“Be gracious to me, LORD, for I am weak; heal me, LORD, for my bones are shaking.” Psalm 6:2 (HCSB) Tertullian was born at A.D. 145. His father was a Roman officer, and his family were not Christian. In his adult life, he became quite intrigued as to why the Christians would not renounce their faith. The fact that they seemed to prefer martyrdom impressed him.
Tertullian also became fascinated with the teachings of Jesus. He discovered that many sick people were healed in the name of Jesus. No other name could do this. He was especially impressed that even the mentally deranged persons could be healed, all in the name of Jesus, the One who died on a cross but had been seen alive after his resurrection.
In the end, Tertullian became a Christian. He often condemned the Roman authorities who persecuted Christians. Why would these Romans oppose the ones who heal people through prayer in the name of Jesus? It didn’t make sense! He wrote the following: “For what more delightful than to have God the Father and our Lord at peace with us, than revelation of the truth than confession of our errors, than pardon of the innumerable sins of our past life? What greater pleasure than distaste of pleasure itself, contempt of all that the world can give, true liberty, a pure conscience, a contented life, and freedom from all fear of death? What nobler than to tread under foot the gods of the nations-to exorcise evil spirits 376 -to perform cures-to seek divine revealings-to live to God?” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III: Tertullian: Part I: Chapter XXIX.)
Tertullian was bold in what he wrote: “Let a person be brought before your tribunals who is plainly under demoniacal possession. The wicked spirit, bidden to speak by a follower of Christ, will as readily make the truthful confession that he is a demon, as elsewhere he has falsely asserted that he is a god. Or, if you will, let there be produced one of the god-possessed, as they are supposed–if they do not confess, in their fear of lying to a Christian, that they are demons, then and there shed the blood of that most impudent follower of Christ. All the authority and power we have over them is from our naming the Name of Christ, and recalling to their memory the woes with which God threatens them at the hand of Christ their Judge, and which they expect one day to overtake them. Fearing Christ in God and God in Christ, they become subject to the servants of God and Christ. So at one touch and breathing, overwhelmed by the thought and realization of those judgment fires, they leave at our command the bodies they have entered, unwilling, and distressed, and before your very eyes, put to an open shame.” (Apology to the Rulers of the Roman Empire.)
Tertullian often wrote about exorcism and healing. He even said: “The name ‘philosopher’, he declares is of no use in exorcism.”
Healing and exorcism is only possible through the name of Jesus, the One who healed everyone when he was in our neighborhood.
This is still reality in our modern world. Jesus has not changed; rather, it is the world that has changed. The following real testimony happened to an unnamed missionary in an unnamed Asian country.
One day he was invited to enter a tent. Here he found a blind woman who was quite ill. Suddenly the missionary heard the Holy Spirit speaking to him: “You can do something for that woman. Pray. Show my power.”
The missionary asked for permission to pray for this poor woman. Two days later, people came running up to him with friendly greetings. “He has heard us,” they told him. Then he saw the woman he had prayed for. She was walking about, completely healed. A few months later, she, along with two of her friends, became followers of Christ.
We have now reviewed the first 3 centuries after Jesus’ ascension, and during all that time, healings and miracles occurred constantly. If it happened in the past, it will also happen today!
(To view the entire “Miracles From the Past” devotional series, please click here.)