Healing Training Course
Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five
The purpose of this lesson is to prove step-by-step from Scripture that if you are a Christian then you have the authority and the privilege of healing the sick for the glory of Jesus Christ.
The information in this handout might be different than what you have always been taught, but consider keeping an open mind in case God wants to reveal something new to you. Check these things against the Bible, don't just believe what I say or what other people have said!
Jesus Had a Ministry of Evangelism and Healing
1. Luke 3:23 says that before Jesus went to the cross, He had an earthly ministry:
Luke 3:23: "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry."
A large part of His three-year ministry consisted of evangelism and healing. We will see that Jesus turned this ministry over to the Church when He gave us the Great Commission.
2. Luke 4:16-21 says that Isaiah had prophesied that Jesus' earthly ministry would consist of preaching the Good News, healing the sick, and releasing the oppressed:
Luke 4:16-21: "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." ... "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.""
In this passage, Jesus announced His evangelism and healing ministry by quoting Isaiah's prophecy.
3. Luke 7:20-23 says that in Jesus' evangelism and healing ministry He healed the blind, He healed the lame, He healed lepers, He healed the deaf, He raised the dead, and He preached the Good News:
Luke 7:20-23: "When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?'" At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.""
Jesus proved that He was the Messiah by demonstrating that His evangelism and healing ministry was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (as we saw in Luke 4:16-21, above).
4. In Acts 10:38, the apostle Peter described Jesus' evangelism and healing ministry by saying that He went around doing good and healing people:
Acts 10:38: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."
5. Luke 13:31-32 says that when Jesus was told that Herod wanted to kill Him, Jesus replied that nothing was going to stop Him from continuing His healing ministry:
Luke 13:31-32: "At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you." He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'""
Notice how Jesus described His earthly ministry. He said that nothing would keep Him from casting out demons and healing the sick.
Conclusion: Jesus had an evangelism and healing ministry before He went to the cross. In the next two sections we will see that Jesus turned this ministry over to us.
Jesus Turned His Evangelism and Healing Ministry Over to the Church
1. Jesus trained twelve ordinary men to continue His evangelism and healing ministry, and then He sent them out on a short missions trip to put into practice what they had been learning:
Luke 9:1-2,6,10: "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. ... So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. ... When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done."
On their short-term missions trip, the apostles preached the Gospel, healed the sick, and cast out demons. Jesus was preparing them to take over His evangelism and healing ministry.
Notice in the passage above that the apostles healed the sick (by the power of God). In the same way, you can heal the sick in Jesus' Name (by the power of God).
2. In Luke 4:18, Jesus said that God had sent Him into the world to have an earthly ministry of preaching the Good News and healing the sick. In John 17:18-19 Jesus told His Father that He had sent the disciples into the world to do the same ministry that He had been sent to do. Then in John 20:21 Jesus told the disciples that He was sending them into the world to do the same ministry that He had been sent to do:
Luke 4:18: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind"
John 17:18-19: "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world."
John 20:21: "Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.""
Jesus said that He was sending the disciples out into the world to do the same ministry that He had been sent to do. The disciples were commissioned to preach the Good News, heal the sick, cast out demons, and train others to carry on this ministry. Jesus wanted His evangelism and healing ministry to continue until He returns, as the Great Commission proves.
3. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave the disciples what we call "the Great Commission":
Matthew 28:18-20: "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.""
Many Christians and ministries are actively trying to fulfill this commission, and praise the Lord for them! However, there is an important detail that is often overlooked here. Notice that Jesus did not simply say that we should go out and witness to the lost and get them to say a sinner's prayer. Instead, Jesus specifically commanded us to go out and continue making new disciples, teaching them to carry on His evangelism and healing ministry until He returns!
Jesus said that as we go and make new disciples, we are to teach them to obey everything that the original disciples had been told to do, which includes going out and preaching the Good News, healing the sick, casting out demons, and training others to carry on this ministry. The original disciples lived a normal lifespan, yet Jesus said that He would be with us always, until the end of the age, to help us carry on His evangelism and healing ministry. In Matthew 13:39, 40, 49, and 24:3 we can see that "the end of the age" is when Jesus will return.
