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Create DateFebruary 11, 2019
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2019

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As we work our way through Acts, in Chapter 19 we read the following.

So Paul...  had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.


Does God promise to heal or is healing just a divine blessing?

Paul was able to “heal at a distance”.  “Handkerchief” referred to a face cloth. Used for wiping perspiration off the face. It was like a sweat band. “Apron” referred to a garment  that a working man would wear around the body to keep the dirt off his clothes. Like my painting apron.

God used such mundane every day items of clothing to show it was he himself that performed the healings. There was no inherent value in the items themselves.




  1. THERE ARE NO SPECIAL FORMULA for invoking divine healing. Not aprons, or shadows or dare I say it, even prayers of faith!! This brings us to the question. Is healing a promise of God, or merely a blessing God gives only sometimes? The answer is ‘yes’. Healing is both a promise and a wonderful blessing God bestows in His good judgment! Many Biblical statements about healing are promises. But they are not unconditional promises. God has not promised to heal everyone, every time, immediately upon request. There are no formulas. Like: You have to fast and pray for 1 hour, or have the elders lay hands on you. You have to have hundreds of people praying for you. These things are good and helpful but they are not a formula.


  1. FAITH. Is a condition of healing. As in James 5:14-15 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.


But faith is no guarantee of healing and not always a prerequisite. Do we as GCI still encourage the practice of asking for the elders to anoint us with oil? Yes we do. Following the instruction in James 5.  There is no magic in the oil, no power in the cloth. It is a symbol. Oil was a medicinal ointment of the time (Luke 10:34), and the elder (representing the church) uses a token amount of oil to symbolize the church’s concern and practical care for the sick. Such prayers are offered in faith, that is, in trusting God that he will do what is right and good in any given situation.


  1. OBEDIENCE is also a condition of healing. As 1 John 3:22 states, “whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” So does that mean that God is bound to heal if we have faith and are obedient? Faith and obedience are important and necessarily but are not a prerequisite.


  1. IS IT GOOD FOR YOU? God heals on the condition that such healing is good for you in terms of his overall plan for your life. God’s great purpose for you is to give you eternal life. Sometimes it just is not God’s will to heal us, because the suffering has an overriding purpose in our lives. We may never know what it is — we just have to trust God to do what is best for us. Our faith at times can be sorely tested and God’s “silence” can be a severy test of faith.

Hebrews 2:9-10 says, He (Jesus) become “perfect through suffering” . The same applies to us. Healing like every prayer for God’s intervention in our lives is predicated upon his will.

His will is that the name of Jesus is honoured and the word of the Lord is spread widely.




Acts 19:13 

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honour. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem...


Here we see that the sons of Sceva (all 7 of them) tried to invoke the power of Jesus to cast out demons. They got a through beating for their efforts. What was the outcome? Everyone in the region heard about it and were petrified. So much so that they openly confessed their sins and burnt the sorcery books and scrolls. To the value of 50 000 Drachas. That was the equivalent of one days pay for 50 000 workers. About 2 million Rand. What was the final outcome? The name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honour and the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.



To believe that God always heals every disease of every true Christian – especially when it is assumed he must do so immediately and dramatically – contradicts both the Bible’s example and our own experience. It also causes people who believe, but who remain ill, to suffer unnecessary guilt.  Concluding that the reason they are not healed is because they do not have enough faith or jumped through all the necessary hoops.


When we “pray in faith,” we are committing ourselves decisively and completely to the will of God.


This means that believing faith ultimately trusts in whatever the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit decide to do in any given situation involving our lives. God determines if, when or how, healing will occur. It is not easy to trust that God knows best especially when it seems so illogical to our way of thinking. But he does.



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