De Edifier Mighty Miracles

The previous chapter covered two of the most common roadblocks to healing. In this chapter we will deal with five more roadblocks the devil  uses to try to keep people from enjoying their God-given right to divine healing and health.

Roadblock Number Three: ‘Hezekiah Used a

Poultice’

The third roadblock  to healing  that people  encounter  is: “Hezekiah  used  a poultice.”

ISAIAH 38:1-5

1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,

3 And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in  truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And  Hezekiah wept sore.

4 Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,

5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

We read later in verses 20 and 21 that Hezekiah said: “The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord. For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.”

Some have wondered why God told Hezekiah to put a lump or poultice of figs on the boil. One very able Bible scholar who was a medical doctor, minister, and Hebrew student says that according to the Hebrew translation, Hezekiah had a carbuncle on his neck, which can be very serious.

God already told Hezekiah that he would not die but would live for fifteen more years. Therefore, the poultice of figs was not necessary as a medicinal aid. It had no curative powers whatsoever. It served no medical purpose.

Sometimes It Takes an Act of Obedience To

Release Your Faith

Many  people  through  the  years  have  used  different  poultices  as  cleansing agents,  and  some  feel  that  Hezekiah’s  poultice  may  have  been  used  in  this manner. I am convinced, however, that God told Hezekiah to lay a lump of figs on the boil as an act of obedience and faith, just as He told Naaman the leper to dip  in  the  Jordan  River  seven  times  so  that  his  leprosy  would  be  cleansed. Dipping  in  the  muddy  Jordan  didn’t  have  any  curative  value.  It  didn’t  heal Naaman any more than the poultice healed Hezekiah.

In my own ministry, the Spirit of God will lead me at times to tell sick people to do something as an act of faith. For example, in one service the Lord led me to minister to some people who were crippled. He didn’t tell me to pray for them or to lay hands on them. He directed me to tell them to run.

Well, the first man who came up for healing couldn’t even lift his feet off the floor. He just scooted along and stood with his knees bent. It looked as if he were still sitting down, because his knees were drawn up. When I asked  him if he could run, it startled him. He answered, “Oh, my God, no. I  can’t  even walk, much less run.”

Then I told him that the Lord had shown me that if he would run, he would be healed. I never saw anyone turn around and scoot away so fast in my life! That fellow took off and scooted down one aisle and back up the other as fast as he could go. When he returned to the platform, he was still scooting. He wasn’t a bit better.

I told him to do it again, and this time I went with him—up one aisle  and down the other. When he got back this time he was perfectly healed and walking as normally as I was! God had told him to do something seemingly

impossible as an act of faith and obedience,  and the Lord honored his  simple faith.

When the Spirit of God tells someone to do a certain thing, it usually involves an act of obedience to release that person’s faith. That doesn’t mean that everyone who does what the Lord tells a certain person to do will be healed. But it does mean that if God says for you to do something and you act upon it, you will be healed.

Roadblock Number Four: ‘Paul Left

Trophimus Sick at Miletum’

The fourth roadblock to healing that people encounter is: “Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum.”

2 TIMOTHY 4:20

20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I [Paul] left at Miletum sick.

Some quoting this verse argue that divine healing must not always be God’s will since Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum. But they fail to understand that Paul did not carry healing power around with him.  Trophimus’  faith played a part in his healing.

Your Faith Plays a Role in Your Receiving

Healing

Healing  is primarily  a faith proposition  on the part of the individual  who receives.  No  matter  how  much  faith  a minister  may  have,  the  effects  of an individual’s doubt will nullify that minister’s faith.

This is another area where some folks have made a great mistake. They think that if a minister has faith and he prays the prayer of faith for them, they’ll get healed—whether they have faith or not.

Even under Jesus’ ministry not everyone was healed. On one occasion in his own hometown of Nazareth, only a few people received healing.

MARK 6:1-6

1 And he [Jesus] went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and

Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country,  and among his own kin, and in his own house.

5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

The original Greek translation of verse 5 says that Jesus laid hands on a few sick folk with minor ailments and healed them. So in this case, the few who did get healed only had minor things wrong with them. Well, why couldn’t Jesus heal everyone there who needed healing? Because of their unbelief (v. 6)!

You see, Jesus couldn’t just override their unbelief. Someone might ask, “But isn’t Jesus the Son of God? Isn’t He Sovereign?” Emphatically, yes! But Jesus

can’t override someone’s unbelief. He won’t do it. He would have to violate His Word to do that. So how did Jesus help people? He went around their  villages teaching them the Word of God to cure their unbelief.

In nearly every one of my meetings, there are some people who don’t receive their healing. But many people do get healed. Just because some do not, doesn’t mean that it’s not God’s will that they be healed.

