Man was made physical so that he could learn the spiritual principles regulating how to get along with others and live for eternity as a spirit. The life cycle of humanity begins with conception and progresses through the development of pregnancy until the person is ready to be physically born; this is a lesson that physical man is really the pregnancy stage of a spirit being with the physical being being the preparation growth stage before being changed [born again] as a spirit.
Pregnancy is only the earliest development of a human being and a physical child is born knowing nothing needing to continue to learn and grow, even so once we are changed to spirit it is only the birth – the beginning – of a new spirit being, and there will be even more learning and growing from that spiritual change forward.
The physical creation is an instructional allegory of the spiritual so that man can learn those things necessary for an eternal cooperative existence with God and all of God’s children.
The law, commandments, statutes, precepts and judgments of God define the way to eternal life with other spirits, and we are first made physical beings to learn these principles of life as spirit before being born as a spirit at our change.
Now, all physical things are subject to decay, death and corruption, and with man’s rebellion against God in the Garden, additional curses were placed on physical things to teach us that without God man will perish. This is all explained in the first lesson 101: The ultimate Moral Authority
All physical things including man are subject to decay, death and corruption, so that man will learn that lasting value lies only in the spiritual, which comes only by the gift of God. To become a spirit man must be called out of sin just as God called Israel out of Egypt, man must then journey out of sin as Israel journeyed out of Egypt. And then man must conquer all sin by the power of God to enter the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life changed to spirit, just as Israel had to conquer Canaan by the power of God to enter the physical promised land. If we are not called out if sin to Gd and if we do not follow the lead of God’s Spirit to live by every Word of God; physical human beings will decline and die.
The decline and physical death of a person is an allegory of the spiritual condition of those who are separated from God. As physical things die, so our potential spiritual life will also perish unless we are spiritually healed by God.
God gives some a Gift of physical healing from the Holy Spirit, using physical healing as an instructional allegory that God heals our spirit through forgiving sincerely repented sin and driving all sin which brings death out of a person who diligently follows God and the Holy Spirit of God to live by every Word of God.
God can give special gifts of healing, by the Holy Spirit.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
James reveals the correlation between sickness and the need for healing of the spirit when he informs us that the prayer of faith will bring forgiveness of sin.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Does this mean that every time we are sick or injured we have sinned? No, it means that because sin is in the world, sickness and injury are also in the world. The actions of the man in Eden brought sin and suffering into the world. We could be sick through our own sin – even a sin of ignorance – or we could easily be injured or become sick through the actions of others.
If we are repentant and seek healing, why are many not healed?
Because God in his wisdom is teaching us and working something out in us. Remember the sufferings of Job which wrought righteousness in him? God allows things to happen on the repentant and the unrepentant at this time in his wisdom for his own purposes.
Luke 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Why are there so few healing’s today? Healing is one sign of the godly and because of a general apostasy from any zeal to live by every Word of God, into idolizing men and corporate entities and following them to live contrary to God’s Word, and a lack of repentance and faith in God.
The FIRST sign of a man of God is that he teaches all people to live by every Word of God and he does so himself as an example for others. If he does this then other signs will also follow.
Jesus Christ healed as a sign that he was also the healer of the spirit in giving himself for our sins.
Sickness and Health are Used by God for Our Instruction
LIFE is a most precious gift from God. Each person comes into existence without any choice or effort on his or her part. Our lives were given because God set a process in motion and we did nothing to deserve the most fantastic, incredible, priceless privilege of becoming a living human being.
A physical human infant grows and becomes an adult with the incredible potential to ultimately go on to become a spirit being who will never die, if he or she repents of their sins and chooses to live God’s way. All those who are called to God and who respond positively, and remain faithful until their death, will be resurrected to live forever with God the Father and with Jesus Christ, along with all of our spiritual brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God.
Our life is given to us by an all loving Creator who desires that we use that gift wisely, to use the days, months and years that He has supplied to us to learn of all His ways – which bring life eternal – and to grow in spiritual understanding and to apply that understanding to all aspects of our lives.
As we experience the joys, hardships, and pain of living in this present world, God wants us to come to know that His ways are best, and that only His commandments bring true and lasting blessings, happiness, good health and eternal life.
God in His great plan, is calling a few now in this present age to learn this lesson early so that they can help others later, to come to the full knowledge of what it means to live life righteously and abundantly and to reach the full potential of all that God intends for us. We are called to make the best use of the short time we have been given in this physical life to bring glory to our heavenly Father who made us, so that some day we may be born into His Family as a spiritual son or daughter.
David spoke of the wondrous works of God in creating him in his mother’s womb. He had come to the realization of the unsurpassed knowledge and wisdom of God in His creating of such complex physical systems that come together to form a human being in the hidden confines of their mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Among the many amazing properties and functions of the human body is the miraculous ability to heal itself when subjected to disease or injury. God in His mercy and wisdom has built healing mechanisms into the human body that are beyond even the most brilliant scientists and medical doctors’ understanding of their workings.
Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
The human body today lasts on the average of 70 to 80 years and during that time it must be taken care of and maintained and even then at some point the body begins to wear out and deteriorate and eventually die.
Just like all of the physical creation, the human body is subject to vanity[decay]. All physical things on earth are transitory and are subject to deterioration, decay and death, including these temporary physical human bodies of ours.
Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
The Greek word for “vanity” is mataiotés and means futility, decay, transientness . (Strong’s # 3153)
Another passage that confirms this recognition of this temporariness of creation is in Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
In Hebrews 1:10-12 Paul compares the permanence of God with the transience of His physical creation. These verses describe in general terms the law of physics that states that all physical things are in the process of breaking down and deteriorating and must be maintained to hold back the relentless process of becoming more disordered as time goes by.
This principle (or law of physics) that God built into all of physical creation including the human body, is called the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. Here is a somewhat broad definition I found online.
“Thermodynamics: the study of energy; a branch of physics which studies the efficiency of energy transfer and exchange.
The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics describes basic principles familiar in everyday life. It is partially a universal law of decay; the ultimate cause of why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time.
Material things are not eternal. Everything physical changes, decays and breaks down eventually. Nothing stays as fresh as the day it was made; clothing becomes faded, threadbare, and ultimately returns to dust. Everything ages and wears out. Even death is a manifestation of this law. The effects of the 2nd Law are all around, touching everything in the physical universe.
To understand this concept all we have to do is view what is happening all about us in the natural world. This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself, it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never use it, it becomes dusty and musty and needs work to keep it clean. It takes effort and work to maintain houses, machinery, lawns and landscaping, our cars, and even our own bodies to keep them in perfect working order.
If we do not put forth the effort to take good care of our households and possessions they go into disarray and break down; all we have to do is to do nothing, take the easy route and everything will quickly deteriorate, collapse, get dirty, get worn out, all by itself; and that is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is all about.
Isaiah speaking on behalf of God, expounded upon this concept as well, comparing physical transitory things with those things that are permanent and lasting which is righteousness, spiritual things and God’s salvation.
Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
God built decay and deterioration right into His physical creation and we have to work around this law and deal with it in everything that we have during this present physical age including our own bodies.
Everything breaks down into a less useful, less beautiful, less productive, and less organized state unless it is maintained. This is a constant factor in all of God’s material creation. Even relationships will deteriorate if effort is not expended to maintain them. This state of constant deterioration is God’s will for us at this present time in order to teach us spiritual principles and to instill perseverance and the work ethic within His children.
God wants workers and problem-solvers in their approach to life, not children that are lazy or slothful. From the very beginning God gave Adam certain instructions for what he was to do with his life; and by extension to Eve as well.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
To be fruitful, to multiply and to replenish; means man was to enhance, beatify, complete, increase and fill up the earth. God is instructing all humanity in the persons of the first two people. Adam and Eve were to start with the garden and from there continue to enhance and fill up the whole earth.
Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Adam and Eve were to dress the garden meaning to build up and beautify it; cultivating and embellishing it to make it even more beautiful and productive from the original state that God had created it. The Hebrew word for “dress” is abad (Strong’s #5647). To dress means to cultivate or to work in service of. They were to cultivate, meaning to develop, improve, enrich, enhance.
They were also to “keep” the garden which means to “to hedge about”. The Hebrew word for “keep” is shamar (Strong’s #8104). It essentially means: beware, be circumspect, take heed to self, keeper, self, mark, look narrowly, observe, to protect, guard, or maintain from deterioration. It also means to reserve, save, attend to, wait (for), watch(-man). (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
If we do not dress and keep the things that God has given us, they deteriorate and become wasted; including our bodies.
Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster [him that destroys].
Proverbs 24:30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 24:31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 24:32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 24:33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 24:34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
God says that if we do not work and if we let things go; we are the same as a slothful person and even a destroyer! What does all this mean? God created Adam and Eve in His own image and since God is a worker, a keeper, a creator, He created mankind to be diligent responsible workers as well.
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
And since we are to walk as Jesus walked, and to follow Him as He obeys His Father, we too are to be about God the Father’s business, being involved in the same kind of work that the Father and Son are about , creating, enhancing, developing, sustaining, and maintaining the physical realm and also in the realm of our spiritual lives.
Everyone who is alive and all who have ever lived, have been given the possession that we call LIFE. In the light of the passages in Genesis that tell us “to dress and to keep” and “to replenish and be fruitful” we see that everybody has the responsibility toward God (since God is the GIVER of that life) to dress and keep, cultivate or embellish, protect and guard this possession. That possession is more than physical property; it is our own physical lives and spiritual condition as well. The life that we have been given must be cared for and whether we know it or not, God has made each person a steward over his own life and is also a steward in helping others. (See Genesis 4:9)
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Spiritually-minded men and women take care of physical things and work hard at improving their spiritual condition.
God gave mankind dominion over the earth and all the living creatures and we are to care for those things. God expects us and commands us be workers and to do what it takes to be successful in the responsibilities that He has given to us. If we neglect to maintain the things that God has put into our care, we in essence, become destroyers of those things for they will come to ruin.
It is the same with our spiritual responsibilities as well as our physical duties. We are to take care of our spiritual well-being, which includes the care and upkeep of our spiritual condition as much as caring for our physical bodies. God expects us to be good stewards of our spiritual gifts and condition, maintaining, building and growing in the nature of God, just as we are to be good stewards of our physical bodies and the physical things placed in our care.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
When it comes to our health and seeking healing of our bodies when they do become diseased or broken we are to apply the same diligent care as we would to any other valuable possession, for God expects us to approach our physical body as if it were a place where God could abide. For in truth God abides spiritually in his called out and we are not to do anything that defiles, God’s House.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
We are to glorify God in whatever we do, physically or spiritually. We are to diligently root out spiritual corruption [false ways and compromise with God’s Word], and we are to care for our physical bodies because the flesh is the abode of the spirit.
