Divine Healing in the Branham Campaigns
Rev. Gordon Lindsay
This booklet, written by Rev. Gordon Lindsay, on the subject of "Divine Healing in the Branham Meetings," will, I sincerely believe, be of great help to those seeking healing in our campaigns.
I personally request that those who come for healing should carefully read and study this booklet along with their Bible. If there should be anyone who cannot afford its small cost, I personally request that a copy be given that person.
Rev. William Branham
Divine Healing In The Branham Meetings by Gordon Lindsay
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. God has never left Himself without witnesses to this glorious truth, and today this is being proven again in the great Branham healing campaigns. God, who often chooses the "weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the things which are nought to bring to nought the things which are," has again followed His peculiar preference by choosing a humble and unassuming man, William Branham, to minister His healing Grace to the sick and afflicted. Many thousands of people have attended these meetings. Multitudes have been healed, and many, through the manifestation of healing power, have been led to surrender their life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of the growing interest and widespread publicity that has resulted from the Branham campaigns, it has been considered advisable to prepare an article giving special instruction to the great numbers of those who are in need of healing for their bodies.
The Special Need For Instruction
In the larger divine healing services of other years, evangelists have found it wise to not pray for the sick until the people have had opportunity to have received a full week of instruction from the Word of God concerning healing. But so great is the demand on Brother Branham's time, and so many are the calls from every section of the country, as well as from foreign nations, that it is possible for him to give but a few days to each city. The result is that in some cases people rush into the healing line without any instruction or knowledge of what the Word of God requires in the matter of healing. In view of that fact this article has been prepared to give a brief account of Scriptural teaching concerning healing, as well as to acquaint the individual with something of the nature of Brother Branham's peculiar gift and ministry, that he might learn and grasp the simple faith needed in the Divine Promise to receive healing for the body.
Because of the unprecedented numbers -- sometimes thousands in a single service--of people who come to be prayed for in the Branham meetings, special and unique problems are presented in the conduct of the services, which are not always easy of solution. People hearing of the healings obey the natural instinct to rush into the healing line, hopeful it is true, but often their hope has not yet become living faith. Had they waited, their hope might have become a strong appropriating faith. Others have tried everything else, and now in desperation they are willing to try this. Many have no knowledge of Christ as their Saviour, and seek Him only as a healer. Some have a superstitious belief in healing, which is not founded upon the Word of God. A few actually come for physical deliverence while living in confessed sin, foolishly ignoring the fact that he who is able to heal the body is also fully aware of every evil secret of the heart. Still others do not know that their healing must be followed by a sincere, humble life of service to the Lord Jesus Christ. These same problems were faced by the Lord Jesus Christ in His ministry of healing, and He gave not a little of His time in instructing the people. There were, undoubtedly, many times in our Lord's earthly ministry that He avoided crowds, whose only thought was to receive the loaves and fishes. At the pool of Bethesda, He healed one man, and then conveyed himself away, although there was a multitude of sick folk in the place who desired healing, (John 5:1-13.) Christ did not indiscriminately heal everyone.
Other Problems Imposed By The Great Crowds
There are also other problems which arise because of the size and scope of the Branham meetings. People often come from a distance to attend a service, and sometimes they are able to stay only for one night. Often the number of these are more than could be prayed for in one night, not to speak of those who have been attending all the meetings, and are patiently waiting to be prayed for. In such cases, disappointment follows, though as can be seen, it is no fault of Brother Branham's, whose great compassion for the sick is manifest in the fact that he often labors to the point of complete exhaustion. It is needful to warn people, who attend the meetings, that in fairness to all the people, it is not possibe to extend special privileges to some.
