Bob Sawvelle: God Still Heals Today

Bob Sawvelle: God Still Heals Today

Author and pastor Bob Sawvelle says healing is anchored in Christ's finished work. So what does that mean for the believer today? Listen as Dr. Sawvelle shares with host Chris Johnson his Scripture-based teaching and powerful healing testimonies on Charisma Connection.

37 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

with Chris Johnson

Guest: Bob Sawvelle

Author and pastor Bob Sawvelle says healing is anchored in Christ's finished work. So what does that mean for the believer today? Listen as Dr. Sawvelle shares with host Chris Johnson his Scripture-based teaching and powerful healing testimonies on Charisma Connection.

Introduction

Chris Johnson: This is Charisma Connection. I'm your host, Chris Johnson. My guest today is someone you may be becoming more familiar with if you listen to our show regularly. Each time, Dr. Bob Sawvelle brings us some practical applications for the Christian life as we follow the Holy Spirit. So, welcome Dr. Sawvelle. For those who aren't familiar with you, you and your wife Carolyn founded Passion Church and Tucson, Arizona. But before that, you were missionaries in Haiti. You’ve also done some seminary teaching and have a master's and doctorate in theology. But I find your writing very accessible. In fact, your latest book is from Whitaker house, it's called Receive Your Miracle Now: A Case for Healing Today. So, that title prompts a simple question: Can everyone be the recipient of a miracle?

 

Other CPN Podcasts with Bob Sawvelle

·         Bob Sawvelle: How to Align Your Life with Prophecy

·         Bob Sawvelle: The Definitive Book on Living an Abundant Christian Life

 

Dr. Bob Sawvelle: Certainly. God's provision for healing has been made available through the cross and the atoning work of Christ. His death, resurrection and ascension make it available to all of humanity, but for believers, His healing power is miracle-working power. That's not to say that everyone will walk in miracles, although God can certainly use anyone at any time because He's the healer. We simply pray. Oftentimes people ask the question, will all be healed? Healings in the atonement, are all going to be healed? And the answer is I always like to answer that with another question; Will all be saved? In other words, the provision for healing is no different than the provision for salvation. It has been made available through the cross, and will all receive the free gift of life and salvation that Jesus affords humanity? The answer is no because God still gives us free will, and so not all will receive that. Ans so, in like manner, not all will receive healing. There can be various reasons. There can be hindrances at times. There is a providential aspect of healing that we simply don't understand completely on this side of eternity. But I teach and encourage people to believe for healing, believe for miracles with the expectation that God is a healer, that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. He hasn't changed. He's healing then and he's still healing now. God reveals his love for humanity through healing and miracles. And so, we should expect that. That said, we should also embrace what I call the mystery of healing, which simply is, not all will be healed. If I could just continue a little bit further, for one good example, and I write about in in chapter six of the book, my own my own mother passed away from colon cancer. It was really interesting when she was first diagnosed several years ago with the cancer. Myself, my brothers and sisters, others in the church, we began to pray for healing. She actually went through surgery and received a pretty amazing healing through the surgery and I believe through the prayers, where the doctor was shocked and there was no trace of cancer. It was completely gone. Of course, from his perspective, it was in remission. So, she was cancer free for well over two years.

 

Bob Sawvelle on Charisma

·         He Thought His Divorce Would Debilitate Himi and Stop His Kingdom Work, but God

·         Spirit-Filled Pastor: Ignore a Prophecy if it Contains These 2 Things

 

And suddenly, it was December of the year just before she passed away. All of a sudden, she began to complain once again of some gastrointestinal problems and some pains. She goes after the holidays and to see the doctor to be examined once again. Just before she went to see the doctor that January, I felt the Lord said to me in prayer one morning that the cancer had returned, and sure enough, she had gone into see the doctor just a couple of days later and that was his diagnosis. Unfortunately, he said not only is the cancer returned, but it's metastasized, you are full of cancer. So, we were all heartbroken and just begin to pray. A few days after that, I had a very significant dream and in the dream, and again, I write about this in the book, I saw my mother as a young woman, like maybe 20 years of age, slender, no longer gray hair, long flowing black hair, and she's being escorted to this beautiful field. Jesus is on one hand and a couple of angels on the other and she's going through this field of flowers and she gets to the end of the field and there is this beautiful stone archway. He leads her through and then and then kind of leads her to the left and there's this huge crowd of people. In the crowd is my father who had already passed away and he's holding up a big sign it said welcome home, Marian. That was a dream. So, I woke up, and of course, it was very riveting. I said, Lord, what are you showing me? He began to reveal to me that my mother would not be healed of the cancer that she was going to pass into eternity. Honestly that affected some of my theology on healing. In other words, I knew Christ was the healer. I knew that miracles and healing were available through the Cross and his resurrection and the gifts he's given to the church. I knew church history. I knew the Bible, I knew theology. But all of a sudden, in this very personal way I’m caught in this moment and I realized … years ago, I think there's a song and some of the lyrics of the song talks about the ultimate healing … There really is that reality for all of us at one point, we're going to pass on be with the Lord, and that is the ultimate healing. That is the fullness of our salvation spirit, soul and body. And so I was at peace with it.

