THERE ARE TWO VIEWS of healing held by different bodies of believers. First, there are those who believe that healing is a part of the plan of Redemption: that in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, God actually laid our diseases on Jesus and that He bore them with our sins, that when He put our sins away, He also put off our diseases.
Hebrews 9:26, “But now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” This not only means sin in the spirit and soul, but sin in the flesh. Romans 8:2, 3 uses sin in the sense of breaking of harmony in the flesh.
That is disease. They also hold Isaiah 53:3-5: “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sickness and acquainted with disease; and He is one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our sickness and carried our pains; and we have come to esteem him as the one who was stricken, smitten of God and afflicted with our diseases. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every man to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Then we have the tenth verse: “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath made him sick; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.” “He shall see the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” Notice that in this, healing of the body comes before the dealing with the sin problem in both these scriptures. Then we confidently believe that there is no such thing as separating sin from the disease problem. If He dealt with the disease, He dealt with the sin. If He dealt with sin, He dealt with disease; for they are akin to each other.
There was no disease until sin came, and sin is breaking of a law. If it is a law of the body, it culminates in disease. If it is a law of the spirit, it culminates in sin. The other school holds that God heals by a special act of grace. They also hold that only those are healed who have faith, and that faith is the gift of God . . . that no man can get faith of his own accord. For healing, God must in His sovereign grace give them faith. So, in the final analysis, God only heals those to whom He gives faith. Those who don’t have faith are not to blame for it, because God didn’t give it to them. Most of them hold that disease comes as a judgment from the Lord for disciplinary purposes, and if that discipline hasn’t wrought the desired effect, of course God couldn’t give them faith for their healing. That makes God the Author of disease. Also He doesn’t heal unless they have faith, and they can’t get faith unless He gives it to them.
To me, the whole scheme is unthinkable. It is a Sense Knowledge effort to explain the reason why prayer isn’t answered and why the sick do not get their deliverance.
Psalm 107:20, “He sent His word, and healed them.” This is taken with John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that has been made: in Him was life and that life was the light of men.” The fourteenth verse, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This Word is Jesus-the eternal Logos (you understand that the word “Logos” is the Greek which is translated Word). All during Jesus’ public ministry His love drove Him to heal the sick everywhere. He was God manifest in the flesh. He was Love manifest in the flesh. He was the will of the Father unveiled to us. You remember that in John 4:31-34, Jesus said, “I have meat that ye know not of. . . . My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work.” John 5:30, “I can of myself do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
Then Jesus’ healing the sick was the will of the Father, being accomplished. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8.) There is no change in the will of the Father. If it was His will to heal the sick while Jesus was here, it is His will to heal them today. But someone says, “Didn’t Jesus heal the sick to prove His Deity?”
No, He healed the sick because He was Love, because He was God manifest in the flesh. It was Love that drove Jesus, just as it is Love that drives every man and woman who is in fellowship with the Father, carrying out His will here on the earth, to heal the sick today. You cannot look upon the sick, if you are in fellowship with Jesus, but what you will long to do what Jesus did for the sick.
We might ask, “Well, if healing is in Redemption, why doesn’t Paul speak of it more often in his epistles?” We will notice Romans 10:8-11, “But what saith the scriptures? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach: because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.”
Notice, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord.” The Lordship of Jesus is the first step in salvation and deliverance from Satan’s dominion and authority over us, because the New Creation is under the Lordship of Jesus. The old creation is under the lordship of Satan.
The Word says, “And shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be healed.” That word, “saved,” in the Greek is “sozo,” which is translated “healed” throughout the Gospels and ought to have been translated “healed” here. But the translators were evidently prejudiced against healing. Now notice carefully the condition of healing. It is that thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord. Second, thou shalt believe in thy heart (this recreated heart of yours) that God raised Him from among the dead, for He did raise Him from the dead.
It is evident that Satan had been conquered and that disease had been put away, that Satan’s dominion had been broken. And if you believe this you are healed. “For with the heart man believes that Jesus is his righteousness.” Now, he makes confession of his salvation. Salvation means deliverance from a state or condition. The state was first as a sinner. Second, as one that was sick. Whatever Satan has wrought in the spirit, in the soul, or in the body, has been healed. Let us get it clearly. Your confession of your healing is imperative; for notice carefully, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth.” Then, “For with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (from your sickness).”
