And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of
sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame
went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people
who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who
were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed
It’s nearly impossible not to notice the
threefold aspect of Jesus’ ministry. Everywhere He went he did three
things: He preached the Gospel, He healed the sick, and He cast out
demons. On occasion He multiplied food, walked on water or did various
other miracles, but nearly every ministry day included the three
mainstays of what Jesus Christ considered the Gospel: preaching,
healing, and delivering people from the bonds of Satan.
Today, most of the supernatural aspects of
the ministry of the Gospel have been discounted. Some who call
themselves Christians actually believe that Jesus did no miraculous
works; perhaps a few psychosomatic healings, but by and large the
healings and such were invented by the apostles and later writers. Some
more serious believers hold that the miraculous did indeed take place in
biblical days, and even expect to see a miraculous return of Christ on a
horse in the clouds, but that no supernatural ministry takes should be
looked for today. Miraculous healing mysteriously ceased after the First
Century, and modern claims from preachers and teachers on the lunatic
fringe of Christianity are suspect at best, and possibly even
The underlying thought is: "If I don’t see
these manifestations in my ministry or the ministry of my associates,
then I must find a rationale for its absence." Hence elaborate theories
of cessationism, dispensationalism and the like are developed, and the
church loses not only the power that Jesus’ ministry had, but the
compassion as well. A better response might be: "If I don’t see
miraculous healing in my ministry and it seems to be the norm in the
Bible—I better find out what’s missing and correct it!"
Why are people so afraid of deception when it
comes to something that is put forth so straightforwardly and commonly
in the Word of God? Healing, deliverance and other miraculous
manifestations were the norm in biblical days. In the Old
Testament, prophets and other leaders experienced angelic visitations,
parted seas and rivers, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out
demons with their musical instruments and much more. In the New
testament it was not simply a chosen few that were gifted in the
miraculous; God opened the playing field wide open. Jesus and the
apostles preached, healed and cast out demons. The seventy of Luke 10
did likewise. In Mark chapter sixteen, supernatural signs and wonders
are promised to all who believe the Gospel. In the Bible miracles aren’t
the exception, but the norm!
Furthermore, miracles and healings in no way
ceased after the apostolic age, but continued through the entire church
age. To be sure, large portions of the church lost the original vision
and began to operate in a more political than spiritual manner, but
various individuals and groups can be found at almost any period of time
healing the sick, casting out demons, prophesying and working miracles.
Since the Pentecostal revival of the early Twentieth Century such
phenomena have become much more widespread. In fact, the largest second
largest group of Christians in the world (after the Roman Catholic) are
those who believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and accompanying
signs and wonders.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of
Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who
The Greek word for "salvation" that the
Apostle Paul uses in this verse is soteria. The verb form of the
same word is sozos, "to save." We think of salvation as believing
in Jesus Christ for the saving of our soul, forgiveness of sins, and
eternal life. That’s part of the picture—the Bible calls that part
"justification"—but it by no means exhausts the biblical definition of
the term. The Bible uses the same word to describe being saved from a
shipwreck, delivered from demons, having your sins forgiven, and even
being made free from corrupt totalitarian governments. The word means
deliverance, preservation, to be rescued, saved from every conceivable
affliction that is common to man since sin entered the world and Satan
began to consolidate his gains. (see our e-book "The
Christians have argued for years whether or
not healing is provided for in the atonement. Of course it is! Healing
is as much a part of the atonement as having your sins forgiven or being
born of the Spirit. Salvation is intended to set the believer free from
all of the repercussions of sin—including sickness, disease, and demonic
affliction—not merely impart the hope of "pie in the sky by and by."
We conclude, therefore, that we’re supposed
to bring people a Gospel message that ministers
salvation to the entire person: spirit, soul, and body. This is
the example that Jesus set, and it’s the command He
gave to His disciples went he sent them forth, be it the twelve, the
seventy, or the general commission He issued after the Resurrection. He
preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, healed the sick, and cast out
demons. If we are to be obedient in our presentation of His message we
must strive to do no less!
Gospel of the Kingdom
Many years ago, in the early Eighties at the
first church my wife and I pioneered and pastored, I noticed the phrase
"Gospel of the Kingdom" and began to teach on the Kingdom of God,
obedience and submission to the King, and pushing the borders of His
kingdom to the ends of the earth. Later I discovered the work of George
Ladd and John Wimber on the subject, and more recently have been blessed
by the insights of Bill Johnson of Redding California. How is it that
we’re only now rediscovering the meaning of the original title for the
Kingdom means the King’s domain or dominion.