For instance, smoking cigarettes is a physical action that affects physical health but since we all know what smoking does to the body and how even second hand smoke can harm those in our midst, smoking in reality breaks the sixth commandment for it is self-damaging since those who smoke are damaging their own physical bodies and polluting the temple of God, they are sinning against those around them by imposing the destruction of health on others who have to inhale the harmful fumes.
Some things are clearly both spiritually and physically corrosive to our body like the sin of sexual immorality. It damages the spirit but also damages the body with all the possible physical consequences that come from such behavior, on top of the physiological damage is emotional suffering; and the spiritual damage of learning habitual disloyalty instead of the intended lesson of absolute loyalty.
We are to glorify God in both our spirit and in our bodies for they belong to God.
1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
Just as Adam and Eve were commanded to work to enhance and maintain the garden of Eden, the life we have been given is a type of the garden of Eden, for it was given to us by God and we are to be good stewards of all that God has placed in our possession, We are to dress and to keep [guard] both aspects of our lives, the spiritual and the physical where God’s Holy Spirit dwells.
It is our physical bodies which enable us to hear Gods’ Word, to study and learn and then apply what we learn to every aspect of our lives. If we damage or cut short our lives through harmful habits or neglect, then we forfeit the opportunity to continue to live and learn from life’s experiences. And we also cut short the work we could have otherwise accomplished in our personal growth and spiritual development; and in helping others to learn about God’s truth.
Our brains, eyes, hands, and feet enable us to do various kinds of work; they act as tools that God has given to us to not only take care of our own work but to further God’s work in the world. We have been made stewards of God’s work on earth while we are alive and it behooves us to take the best care of our physical bodies.
God has given us His precious truth in these earthen vessels and we are to be wise stewards, helping others to come to that same truth and not only that, but to use our lives to be good examples to the world as spiritual salt and light in it. Most will not appreciate that we are being godly examples at this time, but we are planting the seeds for the future when many of the people will remember what we stood for and those seeds will then germinate when it is their turn to be called.
If we bring sickness and early death on ourselves because of our own negligence, we are not providing the world with proper examples. It is important then to take good care of our physical and spiritual health.
There are many factors that come into play that we as individuals have to take into consideration when it comes to taking care of our health. There are limits as to what each of us can do, for we do not live in a perfect world yet, and we have to deal with perhaps lack of finances, lack of knowledge, the fact that we are living surrounded with pollution. We may have various allergies, sensitivities, physical weaknesses, and even poor genetics in certain areas; but God expects us to do the best we can and to grow and develop in obtaining the necessary knowledge to better our lives and the lives of our family members and to improve our overall health.
But what if in spite of our best efforts to take good care of our health; sicknesses and disability does come upon us? These things inevitably happen to us because of the deterioration that happens to all material things.
Sickness, came upon the earth as the result of sin, but often we can become sick or injured through things that are not our own personal fault.
Even though we may be living righteously and seek to please God with all of our hearts, God created our physical bodies vulnerable to the harmful elements in this world: diseases, physical weaknesses, chronic health conditions, injuries from accidents, and even inherited health problems like the man that the disciples pointed out who had been blind from birth (John 9:19).
Sicknesses, disease, injuries and even death are all a part of this physical life and it has been because of sin that this curse entered the world. This present evil age we live in is a preparation ground for mankind, intended to teach us certain hard lessons: that the way of Satan produces misery, pain, destruction, and every evil thing. This world is also a proving ground to train those whom God is calling; and serves to mold and fashion us into the kind of godly persons God can use in His future Kingdom.
Deuteronomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
We suffer trials in this life, including the trials of pain and suffering caused by disease and injury, to teach us that the physical things of this world are temporary; they should not be the most important things that we seek after, but rather we are to seek to live by every Word of God! That is what REAL LIFE is all about and it is important that we use our lives to grow in the very nature of God.
God expects us to do our best to prevent illnesses and accidents, but He often allows them to come upon us for reasons only He may know, to teach us specific lessons that He wants us to learn.
Illnesses and disabilities can be useful tools in God’s hands to bring about correction, to build character, to demonstrate God’s great power through divine intervention and to grow in faith. Sometimes we can be examples for others of what it means to have faith when they see our patience and our deep abiding trust in God even during the most severe trials or sickness.
We live in an imperfect world that is full of trials, pain, sickness and death, and which serves to make us to yearn for God’s Kingdom and for the perfection of eternal life when there will be no more pain and death. The trials of life help us to set our minds on the spiritual things of God rather on the temporal pleasures of this world.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
When we witness all the suffering and the various diseases that plague mankind in the world, and we understand that all of this evil came because of Satan enticing man into sin, we long for God’s Kingdom to come and we are more apt to be motivated to work toward Christ’s coming, knowing that a better world is coming, not just for ourselves, but eventually for everyone that accepts God’s offer to turn to Him.
