When my wife and I came to know Jesus we were depressed, deep in debt, emotionally drained, separated, and on our way to divorce court! Otherwise, everything was perfect! During the year or two prior to our separation, we had consulted our pastor and a psychologist about how to deal with our marital issues. The pastor finally suggested that maybe divorce was the answer for us. We eventually stopped going to the psychologist as it became more and more apparent that we were spending a lot of money and making little progress. However, during the time when we first began to seek professional help, I had visited briefly with a psychiatrist who asked if she could use Christian principles in our therapy. Being the vulnerable guy that I am, I responded, “If it works I’m for it.” I made an appointment with her but she canceled it due to a death in her family and referred us to the psychologist mentioned above whom we eventually stopped seeing. As the Lord would have it, about a year later, after we had separated, I noticed an advertisement in the newspaper about a meeting being conducted by this psychiatrist to whom I had spoken but never met. Miraculously, my wife and I attended the meeting together. The psychiatrist shared her testimony of having been born-again and experiencing a peace she had never known. She testified of restorative miracles in her personal and family life. She also testified of patients who had been healed of emotional, mental, physical, and relational sicknesses through prayer. At the end of the meeting she gave an invitation for those who would like to receive Jesus as Savior. Being under serious conviction, my wife and I sobbed our way to the front of the room, and prayed to receive Jesus as Savior. It was a moving experience and we knew something significant had happened even though we weren’t sure what! Within a few days, we became strongly convicted to reunite and seek the Lord regarding His will for our lives. By the grace of God we did it! Together, we asked Jesus to heal our marriage, our family, our finances, and us. His responses to our requests were not usually quick or miraculous but He eventually answered each of them. Also, we did experience some miracles along the way! You may be thinking, “So, what’s the point?” The point is this: our God is the Healer of broken minds, bodies, emotions, hearts, marriages and finances. My wife and I have experienced healing in each area. You need to be reminded that He is the Healer of all! You name it, the Lord can and will heal it as you yield to Him. My testimony is that He is the Healer of all. As we have learned and obeyed His word, the Lord has been faithful to restore our marriage, save our children, deliver us from debt, and heal many sicknesses. To know that the God of the universe loves you and desires that you be healed is prosperity of the soul. One day as I was driving to work, the Holy Spirit pierced my heart with this verse of scripture: “Beloved, I wish (pray) above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). Since that day it has been one of my favorite verses. I use it frequently. The apostle John spoke those words as an aged disciple of Christ. I believe the Holy Spirit inspired his words and I believe they communicate the Father’s will for all of us. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John is declaring that God’s will for man, you and me, is prosperity and health for our souls, bodies, and the material or natural circumstances of our lives. This means that He desires healing for our spirits, minds, emotions, bodies, and finances; that He desires success for our social lives, our work, our marriage relationships, our family relationships, and all that we do. As I continued to “think on” the words of this verse and their relevance to my life, I began to increasingly feel the Holy Spirit was convicting me that prosperity and good health are the outcomes, outward manifestations, of a prosperous soul (inner man). I felt the Holy Spirit was saying, “Jerry, if you will tend to the prosperity of your soul (the inner man), that inner (soulish) prosperity will eventually manifest itself outwardly as good health and natural prosperity.” In other words, inner prosperity (which cannot be seen) eventually produces natural prosperity (health and success) which can be seen. In line with these thoughts, we might restate 3 John 2 as follows: “As you ‘prosper’ your soul, you will find yourself experiencing increasingly good health and natural prosperity!” Would you like to experience good health and prosperity in every facet of your life? If so, you must commit to the prosperity of your soul. The only way any person can experience ongoing consistent health and prosperity is by choosing to believe and act upon the word of God. All the worldly methods of acquiring prosperity and health are temporal at best. Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matt 16:26)? “But, godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Tim 4:8). If we choose to follow God’s method for obtaining health and prosperity, we not only experience a blessed life here on earth but, we are assured of an abundant eternal life with Him in the hereafter. The Creator God is the most prosperous, whole, and healthy Being in the universe! “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,” says the LORD of hosts (Hag 2:8). His residence is built upon a foundation of precious jewels, has streets of pure gold and gates of pearl (Rev 21:16-27). Every beast of the forest is His and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). Furthermore, there is no death, sorrow, crying or pain in His presence (Rev 21:4). If you are interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous, you should get acquainted with God, the Creator of the universe and you! He is life. He is light. He is love. Furthermore, He desires above all things that you prosper and be in health. This impartation of health and prosperity takes place as you tend to the prosperity of your soul. Are you ready to prosper your soul? Let’s begin by defining the soul. The Bible tells us that man is a three part being: spirit, soul and body (1 Thes 5:23). The words translated spirit and soul are closely related. Both of the words are derived from the word breath or “to breathe.” Richard’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words defines the word nephesh, translated soul in the Old Testament, as our unique inner life vitally interacting with and shaping external circumstances by our drives, will, and emotions. (What does 3 John 2 say? It says that the condition of the inner man, the soul, affects external circumstances, namely health and prosperity.) Richard’s definition of soul confirms our understanding of 3 John 2! Psuche is the New Testament word translated soul. It is the root of psyche from which comes psychology. Psuche, or psyche, refers to the mind and its interaction with the body and the environment. From these definitions we can conclude that the soul is that unique (to each person) inner life which incorporates the mind, will, and emotions. Furthermore, we can conclude that man’s soul interacts with and shapes the external circumstances of his life. Where does the spirit of man fit into the scheme of things and how do the spirit and soul relate? The spirit of man is vitally linked to the soul and is defined as that part of man which has the potential to be God-like. Jesus said, “God is spirit…” (John 4:24). God said, “Let us make man in our image…” (Gen 1:26). Because man was created in the likeness of God and God is eternal spirit, we can conclude that man is an eternal spirit being who possesses a soul and resides in a body. It is a person with pneuma, spirit life, who is aware of and responsive to God (Richard’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words). Genesis 2:7 (Amp) tells us that God breathed into man’s earthly body the breath (or spirit) of life and man became a living being (soul). Therefore, it is the spirit of man which gives life to the body and energizes the soul (mind, will and emotions). This is confirmed in Luke 16:19-31, where Jesus relates the story of a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Both men died physically and their physical bodies were buried. The rich man found himself in Hades whereas Lazarus was carried to Abraham’s bosom in Paradise. In the afterlife, each of these men could see, recognize, think, talk, feel and express emotion. They were living in the spirit realm with fully functional souls (minds, wills and emotions). Thus, we can conclude that the spirit and soul of man continue to function after physical death. The scripture tells us physical death occurs when the spirit of man leaves the body. “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). A dead body is void of intellect, will and emotion (soul) because the soul departed with the spirit. It was the spirit of man that died, suffered separation from God, when Adam chose to disobey God. At the moment of his sin, disobedience to God, Adam fell from spiritual life (God-likeness, righteousness) to spiritual death (Satan-likeness, sinfulness). Through Adam, this sin nature or Satan-likeness was passed to all men (Rom 5:12-14). After Adam, Jesus was the first and only man to be born into the earth without the seed of sin (Rom 5:15-19, 1 Cor 15:22). In Jesus, the lineage of Adam, sin and death, was broken. Jesus was the sinless Son of God conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary to take away the sin of the world. By believing (confessing faith in the truth) that Jesus is the Son of God who took upon Himself your sin and its consequences, you are bornagain. You are birthed from sin (spiritual death, Satan-likeness, corruptible, mortal) to righteousness (spiritual life, God-likeness, incorruptible, immortal). This is the most important and the most excellent transformation available to man. At the moment of your heartfelt confession of faith that Jesus is the Son of God, the Holy Spirit breathed the life of God into you, just as He originally breathed His life into Adam. Instantly, you become a new spiritual creation (Titus 3:5-7). “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old moral and spiritual condition has passed away: behold the fresh and new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Immediately upon your repentance from sin and confession of faith in Jesus, you were spiritually recreated in the likeness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Christ, in the person of His Holy Spirit, took up residence in your spirit. You were put into right relationship with the Father God. You became spiritually prosperous, exceedingly abundantly prosperous! You were made spiritually alive with the life of God. You were given eternal life. You became a son or daughter of God. You became a child of the King. You received the Father and all the resources of His kingdom. You gained access to Him and opportunity for communion