“I Am” Not “I Was”
Healing is the will of God. Jesus has never changed. The fact that He is Jehovah Rapha in the Old Testament did not cease. He did not say, “I am Jehova Rapha for a little while.” He said, “I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26). “I am” is always “I am” and has never become “I was.” Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58) and He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). There are seven “I am’s” in the gospel of John, and those “I am’s” still exist today.
Healing was attached to the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. You cannot separate divine healing from the forgiveness of sins. They go hand in hand throughout the Word of God.
It is important to confess the promises of God. When we are speaking the Word of God, our words have power. When people hear the term “confession”, they often mistakenly think that it is referring to speaking positive, good things. The world can say good things but there is no power behind it. True confession is speaking the promises of God and there is power in the Word of God.
vs. 20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
It is important to quote the promises of God. His words need to become our words, part of our daily vocabulary. When Jesus was pressured by the circumstances and temptations that Satan brought to Him, each time He responded, “It is written. It is written. It is written.”Jesus demonstrated the importance of speaking the promises of God.
Jesus is the High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1), not only in the confession of the new birth or the confession of our sins but in every confession we make that is line with the Word of God.
Speaking “Death” Words
There is another side to confession that we do not often hear about. Jesus used this method in healing the sick.
vs. 21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
The way most Christians refer to this verse is, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, so let’s just speak life words.” If I were to say, “We are going to discuss death words today,” immediately defenses would go up. People would begin to think, “Whoa…wait a minute. We’re not supposed to speak death words.” But this thinking is wrong. We are to speak death words; we are to speak them to the kingdom of Satan. Life and death are in the power of our tongue.
In the power of our words, we not only bind, we also loose. Binding and loosing was a ministry that was given to us.
James 4:7 not only says, “Submit to God”, it also says, “Resist that devil and he will flee from you.”
Jesus is Our Example
By looking at the way Jesus healed, some areas of confusion will be dispelled. He is our example. He was not sent to earth with a ministry that ended when He left this earth. He did not leave us here to struggle in finding out how we are supposed to minister to others. Jesus is our example. Chapters 4 and 5 of Ephesians tell us that Jesus is the example the Church is to emulate.
vs. 14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
vs. 15 “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
vs. 38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.”
When we see that word “healing”, we immediately think of praying for the sick. But why is it necessary to pray for something that has already been done? It is useless to pray, “God save Aunt Suzie” because God has already saved her through His Son, Jesus Christ. We need to pray that others will receive what Jesus has already done for them on the cross. It is useless to pray, “Lord, send the Holy Spirit on Uncle Joe.” The Holy Spirit was already sent to us on the Day of Pentecost. In Acts chapter 8, Philip went to the city of Samaria and a great outpouring of God’s power occurred. People were being saved by masses in the city. When Peter and John came from Jerusalem to pray for them, they prayed that the people might receive the Holy Spirit.
The same thing is true for healing. First Peter 2:24 tells us, “By his stripes, we WERE healed.” “Were” is past tense.
God has already sent His divine healing power. Why should we pray for something that God has already done?
The Fig Tree
vs. 12 “Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry.”
vs. 13 “And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.”
vs. 14 “In response, Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.
The words Jesus spoke went right to the roots of the fig tree. The next day, as Jesus and the disciples passed by the same tree, Peter noticed that the tree was dried up from the roots. He remembered what Jesus had spoken to the tree the day before and said, “Look, Jesus! The tree You cursed yesterday has dried up from the roots!” Peter understood that when a tree dries from the roots, the results do not appear immediately. It usually takes a day for the leaves to turn color and begin to fall off. Our faith-filled words go into the roots of our problems.
Apparently, this fig tree had ears and when Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again” the tree heard His words and died at the roots. The words Jesus spoke were not wonderful, edifying words. The words that Jesus spoke to the tree were words of cursing, but the cursing was applied to the kingdom of Satan.
The fig tree represented the barrenness of the religion of Israel; they were only able to offer leaves, but could not offer fruit. It may have looked good on the outside, but the deeper you look, the more emptiness you find. The same is true of the world system. God has already cursed the world system, which is Satan’s system. It is important that we learn who to curse and who to bless. The sword of the Spirit was not meant to be used against others, the sword was meant to be used against the kingdom of Satan.
We are to use our mouths to bless the kingdom of God and to bless one another, but God also gave us the authority and ability to curse the things of Satan that come against us.
When we face problems, we often try to analyze and figure them out. We may have a problem on the job or in our family and we may spend a long time trying to rationalize and determine where the problem is coming from. The root of our problems is in the spirit world and they began with Satan. Therefore, we need to take authority over them. We need to speak to them and curse them. Our words will go to the root of the problem. We may not see an immediate change, but the roots have been severed and the tree is dead.
