Bible Truths

Lesson 10 - Healing

There is little consistency in most teaching in the Churchon the subject of healing. If salvation was presented with the sameinconsistency there would be very few people saved. Christians are not sure Godheals; they are not sure He always heals, and they are not sure He will healthem. They have been told that sickness is God's chastening of them; that it isa blessing in disguise, or that God is glorified in sickness. What do thescriptures say? On all questions of doctrine they are the final authority. Aswe shall learn from this study, scriptures clearly teach that it has alwaysbeen, and it still is in God's eternal purpose to heal us. Health and healingfor our bodies are just as implicit in God's plan of salvation as is the savingof our souls. Salvation is all-inclusive. Its Greek root Soteria means health,healing, welfare, prosperity and victory as well as deliverance from sin andits spiritual consequences. Right throughout scripture God promises to heal Hischildren as well as forgive their sins ( Ex 15:26; 23:25-26; De 7:11-15;28:1-14; Psa 91:1-10; 103:1-5; 107:20). In the Old Testament God Himself wasthe healer - Jehovah Raphah - the Lord that heals, and in the New Testament Godhas provided for our healing through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa 53:4-6; Mt 8:16-17; 9:1-8; Mk 16:17-18; Lu 4:16-21; Ro 5:17; Ga 3:13-14,26-29; Jas 5:14-16; 1Pe 2:24; 3Jn 2).

In every one of those scriptures God's will for Hischildren's good health, healing, welfare, prosperity and victory in this lifeis revealed, as well as His will for the redemption of their souls from deathand destruction in the next life. But the scriptures also teach how imperativeit is to comply with the conditions attached to the promises to ensure theirfulfilment. We will examine the scriptures in detail later. God has made acovenant with His children and He will not break that covenant. We might breakthe covenant, but He will not ( Nu 23:19; 1Ki 8:56; Isa 55:10-11; Mal 3:6; Ro3:3-4; 2Cor 1:19-20; 2Ti 2:13; He 13:8). 2Cor 1:19-20 teaches us that all ofGod's promises, right throughout scripture, are still valid for believers todaybecause as we learn from Ga 3:26-29, those that are Christ's are Abraham's seedand heirs according to the promise. Every promise of God is yes to believers inJesus. There is not one promise that is no to the believer who will believe Godfor the promises and meet the conditions. To teach that God chastens Hischildren with sickness is ludicrous. In the first place, nowhere in scripturedoes chastening refer to sickness. It refers to the activity directed towardthe moral and spiritual nurture and training of a child to influence consciouswill and action. It means to instruct, to educate, to correct. It has nobearing whatsoever on sickness or disease ( 2Ti 3:16; 1Cor 11:31-32). That ishow we are chastened by God. His word judges us. It convicts us of any sin inour lives and causes us to confess the sin before God. Furthermore, our body isthe temple of God ( 1Cor 3:16-17). It is absurd to even suggest that God wouldcontaminate one part of His temple to perfect another part, yet that in effectis what those who advocate that sickness is God's chastening are teaching.

Next, to teach that God is glorified in sickness is equallyas absurd. If God is glorified in sickness why did Jesus go around healing thesick. Twenty-three times in scripture we are told that He healed them all ( Mt4:23-24; 8:14-18; 9:35; 11:5; 12:15; 14:14, 35-36; 15:30; 19:2; 21:14; Mk1:32-35, 39; 3:10; 6:5, 56; Lu 4:40; 5:15, 17; 6:17-19; 7:21-23; 9:11; 17:17;Ac 10:38). We learn from Ac 10:38 here that all sickness is of the devil, whichbegs the question: could God ever be glorified in any works of the devil? Ifthose who teach that God is glorified in sickness are correct, then when Jesuswent around healing the sick He was disobeying God, yet Jesus Himself said thatHe only did that which God told Him to do ( Jn 5:19-20, 36). Christians shouldnever sit under any teaching that could repress or undermine in any way their faithin God's willingness to heal them. These teachers generally use Job and Paul tomake their point. They teach that because God would not heal Job and Paul thenwe cannot always expect healing either. That teaching is not correct, but ithas been perpetuated by teachers in the Church for so long that many Christiansbelieve it and it has caused them to abandon the very promises of God that aremeant to give them faith to believe that it is God's will to heal them.