When we ourselves become ill and are hurting, it can humble us from thinking that we are physically strong and invincible and that it is we ourselves that are in control of our lives. When we suffer, we realize what others are going through and we gain empathy for those who are sick. Just as Jesus learned through suffering, we also must learn through suffering to have mercy for others just as God has been merciful to us.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Paul tells us that we are to comfort others just as our Father has comforted us and in this way we are becoming more like our Father when we do for others as He does for us.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
Sometimes God uses sicknesses to bring men to seek God to find relief from their suffering and if God does heal them of their disease, they then come to see that it was only God that healed them and He THEN becomes real to them.
God can use illnesses to call people to Himself as when Naaman the leper was finally humbled and was willing to do as God had told him; he was healed and he came to the realization that God is the Creator God of the Universe and that there is no other.
2 Kings 5:15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. (Please see 2 Kings 5 to read the whole story of Naaman)
Faith in God to Heal
As the people of God, what are we to do then when our body breaks down as a result of an illness or perhaps it has become injured in some way? God says and demonstrates in many places of the Bible that He is the God that heals us and that He heals ALL of our diseases. Most of us are very familiar with the following Scriptures:
Exodus 15:26 And said, 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.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
In the New Testament, we are told very clearly what we are to do, and that is to look to God for our healing. The apostle James instructs us that we are to go to the elders of the Ekklesia to receive prayer and anointing for our sicknesses. It is not the oil that heals us, the oil is only a symbol of the Holy Spirit but rather it is God that heals us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 5:16 Confess your faults one to another [this does not mean to confess every fault to every person, it mean to confess to those who your have offended], and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Healing is a gift from God and He gives some of His children the gift of healing through His spiritual gifts. We know that Jesus had this gift in abundance along with the apostles, Stephen, and the apostle Paul, who all had the gift of healing.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
We who believe the Bible and live by the whole Word of God, have faith that God is powerful enough to instantly and supernaturally heal us of all of our diseases.
Why is it that we are not healed as we read of others in the Bible who were healed in an instant, one woman at even the touch of the hem of Christ’s garment or like others were healed by just His word?
We do know that God does sometimes heal people instantly and it can be a means of increasing the faith of those who are healed and of those who witness the healing.
But could it be that God sometimes wants to use the sicknesses and trials we go through to achieve other things that may be even more valuable than instant healing would be?
If we were to be instantly healed every time we came down with an illness or when we were injured, would that build our faith as much as if we had to wait on God? What if an illness is brought on by neglect of taking care of our body and not living according to God’s laws of health?
Would we be motivated to seek out the knowledge to learn more of what it takes to stay well and then make efforts to be more disciplined and also to be a proper example of healthy, righteous living for others if we were always instantly healed?
There may be many reasons why God does not heal as quickly as we would like to be healed. God keeps all of His promises so we know that if God says He will heal all of our diseases, and if we know that God cannot lie we believe that He will do as He has promised.
The truth is that we just don’t know WHEN He will heal our diseases; if it will be in this lifetime or if we will have to wait; then the resurrection. If we are one of God and we attain to the resurrection to spirit; that is when God will completely and totally fulfill His promise to heal our bodies, for we will be given a new spiritual body that can never die or suffer from the diseases of this life.
That is a sure thing and something we can look forward to if we remain faithful to God’s way of living.
But while we are still in these frail bodies what can we do if the physical healing doesn’t come right away? What is one’s personal responsibility when his body breaks down due to sickness, injury, a physical attack or the pollution and poisoning of the earth around us, or simply the decay of aging?
If we believe in God’s promise to heal we will wait for that healing to occur but what is our responsibility while we are waiting?
At the same time, should our faith in God’s promise to heal, prevent us from doing anything to help ourselves in the healing process?
Consider whether the healing of the body is any different from any other problem that might come into our life in terms of faith, responsibility, and works. If we have faith that God heals, does that promise of healing relieve us of the responsibility of doing something to remove what is causing the illness and then take steps to make ourselves well?
To show this question on a spiritual plain, we can ask another question in regard to this concept of doing what we can to facilitate our own healing. Are we to do anything on our part to help facilitate our spiritual healing?
If we are sick spiritually, are we to do anything to remove what is causing the spiritual sickness? Are we not told to examine ourselves to see if we are really walking according to all of God’s commandments? We are to sincerely repent with fasting’s and prayers to heal our spiritual condition.
We are to be like David who prayed to God to show him if there was any wicked thing in him; and if God shows any sin in us we are to cleanse ourselves of the sin and get rid of it so we can be spiritually whole again.
2 Corinthians 13:55 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted [fast], and mourn, and weep [repent]: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
The following verse is a general principle for there may be other factors involved but often this can be applied when we find ourselves in trouble at times such as sickness. It is the precept of: “we reap what we sow” and is in conjunction with having common sense when it comes to the troubles that beset us, if indeed there is a cause that is bringing on those troubles, whether it is sin in our life, or it is something physical that is causing the problem, like a vitamin or mineral deficiency or perhaps an allergen, overdoing something like over eating or drinking, lack of proper exercise etc., etc.
Proverbs 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
Just like sin that causes spiritual sickness and we must root out the sin that is causing it; we must root out the whatever may be causing our physical sickness if we can, and we must most certainly pray to God that he would quickly reveal what he is trying to teach us through the trial..
Our modern day health care profession tends to want to only treat the symptoms of our diseases so many people learn to depend on the medical system and refuses to take any responsibility for their own health. When something breaks down they feel that all they have to do is to just take a drug or go through a medical treatment that does nothing to treat the cause, but rather seeks to eliminate the symptoms.
