“Seven Ways to Receive Your Healing”

by Roger Hicks

  Preface

In times past, God did great supernatural works among His people. Most of those works could be described as nothing less than “spectacular.” Whether we’re referring to the wonderful works of God recounted in the Holy Scriptures, or speaking of more recent events (such as the great healing revival that swept the world from the mid 1940’s to the mid 1950’s), many Christians have yearned for a return to those remarkable times.

Today, some have gone so far as to declare, “The day of miracles has passed.” However, there never was a “day of miracles.” There was, and is, a “God of Miracles,” and He hasn’t passed! Not only has He not passed, but according to the Word, this “God of Miracles” changes not.

“For I am the LORD, I change not …” (Malachi 3:6)

“If that’s so,” someone might ask, “why is it then that we don’t experience those same spectacular works in our churches today?” To answer that question, it’ll be necessary for us to discover what it was in those people’s lives that prompted the Lord to demonstrate Himself in such wonderful and remarkable ways.

The Word reveals that God is no respecter of persons. Since God doesn’t play favorites, we can deduce that if we fulfill the same prerequisites that God set for His people of the past, then we have the right to expect the same things they enjoyed.

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34)

Not only do we have the right to expect that the Lord will repeat those marvelous works for us, but Hebrews 8:6 declares: “He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” We, then, are the benefactors of that better covenant, which was based upon better promises. In fact, Jesus, Himself, prophesied that God would do even greater works through His people, in times to come.

“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.” (John 14:12-13)

Let’s ascertain God’s plan for fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy, concerning those greater works. The Word clearly teaches that sickness is the work of the devil. It also declares that sickness is “oppression of the devil.” To be oppressed means to be “put down.” Jesus said that the Holy Spirit had anointed Him to heal all who were “oppressed of the devil.” It’s that same anointing of the Holy Spirit, manifested in many ways, by which God heals today.

“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)

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and power. It was that power, by which he healed those whom the devil had oppressed with sickness. According to the Word, healing belongs to God’s children. Some in Jesus’ day understood these principles more than many Christians do today.

Divine healing is as much a part of the atonement, as is eternal life. Just as Jesus’ blood purchased eternal life for those who would receive Him as their Savior and Lord, so also, Jesus’ stripes purchased healing for those who would receive Him as their healer.

“But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet (acceptable) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.” (Mark 7:27-29)

Jesus informed this woman that deliverance from Satan’s oppression is the “children’s bread.” Calling it the children’s bread means that it’s God’s provision for His Children. He explained by saying, in effect, “Deliverance from Satan’s oppression belongs to God’s children, and God’s children are the first in line to receive.” She responded by saying she was aware that deliverance belongs to the “children of God,” but she added that He could heal even those who aren’t the “children of God.” Jesus rewarded her for her faith and her persistence, and granted her request.

Kenneth E. Hagin, a man who was mightily used of God in divine healing, often said, “It seems that healing is the ‘dinner bell’ that draws people to Christ.” Some younger people may not fully understand that saying, so let me explain it by relating the experience of generations gone by.

In the 1930’s, my father would go out in the fields to work with his father and his brothers. Of course, there were no cell phones in those days, so when dinner was ready, Grandmother would step out into the yard and give a swift tug on the rope which hung down from a large cast iron bell. She would clang that bell repeatedly, until there was no question as to whether it’d been heard in the fields. Upon hearing the clang of that “dinner bell,” all of those working in the fields would immediately stop their work and run for the house. They didn’t have to be persuaded! Hungry folk will always run to something that satisfies!

Apparently, “Healing is the ‘dinner bell’ that draws people to Christ.” While healing belongs to God’s own children, He also heals those who don’t belong to Him. The lure of being healed often draws people to Him. They desire to receive that healing. They desire something that satisfies. And healing satisfies their hunger to be relieved of sickness and pain. Even though they’ve come to receive healing, many also end up receiving Jesus as their Savior. When they invite Him to become their Lord and the Master of their lives, their lives are forever changed. Hallelujah!

Yes, it does seem that God uses “divine healing” as the “dinner bell” to draw many to serve Him. With that in mind, let’s look at various ways that the Lord brings deliverance from sickness and disease to all those whom He loves.

 

Chapter One 

Believing the Word and Acting upon the Word

The highest and best way” of receiving divine healing is to believe the Word and to act upon those revelations!!! Someone might ask, “Why is believing the Word, and acting on those revelations the highest level by which a person can receive divine healing?” To answer that question, let’s look to the Holy Scriptures.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Since it’s impossible to please God without “faith,” we can deduce that “faith” pleases God! It takes more faith to receive healing by simply believing the Word and acting upon the Word, than to receive by any other means! That puts the responsibility for receiving healing in this manner, directly and solely, upon the person who’s sick.

Building your own faith, in order to receive in this manner, is pleasing to God. That makes this the “highest level” of receiving “divine healing.”

There are some unique benefits that can be attributed to being healed by “believing and acting upon the promises” contained within the Word. The first of these benefits is that this method is available to every person. There is no one for whom this will not work … if they’ll build their faith through the Word!

Another benefit of receiving healing in this manner is that it’s available at any time. There is never a time when believing and acting on the Word of God will not work! This way of receiving, doesn’t depend upon timing, nor does it depend on getting to any other person or to a particular location, in order to receive.

And finally, those who’ve been healed through believing and acting upon the Word have, of necessity, developed their own faith in order to receive in this manner. So when Satan attempts to bring a “counter attack,” and the symptoms attempt to reappear, those who’ve received this way need only use the same faith that got them healed initially, and “run those symptoms off.” We’ll talk more about “counter-attacks” later.

While we’re discussing levels of receiving let’s make one thing crystal clear. God’s highest and best will for us, is to see us walk in divine health.” Most assuredly, divine health is God’s highest and best will for our lives! The Lord’s desire is that we never become sick. However, sometimes we’ve not walked in God’s best, but Praise God, He’s made provision to heal us, even then!

In 1978, I witnessed a beautiful young lady who’d suffered terribly when doctors had attempted to remove a growth from her neck. During that operation, they’d accidentally slit her esophagus. After several attempts to correct their mistake, they’d only succeeded in creating an area of massive scar tissue.

As a result of that scar tissue, she could no longer swallow. In fact, she’d not been able to swallow for over 18 months, and had become so weak that she was unable to stand.  Being confined to a wheelchair for about a year and a half, she had to be fed through tubes in her nose. An aspirator was in her mouth to remove the saliva so that she wouldn’t choke.

Finally, in frustration, her doctors had sent her, along with her medical records, to a world famous hospital in the hopes that they’d be able to help her.

Somehow, she’d heard of a “healing school” that was being conducted in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and she decided, rather than going to another hospital, to attend that “healing school.” The classes were held specifically for people with serious or terminal conditions. They were not open to the general public.

I was completely healthy, but I knew that God had called me into a healing ministry, so I’d obtained special permission to sit in the classes. My goal was to learn of healing and thereby become more effective in the ministry to which I’m called. Let me say right here that no matter how the Lord chooses to use us, it’s vitally important that we maintain a “teachable spirit”.

Day after day, this lady was present in her wheel chair. Never did I see anyone pray for her. Never did I see anyone anoint her with oil. Never did I see anyone lay hands on her. But faithfully, she came daily to learn the Word of God, concerning healing.

In today’s society, there are many who desire healing but they’re often unwilling to be taught. Some claim that they’re so busy that they just don’t have time to go to meetings. Others don’t have a “teachable spirit”. They think they know it all! I’ve found that if people are unteachable, God will leave them alone. He won’t bother them!

Let’s look at why Jesus was so successful in getting people healed in some locations, while in other places, He was not able to get anyone healed of serious ailments.

“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)

That great multitude of people came to Jesus with two purposes in mind. Their first purpose was to “hear him.” Jesus was teaching about healing. They wanted to hear what He taught. They wanted to learn. Their second purpose was to “be healed.” In this instance, both goals were accomplished. They listened intently, learning, and absorbing the teachings of the Master. Then, they acted on what they’d been taught, and they were all healed.

Let’s contrast that multitude of people, with the people of Nazareth (Jesus’ own hometown).

“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 (sickly folk with minor ailments), and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” (Mark 6:4-6)

Even Jesus, could do no mighty work when people were in unbelief. All He was able to accomplish among those who were in unbelief, was to get a few sickly folk … healed of minor ailments.

During the summer of 1978, Brother Kenneth E. Hagin taught on all the recorded healings that Jesus performed. Sometimes, he’d spend several days on just one healing, discussing each of the factors involved with that person receiving their healing. The lady with the slit esophagus sat in her wheelchair, intently listening and absorbing that teaching.

One day when class was over, I closed my Bible and notebook, put them in my briefcase and left for home. Oh, how I wish I’d stayed a little longer! Shortly after I left, something wonderful happened!

After weeks of hearing the Word concerning healing, she sat in her wheelchair pondering the “promises” she’d been taught. She kept reflecting on those scriptures. Those scriptures declared that by Jesus’ stripes she’d been healed. Finally, she said to herself, “Wait a minute, if the scriptures declare that by Jesus’ stripes I am healed, then what am I doing sitting here in this wheelchair?”

When that revelation finally dropped down into her spirit, she reached up and pulled the tubes out of her nose; removed the aspirator from her mouth; folded up the foot pedals of the wheelchair; somehow managed to garner enough strength to stand up; and slowly made her way out of that classroom. Not only did she walk out of the classroom; she walked out of the building and across the campus to the street. She crossed the street and entered a Mexican restaurant named “The Monterey House” and there she ate two Mexican dinners. All without ill effects! Glory to GOD!!!

You see, nobody did any personal ministry to her. She just received revelation from God’s Word that Jesus had taken stripes on His own body so that she wouldn’t have to have sickness or infirmity in her body. Once that truth dropped down into her spirit, she just acted on that revelation. Believing God’s Word is the highest level of receiving healing! Nothing could possibly be higher or more important than believing God.

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.” (Exodus 23:25-26)

God said that if we’d serve Him, He’d take sickness away from us, and we’d live out our lives. But Hosea 4:6 declares that God’s people are destroyed for “lack of knowledge.”

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” (2 Peter 1:3)

Peter received the revelation that God has already provided everything that pertains to our life, and everything that pertains to godliness. But he also understood that access to those things comes through having knowledge of God. He understood that we must have knowledge of the provisions contained in His Word in order to obtain those things. We can’t really know God, if we don’t know His Word.

Kenneth E. Hagin once said, “The best way, and the number one way, to set people free, is to teach them the Word of God. Falling back on the Holy Ghost is the alternate way of setting people free.”

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)

God’s people aren’t destroyed because He doesn’t love them. God’s people aren’t destroyed because He didn’t make provision to heal them. God’s people are destroyed because they’re ignorant of His provisions.

