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Healing—the Bible Truth

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Healing—the Bible Truth

God establishes Himself as our Healer in many plain verses throughout Scripture. His intention has always been that people enjoy a radiant, abundant life.

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Does God still heal today? Did this kind of miraculous intervention end with Christ and the apostles? Is God now working through medical science? Should Christians ever seek doctors? If so, when—under what circumstances? What about public “faith healers”? I have prayed over many who were sick and have seen powerful miracles of instant healing on numerous occasions. Others were not healed. Why?

Why must people be sick? Why do so many move from illness to illness and doctor to doctor seeking remedies, cures and relief from a host of ailments, often spanning a lifetime? Why should so many have to spend much of their lives suffering—battling every conceivable condition from the common cold to life-threatening strokes or cancer?

Consider the average doctor’s waiting room. It is filled with people seeking treatment. They have no idea why they are sick—or what they should do about it. As a result, work loss is increasing, hospitals and clinics are full, medical and healthcare costs are soaring—with a corresponding rise in cases of physician fraud and malpractice—and there is a constant need for more doctors and equipment to diagnose and treat the skyrocketing number of patients. Suffering and confusion abound! And many die long before the end of a full lifetime.

Illness and disease have stalked mankind for millennia. Plagues and sickness have been as inseparable from the history of civilization as the weather or people themselves. Sadly, today, disease and crippling conditions are a fact of life for large segments of humanity.

Medical science once believed it could control and conquer disease. It has failed. The reality is that new diseases are continually emerging and older ones are rapidly mutating into antibiotic-resistant forms. Therefore, the medical world is losing its main weapon in the war against disease.

Hardly a week passes without reports of new disease outbreaks somewhere on Earth. Civilization seems to be taking two steps back for every one forward. This Personal will look at the most important plain truth answers from God’s Word about healing.

God’s Purpose

Is the state of health in today’s world what God intended? No! Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This verse is hardly compatible with a lifetime of suffering every possible illness and malady known to man. The apostle John explained God’s intent: “I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health” (III John 2).

Yes, God’s purpose is that all human beings enjoy robust health. His intention has always been that they enjoy radiant, abundant living. Yet this has never been the case for the majority of mankind. This is because humanity is ignorant of what God says about healing. While people have many opinions about healing, we must look to God and His Word—the Bible—to see what He says about this subject!

All four gospel accounts record that Jesus performed many miracles during His ministry. Some of the most dramatic were healings. He made the lame walk, gave sight to the blind, healed lepers and others with palsy and “healed all that were sick” (Matt. 8:16). He also healed many minds by casting out demons from those possessed. He even resurrected the dead.

Not only did Jesus heal large numbers of people, He commissioned His disciples to do the same. We will learn that His ministers, when asked, still anoint the sick today.

Throughout my ministry, I have seen every kind of sickness and disease. Having prayed over one or more people weekly for decades, I have probably performed thousands of anointings. Sometimes people were healed—sometimes not. On certain occasions, I have personally been healed—and on others I have not.

I have also counseled many hundreds who faced serious illness—some life-threatening. This brought questions. People generally asked the same basic questions: Does the God of the Bible still heal today? Or has He now commissioned medical science to be His instrument—to take His place? Has the time of miracles and healings passed? What are the “gifts of healing” described in I Corinthians 12:9 and 28? Are today’s faith healers, and their healing revivals, manifestations of these gifts? Is it a sin to go to a doctor or a hospital? If God still heals today, what part does faith play—and what is real faith?

Genesis contains God’s description of the creation of man. The account reveals what God thought of His work after it was finished. Notice: “God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good,” (1:25) and, “God created man in His own image…male and female created He them” (vs. 27). Next comes an important statement: “God blessed them, and…said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth” (vs. 28). This verse addresses—though indirectly—the subject of healing for the first time. Let me explain.

If God had instilled viruses, bacteria, parasites and inherited traits that led to diseases and degenerative conditions at Adam and Eve’s creation, it could hardly be described as blessing them. This would be more like cursing them!

Now another key point about the original condition of the first human beings. Genesis concludes, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (vs. 31). Think about this. Does this verse leave room for the hidden presence, within Adam and Eve, of every disease, illness, sickness and ailment known to man? Of course not! Disease is not “very good”—it is very bad!

Since God blessed this couple and said that their creation was very good, disease could not yet have been present. It must have entered the picture later.

It was never God’s purpose that He would have to heal human beings of illness and disease. The Bible actually reveals His Plan for all people is that every form of sickness will disappear forever. But, since man has brought this condition upon himself, God had to address it and explain His role as Healer.

The Bible Teaching

If I wanted to learn to fly an airplane, I would ask a pilot. If I wanted to build a house, I would speak to a contractor. If I wanted to understand plumbing, I would consult a plumber. The same is true of healing. If one wants to learn about healing, he should not ask a doctor, nurse, paramedic or any other “medical expert.” They cannot heal anyone—and most will readily admit this! They will usually admit they do not know what the Bible says about it.

