The road to divine healing is seldom an expressway. More often than not, it is strewn with roadblocks placed in our way by the devil to keep us from the blessing of health that God has provided.
These roadblocks wear subtle disguises and come from many sources. Some have their basis in tradition, others in superstition. Still others are based on misquoted and misunderstood scriptures.
But God’s Word clearly reveals the tactics Satan uses to keep us off the road to healing. This two-part lesson examines the seven most common roadblocks to divine healing that the believer must understand in order to remove them from his life.
Roadblock Number One: ‘God Sends
Sickness Upon People’
The first roadblock to healing that people encounter is the idea or teaching that God sends sickness upon people.
Some people have said that the Old Testament declares that God sent sickness upon people. Those who say this usually quote Exodus 15:26.
26 . . . If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Similar scriptures are Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things,” and Micah 1:12, which says, “For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem.”
Obviously, these passages in the King James Version of the Bible do not give the true meaning of the original Hebrew, for we know that God doesn’t create evil. Evil can’t come from Heaven, because there is no evil there. God only permits evil. He doesn’t create it. Nor does He create sickness—He only permits it to come as a result of man’s disobedience.
Does God Have a Purpose in Permitting
As I’ve already said in previous chapters, I was healed of a deformed heart, paralysis, and an incurable blood disease as a teenager. Some folks said to me “Well, maybe God didn’t exactly send the sicknesses on you, but he permitted it,” implying that since He permitted it, He had some purpose in it. But just because God permits something doesn’t mean He has a purpose in it.
God only permits sickness to come. Sickness is not His will. God’s will is for you to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments. Then He will take sickness away from the midst of you. As I said before, sickness comes as a result of man’s disobedience.
The key to understanding these different passages of Scripture lies in knowing that the active verbs in the Hebrew have been translated in the causative sense when they should have been translated in the permissive sense.
Dr. Robert Young, the author of Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible and an outstanding Hebrew scholar, points this out in his book Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation. He says that in Exodus 15:26, the literal Hebrew reads: “.
. . I will permit to be put upon thee none of these diseases which I permitted to be brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
We must bear in mind that the Bible is progressive revelation. We don’t get the full revelation of the Bible in either the Old Testament or the New Testament. Neither is fully understood without the other. It’s been said that “The New is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed.” So when we examine both the Old and New Testaments, we come into a full revelation of the Bible.
Where Does Sickness Come From?
We’ve looked at some verses of Scripture on sickness and healing in the Old
Testament, now let’s look at some verses in the New Testament.
First, let’s take another look at Acts 10:38 and review a few things we learned in previous chapters.
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about
DOING GOOD, and HEALING all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Notice that Jesus went about doing good and healing. This important scripture shows that Jesus is the Healer and that Satan is the oppressor. This verse also points out that every person whom Jesus healed had been oppressed by the devil.
As we have seen, healing is connected with doing good. Healing is a good gift from God, and healing belongs to God’s children.
The Bible says, “. . . in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matt. 18:16). Let’s read another account of how Jesus did good by healing one of God’s children.
10 And he [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not THIS WOMAN, being a daughter of Abraham, WHOM SATAN HATH BOUND, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Verse 16 plainly tells us that Satan was the one who bound the woman with sickness for all those years. But Jesus was the One who healed her!
Then First John 3:8 tells us that Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. And the New Testament makes it clear that sickness is a work of the devil.
Here’s further proof that sickness is the work of the devil:
10 The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Jesus didn’t come to destroy. He’s not the destroyer; Satan is! You need to understand that fact, because if you think that God will put sickness on you for some divine or supernatural purpose, then that roadblock will stand between you and your healing.
Remember that when God commanded Moses to go down into Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of bondage, He sent Moses to plead with Pharaoh to release the people. God didn’t want the plagues to come upon the Egyptian people. But when Pharaoh hardened his heart, God withdrew His protecting hand and permitted the plagues to sweep over the land of Egypt.
When the final plague—death, the messenger of hell—was permitted, death
went forth and destroyed the firstborn of every Egyptian household. Only then was Pharaoh compelled to yield and let the children of Israel go.
Where did the plague of death come from? Did it come from Heaven? Are there any dead in Heaven? The answer to these questions is no, of course. Death has never entered there, and it will never enter there. There will be no death in Heaven (Rev. 21:4)!