Some Christians reject God’s provisions, by not taking the time to learn of them. Others put denominational doctrines ahead of the Word. Still others make a conscious decision that they just don’t believe what the Word declares. No matter why people reject God’s provision, the result is always the same … destruction!

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  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.” (Isaiah 53:1, 4-5)

Isaiah prophesied, concerning Jesus’ crucifixion, indicating that the wounds that Jesus would endure on Mt. Calvary, would necessarily be endured in order to redeem us from both sin and sickness. He prophesied that through the stripes on Jesus’ body … we are healed.

“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 (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17)

Matthew, one of Jesus’ own disciples, recorded that not only did Jesus heal all that were sick on that particular day, but He also “took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses in order that we wouldn’t have to bear them ourselves.

“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 Peter 2:24)

Peter, who’d previously not even believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, later received the revelation that it was through the stripes that Jesus suffered on His body that we werehealed. He understood that healing was a “finished work,” thus he said we were healed … rather than we will be healed.

I have a relative who’s one of my closest friends. I love him dearly! He’s endured years of excruciating pain, multiple back surgeries, and a heart valve transplant. Occasionally, when the pain level becomes so intense that he can hardly stand it, he’ll call and ask me to pray for him.

One day he called me and said, “I want to ask you a question: You don’t think God is going to heal me, do you?” I thought a moment, then deliberately, but with love, answered, “NO!” In shock, he said, “NO? You don’t think God is going to heal me?” I responded, “No, I don’t!” He inquired, “Why not?”

I explained by saying, let me ask you a question: “Do you ever sin?” He responded, “Of course I sin!” Then I asked, “What do you do about it, when you’ve sinned?” His response was that he asked the Lord to forgive him. Then, I asked, “Well, does He forgive you?” He said, “Of course he does!” I asked, “How do you know that He forgives you?” He stated, “Jesus shed His Blood for the remission of my sins.”

I inquired, “So, if you sin again, later today, is Jesus going to shed some more of His Blood to remit that sin?” He responded to the effect that ‘forgiveness of sins’ is finished work and has already been paid for!

“Well, just as Jesus is not going to shed any more of His precious blood to remit your sins, He’s not going to take any more stripes for you to be healed. Both are finished works! Neither the shedding of His Blood, nor the taking of His stripes, ever needs to be repeated. Forgiveness is yours for the taking! Healing is yours for the taking! They’re both finished works! Reach out in faith and take what Jesus has already purchased for you!”

Healing is not something to be desired … nor is it something to be longed for. Healing is your right and possession! Reach out and take it by faith! Give God thanks that healing belongs to you! Thank Him for providing healing as “part and parcel” of your atonement.

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so …” (Psalm 107:1-2)

Psalm 107 tells us that God’s “mercy endureth forever”, and instructs us to proclaim that. When we read the 136th Psalm, we see a remarkable tribute to the “God of Mercy,” it’s a reminder of the many reasons that we should give thanks unto the Lord. Each of the 26 verses ends with “for his mercy endureth forever.” And we’re instructed to say that!!!

“Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” (Psalm 107:19-22)

The Word of God instructs us to say that we’re redeemed! We’re to say we’re redeemed, even when it doesn’t look that way. We’re to set ourselves in agreement with the Word, and say what God says. What we say with our mouth, should line up with what God said with His mouth.

God said that He sent His Word … and that it’s by His Word … that we were healed. Again, we need to pay close attention to what God said. He didn’t say that He will heal us. No! He said He’s already done it! God proclaimed in His Word that He’s already healed us. We need to proclaim the same thing. All that remains is for us to receive what He’s already provided.

 

Chapter Two

Receiving Through Holy Communion

The second highest way to receive divine healing is through “Holy Communion.” The reason this is listed as the second in importance is that it shares many of the same characteristics and benefits as the “highest and best” way.

A few years ago, I was holding a series of meetings at a church in Rockport, Missouri. There was a lady present who’d had a serious medical condition for a very long time. On multiple occasions, she’d received the prayers of the saints. She’d had hands laid on her. She’d been repeatedly anointed with oil. She’d been using her faith to the best of her ability. But all to no avail!

I taught concerning the proper attitude that we, as Christians, are to have concerning the receiving of Holy Communion. As I taught, she was quite attentive.

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)

I taught that the bread represents Jesus’ body that was broken for us. He allowed his body to be broken in order that our bodies wouldn’t be racked with sickness and pain. We’re told to reflect on that during Holy Communion. We’re to accept the sacrifice Jesus endured in His body so that we wouldn’t have to endure sickness and pain in our bodies. We’re to receive our healing because its price has already been paid.

“After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25)

I taught that the cup represents Jesus’ shed blood. Matthew 26:28 declares: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” We’re told to reflect on that during Holy Communion. We’re to repent of our sins. “Repent” means “to acknowledge, be sorry for, and have a change of heart about.” Once we’ve repented, we’re to receive His blood sacrifice as payment for our iniquity.

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27)

I taught that we’re instructed to count Jesus’ sacrifice as very precious in our own lives. We’re told to observe Holy Communion as a time of remembering and appropriating everything Jesus purchased on that Glorious Day. We’re also told that if we receive Holy Communion, unworthily (with a disrespectful attitude), we’re guilty of making Him suffer and die in vain.

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (have prematurely died).(1 Corinthians 11:28-30)

I taught that we’re to examine ourselves, before receiving Holy Communion. We’re to deal with whatever we find in our own lives, whether it’s sin or sickness. If we receive Holy Communion without discerning (seeing, honoring, and respecting) everything Jesus did on Calvary, then we’ll not receive any of the benefits associated with those sacrifices.

But, not only are we told that we’ll not receive the benefits associated with Jesus’ sacrifices, we’re also informed that the reason so many Christians are weak and sickly and the reason that so many have prematurely died, is because they did not properly discern everything that was provided through Jesus’ death.

“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)

The Word instructs us to examine ourselves and to eat or drink according to the results of that examination. We’re to “deal with” whatever we find concerning sin or sickness. Many times Holy Communion is served as a “tradition” of the church. No self-examination occurs, and no thought is ever given as to why Jesus shed His own blood; nor is thought given as to why He suffered those stripes on His body.

Proper examination includes dealing with any sin in our lives, and appropriating the shed blood of Jesus for the remission of our sins.  Proper examination also includes revealing anything within our physical bodies that’s not the way God designed it to be, and appropriating the stripes taken on Jesus’ broken body for our healing.

We’re to highly esteem the sacrifice that Jesus made by taking stripes on His body and we’re to appropriate the healing provided by those stripes.

As I taught in Rockport, concerning what Jesus did on the day of His crucifixion, the lady who’d been afflicted with that medical condition for so long, began to understand all that Jesus had provided through His crucifixion. She later testified that through that day’s teaching, she’d seen things that she’d never before seen. She received revelation concerning Jesus’ body and Holy Communion.

She testified that she’d previously received Holy Communion on many occasions, but now, with her new revelations, she better understood God’s supernatural provision for her healing. Upon partaking of the communion elements that day, she was instantly healed. Praise God!!!

God instructed the church at Corinth that the reason that so many in that church were weak and sickly, and the reason so many had prematurely died, was that they’d not discerned (seen, understood, and highly esteemed) everything that Jesus provided during His crucifixion. The exact same thing is true today. Many in our churches are weak and sickly. Many have prematurely died. We can change all of that, by properly esteeming Jesus’ sacrifices on Calvary, and appropriating everything He provided.

 

Chapter Three 

Laying on of Hands

 The third highest level of receiving healing is through the “Laying on of Hands”. This is supernatural comfirmation that the Word shared with others was the Word of God. The main reason this is not listed higher on this list is that this requires the faith of someone other than the sick person in order for this to work. The two higher ways of receiving healing are the result of the sick believing for themselves.

Jesus, Himself, commanded this of every believer. Let’s look at the Lord’s teaching on this commandment, which is known as “The Great Commission.”

“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.” (Mark 16:15-16)

Jesus commanded every Christian to share their faith with the lost. We’re to preach (tell with conviction) of God’s love for them, and let them know that Jesus paid the price to redeem them from eternal damnation. We’re told that those who would believe our message and be baptized (immersed into Christ) would be saved.

It’s of note that Jesus wasn’t speaking of water baptism when He talked about being baptized. He was speaking about being baptized into, or immersed into, Christ. As the Apostle Paul stated in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me …” We’re to crucify (put to death) our old life and be baptized (be immersed) in Christ.

While water baptism is something we should do, we need to understand that water baptism is a symbolic act, which has the same effect as giving a verbal testimony. It is a visual demonstration of what God has done for you.

When I water baptize people, it’s often done in a lake during the summer. Sometimes, we’re having a church picnic, and the people have been playing volleyball, softball, or some other game. It’s hot, and we’re sweaty. We’re dirty. We enter the lake dirty, representing how we were before we received Jesus as Lord. Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”

As people are immersed into the water, that water washes the dirt of the day from them. That’s symbolic of how (when they were immersed into Christ) the blood of Jesus cleanses them of their sins. Water baptism is a pictorial representation of what happened, spiritually, when they accepted Jesus as Lord.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Some people have become confused concerning the Mark 16:16, and have improperly interpreted it. Let’s take a look at it:

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16)

 This scripture states that if a person believes on Jesus as their Lord, and becomes immersed into HIM … they will be saved. It’s not talking about water baptism (the ordinance of the church). While water baptism is an ordinance of the church, it’s not a requirement for entering heaven.

Remember the two thieves on the cross? Jesus was crucified between them. Both thieves were there because of their crimes. One jeered Jesus. The other made a deathbed confession accepting Jesus as His Lord. (It’s never too late!)

“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

If Jesus had been speaking of water baptism when he said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” then this man couldn’t have been saved. The Roman soldiers didn’t let him down off the cross just long enough for him to be water baptized. No! Jesus was speaking of being immersed into Christ, in order to be saved. We all need to be diligent and do as the scriptures demand: “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Jesus said that those who reject Him (being not willing to accept Him as their Savior and their Master) would spend eternity in a fire that cannot be quenched, eternally separated from God.

Once a person has made an unconditional surrender and accepted Jesus as their Lord, they’re responsible for telling others about Him. And God promised to confirm the message they preach, when they preach the Word of God

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: 17-18)

The Word declares that those who believe these things, will have them happen in their lives. Jesus said that these things were “signs” or “verification” of their having preached God’s Word. He listed five signs or verifications of their Gospel message. The particular sign or verification that we’re dealing with here is: “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

But before we go any further, let’s discuss two of the signs that some have distorted. First, “They shall take up serpents.” Jesus didn’t mean that people would intentionally put their lives in danger by handling snakes, as some have suggested. Remember, when Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple?

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:5-7)

Jesus made it quite clear that we are not to intentionally place ourselves in harm’s way. He said that to do so, would be to “tempt God.” Snake-handling churches are doing just that. Rather than being a sign of great faith, it’s a sign of either spiritual disobedience or spiritual immaturity.

