Healings, miracles, signs and wonders

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s ministry

 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the days of His flesh cast out demons (or evil spirits), He wrought many healings, miracles, and signs and wonders. His mighty works were so numerous that John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, at the end of the Gospel, wrote these words: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25). Therefore, this means that the things done by Jesus which are written in the Bible are only a very little part of the things He wrought during the days of His flesh.

Jesus Christ cast out demons by the Spirit of God, who was upon Him. This is what He Himself said to those who accused Him of casting out demons by the prince of demons, that is, by Satan, as it is written: “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils [demons], but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils [demons]. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils [demons], by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils [demons] by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:22-32). When the demons saw Him they fell down before Him and cried out with a loud voice saying: “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34) and when He rebuked them they came out crying and saying: “Thou art Christ the Son of God” (Luke 4:41), but Jesus rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew He was the Christ of God

Jesus Christ delivered many demon-possessed people who were blind, dumb and even deaf, and whose blindness, dumbness and deafness were caused by evil spirits (Matthew 12:22; Mark 9:25); as well as many demon-possessed people who were able to see, to speak and to hear. The demons were compelled to come out by the power of God which was with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, besides setting free the demon possessed, healed many sick people who were ill with various diseases. A passage of the Gospel written by Matthew says: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:23-24). Here are some of the numerous healings performed by Jesus Christ, which are recorded in the Bible.

The healing of a leper, as it is written: “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them” (Matthew 8:1-4).

The healing of ten lepers, as it is written: “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:11-19).

The healing of the roman centurion’s servant, who was lying at home paralyzed, as it is written: “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:5-13).

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick with a high fever, as it is written: “And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them” (Matthew 8:14;15; Luke 4:38-39).

The healing of a woman who had a flow of blood twelve years, as it is written: “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:25-34).

The healing of man born blind, as is written: “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:1-7), as well as the healing of two blind men: “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country” (Matthew 9:27-31).

The healing of a man who had a withered hand, as it is written: “And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him” (Matthew 12:9-14).

The healing of a woman who was bent over, as it is written: “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-13).

The healing of a man who had dropsy, as it is written: “And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things” (Luke 14:1-6).

The healing of a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years, as it is written: “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath” (John 5:1-9).

The healing of a paralytic, who was brought to Jesus by four men, who, since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. Here is the biblical account of this healing performed by Jesus: “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,): I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:1-12).

The healing of a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, who lived in the region of the Decapolis, as it is written: “And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak” (Mark 7:32-37).

Jesus Christ healed the sick for “the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” (Luke 5:17 - NIV).

Jesus Christ wrought many miracles; he fed about five thousand men (besides women and children) with only five loaves of bread and two fish, as it is written: “And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children” (Matthew 14:15-21).

He fed four thousand men (besides women and children) with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish, as it is written: “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala” (Matthew 15:32-39).

Jesus raised some people from the dead: Jairus’ little daughter, as it is written: “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat” (Mark 5:35-43); His friend named Lazarus, as it is written: “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done” (John 11:1-46), and the only son of a widow in the town called Nain, who was raised from the dead while he was being carried out, as it is written: “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about” (Luke 7:11-17).

Jesus Christ wrought even some wonders; He walked on the lake of Galilee, as it is written: “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:24-33); He calmed down a great tempest in the sea, as it written: “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27); and He withered a fig tree, as it is written: “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away” (Matthew 21:18-19).

Indeed, Jesus Christ wrought many great things; as Peter said, He was accredited by God to the Jews by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among them through Him (Acts 2:22). Glory to His wonderful and holy name for ever. Amen.

 

 

In the ministry of the apostles and other servants of God

 

Jesus Christ, in the days of His flesh, after He chose twelve disciples He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God with the authority to cast out demons and to heal diseases, as it is written: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils [demons], and to cure diseases” (Luke 9:1), and also: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils [demons]: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:1-8). The apostles wrought the things that Jesus commanded, for it is written: “And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils [demons], and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13).

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples and said to them: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils [demons]; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:15-20). As you can see, the apostles continued to cast out demons and to heal the sick in the name of Jesus Christ even after Jesus was received up into heaven. This is confirmed by what is said by Luke in the Acts of the apostles: “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.). Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one” (Acts 5:12-16). Peter healed a lame person at the temple’s gate called ‘Beautiful,’ as it is written: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him” (Acts 3:1-10). The same apostle healed a paralytic named Aeneas and he raised from the dead a woman named Tabitha, as it is written: “And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord. Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner” (Acts 9:32-43).

