Assemblies of God 16 Fundamental Truths
#12: Divine Healing
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers. (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16)
In the 16 Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God , the 12th Fundamental Truths says, “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement (Christ’s suffering and death for our reconciliation with God), and healing is a privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16). AG Times interviewed Rev Dowdy, Rev Phua and Rev Loh.*
1. What is divine healing?
RND: Divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ healing the sick and the afflicted in answer to believing prayer. When we say “divine” we are immediately linking any healing of our body—physically, mentally and emotionally—to the intervention of God. In scripture, healing is linked to faith in God and His promises. Another way to express it is this: Faith is expecting God to do what you know He has said in His Word that He will do. Faith is believing that God speaks the truth.
When I was an Evangelist conducting crusades and praying for the sick, God did many miracles of healing, often without anyone laying hands on them. Miracles took place; demons and spells of witchcraft were broken because of the power of God’s Word. God says, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Appropriating faith cannot go beyond your knowledge of the revealed will of God. His Word will not return void; it will accomplish what it is intended to accomplish. When our words align with God’s revealed will, miracles happen. We must believe for healing with the same confidence as we do when we declare by faith that sins are forgiven by Jesus, when we ask.
RAP: Divine healing is the Lord’s ability to heal and His provision for healing today. In Exodus 15:26, God says, “I, the Lord, am your Healer.” God’s Word is timeless and is amply demonstrated throughout the Old and the New Testament. He has made provision even today through the charisma of ‘gifts of healing’ (1 Corinthians 12:9) and the ministry in the local assembly (James 5:13-16).1
神的医治通常是藉着特定的祈祷和禁食，并以油膏抹患者，而当患者奉主耶稣的名向神祷告，他/她需坚定的信靠和期待医治的发生，神的医治就会临到。这医治的成就是因基督救赎的工作，祂在十字架上所承受的，为我们换来了医治。以赛亚书53 章5节，“哪知他为我们的过犯受害，为我们的罪孽压伤。因他受的刑罚，我们得平安；因他受 的鞭伤，我们得医治。”
2. Is divine healing for today?
RND: This is a question that has troubled many people today, including believers. Yet, if we really read the Word of God we see over and over again that it is the will of God to heal. Many scriptures use the word ‘saved’ or ‘salvation’, which comes from the Greek word ‘sozo’. Sozo means “to save, to heal, to be cured, to deliver, to restore, to preserve, to be made well”. So when we say that Jesus saves, we are declaring that He delivers from sin, He restores our brokenness and He heals our sickness. Then, we might say, but that was back in Bible days, is it still God’s Will today? Check carefully, God said it in the Old Testament (Exodus 15:26b).
In the New Testament, Jesus taught and then commanded his disciples to cast out devils and heal the sick. But there is nowhere in scripture that says Jesus said this command was only for His time. Thus the Will of God is still to heal the sick and all manner of diseases today. However, if we are unsure in our heart and mind of God’s will, then it is impossible to boldly claim by faith the promises of God. We must know God’s will, trust in His Word, and then act on it.
F F Bosworth says in his book, Christ the Healer,“Perhaps no one could be more conservative than the scholars of the Episcopalian church (known as the Anglican church in Singapore). Yet, the commission appointed to study the subject of spiritual healing for the body, after three years of study and research in both the Bible and history, reported back to the church: The healing of Jesus was done as a revelation of God’s will for humanity. Because they discovered that His Will is fully revealed, they reported further: No longer can the church pray for the sick with that faith-destroying phrase, ‘if it be your will’.”
3. Is it God¹s will to heal everyone?
RND: If we believe that healing is limited to only a few and not available to all, then how can we ever pray the prayer of faith? Among all those who sought healing from Jesus during His earthly ministry, there is only one recording of those words being used.
Mark 1:40-41 says that a man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” He knew this man did not know His will regarding healing and Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man, saying, “I am willing. Be clean.” The only times when people were not healed in scripture was when faith was not present. Matthew 13:58 records that Jesus did not do any miracles (healing) in his own hometown because of their lack of faith.
