We could just say “God is an all powerful God and He performs healing miracles!”. I think if this was 1954 when Oral Roberts took his Big Tent to Akron, Ohio, USA during his first healing crusade, that statement would have been very effective to reach many who came to hear the Gospel and be healed of their affliction. It is still a powerful true statement and should work for anyone who is willing to give it enough thought.
Someone else may add “well the Anointing (The Holy Spirit and Power of God) was stronger back then. It was easier to get healed in those days”. In the 1970’s Kathryn Kuhlman also held meetings with large audiences where even people in the overflow and out on the car park got healed just like that.
I don’t believe the power of God for healing was any stronger then than it is today. For decades I have seen believers travel to the epicenter of some revival or move of God half way across the world to catch the anointing or “catch the fire”. It is very well possible to attend a place where God is moving powerfully, to be there and fully absorb the atmosphere. Perhaps have a life changing experience and take it back to your home to share with your people there. But remember if you have to travel somewhere to get something of God there, you must first believe that you don’t have it and that it is more challenging to get it in the place where you live. In the same way, wishing we could be in A. A. Allen’s meetings, to see healing miracles or Smith Wigglesworth’s meetings to witness the raising of the dead, means you must also believe that we will be less inclined to see or experience something like that, right here, right now.
There is almost an imperceptible reason why Christians often don’t experience miracles, a move of God, or healings. It’s not because of the lack of potential, but rather it is the believe that they don’t have that potential. It’s not the lack of the Holy Spirit, or the lack of Power, (the Anointing) but the believe that they have a lack of the Anointing. Sometimes we may travel to a place half way across the world or be exposed to someone else’s ministry so we can have that experience of the manifest presence and power of God. This experience becomes part of our psychology, our neurology, and physiology and like muscle memory our mind with the brain and central nervous system becomes conditioned to remember the pathway towards that manifestation. From that time on we remember how to connect with the power of God in the same way we did when we first had that experience. From thereon we can practice and and cultivate our ability to flow in the power of God. It’s a bit like riding a bike. Riding a bicycle on two wheels is a daunting idea if your have never done it before. Most of us who learned to do this when we were children still have the muscle memory. I grew up in Amsterdam where everybody ride’s a bicycle. Though I have not been on a bicycle for decades, if I were to get on one I would ride the bike as though it was only yesterday when I rode to school like a street pirate. Operating in the Anointing, flowing in the Holy Spirit, prophesying, manifesting the gifts, or praying for healing and helping someone receive their healing is all part of the supernatural of God and we must learn how to connect to it and operate in it.
That’s where many Christian’s stumble. The supernatural is often perceived as twilight zone new age stuff, and so it’s easier to just stay in the realm of the mind and limit our experience of God to intellectual engagement with the Bible and Doctrine. How ironic, when God is Spirit (John 4:24), and we believe He raised Christ from the dead. It really can’t get anymore supernatural than that.
Did Christians and Preachers of another era or far away location have more of the power of God?
Back in 1998 I attended a Pastors meeting in Vienna. There were Pastors and Ministers representing their local Free-Church from across the country. (Austria mainly recognizes the two Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian denominations. The Evangelical with the sub-categories like Baptist, Pentecostal, Word of Faith and Grace Churches are known as Free-Churches [Freikirchen]). The topic was revival and how we could have revival in Austria. They played a video about a Preacher and his Ministry in, I think it was, Peru. It showed how they were experiencing a powerful move of God, with thousands of people coming to the faith and many healing miracles taking place. I knew most of the Pastors whom had traveled to this meeting from all across Austria. I was also aware of the political tensions and competitive attitudes among many of those ministers. They knew me but didn’t really appreciate that I was preaching the “grace message” and setting people free from religious Christianity. A week prior to that our Church had just finished a three day Evangelistic event. I remember that the total number in attendance over those three services was approximately 2700 people. Now that is an unprecedented amount of people, especially when you consider that it was a small rural town and that most of those people were not a member of a free Church. Of course almost 80% of the Austrian population are Catholics and are traditionally registered with their local Roman-Catholic Church. Each service everyone stood up and prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. (Even though Jesus already was their Lord and Savior, but in those days I still believed the old paradigm that a person must pray the prayer of salvation [sinners prayer] to receive redemption based on the presupposition that they did not have redemption prior to that first prayer. Since then I have come to believe that praying the prayer to acknowledge Jesus as Lord can be crucial for that person to mark the beginning of their conscious pursuit of living the live of a believer and is part of the renewal of their mind, but eternal redemption is not contingent upon believing the truth or not. It was secured by the finished work of Christ and His faith on everyone’s behalf, whether they pray this prayer or not)
Some of the Pastors in that meeting began to cry and everyone spontaneously began praying asking God for the same kind of move of God in Austria like what we saw on that video from Peru. It was emotional but not scriptural inspired.
