The Restoring the Foundations integrated approach to biblical healing ministry is based on the central truths of the Christian faith. Both the minister and the ministry receiver need to understand and apply the truths regarding the cross, God's law, hearing God's voice and God's weapons.
1. The cross
At the heart of Christianity is the cross of Jesus Christ. At the heart of our faith is the cross. At the heart of all effective Christian ministry stands the cross.
The cross is the source of God's greatest provision for us. The cross represents the exchanged life, in which we give Jesus all that we are in exchange for Himself and all that He has done for us. Because of the substitutionary atonement in which Jesus became sin for us and on our behalf, we now have a pathway back to righteousness. Through the cross, Jesus Christ gives us the provisions for a victorious life: forgiveness of sin, victory over the power of sin, victory over Satan and his demons, power over sickness and disease, and triumph over death itself. The cross provides the basis for reconciliation with Jesus and with our Abba Father. Because of the cross, we can live an abundant, joyful life on Earth as well as experience the glorious knowledge of eternal life.
In the cross, we see God's expansive love reaching out to us. This gives us hope to reach back toward Him, to begin to seek His healing for our pain. Through the cross, where God's wrath toward our sin was satisfied and our punishment borne, we can now repent and be totally forgiven and thoroughly cleansed. Because of the cross, where Jesus became a curse for us, we can now break the power of the curses (judgment) in our lives and be free of the sins of the fathers and resulting curses. By the cross, Jesus demonstrated that He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the standard of truth, allowing us to recognize and leave behind our ungodly beliefs and move toward His godly beliefs. Because Jesus bore our grief and sorrow on the cross, we can now legitimately release all of our pain and hurt to Him, expecting His healing of our soul/spirit hurts. At the cross, where Jesus defeated Satan, we can now receive the authority He has provided for us to be victorious over Satan and all the hordes of hell. As believers, we can cast out demons and remove demonic oppression from our lives.
The cross is central to our freedom. In the Restoring the Foundations integrated approach to biblical healing ministry, we appropriate the cross in all of its fullness into our lives. We receive it, apply it to our lives, possess its reality and victory and are empowered to move forward in faith. Then we are in the position to help others by bringing the power of the cross into their lives for their healing and deliverance.
2. God's law
As ministers, it is most important that we understand several things about God's law. We need to know that there are consequences when we, or the people to whom we are ministering, violate or are disobedient to God's law. It is precisely because God's judgment is released when His law is violated that He sent Jesus Christ to provide a way out of the judgment. Our job is to learn how to appropriate God's provision and then help others to be set free.
First, let's remember Jesus' attitude toward the law. Jesus said:
''Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.''
—Matt. 5:17–18, KJ21
Then He turns to ''us'' and says:
''Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.''
—Matt. 5:19, KJ21
So here in Matthew and in many other passages, as in Luke 24:44 and Luke 16:17, Jesus demonstrates His honor and respect for the law. He clearly expects us to do the same.
Results of violating God's law
When we (and our ancestors) violate the law of God, several consequences occur. First, automatic repercussions are activated. We can look at the law of gravity as a natural example. Stepping off of a building causes one to fall. Gravity is working day and night. It is working for both the saved and unsaved. It is impartial. Every one of God's laws is impartial and always active. When we sin, a chain reaction is put into motion that has negative consequences for everyone it touches.
A second consequence is that pain is almost always created. In fact, most people come for ministry because they are in pain. They are experiencing turmoil, confusion, torment, guilt, shame, anger; the list goes on and on. Pain drives us to God.
Another very important consequence is spiritual separation from God. As Is. 59:2 (NIV) states: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
A fourth unfortunate consequence is that we give legal opportunity for demonic oppression. Paul expressed this clearly when he wrote in Eph. 4:26–27: ''Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil'' (KJ21).
As Christians, we have two advantages over the rest of the world regarding the violation of God's law:
- We have a remedy when we violate God's law, and
- We can ask the Holy Spirit for grace and empowerment to avoid breaking God's law in the future.
The place to receive help is at the cross. We have already discussed the awesome provision of the cross. The ability to receive God's healing and freedom is centered on God's provision at the cross. Here the consequences of all of the violations of God's law were poured out on one man, Jesus Christ. Being saved from God's judgment occurs only when we meet His conditions. We appropriate by faith the provision He made for us at the cross. The cross made it possible for us to ''enter into'' God's promises of healing and deliverance.
One important, representative passage is God's conditional promise found in 1 John: ''If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'' (1 John 1:9, KJ21).
When and if we do our part (confess our sins), God will do His part (forgive us and cleanse us from the resulting unrighteousness) because He is faithful and just. Thus, we can receive freedom from the consequences of violating the law.
Specific laws relevant to RTF ministry
As we minister, a number of God's laws are relevant. We will focus on four central ones for use in the integrated approach to biblical healing ministry:
- Sowing and reaping
- Time to harvest
- Believing in your heart
The concepts and principles expressed in these laws will be used in each of the four problem areas as we bring the healing and freedom of Jesus Christ into our ministry receiver's life.
