Divine Healing: A Blood-Bought Benefit

Rock of Offence Commentary

"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed."

( Ps 103:1-6 KJV)

God's wants to bless his people. Yet, this simple truth is beyond the understanding of many professing Christians. Most have been sold a religious bill of goods that isolates them from God's help in a critical time of need. Our unrelenting proclamation is that ALL the benefits of God's salvation are available to the Christian as the result of Christ's blood covenant! My spiritual life changed forever when I discovered the truths that govern a blood covenant also applied to the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ permanently opened God's vast storehouse of resources to satisfy the needs of anyone who approaches by faith. Yet, real Biblical faith is the only way it's available. Multitudes want to access God's resources--but they want to do it their way, or through religious ideologies. The unintended consequence is that the need goes unfulfilled. This tragic outcome isn't God's fault. But, He gets the blame anyway-- or worse--all kinds of false teachings spread throughout the church explaining why He doesn't do what He said He would do.

As we discuss divine healing the reader may notice a "defensive" edge to my writing. Some people feel that exposing misinformation clouds the “holiness” of this topic. Jesus commonly used the false religious teaching of his day to illustrate kingdom truth. I want to follow His example. It is necessary to warn the reader about some common beliefs that hinder our relationship with God.

Healing: Salvation's Twin Doctrine

On this website we discuss topics that expose spiritual counterfeits. One important characteristic of a counterfeit gospel is the removal of divine healing from the message. So far, we haven't talked much about this common practice. Yet, the Scriptures expose the error by showing us how Jesus and the early apostles shared the gospel. Therefore, honest stewards of God's Word should also include the ministry of healing with preaching the Gospel. They go hand-in-hand. Can you receive salvation without hearing about healing? Of Course. Yet, the practice cheats listeners out of an important benefit of the cross. It subtly warps people's conception of a loving Heavenly Father into someone who wants them sick. When this happens the message is corrupted from its original meaning. Redefining or removing the subject of divine healing isn't the only "cheating" that goes on in the modern church. The Bible sheds some light on this topic in the verses below:

"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them." (Matt 4:23-24 KJV)

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matt 9:35 KJV)

"And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where." (Luke 9:6 KJV)

"And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing." (Luke 9:11 KJV)

Little is said about the relationship between preaching the Gospel and healing. Yet, Jesus demonstrated the connection throughout his earthly ministry. He spent more than half of his time healing sick people. Some tell us that God doesn't heal much anymore--or that the dispensation of miracles has passed. Some of these same people rightly say that salvation is freely available to anyone who wants it. Yet, it's a distortion to strip healing out of the salvation message! When healing is thrown out...the Gospel is corrupted. This is a common practice in modern evangelism.

Healing: God's Will For All

As churches move farther away from the Biblical norm something happens: The supernatural power of God stops working. In order to explain why healing and miracles are infrequent spiritual leaders create various doctrines and teachings to appease their congregations. Some of these teachings are wrongly accepted on an equal footing with God's Word. One such teaching explains that God heals some, but not all. The teaching suggests that God shows partiality (the Bible says He doesn't) to allow sickness and disease to bring you into a closer relationship with Himself. This cruel mindset suggests that God allows and sends sickness according to His "wisdom" so that you can mature as a Christian. I believe that this popular teaching is a product of hell and comes from the false church--not the true church. It prevents desperate people from receiving the healing that God freely bestows. It also warps our conception of a loving God into someone who "blesses" us by sending disease. A curse is changed into a blessing--and a blessing is changed into a curse. This is the legacy of the false church.

Thank God it's not that way! Below, the Bible shows us that God doesn't practice partiality when it comes to healing.

"Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all..." (Matt 12:14-15 KJV)

"And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." (Luke 6:17-19 KJV)

"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 Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." (Matt 8:16-17 KJV)

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matt 9:35 KJV)

"And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing." (Luke 9:11 KJV)

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38 KJV)

And...God's will to heal everyone didn't stop after Jesus left the scene:

"And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one." (Acts 5:12-16 KJV)

Either these people had an unusually high level of piety and maturity, or we've been misled about the principles that govern healing. In some places Jesus healed everybody! He didn't go through the crowd and separate out the ones who needed more piety and maturity, instructing them that they needed to be sick a little longer. He didn't lay hands on people to make them sick so they could get a closer relationship with him. He healed all that needed healing! What some in the modern church teach about healing is ridiculous--and sad. I believe it's spiritually cruel.

A New Testament Model For Healing

The clearest example of divine healing principles are evident in the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Let's read the story for some exciting truth.

"And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." (Mark 5:21-34 KJV)

Several facts "stand out" in this story--facts that invalidate much of what is taught in the modern church about healing. Notice that a crowd of people surrounded Jesus. Many were pressing and touching him from all sides. Some Bible teachers speculate that people were touching him hoping to receive something (hope is not faith). Then, a woman with an issue of blood (a serious illness) arrives. She not only believes (had real faith), but also says that if she can only touch Jesus' clothes she will get well. She moves close to Jesus and touches his clothes and is immediately healed. Jesus felt the healing power leave him, but didn't know who received it. This is an amazing fact! Jesus turned around and said, "Who touched my clothes?" The disciples were perplexed as to why he would say this since everyone was touching him.

