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The Spirit of God + The Word of God
= The Creative Power of God

by John Edmiston


This article will examine the relationship between the Word of God, the Spirit of God and healing power. The "equation" I will use is "the Spirit of God plus the Word of God equals the Creative Power of God".

Right at the start of the Bible the Spirit broods over the waters and then God speaks bringing creation into being. This is the first revelation of how God acts and it is the most fundamental revelation about how God acts. Under revival conditions when the Spirit of God is powerfully present - as in Jesus ministry and during the heyday of the early church then we have a condition into which all someone had to do was speak the word of Christ and healing occurred. During a recent revival in South America it was not uncommon for people to be spontaneously healed during expository preaching - even if the topic was not healing at all. The preached word has a tremendous power to unlock the brooding power of the Holy Spirit.

Here are some Bible verses that illustrate the connection between the Word of God and healing:

(2 Kings 2:22 NKJV) So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

(Psalms 107:20 NKJV) He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

(Matthew 8:8 NKJV) The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.

(Matthew 8:16 NKJV) When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,

(Luke 7:7 NKJV) "Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

(Exodus 15:26 NKJV) and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."

(Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV) My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. {21} Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; {22} For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.

(Luke 9:6 NKJV) So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

The connection seems quite plain - God's word in the heart brings health and God's word spoken out in faith brings healing.

Back to our equation... the Spirit of God plus the Word of God equals God's Creative Power unleashed. The first requirement is the Presence of the Spirit in power. If the Spirit could be made to be powerfully present through prayer then we would have a God who appeared on our command and that is just not so. We cannot control the Spirit's Presence in power. We need to recognize that. However we can request it, and it is a prayer that God often answers. Luke's gospel encourages us to ask for the Spirit's Presence in power:

(Luke 11:13 NKJV) "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

So there is some good Biblical precedent for asking for the Spirit's Presence. However, when the Spirit is tangibly present and clearly in our midst we must do what He says. He is God and God is always the Boss - of every service and situation. This is where I think we make our most common mistake. We try to harness the Spirit. God is not a horse. If we invite the Holy Spirit in our midst it is we who will be put into harness. Jesus Christ makes it quite clear that it is we who wear His yoke - not the other way around.

The second common mistake is that we hesitate even when the Spirit has spoken clearly to us. We say something like "That is too difficult or too embarrassing... what if it doesn't work." Now if God has spoken clearly it will work however sometimes it requires considerable persistence. When God told Israel to go up against Gibeah in the civil war against the tribe of Benjamin they were soundly defeated and suffered heavy casualties on the first two days before succeeding on the third. Obedience may not mean immediate success, it may mean immediate failure and loss, but when obedience is persisted in then success will come. We need to stop hesitating ,start obeying and to keep on obeying even when things look doubtful and dismal.

The financing of the Bill Newman Crusade is a case in point. The financing was a tremendous struggle and weighed the Crusade Committee down heavily, it often threw doubts on the wisdom of having the Crusade. In the natural they could not have gone ahead. Every projection of income verses expenditure left us well short. However, we believed it was God's will and despite many discouragements the Crusade went ahead. On the Thursday after the Crusade we were only $900 short and a couple of churches chipped in and a businessman on the committee picked up the tab for the rest. By the time that final committee meeting was finished we had assurances that our finances were covered in every detail. From memory about $22,000 was supplied by God. Unhesitating obedience to the Spirit's prompts plus persistence in faith led to spiritual victory and a Crusade that saw 207 responses.

The third and last reason that we fail to respond to the manifest Presence of the Spirit is that we have failed to discipline the flesh and its works. In Galatians 5:16 and 17 it is clearly stated that the flesh and the Spirit are mutually opposed. To the extent that you allow the works of the flesh you diminish the works and fruit of the Spirit. Churches that allow gossips to function and spread "hatred, discord and jealousy" unchecked are allowing the Spirit to be opposed just as effectively as if that let adultery or witchcraft go undisciplined. They are all listed among the works of the flesh. The flesh can creep in in the way we regard the Holy Spirit. Amongst the works of the flesh is sensuality (Jude 1:19) and when we treat the Holy Spirit as a form of emotional entertainment, a feeling to be enjoyed or a delicious experience to be had we are on the brink of sensuality - if not toppling right over into it.

I think that it is no coincidence that those movements that have had an enduring revival in their midst have been characterized by much discipline of the flesh on a personal level through prayer and fasting and on a corporate level through firm church discipline of any and every work of the flesh. To sum up the section on the Spirit. If we are to see God's Holy Spirit manifest in power amongst us we must cease trying to harness God but take His yoke upon us in prompt and persistent obedience to His commands and prompts and discipline our lives so that the works of the flesh are uprooted at both personal and corporate levels.

