A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
Ephesians 2:8-9 says; “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
If you don’t have faith, how can you receive the grace? It’s a gift of God, not of yourself, you can’t boast, it’s supernatural, it allows the Holy Spirit to dispense the grace in your life, the grace to accept what Jesus did on the cross, the grace to receive forgiveness of sins, the grace to become born again, the grace to submit to God and resist the devil and see him flee from your life.
Every Christian has within them, what I would call, natural normal faith, that affirms and reaffirms on a continual basis that they are saved in their souls, provided for and healed when needed. A lot of this faith is rooted in the natural understanding of their Christian faith in God that is found by reading the Word of God. But until this natural faith is to undergo a test, like needing healing of terminal illness, or provision in a time of famine, it then becomes a gift of faith that not only trusts God, but sees those things that are not as though they were already there. The Gift of Faith is made available in times of affliction and trials that the adversary, the devil, comes against us with, and it’s in these times that we can rest assured that when Jesus died for our sins, it not only involved the salvation of our souls but also of our body which is very much alive and in need of God’s provision and healing at various stages of our Christian walk.
Hebrews 11:1-3 says; “11 Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the [c]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
When we read the amazing testimony’s of how Jesus provided and healed the Christians at the Azusa Street Mission, it’s made very clear that salvation is not only the saving of our souls but also includes the provision and healing for our body’s while we are alive.
ASUSA PAPERS says the following about;
“SALVATION AND HEALING;
The sacrifice on Calvary was a two-fold sacrifice. When we receive the atonement in all its fullness, we have health and salvation to the uttermost. The prophet said, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” He gave His blood for the salvation of our souls and He gave a perfect body for these imperfect bodies of ours. It is by the stripes of Jesus that we are healed. There was never a whip lash put on Jesus' back till Pilate scourged Him before the judgment bar. The marks that were made on that perfect body of our Savior, the blood that ran down in Pilate's judgment hall from His stripes, reach our infirmities and cleanse us from all sickness and disease and make us every whit whole.”
There will always be a time in a Christians walk that they will be given the Gift of Faith, to either be healed themselves or see some else healed of sickness that requires a miracle, and be able to see those things that are not as though they were already. It’s when the doctor gives up and tells a person that they need to put their house in order for they will be dead soon, that the prayer of faith that heals the sick becomes the Gift of Faith that is now taken beyond the natural theory that was read in a textbook, and is now put into supernatural action that God watches over to perform a miracle that the doctor said was incurable.
James 5:13-15 says; “13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
ASUSA PAPERS says the following testimony about a healing of cancer;
“Sister Margie Downing has been healed of a cancer which had eaten her femur bone entirely in two and four physicians pronounced her incurable and that she might die at any time. They said her entire abdominal parts were a mass of cancer. The hole eaten by the cancer was deep enough to hold a quart of water. This hole, eaten by the cancer, is nearly filled up with new flesh and healed over. God is confounding the people.”
The doctors said one thing but God said another. Who are you going to believe with whatever infirmity that might be plaguing your body; what Jesus did on the cross or the potions, medicines, poisons in our medical systems prescribed by the doctors?
Acts 19:11-12says; “11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.”
This is a very interesting account of the gift of faith in operation where God healed the sick and drove out devils by the use of aprons or handkerchiefs thru the Apostle Paul. Although it does not say that he prayed the prayer of faith over the material before sending it out, I can only assume that someone had the Gift of Faith to see these miracles take place before they did by acting out and taking material that touched Paul’s body and placing it on those in need of healing or deliverance from demons. Whichever way, there was the Gift of Faith in operation, someone came into agreement for healing. Faith was what was seen beforehand, seeing healing before the healing took place. It could be similar to what happened with Jesus and the woman who touched His robe, and she says; “If I just touch His clothing, I will get well.” Mark 5:28.
AZUSA PAPERS says the following testimony about healing taking place in the same way;
“We are receiving letters from all over the world, requesting prayers that they might receive their Pentecost and also healing. And almost every day we are getting returns that prayer has been heard. Handkerchiefs are sent in letters to be anointed and blest for healing, and we do so, and bless God, He hears and answers prayer. One instance comes to our mind now of a little baby about a year old, who was very sick with a high fever. The parents sent a handkerchief to be prayed over. It was blest and sent back, and when it was laid on the child's face, almost immediately the fever left her, and in a half hour she was playing around and well. Praise our Christ for His matchless power.”
