|THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT HEALING
by Herbert W. Armstrong
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter One: Healing in Our Time?
Chapter Two: Learning to Believe
Chapter Three: What the Old and New Testaments Reveal
Chapter Four: What Is Faith?
Chapter Five: Is Healing Always God's Will?
Chapter Six: Claiming God's Blessings
Is the day of miracles past? Does the living God heal sickness and
disease today upon believing prayer? Or was healing performed only
by Christ and the original apostles? Did God raise up medical
science for our day? What about modern faith healers and public
HEALING IN OUR TIME?
You live in a world that relies primarily on medical doctors
to treat illness. Most professing Christians today say: "God raised
up medical science for our day. Jesus healed to prove He was the
Messiah. But the day of miracles is now past." Some, who think God
heals through self-professed faith healers, attend public healing
shows. Some believe in healing by one of the forms of "mental
science" -- the power of mind over matter. Others say: "Well, I think
God can heal -- if it's His will. But how can we know whether it's
Yes, people say!
But what does GOD say?
Does He reveal whether He still heals, why He heals, how He
heals, whether and when it is His will? For the answers we go to
Christ's Ministry Was Dual
Let's begin at the beginning. Actually, there are two
beginnings, so far as the subject of healing is concerned -- one is
in the New Testament, with Christ; the other in the Old Testament,
with the people of ancient Israel. We shall begin with the ministry
of Jesus. Later, many readers will be surprised to learn how much
is recorded on the subject throughout the Old Testament.
More than 1,900 years ago -- in A.D. 27-31 -- Jesus Christ
appeared on earth as a messenger bearing history's most important
message from God to mankind. His mission was prophesied in Malachi
That message actually was a stupendous NEWS Announcement. The
news was the most transcendent GOOD NEWS! It was the GOSPEL (which
means "good news") of Jesus Christ.
But Jesus' ministry was a dual ministry. And a miraculous
Jesus came also healing the sick by divine POWER of God. It
was not the power of human mind over matter. Few realize the extent
to which healing and casting out demons were an integral part of
Jesus' ministry. Later, the apostles proclaimed His same message
and healed the sick.
Ministry of Healing Ceases
It comes as an astounding shock to learn that long before the
end of the first century, the proclamation of Christ's gospel to
the world and the ministry of physical healing ceased!
Christ's gospel was the glorious messianic announcement of the
coming world-ruling KINGDOM OF GOD. It was the announcement of the
wonderful WORLD Tomorrow! It was not a message of doom! -- except for
explaining the causes of the doom of this world's evils, sufferings
and unhappiness. It was a joyous announcement of coming world
peace, universal happiness and well-being!
But the leaders of the people in Judea misunderstood and
resented both that good NEWS and Jesus' MIRACLES.
Jesus' miracles were public, but they weren't healing shows.
He simply healed the sick wherever He came to them or they came to
Him. But of course the miracles attracted enormous crowds. Many
began to believe on Him.
This alarmed the chief priests and the ruling Pharisees. It
stirred them to violent persecution. They totally misunderstood
Jesus' message! His news announcement was that of the yet-to-come
Kingdom of God, not -- as they supposed -- of the overthrow of the
Roman government of their day.
The Romans, then ruling the Western world, avoided most of the
details of government administration in Judea by allowing the Jews
to rule themselves at the lower levels.
The Pharisaic rulers loved their position of authority. They
viewed Jesus as an anti-Roman agitator proposing to overthrow the
Roman rule. They feared being imprisoned as seditionists if they
sided in any way with Jesus. They plotted to kill Him, and at God's
set time Jesus was crucified, making possible man's reconciliation
Power of the Holy Spirit Given
God miraculously raised Jesus from the dead, making possible
eternal life for humanity. On the 50th day (called Pentecost) after
His resurrection, the 120 converts of Jesus, including the
apostles, received the POWER of the Holy Spirit of God. In that
power they proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God. In the
same divine power from God by which Christ healed, they healed the
sick wherever they went.
But, as with Jesus, so now with the apostles: The miracles
drew tremendous crowds. Without any pressured solicitations,
thousands were converted and baptized. But soon the persecution
against them multiplied.
Two years after Jesus' resurrection, A.D. 33, Simon the
Sorcerer (Acts 8), the Pater (father or Peter) of the Babylonian
mystery religion in Samaria, after being rejected by Peter,
appropriated the name of Christ and applied it to his Babylonian
mystery religion, calling it "Christianity." Simon and his
followers began systematic opposition and persecution against the
true Church of God, founded in A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ. (How the
Babylonian mystery religion was moved into Samaria in 718 B.C. is
explained in II Kings 17:18-24.)
