I want to share some powerful facts about God’s provision in the realm of divine healing. I will be the very first person to say that I do not understand all the ways of God. However, I am comforted by this scripture. I do not have to understand everything about God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God knows what he is doing. I just see and understand with the eyes of a man. I don’t have all the answers as to why some get healed and others don’t. I don’t have all the answers as to why some suffer such physical pain in life and others don’t suffer at all. I don’t get it or understand it. But I do know this.
- God can be trusted.
- God’s word can be believed.
- God’s power can be demonstrated.
- Believers are supposed to believe God for the miraculous.
What Jesus did for us on the cross is absolutely incredible.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
What does “by His stripes” mean exactly? This verse prophetically looked forward hundreds of years into what was then yet future to a day when Jesus Christ would literally become the suffering servant Isaiah talked about. We know that Jesus Christ before he was put upon a cross received stripes upon his back. Those stripes were a result of a cat of nine tails. Those stripes were administered by a Roman Soldier who literally took that whip and beat Jesus back with it until stripes appeared. Those stripes were severe. 39 times the whip came down.
If we believe that Jesus death on the cross provides us with forgiveness from transgressions. And if we believe his death provides atonement for our iniquities. And if we believe that his death was the chastisement of God upon him for our peace with God. Then we have to believe the last phrase of this verse that says, “by his stripes we are healed.”
In fact, Peter writes and sees what Jesus did on the whipping post as a finished work. Jesus said, “It is finished” before he died. He completed what was necessary on the cross for divine healing to be administered in the world. 1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” Not are healed, but were healed. In other words, the work for your healing has already been finished. Your healing is available.
Why doesn’t everyone get healed? I don’t know. But I do know one thing. God tells us to pray! I have seen the miracle working power of God. I have seen people prayed for and they were healed. My own son was healed overnight from stuttering as a child. Some are healed slowly. Others are healed through doctors and medicines. Others receive healing in what can only be described as the supernatural and miraculous ways.
My intent today is to challenge our thinking and raise our faith level. That will happen as we look at the origin of sickness and disease and the provision God has made. Where does sickness and disease come from anyway? What does the bible say?
Divine healing is available regardless of the origin of sickness and disease.
- Some sickness is a result of the fall of man.
In fact, we could say that all sickness and disease is a result of the fall. Any other type of theology about sickness and disease creates a lot of problems. Having pastored a long time, I have learned that if people do not have this understanding, it creates problems. People get sick because they are a part of the human race.
I have seen some ugliness where people don’t understand that. Some people think they know more than God and become quick to judge others. When someone gets sick, we should have compassion on them and faith for healing. Sometimes ugly things are said.
- They deserve it because of their past.
- They just do not have faith or this would not have happened.
- They must have sinned.
- God is judging them.
That type of thinking is not only ugly but also leaves out an important part of theology. That theology is that sickness and disease are a result of the fall. Jesus himself dealt with this issue with his disciples. In John chapter nine, as Jesus was traveling, he and his disciples saw a man who was blind from birth. John 9:2-3 “His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” The disciples made the mistake that many people try to make in trying to understand sickness and disease. They make the false assumption: You sin, you get sick. Wrong. You are part of the fallen human race, therefore you get sick. Beyond that, it could very well be that God wants his work displayed in someone’s life.
Here is the issue: The problem of sickness and disease is intertwined with the problem of sin and death. Sickness came to the planet as a result of the fall of man. There was no sickness in the garden of Eden before the fall. There was no pain. Any theologian will tell you that. Pain in the human race was a result of the fall of man. Medical Science views the causes of sickness and death in physiological and medical terms (and rightly so). But the Bible presents spiritual causes as the underlying or basic problem of sickness and disease. Sin brought death to the human race, and along with it came sickness and disease.
Be careful in this thinking. That does not mean that if you get a cold the morning after you cussed when you stubbed your toe that it is a result of sin. The reason why you got a cold is because you are part of the human race and the human race is subject to sin and death and sickness and disease. That cold is a consequence of being a part of a race that is separated from God. Sin in general is the underlying cause, not specific sin.
Many churches fall into error when they try to tell people. If you are sick, it is because there is sin in your life. They are making some ridiculous assumptions. Who appointed those people God anyway to make such a judgmental statement. At one point in the Old Testament, even a prophet of God got sick and died. 2 Kings 13:14a “Now Elisha was suffering from the illness from which he died.” Did Elisha sin? The Bible does not say that. I will tell you this. This book is clear when it comes to letting us know who sinned and who didn’t. Certainly, it was not about his faith level. Elisha did twice the miracles as did Elijah. Why did he get sick and die? Because sickness and disease are a part of the consequence of sin and death. Now here is the good news. The good news is that Jesus on the cross made provision for us to receive healing.
Jesus redeemed us from the curse. When man fell the curse of sin and death came to humanity and along with it sickness and disease. Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law and from the curse that came after the fall.
Here is a powerful statement in regard to divine healing. God’s provision in redemption is as extensive as the consequences of the fall. He did not partially redeem man. He did not kind of redeem us. He completely redeemed us.