These things were wrought by the apostles who had been with Jesus. However also the other apostles chosen by Christ performed healings, signs and wonders in the name of Christ. It is written about Paul and Barnabas that they spent considerable time at Iconium “speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). Paul healed a crippled man in Lystra, as it is written: “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked” (Acts 14:8-10), and a man who was sick of a fever in Malta, as it is written: “In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed” (Acts 28:7-9).

Besides the apostles, also Stephen and Philip, who were not apostles, wrought signs and wonders. About Stephen it is written: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:8), and about Philip: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:5-8).

 

 

Signs and wonders

 

In the Bible are recorded some manifestations of the power of God called signs and wonders (or miracles) which were wrought by God through some of His servants. Here are some of those wonders.

When God commanded Moses to go down to Egypt to set free His people He gave him the authority to do certain miracles, and Moses wrought those miracles in Egypt. The first miracles were the miracle of the staff and the miracle of the leprous hand, which he performed before the elders of the people of Israel (actually it was Aaron who performed them). Moses was able to perform those miracles because God, when He had appeared to him, told him to perform them, as it is written: “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land” (Exodus 4:1-9).

The other wonders were that of the serpent staff, which was wrought by Moses and Aaron before the king of Egypt, as it is written: “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods” (Exodus 7:8-12), and all the plagues God sent upon the Egyptians, as it is written: “He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham. He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts. He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number, and did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground. He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength” (Psalm 105:26-36). God wrought still other wonders through Moses, which were those that took place in the desert, such as the red sea divided and the water which came out of the rock. Because of all those mighty works wrought by Moses, the Scripture says: “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12).

At the time of king Jeroboam, a man of God, who came from Judah to Bethel, wrought a wonder before the king, as it is written: “And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before” (1 Kings 13:1-6).

When we read in the New Testament that God wrought signs and wonders through someone, among those mighty works wrought by that man were even some works that had nothing to do with the healing of a sick person. We can say this because we know that Jesus – about whom it is said that He was a man approved of God among the Jews by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in their midst – raised some people from the dead, withered a fig tree, fed thousands of men with a few loaves of bread and a few fish, walked upon the water, and these powerful works are not healings.

Therefore when the Scripture speaks about the gift of working of miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10) it refers to the gift of working signs and wonders like those that God allowed some of His servants to perform in the past, that is, mighty works that are not healings.

Among the signs we can include the casting out of demons and among the miracles the resurrection of dead people.

 

 

The healings and the miracles in the Church of the living God today; their reality and their utility

 

As we have seen, in ancient times, God wrought mighty works through His Son, His apostles and some of His other servants. At this point, someone may ask these questions: ‘Can healings, deliverances, resurrections, and signs and wonders, happen today? Should we expect or wish to see these things in our midst? Are these things necessary and useful as they were at that time?’ The answer to all these questions is definitely Yes.

These things can happen today because the God who wrought them through Jesus Christ, through the apostles and through Stephen and Philip, is not dead and has not changed; He is alive and does not change. His power is still the same and is immense; so He can do today the things He did in ancient times. If it is true that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God (Luke 18:27), this means that God still does the things that men cannot do. Shall we say that the things impossible with men were possible with God only in the days of Jesus or in the days of the apostles? Who dares to say such a thing? One more thing to confirm what I have just said. As you know, God has various names. Well, one of His names is YAHWEH-JIREH, which means ‘YAHWEH will see/provide’, and we find this name written in the book of Genesis in connection with Abraham’s sacrifice of his son. Here is what is written: “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jahweh-jireh [The Lord will see/provide]: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen” (Genesis 22:9-14). Now, is there anyone among you who can affirm that God has ceased to meet His people’s needs? Or that He has ceased to see and provide? Certainly not. Why? Because God does not change: His nature and His character are always the same. Now, another name of God is YAHWEH-RAPHA, which means ‘YAHWEH who heals.’ That’s a name God revealed to the Israelites in the desert. Here is what is written in the book of Exodus: “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee [Yahweh-rapha]” (Exodus 15:23-26). So, can we affirm that this name does not apply to God any longer? Certainly not. Why? For the same reason for which we cannot affirm that God no longer sees or provides. In other words, because He does not change. So, I boldly proclaim: “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:1-3). By the way, please notice that first of all it is written that God forgives all our iniquities, and then that He heals all our diseases. Therefore, just as God has not ceased to forgive all our iniquities, so He has not ceased to heal all our diseases. As He can still forgive and deliver a man from every sin, so He can still cure every sickness. It’s so simple and so logical. Glory to His Name now and forevermore. Amen.

