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Spiritual Gifts

Part 3: Gifts of Healings

The fourth spiritual gift listed by Paul is (4) Gifts of Healings. Notice that this is the only gift that is plural – GiftS of HealingS. We need more than one kind of healing today – physical, mental and spiritual - and the Holy Spirit has gifts to meet every need.

B. E. Underwood says: “gifts of healings cover the needs of the whole man. People need healing spiritually. They need healing emotionally. Some need their memories healed of the scars and the hurts of the past. Healing then becomes the healing of the whole person — spirit, soul, and body.”

“Many physical maladies have their roots in psychological problems. These too need healing. The church needs to be much more comprehensive in its understanding of the manifestations of healing. We need to see that God has made provision for the healing of the total man.”

 As a usual practice, if anyone is sick, they should call for the elders of the church and be anointed with oil for healing, or ask other believers to lay hands on them and pray, or pray for their own healing. This is distinct from Gifts of Healings, which is a spiritual gift, a supernatural manifestation of God’s power against disease and disability which occurs as the Holy Spirit brings it about.

In some services, people pray for each other, and Gifts of Healings are manifested without ever having an elder anoint them with oil, or a preacher lay hands on them. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, walking among His people and manifesting healing as they yield themselves to Him.

B. E. Underwood says that “Every healing is a fresh manifestation and may be given through any member of the Body-. These manifestations have a twofold purpose: (1) They are given to provide healing to the body of Christ. God delights in the health of His people, and the Holy Spirit delights in ministering healing.

“(2) The gifts of healings are given to confirm the preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:2). So the gifts of healings often accompany the church planting ministry of the apostles. Pioneer missionaries need these signs following the proclamation of the Word.”

Gifts are from the root word charis, meaning grace. Healings in Greek is iama {ee'-am-ah} meaning 1) a means of healing, remedy, medicine, 2) a healing. This comes from the verb iaomai {ee-ah'-om-ahee} meaning 1) to cure, heal 2) to make whole, to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one's) salvation.

So the Gifts or Graces of Healings that the Holy Spirit bring are means of healing, remedy, medicine, cure for physical, mental and spiritual diseases and illnesses.

There are some people who seem to manifest gifts of healings in their ministry more often than others, but gifts of healings can be manifested through any believer in any situation who yields himself or herself to the Holy Spirit.

There are many passages in the book of Acts where the Gifts of Healings were manifested. For just one example, consider this passage:

Acts 8:5-7 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed.

Notice that Philip did miraculous signs, including casting out demons and gifts of healings, and that these events had the effect of causing them to pay close attention to what Philip was saying about Jesus.  True spiritual gifts bring attention to the proclamation of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:28 "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles,  second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having  GIFTS OF HEALING, those able to help others, those with gifts of  administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."

There are those in the church that have been given gifts of healing - becoming supernatural conductors of healing virtue on a regular basis – in the same way that a teacher would be given words of knowledge or wisdom on a regular basis. The fact that there aren't many in the church in America is more a function of our unbelief than a lack in God's provision.

Could God give YOU gifts of healing that would flow out to the hurting and sick among us? Could YOU be the one He is calling into this much-needed ministry? Ask Him.  

Acts 10:38: " how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."

We should follow Jesus' example because He has given us the Great Commission and the authority to use His Name. We should go about doing good and bringing healing and deliverance from the power of the enemy. AMEN

Are you afraid to pray for someone else's healing because they might NOT get healed and you would feel responsible? Remember you are a SERVANT, not the SAVIOR. You pray, and if God heals fine, if He doesn't, it's not your responsibility. NEVER hesitate to pray for the healing of others.

3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

As we mature in Jesus, and our soul "prospers" or gets along well, it should also come to pass that we enjoy good health and that all may go well with us also.  After all the more we become like our Healer and the closer we get to His heart, the more our physical bodies should reflect that life.

