THE PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS
OF PHYSICAL HEALING IN ALLIANCE SPIRITUALITY
Rev. David John Smith
THESIS: The experiential processing of certain psycho-spiritual dynamics can elicit a faith encounter with the Risen Christ resulting in physical healing within Alliance spirituality.
December 3, 1996
Revised January 8, 1997
A. THE HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK FOR PHYSICAL HEALING IN THE ALLIANCE DENOMINATION
B. THE PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS OF PHYSICAL HEALING IN ALLIANCE SPIRITUALITY
a. Personal Acknowledgement of a Physical Problem and the Need for Healing
b. Desire to be Healed and Resistance of Sickness
c. Learning to Know God and Learning Lessons from God
d. Settled Belief that the Bible Teaches Physical Healing
e. Convinced of God's Personal Love
f. Persuaded that an External Divine Reality can be Applied for a Particular Need Now
g. Discerning and Confronting the Cause of Illness
h. Removal of any Barriers
i. Deliberate Preparation of the Inner Life
j. Commitment of the Whole Person to God
2. Culminating Crisis of the Healing Event
a. Nurturing Particular Faith as Readiness to Receive
b. Calling for the Elders to Pray as a Faith Expression
c. Claim of God's Assurance to Heal through a Definite Act of Faith Now
d. The Exercise of Authoritative Faith that Takes
e. Experiencing Further "Triggers" of Faith
f. Encounter with the Risen Christ
3. Ongoing Process of Healing and Health
a. Believe and Act as if God has Healed
b. Be Prepared for Trials of Faith
c. Continue to Draw Life from the Risen Christ
d. Live in Health and Healing
e. Use New Strength and Health for God
APPENDIX: "The Ministry Of Healing In The Church: Training For Anointing With Oil For Healing." Quinte Alliance Church Board Of Elders.
The experience of God in physical healing is one of the most profoundly affirming and undeniably irrefutable demonstrations of God's power and love in Christ to humanity. The experience of dramatic and authentic physical healing quickens the individual beyond a realm of spiritual ecstasies, psychological placebos, or psychical phenomenon. Healing opens the seeker to a true dimension of reality, namely, to encounter the Risen Christ.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance has been committed to physical healing since its inception as an integral part of the good news of Jesus Christ. In the face of the modern, scientific mind and the categorical denial of the supernatural dimension as well as the continuing and baffling medical conditions facing our generation, the ordinary believer in Jesus with a physical need struggles to grasp any hope of receiving a desperately desired and needed physical healing.
This document briefly traces the historical framework relative to physical healing in The Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, and then develops psycho-spiritual dynamics of experientially processing physical healing in Alliance spirituality.1
A. THE HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK FOR PHYSICAL HEALING IN THE ALLIANCE DENOMINATION
The historical framework for physical healing in The Christian and Missionary Alliance begins with the personal experience of its founder and later articulation of its denominational theology.
1. THE EXPERIENCE OF HEALING SHAPES A THEOLOGY
The theology of Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843-1919), the founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, was shaped by his own life-changing experience of physical healing. He was a weak and frail man with a chronic heart disorder who learned to trust Christ as healer of his physical body.2 Not only did Simpson find new strength for ministry, but he developed Friday Healing Meetings and Berachah Healing Homes.3
In the formative years of the Alliance, literally thousands of people were healed of life-threatening and incapacitating sicknesses in answer to prayer.4 Even if some of these healings could have been explained away -- the nature of recovery was inevitable, a positive mental attitude apparently influenced a physical improvement, the natural self-healing of the body took place, later developments in medicine could have interpreted the resulting change for the better -- there were still many physical healings that could not be explained away medically or scientifically. The healings were too extraordinary, too dramatic, too numerous for anyone to categorically dismiss. God had extended grace to heal.
2. THE EXPERIENCE OF HEALING FRAMES A DENOMINATION
The Christian and Missionary Alliance is a Protestant, evangelical denomination founded in 1887 with two ministry passions -- deeper life in Christ and worldwide evangelization. Its historic roots grew from five movements prominent in the late nineteenth-century: gospel evangelism, the holiness movement, the divine healing movement, the modern missionary movement, and the rebirth of premillennialism. Today The C & MA has a worldwide constituency of over two and one half million people in fifty-six nations and is one of the fastest growing denominations in Canada.
The early Alliance leaders made affirmations about healing as part of the good news of Jesus Christ. Beginning with their 1887 constitution came the assertion of "divine healing through the name of Jesus for those who believe and obey him."5 Belief in healing, however, was "not the whole gospel, nor perhaps the chief part of it, but it is a part."6 Jesus' commission was to "preach the gospel, heal the sick." Adherents to this movement accepted a simple fourfold gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King.
Later as the self-identity of The Christian and Missionary Alliance began to shift from a deeper life movement or missions society and into denominational status, an official Statement of Faith was adopted.7 This document includes a potent declaration:
8. Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil as taught in the Scriptures are privileges for the Church in this present age.8
This emphasis is based on Scriptures such as Exodus 15:25-26; Psalm 103:2-5; Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:12-14; and James 5:13-16.9
Some shifts have already taken place in understanding healing in the brief history of the Alliance. In early Alliance spirituality, there was a greater acknowledgement of a sacred worldview emphasizing God's providence in circumstances while minimizing the analysis of medical causes of sickness or pursuing medical cures.10 Today, while still holding to supernatural healing, there is a greater appreciation to discern causes and view the medical profession as an ally rather than as an antagonist.11 According to a recent survey of roughly two-hundred Alliance pastors, missionaries and educators, the commitment to the ministry of divine healing is declining.12 In light of these shifts and with sensitivity to our historical roots, a contemporary, systematic synthesis of the theology and practice in physical healing within Alliance spirituality is proposed.
B. THE PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS OF PHYSICAL HEALING IN ALLIANCE SPIRITUALITY
How does a believer in Jesus Christ experientially process their own physical affliction and move toward receiving divine physical healing? The answers are fraught with further unanswered questions and mystery for faith and healing are both delicate and complex. Observations of those seeking healing suggest general psycho-spiritual phases that they will often pass through in processing their own healing. Lindstrom suggests that an underlying psycho-therapeutic theory for healing needs to include the following five elements.
(1) Clarity, rationale, and a conceptual framework - A structural framework is needed to cognitively process the chaotic, anxiety-loaded situation of being sick.
(2) Social recognition of the therapist and their role - A social network recognizes the healer including their education, training, experience and practice.
(3) Healing setting and rituals - A legitimate process provides a focal point of trustworthy content and for actual healing practice.
(4) Emotional arousal - A therapeutic faith is created to facilitate changes in attitude and perspective by combining the first three elements and by further fostering hope and expectation.
(5) Repetition of the therapeutic gains of the procedure - A follow-up program is included as part of the treatment package.13
This paper attempts to integrate these underlying elements and break down the healing factors into incremental steps for diagnostic purposes in Alliance spirituality.14 This will enable a person to discern where they are at in the process of seeking a cure and will serve as a guide for a person helping others to take further steps. At every step, however, there is mystery never fully unraveled, for these steps are not proposed as a magical formula nor a mechanical methodology to achieve healing, nor are all of these factors necessarily evidenced in every case. The three overarching inner phases of the individual seeking healing are: a personal preparation to be healed, a culminating crisis of the healing event, and an ongoing process of healing and health.
1. PERSONAL PREPARATION TO BE HEALED
What happens when a believer in Jesus becomes physically sick? What goes through their mind? What are they feeling inside? What resulting, internal movements begin to ensue? What and how are they processing their condition as they contemplate the possibility of healing? The first phase in the movement toward healing is the phase of personal preparation to be healed.
A. PERSONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF A PHYSICAL PROBLEM AND THE NEED FOR HEALING
When a person comes to God for physical healing, they initiate a series of heart-searching questions. They begin to ask themselves and God what is the problem. They may discover that their physical need is symptomatic of a deeper spiritual need, or they may find themselves entering a deeper level of their faith journey, for the mind, body and spirit are integrated.
Obviously, the individual must come to some personal acknowledgement that they are indeed sick in some way and in need of some kind of cure. God's ideal standard for people is health and wholeness in every respect and sickness means that they are less than whole. The idea that God cares for bodies dismisses Platonic dualism, Gnostic notions and fanatical asceticism. Episcopalian minister with close connections to the Alliance, Kenneth Mackenzie, wrote that "a sick body is not the normal condition for ... expressions of the divine presence."15 Human nature tells us to avoid physical pain, suffering, weakness, and the shortening of life and to do whatever we can to be delivered from these conditions. If one denies that they have a physical need, then there will be no quest toward a cure. Indeed, the Lord's Prayer calls us to pray, "Deliver us from evil." Essentially, the individual begins to focus on their condition by admitting their need for a cure and by stating their physical need in a concrete and exact way.
B. DESIRE TO BE HEALED AND RESISTANCE OF SICKNESS
After acknowledging their need, the person must also desire to be healed.16 Some people have little, underdeveloped or misplaced desires to be healed. Some people even enjoy their sickness.17 Perhaps the attention they receive because of their malady prevents them from considering or expecting to be healed. Others may only "wish" to be healed. Others may seek healing for a minor physical need, when a greater healing could be sought after. There must be the driving motivation to "want" to be healed. Their use of ordinary psychological coping mechanisms facing a chaotic, anxiety-loaded situation are perceived as ineffective.