We must expect and wish these things to happen because God wants to do them in the midst of His Church. Of course, we do not expect God to send His Son to die and to raise again from the dead because those things are no longer according to His will, in that He did them once for all. But as for the mighty works, He still wants to do them because He still wants to show or confirm that the Gospel is His Word and is Truth. One day, Jesus Christ, in speaking about the mighty works He was doing, said: “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (John 5:36). Therefore, if the mighty works done by Jesus Christ Himself confirmed that the Father had sent Him, evidently the mighty works wrought in the name of Jesus Christ (the mighty works that Jesus Christ does through His servants) confirm that He is the One sent by God into the world to save it. Does God want to confirm this? Of course, He does, because that is an integral part – I would say a fundamental part – of the Gospel of the grace of God. We must wish these things to happen because God commands us to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), among which are the gift of working miracles, the gifts of healing and the gift of faith. Therefore it is lawful to wish to do mighty works as well as to see some holy servants of God do them. That is confirmed by the fact that the early disciples prayed to God that He might confirm His Word with healings as well as with signs and wonders. Listen to what Luke says: “And being let go, they [Peter and John] went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child [servant] Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child [servant] Jesus” (Acts 4:23-30). Have you ever prayed in this manner? If you have never asked God to perform healings and signs and wonders, I urge you to do so.

These things are useful because they are wrought by God and whatever is done by God is useful. They are useful because they show that the Gospel which is preached is not a philosophy, or a fable, or a human invention, but the message of the Living God for the whole mankind and thus it is worthy of all acceptance. The Lord worked with the apostles and confirmed the word they preached with signs following (Mark 16:20). At Iconium the apostles Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time “speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders” (Acts 14:3 - NIV). Therefore, if we want God to confirm His Word (which is preached) as He did in ancient times, then we must wish Him to confirm it with signs and wonders. For signs and wonders are wrought by God for this purpose, to save people, as Paul said to the Romans: “I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:17-19). Please note carefully the words “to make the Gentiles obedient” for they make clear the concept I have just expressed. Is it not true that in ancient times many people believed in the Gospel after hearing about or seeing a healing or a miracle wrought in the name of Jesus? Is it not written that after Peter healed Aeneas in the name of Jesus “all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:35)? Is it not written that after Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, “it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42)? Is it not written that in the city of Samaria the people with one accord “gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed” (Acts 8:6-7)? But even before all those events, when Jesus preached to the Jews, is it not written that in the city of Jerusalem “many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did” (John 2:23)? Does the Scripture not say that the disciples of Jesus believed on Him after they saw His first miracle (the change of water into wine), as it is written: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (John 2:11)? Is it not written that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead “many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him” (John 11:45)? Is it not written that when Jesus fed a great number of people with only five loaves of bread and a few fish “those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (John 6:14)? Therefore, the healings and the miracles wrought in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, lead people to believe on Jesus Christ. Of course, not all those who see signs and wonders will turn to Christ, for even in the days of Jesus Christ many people, after seeing His mighty works, did not repent, and for this reason Jesus rebuked them, as it is written: “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee” (Matthew 11:20-24). But for sure some people will turn to Christ only by seeing the mighty works wrought in Jesus’ name, as Jesus Himself said: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48)

God’s mighty works are useful because they strengthen our faith in Christ, in that they encourage us to stand firm in the faith to the end. Is it not true that after we have been granted by God what we asked of Him in a specific need (here I am excluding the need of a healing or a miracle) we feel we have been strengthened in the faith because we realize that God’s ears are indeed open to our prayers and He grants our requests? Therefore, if when a prayer to God is answered (a prayer in which we have not asked for a healing or the resurrection of a dead person) we feel spiritually stronger, don’t you think that an intervention of God on the body of a sick person or of a dead person will produce the same effect? Don’t you think that when Paul said to the saints of Rome: “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Romans 1:11), since among the spiritual gifts are also the gifts of healing, the gift of working miracles and the gift of faith, he made it very clear that also these manifestations of the Spirit of God (healings, signs and wonders) strengthen our faith?

The mighty works of God cause believers to praise the name of God, and God takes pleasure in the praise of His people. Is it not written that when Paul in Jerusalem declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry, the elders “glorified the Lord” (Acts 21:20)? So the healings and miracles wrought in the name of Jesus make people glorify the name of God.

