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Christ the Healer
By F. F. Bosworth
Whitaker HouseCopyright © 2000 F. F. Bosworth
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTo Those Needing Healing
Before people can have a steadfast faith for the healing of their body, they must be rid of all uncertainty concerning God's will in the matter. Appropriating faith cannot go beyond one's knowledge of the revealed will of God. Before attempting to exercise faith for healing, one needs to know what the Scriptures plainly teach, that it is just as much God's will to heal the body as it is to heal the soul. The sermons in this book point out and explain those portions of Scripture that will forever settle this point for you. It is only by knowing that God promises what you are seeking that all uncertainty can be removed and a steadfast faith is made possible. His promises are each a revelation of what God is eager to do for us. Until we know what God's will is, there is nothing on which to base our faith.
It is important that the mind of those seeking healing be "renewed" so as to be brought into harmony with the mind of God. This is revealed in the Bible and pointed out in the following pages. Faith for the appropriation of God's promised blessings is the result of knowing and acting on God's Word (Rom. 10:17). The right mental attitude, or the "renewed mind" (Rom. 12:2), makes steadfast faith possible to all.
We are constantlyreceiving testimonies from those who, though prayed for repeatedly without success, were afterwards wonderfully healed while reading this book. Many also have been happily converted while reading these instructions.
It would surprise the world if they could read the wonderful testimonies that have come to us from all over the country. We have received more than 225,000 letters from our radio listeners and their friends, most of whom we have never seen.
The truths discussed in this book of sermons, together with "the prayer of faith," have brought healing within the grasp of many thousands of sufferers, who would not have recovered without the direct action of the Holy Spirit. To God be all the glory.
While we rejoice in these miracles, we remember that they are only external manifestations of a thousand times greater and more precious miracle that has transpired within the sacred chamber of the inner soul. The inner cause is so much more precious than the outward effect. External results from prayer are like figures in a bank book that show that you have gold deposited in the bank. The gold is more valuable than the figures.
The Word Is the Seed
Jesus said, "The Word is the seed." It is the seed of the divine life. Until the person seeking healing is sure from God's Word that it is God's will to heal him, he is trying to reap a harvest where there is no seed planted. It would be impossible for a farmer to have faith for a harvest before he was sure the seed had been planted.
It is not God's will that there shall be a harvest without the planting of the seed-without His will being known and acted on. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Freedom from sickness comes from knowing the truth. God does nothing without His Word. "He sent His Word and it healed them" are the words of the Holy Spirit (Ps. 107:20 Fenton's translation). "All His work is done in faithfulness" to His promises.
For each sick person to know that it is God's will to heal him, it is necessary for the "seed" to be planted in his mind and heart. It is not planted until it is known and received and trusted. No sinner can become a Christian before he knows that it is God's will to save him. It is the Word of God, planted and watered and steadfastly trusted, which heals both soul and body. The "seed" must remain planted and be kept watered before it can produce its harvest.
For one to say, "I believe the Lord is able to heal me" before he knows from God's Word that He is willing to heal him, is like a farmer saying, "I believe God is able to give me a harvest, without any seed being planted and watered." God can't save the soul of a man before the man himself knows God's will in the matter. Salvation is by faith-that is, by trusting the known will of God. Being healed is being saved in a physical sense.
Praying for healing with the faith-destroying words, "if it be Thy will" is not planting the "seed"; it is destroying the seed. "The prayer of faith" that heals the sick is to follow (not precede) the planting of the "seed" (the Word). Faith is based on this alone.
It is the Gospel, which the Holy Spirit says, "is the power of God unto salvation" in all its phases, both physical and spiritual. All the Gospel is for "every creature" and for "all nations." The Gospel does not leave a man in uncertainty praying with an "if it be Thy will"; it tells him what God's will is. The Holy Spirit's words, "Himself ... bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:17), are just as truly a part of the Gospel as His words, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).
Neither the spiritual nor the physical phase of the Gospel is to be applied by prayer alone. Seed is powerless until it is planted. Many, instead of saying, "Pray for me," should first say, "Teach me God's Word, so that I can intelligently cooperate for my recovery." We must know what the benefits of Calvary are before we can appropriate them by faith. David specifies: "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases."
After being sufficiently enlightened, our attitude toward sickness should be the same as our attitude toward sin. Our purpose to have our body healed should be as definite as our purpose to have our soul healed. We should not ignore any part of the Gospel. Our Substitute bore both our sins and our sicknesses that we might be delivered from them. Christ's bearing of our sins and sicknesses is surely a valid reason for trusting Him now for deliverance from both. When, in prayer, we definitely commit to God the forgiveness of our sins, we are to believe, on the authority of His Word, that our prayer is heard. We are to do the same when praying for healing.
We can be sufficiently enlightened by the promises of God by simply believing that our prayer is heard before we have experienced the answer (Mark 11:24). Following this with the observance of Hebrews 10:35-36, we can always bring to pass the fulfillment of any divine promise. It is God's will for every Christian to successfully practice Hebrews 6:11-12.
Between the time we definitely commit to God the healing of our body and the completion of our healing, we can, and should, learn one of the most valuable lessons of our Christian life. That lesson is how to observe Hebrews 10:35-36. Only divine promises can make our faith steadfast. After Jonah had prayed for mercy, he did not cast away his confidence because there was no visible proof that his prayer was answered. No, he held fast his confidence and added to it, in advance, the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Jonah 2:9). In Hebrews 13:15 the Holy Spirit commands us all to do this "continually."
