Divine Healing Part 1
By: Mike Stokes
Sign Gifts in the New Testament (NT) includes: Miracles, Healing’s, Distinguishing Spirits, Tongues, and Interpreting Tongues. These are found in 1 Corinthians 12. John indicates that Jesus performed many signs and wonders, which verified and authenticated who He was (John 20: 30-31). John choose to include in his Gospel writings only those signs (Miracles) that would lead the reader to believe in Christ. So, when we refer to Sign Gifts we are talking about a supernatural ability.
The question may be asked, why were these type of gifts necessary? In the first century the NT was in the process of being completed and was not yet canonized. During this period it was necessary for the church to receive Special Revelation. These types of gifted people bridged the gap between the Old Testament (OT) and the NT. These gifts functioned as a temporary conduit of truths. Those with the gift of: Apostleship, Prophecy, Word of Wisdom and of Knowledge, met that need and bridged the gap. Sign Gifts convinced the people that the speaker and the message was from God. One of the ways teachers like Paul validated his ministry was by performing miracles of healing.
It is interesting that, throughout history there has been only three periods in which miracles played a prominent role: In the time of Moses; In the time of Elijah and Elisha; and In the time of Christ and the Apostles. It seems these periods were clusters of miracles and as each period got underway the miracles faded. It has always been of interest to me that many of the great men of the Bible never performed miracles: Noah, Abraham, David, etc. Yet, we do see the miraculous hand of God at work in their lives.
All Divine Healing in scripture occurred apart from all natural processes, it was not like natural healing following a surgical procedure. Biblical Healing’s were immediate, complete and interrupting natural laws. People who had this gift could perform the same type of healing’s as Christ, there are many examples: (Acts 3: 1-11, 19: 11-12).
Since we now have God’s complete revelation in the Bible there is no longer a need for miracles to authenticate God’s Word. However, Hebrews 13: 8 suggest miracles of healing’s still occur today. Perhaps this phenomenon can be better understood by analyzing a passage in James Chapter Five. It has been observed that the Book of Leviticus in the OT is a handbook for the Levitical Priest; and the book of James in the NT is like a handbook for Christians, which makes it a practical book that can be understood by any believer who studies what it says. In the next article we will analyze what James teaches us about, Divine Healing.