The Role Of Jesus As Presented In The Healing

The Role Of Jesus As Presented In The Healing

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 25, No. 1, Spring 2003

The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism:

A Re-Examination

Keith Warrington

Classical Pentecostalism, as a worldwide phenomenon, has, since its inception, believed in the possibility of divine healing as a legitimate expression of the ministry of the Church, entrusted to it by Christ and mediated through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Indeed, Pentecostalism viewed itself as rediscovering the gift of healing in modern times and this rediscovery is often noted as one of the major reasons for the Movement’ s growth. The Assemblies of God in an ofŽ cial positional paper notes that it is “ an integral part of the Gospel.”2 This emphasis is particularly notice- able in British Pentecostalism

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where the belief in divine healing has

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Cf. Ralph F. Martin, “ Gifts of Healing,” in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (DPCM) , ed. Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 350ff; David E. Harrell Jr., All Things Are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975); Donald W. Dayton, “ The Rise of the Evangelical Healing Movement in Nineteenth Century America,” Pentecostal Theology 4, no. 1 (1982): 1-18; Paul G. Chappell, “ Healing Movements,” DPCM, 353-74; Edith L. Blumhofer, The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of American Pentecostalism, Vol. 1: To 1941 (SpringŽ eld, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1989), 26-36; James R. Goff, “ Questions of Health and Wealth,” Pentecostals From the Inside Out , ed. Harold B. Smith (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 2 1990), 65-70.

Assemblies of God, “ Our Position on Divine Healing,” Paraclete 9, no. 2 (1975): 7-13; cf. Cheryl Bridges-Johns, “ Healing and Deliverance: A Pentecostal Perspective,” Pentecostal Movements as an Ecumenical Challenge , ed. Jü rgen Moltmann, K.-J. Kuschel (London: 3 SCM, 1996), 45.

See the Fundamental Beliefs of The Assemblies of God (AOG); The Elim Pentecostal Church (Elim); The Apostolic Church. This paper concentrates on the former three denom- inations as they have traditionally formed the main Classical Pentecostal denominations in the UK, especially the former two; consequently, most of the sources used are by those who represent these national Churches (see also The Church of God of Prophecy; The New Testament Church of God [NTCG]; Alexander Tee, Healing and Health (London: Evangel Press, n.d.), 6ff; Elim Lay Preachers Handbook (London: Elim, 1946); Donald Gee, “ Wide Interest in Divine Healing,” Voice of Healing (Feb. 1953), 20; John Richards, “ The Healing Ministry and Charismatic Renewal,” in Strange Gifts , ed. David Martin and Peter Mullen (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984), 154; Paul Mercy, “ Ministering Healing,” Redemption (June 1990), 5ff; Malcolm Taylor, “ A Historical Perspective on the Doctrine of Divine Healing,” Epta Bulletin 14 (1995): 54-84; Keith Warrington, “ Healing and Exorcism: The Path to Wholeness,” in Pentecostal Perspectives , ed. Keith Warrington (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1998), 147-76; “ Major Aspects of healing within British Pentecostalism,” Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association 19 (1999): 34-55.

© 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden

pp. 66-92

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The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism

rested on Old Testament

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and New Testament texts,

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reinforced by occur- rences of healings throughout its history.

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The occurrence of healings and the belief in the ongoing nature of such phenomena is, however, no guarantee for the internal coherence or con- sistency of Pentecostal teaching concerning such an issue. As will be demonstrated, in recent years, some Pentecostals have been increasingly ready to develop a theology of healing that is analytical and critical of

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Exod. 15:26; Pss. 103:2f, 105:37; Isa. 53:4f; Mal. 3:6; cf. John Carter, Questions and Answers on Vital Subjects (Nottingham: Assemblies of God Publishing House, n.d.), 9f; Fred H. Squire, The Healing Power of Christ (Southend: Full Gospel Publishing House, 1935), 13-19; Harold Horton, “ Rapha at Golgotha,” Elim Evangel (July 29, 1961), 472ff; Gordon Wright, Our Quest for Healing (Cheltenham: Grenehurst, 1981), 49-51; Gordon Cove, (God’ s Covenant of Divine Healing [Nelson: Coulton’ s, n.d.], 9), deducing that what was good enough for the Israelites under the Old Covenant is good enough for us under the New, suggests, 5 “ We may claim . . . that we may not die prematurely before the age of seventy.”

Matt. 4:23; 8:16f; 10:8; Mark 16:15ff; Luke 9:1f; John 14:12; Acts 10:38; Heb. 13:8; Jas. 5:14f; 1 Pet. 2:24; cf. Wright, Our Quest for Healing. , 51-58; Squire, The Healing Power of Christ6 , 13-19; Aaron Linford, Pentecostal Pictures (London: Peniel Press, 1976), 121-29.

Percy G. Parker, Divine Healing (Clapham: Victory Press, n.d.), 9-15; William F. P. Burton, Where to Go with Your Troubles (Preston: Congo Evangelistic Mission, n.d.), 45- 50; Herbert Lockyer, The Healer and Healing Movements (n.p., n.d.); William F. P. Burton, Missionary Pioneering in Congo Forests (Preston: R. Seed & Sons, 1992); George Jeffreys, Miraculous Healing after Twenty Years Suffering (London: Elim, 1927); Helpless Cripple Perfectly Healed at Leeds (Clapham: Elim, 1927); George Jeffreys, A Modern Miracle of Healing at Grimsby (Clapham: Elim, 1927); Ernest C. W. Boulton, George Jeffreys: A Ministry of the Miraculous (Clapham: Elim, 1928), 180ff; Agnes Adams, Stephen Jeffreys (London: Covenant, 1928), 44ff; George Jeffreys, The Miraculous Foursquare Gospel (Clapham: Elim, 1929), 22ff; George Jeffreys, Healing Rays (Clapham: Elim, 1932), 176- 209; Robert E. Darragh, In Defence of His Word (Clapham: Elim, 1932), 15-140; Edward Jeffreys, Present Day Miracles of Divine Healing (Birmingham, UK: Bethel, 1933); J.C. Hill, Jesus Never Fails (Hull: Gledhill, 1933); Charles J.E. Kingston, Fulness of Power (Clapham: Victory, 1939), 51-57; Charles Coates, The Miraculous Healing of Miss Florence Munday (Birmingham, UK: P.H. Hulbert, 1945); Robert Barrie, “ The Gifts of Healing,” Study Hour (Sept. 15, 1948), 176f; William F.P. Burton, Signs Following (Luton: Assemblies of God, 1949), 1-8, 16-24; Thomas N. Turnbull, What God Hath Wrought (Bradford: Puritan, 1959), 140-46; William Allen, “ Divine Healing,” Elim Evangel (July 16, 1966), 450; William T. H. Richards, Pentecost Is Dynamite (London: Lakeland, 1972), 65; Alfred F. Missen, The Sound of a Gong (Nottingham: Assemblies of God, 1973), 5, 22; Colin C. Whittaker, Seven Pentecostal Pioneers (Basingstoke: Marshalls, 1983), 35, 59-76; Melvin Banks, Healing Secrets (Basingstoke: Marshall Pickering, 1986), 36-46; George Canty, The Practice of Pentecost (Basingstoke: Marshall Pickering, 1987), 2ff; Albert W. Edsor, Set Your House in Order (Chichester: New Wine Press, 1989), 57-65; James K. Bridges, “ The Miracles of Jesus,” World Pentecost 54 (1997), 8; examples of testimonies of heal- ings (many occurring during evangelistic missions) are recorded in Elim Evangel : Jan. 21, 28 (with an anointed cloth), Mar. 18, Apr. 22, May 6, 13, June 10, July 15, 22, Aug. 19, Sept. 9, 23, Oct. 14, 28, Nov. 4, 11, Dec. 9, 1961; June 9, Sept. 22, 1962; Jan. 19, June 22, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, 26, 1963; Mar. 14, Apr. 4, May 2, Dec. 12, 1964; Mar. 13, Aug. 7, Sept. 25, Dec. 18, 1965; Feb. 26, Apr. 2, May 14, July 16, Sept. 17, 24, 1966; April 20, May 11, Aug. 17, 1968; Feb. 15, Apr. 5, 19, May 10, July 5, Aug. 9, Oct. 25;

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excesses and errors.

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The possibility of divine healing is not in dispute. That which is to be determined relates to whether a model of healing based on the praxis of Jesus may be emulated by believers. The latter is regularly offered as the basis for one’ s healing ministry, but the sense of expectation is increasingly diminished by the poor success rate in com- parison with that of Jesus.

Jesus as Paradigmatic Healer

Many Pentecostals afŽ rm that the healing authority of Jesus has been delegated to believers. Undergirding this belief is the assumption that Jesus acted as a paradigm for believers with regard to healing.

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A num- ber of reasons, drawn from the writings of mainstream Pentecostal sources may be adduced for these beliefs, although at times they have been cri- tiqued from within Pentecostalism. It is to be remembered that the impor- tance of the advocates of various beliefs differs markedly at times, as does the merit of their views; nevertheless, in this examination of popular Pentecostal beliefs concerning healing, each author contributes something of value to the ow of the debate, the less erudite writers, at times, re ect- ing the majority viewpoint. The signiŽ cance of the following reasons for belief in Jesus as paradigmatic healer is that they provide a hermeneuti- cal context for relating the healing ministry of Jesus to believers today.

June 6, Oct. 24, 1970; Feb. 16, 1985; Feb. 8, June 14, Nov. 8, 1986; June 27, Oct. 3, 1987; Redemption Tidings : July 18, 1952; Feb. 27, 1953; Jan. 18, Feb. 8, May 17, June 26, Aug. 16, 1979; Jan. 24, Feb. 28, Apr. 17, May 15, Sept. 18, Oct. 30, Dec. 11, 18, 1980; Jan. 15, May 28, June 25, Oct. 8, 1981; May 13, June 24, Aug. 5, Sept. 16, 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 25, Dec. 30, 1982; July 21, 1983; Feb. 9, 1984; Aug. 15, 1985; Redemption: July, Aug., Sept., Oct., 1993; Direction: Apr., June, Aug., 1990; Mar., 1994; Feb., May, Sept., Nov., 1995; Joy: Jan., 7Feb., March, April, May, June (three resurrections reported in the UK), July, 1995.