I then stood up in that Pastors meeting and testified about our Evangelistic event a week earlier. Likely they all heard about it because it was big news in the country. I then said, “folks you are praying and begging God for revival, but it’s already here. God is moving powerfully in your midst. We need to see that. We need to believe that and act like it’s so.” Well, that went over like a lead balloon. They looked at me with eyes of unbelief and disdain. It was hopeless, they were so stuck in believing that they didn’t have access to God’s power and the fullness of His anointing as they were already making plans to travel to Peru in hopes of getting what they must have believed they didn’t already have. I don’t think anything changed in their ministry since then. That’s now 24 years ago. How can a group of people get so established in a way of doing things and never move forward?
It reminds me a bit of that scenario in Luke 4
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 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, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The people in that synagogue had been extremely familiar with the writings of Isaiah, and had adopted a traditional futurist mindset looking towards the arrival of “The Anointed One”, the Messiah. For approximately 600 years the people had been reading this promise. The Jews in Jesus day hearing Him read this out were well established in reciting these verses, and were accustomed with the idea that one day the Anointed One would come. After 600 years it would be contra tradition to accept that He had arrived in their time. Believing the Messiah would come one day also meant that they had to believe that He was not there at that point in time. Jesus then breaks the religious mold, and I paraphrase, He said: “I’m here guys, I’m the anointed one. That which you were hoping for became substance, those promises are now fulfilled. You don’t need to beg and plead anymore, you don’t need to wait and hope anymore”.
I know you get the point. The answers, the anointing, the power, everything we need from God, is not meant to be found somewhere across the ocean, or in someone else, or some other external source. Christ is in us. Everything we need from God is in our spirit, right now.
The Teaching Wave
Since the healing revival in the 50’s and 60’s we have had the teaching revival. As amazing as each of these moves of God are, the teaching wave has also had the effect that many have become to locked into their need to be mechanical and technical with the spiritual things of God. Overload in information and much of it taking away from powerful and essential scriptural truths have become a hindrance to people’s ability to simply believe, and to believe simple truth. Added to that the moving towards liberal Theology, with the introduction of mere psychological approaches to the Hermenuetics of Scripture and the challenging and breaking down of moral standards in human consciousness filled people’s minds with unbelief.
There has been a conscious, strategic effort to target people, and Christians with massive amounts of unbelief. Unbelief is not a lack of faith. It is faith in ideas, and views contrary to scriptural truth.
So unbelief is faith turned to believe ideas and views contrary to what God says in His word.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Notice how Jesus did not say, you must make a real effort to build your faith up to be strong enough so that even a mountain can be removed. This is a common error made among the Word of Faith Churches. This is a consequence of the teaching on “spiritual growth” as Kenneth E. Hagin Senior, who was one of the main pioneers of the Word of Faith movement, used to teach it. The spiritual growth message is based on the idea that when a person receives Christ as Lord, they are born again, i.e. born of the Spirit of God, born from above. So then the new believer receives a new spirit and are in effect a baby Christian. From thereon their born again human spirit must grow. The growing comes from renewing the mind with the Word of God, developing a life of prayer, and learning to walk by faith in the Word of God and obedience to the Holy Spirit. This all sounds very good but this idea has some major problems.
It fosters and encourages the illusion of hierarchical levels of spiritual growth from the baby Christians to the more mature spiritual Christians and assumes that the leadership within a Church or Ministry have reached a more superior level of spiritual maturity. Take that together with the idea that some can be more anointed than others, we could end up with very anointed spiritually mature Christian leadership, i.e. preachers, and less anointed and spiritually mature Christians in the congregation. We now have the perfect set up for development of sectarian characteristics within the group, especially if the leader is not very secure in their identity in Christ and feel the need to use manipulative techniques to control the people. Paradoxically, Christians should grow and become more spiritually mature over time, but this is not a growing of the new born again spirit. It is a matter of our internal visual, auditory, kin-aesthetic, olfactory and gustatory senses become less preoccupied with a carnal way of perception, and to remain acuity to spiritual input from the Holy Spirit who operates through our spirit.