What are the consequences of the fall? One consequence of the fall is that man is a sinner. Christ died that we might have forgiveness. No one would argue about that. It is as plain as can be…forgiveness is ours through the blood of Jesus.
Another consequence of the fall is physical death. Christ died that we might have life. It is eternal life. It is resurrection life. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Why would Christ death on the cross be sufficient to forgive us of our sins, to free us from our sins, to get us to heaven to die, but God would choose to allow one of the consequences of the fall to go unaddressed? As if God doesn’t even care if we are sick. He did not. I believe that divine healing has been provided for us in the atonement. Anyone that tells you healing is not provided for in the atonement is mistaken. They need to read Matthew 8:16-17 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.“
There are people who teach that Isaiah 53:5 and the reference to “by His stripes we are healed” only refers to the healing of your soul, or your emotions. It refers to the healing of your spirit man. That cannot be true as these passages quote Isaiah in the context of physical healing of diseases. Jesus was physically healing those with sickness and disease.
We must take a stand for God and His word. Yes, the human race suffers from sickness and disease, but faith says that Jesus shed his blood not only for our sin, but also that sickness must flee in the name of Jesus. His redemption is as extensive as the consequences of the fall.
Matthew was quoting Isaiah 53:4. Youngs Literal Translation proves to us that he was carrying our sickness to the cross. ”Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them,”. Jesus made provision for your healing on the cross.
- Some sickness may be a result of specific sin
Medical science will even testify to this. Let me preface this whole discussion by saying it is not my job or your job or anybody else’s save the Holy Spirit to link someone’s sin with a sickness.
Under the old covenant in Exodus God revealed to his people that he was a God who healed. But if we take a close look the promise back in Exodus to Gods people was conditional. Exodus 15:26 “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
I am not saying this because I believe that our health is conditional on us achieving some type of standard of holiness. However, this old covenant text does prove that God is concerned with how people live. This is true in the New Testament as well. 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” You see, the condition of your soul is important to God. God will use everything he can to deal with the condition of your soul.
Now, I do not believe that God puts sickness and disease on us. However, what God does is that when we sin he allows the consequences of that sin in our life and sometimes that consequence is sickness. If we do not honor our body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and smoke, it is likely we will get lung cancer. If we are promiscuous and sleep around and commit sexual immorality, we may get a venereal disease.
If that happens to someone, we cannot say that God put that disease on them. It came as a result of their choices. And this is not just a question of them being a part of the human race. It came as a result of choices they made. Sin does have consequences.
There are two questions that I want to answer: First, will God use that scenario to deal with them about their soul? I think he will. He cares about them and loves them. Did he give them the disease? No! They broke Gods laws and got that disease. Secondly, and most importantly, Does the fact that they have sinned put them outside of the provision of Christ atonement for their healing? Is divine healing not available because they sinned? Of course not!
Here is what we know. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He will try to accuse the person who has sinned saying, “You are not worthy of receiving your healing. Because you messed up, that is it, you have had it! God doesn’t love you enough to heal you.” Let me tell you up front that Satan says is a lie. You may speak Japanese. You may speak Chinese. Satan speaks “lying-ease”. He lies with ease. It is his native language. I think this is the biggest area that Satan tries to bring unbelief in regards to healing. He will tell you that your sinful action will deny you your healing. But I will assure you, God will use the situation to straighten your heart out spiritually and that His healing is available.
Let me give you a case study and then some scripture. If there was ever a man who did not deserve healing in the New Testament. It was a man by the name of Saul. You can read about him in Acts 9. Saul was a persecutor of the church. He stood by and watched the stoning of Stephen. He held the others’ clothes while they did the deed. He was the reason why the church in Jerusalem was poor. He had killed many of the men, or badly maimed them. He was a persecutor. He was not a believer in Jesus. What we know is that one day on the road to Damascus Saul had an encounter with the Resurrected Christ. Acts 9:3 “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.” What we know is that he heard a voice that spoke to him saying. “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” That voice and that light was Jesus. Saul wound up blinded. Something like scales where on his eyes. He could not see. Now let me take this a little further. Later on in his writings as Paul, he refers to himself as the Chief of Sinners! Of all the people who should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah. It should have been Saul. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was raised at the feet of Gamaliel. He was knew the scriptures from a child. Yet, he was persecuting the church.
Did he deserve healing? No! But guess what? Nobody deserves healing. We are all sinners! It is not about our righteousness. It is about His grace! Saul was blind. He was led into Damascus, where he fasted and prayed for three days. God appears to a prophet named Ananias and says, Go pray for Saul, he has seen a man named Ananias putting his hands on him to restore his sight. When Ananias got there, the first words he tells Saul is, “Brother Saul.” He called a persecutor of the church brother! That is grace. Something had happened. Saul had been born into the family of God. We know Ananias prayed for him. Act 9:18 “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eye, and he could see again…” It is not your worthiness that allows for your healing. It is the worthiness of the shed blood of Jesus!
Do not let The Accuser of the brethren put any unbelief in you! Stand up and receive all that Christ provided.
