Divine - Healing
This lesson you are about to read was first compiled in 2010 and I taught it in class towards the end of that year.
Before you commence let me add these personal observations I am making as I edited now in 2015.
If you are a born again believer I assure you that Satan does not want you to learn this lesson. In fact, he will attack you in order to rob you of the blessings that follow, don’t let him!
Within about 2 months after teaching this I was attacked so furiously that I came very close to dying and spent 10 days in the Intensive Care Unit of Metro Hospital fighting for my life. If I learnt anything I know that I know Jesus was with me and his Word kept me and healed me even when the medications I was on were not doing their job.
Although this lesson represents the compilation from various sources it deals with Divine Healing with both reference to the Word and my own experiences.
The purpose is not to call attention to an author or myself but to glorify God through Christ who is the author and secured our healing now and forever, to him be the glory!
If you are a born again believer divine healing is part of your inheritance .
God wants you healed and diseases and sickness ARE NOT NOW NOR HAVE THEY EVER BEEN OF GOD!
God does not make you sick or causes some illness to teach us a lesson, that belief which has been taught through ignorance, is not our inheritance nor can it be justified by any scripture under the covenant of Grace which believers are now under.
Illness, disease and death are a result of the fall of man and the devil is the one behind it, not God.
Divine Healing was bought and paid for us at the Cross and it is time the church receive it abundantly!
The born again Christian can not only pray for healing for another person as a privilege of our covenant relationship with Christ but they can also live in divine health and if ill can believe for restoration and being made whole. Unlike the current futile attempts by Congress and the Administration to mandate health coverage, God’s health plan works very well and won’t tax you to death! The only coin you need to pay for it is Faith.
This lesson is intended to lay a scriptural foundation and increase your faith with the intended results being greater confidence in believing for healing when you pray either for yourself or someone else.
What we are going to do now is lay a foundation to build your faith. You can’t pray the promises unless you know the promises. You can’t own the promises without paying for it with Faith, so this lesson is intended to give you the Faith needed to own divine health and healing for yourself, your family and others.
As one who has experienced divine healing I can tell you that if you get this lesson, or better said, if this lesson gets hold of you, it will radically change your life and for those you pray.
If you are a born again believer your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6). Disease has no more place in your body than a pagan god has in God’s temple. Illnesses and infirmities have no more place in your body than a bar has a place in a church or doubt has a place with faith . They are totally opposed to each other neither one can have a place with the other . Sin and death cannot have a place with Holiness and Life! Your body is God’s temple, no thieves allowed . Any illness or disease attacking you is simply the thief who comes to rob, to steal and to destroy and the reason many Christians are sick is that they don’t have a solid foundation in the Word and therefore Satan is robbing them of their inheritance.
Whereas most believers just accept sickness and disease as “part of life,” I am telling you that you are cheating yourself and you have bought into the world view Satan wants you to have so that you miss God’s blessings for your life and live above your circumstances rather than stay in your circumstances.
We were meant to live supernaturally not as the world.
Healing and divine health is for you and it is from God.
One of the things I have noticed in studying God’s Word is that you can learn as much from observation as you can from the scriptures. Sometime as you investigate and observe not only what is being said but also what is taking place, the Holy Spirit will begin to teach you deeper and stronger faith and this faith will make the promises become Truth, it will take it from the supernatural to the natural realm where I live. Here is something I have learned. Have you ever thought about how God saved us?
This may seem like an obvious question but let me tell you what I observed as I started thinking about healing and how God does things.
I began to investigate healing by observing how God saved us.
When Jesus went to the Cross and God laid on Him all the sins of the world, in essence God did so then turned his back on Jesus.
Matthew 27:46 says, about the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"-which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
From the beginning of time until this moment on the Cross, Jesus always referred to God as, Abba, Father, which translates as Daddy, now for the first time seen in the Gospel he refers to him as God; the intimacy, the relationship that existed previously had been broken, and sin was the cause. It is this that separated Jesus from his Father.
At that moment Father God turned his back on Jesus, as God cannot look at sin, and in being separated from Jesus for a moment our salvation and acceptance by God is forever established.
Furthermore, his body was broken that ours can be made whole, look at Isa iah 53:4, surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted . (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
At the Cross God turned his back on Jesus for a moment that we can be in his presence forever; He broke Jesus’ body completely that we can be made whole. This is the process by which God saved us.
Therefore the process accomplished the reconciliation between God and man, Man is saved and the salvation includes his spirit, soul AND body. Where people usually don’t think about it God cannot save just part of man he had to save ALL of man. The salvation experience therefore covers each of man’s being, his spirit, his soul and HIS Body and if you can accept salvation you are healed. (See the lessons on this webpage entitled: “who am I in Christ?” and “The Greatest battle Ever Won”)
The reason believers don’t experience this is that it isn’t taught and therefore in ignorance they are kept in bondage even though they have been set free. Just as God made provisions for all men to be saved and it is ignorance that is keeping them unsaved, the same God made provisions for healing and likewise ignorance is keeping believers in bondage to illnesses. I am convinced that because of ignorance, many people in the church that could be healed supernaturally are not and therefore they suffer needlessly. They have resigned themselves to just medical alternatives as the only method of healing and if that fails, they are doomed. Let’s look at not only scriptures and narratives where Jesus healed but observe how he did it as well since we are his body and therefore we are his instruments on earth.
First thing I want to make sure all of you understand is that only God heals, not man, but he uses us to pray and lay hands on the sick and they can be healed since we have not only his authority in his Name, his Power, his Word at our disposal and we are obligated to do so under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and NOT as a expression of your flesh or will .
We are the physical body of Christ here on earth. It is one of the methods God can use to heal, he send one of us to pray and lay hands on someone, notice I said, HE sends, we have to be directed by him or God send the person to us, in no case would we do it outside of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Think on this, we have every tool that Jesus had in order to minister which is why he said that greater works than he would we do.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Think on this as well. Jesus is the example God gave us the church. God wants us to be like Jesus and he is sanctifying us; conforming us into the person of Jesus and will continue to do so till the day we get promoted home.
One day each believer that ever lived will be judged by that standard and we will receive our eternal rewards accordingly at the Bema seat judgment. It would not be just for God to give us a standard that could not be reached. Therefore when he tells us that greater works than he we would do this is a doable goal we can be empowered to reach that level of intimacy that will result in the display of Christ here on earth, not as just a theoretical exercise but as a practical awesome display of Christ in us!
The reason I believe that we don’t see this more often is that the church doesn’t teach this, they have diluted the message of the Gospel as seen in Acts, and that believers have not learned to appropriate the promises God intended for us to have.
I firmly believe and intend to prove that God has answers waiting for us in Heaven if we would just step out in boldness and learn to appropriate what he did for us.