Our sensory acuity attuned to the things of the Spirit can be as sharp from day one of your believing in Christ as it ever will be, but the ability to match scriptural context to spiritual input will take time as we establish ourselves in the Gospel truth found in scripture.
The point that scripture makes is our spirit is perfect. There is no lack or a sense immaturity in the spirit.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
You are in Christ. Your spirit merged with the Spirit of Christ Himself and in Him your spirit is everything that it needs to be and ever will be. The spirit is not growing more mature from babyhood.
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Your spirit is the part of you that is in constant communion with God through Christ. Your spirit is holy and without blame before Him.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
We cannot become any holier than what we are in the spirit. Our holiness comes from our oneness with Christ in the spirit. So many Christians dwell on their imperfections, and flaws or accumulated mental and emotional past hurt or even trauma. They do exist and the mental struggle many battle is difficult and the emotional pain they may suffer is real. But they are perceived and experienced in the realm of the soul, not the spirit. These things do not enter the realm of the spirit. Your spirit does not have trauma, or mental anguish. It does not need to grow, and it does not need to be corrected or chastened towards perfection. The spirit is already un-blamable and un-re provable. God is not reproving your spirit. When we learn to trust what scripture says about us i.e. who we are in the spirit because of our oneness with Christ our mind/soul begins to be renewed and healed as it lines up with the truth of who we are in the spirit.
Our spirit does not grow when we read, study and meditate on the Word of God. You do not feed your spirit with the Word of God so that it can grow mature. You feed your soul when you read, study and meditate on the Word of God (to obtain a workable application of the Gospel truth). This is the renewing of your mind with the Word of God. The mind is really the soul. You are learning to think according to a new pattern. Before our personal revelation of Christ and our redemption through Him, we learned to identify with our natural human identity which once upon a time was rooted in the first man Adam. Our human identity in Adam was uprooted since the death and resurrection of Christ and all generations since then were born with a pure spirit in union with Christ. However, very few since then have actually been aware of their true spiritual new identity in Christ. For most of us our personality has been tainted by the carnal cravings of the soul working in the body because of the historic corruption through Adam, including our own experiences in life, that left a destructive mark upon the soul. However, when we renew our minds with the Word of God we are not just filling heads with knowledge of Bible verses. We are learning to make the switch between a non existent identity in Adam, or we identify with our new life and identity in Christ. The more we become practiced in living our life’s according to who we are in Christ, even when parts of our soul, feelings and emotions are screaming at us to follow the carnal identity in Adam, the more we are walking in the spirit.
So our spirit does not need feeding with the Word of God. Our mind/soul needs the feeding with the Word of God. The more we realize the true identity we are in Christ the more our mind/soul begins to align with that reality. Learn to make the switch and “put on” as in identify with your new identity in Christ where you (your spirit) was created by God in righteousness and true holiness.
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Back to Matthew 17:19-20 when Jesus said that the faith even a small as a mustard seed is enough to see a mountain move. Jesus had just come down from the mountain where he was transfigured where Peter, John and James had just witnessed the extraordinary event. When He was asked why they could not cast the demon out of the boy, He turned to the mountain and said the above statement. It becomes clear that it was the unbelief of the disciples that had left them faithless (without faith) and unable to trust God.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
This was not a battle between faith and unbelief and the stronger force would win, as some would suggest. You see, had the disciples even trace of faith as small as a mustard seed, then they would have been able to overcome their unbelief. Even a mountain of unbelief. But the unbelief, which includes the fear, and desperation of the multitude and that of the father of the boy, affected even the disciples to the point, that at the time they tried to pray for the boy’s healing they were overcome with unbelief. Remember, unbelief is faith in the reverse, a believing of things, ideas and views contrary to what God says is true. The father of the boy had seen his son many times going through the terrible episodes he suffered. This would have always been a heightened and very emotionally traumatic experience. The multitude were likely to be people who also knew the boy and his father. Their accumulative unbelief and fear consumed the disciples who tried to pray for the boy. But at that point they to were faithless, or without faith. They were controlled by their feelings of fear.
