You have probably run into an ad like the one below. Such types of posters are common all over the world.
Many flock to these meetings, hoping that they will find remedies for illness affecting them or a loved one. Faith or spiritual healing has been around for a long time, some believe it’s a scam but to others it’s a show of faith in order to get a miracle from God.
Seeking supernatural help for healing is a practice that has happened both outside & in the church.
Brief history of Supernatural healing outside the church
Ancient Egypt and Yin & Yang philosophies in ancient Chinese healing traditions believe that illness came as a result of unbalanced human energy and returning the balance was key to bring healing back to the body.
In Egypt, several ritual practices that were done to bring about healing included chanting, drumming, dancing, incantations & hoaxes that would be done by priests. The Egyptian priests were supposed to be pure enough to connect with spirit guides who would let them know if the patient is ready to be healed or they should remain with their illness because it is intended to teach them a life lesson.
In ancient Egypt – a physical ailment was seen as an outward sign of an inner spiritual issue.
In Ancient Greece, around 4 BC many temples were built to worship a god called Asclepius who was referred to as the god of medicine & healing. Followers claimed they would receive healing just by entering the temples.
The rod of Asclepius, is a snake-entwined staff, commonly seen today as a symbol of medicine.
Those who sought healing would offer sacrifices, and then spend a night in the holiest part of the temple. Any dreams or visions were reported to a priest who would interpret and prescribe the treatment the patient required. Some temples had sacred dogs to lick wounds. There were also non-venomous snakes left to slither on the floor. These snakes were used in the healing rituals.
Healing practices such as Reiki, Yoga, healing touch used today share some similarities to the ancient practices..
Brief history of Supernatural healing in the church
When looking at the Old Testament, there are few references in relation to healing; a good example is when Prophet Elisha directed Naaman to dip himself in the river Jordan 7 times & he would be healed of leprosy. Naaman felt the instruction was insulting & beneath him, So he didn’t want to do it but at the pleading of his servant he did and his skin was restored. 2 Kings 5:1-14
The New Testament on the other hand has a lot of references to healing, mostly done by Jesus, some examples:-
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill.
and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Jesus also bestowed the power to heal on his disciples as well.
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
The Early Church
The Early church was characterized by miracles and huge growth as many people heard the gospel & were saved.
In Acts 3 Peter & John heal a lame man and the crowds became astonished and gathered around them, thinking they are powerful healers. Peter corrected them in verse 12 that they haven’t healed the man by their own power but that the crowd had witnessed the power of Jesus Christ; Peter then preached the gospel of salvation to the crowd.
Another example where many were healed is recorded in Acts 5:12-16
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits.
From this passage, we can see the apostles were known for healing people. The end result was many started believing in Jesus Christ & the church grew rapidly.
Healing had a purpose for the early church – to show the people of that time that the kingdom of God had come & it was used to support the preaching of the gospel to others. Would it be correct to say that this specific gift of healing has accomplished its purpose & thus ceased with the early church?
God still does heal & restore people, I can personally attest to my mind being healed & restored as I went through my deliverance journey with Pastor Pam Sheppard. But In recent times, we haven’t seen healing situations as recorded in the book of ACTS where huge crowds of sick people legitimately received miraculous healing.
Will the gift of healing as shown by the apostles in the book of ACTS return? – maybe, if it does, it will be to fulfill a specific purpose that God wants.
Nowadays both in the Christian & non-Christian world there are many people seeking supernatural help for healing. The world has methods such as Reiki where people get hands laid on to receive healing. In the church people flock to crusades where the pastor breathes on them, lays hands on them and prophesy healing to the attendees, Christian TV has a lot of programs where people are told to touch the screen & receive healing. Some ministries send prayer cloths, handkerchiefs, oil which have healing power for a nominal fee. One might say they are doing the same as the early church, but are they?
The fruits of some of these healing ministries we have today can help us determine whether God is in it or not. Most ministries are embroiled in some sort of scandal. There are cases where people have come forward stating they were paid to act sick. Innocent people have also suffered as they were deceived into thinking they were healed only to continue suffering from their illness; and in some tragic cases, people have died because they stopped taking medication.
What purpose does healing in current ministries serve? Is it to further the gospel that teaches we can accept Jesus into our hearts by repeating the sinners prayer? It seems to be the case which in itself is a huge red flag since that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Believers at this time need to be more vigilant as deception is the order of the day. God definitely has the power to heal but understand the devil can also perform supernatural acts in order to trick people. People have turned to Reiki, yoga and received immediate healing only to be tormented. In the church people have gone to healing ministries and asked Jesus into their hearts when they actually received the fake Jesus who calls himself Jesus Sananda Emmanuel. When they asked Jesus to come into their hearts, they opened themselves up to be demonized.
It can be confusing to know what to believe. The key is to be undeceived and understand the times we live in.
The enemy is using everything including healing to Lead many into more deception. Therefore we need to learn the wiles & strategies of the enemy to avoid his traps. If you don’t know where to begin started by getting a copy of The Church of the End-Time Zombies.
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