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Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by Kevin, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Healings?

    Hi everybody,I am struggling with an issue which I believe God has put in my heart lately.It is arround the issue of healings done by the Holy Spirit.There are some teachings in the church today that the miraculous healings of the early church are a thing of the past and belong to that age. I understand how they get to that conclusion because we simply are not witnessing the same extent of the miraculous powers that occured in the early church.We see healings take place now and then and sometimes we see small outbreaks of a healing revival in various places but still nothing of the same power that happened in the early church.Why is this?I believe the Holy Spirit is moving me in this direction, and I have been praying for a better understanding of how this all works. This year alone I have seen Jesus heal two children and relieve another of his pain while suffering with cancer. I have seen people healed of genetic diseases.I have seen people healed by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus!Here are some biblical facts.Jesus healed all who came to Him and He commissioned us to heal the sick. One of Gods redemptive names is 'Jehovah - Rafa' God our healer.God is not a respecter of men, so Gods healing is for all men.Part of the atonement on the cross was for our physical healing as well as for our sins. In the OT, when the tribes of Israel made atonement for their sins many where healed.Jesus healed out of compassion and faith. There are other reasons but these are the predominant ones.Here are some questions I have.1) We know God does not change, God is still our healer. Why then do we see Christians suffering from terrible illnesses?2) James said we should confess our faults to one another and then we would be healed. Are the reasons for illness in a Christians life due to unrepentant sin?3) The early church healed uncounted numbers of people. Are we to take the example of todays churches as the benchmark and discard the events recorded in the early church as a thing of the past which is no longer applicable?4) If the early church is the benchmark as to what the Holy Spirit can do in a church, then what is wrong with todays churches? (I know there are churches today where healings do take place, I am mentioning the church in general. Please do not be offended. If your church sees miraculous healings, genuine Holy Spirit healings, then please tell me what they are doing differently than the other churches).5) Jesus healed people where there was faith. Do we lack the faith needed for the Holy Spirit to work miracles in our lives? Or do we seek Jesus jst to be healed and not to serve Him?6) Paul told the Corinthians that many of them where weak and sick due to the fact that they abused the communion. What implications does this have on us today?7) Jesus told us to preach the gospel, heal the sick and deliver the demonised. Why do only see preaching in most churches today. I know almost all churches pray for their sick, but how many actually see miraculous healings?I thank you all in advance for your patience on this topic.
  2. Gifts of the Holy Spirit

    Before I start I would like to state that I acknowledge the right of everyone’s beliefs on this matter and I do not claim to have all the answers. The following is simply my best guess about the matter (through prayer & study) at this time. I am not saying that Christians do not have the Holy Spirit today (indeed we do) and I am not claiming that miraculous healing cannot take place today either but maybe that it’s not as “easy” for us &/or we go about it differently (such as prayer vs laying on hands). For all I know it is possible to “lay on hands” and heal someone (nothing is impossible with God and He can use us as He wills) but so far I have yet to see this as a plausible occurrence but rather a possible occurrence.

    A common rational that I have encountered is that it appears the Apostles had greater “gifts” with the Holy Spirit and they were able to pass this “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts (such as laying on hands to heal someone) on to others but that the people who received the passed on “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts from the Apostles were not able to pass it on themselves. So when the first generation of people (the Apostles) with the “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts died, no new people received the “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts and that the “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts died out with the second generation who were unable to pass it along.

    For Example it appears Philip (the evangelist not the Apostle) was able to Baptize and save in the name of Christ but he was of the 2nd generation that received the “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts and could not pass it on to the new members of the church but when some Apostles showed up on the scene they were able to pass on the “concentrated” Holy Spirit gifts to the people that Philip had just Baptized and saved in the name of Christ.

    Acts 8:5-20 (NKJV)
    5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
    20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

    I do not necessarily subscribe to this point of view, but to me at this point and time it appears to be the most plausible. Some of the rational behind this can be seen and placed together throughout the New Testament. We also see mention of some miraculous events said that they shall cease, though admittedly laying on hands for healing is not mentioned in the following verses.

    1 Corinthians 13:8-10
    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
  3. Thanks for your reply,

    First let me aplogise for the format in which my first post was presented. I did not write it that way. For some reason all the spaces and paragraphs where taken out.

    In response to your post, you mention that as each generation of apostle (disciple) past on, the annointing of the Holy Spirit got weaker.

    I will have to look into this theory more closely.