This is not only our inheritance but our obligation for on behalf of others as well as our selves and it is in this manner that the Gospel needs to be preached powerfully with signs and wonders following.
God is incomprehensible and sovereign and he desires to make himself known to us. He does this through his Word, Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit. The sovereignty of God means he can use whatever method he desires but his character says he cannot lie otherwise he would not be God so in his Word we not only see a glimpse of God we see how he works as well.
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
God will fulfill his promises; how he does so is within his sovereignty, not ours, but by virtue of his own words he is obligating Himself to fulfill what he said on ANY PROMISE HE MAKES. The obligation is established, the methodology is his sovereignty. It is important to understand the difference.
One of God’s names is Jehovah-Rapha which means the LORD that heals me.
How could God possibly call himself a healer without healing?
If God were to call himself by a name that would contradict his character then it would be a lie therefore when he calls himself the God who heals us he is telling us that his nature is for us to be healed. Has he done so? Yes, at the Cross and through the ministry of Jesus we have the promise and it is established. God cannot deny us a promise anymore than he can deny his own Name and if you would believe, you will see the promises become fact!
Think about it, this is how you got saved. God whose Name is Savior, Messiah called himself by these Names, when you accepted him by this Name you were saved. By the same method and faith you can accept not only healing for yourself and others but ANY PROMISES! Since one of His names is, The Word, whatever you find in The Word, you can accept and likewise see these promises become fact.
If that isn’t enough, think on this as well, Isaiah 43:1 says, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
By what name has he called you, by Jesus Christ’s name, Father God cannot deny you or his promise of healing anymore than he can deny either Himself or his son Jesus since you and he have the same name and you are HIS! You have been bought, owned, purchased!
The same God that saved you and filled you with the Holy Spirit healed you as well!
God healed me in his mercy simply by showing me in my spirit that I was healed. I had only been saved 4 months, really didn’t go to church to learn this, I learned the Word spending time alone with God every day after work for 3 to 4 hours. The sum total of what I knew wouldn’t fill a half a dozen pages of notes. Had no idea about the Names of God, or divine healing or any such thing. All he showed me was 1 Peter 2:24 which says, “By his wounds you have been healed.”
I had previously read the whole Bible in about 2 months, this was only the 2nd time I had read this verse yet I knew that I knew it applied to me and what caught my attention was that it said you have been healed, as if it were done, it is in the past tense. I reasoned then that it was already done, Ummmm….
It was this revelation from the Holy Spirit that gave me the courage to get off of medicines that I was supposedly going to have to take the rest of my life, when I stepped out in faith, despite the counsel of the doctors to the contrary; my faith in God blessed and made me whole!
Now in order to increase your faith I want to first deal with objections and wrong thinking that people use instead of searching the Word.
Too many Christians are being robbed of their inheritance simply because they do not take the time to search ON THEIR OWN what God has said in his Word.
In addition, they substitute “traditions”, wrong thinking simply because someone told them and they believed it and base their “faith” on the wrong things, they base their faith on sand instead of a Rock!
What we are going to do now is look at the Word of God as we have done previously to show through Scriptures that God is both able and willing to heal the sick, the diseased, the infirm. I have personally experienced this blessing of divine healing. So have millions of others. Multitudes of books have been written about faith healing, spiritual healing, divine healing, healing prayer, healing ministry (and other similar expressions). And genuine testimonies abound of God’s power to heal sick and infirm bodies.
But the foundation for this truth lies not so much in men’s experience — as wonderful as that may be — but in the Scriptures, the Word of God. So let’s turn now to the Word to see its revelation of this great truth of spiritual healing. (I will be using the terms "spiritual healing", "divine healing", and "faith healing" are essentially synonymous in this study.)
• Sick believers don't need to remain sick!
James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him...
James was writing to Christian believers. He asked them if any of them were sick. It is a “given” of life in our fallen condition that our bodies on occasion tend to sickness, and eventually they die. However, as the verse directly below points out, it is also a “given” for the believer that God is Jehovah-Rapha, “the Lord who heals you.”
So think on this as a crossroads. You can choose either road, believe God and his promises (healing) or continue to walk in the natural circumstances. Every choice has the same 2 options always.
Exodus 15:26 [God] said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
God identified Himself to Israel in a variety of names and ways. Here He revealed Himself to His people as “Jehovah-Rapha” — “the Lord who heals you.” It is one of the names of God and he honors his Name when we choose to believe in it. He cannot deny himself, it is impossible, since we have his name, and all the promises in the Word are named for Him, we can be healed of any infirmity.
Healing is not just something that God “does.” No, more than that, healing is part of God’s very nature — “I AM the Lord who heals you.” Remember always that you serve a healing God who has declared that His intent towards you is “not [to] bring on you any diseases ... [but to be] the Lord who heals you.” He is consistent, not arbitrary in his Word and never contradictory. IMPORTANT CONCEPT
• God is FOR us, not against us, in the matter of healing .
God’s heart towards His people is health and healing.
See, for example, the following Scripture portions:
• Exodus 23:25-26 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
• Acts 10:38 ...how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Just as Jesus brings life, the Satan brings death, just as blessings come from God; illnesses come from the enemy, why? Because Satan wants to rob you of your witness and effectiveness for serving God.
• God's spiritual healing power extends to ALL our diseases and infirmities.
Psalms 103:2-3 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
The greatest of the Lord’s “benefits” is that He forgives all our sins! But the Psalmist here charges us not to forget another of the Lord’s benefits — that is, He “heals all our diseases.”
ALL our diseases! None are too hard for Him. No illnesses are excluded from this great “benefit.” Whatever disease you or a loved one may have, it falls under God’s promise to “heal all your diseases.”
Jesus died for both our sins and our sicknesses.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
It was Jesus’ willing offering of Himself on the Cross that bore our sins. But the very same tormented body of Jesus, in His scourging and crucifixion, purchased for us the blessing of divine healing — “by His wounds you have been healed.”
And notice the differences in the verb tenses used by Isaiah and Peter. Isaiah, prophetically seeing this seven centuries before Christ, said, “By His wounds we are healed.” The apostle Peter, looking back to Christ’s historical death and resurrection, declared, “By His wounds you have been healed.” Jesus cried out from the Cross, “It is finished!” Sin has been overcome. Sickness has been overcome. The Cross of Jesus Christ has conquered both sin and sickness.
At the Cross, every promise in the Word was affirmed in Christ Jesus and it is all part of our inheritance, we can live under a covenant of peace AND ABOVE OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
The following are some of the numerous instances of divine, spiritual healing in the Bible. Let’s see what insights we can learn from them.
• God responds to prayer for healing.
Genesis 20:17-18 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
Numbers 12:13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, please heal her!”
The principle here is simple — faithful Abraham prayed, and God healed. Moses prayed for leprous Miriam, and God healed her. He prayed for her in spite of her criticisms of Moses wife, so he prayed having forgiven first otherwise his prayer would not have been heard.