It must be remembered that Christ ministered for three years in a very limited area, yet never was He able to heal but a small portion of the sick people. His compassion for the untouched, whitened harvest caused Him first to send out Twelve, and then later the Seventy. Yet, with all these added reinforcements, there were still multitudes yet to be healed. A few weeks after the Ascension of Our Lord, when miracles began to take place in the early church, crowds gathered at the doors of the church bringing a multitude of sick folk with them. (Acts 5:15-16.) Even then it is apparent that the Apostles had no adequate way of ministering to the great number of these people. Faith was high, however, and they brought the sick out in the streets so that the shadow of Peter might overshadow them as he passed by. Such faith could not be denied.
If, therefore, Brother Branham should not minister to you as quickly as you would desire, or does not spend the time praying for you, as you might think necessary, let not faith be denied. Believe that God does meet and deliver you. "Just one touch as He passes by, He will listen to the faintest cry." The Lord Jesus Christ is the Healer. Brother Branham is merely the vessel that He works through, and our brother time and again repeats the fact that he has no power in himself to heal--that power lies in Christ, and the Gift that He has given. Though you cannot see Him, by the natural eye, the Lord Jesus is present in the meetings, and even His Shadow, as it were, if seen by the eye of faith, is able to heal you.
The Word Of God The Basis For Healing
Before we consider the peculiar gift that God has given to Brother Branham, and the latter's method of praying for the sick, it is well, first of all, to thoroughly understand that Divine Healing is a Bible Promise, and that one's faith first of all should be founded upon revelation of the Scriptures. There is no space in the brief outline to recall the many Divine Promises concerning healing. They are found throughout the Bible. We give only a few. But it would be well for the reader to read the entire book of Mark. It contains only 16 chapters, and will prove inspiring to one's faith. The writer himself was healed from reading especially the passage of Mark 11:22-24.
Under the Mosiac Law, Divine Healing was given as a promise to Isreal, with certain conditions attached to the fulfillment. Exod. 15:26 reads:
"And he said, 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."
Although the children of Isreal's faith was weak along many lines, it certainly was not in the matter of healing. The Psalmists declares that "there was not one feeble one among the tribes." (Psms. 105:37.) The Book of Hebrews informs us that in all things the New Covenant, under Christ, was much better than the Old Covenant, under Moses. If then we find the promise of healing under the Law of Moses, how much more would we expect to find it under the Better Covenant of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, the Book of Psalms, which is that book of inspired worship which has always brought great blessing to the devoted Christian, declares that the Lord is the Healer of all our diseases. Psalms 103:2-3 reads:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits Who forgiveth all thine iniquities and who healeth all thy diseases."
We know that we must never forget to praise the Lord for pardoning our iniquities, but we are also commanded to not forget the benefit of the healing of all our diseases."
In the new testament, we are informed that healing is a part of the Atonement. We could hardly except otherwise, for Christ came to save men, and the body is a part of man. Christ's "Body was broken" for our body, and "by His Stripes we were healed." Matt. 8:16 quotes Isaiah's prophecy of Messianic Redemption in connection with Christ's healing of the sick:
"And when even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed of devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word and healed all that were sick. That is might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saving, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our Sickness."
Healing has therefore been brought to us by His Vicarious Sufferings on the Cross; it is already ours and need to be appropriated by faith.
Furthermore, Christ in the Great Commission expressly stated that healing of the sick, among other things, was one of the signs which was to follow believers:
Mk. 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."
The Great Commission, which authorized the preaching of the gospel, thus identifies true believers by declaring that the healing of the sick is one of the signs which shall follow their ministry.
Finally, let us mention that the Book of James makes Divine Healing practically an ordinance in the church. James 5:13-16:
"Is there any afflicted among you? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? 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; And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
In view of these many definite Bible promises concerning healing, there can be no doubt in the reverent reader's mind that healing is definitely the Will of God to those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why Heads Are Bowed During Prayer
It would be perhaps wise at this point to mention Brother Branham's attitude toward those of the medical profession. He is on the best of terms with them, and counts many doctors among his good friends. Often physicians sit with him on the platform and marvel at the gift which enables him to detect and diagnose diseases, as well as bring healing to those so afflicted. Brother Branham declares: "The medical profession has been able to achieve great results, especially in recent years. However, most doctors agree that they cannot heal anyone, they only assist nature. God alone can heal." Divine Healing is healing accomplished through the power of God according to the scripture.
