fredag 20. januar 2012


Nr. 210:


During His earthly ministry, Jesus healed all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23).

The glorious ministry of deliverance that Jesus began was to continue through His disciples, followers, and believers.

Jesus called His twelve disciples and gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them of sickness and all out, and to heal all manner of disease (Matthew l0:1). Then He sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick (Luke 9:2).

After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them...into every city and place (Luke 10:1) He commanded these seventy to preach the gospel, but that was not all He commanded them to do. He also told them to heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you" (verse 9).

At the close of this journey, the seventy returned to Jesus with joy, saying, "Even the devils are subject unto us through thy name" (verse 17).

Before Jesus went back to heaven, He left with His followers this mighty promise: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).

Many preachers who deny the miracle-working power of Jesus Christ in His church today admit that Christ healed the sick, but declare that the day of miracles is past. They say that the sick cannot be healed by the power of God today because Jesus is gone. But He plainly stated that His going did not mean the end of miracles, but rather that miracles would increase.

Fulfilling The Great Commission

His last commission to those He left behind to carry on His work was, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:15-18). Matthew adds, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).

According to Mark, as soon as He had spoken these words, Jesus was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. "And they [the disciples to whom He gave this commission] went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" (Mark 16:19-20). This was the fulfillment of His promise in Matthew 28:20.

Although it is true that He is in heaven, it is certainly scriptural to say that He is still with those who believe and preach His gospel, for He said He would be, even unto the end of the world! He is with them, confirming His word with the same signs following that are listed in Mark 16:17,18.

After Christ ascended into heaven, the Church was born on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2). That Church, filled with the power of the Holy Ghost and endued with the gifts of the Spirit, continued the same ministry that Christ had begun. The Spirit-filled followers of Jesus continued His glorious ministry of deliverance even after He had returned to heaven.

A certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful (Acts 3:2). When Peter and John came by, they said, "Look on us." Peter continued, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6). "Peter took him by the hand and lifted him up and immediately his feet and anklebones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God" (verse 8).

The people were filled with wonder and amazement at this mighty miracle, which they had witnessed. They had thought (even as do many church members today) that, since Christ himself was gone from earth, they would see no more miracles. Many of them began to ascribe divinity to those through whose hands the miracle had been wrought. Peter, with rare but commendable humility, stopped them immediately, saying, "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…His [Jesus] name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all" (verses 12,16).

No man has this power in himself. But it is available to every believer. All of the power which Christ used is available to His followers today. The things He did while in His earthly body are a pattern for those He left in the world to complete the work He began (see 1 Peter 2:21-24). The gifts of the Spirit, listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and the commandments of Christ to His followers, cover all the miracles that Christ ever performed. He used no power, which He did not make available to His followers – even unto the end of the world.

Stephen was a deacon in the first church. But he was "full of faith, and power [and], did great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8).

Philip, another of the first deacons, went down to Samaria and preached Christ there. "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed" (Acts 8:6-7).

Twenty-nine years after the ascension of Christ, Paul was still healing the sick (see Acts 28:8,9). Although Paul was not among those who heard the commission and promises of Jesus on the Mount of Olives before He ascended, "God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11,12).

Miracles By Handkerchiefs And Aprons

Countless thousands are being healed today by the ministry of blessed (anointed) cloths. God has made this provision for the sake of those who cannot get out to seek help. Although we cannot reach them and lay hands upon them personally, we can send them a cloth that our hands have touched. This is God’s scriptural method for ministering to those who are sick, bound, and afflicted. When they cannot get into direct contact with those whose faith is strong, and whom the Lord is using in this ministry, they can make contact through a cloth. Just as the ministry of blessed cloths brought deliverance to thousands in Paul's day, it is still bringing miraculous deliverance today. Thousands of miracles are taking place today through this simple ministry. God's method of deliverance for those who are sick is still the same today. This method of sending forth cloths from the bodies of God's anointed ministers is still effective.

God has no respect of persons. Those who are sick should receive these cloths in faith and follow the same instructions as those who stand in healing lines. When this cloth is laid upon the body of the afflicted person, he would exercise the same faith as if he were in a healing line, with hands actually being laid upon his body. If he will do this, the same results will follow in every case.

These cloths, received in faith, bear the same virtue and power that the hands of the evangelist bear. This is scriptural provision that God has made for the countless thousands who cannot attend the divine healing services that are being conducted across the country today.

If the blessed cloth is for yourself, do not place it upon your body until you have carefully followed the instructions in this book. Then, and only then, place it upon your body in faith, believing God for a miraculous deliverance the moment it touches your body. If you are sending the cloth to a loved one or friend who is afflicted, you should take responsibility to give proper instruction in the way of faith yourself, or send instructions like this book, so that he may acquire the necessary faith for deliverance.

