Posted - 22 Jan 2006 : 21:36:50
| Healing: Wayman Mitchell - Chapter 1
A young girl, wheelchair bound for over three years following a severe mauling from a dog attack, came to our crusade in Melbourne. After being encouraged to act on her prayer of faith, she was dramatically healed. In Perth, a young man, on crutches for a month because of torn ligaments in his leg, was similarly encouraged to act on his prayer of faith and he was healed. In Redlands, a man severely injured in a fall was healed when he began to act on his prayer of faith. These people were dramatically healed in front of hundreds of onlookers. Each was a visible demonstration of the power of God.
I've seen hundreds of people in a wide variety of physical and emotional conditions wonderfully touched by God since I began to vigorously pursue the clear Bible command to "heal the sick." A woman in El Centro was healed of nerve loss she suffered from am attempted suicide as have many others with similar damage, i.e. loss of feeling (from C-sections, injuries or surgery) and nerve related disability in limbs, fingers and hands. Several times I've seen God heal people from pain and loss of function in their bodies and limbs due to rods, pins or plates placed in them by doctors. Two cases I particularly recall were an Oregon man who lost knee function and a Utah man whose back had been immobilized for 12 years. Both were immediately restored and able to move freely and function normally. I've seen accident victims of all kinds healed from pain which lingered long after the injury had supposedly healed. In Oceanside a young marine with a severely wrenched hip was not only healed, but wonderfully saved. In that same crusade was a man who had been injured in an industrial accident. A crane had fallen on him and crushed his leg. Although doctors had placed a metal plate in his hip, his leg was crooked and he was still in severe pain. Not only was he healed of pain and deformity, he was recovered of his backsliding that same night.
Numbers of people suffering severe heart problems, and 'frightening' diseases such as cystic fibrosis and even bullet wounds have seen their infirmities also respond to prayer and faith in Jesus. In Farmington a woman whose heart transplant left her suffering from partial paralysis and weakness came to the Lord and was gloriously healed. In the 1995 Perth crusade a woman with cystic fibrosis was so touched by the power of God that she ran (for the first time since she was a small girl) all around the auditorium, finally reaching down and lifting one of the monitors up in her arms to demonstrate the dramatic change in her body. A year before, in Salem (MA), a man wit cancer, who was not expected to live more than a short time, came to the crusade. He was, much to his amazement, dramatically healed. He still calls from his Fort Lauderdale home begging us to send a pastor and plant a church in that city. He, like many other cancer victims, has completely recovered.
Tumors, cysts, infections, growths and abnormalities of the womb have often been instantly healed when people have repented of hate, bitterness and unforgiveness. I remember two women whose thyroid tumors disappeared the moment they repented of slanderous talk, and bitterness. Several times I have seen amazing healings in people with bullet wounds. A Poway (CA) man confined to a wheelchair after a bullet struck his leg in a robbery; A Barstow (CA) woman suffering severe pain and liver damage from seven bullets in her back; an Albuquerque (NM) woman full of pain from a bullet wound; and a Prescott (AZ) man whose pancreas and stomach had been partially destroyed and his left arm and hand partially paralyzed by a gunshot wound were all dramatically healed. I've marveled as injuries, herniated discs, mental and emotional problems, and diseases by the score were gloriously healed by God these past several years in crusades, rallies, conferences and regular church services.
"Not the result of my 'gift of healing'
…but obedience to God's command"
Importantly, these miracles were not the result of my 'gift of healing'. My healing ministry is the result of definite spiritual dynamics that bring people to faith in Jesus. With this, the promise of healing in the atoning blood becomes reality. I have not always known this, except in an intellectual way, because much of my Bible school training was set against miracles and healing. The 'gift of healing' was widely believed and taught as a special gift ministry set in the church that operated only through those specially chosen. Without question the 'gift of healing' is a valid and powerful ministry. When, for example, an evangelist, as God leads him, 'calls out' or deals with specific problems, issues and individuals, he can enhance revival meetings and stir faith. What I see in my ministry is not this special gift. Rather it is the foundational truth that Jesus paid the price for our healing in His atoning blood on Calvary. Healing is available to all believers and ministry in this dimension and is commanded. What I now know has come to me over years of ministry and I am convinced beyond any doubt that obedience to God's command to 'heal the sick' is an indispensable part of world evangelism.
