After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and went through his 40-day fast in the wilderness, he began his public ministry. The first recorded personal incident is in Mark 1:23 of a man with an unclean spirit. It was actually more than one because the voice cried, “Let us alone,” and they identified Jesus as “The Holy One of God.”
When we think of healing we usually are thinking about physical healing. However “casting out of devils” was a part of Jesus’ ministry, as was healing their physical diseases. There has not been enough teaching passed down to the present generation regarding this subject. Witchcraft and Satan worship are on the rise in America, and the church must restore the Holy Ghost power and gifts in operation to set people free.
“And when he called his 12 disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease,” Matthew 10:1. Jesus transferred the anointing that was upon him to his disciples. He gave them instructions to do the same works they had seen him do.
“The Lord appointed other 70 also, and sent them two by two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come,” Luke 10:1. Jesus enlarged the group to include 70 more who were given the same power and sent out in couples. The 70 were also told, “say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you,” Luke 10:9. The healings and deliverances were signs to the people that the kingdom of God had come to them.
References to healing are found all through the Old Testament also. Through Abraham’s prayer, God granted healing in the form of allowing Abimelech and his household to bear children, Genesis 20:17. God spoke unto Moses, “I am the Lord that healeth thee,” Exodus 15:26. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all they diseases,” Psalm 103:3-4.
However Jesus suffered the stripes to provide healing and deliverance for all mankind. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5. Peter says, “by whose stripes you were healed?” 1 Peter 2:24.
Isaiah saw this in the future. Peter saw it as in the past. God is always now, the “I am.”
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with other 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,” John 16:15, 17-18.
If we believe “preaching the gospel” is to be done in the church today, then casting out devils and healing the sick is listed in the same passage of scripture. If we are believers in Christ, then it is possible for us to do the same works of healing that he and other disciples did. Signs follow believers: believers do not follow signs.
Willie Lee Schmitz leads the Church of God in Derma.