mark 5:27–29.) This was a scientific process.
Paul, knowing this law, laid his hands upon handkerchiefs and aprons. The Bible says that when they were laid upon the sick, they were healed, and the demons went out of those possessed. Materialists have said this was superstition. It is entirely scientific. The Spirit of God emanating from Paul transformed the handkerchiefs into “storage batteries” of Holy Spirit power. When they were laid upon the sick, they surcharged the body, and healing was the result. (See Acts 19:12.)
This demonstrates, firstly, that the Spirit of God is a tangible substance, a heavenly materiality. Secondly, it is capable of being stored in the substance of a handkerchief, as demonstrated in the garments of Jesus or in the handkerchiefs of Paul. Thirdly, it will transmit power from handkerchiefs to the sick person. Fourthly, its action in the sick man was so powerful that the disease departed. Fifthly, the demonized also were relieved. Both the sick and insane were healed by this method.
While the scientific mind always asks “how” and “why,” it is not necessary for the soul desiring Christ’s blessing to have any knowledge of the scientific process by which healing or salvation is accomplished.
Jesus said, “He that receiveth me” (Matthew 10:40; John 13:20). Men receive Jesus Christ into the heart as one receives a lover. It is an affectionate relationship. Men obey Him because they love Him. They obey Him because they have received Him affectionately. He has become their souls’ lover.
His love and power in them redeems them from sin and sickness and eventually, we are promised in His Word, He will also redeem us from death. Redemption from sin, sickness, and death constitutes man’s deliverance from bondage to Satan and his kingdom (see Hosea 13:14), and establishes the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible Shows Jesus Healed
the Sick by His Word
Exercised Authority over Disease by Speaking to Those Afflicted
Yesterday we discussed Jesus healing through the laying on of hands. Today we will examine Jesus healing by the word command, and other methods.
They brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith [the faith of those who brought the man as well as that of the man himself] said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matthew 9:2)
The scribes thought to themselves, “This man [Jesus] blasphemeth” (verse 3). Jesus met this opposition by saying,
Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.(Matthew 9:4–6)
The man arose and walked. No hands were laid on this man. There was no external ministry of any kind. Jesus commanded; the man was healed.
They brought a man who was dumb [mute], possessed of a devil. When the devil was cast out, the man spoke. The people wondered. This also is His exercise of spiritual authority. (See Matthew 9:32–33.) When Jesus commanded, the power of God entered and ejected the demon.
At Capernaum a centurion came saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered, “Not so. ‘Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’ That is enough.” And Jesus said, “Go home. It is done.” The record shows the servant was healed. (See Matthew 8:6–8, 13.)
Many have laughed at the idea of man being healed long distances from the one who ministers in Jesus’ name. But here is a clear case, and the God-anointed may still command God’s power. To the needy, distance is no barrier.
I now present mass healing. Four times it is recorded in the Gospels that “He healed multitudes; there went out a virtue from Him, and He healed them all.” There was no personal touch. (See Matthew 12:15, 14:14, 15:30, 19:2.)
God is not confined to methods. Heaven bows to the soul with faith anywhere, under any conditions. “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Again, Jesus said, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them” (Matthew 18:19).
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24), said Jesus.
The apostle James gave command that elders of the church should pray for the sick and anoint them with oil. Oil is the symbol of the healing Spirit. This is a command: “Pray for the sick that they may be healed.” (See James 5:14–15.)
When? Forever. As long as Jesus Christ reigns in heaven. As long as men on earth have faith in Him.
The voice of Jesus still is heard saying, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13).
“Ask, seek, knock—find Jesus.” (See Matthew 7:7–8; Luke 11:9–10.)
“With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27), and “all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).
Divine healing through prayer is as old as the race of man. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, records the healing of the wives of a heathen king in response to the prayer of Abraham. (See Genesis 20:17.)
The second book of the Bible, Exodus, gives us the terms of a distinctive covenant between the nation of Israel and Jehovah Rophi, “The Lord thy Healer.” In this covenant God not only agreed to heal the people when sick, but not to permit the sicknesses of Egypt to touch them. Its terms are:
If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes [on this condition, Jehovah agrees], I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. (Exodus 15:26)
Under this covenant, the twelve-tribed nation lived without doctors or medicine for 450 years, until the nation of Israel had an army of 1,100,000, and Judah an army of 500,000. Figuring on the same basis as the number of Americans in the army during the world war, this would give Israel and Judah a combined population of between 25,000,000 and 30,000,000.
King David of Israel gave the most extraordinary health report that history records: he said, “There was not one feeble person among their tribes” (Psalm 105:37).
Such historic data should go far to convince the world of our day that an absolute trust in God is not only a safe policy, but a most scientific guarantee of national health.
