Biblical Faith and Healing
Many times, people are trying to 'get more faith', thinking that if they just believe they will be healed, then it will happen. I have news for you, that is new age faith, NOT Christian faith!
Faith is not simply believing that something will happen before it does. Faith is knowing that the provisions have been made for that healing, then trusting God to manifest it on your behalf.
Before we get started, I want to debunk two myths that are commonly believed today in the church. These two myths accuse and blaspheme the name and true nature of God and therefore need to be exposed.
Myth: "Isn't everything that takes place here on earth the will of God?"
First, if everything that happened was God's will, then apparently we wouldn't have a freewill of our own, because we would be forced to always do His will. Every day, murders, rapes, human sacrifices, etc. are taking place. Would we dare say that such things glorify God? Right now a little boy or girl is about to be sacrificed, their body burned before an alter to Satan, and the blood drank by somebody, and you're going to tell me that that God is glorified by this? I think we had better seriously reconsider our faulty belief that everything which happens on earth is the will of God. What blasphemy against the Holy name of God to accuse Him of such horrible things as bringing Him glory!
Myth: "If God doesn't heal somebody, it must have not been His will for them"
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.
What if the woman with the issue of blood didn't have faith to be healed? Would that have made it God's will for her to live on in such awful sickness? Absolutely not! But if she didn't have faith in Jesus, then guess what? She would have died in her sickness, and who knows, she may have died long before her time? Apparently her faith (believing God) had something to do with receiving God's will for her.
In the following passage, it is very evident that even though the disciples were not capable of driving out the demon from the young boy, did NOT mean it was the will of God for him to be tormented.
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Just because His disciples couldn't cast it out, does NOT mean that it was God's will for the boy to be epileptic; it was because of their unbelief that they could not drive out the stubborn demon.
The term faith defined
Perhaps the best verse in the Bible to define faith is in Hebrews. Let's consider the depth of this passage:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
According to NT Greek, the word substance here is referring to assurance or confidence. To have faith means that we can confidently know that what we hope for will take place. When we place our faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, we can know that those sins are indeed forgiven. If we read on in this chapter in Hebrews, we find many examples of faith being exercised throughout the Bible. Basically what is taking place is that God promises something, and men of God believe Him and take what He said seriously. They acted upon the promises of God, and as a result, they were known as great men of faith in the Bible today. I like how the New Living Translation sums up these stories in verse 33:
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them...
Genuine Christian faith is simply knowing the promises of God, the provisions of the work of Christ on the cross, and the Word of God, and then accepting and believing that what God says concerning those provisions is undoubtedly true. Abraham was said to be a man of faith, and if we take a closer look at his faith, it was simply believing what God said was true:
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
As I just said, Christian faith is merely knowing the will of God (which is found in His Word), and believing it. Lack of faith is present when (a) we don't know the will of God or (b) we don't really believe that it is true. This is why the Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If Jesus said that your healing was paid for on the cross, do you really believe that? Jesus asked Peter, "Why did you doubt me?" Why do you think He did that? Because Peter questioned the integrity of Jesus' command to "Come!"
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
In other words, Jesus was saying, "Peter, didn't you believe me?" This is why it is so important to know what God is saying to us (get in His Word!), and believe it. Fear questions, casts doubt upon, and calls God's Word a liar! The Bible even tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please Him:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The key is to get yourself to the point where you know the Word of God, then simply believe what He says... THEN you will have real genuine faith... anything else is just false faith.
True and genuine Christian faith is nothing more than simply knowing what God has said, and believing it.
Faith and divine healing
Today, so many are 'hoping' that it is God's will for them to be healed, when it says so in their Bibles. The problem is, we need to be childlike in our faith, and simply believe that what God says is true. Jesus said that unless we come to Him with a mind of a child, we will not experience the kingdom of God. The mind of an adult is naturally full of reason and wants an intelligent answer, but the mind of a child of believing and accepting of what it is told. That is why Jesus said that we must have faith such as a little child if we are to receive the kingdom of God:
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Did you know that just as Jesus made provision for the forgiveness of our sins, He also did the same for our physical healing when He shed His blood for us? He demonstrated this right away in His earthly ministry:
When the even 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.
Then if we begin to read the accounts of divine healing in Jesus' ministry, we come across people who believe in Him and knew that it is His desire to heal them, receive their healing through faith. Jesus made it clear that it was their trust in Him that allowed them to receive their healing. Here are a few examples:
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 Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
The truth is that even in Jesus' ministry, people were healed because of their faith. Faith has a lot to receiving the promises of God, including our salvation and the forgiveness of sins. When Jesus would say, "According to thy faith," what He was really saying was, "According to your belief in my Word and my provision to heal you!" The Messiah was prophesied to bare the people's sicknesses back in Isaiah.
There are two very good passages where a person is raised from the dead. In both cases, note that Jesus told the people to believe, or have faith in God (Him). Consider these passages:
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
It is by FAITH that we receive the promises of God, including the forgiveness of sins and healing!
The prayer of faith
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: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Notice that it says that the prayer of faith WILL save the sick (when the KJV says 'shall', it means 'will' - as in John 3:16). It also calls it a prayer of FAITH, which is very important. This is the type of prayer where you stand on something that God has promised or made provision for, and if this verse calls it a prayer of faith, then it is obviously something that there is provision for (see Matthew 8:16-17 for the provision concerning our physical healing).
