Unscriptural dependence on the prophetic can affect ministering to the sick

In certain streams of the Church there is a tendency to depend too much on the prophetic when ministering healing to the sick. For example, we often:

  • proclaim healing directly to the sick person,
  • declare healing to the sick person,
  • speak healing to the sick person,
  • and affirm healing to the person in need of healing.

However, the use of the prophetic for ministering healing to the sick is practically nowhere to be found either in the gospels or in Acts.

In the gospels rather Jesus used authority and power to heal the sick, and not prophetic declarations. He used authority by issuing COMMANDS to the sick person, to the infirmity, or to the demon. In addition, he used power by laying hands on the sick for his healing power to flow into the one being healed.

Luke 5:12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Mark 5:27  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28  because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him.

The use of this authority and power is seen in the overwhelming majority of miraculous healings in the gospels and Acts.  A possible exception is Paul’s use of handkerchiefs in Acts 19.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

But even here it can be reasonably argued that when the handkerchiefs touched Paul, the Lord’s healing power was transferred into them. Then when the handkerchiefs were placed on the sick, that healing power flowed into them to heal them. Even in John 9:6 when a blind man was healed when mud made by Jesus with his saliva was put over his eyes—making physical contact—can it be argued that power was in use.

The only clear case of neither authority nor power being used in healing the sick is in Acts 5 where the sick were healed when Peter’s shadow fell upon them. This is likely the gift of healing in operation through Peter.

Acts 5:15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16  Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

The only possible case of a prophetic component in healing the sick in Acts is in Acts 9 when Peter heals Aeneas.

34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.

Before healing him by commanding to “get up and take care of your mat,” Peter first declares—perhaps prophetically—that “Jesus Christ heals you.” The prophetic alone was insufficient in healing Aeneas. It was the command that actually resulted in the healing.

With the exception of the above, the great preponderance of healing miracles in the gospels and Acts took place through the exercise of supernatural authority and power—and not through the use of the prophetic.

However, with the popularity of teaching on the prophetic in charismatic streams today, there is very little teaching on the use of “kingly” authority for healing the sick. Current teaching on ministering healing is therefore unbalanced and therefore relatively ineffective in terms of actually healing the sick as Jesus did.

During these very Last Days, it’s time to return to Scripture to find the correct balance between the offices of the priestly, the prophetic, and the kingly in the body of Christ for ministry to the sick. In non-charismatic evangelical streams, the emphasis is on the priestly—prayer to God for the sick. In charismatic streams, a prophetic emphasis is added whereby proclamations, declarations, and affirmations are spoken directly to the sick person.

New Testament Scripture, however, reveals that ministry to the sick should be predominately kingly in nature—with the emphasis on issuing direct commands to the sick, to infirmities and to demons in the name of Jesus Christ.