Why Most Christians Don't Get Healed (Pt. 2)
Special Rock of Offence Commentary
response to questions from one of our readers.
To Access Part 1 Of This Commentary
Yes, it's exciting that the return of the Lord may well be at hand. I'm watching the increase in these Biblical signs. However, I also know that what God calls "soon to happen" often translates into a longer wait on our side. We still don't know an exact time frame--but many of us are watching. The pastor's encounter in New Zealand was especially meaningful to me since I had an almost identical experience to his. What's hard is keeping our excitement at a level high--while realizing that it could still be a little while. The only thing worth staying for is to help people toward a knowledge of salvation through Christ.
I am humbled that you made an attempt to walk in God's provision of healing based on the articles I wrote. Like I suggested in my last letter, I may be unable to impart all you need to walk in divine healing, especially since we live thousands of miles from each other. I don't know any Christian that has mastered it all. Healing and faith go hand in hand. The subject of faith is detailed and extensive. We also have to wade through massive amounts of religious misinformation thrown at us by the critics. There's a lot we don't know. There are others who know far more than I do. Some earlier teachers spent their whole life learning about Biblical faith and made a lot of mistakes trying to walk in its truths. That's why my goal is to present the legal side of healing and faith. If we can just get people aligned with how God operates and thinks, then their ability to walk in faith greatly improves. That's really all I hope to accomplish.
There's another issue here that must be addressed. The source of healing is God's Word. I don't know anyone who got healed believing someone else’s writings. That's not the way God operates. I was, where you are, thirty years ago. I also tried to put my faith in a teacher's writings about healing and failed. But, this failure can never change truth. Putting faith in my articles or comments probably won’t heal you--even though I try to ensure that what I say is in alignment with God's Word. Yet, no matter how hard I try, I'm not infallible. No one is--not even the Pope. You must have an unwavering conviction that healing is the truth of God's Word and His unconditional will for you. It's a truth the Holy Spirit will impress on your spirit over time--IF YOU CAN STAY AWAY FROM ALL THE UNBELIEF ON THE SUBJECT. The important thing is what God says about healing.
Divine healing is a complex topic. It's a lot like medical science. Doctors go to school for 10-12 years to learn their profession. When you get sick you go to the doctor hoping he can diagnose the problem and prescribe the proper medication to deal with it. If you have a problem with internal bleeding taking an aspirin isn't going to help much. From a Biblical viewpoint, sickness and disease tend to fall into two areas:
1) A physical breakdown or malfunction in the body's normal operation. This breakdown could also be caused by a virus or microorganism that attacks the physical body.
2) A demonic spirit sent from Satan to make you sick. The Bible calls these things, "spirits of infirmity" (See Luke 13:11-13 and Matt. 17:14-18). Yes, these hidden "agents of the devil" (actually they're called "demons" in the Bible) do exist regardless of what the relgious critics say.
The second area requires a far different approach. Unfortunately, we can't get into these things in this letter. With most sickness a simple prayer isn't enough, just like taking an aspirin to heal a serious illness isn't enough. Many times the pathway to healing is a major spiritual battle that can take some time and effort. Television, various entertainment and past-times must cease because an intense focus on God's Word needs to begin. Those who minister healing are aware of these differences and how to spiritually deal with them. They apply the solutions Jesus taught during his earthly ministry. When dealing with "spirits of infirmity" things can get pretty bizarre, just like it did when Jesus confronted demonic spirits during His earthly ministry. These more "bizarre" ministry episodes are one reason healing evangelists are typically attacked and slandered throughout the institutional church. The Biblical subject of healing, especially when dealing with "spirits of infirmity", disturbs the controlled environment of a church service. It is why many reject it, explain it away or redefine it. Religious people do not like their church service to be disturbed by such things.
This is a continuation of our discussion. In your last letter you wrote:
"I believe that Grace is the foundation for our salvation. That means God holds a low threshold for people who want to be saved. But why is such faith -- oral confession and belief in heart that Jesus resurrected from death -- not sufficient for divine healing? Is a faith of different quantity or quality required? Why is the threshold leveled up when it comes to healing? I don't understand."
