WHAT ABOUT DIVINE HEALING?
This article explores the definition of divine healing, how death and disease entered the world, how God views sickness, redemption from the curse, how to pray for someone who is terminally ill, and the end results of sickness. References are also provided for study of the biblical basis of healing.
The Bible teaches divine healing from cover-to-cover. We (the founders of this website) believe in God’s promises regarding healing and continue to pray and believe for our loved ones who have been stricken with dementia. We commit to the sovereignty of God, knowing that our loved ones will be healed–whether in this life or through the ultimate healing as they pass into the presence of the Lord.
DEFINITION OF DIVINE HEALING
“Divine” pertains to the one true God and His nature, as revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible.
“Healing” means to cure or make whole. Divine healing is when the one true God reveals His nature, fulfills His promises, and acts upon His provision in the atonement of Christ by making a person whole in body, soul, and spirit.
Divine healing can be both instantaneous (miraculous) or gradual (a process). Although instantaneous healings more fully demonstrate the divine presence and power of God, divine healing which occurs as a process is no less miraculous (Mark 8:22-25). Medical and natural healings are in a sense divine also, because in reality it is always God who enables healing.
Divine healing includes the healing of spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and demonic conditions. Divine healing is not immunity from sickness, however. Our bodies are in the “process of decay” and susceptible to disease, sickness, accidents, etc. as long as we are in this world. We live in a fallen world, and these problems are an inherent part of it.
Dementia is part of the fallen world in which we live. It is a disease for which there is no cure in the natural word, but as believers, we function in the spiritual world. We believe God’s promises of LIFE:
-New life…through Jesus Christ as Savior.
-Extended life…experiencing complete healing and/or God’s sustaining power in the midst of sickness.
-A Spirit-filled life…facing difficult circumstances through the power of the Holy Spirit.
-Eternal life…the ultimate healing as we enter the presence of the Lord.
HOW DISEASE AND DEATH ENTERED THE WORLD
Genesis chapters l and 2 in the Bible record the story of the creation of man. God created man in His own image, breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Man was created with a triune nature of body, soul, and spirit. The body is the physical part of man. The soul and spirit are the spiritual parts which enable him to act, think, feel, react emotionally, and spiritually respond to God. Originally, each part of this triune nature was in harmony with the other two, and the entire triune nature of man was in harmony with God. Man was sinless and healthy in body, soul, and spirit.
Genesis chapter 3 records how the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, sinned against God by disobeying His Word. Their sin brought the curse of sin and death upon all men: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
This curse of death resulted in spiritual separation between man and God, as well as physical death which ends a man’s life. The Bible confirms that Satan is the source of evil in the world. Jesus said he is a thief and…”The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” (John 10:10). Disease steals health, happiness, money, time, effort, and strength–it kills and destroys.
When the curse of death came upon man, Satan entered the genetic system of the body to begin his destructive mission. In the natural world, God creates a living cell and multiplies it to bring forth life and a new child is born. Satan is not a creator, so he counterfeits this positive process with a negative cycle of his own. He takes a living cell (virus, cancer, etc.) and multiplies it to bring forth death.
Although every disease is not a direct attack of demonic spirits, the elements of sickness exist in the world because of Satan. For example, you might catch pneumonia because you went barefoot in freezing weather. This is not a direct attack of Satan, but the elements of sickness which result in your pneumonia exist in the world because of Satan.
HOW GOD VIEWS SICKNESS
If you understand how God views sickness you will never again doubt its source. God calls sickness captivity (Job 42:10). Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives:
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)
Jesus called sickness bondage:
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? (Luke 13:16)
Jesus viewed sickness as oppression and healed those who were oppressed:
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 identifies death as an enemy: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”
(1 Corinthians 15:26).
Sickness–including dementia–is not from God, but everything that comes into the life of a believer is permitted by God. The New Testament speaks of believers as sheep and Jesus as the gatekeeper to the fold. If dementia has come into your life, God allowed it. Why? Like Job, we may never know the answer, but we know the Answerer–and that is enough. (See the Legacy Bible Outline study on the book of Job under “Christian Books” on this website.)
REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE
Galatians 3:13 declares, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the curse of sin and death upon Himself and…
…as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)
Salvation and healing are benefits of the atonement made by Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus took the curse of sin, disease, and death in your place. Because He rose in resurrection life, you too shall rise!
Although you live in a mortal body which is subject to the attacks of both sin and sickness, you are no longer doomed by these curses forever. God forgives your sin and heals your diseases in the present and you will experience the ultimate salvation from sin and sickness when you pass into His presence for all eternity.
THE RESULTS OF SICKNESS
There are only two possible results of a sickness. It will either be for the glory of God or a sickness unto death.
A Sickness For The Glory Of God.
A sickness for the glory of God is one where a person glorifies God through their testimony of His healing or sustaining power. Read the story of a man blind since birth in John chapter nine. Jesus said of this blind man: “… Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him” (John 9:3). When the blind man was healed, God received glory through his life and testimony.
A Sickness Unto Death.
The Bible indicates there is an appointed time for each person to die: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Even those Jesus raised from the dead eventually died. In John 11:4, Jesus said the sickness of Lazarus was “not unto death”– which means that there is a sickness unto death. The goal of divine healing is not immortality. Divine healing does not achieve this any more than medicine does. Unless Jesus returns first, we all will experience death.
As an old man, Moses had no effects of age, but Joshua was “old and well stricken in age.” God preserved one supernaturally until his death, while the other experienced the results of natural aging. Their spirituality had nothing to do with this. Both were great leaders. God will sustain you whether your body experiences the natural processes of age and death by disease or you are supernaturally preserved.
PRAYING FOR HEALING
Where there is life, there is hope. Continue to pray for divine healing and sustaining power unless you know that this is the appointed time of death.
-Pray for healing according to God’s will–not demanding your way, but resigning yourself to the will of God.
-Pray in the Spirit, since the Holy Spirit knows the will of God and will properly make intercession (Romans 8:26).
-Pray for wisdom and sustaining power in this time of difficulty.
-Pray for acceptance of the sovereignty of God–whether in life or death.
Sometimes, despite faith-filled prayers, a person is not healed. In these cases, we must submit to the sovereignty of God and know that He has a purpose–even if we cannot understand it. One of the greatest examples in this generation is the ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada who was paralyzed through a diving accident as a young woman and who–despite prayers for healing–has not experienced healing. Instead, God used her to raise up a great ministry to disabled people, to become an advocate for their cause, and to share biblical hope and inspiration around the world.
THE ULTIMATE HEALING
The Bible does not promise immortality in this world as part of the healing covenant. Do not be disturbed when Christians who believe and have ministered divine healing die from sickness. This happened to Elisha, yet years later his bones had power to raise a dead man. This confirms he could not have died because of lack of faith (2 Kings 13:21).
You or your loved one will experience healing from dementia. For some, God will heal you and you will glorify Him by your testimony, life, and ministry. Others will receive the ultimate healing as they pass through death and victoriously enter the presence of the Lord with a body, soul, and spirit that are perfectly whole. Why the difference? We do not know. We must accept the sovereignty of God, admit we don’t have the answers, and concede that “There are secret things that belong to the Lord our God…” (Deuteronomy 29:29, NLT).
God can give wisdom as to whether or not it is the appointed time to die. If God reveals it is a person’s appointed time, then help them prepare spiritually.
-Be certain they know Jesus as their Savior.
-If they are a believer, be sure there is no unconfessed sin.
-Encourage them to make restitution if there are problems between them and others.
-Help them understand that God is sovereign. He can intervene at any time to permit them to live longer.