Until recent months I received only a glazed look when I spoke to many minister concerning this ministry. This blank stare was, I feel, due to the implied responsibility that falls on each minister. Their spiritual reputation and authority is at stake. Their ego is at risk. The possibility of failure looms and their congregations expect to see results. The 'gift of healing' mindset excuses ministers from contending for healing, leaving it to those specially called and gifted. I often hear it said, "that's not my ministry". However, all are called to "heal the sick" and "cast out devils", and recently many young pastors have come to crusades eager to learn, wanting to improve their ministry and to see the demonstration of God's power. Now I am often able, at the conclusion of a crusade, to turn those people still waiting for prayer to these ministers with a significant degree of success.
Wickenberg is a small Arizona town famous for dude ranches and the legend of the Hassayampa River. Drinking from this river, dry most of the year, supposedly makes one a liar for the rest of his days. I'm not sure of that but there were plenty of sinners (liars and other kinds) in town when I went there to pastor my first church. While pastoring there, a woman with crippling arthritis and her husband made contact with us through a revival meeting. They had a Branhamite background and seemed to be really good people. She and her husband owned a small business and lived in an attached house. Confined by her arthritis to the house, her husband ran the business up front. She requested I come by to pray and read the Scriptures for her, which I was glad to do. They owned a large dog that would go literally insane the moment I drove up even though he had no was of hearing or seeing me arrive. He was so ferocious that her husband would have to leave the business and tie the dog up in another room before I could enter the house. Although my experience was limited at the time (my first pastorate), especially with the demonic world, I was smart enough to know that thing do not just happen. Bible school had left little room for understanding real ministry. I discovered in talking with this couple that their marriage relationship was far from normal and seriously in trouble, along with a number of other spiritual factors. I was able to comfort her through the reading of the Bible and prayer. Her severe case of arthritis was not healed. Knowing what I do today about bitterness, curses and sinfulness, I feel confident that much more help could have been afforded this couple.
My ministry carried me on to another small town, Emmet, Idaho. It was there I encountered one of my first, unquestionable cases of the demonic occult. A woman called and asked me to pray for her demon possessed sons. I traveled to the small town where they lived and proceeded to deal with the two sons. It was soon obvious that all my commanding and shouting at the demons (all I knew to do) was going to accomplish little. I left without victory. The details of the demon possession are enlightening. Her sons had left home some years before to attend college and had apparently been converted in some legitimate religious group. Upon hearing of their conversion she clipped some horoscopes from the newspaper and mailed them to her sons as encouragement. Receiving these, the boys became interested in the occult. Eventually their collection of occult books filled suitcases. Suitcases they brought back home with them. From these details I gained a valuable insight connecting demonic power, false religion and physical objects, especially occult books.
Later, while pastoring in Eugene, Oregon, I again encountered the demonic. A woman called me to her home because she felt an evil presence. She told me that her dog had suddenly begun to run around barking furiously. Finally, he stopped at the entrance to her attic and stood there barking. She knew there was something evil in her attic. I inquired, before going in, what she had in the attic. She told me that it was unfinished and contained only clothes, books and other items in storage. Also her daughter had left a box of personal items while she and her husband, who was in the military, went to Germany. We entered the attic. It was just as she described. We both felt the evil 'whatever' was related to the things her daughter had left. We opened it and, along with some memorabilia, found a Ouija board-The same one this woman had started playing with her daughter before she freaked out and quit. It was winter time and a fire was in the fireplace, so I suggested we burn the board, which we did. I was astonished at the intensity, even the fierceness, of the flame as it burned. This is something I have since commonly noticed when occult objects are burned. Again, I was impressed by the connection between the demonic and the occult.
"Access to people's lives involves their wills. The devil must gain their cooperation, or at least their passive acceptance."
