A couple of weeks ago, someone reading this blog asked me if I had any teachings on divine healing. I went back over the hundreds of teachings I have given in written and video form and to my surprise I found none. This was in spite of the fact that over the years I have prayed for many hundreds of sick people, and seen many miraculous healings including in my own body.
This study doesn’t cover all there is to say on the subject of divine healing, but it’s a start. I’ll do another teaching soon to pick up where this one leaves off. So stay tuned…!
My thanks to the brother who asked the question! May this be a blessing someone for YHVH’s glory.
The foundation for understand the concept of biblical healing is found in the Torah (the books of the law) and the Tanakh (the Old Testament). Without this foundational and a Hebraic perspective on healing, it is impossible to understand the holistic nature of healing as presented in the Scriptures. This is why we will start our study of healing from the Torah and progress to the end of the Bible.
In the following study, we will quote a Bible passage relating to the subject of healing, and then comment on it afterwards.
Exod 15:26, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of Yehovah thy Elohim, 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 Yehovah that healeth (Heb. rapha) thee.
Yehovah Rapha is one of YHVH Elohim’s covenant names. Rapha is a Hebrew word that means “to heal, make healthful” and can refer to Elohim, a healer or physician and involves being healed from individual distress, national hurts or defects.
YHVH’s covenantal promise of healing still stands today and is for his people—the saints (Eph 2:12). All of YHVH’s promises through Yeshua are yes and amein (2 Cor 1:20). YHVH promises to heal his people, but eventually everyone will die and then face YHVH’s judgment seat (Heb 9:27). Some people will be healed in this lifetime, while others will be healed when they receive their glorified bodies at the resurrection of the dead. Healing in the ultimate sense occurs when our old bodies die and we receive our new, resurrected and glorified bodies (1 Cor 15:50–56).
When we obey YHVH’s commands, we place ourselves in his river of life. Blessings and not curses come our way. When we go against his commandments, then the curses of sin automatically come upon us (Gen 2:17; Deut 28:1–68; Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). For generations our forefathers have violated YHVH’s commands, which is sin, and have been reaping the consequences of their actions. These consequences or curses have been passed on down generationally as we inherit the results of our forefathers’ sin including sick and weak bodies. The sins of the fathers (along with the consequences of those sins) are passed on down to us (Exod 20:5; 34:7; Num 14:18). This is part of living in a fallen world. In his mercy and grace, YHVH may delivers us from these consequences now, or in the future. That’s his choice. Divine healing for the saint is not a matter of if, but when. We must trust that YHVH knows what’s best for us and obey him and rejoice in him whether he heals us in this lifetime or the next.
Deut 7:12 and 15, Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that Yehovah thy Elohim shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers … And Yehovah 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 them that hate thee.
This promise being fulfilled is contingent on our obeying YHVH’s Torah-Word. To the degree that we do, we will be blessed. To the degree we don’t, we will suffer the curses of which sickness and disease is but one consequence of sin. We suffer sickness because of our own sin or the sins of our forefathers. Reversing the curse in this lifetime isn’t always possible. We must repent of our sins, seek YHVH’s mercy and grace and trust him to heal us when he sees fit whether in this lifetime or the next.
Ps 30:2–4, O Yehovah my Elohim, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Yehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto Yehovah, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Healing involves more than deliverance from physical ailments. The greatest healing is that of the sin-sick heart. Receipt of salvation brought on by repentance of sin, and faith in Yeshua resulting in obedience to all of YHVH’s commandments, is the greatest healing miracle of all. We may or may not receive our physical healing in this lifetime. However, the spiritual healing of our sin-sick natures insures that we will receive physical healing when we receive our glorified bodies.
Ps 34:18–19, Yehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but Yehovah delivereth him out of them all.
Salvation and affliction involve more than just physical sickness. Often the physical sickness is merely the surface manifestation or symptom of a deeper spiritual sickness that needs healing first. It’s difficult for humans to focus on the real causes or the symptoms of something due human pride and fear. We are naturally inclined to treat the symptoms without dealing with the underlaying causes. To deal with the deeper issues involves intensive self-evaluation to determine the root causes. Once the root causes are exposed and the sin is identified, this should lead us to repentance. This is something humans are naturally disinclined to do. On the other hand, YHVH looks at the root causes of sickness and the heart of the matter, which involves the human heart. These are the foremost sicknesses YHVH wants to heal. The physical healing will come in due time according to YHVH’s perfect plan for our life once the spiritual causes and heart issues are dealt with. We have to trust him in this—that he knows what’s best for us. In the mean time, our first step to both spiritual and physical healing involves having a contrite spirit and repentance of sin.