We are all familiar with the book of Job, but just tosummarise it here for those who are not, Job did not know it was the devilafflicting him. He thought it was God, and because he did not have a completerevelation of God he made two statements at the onset of his afflictions thathave been taught and accepted by many Christians as correct teaching, but theyare not ( Job 1:13-22; 2:7-10). Now compare these statements with what Jesustaught throughout the gospels, and the later revelation of God which James had( Jas 1:17). The book of Job is also used to teach that while God may not putsickness on us Himself He allows it to happen. This is not correct but it tiesin with their teaching that God uses sickness to chasten us, which flies in theface of scripture also ( Lu 10:19; Jas 4:7 with Jn 10:9-10). What the teachingin Job really highlights is the New Testament truth that believers undergoingpersecution and fiery trials must remain steadfast in faith ( Jas 1:2-4; 1Pe5:8-10). Job's steadfastness and patience enabled God's purpose to prevail overSatan. That is the main teaching in the book of Job ( Jas 5:10-11).Incidentally, Job never prayed to be healed, because from the outset hebelieved it was God afflicting him.

Now, concerning Paul: Paul had a thorn in the flesh which ithas been taught was some form of sickness which God would not heal him of, yetthe Bible quite clearly teaches us that it was not sickness at all ( 2Cor12:1-10). Paul's thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan - a demon - sentto buffet him; to cause extreme hardships to befall him so that he would not beovertaken by pride because of what he had seen and heard in heaven. Paul wasnot sick, and nowhere in the Bible does it teach that he was ever sick. Paulknew the power of God in him - no sickness could touch him. We only have toread what happened in Acts 28 to learn that ( Ac 28:1-10). Paul did not pray toGod to heal him of sickness, he prayed that the demon would be removed fromhim, but God would not remove it because He instigated its presence in thefirst place, which is what 2Cor 12:7-8 clearly teaches. How could Paul labourmore abundantly than the false teachers he had to contend with at Corinth if hewas always sick, as we have been led to believe ( 2Cor 11:22-23). Paul's thorndid not hinder the faith of Publius and the others who got healed in Acts 28,so why should we let it hinder our faith for healing today. Paul's infirmitiesin 2Cor 12:10 originated from the stripes, the stonings, the persecutions andthe distresses he suffered for Christ's sake ( 2Cor 11:23-30). To say Paul'sthorn in the flesh was a sickness that God refused to heal destroys the veryfoundation upon which faith for healing must rest. This means that faith doesnot come by the word of God alone as scriptures teach but that it comes bypraying until a special revelation comes to us that it is God's will to healus. That is false teaching ( Ro 10:17). God does not promise us protection frombuffetings by Satan through ungodly men, such as Paul suffered. God actuallypromises that we will be persecuted and undergo fiery trials ( Mt 10:38; Mk10:29-30; Ac 14:22; Ro 8:17; Php 1:29; 2Ti 2:11-12; 3:12; 1Pe 4:1, 12-19). ButGod does promise us protection from sickness and disease and that is what weshould expect. We must never allow our faith to believe that to be underminedby false teaching.

