This is taken from a book written by Marie Woodworth-Etter
"Signs and Wonders"
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON DIVINE HEALING
WHAT is divine healing?
Divine healing is the act of God's grace, by the direct power of the Holy Spirit, by which the physical body is delivered from sickness and disease and restored to soundness and health.
Have we any promise in the Bible that Divine healing was ever intended to be an attainable blessing to the people of God?
Yes. There are many such promises. We find it given to the people of Israel in a special covenant promise. "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, 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 the Lord that healeth thee." Ex. 15. 26. "And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee." Ex. 23. 25.
Does the Bible prove that any of the people of God ever enjoyed this blessing?
Yes. We read that even before this covenant blessing was promised the physical condition of the people was perfect, which indicates plainly that God had a special interest in their health. See Ps. 105. 37. There were at least two and one-half million people in the Exodus from Egypt, "and there was not one feeble person among their tribes." Moses enjoyed this blessing in a special manner. Deut. 34. 7. So also did Caleb in an unusual experience of preservation and health to an old age. Josh. 14. 10, 11. David personally knew of the benefits and blessings of healing. Ps. 6. 2; 30. 2; 103. 1-4. Whenever Israel lived up to the covenant conditions; they all had the benefits of healing and health. Ps. 107. 20; 2 Chron. 30. 20. Hezekiah had a personal experience of the same. 2 Kings 20. 1-5.
Was this blessing ever promised to anyone else than the Jews?
Yes. It is given in prophecy as a redemption blessing, which, together with all other gospel blessings through Christ, is offered to both Jew and Gentile. Gal. 3. 27-29.
What does prophesy say about divine healing?
There is more said about it in prophecy than we have time at present to read, but I will just quote a few verses, and the rest can be read at your leisure. " Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing." Isa. 35. 5, 6. This very prophecy is referred to by Jesus Himself in Matt. 11. 5, 6, where it was daily being fulfilled, "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." Another very plain prophecy is found in Isa. 53. 4 "Surely He hath borne our grief's, and carried our sorrows." The fulfilment of this wonderful voice of inspiration is found in Matt. 8. 17 - "Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." It is admitted by all reliable translators and the most eminent Hebrew scholars, such as Barnes, Magee, Young and Leeser, that Isa. 53. 4 in its literal rendering corresponds exactly with Matt. 8. 17. We see, therefore, that the latter is a direct reference to the former. Then the beautiful prophecy of salvation and healing is found in the following verse, viz.: Isaiah 53. 5-" 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." These prophecies all point to the Redemption work of Jesus, which finds its centre in the Cross. The apostle Peter refers to this verse just quoted in the following language: "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." 1 Pet. 2. 24. The following references will enable you to see that more is said in prophecy about healing: Isaiah 42. 7; Isaiah 61. 1. Fulfilled in Luke 4. 18-21. Prophecy in Mal. 4. 2. Fulfilled in Matt. 4. 16; Luke 1. 78, 79. These are all fulfilled in redemption.
Do you believe that the Bible teaches divine healing as a redemption blessing?
Yes. Do you not see how plain this is made in the prophecies just quoted and in their fulfilment? Jesus worked in every respect, in His life, ministry, death and resurrection, just according to the redemption plan. His words and deeds are the divine expression of this redemption plan, and we can clearly see that healing for the body is placed upon equality with healing for the soul. Both are obtained upon the same grounds, obedience and faith.
Can a person possess salvation without healing?
Yes, he may. While both are obtained by faith, yet they may not both be obtained by the same act of faith. Jesus will be to us just what our faith takes Him for.
Did Jesus heal everybody?
Yes; all who came to Him in faith. Read Matt. 4. 23, 24 and Matt. 12. 15.
But they did not seem to have faith, did they?
Yes. If you read the references just mentioned, you will notice the people "came to Him" for healing, and "followed Him." At Nazareth, His own town, where He had been brought up, He could do no great work among them, because of their unbelief. At Capernaum, where some of the most remarkable healings were wrought, the people were a believing people. Out of nineteen of the most prominent individual cases of healing in the ministry of Christ and the apostles, there are twelve of these where their faith is spoken of. The rest are mentioned sufficiently plainly to show that faith brought the healing in every case.
Did not Jesus heal arbitrarily, for the sole purpose of establishing His divinity?
No. He healed according to the law of redemption, and because of His great compassion to suffering humanity. Matt. 14.14.