Before you request a prayer cloth for someone else, be sure that he has the faith that God gives. The same faith is required, whether it be the cloth that is laid upon him or the hands of the evangelist. Remember that it is faith on the part of the sick person that brings deliverance, as well as the faith of the one who has laid hands upon the cloth. Only by faith can anything be received from God. Where there is faith in God’s faithfulness, God guarantees to heal you!

The miracles of Paul became so outstanding that even some whose lives had not been purified by faith came to believe that miracles could surely be done in the name of Jesus (see Acts 19:13-18). These people had not made contact with Jesus themselves, but knew Him only as "Jesus, whom Paul preacheth." When they attempted to cast out demons in that name, they were recognized by the demons as having no authority. They believed what they had seen – the miracles that they had seen Paul perform. But they did not have faith in God. They did not believe that God would work miracles by their hands because of His direct word to them. They did not prove their faith in God by believing His commands as well as His promises and by living lives of consecration and holiness.

Many sincere people today have met with disappointment and discouragement because they have tried to appropriate God’s promises without taking care to fulfill His commands. The name of Jesus is not a charm – it possesses no magic. But it does possess power when used by those to whom He has given "power of attorney" – the right to do business for Him in His name. This power is for all who truly believe and act upon all of God’s Word.

The Early Church was a powerful church because its members believed God. They believed in holy living because God said, "Be ye holy." They feared sin because they had seen sin revealed through the gift of discernment and liars struck dead for their sin (see Acts 5). They believed that they could do miracles in the name of Jesus because He had said, "The works that I do shall ye do also." And because they believed God, God worked with them, confirming His word with signs and wonders. God has not changed. Any church today can have the same power if they will meet the same conditions.

The Church At Work Today

Twenty-six years after the ascension of Christ, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, saying, "For God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings" (1 Corinthians 12:28). That same Church is still at work in the world today and will be until the trumpet sounds and the first resurrection takes place and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is fulfilled. Then the work of the Church on this earth will be complete, and it will rise to meet the Lord in the air. As long as that Church believes the Word of God, it shall continue to heal the sick and perform miracles in the mighty name of Jesus. Jesus declared, "These signs shall follow them that believe…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:16,17). The gifts of the Spirit – the performing of miracles and healing of the sick – has not been confined to just a few chosen people in the Early Church, or to a few preachers today. As long as there is a believer on the earth, miracles can be performed in the name of Jesus.

Nowhere in the Scriptures is the ministry of healing limited to any particular time, or to outstanding individuals. Even in the Old Testament, it was God’s plan that all those whom He had set as shepherds over His people should heal the sick. "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel…The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken" (Ezekiel 34:2,4).

There was more power in Elisha’s dead bones (see 2 Kings 13:21) than there is in some preachers who are very much alive today. Although only one man was healed by coming in contact with Elisha’s bones, still that is more than can be said for the entire lifetime of many who call themselves the shepherds of God’s flock today.

If God was displeased with the shepherds of Israel who did not heal the sick, what must His attitude be toward the shepherds of His New Testament church who, having His commission to do the works that He did, not only refuse to heal the sick, but criticize and persecute those who do!

There was more power in Peter’s shadow than in the bodies of many of those who claim to be his successors in ministering to the church of Jesus Christ (see Acts 5).

There was more power in handkerchiefs and aprons which had come in contact with the body of Paul than in many great "fundamental" religious bodies today (see Acts 19:11,12).

Has God changed? No! The Church that Jesus purchased with His blood is still performing miracles and healing the sick. Those who dare to believe God’s promises and stand on His word can still heal the sick in the name of Jesus. God has given those who believe "authority over all devils, and to cure diseases" (Luke 9:1).

Many will declare that only God has authority over devils and to cure diseases. In one sense this is true. But it is also true that God chose to delegate that authority to His Son. Accepting that authority from the Father, Jesus, during His earthly ministry, commanded demons, unclean spirits, and diseases to depart. They recognized His authority and were obedient to Him. Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus delegated that same authority to those who believe in His name. This gives the true believer the right to use the name of Jesus in making requests of God and in giving commands to demons and diseases (see John 14:10-14). Thus the works that Jesus did while He was here on earth can be continued in His absence. When the believer accepts this authority and uses the name of Jesus reverently, the effect is the same as if Jesus himself had spoken, for God will honor such prayers and commands. The believer has no power of his own and can do nothing in his own name, but all things are subject to the name of Jesus.

Those who attempt to use His name without being qualified by believing and being obedient to Jesus will see no results and may be penalized for "forgery," as were the seven sons of Sceva (see Acts 19:14-16).