Therefore if the symptoms are relieved, patients can continue to practice their unhealthy lifestyle with no consequences (at least in their minds). But then very often they have to deal with the side effects of the drug and then the doctors prescribe other drugs to counteract with the side effects of the first drug. It is a never ending dilemma in these cases and the underlying problem is never really addressed.
This is not the way God wants us to deal with our problems, whether they are spiritual or physical; and this is not the way God deals with any problem. God’s way is to root out the problem by removing the cause and God wants us to overcome whatever is causing the problem. In light of these things God’s promise to heal spiritually or physically does not relieve us of the responsibility of working to remove the cause of any spiritual or physical illness we might have.
When put in this way the answer becomes fairly obvious. We are responsible for taking steps to heal our body, but at the same time having faith in God’s promises to heal.
How far does our responsibility go?
The answer is the same as it is for our spiritual illnesses, we are to do whatever we can do!
We are to pray to God first, ask Him to guide us and then do our very best to seek godly wisdom in how to best treat our physical problems. In this way we develop character, grow in wisdom, and we are learning how to be problem-solvers at the same time. It is the same that we would do with any kind of problem in life.
If we need money to buy food and pay bills, we pray for God to provide and then stay at home and wait for the money to arrive, or do we then we go out and with God’s help do what we can to lawfully procure the funds in order to meet those needs?
If we have prayed and we are looking for God to provide for us, then we believe that God will guide us to do what we need to do. to fulfill our part, all the while trusting Him.
If we pray that God will provide food and then do nothing; will God provide our requests? Why should God give us everything with absolutely no effort by ourselves to care for our own needs? This applies not only to food, shelter and clothing, but to all activities including taking care of our health.
We saw earlier in this article that in Deuteronomy 8:2-3 that there are times when God deliberately makes us go hungry, or in other words allows difficult trials in our life for us to have to deal with including sickness, and that these trials are like assignments given to us to teach us that man does not live by physical things only, but by every word of God. In other words, these trials (or assignments) are, among other things, to teach us through experience, to trust our Creator and to grow to have even more faith.
Trials in our life require spiritual and physical works to deal with a particular problem, seeking solutions but always in combination with faith in God and His promises. (James 2:14-26)
The Bible records the example of the ancient Israelites when they were delivered from Egypt to teach us about faith and works, and is an allegory of what all God’s people are to do when facing challenges.
God promised to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt and to bring them to the Promised Land, but they had to do the actual work of walking out of Egypt and they had to walk through the wilderness in order to arrive at the land of Canaan. But what if they had just believed in their minds and did nothing, while waiting for God to keep His promise, what if they had said that they believed they would be protected if they put blood on their door posts, and then did nothing? Would they have been delivered? No, of course not!
The work of getting out of Egypt and making it to the physical Promised Land was difficult burdensome work with lots of uncertain risks involved. When Pharaoh and his army came after the Israelites, they had to trust and do as God had told them to by Moses and venture out into the path between huge walls of rising waters on either side. How frightening that must have been for them, not knowing for sure if the waters would come cascading down on them at any minute but they went through anyway demonstrating the works of faith.
What happened to the Israelites and what they had to do in order for God to keep His promise to them, is a metaphor of the kind of walk (or works) that the called-out have to do in order to become prepared and qualified to be kings and priests in the Kingdom of God.
The children of Israel had to do certain things as part of their walk with God toward the Promised Land and it was not easy at all; and subsequently all those called to be children of God are required to do works of faith in order to receive God’s promises as well.
We know that God can heal supernaturally in an instant, but when that does not happen, it perhaps requires even more faith to know that God still loves us, that He is still working on our behalf and that He knows what is best for us. G
God through Paul assures us that if we love God, and loving God means that we are keeping all of His commandments, then God will make everything work together for good. This verse in Romans is very comforting to God’s people who are going through severe trials when there just does not seem to be anything good coming from it…..at the time.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
When our bodies break down and we are in need of healing, that is no different from any other problem that we may have in life. God is involved in our lives and He is with us as we walk toward the Kingdom of God, just as He was with the children of Israel on their walk to the Promised Land.
God promises that He will heal all of our diseases (Psalm 103:3) but that does not relieve us from working to restore our bodies back to good health when we become ill.
We are to do our best to do whatever is required but at the same time trusting God as we venture forth. We are to do the works that are necessary to attain to our own salvation knowing all the while that God is in us and that He is also working right along with us helping us to do those things which please Him.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
This verse is about spiritual salvation but the same principle applies when it comes to physical needs, at least for the time that we are in these physical bodies. We are to work out all of our problems with fear and trembling, at the same time knowing that God is working in partnership with us to guide us to do whatever it takes to become whole again and trusting in His power to heal us according as to how and when He sees fit.
Misunderstanding of Divine Healing
In the past we just did not fully understand these things and many of us were misguided by our leaders in what it means to trust God for healing.
Does having faith in God really mean that we are to do nothing to help ourselves (or that we could do some things but not others).
Brethren, this just is not true. These misconceptions may be so ingrained in our way of thinking and believing, that it is still hard for us to accept that it is perfectly okay to do whatever we can to facilitate the healing process; doing so in faith, rather than it being contrary to faith.
But it is not wrong, either, to facilitate healing through various means if God does not heal us instantly and there are many examples of God’s faithful doing just that (or advocating that) in the Bible as well.