God's promises work their wonders while we see and act on eternal realities (on His promises, His faithfulness, etc.), as we refuse to be affected by temporal things to the contrary. God always fulfills His promises when He can get the right cooperation. He always accepts us and undertakes for us when we observe Mark 11:24 and Hebrews 10:35-36. "With long life will I satisfy him" is God's promise to be appropriated by all (Ps. 91:16).
In Proverbs 4:20-22 we have the most comprehensive instructions as to how to receive healing:
Attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
The Word of God cannot be health to either soul or body before it is heard, received, and attended to. Notice here that the Words of God are life only to those that "find" them. If you want to receive life and healing from God, take time to find the words of Scripture that promise these results.
When God's Word becomes health to all your flesh, your cancer will be gone, your tumor will be gone, and your goiter will be gone. We have seen the Word, when received and acted on, produce these results thousands of times. The flesh of thousands today is unhealthy flesh because they have failed to "find" and "attend" to that part of God's Word that produces healing. This is the divine method of receiving the blessings that God has provided for us. Many have failed to receive healing simply because they have not followed this method.
God says that when we do as we are told in the Scripture, His Words are made "health to all our flesh." It matters not what particular kind of unhealthy flesh-whether cancer, goiter, tumor-God says, "health to all their flesh." Whose flesh? Those who "find" and "attend" to the Words of God on the subject. This is exactly the same way that the Word of God becomes health to the soul.
In this comprehensive passage, God tells us exactly how to "attend" to His Words. He says, "Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart." Instead of having your eyes on your symptoms and being occupied with them, let God's Words not "depart from thine eyes." Look at them continually and, like Abraham, wax strong in faith by looking at the promises of God and at nothing else. As the only way a seed can do its work is by being kept in the ground, so the only way that God's "imperishable seed" can "effectually work in us" is by it being kept "in the midst of our hearts." This does not mean occasionally, but continuously. The reason why many have failed is because they have not done this.
Must Do as Farmers Do
When we attend to God's Words by not letting them depart from before our eyes and by keeping them in the midst of our hearts, the seed is in "good ground." This is the kind of ground in which, Jesus says, "It bringeth forth fruit." Paul says, "It effectually worketh." When the farmer gets his seed into the ground, he does not dig it up every day to see how it is doing, but says, "I am glad that is settled." He believes the seed has begun its work. Why not have this same faith in the "imperishable seed"-Christ's Words, which He says are "spirit and life." Believe that they are already doing their work, without waiting to see. If the farmer, without any definite promise, can have faith in nature, why can't the Christian have faith in the God of nature.
The psalmist said, "Thy Word hath quickened me." Paul tells us that it is the Word, which "effectually worketh" in them that believe. Every Word of God is "spirit and life" and will work in us when we receive and "attend" to it. When we receive and obey the Word of God, we can say with Paul, "The power of God worketh in me mightily." Thus the Word of God becomes the power of God. It is "spirit and life." If a field in which the seed has been sown could talk to us, it would say, "The seed worketh in me mightily."
Three Essential Things
This passage in Proverbs shows us the method of obtaining results from the promises in God's Word:
1. There must be the attentive ear. "Incline thine ear unto my sayings."
2. There must be the steadfast look. "Let them not depart from thine eyes."
3. There must be the enshrining heart. "Keep them in the midst of thine heart."
When your eyes are upon your symptoms and your mind is occupied with them more than with God's Word, you have in the ground the wrong kind of seed for the harvest that you desire. You have in the ground seeds of doubt. You are trying to raise one kind of crop from another kind of seed. It is impossible to sow tares and reap wheat. Your symptoms may point you to death, but God's Word points you to life, and you cannot look in these opposite directions at the same time.
Which Kind of Seed Do You Have?
Which kind of seed do you have in the ground? "Let not God's Word depart from thine eyes; keep it in the midst of thine heart." That is, look steadfastly and continuously and only at the evidence God gives for your faith. God says to all incurables, "every one that looketh shall live." The word "looketh" is in the continuous present tense. It does not mean a mere glance, but "let [His Words] not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart."
The motives that call for our attention are exceedingly powerful. It is our heavenly Father who speaks. All Heaven is behind His Words. The things that are spoken are of quickening and invigorating virtue. They are life to such as find them, and health, not only to the soul, but to the body, not to a particular part of it, but to "all their flesh."
A medicine effectual to the cure of a single member of the body might make the inventor wealthy. Here is a medicine for all the flesh-from your head to your feet. Here is a Physician of infinite ability-"... who healeth all thy diseases."
The Evidence of Things Not Seen
After you have planted your seed, you believe it is growing before you see it grow. This is faith that is "the evidence of things not seen." In Christ we have perfect evidence for faith. Any man or woman can get rid of his or her doubts by looking steadfastly and only at the evidence that God has given for our faith. Seeing only what God says will produce and increase faith. This will make it easier to believe than to doubt. The evidences for faith are so much stronger than those for doubting. Don't doubt your faith; doubt your doubts, for they are unreliable.
Oh, what a means of blessing is the look of faith to Christ! There is life, light, liberty, love, joy, guidance, wisdom, understanding, perfect health. There is everything in a steadfast look at the Crucified One. No one ever looks in vain to the Great Physician.
Every one that looked at the brazen serpent, the type of Christ, lived. "And their faces were not ashamed," says the psalmist. They were all, humanly speaking, incurable, but they were both forgiven and healed by looking. He who trusts Christ has no need to be ashamed of his confidence. Time and eternity will both justify his reliance on God.
This book will show those needing healing just what part of the Word of God they are to receive and "attend" to. Some have been miraculously healed while reading the next sermon in this book.
Excerpted from Christ the Healer by F. F. Bosworth Copyright © 2000 by F. F. Bosworth. Excerpted by permission.
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