What Jesus was expressing, when He spoke of those signs, was that if a believer were to be accidentally bitten by a serpent, no harm would come to them. Likewise, if a believer accidentally ingested something poisonous, no harm would come to them. Satan always attempts to distort the Word, as he did when he took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. He’s still attempting to distort the Word, and snake-handling churches have bought into those distortions.

“And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.  And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds …” (Acts 28:3-6)

Paul was not handling snakes. He was going about his business of gathering firewood. As he placed a bundle of firewood on the fire, a viper struck him. He acted upon the Word and just shook the viper off, trusting God for supernatural protection. As he continued with his business, it was a great witness to the unsaved. Not only did he not die; but, “no harm” came to him.

“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 16:19-20)

It’s of note, that this method of receiving healing is Divine Confirmation that the WORD was preached. Please notice that it’s not necessarily “a stamp of approval of the lifestyle” of the one doing the preaching. Verse 20 emphasizes that God is confirming His WORD. That confirmation is in the form of supernatural signs that follow that preaching.

He doesn’t confirm someone’s denominational doctrine, or their personal beliefs. He confirms “His Word.” As we previously mentioned, “preaching,” means “telling with conviction.” It doesn’t necessarily mean preaching as we often think of it, that is, preaching from a pulpit. The “Great Commission” is a command to every believer. Go tell with conviction!

Some have questioned whether “laying on of hands” is scriptural and if it’s for us today. To answer that, let’s again turn to the Word. Let’s see what things are listed as being Principles of the Doctrine of Christ.”

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)

It seems that the Hebrew Church was relatively immature. They kept laying the foundation, over, and over, and over, and over. It’s true that God wanted them to understand the “principles” of Christ’s doctrine. But He also wanted them to grow into maturity. Neither the Hebrew church nor the Corinthian church had matured, as they should have.

“ I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Many churches today don’t even know the foundational principles that God was trying to encourage the Hebrew Church to grow beyond.  If we don’t understand these basic foundational principles, there’s no way, as immature believers, that we can comprehend the “deep things of God” spoken of in 1 Corinthians 2:9 -10.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

God enumerated the six foundational principles of Christ’s Doctrine to the Hebrew church.

The first foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of repentance from dead works.” That means you can’t work your way to heaven. The works you do before you’re “born-again” are dead works. The only pathway to heaven is by making an unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ and becoming “born again.” Once you’re born again, then the things you do for the kingdom of God are things you’ll be rewarded for when you get to heaven.

The second foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of faith toward God.” That means believing the Word of God and acting on what He said! It means believing what God said, even when it appears that it’s not working the way God said it would work. “The doctrine of faith toward God” means not considering (not giving any weight to) the circumstances, whenever those circumstances conflict with the Word. It means not being moved by circumstances, but being fully persuaded that what God said is absolutely true, and any contradictory circumstances will just have to line up with the Word.

“ … the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)

The third foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of baptisms.” Please notice that baptisms is in the plural. Baptism means immersion. This includes baptism into Christ, baptism in water, and baptism in the Holy Spirit. We’re to be baptized into Christ–immersed in Him. We’re to be baptized in water–immersed in water. We’re to be baptized in the Holy Ghost–immersed in the Holy Ghost.

Those who do not practice all three of these are not fully adhering to the Doctrine of Christ. Period! End of subject! Need I say more?

The fourth foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of laying on of hands.” Some might say, “Our church doesn’t believe in that!” If that’s true, then they’re not obeying the Doctrine of Jesus Christ! Believers are to lay hands on the sick as a confirmation of their preaching of the Word. When we obey this command, God will work with us, confirming the Word with signs following.

The fifth foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes people say, I believe in God. Or they claim to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But that’s not enough!

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

The Bible declares that the devils believe. They know there’s a God. They know that Jesus is the Son of God. They are in fear and they tremble because they know the day is coming when they’ll be thrown into the lake of fire.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren … For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13a, 16-17)

The Scriptures affirm that those who’ve died in Christ (born-again Christians) will rise first, and then those who are born-again but still living will join them in the atmosphere, and they’ll never again be separated from the Lord. The resurrection of the dead is a well-known fact.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)

Jesus clearly wasn’t saying that if someone just believes He exists, they’d have eternal life. The devils believe that. What Jesus was saying was, that if someone believed upon Him as both Savior and Lord, thereby, making an unconditional surrender to Him, then they’d have eternal life with Him in heaven.

The sixth foundational principle of the Doctrine of Christ is “the doctrine of eternal judgment.” There is no “wiggle room” in this, or in any of the other Doctrines of Christ. The Word lists “eternal judgment” as a fact. Eternal means that it’s forever settled. There’s no changing of things, once they’re forever settled. Jesus taught it. The Word declares it. It’s fact!

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)

Everyone will stand before one judgment seat or another! Those who accepted Jesus as Lord will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, where they’ll receive rewards for their labors. Those who rejected Jesus as their Lord, whose names are not found written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life, will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment, and there they’ll be sentenced to eternal damnation in the “Lake of Fire.”

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. … And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. … And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10 & 15)

Jesus taught that all who are in graves would come forth. But not all will experience the same eternal destiny. Those who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord will have eternal life with God. Those who’ve rejected His Lordship will find themselves eternally doomed.

These six foundational principles are what everything else is built upon. A foundation is the underpinning on which everything else stands. A house is build upon a foundation. If someone attempted to build their home without a foundation, it’d shift and collapse. Any church that’s not built on the foundation of the “Doctrine of Christ” is built on shaky and unstable ground.

 

Chapter Four 

The Prayer of Agreement

The fourth highest level of receiving healing is through the “prayer of agreement.”

There’s a general lack of understanding, among Christians, concerning the “prayer of agreement.” To “agree” means, “to say the same thing.” If you ask me to stand in agreement with you and request that we pray the “prayer of agreement” and then we both start praying at the same time … well … we didn’t pray the “prayer of agreement.” I may have prayed one thing and you might have prayed something entirely different.

In order to pray the “prayer of agreement,” one person prays and the other listens … then verbally agrees with what the first prayed. That way, they end up saying the same thing. You pray. I listen. And then I say, “Yes, Lord! I agree, completely!” Or … I pray. You listen. And then you say, “Yes, Lord! I agree with that!”

“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:18-19)

One prays and the other agrees. Anything else is not the “prayer of agreement.” According to the teachings of Jesus, two or three are to agree (say the same thing) whenever they are binding and loosing things on the earth, in HIS name. Jesus said He’d be in the midst of those two or three, and His Father would do it. We should notice that these two or three are gathered together and are saying the same thing, that is, they’re agreeing.

One day I received a phone call from Pastor Tommy. He Pastors a church in the panhandle of Florida. He was on his way to Nashville to minister to a friend who was reportedly in the final stages of Leukemia. Pastor Tommy called and said, “Brother Roger, I need you to agree with me in prayer. A Christian friend is in the hospital with Leukemia and the doctors give him only days to live. I’m on my way to minister to him now. I need you to pray and agree with me for his healing!”

I know Pastor Tommy fairly well, having been in many of his services. I know he believes in divine healing. I know he believes that God turns hopeless situations around. I know he believes there’s nothing too hard for the Lord. So we had common ground, on which to agree.

He’d asked me to pray, so I prayed. As I prayed, he agreed. We weren’t both praying at the same time because we might be praying different things. If we prayed different things it wouldn’t be the “prayer of agreement.”

I prayed and spoke forth the anointing of God into our Christian Brother’s life. I cursed that Leukemia and demanded that it cease and desist operation in his body. I claimed healing from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. I spoke that he’d live, not die, and he’d proclaim the goodness of the Lord. As I prayed each thing, I could hear Pastor Tommy saying, “Yes Lord, I agree.”

In the weeks to come, I was in Pastor Tommy’s church when he showed some pictures of his friend’s hands and arms. They were mottled and almost entirely black. His entire body looked that way. His flesh was dying. It was one of the most awful sights I’d ever seen.

It seems that the Hospital had given him a stem cell transplant, and instead of the stem cells replacing the Leukemia cells, the stem cells were killing his body. There was a war going on within his body, and the stem cells were killing his own cells. If something didn’t happen to change things, he’d be dead within days. From the natural, it seemed hopeless!

But Pastor Tommy and I had prayed. We’d agreed that he would recover and proclaim God’s goodness. No matter what it looked like, we weren’t about to backtrack on what we’d agreed. As far as we were concerned, that Leukemia had no choice. It would just have to wither and die. It had no choice, whatsoever.

In the months following our “prayer of agreement,” our Christian Brother recovered fully. Both Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center ran batteries of tests on him. Both Hospitals proclaimed him to be totally healed. They could find no signs of Leukemia in his body.

A few weeks later, I was there when this Brother visited Pastor Tommy’s church. He and his wife ministered in music. While there, he testified how God had completely healed him of that blood cancer. Hallelujah!!!

Sometimes we face desperate situations in life. Those situations call for increased power and increased anointing. We know from the scriptures that compounded power is available through the “prayer of agreement.” Otherwise, why would anyone ever ask another to agree with them in prayer?

There’s a Bible principle that says, “one shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight.” That principle demonstrates the power that’s compounded by unity.

Concerning the “prayer of agreement,” the first thing we should consider is, “What does the Word of God say about this situation?” It does no good to pray contradictory to the Word! No matter what we’re praying about, we need to find out what God says about the situation, and then “pray in agreement” with the Word! Agreeing with someone else, but disagreeing with God, won’t work!

The second thing concerns, with whom should we pray the “prayer of agreement”? First, we’ve got to find out what the other person believes. It wouldn’t do any good to just say some words, if both parties don’t agree on them. This isn’t just some sort of “exercise,” but it’s God’s plan to ensure our victory.

The third thing we should consider is whether or not the person with whom we intend to pray, is mature enough to “stand fast in faith,” even when it appears that our prayers aren’t working. What will they do if, after we’ve prayed, the situation seems to go from bad to worse? Will they give up? Or will they refuse to come out of agreement, no matter what it looks like?

Let’s look at something that happened in the life of the Prophet Daniel. From this account we can readily see the compounded power that’s made available when two are working together to accomplish something.

“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen … And he said unto me, O Daniel … unto thee am I now sent. Then said he unto me … from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help meNow I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” (Daniel 10:5, 11-14)

Daniel had been praying about the future of his people. An Angel had been dispatched to give Daniel understanding concerning their future. The Angel told Daniel that God had heard the words he’d prayed twenty-one days previous. The Lord had dispatched this angel with an answer to his prayers; however, a demonic spirit withstood him so the answer had been delayed. So God sent powerful reinforcement, in the form of the Archangel Michael.