Not all are part of this process; in a major Classical Pentecostal monthly magazine, Direction, the mouthpiece of the Elim Pentecostal denomination (“ Wiseowl,” [April 1998], 8), it was recently suggested that “ God often protects them [believers] from becoming ill in the Ž rst place,” oblivious to the inability of proving such an assertion. Smith ( Pentecostals From the Inside Out , 67) writes, “ Not coincidental to the rise of Pentecostalism was the decline of healing theology among mainstream evangelicals. The excess of disreputable Pentecostals 8 forced most to stay away from any emphasis on healing within their circles.”

This is not the only reason offered by Pentecostals for healing being a valid ministry of the Church today. Although it is the major reason, others include the acknowledgement of the charismatic gifts of healings referred to in 1 Cor. 12:9, the guidelines offered in Jas. 5:13-18, and the signiŽ cant numbers of healings that have occurred during the history of Pentecostalism. Similarly, Jeffreys ( Healing Rays , 99-110) notes the fact that healings have continued through the era of the Church as a result of the work of the Spirit. However, this article has concentrated on the notion of Jesus as paradigmatic healer because in the literature available, it forms the most popular reason for the expectation of divine healing.

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Jesus Heals All: Yesterday and Today

The belief that because Jesus has not changed, he can heal now as he did when on earth permeates Pentecostalism, having been afŽ rmed in the seventieth-anniversary magazine of the Elim Pentecostal Church.

9 Consequently it has been assumed by many that since Jesus healed all who came to him for restoration and since he has apparently not changed, his healing ministry can be expected to continue throughout all eras with the same measure of constancy and success. In this respect he is viewed as a paradigm, his achievements potentially being replicated through the life of the believer. Thus, Hoover

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indicates that Jesus’ “ programme [of divine healing] is the same today for He is unchangeable.” George Jeffreys,

11 the founder of Elim, states, “ Our Lord who healed in the days of His esh is declared to be the unchanging one (Heb. 1:8).” Yet he, with others, fails to comment on the differences between the ministry of Jesus and that of his (contemporary) followers.

Though it is not doubted that divine healings continue to be experi- enced in the Church, as anticipated by Jesus in John 14:12, the central issue concerns whether Jesus intended his healing ministry to be the par- adigm for other healing ministries in the future. It will be argued that he did not; furthermore, it will be contended that his healing ministry was speciŽ cally related to his incarnational mode and ministry of revealing his identity and his salviŽ c purposes to humankind, with the healings as a central element in this process.

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This is not to concede any ground to Cessationism; it simply acknowledges the fact that Jesus’ healings were more pedagogical than they were paradigmatic.

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David Green, ed., Celebration (Worthing: Elim, 1985), 29.

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James N. Hoover, “ Divine Healing,” Elim Evangel (Feb. 5, 1945), 45.

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Jeffreys, The Miraculous Foursquare Gospel , 36ff.

Keith Warrington, Jesus the Healer: Paradigm or Phenomenon (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2000) 13 1-29, 141-63.

Jesus is presented as having authority to heal sicknesses (Matt. 8:14ff; 16ff.//s; 12:15-21//s; 13:51-58//s; 14:34-36//s; 15:29-31; 19:2; 21:14; Mark 7:31ff; Luke 1:20ff; 13:32; John 4:46-54; 5:2-47; 9:1-41), cast out demons (Matt. 8:16ff; 8:28-34//s; 9:32-34; 12:22-29//s; 15:21-28//s; 17:14-21//s; Mark 1:23-28//s; 1:39; 9:38-41//s) and raise from the dead (Matt. 9:18f; 23-26//s; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:2-44). The focus, however, is not cen- tered primarily on a demonstration of his raw power but rather on what that power repre- sents in terms of authority. His healings demonstrate that he has authority concerning issues related to the Jewish Law, including the Sabbath (Luke 8:2f; 13:10ff; 14:1-6; John 5:1-14; 9:1-41), purity laws (Matt. 8:2-4//s; 9:20-22//s; Luke 7:11ff.), and the temple (Matt 21:14); the reinstatement of the outcast (Matt. 8:2-4//s; 9:20-22//s; 15:21-28//s; Luke 7:11-17; 13:10-17; 17:11-19); the initiation of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23f; 9:35; 10:1,8//s, 11:4ff//s; 12:22-29//s; Mark 7:31-37; Luke 7:19-23; 9:1f; 10:8,17-20); they provide opportunities to

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Throughout its pilgrimage, British Pentecostalism has sought to Ž nd in Jesus’ healing ministry a pattern for its own (despite the fact that James offers a very different pattern that is speciŽ cally intended for the church). Popular beliefs concerning the hope of divine healing based in the heal- ing ministry of Jesus are located in hymn and chorus books used by Pentecostals.

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These musical sources have been a signiŽ cant element in the promulgation of important beliefs within Pentecostal churches. The Hymnal Committee that chose the hymns for the Redemption Hymnal , a popular hymnbook up until recent years, stated, “ Existing hymnbooks contain an inadequate selection of hymns . . . this collection has been to supply that which was lacking,” songs that were to include those relat- ing to “ divine healing for the body.”15 Almost all the latter have been retained in the New Redemption Hymnal ,16 a hymnbook compiled by a committee of leaders from Elim, Assemblies of God and Apostolic churches.

Old Testament and New Testament verses promising healing were employed to introduce the hymns,

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and important issues felt to be inte- gral to divine healing were stressed. Thus, in the popular songs the fact that Jesus healed

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and that he healed all

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who came to him were re ected; remaining ill but maintaining patience was believed to be unnecessary for the believer.

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The healing ministry of Jesus regarded as proof that sim- ilar miracles could be expected by all believers in all eras. Despite this high level of expectation, however, many other songs express the fact that the Lord constantly supports the believer through difŽ cult times without removing the suffering,

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while terms normally associated with physical healing are used to describe forgiveness of sins or the removal of spiri-

believe (Matt. 9:1-8//s; 9:32-34; 12:9-14//s; 12:15-21; 12:22-29//s; 12:43-45//s; 20:29-34//s; 21:14; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6; 17:11-19; John 4:46-54; 5:2-47; 9:1-41; 11:2-44); teach about faith (Matt. 8:5-13//s; 9:18f, 23-26//s; 9:20-22//s,27-31; 13:51//s; 14:34-36//s; 15:21- 28//14s; 17:14-21//s; 20:29-34//s) and obedience (Matt. 7:21-23; 8:2-4//s; 12:43-45//s).

Elim Choruses , Books 1-18 (Eastbourne: Victory Press, Ž rst printed in one volume, 1966); 15 Redemption Songs (London: Pickering and Inglis, n.d.).

Redemption Hymnal (Eastbourne: Elim, 1951), v. All hymns below are taken from the 16Redemption Hymnal unless otherwise speciŽ ed.

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New Redemption Hymnal (Milton Keynes: Word, 1986).

Exod. 15:26 (730); Ps. 107:20 (737); Matt. 8:16 (732); 9:21 (731); Mark 1:32; Acts 10:38 18 (733); Jas. 5:16 (736).

Redemption Hymnal , 731, 732, 733, 734, 735; Elim Choruses , 47, 104, 136, 155, 332, 19513, 623; Redemption Songs , 385.

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Redemption Hymnal , 730.

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Ibid., 730: “ Why not ask it now instead of praying for ‘ patience’ to endure.”

Ibid., 428, 430, 440, 444, 453, 454, 458, 460, 466, 474; Elim Choruses , 82, 84, 102, 144, 212, 278, 321, 327, 490, 497, 710, 763, 802, 891; Redemption Songs , 371, 373, 398, 401, 740.

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tual deŽ ciencies.

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Thus, an implicit awareness that the promise does not always receive fulŽ llment existed in tension, and still does to a degree, with a tenacity nevertheless to hold on to the promise. Apparently, an uncertain promise was viewed as better than no promise.

Throughout the history of Pentecostalism, some have claimed that it is always God’ s will to heal.

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Carter,24 for example, pointed to the fact that “ Jesus healed all who came to him.” From this assertion some have deduced that the desire of Jesus remains constant through all eras and his response to those who come for healing is the same as when he was on earth, his authority to heal being channeled through believers in his absence. Canty25 contends, “ It is impossible to square Christ’ s incessant warfare against sickness with the theory that sickness is God’ s will.” Thus, at times the ministry of healing takes place in a verbal context of claiming or commanding healing, in assumed agreement with the procedure of Jesus.26 Parsons27 writes, with uncertain logic, “ If it were not God’ s will for his children always to be healed of their sicknesses, one would have expected Jesus to be sick sometimes as an example to us of the virtue of

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Redemption Songs , 291, 349, 426, 428, 618, 648, 652.

Gordon Cove, How to Build a Strong Faith for Divine Healing (n.p., n.d.), 4f; Melvin Banks, Divine Health is for you (n.p., n.d.), 5; Squire, The Healing Power of Christ , 28f; Carrie J. Montgomery, The Prayer of Faith (London: Victory, 1930), 4f, 27, 40f, 66, 72; R. Barrie, “ The Gifts of Healing,” Elim Evangel (Oct. 15, 1948), 190; Harold Horton, The Gifts of the Spirit (Glendale: Church, 1949), 110; Gordon Cove, How to Make Your Healing Permanent (Sandbach: Wrights, 1956), 17; H. Sawyer, “ According to Your Faith,” Elim Evangel (Oct. 2, 1965), 631; Allen, “ Divine Healing,” (Aug. 13, 1966), 516, (Aug. 20, 1966), 530; Andrew Murray, “ Pardon and Healing,” Elim Evangel (April 13, 1968), 226; Ken Chant, “ Who Said Divine Healing Is Not for Today?” Elim Evangel (Mar. 1, 1969), 145; Gordon Wright, “ The Miracle That Inspires Hope,” Elim Evangel (May 10, 1969), 314; Darragh, In Defence of His Word , 104; Alfred L. Hoy, “ Gifts of Healings,” Paraclete 12, no. 1 (1978), 10; Ron Hicklin, “ Divine Healing,” Redemption Tidings (Mar. 18, 1982), 5; Ian Andrews, “ Authority to Heal,” Bread 21 (Sept.-Oct. 1982), 4f; George Canty, “ Belief for Believing,” Redemption Tidings (July 21, 1983), 10; K.M. Simons in a letter to Redemption (Aug. 1986, 41) expresses “ amazement at a remark . . . in Redemption that 24suggested that healing might not be the will of God for all.”

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Carter, Questions and Answers , 9f (italics original).