We think of Hezekiah who was a righteous king that beseeched God through prayer in regard to his health condition and also sought out a prophet of God. He than accepted Isaiah’s counsel and followed through in doing what Isaiah told him to do.
2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 20:3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. 20:4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
The use of figs to draw poison out of the body was applied as a kind of poultice to the boil which was the cause of Hezekiah’s illness. This was a type of medical procedure of that day and the application was not forbidden by God, but rather He inspired Isaiah to tell Hezekiah what he was to do.
Hezekiah showed faith in obeying God’s word through Isaiah and then he trusted that God would heal him. This shows to us that God is not against people doing something physical to help facilitate their own healing. Hezekiah was a good example of seeking God’s help and guidance first, and then doing what he could to help the situation.
In Jeremiah 8 we read of Jeremiah chastising the people of Judah for their sins and he compares by using a metaphor in this passage illustrating how the people refused to go to God for their [spiritual] healing, in comparison to refusing to use a balm and going to a physician to help heal themselves of physical ailments.
Jeremiah is admonishing the people to do something to help themselves for they were spiritually sick and were doing nothing to seek their healing.
The remedy for our spiritual sickness even today is, of course, to sincerely repent and return to God; and Jeremiah is using the analogy of not going to the physician and applying the balm of Gilead. (Gilead was well known for producing a kind of medicinal ointment for the treatment of sores and infections.)
Further, Jeremiah then tells them that if they were physically sick they would go to a physician to get some advise and counsel on how to heal their physical wounds, just as they refused to go to God to receive counsel and correction to heal them of their sick spiritual condition. A lesson for us today regarding our own sick spiritual condition.
If it were wrong for God’s people to seek help to heal themselves physically, then Jeremiah would have been using a false premise here to make his point. Jeremiah is using parallelism in this verse, saying that it is God’s will to do one thing in both the physical and spiritual senses.
It is the same premise, and if either one is the correct approach then the other one is the correct approach. From this, also, we can derive that it is not wrong use medicinal remedies, which balm represents, nor is it wrong to seek help and counsel from a physician.
Jeremiah 8:19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 8:21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
In the New Testament we read of the beloved physician, Luke. That is what God inspired Paul to write of him. Apparently Luke did not change from being a physician after he was called but presumably he continued his practice since was still being called by his title.
Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Jesus, Himself, used a metaphor illustrating that sinners are in need of repentance just the same as sick people are in need of a physician, implying the same kind of idea that Jeremiah had expressed.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
So, again, we see that to be a doctor and/or going to a doctor does not rule out faith in God. If it did, God would have told us so, rather than using metaphoric doctors for examples of doing what it takes to be healed.
We have the example of the Good Samaritan as well. In this parable Jesus teaches us how we are to love our neighbor. We are to care for them when they need help including the kind of help that addresses their wounds and sicknesses. We are to do whatever we can to treat those who are suffering and to make sure that they receive the care necessary to bring about healing.
Here, again, we apply the principle laid out in James that we are to demonstrate our faith by what we do. What if the good Samaritan just prayed a prayer over him and told him to just have faith that God would heal him with a miracle? Jesus described in this parable how the Samaritan bound up the beaten man’s wounds and then poured on wine and oil (things that were used as medicines of their day) to facilitate his healing.
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Jesus actually commanded us to be merciful to others and to help the sick and injured with the command “Go, and do thou likewise.” There are many more examples but it would take up too much space to go into all of them but from these few examples we can see that God is in fact our GREAT PHYSICIAN and that he will either heal us by a miracle or by natural processes which he set in place. When we are not healed right away, He expects us to seek out good counsel and then to do what it takes to get well, as wise stewards of the physical bodies that He has given to us.
In the beginning God created all things, and all physical things were created subject to vanity [decay].
Romans 8:20 For the creature [physical creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 8:21 Because the creature [the whole physical creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [vanity, decay, destruction] into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
This scripture defines the second law of thermodynamics hundreds of years before modern science came up their explanation of physical things. A thousand years before Paul Solomon told us the same thing; the lesson of the book of Ecclesiastes being the transitory nature of physical things.
All physical things were created subject to a continual process of degrading until all physical things without outside intervention will ultimately perish.
My friends that includes US! We are physical and subject to sickness, injury, decline, aging and DEATH! We were MADE THAT WAY!
We were made that way for a purpose! We were made that way IN HOPE that we might learn during our physical lives to seek our and love the whole Word of God which reveals they way to live and get along together for all eternity so that God could give us His Gift or eternal life! In this physical life we are developing embryonic children of God!
We were made flesh so that could make our mistakes and LEARN from our mistakes; so that people could learn, as a young child learns to talk and walk and then grows up learning many things.
If we were created powerful spirits we could cause immense destruction as we make our own mistakes, therefore God created us physical so that we could make our own mistakes and learn from them that all things apart from God’s ways are meaningless vanity bringing suffering and destruction.
Then after we have finally had enough of the suffering that our own ways contrary to God bring, we will begin to hunger and thirst after the Word of our God.
The first cause of our suffering, but not the only one; is our own sins and the sins of others
We war and main and kill one another; we pollute the earth, air and water; we bully each other, persecute and make others suffer, and we try to force our own ways on others.
