It is recorded in Acts that the Lord used the early disciples to perform miraculous healings as convincing evidence to Jews, Samaritans, and to gentiles who never heard of Jesus that He is the Son of God—that is, the only way to the One True God who created the universe. Because of such miracles, wonderful harvests were reaped for the gospel as recorded in Acts.

Today in the Twenty-First Century, however, missionaries sent to the Third World to reach gospel-resistant peoples like Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, idol-worshipers, and animists generally do not witness such miracles bringing such hardened peoples to Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior. There are various reasons and justifications given for this, reasons which we will not include in this article.

Even among those who are not cessationists, however, one reason stands out.

1 Corinthians 12:30 Do all have gifts of healing?

The apostle Paul taught that not all have gifts of healing. However, it is not necessary to have the gift of healing in order to heal the sick effectively and fruitfully in the context of preaching the gospel to the lost.

This is based on the solemn promise of our Lord Jesus in John 14:11-12.

John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, …

The evidence that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus is the miraculous works He performed. The overwhelming majority of the miraculous works He performed in the gospels were healing the sick and casting out demons. Jesus solemnly promised in verse 12 above that whoever believes in Him will do those same works. How did Jesus heal the sick and cast out demons?

Scrutiny of such miracles performed by Jesus in the gospels shows that He predominantly used supernatural authority and power to heal the sick and cast out demons. Then in Luke 9 and 10, Jesus gave this authority and power to His disciples. 

Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Jesus gave this supernatural authority and power to His disciples in the gospels, well before the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. The gifts of the Spirit, including the gifts of healing, were therefore not available until at the very earliest the day of Pentecost. Therefore authority and power, given to the disciples in the gospels before Pentecost, are separate and distinct from the gifts of healing.

If we now study the supernatural ministry of the early disciples in Acts after they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and presumably had received the gifts of the Spirit, we discover a crucial truth which has not yet been made known to the Church today.

A close study of how the early disciples healed the sick and cast out demons in Acts reveals a surprising fact. The early disciples continued to use the authority and power Jesus had given to His disciples in the gospels, even before Pentecost. In Acts they were generally not using gifts of healing. Some, like Peter, of course did have the gift of healing. But in Acts when he healed the sick as public evidence to non-believers that Jesus is the Messiah, he generally used the authority which Jesus gave to His disciples in the gospels.

It is certainly true that not all have gifts of healing as taught by Paul. But it is also true that all believers can heal the sick and cast out demons by exercising the authority and power which Jesus has given to us disciples for providing evidence to the world of His identity as the very Son of God—as He assures us in John 14:11-12.

This has been proven in practice in predominantly Hindu India, now the world’s most populous nation. Gospel workers there trained in the use of the Lord’s supernatural authority and power for proclaiming the kingdom of God to the resistant Hindus have been very fruitful for the gospel.

This training can be provided to gospel workers for free. For more information, contact us at [email protected].

IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE for the gospel: 2,500 testimonies of biblical miracles

Hindu woman with debilitating stroke miraculously healed in Jesus’ name; she and her family accept Jesus Christ