Then we need the word of God spoken in faith to the situation at hand. I will break this into two halves 1) The speaking of the Scriptures into the situation 2) The speaking of a rhema word into the situation. Personally I find speaking Scripture into a situation the more powerful of the two since I can much more easily join my faith to it with absolute confidence in what I am speaking. The Word of God in Scripture spoken by the Spirit of God in the heart is a powerful tool for healing. Part of my reason for supplying you with the 40 Scripture verses on healing is so that you will have a word from God that you can speak in faith as part of your healing ministry.

What is the difference between "speaking" and "reciting' the word of God. Reciting the Word of God seems to have little power. It is directionless, it is not spoken into a situation or to a person. When the Word of God is spoken it is spoken to a person or into a situation. During the Crusade we picked up a strange prayer from Zechariah chapter 4 where a mountain is moved by shouting "Grace! Grace!" to it. So whenever we had to move a mountain we quite literally shouted "Grace!" to it. Mountains don't have ears but God does and He heard the word uttered in faith and addressing that situation.

In Mark's gospel we see mountains moved by mere words... (Mark 11:22-24 NKJV) So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. {23} "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. {24} "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Notice how the mountain is spoken to... It is spoken to in faith, without doubt, verbally, out loud and it the mountain is addressed - not God. Jesus did NOT tell us to pray "dear God, please move this mountain.." We are not to speak to God but to the mountain. Creation needs to hear God's authority - through our lips. Lets go back to mountain chucking Zechariah.... (Zechariah 4:6-7 NKJV) So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts. {7} 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'

How is the capstone brought forth.. With shouts of Grace, grace to God? NO! With shouts of "Grace, grace to IT...the mountain ". Lets apply this to healing. I cannot think of a single example of New Testament healing where God is prayed to (intercessory style) to effect the healing. The lame man at the Gate Beautiful is told "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk..". The leper is told "Be healed". The dead girl is told "tabitha kum... little girl arise", Lazarus is told "Lazarus come forth.." The word of God is "Be healed" and His authority to heal is applied to Creation by the faith-filled people of God. There seems to be drastic change between Old Testament and New on this point. Certainly people in the Old Testament cried out to God for Him to heal. Generally they did not see that God's authority was vested in them to any significant degree.

Perhaps the clue lies in the phrase "the Kingdom of God is at hand". In the kingdom God's rulership is enforced and manifested through His servants. Because of Christ's work on the cross the authority we carry is far greater than that experienced in the Old Testament. We are seated with Christ in heavenly realms and on His behalf exercise "all authority in heaven and on earth...".

(Matthew 11:11 NKJV) "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

By logical implication the least NT believer is greater than any OT saint. Not better than, but greater than, carrying more authority than. We can command healing to occur in the name of Jesus. When the Spirit is manifestly present we can, in faith, speak to the sick person using a Word from God and command healing to occur.

The authority to command healing does not work mechanically. It requires faith in God and the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God + the Word of God = the Creative Power of God. How do we know that the Holy Spirit is present and present to heal? This is "watching" for what the Father is doing. We need the spiritual sensitivity to sense when God is at work to heal and the courage to join Him in his healing work.

(John 5:19-20 NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. {20} "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

However, Scripture indicated that when God's activity was healing - then all were healed. God's will is not who will get healed - no-one was ever refused healing by Jesus. God's will is that of the timing of the manifestation. There are times when God is present to heal and there are times when His activity is something else. But when his activity is to heal and His Spirit is present and we are there in faith we can speak the word to all who need healing and they will be healed. At least that is what I see Scripture indicating.

(1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV) But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

When one reads 1 Cor 12-14 and looks a bit at the Greek you are struck by the impression of "flashes of giftings". One person gets one gift for the common good then another gets something else and the Holy Spirit is activating first one ministry, then another in the assembled body of Christ and all things are done decently and in order.

(1 Corinthians 12:6-7 NKJV) And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. {7} But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: The Old Testament has a strong concept of "the appropriate time' a time to live, a time to die etc. Getting the timing right was not a matter of using a watch but tuning the time you wanted to do things with when God wanted it to happen.

Putting this all together if the Holy Spirit is saying to your heart "I want you to be healed tonight" then that is God's timing for you. Do not delay. When God speaks that is the time. when He wants you to respond. That's why he spoke then and not some other time. If God says "I am here and I wish to heal everyone who is present.." then we need to grab everyone and haul them in just as if Jesus had walked through the door with power to heal.

As you sit there listen to what the Spirit is saying to you. Maybe you are sensing God wants to do a particular work in your life just now, maybe it isn't healing, don't worry about it if God has revealed that to you now then we will deal with it now. He is not on our schedule - we are on His schedule. Ask yourself what does God want to do in my life right now? When you have done that ask "How can I apply God's word authoritatively to this situation?' Write down what God wants you to do and go and put into action - right now!

On Your Own

What I sense God wants to do in my life.

An authoritative Word from Scripture that applies to my situation.

God's command for my condition

What I need to do right now!

 

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.