Gentile and Jewish Opposition
The earliest opposition against Christ's Church was Jewish,
opposing the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. Judaizers insisted
on observing the temporary rituals of Mosaic law. For this reason
the early ministry of the apostles put prime emphasis on the
replacement of rituals by the Holy Spirit, and on the resurrection,
infallible proof of Christ's messiahship.
The apostles were personally with Jesus for 3 1/2 years before
His crucifixion and for 40 days after His resurrection -- so they
were eyewitnesses to the resurrection.
After A.D. 33, as the work of this Simon the Sorcerer spread,
the opposition to the true Church became Gentile. The writings of
Paul, as well as I and II Peter, of James, of I, II and III John
and Jude show the Gentile opposition was primarily aimed against
the law of God. Simon appropriated the doctrine of grace from the
teaching of the apostles, but it was grace turned into license to
disobey (Jude 4).
They preached a false Jesus who, they said, did away with the
basic spiritual law of God. Simon and his followers preached a
totally different gospel than the apostles -- primarily that of their
own Babylonian mystery religion with grace and Christ's name added.
Of course they got it to the Galatians.
To the Galatians, Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are so soon
removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
another gospel" (Galatians 1:6).
To the Corinthians, Paul wrote: "For if he that cometh
preacheth another Jesus ... or another gospel ..." (II Corinthians
11:4). Of these Simon Magus-type preachers, Paul wrote: "For such
are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into
the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is
transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing
if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness" (verses 13-15).
It was Satan -- the former cherub Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15;
Ezekiel 28:12-17) -- who originally rebelled against the GOVERNMENT
OF GOD and caused its removal from the earth. Satan is the god of
this world (II Corinthians 4:4). He has his churches and his
ministers. They oppose the law of God. Therefore they oppose the
KINGDOM of God, since it is governed by the laws of God. These
apostles of Satan offered the world an easier religion. Obedience
Dark Age Begins
The opposition of Simon's false church finally snuffed out the
proclaiming of the MESSAGE of the KINGDOM OF GOD. Before the end of
the first century, the curtain was systematically rung down on all
records of true Church history.
When the curtain lifts, late in the second century, we behold
a "Christianity" utterly unlike that of Christ and His original
apostles. Its doctrines, sacraments and customs were those of the
Babylonian mystery religion. It persecuted and martyred those true
Christians still holding to the teachings and customs of Christ and
His apostles. Christ's doctrines and customs were branded as
"Jewish." The term "Jewish" became a dirty word -- an epithet.
The message God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ -- the true
gospel Christ preached, the announcement of the coming KINGDOM OF
GOD was done away by expediently calling THE CHURCH (Simon's) "the
kingdom of God." Some, later, reduced the KINGDOM OF GOD to an
ethereal indescribable something "set up in men's hearts."
Thus, through manipulations of "the god of this world," Satan,
by whom ALL NATIONS HAVE BEEN DECEIVED (Revelation 12:9), the true
GOSPEL MESSAGE CHRIST BROUGHT was suppressed and not proclaimed to
the world after the first century! And healing the sick as a
regular practice had ceased also.
Thus the DUAL ministry of Christ and the apostles was no part
of what the world has accepted as traditional Christianity.
But, persecuted over the centuries, mostly unrecognized by the
world, the true and original Church of God has continued through
all generations to the present.
In the book of Revelation two churches are described. One, in
the 12th chapter, the true and original Church of God, small and
persecuted, having to endure hardship, persecution and martyrdom
for survival; the other, in the 17th chapter, the great politically
popular church, ruling over kings and nations of this world, drunk
with the blood of saints and martyrs of Jesus.
For 18 1/2 centuries Christ's true gospel -- HIS MESSAGE from
God of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD -- had not been proclaimed to the
world. It was only taught to the comparative few -- secretly -- who
kept the Church of God alive through the centuries.
The original one and only true Church of God still lives! And
still persecuted, maligned, misrepresented, it is restoring the
true gospel of Jesus Christ today! It is sending out that good news
worldwide -- as a witness for all nations, in real POWER!
And Christ's doctrine of healing the sick is also being
restored. There have been multiple thousands of miraculous
healings. But not, in our time, spectacular public displays of
sensational miracles to attract both crowds and added persecutions.