In this connection we must examine Israel’s national constitution as it was made the basis of national health. Firstly, its basic principles were the Ten Commandments. Secondly, it contained a law in which Jehovah held perpetual title to the land. Thirdly, a credit and mortgage statute. Fourthly, a distribution of surplus wealth statute. Fifthly, the most extraordinary labor law ever written. Sixthly, an absolutely equitable tax law by which every citizen paid one-tenth of his increase. (See Deuteronomy 5–26.)
This is the only national constitution given directly by Jehovah and is the foundation of all national constitutions.
For keeping this constitution, Jehovah guaranteed the nation against wars, pestilences, poverty, destructive droughts, and lastly, “I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (See Deuteronomy 7:15.)
The broad scope of divine healing in Israel is the basis of all faith in God for healing and was the foundation of the ministry of Jesus Christ, Israel’s Redeemer and the world’s Savior.
Israel had been kept free of disease for 450 years through divine healing. Outside of Israel there was no divine healing. No other religion in the world possessed healing power. There is not a single instance of this power in the life of India, Egypt, China, or Africa.
The Hebrews alone, from Abraham onward, exhibited the power of healing at this time. Later, knowledge of Israel’s God and His power to heal disease spread through the nations of the world.
The prophets of Israel were marvelous men of God. At their word, empires rose and fell. Life and death obeyed their will. Earth and sky answered their call. Before their eyes, future history marched with events of the present. No men of any other nation equaled them. No bibliotheca of any other nation compared with their Holy Scriptures.
Christ, God’s Gift
Christ came as God’s gift to Israel and Israel only. To Judah, the remnant of Israel, He came. Despite all that has been imagined and written of miracles in His childhood, there is not a particle of evidence that He performed any miracles until, at Cana of Galilee, He turned water into wine. The Bible states this miracle was the beginning of miracles by Jesus. (See John 2:1–11.)
Jesus performed no public ministry until He was thirty. The law of Moses forbade it. So we read that when Jesus was about thirty, He came to John the Baptist and was baptized. (See 1 Chronicles 23:3 and Luke 3:21–23.)
His baptism was His dedication of Himself to the heavenly Father. He dedicated body, soul, and spirit. To John He said, “Into all righteousness.” (See Matthew 3:15.)
He was dedicating Himself to God to reveal the righteousness of God. Jesus’ dedication was wholly unselfish. But His dedication in itself was not sufficient to qualify Him to reveal God. His humanity must be submerged in the Holy Spirit. As He was baptized in Jordan, this took place.
Now He must be tested. He was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. This was to find if His dedication was a fact or if He would fail under the forty-day test.
Three temptations were applied. Firstly, a psychological temptation to His mind—love of acclaim. Secondly, a spiritual temptation applied to His spirit—that He might by a simple acknowledgment of Satan secure “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matthew 4:8).
When He conquered, the natural result took place in Himself. Having overcome, the consciousness of inherent power was radiant in Him. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). (See Matthew 4:1–11 and Luke 4:1–13.)
Jesus now makes the next advance; He proclaims His platform. Returning to Nazareth, He boldly declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. (1) He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; (2) He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; (3) to proclaim liberty to the captive; (4) recovering of sight to the blind; (5) to set at liberty them that are bruised; (6) to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (See Luke 4:18–19.)
No more waiting for the release of the year of Jubilee. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Jubilee, was at hand to save and heal.
Jesus’ ministry of healing and the marvelous faith in God that He exhibited in miracle working were no accident. Miracles must be His very breath, for 800 years before His birth the prophet Isaiah had proclaimed:
He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.(Isaiah 35:4–6)
So to be Savior of the world, He must be forever the
miracle-worker of the ages; the death destroyer; the finality of revelation of the majesty, power, and mercy of Jesus!
The very name was a miracle.
The angel announced it.
Jesus’ birth was a miracle.
His wisdom was a miracle.
His life was a miracle.
His teachings were miraculous.
He lived and walked in the realm of the miraculous. He
made miracles common.
His death was a miracle.
His resurrection was a miracle.
His appearances after death were miraculous.
His ascension was a staggering miracle.
His pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the outstanding miracle. It was the one event in which His whole Saviorhood climaxed. Out of heaven was given to His followers the Spirit of the Eternal, to do in them all it had done in Him. Sin, sickness, and death were doomed.
He came as a roaring tempest, as tongues of fire crowning the one hundred and twenty as the living eternal Spirit entering into them. He proclaimed His triumphant entry into man through speaking in languages they knew not.
His deity had lifted them into His realm, transfigured, transformed, transmuted.
Jesus bestowed the power to heal upon His disciples:
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.…And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. (Luke 9:1–2, 6)
He likewise bestowed power to heal upon the seventy:
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.…Heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:1, 9)
In order to be fully informed on the question of divine healing, let us study this question as part of the fully-rounded development and life of Jesus.