For The Sick
In the above scriptures, we learn that it is proper and Biblical for any believer to pray and believe for the healing of another. Elders were specially designated to anoint with oil and pray for the sick.
Their ministry for the sick was especially associated with the praying the prayer of faith. For the benefit of many who would ask Brother Branham concerning the ministry of the anointing with oil and the prayer of faith, we shall add that Brother Branham strongly encourages these brethren to continue such ministry by all means, for it is a ministry that God has given to the local church.
The Scriptures, however, teach that there is such a thing as "gifts of Healing" (Note the use of the plural--I Cor. 12:9). The gifts of healing are not given to all believers, for I Cor. 12:28-29 declares that gifts of healing are set in the church, but not all have these gifts. "Have all the gifts of healing?" In recent years there has been those who have been singally used in the ministry of healing, The ministration of these gifts have not always been the same. As I Cor. 12:4-6 declares, there are diversities of gifts, differences of administrations, there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. In the ministry of Brother Branham, we find a unique and remarkable manifestation of the gifts of healing. In order that the sick person may be enabled to understand something of the ministry of our brother, we shall give a brief account of how he received the gift and the manner of its working. This will be brief, as his account of this experience is told in his own words in a separate article.
The Appearance Of The Angel To Brother Branham
Associated with Brother Branham's receiving of the gift of healing, was the appearance of an angel to him. That an angel should appear to people may evoke surprise to some, but this merely indicates how far the church has drifted from the Apostolic ministry. Angels appeared to Mary, to Jesus, to the shepherds, to Peter, to all the apostles, including Paul, and others of the New Testament record. Angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation--Heb. 1:14. That they should appear to individuals at this present day is to be expected. That false angels have appeared to some such as Mohammed there can be no doubt, but the fruit of such occurrences has been to either destroy or divide Christians. The result of Brother Branham's ministry has been the healing of the bodies of thousands of afflicted ones, and the bringing of salvation to many others. More than that the great passion of our brother's heart has been to see the Church of Jesus Christ united in the love of God. Knowing that in this imperfect age, men can never be fully agreed in head knowledge, he believes that they can be in love. "For knowledge puffeth up but love edifieth."
Although God had previously given Brother Branham a fruitful ministry, the scope of his labors now became nationwide (with calls coming from many parts of the world) after the appearance of the angel. For the angelic visitation was to inform him that he had been chosen to carry the gift of healing to the peoples of the world.
The Detecting Of Diseases
The angel also explained that he should be able to detect diseases by his left hand. The gift of discerning of spirits, is of course, entirely Scriptural--I Cor. 12:10; and many diseases are caused by possession of oppression of human bodies by evil spirits. In verse 8 of the same chapter of the Bible speaks of the word of knowledge also given by the Spirit of God. That these gifts operate in the ministry of Brother Branham in his ability to detect diseases and evil spirits, there can be no doubt. The Scripture, of course, does not enter into a description of the manner of the working of these gifts, but with Brother Branham, he is able to detect the type of disease by its peculiar pulsation on his left hand. Because the word "vibrations" has been used, it has been supposed by some uninformed persons that he heals people by means of vibrations. This, of course, is utterly incorrect. Only Christ can heal, and He does this by the Word of His Power--not by vibrations. That the disease such as cancers and other things that Satan places on the human body should have some kind of diabolic life, there can be no doubt--for it is a devilish living thing that grows and devours the body. That this demon life could be detected by a spiritual gift is hardly open to question. In my own personal experience with Brother Branham's ministry, I have witnessed time after time our brother's accurate diagnosis of diseases of the afflicted. Once in a meeting in Ashland, Oregon, where many hundreds were being prayed for, he had set aside a man who was deaf, and whom he would call for later. When the time came that he called for the man, the ushers made a mistake and brought one who had epilepsy. Though Brother Branham was not looking up, instantly upon touching the man's hand, he said, "Sirs, you have made a mistake. You have brought me an epileptic instead of the deaf man." A large number of ministers standing by noticed this incident, which by itself would be remarkable, but it only illustrates the nature of the gift.