Jesus said that when the Gospel comes forth in power the kingdom of God
is in the midst of us (Matt 12:28, Luke 11:20). That power may be a
healing or the expulsion of a demon, or simply a powerful anointing on
the spoken word that brings people to repentance (what Charles Finney
called being "savingly impressed"). Wherever God’s people go forth in
His power the Kingdom of God is present.
When you receive the Gospel of the Kingdom
you join the ranks of the King, become His subject. Your sins are
frankly forgiven and you are given the full rights of citizenship,
including the ability to operate in the powers of the world to come—the
Kingdom (Hebr 6:4-5).
Through his faithful citizens and co-laborers
King Jesus is slowly but surely, irresistibly taking the earth back from
the dominion of darkness, pushing back the forces of hell, and extending
the borders of the Kingdom of God. When God’s Kingdom comes, His will is
done on earth as it is in Heaven. People are no longer in rebellion to
their Creator but in harmony with Him. Furthermore they are to be
walking in health and victory. If there is no sin in Heaven, there
should be no sin on earth; if there is no sickness in Heaven, wherever
His kingdom comes on earth there should be no sickness, etc. etc.
of the Sick
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, for God was with Him.
Be not mistaken, sickness is a work of the
devil. This doesn’t mean that everyone who is sick is cooperating with
the devil, or even that all sickness is a direct result of demonic
oppression, merely that since sin entered the world Satan began
perverting the pristine creation of God by crafting sickness and
disease, among other things. Sickness is a result of sin, and is an
oppression of the devil, according to the above statement about the
ministry of Jesus Christ.
For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
Isn’t this elementary? We look up a Scripture passage and then restate
it—hardly imaginative, but it makes the point. Sickness is a work of the
devil and Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Hence, Jesus
came to destroy sickness, to deliver people from its—and Satan’s—power.
And when He had called His twelve
disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast
them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of
This is where it starts getting fun for us!
He gave His disciples power to heal all kinds of sicknesses and all
kinds of diseases, as well as power over unclean spirits. Not only did
Jesus have a threefold ministry, He wants us to have one as well. As
previously stated, this power—and this command—was not given to the
Twelve alone, but also to the Seventy in Luke chapter ten, and then
the Great Commission to all those who believe...
And He said to them, "Go into all the
world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and
is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be
condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name
they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they
will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by
no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will
Healing the sick is not only scriptural and
possible—it is commanded by Jesus Himself. To disregard this command is
to disobey the explicit instruction of the Lord.
People that need salvation of their souls and
forgiveness of sins find that need met in the Gospel of the Kingdom.
People whose bodies are diseased or broken find healing in the Gospel of
the kingdom. People who are bound by demons—generally in the realm of
the mind and emotions, and often physically as well—find salvation in
the Gospel to the Kingdom, too.
You’ll find several articles and many
references on our web site to what is commonly called the deliverance
ministry, or casting out demons. It’s not a very popular pastime, to
many it smacks of the occult even though it is aimed at destroying the
works of darkness. Many Christians in the West can barley find in
themselves to believe in demons, much less spend time trying to discern
their presence and get rid of them. Our worldview doesn’t allow for such
things. To suggest casting out demons when someone comes for counsel is
like offering them a ride in Jonah’s fish—it’s biblical but so far out
there that we’d prefer not to speak of it.
Nevertheless a full third of Jesus ministry
was devoted to the so-called deliverance ministry. And if modern
experience is any indicator, He probably spent more time doing this than
He did preaching the Gospel, simply because, as a rule, it takes time to
cast out a demon. If Jesus believed in demons and spent valuable
ministry time casting them out, how can I second-guess His wisdom and
choose not to? If Jesus found thousands of demons in First Century
Israel, a culture centered around the God of the Bible and the Law, how
many more might we expect to find in our own lawless, idolatrous land?
The Gospel of the Kingdom makes provision for
overcoming and removing the oppression of the enemy because in many ways
people open doors to demonic oppression and need God’s help to get free.
A twelve-step program may lend a certain amount of insight, but only the
power of God can save a person from alcoholism or drug addiction. Sex
offenders are tracked these days because they almost always offend
again, and again. Regardless of all the psychology, medications, and
stiff prison sentences, they are bound by demonic powers far beyond
their ability to control with any regularity—only the Gospel of the
Kingdom can set them free.
It’s high time that God’s servants started
preaching the whole Gospel, a full salvation of spirit, soul, and body.
2006, Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder
Ministries. All rights reserved
Scripture quotations from the New King James Version, unless otherwise