Posted by: excharisma | March 2, 2009

Does God Heal Today?

Does God Heal Today?

(Acts 3:1-10) 

 

If you were to ask me the question, “Do I believe God still heals?”, the answer that I would give you would be ‘yes’. But the ‘faith healers’ on T.V. and their false teaching about healing and the way they say God heals through them isn’t what healing from God is about. What is going to be preached today about healing needs to be taught in order that we can be more discerning about false teaching and false teachers that bombard us on the T.V. and radio. There was a reason that Jesus healed and a reason why the Apostles were given the gift of healing and we are going to look at that and we are going to look at the false teaching and “faith healers” in the light of what the scripture teaches about healing. 

I. What is the Truth About Healing?

A. Faith Healers

– When we think about God healing people, what often comes to mind is the side show antics of the T.V. faith healers. They falsely claim that God wants all Christians to be healthy and well and if we are sick then it is because we don’t have enough faith to be healed or enough faith to rebuke the devil because he is the one who makes us sick. These false teaches will tell you that if you have enough faith then you can make God heal you. How do I know these things? I once believed the same lies.

 

B. Truth about Healing

– They teach that in Is. 53:5 (5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed) and 1 Peter 2:24 (24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed) that these verses teach that there is healing promised in the atonement. Well, the healing in these verses are deals with our atonement for sin and not sickness. The only promise made for healing from diseases in the atonement for all believers is the ultimate healing we will receive in the glorification of our bodies in heaven.

Now the false teachers and ‘faith healers’ will tell you that what they are teaching is the ‘full gospel message’ that the rest of Christianity has failed to tell you about. They will tell you that if you confess healing and scripture then you will finally get enough faith to make God heal you of any disease, cancer, paralysis, blindness, arthritis, etc. whatever it may be. They make out faith as being the coin you can put into great vending machine in the sky called God and get whatever you want. The truth of the matter is that healing is in the hands of a sovereign God; and He will heals whomever He desires to heal when He wants to do so. If God wants to heal, He can heal.

That’s completely, obviously within His power, and if it is in his purpose then He will heal. He may heal as a result of prayer. He may heal through simple processes, through medical assistance, or he may heal in a way that we can’t explain medically. God may speedup the recovery mechanism and restore a person to health in a way that medicine can’t even explain.

Sometimes He may overrule a medical prognosis and allow someone to recover from a normally debilitating disease. Healings like that may come, He may do them; He may do them in response to prayer, He may do them just because He wants to do them. When I pray for the prayer requests at my church I always ask God first to heal the people mentioned. Why, because I believe that can heal and He is the source of healing but I also know because of scripture that He will heal if it is His will. It is biblical to pray for healing of a brother or sister in Christ when they are sick, but it does not mean that they will be healed, because it is always a matter of God’s will (James 5:16-and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much). Just because of this, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pray because we don’t know if it’s God’s will. Remember the scripture in James 4:2-‘…ye have not, because ye ask not.’, we should always pray for healing of our brothers and sisters in Christ because they just might be healed. 

II. Why Jesus and the Apostles Healed.

A. Holy Gimmicks

– let’s look at some of the gimmicks ‘faith healers’ use to heal. I have a “green miracle handkerchief” that I received in the mail and your suppose to put under your pillow or in your wallet and whatever miracle or healing you need write it down and send the “green hanky” back with some green “paper”(money) to receive your healing. Then I received some miracle anointing oil to use to apply to yourself or loved one or wallet or house or car if it needs healing and of course send back the enclosed envelope with your prayer request and money (seed of faith) that suppose to activate your faith to get what you desire from God. There are too many gimmicks to mention them all but what we have are people claiming to have special “gifts of healing”. The green cloth they try to say is ‘biblical’, they try to use Acts 19 where it says in verses 11-12, “11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 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”, any verse out of context to manipulate money out of the desperate.

B. Why the Apostles Healed

– It’s amazing that they try to equate themselves with the Apostles because the apostles were given special miracle and healing gifts to show the authority given to teach and preach the doctrine of the New Covenant and build the church (Eph. 2:19-20- 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone). The importance of the apostles in writing the N.T. scriptures and lay the foundation of the revelation of the New Covenant.

These gifts were for the special dispensation of the beginning of the early church specifically to only certain offices of the early church which cease and were not the normative way of things were done. We see this as Paul describes a physical ailment that God did not heal him of and Paul said he asked God 3 times to heal him of it and God answered Paul about the ailment (2 Co. 12:8-10- 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.)

Paul may not have understood why he had to suffer but he gladly found peace and contentment in knowing that God gave him to grace to endure in his suffering. Because he knew that God was with him through every step of it all and he did trust and lean on God’s power through it all for he knew when he was weak, then he was strong in God.