In a way, a higher level of faith is required for healing. When receiving eternal life we exercise a simple child-like faith where we cooperate with the conditions Saint Paul outlined in Romans 10:9-10, 13. God grants salvation and eternal life as a gift (Eph. 2:8 & Romans 6:23)--so it has to be simple in order to qualify as a gift. Any additional conditions disqualify large groups of people and subtly remove eternal life out of the "gift" category. As a result, the Holy Spirit responds by sealing our spirits (He seals us on the inside) for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30 & 2 Cor. 1:20-22) and comes to indwell us.
These Divine transformations occur at the spiritual level--no physical change takes place in our body. Physically and mentally, we're the same. This is one reason God commands us to "renew our mind" (Romans 12:2). Renewing our mind wouldn't be necessary if we got a new one when we were saved. Nothing changes on our physical side. Yet, a big change occurs in our spirit. We just can't always see or feel the difference (some discerning Christians claim they could detect a change). Many times we only know the change occurred because God's Word says it did and we choose to believe His Word rather than how we feel. That's why the Bible says that our walk is by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). No new teaching here. Yet, things are somewhat different in the area of divine healing. Instead of a spiritual unseen change, you're calling on God's creative power to alter something in the physical world--where you taste, touch, see and feel (Mark 11:23-24 certainly applies here). It's not harder for God to make this kind of change, but it is harder for us to exercise faith (believe), because we have to look every second of every day at the physical evidence that bears a "false testimony" against what God says is true. Many times, in order for healing to manifest--we must have a faith strong enough to deny what we see with our eyes (and feel in our bodies) and rely only on what God's Word says. Many of us struggle at this level because we have trouble denying our senses and the physical world around us, which seem more real. (Read John 20:27-30). The Biblical miracle of Peter walking on the water in the middle of a storm should be considered at this point. Jesus invited him to get out of the boat and join Him ON THE WATER. At first, Peter was successful -- he walked on the water just like Jesus did. But, he soon began to sink when he paid more attention to the wind and the waves (Matt. 14:28-32). Jesus commanded Peter "to come". The Lord's command was given. Jesus was saying that it was His will for Peter to walk on the water JUST LIKE HE DID. The Lord wanted him to succeed. Yet, Peter failed and the Lord had to grab him before he went under. Why did this failure occur? Jesus gently rebuked him for doubting (or having weak faith). There's a powerful lesson here that exposes much of the false teaching about faith in the modern church. Many things, such as divine healing, are God's will. He still heals the sick today. The New Testament teaches that healing is a benefit of the cross that belongs to all believers. Yet, our faith (or having the right kind of faith) is the catalyst that makes things happen -- just as it was with Peter. This is where the "rubber meets the road". God tells us that his Word is more real than the physical world in which we live. It's more real because everything physical and tangible was initially created by his Word (1 John 1:1-3).
The reason we can legally deny contrary evidence of what we see and feel is because our physical world is "temporal", or less real than God’s Word (2 Cor. 4:18). If you allow religion to teach you the false notion that God (or His Word) withholds healing to make you more pious or mature (or for some other reason)--you've lost the faith battle before you even start. If you believe your righteousness (worthiness) depends on your perfect obedience, you'll "doubt" whether you qualify to receive healing--or you'll think you deserve to be healed because you're such a good Christian. Both these positions inject unbelief that short-circuits our ability to trust in God's unconditional willingness to heal based solely on the blood of Jesus Christ. We must be totally convinced that healing belongs to us "in Christ" or failure will always result. This is why, in the previous letter, I wrote about the importance of knowing "who you are in Christ". If you're a believer, from God's prospective you are no longer "you". That person was crucified on the cross with Christ (a blood covenant principle that few are taught). Jesus Christ is perfectly righteous to receive healing--and you are "in Christ". It's Christ's righteousness that makes you righteous (or worthy) and qualified to be healed (2 Cor. 5:21). Nine out of ten Christians do not view righteousness in this way. Our conduct and way of life is important for many other reasons. God plainly says that our conduct is important. Yet, He also said that it does not determine our righteousness after the cross. Yet, false religion teaches righteousness as "earned worthiness". This is one reason so many Christians are sick and diseased in the modern church. Few know who they are. You can never get healed (or saved) on your own merits and that's why God calls it Grace. Yet, real Grace is rarely taught. A counterfeit grace is taught instead. The spiritual benefits we enjoy as believers is obtained at another's expense. It's been that way since the cross. The sacrifice of Christ paid the price so that many could be FREELY justified and made FREELY righteous (Romans 3:24-26 and Romans 5:17-19).
