The Truth About Faith Healing: Exposing What’s Real and What’s Not

By | Healing, Tough Questions | No Comments

Faith healers are known for packing out stadiums and captivating audiences for decades with claims of possessing divine gifts to miraculously cure the sick and suffering. But are these grandiose displays real or just manipulative parlor tricks meant to line their pockets and fuel their celebrity? 

As someone who has personally prayed for physical healing for many people around the world, I wanted to take an honest, in-depth look at what the Bible truly says about supernatural healing as well as expose the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to these famous faith healers.

The Biblical Basis for Healing

First and foremost, it is clear in Scripture that physical healing was included in Christ’s atonement on the cross. Popular verses like Isaiah 53:4-5, 1 Peter 2:24, and Matthew 8:17 clearly communicate that Jesus bore our sicknesses, diseases, pains, and sorrows when He suffered and died for us. 

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NLT) says, “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

So faith healers are indeed correct in establishing a biblical basis for believing in supernatural divine healing. The problem arises, however, when many Christians choose to downplay, ignore, or rationalize away the clear validity of these verses. 

Opponents of miraculous healing in the modern church will often argue that God doesn’t seem to be doing such things anymore, at least not with the frequency and ease that is apparent in biblical times. Or they will emphasize that we should see sickness as part of God’s sovereign plan for teaching us lessons or humility. Others will contend that divine healing was only meant for the early church and serves no real purpose now that we have advanced medicine and technology.

But limiting God’s manifest power and miraculous healing in our current day and age due to our own theological frameworks or personal experiences (or lack thereof) simply does not line up with what Scripture promises regarding signs, wonders, and spiritual gifts being poured out till the end of the age. It reveals a lack of childlike faith in the supernatural, as well as the influence of Enlightenment rationalism on the modern church.

So as far as the basis for faith healing goes, the famous faith healers are indeed correct in their stance, despite being wrong on other issues, as we will discuss.

What About the Failed Healings?

 One of the biggest criticisms and pieces of skeptical “evidence” brought against faith healers is that many people claim they were not actually healed at their events despite the televised proclamations of random strangers being cured. Follow-up stories reveal people still suffering from their diseases weeks later, or even dying shortly after an event.

This is certainly a valid concern, as it can seem quite deceptive if not an outright scam. However, when you understand that ministers are simply praying the “prayer of faith” as the Bible instructs in places like James 5:14-15, then it makes more sense. Nowhere does Scripture promise that everyone prayed for will automatically and instantly be healed.

There are certainly many variables involved: the recipient’s own faith and openness, God’s sovereign timing, the minister’s accuracy in discerning God’s will for that person, etc. But at the very least, they are attempting to operate in biblical healing, even if not executed perfectly with pure motives.

Also, consider biblical examples of healings that were not successful every time:

  • Jesus Himself sometimes encountered people whose lack of faith seemed to hinder their healing, like in Mark 6:5 where it says “he could do no mighty work” in his hometown. 
  • The early apostles saw healings and miracles as well as defeats. Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 12 enduring some type of infirmity. And his coworker Epaphroditus fell ill as noted in Philippians 2.
  • Even the highly esteemed prophet Elisha did not heal everyone he prayed for in 2 Kings 5. But he kept persisting in faith despite any failures.

So lack of 100% success should not entirely negate faith healers’ motives and sincerity, even if they are overly optimistic or reckless at times when “claiming” healing. Let’s be gracious while still discerning.

What Motives Fuel Faith Healers?

This brings up the next subtle but important point – that perhaps not everything is as altruistic as it seems in the world of televangelists and stadium faith healers. Some may indeed start with sincere motives to see the sick healed and Christ glorified through miraculous signs. But the fame, acclaim, and fortune that comes along can corrupt into selfish ambition over time.

If you track the trajectories of the biggest name faith healers, you will notice gradual but discernible shifts from praise focused on God towards praise designated to their “special anointing.” Claims often become more grandiose over time as well to keep audience excitement and donations flowing.