-Focus their attention on the resurrection and eternity. Use the following references: Job 19:25- 27; John 11:5-6; Romans 8:10-11, 17-18, 22-23; 10:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,54-58;
2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
-Help them understand death comes to all. For the believer, death is just an event within the parameters of eternal life. We are not to seek death, but we are not to place such an undue emphasis on the present life that we prefer it to the one to come. Death is an enemy, and it is the last enemy that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). It is the terror of this enemy that is disarmed for the believer through Christ’s death on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:55). If it is time for a believer’s death, God gives dying grace just as He has provided living grace. For the believer, death is the ultimate healing. There is no more pain or sickness and you enter God’s presence perfectly whole. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Sickness and sin are similar in that we are saved from the penalty of sin when we accept Jesus as Savior and Healer. We can be continually delivered from its power as believers, but only in the future when we go to be with the Lord are we saved from its presence. The same is true for sickness and death. We can be healed in this present life, but sickness and death still exist. We only will be completely liberated from them when we experience the ultimate healing and go into the presence of the Lord.
Death was the penalty for sin, and by the death of Christ came life. In death, God performs the ultimate healing. Death is swallowed up in victory because those dead in Christ will rise again:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)
When a believer dies, we should rejoice because something precious has occurred: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15). For the believer, death comes as a release from this world of sin, sickness, and sorrow:
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4)
We often make the mistake of living bound by the parameters of time instead of eternity. As a believer, you are already living in eternal life whether you live it on this or the other side of death.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF HEALING
For an in-depth study of biblical healing, visit:
Click on “English” in the left menu , then scroll down to the free E-book entitled “Battle For The Body.”
The following Biblical references are provided for further study of divine healing.
Old Testament References
Genesis 17:18-19: God promised to heal Sara’s barrenness.
Genesis 21:1-7: Sara’s barrenness is healed.
Genesis 20:17: God healed Abimelech.
Exodus 4:1-18: Healing of Moses’ leprous hand.
Exodus 15:25-26: God revealed His name as “Jehovah-Rapha” which means, “The Lord Thy Physician.”
Exodus 23:25: God promised to take away sickness from among His people.
Leviticus 16:29-30: Healing of sins.
Numbers 12:1-15: Leprosy is healed.
Numbers 16:41-50: A plague affects Israel.
Numbers 21:4-9: Healing through the symbolic serpent of brass.
Deuteronomy 30:20: God is life and length of days.
Deuteronomy 7:15; 28:60: Diseases of Egypt will not be upon you.
Judges 13:2-24: Manoah’s wife is healed by a “man of God.”
1 Kings 17:17-24: Elijah raises a child from the dead.
2 Kings 4:8-37: Raising of the Shunamite’s son.
2 Kings 5:1-14: The healing of Naaman.
2 Kings 13:14,21: Elisha is sick with a sickness unto death.
2 Kings 20:1-11: Hezekiah’s illness and life extension.
2 Chronicles 20:9: God hears when we cry in affliction.
2 Chronicles 30:20: Healing of people by Hezekiah’s prayers.
2 Chronicles 32:24-26: Hezekiah’s illness and life extension.
Job l-2: These chapters reveal the sources of Job’s problems, including his sickness.
Job 5:18; 30:18: Job talks about His disease.
Psalms 6:2-3: “Oh Lord heal me.”
Psalms 27:1: “The Lord is the strength of my life.”
Psalms 30:2: “I cried and you healed me.”
Psalms 32:3-5: Acknowledged sin results in healing.
Psalms 34:19-20: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psalms 38:3,7: Anger and sin affects your health; disease is called “loathsome.”
Psalms 41:1-8: Disease is called evil.
Psalms 42:11; 43:5: God is the health of our countenance.
Psalms 42:1-5: Healing for a downcast spirit.
Psalms 55:1-2: Persevering prayer and healing.
Psalms 67:2: Healing is to be extended to the nations.
Psalms 91:9,10: “Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
Psalms 103:1-5: “Forget not His benefits…Who healeth all thy diseases.”
Psalms 107:17-20: “He sent His Word and healed them.”
Psalms 119:25-28: We are strengthened by the Word.
