Satan sometimes works upon the human mind and sometimes on man’s body. Many sicknesses are not real sicknesses, but are actually Satanic works. Sometimes illnesses are manifestly Satanic attacks.
When Peter’s mother-in-law was laid aside with a severe fever, the Lord Jesus went to the house and rebuked the fever (Lk. 4:39). Fever is simply a symptom; it has no personality. You cannot rebuke a symptom; you can only rebuke a personality. You cannot rebuke a chair or a watch, for neither of them has a personality. You only rebuke that which has a personality. But here the Lord Jesus did a surprising thing. When He saw Peter’s mother-in-law ill with a fever, He rebuked the fever and it subsided. This clearly indicates that the fever was not ordinary, that it possessed a personality. In other words, it was the work of Satan. At the rebuke of the Lord, Satan retreated.
Another instance is shown in the healing of a child who was deaf and dumb from childhood (Mk. 9:17, 21, 25-27). When the father of the child brought him to the Lord Jesus, the Lord rebuked the unclean spirit saying, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” And the child was healed. The sickness had been caused by an evil spirit. At the rebuke regained his speech and hearing.
Thus we find two different kinds of patients in the New Testament: the medically or physiologically sick, and those who are sick because of Satan’s attack. The first kind of patient the Lord healed; the second kind, since the sickness had a personality, He rebuked.
Many sicknesses are indeed physical ailments, but many are the results of Satanic attacks on the body. God’s children need to learn how to resist this latter kind.
Sometimes you cannot understand why you are sick. You have not been careless; so far as you know there has been no possibility of contagion for this particular sickness in your immediate environment. Yet you are sick. You are suddenly incapacitated when you have something of God’s work or some spiritual thing to do. This sickness is not ordinary since it cannot be attributed to any natural cause. Furthermore, you became sick just at the time when you had some spiritual work to fulfill. With your eyes closed you can almost judge that this sickness is due to Satanic assault.
This kind of sickness will disappear if you resist it before the Lord, saying, “Lord, I do not accept this sickness, for it comes from the enemy!” Most amazing, you will find that it goes away as suddenly as it came. Neither its coming nor its going can be attributed to any natural cause. It leaves under rebuke.