~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is a summary a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can read the whole sermon, Divine Healing (part 1), by clicking here.
Over the last 5 years, Pastor Brad has taught the principal truths of the Bible. Everything beyond what he has already taught is secondary. If he had the choice, he would re-teach everything he has taught over the past 5 years all over again … and again … and again. This is what he has done for himself over the past 33 years in the Lord. Going back over the foundational teachings is one of the best things you could for yourself. You may think “I’ve already got it” but a great litmus test is whether you could teach those topics yourself. Could you teach the gospel of grace? Could you teach on pride and humility? Could you teach on the fear of the Lord? Could you teach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit? If the answer to those is “no” then you would benefit to spend some more time in it and get it all the more deeply. Now, in Pastor Brad’s opinion, of all the secondary level teachings, this message (Divine Healing) is his favorite! The reason this teaching is “secondary” is because it is simply not necessary for your eternal well-being. Divine healing does affect your life (and even your spiritual life) in many ways, but it is still secondary.
When we look in the Bible, we see Jesus healing the sick. We read that and it gives us hope. Hope that God still desires to heal today. But, what we see around us doesn’t seem to support that idea. So the questions begin in our minds. “Am I misunderstanding what I’m reading or seeing in the Bible regarding healing?” In this teaching, the intent is to address and cover these issues. This particular sermon will serve as the framework or border to the whole teaching on divine healing. If you understand this framework, it will help you in future teachings on divine healing to have a place to put things. It is like looking at the picture on the box of a 1000 piece puzzle. To that end here are two statements that will serve as the border for the rest of the teaching:
1. It is God’s will today (and will be forever) to heal spirit, soul, and bodily and to heal every single person without exception. In other words, it is God’s will to heal ALL who are sick WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
2. Whenever someone is not healed, the issue (roadblock, hinderance) is ALWAYS on the part of man … never on the part of God.
Whenever you encounter someone not being healed, to keep from developing false ideas / doctrines, remember these two statements of truth. It is still God’s will to heal everyone today and whenever anyone does not get healed, the issue is always on the part of man. Those two truths alone will go so far in our learning process because when we experience what might seem like failure, we will go down the correct path in trying to understand what’s happening and it will eliminate so many possible wrong ideas that we can come up with. If I am praying for someone and they don’t get healed it means there is a problem with me or this other person or the combination of the two of us. Period. You may say “well there could be a demonic influence.” That is actually still up to us! We’re the ones that can deal with demonic influence and we’re not dealing with it!
The issue is on man’s end. It’s not on God’s end. It is not God saying “not today.” There are multiple possible hinderances that can be at-play when someone does not get healed but they all can be categorized under 4 categories: Ignorance (not stupid; simply ignorance of God’s Will, i.e. the Scripture), Unbelief, Unforgiveness and Violation of Natural Laws. As a 5th category, we could highlight demonic influence. Really, demonic influence could be categorized as ignorance (of the reality of the demonic realm and of our authority in Christ) or unbelief (in taking up that authority to come agains the works of the devil).
Brad’s Journey in Divine Healing (told from Brad’s perspective):
When I was 17 years old, I had an ulcer and as I drove and my car went over bumps in the road, my ulcer would fire up so bad that I had to pull off to the side of the road. Fast forward 5 years, and I had just gotten saved at the age of 22. I was in a service of about 2,000 people at Wiley Tomlinson’s church in Jacksonville, FL. This particular Sunday he was teaching on divine healing, which was totally news to me! But, when He called those forward who would needed healing, I was the first one who got to the front out of the 30 or 40 people that came up for prayer. I ran up there! So an elder comes up to me and hears that I need prayer for an ulcer. He laid his hands on my shoulders and started praying and I felt a “cool wind” go out of his hands down into my stomach, out of my stomach, and then seemed to go back into him and then back out of his arms into me. I could tell the “cool wind” was flowing in a circular motion like that and it did so for as long his hands were on me and then as soon as he lifted his hands off, it stopped. He then said “OK, I believe you’re healed.” I said “I felt this cool wind …” He said “yeah, me too! It was flowing through me he same way. That’s why I know you’re healed!” I thought “Praise God!” Previous to that day I had to be so careful with my ulcer. From that day forward, I could jug tobacco sauce and drink as much coffee as I wanted. I have never had another symptom since! Ulcers typically never fully heal. They certainly don’t heal in a moment! I was instantaneously healed! That was my introduction to healing – I heard a teaching and then I got healed. That is very helpful! As a result of that day, I went to the Word and I started devouring the Bible about healing. I got books from Osborne, Kenyon, and Bosworth. I studied and studied and got so excited that I went out and started praying for anything that moved! And nothing got healed. It seemed like if I laid hands on them it got worse. I just kept going because I knew it was real!
Fast forward one year again. I had a problem with getting in-grown toenails and they got bad again. So, I decided “this is it.” I am drawing the line in the sand about this toenail. I prayed over my toe for about 3 months and it never got better. It got so bad I had to buy new shoes that were one size too big to give my aching toe more room. Finally, I caved and went to the doctor. When the doctor took off my sock he exclaimed “Why’d you wait so long!?!” He was mad and he looked at me like “what the heck is your problem!?!” It had gotten so bad that it was a full-blown surgery now to repair it. They had to pull a curtain midway so that I wouldn’t watch.
About a few weeks later, I was living at my mom’s house and my brother (who was living there as well) and he got a really bad flu that was going around – the kind where you ache from head to toe. Then my mom got the flu and was very sick too. So, my brother is about a week into it and my mom is like 3 days into it and I was feeling encouraged because I was still feeling great. “Man of faith! I believe in healing! Amen!” But, the next day I woke up and I hurt from head to toe. “Noooo!” There was no question, now I had the flu too. My throat hurt, my hair hurt; everything hurt! I walked around the house that morning totally miserable for about 4 hours. About noon, I got this righteous indignation. So I went up into my bedroom and started pacing the floor back and forth and I said “in the Name of Jesus, by His stripes I was healed. By His stripes I was healed. Surely He has born my sicknesses and carried my diseases! By His stripes I was healed.” I kept pacing and quoting scripture. And one of the times I said “I was healed” the “was” caught me in a way that it had never caught me before. It exploded in me with understanding “wait a minute … I WAS healed!” That revelation hit me so deeply “I know what the problem is; I am trying to get healed. That is not what it says, it says I WAS healed. Wait a minute, if I WAS healed, what is this sickness doing in me??? SICKNESS GO!” And with that word, it was gone! I was instantaneously perfect! There was nothing gradual about it. I started dancing around and going nuts! I started celebrating “It worked! It worked!”
About several minutes into my celebration I just stopped and asked God “why now!?! Why’d that not work for my toe …” I immediately hear in response “Mark 4:26-29.” That’s what I heard so I grabbed my Bible to look it up: “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
When I finished reading that passage, the Lord spoke to me “it is not what you did today that got your healing. It is what you did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Your harvest has come. Now you can lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” From that day forward, I started praying for people and seeing supernatural healing. Not every single person (because I am still growing in it), but I have seen hundreds of people supernaturally and undeniably healed. It is real, it for God’s people, it’s alive and well today, and it is up to us to understand it, receive it, and then walk in it.
It is not up to God. He’s already made up His mind. He gave it to us, and it is not only for us. It is also a ministry to minister to other people. We just need to understand it, receive it, and then walk in it. Amen!