King David understood the power of prayer for healing the sick — “O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me” (Psalm 30:2).
The ongoing principle seen here and elsewhere in the Bible is the power of a believer’s prayer. Abraham, Moses, and David believed in God’s power and willingness to heal, and they prayed for it. Jesus taught on this same power of a believer’s faith-filled prayer:
Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
• And it's OK with God if our prayers for healing are deeply emotional!
2 Kings 20:1-5 (KJV ) In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the L ORD.
Serious illnesses can be emotionally devastating. King Hezekiah was “sick unto death.” To make matters worse, the prophet Isaiah brought him the Lord’s message that this illness would be fatal. Hezekiah’s reaction is very illuminating for us.
The Bible reveals to us that, having learned that his illness was terminal, Hezekiah “wept bitterly” (NIV) as he “prayed unto the Lord.” Note that God regarded both Hezekiah’s prayer and his emotions — “I have heard thy prayer; I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee.” It’s OK with God if we are quite emotional in approaching Him with our healing needs. Our God is a God of great mercy and compassion!
Now let’s look at some examples of Jesus healing the sick, the infirm, the diseased, those in pain, etc.
• Jesus healed a broad range of illnesses — in fact, He healed "every disease and sickness."
Matthew 4:23-24 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and HEALING EVERY disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.
Christians serve a healing Savior, Jesus Christ. His heart, as here, is for “the people.” The Gospel records abound with illustrations of Jesus healing the masses, the men and women on the street. He preached and taught, yes. But He also “healed every disease and sickness among the people.”
“Every disease and sickness” — Christ’s healing power is without limit. His healing touch is available to everyone. There is no illness beyond His ability to cure. He healed them all, including:
• those “ill with various diseases”
• those who were “suffering severe pain”
• the “demon-possessed”
• those “having seizures”
• those who were “paralyzed”
So don’t hesitate to bring any healing need to Jesus, because He demonstrated His ability and His willingness to heal “every disease and sickness among the people.”
• Jesus' healing power was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Matthew 8:16-17 ( KJV ) When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
God had this in mind all along. The prophet Isaiah spoke of it seven centuries before the New Testament era:
• Jesus would take up our infirmities.
• Jesus would bear our diseases.
• Jesus would “heal all that were sick” to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.
• Be encouraged to reach out to Jesus for your healing.
Matthew 14:35-36 (KJV) And when the men of that place had knowledge of [Jesus], they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; and besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
Verse 36, NIV : “...all who touched him were healed.”
Our part is to reach out and touch Jesus for healing. Bring your sick ones to Jesus. Encourage them by faith to reach out and touch Him, because then, as now, all who touched Him were healed.
• Don't pray the leper's prayer; pray Jesus' answer!
Mark 1:40-41 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Do not establish your healing doctrine on the leper’s cry, “If you are willing.” No, but rather build your faith for healing on Jesus’ confidence-building reply, “I AM willing!” Fix this thought firmly in your soul — Jesus IS WILLING to heal those who come to Him in faith believing.
• BELIEVE the Lord for divine healing. Have FAITH in His power and willingness to heal you.
Matthew 9:20-22, 27-30a (KJV) And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour....  And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened .
A principle of great importance is seen in these verses — that is, “thy faith hath made thee whole ... according to your faith be it unto you.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” But conversely, we are told, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22). God expects us, in asking for healing as well as in other prayers, to believe Him, to believe His word, to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
• God may ask us to demonstrate our faith for spiritual healing.
Matthew 12:10, 13 And a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? ” ...  Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other .
There may be times when the Lord will ask you to show your faith, to give observable evidence of your faith, as in the case of the man whom He told to stretch out his withered hand. In my own case it was to stop taking medication as my step of faith.
• Healing comes through faith in Jesus, not faith in faith or faith in someone else’s faith.
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong.
It is JESUS’ name and the faith that comes through HIM that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
Healing comes “by faith in” someone — JESUS! Over the years I have heard sincere Christians misdirect their faith. Some have fallen into the error of having “faith in faith.” No! Our faith is in a Person, Jesus, who heals. Others have properly searched the Scriptures concerning healing, but have unfortunately been content to use them merely as a “formula” for healing, rather than as a revelation of the Healer Himself. It isn’t the working of a formula. It is about having a relationship of trust with Jesus.
Peter understood the proper object of our faith — Jesus! He told his listeners how the lame man had been healed:
• “...by faith in the name of Jesus”
• “It is Jesus’ name...”
• “It is...the faith that comes through Him...”
• Sometimes we may need to "walk" for a while in faith, then the healing comes.
Luke 17:12 (KJV) And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests (this was a requirement in the Book of Leviticus when a leper was healed). And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed .
This is a very reassuring verse. Notice that the lepers were not healed the moment they prayed. No, but rather they were healed “as they went” to show themselves to the priests in obedience to Jesus.
There may be times when we need to “walk” for a while in faith, and then the healing comes. Although many healings in the Bible were instantaneous, some were not immediate. Be willing to maintain steadfast faith as you pray for divine healing, and don’t be discouraged if your healing does not immediately occur.
• Don't pray, then doubt!
In his epistle James reveals a valuable principle for the person asking something of God — “ When he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7). When you ask God for healing, don’t doubt! Don’t waver! Believe God. Believe the healing promises of His word. Reject doubt, choosing rather to say, “God is true ... His word is true ... so my doubts must go!”
• Now let us look now at HOW healing is ministered to people.
1. By prayer, as we have already seen.
2. By a spoken word.
John 4:49-51 (KJV) The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down here my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
Even at a distance from the nobleman’s home, Jesus spoke the word: “Thy son liveth.” And the man “believed the word that Jesus had spoken” and returned home to find his son alive. There is power in the spoken word of faith. Agree with it and repeat it, don’t doubt and speak contrary to it!
Acts 9:33-34 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up .
Again, we see the power of the spoken word of faith. Peter simply declared the truth: “Jesus Christ heals you .” Tell the sick, “Jesus Christ heals you.” Make no apologies for that statement. Don’t doubt it. Don’t try to water it down. As the old saying goes, truer words were never spoken!
Acts 14:8-10, KJV And there sat a certain man at Lystra , impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who ste a dfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
Once more we see the power of the spoken word of faith. The preaching of the word of God inspired an atmosphere of faith. Paul “perceived that [the lame man] had faith to be healed.”
How did the lame man come to this place of having faith to be healed? The answer is that he heard the word of God spoken by Paul. This is a vitally important principle for all churches and all Christians. Preach the word. Teach the word. God’s word will inspire faith in the hearers. And we will begin to see dramatic healings in response to the spoken word of faith — “Stand upright on thy feet!”