The action of the disease upon Brother Branham's hand can be clearly seen by those who are standing nearby. White spots and welts will raise up on the skin. Usually after prayer, this effect will disappear, indicating that the cancer, or tumor, or other disease is dead and that the person will get well--although there may be, and often is, a lapse of time before the growth, disintergrating completely, passes form the body.
Preparation For Healing
And now we come to a very important matter--the preparation of the sick person to receive healing. First of all, remember that faith is always the important condition of receiving healing. In almost every case, Jesus would say to the person who was healed, words to the effect, "Go thy way, faith has saved thee." But to one who came to Him with weak faith and who said, "If thou canst do anything...," he reproved sharply saying, "IF thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." "If" does not then belong with God, but with us; "if" we are willing to believe. Faith however, it is true, does not come within, but from God. How then may one obtain faith? The Scriptural answer is, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17.
Let us emphasize the importance of the fact that those desiring healing should by all means attend as many of the day services as possible, that their desire for healing will grow into a living faith for healing. Only God can give us faith, yet we are responsible for our faith, because God gives it through the hearing of the Word. Some may find it absolutely impossible to attend the day services, but others who disregard this oppurtunity for building their faith and rush into the healing line, may be disappointed.
If one were to go to the Mayo Clinic, he might be requested to spend a week under observation, before any action was taken concerning his case. Yet some people are resentful when they are not allowed in the healing line the first service that they attend. It is for this reason, among others, that numbered prayer cards are usually given in the Branham meetings, so that those who have been in previous services will be given first opportunity to be prayed for.
Further Information For Those Who Are To Be Prayed For
In almost every meeting, there are those who expect special favors of Brother Branham. Some would come to his hotel room for special prayer. Others send calls for him to come to their home. Still others wish to converse with him at length on their particular problems. Now it is true that Brother Branham has a very great compassion for the sick, and he loves to converse about the things of God with all, but just a little reflection should show that if he did this, the great majority of the people who come for healing could not be prayed for. In the first place, he must spend a great portion of the day in prayer and waiting upon the Lord. The energy required in the casting out of demons and evil spirits is not quickly replenished, and those who work with him find it necessary to shield him from many that would take up his time, if only to protect his health. In fact, hundreds of people would be at his door if no precautions were taken. Most people, however, when these things are explained, are courteous and cooperate in this matter, and this is greatly appreciated.
Hindrances To Healing
Though healing is by faith, there may be certain things that are a positive hindrance to faith. Self-righteousness may be one. Some have approached the gift of God thinking, "God will surely heal me, for I have preached the Gospel for many years!" Truly God will reward those who have been faithful to His cause; He is not unrighteous to forget. However, healing does not come on the basis of good works, but like salvation, it is the free gift of faith. We have no merits to warrant the favor of God. "A humble and contrite spirit I will not despise," saith the Lord. By illustration: It has happened that Indians on a certain reservation, having seen a miracle or so, came in such faith that they were healed in great numbers. Some in poverty and tattered garments have been healed, while the well-dressed person failed to obtain healing, although these circumstances have often been reversed. Ministers sometimes miss their healing, while those in the pew receive it. Children usually receive more quickly than adults. Finally there are occasions when there is an unexplained mystery about the working of the Spirit of God. As Jesus said, concerning the Holy Spirit, "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but thou canst not tell whence it cometh, and where it goeth"..John 3:8.
Healing Must Be For The Glory Of God
In the ministry of Christ, there were sinners who came to Him and were healed. So likewise, there are unsaved who come to the Branham meetings, and who, too, are healed. But in these cases, healing should always be accompanied by conversion to Christ. It is a fearful thing to think that a person would come to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive healing from Him, but who would reject Him as Savior. To one who was healed, Jesus gave a solemn warning. "Behold thou art made whole; sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee." Far better it would be to remain under the curse of sickness than to be set free from it, and then, though having witnessed and tasted the power and the love God, we should betray that love by remaining in our sins.
