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Healing Does God Still Heal Today
The Bible is not like any other book. In Hebrews 4:12, we're told that the word of God is alive and powerful. It is the living word of God; that is why it has the power to set people free. The Scriptures also have healing power. The Psalmist said, "He sent His word and healed them" (Psalm 107:20). And, in Isaiah 55:11, God states, "My word that goes forth from My mouth shall not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire, and will achieve the purpose for which I sent it". In other words, whatever the Scriptures state, will be accomplished. Furthermore, God said, "I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled" (Jeremiah 1:12). So, we have God's personal guarantee of the fulfillment of the promises recorded in the Scriptures.
But, how do we know that the Bible's promises are still available for us today?
In Malachi 3:6, God stated, "I am the Lord, I do not change". The Bible also declares that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, whatever God was willing to do in the past, He is still willing to do today. Furthermore, the Scriptures repeatedly proclaim that God does not practice partiality or favoritism (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Deuteronomy 10:17). Thus, whatever God was willing to do for others, He is also willing to do for us.
We need to understand that the afflictions of sickness and disease are oppressions of the devil/Satan. In Luke 13:10-17, when Jesus healed a woman who had an infirmity that had caused her to be bowed or bent over for 18 years, He stated that it was Satan who had bound her with this affliction. And, in Acts 10:38, the Bible states that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power, and that He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. This scripture clearly states that "all" whom Jesus healed had been oppressed by the devil. It is true that there are a few texts which say that God brought sickness or disease upon people, but the people whom God afflicted with these sicknesses and diseases were either, the enemies of God and His people, or it was His people when they were living in open rebellion and disobedience. As long as God's people were faithful and obedient to Him, God has never brought disease or sickness upon them. Even in the case of Job, the Bible says that it was Satan who attacked Job and his family in various ways, including afflicting Job with boils over his entire body (Job chapters 1 and 2).
God identifies Himself as being our refuge, our help and our deliverer. As stated in Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble". When sickness or disease are negatively impacting your life, causing you pain or distress, that is "trouble". Thankfully, God has promised to deliver us out of our troubles (Psalm 50:15; Psalm 34:17). The Bible does not say that we will never have any troubles. Jesus told us that we will have tribulation/trouble in this world (John 16:33). In Psalm 34:19, scripture says that the righteous have many afflictions. However, that same text also states that the Lord delivers him out of them all. And, Jesus stated that He had been sent to release or "set at liberty" those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18). Remember, in Acts 10:38, it said that those whom Jesus healed had been "oppressed" by the devil. Thus, sickness and disease are stated to be an oppression of the enemy. And, therefore, when Jesus says that He was sent to release or "set at liberty" the oppressed in Luke 4:18; this would include those whom Satan has brought sickness and disease upon.
There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible that promise healing to God's people. In Exodus 15:26, God states, "I am the Lord who heals you". In 3rd John verse 2, the Bible declares, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health". God proclaims, "I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds" in Jeremiah 30:17. The Scriptures state that "the Lord will take away from you all sickness" (Deuteronomy 7:15). The Bible says, "To you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2). Mark 6:12-13 records that the disciples "went out and preached that people should repent. And, they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them". In James 5:14-15 we're told, "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And, the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up". The Scriptures proclaim, "These signs will follow those who believe... In My name they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:17-18). In the Exodus 15:26 and Deuteronomy 7:15 passages, it referred to God as having put diseases upon Israel's past enemies, such as the Egyptians, just as I previously mentioned. And, the Exodus text also states that God's promise to His people of freedom from these diseases is conditional based upon obedience, which we will discuss later.
There are three additional Bible texts that we need to research. These scriptures convey an important, powerful and encouraging message regarding the connection of spiritual healing and physical healing, and regarding how Jesus paid the price for both by His sacrifice and suffering on the cross. Psalm 103:2-3 declares, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, and who heals all your diseases". In this text David chooses to present both of these subjects together, spiritual healing (forgiving our iniquities) and physical healing (healing our diseases). Is this just a coincidence? There are no "coincidences" in the Bible. God divinely inspired the Bible writers to say exactly what He wanted, and to say it exactly where He wanted. David presented the two subjects of spiritual healing and physical healing together, because that is what God inspired Him to do. We know that the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus paid the price for our spiritual healing (forgiving our iniquities/sins) on the cross. He took our sins upon Himself and bore them, so that we don't have to. Is it possible that Jesus also took our diseases upon Himself and bore them, so that we don't have to as well?
