The Role of Inner Healing in the Church Today
The following article is written by Dr. Scott Flanigan, retired faculty member and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Florida State University. He has authored numerous academic books. He and his wife Rita are both Ph.D.’s and reside in Tallahassee, FL.
The Flanagan’s have attended many of our meetings and events over recent years and it has been our privilege to become acquainted with them and their incredible gift of understanding God’s heart and communicating it to His people. I was thoroughly blessed by an article he recently wrote concerning the importance of our present-day preparatory mode. I trust you will likewise find part two of this series instructive and encouraging…Paul Keith Davis
Both Paul Keith Davis and Bob Jones have been taken into visions where the Lord has shown them that God has designed the DNA of people differently for different dispensations of the church age. In particular he has reserved a special breed for the end-time generation. In Bob Jones’ vision he saw angles gathered around a conveyor belt on which something like seeds were passing by. As they passed the angels would call out “There’s one, there’s one.” and pick up certain seeds and place them in a huge pile that was reserved for the end-time.
These were the seeds or souls of the end-time generation, a generation with a special DNA designed for a unique destiny. What has been sown into these souls is a hunger for God and a thirst for the supernatural. We are beginning to see this emerging in the raw faith of the youth as seen at the recent The Call gatherings, in Lou Engle’s 24/7 prayer internship program in Washington D.C., and at the growing number of IHOPs and other harp and bowl prayer and worship gatherings.
A New Breed of Leaders
We are seeing the emergence of a new bred of young leaders in the body of Christ. I believe Todd Bentley was the first of these but he is being followed by many more that operate in radical signs and wonders ministries. To take one example, David and Stephanie Herzog have seen in their ministry healings, creative miracles (including such unusual phenomena as instant weight loss and hair growth), levitating, being transported to heaven, other countries and cities, seeing visions of angles, and experiencing the multiplication of food and money.
Programmed for Faith in the Supernatural
Without faith nothing is possible. With faith all things are possible (Mk 9:23, 10:27). God has programmed the DNA of certain members of the younger generation to have radical faith for the supernatural. This new emerging generation is experiential. They will not be won over by words but by demonstrations of the glory of God.
In 1992 Dutch Sheets had an open vision of stadiums filled with young people crying out to God in worship and intercession and when they left the stadiums they became balls of fire that went across the country starting revival fires. Then he heard the audible voice of God saying, “I am going to send another great awakening for the United States and the world.” In 2005 he had a dream in which an old man said, “John Wimber is coming today to cut the grass.” Instantly he understood this to mean that power evangelism is coming to bring in the harvest.
Neville Johnson says that before we were born, we were given a destiny by God. When we hear something that touches on that destiny, it excites us. When we hear stories, testimonies and other things that touch our destiny, we can receive an impartation from that. That impartation will bring us closer to realizing God’s plan for our lives. I love prayer ministry, but my passion is this stuff – stories of God encounters, engaging the revelatory realms of heaven. These stories excite me. Up until now I have been standing on the outside looking in, but I keep pressing in and am expecting to enter into that bridal company of overcomers.
The Three Baptisms and Three Kinds of Christians in the Last Days
In the years to come it will not just be nice or exciting to live in the supernatural. It will be necessary for our survival. According to Neville Johnson’s prophetic word, outer court Christians (those who have experienced only the first baptism – water baptism for repentance and salvation) will not survive the tribulation. Only those who have made it to in the inner court by receiving the second baptism (the baptism of the Holy Spirit) will survive. But those who have received the third baptism – the baptism of fire unto holiness – will do great exploits as Sons of the Kingdom.
Stage Three Spirituality
Bob Jones calls it the Third Baptism, John G. Lake called it the union experience with God, and John Paul Jackson calls it Stage Three Spirituality. In the tabernacle of Moses, the Holy of Holies was also called the tabernacle of witness. That was because what happened there proved the existence of God (as when Aaron’s rod budded, and the Lord came down and met with Moses). Those that attain Stage Three Spirituality become the abode of God, a tabernacle of witness. They exude God. They radiate the presence of God and change the environment around them. They live in expectant faith and they do signs and wonders which prove that God exists and dwells in them.
When all the thrones of our souls are fully yielded to the Lord, we will come into a union experience with Him (Davis, 2003). When we become a habitation of God, signs will follow – healings, prophecy, deliverance and miracles. That is when we will see the full fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power . . . and be my witnesses.” God longs to demonstrate His power through us to prove His existence to a lost and dying world. Only when the world sees the Word preached with signs following, only when the world sees the power of the God we serve, will they believe.
From an Escapist Rapture Mentality to a Warfare Kingdom Mentality
For a number of years a good part of the church has had a rapture mentality. The belief has been that as we approach the last days, things are going to get worse and worse and there is nothing we can do about it. Our only hope for escaping the horrors of the tribulation is to be raptured out of here. Increasingly a new understanding is emerging that the kingdom of God must first come to the earth. Jesus is going to come to us before he comes for us. As it says in the Bible, heaven must retain him until the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21-22), until there is a people in whom the Lord is fully enthroned, a bridal company without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5: 25-27).
When all the tares in our soul are removed, we become like him, we become the tabernacle of God, a manifestation of the sons of God. The parable of the tares and the wheat indicates that there will be sons of the Kingdom (the good seed) on earth, before the Lord returns. He will come to a bridal company that does the very same things that he did and the greater works that he promised. We have the Lord’s “very great and precious promises” that “we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of this world” (2 Peter 1:4) and taste “the powers of the world to come” (Heb. 6:5) on this side of eternity.
