Pastoral Care Seminar III

Inner Healing

David Houston (7/19/86)


Doug Woolley




The Bible is the infallible Word of God for all times, and the Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word.  The Bible speaks to us about health in the spirit, soul, and body.  We were saved and renewed in the spirit, but the soul and the body are being saved and will be saved.  Inner healing can bring health to the soul, but we must keep inner healing in its proper perspective.  We must not exalt any doctrine above the person of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit; however, there is a tremendous need for inner healing.

            The Bible has said many things about human nature, and science is finally catching up with the Bible.  People used to think that the world was flat, but the Bible said that the world was round. Truth will concur with the Bible.

The Bible says that we are made in the image of God and are triune, like God.  1 Thess. 5:23 says that man has three parts: spirit, soul, and body.  Gen. 2:7 says that God formed us from the dust and breathed into man the breath of life, His Spirit, into our soul.  The spirit of man is where the intuition, conscience, and fellowship are.  It is the part of us that has fellowship with God.  The soul consists of the mind, will, and emotions.  The body is the flesh, which communicates with the outside world.

In Heb. 4:12 the Greek word used for soul is "psyche".  The soul is the "psychological" nature of man, including the mind, the will, and the emotions.  Our spirits are born again, but our soul and body have not.  The soul and body need to be healed as a result of sin infecting them.  The Greek word for "to save" is "sozo", which means "brought to safety, rescued, nurtured, healed, or made whole and complete."  God wants to heal us and make us complete in the spirit, soul, and body.  Ps. 23:3 says "the Lord restores my soul."  The love of God will heal and restore our souls' as it did with David's.

The first sermon that Jesus preached dealt clearly with inner healing:


The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; HE HAS SENT ME TO BIND UP THE BROKEN HEARTED, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners;  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn.  (Is. 61:1‑2).


Jesus took all the punishment for our sins, and He wants us to know His love for us.  However, if we have hurts in our relationships with our parents, then it is difficult to know God's love.  The way you look to your parents is very much like the way you will look to God.  If your parents were strict and critical and hard to please then we will see God in the same way.  God wants us to be healed of our memories so that we can be free from it and can relate to God in a new way.

The inner healing ministry is summed up in James 5:16‑ "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed."  Mens' thinking is greatly influenced from the past.  Prov. 23:7 says, that for generations "as a man thinks within himself, so is he."  We need to be healed of past memories that affect us negatively, which can be done by confessing and praying with another.

Science tests show that when you recall a memory, emotions connected with it will also come to the surface.  We can suppress hurts and go on living and try to forget about the past, but to a degree, the past is living on in us, because things will happen that will bring up those memories, and along with it, fears and discouragement.  Often we act in response to these hurts even when they just remain in our subconscious and are not brought up to the mind.  God has made us in such a way that we think in pictures not words.  When we hear the words "dog" and "boat", we think of a picture of these things, not the words.  Incidents of the past are photographed into our souls, and we react today as influenced by these incidents.

Doctors have proven that we see with the mind, not the eyes.  The eyes are simply the light gates for the mind.  A person will think according to the pictures in the mind.  Pictures of past words and hurts will cause us to think the way we do.  If people told you that you were ugly in the past, then you will think that you are ugly now.

When we meditate in the Word, the Holy Spirit will paint pictures inside of us.  This will help us to move in faith.  To have a smooth golf‑putt, we need to "see" in our mind the possibility of the ball going into the hole.  God wants to replace the bad memories of the past with positive, good, honorable... thoughts (Phil. 4:7).

When counseling someone in inner healing, the Holy Spirit can take you back to the root of the problem.  Houston gave a testimony of one of his counselingg experiences.  The young man recalled an incident when he was eight years old where his father hit him with a pool stick when he did not do something that his father wanted.  This hurt him very much since all his friends witnessed this tragedy.  In the counseling session, the young man first forgave his dad for doing this wrong thing.  The Holy Spirit then led him to confess that Jesus is the Lord that heals us.  As he did this, the presence of the Holy Spirit came upon him and took the "sting" out of the memory.  He could still remember the incident, and it does not need to be taken away.  The Holy Spirit can have us learn from past mistakes of others and ourselves.   How we have responded to past incidents forms our character.  Today, the young man has a great relationship with his father.  In counselling we need to listen carefully to the words they say. We can hear hurts come out of their heart.  Words are like arrows that go down to the inner most being.  Words contain things that can tell us what is in that person's heart.

Dave Hunt is an author who is strongly opposed to the over‑use of inner healing, visualizing, and dreaming.  He has an anti‑Charismatic bias.  He wrote a book called Seduction of Christianity which has been criticized by many  theologians.  He is against the abuse of us "seeing" Jesus come into our memories and heal us.  Jesus walking back into the memory is not "Jesus taking us back into a time warp and recreating the past," but it is Jesus recognizing that there is a hurt right now.  Hardly anyone can paint a real accurate picture of Jesus, even when they see Him in a vision or dream.  They can just see that they know it is Him and they see His form.  They see Jesus coming and healing them and squeezing them and speaking to them.  They see Jesus walking into the memory and healing them.  The Holy Spirit wants to give us a picture so that we can release our faith.  In the same way Jesus wants to give us a picture of the inner healing.  However, in perspective, 95% of the time people will not see anything, but they will just sense the presence of Jesus and His healing touch.