3. By the laying on of hands.
Acts 9:10-11, 17-18, KJV And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight , and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus....  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest , hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
First notice that it doesn’t require an apostle to heal the sick it doesn't require someone with a special healing ministry to heal the sick. Verse 10 identifies Ananias simply as a “disciple.” Mark 16:17-18 records Jesus’ promise to all believers — “And these signs will accompany those who believe.... they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Led by Jesus in a vision, the faithful “disciple” Ananias found Saul and announced that Jesus had sent him to heal Saul’s blindness. It is important for those who are sick to understand that Jesus is able and willing to heal them.
Then Ananias laid his hands on him, and Saul’s eyes immediately received sight again.
4. By filling the needy person’s heart with the faith-building, life-giving word of God.
Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
The words of the Lord, as recorded in the Bible, are life-giving — “they are life.” Jesus said that His words “are spirit and they are life.”
But the Proverb reveals another dramatic benefit of keeping the Lord’s words “within your heart,” and that benefit is health — “My words ...[are] health to a man’s whole body.” The secular world speaks of "alternative health". But the best source of alternative health — or any aspect of health! — is the sure promises of God in His word, the bible. Notice it is HEART knowledge, not simply HEAD knowledge
5. Through what have been called “prayer cloths.”
Acts 19:11-12 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Many churches continue to pray this way for sick family members and friends who live at a distance.
Generally, during the post-service altar ministry someone will hold a handkerchief over which believers will come and pray for healing for the person in need. Then the handkerchief is mailed to the sick person, along with some faith-building scriptures on healing (usually including Acts 19:11-12) and an explanation that believers in the church had prayed for them for their healing. Testimonies abound of people being physically healed in this way.
6. A merry heart contributes to our receiving spiritual healing.
Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
(KJV ) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
The margin of the New American Standard Bible says that a joyful heart literally, ‘causes good healing.’
Think of that — the state of our “heart” — referring here to the emotions, not the bodily organ — can substantially affect our good health or lack thereof. This has long been common knowledge in the medical field. Sometimes illnesses are diagnosed as “psychosomatic” in origin. Interestingly, the word psychosomatic comes from the same Greek words that the Bible uses for “soul” and “body.” So medical science agrees with the Bible that the state of our inner man or woman can substantially affect our physical health, for good or for bad.
The word of God says that a merry heart “literally causes good healing”! There is a direct, cause-and-effect result: merry heart —> good healing. Conversely, a broken or crushed spirit has a negative effect on our health (it “dries up the bones”).
One of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is joy. Those who allow the presence of the Lord in their lives to bring a daily, inward joy will also reap the wonderful promise of their “merry heart doing good like a medicine.”
7. There is healing in “the Lord’s Supper,” the Communion.
1 Corinthians 11:29-30 For anyone who eats and drinks [the Lord’s supper, vs. 20] without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep .
“That is why many...are weak and sick.” Why? They take Communion “without recognizing the body of the Lord.” They forget 1 Peter 2:24 — “By his wounds you have been healed.” They participate in the communion service, perhaps needing a physical healing, and remain oblivious to the fact that Jesus’ body bore both our sins and our sicknesses.
I would encourage every one of us to remember this the next time we take communion. Remember what Jesus’ broken body has done for you. Receive the benefits of that by faith. And expect divine healing to come to your body, even during the very communion service.
8. By calling the elders of the church to lay on hands, anoint with oil, and pray for you.
James 5:14-15 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up .
An important doctrinal point on a related topic — it’s important for each church to have elders. Otherwise, there are no “elders of the church” for the sick to call for prayer and anointing with oil. Can you identify the elders of your church? Make sure they agree with Divine Healing before praying! (Tied along with this is the notion that I want people praying for me who believe so that I can unite my prayer with theirs.) The process is simple and will generally be something like this:
a) The sick person, or someone on their behalf, calls an elder to come and pray.
b) That elder contacts another elder to accompany him.
c) Those elders anoint the sick person with oil and pray the “prayer of faith” (KJV).
d) That being done, God’s promise is: “The Lord will raise him up.”
(this isn’t practiced as much as it should due to ignorance from many regarding this pray of faith)
9. In some instances, divine healing comes as demons are driven out. [NOTE: The Bible does not indicate that demons can inhabit Christians.]
Matthew 17:15, 18 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. ” ...  Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
It is important to remind ourselves that this healing was before the Cross of Christ, so the boy was not a born-again person, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I find no Bible evidence that a born-again Christian can be possessed by a demon.
Here the boy was clearly possessed and had a demon within (verse 18 — “it came out”). The demon’s presence was manifested by the boy having seizures. When Jesus cast out the demon, the boy was immediately healed.
You too may encounter some instances of afflictions suffered by unsaved people that are caused by demonic power. As in the case of Jesus curing the epileptic boy, healing may come as you drive the demon(s) away in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Having someone accept Christ first as a condition of praying for their healing should never be the case, we should pray first for their healing that God would then use this as an opening to speak to the person about salvation. Jesus healed without making salvation a prerequisite, we need to do likewise.
Luke 13:10-13 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
This is a similar instance to the healing of the epileptic boy. The woman had been literally “crippled by a spirit” for 18 years. Jesus acknowledged (verse 16) that Satan had bound her and that she needed to be “set free.” He ministered that deliverance to her, and she was immediately healed from her crippling condition.
10. Sometimes healing comes from what would seem to us to be rather unusual, even remarkable, methods.
John 9:6-7 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the [blind] man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Acts 5:15-16, ( KJV ) In so much that 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. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Jesus spit, made mud, and put it on a blind man’s eyes. And when the man washed his eyes, he could see! Sick people were laid in the streets, and when Peter’s shadow passed over them, they were healed.
These and other extraordinary healings were not written to give us a “pattern” of how to minister to the sick. In fact, neither of these instances was repeated in the New Testament. These are simply manifestations of the multifaceted power of God to heal. The methodology will always be in his sovereignty, regardless of how strange it may seem to us. As we have seen in items 1-10 above, God heals in a variety of ways. The common denominator in all is this: God does heal!
Who may be used to bring divine healing to those in need?
a) Ultimately, spiritual healing in all instances proceeds from God.
b) The early apostles healed.
Matthew 10:1, 8 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness....  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Acts 3:6-7 Then [the apostle] Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
c) A larger group of seventy-two disciples was sent by Jesus to heal the sick.
Luke 10:1, 8-9 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go....  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
d) In the Great Commission, Jesus encouraged all believers to heal the sick.
Mark 16:15-18, KJV And 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.
The Great Commission is for all believers to share the Good News of Jesus “in all the world.” And God will confirm the Gospel with supernatural signs, including healings. And the Gospel that He will confirm is not spoken just by apostles and other ordained ministers, but also by “them that believe” (17). Every believer can share the Good News and can minister divine healing to the sick. Jesus’ encouragement to every believer is (18): “Lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Just as Jesus used healing to establish his authority, he is still doing the same thing today through his body, the church.
e) There are some Christians (not all) who are especially empowered by the Holy Spirit with “gifts of healing.” Notice it is plural, gifts, as there are various depth as to the levels of healings possible .