A corollary to the desire for healing proposed by Simpson is the resistance against the evil of sickness. We must take the attitude of resistance of the evil. We must not succumb to it, and accept it as an inevitable necessity, but take our stand against it and hold it steadily, refusing to yield or retreat.... Are we standing against our sorrows, sicknesses and calamities and holding steadily our position in battle?18
The seeker must desire to be healed and be motivated to seek after it specifically. In later steps, desire is not enough, but it is an important part of the process to receive healing. At times this desire will be intense, desperate and persistent. Sometimes, however, intense desire does not culminate in healing, and in these cases Christ's death on the cross can become a source of acceptance rather than a stumbling block.
Moreover, it is not even enough to desire to get rid of physical suffering. For the believer in Jesus, an underlying motivation for healing is for the pleasure of God and the glory of Christ, rather than to waste a life on selfish pleasures and pride. Simply, what does this person want Jesus to do for them physically? Further, what are their reasons for wanting to be healed?
C. LEARNING TO KNOW GOD AND LEARNING LESSONS FROM GOD
While the individual contemplates their need for healing, they also become more receptive to know God more intimately and to learn various lessons from God. Sickness often becomes a prompting to seek beyond oneself to God. Mackenzie stated:
God insists that if we would experience His life, we must first know His personality.... If it is healing we need, let that go, until we get God. And having Him, we shall have all that He has to confer. Beware of beginning at the wrong end of the divine method of life impartation.19
A season of waiting upon God in stillness aids in making the divine presence real.20 The practice of stillness is not laziness of faith, but a definite part of faith development in learning to know the mind and will of God in quietness. During this time it may be helpful to forget about the sickness for a while, in order to focus on God alone. Ultimately, people need God more than they need healing. It is necessary to take preliminary steps to know Christ as Saviour and then to press on to know God in a more intimate way on their journey to take Christ as Healer.
While considering healing, there may also be lessons about God or oneself to be learned from God. Simpson affirmed:
Sickness is not in itself a means of sanctification, but rather of calling our attention, and compelling us to be still and listen to the Divine voice, and also of revealing to us ourselves in all our weakness and imperfection.21
Sometimes a person is not prepared to receive healing all at once. They may need to learn patience or humility, while God is preparing that person to receive healing.22 Sometimes God quickly heals a person at the beginning of their spiritual journey, but later in life they struggle with sickness, unhealed, and unable to understand why. Perhaps God is leading them into a deeper experience to know God and to learn deeper lessons of faith.23 Knowing God and learning spiritual lessons is intensified when facing illness.
In the process of seeking a cure, the seeker may also be confronted with larger issues of human suffering.
In this meantime, between the "already" arrival but "not yet" fulfillment of the kingdom of God, what role does evil play? If God is omnipotent and benevolent, how can such a God cause and/or permit humans to suffer? How and why does a good God permit birth defects, epidemics, earthquakes, famines, and hurricanes? How should individuals or communities assess and respond to life's hurts and disappointments?24
There are no comfortable answers. The admission that evil is mysterious is expressed side-by-side with the affirmation that God is incomprehensible. As the psalmist recognized:
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him (Psalm 115:3).
Part of knowing God includes acknowledging that God is incomprehensible, sovereign, and cannot be controlled. God may or may not heal, for while healing is hoped for and believed in, God is God whatever the outcome. The knowledge of God and the transformation of a life are greater than the temporal healing of the body, for God's purposes in healing or not healing are always redemptive.
D. SETTLED BELIEF THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES PHYSICAL HEALING
Another factor an ailing believer will face is a theological one. They must come to a settled belief that physical healing is indeed taught in the Word of God. Certainly, if the Christian believes the age of miracles has past or has never personally known someone to be healed, then their mind will probably not entertain the notion that healing is even a possibility. Though the testimony of healing from other people can bolster one's faith, the fulcrum of authority is the Old and New Testament Scriptures and not the experience of others. There are many often overlooked references and stories of sickness and healing in the Bible.
Faith begins by resting on these external principles and promises as assurances from the Bible. The rational mind looks for a foundation on which to build sincere faith. A thorough and honest search of the Scriptures will prove beneficial to the nurturance of faith.25
Consistent with Alliance spirituality is the progressive affirmation of Jesus as Saviour, Sanctifier and Healer who is willing and able to save, sanctify and heal.26 It is the Scripture texts that provide the ground to believe that "provision [is] made for the bodily life of a saint; that there is a decree of spirituality which insures the infusion of the life of the Lord Jesus for the demands of the physical nature."27
Albert Simpson's seminal publication on The Gospel of Healing contains a full forty percent discussing the scriptural texts that testify of God's healing work through both Old and New Testaments.28 Clearly the basis for healing was and is realized on the authoritative biblical record. Healing is documented in the Bible and is to be believed as a scriptural doctrine.
The essential theological questions being asked by the suffering person are: "Can and does God heal? If so, on what basis?" They may find themselves stuck or advancing theologically on varying points of a continuum such as this:
(1) "God does not heal today." A person may be fully convinced that God healed in Bible times or that Jesus healed to prove his deity, but is theologically or culturally hemmed in from accepting the reality of healing in contemporary life. Sickness must be accepted. Complete healing will only be seen in the second advent.
(2) "God can heal if God sovereignly chooses to heal." This notion presumes that God can heal because God is powerful and God has the prerogative to suspend the laws of nature, but God may also withhold healing. This position sees healing as rare and does not concur that personalized prayer will make any fundamental difference.
(3) "God might heal in answer to prayer." This idea takes healing a step further, believing that prayer may make a difference but may also be full of doubts. Consideration is given to a sickness as the basis for going to God for healing, suggesting that perhaps the affliction is a call to prayer. In other words, prayer certainly will not hurt, and it may indeed help in a general way.
(4) "God heals today." This approach becomes acceptable when a person thinks of others' needs, perhaps those distant from themselves, but becomes less satisfying when they themselves are suffering.
(5) "Jesus heals today." The incarnation of Christ makes this affirmation of the transcendent God more immanent to the individual.
(6) "God wants to heal." This idea is based on the premise that the Bible teaches healing which expresses God's will to heal. God's desire to heal is seen in God's mercy and compassion.
(7) "Jesus suffered on the cross to redeem fallen humanity." This statement implies that humanity may have access to wholeness in spirit, soul and body, and healing can be a possibility because of the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. (This is a general affirmation, rather than a specific one.)
(8) "Jesus desires to heal today." The conclusion here is that the same incarnate Jesus that healed while on earth in the first century is the same risen and ascended Lord Jesus who is alive today, responds in mercy and compassion to suffering humanity, and acts with power to heal.29 (Some Alliance people would maintain this position.)
(9) "Healing is in the atonement of Christ." Included in the message of Jesus is the good news that he died and rose again to redeem our physical bodies in need of healing in a similar way that he died to redeem our spiritual condition of separation from God. Healing is available and is a privilege for the believer. Faith is a necessary catalyst, but healing cannot be demanded. The mystery of those not healed thus falls under the theology that the kingdom of God "has already come" and "is not yet." (Most Alliance people would maintain this position.)30
(10) "Jesus heals everyone today just like he did in the Gospels." Healing is guaranteed and faith compels God to act. The problem with this presumptuous attestation is that if a person is not healed, the conclusion is that the problem resides with them. (This view, of course, goes beyond Alliance theology and practice.)
This continuum suggests that fundamental to understanding healing theologically, the theology of God is a critical component. Is God more transcendent or more immanent? What is the interplay between divine sovereignty and the human will? To what degree is God's action in history applicable to present contemporary life? Depending on the individual, these questions will be addressed on varying levels.
Under the duress of affliction, knowledge of correct doctrine intellectually can then lead to an inner knowing of truth. Included in this cognitive, theological search is also an affective submission to the authority of God's Word and God's will. This combination is an essential component in nurturing the highest faith and leading into the experience of healing.31
E. CONVINCED OF GOD'S PERSONAL LOVE
Basic to healing is the assurance of an all-loving and completely dependable God. While seeking healing, God's attribute of love may even appear to crest higher than God's sovereign power or mysterious ways. Furthermore, the person needs to become convinced of God's personal love toward them. The person in need may ask, "Does God really love me? Why would God want to heal me?" This can be a difficult factor for the person who struggles initially with a poor self-esteem, but it is definitely an important step in preparing to be healed.
The journey toward healing thus becomes a self-identity quest in relationship to God. With the historic emergence of self as a separate entity, there has equally come a deep sense of anxiety, negativism, lostness, inferiority and self-doubt. In today's North American culture, it is difficult for individuals to embrace the belief that God fully accepts and loves them as a person just the way they are. A feeling of unworthiness tells them that they are not good enough to deserve or claim any of God's specific mercies. The seeker will gradually become convinced that God loves them and wants to heal them.32 Furthermore, this personal encounter with the living God of the Bible that leads to divine healing is not confused with concentrating upon an impersonal mind or force as in Christian Science or Buddhism.33
F. PERSUADED THAT AN EXTERNAL DIVINE REALITY CAN BE APPLIED FOR A PARTICULAR NEED NOW
The person seeking healing further needs to apply the principles of physical healing for their particular need at that time. Their reasoning begins with the revelation of God as extrinsically external to themselves, but then moves to the revelation of God as applied internally to their current experience. The external, written Word of God must move to the personalized, specific word for the individual for that moment.
The person in need of healing will ask these practical questions: "Will God heal me? Will God heal me now?" It is not enough to wonder if God can heal, for "most persons are ready enough to admit the power of Christ to heal."34 Rather, the individual gradually becomes persuaded that an external divine reality can be applied to their particular need in the present now.
