The Doctrine of Healing

The doctrine of healing is a large subject. There have been many books written and many sermons preached about healing. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to give you a summary of this topic, so that you can release your faith to receive this wonderful gift from God and to help others receive their healing.

There are four ways revealed in the Bible that confirm that it is God’s will to heal us.

The first way, is because it is His very nature to heal us: One of the redemptive names of God is “Jehovah Rapha” which is “The Lord your healer.” (Exodus 15:26) The Hebrew word “Rapha” means to mend by stitching or to make completely whole. In the Jewish tradition, there is a connection between a name and the character of a person. Therefore, if healing is in the very name of God, then it must be His will to heal us. Can you imagine if someone announced, “The Healer will be with us today.” What would we expect? We would expect that person to heal us!

It was not only our sins that caused God the Father to send Jesus to die for us on the cross, but our sicknesses as well. Therefore, just as much as God hates sin, He also hates sickness, because sickness is from the devil. Therefore, when we realize this, our faith will increase to receive healing.

The second way, is because of the atonement of Jesus: In Matthew 8:17 it is written that Jesus carried our sickness and our pains. In 1 Peter 2:24 we read, “By the stripes of Jesus we were healed.” On the cross Jesus not only took our sins and gave us His righteousness, He also took our sicknesses and gave us His healing and health. Therefore, if we belong to Jesus, then we are in covenant relationship with God, and healing belongs to us legally.

Furthermore, if we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it also means that we have already received the healing that He purchased for us on the cross. It says in 1 Peter 2:24, that “by His stripes we were healed,” and not “by His stripes we will be healed.” Legally, we were already healed two thousand years ago when Jesus died on the cross for us. Therefore, we do not have to ask God to heal us, but receive the healing that He has already given to us, by faith. If God has already Furthermore, if Jesus was so cruelly scourged, almost to the point of death in order for us to be healed, then there should be no doubt that it is God’s will to heal us.

The third reason why we know it is God’s will to heal us, is because of the ministry of Jesus: Jesus said in John 6:38For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” One of the most important things He did on earth was to heal the sick. In Acts 10:38 we read, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Not only did Jesus heal the sick, but He healed all who came to Him for healing! Therefore, this should be our standard today; everyone who is sick can be healed! Jesus is our example, He said in John 20:21As the Father sent Me, I send you.”

Moreover, Jesus did not heal those who deserved to be healed, but he healed those who needed to be healed.  God will heal us not because we are good people, or we have reached so high level of spiritual maturity! Therefore, all we have to do is to believe. Therefore, just as the Father sent Jesus to heal the sick, it is our responsibility to heal the sick. If this was an important focus in the life of Jesus, then it must be also be an important focus in our lives!

The fourth reason, healing was the practice of the church in the book of Acts: The standard set by the early church in the book of Acts, is the standard by which we are to live today. It is supposed to be the normal Christian life! There are many examples of healing in the book of Acts:

In Acts 3:6 we read how Peter and John healed the lame man, “Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  In Acts 5:15-16 we read how people were healed by the shadow of Peter. Notice in verse 16 it says, “They were all healed.” In Acts 8:7-8 we read about Philip in Samaria, “Many who were lame and paralyzed were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”

Many were also healed through the ministry of Paul, for example in Acts 14:9-10 we read how Paul healed a lame man and said to him in a loud voice, “Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” We can go on and on with more examples. It was the healing of the sick that opened the door for the preaching of the gospel. Paul said in Romans 15:19, “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Ten ways to receive and minister healing:

(1) Laying on of hands and the anointing with oil: In Mark 16:17-18, we read, These signs shall follow those who believe … they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” We see that the laying on of hands was the most common way to pray for the sick. There are many examples in the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the apostles in the book of Acts where they laid hands on the sick and they were healed. The laying on of hands is a prophetic action to transfer the anointing of the Holy Spirit into the body of the sick person to heal them.

In James 5:14-15 we read, “Is there anyone among you who is sick?  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 if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” The Greek word ‘save’ here means to heal or deliver.  We notice that it is the elders of the church that pray which implies the context of a local church situation. That is why it is important for all of us to belong to a local church.  Furthermore, it says, “and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”  The laying on of hands was not only for the healing of the sick, but also for forgiveness of sins.