3. Hearing God's voice
Our deep desire is to hear God's voice and to follow His leading throughout each ministry session. We want the best for each person to whom we minister. We know that significant healing only occurs when the Holy Spirit leads and the Lord Jesus Christ touches. We want to hear everything that God is saying in the areas of needed forgiveness, ancestral sins and curses (SOFCs), core beliefs that are ungodly (UGBs), hurts God wants to heal (SSHs), and demonic strongholds and their legal ground (DO).
As we minister, we want to be led very specifically in each arena. Before the ministry starts, we listen to the Holy Spirit to obtain the real roots behind the ministry receiver's presenting problem(s). During ministry, we listen as the Holy Spirit guides our questions and ministry. Afterward, we listen to prepare for the next session.
Ways we hear
Our spiritual ''hearing'' senses can be placed into three broad categories: hearing, seeing and feeling. We may ''hear'' God's voice as did Samuel the prophet when he thought Eli was calling him and as Elijah did at Mount Horeb. We may ''see'' God's voice as in a vision, similar to Peter and John on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. The Bible records many visions received by the prophets. We may also ''feel'' God's voice with our senses. This seems to occur frequently with intercessors as they pray for others' healing.
Most of us have one primary way that we hear God's voice most of the time. We may hear it through any of the following (hearing, seeing, feeling) ways: illumination of Scripture, inward vision (word of wisdom, word of knowledge), seeing His words in our spirit, hearing His voice in our spirit, dreams or even experiencing another person's emotions or physical feelings. Ways of ''hearing'' God's voice that are less common include seeing an outward vision and/or hearing God's voice audibly.
Learning to hear
Many of us, like the boy Samuel, do not recognize when God is speaking. Like Samuel, we have to learn to hear Him through intentional listening and hearing.
The good news is that even if you are not currently confident that you hear God's voice, you can gain confidence by practice and receiving training to hear God's voice better. As we hear God's voice and learn to flow in His gifts, we are much more ready to confront the enemy of our soul and to bring Christ's healing to others.
4. God's weapons
As ministers, we do not want to be naive in the area of spiritual warfare. We must take our blinders off and realize there is a spiritual battle raging. If we are blind or passive, we will sooner or later become victims. Satan and his army are out to prevent salvation, arrest our spiritual maturity, keep our minds full of the world's garbage, and promote disease in our bodies. Satan does not play fair! He is willing to use every possible means and every legal access to defeat us. The good news is that we do not have to be wimpy soldiers with wimpy weapons. We have all the ''firepower'' that we need. However, we have to get the weapons out of the armory and put them to work! ''For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses'' (2 Cor. 10:4, NASB).
We have our protective, defensive weapons. They are designed to deflect and stop Satan's fiery darts. They are the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the girdle of truth, and the boots of the preparation of the gospel of peace.
In addition, we have our offensive weapons. The military teaches its leaders that ''the best defense is a good offense.'' The same is true for spiritual warfare. We want to take our ''divinely powerful'' offensive weapons and use them against the enemy for our own sake and for the sake of the ministry receiver. Our offensive weapons include prayer, the Word of God, the Name of Jesus, the cross, the Blood, praise, our spiritual prayer language, and the laying on of hands. We can also ask God to dispatch angels to minister to the ''heirs of salvation.'' What an arsenal we have at our disposal!
We expect to have many victories in the Restoring the Foundations integrated approach to biblical healing ministry sessions as we use God's offensive weapons.We expect to see lives changed in significant ways so that the captives will be set free. Our mission is to use God's offensive weapons to defuse, confuse and scatter the enemy's strongholds and remove the oppression from the ministry receiver.
A final note about weapons, particularly prayer. Prayer might be better thought of as our communication link with our Commander-in-Chief and the spiritual realm in general. In the broadest term, prayer includes ''commanding,'' ''declaring,'' ''decreeing,'' ''breaking,'' ''interceding'' and ''releasing.'' In a very real sense, all of the weapons, both defensive and offensive, are put into action through prayer.
We want to conclude this section with a portion of Psalm 18, a psalm of David. We encourage you to make verses 30–50 of this psalm your own, as if God were speaking these promises directly to you as His spiritual warrior. May you be empowered to defeat the demonic hosts (enemies, strangers, violent men) that come against you and your ministry receiver.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proved; He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God, except the LORD? Or who is a rock, except our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that the bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation; Thy right hand hath held me up, and Thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my path under me, that my feet did not slip.
I have pursued mine enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back until they were consumed.
I have wounded them, that they were not able to rise; they have fallen under my feet.
For Thou hast girded me with strength for the battle; Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
They cried, but there was none to save them, even unto the LORD, but He answered them not.
Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind; I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and Thou hast made me the head of the heathen; a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me; the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
The LORD liveth, and blessed be my Rock! And let the God of my salvation be exalted!
It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me;
He delivereth me from mine enemies. Yea, Thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me; Thou hast delivered me from violent men.
Therefore will I give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto Thy name.
Great deliverance giveth He to His king and showeth mercy to His anointed, to David and to his seed for evermore.
—Psalm 18:30–50, KJ21, emphasis mine
Chester and Betsy Kylstra are co-authors of Biblical Healing and Deliverance, from which this article is adapted. For part one of this article series, click here.
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