Much of the criticism toward inner healing is a result of people not taking time to see it in the proper perspective.  Hunt and others often take words out of context, which is not good scholarship.  Dave Hunt is a negative person who believes in the anti‑Christ and doom and gloom for the future. Books, like his, should not cut down on others, but it should build up the body of Christ and unify it.  Seduction of Christianity is doing much to divide the body of Christ.  Dave Hunt takes things out of context and sees that some are doing things like the New Age Movement, and therefore claims that they are cults.  Furthermore, he does not take into consideration the history of the church: The beliefs and practices of the first Christians should be examined.

Hunt fails to see that the presence of a counterfeit proves there is a real thing.  Just because counterfeits believe in visions and dreams and other things and that some orthodox groups do the same thing, does not mean that they are cultish, as Hunt says.  Because cults teach such things means that there must be a genuine from which it must be derived.

Dave Hunt attacks four things that God is saying to the church: a need for repentance, prayer, who we are in Christ, and a world view.  He attacks the great evangelical men who preach such things.  Of course, the devil would love to attack such men.  99% of the things in Seduction of Christianity David Houston does not agree with.  However, it does emphasize to us that we need to put inner healing in its proper perspective.  We should have an "O.K." from our pastor to read it and have a good reason, otherwise it will probably just fill us with doubt and unbelief.

The following is what inner healing and what "Jesus walking back into the memories" is not:  First, it is not altering the past.  Second, it is not going back in time.  Third, it is not recreating the past.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but He does not go back into time to change it.  Theologians have commented that we need to express beliefs more accurately since the counterfeit is very close.    Also, the next generation may not have the same experiences that we've had, and if we have not written it down clearly‑‑ saying what we mean and what we do not mean‑‑ then they can get off line.

Fourth, inner healing is not using the SOUL power of the mind to see images.  It is prophetically speaking what you see.  Balance needs to be put on "Jesus walking into the memories" since that is where much of the confusion has come.  Only about 5% of Houston's inner healing counseling has been with pictures.  However, when the Holy Spirit does give a picture to him clearly, he then checks with the person to see if the Holy Spirit has made it clear with him.  Otherwise, Houston does not go with it any further, but just does the usual inner healing process: seeing a hurt and praying for Jesus to heal it.  Usually he lays his hand on the person, but sometimes he does not.  The presence of the Holy Spirit will come and be like a soothing oil.  The name of Jesus is referred to as purified oil.  Fifth, Man is not the source and initiator of the experience.  If the Holy Spirit is not there, then it is a waste of time.

The following is what inner healing is:  First, it is recognizing reality that there is a present memory with hurt that needs to be healed.  Second, inner healing is ALLOWING the Holy Spirit to paint a picture IF HE WILLS.  Third, the source is God the Holy Spirit moving in the soul and the spirit.  The source is not man initiating it.

Some good scriptures to memorize which will help in inner healing are Prov. 13:12, 14:10, 14:30, 15:4, 15:30, 17:22, 18:8, 25:28, Luke 4:18.  Speaking the Word of God will paint pictures in them.  Tell them that Jesus' name is like soothing oil on the wound.

Three barriers to inner healing include:  failure to forgive others, failure to forgive ourselves and receive forgiveness, and failure to accept ourselves as God sees us.  Often repentance from wrong attitudes needs to be incorporated.

INNER HEALING IS NOT SO THAT WE CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES.  THIS IS NOT THE GOAL OF LIFE.  The second greatest commandment is to "Love Thy neighbor as Thyself."  Humanism says that you can't really love others without loving yourself first.  They reverse the scriptures.  The Bible teaches that man's greatest problem is not that he does not love himself.  His greatest problem and sin is that he loves himself too much.  The Bible says that men are to love their wives' as themselves' because no one has ever hated his own flesh, but loves it and cherishes it.  The goal in inner healing is not to learn how to love yourself.  The Bible takes it for granted that we already love ourselves.  We are to live in obedience to God.  WE ARE TO BE WHOLE AND COMPLETE SO THAT WE WON'T BE SELF‑CENTERED ANYMORE‑‑ THINKING ABOUT HURTS AND PROBLEMS.  We need to have our eyes on God first, then others, and then ourselves: JOY‑ Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  WITH INNER HEALING WE CAN BE WHOLE AND COMPLETE SO THAT WE CAN REACH OUT TO OTHERS AND TO LIVE FOR GOD'S PLEASURE, RATHER THAN OUR OWN.

We need to find our convictions in the Word of God.  We must not do things just because our church is doing it.  The church is acting according to the Word of God, but this conviction must be internalized inside of us.  Maranatha's covenant is not external bondage, but it is everyone having the internal conviction based upon the Word of God.


PART II ‑‑ Questions and Answers


In inner healing the Holy Spirit is to reveal the hurt, either before or after praying with them. Usually the origin of the hurt will be readily detected.

We do not necessarily need to love ourselves to love others and God.  Past generations loved each other, but they never taught to love yourself first.  We just need to be obedient to God's Word‑‑ to love others and Him and to have a healthy Christ‑like image of ourselves.  Our hurts and sins make us self‑centered.  INNER HEALING IS NOT SO THAT WE CAN LEARN HOW TO LOVE OURSELVES, BUT HOW TO GET OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES.