Preached at Springfield Assembly, Springfield, Mo.
Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, March 17, 1923
Ever Increasing Faith, chapter 4. (Published 1924.)
Read John 5:1-24.
I believe the word of God is so powerful that it can transform any and every life. There is power in God’s word to make that which does not appear to appear. There is executive power in the word that proceeds from His lips. The psalmist tells us, "He sent His word and healed them"; and do you think that word has diminished in its power? I tell you nay, but God’s word can bring things to pass today as of old.
The psalmist said, "Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy word." And again, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes." And if our afflictions will bring us to the place where we see that we cannot live by bread alone, but must partake of every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, they will have served a blessed purpose. But I want you to realize that there is a life of purity, a life made clean through the word He has spoken, in which, through faith, you can glorify God with a body that is free from sickness, as well as with a spirit set free from the bondage of Satan.
Here they lay, a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, around the pool, waiting for the moving of the water. Did Jesus heal everybody? He left many around that pool unhealed. There were doubtless many who had their eyes on the pool and who had no eyes for Jesus. There are many today who have their confidence all the time in things seen. If they would only get their eyes on God instead of on natural things, how quickly they would be helped.
The question arises, is salvation and healing for all? It is for all who will press right in and get their portion. You remember the case of that Syrophenician woman who wanted the devil cast out of her daughter. Jesus said to her, "Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs." Note, healing, and deliverance are here spoken of by the Master as “the children's bread"; so, if you are a child of God, you can surely press in for your portion.
The Syrophenician woman purposed to get from the Lord what she was after, and she said, "Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs." Jesus was stirred as He saw the faith of this woman, and He told her, "For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter." Today there are many children of God refusing their blood-purchased portion of health in Christ and are throwing it away, while sinners are pressing through and picking it up from under the table, as it were, and are finding the cure not only for their bodies, but for their spirits and souls as well. The Syrophenician woman went home and found that the devil had indeed gone out of her daughter. Today there is bread, there is life, and there is health for every child of God through his all-powerful Word.
The Word can drive every disease away from your body. It is your portion in Christ, Him who is our bread, our life, our health, our all in all. And though you may be deep in sin, you can come to Him in repentance, and he will forgive and cleanse and will receive them. There is a promise in the last verse in Joel, "I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed." This is as much as to say He will provide new life within. The life of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, can so purify men's hearts and minds that they become entirely transformed, spirit, soul and body.
There they are round the pool; and this man had been there a long time. His infirmity was of thirty-eight years standing. Now and again an opportunity would come, as the angel stirred the waters, but his heart would be made sick as he saw another step in and be healed before him. But one day Jesus was passing that way, and seeing him lying there in that sad condition, enquired, "Wilt thou be made whole?" Jesus said it, and His word is from everlasting to everlasting. This is His word to you, poor, tried and tested one today. You may say, like this poor impotent man, “I have missed every opportunity up till now.” Never mind about that—Wilt thou be made whole?
I visited a woman who had been suffering for many years. She was all twisted up with rheumatism and had been two years in bed. I said to her, “What makes you lie here?” She said, “I've come to the conclusion that I have a thorn in the flesh.” I said, “To what wonderful degree of righteousness have you attained that you have to have a thorn in the flesh? Have you had such an abundance of divine revelations that there is danger of your being exalted above measure?" She said, “I believe it is the Lord who is causing me to suffer.” I said, “You believe it is the Lord's will for you to suffer, and you are trying to get out of it as quickly as you can. There are doctor's bottles all over the place. Get out of your hiding place and confess that you are a sinner. If you'll get rid of your self- righteousness, God will do something for you. Drop the idea that you are so holy that God has got to afflict you. Sin is the cause of your sickness and not righteousness. Disease is not caused by righteousness, but by sin.”
There is healing through the blood of Christ and deliverance for every captive. God never intended His children to live in misery because of some affliction that comes directly from the devil. A perfect atonement was made at Calvary. I believe that Jesus bore my sins, and I am free from them all. I am justified from all things if I dare believe. He Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses; and if I dare believe, I can be healed.
See this poor, helpless man at the pool. "Wilt thou be made whole?" But there is a difficulty in the way. The man has one eye on the pool and one eye on Jesus. There are many people getting cross-eyed this way these days; they have one eye on the doctor and one on Jesus. If you will only look to Christ and put both your eyes on Him you can be made every whit whole, spirit, soul and body. It is the word of the living God that they that believe should be justified, made free from all things. And whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
You say, “Oh, if I only could believe!” He understands. Jesus knew he had been a long time in that case. He is full of compassion. He knows that kidney trouble, He knows those corns, and He knows that neuralgia. There is nothing he does not know. He only wants a chance to show Himself merciful and gracious to you. But He wants to encourage you to believe Him. If thou canst only believe, thou canst be saved and healed. Dare to believe that Jesus was wounded for your transgressions, was bruised for your iniquities, was chastised that you might have peace, and that by His stripes there is healing for you right here and now. You have failed because you have not believed Him. Cry out to Him even now, "Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief."