Fortunately, Christ is able and willing to save every sinner who comes to Him. He has graciously extended an invitation to all who will believe in Him. "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, I will come in and sup with him and he with me." Rev. 3:20. All men are born sinners and doomed without Christ. (Romans 3:10-19) As such, they are lost and undone and without a ray of hope except in the mercy and grace of God, which has appeared through the Lord Jesus Christ. But those who come in Him with a humble and contrite heart, He will abundantly pardon. Nor will He turn such a one away. John 6:37 declares "Him that cometh to Me, I shall in nowise cast out." Then as a pardoned and forgiven sinner, we have access to the blessing of the Father's family. Jesus has declared that Divine healing is the "Children's bread."
There is another circumstance in connection with Brother Branham's ministry that appears to be of the greatest importance. That is the matter of unity of the Church, which is the body of Christ. It has been found that if faith in Jesus Christ exists, a member of one church denomination will be healed as quickly as one of another. Branham firmly believes that in the larger sense, his ministry has been given to assist in the healing of the body of Christ. Not of course to bring all together into one denomination or to bring all men together into doctrinal agreement, which in this imperfect age is perhaps impossible. But rather, to bring Christians together into love and fellowship and the right relationship with one another as members in the Body of Christ which is His Church, thus fulfilling the prayer of Christ to the Father when he prayed "that they may be one, even as we are one." John 17:22.
Why is there so much sickness in the church? Paul gave the reason in the 11th and 12th chapters of I Cor. Let us consider I Cor. 11:29, and the context.
"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (have died). For if we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged... wherefore, my brethren when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another."
This passage, of course, speaks of the Holy Communion, the elements of which are symbols of the Body of Christ (verse 24 and 25). Primarily, it may refer to the fact that those who partake of the Lord's supper should understand that those emblems are more than bread and wine, but by faith, one should see in them the Body and Blood of the Lord. Nevertheless, the context shows that reference is made to the church of Jesus Christ which too, in a mystical way, is the Body of Christ. In Paul's day, as in our own, the members of the church were busy judging each other and thus bringing themselves under judgment. But the apostle declares that if we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged. He told the Corinthians to tarry one for another, to care one for another, for they were members of one body. Then he carries this though on in the 12th chapter. That by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body (Verse 13). That one member was not to say to the other, I have no need of you (Verse 14-21). Nor were we to despise the weaker or more feeble members of the body (Verse 22). That there should be no scism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another (Verse 25). That if one member of the body suffered, all the members suffered with it (Verse 26).
In Corinth, the church had been seriously divided. There were differences of doctrine, differences in the matter of leadership, differences in the matter of water Baptism (I Cor. 1:10-17). These differences had produced contentions and divisions in the Body of Christ. But Paul remonstrating said, "Is Christ divided?" Evidently the Corinthian church did not discern the Lord's body; as a result many were "weak and sickly", and many slept (in death). The penalty of such division and lack of discernment was sickness and premature death. What was true in the Corinthian Church is true to a great extent today. We must discern the Lord's Body which is His church before we may banish sickness from our doors.
Paul acknowledging the gifts of healing in I Cor. 12, then shows the Divine Love that must accompany those gifts by giving us that beautiful Chapter 13 on love. He says, "Do all have gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way." That if he speaks with the tongues of angels and has not love, he is sounding brass and a tinkling symbol. Though he should have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge (be perfectly correct doctrinally) and had all faith so that he could remove mountains, but had not love, he was nothing.
Paul knew that men in this age could never perfectly agree on all doctrine. True enough. On the great evangelical truths of salvation through Christ, there was agreement in the Corinthian church. "No man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost" I Cor. 12:3. But on doctrinal details there was disagreement and perhaps will be until Jesus comes. For now we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love. These three; but the greatest of these is love. Love will bind the church together in heaven. Love will endure beyond the everlasting hills. Love must bind the church together now.