In Isaiah 53:4-5 we're told that He (Jesus) has borne, took up or carried (depending on your translation) our "choliy", which is the English spelling of the original Hebrew word used by Isaiah. This word is used 24 times in the Old Testament. The vast majority of the times where this word, "choliy", is used, it is translated as sickness, disease, illness, injuries or wounds, depending on which translation of the Bible you have. For some reason the translators of the King James version of the Bible chose to translate "choliy" as "griefs" in Isaiah 53:4-5, although their translation translates this word as either sickness, sick or disease 20 out of the 24 times it appears in the Old Testament. In view of the fact that this word is translated as sickness/sick/disease more than 80 percent of the time, and in view of the fact that this passage in Isaiah ends by saying, "with His (Jesus') stripes/wounds we are healed", I believe that it is probable that "choliy" should once again have been translated as sickness or disease in Isaiah 53:4-5. And, because this word is used in its plural form in this text, it would be sicknesses or diseases. Thus translated, this passage states that Jesus bore our sicknesses/diseases, and that by His stripes/wounds we are healed. It becomes obvious that this is the correct translation of Isaiah 53:4-5 when we consider a New Testament scripture that refers to this passage in Isaiah. In Matthew 8:16-17, after stating that Jesus had healed all who were sick, Matthew declared, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore/carried our sicknesses." When quoting the passage from Isaiah 53, Matthew said that Jesus bore our "sicknesses", not our "griefs". So, Jesus bore our sins so that we don't have to, and He also bore our sicknesses/diseases so that we don't have to.
Historians have always been amazed that, according to the Bible, Jesus died after only being on the cross for six hours. People who were crucified lived for much longer than that according to historical records. In fact, people frequently lived for a few days on the cross. Is it possible that, just as Jesus was bearing our sins as He hung on the cross, He was also truly and literally physically bearing the various diseases of humanity in His body on the cross? Could this be what caused Him to perish in just six hours? Was our precious Savior not only bearing the spiritual pain of carrying our sins and the physical pain of the nails in His hands and feet, but did He also have the various diseases of humanity (cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc) occupying His body, and causing Him additional unimaginable pain for our sake. We know that we can be delivered from our sins because Jesus bore them on the cross. Is this also why the Bible can promise us deliverance from all sickness and disease; because, likewise, Jesus bore them on the cross as well? And, is that why Psalm 103:2-3 put the two subjects of the forgiveness of our iniquities/sins and the healing of our diseases together, because they were both paid for and accomplished by the same event when Jesus bore them both on the cross? Moreover, is that why Isaiah 53:4-5, after beginning by stating that He (Jesus) has borne our "choliy" (sicknesses and diseases), then ends by stating that "by His stripes/wounds we are healed"? Once again, the Bible does not deal in "coincidences". I believe that these things are stated as they are stated and where they are stated because this is the truth. Our blessed Savior can and does offer us both spiritual and physical healing because of what He accomplished for us on the cross. And, as declared in Psalm 103:2-3, He "heals" all of our diseases.
You probably noticed that I emphasized the word "all" in Psalm 103:2-3. This scripture clearly states that God heals "all" of our diseases. Likewise, in Matthew 4:23-24, we're told that Jesus healed "all" kinds of sickness and "all" kinds of disease among "all" the sick people who were brought to Him. In Luke 6:17-19, the Bible states that a great multitude of people came to Jesus to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases, and it says that they were healed. Furthermore, this passage declares that power went out from Jesus and healed them "all". And, in Acts 10:38, we're told that Jesus went about doing good and healing "all" who were oppressed by the devil. Do you get the picture? Jesus healed "all" the people who came to Him from "all" the various sicknesses and diseases they had.
Are there any conditions for receiving healing? The first condition we need to consider regarding anything we are praying for is whether or not our request is in accordance with God's will. The Apostle John states, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him (Jesus), that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And, if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1st John 5:14-15). Therefore, as long as what we are praying for is in accordance with God's will, we can be confident that we will receive what we prayed for.