Personally, I know God has given me the gift of faith. I have prayed for thousands of people through the years. Many were healed, however, not all of them were healed. Why?
This is where we must acknowledge and trust the sovereign will and purpose of God for an individual’s life. It is God who does the healing. We are instructed to pray in faith for the healing, but the results are up to God. I cannot let my faith be shaken if someone I pray for is not healed, and neither should they. Healings do not always happen instantly. Some never happen on this earth because of God’s sovereign timing, they are promoted to heaven where there is no sickness. Godsays His ways are not our ways, but still I am to trust Him.
James in his writings asks, “Is anyone among you sick?” Let them call for the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” So we know it is God’s will to heal. Isaiah 53:5 records prophetically of Jesus’ provision for us, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”
Friends, if we can believe the part about Jesus being beaten and crushed for our sins—then we must also accept the promise that His wounds, the thirty-nine lashes of the whip the Roman soldiers put across His back before they nailed Him to the cross, also provided for our healing. 1 Peter 2:24 tells us, “He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness and “by His wounds you have been healed.”
The conclusion is clear, the prophetic promise in Isaiah was that Jesus would be beaten and His beating was to fulfill the prophetic promise—that by those wounds we ARE healed.
Then, Peter picks up that promise, after the actual beating of Jesus by the Roman soldiers and declares, “by His wounds you have (already) been (past tense) healed (emphasis mine). God is no respecter of people. His promises and provisions are for everyone.
RAP: Someone said, “God gives according to His love. We receive according to our faith.”
Pastor and Christian author Bill Johnson once said, “All things are to be received by faith. What’s offered in love can only be received by faith. Miracles happen in an instant. Healing happens over time.”
“But Jesus said to her, let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to the dogs.” Mark 7:27 (KJV)
One of the things you have to believe is that healing is in Christ’s atonement. Look at what it says here in 1 Peter, talking about Jesus: “He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Jesus took stripes for our healing. It is ours! It is one of the things Jesus bought for us through His sacrifice! The verse says, “You have been healed.” That means it has already been done! It is taken from a prophecy Isaiah gave in Isaiah 53, which says, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:52
马可福音9:23说道：“耶稣对他说：你若能信， 在信的人，凡事都能。”疾病的出现是在人的堕落后开始的。疾病是罪所带来的结果。神说若祂的子民离开他们的恶行，祂必使一切的病症离开他们（申命7:15）。疾病是一种受诅咒的结果（ 申命28: 59–61）。显然，疾病是因人类堕落的状态所带来的后果。如果耶稣来是毁灭魔鬼的作为（约翰一书3:8），并把我们从法律的诅咒中赎回（加3:13），那疾病不应当停留在我们里面， 因为耶稣的宝血已洁净了我们。
4. If you are sick, does that mean there is sin in your life?
RND: Scripture teaches us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sickness came into our world because of the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden. For this reason, God needed to make a provision for these issues we deal with today.
King David said in Psalm 103:2-3, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,” Many have forgotten some of the benefits of redemptions; David did not. He sees the benefits, the provisions of God as covering both areas of our needs: spiritual and physical—sin and sickness.
Matthew 9:2-6 records an event where some men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, ‘Take heart son; your sins are forgiven.” When the teachers of the law began to be critical of Jesus for saying these words, Matthew 5 records, “Which is easier to say, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, ‘get up and walk?”
Again Jesus was demonstrating that God’s love and power is extended to everyone, for both forgiveness and healing. Jesus came and paid the price so by what He has now already accomplished on your behalf—your redemption and healing—you are now a free person. No more sin. No more sickness. Both have been taken care of by Jesus.
RAP: John 9:1-3 says, “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
Some may connect sickness to sin. To others, sickness is the result of the fall of man. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 to the believer, “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”
This verse talks about a believer failing to honor what Jesus had accomplished on the cross, resulting in weakness, illness, and even death! So, many believers in Corinth were weak or sick because of sin!