Another testimony says; “An anointed handkerchief was sent to Elizabeth Smith, Brunswick, Georgia, and as soon as she opened the letter she was instantly healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 prophecies this about Jesus; “5 But He was wounded[a] for our transgressions, He was [b]bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes[c] we are healed.”
The saving of our souls and the healing of our bodies go hand in hand, for we were already healed by His stripes, past tense, and now it’s just a matter of allowing the Gift of Faith to operate in us to believe what it says in the Bible about the healing for our bodies.
When I hear of Christians that have incurable diseases or are handy capped due to an accident, say that this disease or handicap is God’s will for their lives, and are using it as a testimony of God’s grace that has launched them into the ministry, I can’t help but only see natural faith in operation and the Gift of Faith is nowhere to be found, regardless of the Biblical evidence found in the healing scriptures. I would go as far to say that they have slapped Jesus in the face for glorifying the sickness or handicap in their bodies as if He had something to do with it or was the author of it.
Christians that don’t properly discern the Lord’s body while taking communion are those that are partaking in it without having faith to believe the healing scriptures that pertain to the body and blood of Jesus, and continue putting their faith in the doctors and medicine instead. Maybe you or someone you know has done this or is presently doing this. Jesus doesn’t afflict you with sickness or handicap in order to launch your ministry. That’s not the Jesus I serve nor would I ever serve for that matter. All sickness and disease is as a result of sin which is of the devil. 1 John 3:8 specifically says; “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
The Apostle Paul says in this in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 about examining yourself before you take communion; “27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and [a]blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks [b]in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the [c]Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many [d]sleep.”
AZUSA PAPERS says;
“O remember Calvary. He said at the Passover supper, just before He was crucified, "Take, eat, this is my body." What for? For health. And He gave them the cup and said, "This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins." So every time we partake of the Lord's supper, we do it in remembrance of this two-fold salvation for body and soul. Many are sickly and fall asleep because they do not discern the Lord's body. They will take a doctor before Jesus. They put a doctor between them and the atonement. Yet they will say, "Lord, Lord," and do not the things that He says: "Is any afflicted, let him pray. 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 shall save the sick." Jas. 5:13, 15. The doctor gives you poison and you die because you dishonor the atonement. You are sickly, you fall asleep. You come to the Lord's table and yet you do not believe in full salvation for soul and body. You take the cup and eat the bread, and yet deny the body of the Lord for health and salvation. So you are sick because you do not discern the body of the Lord Jesus.”
So when a person says that their infirmity or handicap is something that Jesus has afflicted them with to get their attention, to launch a ministry and use it as a pulpit or podium for His glory, they are not discerning the body of Jesus. Stop lying about and mocking what Jesus did for you at the cross. Receive His atonement of what He did on the cross, take communion without sinning. If you had an accident that was incurred by your irresponsibility and disobedience – Jesus can heal. It doesn’t go well for those who do not discern the Lord’s body correctly. It makes a mockery of what Jesus did on the cross and the scourges that He took on His body. Jesus died for the salvation of your soul but also for the healing of your body. You need to repent if this is your attitude. Pastors and preachers need to quit accrediting the works of the devil as a work of God.
God does not allow the devil to afflict you with sickness in order to send you out into the ministry as part of your testimony. No, God heals you through what Jesus did on the cross. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain by not discerning the body and blood of Jesus during communion. By continuing in sickness does not give glory to Jesus – what gives glory to Jesus is when you are healed, set free and delivered from all the schemes of the devil. This might make a lot of people irritated and mad, but again, don’t accredit the works of the devil as a work of God.
This is a very sobering article and Bible scripture shows clearly the wide-open door that Christians have made available for the devil to rob them of their health and lives by putting their natural faith in the doctors and medicine instead of putting their Gift of Faith in God for healing.