The mighty works of God meet some people’s needs. For instance, when some children and adults sick with incurable diseases and near to death, receive from God their healing they receive a prolongation of their life. Put yourself in the place of a boy who has a cancer in his body and he was told by the doctors that he has just a few months or even a few days to live, do you think he wants to die? Do you think he would be happy if someone came to him and healed him in the name of Jesus? Do you think that a father and a mother who have their own child near to death would be happy if Jesus Christ healed their son? What surprises me is that the unbelievers who don’t know God work very intensively using the means they have, in order to extend the life to the sick people, while many believers don’t do anything in order ‘to extend’ the life to the sick people. I mean that not only they don’t want to receive from God the gifts of healings or the gift of working of miracles but also they don’t pray for these people who need to be healed. They conduct themselves as if our God were a God who can’t heal the sick, in answer to prayer or through the manifestation of a specific gift given by God to one of His servants. I feel sick at heart in seeing these Christians who don’t believe in the power of God. I know, I know very well their arguments: ‘Of course God …. But God …. You see, God ….’ But at the root of their arguments there is a lack of faith in the God they claim to know.

Therefore, I exhort you to encourage those believers as well as those unbelievers who are sick, to have faith in Christ in order to be healed, and plead with the Lord to heal them. It does not matter if you are just a believer, or an elder in a Church, you must encourage the sick person to have faith in Christ and you must pray for him, if the sick person wishes to be healed. If you are a pastor or an elder of a Church, you must, when the sick person calls for you, pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord because this is what James says: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).

Besides this, I exhort you to earnestly desire the gifts of healing and the gift of working miracles, for through them healing and miracles are performed by the Holy Spirit. Whether you have an office in the Church or not, you must covet also these gifts of the Spirit.

As for the demon possessed, they must not be sent to the psychiatrists, but when they are taken to the place of worship in order to be delivered from demons, the saints must pray and he who is in charge of the direction of the Church must rebuke the demons in the name of Jesus Christ and cast them out. He must do these things with authority, without doubting, and God will work powerfully.

Now listen you who are sick: it does not matter what kind of disease you have and it does not matter how long you have been sick of that disease, you must understand that Jesus Christ has the power to heal you. What you must do is to believe on Him, just as the woman with a flow of blood and the blind man called Bartimeus believed on Jesus. Then “thine health shall spring forth speedily” (Isaiah 58:8). Believe, only believe.

 

 

How the sick are healed

 

A sick person can be healed through the laying on of the hands of a believer who has these gifts, who, after he has prayed for the sick, places his hands on the sick person in the name of Jesus, and heals him. The practice of laying hands on the sick was a common practice in the early Church; for instance, the apostle Paul, after he prayed for the father of Publius (who was sick of a fever and dysentery), “placed his hands on him, and healed him” (Acts 28:8), and James commanded the elders of the Church to pray over the sick (which implies that they had to lay their hands on the sick) and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, saying that the prayer of faith would save the sick and the Lord would raise them up (James 5:14-15). He who has gifts of healings can lay his hands on the sick even without saying a specific prayer for the sick, but by saying to the sick just these words: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ be healed!’ This practice also is biblical, for Jesus said about those who believe on Him: “In my name …. they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18). As for anointing the sick with oil in order to heal them, it must be said that the apostles anointed the sick while Jesus was still with them, as it is written that they “anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13). So it is lawful for those who have gifts of healings to anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord. Healing can take place even without the laying on of hands and the anointing with oil, but only by a command given by the servant of God who possesses gifts of healings, as in the case of that man lame from his mother’s womb to whom Peter commanded to rise up and walk (Acts 3:6), and in the case of that man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed, to whom Peter said, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed” (Acts 9:34 – NKJV), as well as in the case of that man who was lame from his mother’s womb and who heard Paul speaking, to whom Paul said: “Stand upright on thy feet” (Acts 14:10). Healing may even be obtained through some handkerchiefs and aprons that have touched a man of God who possesses gifts of healings and the gift of working miracles, as it happened to many sick in the province of Asia while Paul was there, as it is written: “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:11-12). However, I would like to point out that Paul did not use to pray over handkerchiefs and aprons, nor did he urge people to put handkerchiefs and aprons on his own body in order to bring them to the sick. I say this for I know that there are certain preachers who do these things. Finally, I say that someone can be healed even through the shadow of a man of God, just as it happened in Jerusalem in the days of the apostles, as it is written: “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (Acts 5:14-15). However, I would like to point out that, as in the case of Paul in Asia, Peter did not urge people to bring the sick into the streets and to lay them on beds and couches that at least his shadow might overshadow them.