James said in James 5:14-16, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
The scriptures above are redemptive and not of condemnation. Nobody wants to be sick. Regardless of whether sickness is due to sin or the fallen nature of man, God is ever ready to offer forgiveness of sins, healing of the physical body, and deliverance from bondage when one repents. Jesus in His healing and deliverance ministry demonstrated God’s mercies of a compassionate heart to save and make whole anyone who comes to Him.
RRL: 当然，并非所有的疾病是由我们个人的罪所的。实际上，大部分的原因是因为亚当的堕落。我们可由圣经中的一些例子来了解这一点。圣经人物约伯患了严重的病，而被错误地说他的病是因罪恶的结果。约翰 9:1–3是另外一个例子：“耶稣过去的时候，看见一个人生来是瞎眼的。门徒问耶稣说：拉比，这人生来是瞎眼的，是谁犯了罪？是这人呢？是他父母呢？耶稣回答说：也不是这人犯了罪，也不是他父母犯了罪，是要在他身上显出神的作为来。”这两段经文提醒我们不能武断地认为别人的病必定是由于罪恶而来的。
5. Can I pray for my sick pet?
RND: God does say He will give us the desires of our heart, therefore, if you desired your sick pet to get well, you could pray for it. However, I do not see in scriptures where the promises of God for divine healing include animals. Many of my friends are adamant lovers of their pets. I’m sure if their pets fall sick, they may pray for them besides taking them to the vet.
Personally, with respect to my friends, I do not see this as a biblical practice. Neither do I feel that Jesus was wounded for their pets’ transgressions. So while I would pray to comfort someone who is sad because their dearly loved pet is sick or has died, or even pray that a sick pet might not suffer in sickness, I would also take the pet to the vet. Scripture does not say that animals were created in the image of God. You can pray for your sick pet, but it would never be on the same level, nor be comparable to praying for a person who is a child of God and co-heir with Christ.
RAP: As with praying for any matter, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:15 (KJV)
Praying for sick pets to get well, farmers praying for the health of their poultry and good weather for their crops, praying for a job, your family’s well-being, or asking God to watch over our children are all good prayer requests. But most of the things we pray for are temporal in nature and will not last.
In contrast, praying for the salvation of our loved ones, for the missionaries on the mission fields, or for more workers to go to the harvest fields are all much coveted prayer needs.
Note: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
Mature believers understand that one day we shall all die. The loved ones we pray for will one day leave us to inherit an eternal life. Our loved ones cannot live forever. Mature believers need to release their loved ones back to God the Creator.
Note: The opinions expressed here belong solely to the interviewees.
1http:// agchurches. org/ Sitefiles/ Default/ RSS/IValue/Resources/Divine%20Healing/Articles/HealingandAtonement.pdf
About the Interviewees:
Rev Dr Naomi Dowdy (RND),
Rev Dr Naomi Dowdy is widely recognized as a global leader for apostolic strategies, and the implementation of God’s purposes in the 21st Century. Her passion is to see the Great Commission realized, and she travels extensively to the nations, mentoring and equipping pastors, leaders and churches to fulfill their calling and destiny in God. Through her own ministry consulting platforms, she provides consultation and mentoring in the areas of good governance and the development of future leaders for succession planning.
Rev Dr Anthony Phua (RAP),
Rev Dr Anthony Phua is serving as an AG(S) Executive Committee Member. He began ministry since 1972. He was Team Pastor of Bethany Christian Centre and also Deputy Registrar of Marriage. He was a Board Member, APTS Board of Directors, AG(S) Representative and Adjunct Faculty, APTS, Baguio (non-residential faculty and on-site teachers). He is married to Rev Ruth Phua-Chng and has three children, John, Joy and Joel.
Rev Raymond Loh (RRL),
Rev Raymond Loh currently serves as the Chinese Regional Pastor of Elim Church. He oversees the Mandarin and Teochew Congregations and Care Cells, and also serves as the church interpreter and translator. His experience includes conducting Leader’s Training and Family Life seminars in China. He graduated with a Masters in Pastoral Leadership from Asia Theological Centre (formerly known as ATCEM).