Did God ever heal?
The Bible is full of historical accounts of divine healing. The first recorded example was when Abraham prayed for the healing of Abimelech. “So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his female servants. Then they bore children” (Genesis 20:17). God made a covenant of healing with Israel in Exodus 15:26 where he said “I am the Lord who heals you”. The Bible says that when Israel went out of Egypt, “there was none feeble among His tribes” (Psalm 105:37), so it seemed that God really honored that covenant. Later, Namaan the Syrian was healed through the ministry of the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5).
But the greatest examples of divine healing happened through the earthly ministry of Jesus. When John the Baptist sent messengers from prison to ask if Jesus really was the Messiah, Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4,5).
This ministry was continued in the early church through the apostles and evangelists. “so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed”. (Acts 5:15,16).
If the Bible speaks truly then it is clear that God did heal.
Furthermore, one finds references to the ongoing ministry of divine healing and exorcism in the writings of the early church fathers, as late as the 5th century after Christ. Various “saints” during the time of the Dark and Middle Ages were reputed to exercise ministries of divine healing – for example, St. Francis of Assissi. The success of the gospel in overcoming paganism in the early centuries of Christianity was in large part due to the demonstration of power over sickness and demons which the early missionaries demonstrated.
Does God heal today?
Multiplied tens of thousands of people in the 20th century and in our generation have testified of being divinely healed by God of serious conditions, without the aid of medical science. There have also been many cases of divine healing down through the centuries.
I have witnessed God work divine healing through my hands in a very tangible way. Added to this, I have heard and received testimonies of divine healing from many. Some of these testimonies can be viewed on this site. At this stage I have not been able to independently verify these testimonies – but I encourage skeptics to investigate by seeking out references from those who claim to have been divinely healed, and whose story appears on this site. If you give me an good reason to believe that the story is false
– e.g. their doctor or family say its a lie – I will remove it from the site, as I am only interested in publishing stories which can stand up
to independent scrutiny.
What about the teaching that “the age of miracles is past”?
If the age of miracles is truly past, as some Bible teachers assert, then no one can be born again of the Spirit of God today, since that is the greatest miracle of transformation that God ever does. Furthermore, since any answer to prayer represents a divine intervention in the course of events, every true answer to prayer represents a miracle. But if the age of miracles is past, then God no longer intervenes in response to prayer.
But this denies the teaching of Jesus, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” He did not say, “If you ask anything in my name, except a miracle, I will do it.” Such a statement would be nonsense, of course, but that is how we must read our Bibles if indeed, “the age of miracles is past”.
Even if God acts to change the activity of someone’s mind, that involves a physical miracle, since it involves changing the patterns of electrical signals in the brain. To deny God’s activity in this realm is practical atheism, just as to deny miracles is to mock prayer today.
Are there any good Biblical reasons to believe God still heals today?
Yes – plenty. For further information read here.
What About Paul’s Thorn?
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Many of those who have been brought up in traditional churches have been taught that Paul’s thorn was a painful sickness that God was unwilling to take away from Paul. However, this position cannot be harmonised with the rest of Scripture, and it is by no means the only possible interpretation of the text. In fact, Paul tells us what the thorn was – it was a messenger of Satan.
It is true that God allows Satan’s demons to attack us that we may learn to depend upon God for strength, and that we may learn to fight. The Kingdom of darkness is in perpetual warfare with true Christians. The warfare is real, casualties exist, and suffering must be endured. The messenger of Satan caused Paul much trouble and suffering, and Paul wanted God to sovereignly remove it. The following observations are relevant to this text.
1. If Paul was physically weakened by the messenger of Satan, he never said he was sick, even if he regarded it as an ‘infirmity’.
2. The fact that the thorn was ‘in the flesh’ does not mean the demon entered Paul’s flesh. It may have been a figurative expression such as ‘a pain in the neck’. Judges 2:3 declares that the canaanites would become ‘thorns in the side’ for Israel – here is a clear example of the metaphorical use of the term ‘thorn in the side’. Without a doubt, the thorn was troublesome to Paul but until here we have no clear proof that it was a sickness.
