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We need to overcome all things and we not only need to overcome the spiritual forces against our soul, but I think we need to overcome the things that come against our flesh as well. I do not want to overlook this area of overcoming. I have heard that brethren have been hit and have been coming down with different sicknesses, diseases, and what not. I suppose you could say it is the time of year, but, you know, I am not going to give the enemy any time of year. There was a time in my life when I did that and I want to share some things from my personal experience and from the Word of God about how I have learned to overcome in some of these areas. I am not saying that I am immune totally because I think we need to constantly be in a vigilant place, constantly on our guard. I think the enemy comes about like a roaring lion, ever looking for an opportunity and a way to find ground and find place in us.
You know, brethren, if the enemy can put us down in any manner, he hinders our calling in God, he hinders the work of God, he hinders the purpose of God. We are coming into a time when I believe that even in the natural there will be pestilence and this type of thing breaking out in a manner such as we have not known before. Yet, we have the 91st Psalm that we will not fear the pestilence; the plague will not come nigh to our dwelling. But we have found that it sometimes takes more than just making the statement that I will not fear or that it will not come nigh my dwelling, and we find things coming into our dwelling, coming against our children, coming against our loved ones. You understand? In other words, it takes more than just an assent (a mental agreement, shall we say) to the things that we would speak of. We have to begin by agreeing with it, and then I believe that there are things that we need to carry on in this. Let me, first of all, establish God’s purpose in this in our walking and living in divine health.
Do you believe that God intends us to live in divine health? Amen. If you do not believe that you have got a problem. I am not trying to emulate the faith guys in anything that I am saying here. I am saying there is an area here in the word of God that we cannot overlook. When we start off with some of these issues we go back as far to the beginning as we can where God has made a very clear and definitive statement for men. Could we start maybe in Exodus, the 15th Chapter? I do not hear or read much about disease in the patriarchs up until this point. Do you agree with me? God doesn’t talk much about disease until we get down into Egypt. He makes statements here in Exodus as we find the children of God now in amongst the Egyptians and as they are coming out of the camp of the Egyptian mixed multitudes, Egyptians coming with them. So look in Exodus 15, and let me just establish a few verses. Verse 26,
“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.”
What God is saying here is that these things that they have seen of disease belong to Egypt. God is separating His people out of Egypt and the things that you saw in Egypt as disease, the things that needed healing, God is saying that they belong to Egypt. They do not belong to you. Now, we know that whenever God makes statements like this…by the way, the context, of course, of this 15th Chapter in Exodus is that they had come to the waters of Marah. They had discovered bitterness not only in their natural surroundings but they had discovered bitterness in their own soul. God uses this occasion to talk to them about their need for healing and their need to be delivered from the diseases of Egypt. There is a tie here to the things of the soul, brethren. If we perceive that we have been drinking of the waters of Marah in our life, that we’ve been partaking of bitterness, we are going to be vulnerable, I believe, to disease.
Let me go on to Deuteronomy 7 and we will establish a few more of these things. I am just trying to establish a little groundwork here, because we need to settle it. We need to settle that disease belongs to Egypt. Amen! Sickness belongs to Egypt. Amen!
I am not trying to put a heavy load on you if you have a problem. I am not trying to put condemnation. Please, brethren, I am not bringing condemnation to those who need healing. I am not! I am showing us a way out. Amen. I have been there, Brethren; I have been there. That is why I’m talking of the things I am saying.
Deuteronomy, chapter 7, and let’s start in verse…well, the whole chapter applies. Obviously I do not have time so I am just going to hit some high spots in the chapter. He is talking here about going in and possessing the land of the Canaanites (another people that were full of diseases). Why were they so full of diseases? God said, in Verses 1 and 2,
“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee… And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them”
Brethren, we are not to make a covenant with Egypt or Canaan, the natural Canaan, the old Canaan—the Canaan which God has put out in order that we might possess. Okay? Verse 3.
“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”
Amen. Do you hear what I am saying? Young people, are you hearing, what I am saying? Amen. Girls, you don’t look at cute guys of the world and say, “Oh, I know he doesn’t go where we go, but he’s so nice.” Have many of you heard things like that? It doesn’t belong. Amen? Or the guys, “Oh, she’s cute.” Don’t even look! This is quite clear.
Now, listen, believe me, we are talking about the context of health and healing. We really are. You get entangled in things like that and it is not going to go well with you; it is not going to go well with your health. It is not going to go well with the health of your babies and your children. Listen, when you raise children, you have to have two people that are absolutely in agreement, in fighting shape, because the enemy is going to find vulnerability in little children. You’ve got to have two parents that absolutely believe everything concerning the Word of God to guard these little children. If you have one that is half dragging his foot or her foot, you are not going to be able to make it successfully. It is going to be an uphill fight all the way. Amen. (The back rows are hearing me.) Amen. Let us continue reading from Verse 3,
“…thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son, For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”
Then He goes on in Verse 5.
“But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images…”
Do you understand what we mean by their altars and their images? Their images, their altars consist of their music, their celebrations. Amen. Their way of thinking, their mindset, their way of rationalizing what is right and what is wrong; and, by the way, they have no wrong today, it is all situational. These are images that are set up in our mind. Amen.
“…and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself…”
Amen. Some would hear you read this verse and say, “Oh, you are being an exclusionist.” I did not write this that I am reading. I am simply reading it. Okay? I didn’t invent it. Amen. It’s God’s Word.