Now don't get me wrong here. As long as we live in the flesh, we will be subject to disease, and if the Lord delays His Coming, even to death. And if you are struggling with a chronic condition of some kind, it doesn't mean that God loves you less or that your faith is necessarily lacking. We should NEVER make someone’s illness an occasion for condemnation!

I became ill last week, and wondered why, then the Holy Spirit reminded me that I had become very upset with someone who was hurting someone I love dearly. That attitude was enough to allow the devil to attack me and rob me of health. If we try to carry a load of care, we open ourselves up to the devil to be devoured.

Isn't it odd how easily we accept and EXPECT our body's natural healing processes, and most have no problems going to the doctor and expecting results, but somehow to have faith that the God that created you can also heal you without yours or the doctor's help is VERY hard for us?

Can Gifts of Healings be counterfeited? Look at what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10: The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

This prophecy to the Church at Thessalonica about the “lawless one” was specifically concerning the anti-Christ. But look at what he says the “work of satan” is: all KINDS of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives!

Ephesians 2:1-2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

And Paul tells us that this spirit, the ruler of the kingdom of the air, that is the devil, is NOW at work in those who are disobedient through counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, even though not at the intensity that these things will be manifested in the anti-Christ.

Gifts of Healings have been counterfeited and abused by some who call themselves ministers of Christ, but have pretenders give “fake” testimonies of healing to cause people to give them money. There are also psychological techniques that some unscrupulous “healers” use to manipulate people into thinking they are healed, when they are not.

There are also “psychic” healers who claim to be able to heal people using all kinds of bogus techniques, including “surgery” under hypnosis with dull, dirty razor blades and the like. And sometimes at satanic concerts, “healings” seem to be manifested. Well, since the devil can put disease upon you, he certainly could remove it, if it suited his purposes of deception and entrapment.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:23-24: At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or, `There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

And as the end time draws near, we will see more and more of these counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders manifested, so much so that even the chosen ones of God (believers) are in danger of being deceived!

So how much more then do we need to get to know the REAL Holy Spirit and His manifestations! Father God reveal yourself to your children in a greater way than ever before. Guide us into the true Gifts of Healing as we seek life from you! AMEN

Now some people are taking the “head in the sand” approach to miraculous manifestations, and refusing to acknowledge that any Gifts of Healings or other spiritual gifts are operating in the Church today.

Well besides refusing gifts of love that God wants you to have, what’s the harm in that? If you don’t mess with any miracles, you won’t be in danger of being deceived, right?

What’s gonna happen in the day that you, or someone you dearly love need healing, and become so desperate you’ll accept anything that comes along? Don’t think it will happen? The “profit” from “bogus” medicine and “psychic” healing today figures in the millions of dollars.

There are many people JUST LIKE YOU who did not seek the true spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, that in their desperation ended up receiving death, not life, pain not health, and poverty because some deceptive “healer” sucked their souls and pockets dry through false gifts. And in many cases, lost their salvation as well, because they were not drinking living water from the wells of salvation, but filthy, putrid, stagnant bile from the devil’s own source.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

The “head in the sand” approach also does not work because you are avoiding the test that the Lord is giving you to see if you will love him and believe him. How can you ferret out the false, if you don’t know the real?

Paul repeats the command to test everything to hold on to the good and avoid the evil: I Thessalonians 5:21-22 Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

And John underscores the need to test to see if the “spirits” behind these events are of God in I John 4:1: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.


Next Lesson: Spiritual Gifts, Part 4

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Father God, help us to be loving in all our ways, and to be tenderhearted towards our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. Speaking the truth in love, let us draw together in the unity of the spirit as members of the Body of Christ, encouraging one another as Your coming draws near.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Quotes from "Spiritual Gifts: Ministries and Manifestations" by B. E. Underwood, LifeSprings Resources, Franklin Springs, GA, ©1984, pp. 64-71.

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Original lesson 7/19/99
Revised: August 02, 2001