This hope that God desires them to be made whole may be evidence that faith is being born in them. The person may also conclude that there is a great difference between having faith in faith as an internal reality that merits God's intervention, and having faith in God as an external reality that releases God's love in a powerful way. God's hand cannot be forced nor God's will manipulated. Faith for healing is not developed but imparted. This is a fundamental difference between faith healing and divine healing.35
G. DISCERNING AND CONFRONTING THE CAUSE OF ILLNESS
In more recent years in Alliance spirituality, there has emerged a greater sensitivity to the causes of illness. The implication for healing is that an underlying root cause may have direct impact on the physical illness. Similar symptoms can have a variety of underlying causes. Causes may stem from physiological diseases, psychological disorders, mental illness, emotional hurts, mental habits, personal or family sins,36 divine discipline or action, demonic influences or activity, unfortunate accidents, birth defects, abuses to the body, improper diet, inadequate exercise, old age, or a sickness unto death.37 At this point, the seeker is asking God to search them and begin to deal gently with anything that may not be right before God.
The relationship between mind and body, spiritual and physical, needs to be taken into account.38 For example, the failure to forgive someone may ultimately create a physical problem. Once properly discerned through prayer and counsel, the underlying cause may need to be confronted.39 The cause may signal what specific strategy to take toward healing. Fortunately, the cause ultimately did not make any difference to Jesus, for on various occasions he healed all that came to him.40 Simpson assured his readers that the Risen Christ "knows how to diagnose the case, to probe the wound, to detect and reveal the source of the trouble, and then to apply the right remedy in the right proportion."41 Removal of any obstacles continues to pave the way for healing.
H. REMOVAL OF ANY BARRIERS
Following the discernment of causes is the removal of any barriers, obstacles or sins that may interfere with or preclude a divine intervention. These barriers of wrong living include: repentance of any harbored and unconfessed sin, removal of false or wrongful attitudes, abandonment of impure motives, restitution of any concern toward others, overcoming psychological or demonic pressures,42 renunciation of occult participation or practices, changing thought patterns of the mind, making lifestyle changes, obedience to any specific command of God, and responding to any corrective measures brought into the life by the Holy Spirit. These represent psychological and spiritual blocks. Not all sickness is linked to particular sin, but sometimes sin produces emotional and physical pain which needs to be removed. These reparations and amendments of life are to be hereafter lived.
It is the humble and obedient life that is open to receive. Obedience to God's will in a general way to the best of one's knowledge of God's Word, as well as obedience in specific areas which could be applied by God's Spirit, are both needed at this juncture. Perhaps the person seeking healing needs to die to their own selfishness and pride, forgive someone who offended them, be willing to receive help, make a reordering of their priorities, cast out all fears, overcome all doubts and unbelief, or get rid of worry, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment. Rightness of life before God is a condition for healing. Simpson told seekers that they "must be right with God. The holy Gospel only remains in a holy life and heart."43 Bosworth, an Alliance evangelist greatly used by God in the ministry of healing in the 1920s, challenged seekers to press beyond barriers:
... like the woman who pressed through the throng and touched Him, you must "elbow" out of your way, and press beyond, selfishness, disobedience, unconfessed sins, lukewarmness, public opinion, traditions of men, articles written against Divine healing; in fact, often press beyond your own pastor, who may be unenlightened in his part of the Gospel; press beyond doubts, double-mindedness, symptoms, feelings and the lying Serpent.44
For those who have an overactive conscience, it is helpful to recognize that God does not demand perfection, but God expects them to be sincere in their desire to please God and walk in all the light God gives them.45 This stage of preparation fosters a faith that wants only what God wants. The later claim for healing is not then for its own sake, but because God wants it and wills it.46
I. DELIBERATE PREPARATION OF THE INNER LIFE
Deliberate preparation of the inner life breeds both solemnity and praise. Consideration of the seriousness of the requested healing creates a solemnity within the inner life to prepare to be healed. As in a marriage ceremony, the seeker is moving toward a deliberate and final transaction. Before the healing event, they "ought to weigh every question thoroughly and then regard them as forever settled."47 At this stage the aspirant may review in their mind all the previous data they have cognitively, volitionally and affectively processed in a summary form. The soul may move into stasis -- a state of waiting before God, realizing that all previous issues or concerns have now been thoroughly dealt with and set behind them, the preparation stage is coming to an end, perhaps the seed of faith is ripening and ready to blossom, and they have only now to commit their whole person to God and ask.48
The seeker may also move beyond solemnity and enter into a fuller expression of praise, not for what God has done, but for what God may do. Cognitively, this notes a shift from negative thought patterns and into right ways of thinking. This life of praise is not intended to move God to act, but attunes itself to the harmony of God's plan. 49A song of triumph begins to breathe a spirit of expectation. It is the prayer of faith energized by the song of triumph that will heal the sick.50 A grateful and praiseful life is befitting preparation for faith. Sometimes praise to God in a corporate setting can quicken faith and result in instantaneous healing.51
J. COMMITMENT OF THE WHOLE PERSON TO GOD
The final factor of the preparatory phase culminates in a full, final and definite commitment of the will. The person desirous of healing presents their whole person, and specifically, their body, to God for God's ownership. Thus, Mackenzie could testify:
This body in which we live is no longer ours. We have vacated all right to ownership. Every nerve, as well as organ has been passed over to Him. And this temple is dedicated to His glory by this transfer.52
In saying, 'The body is for the Lord,' we express the desire to regard our body as wholly consecrated, offered in sacrifice to the Lord, and sanctified by Him. In saying, 'The Lord is for the body,' we express the precious certainty that our offering has been accepted, and that, by His Spirit, the Lord will impart to our body His own strength and holiness.53
This special consecration of the body to God is specific as preparation for healing separate from a prior total surrender to God. Healing and the work of the Holy Spirit are closely intertwined, as Simpson expressed:
Therefore, we say to the sick and suffering, surrender yourselves to God for a baptism of the Holy Spirit. Receive Him in His personal indwelling as your inner life, and as He fills your spirit His life and power will overflow into your physical being, and every extremity will feel the touch of life and blessing.54
Handing over one's body to God in full surrender and perfect trust is an exchange of weakness for strength, disability for ability, and the impartation of the resurrected life of Jesus.55
Some people are not ready to be healed. Some have to deal with personal baggage. Others need to nurture faith. In some cases, people are healed without processing any of the above "steps," and others are not healed in spite of moving through them all. Our ability to reason does not guarantee our ability to understand. Even the "best" preparation may lead to greater spiritual vitality without physical healing. God's ways are beyond our ways. Sometimes good and godly Christians get sick, suffer and die, and sometimes unprincipled and unbelieving people get better, stay well, live long and prosper. These steps of preparation do not measure the validity or authenticity of faith by the healing that results. The right inner dispositions and quality of faith do not command God's response.
Nevertheless, a consistent theme in all Alliance writings on healing is a strong emphasis on personal preparation for healing though this does not guarantee healing for healing and faith are still mysteries. This preparatory phase of heart and mind may take a week, a month, or only a brief moment. Often the more serious the physical need, the greater the time of preparation is required. The steps in the preparation phase to be healed are foundational in leading into the next.
2. CULMINATING CRISIS OF THE HEALING EVENT
Following a personal preparation to be healed is a culminating crisis of the healing event. Preliminary to this phase is the acceptance of illness in a responsible way and being responsible to do all that can be done to prepare the way for God to do what only God can do. There is hope for a cure. The sick person interfaces with the Christian community for this culminating healing event. Contemporary Alliance pastor, Drake Travis, affirms that "faith is the spark that starts a fire."56
A. NURTURING PARTICULAR FAITH AS READINESS TO RECEIVE
Faith needs to be nurtured for the specific situation as a readiness to receive. A personalized faith could be connected with a specific Bible text or personage. Simpson recognized this specificity:
Having got hold of the truth in general, take some particular promise and claim it by faith. It must be definite. You cannot take hold of one hundred cables, but you can take hold of one and grip it fast and firmly, until it brings you to the shore.57
In regard to a biblical personage, there can be a role-taking and role-adopting process that elicits the divine Healer to appear. For example, the seeker may identify strongly with the Gospel story of the blind man who wanted to receive his sight or the woman with a hemorrhage who wanted to touch the hem of Jesus' garment. As they see themselves in a similar situation and identify with a particular Bible personage, they expect God to do the same thing with them and anticipate that the same kind of healing will happen to them. As healing is anticipated, the divine Healer appears.58 Bible texts cause the divine presence to appear. God comes to them in their experience. Faith is both propositional and personal. Biblical doctrine evokes Christian experience.59
If the person's faith is weak, they can ask God to give them special faith for the occasion. Faith for healing is a distinctive gift from God and not a purely human act nor the product of inner will-power. A person cannot make themselves believe, force faith, or insist on healing, for faith is a gift of God.60 Mackenzie wrote that "faith, then, is a divine quality and is divinely imparted to those who will reach out to the divine method."61 It is not much faith God requires but honest faith, full of trust, believing without doubting. Sometimes that expression of faith emerges from the individual and sometimes from the elders.
Notwithstanding, even honest faith, strong or weak, does not always elicit visible healing. There may be no lack of faith in the seeker or the elders, but the individual does not get any better and may even get worse and die. The faith solution in these cases may ultimately be found in the innocent suffering of Job:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised."
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing (Job 1:21-22).
In these cases some invisible healing may have taken place in response to faith. The inner life or the human psyche may have received a genuine and even profound touch from the Risen Jesus.