“…a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
And in Verse 7 He says,
“The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.”
Don’t get worried about being “the fewest of all people.” That is characteristic of God’s people for a season. Now, let me go down to verse 15.
“And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all those that hate thee.”
Brethren, what are the diseases of Egypt? Well, you might say, “What are the diseases of God’s people?” I haven’t found any. You know, I think if there are any diseases of God’s people, it is the ones that we’ve brought on ourselves, and they don’t belong to us. We’re coming to a time of flu. I was reading in the paper that there is some strain now that is going across northern China. Did you read that in the paper? They say that this thing is supposed to make it’s circle around the world and get over here for the 1999 flu season and they are thinking they are going to mix up the flu vaccine so they make sure they have that strain in it. This is Egypt! “Hong Kong Flu,” “Swine Flu,”—I mean, can you imagine that being “Christian Flu”? It doesn’t belong to us!
Let me just give you one more verse so that we know and get this thing established. Turn to Deuteronomy 28:60. By the way, did you notice the conditions in that last chapter that we were reading, “…if you follow these ways then I will put none of the diseases of Egypt upon you.” In other words, you cannot come into the Bible with a sharp razor blade and say, “Oh, I like that verse! ‘…shall put none of the diseases of Egypt upon you.’ ” Zipppp, zippp, zippp, zip! “I’ll cut that verse out and I am going to paste it up somewhere.” OK, that’s good. I am glad you put that up, but don’t forget that there’s a context that that came from. All right? If you are not living by the context; if you are making a covenant with Egypt; if you are in bed with Egypt (figuratively speaking); if you are involved in her idolatry; how do you expect that you will not also partake of the rest of Egypt? Do you understand?
Now, you say you can rise up in faith above all this. In Deuteronomy 28:60, He is talking about these long lasting plagues. This particular context is the result of disobedience now. It’s a long chapter. If you really want to go through this whole chapter, I tell you what, you can see so much of this in the chapter: poverty, weakness, sickness, bondage, invasion; and you can even find a description of AIDS in this 59th verse.
“Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.”
Reading from Verse 60,
“Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
Amen. So, this is the result of disobedience as well. We are going to carry this on to the New Testament and again establish a few verses. Luke 6, Verses 17 through 19,
“And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.”
He healed them all. Jesus had mercy upon His people, on the people of God. They came to him with their diseases. They came and they cried out to Him, and it says He“healed them all.” Amen. He healed them all. Hallelujah.
We see also in Luke, the 9th chapter, and Matthew, the 10th chapter, that Jesus gave the disciples power to heal. He gave them authority. He gave them authority over demons, but He also gave them power to bring healing to people. Amen. You know, brethren, you go back in Ezekiel 34:4 and you will find out that one of the responsibilities of a shepherd was to bind up and to heal. Brethren, we believe in a shepherd ministry among the elders and there is physical healing in the natural but there’s also a healing in the soul, spiritual healing, that we also have this same responsibility for. Let us not overlook the natural, brethren. Let us not step over that, because there are some who need that ministry as well. You know the verse (Isaiah 53:5 and it is also in 1 Peter 2:24) where it says, “…with his stripes we are healed.” Do you know what made those stripes, by the way? It was the beating of the whips. It caused blood to flow. You know, brethren, there is atonement for all that we need in the blood of Jesus Christ. That blood on His back was the stripes and by those stripes we are healed. I believe that includes the physical natural healing. Amen! He has taken our sorrows. He has taken our diseases. Janet was talking about our sorrows. Amen. We need to be delivered from our sorrows. Amen. We need to be delivered from our bitterness. Amen. Coming out of Egypt on our way to the Promised Land, the very first stop was the waters of Marah, because they came out of Egypt with bitterness. Brethren, when you have been mistreated by Egypt, you are going to be bitter. You can scream in your anger and say, “But, I have every right to be.” No, no. Come on? You do not have a right. God is delivering you of that right to be angry and bitter.
Now we understand the basics of faith. Amen. We understand how faith works. You know the verses on faith. Do you want me to give you a few? We understand that there were people healed in the ministry of Christ and He said, “By your faith.” Remember the centurion that came for healing and he said, “No, Lord, you don’t need to come. You just speak the word.” And Jesus turned to His disciples and He said, “You know, I do not find this kind of faith among Israel.” Here comes a centurion that doesn’t even belong and he’s getting this kind of thing. Then there was the Syrophenician woman who came to Him (in Mark 7), and He was saying, “No, this healing belongs to the children, it doesn’t belong to the dogs.” You know, she was not offended by that. She said, “Fine, dogs get crumbs. I want some crumbs.” He said, “You know, this woman’s got faith; she’s got persistence.” Blessed is he that is not offended. Amen. How would you react if the Lord had looked at you and said, “No, it doesn’t belong to the dogs, it belongs to the children?”
Part of that healing that she received for her daughter was also deliverance. I am not making light of deliverance. I am going to make that point here, too. There is faith involved in this. There is the laying on of hands. There were times that Jesus laid hands and He brought healing. Sometimes it was just the spoken word. We know the spoken word was by the authority of the Word. There was faith that was spoken in that word. Amen. There was the power of God in that faith word. I am not going to dwell on that a long time. When we get into the New Testament, when we get into Acts, the third chapter, where we find that one of the occasions was where Peter and John were coming into the temple to pray and there was the lame man. His bones needed healing. His muscles needed healing. He didn’t have the flu, but he had something else in his flesh that he needed healing from. They said, “In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk!” Do you understand what they meant when they said, “In the name of Jesus?” It is not just our ability, like a parrot, to make sounds. Parrots could be saying the words, “In the name of Jesus (squawk).” But it wouldn’t do anything.