Most of the time, when a person goes before the Lord in prayer for a healing, they simply hope that they will receive their healing. They call it faith, but it's really just hope. They can hope really hard, and build up lots and lots of hope, and walk away disappointed because it doesn't happen. Then they go on in life suffering and worse yet, they go around telling other children of God that He wants them to suffer! What blasphemy against the loving nature of God!
What is the difference between a prayer of faith and hope? As I mentioned earlier, faith involves assurance but hope does not. A prayer of faith can only be prayed for something that is promised or made provision for us by God. The forgiveness of our sins is a prayer of faith, and according to the Word of God, so is prayer for our physical healing.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
The problem is that most people just hope that God heals them when they are prayed over, but friends, hope is NOT faith.
You may not need a healing
From working with deliverance ministries, I will tell you from experience that many sicknesses and diseases are not physical, but demonic. There are a variety of examples of this in the scriptures, where demons would cause boils (see the book of Job), to muteness, and bone/spinal infirmities. Here are a couple examples:
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.... And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
There are numerous healings that take place in deliverance sessions. Healings from things such as arthritis, cancer, physical pain, epilepsy, etc. are not uncommon to manifest when casting out demons. Henry Wright, an internationally famous minister said that every case of epilepsy that came to him for a healing was healed - so what was the root? The same deaf and dumb spirit that Jesus cast out of the boy who experienced seizures in the Bible!
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
If you try to pray for a healing, when you actually have a demon which needs to be removed, you might be praying right into your grave because you're not addressing the root of the problem.
Cancer is a demon
I believe that Benny Hinn, Perry Stone, and others who are in the healing ministry will tell you first-hand that cancer is almost always caused by an evil spirit. So when somebody says, "Well, it was God calling grandma home - it was her time to go." What the headline should actually read is, "Child of God gets killed by an evil spirit, and Christians claim that it was God's timing to take that person home." GIVE ME A BREAK!
The other day, I received an email from a deliverance minister who is a dear friend of mine, and he was telling about how they just ran a woman through deliverance and drove out several evil spirits, and when these demons left her body, she was instantly healed of various physical infirmities including cancer! This man of God has seen scores of healings take place during deliverance sessions with people!
I was talking with a doctor recently, and was saying how cancer is a demon, and he agreed that I had a good point. Medical science does not know the root cause of cancer, and one man who had cancer saw his X-rays, only to find a demonic looking face in his hip where the cancer was. He asked the doctor what that was about, and the doctor said that they saw it quite often with cases of cancer. Make no mistake, Satan really is a killer, and he's using spirits of cancer to take out millions of God's children! When is the last time you heard of a demon physically attacking a person and killing them? Yet Jesus made it very clear that one of Satan's goals in our lives is to take us to the grave early by killing our physical bodies!
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
You gotta know God!
You have to know somebody before you can really put your faith in them. That is why it is important to spend quality time with God, just as you would your wife, children, or friends. You need to get to know Him, so that you can put your confidence in what He says.
King David knew the love of His heavenly daddy when he said:
David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
How do you come to know God? You spend time in His Word. The Bible has a lot to say about the nature of God, and how you can trust Him. If you read one account after the next of a compassionate and loving Jesus that wants us to heal, deliver and bless us, then it's hard not to begin to trust Him with our lives as well.
Imagine the truth of your healing
Satan will often build fear in people by constantly injecting 'what if' thinking into their mind. They meditate on the fearful possibilities, and strongholds quickly begin to form in their minds. The devil will try to get a person to imagine the worse in a situation; because that is the key to break down their faith. So let's turn this around, and use our imagination for the glory of God. Let's imagine ourselves healed. Let's begin to imagine what it will be like to receive our healing!
I'm telling you, this tactic is dynamic and works!
Satan's next tactic against faith
If Satan can't blind you to the truth about healing and how Jesus paid a steep price for your healing, then he will attempt to make you feel like you are unworthy to take hold of this truth in the Word. He will attempt to get you in a religious mindset, and begin to pull up your past as an excuse or reason to why you are not healed.
Once you (a) know the will of God and (b) believe it is true, the next thing Satan will attempt to do is make you feel unworthy to receive or act upon God's Word in that situation.
One day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "You need to know that you're clean... your faith depends upon it!" The problem is that even though you may have all the provisions, if you feel unworthy to receive those provisions, then you will not reach out with confidence (faith) and receive. While by our own efforts are not made worthy, by the precious blood of the Lamb we are made worthy to enter the holy of holies. If we go on to claim that we are unworthy, after He has made us worthy, this is denying the work that Christ has accomplished for us on the cross! It has nothing to do with our righteousness; it's all about the righteousness of Christ that is upon us:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Biblical faith in a nutshell
If we could wrap Biblical faith up in 3 simple requirements, these would be them:
1. You must know the Word of God, the promises of God, His will, and so forth. This is why spending time daily in the Word is so important!
2. You need to know that the Word of God applies to you. You must accept the truth in the Word concerning your position with Christ, and who you really are. You must accept the truth about being washed clean from your sins, and feel a clean conscience because of what Christ has done for you. This is important because you stand against Satan when he tries to remind you of your past failures and say, "You aren't worthy to receive those promises and provisions of God!" Friend, if the Blood has made you worthy, then let no demon in hell tell you otherwise!
3. You must accept the Word of God as truth. If it tells you that Jesus paid the price for your healing, then you need to accept it as truth with childlike faith. Simply believe what God has said is true. This is true Christian faith. It's merely believing what God says is true.