George Canty, “ Man Has a Built In Health Service,” Redemption Tidings (Sept. 18, 1980), 8f; cf. Gordon Cove, Why Some Are Healed by Christ and Some Are Not (Nelson: Coulton, n.d.), 37; George Canty, “ Positively negative,” Elim Evangel (Jan. 27, 1962), 51; contra Desmond Cartwright, “ Neglected Factors,” Elim Evangel (Mar. 31, 1962), 195f; Ron Hicklin (“ Divine Healing [3]. The First Principle,” Redemption Tidings [Jan. 21, 1982], 5) writes, “ The prayer for healing which adds the words ‘ thy will be done’ not only frus- trates faith . . . it speaks blasphemy” (Cove died of a heart deŽ ciency while Hicklin died of cancer; 26 (I am grateful to Des Cartwright for this information).

Cf. John Osteen, “ Changing Your Destiny,” Bread 7 (May-June 1980), 7; Melvin Banks, 27 Healing Revolution (Basingstoke: Marshalls, 1985), 54, 85, 138, 148.

Philip Parsons, “ It Is God’ s Will to Heal,” Bread 21 (Sept.-Oct. 1982), 7.

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being sick.” More particularly, this view re ects the belief that Jesus is the paradigm for believers today with regard to healing. It does not enter- tain the possibility that Jesus’ healings were signs to accompany the inbreaking of the kingdom of God or catalysts for teaching. Indeed, Canty

28 rejects the possibility that Jesus conŽ rmed important issues through the miracles, maintaining instead that “ He heals because He loves us.” He does not, however, explain why, if love is the reason for healing, all Jesus loves are not all healed.

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Instead, he

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simply concludes that the fact that God loves all does not necessarily mean that he chooses to heal all.

Similarly, it has been popularly believed that one, possibly the only, major reason for Jesus’ healing was due to his compassion,

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although the paucity of Gospel references to this is never acknowledged; nor are the implications for contemporary situations in which people are not healed (does Jesus have greater compassion for some than for others, as appar- ently evidenced by the healing of some?). Allen

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stresses the compas- sion of Christ for the sick as the reason for his ministry of healing, on the basis of which he advocates that believers follow the example of Jesus and, in compassion, anticipate the possibility of healing of the sick. The explicit conclusion to be drawn from this is that divine healing is avail- able if compassion is in evidence.

Throughout the Pentecostal era, however, others have reacted to the simplistic suggestion that because Jesus healed all who came to him for healing, the same is unconditionally available today for all believers. Thus, Jeffreys33 notes that distinctions may be drawn between the pattern of divine healing as recorded in the Old Testament and the Gospels and that described in the early Church: “ It pleased God to introduce new features into the dispensation of the Holy Ghost that were not to be found in the others.”

The issue of the conditional nature of divine healing is an area that has experienced a noticeable change within Pentecostalism, although ten-

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George Canty, “ Heal the Sick,” What Pentecostals Believe , ed. Gordon Wright, unpublished 29 draft (1980/1981), 29f.

Contra Jeffreys (Healing Rays , 97f) who accepts the premise that Jesus’ healings were 30achieved for more purposes than simply to restore people physically.

George Canty, “ Car Ride to a Revelation,” Elim Evangel (Nov. 30, 1963), 755; Canty31, “ Heal the Sick,” 2.9f.

Redemption Hymnal , 730: “ Is our Lord, the good, the kind, the tender, less loving now 32than in those days of old?”

“ Divine Healing,” (July 30, 1966), 488; cf. Parker, Divine Healing , 8; Banks, Healing Secrets, 38; Barrie, “ The Gifts of Healing,” (Oct. 15, 1948), 190; Donald Gee (“ The Donald Gee Column,” Victory Hour [April 1952], 20) agrees, though he cautions that compassion for the 33 sick will not necessarily improve the chances of restoration.

Healing Rays , 101.

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sion still remains. Some have suggested that although God has the power to heal, he does not always choose to heal, and in the latter case, it is due to God’ s sovereign will.

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Woodford35 concluded, “ The healing ministry of Jesus was conditioned and exercised within the terms of His divine commission, always in obedience to the commandment of the Father and thus within the sphere of His sovereign will.” Tee

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states, “ In the mat- ter of divine healing we must always remember that God is sovereign and can do exactly as He wants.” Gee

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notes, “ We have erred by refusing any place in our doctrine or at least a very insufŽ cient place for the sov- ereign will of God.” Similarly, he

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remarks, “ To ask for Divine healing without any accompanying ‘ nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done’ seems to pose an attitude out of keeping with every other right attitude we take in prayer.” Phillips, too,

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describes the purpose of prayer as being “ co-operation with God in bringing about His will . . . not trying to per- suade God to carry out our will.” The ofŽ cial Statements of Faith of the Classical Pentecostal denominations offer the hope and potential of divine healing but refrain from expressing it as a guarantee. The Statement of Fundamental Truths of Elim was revised in 1993-94 and included amend- ments of the stated beliefs concerning healing. The statement that “ All

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Parker (Divine Healing , 24) records, “ When our Lord Ž rst of all commenced to give out His gifts of healing, all who came to Him received . . . But the time came for the plan to be modiŽ ed . . . From general giving the plan became discriminate giving” ; cf. Harold Horton, “ More about ‘ gifts,’ ” Study Hour (Mar. 15, 1950), 46; Donald Gee, The Pentecostal Movement (London: Victory Press, 1942), 164; “ What is ConŽ dence?” Victory Hour (April 1954), 25; Percy S. Brewster, The Spreading Flame of Pentecost (London: Elim Publishing House, 1970), 45; Walter J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals (London: SCM, 1972), 35 357; “ Wiseowl,” Direction (Jan. 1996), 29.

Leslie F. W. Woodford, The Doctrine and Practice of Divine Healing and Deliverance (paper presented to the British Pentecostal Fellowship, London, 1960), 2. He notes the fact that Jesus’ “ healing ministry did not reach out to the Samaritans or the Gentiles except in one or two special instances (Matt. 10:5, 15:24)” ; Aubrey Hathaway (“ The matter of heal- ing,” Elim Evangel [Mar. 30, 1963], 194) adds, “ Extravagant claims concerning divine healing are not supported by a greater percentage of success, while the premature deaths of some of God’ s choicest saints, including some of our own ministers, even after inces- sant prayer, must surely temper the claims that are made. Claims must be supported by exegesis 36 and evidence. Neither supports claims to universal healing.”

Alexander Tee, “ The Doctrine of Divine Healing,” in Pentecostal Doctrine , ed. Percy S. Brewster (Cheltenham: Grenehurst, 1976), 198; cf. Richards, letter, Redemption Tidings (Oct. 23, 1953); Taylor, “ A Historical Perspective on the Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 72, 82-84; 37 Colin Dye, Healing Authority (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997), 93f.

Donald Gee, Trophimus, I Left Sick: Our Problem of Divine Healing (Clapham: Elim, 381952), 37.

Ibid., 27f; Parker ( Divine Healing , 8) is open to the possibility that God could guide a Christian 39 not to seek for their healing “ as He told Paul.”

Ernest J. Phillips, “ Lord, Teach Us How to Pray,” Elim Evangel (Sept. 30, 1961), 611.

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who walk in obedience to His will can claim Divine Healing for their bodies,” which was included from 1928, has been removed in recogni- tion that this is not re ected in the New Testament,

40

and replaced with the following: “ We believe that the Gospel embraces the need of the whole man and that the Church is therefore commissioned to preach the Gospel to the world and to fulŽ ll a ministry of healing and deliverance to the physical and spiritual needs of mankind.”

Thus, there has been a signiŽ cant development in perception concerning healing that is the result of a major paradigm shift in theological under- standing and a recognition that although the kingdom has been established by Jesus, not all its beneŽ ts may be experienced in this life. Experience and a re-examination of biblical principles concerning healing have been the major causes of this development. At the same time, it demonstrates a distinction between much modern healing praxis and that of Jesus, for there is no record of his refusing any request for healing, while everyone who came for healing did get healed.

For some, however, Jesus’ healing ministry is too prominent a feature of the Gospels to allow the possibility that it does not continue among believers today to the same degree as in Ž rst-century Palestine. Consequently, some have been reluctant to abandon the belief that it is always God’ s will to heal the sick. This has caused tensions in Pentecostal belief and practice, and the distinction between God’ s will and desire is often blurred. Jeffreys41 writes, “ I believe it to be God’ s will to heal today.” Yet, he also states that the will of God is seen to incorporate the possibility of non- healing.42 Although Brewster,

43

the leading Elim evangelist and church planter for the middle decades of the twentieth century, afŽ rms the impor- tance of Jesus as a role model for contemporary healing, he also notes

44 the lack of speciŽ c methodology in Jesus’ ministry that one could imitate. Similarly, Smith concludes, “ We must be fully persuaded of God’ s will to heal . . . and claim His promises of healing in the name of Jesus by simple faith,”45 although elsewhere he denounces those who state that lack of

40

An earlier amendment to the 1927 Constitution removed the statement concerning healing being in the atonement and “ the privilege of all who believe.” From 1927, heal- ing 41was regarded as being available to all who walked “ in obedience to his will.”

42

The Miraculous Foursquare Gospel , 36f.

43

Healing Rays , 140f, 167.

Percy S. Brewster, “ The Ministry of Divine Healing,” Elim Evangel (Jan. 26, 1963), 56.

44

45

The Spreading Flame of Pentecost , 40.

Peter Smith, “ The Biblical Foundation for Healing” (Elim/AOG Joint Theological Conference; Swanwick, 1995), 158; cf. Colin Dye, Prayer That Gets Answers (London: Dovewell, 1998), 36f.

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healing is due to an absence of faith.

46

Similar difŽ culties arise when Dye, the senior Elim Pastor of one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Europe, observes that “ [t]he Bible is packed with promises of healing”47 and then acknowledges that “ [t]he cross does not guarantee us automatic physical healing in this life— even if we are fully obedient and full of faith.”48

These apparently contradictory views undermine suggestions that Jesus has delegated his healing authority to believers to function in the same way and with the same success as that enjoyed by him and his disciples. The tension between belief that God appears to have provided a way out of suffering, and at the same time, a consciousness that for many the escape route has not been located is ever present in Pentecostal thought. Many prayers for the sick still refer to the healings of Jesus and appeal to them as a major basis for believing that similar healings are to be expected for all believers today. The link between the healing ministry of Jesus and that of contemporary believers is still assumed by many, although the issues related to the absence of healing are rarely addressed. Consequently, the presence within some Pentecostal environments of Christians who suffer physically or mentally sits awkwardly in the con- text of a perceived belief that healing is available for all, although this discomfort is not unique to Pentecostalism and is decreasing.