There are people who parrot things and who are having no more effect with their mouth than if a parrot were saying it. Why? Because a parrot knows nothing about the name of Jesus. He is making words; he is making sounds that he’s heard. I hear Christians making sounds, phrases and words that they have heard like a parrot and they don’t know a thing about what it means.
Now, the “name” of Jesus is the “nature” of Jesus. If I come to you in the name of Jesus and I am truly coming in the name of Jesus—you see, this is why I want the nature of Jesus in me. As an alternative, I would have talked to you here about the fruit of the Spirit because it is the nature of Jesus. I really believe in this day that we’re going to have to learn fully the nature of Jesus Christ. If you cannot remember anything about it, we are going to have to go back to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and get some basics about who this Jesus was. Who was He? How did He react to things? Amen.
You know, this is the ministry of a shepherd, by the way. The ministry of a shepherd is to be the example. Walk by example and people will observe your life. This is exactly what that three and a half years of training that Jesus had with the disciples was all about. They were watching Jesus. They were learning from Him. They watched Him when He said, “Rise up and walk.” Amen. It was not just a Pentecostal thing that had happened to them.
Now I want to get to my testimony. Things that I have learned in the process of time. I have seven listed here. Seven sounds like a good number, doesn’t it? There is one of these seven that I have not personally experienced. Maybe I have, I don’t know; but I have with the others. The first thing I want to talk about is getting ourselves in “harmony” with God. I hope that is not a bad term. I used the word “harmony.” I know that New Age people use that word. It’s okay, it is a legitimate word, it is in our language. You will understand what I mean when I read a few samples from Proverbs. I guess I am summarizing some of these verses by using that term. Let me just give you a couple of samples here.
You know, brethren, Proverbs is such a practical book. Have we overlooked Proverbs? Ask our young people. Oh, our young people here are learning Proverbs. Oh, it is a good place to start. Yes, I am glad to hear that. Look here in the third chapter of Proverbs. Isn’t this such a tremendous chapter? Verse 2, it tells you how you can have long life. Now, how are you going to have long life if you’re dragging diseases through your whole life? Amen. How many of you want to go for about 120? There you go. In good health, of course. Not the last 20 in a nursing home. So we read the first few verses here, and we have guidance, we have health, we have prosperity. Here we go. Verse 7,
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Notice that there is a requirement here. There is a condition: The fear of the Lord and the departing from evil. Do you know what happens when you fear the Lord and depart from evil? You have a clean conscience before God. Can you imagine what a tremendous load is lifted from your body when you walk with a free and clear conscience? You don’t have to hide. And you know, brethren, overcoming “the accuser of the brethren” is included in this. I think the enemy accuses us day and night before that throne in order to try to drag us down with his accusation. You know, brethren, none of the enemy’s accusations belong to us. The result is in Verse 8.
“It shall be health to thy naval, and marrow to thy bones.”
Now, when he speaks “naval,” he means the whole inward parts of the man. The interior part of the man. The interior part and the musculoskeletal part of the man as well; the extremities and the interior. That pretty well takes up the whole natural man, doesn’t it?
Let us turn to Chapter 4, and there are a couple of good ones here. Verses 20-22.
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
FLESH! God is concerned about our flesh. Amen. It says that the keeping of God’s sayings is health to our flesh. Brethren, you live in the flesh and you are going to live in the flesh all of your years in this realm. So you are going to have to take care of that thing called flesh. Amen. By the way, I am not selling vitamins or anything. I am talking only about the Word of God. Proverbs 13:12,
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
God wants us to partake of the tree of life.
Turn to Proverbs 16:24. Just another sample here:
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Pleasant words are not going to be bitter words, are they? They are not going to be bitterness. It says here that pleasant words are going to be good for your soul and health for your flesh, your natural man, as well. It’s going to be good for your spiritual man (your inner man) and your natural man. It’s going to bring health to you. Back in my late twenties and early thirties, in that realm of life, I came under such stress that I began to develop allergies. You say, “Develop allergies?” Yes, develop allergies, because I did not have them when I was young and carefree. Growing up on the farm meant no cares, doing the work and pretty much being in harmony with God and everything. But I got out in the world and things began to get heavy with responsibilities, worries, concerns, and financial pressure. Do you know what I mean? There was pressure from trying to meet deadlines and pressure from school, especially school; and my allergies got terrible, especially in the springtime. I mean, it got so bad that I went for help at the clinic atCornell University. I was a student there and it was free health care, so I went to one of the doctors. They did all these tests up and down my arm or back. They informed me of all the things I was allergic to: to this kind of tree, to that kind of tree, to another kind of tree and yet another kind of tree. I said, “My goodness! I grew up with these kinds of trees.” I thought, how come it didn’t happen to meuntil here I am 27 or 28 years old? It went on for years and years. Once this thing got hold of me, every spring this thing would come. It would come every spring. Finally I said, “This is ridiculous, this is ridiculous, I do not have to put up with this any more.” Amen.
