The Fall of Man Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
A similar incident occurred during the ministry of Jesus. The woman with the hemorrhage touched the garments of Jesus so that she could be healed (Mark 5.254). The same thing happened to Paul at Ephesus. Some of the people carried handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body to heal those with diseases (Acts 19.122).
Peter is named here and the other apostles are not. We may assume Peter was the most prominent figure among the apostles, and certainly, on many occasions, he was the spokesman for the group; but we are not to suppose that the others did not do many mighty works. I don’t have the slightest doubt that they wrought miracles just as Peter did.
Peter himself was not the healing power, but rather the instrument through which God worked. He was God’s servant, and God worked mighty miracles through him.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
“There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem.” The word “city” is commonly used in the Scriptures even when referring to a very small community such as Nazareth (Matt 2.23), the city of Nain (Luke 7.11), and Arimathea (Luke 23.51). There were many such cities round about Jerusalem, and the people came from those neighboring communities to hear the apostles and to bring their sick loved ones to be healed.
“And them which were vexed with unclean spirits.” Jesus gave His disciples the power to remove “Unclean spirits” from the bodies of those afflicted (Matt. 10.1). They were demons, fallen angels (Rev. 12.3) who are designated that because of their vile wickedness. They frequently live inside unbelievers, particularly those who vent their wicked nature.
“And they were healed every one.” May I compare this to modern faith healing? Modern faith healers never heal all the people who come to them. Have you ever noticed that? The disciples could because they had the sign gifts. No one in the church since then has had those gifts. People were healed, every one of them. They emptied the hospitals. This was the power of the early church.
We must remember at that time there was no written New Testament. The Church is built on Jesus Christ—He is the Cornerstone—and the apostles were witnesses to Christ. The sign gifts were given to them to demonstrate the fact that they spoke with God’s authority. Today we have a written New Testament as our authority.
There was actual healing of multitudes of sick people. You may recall the Prayer of Acts 4.29, 305, in which Peter prayed for the power to heal. His prayer was certainly answered. See how careful Luke the physician is. We can detect the influence of the physician in all his writings. He drew attention to various kinds of sickness. There was bodily and mental healing, healing for the bodies of the sick, healing for the minds of the demon-possessed; and every one of them was healed. Gifts were bestowed upon some in the Church, and they exercised them for the glory of God. There is no case recorded where healing was made dependent upon a certain kind of faith, or even upon an attitude of faith on the part of the person who was sick. It is only when the church is cleansed and pure that she is ready to be an instrument of His healing, whether it be of spirit or mind or body. The Church pure is the Church powerful. Go back over her history and see how true that is. It has always been so. But the Spirit-filled Church is the pure Church. The only power equal to the task of making a Church pure is that of the indwelling Spirit of God. The obedient Church is the Spirit-filled Church.
All the great principles revealed concerning the Church are also true of the individual. It is the pure man who is the strong man. It is the Spirit-filled man who is the pure man. It is the man who is obedient to the light he has received who is the Spirit-filled man.
Someone may ask, “Why don’t we have men in our churches today with such power as those men in the early church had? I believe the answer to that question is found in 1 Corinthians 13.10: “BUT WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME, THEN THAT WHICH IS IN PART SHALL BE DONE AWAY.” During the transition period, the Church did not have the written Word of God like we have it today. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word” (Rom 10.17). “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1.17). In the transition period, God gave special signs, wonders, and miracles to assure the people that Jesus was truly the Christ, “that Prophet” of which Moses spoke; but since the written Word was given and the “perfect law of liberty” is come, we no longer need signs and wonders, because all of the Scriptures are ours. We have God’s Word, and we believe it simply because it’s God’s Word, and It gives us all that we need: “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS” (2 TIM. 3.16, 17)
1 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
2 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
3 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
4 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
5 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.