There was an important shift in understanding divine healing within early and later Alliance leaders on discerning the specific direction to pray for healing. Simpson's position was that it is the will of God to heal all who believe. God's highest will is always to heal.62 Writing in 1990, however, Alliance pastor and speaker, Richard Sipley, proposed that the will of God needs to be discerned for the specific situation.63 This later position seems to present a more balanced approach by leaning more heavily on discerning the causes, avoiding the danger of having faith in faith, and asking God what God intends to do for that particular individual. On nurturing faith, Sipley encouraged listening prayer:
Wait in His presence until we have a word from Christ. Wait in His presence until the Holy Spirit speaks to us and tells us what God wants to say to us.... Then a word will come from Christ by the Spirit of God that will give us an answer to our situation, whatever the answer of God might be, whether it is healing or not. If He gives that word of assurance for our healing, we will be healed!64
Genuine faith is also distinguished from simplistic and distorted understandings of faith. Sipley cautioned against misplaced faith and the dangers of the faith healing movement.
(1) Faith is not "confessing and possessing." We cannot verbalize anything needed, confess it on our own before God, and keep on confessing it until we finally possess it.
(2) Faith is not "claiming the promises." We cannot choose any scriptural promise, take it to God in prayer, and claim the answer from God.
(3) Faith is not "obeying the Word." We cannot assume that following a series of biblical steps or commands will necessarily bring healing.65
Travis also clarified what healing is not. Healing does not mean that we will live in an enduring state of perfect health as if healing is a fountain of youth -- those healed by Jesus did not feel nineteen years old at age ninety-one -- nor is healing a Hebrew health care plan. The aging process and death are inevitable.66
God will either give divine healing that quickens the body or divine grace that enables the person to live above the affliction. "Seek to be healed until you are either healed or God gives you an answer why you are not."67 The issue that the seeker is processing at this point is particular faith for their specific situation with "the clearcut conviction that it is God's will to heal them ... knowing what the specific will of God for them is in a particular sickness or disease."68 The goal is to prayerfully discern the mind of God for their suffering at that time. Faith can be further grounded upon a specific Scripture text, biblical principle or personage as uniquely appropriate to their situation and serve as a focal point for nurturing particular faith.
B. CALLING FOR THE ELDERS TO PRAY AS A FAITH EXPRESSION
Most often in Alliance circles, the elders of the local church are then called upon to exercise the prayer of faith according to James 5:14-16. It is true that some are healed without this anointing by claiming healing on their own, or by the administration of those with gifts of healing potentially at mass meetings or through other believers in the local church.69 Practically speaking, the individual who is not well has often already spent significant time in prayer for their own healing. If they have not received a healing yet, calling for the elders to pray for healing is a faith expression. Depending on the circumstance, there may be further discussion, discernment, confession and counseling with the elders prior to specific prayer for healing.
When requested the elders of the church endeavor to follow the admonition of James:
Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven (James 5:14-15).
The elders pray as God leads them.70 They anoint the person's forehead with oil as a symbol of the ministry and working of the Holy Spirit and pray in the name of the Lord Jesus. It is hoped that at least one of the elders gives utterance to the prayer of faith, confession of sin is applied, and the Lord Jesus heals. The small group of elders that have been called to pray publicly or privately as well as the congregation's prayerful support combined with the individual's own personal preparation intensifies and elicits the entire faith dynamic.
Although faith is exercised in God to heal, those involved in the prayer of faith are socially and spiritually recognized as trustworthy channels of God's grace because of their education, training, experience and practice in healing. The collective group of praying elders, a godly pastor, a supportive congregation and an earnest supplicant generates an atmosphere of faith, hope and expectation in which God can work. The oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit stimulates faith and the elders anointing with the oil inspire faith. The faith of the seeker is thus mingled and heightened with the faith of others.
C. CLAIM OF GOD'S ASSURANCE TO HEAL THROUGH A DEFINITE ACT OF FAITH NOW
The person then takes a transactional step of appropriating the assurance of God to heal by a definite act of faith. Simpson urged the believer to "step out solemnly, definitely, irrevocably, on new ground, on God's promise, with the deep conviction that it is forever."71Moreover:
There is a great difference between asking and taking, between expecting and accepting. You must take Christ as your Healer -- not as an experiment, not as a future, perhaps, but as a present reality.... Do not merely believe that He will do so, but claim and believe that He does touch you now, and begin the work of healing in your body.72
Specific and definite faith is necessary to receive healing from God, that is, the definite belief that God gives the healing being claimed and gives it now.73 The answer to prayer is taken in the present now, and God is given time to work out its actual fulfillment.74 Faith is not an inactive acquiescence to passively receive, but an active receptivity to forcefully take. Simpson advised:
It is not enough to believe that we may be healed, or to believe in God's power to do this; but we must definitely claim the blessing, count upon it, confess it, and commit ourselves to it by going forth to reckon upon it, and act as if it were a reality.75
This kind of faith, says Mackenzie, "gets to the place where it can take God at His word, no matter what the feelings, or sight, or Satan may interpose."76 Simpson added:
The seeker must come to 'a definite point and cross it, put down a stake and take it forever.' He will say, 'This is God's truth and I stand upon it.'77
At this stage, faith is more than desiring to be healed or believing that God can heal. Faith for healing is a definite step in the present now believing that God is going to heal in answer to prayer now. While acknowledging this on the one hand, faith for healing is admittingly quite elusive on the other. Even Jesus at times healed when there was no apparent evidence of faith at all, and sometimes even sincere faith asks amiss (James 4:3).
D. THE EXERCISE OF AUTHORITATIVE FAITH THAT TAKES
At times there may be the exercise of an authoritative faith that commands the will of God to be realized in the name of Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. Authoritative faith that takes or commands the will of God is not compelling God's will to be realized. Rather this faith activity is characterized by the work of the Holy Spirit acting through the person's faith commanding nature and the body to obey God's will and be healed.
Authoritative faith supernaturally rises within people when there is an overwhelming sense that God is definitely at work. Over one hundred years ago, Simpson understood that "it is not your will that demands these things, but God's will in you that commands His power."78 In other words, God desires what the pray-er seeks and the prayer of faith lays hold of what God wants. Delegated power is given to the pray-er through the name of Jesus. Identifying with Jesus in prayer on this level is to "ask just as if Jesus Himself was asking it."79 There may also be a conscious force of intense desire coming from the Holy Spirit through the pray-er. This kind of authoritative prayer is not a lackadaisical or weak asking, but a confident and forceful taking and results in a demonstration of the Holy Spirit's power.
The individual goes beyond mere personal contact with Jesus and seeks union. Bosworth stated, "As the sick touched Him and were made whole when Christ walked upon earth, so, now, it is the privilege of all to actually touch Him, and the touch now unites us to Christ in a closer union than it did then."80 Faith, then, is believing God and the Word of God for what God said God would do, "expecting God to do what we know ... is His will to do."81 The seeker expects something to happen "with that expectancy that shuts out doubt or fear of failure, and shows unshakeable confidence."82 Faith believes that Jesus is able and willing to heal. Authoritative faith reaches out to touch and to take healing from the hand of the living Saviour.
E. EXPERIENCING FURTHER "TRIGGERS" OF FAITH
God is gracious to our psychological makeup. Often further "triggers" of faith accompany the healing event in the form of sensations. The experience of divine healing is often connected to these different sensations of varying intensity, before, during or after the healing event, separately or combined. They include: a sensation of warmth and even heat, an infusion of light or being flooded with light, a surge of power going through the body, a sense of well-being and complete rest or peace, an experience of deep joy, an inner total conviction not dependent of the feeling itself of being healed, paranormal experiences like visions or hearing the voice of God speaking, a feeling of the divine presence, an identification with Christ particularly in his sufferings, or changed perceptions where known or familiar things take on new meaning.83
Although sensations may have minimized in previous decades because of a fear of focusing on experience rather than Christ, these sensations can be authentic triggers of faith and may be genuine evidences of God at work.84 The healing event can include both seeing and hearing, both knowing and feeling.
F. ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN CHRIST
Finally, there is an encounter with the Risen Christ. This is more than the appropriation of healing, for healing is not an "it" to be taken, but healing is an encounter with Jesus. This is the fundamental core in understanding and experiencing divine healing. Flowing out of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, a person seeks healing. Couched in that relationship of love with God, a person encounters Jesus Christ in their crisis, and the divine-human relationship continues whatever the outcome.
Fundamental to divine healing is the theological affirmation of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.85 Central to Alliance understanding of healing is an encounter with the Risen and Living Lord Jesus Christ. Travis summarizes:
Divine healing is the supernatural divine power of God infused into human bodies, renewing their strength and replacing the weakness of suffering human frames by the life and power of God.... Divine healing comes through the life of the resurrected Christ, who bodily rose from the dead.... Divine healing is the healing that comes via the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus healed by the Holy Spirit while on earth, and He is still the same today.86
The infusion of divine life with the seeker brings supernatural, if not miraculous, healing. Healing is personally imparted by God. "The real secret of divine healing is to reach out to the divine life and become united with the Living One. Then His supernatural life will fill not only our spiritual but our physical nature...."87 When once that union is effected, nothing remains to prevent the unobstructed inflow of divine energy.88
God supernaturally adds resurrection life to stimulate, quicken and revive the natural, physical forces that are infirm, exhausted and weak. Ultimately, divine healing is not the mere restoration of ordinary, physical health, nor the harmony of balancing all aspects of body, mind and spirit, nor the proper alignment of the natural powers of the body to heal itself, though these are not avoided nor denied.89 Divine healing is the impartation of the strength and life of Christ through the Holy Spirit. God can certainly use medical means, alternative healing methods or psychotherapy as part of the healing process. But divine healing means that the sick person is intrinsically brought into union with the body of the Risen Christ and receives an impartation of his resurrection life. The sufferer can affirm with Paul, spiritually as well as physically, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Physical healing thus becomes a foretaste of the future resurrection of the body.90
Certainly an encounter with the Risen Christ is multifold. John Packo is a noteworthy example of an Alliance pastor who took steps toward the healing of his cancer but was not healed in a dramatic way believing that God gave him strength to face the ordeal. He summarized the processing of his "healing" in twelve creative choices:
(1) I did not choose cancer, but I choose to trust God for courage to cope with cancer.