Side note: Jesus was also saying that fasting (when done right for the right reasons) is able to break the hold of overwhelming emotions driven by unbelief. Fasting does not ever give you more leverage with God or more anointing or power. Fasting breaks down your dependance on carnal motions of the mind/soul, and therefore makes it easier to tap into the spirit and act on your faith.
Have you ever felt like you had no faith at all? What is faith? The capacity to trust God at His word.
Maybe at that time your capacity to trust God was reversed as you were overcome by your feelings of fear and related emotions. But remember all you need is enough capacity to trust God, even as little as a grain of mustard seed, and you will overcome the onslaught of unbelief attacking your soul. You don’t need years and years of growing your faith, you need to make an instand switch and remember who you truly are in Christ and your faith will turn to God.
Of course, much of the unbelief Christians deal with is also caused by the wrong teachings and doctrines within the Christian Churches, including the teachings on healing. For those who teach that healing is not for today it requires a bit of efforts to unlearn some of those things by establishing your self in the scriptural truth about healing. So here in this series we aim to unravel some of the confusion and expose wrong theological ideas about healing. But most of all we want to establish ourselves in the sound doctrine of the Gospel (Good News) of Healing.
So the next time you want to pray for healing, no matter how overwhelming the circumstances may look, determine to discern whether you can trust God even a little. Begin to exercise your mind by remembering the scriptures and Biblical facts about divine healing. You may still even feel fear, and anxiety. You may not even feel the anointing at all. Avoid yielding to feelings that contradict God’s Word. Stay your mind in the Word of truth, and with even an almost undetectable trace of faith you begin to pray and your confidence will grow. You pray and do what is required for that moment. Be confident that God wants to work through you.
Sometimes when a situation looks dire and praying for a complete healing for someone or even yourself seems like a huge task to wrap your faith around. Perhaps take smaller steps and ask yourself what you can believe for. Perhaps, small steps towards improvement each day is something you can more easily trust God for. When I say this it seems like trusting God to hear your prayer and perform the healing is as though God is still going to heal you. No, God is not going to heal you. As far as God is concerned the Grace for healing was granted through the finished work of Christ as part of the New Covenant. You see “Grace is God’s ability to perform in us that which God already accomplished through Christ long ago”. So then what I’m saying is, when you pray for healing you are aligning and agreeing in your mind/soul with what God has already done and made available in Christ. That capacity or ability of God to heal is already in us in the spirit where we are in union with Christ. So recognize what you are able to believe God for, or rather recognize where you know your heart and mind are in sync with what is true in scripture about healing. To that degree you are trusting God.
[Many people have prayed for their healing or for a loved one to be healed and still lost the fight. I am one of those person’s. We must bear in mind that there have also been many healings for those who prayed and trusted God. I think many of us lost battles, which left us wondering about a lot of things. Nevertheless, I maintain that if three out of ten sick people were healed when prayed for then we must continue to exercise our faith and pray. Maybe next time four out of ten will get healed. It is not always clear why a person doesn’t get healed but scriptural fact is, by His stripes we were healed. ]
When your heart/mind/soul is established in truth about healing God can flow from your spirit into the natural realm. The healing power of God can then flow from your spirit into your body or into someone else who needs it.
We will do another series on the spirit/mind/soul/heart and body. For now it will help to see your spirit as one with God (Yahweh). Our mind with all it’s levels of consciousness is really our soul where we need the renewing by the Word of God with Gospel truth, the truth of our new Identity in Christ. Our spirit and soul both meet at the core of our being. The core is the heart and centre of our being at a fairly deep level of consciousness. You could say the heart is the bridge between our spirit and soul.
Now the mind in the soul is not the brain. The brain is really the control center (together with the nerve center around the physical heart near the solar plexus) of the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nerve system and mobility of the physical body. We express output through the body by the directives of the mind, interpreted by the brain into signals. The brain receives input signals from the physical body which are interpreted by the mind. So again, we could say that the brain is the bridge between the physical body and the mind/soul.
The important part of learning to operate from your true identity in Christ is that you realise the following:
You are not a physical body. You have one and it reflects who you are but it ‘s not the true you. You have a body and the real you is housed in it. Your brain is also part of your physical body. You are not your brain.
