In direct connection with the first promise made to the children of Israel immediately after they had passed through the Red Sea, God announced Himself as the divine Healer. The promise itself is a conditional one and inaugurated the idea among men that health is the result of obedience. Let us read the promise: "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians : for I am the Lord that healeth thee." Ex. 15:26.
From that day to this, men have been needed who would press this fact home upon the hearts of suffering humanity. As men are led to reason from cause to effect and learn that disease and death come as the result of sin, they will be led to obey God.
David recognized his Lord as the Healer, "who healeth all thy diseases." Ps. 103 :3. Jeremiah recognized the full healing power of God, for he said, "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed." Jer. 17:14. Luke, the beloved physician, recognized that it was the power of God that healed. "It came to pass . . . that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, . . . and the power of the Lord was present to heal them." Luke 5:17. The revelator declares that the leaves of the tree of life "were for the healing of the nations." Rev. 22 :2. The gospel message from heaven is given to bring healing of both body and soul, or spirit. This twofold purpose is what gives medical missionary work its great importance in the gospel of salvation. "Physical healing is a science of heavenly birth, bound up with the gospel cornmission."—"Medical Ministry," p. 320. Jesus employed this science throughout His entire ministry to men.
As a Youth: "To those who were in need He would give a cup of cold water, and would quietly place His own meal in their hands. As He relieved their sufferings, the truths He taught were associated with His acts of mercy, and were thus riveted in the memory."—'The Desire of Ages," p. 87.
During his Public Ministry: "Christ stood at the head of humanity in the garb of humanity. . . He went from house to house, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the mourners, soothing the afflicted, speaking peace to the distressed. He took the little children in His arms and blessed them, and spoke words of hope and comfort to the weary mothers. With unfailing tenderness and gentleness He met every form of numan woe and affliction."—"Medical Ministry," p. 19. (See also Matt. 9:35, 36.)
Training his Disciples: (Mark 1:16-20.) "They went into Capernaum ; and straightway on the Sabbath day He entered into the synagogue and taught. . . And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit ; and hc cried out. . . . And Jesus rebuked him. . . . And when the unclean spirit had torn him, . . . he came out of him." Mark i :21-26. (See also verses 29-34; 40-42.)
Christ had said to His disciples that He would make them fishers of men, and this is the way in which He trained them for that work. All the twelve were given healing power. The instruction to the church found in James 5 :13-15 makes it clear that all the elders of all the churches everywhere would have access, on behalf of the sick and suffering, to the great Healer to the end of time.
In these last days, however, when knowledge has been "increased" along healing lines, and divine revelation has made plain to this people the proper and effective use of nature's simple remedies for the healing of the sick, we may confidently expect, in many cases, divine healing in answer to prayer, if we have applied the "increased" knowledge and employed the proved remedies of nature to the best of our ability. It is for this kind of ministry that our sanitariums were divinely established. It is for this purpose that the medical missionary work has been made the responsibility of this people.
The question naturally arises : "Who should be trained and have a part in this important work?" We find our answer in the following quotations from the Spirit of prophecy:
The Youth: "The Lord has appointed the youth to be His helping hand. . . . Books and papers treating on the subject of health and temperance could be placed in many homes."—"Medical Ministry," pp. 320.