God is the One who heals. If you want to learn about healing, ask Him—the One who knows about it.

He says in Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you” (4:6). All essential knowledge of God is available to any who seek it. But to get the full picture, the scriptures must be put together carefully and completely. God says He reveals His teaching to those mature enough to be instructed. Notice: “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk…For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:9-10). Thus, all verses on healing are not in one place.

The Bible reveals God’s will—His understanding and teaching—on every spiritual matter. It has much to say about healing. Examining many verses strips away the mystery.

Two vital New Testament scriptures set the stage for all that we will study. Mark 5 records the case of “a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse” (vs. 25-26). Jesus healed her and made this all-important statement: “Daughter, your faith has made you whole” (vs. 34).

Doctors did not—and could not—heal her. But Jesus could, and faith was the key.

Matthew 9 shows how healing is always directly tied to faith: “Two blind men followed Him [Jesus], crying, and saying, You son of David, have mercy on us. And…the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, Believe you that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yes, Lord.” His answer? “Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you” (vs. 27-29).

Jesus asked, “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). This is presented as an open question. He understood most people would not have faith at the end of the age—just before the establishing of the Kingdom of God. He knew most would not be willing to believe direct statements from the Bible. He recognized that conditions on Earth would create an anti-faith atmosphere, making it very difficult for people to believe even the plainest scriptures. He knew few would be willing to take God’s promises at face value!

Jesus promised 2,000 years ago that He would build His Church. It would be composed of the few—not the many—who would be willing to believe God and live by faith and every word of God (Luke 12:32; Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4; Deut. 8:3). Faith and healing are inseparable. You cannot be healed without true faith. To learn more, read my free booklet What Is Real Faith?

Old Testament Record

Does healing first appear in the New Testament? Certainly Jesus and the apostles performed miracles and healed many who were sick. It is commonly supposed these things first happened in the New Testament, and for the sole purpose of proving Christ was the Messiah. This is simply not true. Healing did not first appear in the New Testament. The Old Testament records numerous dramatic healings. It is here that God first reveals Himself as the One who heals. As we read various accounts and scriptures, you must be willing to believe what the Bible says.

Almost immediately after God delivered Israel from Egypt, He had to perform a miracle just for them to have water to drink. This is when He revealed Himself as the God who heals. Notice: “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that heals you” (Ex. 15:26).

In the Old Testament, God uses several names to designate who and what He is. He just introduced Himself as Yahweh-Rapha, meaning the “God who heals”—or the “healing God.”

Soon after, God told Israel they were not to serve any other gods. Obedience would invoke this promise: “You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works…you shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you” (Ex. 23:24-25).

God added this: “The Lord will take away from you [heal] all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, upon you,” (Deut. 7:15) and then, “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal” (Deut. 32:39). In these plain verses, God establishes Himself as our Healer.

King David knew this. Notice: “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed,” (Psa. 6:2) and “Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against You” (Psa. 41:4) After these kinds of prayers, David could say, “O Lord my God, I cried unto You, and You have healed me” (Psa. 30:2).

David also prayed, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psa. 103:2). Most today do not understand that there are many wonderful benefits to serving God, who is often depicted as a God of “Thou shalt nots” instead of a God who desires to bless His people. David knew God is always willing to forgive and heal every sickness and disease. Notice the very next verse: “Who forgives all your iniquities [sins]; who heals all your diseases” (vs. 3).

Sometimes people become sick through foolishness—poor diet, lack of rest or wrong living and thinking. Others are injured in accidents due to carelessness. God is still willing to forgive such people—and heal them. Consider: “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted…and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them out of their distresses. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psa. 107:17-20).

Notice Psalm 103:3 said in the same verse that God forgives all iniquity (law-breaking) and heals all diseases. David asked God for mercy in Psalm 41. Mercy is required when forgiveness is necessary. Healing involves the forgiveness of physical sins.

No doctor, drug or medication can forgive sin—only God can do this! It is vital we understand why healing and forgiveness of sin are often mentioned together. God is the only One who can do either!

A story from the life of King Hezekiah holds valuable lessons for us today. Here is the account: “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah…came to him, and said…Thus says the Lord, Set your house in order; for you shall die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, I beseech You, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before You in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Your sight. And Hezekiah wept sore…It came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of My people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will heal you…And I will add unto your days 15 years…and he recovered” (II Kings 20:1-7).

Hezekiah tearfully sought God in faith. He did not rush to a hospital or seek doctors. He sought to overturn God’s will through prayer. God is ready and eager to heal anyone who seeks Him today—including you.

There is much more to learn about the Bible’s teaching on healing. Read my thorough free booklet, The Truth About Healing.

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