(2) Cancer is a divine appointment to receive Christ's miracle of His life into one's heart.
(3) Since our sovereign Lord permits cancer for His glory and our spiritual growth, I will glorify God and grow.
(4) Because Christ's death on the wondrous cross is the basis for divine healing, I choose His supernatural power to supplement my doctor's treatments.
(5) I pick James's prescription administered by the elders of the local church, then leave the healing results to God.
(6) If I select the wonders of modern medicine, I must be prepared to manage the not-so-wonderful side effects.
(7) I practice positional thinking that produces power to live above tough circumstances.
(8) When God withholds the miracle of instant healing, I humbly embrace His alternative of amazing grace that creates inner strength and a joyous disposition.
(9) I love God who specializes in the miracle of turning cancer into my ultimate spiritual good of Christlikeness.
(10) I dedicate my body to Christ and separate it from unhealthy eating habits, chemical abuse and over-exposure to sun.
(11) I accept death as the departure into heaven made possible by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
(12) I celebrate the wonder of life by filling my heart with the joy of worshiping Jesus.91
For some an encounter with the Risen Christ means grace for physical healing and for others it means grace for active endurance. Both kinds of faith are dynamic. When it is the later, the faith solution is not passive acceptance, but it is encounter nonetheless. Faith and healing present a very subtle and complex relationship as faith gropes toward a God whom we have no power to control. Whenever faith is evident, whatever the end results, authentic faith elicits an encounter with the Risen Christ.
3. ONGOING PROCESS OF HEALING AND HEALTH
Following the personal preparation to be healed and the culminating crisis of the healing event, there comes the ongoing process of healing and health.
A. BELIEVE AND ACT AS IF GOD HAS HEALED
God brought the seeker to a crisis of faith in divine healing and continues to enable them to claim God's truth, to mature in holiness, to grow in faith, and to be established in hope, and to believe in God's love. Faith for healing is both a specific act and an ongoing activity. Simpson encouraged those who claimed healing to keep right with God, to keep reckoning that God will take care of them and honour God's Word, and to keep receiving new life from God.92
Though this exercise of faith is delicate to be sure, as much as possible, the person seeking healing now begins "to act as one that is healed."93 There are certainly dangers and consequences of taking steps that are ill-advised, presumptuous and foolhardy. But to the degree the person feels the freedom, they can begin to ignore symptoms, feelings and impressions, attempt to do what was previously impossible, and continue to claim and trust the reality of healing. Caution is advised even though Simpson advocated this:
And as old infirmities, symptoms, or sufferings appear, you can treat them just the same as you did the spiritual conditions. Count them temptations, treat them as foreign to yourself, refuse to fear them, identify yourself with them or obey them, and draw your strength directly from your living Head, from a source outside you, and yet in touch with you -- Him in whom you now live and move and have your being....94
It is helpful for the person who has prayed definitely for healing now to stop thinking about the sickness, to stop fearing it, to stop talking about it. This is not intended as some psychological trick, but to detach oneself from the infirmity as an honest and courageous expression of standing firm in faith. This kind of "faith can 'keep on believing' though every evidence which is given is but to contradict its expectation."95
Simpson emphasized that some concrete expression of faith is also necessary. "The Lord Jesus never healed anybody on his back. The command always was to do something and take the divine life in action."96
The processes of faith go beyond the boundaries of rational logic and empirical evidence, though faith is not irrational nor unreasonable. When God is truly at work, the expression of faith becomes realized as actual fact in one's physical body. Faith counts upon healing and considers it done as a finished reality before it may actually be seen, felt or experienced.97 When the inner life is dominated and consumed with a physical condition and the struggle for health, it may be difficult for the soul to focus upon the God of health. Sickness and evil are almost hypnotic. Yet it is vital to take the mind off the physical condition and place it onto God. Simpson counseled:
Don't watch your feelings. Don't superintend God. Don't note the ups and downs of your case.... Keep busy with Him and for others and pass on to the next thing in life's unselfish ministry; and you will find as you are occupied with God and for God, He will be occupied for you. Get saved from your anatomy. Get saved from all your bad feelings. Keep out of yourself.98
Again, healing does not occur because of exercising faith in faith, but by expressing faith in God. Divine healing is elicited by faith, but it is not faith that heals. God heals and faith receives that healing.99 True faith is not shaken by failure to receive immediate healing, and people who are not healed do not necessarily have less faith.
It is true that Simpson held that doubt, remedies and treatments at this point were inadmissible and viewed them as retreating from a final act of faith.100 Many today, however, feel more comfortable maintaining treatments until a medical authority has pronounced them healed or they have felt or seen marked improvement. Sipley suggested that "if God has healed you, you will know it, and you will not need medical treatment," yet he also applied common sense in going to a physician for confirming tests.101
B. BE PREPARED FOR TRIALS OF FAITH
Symptoms may linger, not always disappearing immediately. Discouragements, doubts and temptations may come. The healing occasion may occur over a short or long period of time, or can be with instant or delayed effect. If the speed of healing is gradual and in process over time, rather than instantaneous and complete, or if the realization of healing is only partial, then faith is further challenged. Yet no matter how remarkable the specific healing event may have seemed, it is only a part of that process.102
Mackenzie reassured the seeker that "trials always test and strengthen faith in proportion to what is real."103 Simpson illustrated the kind of internal questioning which diminishes faith that may occur: "How do we know it if God's time? Or, perhaps, we have not fulfilled all the conditions. Or, perhaps, we have asked too much."104 Doubts are to be treated like any other temptation by setting the will against them. One must will to believe and not to doubt. Simpson asserted, "I do not feel any faith, but I choose to believe."105 True faith tenaciously continues to hold on to God until the full answer comes and in whatever form the answer comes.
C. CONTINUE TO DRAW LIFE FROM THE RISEN CHRIST
If no immediate answer to prayer comes, it may be fitting to review earlier steps and pray again until a clear answer comes from God. The humble question of the trusting heart may be, "God, what am I yet to learn?" while still believing the answer is on the way. Even while answers may be unclear, a deeper love for God can be cultivated.
If a person persistently asks God for healing, but gets progressively worse, then perhaps God's answer is "no."106 Moreover, divine healing goes no further than the promise of God. God does not promise that we will never die, but only that we will fulfill our number of days and complete our life's work.107 The sovereign God gives grace in suffering and in death.
Thus, even when healing is delayed, the faith of the believer remains active by continuing to draw life from the Risen Christ. They began to look to God for healing and they keep looking for healing by abiding in Christ. After wholly yielding to God to use their life for God's glory and service and believing without doubt in the assurance of God's Word for healing, the seeker is called to abide in Christ for their physical life and draw their strength moment by moment through personal dependence upon Him.108
D. LIVE IN HEALTH AND HEALING
Once healing has been realized, a consistent prayer life in communion with God and the avoidance of psychological and spiritual blocks can be the source of continuous dependence upon God for ongoing health and healing and the continuous impartation of the divine life.109 The divine life of Christ can ceaselessly flow into the mortal body. One of Mackenzie's books focuses primarily on maintaining divine life for the body. "There is a quiet, normal receiving of divine life for our physical frame which becomes as natural as breathing, and almost as spontaneous."110 If an ailment returns or another sickness befalls, it may mean that there is some fresh lesson to be learned. Certainly the spiritual life is a continuous journey of faith. God may heal on one occasion and not another.
The secret of ongoing health is found in continuously taking God's strength for the body, in living upon God's life, in having not only divine healing but divine health also.111 This is a mystical view of participating with the living Christ in his resurrection life.112 Even when bad things do happen to good people, since we have no guarantee of good health, a dimension of divine life and wholeness can be realized. Beyond divine healing is divine life, that is, being lifted to a higher spiritual plane and then continuing to live there all the time. It is the overflowing life of God in the whole human life.113
Sarah Lindenberger, who coordinated an early Alliance home for healing, emphasized divine health over and above divine healing. We not only receive divine touches of healing, but we can receive divine life which comes from union with our Risen Lord. She recommended these steps to receive this life for the body:
(1) Surrender your body, as you did your soul, in consecration.
(2) Definitely accept Christ as your strength, instead of your own natural health.
(3) Cultivate the habit of constantly depending upon Him for strength, recognizing the Spirit in you to quicken your mortal frame.
(4) Choose to keep your body obedient and holy, in your living, eating and drinking, in the use of your eyes, your ears, your tongue, and keep your whole being separated unto Himself.
(5) Learn to feed upon Him and drink in His life.114
Alongside these metaphysical emphases, practical measures are also to be taken into account, such as, self-responsibility, nutritional awareness, stress management, physical fitness, proper diet, and environmental issues. Recognizing these will minimize the perceived differences between the sacred and the secular. God is, indeed, over all.
E. USE NEW STRENGTH AND HEALTH FOR GOD
Divine healing is given so we can fulfill God's purposes, not for preventing growing old or death. Healing is a sacred act of God, and new strength and health are to be used as a sacred trust for God and kingdom work. The person who has been a recipient of grace is to become a giver of grace in service to others. Rejuvenated physical life is not to be used for personal enjoyment, but for God's pleasure.115
When healing does not apparently happen, divine grace more than compensates. Simpson understood this:
Sometimes, in our physical life, when we take the Lord for healing, the physical pain or symptom is not removed, but God gives us such an inflow of vital energy, strength and vigor that we are able to rise above it, and go on with our work irrespective of the apparent disease.116
More strength is given than if the ailment had been removed. The Christian can continue to be full of God's love and grace whatever the outcome.117
Alliance spirituality provides a theology and a practice for physical healing. The experiential processing of certain psycho-spiritual dynamics can elicit a faith encounter with the Risen Christ resulting in physical healing within Alliance spirituality. From the seeker's perspective, preparation, crisis and process are three key psycho-spiritual components for processing divine healing, each with their own dynamic features and factors. Physical healing remains filled with mystery for God is Holy Mystery, yet this God continues to extend grace to heal today.