 

Bob Sawvelle on YouTube

·  The Gospel of the Kingdom

·  Our Eyes are on You

·  Creating a Culture of Evangelism

·  Nothing Compares

 

I shared it with my wife. I didn't really share it with other family members. I just kept praying into it. Because, what if I was wrong? What if this dream was my own thoughts? What if this dream was my own understanding? So, everyone continued to pray. But I remember one night visiting my mother in Florida. Hospice care was beginning to come into her home. I was alone with her one night and she looked at me and she didn't know about the dream or what was going on with me. She looked at me right sternly into my eyes. She goes, Bob, do you think I'm going to be the cancer this time? I looked at her I said, Mom, can I share with you and I'm sort of, you know, this is my mother. I’m her son, no longer a pastor. And I'm like, Lord, should I share this with her? I really had a peace that I should share it with her. So, I shared with her the dream, what I felt that meant that her time was coming. I was very concerned that if I shared this with her that she might become very fearful, worried, etc. But just the opposite occurred. Peace came over her, she goes, she goes, OK, I'm at peace. She lived for about another six weeks. She was happy. She was at peace. She was at rest. So, actually what the Lord did in revealing that dream to me, and then having the opportunity to share it with her, it was actually a word for her to give her comfort, that that God was there with her and God was going to be with her through the whole process of the transition. So, we didn't see a miracle in the way that we wanted. But God made sure of the miracle that she needed, knowing that everything was OK. She had gone through some difficult things earlier in life and I suspect it may be maybe caused her to question maybe her security in Christ. So, that brought her great peace in that moment.

 

What They’re Saying About Receive Your Miracle Now

·         “I encourage anyone who wants to have a better grounding in the biblical, historical and theological basis for believing in the continuation of the gifts—especially the gift of healing—to make this a part of his or her library. This book is not milk; it is meat.” – Evangelist Randy Clark

·         Receive Your Miracle Now is one of the best books for equipping every believer to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission by moving in healing and deliverance.”

 Dr. Mahesh Chavda, senior pastor, All Nations Church, Charlotte, NC

·         “Dr. Bob Sawvelle presents the best and most creative recent scholarship on both the theory and practice of healing, a neglected commission of Jesus.” – Dr. Jon Mark Ruthven, Professor emeritus of theology, Regent University

 

So, the reality is, not all will be healed, not all will receive a miracle. The potential and the provision are there with God and what Christ has done for us, that miracles can happen. And yet, we've seen in fact, we just had a cancer testimony this Sunday at church. One of the young couples in our church, his father, family back in Georgia, was diagnosed with cancer in the brain cancer in the lung several weeks ago. So, the small group that they're a part of in our church life groups, they began to really pray for his dad and his dad then went back in some time later to see the oncologist. The oncologist was just kind of very surprised. He goes there's not a trace of cancer on the brain or in the lungs. He said there is a small trace of cancer in the hip area. But this is a surprise to all of us. And so, obviously the entire church this last Sunday rejoiced to hear that testimony. We’ve seen other cancer healings over the years. So, miracles happen, but they don't always happen in the way that we want. So, I think we have to embrace that tension of the mystery of healing, just like we pray for many loved ones and we our desires and we see all profess Christ and make a decision to follow Him, but not all will. Yet the provision is there through what Jesus has done.

Chris Johnson: We love it when the doctors are stumped, aren’t we? You never know how God is going to heal because as you say, He's the one who is the Healer. So that was a really beautiful dream for your mother. I'm curious. You mentioned that kind of changed your theology. I'm curious what your theology was before and then how it was changed in that moment.