49

Pentecostalism tends not to contrast medical healing and divine heal- ing and does not view the former suspiciously or negatively,

50

although

46

47

Peter Smith, “ A Question of Balance,” Elim Evangel (May 23, 1987), 4.

48

Healing Authority , 84.

49

Ibid., 99.

Cf. an advertisement for the Deaf Christian Fellowship in Elim Evangel (Jan. 7, 1961), 4; Ken Bunting, “ Helping the Handicapped,” Direction (Mar. 1991), 24f; Colin Reeves (“ Surely a Ramp is Enough,” Direction [May 1994], 14f) calls for more to be done to make Pentecostal churches more accessible for disabled people, while Roger Drew (“ The problems of infertility,” Direction [Oct. 1992], 14f) discusses the painful problem of infer- tility, offering seven potential remedies for those who suffer in this way, none of which relate to prayer, all of which are medically based; David Potter (“ New Visitors to Bognor,” Direction [Feb. 1996], 28f; “ Learning to Help Those Who Find It Hard to Learn,” Joy 17 [Feb. 1996], 32f) refers to the fact that people with learning difŽ culties, who have “ his- torically and actually been ‘ outsiders,’ ” are now welcomed at a joint Elim/AOG Conference with the option of attending a range of meetings and activities especially geared to their particular 50 interests with a sensitive recognition of their needs.

Percy S. Brewster, The Approach to Divine Healing (London: Elim, n.d.), 10; Malcolm J.C. Calley, God’ s People (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), 94; AOG, Who We Are and What We Believe (SpringŽ eld: Gospel Publishing House, 1982), 23; so Percy Parker, ed., Elim Bible College Correspondence School 26.5 (n.p., n.d.); the NTCG Supplement to the Declaration of Faith, article 11, reads, “ It is recognized that all healing is provided by the goodness of God, whether that healing is administered by counsel, med- ical skills or the application of medicine itself” ; cf. Roger Baldwin, Healing and Wholeness

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at times it has been regarded as an inferior form of healing.

51

This, too, is based on a belief that Jesus has promised healing to all believers. Not to take advantage of this is assumed to be foolish; to seek help from another source is viewed as betrayal. It has generally been acknowledged, however, that divine healing and medicine should not be confused,

52

nei- ther should it be assumed that divine healing is “ a substitute for obedi- ence to the rules of physical and mental health”53 or “ a means of avoiding the effects of old age.”54

There was, however, an earlier tradition that advocated an anti- medical stance,

55

which has signiŽ cantly decreased in recent decades.

(Milton Keynes: Word, 1988), 168f; Hollenweger, The Pentecostals , 367; Parker, Divine Healing, 37-40; Jeffreys, Healing Authority 157f; Tee, Healing and Health , 14; Donald Gee (Study Hour 9 [1950], 2ff, 33ff) argues in favor of psychiatry in the treatment of those depressed and/or mentally ill, commenting favorably on the works of Freud and Jung; David Petts ( Healing and the Atonement [unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Nottingham University, (1993]) employs Mark 2:17 (264), Luke 10:29-37, and Rev. 3:18 (268) as evi- dence; similarly he argues that Mark 5:25f (263f) may not be viewed as a condemnation of medicine.51

Squire, The Healing Power of Christ , 29; George Canty, in Sermons of Fire and Faith, ed. Melvin Banks (Bolton: Sharon Press, 1989), 90; Roger Baldwin, “ Health and Healing,”52 Redemption (Aug. 1990), 37.

Harry W. Greenway, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (London: Elim, n.d.), 10; Howard Carter, The Gifts of the Spirit (London: Defoe, 1946), 92; Kingston, Fullness of Power53 , 42; Brewster, “ The Ministry of Divine Healing,” 56; Tee, Healing and Health , 4.

Gee, Trophimus, I Left Sick , 16; cf. Tee, “ The Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 198; Jeffreys (Healing Authority , 44) quotes Ps. 107:17f; Gal. 6:7; Wright ( Our Quest for Healing , 38, 41) cites “ pollution, folly . . . smoking . . . hectic living, self indulgence . . . denial of . . . exercise . . . recreation . . . overwork as in the case of Epaphroditus” (148); Harvey C. Roy, M.D., “ Your Emotions and Your Health,” Elim Evangel (Feb. 16, 1963), 104-7; Harry W. Greenway, “ The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit,” Elim Evangel (Feb. 23, 1963), 54 118; “ Wiseowl,” (Apr. 1988), 8.

55

AOG, “ Our Position on Divine Healing,” 10.

Burton (Missionary Pioneering , 15), in response to the possibility of his protecting himself via the use of quinine, as did other missionaries, responds, “ I would rather die than disgrace His cause.” Nevertheless, for the sake of the gospel being preached to the unevangelized and out of consideration for his partner, he implies that he would be will- ing to take it; others in the Congo Mission refused and at least nine died as a result.

J. Nelson Parr ( Divine Healing [Stockport: AOG Publishing House, 1930], 38ff) ques- tions the necessity and even validity of medicine; cf. Horton, The Gifts of the Spirit , 106; William T.H. Richards, Divine Healing (Slough: Advance, 1968), 24f; Montgomery, The Prayer of Faith , 20; contra Walter W. Kirkby, “ Healing for the Body,” Elim Evangel , 66; Howard Carter (“ The Supernatural Aspect of all the Gifts,” Study Hour [Sept. 13, 1941], 2) argues, “ When we accept the services of the doctor we are standing on no higher level than unconverted people” ; it is of interest to note that in his photograph in the book, The Gifts of the Spirit , he is wearing glasses; Cove ( God’ s Covenant of Divine Healing , 30) states, “ Divine healing is the exclusive method of healing the Christian . . . Doctors dis- like it when they are treating a case for the patient to secretly call in another doctor for consultation. The Heavenly Father dislikes it as well” ; Brian R. Wilson ( Sects and Society [London: Heinemann, 1961], 17) in a (dated) description of Elim states, “ It is never sug-

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The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism

Baldwin56 argues that all healings have divine origin and therefore recourse to medication is appropriate for the Christian; this represents the popular view in Pentecostalism today. Dialogue and integration with medical prac- tices, though as yet inadequately developed within Pentecostalism, have occurred.57 Nevertheless, the earlier stance is a measure of the belief that believers should go to Jesus for their healing as did his contemporaries. Similarly, death has been infrequently viewed positively as an entrance into the presence of God. A recent article in Direction,58 the ofŽ cial monthly magazine of Elim, suggests, “ The fact that deaths occur does not neces- sarily mean they are God’ s will . . . in my opinion, fatal accidents are examples of people dying before their time and cannot be said to be God’ s will,” although no biblical substantiation is offered nor is any other evi- dence provided. This perspective has had its opponents.

59

Speaking of death and referring to 2 Kings 13:14, Gee

60

notes that since “ the context gives not the slightest indication that he [Elisha] had failed spiritually . . . it is fanatical to rule out all place for possible sickness, and ultimately . . . a sickness unto death.” Waite

61

recommends that the believer needs to see death in the context of eternity.

Nevertheless, it is not surprising to note that in all the editions of the Elim Evangel (the major denominational weekly magazine for Elim from September 1919 until it was renamed Direction nearly eighty years later), on only one occasion has an article been provided that records the death

gested that medical treatment is wrong . . . but the sick are exhorted Ž rst to turn to God in prayer” ; Ron Hicklin (“ Divine Healing,” Redemption Tidings [Feb. 18, 1982], 11) states, “ The easy availability of medical help under the National Health Scheme is a major enemy to Divine Healing;” his view was strongly criticized in a subsequent edition of Redemption Tidings56 (58:24).

57

Baldwin, “ Health and Healing,” 37.

Mervyn SufŽ eld, M.D. (“ Doctors Are Now Praying for the Sick,” Joy [May 1995], 2f) offers an integrated approach to healing, including prayer for the sick; see the articles by Baldwin in Redemption (“ Health and Healing,” (May-Dec. 1990; Feb.-Nov. 1991) deal- ing with health-related issues, including childlessness, stress, anxiety, abuse, and ethical issues, 58 including drugs and medicine.

59

“ Wiseowl,” Direction (Dec. 1995), 12; Cove, Why Some Are Healed , 106, 108.

Tee, “ The Doctrine of Divine Healing” 207; Parr, Divine Healing , 54; Smith (“ A Question of Balance,” 5) states, “ death for the believer, is the ultimate healing;” Ron Croucher, 60 “ Hard Questions on Healing,” Elim Evangel (March 8, 1986), 4f.

61

Gee, Trophimus, I Left Sick , 16.

David Waite, “ Why Do the Good Die Young?” Direction (Nov. 1995), 17; cf. Tee, Healing and Health , 12f; Wright ( Our Quest for Healing , 15) refers to Paul’ s awareness of the fact that his body was perishing (Rom. 8:19, 21; 2 Cor. 4:16), to Old Testament heroes who were also sick (Asa [1 Kings 15:14, 23], Elisha [2 Kings 13:14]) and com- ments that Moses’ good health was an exception (Deut. 34:1, 7) compared with others who were less fortunate (Gen. 27:1; 48:10; Josh. 13:1; 1 Sam. 3:2).

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 25, No. 1, Spring 2003

of a Christian (from cancer) while also including a testimony offering advice to others who are ill without a reference to prayer for healing.

62 Another rare testimony is recorded by the missionary Joy Bath, presented after she contracted AIDS, as a result of her missionary activities in Zimbabwe, from which she subsequently died.

63

The crucially needed articulated Pentecostal theology of suffering is still awaited. Within Pentecostalism, the developing role of the gift of teaching and the increas- ing recognition of its importance to the stability and ediŽ cation of the Church will help inform and instruct believers from a more biblically cir- cumscribed perspective.

Thus, the assumption that Jesus may be viewed as a paradigm for heal- ing today because he healed all who came to him for healing has been challenged by some throughout the history of Pentecostalism. Few within Pentecostalism have attempted to present a credible alternative, for argu- ments against Cessationism often cloud the debate. As has been demon- strated elsewhere, although Jesus may not have changed, his mission has. His incarnational mode and ministry, which involved healing, was unique and therefore, by deŽ nition, inimitable.

64

To study the healings and exorcisms of Jesus as if they were deliber- ately intended to function as resources for practical guidance in healing and exorcistic ministries is to a large degree inappropriate, unless the uniqueness of the ministry of Jesus is Ž rst recognized. The healing works of Jesus are not speciŽ cally recorded for the believer to emulate them and develop a healing ministry;

65

fundamentally, they are to be admired and to call forth an enquiry into the person who achieved them. That is not to say that divine healings do not occur today or that one may not learn from Jesus’ praxis concerning one’ s own healing ministry.

There are aspects of Jesus’ ministry, including his sensitivity and grace, that should be incorporated into a person’ s own ministry and lifestyle, especially when related to scenarios of suffering and sickness; however, his healing powers are to be recognized as signposts to him and not to a

62

Roy Craggs, Elim Evangel (Mar. 8, 1986), 3; May Osman (“ Why Af iction,” Elim Evangel [Sept. 13, 1986], 13) posits positive gains as a result of her unhealed condition; cf. Croucher, 63 “ Hard Questions on Healing,” 4f.

64

Joy Bath, “ She Caught AIDS,” Direction (Dec. 1995), 24ff.

65

Warrington, Jesus the Healer , 1-29, 141-63.

C. Buchanan, Services for Wholeness and Healing (Cambridge, UK: Grove, 2000), 12f), who writes, “ I recognise that in the healing ministry of Jesus and the apostles a unique phenomenon, from which no short straight line of exegesis can be drawn to charter us to do likewise;” W. Meredith Long, Health, Healing and God’ s Kingdom (Oxford: Regnum, 2000) 114f.

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The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism

more successful healing ministry. Indeed, a marked contrast is to be noted between the healing ministry of Jesus and that of his followers:

1) Jesus healed all who came to him for healing.

2) Jesus never prayed in order to achieve healings.

3) Jesus never unambiguously related sickness to the personal sin of the

sufferer (contrast Luke 1:20; Acts 5:1ff, 13:8-12; 1 Cor. 12:30; Jas. 5:15f.). 4) Jesus never indicated that sickness had pedagogical value to the suf-

ferer (contrast Acts 5:11, 13:12; 2 Cor. 12:7ff; Gal. 4:13). 5) Jesus’ healings had a pedagogical function.

66

6) Jesus did not establish a set methodology that could be learned or

replicated in any normative sense.

67

7) The guidelines of James 5:13-18 are markedly different from the min-

istry of Jesus.

8) Jesus is to be distinguished from other healers in the church, because

his mission is unique and, thus, inevitably different from that of his

followers.

Jesus’ Death as Guarantee of the Permanence of

Jesus’ Healing Ministry

The issue of whether Jesus has guaranteed healing to all believers before death is often associated with the phrase “ healing in the atone- ment.” It is often associated with Pentecostal and Charismatic Chris- tians,68 though there have been shifts in thinking over the years.

69

It remains a foundational teaching of the Word of Faith streams.

70

66

67

Ibid.

68

Ibid., 141ff.

William Kay ( Pentecostals , 101) provides the following response Ž gures of minis- ters who agree with the statement, “ Physical healing is provided by Christ’ s atonement” : AOG, 88.9%; Elim, 80.9%; Apostolic Church, 87.5%; Church of God, 98%. The Fundamental Beliefs of the AOG (and the NTCG, Article 11) from the initial minutes (Jan.-May 1924, 2) afŽ rm, “ Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the Atonement.” Although the 1923, 1925 Elim constitutions included the item, “ we believe that deliverance from sick- ness is provided for in the Atonement and is the privilege of all who believe,” by 1928 it was excised; nevertheless, many Pentecostal leaders espoused the view including Percy S. Brewster, “ The Ministry of Divine Healing,” 57; Hoover, “ Divine Healing,” 45; Tee, Healing and Health, 9; John Carter, “ The Doctrine and Practice of Divine Healing and Deliverance,” (paper presented to the British Pentecostal Fellowship, London, Dec. 1960, 3); George Canty, “ Why I Preach Divine Healing,” Elim Evangel (Aug. 31, 1963), 549; Melvin Banks, “ Divine Healing,” Redemption Tidings (May 17, 1979), 10f, 14; Roger Baldwin, “ Is There a Remedy?” 69 Redemption Tidings (Feb. 1989), 11.

Vinson Synan, “ A Healer in the House? A Historical Perspective on Healing in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Tradition,” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3, no. 2 (July

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 25, No. 1, Spring 2003

Two different conclusions are offered. The one states that because of the death of Jesus, healing is available to believers today in the same way that the forgiveness of sins can be received.

71

The other is that because of the death of Jesus, healing is available to believers today though it may not be actualized until after death; healing is thus regarded as an indirect result of the atonement, though not inevitably so in this life.

72

The for- mer often leads to guilt if the healing is not forthcoming; the latter sim- ply acknowledges that in the next life, sickness will be an impossibility.

Menzies73 appears to offer a nuanced perspective; he argues that because

2000): 189-201; cf. George Jeffreys, Healing Rays , 37; Parker, Divine Healing , 31; W. Cornish Jones, “ Is Healing in the Atonement?” Elim Evangel (Oct. 13, 1962), 646f; Wright, Our Quest for Healing , 62f; Gee, Trophimus, I Left Sick , 25; David Petts, “ Healing and the Atonement” (paper presented at a Joint Elim/AOG Theological Conference, Swanwick, 1995), 141-56; Petts, Healing and the Atonement (31-70 for a survey of the development within Pentecostalism concerning the relationship between healing and the Atonement of Christ); 70 Taylor, “ A Historical Perspective on the Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 76.

Kenneth E. Hagin, The Art Of Intercession (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1980), 28; Healing: God At Work (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, n.d.), 11ff; Bible Faith Study Course (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1974), 21; El Shaddai (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1980), 1, 9, 21, 33f; Must Christians Suffer? (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1982), 2; Seven Things You Should Know About Divine Healing (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 71 1979), 21; “ Healing: The Father’ s Provision,” Word of Faith (Aug. 1977), 9.

Colin Urquhart, The Truth That Sets You Free (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1993), 149; Charles Farah, From the Pinnacle of the Temple (PlainŽ eld: Logos, n.d.), 71ff; Ian 72Cockburn, “ Divine Healing,” Renewal 37 (Feb./Mar. 1972), 11.

Cf. Jeffreys, Healing, 37; William G. Hathaway, “ Divine Healing Lectures” (hand- written), 1950, 3; Parker, Divine Healing , 31; W. Cornish Jones, “ Is Healing in the Atonement?” Elim Evangel (Oct. 13, 1962), 646f; Wright, Our Quest for Healing , 62f; Gee, Trophimus, I Left Sick , 25; David Petts, “ Healing and the Atonement,” 141-56; Petts, Healing and the Atonement , 31-70; Taylor, “ A Historical Perspective on the Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 76. In a questionnaire supervised by Elim Bible College and completed by Pentecostals in 1977, those polled were asked to respond to the following question: Is healing in the Atonement in the sense that Christ bore our sicknesses in His suffering just as He bore our sins? As is revealed by the data, the group who responded most positively to the question were church members, while leaders were more skeptical, followed by the- ology students, who were most skeptical. Responses in tabular form:

Total

Yes No Uncertain Responses

Leaders/Ministers 34 11 17 62

(54.8%) (17.7%) (27.4%) (100%) Theological Students 7 12 17 36

(19.4%) (33.3%) (47.7%) (100%) Church members 64 7 18 89

(71.9%) (7.8%) (20.2%) (100%)

73

Robert Menzies, “ Healing in the Atonement,” in “ Spirit and Power:” Foundations of Pentecostal Experience , ed. William W. Menzies and Robert P. Menzies (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 164 (cf. 160-68).

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The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism

of the death of Jesus the believer is “ progressively transformed into his [Christ’ s] image,” while at the same time he or she may experience a par- allel transformation in the physical dimension. Realizing that this “ does not mean that our bodies will be gradually strengthened and energized until we obtain immortality,” he nevertheless still holds to the view that as a result of the atonement, “ our entire being (body and spirit) are being transformed; we are moving toward our ultimate destiny in Christ, which includes physical wholeness.”74 The parallel between physical and spiri- tual transformation is not, however, as close or as clear as he asserts. Despite the atonement, as he admits, “ our body will grow frail and weak and ultimately die,”75 a perspective echoed by Paul (2 Cor. 4:16); by con- trast, however, because of the atonement, a spiritual transformation is effected immediately (2 Cor. 3:18). Although a physical transformation is effected at death for all, those promulgating a belief in healing in the atonement generally advocate a physical transformation much earlier. Although the latter is a possibility, to argue that it will occur as certainly as the Spirit will spiritually dynamize the believer has yet to Ž nd support in Scripture.

76

Nevertheless, many afŽ rm the death of Jesus as a crucial element in the belief that he delegated his authority to believers,

77

as a result of which healing is presented as a promise to be claimed

78

or a right to be enjoyed.

79 For example, Cove,

80

a popular Assemblies of God writer concerning

74

75

Menzies, “ Healing in the Atonement,” 164.

76

Ibid.

Also Robert Dickinson, God Does Heal Today (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1995), 48-57; Brown, Israel, 72-78; Merrill F. Unger, “ Divine Healing,” Bibliotheca Sacra (July 1971): 243f; Michael Harper, The Healings of Jesus (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1986), 109; Gordon Fee, The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospels (Costa Mesa: The Word for Today, 1979), 19; Kenneth M. Bailey, Divine Healing: The Children’ s Bread (Camp Hill: Christian, 1977), 43-58; Martin Scott, Healing Then and Now (Milton Keynes: Word, 77 1993), 38.

The Fundamental Beliefs of the AOG (and the NTCG) from the initial minutes (Jan- May 1924, 2) afŽ rm, “ Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the Atonement.” Although the 1923, 1925 Elim constitutions included the item, “ we believe that deliverance from sickness is provided for in the Atonement and is the privilege of all who believe,” by 1928, it was excised; nevertheless, many Pentecostal leaders espoused the view, including Brewster, “ The Ministry of Divine Healing,” 57; Cove, How to Make Your Healing Permanent , 41; Parsons, “ It is God’ s Will,” 7; Hoover, “ Divine Healing,” 45; Tee, Healing and Health , 9; Carter, The Doctrine , 3; George Canty, “ Why I Preach Divine Healing,” 549; Redemption Hymnal, 735: “ From Thy stripes and wounds may pour a cleansing, healing ow,” “ sin and 78sickness” being part “ of the curse” (737); Elim Choruses , 136.