1 Corinthians 12:7-11, ( KJV ) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
This list is commonly called the nine spiritual gifts or gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are supernatural gifts with which the Holy Spirit endows individual Christians to minister to others.
One of these nine is “gifts of healing.” It is given to some, not all — notice: “to one is given ... to another ... to another ... to another the gifts of healing ...”
1 Corinthians 12:28-30a And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing?
This is a similar list of spiritual gifts and ministries indicating that to some God distributes the specific “gifts of healing.”
Let me add a side thought before our summary. It is this: Faith does not preclude our using wisdom and taking normal precautions or being healthy in our life. For example:
2 Kings 20:7 Then Isaiah [the prophet] said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.
Luke 10:34 “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.” [The wine, containing alcohol, would have an antibacterial effect.]
1 Timothy 5:23 “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” [Apparently, in context, for the alcohol’s antiseptic properties when poured into contaminated water. It seems that germ-laden water was giving Timothy recurring stomach problems.]
(As with other tools spoken of previously, medicine is another method whereby God can minister healing to the patient as much as the practitioners caring for the sick, that through his power the doctors, nurses, etc., may be ministered to as well)
God’s heart is for healing. It is a “benefit,” as is the forgiveness of sins; that Jesus secured with His death, burial, and resurrection (Psalm 103:2-3). It is a historical "ancient landmark" of both the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus healed again and again while He walked the earth. And He remains “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus heals today!
Biblical healing methods vary, and they include healing prayer, the laying on of hands, the spoken word, and anointing with oil by praying elders, among others.
Jesus has entrusted the healing ministry to His Church. The first apostles healed the sick. So did a large group of disciples. In the Great Commission, Jesus encouraged all believers to lay hands on the sick for healing. And there will be some in the churches whom the Holy Spirit will endow with specific “gifts of healing.”
Exodus 15:26 I am the Lord, who heals you.
Psalms 103:1-3 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
I believe divine health is my inheritance as a child of God. By his stripes I am healed and I can pray this for you as well as myself. I own this promise.
Undoubtedly someone will say, well what about Paul. He had a thorn in his flesh and prayed about it 3 times and God didn’t heal him, they would go on to say to me, if Paul wasn’t healed of this infirmity what makes you think you are greater than Paul?
Good question, here is the answer…
For those of you unfamiliar with this issue, go to
2 C orinthians 12:7-10 which says; Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself (in other words, to keep me from becoming prideful because of what God taught me), there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! (8) Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. (9) And God has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (10) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
I. What is the Biblical Definition of a Thorn?
Many teachers have made the assumption that the thorn in the flesh which Paul testified of in 2nd Corinthians; was likely some physical ailment. The theories are that it was probably stammering speech, or bad eye sight. Others make the supposition that we can't really know from the scriptures what the thorn in the flesh was. Even the use of the common concordance would reveal the truth here. One of the first principles of studying the Bible is that the scripture is its own interpreter.
Before we can assign a meaning to any passage, we must search both the passage in question, as well as the whole Bible to see how the word is used throughout scripture. We are careful to study to note if there are any other related verses or references. In this way, we have God, via His Word, interpret His Word. We cannot arbitrarily assume anything in discerning difficult passages. In the case of Paul's thorn in the flesh, simply looking up the word thorn throughout scripture and examining how God uses it, what it represents, and the context in which the word is used by Paul, would reveal what this thorn represented. The scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament, are replete with examples. This term "thorn" is a common word found frequently used figuratively. Paul was very familiar with the Old Testament scriptures, and he surely used this term in the same way that it is used throughout scripture. Indeed, God is the author of these scriptures, and we would "expect" there to be consistency in the use of the word, in like situations.
Joshua 23:13 "Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you".
God is not using this language of scourges in their sides and thorns in their eyes to signify some bodily disorder (as man would assume today) God is using them to illustrate that the people of these other nations will be entanglements for the Lord's people, to trouble them and cause them to fall. In the book of Numbers, God uses the same language, but switches the use of the thorn to the side, and scourges to the eyes.
Numbers 33:55 "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell".
A thorn in your side is a thorn in the flesh. And contrary to popular belief, it's not a physical ailment, rather it is people who if left among the Children of God, would vex or trouble them. This is what the thorn in the side "signifies" in God's Word. Paul, being a man of knowledge of scripture would be very familiar with these terms and God's use of them. He is indeed inspired by God to use this term to signify people who trouble the children of God. The Judaizers, who were the enemies of God, were a thorn in the side of Paul, because they hated him for teaching against their doctrines.
Judges 2:3 "Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you".
These were the men who vexed the Lord's people, and whose god was not the true God. They would be a snare and trouble to God's Children. In fact, we use very similar language to describe those who vex us today. For example, we would say someone is, "a burr in our saddle." Another term we use is to say someone is, "a pain in the neck." These colloquial phrases convey the exact same meanings as Paul's thorn in the flesh. They don't mean we have some sickness; and they don't convey that we have literal pains in our necks. Likewise, Paul obviously isn't talking about a literal thorn sticking out of his flesh. He was simply using a common expression of those days, just as they are used in our day.
Even though this term has been used to argue against divine healing by those who do not know the Word, it is obvious that it has nothing to do with healing or the lack thereof in Paul’s case.
It is a common mistake to assume that the thorn in the flesh was disease or ailment that Satan gave him. But there is obviously symbolism involved here (since it's not a literal thorn), and when symbolism is involved, we have to let God's Word itself interpret the symbolism. We cannot privately interpret, make assumptions, or guess at what it might mean. We compare scripture with scripture to discern God's truth.
Ezekiel 2:6 "And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among SCORPIONS: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house".
The briers, thorns, and scorpions are all symbolic of the people of Satan which come against the Lord's Children to vex them. These are the adversaries of God's servants who come to revile and trouble them. This symbolism holds true consistently in the New Testament scriptures as well as the Old (and why not, since it's all God's consistent Word). We can see this as Jesus talks about those who call themselves of God, yet are revealed by their fruits to be false messengers. i.e., by their fruits ye shall know them.
Luke 6:44 "For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes".
And so we see that consistently throughout scripture, the symbolism of what the thorns represent is clear. Here they are false teachers who are the enemies of God's people and come bearing no fruit. Their defining characteristic is that they are thorns and bramble (brier) bushes, not a tree from which to get fruit. Here we see the same consistent "signification" of thorns and scourges as those who vex the Lord's people. Jesus says they were those of Satan bearing no fruit, not messengers of God. Likewise, these thorns which were sent to buffet Paul were not of God, but messengers of Satan. In the book of Hebrews, God speaks of those fallen away from Him…
Hebrews 6:8-9 "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany Salvation, though we thus speak".