You are not your mind. You have one, and your mind is amazingly powerful as the way by which you express, receive and process input and output.
You are a spiritual being in union with Christ’s Spirit. It is is from our mind/soul that we learn to process input and output from both the spirit, and from the physical body.
I know this explanation doesn’t do justice to such a complex topic and that I am significantly summarizing. The point is, God’s healing power works through the spirit. If you attend a meeting where the power to heal is present, that’s great. You can tap into that and healing power may enter your body from the outside in.
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
But the healing power of God can be accessed within you and it can work in your body and also flow out of you for the benefit of others to receive healing that way.
If we want healing we must first know what we mean by that. The absence of pain is a straight forward goal. For someone who is in a lot of pain, they just want to pain to stop now. But we must determine what we mean by health. The difficulty of defining health was clearly illustrated when the World Health Organisation (WHO) was asked to undertake this task in 1948. Their response was that ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. The WHO definition merely took one vague entity ‘health’ and defined it in terms of another equally obscure concept, ‘well-being’. It did, however, point out that there was more to health than simply the absence of disease.
For the most part allopathic medicine is very good at dealing with acute trauma, much less so in dealing with chronic illness and even less in preventative medicine.
Dealing with chronic illness and preventative medicine is where oriental medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda and other ancient systems of medicine outshine allopathic medicine. The health concept of TCM includes the holistic view of unison between man and universe, the harmonious unity of fusion of shape and soul, the people-oriented view of values and the balance of qi-blood-yin-yang in the human body. So then balance of mind and body is the aim for Traditional Chinese medicine. Diagnosis of illness are determined by identifying underlying causes, and describing them in terms excess verses deficiency, cold verses heat, dry verses wet. Allopathic medicine has the aim to achieve well-being but provides a very vague definition for the meaning of health and is left with the aim of focusing on getting rid of the symptoms. It may not actually identify the underlying causes.
Divine healing is really God’s supernatural intervention to bring wholeness to the whole being, including mind/soul and body. Remember, our spirit doesn’t need healing of any kind. It needs no healing from painful memories or emotions. Our spirit is 24/7 connected with Yahweh and with Heaven where all is indescribably glorious. It is in our mind/soul and body where we often need the divine supernatural intervention to heal. God has a holistic approach to healing someone. If he heals a broken bone, He also heals the related psychological trauma in the mind. Sometimes He may heal a painful memory, and as a result a persons skin condition is naturally healed. God didn’t need to use healing power in this case. He just needed to help a person see a truth about that painful memory. Once the intervention in the belief about that memory, which no longer benefited that person was ushered toward a more wholesome belief, the bodies natural healing ability was no longer incapacitated and got rid of the skin condition.
I aim to take a much closer look at all the different elements of divine healing because there is a lot of material to cover. However, end of the day we need see that we have Divine Life, the life of God in our spirit.
It is only right that we should do the best we can to cultivate healthy lifestyles. This is not about trying to achieve perfection. It is simply not possible, no matter how disciplined you are. Even when your diet contains all the super-foods, and organic meat or/and vegetables. We are currently still dealing with environmental toxins by means of elektro smog, pollutants in the air, and water, but often overlooked is the fact that oxidative stress is also induced by psychological and emotional stress. Even if you are able to detoxify your body from these elements such as heavy metals, definitely do what you can and seek to improve your diet and exercise disciplines, but don’t seek 100% perfection. If you are of a perfectionist personality style you will just stress out because you will always fall short of that unrealistic goal, which then defeats the purpose. Go by the 70% rule. Meaning if you can achieve 70% of your ideal you are doing really well.
On top of a decent healthy lifestyle, if we walk in the spirit, meaning living from our true identity in Christ, the Divine life of God will flow from our spirit into our mind/soul and body. Every cell of our physical body being rejuvenated by God’s divine life in us, and we then experience divine health. When we experience symptoms of dis-ease in the body or mind something is out of balance somewhere but we can trust God for Divine Healing and restore Divine Health.
*Though I comment here on Kenneth E. Hagin Senior’s teaching on „spiritual growth“, and occasionally some other elements of his teachings, where I may disagree; I am also extremely grateful for the powerful truth’s and examples of how the operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit I learned from him. To disagree in some areas is not equal to disrespect.