The faith movement says …If we are feeling sick we need to fight it off by faith by not confessing our symptoms, but stand on the word and say out loud, I’m healed, by his stripes I’m healed. Don’t look at the symptoms, but just stand on the promise and don’t waver or doubt. What you confess you will possess if you apprehend it by the force of faith. Satan works with the negative that is counter to all the promises of good from God. We are told that we are at war with the enemy who wants to steal our health and money. While ALL this may have a small element of truth, it certainly is not the whole truth. In this movement God is not spoken of as a one we rely on, but one who has established spiritual laws and that we need to apply and use these laws and principles to get the positive results. In other words the blessings come from “special knowledge” not grace.
Occult science denies the symptoms because the physical is an illusion or is ruled by the spiritual. The higher rules the lower. This is the premise of Christian science, what we control in the spiritual realm will manifest in the physical. This is not Christianity but metaphysics, in league with religious and mind sciences. They deny the reality of sin and sickness to their followers, but they know how real it is because they themselves go to doctors for healing.
This issue is said to be a Charismatic versus non-charismatic one, but this is simply not the case. The TV Charismatic’s declare Christ’s atoning work was as much for our sicknesses as it was for our sins. So the believer should accept Christ as his sickness bearer as well as his sin bearer. It seems they can only relate to God as Yahweh rapha, we need to know God in all His attributes and not major in just one or two.
We are told God must heal you if you are speaking by faith just like he saved you by faith. No Christian should be sick or have anything physically wrong with them. Kenneth Hagin teaches, “It is unscriptural to pray, ‘If it is the will of God.’ When you put an ‘if’ in your prayer, you are praying in doubt.” ( K.Hagin, Exeedingly Growing Faith P.10 2nd ed.)
So should we accept Christ as our sickness bearer as well as our sin bearer?
We are told God must heal you if you are speaking by faith just like he saved you by faith. No Christian should be sick or have anything physically wrong with them. So we should not die with any disease or even old age we should live to our full potential. If you are not receiving your healing you are missing out on appropriating you divine right in the kingdom. What they are saying is that our body is redeemed just as our spirit is. It is not Gods will for any to be sick.
The Bible says otherwise. Why are there so many faith healers sick and many have died of cancer. Its not working for them either, but they are not going to tell you this.
Kenneth Hagin in “Healing the fathers provision” pg.9 “I believe it is the plan of our father that no believer should be sick that every believer should live his life to the full time and actually wear out if Jesus tarries then fall asleep in Jesus I state boldly it is not the will of God my father that we should suffer with cancer and other dread diseases and bring pain and anguish. No . It is gods will that we should be healed.””
The faith teachers say… You cannot glorify God if you are sick. God is hindered by mans shortcomings. Maybe the God they know is, but not the one of the Bible! God does indeed heal today but not the way the represent Him.
But faith teachers do get sick, they have headaches and stomach aches, they stub their toes, and bang their hand just like anyone else. But they deny it, despite what is certainly there. What they deny is the reality of the sin nature we have, and the fallen world we still live in from sin. What they are saying is what you confess you possess, but you didn’t confess a headache to get it in the first place, it just came. So they need to put blame on someone, and it usually is the devil. This is why they command Satan to leave their body. What one needs to ask is how did he get there in the first place? Doesn’t this mean they were not walking in faith for him to invade them like this. This of course leads to spiritual warfare wing of modern Pentecostalism which tells one in reference to this, when in doubt cast it out.
I’m healed they proclaim, even though they can be in tremendous pain. Isn’t that called lying when your not telling the truth. Would you go around and say you’re the president of a company that you are presently only an employee of, just because you desire that position. If you were caught doing this they would say your lying . Try cashing a check as that president when you’re not and see what happens! This is what we see happening in the faith movement, its not faith its pride, presumption, and sometimes even fantasy.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines gnosis and gnosticism as the gaining of spiritual knowledge reserved only for special initiates, “Distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation or salvation comes through this special knowledge.” The idea that my body is lying to me when I’m sick and that I need to confess health is new age Gnostic dualism. Nowhere do we see the apostles teach this or practice it. When Scripture is lifted out of the Jewish cultural context it is written in, one can make Jesus to become the Guru of health and prosperity.
Even historic Pentecostalism, which believes healing was provided for in the atonement, does not hold that view. The position paper on divine healing adopted by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God (1974) makes it clear that healing is “provided for” because the “atonement brought release from the consequences of sin.” Nonetheless, since we have not yet received the “redemption of our bodies”, suffering and death are still our lot until the resurrection”.
What I find interesting and even perplexing is that the people who believe God will heal you by faith, many are involved in multi-level marketing of organic health products and vitamins to keep healthy. They believe in the supernatural 100 fold blessing, but are involved in multi-level selling. This is an oxymoron, its like east meets the west at the north pole. Positive confession adherents change their flat tires just like anyone else, they can’t speak a word to change the situation. The new pied pipers lead those who are blinded by their spell over the cliff, into the hands of a power they seem to rebuke always.