Here we see the contrast between the messengers of God, and the messengers of Satan. One planting, whose work is signified as thorns and briers, and the other, who God says will bring forth better things, things which accompany Salvation. The clear illustration of thorns as the fruit of the wicked who are under God's judgment. And it's very important to note that though many noted Theologians make the claim that the thorn could represent an illness, not once does the Bible use this term "thorn" to represent any physical illness or sicknesses and that is most certainly not an insignificant FACT !
II. Other Defining Characteristics of Paul's Thorn
We have seen consistently what the symbolic thorn represents throughout scripture, now we can take what we've learned and see if it will fit consistently with both the content and context of 2nd Corinthians chapter 12. The first thing that we notice is that God further defines the thorn in the flesh as, "The Messenger of Satan!" This is totally consistent with what we have learned. The example in Ezekiel 2 of the false messengers of Satan among the Children of Israel that God calls thorns and scorpions is the same signification that we have here. God's scriptural symbolism of thorns is totally consistent with messengers of Satan, and totally contradictory to it being understood as an illness. For literal diseases and sicknesses are "not" messengers of Satan come to buffet us. Nowhere in scripture is the term Messenger of Satan ever used to describe an illness. That is also not an insignificant fact! But we all know that evil men (and particularly false teachers), are indeed messengers of Satan. The fact that we have no Biblical warrant or justification for calling this Messenger of Satan, a disease, or illness, should rule out any legitimate basis for calling Paul's thorn a sickness or illness. Unless for some extraneous reason we are simply predisposed to believe that. Thorns in the bible never signify sickness .
III. What was the Purpose of the Thorn?
Those who believe that this was an illness are not carefully following the characteristics of this thorn. First, it is a thorn that even they realize is not literal; therefore its symbolism must be prescribed by what is in scripture. And throughout scripture it is defined as men who trouble God's people. The second characteristic is that it is defined as the Messenger of Satan. And the third characteristic is that it was sent to buffet Paul. Are there any biblical instances where God says illness buffets anyone? No, this is not illness, that's those people who hated Paul and his teachings, and did everything in their power, including beating him, to stop him. The same Judaizers that persecuted and buffeted Christ.
(Judaizers were a group who preached to the recently founded churches of the Gentiles the need to conform to the Law of Moses, even after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This group attempted to make Jews out of Gentile Christians which was totally contrary to Paul’s teachings and they followed Paul and harassed him, they were a “pain in the neck”, a thorn on his side)
Paul was likewise despised and buffeted by the messenger of Satan. To him, they were thorns in his flesh who constantly vexed, reviled and persecuted him. These cast him into prison, and they beat him, and followed him from city to city. They made Paul's life very difficult.
2nd Corinthians 11:25 "Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;"
And in this vexing and persecution by these thorns in the flesh, we can see why God did not remove it (just as He wouldn't for many of the martyrs). For tribulation is normal (and promised in Scripture) for the Christian, and Grace is sufficient, or enough for us. In this persecution, Paul (as are all of us), is kept from being exalted and prideful. We know that Paul was one of the most faithful men of the early Church, but as are we all, tempted to be exalted. (The sin of Pride is one of the 3 temptations that Satan used unsuccessfully against Jesus; there is no reason to believe that given the opportunity that he would not use it against Paul as well.)
2nd Corinthians 12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure".
Yes, these thorns keep Paul, and the rest of us, humble! God said (more than once) we "ALL" will have Tribulation in this world. Consider the context; Paul is talking about His being blessed to know Glorious things, which He heard of a man whether in or out of the body, he could not say. He's talking about the Glory of God's Revelation and how he won't Glory in himself knowing all these things. He will Glory only that He can suffer for Christ! He wants no man to think of Him as something Special! That's the Humbleness of true Christianity, as opposed to pomp and pious ceremony and traditions. It has nothing to do with a healing physically, it has to do with the trouble and tribulation from wicked men which believers will have in this world, and how Grace is sufficient.
Overcoming persecutions, trials and tribulation by Grace exalts and glorifies God; sickness and disease in God’s temple, our body, never glorifies God, since there never is room for the illness when the Spirit of God dwells in you.
IV. Paul's Reaction to this Thorn
Being human, just like the rest of us, Paul wanted to have this thorn, this messenger of Satan removed. He wanted to preach the gospel without the constant trouble or vexing of those who hate him. ..sound familiar?
2nd Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I be sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me".
We should find it difficult to believe that a man as strong and faithful as Paul; would be so distraught as to plead with the Lord three times to have mere poor eyesight or a physical ailment removed from him. (In the entire chapter 11 Paul deals with opposition and how they were easily let by these deceivers) It seems even on the face of it, in contrast to the rest that we read about Paul, to be odd. The fact is, there is nothing whatsoever in scripture that clearly supports the theory that Paul had some lingering illness which is described as a thorn in the flesh. There is clear evidence of the persecution and troubling by the Messengers of Satan who buffeted him. Letting the Bible be its own guide, comparing scripture with scripture, it is consistently seen that the messengers of Satan did these things. Why, and his reaction to it, is also clearly seen.
2nd Corinthians 12:9-10 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my (God’s) strength is made perfect in (my) weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (He is therefore going to keep rejoice and being conscious of his weakness that the glory and Power of God may be fully displayed) "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities , in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong".
In Paul's affliction he learned to surrender his own will to the will of God. He would acquiesce and take the buffeting by the messengers of Satan. He would take it patiently, and glory in his infirmities (weaknesses, not disease). The very same principle put forth in,
1st Peter 2:20 "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God".
Paul prayed three times that the Messenger of Satan be removed from him, and God's answer came back, "My Grace is enough for you". This is not unlike when Jesus in Gethsemane prayed three times,
Luke 22:42 "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine , be done"
It's a demonstration of surrendering our will to the will of God! There is a basic and practical lesson here, related to Humility. It is a trait which is evident in the Children of God, and absent from the children of men. God knows that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. Outside influences help to keep us humble. For it is in these times of weakness and hardship that the Lord's strength can be experienced most. It's in these times that we really come to recognize our infirmities (weaknesses), and to depend upon the Lord, rather than our own strength or wisdom!
Self reliance by us is the enemy of a relationship with Christ but our strength comes from submission born not out of obligation but as a response to His grace.
Paul says He would " gladly Glory in his infirmities ( 2nd Cor . 12:9)". Yes, rather than bemoan his troubling circumstances, he will glory in them, for in them he has the opportunity to experience the power of Christ. He says " I take pleasure in infirmities (weakness, not disease), for Christ's sake. For whe n I am weak, then I am strong ( 2nd Cor . 12 :10)".
Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: (weakness, not disease) for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
This isn't talking about our physical sickness, but about our spiritual weaknesses. We should understand that the Greek word infirmity is [astheneia], and it's from the root word [asthenes] a negation of strength, meaning weakness. We can see in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul speaks of perils and painfulness, suffering shipwrecks, hardships because of his preaching the gospel message, and in verse 30 calls it infirmities, saying He will glory in this. This is not physical sickness, but hardships under which he suffered and endured. In speaking of persecution of God's people, we read in Hebrews:
Hebrews 11:34 "Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness, were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
That word translated "weakness" is the exact same word [asthenes] translated infirmities. In these times of weaknesses, Children of God are made strong, and it can be a time of rejoicing.
Romans 5:2-6 "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly".
In weakness, that can be a time in which to experience the strength which only Christ can give. For he alone is without our weakness of sin. And that infirmity is not physical, but a sin weakness.
Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; (weakness, not disease) but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Again here we see the word infirmity used in the sense of frailty or weakness. It's at these times of infirmity when we more perfectly develop character that is pleasing to God. It's when we throw our hands up and surrender to the will of God that we know true contentment. Not my will, but Thine be done. When we are tried and buffeted by the Messenger of Satan, it works patience in us that we learn to depend on Christ for Strength. And this was Paul's infirmity that He would glory in.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing".
This is an example for all of us. God knows what is best for us, and the answer to our prayers may not be what we wish, but it will always be what we need and will never go contrary to the will of God as revealed in his Word. This is the valuable lesson we glean from the scriptures here. The Lord would not give Paul what he prayed for, what he wanted, but He would give Paul what he needed. What was sufficient for His Salvation. And that wasn't deliverance out of times of tribulation. In the big picture, Paul has everything, and the Messenger of Satan had nothing, because Paul has the Grace of God which is sufficient! It indeed would be the answer to all his prayers, for in all things we pray, "Not my will, but Thine be done!"
I believe that what has been shown here is evidence enough that Paul’s thorn had nothing to do with being ill or not being able to pray for healing. There is no evidence to support that thought as I have outlined herein.
The next objection people come up with is this, they say, well I think that God can heal me if it is his will… and they leave it there, no faith, kind of like praying for Luck or something! It is as if God will as expressed in his Word is different or outside of what they believe God’s will is for them personally. In other words, they can’t believe for themselves that God wants to heal them.
Is divine healing God’s will? It is a question I believe can be answered either yes or no…
I truly believe that even though God is incomprehensible he does want to reveal himself to us. He has done this through the Holy Spirit, his Son and his Word. From this I have learned that God is consistent and will not do anything contrary to his nature and will always define himself by his Word, otherwise he would not be God since going against his Word would make him a liar.
In order to resolve this objection as to whether or not healing is God’s will, let’s go again back to the Word of God and begin there since all the answers are there for us.
We are going to look at Jesus’ prayer he gave his disciples when they asked him how to pray…
Luke 11:1-4 ¶ And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (3) Give us day by day our daily bread. (4) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Jesus wanted to teach them How to pray, not simply saying their prayers, big difference!
The disciples want to really know how to pray like he did and he replied… When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven… Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Many people stop right there and they resign themselves to leaving it in the hands of God with no clue what God’s will is for them.
It does not say “if it be thy will” and stop there. There is a comma there, not a period; The prayer is this; Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth ” (Luke 11:2)
In other words, Jesus is praying for what is in heaven to manifest itself here on earth and since there in no illness, disease or sickness in heaven, he is saying for that to manifest itself here and his ministry proves this point in that he NEVER, EVER said NO to whomever came to him for healing.
He healed the lame, deaf, dumb, paralytic, lepers, raised several whom had died; cast out fevers and countless other acts where the healing took place because he brought wellness from heaven (he himself is the perfect embodiment of restoration, healing and wellness for spirit, soul and body then as now).
There is NO lack in heaven and we can pray that for others and ourselves with confidence and boldness that this is God’s will according to His Word, His Son’s ministry and with the authority he has given us through the Holy Spirit to continue in his stead what he started here.
Divine Healing is our right of inheritance bought and paid for in Jesus Name.
Num 23:19 says, God is not a man, that he should lie ; nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
2Cr 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.
One of God’s names is Jehovah-Rapha which means the LORD that heals me.
If God were to call Himself by a name that would contradict his character then it would be a lie therefore when he calls Himself the God who heals us he is telling us that his nature is for us to be healed. Has he done so? Yes, at the Cross and through the ministry of Jesus we have the promise and it is established. God cannot deny us a promise anymore than he can deny his own Name and if you would believe, you will see the promises become fact!
Think about it, this is how you got saved. God whose Name Savior, Messiah called himself by these Names, when you accepted him by this name you were saved. By the same method and faith you can accept not only healing for yourself and others but ANY PROMISES! Since one of His names is, The Word, whatever you find in The Word, you can accept and likewise see these promises become fact.
Think on this, the three persons of the Godhead are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. When it comes to salvation this is how they interact collectively on behalf of humanity.
Father God conceived and purposed Salvation before the existence of anything that exists, He called His Son and named Him Salvation and it is Jesus who was tasked with securing that Salvation. The Holy Spirit now applies the Salvation Jesus secured to accomplish the will and purpose of Father God.
This is how you need to understand what salvation is, Salvation, from the Greek word Sózó needs to be understood by all of us to the depth that God intended and not simply thinking of salvation as an escape from hell and access to heaven. To limit our thoughts and understanding to that level robs us of the value of what Jesus did on the Cross and cheapens His work through the limits we place through our incorrect understanding and beliefs.
From Strong’s Greek Concordance: Sózó 4982: “to save , keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction one (from injury or peril) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease , to make well , heal , restore to health to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue to save in the technical biblical sense negatively; to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment ; to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance .” [4982 (s ṓ zō ) is the root of: 4990 / sōt ḗ r ("Savior"), 4991 /sōtēría ("salvation") and the adjectival form, 4992 / sōt ḗ rion (what is "saved/rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety").]
So notice this first point, “Sózó” is the root of Savior, therefore by definition if I learn nothing else I know that if I understand what “Sózó” means I will see a clearer picture of who my Savior is.
Jesus Christ, the Grace of God towards man, Savior, came not to judge but to save us, keep us safe, heal, restore, deliver, prosper, bless, and give us an inheritance, ALL the riches in glory to make us righteous, give rest, peace and many more promises found in God’s Word .
If that isn’t enough, think on this as well, Isaiah 43:1 says, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
By what name has he called you, by Christ’s name, Father God cannot deny you or his promise of healing anymore than he can deny either Himself or his son Jesus since you and he have the same name!
To all of you, YOU ARE HEALED!
The same God that saved you and filled you with the Holy Spirit healed you as well!