In the gathering together of the people of all churches, it is necessary that they come together in love, discerning the Lord's body, not in seeking some selfish advantage for their own denomination. This gift that God has given to the church through Brother Branham was expressly given to all peoples. If we accept it as such, as well as other gifts God has given to the church, thus discerning the Lord's Body, the whole body may be healed and honored.
Prayer For The Sick In The Branham Meetings
Before we speak of Brother Branham's method of praying for the sick, we should note something else that we believe to be important. Many people receive healing right in their seats without getting into the prayer line. Such testimonies have come to us time and again. This is as it should be, for one is healed the moment that he touches Christ in faith. The woman who had the issue of blood was not prayed for or ministered to by the Lord, but nevertheless, the moment that she touched the hem of His garment, she was healed. Those who fail to get in the healing line, should be encouraged to look to God for His Divine touch. As many as do this, in faith, shall be made perfectly whole (Luke 8:43-48).
It is often true that in a meeting of a few days, there will be several thousand people to be prayed for. If Brother Branham were to take any length of time with each one, he would only be able to reach a very few and the rest would be disappointed. However, when the people fully understand the nature of Brother Branham's gift, it is possible to effectively pray for even this great number. First of all, it is necessary that the faith of the audience should rise and enter into the spirit of the meeting. Usually, in the first services of a campaign, Brother Branham will take some little time with each case, miracles will be wrought which the congregation will have opportunity to witness. Later, however, not so much time is given to the working of miracles--for as Brother Branham has repeated many times, that though many miracles may take place, the gift given him is not the gift of miracles, but the gift of healing. The miracles that occur are for building up the individual's faith so that he can believe for his healing. As Brother Branham prays for the sick, he enters deeply into the Spirit. While this special anointing of the Spirit is upon him, he enters into a realm of faith. Those, then, who pass by in calm faith, believing that Christ, through this gift, will heal them, usually are healed, though only a sentence may be spoken by Brother Branham. Often the healing that results is more permanent than that of a miracle, for in the former, the healing is brought about by the combined faith, rather than just the faith of Brother Branham.
The Spirit moves in various ways during such a healing service. Sometimes people living in deep sin come to be healed. It may be that the Spirit of God will reveal this unconfessed and unforsaken sin. Sometimes a habit will come under the searching of the Spirit. If promise to forsake is given from the heart, the person is usually healed.
The Casting Out Of Demon Spirits
As in the days of Christ, a great number of sick people who come forward to be prayed for are oppressed, obsessed, or possessed by demon spirits. In a very real sense, Satan is responsible for all sickness. Peter associated sickness with oppression of the devil.
Acts 10:38. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with powers who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."
Jesus Himself identified sickness with the power of Satan. Not only did He cast devils out of many people thus restoring them to their right mind, but He spoke of evil spirits causing deafness, dumbness, and other afflictions. One woman was bowed together with an infirmity and Jesus attributed the direct cause of this infirmity to Satan.
Luke 13:16. "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has bound lo these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond of the Sabbath day."
It is evident that the reason that many people are not healed from the more serious of afflictions is because they are bound by demon spirits, and they cannot get well until the demons are cast out. Jesus therefore gave instructions to his disciples that they should cast out demons.
Healing And The Medical Profession The Gift Of Healing
In the course of prayer for the sick, in the Branham meetings, many demons are cast out. A demon is a disembodied spirit which immediately after being cast out desires to re-enter the body (Lu. 11:24-26). Some people through unbelief, or sin, or physical weakness of some kind are susceptible to demons. The eyes are the gateway to the soul, and it has been found advisable for people to keep their heads bowed in prayer as a precaution against these demon spirits which are cast out. These warnings are not given to inspire fear in the hearts of people as fear is the tool of the enemy. But it is to be remembered that when powerful demon spirits are challenged, we enter to that extent on the devil's territory. Only the power of God can cast out demons, and when that power is in action we must be in great reverence.