You may be thinking, I am a believer. I sinned while I was a Christian. Saul was not a believer in Jesus. Let’s go to the book of James and see God’s provision. James 5:14-16 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
You see, God knew when he inspired the scriptures what Satan would try to do. He knew that Satan would try to rob us of what was provide for us in the atonement. That is why he had the Holy Spirit inspire this phrase: “If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” It doesn’t say that the person who sins has forfeited their right to healing. He just tells the person to confess his or her sins to each and pray that they can be healed. What a wonderful God!
Here is what I think the passage teaches us. This is not talking about private confession of sin to God. It is talking about sharing with the elders as we come for prayer. If the enemy is accusing us and there is some truth to it. Just confess it. Just say, “Before you pray for me, I want to confess, this is what I have done.” It says, not only will your sins be forgiven, you will be healed.
Provision is made for your healing but there is the added requirement of confession. Some sickness comes because we are part of the human race. Some sickness comes as a result of specific sin. And then…
- Some sickness comes as a result of Satan
I hope you see I am laying a foundation for faith in this article. If your sickness is because you are part of the human race, understand that God’s redemption is as extensive as the consequence of the fall. If your sickness is a result of your sin, there is a promise of healing with confession. If your sickness is satanic in origin, you have to know there is provision for that as well. Because Jesus has defeated Satan and all demonic forces. Colossians 2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Jesus defeated Satan.
There is no reason why we should at all be intimidated by Satan. I love the old story of one of the old time preachers named Smith Wigglesworth. One night in the middle of the night he sensed something setting on his bed. There was a presence in the room. Apparently, he woke up and saw that it was Satan sitting there. You would have thought he would stood up and rebuked him in Jesus name. But he just rolled over and said, Oh, its just you, I am going back to sleep.
Jesus was not intimidated by Satan. In fact, it is the other way around. When Jesus was on the earth, the demon powers cried, I know who you are! The holy one of God. Please don’t torment us before the time. Jesus set people free from the enemy.
Some sickness is definitely Satanic in origin. Luke 13:10-13 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” This is a powerful passage of scripture because it teaches some incredible truths. The first thing I want to determine was who was this woman? Was she an unbeliever?
I don’t think so. She was a Jew and obviously she was obviously pretty devout in her devotion because at least you find her in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. In fact, a little bit later on Jesus refers to her as a daughter of Abraham. That was a term of endearment. That was His way of elevating her position in the eyes of those who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath day. Luke 13:16 “Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” She could not have been any more of a believer than she was that day. She was a devout Jew and for 18 long years she had been bound.
Words are important. This woman was bound. This woman was not possessed by a Spirit. It doesn’t say this daughter of Abraham whom Satan has possessed. Does it say possessed? No! It does say whom Satan has bound.
I take a very strong position that Christians cannot be possessed by the devil. You can give the devil a foothold in your life. You can do this by not standing up to him, you can allow him to take authority he has no right to! I will tell you this. Christians cannot be possessed by demons. Demon Spirits cannot occupy the same kingdom as Jesus. When you gave your life to Christ you were translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his dear son. Satan can no longer possess you.
- Can he harass you? Yes.
- Can he trouble you? Yes.
- Can he bring bondage into your life? Yes
Now, here is an important point. Demon possessed people often manifest sickness. If we are really take a look at what the Bible says, we need to understand these things. Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.” This man was possessed and it manifested in physical form. But the woman in this passage was not possessed she was bound.
Satan has a desire for you. He wants you bound. He delights if you are sick. Let me give you another scenario that is similar. We know that Satan had to ask God in order to afflict Job with boils. You will not read anywhere that Job being a perfect man was ever possessed by a Spirit that gave him boils. The boils had their origin in what Satan intended for him. You see, God was allowing for Jobs faith to be tried. Job was afflicted by Satan for a season. God is sovereign over everything.
Jesus did not cast the devil out of this daughter of Abraham. Let’s look specifically at what he did say when he healed her. He said, Luke 13:12 “Woman you are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus simply declared her freedom. When you pray for someone who is a believer, don’t cast the devil out of them.
They are not possessed by a devil. Well, the sickness is in him or her. That is sickness. That is not the devil. Just do what Jesus did, Declare them free in the name of Jesus!
Here is why it is important. The authority Jesus has given you is greater than sickness and disease! If someone is praying for my cold and they start casting demons out of me. I am going to be thinking: Wait a minute. Jesus Christ dwells in me. I am baptized in, immersed in the third person of the Trinity. God the Father is on my side. What devil can cross the blood line? They cannot enter my body.
Now here is the good part. If a sickness is of the enemy, you have authority over the enemy. Why? 1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I know one thing, sometimes the enemy sets his sights on the ones who are serving God. Those who are going after God may find themselves the target of what the enemy wants to do. He wants to stop them. I am sure of this…God’s word has given us power over the enemy! James 4:7 “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” It is time that we get rid of unbelief. It doesn’t matter the origin of the sickness. Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Christians need to understand the origin of sickness and disease and the provision that has been made. I want to challenge you to pray for those who are sick. What if you pray and they don’t get healed? At least you show them that you love them enough to pray for them. But here is a better question. What if you don’t pray and God would have healed them? Or what if you pray and God does heal them?