You know, brethren, I wasn’t even baptized in the Spirit. What really clinched it, was that I was later in hospital administration. I went down to a seminarand I heard a doctor that was doing research on the immune system and he was trying to find the link between the immune system in the human body and cancer. This doctor was of the belief that the things that go on in our soul contribute to these cancers. That was quite interesting to me because cancer was one of the big spirits that almost decimated my father’s family. I mean, his brothers and sisters were dropping one after another with cancer. And the things that didn’t get his family on that, it was the heart disease that was dropping them off. Some of them in their twenties. It was terrible. It was a terrible thing.
There were about 10 or 12 children in that family; they were my aunts and uncles and I would see them every few years, and over time one of them would die with some horrible cancer. Of course, there was a fear of this thing that began to take over my soul as well. Am I going to get that? Am I destined to have one of these diseases? I began to understand that these things belong to Egypt, and what are they doing in the house of God? What is wrong in my family that these things are coming? I heard this doctor say, “You know, it is really the way you are handling stress in your life.” He said, “Let me tell you something.” He said, for instance, “I know how I can get a cold.” Now, a cold is the simplest thing of the breakdown of your immune system. He said, “Cold germs are everywhere all the time.” You do not get a cold by going out in cold weather. You do not get a cold by not wearing your muffler or your scarf, or by forgetting your boots. You get wet and you get miserable, but you don’t catch a cold that way.” He said, “Here is how I get a cold. I don’t get enough sleep one night. I don’t get enough sleep the next night; I don’t get enough sleep the next night.” He said, “You know what? Within a week I have a cold.” He says, “You know, it is rest and it is handling tension and pressure, and this kind of thing. That is where your immune system in your body begins to break down.”
You see, this is why I read these verses in Proverbs. This is what God is trying to say. This harmony with God, this being free of this bitterness, this being free of these things will bring harmony in our body as well. So, I said, “No, I am going to learn to enter into the rest of God and I am not going to submit to these allergies.” I do not know how I came to have this stand that I took. I had no teaching on it. I was not into the faith thing. I never knew there was such a thing as the faith movement in these days. I did not even know there was a baptism of the HoIy Ghost. But I said, “Look, I have got to get in line, in harmony with God. I have to get my life in harmony with God. I have to put evil out of my life. I have to put the evil I know of out of my life.” You know what? The allergies do not happen anymore. It quit happening. Amen. It has never happened since and that was more than 25 years ago (about 1972 or 73).
I said that I had a list here of seven things. Now, that is Number (1), being in harmony in the things of God within us. Number (2) is the ministry of a healer. I didn’t know anything about the ministry of healing people. About those that come with a gift, those that come in the word of faith. I did not know anything about that. Okay?
I am going to tell you, I learned something from Kenneth Hagen. It was in the early 70’s, and I was in a bad place. If you want to establish this word about healing, go to 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, and you will know that the gift of healing is one of the gifts of the Spirit. You know, I do not see much of that in our fellowship. We are full gospel people in the full sense. I do not mean that as a term or a group. We are a people who believe in all of the things of God. I think there are some who God is trying to give these gifts. For instance, and Janet has shared this, when our little granddaughter, Liza was three years old she saw her Grandma limping and she went up and insisted, “Grandma I want to see your booboo.” You have heard the story, haven’t you? She laid her little hand on Janet’s heel and said, “In the name of Jesus and by the blood of the Lamb.” Then she turned and said, “And you get away from my Grandma and don’t you hurt her no more.” I do not know what the little child saw, we couldn’t see it. Janet walked to the car healed. Now, that is the ministry of the healer.
I’ll tell you something that happened to me and it was many years before that. This was again in the early 70’s. Let’s see, Cara was born in 1971, and she was about three when this happened, so this would have been about 1974. That’s a while back isn’t it? I went to the meeting where Brother Hagen was speaking, and I have told you how the Spirit of God came across the meeting and convicted me of my backslidden state. It was the love of God moving across there that showed me I was in a bad place. I made a decision, I said, “God, I am coming back and I am never ever going to turn away again.” When this meeting came to a close, he named a specific thing where people have a swelling in the neck or that area. Well, I thought “goiter.” I did not know anybody with a goiter but our little three-year old Cara had swollen lymph glands. I had examined her that morning, being a good public health nurse. I was trying to figure out what she had, you know? I determined that she didn’t have mumps or this or that, but just swollen lymph nodes. So I brought her to the meeting. I said, “Well, I am going to the meeting and she may as well come, too.” When he named this thing I said, “Hey, she qualifies, I am taking her up.” I took her up, and of course, you have heard the man minister: “Well now, son, you get it by faith. Don’t try to do it with your mind, get it by faith.” I am trying so hard to get it by faith. “Yeah, yeah! Got to believe, got to believe, got to believe!” you know? “Can’t doubt, can’t doubt, can’t doubt.” You know? And the little child is just waving her hands and she is just so happy; she might have been two, I don’t know. I am thinking, “Boy, she really felt good about coming up here.” So, I take her back to the seat and I am thinking, “Now, I can’t check. I can’t look and check it out. That would be doubt. That would be doubt. Got to have faith, can’t check it out, you know? No, it will probably be tomorrow morning when you are not expecting it.” I am trying all these faith exercises.
It was a hotel we had been meeting in, so on the way out I put my hand on her head, you know, and I said, “Come on, honey, come along with Dad.” I am just enjoying her head a little bit with my hand and my hand kind of slips down and my fingers kind of reach around the neck walking along and now I am believing. I am believing the Lord, not doubting, just enjoying my little girl here and as I am pulling my finger along here I am thinking, “They are not there. They are not there.” I get her out in the lobby and I say, “Cara, come over here and sit right here for Dad. I am checking her out, and they are gone. They are gone! Now, I was a public health nurse and I knew very well that they do not disappear that fast in the natural. They will disappear, but it takes a month; it takes a long time. I said, “This is really God! I have never seen anything like this, this is God! God is really trying to get my attention!” He did a double header. He moved by the Spirit and now He did something with my little girl. I saw the ministry of the healer in this.
