When Jesus walked the earth, people believed that sickness was from the devil, and that healing was from God.
Things have dramatically changed in two thousand years. Nowadays, many think affliction is allowed (and sometimes sent) by God to build character, and those who pursue the ministry of healing are deceived by the devil.
While the thinking of the Church has changed, God hasn’t. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus healed every person who came to Him asking to be made well. There were no exceptions. It didn’t seem to matter if they had great or weak faith, or even sin issues. They all left His presence with their miracle.
It’s important to note that Jesus was the perfect revelation of the Father. Hebrews 1:3 says, “He is...the exact representation of His nature.” Revealing the Father was a primary assignment in Christ’s coming. What was hidden in the shadows of the Old Testament was clearly seen in the New Testament through the life of Jesus – the love of the Father is extravagant, and everyone is welcome to come and receive.
Yet Jesus was unable to heal the sick. This fact is taken from His own words, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself . . .” He was unable to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, or cleanse the lepers, unless God worked through Him. When He commanded His disciples to do these things, He was requiring them to do what was impossible without God’s help.
Jesus Christ is both the eternal Son of God, and the Son of Man. As God, nothing is impossible for Him. But He chose to live with self-imposed restrictions so that He might be the model for all who would believe in His name. This is a very important part of our theology. If He did miracles as God, I am obviously impressed by His love and power, but I’m not able to duplicate it. However, if He did them as a man through a right relationship with the Father, then I am compelled to become like Him.
Although He lived as a man, He had two unique characteristics; He had no sin to separate Him from the Father, and He was completely dependant on the Holy Spirit to empower Him for the impossible. The blood of Jesus makes us sinless before God. And we have access to the limitless power of heaven through Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Because of this Jesus commanded us to follow Him in all things: even in His confrontation with the impossible, saying, "...greater works than these he will do...” In the same way that Jesus expected fruit out of season from the fig tree (an impossibility) so God requires us to bear fruit from the supernatural realm. He has given us access to that reality through His blood, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
One of the great temptations for the Church is to reduce the Bible to our level of experience. This present move of God, which many have called The Father’s Blessing, has awakened us to God’s purposes. There’s a growing sense of the Church’s indebtedness to the world – that we might represent Jesus properly, which is to re-present Jesus. The cry of our hearts is to lift our experience to the standard set in scripture.
How to join the adventure . . .Since 1995 we [at Bethel Fellowship] have seen several thousand people healed from various afflictions and diseases. In recent months a shift has taken place where we are now seeing more healed in public places than in Church services. The Church is learning to be the Church. In our adventure to embrace this part of the Great Commission, there have been several things we teach and model for those who desire an increase in the supernatural ministry as commissioned by Jesus.
1 Pursue an impartation from those with a Healing anointing. While it’s not always possible to have someone lay hands on you, it is important to pursue it when it’s available. The grace for a particular type of ministry can be received by hearing, yet it is best received when you also have the laying on of hands. (It’s important to remember gifts are free, but maturity - the development of gift – is expensive.) Spend time with people who are doing what you want to do.
2. Cry out to God with prayer with fasting. Be specific. Let Him know exactly what you want. Prayer must be followed by radical obedience to be effective. If I don’t actually lay hands on the sick, there’s little chance of me increasing in the anointing for that ministry. I must give away what I have in order to be entrusted with more.
3. Study the miracle realm as recorded in God’s word. “The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.” Psalm 111:2. I have pleasure in the miracles of God. They are accurate expressions of His nature. Study them. Learn to see as He sees. The secrets to the miracle realm are contained in the pages of scripture. Don’t study so you can teach someone else. Study to learn, by prayerfully reading, with meditation.
4. Living on the Edge . . . If we don’t live on the edge of impossibility we will reduce ministry to what we are capable of doing through our own gifts. “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” The world has heard our words. It’s time for them to see the power.
This article is reproduced with kind permission. By Bill Johnson
This part of our articles library focuses on Healing.
The Healing Hour is my response to a prophetic word from John Paul Jackson to the effect that ‘there was a fresh wind of healing blowing in my direction and that wheel chairs and crutches would be on the wall of the church building’.
The Lord confirmed this to me by the Spirit and the Word and encouraged me to 'Build an Altar for Healing', and that if I would build it, He would come in power.
As a result I felt led to:
1. Offer to the community a daytime healing opportunity each Wednesday morning from 11am till noon and then a further healing opportunity each Thursday evening from 7pm till 8pm.
2. We advertised on the local newspapers.
3. We wrote an article for these newspapers.
4. We placed Posters is key places
5. We prepared Invitation cards and leaflets for the congregation to use.
The service is built around an expectation that the Presence of the Lord would be the key ingredient and that He would be present to heal.
The service is very simple and non-religious.
1. We use a comfortable, carpeted room with seating well spaced to allow access to the people for prayer ministry. We make refreshments freely available.
2. Music is playing throughout – Benny Hinn’s ‘The Master’s Healing Touch’ – Instrumental only – no lyrics.
3. There is a warm but laid back welcome to the people. There have been new people at every Hour. The ratio of ‘own’ people to ‘visitors’ is about 50 – 50.
4. I will give a very short, 10-minute, encouragement from the Word to stimulate faith in the people.
Use of a Gospel story in which Jesus was healing someone. Always pointing people to the cross – Isa53 and 1 Peter 2:24.
5. We then play the track of a CD from Hillsongs – worship series - ‘Amazing love’ – The song is entitled ‘Jesus won it all’.
6. The people are then encouraged to sit in the presence of the Lord expecting to be healed and are encouraged to check out their condition, their symptoms to see what God is doing for them.
7. At this time we have been able to move in the Word of Knowledge to great effect.
8. When the moment is right we release our healing team to go and offer to minister to the people. I will already have trained these ‘healers’ and will have encourage them to ‘bestow’ healing on the people on the basis of Jesus words in Luke 10 and with the conviction that in the Baptism in the Spirit we have received power which we and thereafter to release to the sick.
9. When everyone has been ministered to we offer to pray over and anoint handkerchiefs which can be taken to friends of those in attendance.
10. We announce future Healing Hours and invite them to return to receive further encouragement and especially to make it known to their friends.
11. We offer to pray for people by appointment either in the church or in their home.
12. We invite them to go to an adjoining room for coffee and chat and there establish a relationship with these new people.
Report to date.
1. There have been healings in every service covering a wide range of conditions including physical injuries resulting from road accidents to deep depression.
2. We have received a walking still from a woman who no longer has need for it.
3. We have seen one woman being helped in on crutches and going out unaided. She is now attending the church with her children attending the Sunday school.
4. We had a woman rise from wheel chair and then for the first time in many months sit on a regular chair for the rest of the time.
5. Now some are turning to the Lord for salvation.
6. It is likely that we will draw these new friends into a Teaching Hour and/or a Friendship Hour to ensure spiritual as well as physical improvement.
7. We have held a couple of Celebrations with a Healing emphasis and these have also been powerful times.
8. The key ingredient is the wonderful sense of God’s presence in these services.
The ministry element seems easy and minimal in comparison albeit directed and faith
9. It’s early days but we are greatly encouraged