“Be not afraid, only believe.” [Mark 5.22]
This is one of those marvellous truths of the scriptures that is written for our help, that we may believe as we see the almightiness of God; and also our privilege, not only to enter in by faith, but to become partakers of the blessing he wants to give us. My message is on the lines of faith. Because some do not hear in faith, it profits them nothing. There is a hearing of faith, and a hearing which means nothing more than listening to words. I beseech you to see to it that everything done may bring not only blessing to you but strength and character, and that you may be able to see the goodness of God in this meeting.
I want to impress upon you the importance of believing what the scripture says, and I may have many things to relate about people who dared to believe God until it came to pass. This is a wonderful word. In fact, all of the word of God is wonderful. It is an everlasting word, a word of power, a word of health, a word of substance, a word of life. It gives life into the very nature, to everyone that lays hold of it, if he believes. I want you to understand that there is a need for the word of God. But it is a need, many times, that brings us the blessing.
What am I here for? Because God delivered me when no other hand could do it. I stand before you as one who was given up by everybody, when no one could help. I was earnest and zealous for the salvation of souls. If you were in Bradford [England], you would know. We had police protection for nearly 20 years in the best thoroughfare in the city, and in my humble way with my dear wife, who was all on fire for God, we were ministering in the open air. Full of zeal? Yes. But one night, 30 years ago, I was carried home helpless. We knew very little about divine healing, but we prayed through. It Isaiah 30 years and more since God healed me. I am 68 years old and fresher, in better health, and more fit for work than I was at that time. It is a most wonderful experience when the life of God becomes the life of man. The divine power that sweeps through the organism, cleansing the blood, makes the man fresh every day. The life of God is resurrection power.
When they brought me home helpless, we prayed all night. We did all we knew. At 10 o’clock the next morning, I said to my wife, “This must be my last roll call.” We had five children around us. I tell you it was not an easy thing to face our circumstances. I told my wife to do as she thought best, but the poor thing didn’t know what to do. She called a physician who examined me, shook his head, and said, “It is impossible for anything to be done for your husband; I am absolutely helpless. He has appendicitis and you have waited too long. His system will not stand an operation. A few hours, at best, will finish him.”
What the doctor said was true. He left her and said he would come back again, but he couldn’t give her any hope. When he was nicely out of the house an old lady and a young man who knew how to pray came in. The young man put his knees on the bed and said: “Come out, you devil, in the name of Jesus.” It was a good job, we had no time for argument, and instantly I was free. Oh, hallelujah! I was as free as I am now. I never believed that any person ought to be in bed in the daytime, and I jumped up and went downstairs. My wife said: “Oh, are you up?” “I’m all right, wife; it is all right now,” I said.
I had some men working for me and she said none of them had turned up that morning, so I picked up my tools and went to work. Then the doctor came. He walked up the stairs and my wife called, “Doctor, doctor, he is out!” “What?” he said. “Yes,” she said, “he is out at work.” “Oh,” he said, “you will never see him alive again. They will bring him in a corpse.” Am I a corpse? Oh, when God does anything, it is done forever! And God wants you to know that he wants to do something in you forever. I have laid my hands on people with appendicitis when the doctors were in the place, and God has healed them.
I will tell you one incident before I pass on. It will stir up your faith. I am not here to be on exhibition. I am here to impart divine truth to you concerning the word of God, that after I leave, you can do the same thing. I went to Switzerland, and after I had been there for some weeks a brother said, “Will you not go to meeting tonight?” “No,” I said, “I have been at it all this time, you can take charge tonight.” “What shall we do?” he asked. “Do?” I said, “Paul the apostle left people to do the work and passed on to another place: I have been here long enough now. You do the work.” So he went to the meeting.
When he came back he said, “We have had a wonderful time.” “What happened?” He said, “I invited them all out, took off my coat and rolled up my sleeves and prayed, and they were all healed. I did just like you did.”