That’s the reason I said that healing is primarily a faith proposition on the part of the individual who receives.

The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). And Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “. . . if two of you shall agree on  earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of  my Father which is in heaven.” (The negative side of this verse would be, of course, that if they don’t agree, it won’t be done.) Your faith plays a part in your healing.

Healings vs. Miracles

In his writings,  Paul differentiated  between  miracles  and healing.  Miracles involving  healing  are instantaneous  healings.  Other  healings  are  gradual,  but they are still of God. For example, the Bible says that when Jesus prayed for the nobleman’s son, the boy began to amend from that hour (John 4:46-53). It may be that when Paul left Trophimus,  Trophimus  was  still sick from all outward appearances, but the healing process had already begun.

In 1953, a 28-year-old man who had never walked in his life was brought to a service I was holding in Dallas, Texas. Doctors who had examined him  could find no physical reason for his inability to walk. As far as they could tell, he was normal.

As I laid hands on him, the Lord showed me that an evil spirit oppressed his body. This was the reason doctors could not help him. I rebuked that spirit. Then I told the young man that the demon that had been oppressing him was gone and that he could walk.

I knew he would not get up and start walking immediately; his healing would come gradually. A year and a half later, I was back in Dallas and learned that the young man was walking everywhere on his own.

Often gradual healings are greater than instant healings, because some people who are quickly healed forget God. On the other hand, those who are healed gradually as they continue to believe God’s Word often develop strong faith.

Roadblock Number Five: ‘Paul Had a Thorn

in the Flesh’

The fifth roadblock to healing that people encounter is: “Paul had a thorn in the flesh.”

2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10

7 And lest I [Paul] should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient  for thee: for my strength is made  perfect  in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore  I take pleasure  in infirmities,  in reproaches,  in necessities,  in  persecutions,  in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Because of this passage of Scripture, the thought is widely held that Paul had a sickness which God refused to heal. This teaching has led many to believe that it must be God’s will for some of His saints to be sick, and it has held people in bondage when they should be delivered.

One common belief is that Paul suffered from some disease of the eyes  and was nearly blind. The Bible states that the Lord Jesus appeared to Ananias in a vision and told him to go lay hands on Saul (Paul) that he  might receive his sight. Ananias did and God healed Saul (Acts 9:12-18). Therefore, to conclude that Paul had eye trouble because of that brief blindness would be to belittle the work of God.

Also, when Paul was on the island of Melita, he preached to the people  and told them about the redemptive work of God. If his eyes had been full of pus, as some claim, would those people have believed God for healing? Yet  the Bible says that when Paul laid hands on them, they were healed (Acts 28:8,9).

What Was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?

It is true that God permitted this “thorn in the flesh” to come upon Paul, but it was not from God. The scripture says that a “messenger of Satan was permitted to buffet him.” The Bible does not say that this thorn in the flesh was a sickness.

I mentioned in a previous chapter that the expression “thorn in the flesh” is used elsewhere in the Bible. Before the children of Israel went into Canaan’s land, God told them to destroy the inhabitants of the country, the Canaanites. He said if they didn’t destroy the Canaanites, it would cause them trouble in the future—the Canaanites would be a thorn in their side.

NUMBERS 33:55

55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and  thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

There is no reference to sickness in this scripture at all. Neither was  Paul’s thorn sickness.  It was a messenger  of Satan  to buffet  him.  Everywhere  Paul went, the devil stirred up strife against him.

Paul wrote of the many times he had been whipped and imprisoned. He was even stoned and left for dead. Yet in all of his writings about persecutions and tribulations,  not once does he include  sickness  among  them. Nowhere  in the Scriptures  do we  find  where  Paul  was  ever  disabled  by sickness  during  his ministry.

What Purpose Did Paul’s Thorn Serve?

Why,  then,  did  God  permit  this  thorn  in  the  flesh  to  buffet  Paul?  The Scriptures  say it was to keep Paul from developing  a tendency to be  prideful about the revelations and visions he’d had (2 Cor. 12:7).

Before anyone claims that he has a “thorn in the flesh,” it might be well to ask how many revelations and visions he has had! Most people who think they have a thorn in the flesh haven’t had any kind of revelation or vision. They’re simply permitting  Satan  to  defeat  them  and  keep  them  from  the  blessings  of  God because of their ignorance and doubt.

However, there are some who do have a thorn in the flesh in some of the ways Paul did, because the devil is ever present to stir up trouble and hinder them in the work they are doing for God. But notice that God said, “. . .  My grace is sufficient for thee . . .” (2 Cor. 12:9). Glory to God! God’s grace gives us power to rise above the buffetings of Satan.

