Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It is God can heal and God does heal (PART II)

In PART I, we have looked at the issue of whether or NOT God CAN heal. In this part, we will look at whether or NOT God DOES heal.

It is NOT in the past, God DOES heal
It is NOT God did heal and He does NOT heal anymore. Some segments in the Christian faith believe, that is the case; that God did heal people in the past, but He no longer heals. In other words, they do NOT doubt that God is capable of healing (God CAN heal), but they do NOT believe God DOES heal anymore.

From the Word:
1. As we have seen above (PART I), God healed in the OT period, in the NT period, healed in the early years of the Church. God healed in the OT, Jesus healed in His earthly ministry, His early disciples healed when they were with Jesus, and thereafter, too, i.e. after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

Here are some examples of healings done “through” the early disciples, after Jesus was resurrected (from the Book of Acts):

- 1.1 Lame from birth healed by Apostle Peter (Acts 3:2,6-8)
  2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called
  Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple
  courts. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.
  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he
  helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped
  to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts,
  walking and jumping, and praising God.

- 1.2 Apostles healed many (Acts 5:12, 15-16)

- 1.3 Paralytics, cripples and demonized/demon possessed healed by Apostle Philip (Acts

- 1.4 Ananias of Damascus healed Paul’s blindness (Acts 9:17-18)

- 1.5 In Lydda, Peter healed a paralytic of 8 years (Acts 9:33-35)

- 1.6 In Joppa, Peter raised philanthropic Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-37, 40-42)

- 1.7 In Lystra, Paul healed a cripple/lame from birth (Acts 14:8-10)

- 1.8 Paul delivered a slave of the spirit of divination (Acts 16:16-18)

- 1.9 Paul healed and delivered through transference onto objects {handkerchiefs and
  aprons} (Acts 19:11-12)

- 1.10 Paul raised a young man from the dead {fallen from 3rd storey} (Acts 20:7-12)

- 1.11 Shipwrecked on Malta, Paul himself was healed of venomous snake bite (Acts

- 1.12 On Malta, Paul also healed the island’s chief’s father of fever and dysentery, and
  others of sickness (Acts 28:7-9)

2. There was no recording anywhere in Scripture that divine healings were only for the setting up of the early church, and that it was to cease thereafter. Such a posture that divine healing was only for the initial setting up of the Church is mere unsubstantiated speculation.

3. On the contrary, the Apostles left us clue to expect God’s continual work of healing. The Apostle James left these words to us:

“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14)

4. Jesus’ words in the Bible:

- 4.1 Concerning the Great commission: These were the words of Jesus, recorded for
  us in Gospel of Mark –

  15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all
  creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not
  believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In
  my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will
  pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt
  them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get
  well.” (Mark 16:15-18)

Do you think that this work that Jesus referred to, is already all done; the good news has finished being preached? It cannot be, for if it were the case, Jesus would be back (Matt 24:14). No, right! So, do NOT believe the speculation that divine healing is no longer applicable past the initial years of the worldwide church.

The Lord worked with the early disciples, there is no reason, and indeed there was no reason, given in scriptures, pointing to He will NOT work with us, past the Apostle Paul’s era.

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:19-20)

- 4.2 Jesus’ manifesto was prophesied by prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 61, and it was
  restated for us, by Jesus, in Luke 4:18-19:

  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news
   to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of
   sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s
   favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Without doing a full exposition of the manifesto of Jesus, we can accept that apart from spiritual healing, it pointed also to physical and emotional healing for the sick, and the driving out of evil spirits from people. In the sending of the Twelve, what was recorded for us in the Gospel of Matthew was consistent with it:

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; ….. and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:1-8)

What do disciples do? Disciples carry on with the manifesto of the master. The Lord, Jesus, was the master of the Twelve; is He NOT your master? Wouldn’t we be doing the same, carrying on with the manifesto of Jesus? This is what Jesus left us with, concerning this:

I {Jesus} tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

Isn’t it clear enough that Jesus expects us to continue with the same, which included praying for the sick, and He would work with us, like He worked with the early disciples, as stated in Mark 16:19-20 (given above)?