C. Why Jesus Healed

– Jesus healed to announce He was the Messiah, that He was the Son of God. He was revealing that He was deity in flesh and to prove His authority as Lord of all. ‘Faith healers’ today try to equate themselves also with Jesus. They say that Jesus even had to have faith to heal and do miracles and that my friends is blasphemy. Jesus did healings and miracles by His own power, by a word or a touch. He didn’t have to have faith because He is God and the only ones that need faith are us frail powerless humans. They try to use a passage of scripture in Mark 6:5,6- “5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief.”; now this passage does not show that He cannot do anything without people’s faith or that their unbelief hindered the power of God but it does show that the people of Nazareth did not believe He was the Messiah and rejected Him. Not many were healed because no one came to Him to be healed.

Jesus did not come to earth to die on the cross to save people from disease but He came to save and cleanse us from our sins.

III. Jesus Heals, Not Benny Hinn 

I look at the so-called Christian T.V. stations and see all the theatrics that these false healers use to convince us that people are healed by their touch and then I look at how Jesus healed and I see a big difference. 

*A. Jesus healed with a word or a touch

– That’s all it took. He touched, He spoke, they were healed. He didn’t push them down, he didn’t hit them with a coat, or blow on them; no theatrics at all. No yelling or convincing the crowd; He just healed them.

*B. Jesus healed instantaneously

– Never in all His healings does the Bible say He healed somebody and they started getting better. No, there was never a process, because if there was a process the point wasn’t made.

Right? Because if there was a process then it could be explained in another way. It was instantaneous. “The Centurion’s servant was healed”, Matthew 8:13, “that very hour.” The woman with the bleeding problem–it went away immediately. Jesus healed ten lepers instantaneously. The crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda, immediately became well. No “progressive” healings only fakes claim that. 

*C. Jesus healed totally

– When someone was healed they were totally and completely healed–the only kind of healing Jesus ever did. He didn’t partially heal. He healed totally. Faith healers claim that people are healed and when they are still sick they say they “lost” their healing due to lack of faith. When Jesus healed a disease they were healed completely and it didn’t come back.

*D. He healed anybody

– You didn’t have to have a long line of people filling out cards. And He certainly didn’t have a whole group of people who came into the meeting in wheelchairs and left in wheelchairs (if they had wheelchairs, or crutches, or whatever). Luke 4:40 says, “While the Sun was setting, all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on everyone of them, He was healing them.” It’s an incredible thing. He healed everybody. He healed everybody instantaneously. He healed everybody totally and He healed everybody with a word. At the Benny Hinn Healing Crusades, many come desperate for healing and they go away devastated because they were ignored.

*E. He healed organic disease

– He didn’t just go around Palestine healing lower back pain, heart palpitations, headaches, and other things like that. He healed the most obvious organic disease; crippled bent legs, withered hands, blind eyes, paralysis. I wonder why the “faith healers” don’t go to hospitals but use a crusade at a coliseum with staff that “weed out” the cases that are in wheel chairs and gurneys and only pick the cases where you have to take their word for it instead of seeing a real miracle of healing.

Once I saw a fake healer (R.W. Shambach) that used a young boy who the parents said was legally blind and after laying hands on him got the boy to tell him how many fingers he had up and the boy could. You say why then that’s a legitimate healing, not so, my mother is legally blind but she drives, reads, cooks, everything we do. 

*F. He raised the dead

– He raised the dead. He came up on a funeral and he raised the dead! You remember that? Here comes the funeral procession; the widow is going to bury her son and Jesus stops the procession, touches the casket and says, “Young man, arise!” and the dead man sat up and began to speak. Now, I will tell you something, people who tout the gift of healing today don’t spend a lot of time in funeral processions; the reason is obvious. And you need to note, by the way, that Jesus did virtually all His healings and raising the dead in public before vast crowds of people. Why? Because the gift of healing was real and it was an authenticating gift. He used it to confirm the claim that He was the Son of God in a way that displayed His power and compassion.

Healing by God’s power can happen today but not by human hands or “healing ministries”. God is not made by anyone to heal them, it is by His divine power and will that He does heal. The gospel is good news about our sin problem, not our sicknesses; Christ died for our sins, not our sicknesses; the focus of the suffering and shed blood and death on the cross was to save us from sin and eternal death in hell. Jesus loves us and He knows and understands our suffering and gives us the grace to face it all.

*-Note: the ideas for these points came from John MacArthur and his sermons on Charismatics 

http://excharismania.blogspot.com/search/label/Healing

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