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Does God still heal, today? [Part One]

"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."

Act 10:38

The above verse is an apostolic summary of Jesus' earthly ministry - He went about doing good, healing ALL that were oppressed by the Devil. The original greek word 'pas' translated "all" means: all; any; every; whosoever; whatsoever; as many as; whole. There is no limitation implied in this passage. The word "oppressed" in the original language connotates to 'hold down'; or 'to exercise dominion over.' So Healing is a multi-faceted lifting -- primarily spiritual, but it certainly includes lifting of physical suffering. To diminish this aspect is to diverge from the plain reading of the passage (with no parallel passages to support such a divergence.) Are there exceptions? Sometimes. Part 3 of this series will explore the Sovereignty of God in Healing, but we are setting forth the "Wideness of God's mercy" as the foundational principle of our expectation in prayer. [Exceptions to the rule don't negate the rule, they support it.]

This foundational principle is based on the very character of God - He is a giving God - giving abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). And the character of God is presented to us in living color in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus said if we have seen Him we have seen the Father (John 14:9), for he is "the express image of his person". (Hebrews 1:3) And in the life of Christ we see him constantly healing those who came to Him. Can we name anyone that was turned away? [You can respond in comments]

In the opening episode of Mark's gospel, we are presented with this scene - after a full day of ministry: "And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him [Jesus] all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils." (Mark 1:32 - 34b) Use of the word "Many" here is not limiting those who were healed but quantifying them - Mark says there were Many! No exclusions are noted or inferred!

It was the Pharisees and Saducees who wanted to place limitations on Jesus' healing. They constantly scoffed and withstood Jesus for healing on the sabbath, and He NEVER submitted to their limitation - rather he rebuked them:

"The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?  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 13:15)

They found it would be easier to harness a river than to stop the flow of 'charis' [grace] from the person of Christ (Luke 4:22). Jesus had no 'office hours' - 24x7x365 He was overflowing with the love and mercy of God. His healing and deliverance ministry validated the truth of the Gospel he preached. Today we see very few miracles, very little Holy Ghost testimony to the gospel being preached. (Maybe we should examine WHY the Holy Ghost is not attesting to the American Gospel today? Could it be defective? It's not a defect nor limitation in God.)

If we believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John accurately captured the essence of our Lord's ministry, then we must conclude that God is an over-abundant giving Father. Our God is able to heal, and he is not stingy with His gifts or graces. It is the 'default' setting of His fatherly compassion to relieve the suffering of His children, when we ask in faith.

In Part Two we will examine 'the prayer of faith.'

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