Jesus says, “I give you power over all the power of the enemy.” [Luke 10.19] They entered into the houses and healed the sick that were therein. The ministry of divine operation in us is wonderful, but who would take upon himself to say, “I can do this or that”? If it is God, it is all right; but if it is yourself, it is all wrong. When you are weak, then you are strong. [2 Corinthians 12.10] When you are strong in your own strength, you are weak. You must realize this and live only in the place where the power of God rests upon you, and where the Spirit moves within you. Then God will mightily manifest his power and you will know as Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” [Luke 4.18]
God brings a remarkable, glorious fact to our minds tonight: The healing at a little helpless girl. The physicians had failed. The mother said to the father, “There is only one hope—if you can see Jesus! As sure as you can meet Jesus, our daughter will live.” Do you think it is possible for anybody anywhere to go looking for Jesus without seeing him? Is is possible to think about Jesus without Jesus drawing near? No. This man knew the power there was in the name of Jesus: “In my name shall ye cast out devils.” [Mark 16.17] But we must be sure we know that name, for in Acts 19 the seven sons of Sceva said to the man possessed with devils, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preached to come out.” The evil spirit said, “I know Paul and I know Jesus, but who are you?” [Acts 19.13-15] Yes, the devil knows every believer—and the seven sons of Sceva nearly lost their lives. The evil powers came upon them and they barely escaped. [Acts 19.16] It is more than repeating the name: It is the nature of the name in you. It is more than that; it is the divine personality within the human life which has come to take up his abode in you, and when he becomes all in all then God works through you. It is the life, the power of God. God works through the life.
The Lord is that life, and the ministry of it and the power in the ministry, by the Holy Spirit, bring everybody in such a place of divine relationship that he mightily lives in us and enables us to overcome the powers of the enemy. The Lord healed that child as they got a vision of Jesus. The word of the Lord came not with observation but with divine, mighty power, working in them until by the power of the Spirit, men and women were created anew by this new life divine. We have to see that when this divine word comes to us by the power of the Holy Ghost, it is according to the will of God that we speak; [Romans 8.27] not with men’s wisdom, but with divine minds operated by the word of God; not channels only, but as oracles of the Spirit.
As the ruler of the synagogue sought Jesus, he worshipped him. [Mark 5.22] How they gathered around him! How everybody listened to what he had to say! He spoke not as a scribe, but with authority and power, [Matthew 7.29] decked with divine glory. A young man was preaching in a marketplace. At the close of the address some atheist came and said, “There have been five Christs. Tell us which one it is that you preach.” He answered, “The Christ that rose from the dead.” There is only one that rose from the dead. There is only one Jesus that lives. And as he lives, we live also. Glory to God! We are risen with him, [Cl 2.12] are living with him, and will reign with him.
This ruler, as he drew near the crowd, went up to him and said, “Jesus, my daughter lieth at the point of death. Come and lay thy hands upon her and she will be healed.” [Mark 5.22] “I will come,” Jesus said. What a beautiful assurance. But as they were coming along the road, a woman met them who had an issue of blood for 12 years. [Mark 5.25] When she began with this trouble she sought many physicians. She had some money, but the physicians took it all, and left her worse than they found her. [Mark 5.26] Have you any that do the same thing around here? When I was a plumber I had to finish my work before I got the money, and I didn’t always get it then. I think that if there was an arrangement whereby no doctor got his fee until he cured the patient, there wouldn’t be so many people die.
Twelve years of sickness this woman had. She needed someone now who could heal without money, for she was bankrupt and helpless. Jesus comes to people that are withered up, diseased, lame, crippled in all kinds of ways, and when he comes there is liberty to the captive, opening of eyes to the blind, [Luke 4.18] and the opening of ears to the deaf. Many had said to this woman, “If you had only been with us today. We saw the most marvellous things, the crooked made straight, [Luke 3.5] the lame to walk, the blind to see” [Luke 7.22] —and the woman 12 years sick said, “Oh, you make me feel that if I could only see him I should be healed.” It strengthened her faith and it became firm. She had a purpose within her. Faith is a mighty power. Faith will reach at everything. When real faith comes into operation you will not say, “I don’t feel much better.” Faith says, “I am whole.” Faith doesn’t say, “It’s a lame leg.” Faith says, “My leg is all right.” Faith never sees a goiter.