It was God, it was a move of God, but the man had faith. I would truly say I do not think I had a whole lot of faith. I know that all that pumping in my flesh was not doing any good, it really wasn’t. I really had a lot of doubt in me and God was just plain good to me. I have had more faith since then and still didn’t get the need met. All right? But I am saying that I don’t want to make light of it, that there is a thing of faith in this but there is the thing of the sovereignty of God in this too.
I want to go to Number (3): the anointing of oil. James 5:14-15,
“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.”
So there is a two-fold thing here in this verse concerning the healing of the sick, and the suggestion here is that if sin has been involved he needs to be delivered of that, too. Brother Burt has probably told you many times about the situation in Nigeria when he and I were traveling together in the village of Uyo. There we found this girl that was cursed and was unable to have children, and the brethren anointed her and then the brethren began to repent of their sins one to another. There was a tremendous healing that came from this and a deliverance as well to this young woman of that unclean spirit, who had been cursed by her father-in-law because they couldn’t pay the dowry. The curse was by the father because the son-in-law (it was a ridiculous thing that was expected of them) could not pay the dowry.
So the time came where now I am baptized with the Holy Spirit and while not really walking in a whole lot of faith, still I knew something about it. And I get a terrible, horrible tendonitis in my hip. The pain was so terrible. I worked at the hospital as the assistant administrator and so, of course, my first recourse was go down to the physical therapy department. Dr. Welch, he was the expert in that then, he would fix me up. Well, he had me up on the table and they began to use the ultrasound on me and to massage the tendons by hand, and I got off of that table and I started back to my office. I got to the little waiting room and the room began to move and I saw the blackness coming in and I quickly found the chair. The receptionist had said, “Do you want a wheelchair?” I said, “Oh no, I am just walking back to my office.” Somehow my body found that chair and everything went black and I managed to remain seated upright with my eyes closed and no man knew that I had passed out. I just sat right there until the blackness finally lifted and I walked over to the receptionist and said, “I think I will take that offer if you want to take me back up to my office.” I called a pastor of the church I was in then. He did not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He did not believe in what I had, he was coming against me as to the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but I was in his church and I called him. The only thing I can say is he did believe in healing by the anointing of oil. I called him and said, “I need anointing of oil. Will you come and anoint me?” I was laid on a sofa and he came in, brought the oil out, laid it on, said the prayer of faith, and walked out. Now, I do not know whether he had faith or not, but I know that this time I believed. I lay there for about ten minutes. I thought in my natural mind, “Boy, I am finished for the day. I may be finished for a week; the way I feel I can’t even walk.” About ten minutes later I moved my feet around a little bit and I thought, “I think I am going to stand up.” I got up, I walked, and there was absolutely no pain. It was gone!
Now let me say this. I have tried that, “Anoint me. I will be healed instantaneously,” and do you know, I have never had it happen like that again. Well, you see, here is the thing. I began to get into a mode where I thought, “Hey, I have the answer. I know how to do it. I have the recipe book, its on Page 3! Turn to the recipe, get the oil out, put it on, say the prayer, walk out, everything works!” But, you know something? God is so much bigger than our recipe books. Now what I am telling you is not a recipe book because by the time I get done here you are going to say, “You know, the real thing here is that you really get to know Him.” Because He said, “I am the God that healeth thee.” It is not my method, not my recipe book, not my “Ten Easy Steps On How To Get Healing,” but it is, “I am the God that healeth thee.” “I am the God that healeth all thy diseases.” Do you understand that? “I am the God that healeth all thy diseases.” Amen. It is in the word (Psalm 103:3, Exodus 15:26). Hallelujah.
So, we have talked about the anointing of oil by the elders. I want to talk now about the Number (4) thing here, The power of the spoken word. There are some verses you to read, there is a good verse in Matthew. Let me just take you to that verse. It doesn’t speak directly of healing but I think it is a very strong word on the power of the word that comes out of our mouth.
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Also, let us read Proverbs 6:2 and Proverbs 18:21.
“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
I think these are verse that support the thought here, but one of the best ones I think is in Matthew 12:37. So I will read here a few verses that go in around that starting in the middle of Verse 34.