In the Great Commission, Jesus said that He will always be with the Church (which includes us), helping us to carry on His evangelism and healing ministry until He returns.
4. Luke 10:1,9,17 says that after Jesus trained the apostles, He also sent out dozens of ordinary believers to take part in His evangelism and healing ministry. They preached the Good News, healed the sick, and cast out demons:
Luke 10:1,9,17: "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. ... [He said,] Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' ... The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.""
Jesus' evangelism and healing ministry was never meant to be just for the apostles!
Notice in the passage above that Jesus told dozens of ordinary believers to heal the sick (by the power of God). In the same way, you can heal the sick in Jesus' Name (by the power of God).
Conclusion: Jesus came to earth not only to die on the cross but also to begin a ministry of evangelism and healing. Just before He ascended back into heaven, Jesus turned this evangelism and healing ministry over to the Church in what we call "the Great Commission."
The Great Commission
1. Many Christians are aware that scholars are not sure who wrote the book of Hebrews. It is anonymous, yet it is canonized Scripture (see The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, p.777, or The NIV Study Bible, p.2345).
2. Not only is the book of Hebrews anonymous, but all four Gospels are anonymous as well, yet they are canonized Scripture (see The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p.15, 95, 199, and 267, or The NIV Study Bible, p.1831, 1895, 1946, and 2021).
3. Scholars tell us that all four Gospels were compiled from eyewitness accounts, written documents, and oral tradition (see The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p.13-15, 96-98, 199-201, and 268, or The NIV Study Bible, p.1829).
4. Concerning Mark's version of the Great Commission (Mark 16:9-20), The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Dallas Theological Seminary) says that "verses 9-20, though written or compiled by an anonymous Christian writer, are historically authentic and are part of the New Testament canon ... These verses are consistent with the rest of Scripture." (p.194, emphasis added)
5. The point is that scholars are not sure who actually wrote Mark's version of the Great Commission (nor any other part of Mark's Gospel), but it is canonized Scripture. Here's what Jesus said in Mark's version of the Great Commission:
Mark 16:15-18: "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.""
6. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says to go into all the world. This is for today.
7. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says to preach the Good News. This is for today.
8. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who believe and are baptized will be saved. This is for today.
9. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who do not believe will be condemned. This is for today.
10. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that signs will accompany those who believe. This is for today.
Since the above points are all for today, this must be also. If you begin obeying the Great Commission and believing for miracles then you can expect to begin having supernatural signs accompanying you. This Healing Training Course will teach you how.
11. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who believe will cast out demons. This is also for today, and there are many passages in the New Testament which teach us about casting out demons.
If you are a believer then casting out demons is part of your "job description" (so to speak) as a New Testament disciple of Jesus Christ.
12. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who believe will speak in new tongues. This is also for today, and there are many passages in the New Testament which teach us about speaking in tongues (see my article called Praying in the Spirit Involves Speaking in Tongues, which examines every single New Testament passage on speaking in tongues).
Notice in this passage that according to Jesus, speaking in tongues is not a subject of controversy, it is for every person who believes in Him. In Part Two of these handouts we'll see some reasons why it can be important to be able to speak in tongues.
13. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who believe can experience divine protection. This is for today.
Here is how The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Dallas Theological Seminary) describes Mark 16:18:
"In the Greek the first two clauses in Mark 16:18 may be understood as conditional clauses with the third clause as the conclusion. An interpretive rendering would be, "And if they be compelled to pick up snakes with their hands and if they should be compelled to drink deadly poison, it shall by no means (ou me, emphatic negative; cf. 13:2) harm them." This promise of immunity by divine protection in either situation refers to occasions when persecutors would force believers to do these things. ... the New Testament records no actual instance of either of the experiences described here." (p.196, emphasis added).