Let us assume for a moment that we are in the sanctuary on Sunday when the invitation is given and a man comes down to the front and in talking to one of the pastor’s says, “I want to find God, I want to be a saved, is that God’s will?” he asks. There is no one that would argue that salvation isn’t God’s will for this man.
John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved; Act 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; Act 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Act 16:31, They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household."
If another man comes down at the same time and asks, “I want to be healed, is that God’s will?” most Christians would say “let’s pray if it is God’s will” or send him to a doctor. This is wrong, there is no more questions in the mind of God and his revealed Word concerning his desires for the salvation of a sinner than there are questions concerning the healing of a sick one. ( Deu 32:39 "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand;
2Kings 20:5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ' This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you;
Isaiah 57:18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him;
Isaiah 57:19 I will heal them;
Jeremiah 33:6 " 'Nevertheless , I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Matthew 8:7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Luke 5:17 And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.
Luke 13:32 He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Matthew 4:24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.
Matthew 12:15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,
1Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
The salvation Jesus bought and paid for in full is all inclusive and encompasses Spirit, Soul AND Body.
We have no right to pray, “if it be thy will” concerning sickness, we need to know God’s will as reveal in the Word and as seen in just the few examples listed above. He have no right to send him away, we need to take responsibility for being an effective body of Christ.
We simply need to boldly take the authority we have been given in Jesus name and pray confidently for the person’s healing!
There was never an instant where Jesus told anyone seeking healing, “it’s not my will for you.”
As a matter of fact, on some occasions Jesus took the initiative to go to the person needing healing rather than have them come to him, and he healed them as well, (see John 5:1-9)
Healing is from God, it is a promise made to you, and it is your inheritance.
What then would be the response of someone who comes down seeking healing?
James 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. (14) Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. (15) And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
This is very clear to me.
There will be sick people that have embraced their sickness and disease that will then say, “Well, bless God, I am just suffering for Jesus!”
That simply put is a prideful and stupid remark and contrary to God’s Word and an insult to what Jesus did at the Cross!
If this were true then we should pray God makes them sicker that they may praise him more!
That is ignorant!
Look at the Word, what it says…
Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Because people go by sight more than the Word, they are being robbed of their blessings and they don’t even know it. How sad is this, they have substituted some perverted idea or incorrect notion and are calling those things which are bad as being good, how stupid is this!
Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Is sickness, disease and illness a good gift???
Granted we will share in the suffering of Christ but illness is not what God is speaking about, he is speaking about tribulation, persecution from forces out to destroy or impede the message of the gospel.
Show me once where Jesus made someone sick in order that they would be blessed along with his suffering.
Since it is impossible to receive promises you don’t know you own, the next question that comes to mind is how do I receive my healing?
Pray and believe and you shall receive.
So let’s look at the Word for further instructions on this subject…
Derek Prince, a minister, author and lecturer came up with one of the best descriptions of effective prayer in his book, “Secrets of a Prayer Warrior”, and I want to use it here, he said,
“Prayer is discovering God’s revealed purpose in Scripture, and then praying for the outworking of that purpose.”
1 John 5:14; This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (15) And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.
This is pretty clear cut. If we are asking for anything, and it is in his Will as seen in the Word, the Bible tells us that he hears us and if he hears us we have what we asked for.
This applies to healing as well as ANY promise in the Word. No exceptions.
Previously we had spoken of how God defines himself within his revealed Word.
So he has obligated himself to keep his promises.
There are two more issues to deal with, God’s Sovereignty and God’s Grace.
In all the arguments presented, I have emphasized God’s Word, his promises and how an incomprehensible God obligates himself to fulfill his promises to us. God’s word is so powerful that he can restrict himself to operate within it and still do exceedingly abundantly more than all we can think or imagine; it is that powerful.
God’s sovereignty deals with the method he will use to achieve his Word but never will it violate his Word, that fact that He obligates himself to his promises speaks of his integrity.
Healing is a promise God has made and will keep, how do we account for the fact we will all most likely die, assuming we are not caught up in the Rapture.
Death is part of this world’s fallen nature. Death does not negate God keeping his promise to heal the sick, it simply takes us to another place. For the born again believer suffering from some illness, death will be analogous to being born, to come out of an earthly womb, it simply promotes us to a different environment in which we will know a freedom and liberty that words cannot express. I assure you that 1 second in heaven, in Jesus’ presence will convince all who died that God kept his promise and healed them beyond all they ever thought or imagined!
By the same token, for the unbeliever who dies, 1 second in hell will convince that person how well off they were in earth being deathly sick where they still had an opportunity to know the total healing and restorative powers of being born again! You will have missed all God’s promises.
The issue of divine healing and health I have taught on is to deal with illness and disease down here, to overcome
So let’s do this, let’s start establishing that this promise is for you. If you can come as I did to see that it is for you then you will be able to pray the same thing for another and you will have enough faith to see God’s power at work, also by increasing your faith as you come with others who also have just a mustard seed faith as I do, we can believe together and see the awesome power of God at work!
Jesus went throughout all of Galilee teaching his disciples, preaching to unbelievers and Healing ALL manner of sickness and disease thus establishing by example and FOREVER how the church is to minister to others. There are many references to this.
Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law through the laying on of hands (Matthew 8:14-15). He healed a centurion’s servant simply by speaking the Word (Mathew 8) so in just these 2 examples we see that either through physical contact or by speaking healing came.
He later empowers the 12 disciples in Matthew 10, so there are plenty of references where the church is to continue his ministry on earth empowered by the Holy Spirit to minister as he did in all areas of spirit, soul and body.
In my life I have believed for and seen Jesus heal me three times, 2 of which almost proved fatal and once so serious that no one including the pastor, friends and doctors thought I would survive.
I was found on the floor of my home in a semi-coma, almost gone. When I got to the hospital they found that my blood sugar was running at 1,700 when 80-100 is the normal range for a person. I had no history whatsoever nor did anyone in my family and all this happened without any warning whatsoever. By all accounts I should have died. For about 3 days I was in and out of consciousness. On the 4th day, at night when I was so all alone and in so much pain I started whispering the promises of God for my healing, it was even a challenge just to think, focus and whisper, that was all I could do. My blood sugar was still way out of control, my heart was beating irregularly, on top of that I got a very serious blood infection and none of the medications were working but I could whisper the promises, that is all I could do. I must have repeated them a thousand times over the next few days. I was there 6 more days in ICU. When eventually I got home it took days before I could walk around but I kept repeating the Word in agreement with the Truth regardless of the fact of the circumstances… it took a while for my body to start recovering but 3 years later my blood sugar was under control.
I am not going to tell you that this was easy, in fact it was very, very hard and very, very painful but I know that I know I am healed!
I pray this lesson blesses you and that God speaks to you through it, it is your inheritance I am showing you in Jesus’ name, receive now and be blessed!