Redemption Hymnal , 736; Elim Choruses , 21, 23, 104, 214, 216, 447, 464, 487, 499, 79505, 515, 541, 555.

80

Redemption Hymnal , 734, 735; Redemption Songs , 335.

Cove, God’ s Covenant of Divine Healing , 15; cf. Banks, “ Divine Healing,” Redemption

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Pentecostal Theology, Volume 25, No. 1, Spring 2003

healing, stipulates that the provision of bodily healing has been included in the atonement. These authors noticeably omit exegesis and emphasize the provision of proof texts such as Matthew 8:17. Popular belief among many Pentecostals concerning the value of the atonement for healing has tended not to re ect a sensitivity to relevant biblical references; as will be demonstrated, those who have interacted with the texts concerned have provided a more careful interpretation. Although some regard the atone- ment as the springboard for emulating the healing ministry of Jesus, oth- ers disagree, noting the paucity of evidence for such a belief. A number of observations indicate the inadequacy of such a theory.

1. Jesus did not wait until after his death before pronouncing healing. His authority was registered throughout his life. The fulŽ llment of Matthew 8:17 is presented as during the life of Jesus, not after his death.

81

Nothing in the text indicates an identiŽ cation or anticipation of this ministry of healing with the death of Jesus. Although Matthew writes for a post- cruciŽ xion audience and may be viewing this prophecy through the prism of the cross, he does not clearly identify Jesus’ healing ministry with his death. Matthew does not record that Jesus removed people’ s sicknesses on the cross or after his death;

82

rather, he states that Jesus fulŽ lled this prophecy throughout his life in his healing activity.

83

The signiŽ cance of

Tidings (May 17, 1979), 10f, 14; Baldwin, “ Is There a Remedy?” , 11; Article 11 of the Declaration of Faith of the NTCG reads, “ Divine Healing is provided for all in the Atonement” ; Brewster conŽ rms that healing is provided in the atonement (Percy S. Brewster in The Astonishing Jesus , ed. Melvin Banks [Bolton: Sharon, 1988], 70) though elsewhere (“ The 81 Ministry of Divine Healing,” 57), he states that he is agnostic about this possibility.

Further exegesis of Isaiah 53:4 is inappropriate; sufŽ ce it to note that Matthew’ s divergence from the LXX and his individualistic use of speciŽ c verbs indicate that he has adapted the passage for his own hermeneutical purposes; the reversion to the more literal rendering of the MT is valuable for Matthew, who sees it being fulŽ lled in the healing ministry 82 of Jesus.

Thomas (J. Christopher, The Devil, Disease and Deliverance: Origins of Illness in New Testament Thought [ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 1998], 173f; cf. Graham Twelftree, Jesus the Miracle Worker [Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1999], 112) speculates that Matthew assumes the reference is “ an anticipation of the passion . . . That Matthew considers such activity to be a part of Jesus’ atoning work seems to be the best read- ing . . . Matthew considers Jesus’ exorcism and healing ministry to be tied to his (future) vicarious death” ; similarly, although Menzies (“ Healing in the Atonement,” 166f) acknowl- edges that Matthew’ s own interpretation of this application of the prophecy to Jesus is that it is fulŽ lled in his healing ministry, nevertheless, he moves beyond this to speculate that it is “ more than simply a description of Jesus’ earthly ministry in terms of healing; rather, he assumes that it is Matthew’ s summary of the signiŽ cance of Jesus’ messianic mission, which culminates on the cross,” concluding that it was “ fulŽ lled in Jesus’ atoning work on the 83 cross.”

Unger, “ Divine Healing,” 243; cf. Frederick D. Bruner, Matthew: A Commentary, Vol. I (Dallas: Word, 1987), 310f; Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13 (Waco: Word, 1993),

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Matthew 8:17 is (in contrast to Mark and Luke) in the context of Matthew’ s perception that the healing of Peter’ s mother-in-law was a fulŽ llment of prophecy as located in Isaiah 53:4. The next healing miracle in Matthew (9:1-9) provides the author with a similar opportunity to present the nar- rative as another fulŽ llment of Old Testament prophecy (Ps. 103:3). It is of particular interest to note the occasions on which Matthew, in contrast to Mark and Luke, refers to Isaianic passages in the context of healing narratives84 and at other times, where allusions are identiŽ able.

85

For Matthew, Isaiah is an important reference to the past, especially in the context of determining the role of Jesus in his healing ministry as the fulŽ llment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.

2. One of the other main texts used to support the link between heal- ing and the atonement is 1 Peter 2:24. The context of this verse is of impending persecution and other forms of suffering (5:12); the prevail- ing theme of the letter is that suffering will happen to believers but that it has beneŽ t in that it stimulates Christian growth (1:6-8; 2:18-22; 3:14- 17; 4:12-19; 5:9-10); the only suffering in view is punishment or physi- cal abuse as a result of being a follower of Christ. Thus, in 2:22-25, Peter presents Christ as the supreme example of one who suffered unjustly but who bore it honorably. Furthermore, the author describes the beneŽ t that resulted from the suffering of Christ, the implication being that the believer should seek not only to emulate his behavior (v. 23) but also to recog- nize that the suffering he or she experiences has potential value, though not to the same degree as that achieved by Christ.

The healing referred to relates to the forgiveness of sins, as stated in the previous verse.

86

Possibly the author is seeking to emphasize the sote- riological connection insofar as he inserts the word “ because” ( gar) (v. 25), especially when it is recognized that Isaiah does not include it. The fact that the phrase “ you have been healed” is in the aorist tense indi- cates that a reference to salvation is being made as it deŽ nes a completed action in the past. Furthermore, it is instructive to note that this epistle

211; Fee, The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospels , 19; John Wilkinson, “ Physical Healing and the Atonement,” Evangelical Quarterly 63, no. 2 (1991), 149-67; Jeffrey Niehaus, “ O.T. Foundations: Signs and Wonders in Prophetic Ministry and the Substitu- tionary Atonement of Is. 53,” in The Kingdom and the Power , ed. Gary S. Greig and Kevin Springer (Ventura: Regal, 1995), 49; David Petts, “ Healing and the Atonement,” Epta Bulletin84 12 (1993): 28f.

85

Matt. 12:16-21 (Isa. 42:1-4); Matt. 12:24 (Isa. 42:1).

86

Matt. 12:11f (Isa. 40:10f, 49:9f); Matt. 12:29f (Isa. 49:24f).

Robert L. Mayhue, “ For What did Christ Atone in Isa. 53:4-5?” Master’ s Seminary Journal 6, no. 2 (1995): 121-41.

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contains no reference to physical healing. Petts

87

concludes, “ When correctly exegeted, it cannot reasonably be understood to teach the doc- trine that healing is in the Atonement.” He

88

notes that, while it is pos- sible that the author is encouraging the readers to anticipate physical healing to their wounds, it is more likely that he is encouraging slaves who are suffering unjustly to follow the example of Christ.

3. The limited number of healings in the history of Classical Pente- costalism undermines the assertion that the death of Jesus has introduced the possibility of unqualiŽ ed healings for all believers. The presence of sickness and death is an obvious reminder that these issues have not been Ž nally resolved despite Christ’ s achievement on the cross.

Healing as Integral to Evangelism Guarantees the

Permanence of Healing

Healing, both contemporary and in the ministry of Jesus, has been rec- ognized as serving a higher purpose, namely, the proclamation of the gospel. The relationship between healing and evangelism has always been prominent in Pentecostalism.

89

Gee90 notes that healings “ have their true

87

Petts (the Principal of the British AOG Bible College, Mattersey Hall, and a mem- ber of the AOG Executive Council), Healing and the Atonement, 192, notes, “ The ‘ heal- ing’ referred to clearly means a spiritual wholeness which results from Christ’ s bearing our sins on the Cross . . . Peter takes Isaiah 53:5 and applies it, in the context of Christ’ s redemp- tive work on the Cross, to healing from the wounds of sin, but no thought of physical heal- ing 88is in mind” (154).

89

Petts, Healing, 31.

Cf. William G. Hathaway, The Gifts of the Spirit in the Church (London: Benhill Church, 1933), 45; Donald Gee, Concerning Spiritual Gifts (SpringŽ eld: Gospel Publishing House, [1938], 38; David A. Womack, Breaking the Stained-Glass Barrier (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), 57f; Brewster, The Spreading Flame of Pentecost , 46; Parr, Divine Healing, 7f; Banks ( Healing Secrets , 39) notes, “ healing acts as a beacon for the Gospel, attracting attention to it” ; see also The Best Sermons and Stories (private publication, 1979), 26f; Canty, The Practice of Pentecost , 177ff; Trevor Martin, “ Prophetic Healing,” Bread 7 (Sept.-Oct. 1982), 18; John Partington, “ Miracles Should Be the Norm,” Redemption (Apr. 1991), 5-7; Jacques J. Zbinden, “ Alongside a Pioneer Healing Evangelist,” Redemption (Apr90. 1991), 10-12.

Gee (Trophimus, I Left Sick , 9f) notes of Paul, “ neither for himself, nor for those who were members of his missionary band, did he practice Divine healing” ; cf. Chris De Wet, “ The Missing Element,” Redemption (Oct. 1988), 14; Horton, The Gifts of the Spirit , 115. Some promulgated the belief that ministry to the sick was only to follow a personal commitment to Christ (Hoy, “ Gifts of Healings,” 9; Parker, Divine Healing , 49ff, 79f; Brewster, The Approach to Divine Healing , 17; Cove, Why Some Are Healed , 75). The lat- ter are contrasted with the healing ministry of Jesus. Wright ( Our Quest for Healing , 145) is one of the few who maintained an alternative view, claiming, “ God sometimes heals the non-Christian, but the promises of healing are to His people.”

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sphere in evangelism rather than among the saints,” commenting that heal- ings “ proved of tremendous value at times in the propagation of the Gospel.”91 Similarly, Petts

92

offers Mark 6:16-20 as evidence for “ divine healing in the context of evangelism.” Regular announcements were pub- lished in the Elim Evangel , particularly in the 1960s, relating to “ Evangelistic and divine healing campaigns.”93 However, problems were created by these campaigns in that few lasting conversions were recorded

94

and the costs were often high.

