Specific and Definite Grounds for Healing
John G. Lake
The subject of Healing is treated in the Word of God on a scale of graduation from Genesis to Revelation. There is a graduation and development in the promises concerning healing; also in the distinct principles laid down by the Lord by which healing is received.
The real climax of the ministry of healing as shown in the Word of God, comes from the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, as received on the day of Pentecost, when believers became infilled, inhabited, indwelt by the Living Spirit of the Living God.
The purpose for which Jesus Christ lived and died on the Cross, descended into the grave, ministered to the dead who died in the hope of His Coming transferring them to His own glory, arose from the dead, and His final ascent to the throne of God, was for one purpose. That one purpose was the
He, Jesus Christ the Son of God, night be endowed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost and have the right as the Saviour of men, to minister it to His followers for evermore.
Without that final climax at the Throne of God, all the rest would have been valueless. The Promise of the Father was fulfilled to Jesus Christ Himself. And Christ as Saviour and Redeemer of Mankind, exercising the Power of God, proceeded to minister it to His followers from on High.
Away back in the days of the patriarchs, leading up to the days of Moses, the subject of healing was apparently just as well known as among us. Men have trusted God from time immemorial. It started with the need of mankind. The first record of actual healing is at the time the wives of Abimelech were healed in answer to the prayers of Abraham. The next example is the healing of Sarah from barrenness, when she was ninety years old. It was not just an ordinary healing, but a creative work. The processes of nature that had died and passed in her life, were restored by the action of God Almighty, and she was able to bear children at ninety years. Rachel is another example of healing of barrenness, recorded in the Book of Genesis.
When you come to the Book of Exodus, a great phase of healing is opened. Israel has left Egypt. They have crossed the Red Sea and are now in the wilderness. They are away from earth’s methods, and from oppressive laws. A lot of Christians have not gotten that far yet. Their Christianity is not of the vital, practical order. They have vital faith for the salvation of their soul when they are dying. Lots of people have a salvation that will do a lot of things when they are dead. But Christ’s salvation will do a marvelous lot for you while you are alive! The dead end of it will take care of itself. Whatever revelation God has for you and me when we die will be revealed in due order. Our life is here now to perform in us what He has promised.
So in the 15th of Exodus we have the remarkable record of a whole nation, two million five hundred thousand of them – old gray-haired men and women, middle-aged men of war, young men, wives, children and unborn babes, accepting this Covenant with God, having no other healer than the Lord.
No man or woman over twenty years of age at the time they left Egypt ever entered Canaan, except Joshua and Caleb. The nation that entered in was a new-born nation, born under the Covenant of the eternal God, never having known any other system of healing, except faith in God. That Covenant was given after the peculiar testing of the people at the Waters of Marah.
God had brought them through the Red Sea by a Divine miracle. They stepped out a new-born nation. The Pillar of Cloud stopped at the waters of Marah. Marah means “bitter.” When they came to examine the springs, the water was bitter. You can imagine the consternation that followed. Think of the mothers wanting drink for their children. Yea, old men who were panting for thirst. And here this strange experience, the Pillar of Cloud stops at these undrinkable springs, Marah!
I suppose all the human remedies of mankind were suggested. One thing sure, they commenced to growl. The growlers are always on hand. Moses was a hero; we have a few hundred to growl at us, but here he had two million five hundred thousand to growl all at one time; I presume committees were waiting on him. One said, “Moses, what in the world did you stop here for?” Perhaps they said, “Do you think that we had better manufacture a drilling machine?” Or, “Don’t you think that we better send out scouting parties to find a spring somewhere around the neighborhood?” Men have always been human.
Moses had a way of getting difficulties settled that I wish we knew more about. While the rest were grouching, he went off to pray, and to get in touch with God. A lot of folks pray but do not get in touch with God. They operate the machinery of prayer at one end, but never get any response from the other end. Real prayer is communion with God, not just praying words, but getting an answer from heaven. “The prayer of faith shall save the sick.” God never promised healing through any other prayer than the prayer of faith. Lots of people pray prayers. Our books are full of prayers. We are splendid beggars, magnificent beggars, but poor believers. About the hardest think to get hold of is a good old- fashioned Christian who believes God.
I sat by the bedside of an old Methodist lady the other day, a good woman, and I haven’t a doubt of her salvation. But when I knelt to pray for her, all she would say was, “O Jesus heal me, O Jesus heal me.” And she kept it up until it seemed to me the Lord Himself must be wearied. After a while I tried to get out of it. I said, “Dear sister, you do not have to beg the Lord to heal you. He died to do that. He is waiting to do it.” She took a long breath and said, “What will I do?” I said, “Quit begging and believe God for a little while, and see if something will not happen.”
Beloved, whether you get an answer from heaven or not is dependent on the set of your soul.