Dr. Bob Sawvelle: That's a good question. I suppose that, like many of us, we kind of sometimes … our positions on certain things can swing a little bit left to right. When I was a younger Christian, I write about this in the book, some of my early experience with Christian faith was more through a cessationist church that really didn't believe in the continuation of the gifts of the spirit of divine healing. That sort of dampened some of my belief. But then as time went on, I began to look through the Bible and read all the accounts of healings and miracles and how God was using the early church, especially the book of Acts and, of course, we see it with Jesus and the disciples in the Gospels. So, that was building and eventually began to move into more of a revelation that that healing was for today. Then it kind of swung a little bit to … and I don't want to say to the extreme, but maybe overzealous would be a better way to say it, more of a position that healing is in the atonement. In other words, Jesus died for our sins, so we have salvation there. But he also carried our sin and sickness and disease on the cross. Again, referring back to Isaiah 53, and, of course, Matthew links that in Matthew 8:16-17. So, taking a real strong position there, and along with it, if it's in the atonement, and if it's in the Word, therefore we can stand upon the Word and we can declare healing, claim our healing and stand on it. There is certainly truth in that and I encourage people to build their faith by reading the Word and believing the promises of the Word, whether it's healing or anything we're believing for. But sometimes I think we can take that to an extreme, where I've seen believers make the mistake to where they're almost militant. Just declare your healing. Just receive your healing, brother, sister … just stand on the Word. I understand their zeal and their desire, but the simple reality is, no matter forceful we may be in praying or how much we declare, how much we quote scripture, whatever, it's not a formula. God is not a formula. Yes, healing is there in the Word, but the reality is God is the healer, Jesus is the healer. When we come into that awareness and we're operating in that realm, that takes the pressure off of us. Now, I understood this before my mother’s situation. But after that situation, it really brought me to even another level of appreciation for just the sovereign aspect of God. In fact, a book that you can your listeners can find for free on the Internet by Dr. Charles Price … he passed on in 1947. He wrote a book called The Real Faith for Healing. It is an excellent book because he was influenced by one of the early Pentecostal leaders, in fact, the founder of the Foursquare Church, Aimee Semple MacPherson. So, he was deeply impacted by her ministry and the miracles that were taking place in Los Angeles. And if my memory is correct. I believe he was a Methodist minister and trained as a lawyer. And then as he encountered the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He too began to operate in divine healing. Yet, when you read through his book and his teachings on healings, it is extremely well-balanced. There were situations where he would go to pray for people and he would recognize that either they were not ready for healing, or that there was a hindrance in their life. And the Lord told them, they're not going to be healed tonight. He would actually be so bold to tell people you're not ready yet and there's some things God wants to work in your life.

 

Connect with Bob Sawvelle

·         At bobsawvelle.com

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

On YouTube

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

with Chris Johnson

Guest: Bob Sawvelle

Author and pastor Bob Sawvelle says healing is anchored in Christ's finished work. So what does that mean for the believer today? Listen as Dr. Sawvelle shares with host Chris Johnson his Scripture-based teaching and powerful healing testimonies on Charisma Connection.

Introduction

Chris Johnson: This is Charisma Connection. I'm your host, Chris Johnson. My guest today is someone you may be becoming more familiar with if you listen to our show regularly. Each time, Dr. Bob Sawvelle brings us some practical applications for the Christian life as we follow the Holy Spirit. So, welcome Dr. Sawvelle. For those who aren't familiar with you, you and your wife Carolyn founded Passion Church and Tucson, Arizona. But before that, you were missionaries in Haiti. You’ve also done some seminary teaching and have a master's and doctorate in theology. But I find your writing very accessible. In fact, your latest book is from Whitaker house, it's called Receive Your Miracle Now: A Case for Healing Today. So, that title prompts a simple question: Can everyone be the recipient of a miracle?

 

Other CPN Podcasts with Bob Sawvelle

·         Bob Sawvelle: How to Align Your Life with Prophecy

·         Bob Sawvelle: The Definitive Book on Living an Abundant Christian Life

 

Dr. Bob Sawvelle: Certainly. God's provision for healing has been made available through the cross and the atoning work of Christ. His death, resurrection and ascension make it available to all of humanity, but for believers, His healing power is miracle-working power. That's not to say that everyone will walk in miracles, although God can certainly use anyone at any time because He's the healer. We simply pray. Oftentimes people ask the question, will all be healed? Healings in the atonement, are all going to be healed? And the answer is I always like to answer that with another question; Will all be saved? In other words, the provision for healing is no different than the provision for salvation. It has been made available through the cross, and will all receive the free gift of life and salvation that Jesus affords humanity? The answer is no because God still gives us free will, and so not all will receive that. Ans so, in like manner, not all will receive healing. There can be various reasons. There can be hindrances at times. There is a providential aspect of healing that we simply don't understand completely on this side of eternity. But I teach and encourage people to believe for healing, believe for miracles with the expectation that God is a healer, that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. He hasn't changed. He's healing then and he's still healing now. God reveals his love for humanity through healing and miracles. And so, we should expect that. That said, we should also embrace what I call the mystery of healing, which simply is, not all will be healed. If I could just continue a little bit further, for one good example, and I write about in in chapter six of the book, my own my own mother passed away from colon cancer. It was really interesting when she was first diagnosed several years ago with the cancer. Myself, my brothers and sisters, others in the church, we began to pray for healing. She actually went through surgery and received a pretty amazing healing through the surgery and I believe through the prayers, where the doctor was shocked and there was no trace of cancer. It was completely gone. Of course, from his perspective, it was in remission. So, she was cancer free for well over two years.

