There are two definite systems of divine healing taught in the Bible. One is permanent and changes the mortal body to a Spiritual body. The other is temporary and merely repairs the mortal body so it can live a little longer, or die a little later.
1. THE SPIRITUAL BODY IS PURCHASED BY THE VICARIOUS SUFFERINGS OF JESUS. Isa. 53:5 says" . . .with his stripes we are healed." This means that because His body was bruised, we can have new bodies. When corruption shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then - and not until then - will we have the healing Jesus purchased for us with His stripes. Paul says, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (change or make alive) your mortal body." (See Rom. 8:11.) “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
A) WE ARE WAITING FOR THIS HEALING OR CHANGE TO COME. Paul says that our citizenship is in heaven ". . .from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious (or spiritual) body. .." (See Phil. 3:20, 21.) “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Paul also says we are "...waiting for the adoption, . . .(that is to say) ...the redemption of our body." (See Rom. 8:23.) “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Our bodies have not yet been redeemed. The price of redemption has been paid, but our bodies have not yet been taken out of the pawn shop: in other words, they are still in the world.
B) PETER SAYS, "who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (See I Pet. 2:24.) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Peter is saying that Isa. 53: 5 teaches the new birth. If the change that takes place in our spirits at the new birth is called a healing, surely the change that will take place when our bodies are changed will be a healing.
2. WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT HEALING FOR OUR MORTAL BODIES. God has bestowed great favors upon us. He allows us to have an "earnest," or a sample of what is to come, while we wait for our permanent healing. The promises of healing for our mortal bodies are recorded in Mark 16:18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” and James 5:14,15 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:” There are many examples of healing throughout the book of Acts.
A) THE DIFFERENCE IN HEALING OUR MORTAL BODIES, AND THE HEALING THAT CHANGES OUR MORTAL BODIES. The healing that repairs our mortal body does not change the body, it is still mortal after it is healed. The permanent healing Jesus purchased for us, changes our mortal body to a Spiritual body, and will come when we leave this earthly existence.
B) THE NEW BIRTH COMPLETELY CHANGES OUR SPIRIT AND MAKES IT READY FOR HEAVEN. It does not have to have any other change, but will go to heaven when released from the body. (See II Cor. 5:6-8 “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”) Healing the mortal body does not change it at all. It cannot go to heaven no matter how many times it is healed. (See I Cor. 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”) The mortal body must go to the grave or be changed to a Spiritual body.
3. SALVATION FOR OUR SPIRIT AND HEALING FOR OUR MORTAL BODY ARE TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT OPERATIONS. They cannot be linked together in the atonement. The atonement purchased more than a temporary healing for our mortal body. It purchased a permanent healing that changes our body. Paul says, "...Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (See II Cor. 4:16 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”) This shows our spirit can be saved even though it is in a body that is wasting away. It is not a sin to be sick.
A) DO WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE A RIGHT TO PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT GOES WRONG WITH OUR MORTAL BODIES? The answer is yes. We have a right to pray about every thing we have a right to want. But when we pray, our will should be surrendered to God's will.
B) ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS HEALED WHEN THEY PRAY, OR WHEN SOMEONE PRAYS FOR THEM? The answer is no. Paul had an affliction he called a "thorn in the flesh." It worked right on the nerve like a festered thorn. He also called the same affliction "infirmity of the flesh." (See II Cor. 12:7-9 “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. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” with Gal. 4:13-15 “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”) Paul prayed about it three times, but was not healed. Paul said, I left Trophimus sick at Miletum. (See II Tim. 4:20 “Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.”) Epaphroditus was sick nigh unto death before he was healed. (See Phil. 2:25-30 “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.”) Jesus left a multitude that He did not heal at the pool of Bethesda. (See John 5:1-15 “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”) Jesus healed only one man at the pool.
C) THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO DEFINITE REASONS WHY PEOPLE ARE NOT HEALED. One is the lack of faith on the part of the one who is afflicted and also on the part of the one who prays for the afflicted. The other one is, God and the Devil may have had an argument over you as they had about Job. The Devil's famous accusation to God is, "So and So does not love you, he only loves what you do for him. Leave him sick and he will drop you like a hot potato!" Sometimes God has to convince the Devil that we love him, even though we are not healed. God gives us grace to stand what we have to go through.