I was in Long Beach, California one day, and with a friend, was passing a hotel. He told me of a doctor there who had a diseased leg; that he had been suffering from it for six years, and could not get out. We went up to his room and found four doctors there. I said, “Well, doctor, I see you have plenty on, I'll call again another day.” I was passing at another time, and the Holy Spirit said, “Go join thyself to him.” Poor doctor! He surely was in a bad condition. He said, “I have been like this for six years, and nothing human can help me.” I said, “You need God Almighty.” People are trying to patch up their lives; but you cannot do anything without God. I talked to him for a while about the Lord, and then prayed for him. I cried, “Come out of him, in the name of Jesus.” The doctor cried, “It's all gone!”
Oh, if we only knew Jesus! One touch of His mightiness meets the need of every crooked thing. The trouble is to get people to believe Him. The simplicity of this salvation is so wonderful. One touch of living faith in Him is all that is required, and wholeness is your portion.
I was in Long Beach about six weeks later, and the sick were coming for prayer. Among those filling up the aisle was the doctor. I said, “What is the trouble?” He said, “Diabetes, but it will be all right tonight. I know it will be all right.” There is no such thing as the Lord not meeting your need. There are no ifs or may’s; His promises are all shall’s. All things are possible to him that believeth. Oh, the name of Jesus! There is power in that name to meet every condition of human need.
At that meeting there was an old man helping his son to the altar. He said, “He has fits—many every day.” Then there was a woman with a cancer. Oh, what sin has done! We read that, when God brought forth His people from Egypt, "there was not one feeble person among their tribes." No disease! All healed by the power of God! I believe that God wants a people like that today.
I prayed for the sister who had the cancer and she said, “I know I'm free and that God has delivered me.” Then they brought the boy with the fits, and I commanded the evil spirits to leave, in the name of Jesus. Then I prayed for the doctor. At the next night's meeting the house was full. I called out, “Now, doctor, what about the diabetes?” He said, “It has gone.” Then I said to the old man, “What about your son?” He said, “He hasn't had any fits since.” We have a God who answers prayer.
Jesus meant this man at the pool to be a testimony forever. When he had both eyes on Jesus, He said to him, “Do the impossible thing. Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." Jesus called on the man with the withered hand to do the impossible—to stretch forth his hand. The man did the impossible thing—he stretched out his hand, and it was made every whit whole. And so with this impotent man—he began to rise, and he found the power of God moving within. He wrapped up his bed and began to walk off. It was the Sabbath day, and there were some of those folks around who think much more of a day than they do of the Lord; and they began to make a fuss. When the power of God is in manifestation, a protest will always come from some hypocrites. Jesus knew all about what the man was going through, and met him again; and this time He said to him, "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee."
There is a close relationship between sin and sickness. How many know that their sickness is a direct result of sin? I hope that no one will come to be prayed for who is living in sin. But if you will obey God and repent of your sin and quit it, God will meet you, and neither your sickness nor your sin will remain. "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise Him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
Faith is just the open door through which the Lord comes. Do not say, “I was healed by faith.” Faith does not save. God saves through that open door. Healing comes the same way. You believe, and the healing comes the same way. You believe, and the virtue of Christ comes. Healing is for the glory of God. I am here because God healed me when I was dying; and I have been all around the world preaching this full redemption, doing all I can to bring the glory to the wonderful name of Jesus, through whom I was healed.
"Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee." The Lord told us in one place about an evil spirit going out from a man. The house that he left got all swept and garnished, but it received no new occupant. And that evil spirit, with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, went back to that unoccupied house, and the last stage of the man was worse than the first. The Lord does not heal you to go to a baseball game or to a race meet. He heals you for His glory and that from henceforth your life shall glorify Him. But this man remained stationary. He did not magnify God. He did not seek to be filled with the Spirit. And his last state became worse than the first.
The Lord would so cleanse the motive and desires of our hearts that we will seek but one thing only, and that is, His glory. I went to a certain place one day and the Lord said, “This is for My glory.” A young man had been sick for a long time confined to his bed in an utterly hopeless condition. He was fed only with a spoon, and was never dressed. The weather was damp, and so I said to the people of the house, “I wish you would put the young man's clothes by the fire to air.” At first they would not take any notice of my request, but because I was persistent, they at last got out his clothes, and, when they were aired, I took them into his room.
The Lord said to me, “You will have nothing to do with this;” and I just lay out prostrate on the floor. The Lord showed me that He was going to shake the place with His glory. The very bed shook. I laid my hands on the young man in the name of Jesus, and the power fell in such a way that I fell on my face to the floor. In about a quarter of an hour the young man got up and walked up and down praising God. He dressed himself and then went out to the room where his father and mother were. He said, “God has healed me.” Both the father and mother fell prostate to the floor as the power of God surged through that room. There was a woman in that house who had been in an asylum for lunacy, and her condition was so bad that they were about to take her back. But the power of God healed her, too. The power of God is just the same today as of old. Men need to be taken back to the old paths, to the old-time faith, to believe God’s Word and every “Thus saith the Lord” therein. The Spirit of the Lord is moving in these days. God is coming forth. If you want to be in the rising tide, you must accept all God has said.