How Jesus Ministered to the Sick
vs. 38 “Who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Exactly how did Jesus minister to the sick?
vs. 33 “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,”
vs. 34 “saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
vs. 35 “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.”
vs. 36 “Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
vs. 37 “And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.”
vs. 38 “Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.”
vs. 39 “So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.”
vs. 40 “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”
vs. 41 “And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.”
In verses 35, 39, and 40 the same Greek word is used for the word “rebuke.” Jesus rebukedthe demon and it came out. Jesus rebuked the fever and it left. Jesus rebuked demons and commanded them not to speak and they shut up! We find Jesus using the word “rebuke”over and over again.
The Greek word for “rebuked” is “epitimao.” “Epi” means “above” or “higher.” “Timao” means “to judge.” The word “epitimao” literally means “to judge from a higher position” or “to judge from a higher authority.”
When Jesus saw sickness or He saw demons, He judged them from a higher authority. He knew that Satan was under Him. The same principle is found when Jesus met the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13). In essence, the centurion said, “I recognize you and I recognize Your authority, for I am a man of authority, having soldiers under me. I say to one man, ‘Go’, and he goes; to another man ‘Come’, and he comes. All you need to do is speak the word and my servant will be healed.”
Jesus marveled at the centurion’s understanding of authority and told His disciples, “This man has great faith.”
Jesus Rebuked Sickness, Disease, and Demons
Demons have ears and they can hear. Demons respond when a believer rebukes them in the name of Jesus.
vs. 17 “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
The disciples came to Jesus rejoicing that the devils were subject to them in Jesus’ name. Notice, they said, “Even the demons are subject to us.” The word “subject” indicates that they understood that they were operating in a higher authority than the demons. They had suddenly discovered the principle of authority.
vs. 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Jesus said, “You have power to tread on them…that means they are under your feet…you have authority over disease, sickness, and demons.” That same authority belongs to us!
Just as demons have ears, so does sickness and it can hear. Notice, Jesus rebuked the fever, the same way He rebuked the demon. In fact, the same Greek word is used in both cases. Jesus did not pray for the sick, He rebuked the sickness. Demons knew that Jesus was the Christ and that He had come to destroy them. Demons knew that Jesus had come to destroy their works and undo their kingdom.
Jesus also knew it and based upon the authority given, He rebuked demons.
We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Angels are not seated with Him in heavenly places; we are. His authority has been given to us. The way that Jesus ministered while on earth has been given to us. What does He want us to do? When was the last time you rebuked sickness? Most of us pray. That is fine, but the only reference to praying for the sick is found in James 5:14. I do not believe that this scripture means that we are to pray for God to heal them. James 5:15 says that “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” I believe that what we are to pray for in faith is that the sick will receive the healing that has already been provided. That is what the prayer of faith is for.
Jesus, Our Example
Jesus is our example in ministering to the needs of others. He rebuked sickness. He rebuked disease. Sickness can hear. Disease can hear. The tree heard and it died. Some may say, “Well, isn’t this a little far-fetched? I mean, even nature responding to our words?” Think about how God created the universe. He spoke to it. God said, “Light, be.” Apparently, light had ears because light became. He spoke to the ground to produce and the ground produced. It heard. He spoke to the animals to be fruitful and multiply, and they did. Nature has ears.
Sickness and disease come from Satan. Jesus used the same word against sickness that He used against disease and demons. When Jesus rebuked sickness, it heard. When He said, “Fever, I rebuke you”, the fever heard.
In Mark 11, Jesus did not say, “Whoever prays unto God to remove this mountain.” No, He said, “Whoever says unto this mountain.” We are to SPEAK to the mountains in our lives. We are to SPEAK to sickness because sickness has ears; it can hear. When we rebuke in the name of Jesus, we are speaking from a higher position of authority. Satan has been put under our feet. In fact, even the angels are below us in authority.
vs. 13 “But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?”
vs. 14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
This gives us a clearer understanding of why, in Jude 9, Michael, the archangel, when contending with Satan for the body of Moses, said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Michael needed the Lord to rebuke Satan because Michael did not have the authority to speak to Satan in this manner. But the name of Jesus and the ministry of Jesus have been given to us, and He becomes our example. Therefore, we have the authority to simply walk up to sickness and rebuke it. We can say, “Cancer, I’m speaking to you. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. You have been placed under my feet through the shed blood, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that, I speak to you as Jesus spoke to you. Leave my body now!”