Then we seek to fulfill our lusts with things that engender to our own destruction; like smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, homosexuality, whore mongering and refusing the instructions of the God who made us and has countless millions of years more experience, knowledge and wisdom that all mankind put together.
Yes, our many great mistakes and sins are the cause of unimaginable suffering in the family of man. And as we suffer at each other’s hands, we are learning that the way of selfishness, or organizational or national unity, is not the way to peace, harmony or lasting life.
Our sins are a major cause of our sufferings, and what is sin but living contrary to the way of God which is the way to peace?
The second reason for sickness is the natural decay that God built into the physical creation including mankind
This to restrict the time of our sufferings in the flesh. In the beginning man lived close to a thousand years, and then after the flood the lifetimes of men were drastically reduced until during the days of Moses the lifetime of mankind was set at 70 -80 years.
Numbers 32:10 And the Lord‘S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, 32:11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:
32:12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the Lord. 32:13 And the Lord‘S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the Lord, was consumed.
If we add forty years to the twenty years we get sixty years for that generation of Israel. Now some in Israel may have already been sixty when this began, but no one who was 21 at the time would live more than another forty years or a total of sixty years.
Later David was inspired to reveal that man was to be given seventy or eighty years of life. However our many sins have often reduced that significantly.
The third reason for sickness and injury is: Chance and Circumstance
Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.In these comments Jesus says that chance and circumstance happen to all people; he then adds the oft misunderstood statement that we shall all likewise perish if we do not repent. This does not mean that chance and circumstance will not affect the repentant in this physical life; it means that all physical people will perish, but if they sincerely repent they may receive the gift of the resurrection to spirit and eternal life. All people either die young or age as their bodies break down. All our physical bodies will come to an end, and only the eternal spiritual things will remain.
The fourth reason for sickness is to teach us the power of God
When we see the power of God demonstrated in acts of physical healing, we learn that God has the power to heal us spiritual as well. The same is true of the resurrection of the dead by Christ and others; if we see God resurrect the dead back to physical life, we know that he also has power to resurrect us to spirit. Physical healing’s and resurrections are allegories of spiritual healing and a resurrection to spirit.
Some suffer to show forth the glory and power of God. John, 9, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? And Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Others suffer [like Paul] that God might do a work through them and that the people might know that it is God doing the work and not the person himself; so that no flesh might glorify himself.
The fifth reason for sickness is as a means to teach us what God wants us to learn and to mold us as God sees fit
God is the Master Potter molding us into the vessels that he intends for each of us, and sometimes that molding includes things that must be suffered to accomplish God’s will.
As fasting is a means of voluntarily seeking God; sickness and injury tend to HUMBLE our pride and force us to spend time with God. Indeed fasting is often called “Afflicting the body” like sickness afflicts us.
When God is working with the proud he humbles them as he humbled Job, by removing the source of their pride and afflicting the body. This same thing will happen to today’s pridefull leaders and elders in the tribulation; like Job all they have will be taken away and they will be afflicted until their pride has been humbled.
The first lesson is humility, followed by understanding and empathy with the sufferings of others. In addition sickness gives us the time to think on the things of God if we have been neglectful. Sickness especially when healing is delayed teaches us patience, endurance and the faith to wait on God.
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation [including sickness] worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope [faith]:
While it is absolutely true that sickness and injury often come because of our sins or the sins of others; that is not the only cause of physical afflictions.
Those who say that all sickness is the result of personal sin, are very wrong; and are wrongly oversimplifying a very complex subject with many facets and causes.
The Gift of Healing
Healing is a gift of God’s Spirit to certain people. Like the other gifts of the Spirit; not everyone has the gift of ability to heal by the power of God.
There are many different gifts of God’s Spirit which are given to various different individuals; Why? For the obvious purpose of teaching the Ekklesia to cooperate and work together for the good of the whole body of the espoused bide!
As each person is united in mind and deeds with Christ and God the Father, they collectively are united with God. Then as each person receives his gift from God, and contributes to the edifying of the whole body of the bride; the various members of the bride learn to work together and all being in unity with God and working together, there is a unity of the brotherhood!
This is how God unites his bride! Corporate organizational unity apart from unity with God is anathema to Christ!
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of [godly] wisdom; to another [greater understanding of the Word of God to help others also grow in understanding] the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 12:9 To another [extra] faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues [ability in various languages]; to another the interpretation of tongues: 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he [God] will.
We all know that Jesus healed very many and even raised the dead. That also being an instructional allegory that all who die in Christ shall likewise be healed from physical existence and raised up to eternal life in spirit.
Please visit our Gospels studies to study the life and works of Christ visit our Gospels section.
Jesus had the gift of healing and he gave that gift to the twelve
Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Then Jesus gave the same power to the seventy that he sent out:
Luke 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Later Jesus gave the 11 his final instructions long with power:
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
We see that there is a gift of God’s Spirit of healing. It is God that heals however he does give certain people a gift that if they ask God to heal, God will heal. The mechanics of this are revealed in John 20:22 where Jesus gives his disciples the power to forgive sins in his name.
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
It is self evident that we are not to forgive sins which have not been sincerely repented of, but rather this forgiving of sins is for the sincerely repentant that resolve to sin no more, and this authority to forgive sins, manifests itself in the administration of baptism and anointing with oil, including the elder’s prayers for the sick; neither of which are to be done for the unrepentant.