While only the Lord can judge motives, it does at least appear that greed for money and influence creeps in to cloud the purity of these ministries in many cases. And the actual lifestyle choices of famous faith healers certainly call into question how devoted they are to Christ’s kingdom versus their own comfort and benefit.

Perhaps the church should be wary of placing too much glory on individual people as being “healing superstars” versus giving all praise to God. If the vessel gets full of itself, it damages its capacity.

Again we must use wisdom and discernment when judging motives, not blanket cynicism. Avoid simplistic binary thinking when examining faith healing claims and the complex people behind them.

Does God Still Heal Supernaturally Today?

This brings us to the crucial theological question – does God still heal people supernaturally today? Or are these faith healers relying on psychological manipulation and hype to con their audiences?

From a purely biblical perspective, the gift of healing was considered active throughout the New Testament church era. In 1 Corinthians 12, it is listed alongside other still-functional gifts like teaching, tongues, and prophesy. And there are no clear indications of it ceasing.

However, from a rational perspective, many believers in Reformed and other intellectual traditions would contend genuine faith healing ended with the apostles and the age of miracles. If God still healed so tangibly, wouldn’t it be obvious and even scientifically verifiable?

Yet this imposes a very limited perspective on an Almighty God. Limiting His ability to heal based on its detectability within a naturalistic framework forgets a core truth: His ways are higher than our ways. We cannot presume to dictate how and when God manifests in power.

Jesus Himself marveled in Matthew 13:58 at people’s unbelief hindering His miracles. He healed in unexpected, even seemingly foolish ways like putting mud on blind eyes. He didn’t submit to predictable controlled laboratory conditions. Yet it cannot be denied He supernaturally restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and mobility to the lame.

Attempting to intellectually explain away divine healing power robs God of His mystery and wonder. It imposes the arrogance of human reason upon the Creator Himself. 

Throughout church history we see reports of miraculous healings popping up in the most unlikely places and people – obscure monks and nuns, missionary stories from third-world revivals, and everyday believers praying the prayer of faith over sickness. 

Healing evades tidy explanations or formulas. But those with childlike, experiential faith encounter the risen Christ and His literal healing touch even today.

Unconventional Methods

This leads to the next thought – unconventional healing methods used by faith healers. Things like leg lengthening, healing via punching or slapping, strategic yelling during prayer, and so-called “drunkenness in the Spirit” where people fall down laughing or shaking.

At face value, these methods seem highly odd and open to criticism as manipulative. But consider biblical precedent for God working through unorthodox means:

  • Jesus spitting in mud and putting it on a blind man’s eyes to heal him (John 9:6)
  • The pool of Bethesda that God stirred healing waters in (John 5:4)
  • Peter’s shadow passing over the sick and healing them (Acts 5:15)
  • Paul’s handkerchiefs that healed people remotely (Acts 19:12)
  • Prophetic symbolic actions like Elisha instructing Naaman the leper to wash in the Jordan river 7 times (2 Kings 5:10).

While we should avoid blindly accepting every gimmick out there, an open heart recognizes that the Spirit moves however He pleases. Methods that seem foolish or scandalous to man’s wisdom may be Holy Spirit-inspired.

Its also true that things like over-excited falling under God’s power described biblically (ex: Ezekiel 1:28, Daniel 8:17-18) can be mimicked deceptively. Spiritual counterfeits do not negate true moves of God that may look similar on the surface.

Again wisdom and discernment are key. Examine the fruit over time, not just surface appearance. And emphasize humility versus hype in doing God’s works (1 Thessalonians 2:6). The goal is drawing all people to Jesus, not a man or ministry.

Stepping Out in Faith for Healing Prayer

In closing, how should all these insights on faith healers impact our approach to supernatural healing today? Here are some key takeaways:

  • Stand firmly on the biblical foundation of Christ as Healer and texts instructing us to pray for the sick. Do not allow modern unbelief or bad examples to sway you from God’s character and promises.
  • When praying for others’ healing, keep the focus on Jesus’ power versus your own methods or abilities. Yield to the Spirit’s guidance in prayers rather than ritualistic religion.
  • Have faith not just for one-time healing events, but ongoing ministry to the sick & suffering. Persist despite any discouragements and trust God’s timing.
  • Avoid the pursuit of personal glory or superficial hype when seeing divine healings. Deflect praise towards God alone.
  • Maintain humility & teachability along with bold faith. Avoid cynicism as well as naivety in discernment. Examine fruit while embracing mystery.
  • Share testimony freely of healings & miracles you witness, both immediate and progressive. This builds faith in others for God’s supernatural kingdom reality.