Did not healing cease when Jesus finished His earthly ministry?
No. It was more wonderfully manifested in the ministry of the apostles after the day of Pentecost. Acts 5. 12,16; 3. 1-16; 14. 8-10; 9. 17, 18; 8. 6-8; 19. 11, 12; 14. 19, 20; 9. 33-35; 9. 36-42; 20. 8-12; 28. 3-6, 8. This proves clearly that divine healing is a redemption blessing for the entire Holy Spirit dispensation.
But we are taught that it was only for the beginning of the gospel dispensation. How about that?
The Bible does not teach any such doctrine.
But it does teach that "when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." 1 Cor. 13. 10. How about this?
This scripture has no reference to divine healing or any of the redemption blessings, that they shall be done away in this dispensation. If there ever has been a time in this dispensation when it could have been said with reference to the full possession and manifestation of the gospel blessings, that "that which is perfect is come," it was when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost; but we see after this mighty works of salvation and healing, and they were in no sense "done away" with, but were greatly increased. So you see the "done away" argument has no scriptural basis whatever. As long as the dispensation of grace shall last, so long shall the benefits of grace be extended to "whomsoever will."
Well, then, when was divine healing done away?
In the design of God it was never done away.
Do you mean to say that it was perpetuated in the primitive church?
Certainly it was. History shows that for several centuries there was no other means of healing practised in the church.
But what after that?
Just what crowded out all other gospel truths-the superstitions and unbelief of the apostasy. But, thank God, the darkness is past and the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings is shining salvation and health to all who will forsake all their old doctrines, creeds and superstitions, and get back upon the old apostolic foundation, the Word of God.
But how may I know that it is still God's will to heal?
Just as you may know that it is His will to save by His Word. His Word is His will.
But it may be His will not to heal me.
You must go outside of God's Word to find standing ground for such a conclusion; for there is nothing inside of the Bible about healing but what corresponds with our blessed text: "Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." Most people who argue that it might not be God's will to heal them are at the same time taking medicine and employing every possible human agency to get well. Why be so inconsistent? Why fight against God's will. If it is His will for you not to get well, then die. Stop fighting against God.
But does not sickness come from God as a blessing?
No. It never comes from God only in a permissive sense, the same as a temptation comes to us; and sickness is never a blessing to us only as any other temptation or trial may be considered a blessing. The blessing is in the deliverance and healing. Every person who has ever experienced the healing touch of God knows what a blessing to the soul comes with it. Sickness is an abnormal condition of the body and cannot be a blessing from God.
If it does not come from God, then where does it come from?
It comes from the Devil and was always dealt with by Jesus in His earthly ministry as a work of the Devil. The Word of God plainly teaches us that the Devil is the author of disease. Read John 2. 7; Luke 13. 16; Acts 10. 38.
But are there not some other scriptures that teach us that sickness comes from God?
Only in a permissive sense
Does the Bible teach us that God intends to be the Healer of His people without the use of medicine?
Yes. It nowhere commands the use of medicine with prayer and faith.
But how about Hezekiah's figs, the blind man's clay, and Timothy's wine?
It is true Isaiah told Hezekiah to take a lump of figs, but this has nothing to do with the New Testament means of healing. Also it is very evident that the figs did not heal him; but God said, "I will heal thee." Jesus did not use the clay on the eyes of the blind man for any curative power, for He commanded the man at once to go and wash it off. No one has heard of blindness from birth being healed by the use of clay as a medicine since then, or ever before. It is evident that the spittle and clay were used by Jesus as a requirement of submission and obedience from the blind man. The thought must have been repulsive and humiliating to him as the clay was applied to his eyes, but, like Naaman, he submitted and obeyed and received the blessing unspeakable, of healing. Wine was recommended to Timothy as an article of diet, and would not be objectionable to day, in its proper use, under similar circumstances.
Are not medicines recognised in the Word of God?
Yes. Let us read how it recognises them. "Thou hast no healing medicines." Jer. 30. 13. "In vain shalt thou use many medicines." Jer. 46. 11. "A merry heart doeth good (like) medicine" (there is no Hebrew for the word "like," showing that the merry heart is the medicine). Prov. 17. 22. "And the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." Ezek. 47. 12. This latter reference is prophetical of the tree of life and divine healing. See Rev. 22. 2. Thus we see the Word of God places no intrinsic value upon medicine.
