Is it biblical to believe for divine healing today?
The foundation for our belief in divine healing begins with the study of salvation. Our salvation through Christ Jesus is sufficient to redeem us from both the nature and curse of sin (Romans 5:12; Galatians 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
The Scriptures reveal that we have been given a great salvation (Hebrews 2:3-4). C.I. Scofield gave this Biblical definition of salvation. “The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification.”
There is a connection between the Greek word for salvation soteria and the Hebrew word shalom or “peace.” The word shalom means “completeness, wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, absence of agitation or discord, to be complete, perfect and full.”
This covenant of salvation and peace that we have received through Christ Jesus provides complete wholeness with “nothing missing, nothing broken.” Isaiah 53:5 said the chastisement necessary to bring us this wholeness was laid upon Jesus. His peace encompasses every area of life—including physical healing.
One of the most compelling arguments for divine healing is the fact that Jesus administered healing throughout His earthly ministry. And according to the Scriptures Jesus fulfilled the will of His Father when He healed people (John 4:34; 17:4). The fact that healing is God’s will should not be surprising when we note that God has always wanted His people well (Exodus 15:26).
Healing was a fundamental component of the ministry of Jesus. Matthew 8:16-17 says, “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.” These verses make it particularly clear that the sicknesses and infirmities that Jesus healed were not only spiritual, but also physical. And that physical healing was part of a true fulfillment of Isaiah 53:5 which says, “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.” (Also see Luke 4:18-19; 1 Peter 2:24).
Jesus indicated that miracle healing power was available for all who would believe on Him. In John 14:11-12 Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 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.”
When Jesus sent out His disciples to minister in His name He told them to, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) We find no
indication that the disciples were ever under the impression that healing should cease. Instead, we find them ministering healing to the multitudes (Acts 5:12-16).
Healing is an essential part of the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ Himself. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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” (Mark 16:15-18). The healing power of the gospel is as viable today as it was in the early church.
Why doesn't healing manifest in my body?
You know God wants you healed, and you have taken all the steps you know from God’s Word to receive your healing. But for some reason, your circumstances just do not seem to be changing...healing is not manifesting in your body.
What do you do now?
First, it is important to understand that God has not failed you. He cannot, because there is no failure in Him. It is never God who is short on healing power. Healing always comes. However, it is not always received. When demands are made on the power of God, the healing virtue of Jesus Christ will flow into a person’s body and make it whole.
In John 5, the story is told about a man who had an infirmity for 38 years. This story, perhaps, gives us the best picture of the frustration that even today’s believers face when it comes to wanting to be healed, and yet, not being able to make it happen when we want it—and need it—the most.
We read that day after day the invalid man lay by the pool of Bethesda hoping somehow to be the first person in the water after the angel stirred it, because if he was the first to make it in, he could be healed.
But then along came Jesus. He asked the man, “Do you want to become well?” The invalid answered saying, “Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool....” (See verses 6-7, The Amplified Bible.)
The significant detail in their conversation at this point is that the man was so focused on the problem of not being able to get into the water before someone else, that he never even considered placing a demand on Jesus to help him—to get him healed.
Like this man, many believers today desire to be healed, yet they have not willed to be healed. What’s the difference?
The difference is that determination is what makes a demand on the power of God. After all, God has sent His Word, and according to that Word, healing has already been purchased by the blood of Jesus. So, the rest is up to us. We must act on this new blood covenant to get the results we desire.
Still, for those times when it seems God’s healing power has somehow been short-circuited and it just is not flowing through our lives, the Bible points out some problem areas that may be the reason for this lack of healing or health. Some of those problem areas include:
• Failure to forgive others (Mark 11:25-26)
• Failure to keep the commandment of love (John 13:34)
• Lack of knowledge and lack of vision (Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 29:18)
• Lack of discernment of the Lord’s body when taking communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
• Lack of integrity in your heart (Psalm 25:21)
Since we know there is no failure with God, it is obvious that when believers do not receive their healing, the problem must lie elsewhere. Keeping this in mind, we need to realize that healing largely depends on a firm stand in the fact that your prayer has been heard, and, that it has been answered.
The challenge, then, comes in not swaying from God’s Word. And in part, that means we need to keep our tongue in line with what God says about our healing.
To help you stay in line with the final Word on healing, we suggest you take the following scriptures, look them up in your Bible, then read them over and over, and meditate on them. It may even help you to write or type them out on separate paper so you can have easier access to them throughout your day.