    One general problem we, as people, have with the gifts of the Holy Spirit is that we tend to box the Holy Spirit in based on our experiences.

    We all know what the Word of God says about the Holy Spirit, but yet we tend to build theologies arround our experience of the Holy Spirit.

    In my experience, I have seen people healed miraculously, therefore I believe in Gods gift of miraculous healing. The same goes for the other gifts.

    Hence my dilema. I know the Holy Spirit heals today, yet why do some people get healed and others not. Jesus died for all mankind, not just some. God never changes, He is the same today as He was 2000 years ago, therefore His mercy and compassion have not changed.

    Therefore if God has not changed, in His Love and in His commision for us, then the only other possiblity is that the church has changed.

    This is where I am struggling at the moment. If the church has changed and we as Christians make up the church, then how have we changed?

    Are we near sighted, are we missing something, are we in Gods will?

    Do we live in our own strength and miss the working of the Holy Spirit?

    Have we truely surrendered to Jesus?

    I am truely struggling in this area of my faith. God is calling me to pray for sick people, yet I am running away, scared that nothing will happen (even though I have seen first hand how God heals). There is something that requires great faith to walk out on a limb and pray for people telling them the promises of Christs healing mercies and then relying completely on the Holy Spirit to do the work. I know I am completely powerless to heal anybody unless the Holy Spirit does the work. There is certain fear when I realise that I am actually not in control of the situation.

    This is why I am asking all these questions. I need to build my faith!
  4. Just my views:

    We do not lack faith. God has given a measure of faith to each believer and it only takes the smallest amount to move any mountain. There is no verse from the Book of Acts on (the birth of the church) telling anyone he needed faith.
    In my life I have seen the following:
    God has healed folks by miraculous intervention.
    God has healed folks through medicine and/or their bodies own defense (a miracle in itself).
    God has walked folks through their illness and taught them much about trust.
    God has taken folks home which is the ultimate healing.
    Which He chooses to do and how He chooses to be glorified is quite up to Him.
    One thing I am reminded of is an old testament scenario; in Isaiah chapter 38 God has pronounced Hezekiah has a sickness unto death. His life was lived in the fear and admonition of the Lord and he has run his course. Still he cried for longer life and God granted him 10 more years. It was during those 10 extra years that he fathered Manasseh who lead Israel into it's greatest period of sin and rebellion causing great judgment to fall on them.
    My point- trust God, believe God and know that His timing is always best.
  5. In my opinion, I think that Scripture does teach that God heals, and still heals today.

    Exodus 23:25
    Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.

    Proverbs 4:20-23
    My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.

    Isaiah 41:10
    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    However, I have not found Scripture claiming that God intends Christians never to be ill or have disease or that He intends for all to be healed. I also don't believe that if we aren't healed, it isn't because we don't have enough faith, but because it is God's will (which we know is always what's best for us).

    I believe that sometimes, illness is one of the things God uses to keep us dependent on Him (I'm living proof of that right now in my life).

    I believe that is up to Him to decide what is in our best interest, and that may be to allow us to be ill, even when we pray for healing.

    "The LORD said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?'" (Exodus 4:11). Again, remember God's words to Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    The Bible tells us that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8:28 (and one of my favorite Scriptures). So this scripture makes me believe that that includes illness or disease, because it says "all things".

    So I don't think we should question why some are healed and some are not...I think our job is to pray for healing and leave it up to the Lord to decide what is best (his will).

    Blessings, Cheri
  6. Healings

    I was not suggesting the Holy Spirit got weaker as each generation past on, I was stating only the Apostles being the 1st generation (the 12 Apostles NOT just disciples, we are all disciples) could pass on their more "potent version" of the Holy Spirit and that people who received it could not pass this more "potent version" on. So this more "potent version" would have only lasted two generations (the Apostles and the people who received it from the Apostles). When the Apostles died and the people they past the more "potent version" of the Holy Spirit on to died, no one received again this more "potent version" of the Holy Spirit. It did not get weaker; it just stopped with the death of those who had it.

    The story of Philip (Philip the evangelist NOT the Apostle) in Acts 8:5-20 where he was able to baptize & save in the name of Christ but two Apostles showed up after to “impart the Holy Spirit”. In this story we see Philip practicing miricles and wonders but it took Apostles to pass on that ability from my reasoning.

    Acts 8:26-39 where the same Philip was able to baptize & save in the name of Christ but no Apostles showed up to “impart” the Holy Spirit. I would say the Ethiopian was like us today, he didn’t receive the more “potent version” of the Holy Spirit but he was saved and did have the Holy Spirit.