As this prominent evangelical commentary points out, there are no examples in the New Testament of people picking up snakes (notice that Paul did not pick up the viper on purpose in Acts 28:3-6) or drinking deadly poison, so we have no Scriptural support for interpreting these as commands for Christians to follow. Instead, these two things describe divine protection which is available to us as we obey the Great Commission.
14. Mark 16:15-18 (above) says that those who believe will heal the sick. This is also for today, and there are many passages in the New Testament which teach us about healing the sick.
If you are a believer then healing the sick is part of your "job description" (so to speak) as a New Testament disciple of Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: If you are a Christian, then the Great Commission in Mark 16:15-18 (above) applies to you. Therefore, try personalizing the Great Commission and reading it out loud several times (because "faith comes from hearing the message" - Romans 10:17). Here's how it looks with my name:
Mark 16:15-18 (the Great Commission, paraphrased): "He said to Dave Root, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany Dave Root: In my Name Dave Root will cast out demons; Dave Root will speak in new tongues; Dave Root can experience divine protection; Dave Root will heal the sick."
Try reading it with your name!
Mark 16:15-18 (the Great Commission, paraphrased): "He said to __________, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany __________: In my Name __________ will cast out demons; __________ will speak in new tongues; __________ can experience divine protection; __________ will heal the sick."
How Did the Apostles Interpret the Great Commission?
1. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave the disciples the mission of the New Testament Church, as we saw in Mark 16:15-18 (above). If the Great Commission involves preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, casting out demons, speaking in tongues, and demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, then we should expect to see some of the apostles and early Christians doing all of these things, right? In fact, that is exactly what the New Testament describes! The apostles interpreted the Great Commission to mean that Christians should preach the Gospel and set the captives free, just as Jesus did. This is why throughout the book of Acts we find numerous examples of the Gospel being preached, people being healed, spirits being cast out, tongues being spoken, and the power of the Holy Spirit being demonstrated, just as the Great Commission says to do.
The apostles and early Christians were continuing Jesus' evangelism and healing ministry until He returns, which is what Jesus commissioned the Church to do. Jesus has not returned yet, so we should be continuing His evangelism and healing ministry as well!
2. Some of the healings in the New Testament were done by ordinary disciples, demonstrating that the mission of the Church extends to all of Jesus' disciples, including us modern Christians. For example, in Acts 6:2-5, 8:1, 4-5 the Bible says that Philip was not an apostle, he was an ordinary Christian just like you and me. Yet Acts 8:6-7 says that Philip preached the Good News, healed the sick, and cast out demons, which means that He was continuing Jesus' evangelism and healing ministry in obedience to the Great Commission:
Acts 8:6-7: "When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed."
Evangelism, healing, and deliverance were never meant to be just for the apostles.
3. Acts 9:10-18 says that Ananias was not an apostle, he was an ordinary Christian just like you and me, yet he healed the apostle Paul by the laying-on of hands. This means that God healed an apostle through a non-apostle! For proof that Paul had already received his apostleship by this time, I invite you to see my article called Is Baptism Required for Salvation? - Part Three of Five (http://www.Layhands.com/IsBaptismRequiredForSalvation3.htm).
Acts 9:10-18: "In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered. The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul [i.e. the apostle Paul], for he is praying." ... Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again."
Healing the sick was never meant to be just for the apostles.
4. In Mark 9:38-40, the apostles were upset because they saw a man who was not an apostle doing miracles in Jesus' Name. Jesus told them not to stop anyone from doing miracles in His Name:
Mark 9:38-40: ""Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.""
Miracles, healings, and deliverances were never meant to be just for the apostles.
5. In Luke 9:1-10, Jesus sent the apostles out on a short-term missions trip to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. Then in Luke 10:1-17 Jesus sent out dozens of ordinary believers to do the same:
Luke 10:1,9,17: "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. ... [He said,] "Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'" ... The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.""
Evangelism, healing, and deliverance were never meant to be just for the apostles.
6. The apostle Paul made it clear that as he carried out the Great Commission he did not do it merely with persuasive words, he demonstrated the power of God in order to convince people:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5: "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."
