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This morning we will move on to the “gifts of healing.” “To another, faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” [1Co 12.9]
There is no use expecting to understand the gifts and to understand the epistles unless you have the Holy Ghost. All the epistles are written to a baptized people, and not to the unregenerated. They are written to those who have grown into a maturity as a manifestation of the Christ of God. Do not jump into the epistles before you have come in at the gate of the baptism of the Spirit. I believe that this teaching God is helping me to bring to you will move on you to become restless and discontented on every line till God has finished with you. If we want to know the mind of God through the epistles, there is nothing else to bring the truth but the revelation of the Spirit himself. He gives the utterance: He opens the door. Don’t live in a poverty state when we are all around, in and out, up and down, pressed out beyond measure [2Co 1.8] with the rarest gems of the latest word from God. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Mt 7.7-8] There is the authority of God’s word. And remember, the authority of God’s word is Jesus. These are the utterances by the Spirit of Jesus to us this morning.
I come to you with a great inward desire to wake you up to your great possibilities. Your responsibilities will be great, but not as great as your possibilities. You will always find that God is over-abundance on every line he touches for you, and he wants you to come into mind and thought with him so that you are not straightened in yourselves. Be enlarged in God!
[Tongues and interpretation. “It is that which God hath chosen for us, which is mightier than we. It is that which is bottomless, higher than the heights, more lovely than all beside. And God in a measure presses you out to believe all things that you may endure ail things, and lay hold of eternal life through the power of the Spirit.”]
The “gifts of healings” are wonderful gifts. There is a difference between having a gift of healing, and “gifts of healings.” God wants us not to come behind in anything. I like this word, “gifts of healing.” To have the accomplishment of these gifts I must bring myself to a conformity to the mind and will of God in purpose. It would be impossible to have “gifts of healing” unless you possessed that blessed fruit of “longsuffering.” You will find these gifts run parallel with that which will bring them into operation without a leak.
But how will it be possible to minister the gifts of healing, considering the peculiarities there are in the Assemblies, and the many evil powers of Satan which confront us and possess bodies? The man who will go through with God and exercise the gifts of healing will have to be a man of longsuffering; always have a word of comfort. If the one who is in distress and helpless doesn’t see eye to eye in everything, and doesn’t get all he wants, longsuffering will bear and forbear. Longsuffering is a grace Jesus lived in and moved in. He was filled with compassion, and God will never be able to move us to the help of the needy one till we reach that place.
Sometimes you might think by the way I went about praying for the sick that I was unloving and rough; but oh friends, you have no idea what I see behind the sickness and the afflicted. I am not dealing with the person; I am dealing with the satanic forces that are binding the afflicted. As far as the person goes, my heart is full of love and compassion for all, but I fail to see how you will ever reach a place where God will be able definitely to use you until you get angry at the devil.
One day a pet dog followed a lady out of her house and ran all around her feet. She said to the dog, “I cannot have you with me today.” The dog wagged its tail and made a great fuss. “Go home, pet,” she said, but it didn’t go. At last she shouted roughly, “Go home!” and off it went. Some people play with the devil like that. “Poor thing!” The devil can stand ail the comfort anybody in the world could give. Cast him out! You are not dealing with the person; you are dealing with the devil. If you say, with authority, “Come out, you demons, in the name of the Lord!” they must come out. You will always be right when you dare to treat sickness as the devil’s work and you will always be near the mark when you treat it as sin. Let Pentecostal people wake up to see that getting sick is caused by some misconduct; there is some neglect, something wrong somewhere, a weak place where Satan has had a chance to get in. And if we wake up to the real facts of it, we will be ashamed to say that we are sick because people will know we have been sinning.
Gifts of healings are so varied in all lines you will find the gift of discernment often operated in connection therewith. And the manifestations of the Spirit are given to us that we may profit withal. [1Co 12.7] You must never treat a cancer case as anything else than a living, evil spirit which is always destroying the body. It is one of the worst kinds I know. Not that the devil has anything good; every disease of the devil is bad, either to a greater or less degree, but this form of disease is one that you must cast out.
Among the first people I met in Victoria Hall was a woman who had a cancer in the breast. As soon as the cancer was cursed, it stopped bleeding because it was dead. The next thing that happened, the body cast it off, because the natural body has no room for dead matter. When it came out it was like a big ball with thousands of fibers. All these fibers had spread out into the flesh, but the moment the evil power was destroyed they had no power. Jesus gave us power to bind and power to loose; we must bind the evil powers and loose the afflicted and set them free. There are many cases where Satan has control of the mind, and those under satanic influence are not all in asylums.
I will tell you what freedom is: No person in this place who enjoys the fullness of the Spirit with a clear knowledge of redemption, should know that he has a body. You ought to be able to eat and sleep, digest your food, and not be conscious of your body; a living epistle of God’s thought and mind, walking up and down the world without pain. That is redemption. To be fully in the will of God, the perfection of redemption, we should not have a pain of any kind.
I have had some experience along this line. When I was weak and helpless and friends were looking for me to die, it was in that straitened place that I saw the fullness of redemption. I read and re-read the 91st Psalm and claimed long life: “With long life will I satisfy him.” What else? “And show him my salvation.” [Ps 91.16] This is greater than long life. The salvation of God is deliverance from everything, and here I am. At 25 or 30 they were looking for me to die; now at 63 I feel young. So there is something more in this truth that I am preaching than mere words. God hath not designed us for anything else than to be firstfruits, sons of God with power over all the power of the enemy, [Lk 10.19] living in the world but not of it. [Jn 17.16]
We have to be careful in casting out demons, who shall give the command. Man may say “Come out,” but unless it is in the Spirit of God our words are vain. The devil always had a good time with me in the middle of the night, and tried to give me a bad time. I had a real conflict with evil powers, and the only deliverance I got was when I bound them in the name of the Lord.
