~ 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 3), by clicking here.
Wouldn’t it be exciting if you became a person who was going out praying for the sick and seeing the healing power of God manifest in their bodies? If you haven’t already been experiencing that or walking in it, really imagine just how exciting that would be! It is really good to have a goal. A goal will energize you. For example, if you want to work out and get into shape, it’s much much harder to make progress without a goal. Similarly, we need to envision and imagine healing happening in our lives. So, as you study divine healing, have that goal in your mind right now. Envision yourself laying your hands on the sick and seeing them recover. Having that vision as you hear God’s Word about healing will help you absorb it. Do not allow yourself to be content with only a mental agreement with God healing people. Instead ask yourself, “Is divine healing operating in my life?” If the answer to that question is no, then conclude, “Obviously I need some more understanding! Lord give me what I need!”
Jesus demonstrated the will of God perfectly. Listen to Jesus’ own words: “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly I say to you the Son can do nothing of Himself but what he sees the Father do.’” So, when you are seeing Jesus do something, guess what? You are seeing the Father do something — not someone else. Jesus is not someone else — He is the Father.
John 14:7-10 says “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
Jesus’ works are the Father’s works. Jesus was revealing the will of the Father. That is what He came here for – to show us the Father.
So, let’s look at how Jesus revealed the will of the Father as it relates to healing. In Mathew 9:35 we read, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Jesus healed every sickness and every disease among the people.
Does this scripture say that the Father might heal some people and not heal others? Of course not! The reason Jesus healed every single person in all the cities He went to was because it was clearly the will of the Father to heal every sickness and every disease! Likewise in Matthew 12:15 we see great multitudes followed Jesus and He healed them all.
It is the will of the Father to heal all! It is God’s will to heal every single person every single time without exception. Every single time we pray for healing and healing does not take place the hold-up is on the part of man — not on the part of God. God’s will has been revealed. God hates sickness, it is a bad thing, and He wants it gone. Sickness came into the world through sin, not God.
In fact, in the Gospels alone, there are seventeen different occasions where it says Jesus healed them all. Additionally, there are 47 occasions when individuals or a couple of people (i.e., not a crowd) came to Him and it says, “He healed them.” In those examples, Jesus healed them all because there was only one person. This is Jesus revealing the will of the Father, nowhere do you find Jesus turning someone away for healing. Anyone who came to Jesus for healing, received a YES.
So, when you come to God what do you think His answer is? “Yes!” What about my knee? “Yes.” Back? “Yes.” Flu? “Yes.” Back again? “Yes.” Knee again? “Yes.” My aunt? “Yes.” Cancer” “Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” All the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus! It is because of Jesus that the answer is yes! It is always yes. It is God’s will to heal every single person all the time, immediately and without exception.
Sickness came from sin – not your or my sin, but the sin in the garden of Eden. The fall of man introduced sickness. Do not think that because sin and sickness are connected that anytime we see sickness in someone’s life that there is obviously sin in their life.
Sickness is a curse. Look at Deuteronomy 28, which lists blessings in verses 1-14. From verse 15 on, it lists the curses. Guess where sickness is found in that chapter? The curses! God says sickness is a curse. Sickness is not a blessing. God is not using sickness to teach you anything.
Galatians 3 says that Jesus bore the curse for us that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us. It is Deuteronomy 28 that Paul is referring to in Galatians 3. Jesus bore all the curses so that all the blessings would be on us. What is our portion of Deuteronomy 28? The blessing. Sickness is not in that list! Don’t ever buy into anything that says maybe God is causing or using sickness. No, no, no — God is not doing anything other than healing sickness! It is true that God has made people sick.
But, consider where you find those examples. They are in the Old Testament. Sickness as a punishment went away when sin went away.
Sickness is often caused by demons. It can be demonic in its source. Not always though, so don’t go from one extreme to the other. Often sickness has nothing to do with demonic activity. Other times sickness is 100% a demonic activity. So just know these two possibilities. In Mathew 12:22 we read, “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” The Bible here says the man was demon-possessed, blind and mute, and Jesus healed Him so that the blind and the mute man both spoke and saw. He healed him. How did He heal him? Jesus cast the devil out, that’s how He healed him!