(2) Take a steps of faith: Jesus often said to those whom He healed, “Your faith has made you well.” (Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52) Often we need to take a step of faith in order to receive our healing. We read about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus garment. In Mark 5:28 she said to herself, “If I may touch His clothes I shall be made well.” She took the step of faith and was healed. We have the example of the ten lepers who were healed. The Bibles says in Luke 17:14, that “As they went they were cleansed.” There are many other examples in the Bible. Sometimes we can take a step of faith and do that which we could not do before. For example, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand!” (Matthew 12:13)

(3) Declare words of healing with authority: We see this in the life of Jesus. He often just spoke, and people were healed. He would say, “Get up and walk,” or “Be healed” or “your faith has made you well.”  We also have an example of this when Peter and John said to the crippled man, “Stand up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) Paul did the same when he said to a lame man in a loud voice, “Stand upright on thy feet.  (Acts 14:10) Jesus said in Mark 11:23, Jesus said,  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” We can use our authority in Christ and command sickness and infirmity to depart. We will see more miracles of healing take place when we use our spiritual authority and command sickness and infirmities to depart in the name of Jesus.

(4) Meditating and confessing the Word of God: We read in Proverbs 4:20My son, give attention to my words … for they are life to all who find them and health to all their flesh. The Bible says that, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of the Lord.” (Romans 10:17) There are many healing promises in the Bible. Therefore, as we meditate on them and confess them, faith will grow in our heart to receive our miracles of healing. Many have been healed by simply meditating on scriptures of healing.

Yonnghi Cho from Korea once gave a testimony of a girl that came to him for healing. She had a large tumor on her throat. He told her to first write out a thousand times, the scripture, “By His stripes I was healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) When she had completed writing out this scripture, the cancer disappeared without him having to pray for her. The following short declaration can assist us to receive our healing:

“I believe that God is the Lord my healer, and none of the diseases of this world will come on me. (Exodus 15:16) Just as God has forgiven me all my sins, He has healed me from all my sicknesses. (Psalms 103:3) Jesus has carried all my sickness and all my diseases on the cross two thousand years ago (Matthew 8:17) and by his stripes I was healed (1 Peter 2:24) It is Therefore, God’s will for me to prosper and to have good health (3 John 1:2). Therefore, by faith I lay hands on my body right now and I command all sickness and pain to leave in the name of Jesus. (Mark 16:18) I declare that in the name of Jesus, through faith in His name, I am healed. (Acts 3:16)

(5) Commanding the demons that cause the sickness to leave: Many sicknesses are caused by demons. We have the example of Jesus, who often healed the sick by commanding the demon behind the sickness to leave. For example, Jesus healed a woman who had an infirmity. We read in Luke 13:11-13, “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 he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” 

We also read in Mark 1:34  how Jesus, ” … healed many who were sick and cast out many demons.” Casting out demons and healing the sick often go together. In fact, many will not be healed unless we cast out the demon behind the sickness. I have often seen people healed after I commanded the demon behind the sickness to go. Smith Wigglesworth said that most cancers are caused by demons and we need to command them to leave in order if we want the person to be healed.

We have already read the scripture in Acts 10:38 that speaks about Jesus “… healing all that were oppressed of the devil…” Therefore, we can command the demon behind the sickness to leave, or if we do not know the name of the demon, we can simply command the demon that is causing the sickness to leave.

(6) We can obey a specific instruction of the Holy Spirit: Sometimes the Holy Spirit will show us how to heal the sick. We have the example of Jesus how He sometimes laid hands on the sick, (Matthew 8:2) or He put mud in the persons eyes, (John 9:11) or sometimes He told them to take a step of faith. An example of this is when He told the lepers to go and show themselves to the high priests. The Bible says, that “as they went they were healed.” (Luke 17:14)

It is important not to just rush in and pray for people, but to wait and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. To be led by the Holy Spirit is one of the most important keys to healing.  A few years ago, someone that I knew went to pray for a sick woman in Russia. He asked the Holy Spirit, to show Him what to do. He felt the Holy Spirit tell him to give the woman a glass of salt water to drink. As she drank the water, she was instantly healed. Therefore, is not only important that we heal the sick, but also how we heal the sick.

(7) Repentance and forgiveness is often a big issue when we heal the sick: In James 5:16 it says, “Confess your faults to one another that you may be healed.” Sometimes sickness in the soul will result in sickness in the body and there is a link between sickness and sin. We have the example when Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. After he was healed, Jesus said to him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”  (John 5:14) William Brahman, who was one of the great healing evangelists, would often challenge people to repent of their sins before he would pray for their healing.