• Proverbs 10:11, 12:18, 13:3, 15:4, 16:24, 18:21
• Psalm 34:13-14
• 1 Peter 3:10-11
By the way, you may find it interesting to know that nine of the 11 plagues that came against Israel, as recorded in the book of Numbers, were caused by misuse of the tongue. So you see, your mouth—and your words—will either work for you, and bring health and healing to your life, or they will work against you, bringing nothing but harm.
You must make your tongue work for your good. Make them get on track with what God has said and is saying. Speak the Word—and keep speaking it and keep speaking it. As you do, God will confirm it. And He says, you are healed!
Is tithing for today?
Who receives the tithe?
What does it mean to tithe according to the Word? Jesus made this statement; "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment (righteousness), mercy (love), and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).
Addressing the religious people of the day, Jesus said that they tithed their money but they neglected the important matters of the heart. With this thought in mind, we can expand our definition and say that tithing is bringing the first tenth to Jesus, according to His Word, by faith, in love, through righteousness.
Righteousness, love and faith are directly related to one another. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6), and righteousness is by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). Therefore, these three cannot be separated. When we tithe, we need to be mindful of all these areas.
Tithing by Faith
Let’s look at tithing from the level of “faith first” by studying Genesis 4:1-8; "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground unto the Lord. It wasn’t the offering that was the problem. It is impossible to please God without faith. Notice verse three, God had no respect for Cain. When God rebuked him, instead of changing, he got mad and his countenance fell. Cain was out of line with the Word. A man and his offering are one.
Hebrews 11:4, tells us that Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice by faith. Faith is a product of the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Obviously, both Cain and Abel had heard the Word. Their own father received it personally from the Creator Himself. The revelation which they received was the knowledge that the whole earth belonged to God and they (who were given the use of the earth) were to tithe a tenth of it back to God (Leviticus 27:30; Psalms 24:1; Haggai 2:8).
The next illustration is tithing with judgment or justice. The story is from Genesis, chapter 14.
A group of kings joined forces and trapped the king of Sodom to exploit him, his goods and the goods of all of his subjects.
Among the people who were taken captive was Abram’s nephew.
When Abram heard the news, he armed 318 trained servants and pursued the kings’ armies to the death. They slaughtered them and took the spoils. The first thing Abram did was tithe the spoils. Melchizedek, the priest, blessed Abram and said; "Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."
The king whose goods had been stolen greedily watched Abram, thinking that he was going to keep all of the spoil. He wanted some of it back. After all, it belonged to him before those armies came in and stole it.
He went to Abram and said; "Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up mind hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth. That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich."
What was Abram saying? “I’ve lifted my hand to God; I have made a covenant with Him. I promised when I tithed the spoils that I wouldn’t even take one of your shoestrings, lest you say that you are the one that made me rich.” Abram judged himself according to his covenant with God. He made sure he did “the right thing”--not just the easy or convenient thing.
The next time you approach the tithing altar, realize that Jesus your High Priest is standing there. Judge yourself according to the Word of God. Test your heart and your motives. Don’t just tithe and neglect the weightier matter of justice. Abram did what was right and just. He tithed righteously, not selfishly. Abram is our example.
The Matter of Mercy
Mercy is the last area that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 23:23 concerning how we ought to tithe. The word translated “mercy” is sometimes translated “love.” The believer who says that he cannot afford to tithe is not only operating without faith, he is out of line with judgement because he has forsaken the house of God.
Read Nehemiah 10:38,39; "And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, unto the treasure house. For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
To attend church every Sunday and always be on the receiving end and never on the giving end is selfish. The person who does this has forgotten the weightier matter of mercy and love. Love gives. To withhold the tithe is to forsake the household of God.
What is prosperity?
Jesus is the High Priest over the house of God in the New Testament. In the spirit, He receives our tithes and presents them to the Father in heaven. But who receives them here on earth?
II Chronicles 31:4, says that the priests and Levites, or the ministry, received the tithe that they might be encouraged. This is not an issue that we can handle lightly. As the Head of the church, Jesus is the One who should be directing where the tithe should go. The proper way to handle it is to pray and ask Him where to put it.
Under the Old Covenant, the tithe was brought mainly into the temple in Jerusalem and the local synagogue. In the New Testament, the local church is the backbone of the body of Christ. Malachi 3:10 tells us, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Meat is spiritual revelation. Wherever you are receiving revelation, that is where your tithe should go. You receive mostly from your own church, that is, if it is preaching the uncompromised Word.