In beginning His revelation of the life of God for, and in, man, Jesus chose the order of nature as the realm of His first demonstration. (1) Jesus turned the water into wine. (See John 2:1–10.) (2) He stifled the waves. (See Luke 8:24.)
(3) He walked on water. (See Matthew 14:25.) These revelations of power over nature each surpassed the other.
Then Jesus astounded His followers by turning to the creative life of God. He fed the multitude by an act of creative power when He created fish and bread to feed five thousand. (See Matthew 14:15–21.)
This shows the distinction between healings and miracles. Miracles are creative. Healing is a restoration of what has been.
Jesus now advances into a new sphere, the order of sickness. Here He meets the mind of the other that must be conformed to His. (1) Jesus heals Peter’s wife’s mother. This is first degree healing. (See Matthew 8:14–15.) (2) Jesus meets the blind man and heals him. This is second degree healing. (See Mark 8:22–26.) (3) The lepers are healed—healing in the third degree. (See Luke 17:11–19.)
Again, Jesus enters the creative realm and creates eyes in a man born blind. Blindness from birth is evidence of an unfinished condition of the eyes. The creative process was not complete. Jesus stooped, took dust from the road, spat upon it, and put it on the man’s eyes. In so doing He finished a work of creation; the man saw. (See John 9:1–7.)
Now, Jesus again advances. This time He chooses the order of death. (1) He raised the daughter of Jarius, dead a few minutes. This is the first degree. (See Mark 5:22–24, 38–42.) (2) Jesus meets a funeral procession coming out of the city of Nain. He commands the young man to live, and he sat up. This man was dead many hours. This is the second degree. (See Luke 7:11–15.) (3) His friend Lazarus is dead four days. His body is in a state of decomposition. Jesus commands Lazarus to come forth. He who was dead arose. This was the third degree. (See John 11:1–15.)
Now, Jesus again steps into the creative realm and announces His coming death. He declares of His life, “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18).
Through this chain of successive abandonment to God, we discover the soul-steps of Jesus. Every step was taken with reliance on the Word of God as the all-sufficient guide.
Jesus took the promises of God in the Scriptures and permitted them to work out in His soul. Therefore, His promises to us are not made on His own speculation, but because of His soul’s discovery of the mind of God. But He did not let it rest there. He took each discovered promise and worked it out.
He discovered the promise of supply and fed the multitude. He discovered healing power and made the blind to see, the deaf to heal, the lame to walk. He discovered the promise of “man the master” when anointed of God, and He stilled the waves and turned the water into wine; of life ever-present, and He raised Lazarus and the widow’s son; of life everlasting, and He rose Himself from the grave.
He gave His promises as discovered and demonstrated truth, and He tells us these things shall be ours as we are lifted by the Spirit into the God realm, the Christ-conscious realm.
But it is the one real thing among the myriads of life’s illusions and contains in itself man’s future hope and his transcendent glory. Herein is the true dominion of man.
The Marvelous Experience of Christ’s ‘‘Death Ministry” Produced in His Soul the Power and Glory of the Resurrection
We have followed Jesus through the continued ascents of His earthly career. Jesus has developed in faith and knowledge and “in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52) at every step. If we were to stop at this point and refuse to follow Him to the throne of the universe, we would miss the whole purpose of His life. Divine healing and every other outflow of His holy soul would be beggared and perverted if we failed here.
Christianity is not a mere philosophy. It is more. It is very much more. Christianity is not simply obedience to beautiful commandments. Christianity is not only the acceptance of glorious promises. Christianity is a divine content. Christianity is a heavenly dynamic. Christianity is the ultimate of all consciousness of God. Christianity is wholly supernatural. Christianity comes down from heaven from the innermost heart of the glorified Christ. Christianity is in the innermost and uttermost of man declaring, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). Christianity is the spotless descent of God into man and the sinless ascent of man into God. The Holy Spirit is the agent by whom it is accomplished.
The significance of Jesus’ death was not in His sacrifice only, but also in His achievement in the regions of death He took death captive. He liberated those who, in death, awaited His coming and deliverance. Jesus took them in triumph from the control of the angel of death and transferred them to His own glory.
David prophesied, “He ascended upon high. He led captivity captive. He gave gifts unto men, even unto the rebellious also, that they might know the mercy of the Lord.” (See Psalm 68:18.)
Peter declared, “Christ went and preached unto the spirits in prison, while once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared.” (See 1 Peter 3:18–20.)
And lest we fail to comprehend the source of His ministry in death, Peter says again, “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6).
The apocryphal book of Nicodemus relates this: “Jesus came to the regions of death, released the captives, and proclaimed liberty.” (See The Gospel of Nicodemus 6:1.)