This naturally raises the following question. Is it God's and Jesus' will to heal us? Mark 1:40-42 states, "Now a leper came to Him (Jesus), imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed". So, the one time that Jesus was asked if He was willing to perform a miracle of healing, Jesus said that He was willing. And, remember, scriptures we've already examined stated that God identifies Himself as the Lord who "heals" us, who wants us to be in health, who restores our health, who takes away all sickness and who heals all of our diseases. Therefore, we know that healing is God's will, and that we can confidently claim and trust His promises about healing. Furthermore, other texts we've read stated that God and Jesus have not changed, and that They do not practice partiality or favoritism, which means that the blessings and promises regarding healing that were available for others in the days of Jesus and the apostles, are also available for us today.
A second condition for healing is that we need to "ask". Jesus said, "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:14). He also said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). And, in James 4:2 we're told, "You have not because you ask not". Therefore, if you or someone you love is in need of healing, ask the Lord to divinely intervene and perform the desired healing.
A third condition for healing involves obedience. Psalm 66:18 states, "If I regard iniquity/sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear". If you are living in open, willful disobedience to God; if you are holding onto known cherished sin in your life, don't expect God to answer your prayer for healing. Remember the text we looked at earlier, in Exodus 15:26, where God told His people that they would be free from disease if they kept His commandments and did what was right in His sight. Also, in James 4:3 we're told, "You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss (with wrong motives), that you may consume it upon your lusts/pleasures". What is your reason, motivation and purpose for asking for your healing? How will you live your life after you receive your healing? Will your top priority be to faithfully and obediently serve God, and to tell everyone the wonderful things that the Lord has done for you? Or, will your newfound health be squandered on selfish and worldly pursuits? You need to do some "self-examination", confess and repent of any know sin in your life, and make sure that you are asking for your healing with righteous motivation.
A fourth condition for healing is "faith". The Bible says, "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2nd Corinthians 5:7). The biblical definition for faith is given in Hebrews 11:1. The NIV translation of this text states, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see". Therefore, when we see the word "faith" used in a scripture, we can insert this biblical definition to help clarify the meaning of the passage we are reading.
In Hebrews 11:6 we're told, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him". If we insert our biblical definition of faith into this text, this scripture is saying, "Without being sure of what we're hoping for in God, and without being certain of what we do not physically see concerning God, it is impossible to please Him. God does not want us to be doubters, but to be believers; He wants us to be sure of His promises, and to be certain of their fulfillment. You probably noticed that I emphasized the word "rewarder" when I quoted this passage. God is on our side. He is willing and desiring to "reward" our faith in His promises by fulfilling them. However, He does require us to have "biblical" faith. In other words, He does require us to be "sure of what we're hoping for, and to be certain of what we do not see".
In Mark 10:51-52, when Jesus restored sight to a blind man, He said, "Your faith has made you well". Likewise, in Mark 5:24-34, when Jesus healed a woman of an "issue of blood" or hemorrhage, He again stated, "Your faith has made you well". Once again, when we insert our biblical definition for "faith", Jesus was telling both of these people that they were made well because they were sure of what they were hoping for regarding their healing from Jesus, and because they were certain that they would receive their healing from Him even before it had happened. We find a similar passage in Acts 14:8-10. This text states, "And, in Lystra, a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked". Once again, we see that "faith" was the key ingredient in this healing. And, in Matthew 9:29-30, regarding the healing of two blind men, the Apostle Matthew states, "Then He (Jesus) touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith, be it onto you." And, their eyes were opened". In other words, they were rewarded with their healing based upon their faith. When inserting the biblical definition of faith into this passage, these men were rewarded based upon their being sure of what they were hoping for concerning their healing, and based upon their being certain of their healing even while they were still blind. This text explains why we see so few miraculous healings today in America. The vast majority of the American Church has degenerated into a materialistic, worldly, selfish organization that is entrenched in compromise and disobedience to God's word, and whose faith is not even worthy to be compared to the first century Christian Church revealed in the book of Acts. We too, in the contemporary Christian Church in America, are being rewarded "according to our faith". Our faith is extremely weak, and thus we are seeing very few miraculous healings compared to the Church in the days of Jesus and the apostles.
In Mark 11:24, Jesus clearly stated, "Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them". Of course, we have to remember the biblical conditions we've discussed; that we're asking something that is in accordance with God's will; that we are living in obedience to God's word; and, that we are asking in "faith", being sure of what we are hoping for, and being certain of what we do not see. However, regarding healing, we already know the Bible states it is in accordance with God's will. So, as long as we are willing to live an obedient life, and as long as we ask Jesus/God for our healing with "biblical faith", we can and should be confident that we will receive the healing we've requested.
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