    Again this is just a theory that I have come to at this point & time that seems to be the most logical. I am not saying it is the answer but is the best one I can come to right now.

    In response to the early church statement:

    This conclusion I come to is not “because we simply are not witnessing the same extent of the miraculous powers that occured in the early church”.

    I do believe the Holy Spirit still heals today, but through prayer and faith rather than placing your hands on someone’s eyes that is blind to restore their sight. This being said, regardless nothing is impossible for God and he can use us as He sees fit, even using us to heal in the later healing method mentioned.
  7. My friend it depends on where you look. I have seen many miracles, some that would be right at home in the Book of Acts.

    I have also seen many great men and women of God get sick and/or die.
    This earth is still cursed and our bodies travail and groan with all creation awaiting the Lord's return.
  8. healings

    That is awesome you have witnessed such miracles. Looks like I may need to reevaluate my study on the subject.

    I must admit it is possible that these miracles "that would be right at home in the Book of Acts" are still with us today.

    I apologize if I have confused anyone; I have been speaking from a point of view of my previous study of the topic. Maybe I have not looked hard enough. To the original poster: I am sorry I do not a clearer answer for you.
  9. Kevin, two things strike me. One is, if God is indeed calling you in the direction of a healing ministry, then by all means heed that call. The second is that the fact that the Holy Spirit is in control and does the work should be a relief to you. You're off the hook in terms of responsibility beyond simple obedience. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray for someone and lay hands on them, you can let Him worry about how He is going to manifest His power in that situation.

    My two cents: I think that physical healing is ultimately more about the demonstration of God's power (and the consequent validation of a person's ministry) than it is about the restoration of sight or strengthening of limbs or removal of cancer. Even a perfectly healthy temporal body will pass away in time when we discard the perishable for the imperishable in eternity. That may be why miracles such as healing seem to be more prevalent during early Church history or at the frontiers of missionary evangelism in more modern times.

    In any case, may God grant you insight and confidence as you seek to obey and serve Him.
  10. Thanks for all the replies.

    I have been going over this topic in my head for a few days now and I have come to the following conclusions.

    1) Jesus came so we can be healed.
    2) Jesus' mercy is the same today as it was 2000 years ago.
    3) We are all alloted a certain number of years on earth according to Gods will, but through sin we can shorten those days and die before our time. If we die from illness but it is in our alloted time then it is not from sin.
    4) It is Gods will that we are to be healed, otherwise He would not have said He is our healer.
    5) God can use sickness to discipline and grow His children (disciplined by God is a good thing because He loves us).
    6) We know that Jesus is able to heal, but we also need to know that Jesus is willing to heal (which requires more faith than the former).
    7) Some people are healed just for the glory of God.
    8) Some people are healed out of faith, sometimes other peoples faith.
    9) Some people are healed out of compassion.
    10) Jesus commissioned us to heal the sick.

    Thanks again for the replies, this is an area where God is growing me at the moment. I am a scientist by nature so I love to be in control of every outcome and to analyse every result. God is challenging me to let go and let Him do the work. For some this may seem wonderful, but for me at the moment, it is a big challenge and is causing stress and fear. When I fear and stress I tend to run from God. Deep down I know that if I really let God work in my life, then my life is going to change and I am comfortable in my life now.

    A few years back I would not have even considered the possibility of miraculous healings and I would have easily come up with a few verses to prove that healings are a thing of the past, but now I am seeing them happen before my eyes and it is challenging to let God take control and rip out my sense of scientific logic and control.
  11. Ask yourself this question: What is the purpose of miraculous signs/gifts?

    ref: John 10:
    24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
    25Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,

    Matthew 12:
    39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

    The Apostles were given power to do miracles to witness they were indeed sent by Jesus and their testimony was true.

    I am very skeptical of those who claim to have or see these gifts today. People can convince themselves of many things that are not.

    I usually look beyond the supposed miracle to see what eternal purpose has been served.

    It's a big deal to us if someone with cancer goes into remission and we should praise God, but more important is where is their soul going?

    What good is it to heal ten thousand people if their faith is hollow and there is no change spiritually.

    Look at all those who rushed to churches after 9/11 but gradually drifted back to their old ways and quickly forgot God.

    Too many people miss true opportunities to serve God because they are focused on desiring gifts that draw obvious attention to themselves and their praises to God are hollow. The "gifts" are a way to make them feel important, not to glorify God.