I really like what Pastor John Osteen used to say to his congregation, “The devil’s doing his best but …”. Then Pastor Osteen’s congregation would shout back, “His best is not good enough!”

No matter how much the devil attempts to stop your blessings, God will send reinforcement. Many times that reinforcement is in the form of someone with whom you can pray the “prayer of agreement.” Jesus said that if any two of us would “agree” as touching any thing, it’d be done for us by our Heavenly Father.

 

Chapter Five 

Calling for the “Elders” of the Church

The fifth (from the highest) level of receiving healing is for the “elders of the church to “anoint the sick with oil” and to pray the “prayer of faith.”

The reason that this way of receiving healing is so far from the top of the list is that it requires someone else’s faith to get the person healed. The faith of the sick person has become totally ineffective, so someone else’s faith is called into action.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Someone once said, “It’s not the things we don’t know that hurts us. It’s the things we do know, that ain’t so…  that gives us all the trouble.” With that in mind, let’s put aside our preconceived notions concerning “elders,” and search the scriptures, much as a miner would search for precious, hidden nuggets.

There’s much misunderstanding concerning the role of “elders” as related in the fifth chapter of James. Almost universally, the church has “missed it” when it comes to what’s taught here. Rather than just going along with the traditions of men, let’s do exactly what the Word instructs, and study for ourselves, doing a detailed analysis, as we rightly divide the Word of Truth.

At this point, it might be good to remind ourselves that Psalm 119:89 declares that God’s Word is “forever settled in heaven.” He’s not going to change His Word, in order to make it line up with our doctrines, or our practices. So, we need to maintain a teachable spirit if we’re going to grow and mature in the deep things of God.

In the fifth chapter of James, we find a detailed explanation of what’s happening in the life of some within the Body of Christ (the church). It’s obvious that these Christians are not walking in “divine health” because they’re sick. Not only have they not been walking in divine health, but also obvious is the fact that they’ve not been able to receive “divine healing” by using their own faith. To be truthful about it, we might say, “They’ve had a faith failure!”

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church … ” (James 5:14)

First of all, the Word tells us that this sick person is to call for the elders of the church. Why don’t the sick just go to the elders? Well, they’re very sick, having not been able to receive healing on their own. Due to the severity of their illness, they’re not able to go to the elders themselves. They’re likely now bedfast, and often on their deathbed. So, rather than going to the elders, they have to send a message,” asking them to come to their bedside.

The second thing we should note is that the Word did not necessarily instruct those who are sick to call for their Pastor. This may be a matter of life and death. They’re instructed to call for the elders. Many Christians have little understanding, if any, as to what construes a true elder.

The word “elder” is not a position or title, but rather, a description of someone’s spiritual maturity! Hopefully, a Pastor would be spiritually mature, but that’s not always the case. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. It’s okay to call your Pastor, if he’s spiritually mature. Some Pastors are spiritually mature. And some are not!

When I go overseas, I often meet those whom the Lord has called to be Pastors. Sometimes these men haven’t been Christians for very long. Not enough time has elapsed, in which they could grow and mature. Spiritual maturity comes only through learning the principles of faith, applying those principles, and persevering through temptations, tests and trials. There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity!

The same holds true here in America. We also have some in the ministry who’ve not become “spiritually mature.” Sometimes, that’s because they’ve not been Christians for very long … but often it’s because they’ve rejected the Word of God, in favor of their own ideas or denominational doctrines. When these traditions of men conflict with the Word, and are acted upon, spiritual immaturity is the result.

Before we go any further in our discussions concerning “elders of the church,” it’s important to note that those elders could be male or female. Spiritual maturity knows no gender boundaries. Sadly, in many of our churches today, there are more spiritually mature ladies than there are spiritually mature men. Depending upon the circumstances, it’s sometimes more appropriate to send for someone of the same sex, than to send for someone of the opposite sex.

Some have thought that elders could be elected or appointed. But nowhere in the scriptures do we find anything to support those notions. How do we know that elders can’t be appointed or elected? To answer that let’s look at Hebrews 11, which is a summary of some of the incredible things that those elders accomplished using their faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” (Hebrews 11:1-2)

As we study this chapter, we discover that it’s a list of some of the remarkable accomplishments of elders (the spiritually mature). The list begins with God, Himself. He’s the “Chief Elder.” After all, who is more spiritually mature than God? You cannot appoint God, nor can you elect Him. He’s GOD! He’s not only the “Most High” and the “Most Holy” … but He’s the “Most Spiritually Mature.”

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)

When someone’s on their deathbed, it’s vitally important that they follow the admonition of the Word and send for the elders, that is, call for those who are spiritually mature. Some might ask, “How do I know who’s an elder, or spiritually mature?”

Once we understand, that elder is not a title, and spiritually maturity can’t be “appointed” or “elected,” here are seven criteria we might use to determine if someone qualifies as being spiritually mature:

An Elder knows God’s Word.

An Elder lives by the principles of the Word.

An Elder can look death in the face and just laugh at it.

An Elder operates in the compassionate and the “Love of God.”

An Elder functions in the ministry of reconciliation.

An Elder knows how to keep his, or her, mouth shut.

An Elder will treat that person (once repentance has taken place) as if they’d never sinned.

James 5:14 instructs the sick to call for the “elders” of the church (Body of Christ). Some local churches might not have anyone in their congregation who would qualify as being spiritually mature. What then?

We need to understand that James was writing to the church, universal, and not to a particular congregation. Someone’s life may be at stake. This is no time for political correctness. The sick needs to summon someone who’s spiritually mature to come, someone in whom they have the utmost confidence. The call is to the spiritually mature, no matter where they have to come from.

“Is any sick among you? 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… ” (James 5:14)

Here, we find that the spiritually mature are to be summoned to the bedside of the sick. Now we discern something, which in the entirety of the New Testament, only occurs two times. Did you notice that the elders were instructed to pray and “anoint the sick with oil”? Why are they instructed to anoint the sick person with oil?

The only other New Testament reference to anointing with oil, when it comes to healing, is found in the sixth chapter of the book of Mark. Let’s take a look at that scripture and determine to whom this is referring, and what’s happening here!

“And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:12-13)

Here, Jesus has given instructions to His twelve disciples as they’re being sent to minister to others. They’re just starting out in their ministries. They’re not standing in any particular ministry offices, because according to Ephesians 4 (verses 8 and 11) Jesus didn’t set the ministry gifts in the church until He ascended up on High.

At this point, Jesus hadn’t yet been crucified, much less ascended up on high. So, without the supernatural equipping that will later accompany them (once they’ve entered the five-fold ministry) those twelve disciples needed to anoint the sick with oil, if the sick were going to be healed. After these disciples entered the five-fold ministry, we don’t find any evidence that any of these men ever again anointed the sick with oil.

First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Titus are what we call “Pastoral Epistles.” They’re “God’s Handbook for Pastors.” They’re instructions from the throne of God, telling Pastors how to function within that office. When we study these epistles, it becomes obvious that God didn’t instruct Pastors to anoint with oil. Why’s that? What’s the difference?

“And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting (maturing) of the saints, for (to enable the saints to do) the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Jesus, Himself, set Pastors (as well as the other four mentioned ministries) in the church. He did that when He ascended up on High. At the time that Jesus set those ministries in the Church, He supernaturally equipped those whom He called into each of the five-fold ministry offices. Whom God calls, God equips!!! When someone is called into any of the five-fold ministry offices, they’re supernaturally equipped to stand in that office. No equipping? No Calling! It’s that simple!

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

It’s of note that the “gifts” and the “calling” of God go together. Whom God calls, He supernaturally equips. The five-fold ministry gifts are each supernaturally equipped to stand in those offices.

Elders don’t necessarily stand in one of the five-fold ministry offices, so they’re not equipped the same. The act of anointing with oil is, in effect, the elders calling upon the Holy Spirit to do a one-time work, and heal this person.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up … ” (James 5:15a)

This is why it’s so vitally important that someone who’s on their deathbed doesn’t just call a friend, or call someone who’s got some sort of ministry title. They’re on their deathbed. It takes someone who’s spiritually mature to look death in the face, curse that spirit of death, and speak life into this sick saint. Up to now, he’s been bedfast, but now the Lord will “raise him up” from that deathbed.

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:15-16)

The spiritually mature, who’ve been summoned to the bedside, pray the prayer of faith. But that doesn’t end their responsibility. They’re charged with helping the sick person find out why their own faith isn’t working. During this time, if it becomes evident it’s because of un-confessed sin; a true elder will tenderly lead them into repentance and pray with them to receive forgiveness.

“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

Let’s talk a little more about the elders of the church. James 5, verses 15 and 20, both speak of the sick person having committed sins and being forgiven. This is one of the crucial reasons for calling an elder, and not just a friend, or some other Christian.

The Bible teaches, that the curse causeless shall not come. Another way of saying it is this: “Anytime the curse (poverty, sickness, or spiritual death) comes, it’s because somehow the door was opened, thereby allowing the Devil to attack that person.” The four main causes for the door being opened are: lack of knowledge, fear, strife, and sin.

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Proverbs 26:2)

Something, in the life of this sick person, opened the door for sickness to enter his life. If it’s sin that opened the door for this sickness to come upon them, then that’s likely the very reason they can’t get their own faith to work. As a matter of fact, the scriptures declare:

“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:21)

When we know there’s sin in our own lives, then our hearts (conscience) will bother us. We know that things aren’t right before God, so we don’t have confidence that God will hear and answer our prayers.

Since this bedfast Christian hasn’t been able to get his own faith to work, he’s had to resort to calling for those who are spiritually mature to come to his bedside and minister to him. One of the traits of an elder is that he’s compassionate. Because of that compassion, he’ll not only want to see this person healed, but he’ll also want to uncover any un-confessed sin, and get it forgiven, so that the faith of this Brother or Sister will work from now on.

This elder will counsel with the sick Christian to determine wherein lays the source of the problem. If it’s sin, then he’ll pray with him and ask the Lord to forgive him. Once repentance has taken place, a true elder will treat the person as if they’d never sinned.

“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” (Proverbs 11:13)

Here’s another area where the character traits of a true elder come into play: A true elder knows how to keep his mouth shut. Once repentance has taken place and forgiveness has been received, they keep their mouth shut!

Concerning the secrets of the heart that were shared from that sickbed, a true elder doesn’t go home and tell their spouse. They don’t tell their Pastor. They don’t tell their “prayer partner.” They don’t tell their friends. And they certainly don’t tell “Sister Bucketmouth” or “Brother Slander.”

True elders never again speak of those secrets, for the rest of their lives. They conceal the matter. Those secrets die, when they die! True elders take those secrets to their grave! That’s part of what makes them true elders.

“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)

Not everyone who claims spiritual maturity is a true elder. That being the case, who makes the decision as to who’s called? The person on the sickbed! It’s their life and their health that’s at stake. They’re to be the one who calls for the elders to come to minister to them. They’re to choose those in whom they have confidence.