And then it is whosoever does this shall not be put to shame. Then it is imperative that a twofold confession be made. First, we are to confess the Lordship of Jesus, and, second, the confession of salvation or deliverance from the dominion of Satan. Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The word “saved” here is “sozo.” So it reads, “He is able to heal to the uttermost them that draw near to God through Him.” The sinner doesn’t draw near to God through Jesus. The sinner accepts Christ as a Saviour, and God gives him a new life. This, then, applies to the believer who has been out of fellowship with the Father, and who has had disease put upon him by Satan. Now he comes back into fellowship and Jesus makes intercession for him.
This agrees perfectly with 1 John 2:1, “I write unto you, little children, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Sickness has come to the believer because of his lack of appreciation of what God has wrought for him in Christ. There are three classes of people healed. In Mark 16:17-20, Jesus is just ready now to ascend to heaven and sit down at the right hand of the Father. He had told them, “All authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth; go ye therefore and make disciples (or students) of all peoples: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age.”
He didn’t send them to convert men. He sent them to make disciples, or students, of all men. As soon as a man was recreated and received the Holy Spirit, he was to become a student of the Word. You understand that when Jesus spoke this, none of the New Testament had been written. But it was written for our admonition, so read it: “These signs shall follow them that believe.” That doesn’t mean some special faith, but every believer was to have these signs accompany him. “In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
The people spoken of here, to be healed, are not Christians. They are the unsaved. It is a part of the evangelist’s work to heal the sick. That is God’s testimony, God’s means of advertising. Notice the twentieth verse: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.” These signs were not for the believers, but to the unbelieving. The first sign of healing was to the unsaved. If you will carefully read the book of Acts there are no believers healed with the exception of the young man who fell out of the window and broke his neck. All the other people healed were Jews under the old covenant, or Gentiles. That was God’s method of advertising His message of grace that had come to all men.
The second class of people that were healed are spoken of in James 5:14, “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sin, it shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.”
Notice, “Is there any sick among you “ (We use the American Revision.) The implication is that there should be no sick among us.
Why? If you are a child of God and are walking in the light of the Word, you know that by His stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24 makes it very clear.) Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.” Let me give you another translation: “I could not speak unto you as unto full-grown believers, but as unto sense-ruled, as unto babes in Christ.” Here is a believer that has never grown up. He doesn’t feed on the Word. He has received Eternal Life, but he has never taken advantage of his privileges. For Paul says, “I fed you with milk, and not with meat; for ye were not able to bear it, nor are ye yet able.” “For ye are yet sense-ruled, and where there is yet among you jealousy and strife, are ye not sense-ruled and do you not walk as mere men?”
There is no spiritual growth, no Word-filled lives. These are the people to whom James is writing. They have sense-ruled faith. They have faith like Thomas. He had said, “If
I can see Him and put my finger into His side, I will believe.” And Jesus said, “Blessed is he who having not seen still believes.” That is revelation faith. The other is the faith in things. We see, hear, and feel – and then believe Notice the picture, then. The elder comes into the sick man’s room. The sick man sees him. He hears him pray over him. He feels the anointing oil upon his head. The prayer of faith is not his; it is the prayer of the elder; and it has saved him that is sick, and the Lord has raised him up. The whole picture is one of a sense-ruled believer who has no faith himself in the Living Word, but does trust in faith of others.
Hebrews 5:12-13 describes him: “For when by reason of time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some-one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God.” The third class of those healed is the full-grown believer. When sickness comes, he remembers that that disease was laid on Jesus. “Surely he hath borne my sickness and carried my diseases . . . and by His stripes I am healed.”
He does not ask anyone to pray for him.
He knows that if he should ask anyone to pray for him he is repudiating the Word that Christ wrought for him. He knows that he is repudiating the Word, “Surely he hath borne my sickness and carried my diseases . . . and with His stripes I am healed.” So he looks up quietly and says, “Father, I thank you that my sicknesses were laid on Jesus and that He bore them.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 tells us that we are to glorify God in our bodies.
We received Healing