However, it does not matter how the healing takes place, the healing takes place by the faith of the sick, that is to say, it is his faith in Christ that heals him. What did Peter say to those Jews who were filled with wonder and amazement after he commanded that man lame from his mother’s womb to walk? He said to them: “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16). Therefore, we must say to the sick who are healed through the name of Jesus: ‘Your faith has healed you!’ Is it not true that Jesus said these words to the sick He healed? Therefore, if the sick do not have faith, they cannot be healed. It is the same with salvation, for if a man does not believe in Jesus, he cannot be saved.

I would like to say another thing: even though healing must be asked, coveted and sought, the Lord has not promised that healing will be given to the believer anyhow; for there are some believers whom the Lord does not want to heal, such as those He has decided to bring to heaven (so sickness will lead them to death, as in the case of the prophet Elisha, about whom it is written that he “was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died” - 2 Kings 13:14). So let us ask God to heal our brother who is sick, but let us stop praying for his healing if God reveals to us that He has decided to let him die of that sickness or that the time of his departure has come.

 

 

How the demon possessed are delivered

 

Demon possession is very real in the world as it was very real in the days of Jesus. There are demon possessed people all over the world, even in the Western Countries. These people are under the control of demons, the number of demons can be different from one case to another, anyway the number can reach even thousands of demons inside only a person. These demons are evils spirits which have all a personality and a certain power. These demons give particular powers to people; they can give them power to perform lying signs and wonders, to disappear, to go from one place to another without walking, to kill somebody, and so on. Wizards and witches have evil spirits. Christians must not fear demons for they have been already defeated by Jesus Christ on the cross, as Paul says: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). Their prince also, that is, the devil, was defeated, for it is written: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). And in Christ we have overcome the devil, as it is written that believers “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). Therefore the devil and all his demons are defeated foes. However, they are still at work in this world, and thus we must resist them and fight against them. That’s the reason why Paul says to us: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:11-18).

One of the ways we resist and fight the devil and all his demons, is by casting out demons. This must be done in the name of Jesus Christ, as Jesus said: “In My name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17 - NKJV), in faith, with no doubting. We have a biblical example of how demons must be cast out in the book of the Acts of the apostles, for we read that Paul in Philippi said to an evil spirit which was in the body of a slave girl: “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” (Acts 16:18) and he came out that very hour.

It must be said also that there are some kinds of evil spirits that can come out only by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).

One more thing, sometimes God reveals the presence of evil spirits in some people or in some places. Usually He reveals their presence through visions. The spirits which are seen in vision can look like frogs, monkeys, pigs, goats, serpents, crocodiles, etc. The purpose of these revelations is to warn believers against demons and their works and to urge them to rebuke and cast out demons.

 

 

Some warnings

 

The devil, who is a liar and the father of lies, counterfeits not only visions, dreams and revelations, but also healings, miracles and signs and wonders. For he knows very well that through his healings, miracles and signs and wonders, he can lead believers into deception. So he raises up some men and women and enables them to perform healings, miracles and signs and wonders, which are of course false because they are produced by the devil. The Scripture warns us against these signs and wonders, as well as against all those who do them, no matter what is the religion they belong to. Here is what Jesus said: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). As you can see, there are ministers of Satan who work great signs and wonders in order to deceive the elect. Beware of them as you beware of poisonous snakes, they are unscrupulous persons who teach doctrines of demons. They are helped by evil spirits, for they are involved in spiritism and witchcraft.

But there is another category of people of whom you must beware, they are all those who preach the Gospel (not another Gospel but the Gospel of the grace of God, with power and with the Holy Spirit) and they work miracles and healings in the name of Jesus and cast out demons in the name of Jesus, but they walk unworthy of the Gospel. Their life is full of disorder and of every evil practice, even though their meetings are attended by thousands of people, and in their meetings many are saved and are really healed by faith in Jesus Christ. These people are those to whom on that day Jesus will say: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23), because they refused to perfect holiness in the fear of God, that is to say, they refused to live humbly, righteously and godly. Take heed to yourselves and do not be deceived by the fact that crowds attend their meetings, or by the fact that in their meetings some people accept Jesus Christ and are really healed; you must beware of them and avoid them, for it is written: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18). You may say: ‘Do you mean that the healings and the miracles wrought by a believer in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit are not an evident and indisputable proof that he is a holy man of God?’ That’s exactly what I mean. So the fact that a man is powerful in words and in works does not mean necessarily that he is a holy, righteous and godly man. Know this, that some of these powerful preachers behave like brute beasts in their private life, giving themselves over to sexual immorality (included homosexuality), to drunkenness, to revelry, to lewdness, to deceit, and to every kind of wickedness. Therefore, beloved, be on guard, be innocent as doves and wise as serpents.

 

Giacinto Butindaro

 

 

 

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