Is not the ministry of physicians for the body designed of God, the same as the ministry of the gospel for the soul?
No. The greater portion of the physicians of the land are ungodly people, many of them professed infidels, and were never designed of God to administer drugs and poisons to anyone; much less to the people of God, whose bodies are the sacred temples of the Holy Spirit. The true ministers of the gospel are the ministers for soul and body. "And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere." Luke 9. 6. "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." Mark 16. 20.
But is not the ministry of physicians recognised in the Bible?
Yes. Let us read how it recognises them. "But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value." Job. 13. 4. " And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great; yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians." 2 Chron. 16. 12. "And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse." Mark 5. 26. These scriptures show that the Bible gives no very favourable recognition of physicians.
Was not anointing with oil the mode of doctoring in Bible times?
No. While some kinds of oil may have some medical value for some kinds of diseases, it was not at all designed for any such use in connection with the prayer of faith in healing the sick. If anointing was the mode of doctoring, the church would have had no need of instruction in this respect; for it would have been a common practice everywhere by the doctors, and had this been the mind of the apostle, then he would have assigned the work of anointing to the doctors, "Elders are not Masseurs."
MARIA WOODWORTH ETTER
is called the grandmother of the Pentecostal Movement and was born in 1844 in Lisbon, Ohio. "I heard the voice of Jesus calling me to go out in the highways and hedges and gather in the lost sheep." We have to remember that when sister Etter was called by God, we as a nation did not allow women to vote, let alone preach from a pulpit.
Even though she was called of God she did not answer that call immediately. She could not see in the physical realm a way to accomplish her calling outside of marrying a missionary. This became the first mistake. When God calls us to a work, we must let Him sweat the details of its accomplishment. All we can do is surrender to the work and then move as God says to move. Consequent of her lack of faith to proceed, she married a man that was not even a Christian. We know that the Word of God forbids us to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and this would cause strain and trouble in her life.
Exhausted and frustrated as mother of six children, God continued to call her. After losing five of her six children and never growing bitter against God, she began to search the Word and she discovered that women were used throughout the Bible by the Lord.
Moved by Joel’s prophecy predicting that the Spirit of God would be poured out upon men and women, Maria continued in her studies. After God showed her a vision of His power, she humbly said "yes" to His call on her life. Can you see, when she began to get into the Word of God it fed her faith? You may not see in the physical what you feel God is wanting to do, but when you open the bible, your faith gets fed and blossoms to the place where you begin to accept and believe what God wants to do.
Not having any idea of what she was doing or what to say, Maria would just open her mouth and the Lord would put His Word in her mouth just as He told her. People would begin to cry and either run out or run forward to receive Christ. After this she was highly sought out in her community and soon she expanded her ministry westward and held nine revivals, preached two hundred sermons and started two churches. God honored this woman and made up for her lost years.
The power of God began to fall over her flock as she preached. Many people would come to the altar and "fall to the floor" the faces would shine as they praised the Lord. This soon became known as "Pentecost Power". While hundreds flocked to receive the same, many others came to observe or ridicule. Doctors came from different cities to investigate the trances. Unlike the "dead" church order of the late 1800’s, Maria believed in shouting, dancing, singing, and preaching. She believed that emotional displays were important, as long as they were in order. She believed that a lack of physical manifestation was a sign of abandonment of their faith.
Etta continued to study the Word and began preaching His divine will in healing. Soon thousands were won to Christ as a result of seeing others healed. Many received gifts, some for ministry, some for evangelist and some for healing. Etta was the only leading evangelist of the Holiness Movement who embraced the experience of speaking in tongues.
Many other ministers were in opposition to her due to their lack of understanding the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. She hardly ever defended herself but she would tell others that she was called to do the work of God and lead others to Jesus. Even when faced with opposition or harassed in a life threatening situation she would refuse to leave till she finished what she had come there for. Etta once wrote that she believed the Lord would always put His mighty power on her and took away all fear.
After forty-five years of ministry and preaching sermons from coast to coast, God urged Maria to build a permanent location in West Indianapolis. She built the church next to her home and ministered there the last six years of her life. In 1924, now eighty years old, she was frail and weak. So the church built a big wooden chair for her and when she was too weak to walk to church, some men would take the chair to her house, put her in it and carry her to church. The moment the chair hit the floor, she would gain strength and get up to preach. Not too long after Maria Woodworth-Etter went to be with the Lord.