4. DOES GOD BLESS NATURAL REMEDIES? The answer is yes. God has two laws of healing. One is natural, the other one is supernatural. The Bible says: "A merry hearth doeth good like a medicine..." (See Prov. 17: 22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”) This Scripture confirms that medicine will do you good.
A) HEZEKIAH WAS SICK UNTO DEATH. After he prayed to God for healing, God gave him a natural remedy. He was told to take a lump of figs, lay it for a plaster upon his boil and he would recover. (Isa. 38:21 “Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?”)
B) TIMOTHY HAD A BAD STOMACH. Paul told him not to drink just water, but take a little wine for the good of his digestion and for his frequent attacks of illness. Wine was a natural remedy. (See I Tim. 5:23 “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”)
C) JESUS SAID: ".. .They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick." (See Luke 5:31 “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”) A good Doctor is a great blessing. If you have one, stay with him and do what he says.
D) LUKE IS CALLED THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN. (See Col. 4:14 “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”) He traveled with the Apostle Paul. Paul needed a good Doctor with him, because of his infirmities. (See Gal. 4:13-15 “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”)
5. WHO SHOULD HAVE THE FAITH FOR HEALING, THE SICK OR THE ONE PRAYING FOR THE SICK? If you will search the Scriptures you will find that some had faith for their own healing while others had no faith at all.
A) SOME EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO had faith for their own healing: (1) The leper who was cleansed had faith. (See Matt. 8:1-3 “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”) (2) The two blind men that were healed had faith. (See Matt. 9:27-30 “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; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.”) (3) The man with the withered hand had faith. (See Luke 6:6-11 “And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”)
B) MANY WHO WERE HEALED DID NOT HAVE ANY FAITH. They depended altogether on the one praying for them to pray the prayer of faith. Notice these examples: (1) The Centurian who prayed for the healing of his servant. The servant did not have faith. (See Matt. 8:5-13 “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”) (2) The man sick of the palsy did not have faith. (Matt. 9:1, 2 “And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”) (3) The woman of Canaan who prayed for the healing of her daughter. The daughter did not have faith. (See Matt. 15: 21-28 “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”)
WHEN MINISTERS INVITE THE SICK TO COME FOR HEALING, they are really saying, "Since you do not have faith for your own healing, I will stand between you and Jesus, the Healer, and will pray the prayer of faith for you." When Jesus said, "...all things are possible to him that believeth," He was talking to the one who was praying for the sick. (See Mark 9:14-24 “And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”)
MINISTERS SHOULD NOT TRY TO TAKE THE PLACE OF JESUS AS A HEALER OF THE SICK. They should not ask, as Jesus did, "Do you believe I have power to do this?" Jesus is still the healer. Ministers should take a humble position as a go-between, as one who prays, and not one who heals. Nor should they blame the sick for not having faith when they are not healed, saying, "If he had faith, he would have been healed.”; Instead they should search their own heart to see if they have really prayed the prayer of faith in behalf of the sick one.
MINISTERS SHOULD NOT SAY TO THE SICK, AFTER THEY HAVE PRAYED FOR THEM, "According to your faith be it unto you." It might boomerang. Jesus spoke these words to the two blind men who had faith for their own healing. On that occasion, no one was praying the prayer of faith for them. (See Matt. 9:27-30 “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; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.”)
REMEMBER - OUR MORTAL BODIES ARE NOT ALWAYS HEALED. Sometimes we are healed of one disease and not healed of another. Even those raised from the dead, by Jesus, died again with some bodily ailment from which they were not healed. All of God's saints have died, because the healing of the mortal body does not change the body. It is still mortal after the healing.
THE STRIPES OF JESUS PURCHASED A PERMANENT HEALING FOR ALL OF GOD'S PEOPLE whether they are dead or alive. Paul says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye..." (See I Cor. 15:51, 52 “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”) This is the healing we are all waiting for, and it is the healing Jesus purchased with his stripes.
CAUTION - DO NOT BUILD YOUR FAITH ON THE WRONG FOUNDATION. If you do, you will loose it. One woman said, "I thought this thing worked, but I am finding it does not." She had a stroke and finally died. Another woman said (after her husband died of a disease she thought he was healed of), "It is too bad you can't trust the Lord, but you can't." Both of these women had their faith built on the wrong foundation. Build your faith so you will not loose it, even though you are not healed.
When our bodies are changed from a mortal body to a spiritual body, we will all have the healing Jesus purchased with His stripes.
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