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Jesus said, "He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do..."

What could be greater than healing the sick or raising the dead?  What Jesus could not do before his death and resurrection was to offer people eternal life. At that time he had not yet paid the price for it. But we can offer that. And if we leave it out, we miss the whole point of the healing ministry, which is to lead people to something greater. Our physical life is temporary, and its primary purpose is to prepare us for a greater life. But most people miss this. Jesus said:
"An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign (or miracle). No sign (or miracle) will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, one greater than Jonah is here.
The Queen of the South shall rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, one greater than Solomon is here"                 (Matthew 12:39-42)
There is no doubt that Christ did miracles. They proved his authority in spiritual matters (Mark 2:6-12 & John 5:36). But now that he has given his life and been resurrected, the miracles are not essential. They happen from time to time, but are not the most important ingredient in Christian faith.

This has been overlooked in the worldwide emphasis on faith-healing. Supposedly Christian faith-healers rarely tell people that it may be God's will for them to die. The idea is gen-erally not discussed until after a patient has already died.

Romans 8:22-25 tells us that our mortal bodies have not yet been "redeemed". And I Corinthians 15:49-53 tells us that this redemption does not happen until the return of Christ, when all Christians who have died will be resurrected and given new immortal bodies.

PAGE18Modern faith-healing is not built on faith in God so much as it is based on faith in healing. When it fails to live up to its claims, the result is diminished faith in God.

Western society demands healing because it cannot face death. Death ­ the most certain reality facing everyone on this planet ­ is swept under the carpet and into the nursing homes. Even the church is afraid to mention it. Why? Because we do not have faith in the resurrection of Christ!

Christ never commanded us to do miracles or even to promise them. He promised that they would happen if we have faith in him. And he did command us to "heal the sick". He didn't say that we had to heal all of them or that we had to do it instantly (even some of his healings were gradual [Mark 8:23-25 & Luke 17:14]); but he did say to heal some of them. And the reason he tells us to do this is because he wants us to demonstrate his love. Our tonics, touch, and teachings should all communicate genuine love for the people of this temporal world.

The Bible says "the carnal (i.e. non-spiritual) mind... is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be" (Romans 8:7).
So how does anyone ever become converted? If the spiritual people are on one side of the wall and the carnal people are on the other and the wall is soundproof, where is there any hope for change?

Christmas is called the incarnation of Christ. He climbed over the wall and became "carnal" for us. "Carnal" just means "of flesh". Although he became totally human, tempted in every way that we are tempted, he did not sin. And he eventually offered his perfect flesh as a spiritual sacrifice for our sins. Easter is the time when we remember that he gave his life for us.
Now he asks us to take up our cross and follow his example, giving our lives for others.

The healing ministry is an opportunity for those of us who feel we have something spiritual to offer, to climb over the wall andPAGE19 give the world something that it needs and wants. The world doesn't need healing as much as it thinks it does, but as we give our lives to bring healing, we may be able to get their attention enough to offer something better ­ eternal life.

We heal, not because it will solve their real (spiritual) problems, but simply because Jesus said so. When we act in simple faith and obedience, we start something happening that can change people for eternity. And, sadly, when we refuse to act in simple faith and obedience (choosing rather to trust in organisations, hype, and theology) we make it totally impossible to become part of anything eternal.

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