with Him. That’s prosperity! However, at the time of the new birth, your soul (mind, will, emotions) and body were not recreated. After being born again you became a new spiritual creation joined with your original soul and body. Think about it. Did your physical appearance change when you were born-again? Did your thinking processes, attitudes, beliefs, and capabilities instantaneously change when you confessed faith in Jesus? Mine didn’t and I bet yours didn’t either! However, the Lord wants all of you, your spirit, soul and body, to glorify Him (1 Thes 5:23). “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:1-2, NIV). “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7). The Lord wants us to prosper our souls by receiving, meditating upon, and acting on His word, that we might serve Him with increasing health, vitality, and prosperity thereby proving (experiencing in our lives) His will. James confirms this, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save (heal, preserve, make do well, prosper, make whole) your souls” (James 1:21-22 NASV). The KJV says, “Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.” “My son, let them (Godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding) not depart from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul” (Prov 3:21-22 NASV). “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body” (Prov 4:20-22 NASV). It is quite evident from the preceding scriptures that the entrance of God’s word brings prosperity, health, and life to our souls and bodies. This is confirmed in the verses following our foundational scripture, 3 John 2. In 3 John 3-4 the apostle goes on to say, “I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” You see, John was rejoicing that these believers had the truth, God’s word, in them and that they were walking, conducting their lives, in accordance with the truth. John was thrilled they had become receivers and doers of the word. A real hearer and doer of the word will overcome the storms of life. How do I know? Jesus told me so! “Whosoever cometh to me (Jesus) and heareth My sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47-48). Jesus is saying that when we build our lives upon hearing and doing His sayings (His words, the words of God), the storms of life cannot destroy us. If you want healing and prosperity that the storms of life cannot destroy, build your life upon hearing and doing God’s word. Receive and welcome the word, which implanted and rooted in your heart, contains the power to save (heal, prosper, make do well) your soul. Having received the word, become a blessed doer of it (James 1:21-22 Amp). Building on any other foundation is like building on shifting sand. When the storm comes, the house (your life, your healing, your prosperity, your peace, your joy, your fruitfulness…) will fall, be blown away (Matt 7:26-27, Luke 6:49). To experience Godly prosperity and good health in every area of our lives, God says we must put away sin and plant His word in our inner man and allow His word to grow up and produce fruit, visible changes, in our lives. “Let us look not at the things which are seen (perceived with our physical senses, minds and emotions) but, let us look at the things which are not seen (God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s word, faith, the angelic hosts…all the resources of God’s kingdom) for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3). The universe and everything in it was framed (fashioned, brought into existence) by the word of God and our Lord desires that we frame and fashion our lives with His word. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Is 55:11). You can rest assured that there will be a performance of God’s word in your life as you receive, believe, and act upon it. When God says it, He does it (Num 23:19). You can quickly see that lots of good things happen when you allow the word of God to be engrafted, planted, in your heart (inner man or soul). Grafting is the process of joining one thing to another. In medicine, a graft is the transplanting of living tissue from one body, or place on a body, to another place where it grows and becomes a permanent part. Healthy tissue is taken from one area and used to replace tissue that has been diseased or injured. The healthy tissue becomes one with that part of the body to which it has been grafted thereby bringing restoration and new life. Likewise, when the word of God, which is life and medicine, is engrafted into your inner man it brings restoration and healing to your spirit, soul and body (Matt 4:4, John 6:63, Prov 4:20-24). This is precisely what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower, the fundamental parable, the mother of parables. The sower sows the seed, the word of God, into the soil, the heart of man. The seed, the word of God, grows up and produces a harvest of a hundred fold, sixty or thirty (Mk 4:3-20, Matt 13:3-23). The process of planting seed (the word) and reaping a harvest (of what the planted word said) is the natural visible illustration of how the invisible Kingdom of God functions. Jesus went on to say, “This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mk 4:26- 29 NIV). “Again He said, “What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade” (Mk 4:30-32 NIV). Jesus is telling us that the word of God planted (sown) into our hearts will always produce a harvest of what that word says or promises. Corn seed when planted and nurtured always produces a