“…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
Do you know what an idle word is? Boy, wouldn’t we be watching our mouths if we really knew what an idle word is. I am not sure of everything that an idle word is, but I think that one thing that I understand about an idle word is that it is a thing that produces no life. It is a non-productive word. It does not produce anything good or anything that is life. Verse 37,
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Now, here’s what I caught myself doing one day, and again this goes back to the 70’s. Some of these lessons are old. Later I will bring you up to date with some new ones here in the 90’s. Okay? Every year when December would come, I discovered that it was not long after that that I would get the flu. And you know something, it was getting to be like clockwork. Somewhere in January or December I would have the flu, and boy, I tell you! I got it good when I would get it. I would get laid on my back for a week. I got laid on my back when I was in graduate school for one week in about 1968. I was terribly sick. They put me in the infirmary because I was so sick. I got out, I went home, I came down again and I said to the doctor, “I think I have had a relapse.” He found out that I had mono. I told him I had undulant fever, a little divestation. He said, “Why do you think that?” I said, “Because it comes and goes; the fever comes and goes.” He said, “Why would you have undulant fever?” I said, “Well, I drank some raw cow’s milk.” Of course, I grew up on raw cow’s milk. He said, “No, there’s none of that around anymore.” I said, “Well, your test came out negative.” He said, “I am going to do it again.” Sure enough, I had mono, and it laid me in bed. The whole thing is that I had a lot of disease when I was young. I had it all the time. I was getting sick every year with something. I had infectious hepatitis when I was in my early twenties, about 22 or 23. It was type A, the kind you get from drinking something bad. I was down for six weeks, out of commission, and it took me six months to recover from that. I began to believe, “maybe he’s sickly. Maybe he’s just inclined to be this way.” So I remember making a statement in December of one year. I said, “Well, here it is winter again, it isn’t long and I will be getting the flu; and boy! I will be down. I will be out with it hard…I don’t know…maybe January, February?” Well, lo and behold, January, February came around and “POW!” I go down. I am really sick!
Let me tell you how merciful God was in trying to heal me and get me out of this mindset. Now, I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and I was learning something. I had probably read Merlin Caruther’s book by then about “Prison to Praise,” or something about praise. I said, “Praise here would be in order.” I was really enjoying the Lord. I was out on the couch. I did not want to keep the family awake and I said, “I am going to praise the Lord.” I tell you what, brethren, I started worshipping the Lord. I started about ten o’clock at night and I got into a place. I don’t know where I was but I was enjoying the Lord and I looked at my watch and it was three o’clock in the morning and I was still going.
Now, I do not know, I cannot explain to you how five hours went by. I do not know where I was, and I looked at my watch and I suddenly shifted into my flesh and I said, “Oh, I’m sick. It is three o’clock in the morning, I need my rest. I am going to be in terrible shape tomorrow.” So, I went to sleep. I woke up at seven o’clock. The kids were getting up and everything and I said, “Oh, I’m going to have a terrible day.” But you know what, it was like I had slept all night long. But stubbornly I layed on that bed. I said, “No, I have got the flu; a week isn’t up yet.” Finally, it dawned on me, “You know, buddy, you are really stupid:
- A. You opened your mouth. By opening your mouth you opened the door to the enemy. You told him he could bring it in January or February, anytime he wanted. You just opened up.
- B. God did everything He could to heal you that night and you wouldn’t accept it. You wouldn’t believe it. He did it for you and you still layed in bed the rest of the week.”
I thought, “I have learned from this. Never again am I going to make this mistake again.” You know what I did when I finally understood that I had been healed? I said to the devil, “Never again, devil! Do you hear me? Never again are you ever going to bring me the flu or anything like it. I will never again submit to you in this manner; and do you want to hear confession out of my mouth? Do you want to hear words out of my mouth—I will speak the blood of Jesus against you.” Do you know that I have never lost a day of work from that day on because of sickness? Never!
Now, one time I did get a bad cold and I could have had an excuse. It was about seven years later and I said to the Lord, “What has happened? What happened here? I really have a bad cold. I am not going to miss work, but I have got a bad cold. Why?” Do you know what the Lord said to me? He said, “You have been rushing on doing your thing and you are not spending any time with Me,” and He said, “Beware. I hope I don’t have to do this son to get your attention.” I said, “Lord, I promise You, You will never have to do this to get my attention. I will pay heed to You.” I do not think I have had a cold since then.
All right? Now you can say, “Well, he is just getting old. He is a grizzled old elephant; he’s immune, you know, to everything that’s ever been around.” No, that’s not it. You don’t necessarily get healthier when you get older. I know a lot of older people that get worse and worse and worse the older they get. All right? I am just saying that there is a place. Listen, I am telling my kids there’s a place in God that you can come to if you press in that you can begin to overcome the assaults against your life. It is not just the physical things against your body, but the things that come against you in your circumstances.
You know, we go through times when we are young that nothing goes right. There is a plucking and a plundering of our finances. Our car is broken down. It is in the garage every week and the guy smiles and he hands you the bill and it’s $300, you know; and you are always under. I see it happening in our kids and I am saying to them, “listen to me. There is a place in God where you can dwell in the blessing of God and the enemy will not be able to rob you. But you are going to have to press into that place; and you are going to have to take the whole book, not just a couple of recipes out of the book, because you are going to have to align your whole life with this; but there comes a place.” Amen.
I believe, brethren, when I made the statement of “dwelling in the widow’s house” that we are going to have provision of God. I think that God is training us now to enter into that place. Well, I learned a little about how I can undo the things of God with things that come out of my mouth because they reflect the unbelief that is in my heart. Now the whole idea is to get the unbelief out of your heart, not to cure your mouth. I can speak positive things and yet have unbelief in my heart. But what I am really working at is to hear what comes out of my mouth because it is a diagnostic condition of what is in my heart. Not just to teach the parrot to say some new words.
Now, there comes another step here, step Number (5). I call it “seeking His righteousness and His kingdom.” I want to bring you up to 1992 or thereabouts. I developed pain in my shoulders and, “I know what this is. It is the same thing that happened in my hip—bursitis, tendonitis.” It starts in the left shoulder, and I am asking God to heal me. It goes over to the right shoulder. It was at the time that the Luderers came. In fact, it was when he arrived in our house that this thing started and it went on and on and on. Then it went over and I couldn’t scratch my back. I moved a certain direction and I had pain, and I think it went on for nearly a year. Finally, toward the end of the year I am saying, “God, I have asked You time and time again. I have had oil rubbed all over my head. I have had faith; I have exercised all my faith. I have guarded my mouth. I have never said a negative thing like I doubted Your ability to heal me. What is the problem? What do you want out of me?”