While pastoring in Eugene sometime later I realized for the first time a powerfully significant truth concerning demonic oppression and the human will. A twenty-six year old woman got saved. Her background was tragic. As a child she had been passed from one factor home to another. No-one would keep her for long because periodically she became possessed by a destructive demon that caused her to cut up her clothes and destroy valuables in the home. One day, nineteen years old and facing another move, she was sitting on her bed fearfully facing the unknown. At that crisis moment she cried out, "God, you've got to help me get rid of this thing." As soon as she spoke these words, "Something", she said, left my body, went out of the room and down the hall. And it has never returned." She told me this story seven years after it had happened. She was now, not then, saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. I began to understand something about demonic action. It is not automatic or arbitrary. The devil must somehow gain access to people's lives and that involves their will. He must maintain their cooperation, or at least passive acceptance. This is tremendously important because action is important in healing, while mere words and Bible quoting often accomplish nothing. An unsaved nineteen-year-old girl took action and was delivered. When the human will is actively engaged in resisting the devil, he must "flee from you", and release you from bondage.
"Her mother had tried to abort her by witchcraft at four months…I'm convinced an incestuous relationship had occurred."
We moved to Prescott in 1970. I had only glimmers of what was involved in the world of the demonic and very little insight to healing. Soon after arriving in Prescott I was called by a man who told me his wife was demon possessed and was asked to come and pray. I went to his home in a quiet, residential area of Prescott. The moment I stepped into the house his wife let out a blood-curdling scream and raced into the rear of the home, her husband and I in hot pursuit. She bolted into the bedroom, dove into the closet and barricaded at the rear of it refusing to come out. All the time piercing the air and the neighborhood with unearthly screams. I was sure the police would arrive at any moment. In desperation, I commanded the demon to be quiet. Not much success. So I asked the demon when he came into this woman. The demon, not the woman, responded, "when her mother was four months pregnant." Her mother had tried to abort her by witchcraft at four months. I then asked the demon its name. The demon responded in a very seductive voice calling her brother's name. I am convinced an incestuous relationship had occurred. All this took place between screams.
Still desperate and fearing the arrival of the police, I began to look around the room. A huge crucifix was at the foot of the bed and the moment my eyes fastened on it this woman jumped out of the closet, ran to the bed, grabbed the crucifix and in a very sensual way began to stroke it.
My eyes then focused on a 'Bleeding Heart' picture, and she ran and grabbed it. It had become obvious that she was going to scream and arouse every neighbor for blocks, so I asked them to come to my office the next day, and we made an appointment. They never came. Fortunately, I was not arrested. Unfortunately this woman was not delivered. At the time I knew little of the power of abortion and incest to open a life to the demonic. What I definitely learned however, was the old Hollywood movie picture of the priest or saint rushing into the room of the demon possessed with a crucifix or some other religious object, waving it in front of the person or the demon and seeing the demon flee, was a total hoax. It was in no way related to the reality of life. This demon loved religious objects and was not forced to flee or even quiver at their presence.
Our fellowship was experiencing a time of rapid growth in late 1970's and early 1980's. Jack Harris was, at that time, ministering in crusades on the foreign field and was seeing great results in converts and miracles of healing. Still influenced by Bible school traditions, fearful of excesses and thinking of healing only as a 'gift', I was, nonetheless, thrilled with the results. As I watched these things I was moved with a growing sense of excitement over the great vehicle miracle crusades provided for preaching to masses of people and something else began to happen. I came to the conclusion that this ministry would work for anyone. After all, I knew Jack and the other men involved in miracle ministry as no one else knew them and was sure they were doing what anyone else could do. I finally decided that I would try it.
The opportunity came in Oton, a small town outside of Lioilo City in the Philippines. Jack was ministering in a crusade and had phenomenal crowds and miracles. Over 7000 people were gathering nightly with hundreds converted and healed.
"No-one was healed. In fact, no-one felt even remotely better…It was a 'psyche' job of hell."