Ps 41:1, Blessed is he that considereth the poor: Yehovah will deliver him in time of trouble. Yehovah will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. Yehovah will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, Yehovah, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Helping others leads to our own physical and spiritual healing. If we become a river of life to those around us who are in need, we will become a spiritual conduit for YHVH’s spiritual river of life that flows from heaven. In so doing, we become an instrument in YHVH’s hands to be a blessing to others. In the process, we too will receive our own healing as some of that healing power that comes from heaven through us to others will bring life and blessing to us as well. Stated otherwise, if we empty our spiritual bucket ministering to others, YHVH’s spiritual pipeline will fill our bucket as we seek him to use us to fill the empty buckets of those in need around us.
Ps 91 (entire chapter),
This chapter in Psalms is like the 911 of the Bible. It’s the chapter one can turn to for any crisis or problem in life including sickness. This passage is full of promises covering a wide range of topics. Read it, confess it, pray it and believe it.
Ps 103:3, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases…
One of the benefits of walking in a loving and obedient relationship with the Creator is healing from disease, sickness and suffering. Divine healing is YHVH’s promise to his servants. The only question concerning divine healing is not if but when? The timing of our healing is in YHVH’s hands, and in his loving omniscience he knows the best time for it. Seldom is his timing our timing. We must trust him that he knows the best time for us to be healed according to the purposes he is working out in our lives.
In this verse, we learn that healing of disease and forgiveness of sin go hand-in-hand. For sin to be forgiven, the Bible is clear: it must first be identified and repented of. Sin is the violation of YHVH’s Torah-law (1 John 3:4). The Bible also defines sin as unrighteousness (1 John 5:17), which is another way of saying Torahlessness (Ps 119:72). It is also sin not to believe in Yeshua (John 3:18; 16:19), who, of course, is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim in flesh form (John 1:1, 14). So to not believe in Yeshua is to not believe in the Torah, and to believe in the Torah is to believe in Yeshua. It is also sin not to do that which we know to do that is right. This is called a sin of omission, which is not living up to the light of the truth that YHVH has given us (Jas 4:17). We need to repent of any of these types of sin if we expect YVHH to heal us.
Ps 106:14–15, But [the children of Israel] lusted exceedingly [or had a wanton craving, ESV] in the wilderness, and tempted El in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul [or sent a wasting disease among them, ESV].
Those who live selfish, self-absorbed and materialistic lives without much concern for YHVH or others can expect YHVH’s discipline for their sinful ways. He desires that we repent of the sin of selfishness and to love him and other people by being a blessing to others—to both Elohim and man. This is living in the Creator’s river of life. Healing comes to those who practice this kind of lifestyle.
Isa 40:28–31, Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting Elohim, Yehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait [Heb. qavah] upon Yehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
When we come to the end of ourselves and are totally exhausted from our own human endeavors, we have no choice but to wait on YHVH, since there’s nothing more we can do. Waiting on him means “to look for, to hope, to expect eagerly, and to bind together with.” We must bind up with or wrap our lives around the Creator while we’re looking eagerly and expectantly to him for help and strength after we have come to the end of or died to ourselves. Yeshua informed his disciples that those who would seek to lose their lives will find life in him (Matt 10:39; Luke 9:24; 17:33).
Isa 53:4–5, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. But 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.
This passage is not speaking primarily about healing from physical sickness, although this isn’t excluded. Yeshua’s atoning death primarily heals us from the consequences of sin, which is death. Notwithstanding, sickness, though not always, can be a consequence of our sins. YHVH is primarily concerned with healing man’s sin-sick nature (his heart and mind). However, when spiritual healing occurs in these areas, the physical healing, like a river of life from heaven, will begin to flow into our bodies as well thus bringing physical healing.
Jer 17:13–14, O Yehovah, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yehovah, the fountain of living waters. Heal (Heb. rapha) me, O Yehovah, and I shall be healed; save (Heb. yashah) me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
This is a “river of life” passage. YHVH Rapha (see notes at Exod 15:26) is in the “healing business.” The Hebraic concept of salvation is much deeper and more multifaceted than the mainstream church’s view of salvation as glorious as that may be. Salvation is the Hebrew word yashah meaning “to save, be saved, be delivered, to be liberated, to be saved (in battle), be victorious, to save from moral troubles or to give victory to.” In YHVH Elohim alone is the power to save man from all of his troubles. The quicker a man recognizes this, the sooner his healing will come. Healing not only involves physical, but spiritual, mental and emotional healing as well. All these aspects of salvation are part of a holistic approach to healing in the fullest and most complete sense of the word.
Mal 4:2, But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
This is a Messianic prophecy referring to Yeshua. He came to heal those who were physically sick.
But he also come heal people’s spiritual sickness by bringing them to repentance of sin, to show them the right ways of Torah, which is the heart, will, mind and character of YHVH. Torah is the path of righteousness (Ps 119:172) and when followed, it brings us into alignment in a vertical sense with the heart, mind and will of our Creator, and on a horizontal sense with our fellow man.