95

Consequently, they decreased until they were a rare occurrence in the normal life of British Pentecostal churches. It may be of signiŽ cance to note that a regular feature in Redemption96 (the British Assemblies of God magazine from 1990 to 1992) concerning testimonies of signs and wonders exclusively related to events abroad.

Most healings in Pentecostal contexts are now anticipated for the beneŽ t of believers rather than for unbelievers in evangelistic scenarios. Any sim- ilarity to the ministry of Jesus, in which healings were partly intended as stepping-stones to salviŽ c faith,

97

is to a large degree now absent. Indeed, the high expectancy of healings in past evangelistic contexts was rarely fulŽ lled and many of those who were healed did not become believers;

98 these factors were among those that helped bring about the demise of such campaigns.

99

Allen100 conŽ rms that this decrease in healings had

91

Gee, Concerning Spiritual Gifts , 38; cf. Horton, The Gifts of the Spirit , 111ff; William Hacking, 92 “ Some Aspects of Divine Healing,” Redemption Tidings (Mar. 26, 1981), 6.

93

David Petts, “ You’ d Better Believe It,” Redemption (April 1991), 37.

Apr. 18, May 20, 27, June 17, Aug. 26, Sept. 2, Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 1961; Sept. 1, 8, 1962; Feb. 9, Mar. 2, 23, Apr. 6, June 22, Aug. 3, Sept. 14, 1963; Apr. 11, Sept. 12, 19, 941964; Mar. 19, 1966; Apr. 13, 20, May 11, 18, 25, 1968; June 29, 1969.

Donald Gee (“ The Donald Gee Column,” Voice of Healing [May 1952], 11; “ After Healing— What?” Voice of Healing [Feb. 1955], 10, 22) exhorts those with a healing min- istry to encourage salvation in the experience of unbelievers who are healed; see “ Deliverance is Not Enough,” Elim Evangel (Apr. 15, 1961), 230f; William Kay, Inside Story (Mattersey: Mattersey 95 Hall, 1990), 341.

Circumspectus, “ Looking Around,” Study Hour (Dec. 15, 1949), 224f. Desmond Cartwright asserted in a private conversation with the author that this anonymous con- tributor 96 was Donald Gee.

97

May-Dec. 1990; Jan.-Dec. 1991; Jan., Feb., April, May-July 1992.

Matt. 9:1-8//s; 9:32-34; 12:9-14//s; 12:15-21; 12:22-29//s; 12:43-45//s; 20:29-34//s; 21:14; 98 Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6; 17:11-19; John 4:46-54; 5:2-47; 9:1-41; 11:2-44.

Donald Gee (“ Healed— But Not Saved,” Voice of Healing [Jan. 1954], 11) advises evangelists to emphasize the priority of salvation of the soul over that of the body because of those 99 who were healed but refused to become Christians.

James T. Bradley wrote to Ernest J. Phillips on October 5, 1941, “ It will be a great thing if we could get back to those Fundamentals of Elim which distinguished us . . . namely Divine Healing . . . I fear we are getting away from these very quickly” ; Molly Phillips wrote to the Elim ministers asking for prayer for her husband, Ernest, on April 14, 1943, asking that God would heal as “ in the early days,” suggesting that a paucity of miraculous

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been noted earlier; there were considerably fewer of them in the 1940s than in the late 1920s and 1930s. The role of the healing evangelist has now largely been replaced by a local church-based practice of prayer by the leadership in the context of corporate prayer for those suffering. Latterly, the Charismatic Renewal

101

in particular has been in uential in establishing the context of divine healing as the corporate gathering of Christians in which prayer for one another or by a wider group is under- taken. In practice, therefore, the healing ministry of Jesus has become marginalized as the model to be emulated and a framework, loosely based on James 5, sometimes combined with an exercise of the charismatic gifts associated with healing is now normative.

Most importantly, the assumption that Jesus healed in order to instill faith in his mission and person is only partly true as it was not his sole motivation for healing. Had it been, the record would indicate that his mission was a failure. Although some developed faith in Jesus as a result of his healing ministry, many joined the ranks of the opposition.

Jesus Promised that Believers Would Emulate Him

Jeffreys102 states, “ The commission to go and preach and to expect the signs, including healing, to follow, has never been withdrawn: Mk. 16:15- 18.” Canty,

103

a leading Elim evangelist for decades representing much Pentecostal thinking writes forcefully, “ We are promised healing and com- manded to heal the sick. If we do not heal the sick we are guilty before God and failing in our obligation to God and mankind.” Thus, as Jesus laid hands on the sick and they recovered, Pentecostals are encouraged

healing was the norm at the time. From 1959, a sharp and marked reduction in testimonies of healings are recorded in the Voice of Healing , their place being taken by articles relat- ing 100to end-time prophecy and reports of missionary endeavors.

David Allen, “ Signs and Wonders: Origins, Growth, Development and SigniŽ cance of Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland, 1900-1980,” unpublished Ph.D. dis- sertation, 101 London University, 1990, 198.

Richards, “ Healing,” 155; and Taylor (“ A Historical Perspective on the Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 74) note the importance of Trevor Dearing, Peter Horrobin, Don Double and John Gunstone; G. Flipot, “ Illness and Healing in the Charismatic Renewal,” Lumen Vitae10241, no. 1 (1986): 74-85.

Jeffreys, The Miraculous Foursquare Gospel , 36ff; cf. Elim Lay Preacher’ s Handbook , 39f; Percy Parker, Divine Healing (London: Victory, 1931), 7; Barrie, “ The Gifts of Healing,” Study Hour (Oct. 15, 1948), 189f; George Canty, In My Father’ s House (Basingstoke: Marshall, 103 Morgan and Scott, 1969), 83.

Cf. George Canty (“ Why Some Are Not Healed,” 21), who claims that to be healed is normal.

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to do the same and expect similar results.

104

Dinsdale105 described this as a “ central doctrine.” Petts

106

notes, however, that “ not all who have hands laid on them will be healed.” Such dissension illustrates that among some, the apparent centrality of this element has been questioned; over the years, the expectation anticipated by many Pentecostals has infrequently been fulŽ lled. Thus, although Dye

107

advises, “ God wants you to grab the devil as if he were a wild animal. And He wants you to throw him out” because “ he wants to take your health.” this is infrequently achieved. Walker

108 more stridently writes, “ Miracles have been testiŽ ed to in abundance, but rarely veriŽ ed.”

Reasons are offered for this lack of healing other than the possibility that the basic premise may be faulty. Canty

109

explains, “ It is the will of God that all shall be well, but not necessarily His will that I can bestow a healing upon everybody in every meeting. Only Christ would operate at that level.” His qualiŽ cation of the apparent promise contained in the commission of Jesus concerning healing that many have assumed has validity for believers today is probably based on the experience that not all are healed despite the best attempts by all concerned. However, the signiŽ cant differences between the healing ministry of Jesus and that of his believers and the implication that believers can be obstacles to dele- gated authority undermines the quality of the apparent promise.

Similarly, Dye

110

argues, “ Jesus always ministered with an absolute cer- tainty . . . that the Father’ s willingness to heal extended to all,” and con- cludes, “ There is no evidence that Jesus ever told anyone to wait for the resurrection for their healing— he healed people then and there.”111 Instead, he claims, “ There are so many healing promises in the Bible for believers that we can turn to the God who heals us any time we are unwell and be

104

Redemption Hymnal , 736; Aaron Linford, A Course of Study on Spiritual Gifts (London: AOG Publishing House, n.d.), 48; Kirkby, “ Healing for the Body,” 67; Percy S. Brewster, “ The Stigma of the Supernatural,” Elim Evangel (Feb. 24, 1962), 116; Charles E. Kingston, “ Laying On of Hands,” Elim Evangel (July 23, 1966), 473; Tee, “ The Doctrine of Divine Healing,” 202; Brewster, The Approach to Divine Healing , 15; Mark Drew, “ Gifts of Healing,” 105 Bread 7 (May-June, 1980), 10.

106

Edith Dinsdale, “ Ointment,” Study Hour (Mar. 15, 1949), 59f.

Petts, “ You’ d Better Believe It,” 37; from an early stage, there was skepticism con- cerning “ wholesale healing” by the laying-on of hands (see letter from William Henderson

to Ernest 107 J. Phillips, Dec. 6, 1928).

108

Prayer That Gets Answers , 34f.

109

Charismatic , 125.

110

Canty, The Practice of Preaching , 180f.

111

Healing Authority , 12f.

Ibid., 84.

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certain he is willing to heal us.”112 He also notes, however, “ Jesus’ divinity, sinlessness, perfect obedience and unlimited anointing must surely mean that we cannot always expect to be as effective in ministry as him.”113 But this undermines the validity of the promise that received no qualiŽ cation by Jesus when he presented it to his disciples. Similarly, Hoover

114

qualiŽ es the commission of Jesus by deducing that healing will not be granted unless the sufferers “ pray . . . believe His word . . . exercise faith . . . live a clean life . . . be Ž lled with the Holy Ghost, and . . . observe the laws of health.”

These unresolved tensions may be located among Pentecostals through- out their history and testify to their willingness to cling to beliefs that are viewed as being accurate biblical perceptions rather than accept that which reality dictates. This is a fundamental Pentecostal stance: reality is not viewed as being a legitimate arbiter; the latter is determined by their per- ception of faith and their interpretation of Scripture. Instead of consider- ing the possibility that Jesus’ healing ministry may have been unique, they prefer to believe that the healing authority of his followers and its implementation is of an inferior quality, thus fatally undermining their belief that Jesus delegated his authority to believers. To suggest that the healing authority of Jesus is delegated to his followers is thus severely qualiŽ ed and the possibility of it being emulated is at best only partial and therefore prone to inconsistency and uncertainty. Either his authority is delegated or it is not; to be left with an uncertain paradigm is no par- adigm at all. The many reasons offered for the substantial numbers of people who are not healed undermine the claim that delegated authority has been granted by Jesus to believers.

Jesus’ Dependence on the Spirit as Paradigmatic for Believers

Dye115 explains the practical relevance thus: “ As God, Jesus was able to . . . heal the sick . . . but he had chosen not to ‘ use’ his divinity, and he also made it clear that— in his humanity— he was utterly powerless. The miraculous did not occur because Jesus was God, but because he was Ž lled with the Spirit without measure and always moved in perfect harmony with the Father.” In this regard, Jesus is to be viewed as a model for all believers to emulate with the help of the Spirit.

116

This belief is linked to

112

113

Ibid., 54.