I remember taking a man who was demon-possessed out for a walk one day. We were going through a thickly crowded place and this man became obstreperous. I squared him up and the devil came out of him, but I wasn’t careful, and these demons fastened themselves on me right on the street there, so that I couldn’t move. Sometimes when I am ministering on the platform and the powers of the devil attack me, the people think I am casting demons out of them, but I am casting them out of myself. The people couldn’t understand when I cast that evil spirit out of that man on the street, but I understood. The man who had that difficulty is now preaching, and is one of the finest men we have. But it required someone to bind the strong man. [Mk 3.27] You must be sure of your ground, and sure it is a mightier power than you that is destroying the devil. Take your position from the first epistle of John and say, “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” [1Jn 4.4] If you think it is you, you make a great mistake. It is your being filled with him; he acting in the place of you; your thought, your mouth, your all becoming exercised by the Spirit of God.
At L----- in Norway we had a place seating 1,500 people. When we reached there it was packed and hundreds were unable to get in. The policemen were standing there, and I thought the first thing I would do would be to preach to the people outside and then go in. I addressed the policemen and said, “You see this condition. I have come with a message to help everybody, and it hurts me very much to find as many people outside as in; I want the promise of you police officials that you will give us the marketplace tomorrow. Will you do it?” They put up their hands that they would.
It was a beautiful day in April, and there was a big stand in the woods about 10 feet high in the great park, where thousands of people gathered. After the preaching we had some wonderful cases of healing. One man came 100 miles, bringing his food with him. He hadn’t passed anything through his stomach for over a month for there was a great cancer there. He was healed in the meeting, and opening up his lunch began eating before all the people.
Then there was a young woman who came with a stiff hand. I cursed the spirit of infirmity and it was instantly cast out and the arm was free. She waved it over her head and said, “My father is the chief of police. I have been bound since I was a girl.” At the close of the meeting Satan laid out two people with fits. That was my day! I jumped down to where they were and in the name of Jesus delivered them. People said, “Oh isn’t he rough,” but when they saw those afflicted stand up and praise God, that was a time of rejoicing.
Oh, we must wake up, stretch ourselves out to believe God! Before God could bring me to this place he had to break me a thousand times. I have wept, I have groaned, I have travailed night after night till God broke me. Until God has mowed you down, you will never have this longsuffering for others.
When I was at Cardiff the Lord healed a woman right in the meeting. She was afflicted with ulceration, and while they were singing she fell full length and cried in such a way, I felt something must be done. I knelt down alongside of the woman, laid my hands on her body, and instantly the powers of the devil were destroyed and she was delivered from ulceration; rose up and joined in the singing.
We have been seeing wonderful miracles in these last days, and they are only a little of what we are going to see. When I say “going to see” I do not want to throw something out 10 years to come, nor even two years. I believe we are in the “going,” right on the threshold of wonderful things.
You must not think that these gifts fall upon you like ripe cherries. You pay a price for everything you get from God. There is nothing worth having that you do not have to pay for, either temporally or spiritually. I remember when I was at Antwerp and Brussels. The power of God was very mighty upon me there. Coming through to London I called on some friends at C-----. To show you the leading of the Lord, these friends said, “Oh, God sent you here. How much we need you!”
They sent a wire to a place where there was a young man 26 years old, who had been in bed 18 years. His body was so much bigger than an ordinary body, because of inactivity, and his legs were like a child’s; instead of bone, there was gristle. He had never been able to dress himself. When they got the wire the father dressed him and he was sitting in a chair. I felt it was one of the opportunities of my life.
I said to this young man, “What is the greatest desire of your heart?” “Oh,” he said, “that I might be filled with the Holy Ghost!” I put my hands upon him and said, “Receive, receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Instantly he became drunk with the Spirit, and fell off the chair like a big bag of potatoes. I saw what God could do with a helpless cripple. First his head began shaking terrifically; then his back began moving very fast, and then his legs, just like being in a battery. Then he spoke clearly in tongues, and we wept and praised the Lord. His legs were still as they had been, by all appearances, and this is where I missed it. These “missings” sometimes are God’s opportunities of teaching you important lessons. He will teach you through your weaknesses that which is not faith. It was not faith for me to look at that body, but human. The man who will work the works of God must never look at conditions, but at Jesus in whom everything is complete.
I looked at the boy and there was absolutely no help. I turned to the Lord and said, “Lord, tell me what to do,” and he did. He said, “Command him to walk, in my name.” This is where I missed it. I looked at his conditions and I got the father to help lift him up to see if his legs had strength. We did our best, but he and I together could not move him. Then the Lord showed me my mistake and I said, “God forgive.” I got right down and repented, and said to the Lord, “Please tell me again.” God is so good, he never leaves us to ourselves. Again he said to me, “Command him in my name to walk.” So I shouted, “Arise and walk in the name of Jesus.” Did he do it? No, I declare, he never walked: He was lifted up by the power of God in a moment and he ran. The door was wide open; he ran out across the road into a field where he ran up and down and came back. Oh it was a miracle!
There are miracles to be performed and these miracles will be accomplished by us when we understand the perfect plan of his spiritual graces which has come down to us. These things will come to us when we come to a place of brokenness, of surrender, of wholehearted yieldedness, where we decrease but where God has come to increase; and where we dwell and live in him.
Will you allow him to he the choice of your thoughts? Submit to him, the God of all grace, [1Pe 5.10] that you may be well-furnished with faith for every good work, [2Ti 3.17] that the mind of the Lord may have free course in you, run and be glorified; [2Th 3.1] that the heathen shall know, [Ek 37.28] the uttermost parts of the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the deep. [Ha 2.14]