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  • Writer's pictureBradley Sliedrecht

Healing Across Covenants

In the Old Testament, there were requirements for healing. The primary requirement for healing and health was covenantal obedience, emphasizing loyalty to the Lord alone (e.g., Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 7:1-16). The one who would experience healing would have to be obedient to the Lord.

The second requirement for healing was keeping his commandments (e.g., Exodus 15:25-26; 23:22-26). Obedience is linked to keeping the commandments of the Lord. Without holding the commandments of the Lord, one could not be healed. The third requirement was walking in godly fear and humility (Proverbs 3:7-8). It was expected that walking in humility and fearing the Lord would also bring healing to people.

Consequently, obedience was believed to result in divine blessings, which included health and long life. In contrast, disobedience resulted in divine curses; sometimes resulting in terrible diseases and premature death.

All this points to a person's faith in the ability of the Lord and faithfulness to his word.

In keeping with the OT emphasis, obedience rather than faith was presented as the paramount ingredient in healing and health. Today, we can easily echo that there will be healing as long as there is obedience.

This must be balanced with the fact that God will do as He sees fit. And this is where there is a fracture among Christians because this means that divine healing is dependent on the sovereignty of God.

There are also examples of individual healings in the Old Testament that were not directly related to these conditions, but rather to God’s grace, mercy, and sovereignty. For instance, God healed Abimelech and his household from barrenness after Abraham prayed for them, even though they were not Israelites and did not know God’s commandments (Genesis 20:1-18). God also healed Naaman, a Syrian commander, from leprosy after he followed Elisha’s instructions, even though he was not a worshiper of the Lord at first (2 Kings 5:1-14). These and other examples show that God’s healing power is not limited by human obedience or disobedience, but rather by His own will and purpose.

That then raises the argument of how a good father can leave his child sick. Some of you will be thinking this while reading this, and some will be thinking, he believes God makes us sick to teach us a lesson; this is the norm of religion, also untrue of me.

But let me add that sin did not enter the world through God, and sin and sickness have the same root cause, sin entered the world. Blame Adam if you want to, but you have sinned even after knowing the whole truth of the Gospel; what’s worse, a Christian who knows the truth and chooses to sin anyway or an unbeliever who sins? Only one of them nails Christ back on the cross! (Hebrews 6:6). We all need the Gospel; sinner or saint we all need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How do you treat your temple?

Many years ago, I had to watch my grandpa put my godfather, his eldest son, in prison. My Grandpa, in my eyes, was a good father; I watched him in tears, shut the door of the South African police truck, lock his own son inside, and send him off to prison because it was the only way to protect him from himself.

Many years later, Ryan was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and it ultimately killed him. However, through the long journey to be healed, some of his family relations were restored, and he got saved; cancer ultimately killed him. But what the devil meant to eternally kill God used to turn Ryan to saving faith in Jesus, and he got saved. It would have been great if Ryan also had the revelation of "The God who Heals thee," but time was against us and I can settle on his revelation of the “God who saves you” because He went to a place where he is saved in the full meaning of the word.

We lost him in this life, and that caused some pain and struggles, but if we lived out everyday life as unto the Lord, we would live prepared to leave immediately. We are not promised tomorrow. Unfortunately, many often live as if next year is assured.

My stepfather died in a very similar way; he also came to Christ in his struggle, and in his case, people of faith did pray for him, but his struggle continued, and he called out to the Lord and went home.

This life is temporary; we must turn to faith in Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins (Atonement), or we will die in hell, healed or sick hell has no preferences but that you rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

Did God kill Ryan to save him? No, years of drug and alcohol abuse ravaged his body. Ryan treated his temple like a brothel. How do you treat your temple? So then did God save Ryan? Yes eternally. Could God have healed Ryan? Absolutely, I have prayed for a lady in Honduras who had cancer; 2 years later, she found me and said, “The day you prayed, I was healed. I am cancer-free.” She was also faithfully serving the Lord; would Ryan have been faithfully serving the Lord? I’m not sure. His struggle against addiction was a real war for him. I expect he was grateful to have been saved from that war defeating him.

Healing in the Old Testament

Back to healing. From the Old Testament perspective, however, the disobedience of the covenanted people sent them back into captivity. This is true for us today as well; if we reject Christ, we have no hope.

The prophets announced that God would restore Israel and establish His Kingdom. They witnessed God’s harsh actions against His people, such as striking, wounding, afflicting, tearing, and smiting them. The prophets hoped for the time when the Lord would save His people.

The start of the restoration and the arrival of the Kingdom of God and His servant, as shown in Isaiah 35:4-6, 42:6-9, and 61:1, imply that amazing healings, never seen before in the Old Testament, would accompany the appearance of the Lord’s servant and they did in Jesus the messianic age had begun.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, if for a little while, you have had to suffer various trials, 7 in order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom, having not seen, you love; and in whom, though you do not see Him now, you believe and you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, 9 receiving as the result of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that should come to you have inquired and searched diligently, 11 seeking the events and time the Spirit of Christ, who was within them, signified when He foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, concerning the things which are now reported to you by those who have preached the gospel to you through the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven—things into which the angels desire to look.”

1 Peter 1:3-12.

In Christ – Evangelist Bradley Sliedrecht


All Scripture references used are from the MEV unless otherwise shown. Scripture is taken from the Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Requirements of Healing in the Old Testament - The Church of Pentecost Tenets,, enlivenpublishing,,



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