ASUSA PAPERS recounts the story of an unsaved lady who was crippled for thirty-two years who receives her healing;
“In Denver, Colorado, in Bro. Fink’s home, a woman was brought in that was hurt in falling from a wagon. She had been a cripple for thirty-two years and unable to walk. Her toes were drawn up under her feet and could not be straightened. She was unsaved. The next morning, as she was sitting in the front room alone, a little six year old girl who has received the baptism and speaks with tongues, walked in and put her hands on the woman and said, “Jesus wants to heal you, the Spirit has sent me to put my hands on you.” Instantly those toes on the woman’s feet straightened and she arose and walked.”
What a powerful testimony. So as a Christian, if you’ve had an accident or have infirmity in your body – you can be healed. If Jesus heals an unbeliever, how much more will He heal one of His own. Healing is your bread and you can freely partake of it – you can be healed. If body parts are missing, Jesus can heal and deliver you from the spirit of infirmity.
Gift of Faith for Provision
When Christians are faced with times of need for God’s provision, there are numerous Bible stories that testify about the Gift of Faith that moved the hand of God to provide for them in their time of need. A good story can be found in the person of Elijah, who while a fugitive on the run from Jezebel was provided for by God thru the means of ravens.
We read about it in 1 Kings 17:1-7; “And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” 2 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”
Who knows, the ravens may have daily taken the food from Jezebels table or kitchen while the chef was preparing a daily feast from her well-stocked food storage for her household, the 400 prophets of Baal and all of her emasculated eunuchs! Can you imagine God commanding the ravens – or any other animal – to feed you in a time of need? Whatever is needed – God will provide. It was Elijah who proclaimed the drought and as a result, ended up in need of daily provision for himself and did not depend on a well-stocked food storage but rather had the Gift of Faith to believe God for daily provision. There are Christians today who are presently in a similar situation as Elijah and while under going persecution, are in desperate need of Gods daily provision to see them thru. The Gift of Faith is needed just as it was then, but there’s a big difference and that is that Jesus has already made provision for us by His death and resurrection that far surpasses that of just daily needs but now supplies all our needs according to His riches and glory. A good example of this can be found in the Apostle Paul who knew what it was to abase and to abound, to be full and to suffer need, but always by faith was provided for in one way or another.
You can’t program this or say that it will always happen the same way. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection took the Christian walk to a different level than that of the Old Testament. We’re seated with Jesus in heavenly places and everything we need for life and godliness is in Him.
Philippians 4:10-20 says; “10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your[a] care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to [b]be abased, and I know how to [c]abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through [d]Christ who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I [e]have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
I believe the Gift of Faith was in operation as a result of giving up his life in exchange for a ministry that would cost him everything. There are conditions to receiving God’s provision for our lives and it is picking up your cross and following him and dying to self and by faith leave all that hinders us from trusting God to meet our needs. Paul set a great example of being a minister who worked with his hands as part of God’s provision as well as received love offerings from the Churches he ministered to and truly left everything behind to fulfill the call of God on his life. For some need the Gift of Faith to find the next job, and to others it may be to finance the ministry, but the key is to unlocking God’s provision is being willing to leave all that hinders the call to follow Him.
Jesus says in Mark 10:29-30; “29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother [a]or wife or children or [b]lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.”
AZUSA PAPERS says the following testimony about God’s provision;
“Mrs. Daisy Batman's Testimony. At the age of fourteen, the Lord saved me from my sins. Last April He sanctified my soul, took all inbred sin out and gave me a clean heart fit for the Lord's use. Hallelujah! But still I hungered for more, so when the Pentecost came to Los Angeles, I found that was just what I wanted. But I was working every day and could not be at the meeting much. One day the Lord told me to stop everything and go to the meeting. I said, Lord, I have three small children and no way to support them. He said, I will supply your needs. Glory to God, He has supplied all our needs. We have never needed for anything and have never asked anybody but the blessed Lord for a penny. Three years ago last April, the Lord gave us the call to Africa. At first I thought I would stay and let my husband go, but He said, "No, you must go too." I thought He wanted us to go right away, but when he saw I was willing to spend my life in Africa for precious souls, He revealed to us that He would tell us when to go. And three months after we received our baptism, He said, "Now go to Africa." O glory to God, I am so glad I got to the place where the blessed Lord's will is my will."