Jack developed a severe case of pinkeye and I decided to preach the crusade that night. Just as we started, the heavens opened and it began to rain tropics style. It poured. We hustled into a nearby home and between filling the living area and the carport (where people could still see and hear what was going on inside) we gathered about 125 people. I preached the message God had given me, called for converts and then for the sick. I prayed a mass prayer (a small mass to be sure) and no one was healed. In fact, no one felt even remotely better. This event did such a 'psyche' job on me that I did not again minister in a crusade setting for seven years. I know now it was a 'psyche' job of hell to defeat the ministry God was wanting to place in our fellowship.
Thankfully, and to his glory, God does not simply quit or give up on his purposes. In those seven years I noticed God did bring significant deliverance to people whenever I preached faith sermons. Then in Mexico I had a word of knowledge and some healing occur in a mass prayer during a conference service. Again, I became stirred about healing ministry. Early in 1988 I was to preach in Mexico City. Just prior to leaving Prescott I called for the schedule of services, and to ask what my part would be. I had assumed it would be a conference setting, but learned to my amazement, that I was the featured speaker in a crusade. Rather than shift or change my role in the meetings, I decided to preach the crusade. The first night, after preaching and calling for salvation, we got about 35 people who needed healing into the altar area. I instructed them in the dynamics of the mass prayer. First, lay your hand on the part of your body where you are sick. Second, repeat the prayer of faith in which I lead you. Third, when we finish praying lift your hands and begin to worship and thank God. Fourth and last, as you praise God, check your body and see if you are healed. After instructing them, I led them in a mass prayer and then in praise while those sick checked themselves for evidence of healing. I then asked for testimonies. One man, thrown from a horse twelve years earlier, suffering pain from a head injury, was healed. A severely crippled woman, suffering for five years from painful arthritis in her hands, was healed. There were ten other significant healings. This provided me a great insight. I knew the 'psyche' job seven years earlier was the devil's work. I knew that I had done nothing special. Without question, what I had done was not operate in any special 'gifting', but simply obey the revealed will of God to preach healing in Jesus name. As a result of this crusade, I determined to bring healing into our church in Prescott and to those throughout the United States.
Back in Prescott I preached and prayed the same way I had in Mexico City. Twelve people were dramatically healed. I then went to a rally in Denver. On the plane while traveling to Denver, I felt God give me a Word of Knowledge that he was going to crossed eyes and a shoulder injury. The rally was attended by about 650 people. After preaching, calling for salvation and then assembling folks in need of healing at the altar, I instructed them in a mass prayer. Lacking boldness and confidence to specifically call for particular diseases as a Word of Knowledge, I mentioned what God had spoken to me on the plane as I instructed the people in prayer. After prayer there were a number of notable miracles. Several deaf ears had been opened, a woman with a crippling and painful arthritis of ten years was healed, and a number of other people with various infirmities were healed. Also, two people with crossed-eyes were healed. One was healed as he stood at the altar and prayed the mass prayer, and the other was healed as he stood in the congregation and prayed. The Word of Knowledge had triggered his faith. The shoulder injury was also healed. It was a man who had been seriously hurt in a sports accident two years earlier. He had recovered, but until that night in Denver the pain had never left. IN that rally I gained another valuable insight to healing ministry. I knew a 'gift' ministry, either in healing or Word of Knowledge, could trigger and enhance people's faith.
"I was eager to share what I had learned with all of our pastors and began doing this…"
From these experiences, I determined that a portion of our fellowship's energies would be focused in crusades. I was eager to share what I had learned with all of our pastors and began to do this by conducting, with the help of other men, 'Schools of Healing' in conjunction with miracle rallies and crusades. One of our first crusade efforts was in Oceanside, California which is one of the first venues anywhere in the world for attracting large numbers of sinners. This has become an annual outreach for Prescott and many of the southern California churches. We also do an annual crusade in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a yearly highlight for the Prescott people who spend their weekend outreaching and participating in this great event. For several years there have been outstanding results in Guam. Crusades there have been especially fruitful in producing converts as well as dramatic and exciting healings. Anyone interested in how to organize and promote a crusade could learn much from the Guam congregation.
Many other cities have hosted crusades with great success. Most of the time, now, we follow-up the crusade with revival meetings in the local churches. The outstanding results in converts adds greatly to my firm conviction that healing ministry is crucial to world evangelism.