Divine healing ultimately defies human control or formula. It flows from compassionate surrender to the Spirit’s unpredictable movement. Like Jesus, weep in prayer for those suffering, then speak & command sickness to flee in childlike confidence.

The truth is Jesus Christ is still a healing Savior. His resurrection power did not cease 2000 years ago as some wrongly claim. May we contend in faith and prayer to see the sick made well for His glory.

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Supernatural Healing As Evangelism (The Breakers Challenge)

By | Deliverance, Evangelism, Healing, Miracles, The Breakers Challenge | No Comments

Many Christians claim that miracles happen when they pray: physical bodies are healed, minds are restored, and even diseases like cancer completely disappear.  But many non-Christians claim that these stories are fabricated, or even worse, intentionally made up by ministers to prey on innocent people.  I’m going to teach you how to pray for the sick and how God uses Supernatural healing as evangelism to reach the Lost, including your unbelieving friends and family members.

Luke 13:11-13

And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.


When The Issue Is Rooted In The Demonic 

When you pray for healing because you’re praying for physical healing but in fact you need to pray that that spirit is removed okay now I’m going to show you.  if you’ve prayed for people to be healed and they have not been healed maybe you are praying for a physical healing but instead you needed to deal with the Demonic so I want to show you what Acts actually happens when you begin to deal with it on that level

There have been instances when people come to me for prayer when I discerned that they needed deliverance so I begin to cast those demons out.  As I cast the demons out, the person began to experience physical healing as well.  Many people go to churches for years, or see psychologists and therapists, or see physical therapists or doctors, but they will not deal with it on the level of the demonic. 

When The Issues Is Simply Physical

There are other instances when people simply need a physical healing.  Their infirmity is not the result of the demonic.  Their physical issue is simply an issue of injury, or wear and tear to the body.  One time I prayed for a woman who, afterwards told me she had a dream that she came in the prayer line and pulled her leg braces off and danced before the Lord.  When she came for prayer she already had expectation for the miracle God would do. As I laid my hand on her head and began to pray, she began shouting and celebrating.  She reached down and grabbed her leg brace and ripped it off, then handed me her cane and started dancing wildly. God put a holy expectation inside of her.  

The Source Of Your Authority 

Matthew 10:1

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

You have authority over unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal every disease and every affliction.  Jesus was a rabbi who had followers called disciples.  Those disciples became Apostles, and those Apostles established the first century church.  Miracles have happened from before Jesus to the time of Jesus. But what Jesus did was establish a covenant so that now we gain access to receive authority over unclean spirits and to cast them out and to heal. This is EVERY disease – diseases that there are medicines and treatments for, and diseases that medical science simply cannot heal. 

It means every affliction.  What is an affliction? It means aches and pains. Sometimes people have things wrong with their intestines or have issues with their GI tract and doctors can’t discover what is this affliction is.  Oftentimes it’s connected to trauma, unforgiveness, or pain from the past. But God says he’s given us authority over every affliction. That means there’s no disease, no affliction, and no demon that you do not have authority over.  


I’d like to pray for you:

In the mighty name of Jesus, deaf ears open now, under the sound of my voice. Increase hearing now, in the name of Jesus.  Every spirit of infirmity, every spirit of sickness, I command you to come out of their body now. Loose them and let them go. I break your power right now in the name of Jesus, and I command you to come out of them right now  in the name of Jesus.  Father, I thank you that it’s done.  Amen.  

Jesus still heals.  He still delivers.  He still sets free. 

Further Resources

📝 Does God Still Perform Miracles

📝 Bible Verses About Healing

📺 Casting Out Demons for Beginners

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