Word Of Command

There are very few scriptures that refer to praying for the sick. In most cases, a few words of command, spoken by the one having authority, was all that was needed. Jesus did not pray for the sick. He healed the sick, and commanded the demons to depart. Peter and John did not pray for the man at the beautiful gate of the temple. They commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to rise up and walk (see Acts 3:6). Paul first prayed, then laid his hands upon Publius' father and healed him (see Acts 28:8). Demons and diseases are still subject to believers who command them in Jesus' name. Since I recognized this truth in God's Word, I have seen multitudes delivered from demons and set free from all manner of diseases at my command. These cases include cancers, goiters, tumors, sinus trouble, tuberculosis, asthma, heart disease, and many others. I do not claim that this is evidence of a special gift, or of special favor with God. It is simply done in Jesus' name and by the authority, which God has promised to them that believe.

Although, in the majority of cases, the word of command in Jesus' name is all that is necessary to bring deliverance, there are also scriptures that prove the necessity of prayer in some cases. If you have gone through a healing line where hands have been laid on you and your disease commanded to depart and you still do not receive deliverance, do not hesitate to take advantage of the provision in James 5:14-16. Your failure to be delivered may be the result of unconfessed sin. If this is the case, confess your faults and ask trusted elders to pray for you that you may be delivered from both sickness and sin.

When Miriam was stricken with leprosy as a result of her sin against Moses, she and her brother Aaron begged Moses to pray for her. He cried unto God, "Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee" (Numbers 12:13).

The true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is aware that God will not heal an unrepentant sinner, or an enemy of the Cross. He will not knowingly use his authority to do anything which Jesus himself would not do if He were present in the body. Those who are still in bondage to sin should first seek help in prayer that they might be set free from sin. When they have done this, God's promise is definite. "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:15).

Casting Out Demons

Much sickness is a direct result of demon oppression (see Acts 10:38). Jesus did not say, "Pray for the demon oppressed and demon possessed." He said, "Cast out demons." Prayer alone will not drive out demons. Fasting and prayer, seeking the face of God, and repenting of all known sin is, in some cases, necessary to prepare the hearts of both the one seeking deliverance and the one coming in the name of the Lord to bring deliverance. In this way, they are made ready to enter the battle with Satan and claim victory over him. Until demons hear the word of command, given by faith in Jesus' name by one who has the authority to use that name, they will not move. They do not have to go and they know it.

Jesus' disciples once attempted to cast a demon out of a boy while Jesus was on the mountain fasting and praying. They knew the power of Jesus' name. They had cast out demons before. They were sure this one would go. But this stubborn demon refused to go. They were much distressed by the apparent failure of the authority, which they understood to be theirs. But they were not content to say, "The time when we could work miracles is past." When Jesus had cast out the demon, they inquired of Him why they had failed. Jesus replied, "Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed...nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:20-21). These men had been given authority over demons, as long as they had faith. When faith was allowed to become dormant because of a lack of communion with God, they became powerless. Faith must be fed by frequent time alone with God, when all the demands of the flesh are set aside. Times of fasting and prayer keep our faith strong so we can overcome the power of Satan and bring deliverance to those who are oppressed or possessed of the devil.

Satan was defeated at Calvary, but he refuses to acknowledge defeat. He yields only when and what he must. The ground must be taken step by step. To be able to do this, the Spirit-filled minister today must have explicit faith in Calvary's victory over Satan. He must live his life avoiding sin and must not be concerned with any personal gain. He must stand only for God's right against Satan. There must be no uncrucified flesh in his life. Then, and only then, will Satan admit his defeat.

The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost

It is surprising, but some people today desire to exercise this power, yet they reject the source of that power - the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Jesus himself did no miracles and cast out no demons until, first, God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and with power (see Acts 10:38; John 2:11).

His promise to the disciples was, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you’" (Acts 1:8).

If Jesus himself would not attempt this work alone and encouraged His disciples to wait until the Spirit had come to endue them with power from on high before attempting this work, surely those who would claim power and authority over demons and diseases today should first be filled with the Spirit.

The Early Church was a powerful church because it was a Spirit-filled, God-centered, God-fearing church. The phenomenal growth of that church from 120 (Acts 1:15) to 3,000 (Acts 2:41) to 5,000 (Acts 4:4) to "multitudes" (Acts 5:14) can only be attributed to one thing - the supernatural power of God was working. The gifts of the Spirit were in operation. The church loved God, feared sin, and was full of the Holy Ghost.

Only when God can find a group of people who answer this description today will revival come to this sin-blinded, human-controlled, self-sufficient, Christ-rejecting, pleasure-mad, movie-minded, cigarette-smoking, beer-guzzling, drink-and-dope-crazed, judgment-bound world.

Only when the Church again lifts its voice in one accord in repentance will God send a revival to sweep our land, as in days gone by. We must cry out like the Early Church, "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus" (Acts 4:29,30). Then multitudes will again be saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, and healed by the power of God.

God has not withdrawn the delegation of His authority over demons and disease from those who believe His commands and promises and act upon their faith.

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