There are alas those who have been known to mock at the work of casting out of demons. This is one of the most serious sins that can be committed. In fact, it borders upon the unpardonable sin. (Read Matt. 12:22-32). On one occasion, Jesus cast the devil out of one that was blind and dumb. The Pharisees, having to explain the healing in some way, made the declaration that Christ cast out the devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils. Jesus answered them with a sharp rebuke. In the first place, he said that if he cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom did they cast them out? This silenced the Pharisees for they knew that they had no power to cast out devils was proof that the Kingdom of God had come unto them. Furthermore, he said that Satan did not cast out Satan, for if he did his kingdom would not stand. Then finally, Christ gave a solemn warning, that the attributing of the power that was used to cast out evil spirits to Satan was blasphemy and a sin that would never be forgiven in this world nor in the world to come.
In the words of Christ the power to cast out demons is an attestation of the genuineness of a ministry, and skeptics and doubters should by all means be warned against saying anything disrespectful toward the work of the Spirit in the casting out of demons. Such may well result in the committing of the unpardonable sin. We are glad to note, however, that we have found only a few that have doubted the work of God. On the other hand people everywhere have glorified God because He has revealed His power in delivering those who have been bound by Satan.
It has often been asked, why that with the casting out of evil spirits, the demons are not bound and cast into the pit. This is not easy to answer. It is perhaps true that demons may be bound for a period of time, but whether they can be indiscriminately sent into the pit, cannot be certainly ascertained. Jesus spoke to one demon commanding him to come out of the person and to enter no more into him. It is apparent that Jesus took perfect control of the demons that were cast out and they could do nothing except that he suffered them to do so. However, when the demons of the demonic protested against being sent into the deep (or the pit), declaring that the time of their punishment had not yet come, he suffered them to enter into the swine. Mk. 5:1-13.
Indeed, it would appear from the words of the Lord, that demons ordinarily are left free to wander about until they find a body that they may enter, or even re-enter the one from whence they were cast out. Let us notice the passage in Luke 11:22-24.
"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house in whence I came out. And when he cometh he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he and taketh to him seven more spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in and dwell there and the last state of man is worse than the first."
From these Scriptures certain facts concerning demons and their habits emerge.
1. That the demons seek to inhabit human beings, and when cast out immediately seek another human abode, and try to re-enter the one from whence they were cast out.
2. They will not willingly leave a human body. Demons do not cast each other out, but rather invite other demons to join them in their habitation. Luke 11:17, 18, 26.
3. Only the power of God can cast out demons, and a ministry in which power is manifested to cast them out is an attestation of its genuineness. Matt. 12:25-28.
4. In the casting out of demons, faith should be exercised against attempts to re-enter the body from whence they came or into others nearby. In the case of the deaf and dumb child, Christ not only cast the demon out but had to command it to "enter no more into him." Mark 9:25. In the healing services, Brother Branham finds that the audience can assist greatly in this matter if they will keep their heads bowed in prayer and faith.
5. The power of God can cast out a demon, and also bind it and send it into the pit, yet there is little record in the Scriptures that Jesus actually did so. On the other hand, he warned that a demon, when it was cast out, immediately sought to enter another body. Failing in this, he took other demons more wicked than himself, and made an attempt to return into the body out of which he had been cast. Jesus showed that this attempt by demons might well be successful if the individual fails to obey God, and the Spirit of the Lord does not dwell in his heart and life.
The Important Matter Of Keeping One's Healing
This last consideration brings us to the thought of whether it is possible to lose one's healing. This matter is really of tremendous importance, for we have already seen that Jesus plainly taught that it is possible for one to lose his healing. Almost every Christian will testify that after they were saved, glorious as their experience might have been, sooner or later the enemy was back to tempt and to even make them believe that they had not been saved. Likewise, as we have seen in the case of demon possession, the demon is back sooner or later to recover, if possible, what he has lost. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, if the individual will obey the Scriptures by resisting the enemy, the devil will leave, but if he gives in to him, Satan will rob him of his deliverence. James 4:7 declares, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." If when the enemy brings symptoms to us, tempting us to believe that the old affliction is to return upon us, we resist him and rebuke the thing, we shall find that our deliverance is complete.