1. Some underlying presuppositions include: The Old and New Testament Scriptures are authoritative. People can know God personally through Jesus Christ. Physical healing is part of the good news of Christ.
Since I am focusing on Alliance spirituality, most of my primary resources are Alliance authors. Many of the older resources are out of print. Thanks to Mr. Sandy Ayer, Director of Library Services at Canadian Bible College/Canadian Theological Seminary, in Regina, Saskatchewan, for providing access to these. The quotations used from Alliance leaders reflects their original gender usage.
2. For Simpson's personal testimony of healing, see A. B. Simpson, The Gospel of Healing, Revised Edition (=GH) (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1915), 153-172. In brief, he had a nervous breakdown at age fourteen while preparing for college which took him near death. In his first pastorate at twenty-one he broke down with heart trouble and worked for years with constant remedies and hundreds of times felt as if he would fall in the middle of a service. He had two other collapses of long duration that threatened his life. While serving in New York, a prominent doctor told him that he would succumb to his illness in a few months. While recuperating at a camp meeting, he heard people testify of healing. He went to his Bible, found the answers he was searching for, and became convinced that healing was part of the good news of Christ. There he made a covenant with God and appropriated healing. After several tests of faith, his strength was renewed, and he enjoyed phenomenal health until he was seventy-five.
3. For a contemporary summary and analysis of Simpson's healing and healing ministry development, see Drake W. Travis, Christ Our Healer Today: The Ministry of Healing in the Christian and Missionary Alliance (=CHT) (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1996), 105-131.
4. One such historical record listed healings from: "rheumatism, hay fever, poor eyesight, spinal trouble, tumor, dyspepsia, nervousness, paralysis, complication of diseases, diphtheria, Bright's disease, heart disease, nervous prostration, asthma, deafness, severe dose of poison, neuralgia, fever, pneumonia and malaria." A. B. Simpson, The Word, the Work & the World (=WWW) (July/August 1887): 81; quoted in Ernest Gerald Wilson, The Christian and Missionary Alliance: Developments and Modifications of its Original Objectives (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1984) (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1984), 176-177. For an early compilation of healings, see GH 173-184; and A. B. Simpson, ed., A Cloud of Witnesses for Divine Healing: Second Edition (=CW) (New York: Word, Work and World Publishing, Co., 1887). For a record over fifty years later, see David J. Fant, ed., Modern Miracles of Healing (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1943). For a current compilation of testimonies, see "Chapter 5. Healing Today," CHT 133-182.
5. "Constitution of the Christian Alliance," The Christian Alliance Yearbook (1888): 48.
6. GH 6. See also 182.
7. While a Statement of Faith was written in 1965, official self-acknowledgement that The C & MA had become a denomination did not occur until 1974. Eternity magazine reported in 1974 that "After 87 years as a para-denominational organization dedicated to missionary activity, the Christian and Missionary Alliance has officially recognized what many people have known for years: the Alliance is a denomination." "C & M Alliance Converts to Denominational Status," Eternity 25 (August 1974): 8. There were earlier doctrinal statements made but not officially adopted by the larger constituency.
8. Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada: 1996 Edition (Willowdale, Ontario: The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, 1996), 3, 39. While Simpson taught that the basis of faith in divine healing was in the atonement of Jesus Christ, he did not conceive of its availability as equal to the offer of salvation. Thus healing was viewed as a provision for God's children yet subordinate to salvation. See John Sawin, "The Fourfold Gospel," in The Birth of a Vision (=BV), ed., David F. Hartzfeld and Charles Nienkirchen (Beaverlodge, Alberta: Buena Book Services, 1986), 12.
9. While the Alliance believes in divine healing and has some similarities to Pentecostalism, it also predates the emergence of the Pentecostal movement and has traditionally distanced itself from it.
10. See Kenneth Mackenzie, Divine Life for the Body (=DLB) (New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1926), 112-115.
11. Simpson's position was that it is the will of God to heal all who believe apart from medical practices for the Scriptures never commanded the use of these means. See GH 67-69, 120-121. For example, he wrote that when a person is sick, God's Word does not say, "Let him call for a doctor and a prescription," but, "Let him call for the elders of the church." A. B. Simpson, Friday Meeting Talks, Or Divine Prescriptions for the Sick and Suffering: Series No. 2 (=FMT2) (Typewritten bound reprint without place, publisher or date), 48. Writing in 1990, Sipley proposed that the will of God needs to be discerned for the specific situation and that God may choose to use medical means because nowhere in the Scriptures is there the injunction to refuse medical treatment. See Richard M. Sipley, Understanding Divine Healing (=UDH) (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1990), 153-154. Does this not express the common fundamental difference between something being discarded when not supported by clear Scriptures, and something being retained unless clearly rejected or prohibited by Scripture? For a helpful historical overview and biblically balanced analysis on this issue, see Keith Bailey, "10. Divine Healing and Modern Medicine," in Divine Healing: The Children's Bread (=CB) (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1977), 177-186. Bailey further suggests that physicians are authorized to diagnose diseases not churches. CB 184.
12. CHT 1-6, 193-217.
13. Lars G. Lindstrom, Christian Spiritual Healing: A Psychological Study: Ideology and Experience in the British Healing Movement (=CSH) (Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 1992), 20-22.
14. Lindstrom proposes four basic traditions that approach healing methodologies from different ideologies based on their theological preferences: pastoral-psychological, evangelical, sacramental and charismatic traditions. According to his limited definitions and explanations, the Alliance would be somewhere between evangelical and charismatic, between a primary focus on Jesus as Saviour for conversion from sin and the Holy Spirit as power released through spiritual gifts. CSH 132-137, 140-141. Simpson rejected the notion that all who were sick were sinning, nor did he major on manifestations of the spiritual gifts during the healing event. Three main forms of healing in pastoral praxis are mentioned in Robert L. Kinast, "Healing," in The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality (=NDCS), Michael Downey, ed. (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1993), 467-468. They are: sacramental healing in anointing the sick, charismatic healing with manifestation of the grace of the Holy Spirit, and pastoral counseling and spiritual direction.
15. DLB 39.
16. While acknowledging that some sickness is a discipline from God, some mystical and devotional writers have sometimes unwisely encouraged Christians to embrace sickness as an angel, rather than to resist sickness as an enemy. But sickness is a curse, an infirmity, a weakness, an affliction, a bondage, an enemy, and has the smell of death. To resist it is both natural and spiritual. CB 195.
17. UDH 79.
18. FMT2 20.
19. DLB 144.
20. DLB 167.
21. FMT2 10.
22. A. B. Simpson, Friday Meeting Talks, Or Divine Prescriptions for the Sick and Suffering (=FMT) (New York: The Christian Alliance Pub. Co., 1894), 135.
23. FMT 91-93.
24. Richard Sparks, "Suffering," NDCS 950.
25. Bailey wrote: "The Scriptures provide the seeds of faith. Time given to study, meditation, and prayer will promote the germination of those seeds of faith." CB 191.
26. For example: "God our Saviour ... wants all ... to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3-4). This is followed by: "It is God's will that you should be holy" (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Then, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.... I am willing.... Be clean" (Matthew 8:2-3). See DLB 34-38.
27. DLB 30.
28. Bailey develops a biblical theology of healing in CB 59-141. Simpson also made an expository assessment of the scriptural position of divine healing in A. B. Simpson, The Lord for the Body: Discovering God's Plan for Divine Health and Healing (=LB) (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1996). (This volume was first published in 1925, revised in 1959, and has now been edited and republished for today's reader.) For the best, up-to-date exegesis of the biblical texts on healing, see CHT 7-103.
29. This is affirmed in Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
30. The Alliance Statement of Faith would be understood by most to take this position though it does not expressly use the phrase "healing in the atonement." Even though Simpson believed and taught that healing was in the atonement, he also stated that "a single promise [of the Scriptures] is enough [to be healed] if you really grasp it, even if you do not see it in the atonement." FMT 100. A contemporary Alliance pastor briefly exegetes a key text from Isaiah: "Jesus Christ ... the Great Physician ... does heal us. Along with Isaiah we believe that He not only bore our sins on the cross, but He also bore our 'griefs' (Isaiah 53:4). That word griefs is always translated as 'infirmities,' 'sicknesses,' 'griefs'; it is never translated 'sin' or 'sins.' It refers to the physical ailments of the body. Christ bore them on the cross. That statement is followed by the words: 'Our sorrows He carried.' In the original Hebrew, the word sorrows means literally our 'mental anguish.' On the cross Christ made provision for the whole man: body, soul and spirit. He will give each of us the measure of healing that we need in order to carry out the spiritual service to which He has called us." Philip P. Ronzheimer, "Trust Me! Trust Me!" Healing and the Sovereignty of God (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1992), 2. Sipley added that it is a "misconception that healing in the atonement automatically implies perfect physical health." Christians are not always healed. UDH 115.
31. FMT 66, 99.
32. For a compelling presentation on Christ's compassion for the sick, see Fred Francis Bosworth, "The Lord's Compassion," in Christ the Healer: Sermons on Divine Healing (=CH) (Chicago, Illinois: F. F. Bosworth, 1924), 62-83.
