What Divine Healing Is
1. Divine healing is the supernatural, divine power of God, infused into human bodies, renewing their strength and replacing the weakness of suffering human frames with the life and power of God. It is a touch of the Divine omnipotence, and nothing short of it. It is the same power that raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, the same power that converted your soul. Is it strange that God should show such power? More power is required to regenerate a damaged soul than to raise a diseased body. The God who spoke life into existence and who upholds all things by the word of His power could shiver the sepulcher and bring out those whose bodies have long since returned to dust, all with less effort than it costs Him to redeem one soul, and keep that saint steadfast unto the end.
2. Divine healing is founded on the Word of God alone. All the reasoning of man, and all the testimony that could be gathered across the whole earth would not establish the truth of such a doctrine, if it is not to be found in the Scriptures. All the deductions of the human intellect are worthless if they are not rooted there. This teaching would be merely human imagination if it did not rest firmly on the truth of God’s eternal word.
3. Divine healing ever recognizes the will of God, and bows to that in profound submission. A Christian who is looking for divine healing will wait until he knows the will of God, and having learned that, he will claim it without wavering. If a sufferer is convinced that the work God gave him to do here is done, and that now he is being called home, then he should acquiesce in that will and lie down in those blessed arms and rest. If that conviction has come to any of you, dear friends, I would not dare to shake you out of it, if you have been led into it by God. My only thought would be to sweetly smooth your last pillow, and let you depart in peace.
If, however, you think your work is not done, if you have not a clear light from God that this is so, if there is a true and submissive desire in your heart to live and finish your course with joy, then He who said nearly two thousand years ago, “Ought not this woman [to] be loosed from this bond?” (Luke 13:16) is the same today as He was then. He is saying to you in the midst of your weakness, “Ought you not to be made well?” Surely that should be enough.
It may be, however, that your sickness has been allowed to come as a discipline. You may have been holding back part of the full testimony or service Christ has called you to. I am afraid, then, you cannot be healed till that difficulty is made right. You may be in some wrong and crooked attitude. God will probably require your heart to be restored before your body is. He may have called you to some service and you are holding back. There will not be healing for the body till you have yielded at this point.
It may also be that the affliction is allowed to remain that the grace of God may be manifest. While Jesus purchased for us a complete deliverance from sin in this present world, the redemption of the body is not yet complete. We may find, as did Paul, that the answer to our pleas for relief is rather, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Instead of being raised up from bodily weakness into heavenly vigor, God may bring heavenly grace down to sustain us in suffering. In either case, He must have the glory. So let us seek until we understand what the will of the Lord is for our present circumstance, so that “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20)
There are hundreds of meanings in the sicknesses that are allowed to come upon God’s dear children, and He will show you what His voice is for you. “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth.” (Job 33:14-25)
That is the meaning of many of God’s chastenings. There is much that He would say to men through His dealings with their bodies, and it is necessary to get their full meaning into the soul before divine healing can be received, and kept after it has been received. It is not a cast-iron patent that works inexorably in one way always; it requires a walk that is very close with God. When the soul is thus walking in harmony and obedience to Him, the life of God can fully flow into the body. Thank God, we cannot have it and have the devil, too.
4. Divine healing is part of the redemption work of Jesus Christ. It is one of the things He came to bring. Its foundation stone is the cross of Calvary. He “redeemeth thy life from destruction.” (Psalm 103:4) “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” (Job 33:24) Surely that healing comes from Himself alone. “By whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) That is the redemption work of Christ. You have a right to it, beloved, for His body bore all the liability of your body on the cross. Take it and love Him better, because it came from His stripes. I love to think of that word as being singular—stripe—as it is in the Greek. His body was so beaten that it was all one stripe. There was not an inch of His flesh but was lacerated for us. There is not a fiber of your body but Christ has suffered there to redeem it.
5. Divine healing comes to us through the life of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead in His own body. He has gone up to heaven with His living, resurrected body. You can see Him there today, with hands and feet of living flesh and bones, which you could handle. He could sit with you at the table and eat today as He did of old. He is no shadowy cloudlike form, but He has flesh and blood as we have. That is our Christ, a living physical Christ, and He is able and willing to share His physical life with you, by breathing into you His strength. We are healed by the life of Christ in our body. It is a tender union with Him; nearer than the bond of matrimonial oneness; so near that the very life of His veins is transfused into yours. That is divine healing.
6. Divine healing is the work of the Holy Spirit, quickening the body. When Christ healed the sick while He was upon earth, it was not by the Deity that dwelt in His humanity as the Son of God. He said, “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matthew 12:28) Jesus healed by the Holy Spirit. “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.” (Luke 4:18) The Holy Spirit is the agent, then, by which this great power is wrought. Especially should we expect to see His working in these days, because they are the days of His own dispensation, the days in which it has been prophesied that there shall be signs and wonders. How did Samson receive his strength? When the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. Then he was able to hurl the temple into ruins and their god Dagon with it. The Spirit of God was in his flesh. So when this spiritual electric fire is running through our frame, it brings healing and strength to every fiber.
7. Divine healing comes by the grace of God, not through the work of man. It can be neither bought nor earned. We cannot help God out in it. We must take it as a gift. It comes to us as pardon does, a free gift from Him.
8. Divine healing comes to us by faith. It is not the faith that heals. God heals, but faith receives it. We believe that God is healing before any evidence is given. It is to be believed as a present reality, and then ventured on. We are to act is if it were already true. God wants us to lean on Him, and trust Him, and then rejoice and praise Him for what He has given, with no doubt or fear.
9. Divine healing is in accordance with all the facts of church history. From the time of Irenaeus down to the present century there have been repeated examples of it. It is a long array, and great multitudes of healed ones proclaim with one voice: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) All down through the middle ages the pure church believed this truth and taught it. The Waldenses held it as an article of their faith. The times of the early Reformers are full of it. The lives of Luther and Baxter, and Fox and Whitfield, and John Wesley, give clear and convincing testimony that they believed this truth. In later times the examples of it are numerous. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, England and her colonies, and the mission fields of the world, have many witnesses to the healing power of Jesus. Our own land, and even our own city, are full of it. You have many witnesses to it here in your midst. You know them, and how some of them have stood the test of publicity and of years. They are not obscure cases. Many of them are men and women who have stood in the very front of Christian work. There is every kind of character and intelligence and temperament and disposition among them. There are children among them, as well as old men. Some of them have had lofty intellects, but they have been transformed into simple children. There have been all classes of disease among them—from the terrible cancer to the most disordered of nervous organisms. And our God has healed them all.
10. Divine healing is one of the signs of the age. It is the forerunner of Christ’s coming. It is God’s answer to the infidelity of today. Man tries to reason it down with the force of his intellect. God meets it with the unanswerable proof of His power.