“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death …” (1John 5:16)

Part of the path that leads to spiritual maturity is learning to be compassionate. True elders are compassionate. Matthew 14:14 reveals that Jesus was “moved with compassion” and healed their sick. We’re to be followers of Christ. Such compassion will move us to forgive a brother’s sin, and ask the Lord for forgiveness on their behalf.

“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:23)

The Lord has placed this responsibility upon all Christians, whether we want it or not. And because of that, we’ll be held accountable for standing in the gap for those who have become sidetracked by sin, and thus been taken captive by Satan, at his will.

Too often Christians just turn their back on those who’ve sinned. I’ve often said, “Christians are the only ones I know, who shoot their wounded.” Too often we see a brother or sister down, and rather than helping them up, we “pile on” and start kicking them while they’re down, helping to “finish them off.” However, according to the Word, we’ve been given the “ministry of reconciliation.”

One of my uncles served in the military during the Korean War. He drove an ambulance. As part of his duties, he would leave the safety of his camp and drive to where the fighting was taking place. He’d risk his own life, in an attempt to bring some wounded soldier back to safety. Oh, that we Christians would have such dedication to our fellow soldiers!

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Sometimes, we just need to leave the safety of our own camp. You know, it’s not always popular to go help some Brother or Sister who’s fallen! You risk being ostracized by your Christian friends. When you give aid and assistance, you do so at your own peril, but that’s a part of the price you’re willing to pay, if you’re spiritually mature (an elder).

Jesus said we’re to leave the ninety and nine to go after the one who’d strayed. How long? Until we find him! Until we’re successful! What then? We lay them on our own shoulders. In other words, we take on the burden of carrying them until they’re strong enough to fend for themselves. We nurse them back to spiritual health.

We rejoice when we’ve been able to restore a Brother or Sister. We’re supposed to encourage our friends to rejoice with us. Some of those friends may be somewhat immature and take a little persuading. They may be thinking, “This is someone who knew better, but they sinned anyway! It’s their own fault.”

Our attitude shouldn’t be judgmental. As mature Christians, we’re not to be looking down our noses at those who’ve fallen. Instead, we should be saying to ourselves, “But for the Grace of God, there go I.”

We should be reminding others that there’s great joy in heaven over the fact that this one was lost and is now found. All heaven is rejoicing! Heaven’s happy! Heaven’s having a party! Heaven’s joy-filled over the return of one of it’s own! Why would they want to be left out?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit (know), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

Reconciliation means making things right. When we reconcile our checkbook register, we find areas where mistakes have been made. Then we correct those errors so that everything is made right. Those who are spiritually mature will help those who’ve found themselves in the ditch, and aid them in getting back on the right road.

Let’s take a further look at standing in the gap for someone who’s sinned. Sometimes they have little confidence that God will hear their prayers and forgive them. In that case it’s often necessary that we ask, on their behalf, and God will forgive them. He’ll honor our request.

If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” (1 John 5:16-17)

We’re to ask for forgiveness for the one on the sickbed. And because of our prayers, God will give them life. The only sin, for which we’re not to ask forgiveness, is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In all other cases, a true elder will stand in the gap between the sin-laden person, and the “King of Righteousness.”

Concerning “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,” that’s a separate teaching altogether. But since it’s a concern of many, we’ll take a precursory look at it.

The scriptures declare that “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is the only unpardonable sin. First John 5:16 says, “There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

Jesus, Himself, said, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3:28-29)

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

During the last 35 years of my ministry, I’ve heard all sorts of speculation concerning what this sin might be. However, this sin is so condemning that the Word leaves no room for speculation. What constitutes blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and who could have committed such an act? Let’s analyze who could even be eligible to commit such a grave sin.

First: The first requirement, to even be eligible to have committed this sin, is that the people have to have been “once enlightened.” That means they’ve heard and understood the Gospel. They’ve been enlightened about the fact that Jesus died for them in order that they might have eternal life with God.

 Second: They’ve tasted the “Heavenly Gift.” Jesus is the “Heavenly Gift.” That means that at some point in their lives, they accepted Him as their Savior and their Lord. They became “born-again” Christians.

Third: They were made “partakers of the Holy Ghost.” That means they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, with the outward evidence of speaking in other tongues. In other words, they were “Spirit-filled Christians.”

Fourth: They’ve “tasted the good word of God.” That means they were exposed to good teaching from the Word. They didn’t just keep hearing the same new birth messages, another thousand times, but they were taught the whole counsel of God. In Acts 20:27, the Apostle Paul declared, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

Fifth: They’ve tasted “the powers of the world to come.” That means God used them in some of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are listed in 1 Corinthians 12.

In order to meet the minimum requirements, to even be eligible to commit this unpardonable sin, a person would have to be born-again, Spirit-filled, grounded in the Word, mature Christian, whom God has used in the gifts of the Spirit. Most Christians today are not mature enough to commit this sin, even if they wanted to. That likely rules out 99.9 % of all Christians!!!

Finally, if someone meets those five minimum requirements (to even be eligible to commit “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”) they’d have to “fall away” from God. Not just fall away, (as in backsliding) but they’d also have to attribute the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil. Then they’ve blasphemed the Holy Spirit! If that’s occurred, we’re told to not waste our time praying for them, because they won’t be forgiven. There’s no hope for them. Their doom is sealed.

Elders need to know about these things, in order that they can help those who wrongfully believe they’ve committed this unpardonable sin. Sometimes, a mature, wise, informed elder, can counsel with those who’ve lost hope (because they feel they’ve done something so terrible that God won’t forgive them) and that elder can inject new life into the dispirited and “put a spring in their step.” That’s part of the ministry of reconciliation! And that’s a part of being spiritually mature!

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1 John 5:18)

This is why it’s so important that this bedfast Christian (who may not be long for this earth unless they receive their healing) call for spiritually mature Christians (elders). Those who are spiritually mature will tactfully and compassionately inquire as to why the sick saint’s faith isn’t working. If it’s a matter of un-confessed sin, they’ll pray with him, and ask God to forgive that sin, in order that the saint’s faith will work the next time the devil tries to attack.

“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. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls”. (1 Peter 2:24-25)

Brother Kenneth E. Hagin once told of a Pastor who got into financial trouble by running up a charge account, and then he couldn’t pay the bill. In addition to that, he got involved in a sexual relationship with someone other than his wife. Somehow, word of his deeds got to the church’s so-called “Board of Elders.”

A board meeting was called, and one by one the “so-called elders” spoke their minds concerning the situation. The first stood and said, “I vote that we publicly shame him, run him out of the ministry, and make it so that neither he nor his family will ever be able to show their faces in this town again.”

One by one, the others chimed in and agreed; that is, until it came to the last man.

This precious, “Spiritually Mature Saint” stood and said, “It’s true that our Pastor has sinned, but which of us hasn’t? I’m not condoning his actions. What he did was wrong. But we need to take responsibility for our part in this matter. The reason our Pastor is in financial trouble is that we didn’t pay him right. He didn’t go out and buy frivolous things. He went to the grocery store and bought some necessities and because we didn’t pay him right, he didn’t have enough money to pay the entire bill, so he had to charge some things. I vote that we pay his bills and give him a pay raise. And concerning his sexual sins, I vote that we forgive him and restore him to the ministry.”

One by one, each of the others stood and said, “You’re right and I was wrong! I also vote that we pay his bills, give him a pay raise, forgive him, and restore him to the ministry.” They voted unanimously to pay his bills, give him a pay raise, and restore him. Hallelujah!!!

Brother Hagin went on to relate that at the time he recounted the story, the man who’d first proposed restoring this Pastor to the ministry, was the only “true elder he’d ever known. He further stated that these events had occurred many years ago and said that restored Pastor had gone on to become a great blessing to the Body of Christ. Praise God!!!

A true elder will minister to sheep gone astray and cause them to be returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, as 1 Peter 2:25 relates.

Spiritual maturity should be the goal of every Christian. Sometimes it seems that we’re overrun with a bunch of “spiritual wanna be’s.” Dr. C. M. Ward, the Assembly of God’s “Revival Time” Radio Speaker for many years, once said, “Spiritual Giants … there’s so few of them these days. We’re up to our ankles in pygmies.” That’d be really funny … if it weren’t so sad!

The time has come for the church to “grow up” into Christ (as Ephesians 4 instructs). Hebrews 5:12 says, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” It’s time! The time has come! Many in the church need to grow up! They should be teaching others the deep things of God, rather than their needing to be bottle-fed. The church needs the spiritually mature. The church needs elders.

We know that all sickness and all infirmity is a result of the fall of man in the “Garden of Eden.”

However, it’s important to note that not all cases of sickness and infirmity are the result of sin on the part of the one who’s sick!!!

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but (in order) that the works of God should be made manifest (visible) in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me … ” (John 9:1-4)

Jesus explained that this man’s blindness wasn’t a result of sin on the part of either the man or his parents. He went on to say that in order that the “Works of God” should be made manifest (made visible), He must work the “Works of God,” He then gave the man instructions on how to receive his healing.

I’d like to re-emphasize that sin is not the only reason for sickness. Again, the scriptures teach that lack of knowledge, fear, strife, and sin will each open the door for the devil to attack a person.

“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25)

In Job’s life it was the fear that his children had sinned that opened the door for the devil to attack. “Fear” motivates Satan in the same manner that “faith” motivates God. When “fear” is present, it excites Satan and causes him to spring into action. He attacks, and becomes a destroyer. When “faith” is present, it excites God and causes Him to spring into action and He becomes a rewarder.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)

Many Christians don’t invest the necessary time to study the Word, so they “don’t have a clue” concerning what belongs to them. Neither do they have any idea how to fend off an attack of the devil. God said, “My people (those who belong to God) are destroyed …” because they don’t have knowledge of the provisions, which He’s made through His Word.

Often, God’s people have multiple excuses as to why they don’t get into the Word. God said that because they’d rejected getting knowledge of His Word, when their trials come He’d reject (turn away) from them. We all heard the stories: “Sorry, we don’t have time for the things of God. It’s football season.  We play golf on Sunday mornings. That’s our family time at the beach.  The fish are biting.  Or, we’ve got some other frivolous things to do!”

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

In this passage, Pastor Timothy is told to instruct those members of his congregation who “oppose themselves.” They’re in opposition to (and in strife with) each other. Pastor Timothy is instructed to get them out of strife so that they may “recover themselves.” He’s informed that it’s because of the strife in their lives that the door’s been opened for the devil to attack, and he’s taken them captive.

Your faith will not work when you’re in strife. The Bible teaches that when you’re in strife, Satan can take you captive at “his” will. That’s a principle of the Word of God. Your faith will not work, when you’re in strife! Need I say more?

 

Chapter Six 

Gifts of Healings

The sixth from the highest way to receive healing is through the “gifts of healings.”

