14Apr

War Stories #12

Recently I was reading John 14:17 (NKJV), “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

As I read this scripture I saw a truth which I had not previously seen, “Jesus disciples were neither born again nor baptized in the Holy Spirit during the time He was with them. They merely operated in faith, under the anointing of the Spirit that was with them. It was not until after Jesus was raised from the dead that He actually commissioned them.  “And Jesus said to them, ‘Peace to you!  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He said this, He breathed on them, and said‘Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22

For the first time in my Christian life I realized that before Jesus was raised from the dead, the twelve disciples did not have the Holy Spirit living within them like you and I do.  The Spirit of truth dwelled with them, but he was not in them.

Neither did the seventy disciples that Jesus sent out in Luke 10:1 have the Holy Spirit living in them, but He was with them. Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons, freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8).

So here we have Jesus’ disciples being told to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils and they are neither born again, or were they baptized in the Holy Spirit.

They can’t be born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit until Jesus is raised from the dead, and the Holy Spirit is poured out on Pentecost.

Now if Jesus’ disciples could heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons at His command, before they were born again and baptized in the Spirit, then we who have been born again, and baptized in the Holy Spirit, have absolutely no excuse for not doing so.

Young believers often rely on the practice of laying on of hands and anointing with oil to heal the sick.  But there is more to healing than just laying your hands on people or anointing people with oil; just as there is more to salvation than just praying a salvation prayer.  The laying on of hands and the anointing of people with oil are just a point of contact.  They will not heal a person, unless faith is released by the one praying and the one being prayed for.

“Laying on of hands” and anointing a person with oil is the point of contact by which a person releases their faith in God’s word. It is a doctrine of the Church. (Hebrews 6:1-2 and James 5:14-15)

But if we do not know what God’s word says, we cannot release our faith in God for healing by “laying on of hands” or by “anointing them with oil”.

The reason that “laying on of hands” or “anointing with oil” is not always successful is that we often lay our hands on people or anoint them with oil without first teaching the people God’s word concerning these matters. In such cases the laying on of hands or anointing with oil simply becomes a ritual or a formality and the person with whom we are praying releases no faith.

We have somehow gotten the idea that Jesus healed everyone He met that needed healing. But that couldn’t be true because in Acts 3:2 when Peter and John went into the gate of the temple called beautiful, just a few days after Jesus had ascended into heaven, they found a man laying at that gate who was crippled from birth, begging for alms. The scripture says that “this man was laid daily at the Gate of the temple which is called beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.” It had been only a few days since Jesus had walked through the same gate.  But when Peter and John walked through the beautiful gate just days after Jesus had walked through the same gate they encountered this same man and Peter healed him.

In War Story No. 12 above, I described how I prayed for the healing of the lame man in Washington DC. I did so without hesitation, because years ago I had learned how to pray for people who have pain in their back, and were having trouble walking. (See War Story No. 2)

I learned to pray for people who have pain in their back by setting them down in a straight back chair, lifting their legs with both hands and allowing the individual for whom I am praying to observe that one of the legs is shorter than the other.  You might be thinking “will one leg always be shorter than the other”?  The answer is nearly always yes.

Let the person that you are praying for watch as the short leg extends to the same length as the other leg.  When the leg begins to lengthen, it will cause the individual receiving the healing to release their faith.

I suggest that you, the individual who is reading this War Story, find someone among your family or your friends who has experience back trouble, and check the length of their legs.  You do so by sitting them down in a straight back chair with their buttocks up against the back of the chair.  Check their heels.  Are they together with each the same length or is one heel extended longer than the other?  Often younger people may have a difference in leg length without an accompanying back pain, but as they grow older and more ridged the pain is sure to occur.

OK, now you are holding the Individuals legs off the floor. And you have found one leg to be longer than the other. Now in the “name of Jesus” command the shorter leg to lengthen.  It may take a while, don’t get nervous and give up.  Just wait for the correction to occur.

This is the way I prayed for the man who was healed in the Washington DC Conference.  Betty Priddy was standing beside me and Peter Reding our National Treasurer, was standing beside the man I was praying for, adding their faith to the healing miracle that this man experienced.

Bob Bignold
National President
Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America