We must let Christ and His Kingdom reign in our lives. The man in whom the demon was cast out, continued in his old way. He did not serve God or live for Him. Consequently, his disobedience was an invitation for the enemy to return. There are those who only attend church during a revival meeting. They are unfaithful in their service to God, and continue to indulge in a worldly life, partaking in questionable things on the devil's territory. Soon they may be back in the toils of the enemy again. Again, let us remember the words of Our Lord when He said, "Behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
There are, however, numbers of good Christians, conscientious people who evidently receive a gracious touch from the Lord, but for some reason or other do not seem to get a complete healing. To those who have had certain types of disease, special instructions need to be given. In the case of a cancer patient, the cancer is usually killed after prayer. Nevertheless, in some cases the cancer has yet to be eliminated from the body. Sometimes severe pain attends this elimination. If the person fails to understand this, he may fail to recognize his healing altogether. However, the person who stands firm in faith may expect complete deliverance.
In one of the Branham meetings, a lady had a serious cancer that was prayed for. Early the following morning she was visited with severe pains, and became fearful. At 5 a.m. in the morning she sought to obtain help by telephone, but was unable to secure proper connections. Shortly after, however, she passed the cancer from her body and the next day was up testifying to her healing.
What is true concerning the action of a dead cancer is similarly true with other growth afflictions. People who have had growths in their ears which caused deafness, often after hearing for a little time, suffer temporary deafness again while the growth disintegrates. The same things is true of cataract blindness. The cataracts which have been killed, during the period of drying up, may produce temporary blindness again. To all these we say, trust God and stand upon His promise for complete deliverance. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." (James 1:6-7.) But let us remember the words of Jesus in Mark 10:24: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them."
God's Choice Of A Humble Instrument
The ministry of Brother Branham is indeed an attestation to the truth that God chooses humble instruments to accomplish His great purposes. The Pharisees, well-learned in the traditions of their day, could not understand why God passed them by and should choose men from the ranks of the humble fisherman. So, today, there are those who fail to understand why God should choose such a humble and unassuming man as Brother Branham to accomplish the great work that is being done. But the answer is that Brother Branham is fully aware that the Gift of God did not come to him from any merit that he had, and, consequently, God receives all the glory.
Because of the guilelessness of the man, he speaks with a frankness concerning experiences which, in some cases, might produce misunderstanding, were not the deep sincerity and evident devotion of the man so fully apparent. For example, in his remarks concerning the woman astrologer, who spoke certain things concerning his life, it has been inferred by a few that he was giving credit to astrology. However, a careful examination of what he says reveals that Brother Branham explains that the profession of astrology is anti-scriptural and of the enemy. Devils recognized the Gift of God in the day of Christ, even before the religious professors of the time. It is not surprising that it should be thus again today.
Concerning Anointed Handkerchiefs
Many, because of distance or affliction, are not able to attend the divine healing services. God is not restricted to time or space. Paul sent handkerchiefs and aprons, that had been pressed against his body, to the sick people, and they were delivered from their afflictions.
Acts 19:11-22, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs and aprons, and the disease departed from them and the evil spirits went out of them."
Those desiring handkerchiefs or anointed ribbons should write to Rev. William Branham, P.O. Box 325, Jeffersonville, Indiana, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope with a note stating the nature of the affliction.
Concerning Testimonies Of Healing
It is very important for the individual who is healed to send in his testimony. Jesus remarked, concerning the ten lepers who were healed, that only one returned to give God the glory. (Luke 17:11-18.) Please write out your testimony and send it to the following address:
P.O. Box 3967, Tuscon, Ariz.
P.O. Box 325, Jeffersonville, Ind.
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