Roadblock Number Six: ‘I’m Suffering for the Glory of God’

The sixth roadblock to healing that people encounter is: “I’m suffering for the glory of God.”

Those who support this belief usually point to the scripture in John chapter 9, when Jesus passed by a man who had been born blind.

JOHN 9:1-4

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of  God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Jesus’ disciples asked Him who had sinned and caused the man to be blind— the man or his parents? Jesus said, “. . . Neither hath this man  sinned, nor his parents: but that THE WORKS OF GOD should be made  manifest in him” (v.

3).

Therefore, some people reason from this verse that the man was born blind in order that God might get glory from it. But Jesus went on to say, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (v. 4).

Well, the works of God weren’t made manifest in that blind man until Christ did what He was sent to do. Jesus healed the man’s blindness. So  “the  works” that Jesus was referring to was healing, not the man’s blindness.

What About Lazarus?

Someone might ask, “What about Lazarus? Doesn’t the Bible say he was sick for the glory  of God?”  No, people  just put their  own interpretation  on  that. Remember when Jesus got word that Lazarus was sick? Jesus purposely tarried instead of hurrying to His friend’s bedside. Then He told His disciples: “. . . This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11: 4).

Later when Jesus arrived  in Bethany  with His disciples,  Lazarus  had  been dead four days. Lazarus’ sister Martha told Jesus that if He had been there, her brother would not have died. Then Jesus told her that her  brother  would rise again.

JOHN 11:24-26

24 Martha saith unto him [Jesus], I know that he [Lazarus] shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Shortly after this, Martha protested Christ’s command to roll away Lazarus’ gravestone. She knew that after four days, Lazarus’ body would have already begun to decompose and stink. But notice Jesus’ response: “. . . Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see THE GLORY OF GOD?”

(v. 40).

Jesus was really telling Martha that she had not yet seen the glory of  God. Martha  couldn’t  have  seen  the glory  of God in her brother’s  death,  because God’s  glory  hadn’t  been  made  manifest  yet.  The  glory  of  God  was  not manifested in Lazarus’ being sick and dying. The glory of God was manifested in Lazarus’ resurrection and healing! (Lazarus not only had to be resurrected, but he also had to be healed of whatever had caused his  death. If he wasn’t also healed, he would have died again immediately.)

God is glorified through healing and deliverance,  not through sickness  and suffering!

Roadblock Number Seven: ‘Sickness Is God’s

Chastening’

The seventh roadblock to healing that people encounter is: “Sickness is God’s chastening.”

It is true that the Bible says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth . . .”

(Heb. 12:6). However, it does not say, “Whom the Lord loveth He maketh sick!” It is a mistake to take a small portion of Scripture and try to prove something.

There  is no reference  to sickness  in this text, and there is no implication of

sickness or disease in the word “chasteneth” in the original Greek.

As we studied previously, the full meaning of this word can be gleaned from the writings of Dr. Robert Young, a recognized Greek scholar, and W. E. Vine, author of An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

We learn from them that “chasten” literally means to child train, educate,  or teach. Just as babies need to be taught and corrected so that they can grow to be healthy children and adults, baby Christians need to be taught and corrected so that they can grow to be spiritually healthy Christians. God’s children need to be disciplined and  governed, which  is  what  the  word  “chasten” means  in  the original Greek.

How Does God Chasten His Children?

Children must be disciplined, corrected, and trained in love. As we said, one meaning of the word “chasten” is to educate. Parents send their children to school so they can be educated. But, again, parents don’t tell the teacher, “If my child doesn’t act right, just knock his eye out or break his leg.” That isn’t the way to educate a child. And that’s not how God educates His children either!

MATTHEW 7:7-11

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

You wouldn’t need any other scripture in the Bible to preach divine  healing (and we have plenty of them) than verse 11. Let me show you what I mean. How many of you parents want your children to be sick? Not one of you. You’ll do everything in the world that you can to provide for them so  that your children will eat well, live well, and stay well.

Well, what is Jesus saying in Matthew 7:7-11? He’s saying that if earthly parents,  who are carnal,  know how to give good gifts to their children,  how much more will our Heavenly Father give good things! God gives His children beyond what earthly parents could even think or do! That’s because “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down  from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God doesn’t change. He always gives good gifts!

We’ve already learned that healing is connected with doing good. The  Bible says, “How  God  anointed  Jesus  of  Nazareth  with  the  Holy  Ghost  and  with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

The Bible tells us that healing is good, but we don’t have to read the Bible to know that’s true. We just have good sense, we know that.

Have you ever been sick? Have you ever been well? Which one is  better? Being well is much better, isn’t it? Healing is a good gift from God, and healing belongs to God’s children!