God is not the author of death; He’s the author of life. God hates death. Where does death come from, then? It comes from Satan, who has the power of death.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
You see, the law of sin and death is the devil’s law. But the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is God’s law. Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Death is our final enemy. And we have the promise that when Jesus comes again, this last enemy shall be put underfoot (1 Cor. 15:26).
Christ came to destroy “him that had the power of death” (Heb. 2:14). Satan isn’t destroyed yet, but he will be put in the bottomless pit for a thousand years after Jesus returns. After the end of all things, Satan will be put in the lake of fire and brimstone forever (Rev. 20:10)!
So the plague of death that came upon Egypt did not come until God withdrew His hand of protection and permitted it. His permission, however, should not be confused with commission. For example, God permits people to establish bars and nightclubs. He permits people to steal and kill. But He certainly doesn’t commission those actions. There is a vast difference between permission and commission.
Now on the Day of Pentecost, Peter declared that Christ was crucified by the hands of wicked men: “Him [Jesus] . . . ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). In other words, it was the devil’s work done by his own children.
When the Pharisees stirred up the high priesthood against Jesus, He said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do . . .” (John
8:44). It was not the work of God that the Pharisees turned people against Jesus, even though God permitted it.
But the fact that God permits wickedness doesn’t mean that people have to commit sinful acts, any more than it means that people have to turn against Christ. Many people are crucifying Jesus afresh today because they are rejecting
Him. Yet God doesn’t commission them to reject Him; He just permits them to make their own choice—He gave man the free will to accept or reject His Son.
Roadblock Number Two: ‘My Healing May
Not Be God’s Will’
The second roadblock to healing that people encounter is: “My healing may not be God’s will.”
When some people pray for healing, they think they should pray, “If it be Thy will.” Many times that’s the reason their prayers don’t work—they’re using the wrong method of prayer.
There was only one instance when Jesus ever prayed that way. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed a prayer of consecration and dedication. That’s not the same as a prayer of petition or asking God for something.
In Matthew 26:39, when Jesus “. . . fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,” He was dedicating Himself to the will of God. Jesus prayed this prayer the same way we might pray, “Lord, I’ll go wherever You want me to go. If You want me to go to Africa, I’ll go.”
But when the Bible already tells us God’s will for us, we don’t have to pray, “If it be Thy will.” For example, if a man’s rent is due and his children need food to eat, he doesn’t have to pray, “Lord, if it’s Your will, please supply my needs.” Why? Because the Bible says, “. . . my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19)! That man should pray and believe God to meet his needs.
Some people just tack the phrase “If it be Thy will” on the end of their prayers out of tradition. They think they’re being humble, but they’re really robbing themselves of the blessings of God. Anything the Bible promises you or says belongs to you is yours. You don’t have to put an “if” in your prayers when you pray according to God’s Word!
That’s why praying, “Lord, if it be Thy will, please heal me” is unnecessary. God has plainly told us in His Word that it is His will to heal us.
A sinner wouldn’t pray, “Lord, save me, if it be Thy will.” That kind of prayer would be ridiculous, because God’s Word declares that He is “. . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s Word also states that “. . . whosoever will, let him take the water of life
freely” (Rev. 22:17). Therefore, the sinner doesn’t have to pray “If it be Thy will.”
Similarly, it is just as ridiculous for a child of God to pray, “Lord, heal me, if it be Thy will.” Why? Because the Bible tells us that Jesus already paid the price for our healing!
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself [Jesus]
took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Now just because you read Matthew 8:17 doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. A lot of times people think the Word is just going to work for them automatically. For example, some Christians who know that the Bible says Jesus “. . . took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17), expect the results of that verse to just fall on them. They say, “Well, if that verse is so, why don’t I have divine health?” They’re not experiencing divine healing and health because they don’t really believe and accept God’s Word. The truth of God’s Word won’t do them any good until they know it, believe it, and accept it.
It’s hard for some people to see what the Scriptures are really saying because they’ve been “religiously trained” instead of scripturally taught. In other words, they read the Bible with glasses colored with religious tradition.
I know, because I had to read Matthew 8:17 over and over again myself before I thoroughly understood it. But when I fully understood what this verse really meant, I rejoiced in it, for then I was able to emphasize the word “our.” He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses—and I am included in that word “our.” Therefore, I can say that He took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses.