There's another area I haven't talked about. In the Bible, healing is generally imparted through physical contact with someone who has a healing "anointing" dwelling in them. This was the case with Jesus and the healing of the woman with the issue of blood that we talked about earlier. There's a foundational doctrine in the New Testament called "laying on of hands"---and one of its functions is to impart physical healing (Read Hebrews 6:1-2, Mark 5:23, Mark 16:17-18, Luke 4:40-41, Luke 13:12-13, Acts 9:17-18, Acts 28:8). From my experience, it takes an even greater faith to receive healing without this direct contact through the laying on of hands. Today the practice is rejected by many church leaders as something that has passed away. This is more religious misinformation.
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit has appointed some (few in number) in the Church to minister with this healing anointing (Read 1 Cor. 12:7-11). THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE ONES BEHIND THE PULPIT. I don't know the exact number of those who possess this gift, but the Holy Spirit sprinkles them throughout the Church. In many cases these precious gifts (I'm talking about the people) are ridiculed and slandered as false prophets, teachers of demonic doctrine and other offensive labels used by religious critics--which I won't comment about here. A good number of those who possess gifts of healing are from Pentecostal, Assembly of God and Charismatic backgrounds--but certainly not all. They tend to congregate in these denominations because the group's doctrine support spiritual gifts such as healing and the laying on of hands--while other denominations shun these Scriptural practices. It's important to know that the healing gift can be authentic and operate even when the individual may not preach perfectly correct doctrine. In some situations this is the cause of the slander and criticism. I don't pretend to understand the details of this conflict. The main reason these ministers are slandered is because their healing gift. When Jesus healed the sick and performed miracles, it exposed the false religious system (and its leaders) who could not do the same miraculous works. When divine healing is practiced today, it upsets some clergy and theologians--just like it did in Christ's time. It's one reason they crucified Christ--they couldn't refute or discredit his healings and miracles (John 12:17-19).
In the last several letters we've only touched on the major points and Scriptural foundation for divine healing. I hope the information is helpful. I wouldn't get too concerned if you don't understand it all. It's a lot to take in. It was a lot for me to accept as a Baptist believer 30 years ago. Yet, I'm sure if you ask our teacher, the Holy Spirit, to show you more, He will. Truth doesn't always come from one source. I'm convinced it’s something we glean from many sources over time.
As I was praying about how to respond to your questions I believe the Holy Spirit wanted me to say the following:
It will help your faith if you start thinking this way. Religion suggests that we are citizens (subjects) of God's Kingdom. If you want to see the King, you submit your request and wait to be summoned. If the King refuses, you'll never receive the summons. He's the King and you're his loyal subject and someone considered inferior to the King. You never barge into the King's presence uninvited. Yet, the New Testament tells a different story. In Christ, you are not a loyal subject of the King. YOU ARE THE SON OF THE KING AND A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY. Since you are identified as being "in Christ" the King treats you just like Christ is treated. You don't have to wait to be summoned. As the King's son you can enter the throne room anytime uninvited. Actually, as the King's son, you're always invited. As his son you can come before the King at any time and ask whatever you want. The King never rejects his son Jesus and you are "in him".
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with
glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 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." (Heb 2:9-10 KJV)