- 4.3 Do the things you did at first {said Jesus}: In warning the 7 churches in the Book
  of Revelation, through vision and revelation to the Apostle John, and as against the
  Ephesians church, Jesus said this:

  4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the
   height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you
   do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Rev

I submit to you that one of the items comprised in the unhappiness, and the warning, is the lack of attentiveness to what was closest to the master’s heart. What is closest to the Master’s heart? Think about it, as a disciple, what do you think is dear in the master’s heart? Yes, his manifesto. When a master takes in a disciple, what do you think he is hoping for? Yes, the disciple would carry on with what is dear in his (the master’s) heart; even when he, the master, is no more around, he would be expecting his disciple to be doing just what he, the master, would be doing. This really calls for the attentiveness that we first gave to our master. The point is that the master’ manifesto did include healing; he does want to heal, and does want us to work with Him, at the opportune time, to heal the sick. We got to want to do that, be attentive, to heal (pray for healing), in the name of Jesus.

5. God the same yesterday, today and forevermore:
  “I the LORD do not change (Mal 3:6a). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and
   today and forever. (Heb 13:8).

While it will be exaggeration to say nothing will change with God, it is clear enough, the nature-attributes, or some called them character-attributes, of God, do NOT change, meaning that God is holy, He is holy; it does NOT change. That He loves, full of wisdom, consistent, reliable, and dependable, such do NOT change. Also, the personhood attributes of God do NOT change either; these included such personhood of God as: God is God, God is Creator, God is Father, God is Saviour, and God is Healer, etc.

The perfect harmonization of the nature-attributes and personhood attributes does NOT change either; but such perfect harmonization belongs to God and God only; we cannot reach that level of wisdom and sophistication of the Godhead, and the RESULT of that perfect harmonization is NOT the same all the time. In other words, if today calls for a little more fatherly love to be shown to you, the perfect harmonization of God will result in just that, that perfect level of fatherly love for you; likewise, if today, chastisement should be rendered you, God would reach that perfect harmonization required for chastising you. That is why God NEVER gives up His prerogative to be true to Himself, and so, we read of such thing as “Sovereignty is mine”. Or “I shall have mercy on whom I have mercy on, and I shall have compassion on whom I have compassion on.” (Rom 9:15). But undoubtedly, it is in God the personhood of a Healer; He is Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer, and so, God can be expected to heal, although it may NOT be at every time or situation, but it is indeed He did heal and He does heal.

6. God is holy. What does it got to do with healing you may ask? It has everything to do with healing, because “God is holy” implies He can only be consistent, reliable and dependable. It is in such character attributes coming from His holiness, that we can and are reasonable to expect that God will continue to heal.

7. That there is to be false/counterfeit signs and wonders, and miracles, means that there is also the authentic things in the first place: 2 important things people failed to realize:

One, when there is no genuine one, there is no false or counterfeit to talk about; why would the Bible warns of false or counterfeit signs and wonders, and miracles if there was no expectation there will be the real things? It is because there is the real and the counterfeit, that there is a need to warn people. Did the Word warn? Yes,

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible” (Matt 24:24). “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Cor 11:13-15)

Two, what do you do? No, the answer is NOT that we forget about signs and wonders and miracles. You mean, you also forget about the pastors and the apostles of the church, since 2 Cor 11:13-15 said that there will be fakes, false apostles, deceitful workmen masquerading as apostles of Christ. Do you shut yourself in and not mix with anyone, since the one you mix with or talk to, can be a crook, out to cheat you or mislead you? No, right? You go tell a woman to forget about diamonds and precious stones on the ground of there are useless stones out there. They will tell you, you are crazy and stupid, you don’t forget about diamonds and precious stones, you learn to tell them apart; you keep the precious stones, and throw away the useless stones or counterfeits. Or please don’t throw the baby out together with the bath water. Are not signs and wonders and miracles precious, or the baby precious? Yes, so you don’t throw them out. Just because there is the true God and the false God, are you going to tell God, sorry God, in that case, I will have nothing to do with God. So, if there is expectation of counterfeit healing, there is the real healing coming; meaning, God can be expected to heal, and you should want it.

8. Scriptures spoke of spiritual gifts for believers, including gift of healing (1 Cor 12:8-10). The Books of Corinthians were written by the Apostle Paul; if divine healing was NOT expected beyond his time, do you honestly think that Paul would record them for us.

9. By His strips we are/were healed. If you look at Isaiah 53:5, it said there, that “we are healed”. If you look at 1 Peter 2:24 (KJV, clearer), you find that it was written there as “we were healed”. Regardless of “are” or “were”, there is no contention over the fact that a one-time incident of Jesus’ crucifixion is still good for any future person, relative to Jesus’ crucifixion. In other words, today, in the 21st century, an unbeliever can still become a believer despite Jesus having died more than 2,000 years ago. If the person can enter into salvation now, it also means that now, as he enters into salvation, he can be healed. This is still so, even if Isaiah 53 were worded with “we were healed”. What this meant is God can still heal, since what held true then, must still hold true today, or in the future, for the person who is entering into salvation, that he will effectively enters into salvation and can receive healing by the stripes of Jesus. This is apart from the controversy over whether or NOT, there is present continuous healing for our body, as argued by those believing that the correct rendering of Isaiah 53:5 is “are healed”, and NOT “were healed”.

From experiences:
Of course, the many accounts cited earlier were healing experiences of people, but because they were recorded in Scripture, they formed part of the Word. So, the experiences here are to be taken as extra-biblical experiences. What is the essential difference between the two? There is a difference, and we must know to avoid falling into the fallacy of, we can form doctrines and theologies out of our pure experiences. We cannot do that, for doctrines and theologies of the faith can only be formed solely from the Word which included recorded accounts of experiences. That they were selected through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for recording in the Word, they formed part of the Word, but our experiences (extra-biblical) are NOT; our experiences only testify to the truth of the Word.

So, what extra-biblical experiences are there to testify to divine healings still happening, or that God still heals?

There are many, and of course, if we search the internet, you will find many listings of divine healings (from the Christian God). You may argue that you do not know of the authenticity of all those reported accounts, but there are enough that clearly cannot be untrue. I will just for the purpose here, give one site where I believe what are listed there are to the best of knowledge of the church leadership, genuine divine healings: Prophet Kobus’ Spirit Word Ministries Miracles.

Closer to home, I would like to share my friend, Barney Lau’s testimony of his and his wife’s healings by the Lord in 1995, in Singapore. His full testimony can be read from Full Gospel Business, Singapore (FGB{s})’s gatekeepers magazine Issue No 5 starting from page 20.

Back in 1995, both Barney and his wife were yet believers or Christians, even though they had had been to church services and church-type activities. Barney’s wife was then diagnosed with Trigemina neuralgia with pain coming on from one side of her head. The pain came all the way to the face; even a light wind blow on her face would cause excruciating pain on her face. Further examinations including scanning revealed that she was having a tumour in her forehead. Meanwhile, Barney himself was with searing back pain for more than 2 decades (20 years), with the pain coming on and off, but when it came, it would be very painful for Barney who had to close his eyes and clench his teeth until the pain passed over. In that year, 1995, Barney attended a miracle healing service in a church in Singapore, with his wife. They responded to the call of the Minister; knelt down, sobbed and surrendered their lives and sicknesses to God. After two weeks, they discovered that God had healed them both. The pain of both disappeared and did not return. Up to today, Barney, with grown up children, still testifies of the miracle of God healing them back in 1995, and Barney himself, now actively invites people to the same healing service in which he and his wife were healed back in 1995. Does God still heal? Yes, He does.

In part I of this 2-parts article, we have looked at the issue of whether or not God can heal; and we concluded, from looking at the Word and the healing accounts done by God or His Son, Jesus, recorded in the Word, that God indeed can heal, and did heal. In part II, which we have just seen, from the Word, healings accounts done by God through the ministries of the disciples of Jesus in the Book of Acts, and from men’s extra-biblical experiences of divine healings, even up to present day, we can conclude that God has continued to heal, and therefore, we can confidently say that God CAN and DOES heal.

Although it is God CAN and DOES heal, it is NOT God MUST and WILL heal, the latter I have established for us, in my separate article, “People are NOT healed all the time, why we still pray”.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions – God, you know I know it is NOT that every sick MUST be healed by you, every time, for it is NOT in your plan that men will NOT die physically, yet, you are a God of compassion and love, and you still care for us, men, while we lived, despite we are destined to die physically. You CAN heal, and you DID heal, and it is clear that you DO heal, and so, with this understandings, I have stepped forward to be your minister for healing, and I ask, in the mighty name of your Son, Jesus Christ, for the authority and power to heal the sick and cast out demons. I ask for your supernatural gifts of healing and miracles, as detailed in 1 Cor 12:8-10, to be activated in my life, to bless those in need, to glorify you, and to lift up Jesus, so that Jesus will draw men into your Kingdom, as you have desired. Amen.

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