The reason that “gifts of healings” is so far from the top of the list is that it requires no faith on the part of the recipient. This method operates only when the Spirit wills, and only through whom He chose to manifest that gift.

The problem with receiving at this lower level is that when Satan brings a “counter-attack,” people who haven’t built their own faith are in big trouble. They often spend the rest of their lives hoping that they’ll be in some place where “gifts of healings” are again being manifested. If they’re delaying receiving their healing until “gifts of healings” are in manifestation, it may be a long wait. It’s far better to build your own faith and receive at the highest level. Believing and acting on the Word, pleases God, and will work for every person and work all of the time.

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant …  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another (special) faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing(s) by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12: 1, 4-11)

These nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost are distributed to whomever the Spirit wills. “Our wills” have no part, whatsoever, in the decision concerning whom God uses, and in what gift. It’s important that we observe that these gifts cannot be turned on or off at will. They operate only as the Holy Spirit wills.

When I was Pastoring a church in Arkansas, I had made a trip to Tulsa to help a friend find a van for his large family. While there, I received an emergency phone call, telling me that a member of my congregation had suffered a severe heart attack. Immediately, I left for the hospital where he was being treated.

Upon arriving at the hospital, his wife told me that the surgeon had just told them that he’d live only a few more minutes. I asked to see him first (so that I could make sure there was nothing that he needed to get straight, before he went out into eternity).

I pushed the curtain back to enter the cubicle and as I stepped through the opening, the Lord spoke to me and said, “He’ll live and not die!” I was shocked to hear that. I was there to make sure that everything was right in his life before he went out into eternity. The Surgeon told me that the entire left side of his heart had blown out. Both he and the cardiac nurse told me that he didn’t have one chance in a million of living, and that he’d be dead within minutes. But God!!!

When I stepped up to the bed it looked as though he were already dead. There were tubes and monitors connected to him. His color was ashen gray. His skin felt like the skin of a corpse. He looked dead!

“Dean, Dean, This is Pastor. Can you hear me?” He couldn’t talk or move but I detected an almost imperceptible flicker of his eyelashes. I told him what I’d heard and his lips attempted to whisper something. I put my ear down to his lips and ever so faintly, he managed to whisper, “I agree with you, Pastor. Pray for me.”

I laid my hands on him and prayed. Within minutes he asked that his bed be cranked up so he could see those who came to visit him. 

Please understand … I had little, if anything, to do with this. The Holy Spirit switched on “gifts of healings.” I didn’t know it was going to happen. People often get into trouble by trying to “operate” the gifts. All nine of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost, operate only as the Spirit wills.

If I had anything to do with it, I’d have kept that power flowing and cleaned out the whole hospital. Matter of fact, I’d just turn “gifts of healings” on right now and clean out every hospital, every doctor’s office, every nursing home, and every home where there are sick people. But it’s as the Spirit wills, and only as He wills. My will has nothing to do with it. Sometimes it happens when I least expect it.

Dean went on to recover fully. Despite the proclamation of the medical team, saying that he’d never leave the hospital alive, he outlived his wife. Since then, he’s enjoyed several business opportunities, and was recently remarried. Hallelujah!!! To God be all of the Glory!!!

We had a similar situation, where “gifts of healings” were manifested, during one of our evening church services. I was in the middle of a sermon when, suddenly I knew that a woman was in pain. I knew exactly who it was. I knew exactly where the pain was (Word of Knowledge). For some reason, I didn’t call her out by name but simply pointed to the left side of the sanctuary and indicated on my body where she was hurting. Three times I indicated what I knew, and asked her to respond. She finally raised one of her fingers to indicate that it was she. I said, “That’s right Sister, it’s you. Come up here!”

As she came forward, I said to the Lord, “Now what? So … I know she’s in pain! What am I supposed to do about it?” His answer shocked me. “Slug her!” I could hardly believe what I’d heard. This was a very sweet, old, grandmother who loved me immensely. Again, I inquired of the Lord, “What do you want me to do?” Again came the answer, “Slug her.” I responded, “Are you sure?” The Lord wouldn’t tell me anything else. “Slug her,” came His response.

She stood before me and with love, gazed into my eyes. A sweet smile covered her face. “How was I going to slug this sweet, elderly Grandmother?” I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. She was looking at me through eyes of love, and I was supposed to “slug her”?

Finally, I told her to turn and face the congregation. I just couldn’t do it with her looking at me. Then I said to the congregation, “Don’t you ever do this. Don’t you ever, ever do this. Don’t you ever, ever, ever do this … unless God tells you to do it. And even then, you be sure it’s God or you’ll get yourself into big trouble with the law.”

After cautioning the congregation concerning what they were about to see, I made a fist and intended to just very lightly tap her on her back. But to my dismay, I misjudged the distance and slugged her so hard that it almost knocked her off her feet. “Oomph!!!” she grunted as she took three steps forward to keep from falling.

I was aghast that I’d hit her so hard. It’d been my intent to lightly tap her. I had no intent to really hit her hard. I couldn’t help noticing a look of horror on the faces of the congregation, as they witnessed what just happened.

After the service nobody even mentioned what’d happened. That was on Sunday night. The next three days nobody mentioned it. My family didn’t even bring it up. At the Wednesday night service, that precious lady asked if she could give a testimony. I said, “Certainly.”

She began, “As most of you know, I’m a governess for a Doctor’s 6 year old daughter. I was giving her a bath and I slipped, falling into the bathtub, breaking my shoulder and collarbone. Doctors operated on me, repairing the multiple breaks by using screws and clamps to hold things together. Because of the way they had to do the repair and because of my age they told me it wouldn’t heal right. They said I’d never be able to raise my arm above armpit level. To make things worse, my shoulder had an imbedded infection where they’d clamped and screwed things together. I was scheduled to have another operation to deal with that imbedded infection.  Sunday night, I was in terrible pain during the service. I considered trying to leave. However, I was afraid that I might pass out on the way to the back of the sanctuary and I really didn’t want to cause a disturbance. Somehow, I sensed that if I would just stay in the service, God would heal me. Then Pastor called me up and he … kind of hit me.” Then, thrusting her arm high into the air and exuberantly waving it back and forth, she joyfully proclaimed, “How’s this? Glory to God!”

As I stood there, hearing for the first time that she’d had an operation for broken bones, and that I’d “slugged” her on the very spot where the breaks and infection were, I was astounded!!! Everyone who witnessed the expression on my face as I heard her testimony probably thought that I was going to pass out.

I had little to do with that. I was just a vessel that God used to bring “gifts of healings” to this precious saint. I didn’t know that she’d broken her shoulder and collarbone. I didn’t know that she had an imbedded infection. I didn’t know that she’d been in the hospital. When I later mentioned it to one of my sons, he said, “Dad, everyone in the church knew that she was in the hospital. Everyone knew she’d had an operation to fix some broken bones. Dad, everyone knew it!”

I responded, “Well son, I’m the Pastor of the church, and I didn’t know it.” I truly believe that the Lord kept it from me, because it’s possible that I wouldn’t have been obedient if I had known all the facts. I’d like to think differently, but to be honest, I can’t say for sure.

Smith Wigglesworth, who was known as the “Apostle of Faith” would sometimes be used in that manner. Sometimes, he’d sock people in the stomach and they’d be instantly healed. Lester Sumrall would also sometimes do unusual things, and the people would be healed. And if I remember correctely, Jesus put mud in a blind man’s eyes, and told him to go wash them out, and he was healed.

First Corinthians 12:6 states there are differences of administrations (the ways in which God operates the gifts). It’s still the “gifts of healings,” but it’s not always operated the same way. Jesus put mud in a blind man’s eyes on one occasion, but he dealt with others differently. The important thing is to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow those instructions.

God sometimes uses handkerchiefs (prayer cloths) or aprons, as “reservoirs of the anointing.” Those pieces of cloth function much the same as a car battery. When the car’s engine is running the alternator charges the battery. Later, with the engine turned off, someone can turn the lights on or play the radio. That person may not have been present when the engine was running, but now they can draw upon that stored power.

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)

It’s notable that it was “God” who brought these special miracles of deliverance from evil spirits and diseases. He used Paul’s hands and transferred the anointing from Paul into those cloths. But it was God who did it! Those pieces of cloth stored the anointing. This is God’s provision to bring healing to people who absolutely cannot be present. This isn’t done in order to heal those who are just too spiritually lazy to come to where the anointing is manifesting.  It’s mostly for the benefit of the bedfast and seriously infirm.

Several years ago, one of my relatives had quit going to church. He’d quit praying. He’d quit reading his Bible. In tears, his spouse related the situation to me. I asked if I could lay my hands on everything made of cloth that he used. We went into the living room and I laid my hands on his favorite fabric chair. We went into the bedroom and I laid my hands on the clothes in his closet. I opened his dresser and laid my hands on the clothes in the drawers. Then I asked for a handkerchief and laid my hands on that. Then I said to his wife, “Place that under the bottom sheet, just below his pillow, and don’t mention this to a soul. This is just between you, me, and the Lord.” I explained that God uses me that way. That same anointing that’s in me will be transferred into that cloth and will be discharged into him, upon contact.

Some weeks later, I was again talking with his spouse. I inquired, “How’re things going?” As I expected, the report was a glowing testimony of God’s goodness. He’d started reading his Bible again. He’d started praying again. He’d started going to church again. Not only that, but they joined a Bible Study group and have faithfully attended for many, many years. Glory to GOD!!!

 

Chapter Seven

A Sovereign Act of God

The last and lowest way of receiving Divine Healing is by a “sovereign act of God.”

Someone might ask, “Why is a ‘sovereign act of God’ the lowest level of receiving healing from the Lord?” That answer is very simple. While all other methods require faith from someone, this method requires no faith at all. No faith from anybody! The scriptures declare that without faith it is impossible to please God. It’s really not pleasing to God, when the only way He can bring healing to His beloved, is to just do it, in spite of their doubt and unbelief.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The problem with depending upon receiving one’s healing by a “sovereign act of God,” is that this may never happen. There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever be healed in this manner. When we contrast this method of receiving your healing with the number one way, “Believing the Word and acting on the Word,” here’s what we discover: You can always receive your healing by believing the Word and acting upon the Word, but it’s a shot in the dark as to whether a person will ever be healed if they’re waiting for a “sovereign act of God.”

“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”  (John 5:1-9)

This man, like the others at the Pool of Bethesda, was not operating in faith at all. Everyone there knew that sometimes God just healed someone without any faith on their part. And they knew that it was only the first one into the Pool who got healed. This required no faith, whatsoever! All you had to do is to be the first one in. When Jesus passed by, He ministered to this man at the level of the man’s faith, which was zero. The man didn’t exercise any faith at all, but Jesus healed him anyway.

“Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” It’s easy to see why waiting to receive by a “sovereign act of God” is not pleasing to Him. God is pleased when we build our faith on “His Word.”

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him …” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

God’s eyes are constantly searching for a people who will believe Him and believe His Word. He desires that He can show Himself strong on their behalf. We need to build our faith to the point that we can come boldly to “the throne of grace  (the throne of unmerited favor). There, we expect to obtain mercy. God is seated on the Mercy Seat. His mercy endureth forever. At the Mercy Seat, we’ll find grace to help (unmerited favor to help) in the time of our need.

“… no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

Healing is a good thing. God won’t withhold healing, since it’s a good thing. God won’t withhold healing from any of us, if we’ll walk uprightly, and receive according to His Word.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

When we know the promises the Lord made in His word, it gives us boldness to come before Him and say, “Lord you promised.” Because of that confidence, we know that we’ll obtain mercy and unmerited favor in the time of our need.

Contrast a Christian who’s meditated upon the Word until it’s become an integral part of their innermost being, with one who hasn’t given time to the Word. The first is rooted and grounded in the Word. He comes before his Heavenly Father with confidence and joy, thanking God for His deliverance, even before he sees the manifestation of healing. The immature Christian comes before God, “bawling and squalling,” because he didn’t take the time to learn what belongs to him, and therefore, he has “no clue” concerning how to receive.

“Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” (Isaiah 45:11)

Jesus (the Holy One of Israel) and His maker (God the Father) are challenging Christians (His sons and daughters) to make demands on His power. We do that in much the same manner as we make demands on the electric company when we flip a light switch on. We call upon God’s power by “Keeping the Switch of Faith’ turned ON.” In doing so, we draw on the fullness of His power. It’s about time we begin walking in the fullness of that power!!!

 

Chapter Eight

Concerning the Anointing …

 “… the YOKE shall be DESTROYED because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27)

The “yoke” of bondage is destroyed … because of (or by) the anointing. Honoring the Holy Spirit and inviting Him to manifest Himself in our presence will help make conditions conducive for the Holy Spirit to anoint our services, and to anoint us for His work.

We cannot bring the anointing into being. Only the Holy Spirit can do that! We can, however, make conditions conducive for the Holy Spirit to anoint our services or anoint us for ministry. Conversely, if we show lack of reverence, we can certainly grieve the Holy Spirit. Grieving the Holy Spirit will prevent Him from anointing the service, and will prevent Him from anointing us to minister to others.

Of the things that affect the anointing of the Holy Spirit, two that play critical roles are our attitudes and the type of music. When these are both right, conditions become conducive for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself.

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)

God inhabits (takes up residence in) the “praises of His people.” Where God takes up residence, is where He makes Himself visible. It’s there, that we see His mighty works. People often tell me that God doesn’t do supernatural things at their church. If that’s the case, perhaps that’s a signal to begin “praising Him.”

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

God is a “Supernatural God.” His eyes are scanning the earth at this very moment. He’s seeking a people to whom He can demonstrate His supernatural power.  If He’s taken up residence in our midst, then He’ll supernaturally demonstrate His presence.

When we speak of God demonstrating His presence, we’re not talking about someone getting chill bumps. We’re speaking of Him doing “supernatural works” in our midst, such as instantaneous healings and incredible miracles! If those things are not occurring, then He hasn’t taken up residence in our midst! He inhabits our praises, so if we want Him to live in our praises, He needs praises to inhabit.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

Jesus taught that we’re to worship “God the Father.”  He revealed that the Father is seeking, searching, and desiring to find those who will worship Him. But that worship must be in spirit and in truth. He desires to find those who will do that, in order that He may take up residence in their praises and manifest Himself in their midst. Jesus emphasized that “true worship” is done in “spirit and truth.”  

What did Jesus mean when He stated that our worship was to be done in “spirit and in truth”? To worship in “spirit” means to worship from “your innermost being,” When people are involved in true worship, they often have Holy Hands raised unto the Lord. When people are involved in true worship, they often have tears of gratitude flowing down their faces.

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1 Timothy 2:8)

Both prayer and worship are conversations with our Heavenly Father. Those conversations should be punctuated by the lifting of holy hands to Him. Contrast that with doing something “in the flesh.”

Recently, in some places, it’s become popular to “offer the Lord a clap offering.” There’s absolutely no scriptural basis for this. Let’s look at the only reference in the entire Bible that speaks of clapping our hands. This was written under inspiration of the Holy Ghost, by King David, and was addressed to the “Chief Musician.” It dealt with clapping our hands in time with the music. It dealt with keeping time with the music, just as the cymbals do.

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” (Psalm 47:1)

Fifty years ago, “giving the Lord a clap offering” was non-existent within the church. During the great “Healing Revival” that ran from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s, clapping was conspicuously absent in the services. People worshipped God in spirit, and He responded by doing wonderful things in their midst. If we want to see Him do those things again, we’ll have to return to “worshipping in the spirit.”  Clapping to the Lord is a cheap imitation of true worship!

We’ve let many unscriptural things sneak into our churches. I’ve seen ladies with tight fitting leotards, prancing across the front of sanctuary waving banners. Such behavior is done “in the flesh” and is entirely unscriptural, and draws attention away from the Lord and unto them. There’s not a single example of such behavior in the Bible. Other churches feature “interpretative dancing.” All such things take our focus off of the Lord and re-directs our attention to the spectacles being displayed before us.

For the worship portion of their services, one church that I visited dimmed the lights and turned on moving colored lights, making the church appear like a “honky-tonk”. Another church had a “smoke generator” on the platform. They produced artificial smoke as a cheap imitation of the “Shekinah Glory Cloud of God.” We’ve cheapened worship. We’ve brought the things of the world into the church.

I’ve heard people attempt to justify bringing such “worldly things” into the church. Their claim is that we need to identify with the masses. Personally, I’d rather identify with the Lord. If God inhabits that sort of behavior, then why isn’t He doing supernatural works in the midst of it?

If what we’re doing is working, then we need to keep on doing things that way! But if what we’re doing is not working, and God is not demonstrating Himself in supernatural ways, then we need to change what we’re doing! Let’s get back to the very things that paved the way for the Holy Spirit to do great and mighty things, in times past.

Whether it’s inappropriate clapping, waving banners, interpretative dancing, displaying flashing lights, operating a smoke generator, or some other unscriptural behavior … all of these things are “done in the flesh.”  We see none of these behaviors in the Word! These things are not worship in truth.”  Worship in truth is “true worship.” In order to be “Worship in truth” it must be worship according to the Word of God, which is “truth.”

Benny Hinn once said, “Distraction KILLS the anointing.” How true that is! Sometimes an anointing will come upon a service, and then someone starts doing something that draws attention away from the Lord and unto them. Swoosh! The anointing leaves, just like a fleeing dove. The sad part is that many Christians are so spiritually inept that they don’t realize what just happened.

If we desire God’s wonderful demonstrations of His love, then we’ll have to return to “worship in the spirit” and “worship in truth.” He’s the Great Supernatural God, who “changes not.”

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

“True worship” occurs when we begin praising God by the “fruit of our lips giving thanks unto His name.” It is not anything we do in the flesh. Godly Pastors need to step forward and become the leaders and shepherds of God’s sheep that He called them to be. Pastors need to stand up and lead their congregations by following the admonitions of the Word, and quit leading by trends and popular demand!

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

We need to understand that most of the time those who’ve found themselves doing unscriptural things have just not been properly taught concerning true worship. All of us have missed God’s plan at some time or another, but as long as we repent and change what we’ve been doing, He’ll forgive us. The only time it really becomes an issue is when we know the truth and still refuse to change our behavior. At that point, our behavior becomes “rebellion” and “sin.”

Concerning our music: Many churches today, have digressed to the point that the majority of their music is about us.” Almost every song is about us. Occasionally, we’ll sing about Him but hardly ever to Him. All but gone is true worship, where we sing to Him.

Music that leads people to worship the Lord, and music that inspires them to begin praising Him, is beneficial in paving the way for the Holy Spirit to begin manifesting Himself. You can tell when people are involved in true worship, because of their raised hands and the tears flowing down their faces, as they lovingly worship their Heavenly Father.

Whether we’re speaking of music or preaching, we also need to understand that “volume” has nothing to do with the anointing, so yelling louder, or singing louder, won’t help. If “more volume” was the answer to an “increased anointing,” all we’d need to do is to turn the sound system up. Sometimes showing respect, by ministering very tenderly to the Lord, is what’s called for.

Most of us have seen preachers who put on their “preaching voice” while spitting, romping, snorting, and hollering, as they pace back and forth, in an attempt to “gin something up.”  You can’t “work up” the anointing! Worship and praise both help set the atmosphere for the anointing to be manifested. You don’t have to put on a show, because it’s not about you! It’s about the Lord!

After meetings where shenanigans of that description have taken place, I’ve sometimes heard people remark concerning how anointed the preacher was. I thought to myself, “What a shame it is, that the people of God know so little of the anointing, that they think a spectacle like that, is the anointing. If they only knew what they’re missing!”

An elderly country preacher was once asked if he could define the anointing. He thought a little while and finally responded, “No sir, I can’t rightly tell you what it is. But I can tell you … when it ain’t!”  Oh, that we’d all have that much sense! It’s the anointing that destroys the yoke of bondage … so we need to get this right!

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

The “Spirit of the Lord” is the “Holy Spirit.”  He’s often referred to as the “Holy Ghost.”  Isaiah prophesied that it was the Holy Spirit who would anoint Jesus to do the things He did. He’s that same Holy Spirit who anoints us today. It’s of note that the purpose for all of this is that He (God the Father) would be glorified.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)

Jesus, Himself, quoted Isaiah and stated that it was because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing that He was able to do the things that He did. He specifically listed the recovering of sight to the blind (healing) as one of those works.

“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)

Here again, we find scriptures confirming that it was because God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and anointed Him with power that He was able to heal the people. We further see that sickness is described as being “oppression of the devil.”  To be “oppressed” means to be put down. Satan “puts people down” by making them sick, but Jesus came to heal (undo that oppression).

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Jesus explained that the devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. He further explained that He came to undo those evil things. He said He’d not only undo them, but make things better (more abundant) than they were before the attack of the devil.

“And Jesus went with him (Jairus); 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.” (Mark 5:24-27)

The Bible says, concerning the woman with the issue of blood, “When she’d heard of Jesus …” What did she hear? Why would she think of touching His garment? What was that all about?

“And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” (Matthew 14:34-36)

Accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry were being circulated across the region. When this woman with an issue of blood had repeatedly heard how all those who touched the hem of his garment were healed, faith came! It takes repeated hearing for faith to come.

According to Romans 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing…” Faith does not come by “having heard.” If it did, then if someone had heard a particular scripture, even one time, they’d have faith for whatever that scripture promised. Remember, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing …” The more you hear, the more faith you’ll have.