7. In fact, Paul went so far as to say that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power:
1 Corinthians 4:20: "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."
8. Paul emphasized to the church at Thessalonica that he and his companions did not simply use words to proclaim the Gospel, they demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit when they shared the Gospel:
1 Thessalonians 1:5: "because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction."
9. In another letter, Paul made the exact same point that he used miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit in order to fully proclaim the Gospel:
Romans 15:18-19: "I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done-- by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ."
10. The apostle Paul was highly intelligent and highly educated (see Acts 22:2-3 and Galatians 1:13-14, for example), and he received amazing revelation knowledge directly from Christ (Galatians 1:11-12). If anyone could win people to Christ through wise and persuasive words, Paul certainly could have done so! But he didn't. If the great apostle Paul did not rely on "witnessing" (as we call it) but instead he demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit to win people to Christ, are we really going to be effective with nothing but words? While it is true that many people are being saved through witnessing, just think of the multiplied millions of people who would escape eternal agony in hell if every Christian would begin demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit every day in malls, supermarkets, gas stations, airports, and wherever we happen to be, just like Paul did!
11. When one person is miraculously healed it can bring numerous people to Christ. For example, when Peter and John healed the lame man, the Bible says that "all the people were astonished and came running to them" (Acts 3:11), and many people were saved (Acts 4:4). When Philip (who was not an apostle) healed people and cast out demons, the crowd of people listened closely to what he said, and all the people, both high and low, were saved and baptized (Acts 8:5-12). When Peter healed a paralyzed man, all those who lived in Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord (Acts 9:33-35). When Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord (Acts 9:36-42). When Paul and Barnabas healed a lame man, the crowd thought that they were gods and wanted to offer sacrifices to them (Acts 14:8-13). When you do the supernatural in the course of your everyday life, it will get people's attention and many people will be saved!
Jesus told the disciples that they would be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), but notice that their "witnessing" included doing miracles of healing.
12. The apostle John used miracles for evangelism as well. For example, he said that he recorded Jesus' miracles specifically so that people would believe that Jesus is the Son of God:
John 20:30-31: "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
13. Notice that even Jesus did not rely on "witnessing" to convince people. He repeatedly told people that if they did not believe His words, they should believe because of His miracles:
John 10:25: "Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me""
John 10:37-38: "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
John 12:37: "Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him."
John 14:11: "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves."
Are we better than Jesus at sharing the Gospel? Probably not. Since Jesus and the apostles did not rely on "witnessing," but instead they used healing miracles to convince people and to save them from eternal agony in hell, then are we really going to reach our full potential in saving souls with mere words? Apparently Jesus didn't think so, because He commissioned us to use healing miracles in order to help save the lost!
Conclusion: The Great Commission is not just a matter of going out and "witnessing" in order to get people to say a "sinner's prayer." Jesus did not simply command us to make new Christians, He commanded us to make new disciples (i.e. Christians who will do what the Bible says), teaching them to continue His evangelism and healing ministry until He returns (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus lived a lifestyle of doing good and sharing the Good News and demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, and the apostles and early Christians followed His example as they continued His ministry. Doing good and sharing the Gospel and demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit are all meant to be part of our lifestyle as well!
More Scriptural Proof
1. If you are a Christian then John 14:11-15 applies to you:
John 14:11-15: "at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command."
If you have faith in Jesus then He is talking about you in the passage above. Therefore, try personalizing this passage and reading it out loud several times (because "faith comes from hearing the message" - Romans 10:17). Here is how it looks with my name:
John 14:11-15: "at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, Dave Root will do what I have been doing. Dave Root will do even greater things than these. .... If Dave Root loves Me, Dave Root will obey what I command."
Try reading it with your name!
John 14:11-15: "at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, __________ will do what I have been doing. __________ will do even greater things than these. .... If __________ loves Me, __________ will obey what I command."
Jesus said that anyone with faith in Him will do the same miracles that He did! If we don't believe Him, then aren't we calling Him a liar? Doing miracles (including healing miracles) for the glory of the Lord is part of your "job description" (so to speak) as a New Testament disciple.