A young woman with a goiter came to be prayed for. In a testimony meeting she said, “I do praise the Lord for healing my goiter.” She went home and said to her mother, “Oh Mother, when the man prayed for me, God healed my goiter.” For 12 months she went about telling everybody how God healed her goiter. Twelve months afterward I was in the same place and people said, “How big that lady’s goiter is!” There came a time for testimony. She jumped up and said, “I was here 12 months ago and God healed me of my goiter. Such a marvellous 12 months!” When she went home her folks said, “You should have seen the people today when you testified that God had healed your goiter. They think there is something wrong with you. If you go upstairs and look in the glass you will see the goiter is bigger than ever it was.” She went upstairs, but she didn’t look in the glass. She got down on her knees and said, “O Lord, let all the people know just as you have let me know, how wonderfully you have healed me.” The next morning her neck was as perfect as any neck you ever saw. Faith never looks. Faith praises God—it is done!
This poor, helpless woman who had been growing weaker and weaker for 12 years pushed into the crowded thoroughfare when she knew Jesus was in the midst. She was stirred to the depths, and she pushed through and touched him. [Mark 5.27] If you will believe God and touch him you will be healed at once. Jesus is the healer!
Now listen! Some people put the touch of the Lord in the place of faith. The Lord would not have that woman believe that the touch had done it. She felt as soon as she touched him that virtue had gone through her, [Mark 5.29] which is true. When the people were bitten by fiery serpents in the wilderness, God’s word said through Moses, “He that looketh shall be healed.” [Numbers 21.8] The look made it possible for God to do it. Did the touch heal the woman? No, the touch meant something more—it was a living faith. Jesus said, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” [Mark 5.34] If God would just move on us to believe, there wouldn’t be a sick person who could not receive healing.
As soon as this woman in the street, with all the crowd about her, began to testify, the devil came. The devil is always in a testimony meeting. When the sons of God gathered together in the time of Job, he was there. [Job 1.6]
While this was happening in the street, three persons came rushing from the house of Jairus and said, “There is no use now, your daughter is dead. This Jesus can do nothing for a dead daughter. Your wife needs you at home.” But Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” [Mark 5.35-36] He speaks the word just in time! Jesus is never behind time. When the tumult is the worst, the pain the most severe, the cancer gripping the body, then the word comes, “Only believe.” When everything seems as though it will fail, and is practically hopeless, the word of God comes to us, “Only believe.”
When Jesus came to that house there were a lot of people weeping and wailing. [Mark 5.38] I have taken my last wreath to the cemetery. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, [2 Corinthians 5.8] and if you believe that, you will never take another wreath to the cemetery. It is unbelief that mourns. If you have faith that they are with the Lord you will never take another flower to the grave. They are not there. Hallelujah!
These people were round about, weeping, wailing and howling. He says, “Why make you this to-do? The maid is not dead, but sleepeth.” [Mark 5.39] There is a wonderful word that God wants you to hear. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11.25] The believer may fall asleep, but the believer doesn’t die. Oh, that people would understand the deep things of God—it would change the whole situation. It makes you look out with a glorious hope to the day when the Lord shall come. What does it say? “They that sleep will God bring with him.” [1 Thessalonians 4.14] Jesus knew that. “The maid is not dead, but sleepeth; and they laughed him to scorn.” [Matthew 9.24] To show the insincerity of these wailers, they could turn from wailing to laughing. Jesus took the father and the mother of the maid and, going into the room where she was took her hand and said, “Daughter, arise.” And the child sat up. [Mark 5.40-42] Praise the Lord! And he said, “Give her something to eat.” [Mark 5.43]
Oh, the remarkableness of our Lord Jesus! I want to impress upon you the importance of realizing that he is in the midst. No person need be without the knowledge that they are not only saved, but that God can live in these bodies. You are begotten the moment you believe, unto a lively hope. “He that believeth hath eternal life.” [John 3.36] You have eternal life the moment you believe. The first life is temporal, natural, material, but in the new birth you exist as long as God—forever—we are begotten by an incorruptible power, by the word of God. The new birth is unto righteousness, begotten by God the moment that you believe. God always saves through the heart. He that believeth in the heart and confesseth with his mouth shall be saved. [Romans 10.9]
Jesus is here tonight to loose them that are bound. If you are suffering in your body, he will heal you now as we pray. He is saying to every sin-sick soul, to every disease-smitten one, “Be not afraid, only believe.”
“Be not afraid, only believe.” [Mark 5.22]