33. The early Alliance leaders persistently distanced themselves from healing within Christian Science and other religions which they viewed as a counterfeit of divine healing and antithetical to Christianity. See DLB 104-111; GH 185-191. According to McFague, there has been a movement during the last two centuries away from the model of personal agency for God and a countervailing movement toward it. Sally McFague, "Chapter 3. God and the World," in Models of God (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1987), 81. Critical to Alliance spirituality is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Alliance emphasizes the personal God of the Bible who can be known and experienced.
34. GH 76.
35. The early Alliance leaders preferred the term divine healing over faith healing, because they believed that "faith has no power to cure anybody intrinsically, but that the real power in every case of true healing must be a personal God and not a mere subjective state of mind in the person concerned or anybody else." A. E. Thompson, "Chapter 14. The Ministry of Healing," in A. B. Simpson: His Life and Work: Revised Edition (=ABS:LW) (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1960), 145. For a current differentiation between the Alliance and the faith movement, see Paul L. King, "A. B. Simpson and the Modern Faith Movement," in Alliance Academic Review: May 1996, ed., Elio Cuccaro (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1996), 1-22.
36. Bailey listed seven sins in the Bible for which the retribution was sickness: jealousy, rebellion, adultery, discontent, and over-indulgence as seen in drunkenness, gluttony or inordinate appetites. CB 192-194.
37. See UDH 21-22, 37-51, 63-76.
38. This insight was not overlooked in early Alliance spirituality. For example: "There is an intimate connection between a spirit of thankfulness and physical health. In the first place, the very atmosphere of praise and the spirit of joy and gladness are physical tonics and wholesome stimulants, and lift up our whole being to a higher condition of vitality and spring; just as, on the other hand, moroseness, gloom, and depression have a tendency to exhaust and depress the vital system." FMT2 22. Also see CH 24-27 for scriptural parallels between the "inner man" and the "outer man."
39. Some underlying causes result in afflictions not dealt with in this paper. See Joseph Arthur, "Chapter 10. Prayer for Healing," in Prayer Voices: A Popular Theology of Prayer, ed., H. Robert Cowles and K. Neill Foster (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1993), 133-146. Arthur approaches healing in five corresponding areas by first discerning the basic sickness and cause. Those five areas are: sickness of the spirit caused by sin; damaged emotions caused by past hurts; physical distress caused by physical damage, disorder or malfunction; demonic activity; and a sickness unto death.
40. No doubt Jesus encountered people whom he did not heal. It would seem that the crippled beggar at the temple gate who was later healed through Peter and John must have been noticed by Jesus (Acts 3:1-10). Also, when Jesus healed the man at the pool who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years, it appears that Jesus walked by many others to demonstrate his power to this one man (John 5:1-15). On some occasions Jesus and the disciples did heal all the sick (Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; 10:1; 12:15; 14:35-36; 15:30; Mark 6:56; Luke 4:40; 6:19). On other occasions he healed many (Mark 1:32-34; 3:10; 6:13; Luke 7:21) or even not many (Matthew 13:58). Is there the possibility that Jesus may have deepened the faith of those who were left in their infirmity?
41. FMT2 34.
42. Depression, fear, hopelessness and self-pity are examples of psychological pressures that quench faith. Moreover, Bailey stated that the weakened emotional state of a suffering person makes them especially vulnerable to demonic attacks from which they need to find release. CB 194-195.
43. WWW (July/August 1887): 75; quoted in BV 13.
44. CH, 96.
45. A. B. Simpson, "How to Take It," Tracts for the Times: Divine Healing Series (=TT) (New York, N.Y.: The Christian Alliance Publishing Company, n.d.), 3-4. This series of eleven practical tracts now out-of-print is worth editing and compiling into a short book.
46. FMT 67; LB 105.
47. GH 87-88.
48. Bosworth suggested an unfortunate analogy that tries to put God into our categories and deal with God accordingly. "Getting things from God is like playing checkers, when, after one person moves, he has nothing to do until the other player moves. Each man moves in his own turn. So, when God has provided healing, or any other blessing, and sent us His Word, it is our move before He will move again. Our move is to expect what He promises when we pray, which will cause us to act our faith before we see the healing; because the healing comes in the next move, which is God's move. God never moves out of His turn, but He always moves when it is His turn." CH 98-99. God, however, cannot be manipulated, tricked, forced or commanded.
49. DLB 153.
50. DLB 156-158.
51. CHT 175.
52. DLB 89.
53. DLB 91. See also 122-123.
54. FMT 38.
55. FMT 44.
56. CHT 66.
57. "How to Take It," TT 4.
58. CSH 151-158.
59. See Dermot A. Lane, The Experience of God: An Invitation To Do Theology (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), viii, 22, 68, 72.
60. Only God knows all the factors in heaven and on earth, past, present and future, why healing should or should not take place. There is also a sickness unto death according to 2 Kings 13:14; 20:1; and Isaiah 38:1.
61. DLB 128.
62. Bosworth also recommended this approach: "Faith is to receive the written promise of God as His direct message to us. His promise means the same as if He appeared and said to us, 'I have heard your prayer.'" CH 103. This is a simplistic and distorted view of faith for healing and not rational and safe as he suggests.
63. UDH 82-88. In reference to terminal illness, while Sipley has participated in many dramatic healings, he states, "I never take it for granted that God wants to heal them." UDH 146.
64. UDH 86.
65. UDH 124-126.
66. CHT 69-70.
67. UDH 99.
68. William C. Doughty, Healing from Heaven (=HH) (South Holland, Illinois: The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of South Holland, Illinois, n.d.), 19.
69. These three avenues of healing -- through the faith of the individual, gifts of the Spirit being exercised in small or large group settings, and the role of the elders of a local congregation -- are recognized in HH 45-57. Nevertheless, more focus is traditionally given to the role and ministry of the elders in Alliance spirituality. Bailey also devotes a chapter to gifts of healings in the context of the local church. CB 143-155. Certainly, Jesus ministered in private and public settings and the apostles were involved in individual and mass healings. Richard Leever, "Healing: Mass Meeting or Local Church Elders?" His Dominion 14 (Summer 1987): 27-34.
70. See Appendix for guidelines for administering healing from the perspective of the elders, entitled, "The Ministry of Healing in the Church: Training for Anointing with Oil for Healing. Quinte Alliance Church Board of Elders."
71. GH 87-88.
72. GH 87.
73. FMT 36.
75. FMT 36-37.
76. DLB 131.
77. WWW (July/August 1885): 204; quoted in BV 13.
78. FMT 168. For a fuller presentation on authoritative faith, see "Chapter 19. The Imperative Mood and the Present Tense of Faith," FMT 164-176. In my opinion, this chapter particularly needs to be reprinted. Simpson's entire first volume on Friday Meeting Talks, Or Divine Prescriptions for the Sick and Suffering is very worthwhile and his second series contains some valuable insights.
79. FMT 170.
80. CH 97.
81. CH 85.
82. CH 99.
83. CSH 90-94.
84. I think Simpson did make a passing reference to sensations in this statement: "You must somehow get into contact with Him. The senses of your soul and the very functions of your body must somehow come into touch with Him, must be responsive to Him." LB 19. (Italics mine.) On the other hand, he also balanced this with another comment: "Be sure that you are not looking for any thrill or any consciousness or any physical sensation. ... choose and purpose and determine -- feeling or no feeling -- that you will take His word [for healing]...." A. B. Simpson, How to Receive Divine Healing (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., n.d.), 11.
There are, of course, testimonies in Alliance history of those who experienced sensations of healing. Mrs. M. J. Clark was healed of a heart disease: "Dear Brother Simpson came to me and anointed me with oil and offered the prayer of faith, and instantly, as quick as a lightning flash, shocks of Divine power went through me from head to foot, and it seemed as though a Divine hand was laid on my heart, and I was healed; every symptom left and never returned." CW 139. Rev. R. C. Oliver was healed of severe headaches (migraines?) which he described as "something like brain fever": "I then requested prayer for immediate healing. ... Directly I felt a power in my body similar to currents of electricity passing from head to feet, and in twenty minutes I sprang up and declared that the Lord had healed me ... that I was well." CW 198-201.
85. Simpson wrote: "We must remember that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus was a physical fact. It was His body that died, and it was His body that was raised from the dead. There came forth from Joseph's tomb that day a physical man with a real body. True, it was a spiritual body, but an actual physical organization, which had been refined and perfected to the very highest possible condition.... Not only has this blessed Christ given His flesh for us, but He has given it to us, and our very bodies may be vitalized with His vitality, strengthened with His strength, inspired with His energy and one day glorified with His likeness." "The Lord for the Body," TT 3,7,8.
86. CHT 122-123. This emphasis on divine healing was expressed in several places, and, in my opinion, stands unique. "Divine healing is the result of a personal union with a personal Christ." FMT 38. "Divine healing is just the touch of His personal and blessed life. ... so Jesus will come so near to us and touch us so vitally with His very being, that we will receive even His physical life into our worn-out bodies...." FMT 72. "Healing is the life of Christ imparted to our body. There is a real person back of it." FMT 103. "Divine healing, as I understand it, is the indwelling life of Jesus Christ in my body." Theologically speaking, Simpson added that "the blessed Son of man is not an ethereal spirit, but a man like you and me with a physical form." FMT2 56. "Divine healing is to me the incoming and indwelling of a new personality.... Divine healing is the continuous inflow of a river of life into our whole being from the indwelling body of Jesus Christ." UDH 34. "Divine healing, therefore, is just the life and power of the Holy Ghost added to the human body, and so filling it as to supply motive power to every vital function and physical organ." "Temples of the Holy Ghost," TT 3. The secret of divine healing "is union with One who is our physical Head as well as the source of our spiritual life. It is to be in touch with the Son of Man who is risen from the dead, in the power of an endless life, and who is the Head of our body and has taught us to understand that 'we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones' (Ephesians 5:30, KJV)." LB 115.