 

Bob Sawvelle on Charisma

·         He Thought His Divorce Would Debilitate Himi and Stop His Kingdom Work, but God

·         Spirit-Filled Pastor: Ignore a Prophecy if it Contains These 2 Things

 

And suddenly, it was December of the year just before she passed away. All of a sudden, she began to complain once again of some gastrointestinal problems and some pains. She goes after the holidays and to see the doctor to be examined once again. Just before she went to see the doctor that January, I felt the Lord said to me in prayer one morning that the cancer had returned, and sure enough, she had gone into see the doctor just a couple of days later and that was his diagnosis. Unfortunately, he said not only is the cancer returned, but it's metastasized, you are full of cancer. So, we were all heartbroken and just begin to pray. A few days after that, I had a very significant dream and in the dream, and again, I write about this in the book, I saw my mother as a young woman, like maybe 20 years of age, slender, no longer gray hair, long flowing black hair, and she's being escorted to this beautiful field. Jesus is on one hand and a couple of angels on the other and she's going through this field of flowers and she gets to the end of the field and there is this beautiful stone archway. He leads her through and then and then kind of leads her to the left and there's this huge crowd of people. In the crowd is my father who had already passed away and he's holding up a big sign it said welcome home, Marian. That was a dream. So, I woke up, and of course, it was very riveting. I said, Lord, what are you showing me? He began to reveal to me that my mother would not be healed of the cancer that she was going to pass into eternity. Honestly that affected some of my theology on healing. In other words, I knew Christ was the healer. I knew that miracles and healing were available through the Cross and his resurrection and the gifts he's given to the church. I knew church history. I knew the Bible, I knew theology. But all of a sudden, in this very personal way I’m caught in this moment and I realized … years ago, I think there's a song and some of the lyrics of the song talks about the ultimate healing … There really is that reality for all of us at one point, we're going to pass on be with the Lord, and that is the ultimate healing. That is the fullness of our salvation spirit, soul and body. And so I was at peace with it.

 

Bob Sawvelle on YouTube

·  The Gospel of the Kingdom

·  Our Eyes are on You

·  Creating a Culture of Evangelism

·  Nothing Compares

 

I shared it with my wife. I didn't really share it with other family members. I just kept praying into it. Because, what if I was wrong? What if this dream was my own thoughts? What if this dream was my own understanding? So, everyone continued to pray. But I remember one night visiting my mother in Florida. Hospice care was beginning to come into her home. I was alone with her one night and she looked at me and she didn't know about the dream or what was going on with me. She looked at me right sternly into my eyes. She goes, Bob, do you think I'm going to be the cancer this time? I looked at her I said, Mom, can I share with you and I'm sort of, you know, this is my mother. I’m her son, no longer a pastor. And I'm like, Lord, should I share this with her? I really had a peace that I should share it with her. So, I shared with her the dream, what I felt that meant that her time was coming. I was very concerned that if I shared this with her that she might become very fearful, worried, etc. But just the opposite occurred. Peace came over her, she goes, she goes, OK, I'm at peace. She lived for about another six weeks. She was happy. She was at peace. She was at rest. So, actually what the Lord did in revealing that dream to me, and then having the opportunity to share it with her, it was actually a word for her to give her comfort, that that God was there with her and God was going to be with her through the whole process of the transition. So, we didn't see a miracle in the way that we wanted. But God made sure of the miracle that she needed, knowing that everything was OK. She had gone through some difficult things earlier in life and I suspect it may be maybe caused her to question maybe her security in Christ. So, that brought her great peace in that moment.

 

What They’re Saying About Receive Your Miracle Now

·         “I encourage anyone who wants to have a better grounding in the biblical, historical and theological basis for believing in the continuation of the gifts—especially the gift of healing—to make this a part of his or her library. This book is not milk; it is meat.” – Evangelist Randy Clark

·         Receive Your Miracle Now is one of the best books for equipping every believer to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission by moving in healing and deliverance.”