That brings it right down to where I live! In other words, I don’t have to bear my sicknesses anymore, because Jesus bore them that I might be free!
When I made this discovery, I decided there wasn’t any need for both Jesus and me to bear my sicknesses. And if Jesus bore them that I might be free, why should I pray, “if it be Thy will”? The Bible states that it is His will!
Most people who don’t believe in divine healing stay away from Matthew
8:17. However, occasionally a brave soul will come up with what he thinks is the answer to this scripture once and for all.
One person said this verse meant that Christ took the sicknesses of the people who lived at that time, but it doesn’t apply to us today. But he forgot that Matthew wrote his Gospel after Jesus died. If healing had applied only to those living while Jesus was on this earth in the flesh, Matthew would have written, “He Himself took their infirmities and bare their sicknesses.” However, Matthew didn’t write it that way. The Holy Spirit, through Matthew, wrote, “He Himself
took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.”
Someone else advanced the theory that this particular verse doesn’t refer to the past, but refers to the future; therefore, it will come to pass during the Millennium. That can’t be true, however, because there will be no need for healing then. Why? Because the curse will be lifted!
Paul said we will all be changed, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye . .
.” (1 Cor. 15:52). We’ll have new bodies fashioned like unto Jesus’ glorious body (Phil. 3:21). Our bodies won’t be plagued with sickness during the Millennium, so we will not need this provision for healing then.
No, the promise of divine healing belongs to us now—because we are subject to sickness in this life, not in the life that is to come. The promise that Jesus Christ took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses belongs to us today. Therefore, we don’t need to pray, “If it be Thy will.” God’s Word has clearly shown us His will.
Still, someone else might ask, without quoting the entire verse, “But didn’t Christ teach us to pray in Matthew 6:10, ‘Father, Thy will be done’?” However, to use just one portion of that scripture is to use only half a truth. And as someone else said, “Beware of the half-truth. You may have gotten the wrong half!”
Christ taught us to pray, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” As I said in a previous chapter, Jesus wasn’t teaching us to pray, “If it be Thy will” when it comes to healing. He was teaching us to pray that God’s will might be done here on earth just as it is done in Heaven. There is no sickness or disease in Heaven. So if it’s not His will that there be sickness and disease in Heaven, then it’s not His will that there be sickness and disease on earth. If His will is truly done on earth as it is done in Heaven, there will be no sickness or disease among us.
Again, when it comes to divine healing, people have all kinds of different ideas. Some people don’t believe in divine healing at all. While others say, “God can heal, if it’s His will. And it might be His will to heal some people or some sicknesses, but not all of them.”
A man once told me he knew it wasn’t God’s will to heal a certain condition in his body because of an experience he had. He explained saying, just as he awoke one morning, his room lit up and someone in a long white robe appeared to him. He thought it was Jesus, although he did not see the person’s face. The person said to him, “It is not my will to heal you,” and then he disappeared. Ever since then, the man had accepted the idea that it wasn’t God’s will to heal him.
I asked him, “What if one of your unsaved loved ones told you that through a similar incident, God had revealed to him that it was not His will to save him? You would immediately point out scriptures to prove to him that it’s not God’s will for anyone to perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16). You would explain that the person he mistook for Jesus was really a messenger of Satan, for Jesus wouldn’t contradict His own Word, would He?”
I got that man to see that Jesus had already taken his infirmities and borne his sicknesses, and he got healed! Praise God!
Satan will try to defeat us every way he can. That’s why it’s so important that we know what the Word says. I tell you, we can be just as certain that divine healing is God’s will as we are that saving the lost is His will. And we know it by knowing His Word. God’s Word is His will.
The same Bible that gives us John 3:16 also says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs [sicknesses], and carried our sorrows [diseases]: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes WE ARE HEALED” (Isa. 53:4,5).
Remember, the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. And the Hebrew words for the words translated “griefs” and “sorrows” in the King James Version of this verse mean sicknesses and diseases.
The Bible also says that Jesus “. . . bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
That’s good news! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.
13:8). He never changes. He can and will make believers whole today!
We’re discussing the seven most common roadblocks to healing. We’ve seen that sickness and disease do not come from God, and that God doesn’t use sickness and disease to teach people a lesson. We’ve also seen that it is God’s will to heal every illness and infirmity. We’ll continue our discussion of these roadblocks in the next chapter.