You know, brethren, I believe there comes a time, you see, as a babe, as a lamb, that these things seem to come quickly. Well, now I am older and those earlier and simpler things I had learned. Now God is saying, “No, there’s more than that, you are not going to get it that quickly, you are going to know Me.” Remember the woman with the issue of blood that came up and she thought, “I could just sneak in and I’ll just get a little touch. I’ll just get what I want.” Jesus felt virtue go out of Him and He said, “Wait a minute, somebody touched me. Somebody tried to get away with healing without encountering me.” That is what it was all about. He had to look that woman in the eye and encounter her. Basically, He was saying, “Woman, you don’t steal healing out of me without knowing Me.” So, I am talking to God about this one day and I heard the quiet voice of the Spirit speak to my heart, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God.” You hear the voice of God, you kind of argue back a little bit, and you say, “Yeah, yeah, I know all about the kingdom. Who do you think is preaching the kingdom message here?” By 1992, I was preaching kingdom things. “Yeah, yeah, I know ‘kingdom, kingdom, kingdom.’ I am not healed. Well, what do you want me to know about the kingdom? I’m studying the kingdom, Lord. I am really studying kingdom, you know?” Finally I thought, “Okay, I had better go and look that verse up.” It says (in Matthew 6:33),
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I said, “Okay, yes! I want this thing added unto me. I need this thing.” I was thinking about it for a while. It probably goes on another day or two. (You know how these conversations with God can go on for several days.) We are a little dull; it takes a few days to get through. All of a sudden, it dawned on me, “I wonder if I have got the cart in front of the horse? Do you see what I am trying to do? I am trying to get my healing in the name of the kingdom. I am trying to get my healing in the name of His righteousness. In other words, I am trying to affect my healing by seeking His kingdom. I said, “Oh, is that the way to do it? Then I have to seek Your kingdom so I will get healed.” In other words, I wanted my results and that’s not really what he was saying. He was saying, “All you have to take care of is seeking first My kingdom and My righteousness, and basically then you can forget about these things. They will be added unto you by Me.” Finally it got through to me. I said, “My God, I have been trying to work this thing through, to get what I wanted by ‘doing’; by doing the seeking of the kingdom; by doing the seeking of Your righteousness.” There is nothing wrong with seeking righteousness. There is nothing wrong with seeking the kingdom, except that I had the cart and the horse reversed in my mind; and I didn’t know it. Brethren, I am not twenty years old any more, but in my mind, I had it wrong.
By the way, I had a terrible need for finances in those days, too; I was seeking Him for my finances. It was after Janet had had surgery. I didn’t have insurance for the bill at the hospital and they said, “You own a house. We are going to come and take your house to get our bill paid.” So I was seeking, “Oh God, You have got to take care of my need, God.” And you know, I came to realize that the first time I prayed about my need, God was already aware of it; and yet I had been pounding and begging and pleading and carrying on for nearly a year. “Oh, God, when are You going to take care of this?” “Oh, God, it hurts so much every time…” “moan…moan…moan.” I would mention it to people and I would mention my need, thinking, “Well, somebody’s got the word. Somebody’s got an answer. Somebody will come and bring deliverance.” Did you ever do that? You talked about it, thinking, “Well, if I don’t mention it, how is anybody going to know?” God will use them. I got down before the Lord. Revelation hit me.
By the way, do you want revelation? To get revelation you have to do something about it. Revelation came to me and I said to the Lord, “All right, here is what I am going to do. Never again will you hear me mention the pain in my shoulders. I am well aware that You have heard my prayer. I am certainly aware that after a year you have heard it. I will not mention it to men and I will not again mention it to You. If you choose to have me spend the rest of my days in pain, blessed be the name of the Lord. If that will honor You, God, I submit it to You.” “Furthermore, I will never again mention this financial need that I am having and the crises that seems to be coming down the road toward me. I will not mention it to You and I will not mention it to men. If it pleases You that Egypt take my house, then blessed be the name of the Lord. I cannot understand why you would want to do that, Lord, but if it pleases you, I will not complain about it. I will depend upon You to find me a shelter and a place that is warm in the wintertime. I do not know how You will do that; You are taking me out of the work place; You are putting me in something else. I just don’t understand how it is going to work, but I will mention it no more to You. Furthermore, from this day on I am going to seek You, Your kingdom and Your righteousness without regard for what I can get out of it, but purely because You are worth seeking; purely because of Your goodness I will seek You.”
“I mean everything I say, Lord, and You may test me in all that You want. I will not utter my word against what I have said.”
The funny thing is, I don’t know when I got healed, because I did what I said. I said, “I will not consider the pain in my flesh.” How long after that was it? Was it a week, was it two weeks, was it three weeks? I don’t know. I caught myself scratching my back one day. “It works with both hands. I wonder where that pain went.” I said, “Okay, there’s one.”