harvest of corn. Wheat seeds always produce a harvest of wheat. Likewise, the seed of God’s word concerning healing, when planted in the soil of man’s heart, his soul, will always produce a harvest of healing. Do you recall your salvation experience? It probably went along this line. Words regarding salvation, being born-again, were presented to you. The word of salvation was sown in your heart. Those words, when believed and acted upon, produced a harvest of salvation, eternal life, for you. Just as the parable said, the words of eternal life may have seemed insignificant when first received but as you meditated upon them and eventually acted upon them, you were born-again (John 6:68). You instantaneously became a citizen of God’s Kingdom. You became a child of God, a member of the Father’s family, an inheritor of His promises. You became a bird perched on a branch within the Tree of Life. From it, you may derive everything that is needed to live an abundant life in the earth. As the seed of God’s healing word is sown in your heart, it grows up to become a Tree of Health in which you reside. From it you derive divine health as God’s word continually produces a harvest of healing in your spirit, soul, and body. Experiencing a continual harvest of health is God’s best for you. If you are not yet sure how to plant God’s word in your heart, let’s review the process. The word of God is planted in your heart (inner-man or soul) as you hear it, meditate upon it, speak it, and pray it. Faith, a condition of the heart, comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). God gave Joshua the recipe for a successful prosperous life when He commissioned him to lead hundreds of thousands of cantankerous Israelites into the Promised Land (Num 13:28-33). God said to Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and thou shalt have good success” (Josh 1:8). This is a mighty powerful statement from a mighty powerful God! God said, Joshua, you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success if you will continually speak My word, meditate upon My word, and do My word. Is your desire for prosperity and good health strong enough to motivate you to continually, as a lifestyle, meditate upon, speak, and act upon God’s word? The psalmist tells us the same principle. “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). When these scriptures were written, the law of the Lord was the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. That was the word of God available at the time. To us the law of the Lord would be the entire word of God, the Holy Bible. The Lord would say to us, “As you meditate and act upon the Holy Scriptures, you shall make your way prosperous, you shall have good success, and you shall be blessed. You shall be like a tree which has a continual source of life, never withering but always being fruitful and prosperous in whatever you do.” Would such an existence be worth spending time meditating the word of God? Our Lord has written the true success manual, the Bible. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Do you want to be made free from sickness? Then continue (stay, abide, dwell, endure, remain, tarry) in the word of God regarding healing and do what it says. Abiding, staying, dwelling upon, remaining in the word of God is meditating upon it. The biblical definition of meditate is to ponder, mutter, speak, study and dwell upon. As we do this with the word of God, it is planted in our hearts or souls. Our souls are renewed or prospered. After a season of sowing and nurturing the seed, it germinates, sprouts, matures and brings forth a harvest in our lives just as Jesus promised. Words of healing always produce a harvest of health and wholeness. We cannot stop the productivity of God’s word as we continue in it and act upon it. It will make us free from everything opposed to the will of God. As you continue in the word of healing, seeds of healing are being sown in your heart and God guarantees a harvest of health! It’s the gospel truth! Proverbs 4:20-23 is the essence of what we have learned. “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart, for they are life unto those that find them, and health (medicine) to all their flesh. Keep thy heart (spirit/soul) with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” The remainder of this book is a Genesis to Revelation study of God’s word regarding healing. As you study it, the word of God will be planted in your heart. You will become established in the truth that your Creator has healed you through the substitutionary efforts of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As you mix faith with the word of God, you will experience healing in your spirit, soul and body. My life as a believer in Jesus is a testimony to the truthfulness of the Father’s words. Over the years He has healed my family and me of emotional, marital, physical, and financial sickness. We did not earn His blessing. We learned the blessings are ours because Jesus earned them for us and gave them to us. We prayed and spoke His word. We acted on His word. We praised Him for confirming His word with signs following. Now, after many years of being one of His imperfect sons, I can say that He has been totally faithful to do what He promised. He sent His word, Jesus, and delivered my family and me from our self-imposed destructions and the destructions of the devil. He will do the same for you. “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Ps 107:20 NASV).