“For she said (kept saying), 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 5:28-34)

This woman heard repeatedly how God used Jesus to heal people. She kept saying within herself, “If God will do that for others, He’d do it for me”. She kept saying, “All I have to do is to get close enough to touch His clothes.”  She kept saying, “The anointing that’s in Jesus will be transmitted into my body and I’ll be made whole.” She believed what she said. She acted on what she said. And because of her faith, she was healed. That’ll work for anyone, because God is no respecter of persons. That’ll work any time and it’ll work all of the time!!!

 

Chapter Nine

Transfer of the Anointing Through the Laying on of Hands

There are three things that we should keep in mind, as hands are being laid on someone for the transfer of any “ anointing”. The first of those is: We need to draw the anointing out!!!

Just as the woman with the issue of blood did, in Mark 5, at the very moment hands are being laid on someone, that person should concentrate on “actively receiving”. That means they must actively draw that anointing out. They shouldn’t just stand there waiting for God to do something to them, or they’ll likely go away disappointed. They need to actively receive what God’s doing for them. This isn’t a spectator sport. They must participate using their faith.

  • Now’s not the time to pray!
  • Now’s not the time to pray in tongues!
  • Now’s not even the time to Praise

Praying is good! Praying in tongues is good! Praise is good! But all of those things should have already been done, and they can be done again later. But, at this very moment, it’s time to actively receive.

Concerning our prayers of thanksgiving: We should spend most of our time praying in tongues, which the Bible describes as “giving thanks well.” (1 Corinthians 14:16-17) Concerning praise, we should praise the Lord even before we can see the results. And we should also praise Him after the results have been manifested. But right now, it’s time for receiving!!!

In preparation to hands being laid upon someone, here’s another very important principle to remember:

“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 1:6-7)

God is a rewarder of faith. But, James tells us that if we waver concerning what we ask the Lord for, we’ll not receive anything. That’s why is so very important that we build our faith on the promises of God to the point that we just can’t waver. When we desire something from the Lord, we need to find where He promised that in His Word. Then we need to meditate on those promises until they become so ingrained in our spirit, that wavering just isn’t possible.

“For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:18)

God honors faith! According to the Word of God, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Hebrews 11 also reminds us that He’s a rewarder of those who, in faith, diligently seek Him. God will reward our expectations,”

If one person comes to God, desiring healing, and yet expecting nothing … that’s exactly what they’ll receive. NOTHING!!!

If another person comes to God, desiring healing, and expecting healing … that’s exactly what they’ll receive. HEALING!!!

Since God is no respecter of persons, He’ll always treat everyone exactly the same way. He’ll give everyone exactly what they truly expected.  Through understanding of this principle, we can readily see what a huge part our own expectations play in receiving anything from the Lord.

The second thing we should keep in mind is: The anointing is cumulative!!!

The anointing is cumulative. The anointing is additive. If someone has previously had hands laid on them and the situation wasn’t completely rectified, then they should “get some more anointing”. In Mark 8 we read the account where Jesus laid His hands on a blind man twice in the same day, and for the same thing.

“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” (Mark 8:22-25)

The first time Jesus laid His hands on this totally blind man, he received some sight, but his vision was still blurry. When he looked at men they appeared to him, as trees, walking. The second time Jesus laid His hands on him, his vision became clear. The anointing is additive. When he received more anointing, his healing was totally manifested. Again, we are reminded of Isaiah 10:27, which states:  “… the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. If someone believes that the anointing went into them the first time, and there was some improvement, but the desired results weren’t completely achieved, they’re not acting in unbelief if they have hands laid on them again, to receive more anointing.  Jesus did that with this blind man.

However, if hands were laid upon someone for the transfer of the anointing, and they ask for hands to be laid on them again because they don’t believe they received anything, then, they’re in unbelief. And if they’re in unbelief, they’re not going to receive anything, until they build their faith. And that will occur only by repeatedly hearing the Word of God concerning healing.

The third thing we should keep in mind is: The anointing has “no half-life”!!! 

The anointing doesn’t decay with time, as radiation does. With that in mind, we need to just keep saying, “The anointing went into me and it’s still in there, doing what God sent it to do. That anointing won’t quit working until what I am believing for, is totally manifested.”

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)

There was an anointing in Pastor Timothy but it wasn’t being used to it’s maximum potential. Timothy was told to stir it up, since “The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.” Those gifts and callings will never go away. Pastor Timothy was told to stir up that gift. He was urged to get that anointing back into action. We must do the exact same thing. Nobody can do it for us. We have to do it for ourselves.

Remember, the anointing will remain in you, until the job is completed. Only you can send the anointing away (by your words, or by your actions). Sometimes, it’s necessary for you to “stir up” that anointing. Only you can stir up the “ anointing” that’s within you! So … what are you waiting for???

 

Chapter Ten

 Counterattacks

 In 1976, I was privileged to befriend Tony, a wonderful Christian man who happened to be a diabetic. The diabetes had done tremendous damage to his body, resulting in him becoming totally blind. He lived in New City, New York but would come to Oklahoma, to be in some special services whenever he could.

About every month or so, he’d come to the Tulsa area, and when he did, a friend of mine and I would alternate taking care of our friend. I’d have him every other day. On the days that I had him, we’d go to classes, eat lunch, and then I’d take him home with me. I’d seat him in the living room with “healing tapes” playing on my tape recorder. I’d play those tapes over and over. In the evening we’d go to special healing services. Remember: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing …”

As Tony and I became good friends, he began to relate some of the things that’d happened in his life. He shared details of some of the incredible healings he’d experienced.

Tony told me that he’d been totally healed three different times. The first time was in a home Bible Study, where some of the people prayed for him. The second time was in a Morris Cerullo Meeting in California. And the third time was during a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting in Pennsylvania. Each time Tony was totally healed, but he later lost each of those healings. I was particularly interested in how all of that occurred, and why it occurred, so he related his testimony to me.

Tony explained that he’d never been taught the Word of God, concerning healing. Each time that he’d been healed it had been either a result the faith of someone else, or as a result of the “gifts of healings” being in manifestation during a service.

During the months that he’d been coming to Tulsa and spending time with his two new friends, we’d been putting the Word of God into him. First, we’d take him to classes where healing was taught in the mornings. After lunch, we’d take him to our homes and talk healing with him. Then, we’d play “healing tapes” for him. And in the evenings we’d attend healing services. The more of the “Word” he heard concerning healing, the more faith he had for healing.

“And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.  For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” (Mark 4:24-25)

Jesus told us that it’s vitally important to guard what we hear. If we hear the “Word of God” then we’ll have revelation concerning God’s plan for us. But if we allow ourselves to hear things that are in direct opposition to the “Word”, then we’ll lose those things that the “Word” promised to us.

One day Tony shared with me how he’d lost his last healing the last time. He’d been with his wife to a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting and had been totally healed. As they were descending the steps of the auditorium, he was watching his hand as it slid down the handrail. He remarked to me, “It’s amazing what will grab your attention, when you haven’t seen anything for years.”

Tony’s wife loved him and certainly didn’t realize how important confessing the Word of God is to those who believe. She didn’t realize how devastating a person’s contrary thoughts could be. Innocently, she began to question him. “Are you sure you can see?”

He said, “Brother Hicks, I could see as good as anybody. But she kept asking me that. That was a seed that injected doubt into my mind.”

Tony told me that things went well for a little while and he was enjoying his newfound sight. But a short time later, he noticed that occasionally things would get a little dimmer for a few minutes. At first it didn’t last very long. Initially, the interval between these occurrences was fairly long. But, as time progressed, the dimness became darker and the darkness lasted longer. Finally, it became dark. Totally dark! And Tony didn’t know how to stop it. He said, “Brother Hicks, if I knew then, what I know now, Satan would’ve never been able to steal my sight.”

Many people have similar testimonies. Their affliction may have been something different. However, they were totally healed, only to later lose their healing. Both, Matthew 12:44 and Luke 11:24, tell us that Satan’s stated intent is to return after a yoke of bondage has been destroyed. He not only intends to return, but his stated goal is to make that person’s situation seven times worse than they were before.

Let’s take another look at what Jesus did when he ministered to the blind man at Bethsaida.

“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him … And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town … (and after He’d healed him) …  he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.” (Mark 8:22a, 23a, & 26)

The first thing of note is that Jesus led him out of the town. He had to get him out of that “atmosphere of unbelief.” But even after the man had his sight restored, Jesus sent him to his own house, with instructions that he wasn’t to go back into town. He was told not to talk with anyone there about his healing. Jesus knew the people of Bethsaida would talk the man right out of his healing, if given the chance. We need to learn from that. Stay away from unbelief. It’s contagious! It’ll cost you your healing!

Brother Kenneth E. Hagin gave us some powerful insight concerning counterattacks by saying, “You can get people set free by the move of the Holy Spirit, but to keep them free, you’ll have to teach them the Word.”

I once held a “Healing Revival” in a particular town in Alabama. God wondrously healed people of some serious situations. One particular lady was healed of two different ailments. She even sent a letter of testimony, proclaiming her healing.

However, when she returned to work she was surrounded with those who are not walking in the things of God. She was bombarded with strife, doubt, and unbelief. God had supernaturally healed her through “gifts of healings”, but after receiving her healing, she hadn’t taken the opportunity to build her own faith. So, when a counter-attack came, she, like Tony, didn’t know how to fight it off.

Who a person spends their time around, can be a matter of life or death. And sometimes, even where a person goes to church can be a matter of life or death! If they spend their time in places where “divine healing” and “divine health” are not believed, taught, and practiced; it could cost them their life.

Brother Hagin related that several of his relatives had serious illnesses at one time or another. He was able to get each of them healed, one time, on his faith. But he was never able to get any of them healed the second time, on his faith. You see, God will show mercy on us, and let us get healed by someone else’s faith—one time. But then, He expects us to build our own faith. If we don’t take advantage of that time, it will often cost a person their life.

The final thing I’d like to leave with you is this. When God has been so gracious as to heal us, we need to share our testimony with others. Jesus ministered to a man who was possessed with devils and set him free. It changed the man’s life forever. The natural reaction, after such an experience, would be, to just want to hang around Jesus. But Jesus, in effect, told him “No! I want you to go share with all your friends what I’ve done for you. Tell them about my compassion for people. Tell them that I love them. Tell them that I want to do wonderful things for them, too.”

“And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” (Mark 5:18-19)

That’s God’s message for us today. Go tell your friends (and others) how great things the Lord has done for you! Tell them of His compassion for you. Tell them that He wants to do great things for them. Tell them He’s your best friend, and wants to be their best friend, also. Tell them that He loves them! Introduce them to Jesus!

Be Blessed … and Be Healed,

Roger Hicks

 

© Copyright 2017 Roger Hicks Ministries