 Dr. Mahesh Chavda, senior pastor, All Nations Church, Charlotte, NC

·         “Dr. Bob Sawvelle presents the best and most creative recent scholarship on both the theory and practice of healing, a neglected commission of Jesus.” – Dr. Jon Mark Ruthven, Professor emeritus of theology, Regent University

 

So, the reality is, not all will be healed, not all will receive a miracle. The potential and the provision are there with God and what Christ has done for us, that miracles can happen. And yet, we've seen in fact, we just had a cancer testimony this Sunday at church. One of the young couples in our church, his father, family back in Georgia, was diagnosed with cancer in the brain cancer in the lung several weeks ago. So, the small group that they're a part of in our church life groups, they began to really pray for his dad and his dad then went back in some time later to see the oncologist. The oncologist was just kind of very surprised. He goes there's not a trace of cancer on the brain or in the lungs. He said there is a small trace of cancer in the hip area. But this is a surprise to all of us. And so, obviously the entire church this last Sunday rejoiced to hear that testimony. We’ve seen other cancer healings over the years. So, miracles happen, but they don't always happen in the way that we want. So, I think we have to embrace that tension of the mystery of healing, just like we pray for many loved ones and we our desires and we see all profess Christ and make a decision to follow Him, but not all will. Yet the provision is there through what Jesus has done.

Chris Johnson: We love it when the doctors are stumped, aren’t we? You never know how God is going to heal because as you say, He's the one who is the Healer. So that was a really beautiful dream for your mother. I'm curious. You mentioned that kind of changed your theology. I'm curious what your theology was before and then how it was changed in that moment.

Dr. Bob Sawvelle: That's a good question. I suppose that, like many of us, we kind of sometimes … our positions on certain things can swing a little bit left to right. When I was a younger Christian, I write about this in the book, some of my early experience with Christian faith was more through a cessationist church that really didn't believe in the continuation of the gifts of the spirit of divine healing. That sort of dampened some of my belief. But then as time went on, I began to look through the Bible and read all the accounts of healings and miracles and how God was using the early church, especially the book of Acts and, of course, we see it with Jesus and the disciples in the Gospels. So, that was building and eventually began to move into more of a revelation that that healing was for today. Then it kind of swung a little bit to … and I don't want to say to the extreme, but maybe overzealous would be a better way to say it, more of a position that healing is in the atonement. In other words, Jesus died for our sins, so we have salvation there. But he also carried our sin and sickness and disease on the cross. Again, referring back to Isaiah 53, and, of course, Matthew links that in Matthew 8:16-17. So, taking a real strong position there, and along with it, if it's in the atonement, and if it's in the Word, therefore we can stand upon the Word and we can declare healing, claim our healing and stand on it. There is certainly truth in that and I encourage people to build their faith by reading the Word and believing the promises of the Word, whether it's healing or anything we're believing for. But sometimes I think we can take that to an extreme, where I've seen believers make the mistake to where they're almost militant. Just declare your healing. Just receive your healing, brother, sister … just stand on the Word. I understand their zeal and their desire, but the simple reality is, no matter forceful we may be in praying or how much we declare, how much we quote scripture, whatever, it's not a formula. God is not a formula. Yes, healing is there in the Word, but the reality is God is the healer, Jesus is the healer. When we come into that awareness and we're operating in that realm, that takes the pressure off of us. Now, I understood this before my mother’s situation. But after that situation, it really brought me to even another level of appreciation for just the sovereign aspect of God. In fact, a book that you can your listeners can find for free on the Internet by Dr. Charles Price … he passed on in 1947. He wrote a book called The Real Faith for Healing. It is an excellent book because he was influenced by one of the early Pentecostal leaders, in fact, the founder of the Foursquare Church, Aimee Semple MacPherson. So, he was deeply impacted by her ministry and the miracles that were taking place in Los Angeles. And if my memory is correct. I believe he was a Methodist minister and trained as a lawyer. And then as he encountered the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He too began to operate in divine healing. Yet, when you read through his book and his teachings on healings, it is extremely well-balanced. There were situations where he would go to pray for people and he would recognize that either they were not ready for healing, or that there was a hindrance in their life. And the Lord told them, they're not going to be healed tonight. He would actually be so bold to tell people you're not ready yet and there's some things God wants to work in your life.

 

Connect with Bob Sawvelle

·         At bobsawvelle.com

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

On YouTube

15

0:00/37:51

Bob Sawvelle: God Still Heals Today