We have so often used only one side of confession. We have been speaking to God, which is fine. Every promise in Him is “yes”, and back from Him, “Amen.” But there is another side to confession. With this mouth, we can bless and with this mouth we can curse. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. We so often say, “I’m just going to speak life.” But there is also a time to speak death into the kingdom of death and tell death to leave my body alone. We should say, “Death, I speak death to you. Sickness, I speak death to you. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. Leave my body now!”
In Matthew 8:26, Jesus rebuked the winds. You may think, “You mean, storms have ears? Tornados have ears?” Yes, anything that comes from Satan can hear and God is often waiting for us to speak. Jesus is our example and He spoke. He spoke to death, He spoke to sickness and disease, and He spoke to demons. We should do the same.
vs. 18 “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.”
The Greek word for “rebuked” is again, “epitimao.” This word is used over and over and over again and is the main way that Jesus ministered to those who were sick or demon possessed.
Love the People, Hate the Works of Satan
vs. 23 “Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,”
vs. 24 “saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
vs. 25 “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
Who is the “him” that Jesus rebuked? It was the demon. We use our mouth to both bless and curse. We need to learn who to bless and who to curse. We are to love people but hate the works of Satan. We are to hate sin but love the sinner. Know the difference. We do not cast sinners out of the church. We cast sin out of the person through salvation. We hate homosexuality but we love homosexuals. We hate adultery, but we love the adulterer. Jesus hated the demon but loved the demon-possessed man. In this scripture Jesus is found speaking to the demon, exercising His authority to redeem and set this man free.
vs. 26 “And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.”
People were amazed and shocked at the authority that Jesus had. Satan cannot tolerate a believer who understands his authority and will use that authority against him with the Name that is above every name!
So often we think we need to pray to God and beg Him for Jesus’ power to come. But Jesus has already risen into heaven and given His ministry to us. He said, “the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12). In addition, He gave us the power to do those works, and it is the power of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came on us, we received the same anointing and power as Jesus did. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, and now that same anointing has come to us so we can complete the mission Jesus began on this earth. We have the right to rebuke because of our position in the Lord Jesus Christ. We epitimao, we judge from a higher position.
vs. 25 “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
vs. 26 “Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
vs. 27 “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.”
Is hate allowed in the Christian life? Yes, we can hate the works of the devil, but love the people of God. Love the sinners of this world and that you have the authority to deliver them, but hate the kingdom of Satan.
Jesus was angry in the temple one day, but He did not sin. The Bible says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Jesus was a great example of this scripture. Jesus had an anger and hatred toward the things of Satan. He had hatred toward sickness, disease, bondage, strife; all of the ways that the devil tries to bring defeat and discouragement to our lives. We should have the same hatred towards the works of Satan and rebuke them in our families, in our bodies, in our own lives, and in the lives of others who are being defeated by the attacks of Satan. We need to stop asking God to do what He has already done. He desires that we walk in His victory; take His words and the ministry of Jesus that have been given to us to rebuke the works of Satan.
Paul Rebuked Demons
vs. 16 “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her master’s much profit by fortune-telling.”
vs. 17 “This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”
The Greek word for “divination” is “python, a spirit of python.” This is referring to fortune telling. Notice, the demons spoke through this girl in the same way they spoke to Jesus. They acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God.
vs. 11 “And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.”
vs. 7 “And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
vs. 41 “And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.”
vs. 28 “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”
You may wonder why demons would acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God. It was so that when Jesus left the earth, people would believe that demons were messengers of God and would continue to follow them. That is the reason this girl followed Paul saying, “These are servants of the Most High God. They have come to bring us the way of salvation.” Once Paul left the city, demons wanted those who had followed Paul to believe that she was of God so they would continue following the demons who were driving her to speak.
vs. 18 “And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.”
Apparently, it took Paul a few days to realize that this girl was motivated by a demon. Notice, Paul did not pray for the girl. He rebuked the demon and commanded it to turn her loose. He had a love for the person, but a hate for the works of the Satan in her life.
We as believers, need to wake up and stop allowing Satan to tread all over us. It is time for us to tread all over him. It is time for us to rise up in our authority, take the name of Jesus, and begin to rebuke the works of Satan. We are not only to rebuke Satan, we are to rebuke the works of Satan. Speak to the mountain. Speak to the disease. Speak to the debt. Speak to the rebellion of those in the family. Jesus rebuked demons. Jesus rebuked fevers. Fevers, sickness, disease, and problems have ears. And when they hear the authority behind our rebuke, they must bow.