It was this marvelous experience of Jesus in death ministry that produced in His soul the glory-power of the resurrection, not only His personal triumph over death, but the release of those held in death’s chains.
In all the universe there was none with such triumph in his spirit as Jesus possessed when death’s bars were broken. With power heretofore unknown, He commanded His followers, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Glorifying in this amazing ascent in consciousness, He instantly found the eleven and breathed on them, saying: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22). This was Jesus’ endeavor to lift them into the same soul triumph that He enjoyed.
The ascension was a further advance in triumphant consciousness, climaxed by His presentation of Himself at the throne of God, where, Peter says, “He received from the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (See Acts 2:33.) This was Jesus’ divine equipment as world Savior. From then on, He was empowered to administer the transcendent glory-power to all who would receive—divine healing, saving power. The empowering of the Christian soul from on high is the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ, High Priest of heaven.
That we may realize the uttermost of ultimate transcendence of the soul of Jesus in glory, hear Him declare anew:
I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18)
Who would not rejoice to place himself in the hands of such a Savior and Physician?
Answering forever the world’s questions: “Is He able to heal? Does He ever heal? Does He always heal?”—to all we boldly say, “Yes, He is Jesus, triumphant, eternal, omnipotent.”
Jesus called His twelve disciples and commanded upon them power and authority to cast out devils and heal disease. (See Luke 9:1.) He superseded this by declaring: “If ye shall ask anything in my name,…it shall be done” (John 14:14, 15:7).
The first was a limited power of attorney; the second, unlimited. This unlimited power of attorney was authorized before His crucifixion. It was to become effective when the Holy Ghost came.
On the day of Pentecost this power of attorney was made fully operative. The Spirit came. First, legally, they had His Word. Then, vitally, He sent His Spirit.
Peter and John instantly grasped the significance of the name. Passing into the temple, they met a beggar-cripple. He was forty years old and had been crippled from birth. Peter commanded, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Heaven’s lightning struck the man. He leaped to his feet, whole.
A multitude rushed up. They demanded, “In what name, by what power, have ye done this?” Peter and John replied, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye slew, whom God raised up.” (See Acts 3:12–16.) Matchless name! The secret of power was in it. When they used the name, power struck. The dynamite of heaven exploded.
Peter and John were hustled to jail. The church prayed for them in “the name.” They were released. They went to the church. The entire church prayed that signs and wonders might be done. How did they pray? In “the name.” They used it legally. The vital response was instantaneous. The place was shaken as by an earthquake. Tremendous name! (See Acts 3:1–16; 4:1–10, 23–31.)
Jesus commanded, “Go ye into all the world” (Mark 16:15). What for? To proclaim the name; to use the name; to baptize believers. How? In the name. Amazing name! In it was concentrated the combined authority resident in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. almighty name!
The apostles used the name. It worked. The deacons at Samaria used the name. The fire flashed. Believers everywhere, forever, were commanded to use it. The name detonated round the world.
More Bibles are sold today than any other 100 books. Why? The name is in it. It’s finality—“at the name of Jesus every knee [shall] bow…and every tongue [shall] confess” (Philippians 2:10–11).
Prayer in this name gets answers. The Moravians prayed, and the greatest revival till that time hit the world. Finney prayed, and America rocked with the power. Hudson Taylor prayed, and China’s Inland Mission was born. Evan Roberts prayed for seven years, and the Welsh revival resulted.
An old Negro, Seymour of Azusa, prayed five hours a day for three-and-a-half years. He prayed seven hours a day for two-and-a-half years more. Heaven’s fire fell over the world, and the most extensive revival of real religion in this century resulted.
He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
And lest healing should be lost to the church, He perpetuated it forever as one of the nine gifts of the Holy Ghost.
To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:8–10)
The church was commanded to practice it.
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The unchangeableness of God’s eternal purpose is thereby demonstrated: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8), and “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).
God always was the Healer. He is the Healer still and will ever remain the Healer. Healing is for you. Jesus healed all who came to Him. (See, for example, Matthew 8:36; 9:35; 12:15; Luke 4:40; 6:19.) He never turned anyone away. He never said, “It is not God’s will to heal you,” or that it was better for the individual to remain sick or that they were being perfected in character through the sickness. He healed them all, thereby demonstrating forever God’s unchangeable will concerning sickness and healing.
Have you need of healing? Pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ to remove the diseases. Command it to leave, as you would sin. Assert your divine authority and refuse to have it. Jesus purchased your freedom from sickness as He purchased your freedom from sin.
His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Therefore, mankind has a right to health, as he has a right to deliverance from sin. If you do not have it, it is because you are being cheated out of your inheritance. It belongs to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, go after it and get it.
If your faith is weak, call for those who believe and to whom the prayer of faith and the ministry of healing have been committed.
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