Likewise, in Luke 13, we see that there is a spirit of infirmity (meaning it causes sickness) in a woman for 18 years. Jesus makes it clear that it was Satan that had bound her and He called it a spirit of infirmity. Don’t back away from that. Many times when you go to pray for someone it may be demonic. How do you know? Sometimes the Holy Spirit will just make it really clear to you, other times they’ll manifest a demonic activity and you’ll see it. And at other times, you won’t know for sure. So, if it is a really bad situation, I’ll just cover the bases, pray for the person and cast any devils out as well. God gave you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy!
A lot of people say, “Sure Jesus healed all these people, but that was Jesus!” But in Acts 5, it says they brought all the sick people and put them in the street on cots just to get within a shadow’s distance of Peter. The scripture says they were all healed. Those are Jesus-type results right through the life of Peter. In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve apostles to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. In In Luke 10, Jesus sends out seventy others to heal the sick in the cities He was going to go to — so it wasn’t just the apostles!
In John 14:12 Jesus says those who believe in Him will do what He did and beyond. In Mark 16:14-18 Jesus tells the apostles to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. He also says those who believe and are baptized shall be saved and that, “These signs will follow those who believe.” Not the apostles. He said those signs will follow those who believe!
Some believers say, “doesn’t the Word teach that we are to suffer for the sake of the gospel?” It sure does! But if you look at it and allow Scripture to interpret itself, the Greek word for suffering is used 65 times to mean “suffering” and only one time does it refer to sickness. In that case, Jesus said it was a demon causing the suffering not God, and He cast it out. Jesus is saying it is not of God. The Bible is very clear in the New Testament: always, always, always when it is talking about suffering it is referring to trials, tribulation and persecution – never sickness, not even poverty. Those are considered a curse and God doesn’t put curses on His children. Difficulty, however, is not a curse. God will use situations to develop character in us.
Often, Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” is brought up as justification for God causing sickness. Remember, you must interpret Scripture with Scripture. Let’s consider whether that same terminology is used anywhere else in Scripture. We find that it is actually used several times. Paul was of course extremely knowledgeable in the Old Testament. He knew it inside out, backwards and forward. When we read these Old Testament verses we see that Paul was using Old Testament language in describing his “thorn in the flesh.”
In Joshua 23:12-13, Numbers 33:55 and Judges 2:1-3 “thorns in sides” refer to people who harass you. Paul mentioned his in 2 Corinthians 12:7, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” Remember that chapters weren’t there in the original text so if we back up to 2 Corinthians 11, we find Paul describing people who were harassing him in every town he went into. What Paul is saying is that Satan was stirring up people to attack him everywhere he went.
Some believers say the thorn was allowed because Paul had great revelation and God didn’t want him to be exalted with pride. But actually, Satan was trying to stop the furtherance of The Gospel through Paul’s ministry by buffeting Paul. Remember God is not opposed to exalting His people. The Word of God clearly says “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6) This was not a matter of God trying to keep him from being prideful; it was Satan keeping him from being exalted by buffeting him, and he called it a thorn in his side.
In Matthew 8, Jesus casts out demons and heals all the sick so that what was spoken by Isaiah would be fulfilled. It is the will of God that all would be healed. God paid the price on the Cross for you and I to be physically healed and walking in health our whole life.
Finally, someone might say “well then how are you supposed to die?” Psalms tells you how. He takes away your breath. That’s how we’re supposed to go. When it’s time to go, He takes away your breath. Nowhere in Scripture can you find that you are supposed to die of cancer or diabetes or some other sickness. You are supposed to die well, healthy and strong! And then you can say, “Lord, my work is done, I am out of here.” And He will reply, “OK, come be with Me!” And you check out nice and peaceful in the middle of your sleep. :)