While the healing Gospel is very popular today and its promise is claimed more than any other promise. The Bible in fact has other promises that are neglected, yet they are more sure than healing. That we are to suffer for Christ’s sake.
2 Tim 3:12: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Matt 24:9: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”
John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Rev 1:9: ” I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
If healing was in the atonement than what do we do with 1 Cor.12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,” It would not be necessary to have this gift functioning, all one would need to do is believe in the cross. The same faith that they received salvation with would be accompanied by healing at the same time. It seems some people have the gift of faith and can believe God for supernatural provision, the danger comes when they think it is a normality given to everyone else the same. They then in turn tell everyone what God has done for them, he will do for you. This clearly not the case from Scripture. Take for example John the baptist was imprisoned and was eventually killed. When Peter was in prison the gates were open to set him free. What of Peter being crucified as were the other apostles, John was the only one who lived a long life as was told to Peter by Jesus at the end of the gospel of John. God does not a have the same will for every person, the sooner we understand this the quicker we will be set free from this kind of false teaching.
The Nature of Sin and the World we live in.
When we go back to Genesis we find Adam was in perfect health when he was in a sinless state. When he sinned his relationship changed to God and to the earth. First in Gen.3:14 God cursed the serpent in v.16 he then turned to the women and said she will have pain for the first time in childbirth and that her husband will now be the ruler over her. In Gen 3:17 God addresses Adam saying Cursed is the ground for your sake In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life… He then describes how the earth will no longer yield its fruit naturally but he would now toil for what came easy before. Adam who once had dominion over the earth would now do hard work to receive …the earth became the same condition as he was in, a fallen state.
We can’t reverse the curse God put on the earth, however God himself will in the Millennium.
Rom. 8:18-25 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Paul says this event is future; we wait with endurance and with hope, which is based on faith, and what is seen is not of faith. It is our souls that have been healed by the stroke of sin and we wait for the future redemption of our bodies. If we were healed of our sicknesses and sins as faith teachers claim, we would not die.
He reminds us that we will not receive our glorified state until Christ returns. Until then we are subject to the trouble and death of this sin-cursed world. It is not until sin is removed from our existence that any of us have a hope of any guaranteed physical well being. It is the event of the resurrection that will change our bodies to eliminate the effect of sin and Jesus will then restore the earth to its former state like the garden in the Millennium. It will be completely changed afterwards when he does away with all sin on earth bringing us into what is called the eternal order. Because the world is fallen we don’t have any guarantee of freedom from all illnesses or adversity and danger on earth. We do have the guarantee of the comforter through life’s storms. whatever they may be, he brings peace through the storms and trials, there no assurance to remove us from them. Actually there is much benefit to be said for going through them.
Not all sicknesses come from Satan nor contrary to the will of God. If this were so there would be no divine chastisement for Gods children.
Duet. 32:39: “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Exod.15:26; Deut.7:15; 28:60, 30:19-20, 32:45 all teach that God can afflict the people for chastisement even though he does not want to.
In Lk.1:20 Zacharias is struck dumb (mute), In Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphirra were judged by God for lying to the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t by Satan that killed them. Ps. 119:67 David says “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep they word.” V.75 “In your faithfulness you have afflicted me.” David attribute his affliction to Gods hand not the devils, and so should we. Does the Devil afflict? Certainly, but not without the Lords permission. God is in control of the believers life. Jesus has the keys of death and hell. We see in the New Testament taking communion without reflecting on the Lord’s body have caused many to be weak, sick and some have even died.(1 Cor.11:29-30)
God’s ability to heal extends to all of us. The issue isn’t “does God heal today” but will He heal, and how and when. No true believer is without the possibility of divine healing, and we can all be thankful for His grace in this matter.
Dale Bruner who is a Charismatic says. “Over every sickness there stands… the will of God to heal.”
Though God does heal through prayer many times, He does not always heal. We must submit ourselves to His will, whether it be health or sickness. The perfect wholeness that was purchased in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will be enjoyed in eternity, not in this life now (Romans 8:18-24). Anyone who preaches that this perfect state is available now is promoting a false teaching on the atonement. God’s will is involved, and this is the one element that many ignore in their affirmation of “by his stripes I’m healed.”
All of our sicknesses whether they are emotional, physical or spiritual are because of sin. our living in a fallen sinful atmosphere of the world affects Christians just like anyone else, we are not immune to sickness nor the ultimate end which is death.
If there is NO healing, then one is told by faith healing promoters there is a lack of faith operating or its that you don’t have the knowledge or that there is sin that needs to be confessed. They ignore how pervasive sin is in our nature. As Christians we should not depend on our medicine only for healing, however we should not exclude it either. Either extreme can be bad. One position is to always depend on medicine for ones health, the other is always depend on your faith to get well. If we do the later we may never see our self become healthy. If we do the former we may not allow God to show us His grace and have a supernatural healing which can be a testimony to others. We need wisdom to walk in a balanced view.
The “Balanced” view in the Bible.
Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his often infirmities (1 Timothy 5:23). This reminds us of two things: First, God also encourages the use of medicine, and wants Christians to develop wise eating and drinking habits and a use of hygiene and cleanliness such as treating polluted water and keeping one’s body clean. Second, some Christians can expect to have numerous sicknesses no matter how godly they are. Godly Timothy did, so did Paul. The Bible says he not only had stomach problems, but “often infirmities” of other types.
We should seek the Lord in prayer for a touch of His power to relieve anything we have. But we should not continue to do this day after day with no results. For example if you have a migraine headache you should pray but if you still have the headache the next day you shouldn’t be waiting for supernatural healing as much as going to the medicine cabinet and reach for the aspirin. If you have an infection you can pray but if it doesn’t go away don’t just depend on prayer but on medicine and doctors. Remember Luke was physician, he didn’t give up his vocation to lay hands on people.
If healing is for everyone today then what of the future promises Rev. 21:4: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 22:2-4: ” In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”
The curse is gone in heaven we will have a pure devotion because sin will be removed, no more effects of sin will affect the human condition. This is what many want today, but God’s timing is later.
The Bibles prescription for our health is not just supernatural healing. God is not against medicine otherwise the Holy Spirit would not have called Luke “the beloved physician” (Col.4:14). When we look at the Old Testament. God has given us the way to live naturally healthy lives. As Christians logically we should enjoy better health in some ways than the non-Christians. By living right we would be preserved in some way from diseases of sexual transgressions and those from drugs. Stress should be less if lived on biblical principles of not being anxious for tomorrow. The cares and worries of life are what disturbs the mind affect circulation and blood pressure affect our digestion and having a restful sleep bring stress the solution is to cast all our cares on the Lord (1 Pt.5:7).We are told to have rest (Ps.37:1-11) we are to quarantine during illness (Lev.12:1-4 ) we are to have good sanitation habits (Deut.23:10-14).
For good health we are to exercise , eat food when we are hungry (Acts 27:34) be strong in faith to eat all things (Romans 14). Listening to Gods word being obedient gives us health to our flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22) Having a merry (cheerful) heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dies up the bones.” A good attitude being content which comes by trusting in the Lord (Proverbs 17:22) “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. (Proverbs 14:30). Proverbs 3:8 To fear the Lord and remove oneself from evil ,”It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Vs. 13-18 God tells us wisdom and understanding are more profitable than wealth, “length of days is in her right hand.”, “She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her.” V.22 “wisdom is life to your soul”. Also the joy of the Lord is our strength. “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life. Let thine heart keep my commandments, for length of days and long live and peace shall given to you.
Proverbs 4:22 God says about His words “they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people? `Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” There are three meanings for balm in Hebrew “to crack” as by pressure, “distillation” and “balsam. The balm was the word of God that pierces and break open our heart, distillation takes the impurities out of a substance separating the good and bad. The basalm was a aromatic ointment that brought healing. the false prophets prophesied lies so there was no true word for the people so that they could be healed. Contrary to the word of God when it is preached in truthfulness and purity.
Ps.107:20: “He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction’s.” Living contrary to Gods ways brings the fruit of sin in ones life.
In Ps. 38:3: “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin.” If the world abandoned sinful practices and started to live by Biblical principals we would see a decrease in numerous sicknesses. The current epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases would be made nil. There would be a end to much violence, accidents that cause deaths from drunk drivers, self destruction from illicit drug use. We would see a revolution in health but none of this will be found until the Millennium takes place and the earth is slowly restored from its devastation as Christ the king rules over mankind with his government. Despite the kingdom now theology of taking it by force we will not see this event until Christ is physically present.
Phil. 4:12″ “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. and in all things I have learned whether to be fed or to be hungry, whether living in plenty or in want I can do all things through him who gives me strength”. Contentment in whatever state of condition one is in shows maturity in ones spirituality. To condemn those who are not healed shows ones contempt against God and his sovereign will in our lives.
Is there healing in the atonement? Yes, but it is not a standard, promised to all believers for the present time. God is not obligated to heal like He is to save. Physical healing in this life is not guaranteed by Christ’s death but a provision of grace within the atonement itself. If healing were a guarantee than everyone who came to salvation would be physically healed at the same time. If you come to God for salvation with the sniffles, the next instant they would be gone; the same faith that saves should certainly heal at the same time. But there is no promise of this in the New Testament, like a promise that whosoever believes will be healed, as with salvation. If God heals our body today its by intervention of his mercy, because of grace, not through any obligation to what one perceives is written.
Again if you have enough faith for the promise of being healed from sickness why not claim the promise of never seeing physical death as well? Jesus did say “he who believes in him me will never die.” Death is the ultimate sickness, it is the final result of sin, didn’t Jesus conquer sin on the cross? “The wages of SIN is death.” Healing is not guaranteed in the atonement any more than there is a guarantee for someone who died to be resurrected by faith prior to the resurrection of all the saints.
All the promises of God are yea and Amen. But they are fulfilled in His time and His way. There is no carte blanc card for healing. If one wants to persist in this attitude they may as well go all the way and claim a new resurrected body and really get the blessing, permanently!