I once spoke on the importance of forgiveness in a church in the east of Russia. There was a young man in the service who was filled with bitterness towards a group of hooligans who beat him up and damaged his back. When he forgave them, his back was immediately healed. Therefore, the sin of un-forgiveness can often block people receiving their healing. We once prayed for a girl who went blind due to diabetes in the south of Kyrgyzstan. She was involved in immoral sexual relationships and only after she repented of her sin, did her eyesight begin to return.

(8) It is important we cultivate the presence of the Holy Spirit: Many have been healed by simply being in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 5:17 we read about Jesus, that “The power of God was present to heal them.” We can build up the presence of God through worship and praise and then expect miracles to happen. This is the way that Kathryn Kuhlman used to operate. She would build up the presence of the Holy Spirit in her meetings through worship and then watch the miracles happen. I have noticed that it is easier to pray for the sick when there is an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the context of a church meeting.

In Genesis 1:2-3 we read, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” When the Holy Spirit and the word of God came together, creation took place. In the same way, when we have the combination of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the declaration of the word of God, miracles of healing often take place. I once spoke in a church on the subject of joy. After the message, when there was a considerable length of praise and rejoicing, people began to be healed in their seats. If healing is imparted by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, then it is often helpful to cultivate the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit when we heal the sick.

(9). We need to develop healthy positive emotions: Medical science tells us that most diseases are caused by emotional stress and depression. Negative emotions can cause illness in the body. (For example, anxiety, stress, depression, and fear)  Proverbs 17:22 says: “A merry heart [a]does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”  We also read in Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant (happy) words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Therefore, it is important that we develop good joyful emotional emotions. I once heard of a famous writer who had an incurable disease. For two weeks he watched funny movies that made him laugh. After that he was completely healed.

(10) Healing can take place through natural means:  We read in Exodus 23: 5, “He (God) will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”  Healthy nutrition causes a healthy body! Sickness is often the result of bad habits, such as eating unhealthy food, not enough exercise and sleep. Therefore, as we eat healthily, drink enough water, get enough sleep and exercise, we can heal ourselves naturally. It is futile to believe God to heal us and still continue with bad physical habits.

Final thoughts on healing:

We must not let the opinions of the world influence us. For example, people expect to get the flu in winter! Or they would tell us that as we get older we can expect problems with arthritis and other age related diseases.  We do not find this in the Bible. In 3 John 1:2, we read, “I would that you prosper and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” This is God’s will! Therefore, we must not settle for anything less than good health right up into old age. Moses, Abraham and others in the Bible enjoyed good health right into their old age. When Jesus carried all our sicknesses and diseases it was not only for those under the age of 40, but for all of us! Therefore, we must not let advancing years have the legal right to take away our healing.

We do not always have to wait for some “spiritual person” to pray for us: Jesus said in “To them that believe … they shall lay hands on the sick!(Mark 16:17-18) It says, those that believe, not those who are super spiritual can lay hands on the sick. This is open to all of us who believe. Furthermore, if there is no-one to lay hands on us, we can lay hands on ourselves and take steps of faith for our own healing. I have often been healed by laying hands on myself and declaring the word of healing over my own life.

Faith is not always required by those to whom we minister healing: Many of those whom we pray for are not in a place to have faith, especially if they are un-believers. If we pray for the sick, then we are responsible to believe and have faith. Most of the people whom Jesus healed, did not have the faith to be healed. The classic example of this is the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, he said, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool.” Jesus ignored his unbelief and said in the next verse, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” (John 5:7-8)  I have seen this over and over in my own experience. I once prayed for the healing of a Muslim man in India. I tried to persuade him to accept Christ, but he was not interested. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “salvation is not a prerequisite for healing.” I then prayed for him and he was healed anyway. 

We must see healing as an obligation that we owe to others: The Bible says that we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living in us (Ephesians 1:21) Therefore, we are under obligation to heal the sick. Jesus said in Matthew 10:7-8, “… as ye go, preach, saying; ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils ...”Notice, Jesus said to them, “as you go.” Therefore, this should be our lifestyle.

Finally:

We may ask ourselves the question, “what if they are not healed?” The answer to that question is, “what if they are healed.” We should always expect Jesus to heal everyone that we pray for. Therefore, if healing is very important to God then it must be important to us. I trust that this study will inspire you to receive your own miracle of healing and give you the faith to heal others. Amen