87. DLB 161-162.
88. DLB 167-168.
89. Simpson explained that divine healing is not: medical healing, metaphysical healing by mental force like Christian Science, magnetic healing like some energy current that flows from one body into another, spiritualism by calling on any spirit other than Jesus Christ, prayer cure as if the power of prayer itself will effect healing, faith cure as if faith itself heals (like auto-suggestion?), will power to take hold of oneself and lift themselves up, defiance of God's will as if to say, "I will have this healing, whether God wills it or not!", physical immortality, or mercenary healing that seeks to adopt healing as a professional trade. A. B. Simpson, The Four-Fold Gospel (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., n.d.), 47-56. (Italics mine.)
90. FMT 50-53, 59, 62.
91. John E. Packo, Coping with Cancer: 12 Creative Choices (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1991).
92. "How to Keep It," TT 3-6.
93. GH 90.
94. FMT 44-45.
95. DLB 134.
96. "How to Help Others," TT 5. Here are biblical examples: "Stretch out your hand," "Get up, take your mat and walk," "And as they went, they were cleansed," "Go wash in the Pool of Siloam," "Stand up on your feet" (Matthew 12:13; Mark 2:9; Luke 17:14; John 9:7; Acts 14:10).
97. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Simpson reacted to those who "say that they are healed, but they have not the evidence of it. If you believe you are healed, the evidence is there, for faith is the evidence.... If you wait until you see a thing, you have not faith for that thing." A. B. Simpson, Christian Alliance and Missionary Weekly VIII (4 March 1892): 153; quoted in William Boyd Bedford, "'A Larger Christian Life': A. B. Simpson and the Early Years of The Christian and Missionary Alliance" (=ALCL) (Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1992), 283.
98. "How to Keep It," TT 6-7.
99. Kenneth Mackenzie, Our Physical Heritage in Christ (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1923), 87-88.
100. GH 88.
101. UDH 154.
102. See CSH 87-90.
103. GH 92.
104. FMT2 64.
105. A. B. Simpson, Christian and Missionary Alliance XXVI (8 September 1906): 146-148; quoted in ALCL 285.
106. Simpson did address the issue of death and why some are not healed. While first acknowledging that we do not always know why, his reasons were: (1) a person's life-work was completed and God was calling them home to himself; (2) God gives grace to triumph even in death itself; (3) sometimes life is shortened by disobedience to God; and (4) there can be a lack of faith of those who are sick. On this fourth point he made this illuminating point: "Faith for Divine healing is not mere abstinence from remedies, an act of intellect or will, or a submission of anointing, but it is the real, spiritual touch of Christ, and it is much more rare than many suppose. In our intercourse with thousands of people who are interested in this matter, we have not found a great many cases that we would clearly recognize as distinct, undoubting faith in God for present healing. There is plenty of faith in doctrine, plenty of readiness to give up remedies, plenty of faith in the prayers of others - especially if they are eminent saints - plenty of faith for healing in the future; but personal, real faith, that takes God now, and, pressing through the crowd, touches His garment, is not much oftener found now than in the days when only one struggling through the crowd that surrounded Him, really touched Him." FMT2 36-38.
107. CH 34-36; GH 45; "Faith and Fanaticism," TT 5.
108. ABS:LW 147.
109. DLB 138-141. "Keep sweet" was Simpson's admonition in "How to Keep It," TT 7-8.
110. DLB 131-132.
111. FMT2 62.
112. Simpson stated: "We do possess this strength in ourselves; it is the strength of Another, and we just appropriate it, and so Christ is our life. It is not self-contained strength, but strength derived each moment from One above us, beyond us, and yet within us." ABS:LW 146.
113. LB 75.
114. Sarah A. Lindenberger, Streams from the Valley of Berachah (New York: The Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1893), 45, 50.
115. Simpson wrote: "It is not the health that takes us to the ball game, the dance and theater, but the health that takes us to the slums, the alleys and garret." LB 9-10.
116. FMT 26.
117. LB 117.
Arthur, Joseph. "Chapter 10. Prayer for Healing." In Prayer Voices: A Popular Theology of Prayer. Ed. H. Robert Cowles and K. Neill Foster. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1993, 133-146.
Bailey, Keith. Divine Healing: The Children's Bread. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1977.
Bedford, William Boyd. "'A Larger Christian Life': A. B. Simpson and the Early Years of The Christian and Missionary Alliance." Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1992.
Bosworth, Fred Francis. Christ the Healer: Sermons on Divine Healing. Chicago, Illinois: F. F. Bosworth, 1924.
"C & M Alliance Converts to Denominational Status." Eternity 25 (August 1974): 8.
"Constitution of the Christian Alliance." The Christian Alliance Yearbook (1888): 48.
Doughty, William C. Healing from Heaven. South Holland, Illinois: The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of South Holland, Illinois, n.d.
Fant, David J., ed. Modern Miracles of Healing. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1943.
Goshulak, Ted D. "A Bibliography on Healing." His Dominion 14 (Summer 1987): 35-43.
Kinast, Robert L. "Healing." In The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. Ed. Michael Downey. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1993, 466-468.
King, Paul L. "A. B. Simpson and the Modern Faith Movement." In Alliance Academic Review: May 1996. Ed. Elio Cuccaro. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1996, 1-22.
Lane, Dermot A. The Experience of God: An Invitation To Do Theology. New York: Paulist Press, 1981.
Leever, Richard. "Healing: Mass Meeting or Local Church Elders?" His Dominion 14 (Summer 1987): 27-34.
Lindenberger, S. A. Streams from the Valley of Berachah. New York: The Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1893.
Lindstrom, Lars G. Christian Spiritual Healing: A Psychological Study: Ideology and Experience in the British Healing Movement. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 1992.
Mackenzie, Kenneth. Divine Life for the Body. New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1926.
Mackenzie, Kenneth. Our Physical Heritage in Christ. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1923.
Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada: 1996 Edition. Willowdale, Ontario: The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, 1996.
McFague, Sally. "Chapter 3. God and the World." In Models of God. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1987, 59-87, 199-203.
Packo, John E. Coping with Cancer: 12 Creative Choices. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1991.
Ronzheimer, Philip P. "Trust Me! Trust Me!" Healing and the Sovereignty of God. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1992.
Sawin, John. "The Fourfold Gospel." In The Birth of a Vision. Ed. David F. Hartzfeld and Charles Nienkirchen. Beaverlodge, Alberta: Buena Book Services, 1986, 1-28.
Simpson, A. B., ed. A Cloud of Witnesses for Divine Healing: Second Edition. New York: Word, Work and World Publishing, Co., 1887.
Simpson, A. B. Christian Alliance and Missionary Weekly VIII (4 March 1892): 153. Quoted in William Boyd Bedford. "'A Larger Christian Life': A. B. Simpson and the Early Years of The Christian and Missionary Alliance." Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1992, 283.
_____________. Christian and Missionary Alliance XXVI (8 September 1906): 146-148. Quoted in William Boyd Bedford. "'A Larger Christian Life': A. B. Simpson and the Early Years of The Christian and Missionary Alliance." Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1992, 285.
_____________. Friday Meeting Talks, Or Divine Prescriptions for the Sick and Suffering. New York: The Christian Alliance Pub. Co., 1894.
_____________. Friday Meeting Talks, Or Divine Prescriptions for the Sick and Suffering: Series No. 2. Typewritten bound reprint without place, publisher or date.
_____________. How to Receive Divine Healing. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., n.d.
_____________. The Four-Fold Gospel. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., n.d.
_____________. The Gospel of Healing, Revised Edition. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1915.
_____________. The Lord for the Body: Discovering God's Plan for Divine Health and Healing. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1996.
_____________. The Word, the Work & the World (July/August 1885): 204. Quoted in John Sawin. "The Fourfold Gospel." In The Birth of a Vision. Ed. David F. Hartzfeld and Charles Nienkirchen. Beaverlodge, Alberta: Buena Book Services, 1986, 13.
_____________. The Word, the Work & the World (July/August 1887): 75. Quoted in John Sawin. "The Fourfold Gospel." In The Birth of a Vision. Ed. David F. Hartzfeld and Charles Nienkirchen. Beaverlodge, Alberta: Buena Book Services, 1986, 13.
_____________. The Word, the Work & the World (July/August 1887): 81. Quoted in Ernest Gerald Wilson. The Christian and Missionary Alliance: Developments and Modifications of its Original Objectives. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1984. Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1984, 176-177.
_____________. Tracts for the Times: Divine Healing Series. New York, N.Y.: The Christian Alliance Publishing Company, n.d.
Tracts of this series:
Divine Healing and Natural Law
Is It God's Will?
The Lord for the Body
By His Stripes
Temples of the Holy Ghost
How to Take It
How to Keep It
Should We Care for our Bodies?
Faith and Fanaticism
Questions and Objections
How to Help Others
Sipley, Richard M. Understanding Divine Healing. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1990.
Sparks, Richard. "Suffering." In The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. Ed. Michael Downey. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1993, 950-953.
Thompson, A. E. "Chapter 14. The Ministry of Healing." In A. B. Simpson: His Life and Work: Revised Edition. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1960, 138-149.
Travis, Drake W. Christ Our Healer Today: The Ministry of Healing in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1996.
Wilson, Ernest Gerald. The Christian and Missionary Alliance: Developments and Modifications of its Original Objectives. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1984. Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1984.