The day came when our house sold. Of course, we had to pay off our debts and this type of thing, and I waited until I was sure the check had cleared. I put the appropriate amount in my checking and went down to the hospital. By the way, this is the hospital that I had saved several million dollars for when I worked for them. There was a lawsuit, somebody was trying to sue them. After the administrator had told me to go find another job, I came back and testified on behalf of them, and saved them a million-dollar lawsuit. While I worked for them, the administrator told me that I should take credit for an appeal that I had made on the rate that brought them several million dollars. But a pharaoh came “that knew not Joseph” (Ref. Exodus 1:8) and they didn’t care a thing about me. They weren’t going to give me any slack on my bill. I mean I could be very bitter about that. I went down to the business office. Oh, by the way, they reneged on an agreement with me, too. They told me I had The Hill Burton fund to pay for her surgery, but they told me to wait until all the bills were sent to me and then come and they would write it all off. That was in December. I arrived on January 3rd with all my bills and they said, “Oh, we quit that program on December 31st.” I said, “That’s funny, you didn’t tell me that a few days ago.” All right. I went down, I wrote them a check, and do you know what I found out? They were going to put a lien on the house the next day.
Okay. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Now step Number (6). So, now we come about three years later. This old devil tries to get back in me again. I woke up one morning. I think it was Saturday morning, and I have terrible pain in my hip again. I said, “Okay, I know what this is.” I said, “I know what to do: ‘seek ye first…’ I have not been seeking first, I have to go ‘seek ye first.’ I have to go through that again. Three years ago, I remember how we did it.” I said, “OK God, how do you want me to seek You this time?” I said, “What am I going to do about this?” The Lord said, “I have given you authority. Why don’t you do something about it?” I thought, “Did I hear God?”
Listen, brethren, I had previously proclaimed all of that authority thing until my mouth was sore. I mean, I had taken authority over that devil of pain. I had taken authority over this infirmity, I pled the blood, and I did everything. Now God says, “What are you going to do about it? I have given you authority.” I’m thinking, “Oh no, I do not believe this. What is going on?” It took me the whole day and finally I said to Janet, “You know, I think the Lord said to me that He has given me authority. Maybe I ought to do something about it.”
So, Saturday night we were getting ready to go to bed and I said, “Listen, I am going to take authority over this thing. If God said I have authority, I am going to use it.” I took authority over the thing in the name of Jesus, and by the blood of Jesus I rebuked that demon. I said, “You are not going to go with me for six months, a year, whatever. You are out! You are gone! The Lord has given me authority and I am taking that authority over you!” Saturday night, I went to bed. I woke up Sunday morning; had a limp, went to the fellowship, and walked up the aisle to the front. I said, “I want to give you my testimony.” I gave them my testimony and I said, “I still have some pain. Last night I took authority over this thing and I want you to know that it is going to be gone.” Do you know that when I walked back down the aisle it was gone? Now, why didn’t I go through this “Seek ye first” again? Do you know the interesting thing that I began to see of God is that, it is knowing Him.
Do you know I said all those words the other time? I said, them many times. I said “I take authority over you.” Why didn’t it work? I mean, I knew He said to the church, “Behold, I give you authority.” I said, “Lord, I am claiming that.” But, you know, I tell you what, there is nothing like the Lord saying to you in your circumstances, “I give you authority.” You know, we go ahead and take it, but I tell you when the Lord says, “I give it to you,” you have really got it! That is when you can use it and that is when you are going to get results. You know what the thing is, it is hearing Him; it is knowing Him. Amen. It is hearing and knowing Him. And you know, finally I came to the conclusion, “no recipe book.” Throw the recipes out. Throw the ten easy steps on how to get healed out. Do you know what it is? I am going to have to know Him. I am going to have to hear Him. Every assault that comes against you, you are going to have to hear the voice of the Lord. You hear the voice of the Lord. No matter what He tells you, that is the way to get deliverance.
I will just mention the Number (7) thing, and that is deliverance. I believe there are some things we need deliverance from. Now maybe I got deliverance in some of these other ways without saying, “I am getting deliverance.” Maybe I got delivered from fear of these things. Do you know what I mean? Maybe I got delivered from the anxiety and the pressure and the stress and the tension that I was not handling properly. All right? Maybe I got delivered from it and didn’t know because somebody didn’t say, “Behold, I deliver thee.” Do you know what I mean? But, God is our deliverer. I think that I have gotten more deliverance from the power of God in a personal thing between him and me.
You know, there are sins and tendencies to sins that I know that I had gotten a deliverance from God; and I never had a man lay hands on me for it, but I just went on my face before God until I got delivered from it. I believe that there are things in our natural health that we get deliverance from. I want to add that as the seventh thing: deliverance.
Well, maybe God will have more, I don’t know. But this kind of brings us up to date a little bit. I think the recipe book, if there is any, is still being written, because we are living epistles. You know that? We are living epistles. You know, there is always something and I think the thing is, when you have a problem you go to God and you say, “What are You after in me? What are you looking for? Is there some stubbornness in me? Is there some iniquity in me? Is there some resentment in me?” Do you know how easy it is to have resentment? Do you know how so quickly we can just see somebody walk by and you say, “What right does he have?” “What right does she have?” I tell you what, brethren, we have to guard our heart. We have to guard our heart. But, I want to say this, I believe that God has for us a place that we can walk and live in divine health. In the three and a half years of Jesus walking, I do not read anywhere about Him being slowed down in Galilee because he had the flu for a week; and so it says, “And he dwelt there a few more days longer….” No, I don’t read that. I don’t see it. I believe that He walked in that place with the Father, and I want to tell you I don’t believe that sickness can dwell in us if we dwell in that place in Him. Amen. God Bless you.