When your heart is set and fixed in God in believing faith, something will take place. In Chemistry there has to be a union of substances before there is any action. Paul said, “The Words spoken them did not profit.” Why? “Not being mixed with faith.” The Spirit of God has a Divine quality. The spirit of faith in the heart of man is the human quality necessary to ignite the Spirit of God, and give it Divine action in your soul. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” God demands faith. According to the degree of faith in your soul, so that action, or interaction, of the Spirit of God in your life for healing will be great or small. Little faith, little healing; much faith, much healing, no faith, no healing. That is the principle.
Some teachers endeavor to throw the weight of responsibility on the patient. The Word of God does not do so. The Word of God is the finest straight up-and-down exposit6ion of real manliness that I know of anywhere. Christ put the burden of responsibility upon the disciples themselves. When He me faith He commended it in those special cases. But He said to the disciples, “Behold I give you power and authority,” and, “I send you to heal the sick and cast out devils.” And they went and healed the people.
To the Seventy He said, “Go into the cities round about, Heal the sick that are therein: then say to them, the Kingdom of God is come nigh to you.” That was to be their explanation. I trust that some day we will have a missionary army equipped by the power of God, that will go and heal the heathen, and discover that their message will have strength and power in the lives of the nations that in now lacks. A God without power to heal a sick heathen’s body is a poor recommendation of His ability to save his soul.
When you go down among the Portland heathen you can do just the same. Paul Rader was preaching in the slums, and some of the big preachers went down to hear him. They thought the result marvelous, and they invited him to come and preach in one of their big churches. He broke loose and gave them the same kind of preaching he had given in the slums. The Board took him in hand and said, “Rader, over there in the slums it was wonderful, and this message moved the people; but this is a different class of people, and we do not think this is the kind of message for this congregation.” One member of the board was a doctor. Rader said, “Doctor when you have a case of diphtheria in the slums and another on Locust Street, do you give a different remedy to the patient in the slums than the one on Locust Street?” “No,” he said, “I give the same thing.” “All right, I guess if the disease is the same, the same remedy will work,” said Rader.
God has only one remedy. He never had any other. God’s remedy is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ ministered to your soul by the Spirit is the only redemptive power that can redeem the soul from sin. God never had any other remedy for sickness either. That remedy is the Lord Jesus Christ, ministered to the natures of men by the Spirit.
Here is this whole nation of two million five hundred thousand, assembled at the Water of Marah.
God performed a miracle and the waters are healed and sweetened. First, as an example of His power. Second, in order to encourage the faith of the people to trust Him anywhere, under any circumstances.
Did you ever try to deal with a lot of Spiritualists and get them saved? They foul around with spirits until they are candidates for the asylum, obsessed and possessed; then they want deliverance. And they are the most difficult people to keep steady in God and going along in the line of faith. They have been educated to throw their nature open to every dirty thing in the form of spirit, and to admit it. It is natural for them to do it. While the real Christian is taught to keep his nature free from any power that contaminates. Do not let everything that comes to your ears take possession. Put the bars of your soul up and shut out that which is unholy and unclean and untrue. Open your spirit to the Holy Spirit, the truth and love of God, and let God in and keep the rest out.
A lot of Christians have a little medicine god behind the door, and every time they have a stomach ache they are open to temptation and are about in the same position as the Spiritualists. They have been so used to letting in their dope god, they can hardly get along without him. You have to line these people up every little while, and bless them, and thresh the life nearly out of them, until they can stand on their feet and keep away from their medicine god, and trust, not try the Living God.
You ask what right I have to say that? In the fifteenth CHAPTER of Exodus we have the Covenant of Healing that God gave to the nation of Israel, after they had crossed the Red Sea and were at the Waters of Marah.
The Lord almighty signed that Covenant as Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord Ty Healer, and the people of God lived for many consecutive years under that Covenant. Israel never had any other physician for centuries. The high, the low, the rich and the poor, the kings and the beggars put their trust in the living, eternal God. Down the line there was only one record of a man violating that covenant with God, and that was the case of Asa, king of Judah. His offense was so noticeable that it finds a place in the record of the Chronicles. When diseased in his feet he failed to trust God, but sought the physicians, and he “slept with his fathers.” 2 Chronicles 16:13.
It is a poor business to mix with unbelievers, unless you keep the spirit of your faith. Solomon got to marrying. He went down in Egypt and married a batch of Egyptian wives, who brought their heathen physicians with them to his court at Jerusalem, and introduced into Israel the practice of medicine.
Eventually Asa the king abandoned trust in God, for the heathen method. Drugs have always been the unbeliever’s way of healing. God always was and is the real Christian’s remedy.
David gave the most wonderful health report that was ever written. He says, “There was not one feeble person among their tribes. Psalm 106:37. Some health, glory to God! God gave this Covenant, and He said, “As long as keep it you will be blessed, and when you violate it, the natural consequences will follow.” The natural consequences are curse, degradation of life, sickness, disease and all the wretchedness that is associated with it.