The first instruction of James is that we pray [the prayer of sincere repentance] when we are afflicted, and then to call for the elders to anoint us.
God’s instructions to the sick: James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted [includes sickness] ? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5 is generally misunderstood. James does not say that a person will be immediately physically healed; he said that IF there are sins they will be forgiven and that the person will be raised up [in the resurrection].
In this passage James first tells the afflicted to pray v 13 then in v 16 he says to confess your faults to one another. It is important to understand what is meant by these two interrelated instructions. First we are to pray, but pray for what? When we are afflicted by any trial including health issues we are to pray:
1. That God will make clear to us what we are to learn from the situation.
2. That God will show us where we are wrong and will help us to forgive others, and that God will be merciful to and forgive us.
3. That God will provide us a way of deliverance and show us how to handle the situation.
Now we come to the instruction in v 16 to confess our faults to one another. This does not mean to stand up and confess before a priest or before the congregation; rather it is an encouragement to obey the instructions of Christ in Matthew 18 and go to the one we have offended or who has offended us, to forgive and do our very best to work the situation out.
Jesus even gives priority to reconciling with others even over, coming before God. Mat 5:22 the reason being that we will be accepted and forgiven by God only as we forgive others.
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the [judgment] council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
It is because we will be forgiven only as we forgive others that James echoes the instructions of Christ to reconcile with our adversaries, and that if we are afflicted and we have ought against another, that we go to them and confess our fault to the person we are at odds with. God knows all and we are to confess even to a secret sin against our neighbor that he may have no knowledge of.
The first step in our deliverance from affliction is to go to those we have sinned against, or who have sinned against us, and confess our sins to one another and forgive and reconcile; and along with that we are to repent before God in prayer.
One may ask “what if I am blameless and he is the one who sinned against me?” I reply “Have you harbored hate in your heart over the offense? Have you failed to try to reconcile?” Then you are guilty of sin. How do you know that the matter was not just a misunderstanding or that you have unwittingly done something to provoke the offense; unless you communicate and try for a resolution?
The first point to healing is to repent of our own faults before God and those we have sinned against, even if our offense is to harbor a grudge or some animosity; and to ask Go d to help you to learn what God wants you to learn from the situation.
Beyond this, if we suffer from persecutions, we are to forgive our persecutors and those who hate us, as Jesus and Stephen did; leaving the matters in the Most Capable Hands of God the Righteous Judge.
The second point is to ask God to work everything our for the best for all concerned. It is very important to understand that those who hate us and hate this way now, have been deceived and think they are doing God a service. We are to repent for our own faults before God, and that may be that we did not handle a situation in a proper and godly manner, and we are to pray for our enemies that may be saved.
When we pray for healing or anything else, God will not hear us if we are compromising with His Word. Therefore the first order of business to make sure we are right with God and man according to the whole Word of God. We are to live by every Word of God Mat 4:4 and we must continually grow in the knowledge of the Word of God to learn it and to keep it, sincerely repenting of all error.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
We must have faith that God hears us and will heal us in God’s own good time; which may be immediately or at the resurrection. We must TRUST the wisdom of God in all things, and understand that everything that happens to us is for the purpose of perfecting us in godliness.
If God determines that we endure for a time, then we are to patiently endure, growing in humility, faith, patience, mercy for others and godliness.
There is no promise from God that his faithful will live a life free from affliction; rather we are promised the opposite. The Master Potter is working hard at molding us into the people he wants us to be, guiding and training us as a loving father for our own good, and that sometimes means painful correction.
The many afflictions, including sickness like Job suffered, of the children of God in this physical life, are tools in the hands of a loving God.
Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
WHY are there no apparent people with the gift of healing in the Ekklesia today? Because the vast majority have quenched God ‘s Spirit by exalting the false traditions of men and have rejected any zeal to keep the whole Word of God in favor of their own false traditions and idols of men.
There is not enough of God’s Spirit left in us to receive God’s gifts; our light of godliness is flickering out and is almost gone, as we like the ten virgins spiritually slumber on. We will not listen to God therefore he does not listen to us.
The call is now going out to: Awake, Arise and acquire the oil of godliness before we must seek it in great distress.
1. God heals, yet HE will give the gift of healing to some of those who are faithful to him, for the edifying of the whole bride.
2. There is no promise of physical healing or of eternal life as physical beings; the promise of healing is a promise of spiritual healing and eternal life as a spirit. Physical healing if given is an allegory of God healing our spirit.
3. Sickness and injury are used by God as an instructional tool to make us into the people that God wants us to be. We are to seek God with all our hearts; confess our sins and seek reconciliation with our brothers, and to diligently ask God and to search the scriptures to learn the lessons that God is teaching us; and to patiently accept [like Paul] whatever answer God gives in terms of immediate physical healing.
4. Nevertheless we are to do our very best to take care of the physical bodies that God has given us.
5. We are to go to the true godly elders and ask for their prayers; yet today in terms of organizationally ordained persons, true godly elders are extremely rare.
The true elders of God are those persons who are older in the faith and have proved their zeal and faithfulness to live by every Word of God; not men ordained because they have talent and are loyal to some person or organization.
Yes Almighty God can heal the flesh and God does give some of his servants a special gift to heal the flesh, and when he odes so he is demonstrating that he will also heal the spirit from sin and deliver us from death into eternal life if we are faithful to Him.