Discipling the First Wave Harvest
To return to our central point here, the second reason why training in inner healing is so needed in the church today is that the church needs to be equipped and ready to disciple the masses of youth that are about to come in during the first wave of the end-time harvest. They will be on fire for God but full of trauma and wounds and tares of the soul that have been sown into them by the gathering forces of darkness that are dominating the secular culture of our world.
As Bob Jones says, it is the over 50s that are the Joshua generation that have been assigned the task of carrying this younger generation out of the dessert and over the Jordan and into the Promised Land. The youth will need spiritual mothers and fathers that are equipped to both disciple them in the faith and tend to their emotional wounds.
To Walk with God
A third reason why inner healing is for today is to make us ready to walk into the destiny God has prepared for us. Emotional woundings are built on lies and deception and tend to represent hardened parts of our heart that are inaccessible to God. Our emotional wounds tend to separate us from God. They represent the unsanctified parts of our hearts. The tares in our souls limit how close we can get to God and how much he can trust us with the powerful end-time anointings and mantles that are coming available. It is for this very reason that emotional healing is much higher on God’s end-time agenda than physical healing, although He is going to use both mightily.
This is a time in Christian history when God is wooing His church as never before. There are times when the Lord extends His scepter and things that were not possible become possible. When God moves and revival comes, there is a grace there that is not present before or after. During the height of the Latter Rain Revival from roughly 1946-1956, there was an anointing for physical healing available and many pressed in and received that anointing and astounding miracles took place. After 1956, they didn’t forget how to do it. Rather the anointing for it began to lift.
We are entering a period when the veil between the natural and supernatural realms is becoming very thin. The door is being opened to come up here and pass back and forth between the spiritual and physical planes of existence. Portals are being opened. We are hearing a lot about portals these days. Gary Oates is in the process of writing a book on portals. Portals are open doors to heaven. Portals give us open access to an open heaven. Portals bring heaven to earth and are doors to the spirit realm.
Some portals will be healing pools and anyone who comes into them will be healed. Other portals will be places of profound revelation. Some will be in churches, some will be in geographical areas, some will be connected with movements and leaders and will move with them and some will be hidden and only known by those who God calls to those places to be commissioned.
The Enoch Mantle
There is an end-time anointing to walk with God. Some are calling it the Enoch mantle (Todd Bentley, Neville Johnson, Bob Jones, Jeff Jansen and others). God wants his church to walk with him like Enoch walked with him. We are going to have to learn to do that. Jesus told us, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:37). There were a lot of bad things occurring in Noah’s days, but remember Enoch was a contemporary of Noah.
Enoch was alive for part of Adam’s life and must have heard many stories about how it was to walk with God in the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, Enoch learned many things in his own walk with the Lord and was continually going back and forth to heaven and being shown numerous future events which he recorded in The Book of Enoch before he was permanently translated into heaven. He was the 7th from Adam, the number of completeness. As we approach the 7th day in the calendar of God’s purposes, the spirit and mantles of Enoch are going to be seen in the church. The same anointing, the same experiences, the same walk with God that Enoch had are available to us.
God is beginning to release the spirit of Enoch for those who have ears to hear, hearts to perceive and a desire for it. His mantle is becoming available. It is going to be released and split into hundreds of thousands of portions and become more powerful. Special grace is being released to enter into this relationship for those who are hungry and determined and have a walk with God. Some things are not available until the time comes. When the time comes, there is grace to receive it, and that grace is with us today. If we settle for less, that is what we will get. However, if we say I want to go there, all we need is an open heaven to equip us. Large numbers of people will experience going back and forth, in and out of heaven.
The Lord is about to release other mantles as well – the mantles of William Branham, Katherine Kuhlman, A. A. Allen and John G. Lake among others. During the five year period that John G. Lake’s Healing Rooms were operating in Spokane Washing, 100,000 healing were documented. In a 2005 dream, Dutch Sheets saw Lake’s wife passing out mementos (remembrances that serve as replicas of the mantle that Lake carried).
This time not one person but many will walk in the anointing of John G. Lake. Recently Bob Jones was in a trance and saw himself in a temple waiting on the Lord when gemstones started falling. Interestingly little children would run and grab them but the adults just stood there. To receive these mantles you have to go after them. We must decide if we are going to participate in this last days outpouring or just observe from the sidelines.
Graham/Roberts Prophecy – One final comment about receiving mantles relates to a prophecy Neville gave at the May 2007 White Dove conference regarding Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. I remember a number of years ago when Lester Summerall died, a great man of faith who had been Ron Parsley’s mentor. At that time Ron said that the Lord had told him that when two great men of faith died a major revival would come. Ron thought that one of the two was Lester Summerall. But I always though it was Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.
Neville confirmed my belief by saying that the Lord had shown him that Billy Graham and Oral Roberts are about to die and when they do their mantles will be merged. Try to get a picture of what that means. The mantle of evangelism and the mantle of healing are going to be merged and split into thousands of pieces and released on the earth to those who press in. This speaks of power evangelism. We are going to see a major healing revival.
TO SUM UP, greater than ever before we need inner healing in the church today:
- To avoid the mistakes of the past – Those who are going to be elevated into supernatural giftings will become targets of the enemy. Satan can only attack us in places that are not dedicated to the Lord. The tares of our soul need to be extracted and those wounded places healed so that when the power and anointings come we won’t fall into sin.
- To be equipped to provide inner healing, deliverance and discipleship for the first wave of the End Time harvest
- To walk with God and enter into His destiny for us. The unhealed places in our heart are barriers to greater intimacy with God. To take up the Enoch mantle, we need to overcome everything in us that is not of God.
*To clarify what this kingdom perspective means for the rapture, Neville Johnson says that the church will be here for a period of persecution and tribulation, but there will be a rapture in which the church is taken out before the wrath of God descends on the earth.