2. Immediately after Jesus said that anyone with faith in Him will do the same miracles that He did (John 14:11-12, above), Jesus repeated the following statements:
John 14:15: "If you love me, you will obey what I command."
John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me."
John 14:23: "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.""
John 14:24: "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching."
Jesus made the sweeping statement that anyone with faith in Him will do exactly what He had been doing, and then He repeated over and over that Christians must obey what He has commanded. Then, in the Great Commission, Jesus told the original disciples to teach all new disciples to obey what He had commanded. Therefore, all Christians should be obeying Jesus' command that "anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing"! This includes doing good, sharing the Good News, casting out demons, healing the sick, and training others to do the same.
3. Hebrews 6:1-2 says that the laying-on of hands is an elementary teaching which is foundational for our Christian life:
Hebrews 6:1-2: "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment."
The laying-on of hands is a "foundational" and "elementary" teaching, and therefore it should be taught to every Christian.
4. James 5:14-15 says that if any one needs healing then divine healing is available:
James 5:14-15: "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."
This means that divine healing is available to everyone!
5. James 5:16 says that we should pray for each other's healing:
James 5:16: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
This means that all of us are called to participate in divine healing!
Jesus said in Mark 16:18 that those who believe in Him will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover, and in the entire New Testament this promise was never canceled. Jesus said in John 14:12 that those who have faith in Him will do the same miracles He did, and in the entire New Testament this promise was never canceled. Jesus said in Mark 16:17 that signs and wonders should follow believers as we obey the Great Commission, and in the entire New Testament this promise was never canceled. In the New Testament we see average, ordinary Christians operating in the gifts of the Spirit and demonstrating signs and wonders, just as Jesus promised. All of these promises are still in effect! We simply have to believe Jesus and then step out in faith, just as Peter stepped out of the boat in faith and walked on water (Matthew 14:29).
Many Christians have the impression that the apostles were the only ones who healed the sick or who performed miracles or who had certain gifts of the Spirit or who wrote New Testament Scripture. None of this is true, however. There are many times more average, ordinary Christians in the New Testament who healed the sick than there are apostles who healed the sick. There are many times more average, ordinary Christians in the New Testament who performed miracles than there are apostles who performed miracles. There are many times more average, ordinary Christians in the New Testament who operated in the gifts of the Spirit than there are apostles who operated in the gifts of the Spirit, and there were no gifts of the Spirit which were exclusive to the apostles. You can easily verify these things for yourself by reading the New Testament (or by reading this article again). There are also more average, ordinary Christians who wrote New Testament Scripture than there are apostles who wrote New Testament Scripture (assuming, as many scholars believe, that it was Barnabas or Apollos and not Paul who wrote the book of Hebrews). You can easily verify this for yourself by reading my article called Who Wrote the New Testament? (http://www.Layhands.com/WhoWroteTheNewTestament.htm) and counting the number of apostles and non-apostles who wrote the books of the New Testament.
Divine healing is for today and it is for you. It is part of the evangelism and healing ministry which Jesus began while He was on the earth and which He turned over to the Church in the Great Commission. It is part of your "job description" (so to speak) as a New Testament disciple of Jesus Christ.
In all of the examples of healing that God has provided in the Gospels and the book of Acts, notice that:
· There is not a single case where anyone who wanted divine healing did not receive it.
· There is not a single case where a person was told that his sickness was for the purpose of building character or patience in him.
· There is not a single case where a sickness was called a "blessing."
· There is not a single case where a sickness was left unhealed for the glory of God (this includes Lazarus, because Jesus resurrected him back to life and health).
· There is not a single case where God used a sickness to bring one of His children Home to heaven.
· There is not a single case where a person was told that it was not God's will for him to be healed.
· There is not a single place in the entire New Testament which says that there is an "Age of Miracles" which will end before the end of the Church Age.