God does not chasten His children with sickness; sickness isnot a blessing in disguise, and neither is God glorified in sickness. God isglorified in health and healing and our deliverance from sin. This was thereason Jesus came ( 1Jn 3:8). That God is not glorified in sickness is evenmade clearer for us by Jesus in Jn 9, ( Jn 9:1-7). Jesus made the point herethat God was going to be glorified in restoring the man's sight. He was notglorified in the man's blindness. The disciples erroneously thought, as a lotof people still do, that his blindness came from God because of sin. In thebroad sense sin was the cause, but it was not the man's personal sin or the sinof his parents. It was a consequence of the curse of sin and death that cameupon the human race because of Adam's fall ( Ro 5:12). But Jesus has deliveredus from this curse. He bought our freedom from the curse with His blood on theCross of Calvary ( Isa 53:4-6). Griefs and sorrows in Verse 4 mean sicknessesand pains. Jesus bore our sicknesses and our pains on the cross so that wecould be healed of them, the same as He became our sin offering that we couldbe forgiven our sins. What we learn here is that there is healing for ourbodies in Christ's atonement for our sins, and this teaching is reinforced aswe study the scriptures in detail ( Mt 8:16-17). In Mt 8:17 the griefs and thesorrows of Isa 53:4 are correctly translated as infirmities and sicknesses.Matthew asserts here that Isaiah's prophesy was being fulfilled in the healingsJesus rendered to the sick, "...that it might be fulfilled which wasspoken by the prophet Isaiah saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare oursicknesses." That is not teaching that Jesus completely fulfilled Isaiah'sprophesy before the cross and therefore there is no bodily healing in theatonement, as many believe. It teaches that by contemporaneously healing thesick and forgiving their sins during His earthly ministry Jesus wasdemonstrating that bodily healing is an integral part of the atonement ( Mk2:1-12).

These people were amazed to learn that as sin and sicknessgo hand in hand at one end of the spectrum, so too do healing and forgivenessat the opposite end of the spectrum. There are a great many Christians todaywho still do not know this truth and cannot obtain their healing as a result (Jn 5:1-14). All these scriptures are irrefutable proof that God's redemptiveplan is all-inclusive. It provides for our physical healing as well as our spiritualhealing. Jesus' healings in His earthly ministry simply foreshadowed thehealing in His atonement on the cross ( 1Pe 2:24-25). Peter affirms here thatJesus bore the punishment for our sins on the cross so that our bodies arehealed as our souls are saved from hell. Peter is attesting to this as being anestablished fact, accomplished by Jesus' stripes. All we have to do is believewhat the scriptures teach and claim our healing by faith. Christ bore our sinsand our sicknesses on the cross so we do not have to bear them ourselves. Hedid not bear our sicknesses to merely enter into the fellowship of oursufferings as some teach, but to deliver us from them altogether ( Jn19:28-30). When Jesus said "it is finished", just before He died here,that signified that the complete redemptive plan of God was fulfilled in Christon the cross ( Ga 3:13-14, 28-29).

There can be no confusion over what this scripture means. Itconfirms everything the other scriptures in this study teach. Jesus died on thecross so that all who believe on Him can be partakers of the salvation benefitsHe bought for us with His blood. What is the curse He died to redeem us from? (De 28:15-68). There are 54 verses relating to all the curses here andeverything listed is what Christ died to save us from but for the purpose ofthis study we will only look at the different sicknesses that are listed. Theseinclude deafness, blindness, lameness, barrenness, mental illness, fear,consumption, fever, emaciation, cancer, ulcers, boils, haemorrhoids,rheumatism, arthritis, dermatitis, etc, etc, Verse 61 even takes into accountsicknesses and plagues not listed. No doubt we could include herpes, aids,emphysema, heart disease and many others among them but praise God, Jesus hasredeemed us from them all and healing is ours if we will but believe and complywith the conditions ( Ro 5:17). This scripture clearly teaches that theabundant life Jesus promised believers applies to this life, not the next asmany would have us believe, and sickness and disease have no place in it.

In closing this part of our study we need to look at onemore scripture ( 3Jn 2). This is still further evidence that it is still inGod's eternal purpose to heal us. The word wish here means pray. The verseshould read, "beloved I pray above all things that thou mayest prosper andbe in health, even as thy soul prospereth." There are three blessings ofGod involved in John's prayer here: material prosperity, bodily healing andhealth, and the saving of Gaius' soul. If any one of those blessings was notthe will of God, John would have known and he would not have prayed for them.If such blessings are the will of God for one man, they are for all men alikewho will have faith for them, because in the gospel of Christ there is no respectof persons. It is plainly evident from scripture that God still heals, that Healways heals and that it is His will to heal everyone who meets the conditions.God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In Him thereis no variableness, neither shadow of turning. It is also plain in scripturethat sickness is not God's chastening of His children; it is not a blessing indisguise, and God is not glorified in sickness. Only good gifts and perfectgifts come down from God. Now we need to know what we must do to be healed, andwhat are some of the hindrances to healing ( Mk 9:23).