114

Ibid., 84.

115

“ Divine Healing,” 45.

116

Dye, Healing Authority , 28.

Dye (Prayer That Gets Answers , 81) notes, “ You have the authority of Jesus to

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The Role of Jesus as Presented in the Healing Praxis and Teaching of British Pentecostalism

the view that Jesus was empowered at his baptism, by the infusion of the Spirit who was given to enable Jesus to achieve his mission, including his capacity to heal,

117

though this is indicated by the Gospels to a very limited degree; indeed, the Spirit is noticeable by his absence in the Gospels and Acts in the context of the healing ministry of Jesus and the apostles. Dye

118

continues, “ If we think that Jesus healed people only because he was divine, it is likely we will assume that we can have no share in his healing ministry. Whereas, if we grasp that he healed because he was anointed, we can reasonably expect to have some part in the heal- ing ministry— as long as we are anointed with the same Spirit.” It is in this regard that the baptism of the Spirit, viewed in Classical Pentecostalism as a secondary experience after conversion, becomes of crucial importance and acts as the basis for a similar potential of healing power being owned by those who have experienced it. Thus, Dye

119

writes, “ The dramatic change from their general ineffectiveness in the Gospels to their startling power in Acts can be put down to . . . the difference made by their anoint- ing with the Spirit at Pentecost.” “ Before Calvary,” he continues, “ Jesus’ disciples healed in the same way as Gehazi had tried to heal. After Pentecost, they healed . . . as full members of God’ s anointed, prophetic, interced- ing, healing community.”120 Thus, Dye attempts to draw a line of conti- nuity from Jesus through the disciples to the contemporary believer.

He is overenthusiastic, however, about the presentation of the healing ministry of the apostles as recorded in the book of Acts, given that only Peter is referred to in such a context. He also inaccurately describes those pre-Pentecost years as ineffective for the disciples or related to the Old

exercise the power of the Second Adam” ; similarly, Albert B. Simpson, “ The Holy Spirit and the Body” ( Elim Evangel [Oct. 18, 1943], 401) writes that Jesus has given to the believer “ the very same power which he exercised,” with the consequence that “ [t]he heal- ing of disease today is assured by the presence and power of the Spirit as much as when Christ 117was here.”

Dye, Healing Authority , 47; Simpson (“ The Holy Spirit,” 401) writes, “ He [Jesus] claimed to exercise all these ministries directly through the power of the Holy Spirit which had come upon him. Not in His own right, therefore, nor by the exercise of His inherent Deity did He do these things, for He had none of them prior to His anointing by the Spirit at the Jordan, but simply as a Vessel and Temple of the Holy Ghost. Nor can we forget that the same Holy Ghost is still with us, abiding now in the Body as then He did in the Head.” The implication popularly drawn from such a presentation is that believers may function exactly as did Jesus, notwithstanding the paucity of evidence for the premise that Jesus 118was unable to function supernaturally prior to his experience at the Jordan.

119

Ibid., 49.

120

Ibid., 51.

Ibid., 59.

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Testament era.

121

His attempt to draw a contrast between their healing ministries before and after Pentecost is hampered by questionable logic and exposition. Further, he offers an unsupported assumption that the role of the Spirit for Jesus at the Jordan was only to empower him. If it can be demonstrated that the role of the Spirit was for a purpose other than or as well as empowering, any parallel with the disciples being empow- ered is to be questioned. Moreover, any attempt to parallel the role of the Spirit at Jordan with Jesus and at Pentecost with the disciples is awed unless it takes into consideration the signiŽ cant dissimilarities in those accounts. Finally, the paradigm is unfulŽ lled; the quality of Jesus’ heal- ing ministry has not been fully realized by believers who live in the post- Pentecost era. Given the uncertainty of the foundational premise, the assumption resting on it that believers can emulate the ministry of Jesus is to be regarded as similarly unproven.

It needs to be remembered that the role of Jesus as Messiah was unique and any empowering by the Spirit was dedicated to the achievement of his speciŽ cally Messianic duties. Although the Spirit functions in the lives of the disciples, it is to achieve different purposes. Stronstad

122

develops the link between the Spirit and Jesus, noting that the successors of Jesus carried his mission forward as a result of their experience at Pentecost, an experience Stronstad identiŽ es as equivalent to Jesus’ experience at the Jordan. This view correctly assumes that the role of the Spirit is voca- tional and, in this respect, relevant for all believers.

123

Menzies also sees the empowering of Jesus as vocationally paradigmatic: “ Jesus [at the Jordan], like the Early Church, was empowered to carry out his divinely appointed task.”124 It is important, however, to remember, with Shelton, that “ the experiences of believers with the Holy Spirit can not be equiv-

121

Matt. 10:1, 8; Mark 6:7, 13; Luke 9:1, 6 all provide evidence of the success of the disciples 122 before Pentecost.

Roger Stronstad, “ The Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts: A Synthesis of Luke’ s Pneumatology, Part 1232,” Paraclete 23, no. 2 (1989): 18ff (15-28); Shelton, Mighty, 53.

Cf. Roger Stronstad, “ Unity and Diversity: New Testament Perspectives on the Holy Spirit,” Paraclete 23, no. 3 (1989): 15-28; “ The Prophethood of All Believers: A Study in Luke’ s Charismatic Theology,” in Pentecostalism in Context. Essays in Honour of William W. Menzies , ed. Wonsuk Ma and Robert P. Menzies (ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 1241997), 68.

Robert P. Menzies, Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts (ShefŽ eld: ShefŽ eld Academic Press, 1994), 142, 157, 212, 246; cf. French L. Arrington, The Acts of the Apostles (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 19; I. Henry Lederle, Treasures Old and New: Interpretations of ‘ Spirit-Baptism’ in the Charismatic Renewal Movement (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 57; Gerald F. Hawthorne, The Presence and the Power (Dallas: Word, 1991), 227-44.

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alent to Jesus’ relationship with the Spirit.”125 Similarly, some features of the Jordan narrative are absent from the Pentecost pericope. According to Turner, “ Jesus’ experience at Jordan [as] a unique Messianic anointing [was] without a clearly intended parallel in the disciples’ experience.”126 Indeed, “ the point of the parallels between Jesus’ ministry in the Spirit and what takes place in Acts is not that the church has inherited Jesus’ anointing but that the risen Lord himself continues his redemptive activ- ity, as Lord of the Spirit, through the charismata he bestows in his Church.”127 It is thus more appropriate to view the experience at Pentecost as analogous, rather than identical or parallel, to the Jordan experience of Jesus, and thus to regard the Spirit’ s presence in Jesus as only a lim- ited paradigm for believers, for Jesus’ experience at the Jordan was a unique moment in history, with the presence of the Spirit enabling both Jesus and the disciples to fulŽ ll their respective and different destinies.

Jesus at the Jordan is legitimized by the Spirit. Jesus may be empow- ered by the Spirit; he is certainly endorsed by the Spirit (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). As Bock128 writes, “ The Spirit leads and conŽ rms more than he empow- ers Jesus.” If there is any parallel between Jesus’ experience of the Spirit at the Jordan and the experience of the disciples at Pentecost, it is in the context of the Spirit’ s afŽ rmation of the disciples as new and commis- sioned members of the Church. The gift of tongues and the sign of Ž re serve to set them apart and identify them as those who are appropriate recipients of the promise of Joel 2:28-32. In this context we may antici- pate Jesus’ experience to serve as a paradigm for believers. The Spirit is seen to function in the lives of the early Church believers in just such a fashion. Thus, the Spirit afŽ rms Stephen during his martyrdom by pro- viding a vision of his destiny, heaven (Acts 7:55), and afŽ rms the salva- tion of Saul (Acts 9:17f). Also, the Gentile household of Cornelius are conŽ rmed by the Spirit to be valid members of the Church (Acts 10:44- 48; also in Acts 11:1ff, 13-18, without mention of prophetic, miraculous or proclamatory activity on the part of the new believers). The Spirit has come to afŽ rm them when others were unwilling to do so.

Although the motif of power is present in the experience of Jesus with the Spirit at the Jordan and at Pentecost in the experience of the disci- ples, it need not be the only, or even the main, motif. Power is a feature

125

126

Shelton, Mighty, 53.

Max Turner, “ Jesus and the Spirit in Lucan Perspective,” Tyndale Bulletin (1981): 127 40.

128

Ibid., 28f.

Darrell L. Bock, Luke 1:1-9:50 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994), 345.

32

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of the lives of both Jesus and the disciples but their commissions, to be undertaken in that power, differ signiŽ cantly and any proposed paradigm is to be carefully clariŽ ed. What is certain is that the role of the Spirit in both is to afŽ rm them in their individual vocations.

Conclusion

The assumption that Jesus’ healing ministry continues unabated is demonstrated neither in the New Testament nor in the Church era. Nor does substantial support exist for the belief that Jesus’ healing authority has been delegated to believers. This is not to suggest that contemporary believers cannot operate gifts of healing or pray for healing; nor is it to state that there can be no similarities with the healing ministry of Jesus nor that healing should be viewed as a rare occurrence today. It simply concludes that there are signiŽ cant differences between the healing min- istry of Jesus and those of contemporary believers and that these dissim- ilarities cannot and should not be too quickly overlooked or explained away; integrity to the text and sensitivity to suffering individuals are cru- cially important issues that should reinforce our desires to qualify our healing theologies. Finally, the difference in healing success in Pente- costalism indicates that a different model from the ministry of Jesus is actually being followed

129

that is actually more in line with the frame- work offered by James in his guidelines in 5:13-18 and by Paul in his teaching concerning charismatic gifts. Perhaps unwittingly, Pentecostals have actually developed a biblical paradigm based on the texts that set out such a framework for healing praxis.

Lessons may be learned from Jesus’ healing ministry, including his readiness to minister to people in need and his commitment to wholeness. However, to lose sight of the fact that his healing ministry was unique and fundamentally pedagogical is unhelpful in a pastoral context of heal- ing today and not re ective of the Gospels, which show Jesus healing as a means of self-identiŽ cation and for teaching.

130

The charismatic gifts referred to by Paul and, in particular, the guidelines of James are clearer aids to healing in the contemporary Church, especially insofar as their presence in the New Testament is for the express purpose of experienc- ing healing within the local Church.

129

Keith Warrington, “ Major Aspects of Healing within British Pentecostalism,” Journal 130 of the European Pentecostal Theological Association 19 (1999): 34-55.

See n. 15.

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