· There is not a single place in the entire New Testament which says that healing or miracles or gifts of the Spirit will ever "die out" during the Church Age.
Isn't it strange that none of these things appear in the Bible, yet these views are taught in churches today?
Notice what Jesus did:
· He healed them all (Matthew 4:23-24).
· He healed them all (Matthew 8:16).
· He healed them all (Matthew 9:35).
· He healed them all (Matthew 12:15).
· He healed them all (Matthew 14:14).
· He healed them all (Matthew 14:35-36).
· He healed them all (Matthew 15:30).
· He healed them all (Matthew 19:2).
· He healed them all (Matthew 21:14).
· He healed them all (Luke 6:18-19).
· He healed them all (Luke 9:11).
· He healed them all (Acts 10:38).
· He told us to do the same miracles that He did (John 14:11-15).
· He told us to heal them all (Mark 16:15-18).
Jesus demonstrated that healing and health are God's will for everyone.
In fact, every time Jesus commissioned people to preach the Good News of the Kingdom, He also commissioned them to heal the sick and cast out demons. Every single time! When Jesus sent the Twelve out on their first missionary journey, He commanded them to cast out demons and to heal all the sick (Luke 9:1-6). When Jesus sent out the 72 ordinary believers to preach the Good News of the Kingdom, He gave them power and authority to cast out demons and to heal all the sick (Luke 10:1, 9, 17-19). When Jesus gave us the Great Commission, He commanded us to preach the Good News, to cast out demons, and to heal all the sick (Mark 16:15-18). Not once did Jesus ever place any conditions on who was to be healed and who was not to be healed. Healing is for everyone, both then and now, as the Great Commission demonstrates.
Have you ever received a prayer request (perhaps by e-mail) for someone who was sick or injured? Did you pray for God to heal the person? If so, then you believe that God can heal, right? Well, if we believe that God can heal, then why is it so difficult to believe that someone might be healed right in front of our eyes? After all, most of the healings recorded in the New Testament happened instantaneously like that! There is no example in Scripture of Jesus going away and praying privately for a sick person at a more convenient time (which is what we tend to do). Instead, He healed the sick right then and there, usually by laying hands on them and speaking a command. Are we so much better than Jesus that we can just sit back and pray for a sick person without going near him? If Jesus was more effective in healing by touching people, then we will be more effective by touching people as well. After all, Jesus said that anyone who has faith in Him will do the same miracles that He did (John 14:11-14), and He is our example to guide us in how to do miracles.
The Church has been given a commission, and by taking this Healing Training Course you can become more effective in doing the job that Jesus turned over to us. If you still are not convinced, here's my suggestion: Don't believe me, believe the Bible. Pray about it, and then study the New Testament to determine whether healing or non-healing has the greatest Scriptural support. I also invite you to read my article called Answering Common Objections About Divine Healing (http://www.Layhands.com/AnsweringObjectionsAgainstHealing.htm) in case you have questions about the gift of healing, Paul's thorn in the flesh, and so on.
Notice that any view, no matter how bizarre, can be supported in Scripture if we only look at a few well-chosen passages (for example, see my article called Are You Sure You Believe What the Bible Says? at http://www.Layhands.com/DoYouBelieveWhatTheBibleSays.htm). For that reason, I recommend that you seek to find out which view has the greatest support in Scripture. I believe that if you will do this in a prayerful, honest, thorough, objective way then the information in this handout will stand up to the test. Check these things against the Bible, don't just believe what I say or what other people have said!
If you are still skeptical, try this. Read all five lessons in this Healing Training Course, then ask God to bring you some people to lay hands on. Follow the principles given in these handouts and let Jesus confirm His Word through miraculous signs and wonders (Mark 16:20, Acts 14:3, Hebrews 2:3-4). It's hard to argue against divine healing when God is doing miracles right before your eyes as you lay hands on people!
May the Lord richly bless your life with fruitfulness for the Kingdom as you go out and continue His evangelism and healing ministry, and as you train others to do the same until He returns.
YOU can heal the sick in Jesus' Name!
Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five