    Matthew 15:
    8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    Why aren't we seeing extraordinary miracles in churches. First, Miracles sdtill happen, but you can't see what you don't believe in. Second, miracles don't always happen when they are not necessary.

  12. healings

    John 5:36 (NKJV)
    36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

    John 10:37-38 (NKJV)
    37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

    Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
    8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
  13. [FONT=&quot]
    Seems to me that your problem here is you believe your own righteousness plays a determining role in the healing process. Why should you fear? Do you heal the sick when you pray for them? Or does the Holy Spirit do the healing?

    Did God tell you to make promises to the people you pray for? Or did He just tell you to pray for the sick?

    If you place the outcome of the prayer and results into the hands of the Holy Spirit then you should not be filled with fear. Because you should never have placed the burden of responsibility of a successful result upon yourself, because my friend your never going to heal anyone by your own efforts. It is the Spirit who gives healing and it is the Spirit that withholds healing and it is the will of God that determines if healing is done or if healing is withheld.

    Fear of what? Do you fear peoples reactions when the Spirit withholds healing? Is this about the Spirit and the glory of God or about you?

    All Praise The Ancient Of Days[/FONT]
  14. Thanks Adstar,

    Good advise.
  15. I have people show up at my door now and then to ask me to pray for them. I never claim to have the gift of healing. People come to me because they have heard from others I have a gift of prayer. (meaning my prayers appear to be answered more quickly and concretely than others) After explaining God will indeed answer our prayers, according to our faith and His will, we pray together and trust whatever answer God provides is indeed the best possible solution.

    So far, every time the prayers are answered either exactly as we requested or better than expected.

    I say "so far" as it all lies in Gods hands. I have no power nor control except to say what is on my heart and ask according to His will.

    I know full well gifts are given to glorify God. They continue as long as they are serving God's purpose and when that purpose is fulfilled the gifts will cease.

    For instance, what good or need would there be for a gift of healing if no one was sick? However, speaking of spiritual gifts, any physical healing is always secondary to the primary purpose.

    If you feel moved by the Spirit to pray, don't resist. God will accomplish what He desires. Remember, God can see into the future, we can't. We have no right to question His decision.

    I too struggle with the idea people wrongly expect results from me and if God doesn't give them what they ask for it will reflect upon me personally.

    But since we are not actually doing anything more than making a request to God, the only way we can fail is to not ask God for help. If He has given you a gift, then use it.

  16. Yes Ginger there will always be those poeple . But they are putting their hope in the gift not the Giver of the gift .
  17. That's why I specifically remind people it is totally up to God, but if they trust God and are willing to accept His answer as the best possible (even when it is not what they hoped for or looks like it is not good) and give Him praise as such, everything will come out well in the end.

  18. Just to clear things up a bit, I have never claimed to have the gift of healing or to be in a healing ministry. All I have said is that God seems to be dealing with me in this issue at the moment.

    I firmly believe that every Christian should be praying for the sick and they should expect the work of the Holy Spirit to accomplish Gods will. It is all well and good that I believe this based on theological study and prayer but when it comes to the actual working out in the physical, I tend to freeze up and want to know the outcome before I pray.

    Adstar hit the nail on the head in my circumstance. God is working in my life to show me that it is OK to let go and let the Holy Spirit do the work.

    The truth hurts, but at least it is the truth. Thanks Adstar for speaking so boldly!
  19. Healing

    Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    Mar 16:18
    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.

    Pretty much settles it for me.......... Red letters trump everything. The healing questions gets settled when your willing to step out on the Word and do what the Head of the Church says.

    The Apostles had no special power. Peter settled that Also. They were anointed with the same anointing that is available today and we would need scripture to prove they had more than us and there are no scriptures.

    Jesus is the Healer and will perform his word if we are willing to believe it.
    God used the Apostles to heal, but not one was given credit for it.

    Act 3:12
    And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

    Act 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

    Act 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

    This is why Paul explained under the anointing about the gifts of the Holy Ghost ......Tongues, Healing, Wisdom, ......ETC... It's because we need to know about that stuff.

    Faith in the Name of Jesus!!! That name has never lost authority. Never.

    Be blessed everyone.
  20. The Holy Spirit healed a little boy about two months ago, and I remember when I was praying for him that I had a distinct feeling that this was going to lead his father (an atheist) to Jesus.

    A few days ago, his father gave his life to Christ! He cannot stop talking about Jesus!

    God is absolutely amazing!

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