Psalms 119:67: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.”
Psalms 147:3: “Who heals all thy diseases.” Healing for a broken heart.
Psalms 105:37: “He brought them forth…not one feeble among them.”
Proverbs 4:20-23: The issues of life are affected by heart attitude.
Proverbs 12:18: The tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:4,30: A wholesome tongue is life; good reports affect health.
Proverbs 16:24: The Word of God brings healing to the bones.
Proverbs 17:22: A broken spirit affects the bones.
Ecclesiastes 3:3: There is a time to heal.
Isaiah 6:10: Understanding, conversion, healing.
Isaiah 32:3-4: Healing is part of the Kingdom of God.
Isaiah 33:24: “Inhabitants shall say, I am not sick.”
Isaiah 35:5-6: Healing in the Millennium.
Isaiah 38:1-12,16: Hezekiah’s illness and his return to health.
Isaiah 53:5: We are promised healing and deliverance through the atonement.
Isaiah 57:18-19: Draw near for healing.
Isaiah 58:8: Health shall spring forth.
Isaiah 61:1: Jesus was sent to bind up the brokenhearted (emotional healing).
Isaiah 58:8: Health springing forth speedily.
Jeremiah 3:22: God heals backsliding when we return to Him.
Jeremiah 17:14: “Heal me and I will be healed.”
Jeremiah 33:6: “I will cure them.”
Lamentations 3:33: “God does not willingly afflict.”
Daniel 4:34,36: Nebuchadnezzar’s healing.
Hosea 6:1: “He hath torn and He will heal.”
Hosea 7:1: Healing for Israel.
Hosea 11:3: “They knew not I healed them.”
Hosea 14:4: “I will heal their backslidings.”
Malachi 4:2: Healing in His wings.
New Testament References
Matthew 8:13: The point of contact sets the time.
Matthew 8:17: Jesus bore our sicknesses.
Matthew 10:1: Power over sickness and demons is given to the disciples.
Matthew 18:19-21: Any two agreeing receive what is asked.
Mark 2:17: Christ came to heal sinners.
Mark 3:15-17: Christ gives power to heal sicknesses.
Mark 4:18-19: Healing is part of the anointing; Jesus was sent to heal.
Mark 11:24: If you believe when you pray (before you receive), you will receive.
Mark 16:18: In Jesus’ name believers will heal sick and cast out demons.
Luke 5:31: The sick need a physician.
Luke 7:22-23: The most convincing argument for divine healing is experience.
Luke 17:6: Small faith can bring great results.
Luke 18:7-8: Do not give up before your answer comes.
John 6:53-58: The body and blood of Jesus bring life.
John 10:10: Jesus came that we can have life. Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy.
John 11:1-45: A sickness not healed instantly leads to a greater miracle.
John 14:12-13: The works Jesus did, we are to do.
John 15:7: The importance of abiding in Christ in relation to asking and receiving.
John 16:24: Ask in His name and you will receive.
Romans 8:19-23: The whole world is in the process of decay.
2 Corinthians 4:16: Our outward man perishes, but the inward man can be renewed.
Ephesians 3:20-21: God has the power to work in us above all that we ask or think.
Philippians 2:25-27: The illness of Epaphroditus.
Colossians 4:14: Luke, a physician, was part of Paul’s evangelistic team.
2 Timothy 4:20: Trophimus’ illness and recovery.
Hebrews 4:15: He is touched with our infirmities.
Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the evidence of things not seen (including healing).
James 1:8: We must ask in faith and not waver.
James 1:17: Every good gift (including healing) is from God.
James 5:14-15: Calling the elders for anointing, prayer for healing.
2 Peter 2:24: We are healed by His wounds.
2 John 3:22: Whatever we ask we can receive if we are obedient.
3 John 1:2: Health is related to the condition of your soul.
Revelation 20:2-3: When Satan is bound, there will be no more sickness and death.
Revelation 21:4: The final healing: No more sickness and death.