First, we must dispel any doubt that God will heal us. Wehave the assurance of His word. His promises are right throughout scripture aswe have found in this study, but for the promises to work we must meet theconditions ( Psa 66:18). If there is any unconfessed or unrepented sin in ourlife the Lord will not hear any prayer we pray, whether it be for healing oranything else. We must bring the sin before God and confess it before ourfellowship can be restored with Him ( 1Jn 1:7-10). Any sin not confessed andrepented of puts a wall up between us and God and because of this we can nolonger experience God's favour, or His salvation. To remain in fellowship withGod and be partakers of all the salvation benefits Christ purchased for us withHis blood, we must walk in the light as He is in the light ( Mk 11:25-26).Forgiveness is a matter of life or death for believers. If we do not forgiveothers neither will God forgive us ( Mt 18:21-35). Jesus teaches us here thatthe forgiveness of God, though freely given to repentant sinners, neverthelessremains conditional according to their willingness to forgive others. Thejudgement the king pronounced on the unforgiving servant is the equivalent ofeternal damnation upon unforgiving believers, because just as the servant couldnever repay His debt to the king, believers can never repay their debt to God (Pr 21:13). Believers must never shut their ears to the cry of the poor,otherwise God will shut His ears to our cries. We must always remember that thewhole salvation plan of God revolves around the law of sowing and reaping. Wecan only reap from the kingdom what we sow into it ( Ga 6:6-10). This impressesupon us the importance God places on our financial support of the ministry andChurch leaders in particular. If we withhold our finances we will not be ableto participate in any of the kingdom benefits, which includes our healing.Throughout scripture we are commanded to contribute to the upkeep of those whoGod has made responsible for the spiritual well-being of His children ( 1Pe3:1-7).

This passage deals with the domestic life of believers - theduty of husbands and wives toward each other. In God's divine order the husbandis head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church ( Eph 5:22-33). Any attempton either the husband or the wife's part to reverse their roles and change thisorder will result in them being out of God's will. Being submitted to her husbanddoes not mean that a wife is subordinate to him or is inferior to him in anyway. They are both equal before God, but for God's purpose to be accomplishedin their lives the wife must willingly submit to her husband's headship andregard the obedience she renders to him as an obedience rendered to Christ asthe head of the Church. Husbands are to deem their wives precious and are tohonour them because they are joint-heirs together with their husbands in God'sgrace. Husbands are also to treat their wives with special deference, bearingin mind that a wife is not as physically strong as her husband. They are tohonour each other and respect each other's function in God or neither of themwill have their prayers answered ( Php 4:6-7). We must dispel all fear andanxiety. Fear, anxiety and doubt are all facets of unbelief and God is notbound to respond to any expression of unbelief ( Jas 1:5-8 with Ro 14:23 and He3:7-12). There are many hindrances to healing, or for getting any prayersanswered for that matter, and we need to be aware of them all. We cannot dealwith them all here, but what we have dealt with are sufficient to impress uponus the need to be always in a right relationship with God and to have His wordabiding in us at all times. We cannot plead ignorance of God's word - God hascommanded us to feed on it day and night ( Josh 1:8; Jn 15:7). The key word inJosh 1:8 is thou shalt and in Jn 15:7 is if. Obedience to God's word is the keyto health and healing for Christians. God is not bound to answer prayers fromanyone who has not obeyed His commands. He wants obedience before anything elsefrom Christians ( 1Sam 15:22-23 with Jn 14:15, 21 and 1Jn 2:4-5).

Finally, we must never interpret God's gift of healing otherthan in the light of scripture. If someone else did not get healed we cannotlet it influence our thinking. It does not alter the fact of scripture, thathealing is available to them ( Ro 3:3-4). Why they did not receive theirhealing is between them and God. We ourselves must never give up on God. If ourhealing does not manifest itself immediately, and we know that we have met allthe conditions for healing, just keep on believing and thanking God for it. Hewill do it ( Mk 11:22-24; Php 4:6-7; 1Jn 5:14-15).

These Studies by Dr.B.S.Warwal may be downloaded and freelydistributed but not sold for profit.