If you look at this testimony in the natural, you might conclude that she was irresponsible, but looking at it through the Gift of Faith because if was the Lord’s will, it’s supernatural and worthy of glory to Jesus. If Jesus wants you in ministry full time, just listen to Him. You might have to give some things up, jobs or education, whatever He calls you to do, trust Him for provision, don’t lean on your own understanding, be responsible and obedient to the Lord for His call and election on your life.
In Matthew 6:25-32, Jesus says the following; “25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
When you read these scriptures, the natural faith you have in God to provide for your life is challenged to enter into the Gift of Faith, and actually, you have to get retrained by the Bible scriptures on God’s provision to overcome the natural anxieties that Jesus speaks of that we can have a tendency to carry with us on a daily basis. At Azusa Street, they had to trust God to provide the money to publish the Apostolic Faith Newspaper free of charge to their subscribers. This was an obvious act of the Gift of Faith in operation and they did what Jesus freely did for them on the cross, and in return, He provided them with the Gift of Faith for provision and healing their bodies. That’s a pretty good exchange that far out-weighs the monetary gain from selling what God gave them freely.
ASUZA PAPERS say the following testimony;
“PUBLISHED FREE BY FAITH.
The Lord showed us before starting this paper that it was to be free. We were not to tax the people or put ourselves in debt to the people and in bondage, by selling it a year ahead. It was to be a Holy Ghost paper and it was to be free indeed. No subscription price. No begging for money in it or through it. It costs a cent a copy to send it anywhere in the world, and the Lord can afford that. We pay book postage on the rolls, because we cannot enter it as second-class matter in the mails. We have no advertisements -- nothing to advertise but this wonderful salvation that is free to all. The writers and workers in the office live by faith outside of what comes for the paper, and we publish no names of editors. All work for the honor and glory of God. This we believe will be a real protection to the paper to keep it pure, for unless one is filled with the love of God, they do not covet to work without honor or money.”
I believe that the main reason that a Christian is able to operate in the Gift of Faith for God’s provision, be it for the ministry or personal needs without being anxious about anything, is that they are tithers of all their income and give offerings above and beyond as cheerful givers. The tithers have the promised blessing of God’s provision, where as the non-tithers have the promise of God’s curse on their lives, and the door is wide open for the devil to rob them in one way or another.
Malachi 3:8-12 says the following in the Amplified Bible; “8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! 10 Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the [a]storehouse, so that there may be [b]food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. 11 Then I will rebuke the [c]devourer (insects, plague) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field drop its grapes [before harvest],” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “All nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” says the Lord of hosts.”
Proverbs 3:9-10 says; “9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
I believe this scripture emphasizes why the tither doesn’t need to continue in anxiety about provision because they have the confidence that God will provide all that they need according to His riches in glory, and the blessings of Abraham will overtake them, they’ll be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. Your church will be a place that is flourishing, like a tree beside the streams of water yielding its fruit in season. You’ll be blessed, not cursed because you gave God ten percent of your income and even above and beyond through offerings. You can’t outgive God. If you obey Him to give, why be anxious about anything? This should stir up the Gift of Faith in you to know that as a tither that He’ll supply for you and that you don’t have to be anxious for anything regarding provision for your life. You can stand on His word in faith and resist the lies that the devil would speak into your mind about your provision.
You’re a blood bought child of God, a royal priesthood, a chosen generation – that’s what separates you from the heathen, those who curse God. Don’t yield to the lies that God will not supply your needs, He’s in covenant with you through the blood of Jesus. You might want to put a note up on your desk that says, ‘I tithed this week, I gave my offerings to God, therefore God will supply everything that I have need of’. It’s a good reminder to yourself that He will bless you, your house and your ministry.
It all comes back to what Jesus did on the cross. He took the stripes on His back to redeem us from the curse of sickness, death and poverty found in Deuteronomy 28.
For more information and teaching on the Gift of Faith for Healing and Provision, please go to The Holy Spirit Series, Parts 12, 14 & 15 on our website. Here is the link.
To read more from The Azusa Street Papers, please click on this link to read Vol.1, No.4