3. Jesus never said he would not remove the thorn, but rather encouraged Paul to get hold of the grace of Jesus for his life. Such grace is always received by humbling oneself. There would be no need for the thorn to humble Paul if Paul would further humble himself, received the necessary grace from the Lord, and by faith drove away the messenger of Satan. God’s purpose in allowing the difficulty was to motivate Paul to continue to seek Him, rather than to get proud and arrogant because of the wonderful revelations he had had, presumably with the Lord in the third heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12:4).
4. The Greek term for ‘buffet’ refers to repeated blows – not an appropriate term for a lingering sickness.
5. We have every reason to believe that it was this messenger of Satan that stirred up against Paul many painful things – needs, persecutions, weakness and distress. We too may suffer following Christ. Yet Paul was a man whose faith and life inspired his hearers to receive divine healing (see Acts 14:9,10; Acts 19:11,12; Acts 28:8,9). He would not have been able to do it had he himself been half blind, lame and crippled as various modern Bible teachers have suggested. In fact Paul received divine healing on a number of occasions himself and was possibly even raised from the dead (Acts 14:19,20). He was beaten with rods three times – normally a
punishment where all the bones of the foot were broken. Yet Paul travelled by foot all over southern Europe! Truly, Paul was a man who suffered, but he was also someone who both received and ministered the divine healing that some modern Bible teachers today oppose in the name of his ‘thorn’.
More information on this subject can be found in the Recommended Reading section of this site.
If Divine Healing and Health is Promised, How Could Any Believer Die?
There is no record that Moses died of sickness. On the contrary, according to the word of God, he was strong and healthy before God called him to go up on the mountain and die. God is able to take a believer home to be with Him without the use of sickness. Admittedly, this is the ideal situation. In reality, Christians have been subjected to satanic attack and the human body does wear out after a long life. Our victory as Christians is not primarily that we don’t get sick – but rather, that we resist Satan and sin until the end. Many true Christians die as martyrs – undoubtedly there will be more Christians dying as martyrs than from sickness in the last days.
The failure to recognize the Lord’s body correctly in the Lord’s supper caused many of the Corinthians to be sick and die (1 Corinthians 11:30).
This could mean either lack of love towards other believers, failure to understand the provision of divine healing through the breaking of Christ’s body for us, or both. Without a doubt, many believers are guilty of the same error, and could be expected to suffer similar consequences.
Ignorance concerning God’s promises concerning healing has no doubt made death by sickness amongst Christians more the rule rather than the exception. You can’t fight the devil with Scriptures and promises you don’t know.
Sin in any form can open the door to satanic attack. God’s judgment can come on those believers who wilfully reject God’s voice and do rebellious and foolish things.
Furthermore, many Christians, through undisciplined eating and stressful lifestyles, abuse their body and thereby open themselves to attacks in the form of cancer and heart disease. We live in an imperfect, polluted world and if we allow too much poison to accumulate in our bodies it will eventually take its toll. Therefore Christians should look after their bodies as “temples of the Holy Spirit” and avoid those sins and habits which may defile or destroy God’s temple.
What About …[insert name here]… who really believed God and yet Died?
It is not wise to judge the Word of God by the reports of the failure of others to minister or of the sick to receive divine healing. Given the level of unbelief that has prevailed in the church until recent times concerning this subject, it is remarkable that anyone gets healed, not that there are some that fail to receive.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
The truth is, concerning those who were not healed and died, WE DON’T KNOW the reasons. Reasons might be suggested which may be true in this or that case, but ultimately only God knows. These are hidden things which belong to God. What belongs to us is the revelation and clear promises of God’s Word. Let us judge the circumstances according to God’s Word, rather than judging God’s Word by the circumstamces. This is not to endorse harsh condemnation of those who need God’s mercy of healing, but rather to affirm, “Let God be true, though every man be a liar”. This should be our position as believers.