I attended one of the great Dowie demonstrations of healing some years ago at the Chicago Auditorium, when at a certain moment, ten thousand people, standing, testified to their healing. There were five bushel baskets filled with cards containing the names of sixty thousand people healed by God. At the same time, while the audience of then thousand stool testifying to the power of God, Dowie turned over these baskets containing sixty thousand names, making a total of seventy thousand testimonies to healing.
I do not know what other people’s opinion of the Dowieties is, but you can go to their city (Zion, Illionois) today, 1923, and look at the vital statistics, and you will find that their death rate is lower than in any other city of the land with the same population. It testifies that the individual who puts his trust in God and god alone, is a sane individual and is exercising good common sense.
Why do you come to God in repentance and honesty of heart? That you may become free from sin. Why do you through prayer and spiritual labor and tear endeavor to keep your life purged from all contamination of sin, but for the reason that by the Grace of God you may command a greater degree of His heavenly presence and power?
Christians have seen the subject of healing as the Grace of God, but have not realized that it is a science as well as a grace. I tell people that there is not only a grace of healing but an ART of healing. It is grace because it belongs to God and the quality of healing virtue is the Spirit of the Living God Himself. But if you are going to discuss it from the side of art, then the individual who understands how to open his nature to God, so as to let that lifestream pass through from himself to others, is associated with it, is in order that our hearts may be opened to Him in the greatest possible fullness.
On one occasion a gentleman suffering from diabetes came to me. He explained his condition and showed me a chart by the State Board of Health showing his condition for months past. He said, “I do not want to die. I have come for help.” I said, “Dear Brother, the Lord has help for you.” So we knelt down by my office chair and began to pray. As we prayed, all I could see was $5000.00. I asked, “Broth, what is this $5,000, that is always coming up before my soul? Have you stolen $5,000?” He broke down and said, “Yes, that is my difficulty. I stole 5,000.00 from my widowed sister-in-law when my brother died.” I said, “Have you that amount in the bank?” He replied, “Yes.” I asked, “How long ago did this take place?” He answered, “Eight years and three months.” I told him, “If you want healing, you sit down here and write a check for that amount, including the interest.” He wrote the check and I saw that it was mailed. I said, “Now brother, come back.” He was going away in tears. “You will find you have some faith in God now.” He knelt by the desk chair again and it was not like it was in the beginning. His heart was right and repentance and restitution had been made; his heart had been opened up and he prayed like a good old Methodist. That man is one of my fast friends and he is well.
Bless God, if you want some of the lovely things from Him, you go home and straighten up with the grocery man and everyone else. And if you want to be honest and haven’t the money, call them up and talk to them like a man. Keep yourself square with God and with man, and He will bless you.
Healing is not always obtained by saying prayer. It is obtained by obeying god. God wants the Christian to set up a standard of righteousness according to the standard of the Word of God, and then to live it, bless God. The church, not recognizing this truth has almost disregarded the teachings and lessons of the Old Testament and does not understand to this day what the difficulty is.
One day the British government got to wondering what was the cause of their troubles. Some of the members of parliament got to reading the Old Testament and the national laws of health. They said, “We have inherited the curses but missed the blessings.” They wanted to know what they could do to inherit the blessings and get rid of the curses. They had labor trouble, land legislation; the courts were full of disputes about personal right. They had disease. They went as far as to appoint a committee to look into the matter and bring back a report. The came the World War and the matter was shelved. Beloved, if we wish Divine health in our bodies and lives, we need to get back to old-fashioned obedience to the Word of God.
When we began to trust the Lord for healing, and God alone, twenty five or more years ago, my wife and I had faith that when we were sick the Lord would heal us. The result was that when the measles broke out, our children would come home with the measles. The Lord would heal them. That went on for several years, and one evening when I came home, I discovered that two of the children had smallpox. That was the limit. If there is anything my soul hates it is the smallpox. Discovering the children had smallpox, we claimed God’s promises in Psalms 91 which says, “Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling,” and thus banished sickness from our home.
Very few Christians are aware that the blessed Word of God gives such an amazing example of healthfulness as is told in the history of Israel. There is only one example that superseded it, and that is in the Christian Church during the first three centuries. The millions of Christians who lived during that time all trusted the Lord for healing.
If we could make the world understand the pregnant vitality of the Spirit of God, men would discover that healing is not only a matter of faith, and a matter of the Grace of God, but a perfectly scientific application of God’s Spirit to man’s needs. The Spirit of God is just as tangible as electricity is. You handle it, you minister it to another, you receive it from God through faith and prayer, your person becomes supercharge with it. The old apostle took handkerchiefs or aprons, held them in his hands until the handkerchiefs or aprons were supercharged with the Spirit of God. Then they were sent to the sick, the sick were healed and the demons were cast out. (Acts 19:12)