Some undeniable conclusions can be made at this point. First, Jesus was not in control of this healing. Second, the healing was not based on the woman's spiritual maturity or piety. Third, the "wisdom" Jesus possessed did not determine her healing.

Notice that Jesus took no credit for the miracle. He credits the woman's faith. Jesus was the source of healing power, but faith was necessary to draw it out. The rest of the crowd "hoped" to receive something. The woman had faith to receive. Under the new covenant God's healing power is still available. God is not sitting up in heaven deciding who gets healed--and who doesn't. Only faith (the Bible kind) is necessary to receive the benefit.

Another account from the Bible tells much the same story.

"And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching." (Mark 6:1-6 KJV)

In the story of the woman with the issue of blood--what prevented the pressing crowd from receiving from Jesus? Lack of Biblical faith. In the story above from Mark 6--what prevented Jesus from doing might works? Unbelief. It seems like the Bible is saying that receiving from God has more to do with the condition of our faith than it does with God's will. The Bible says that God's will about our healing is already set. Jesus purchased our healing. Healing belongs to us. If this is true (and it is) then our faith is what determines the outcome.

Healing: The Sign Of A Believer

God designed the Gospel to be identified by certain characteristics. In our article Seven Characteristics of the Gospel of Christ I explore some characteristics of the authentic Gospel message. As we've said before, there's hundreds of different "gospels" in the world of "Christian Orthodoxy". Different gospels existed during the time of Saint Paul and the first century Church. This fact caused Paul to warn believers of the danger. For now, God said that He won't do anything about this disparity. Yet, a change is coming soon if I'm reading the signs of the times correctly. It makes me sad to see God's people denied healing because someone taught them wrong. Divine healing is the most basic demonstration of a father's love. And, one of the the most prominent "signs" of the real Gospel.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:12-14 KJV)

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." (Mark 16:17-20 KJV)

False Teaching Blocks Divine Healing

When discussing the topic of healing and miracles we see a principle that few people consider. Faith is a prerequisite for receiving from God.. You can't get saved without faith. You don't please God without faith. You don't get healed without faith. Popular religious teaching states that God freely does whatever He wants. When someone gets healed it's because God decided (for some reason) it was His will. When someone doesn't get healed it is because God decided it wasn't His will. Many professing Christians falsely believe this is the Bible definition of "faith". In reality, "Biblical" faith is completely incompatible with this way of thinking. Some popular teachings suggest that faith is nothing more than trusting God to "do the right thing"--and whatever you get is God's will no matter how destructive it is. Others believe that God does whatever he wants...and that a person's faith is insignificant or unimportant.

The unintended consequence of these "faith counterfeits" effectively block you from receiving God's help. When we fail to get healed some spiritual leaders tell us that God wants us sick and that it's a sin to question his wisdom. This belief not only contradicts the Bible, but it distorts our conception of a loving Heavenly Father. The Bible teaches that God has a specific way of doing things. Cooperating with God's ways bring healing. It involves possessing a certain kind of knowledge. If we don't possess the knowledge of how healing is received we'll fail to get it. All of God's blessings are received through the knowledge of His ways. Our glorious salvation is realized by cooperating with God's principle of faith in Christ. The Bible teaches that salvation doesn't come any other way. It doesn't matter how urgent the need is--if we lack the knowledge of God's ways, help can't reach us. This is why preaching the "full" Gospel is important. It educates people about God's ways. It's not that he won't help us as some suggest--it's because He can't. We live in a physical world and God dwells in the spiritual world. Without going into another long teaching--"faith" is God's way for resources to flow from the world of the spirit to our physical world. You might not like this arrangement. Your church may have instructed you in a different way. Yet, if you want to receive anything from God--it comes His way.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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." (James 1:5-7 KJV)

When there's no faith (by God's definition) resources can't flow. Most professing Christians believe they have God's kind of faith when they actually possess a false religious "look-alike" faith taught by their church. Religious thinking redefines Godly faith into something that's false and counterfeit--shutting off the flow. We can now understand how the woman with the issue of blood was healed. Jesus said that her faith made her well. The crowd surrounding Jesus was continually touching him, but received nothing--no power flowed. Yet, the woman touched him and was instantly healed. Jesus didn't decide the outcome; the woman did! This one truth will change your life--if you let it.

We can also understand why so many professing Christians experience sickness, disease, disaster and destruction. It's not God's will as some teach. God's Word gives us everything we need to know about how to receive. Yet, false religious teaching and believing wrong things can cheat us--even of our very life.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...(Hosea 4:6 KJV)

Healing: It's Purchased With Blood

For the new covenant Christian healing is a blood-bought benefit. I often think about the injustice that occurs when God's people neglect or reject such a precious benefit like healing. Jesus gave everything to purchase our redemption. We then turn around and allow others to convince us to throw portions of it away. Let's honor what Jesus did by "not forgetting" all his benefits, like Psalms 103:1-6 says. Let's remember that Jesus purchased our healing by spilling his blood.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isa 53:5 KJV)

"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." (1 Pet 2:24 KJV)

You can discover more information on this topic in the articles, Basics Of Biblical Faith and The Blessings Of Abraham.

Copyright © 2003 Rock of Offence
Most recent revision March 2003