YHVH-Yeshua also came to set the captives free from demonic oppression, to feed those who were physically and spiritually hungry, to open the blind eyes and deaf ears both physically and spiritually and much more. Yeshua came to open the way to eternal life in his heavenly kingdom by removing from people all obstacles preventing them from coming into that kingdom, so that people might enter therein. This is healing and salvation in its ultimate sense. It is much more than healing from physical ailments.
Mark 11:23–24, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
To receive healing from YHVH, one must have faith in him. If one neither believes in the Creator nor has faith in him, one can’t expect healing.
YHVH doesn’t require man to have much faith—only a little, but he must have faith nonetheless.
Luke 10:19, Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
From Yeshua’s ministry we learn that some diseases (but not all) are caused by demonic spirits. Yeshua gave his disciples spiritual authority in his name to heal those who are demonically oppressed through disease.
The context of this verse is evangelizing the spiritually lost. They are the ones who are most likely to be demonically oppressed. Presumably, redeemed believers should be free from demonic spirits, but this isn’t always the case. When healing the sick, a disciple of Yeshua must pray for discernment to determine whether one’s sickness is due to demonic oppression or something else. There are many causes of sickness. These include personal sin, demonic oppression, generational curses, sickness for spiritual refinement (as was the case with Job and Paul’s thorn in the flesh), sickness due to physiological issues such as chemical imbalances in the body, and sickness through no fault of anyone so that healing can bring glory to Elohim (John 11:4).
Mark 16:18, [T]hey shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
The healing of the sick was one of the miraculous signs that Yeshua promised would follow his disciples when they preach the gospel of repentance and the kingdom of Elohim to the spiritually lost. If you are a disciple of Yeshua—and we are all called and commissioned to that vocation—then we will be praying for the sick as often as possible as we, at the same time, are sharing the gospel message to a hurting world around us. YHVH is eager to show his love and miraculous power to those who are lost in sin and ravaged by sickness. The context of this verse is healing while evangelizing.
Supernatural healing tends to occur more quickly for those are on the outside of the kingdom looking in, since the Father desires to draw these spiritual babies into his kingdom by his miraculous love. Upon coming into his kingdom, he begins a new work in their lives—the work of spiritual refinement. He wants his spiritual babies to mature. This involves building faith in the hearts and minds of his disciples and forming his godly character in them. Therefore, sometimes in his wisdom, YHVH purifies and refines us through allowing us to suffer a bit before healing us. This process of sanctification fortifies us spiritually and builds within us the character of Yeshua who also had to endure suffering to learn the things he had to learn (Heb 5:8).
John 14:13, And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Healing is a promise, like all the other promises in the Bible, that is for the disciple of Yeshua. We usually want our healing now. However, that may not be what is best for our spiritual development or what glorifies the Father. Sometimes it takes time for the Creator to work his purposes in our lives as he forms us into the vessel he desires like a potter working with a lump of clay. If we are patient and have faith in the Master Potter, he will form us into a vessel that both blesses us and glorifies him. In the process, we will receive the desires of our heart, and so much more.
John 15:7, If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
For Yeshua to heal us, we must be abiding in him and his words must abide in us. When this occurs, heaven and earth are resonating in unison and the river of life can flow unimpeded in our lives. Along with that will come not only spiritual healing, but physical healing as well.
John 15:16, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
John 16:23–24, And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
When we pray for healing, we must do so in the name of Yeshua. A name in Hebraic thought is more than just a person’s label. A name also represents the person’s character and reputation. Furthermore, when we pray in Yeshua’s name, we’re manifesting our faith in him—that he is our Redeemer, Savior, Master and Great High Priest. Faith is an essential element to receiving a miraculous healing.
Rom 8:31, What shall we then say to these things? If Elohim be for us, who can be against us?
Everything that YHVH allows to happen to us is for our good, whether we’re healed in this lifetime or at the resurrection. On the surface, when sickness occurs, it may seem that YHVH is against us, but we must trust him that in his sovereign omniscience, he knows what’s best for us in the long run, and the circumstances that he allows to play out in our lives will bring to pass his best will for us.
Rom 8:37, Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Whether we’re healed in this lifetime or at the resurrection, Yeshua has still given us the victory over sin and death. His love for us insures that his best will be accomplished in our lives whether we understand it at the time or not. The follower of Yeshua has the victory over the consequences sin, whether he receives this victory in this lifetime or the next, he will receive it. We will reap if we faint not and endure to the end as an overcomer.
Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Messiah which strengtheneth me.
In both sickness and in health Yeshua is our strength. We must lean on him continually and trust that he will guide us through every trial of life day-by-day.
Jas 5:14–16, 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 Yehovah: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and Yehovah shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The local congregation should be a place of prayer and healing. The church elders are to be servants of the body of Yeshua in this regard. Fervent prayer, faith, trust in Yeshua as well as confession of sins are essential elements in receiving healing from sickness.
1 Pet 2:24, Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
See notes at Isa 53.