God is looking for a people who will handle their tithing as holy. He is seeking those who will ask Jesus where He wants His money to go. Are you one whom the Father can trust? Will you allow Jesus to direct your giving? If you are, God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so rich, so abundant that you will not be able to contain it!
Throughout the Word, God plainly shows that His will is for His covenant people to have a surplus of prosperity. He promised to make Abraham rich, and the promise of Abraham is ours today (Galatians 3:13-14; Genesis 17:6). God’s will is prosperity for you—spirit, soul and body.
Matthew 6:33; James 2:14-17; John 14:21; II Corinthians 9:9
True prosperity is the ability to use God’s ability and power to meet the needs of mankind—regardless of what those needs may be.
Romans 8:2; Luke 4:18, 6:27-38
Spiritual prosperity is freedom from the law of sin and death. To be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit puts you in the position to receive from God all the things promised in His word.
II Corinthians 10:5; III John 1; Philippians 4:7; I Thessalonians 5:14
To prosper mentally (in your soul), you must be able to control your mind, your will and your emotions. Prosperity of the mind comes when you use the knowledge you have accumulated from the Word of God—when you are controlling your mind, instead of allowing your mind to control you.
I Peter 2:24; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:8
Physical prosperity is twofold—health and wealth. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law—sickness, poverty and death (Deuteronomy 28:15-61). Health and wealth belong to the believer. Meditation on the Word and acting on the Word will bring results (Joshua 1:8).
What produces spiritual, mental and physical prosperity? What brings all these areas together? The Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word is alive, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It divides the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When you are walking in the Word of God, you will prosper and be in health.
We cannot settle for prosperity in the physical or mental realm only, just as we cannot settle for spiritual prosperity alone. We can’t afford to be lazy and to discount physical and mental prosperity simply because we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is God’s will for us to be made whole—spirit, soul and body—and to be kept that way until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thessalonians 5:23).
In order to prosper, you must first have a prosperous soul. That's the beginning of the prosperous life. But how do you get there?
Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In The Amplified Bible it says to seek "His way of doing and being right." That's the foundation of God's prosperity
God's prosperity isn't just financial blessings. It also includes healing, protection, favor, wisdom, success, well-being and every good thing you could possibly need—all the good things Jesus paid for you to have. He took our place and bore the curse of our sin so we can live in the blessing. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:13-14).
The foundation for true prosperity begins with these seven steps:
1. Walking in truth
So let's briefly take a look at each one of these key elements to walking in prosperity.
Walking in Truth
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (III John 1).
The first step to increase is walking in truth. This means walking in the light of God's Word, according to His ways, His wisdom, what He says is right. You can't do that and not be blessed. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). Walking in truth is living a godly lifestyle—living in obedience to what God says is right
Faithfulness and Diligence
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:21).
A faithful person consistently does what is right, even if it looks like it could be to his disadvantage. Psalms 106:3 says, "Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right" (New International Version). We can't be godly without being faithful because faithfulness is God's character:
II Chronicles 16:9 says God is looking for faithfulness, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…." The Hebrew word for perfect there means "loyal, devoted, dedicated, faithful."
The Word repeatedly says we are to diligently seek God, hearken to what He says and obey His commands. Why? Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says when you hearken diligently, blessings overtake you! Because ".he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Diligence increases you. As Proverbs 10:4 says, "The hand of the diligent maketh rich."
Be diligent and faithful to God in your natural life as well. Make a decision to be faithful on your job, at your church, in your prayer life and in putting the Word first place in your life.
Tithing and Sowing
"Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency and with the firstfruits of all your income; so shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine" (Proverbs 3:9-10, The Amplified Bible).
Tithing is a covenant transaction that gets God involved in what you are doing. The first 10 percent of your income—the tithe—belongs to God. The Bible calls it firstfruits. It's devoted to God, and it goes to support your local place of worship that feeds you spiritually.
After we tithe, we are to sow according to what the Lord lays on our heart, and we are to do it with the right attitude. II Corinthians 9:6 says: "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." The Scripture plainly says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). If you desire to be a receiver, you have to be a giver. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38).
Believing and Saying
"We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak" (II Corinthians 4:13).
The Bible says several times, "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). Abraham was blessed because he lived by faith. He believed God. We're supposed to live the same way: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9).
Faith must be in two places—in your heart and in your mouth. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach" (Romans 10:8). Believing in your heart and saying with your mouth produce the operation of faith.