The REASONS for this and the truth about the whole subject of
healing will be made plain in this booklet.
There have been "gospel" programs -- scores of them -- all over
the world. But, as Paul described, they have each been another
gospel. Christ's MESSAGE was suppressed. Christ has been preached
to the world -- but a different Jesus.
But, what about healing the sick today? How is it being
restored in God's Church?
LEARNING TO BELIEVE
We come now to the biblical teaching on the subject of
healing. And I can best bring this to the reader by relating my own
personal and unusual experience in discovering it.
When I first came among those of the Church of God in 1926 and
1927, they still carried the NAME "Church of God." They knew of the
second coming of Christ to reign on earth for a thousand years,
though they knew little, or almost nothing, of what would actually
take place during that millennial reign.
Back in 1860 the largest number of them had split off, coming
to the belief that the millennial reign with Christ would take
place in heaven. Leaving the truth they also left the true name.
Although the knowledge of these simple but sincere people
regarding the Kingdom of God was very incomplete, they did believe
in keeping the commandments of God. They had more biblical truth
than any other religious body on earth.
Even though God's Church had endured through the centuries,
gradually much of the original truth of the gospel apparently had
True Knowledge Revealed
Subsequent events have shown that I was being called by the
living Christ for a very special end-time commission to raise up
the Philadelphia era of God's Church (Revelation 3:7-13), to
restore much lost knowledge (Daniel 12:4), to restore the great
commission (Matthew 24:14) and publish (Mark 13:10) His true gospel
of the Kingdom of God "in all the world for a witness unto all
nations" just before the end of this present world.
We had now reached the final generation of this age -- the
generation during which Christ will return, setting up the Kingdom
The shock of my life came when I saw in the Bible beginning in
the autumn of 1926, that what I had heard as "the gospel" was in
most basic respects the very opposite of the plain and clear
teaching of the real Jesus and of the Bible!
It was an almost unbelievable shock to see in the Bible the
prophecy that ALL NATIONS -- the world as a whole -- would be deceived
today! It was a tremendous shock to learn the full truth about the
Kingdom of God and that God had inspired the apostle Paul to
pronounce a double curse on any who would preach any other gospel!
My eyes were opened to the true gospel described so clearly
and unmistakably in the Bible -- for those willing to see and
And so, as I have written before, I say with the apostle Paul
(paraphrasing): "I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which is
preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man,
neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus
Christ ... But when it pleased God, who ... called me by His grace, to
reveal His Son and His gospel in me, that I might preach it among
the descendants of the house of Israel, and the Gentile nations,
and kings [Acts 9:15], immediately I conferred not with flesh and
blood, neither went I to any theological seminary or source of
religious teaching of this world, but I went to Christ, the living
Personal Word of God, who instructed me through the written Word of
God, the Holy Bible" (Galatians 1:11-17).
After the first six months' intensive almost night-and-day
study of the Bible, my conversion and baptism occurred in the
spring of 1927 -- but not the cessation of instruction the living
Christ was imparting through His written Word. That has continued
all through the over 50 years since.
My family and I were living then in Portland, Oregon. As 1927
wore on, intensive Bible study continued. I was rapidly beginning
to grow, as Peter said Christians must, "in grace, and in the
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).
Upon baptism, I had received the Holy Spirit of the living God. My
mind had undergone a renewing. I was thrilled at this new ability
to understand God's revealed knowledge. Still I was having to learn
a step at a time, a doctrine at a time. The hardest part was having
to Unlearn inherited false teachings.
Mrs. Armstrong Stricken
In early August 1927, my wife suddenly was attacked by a
series of physical illnesses. First she was bitten on the left leg
by a dog. Then immediately she was driven to bed with tonsillitis.
She got up too soon and was stricken with a violent relapse.
Meanwhile she had contracted blood poisoning from a rose thorn on
the index finger of her right hand.
The next two or three days her sister and I took turns night
and day soaking her right arm in almost blistering hot Epsom salts
water, covering her wrist and forearm with hot towels, holding her
right arm constantly high.
The backset from tonsillitis developed into quinsy. Her throat
became swollen shut. Her jaws became locked. Of course we had
called a doctor.
For three days and three nights she was not only unable to
swallow food or water, but worse, she was unable to sleep a single
moment. She was nearing exhaustion. The red line of blood
poisoning, despite our efforts, was streaking up her right arm. It
had reached her shoulder on the way to her heart. The doctor told
me privately she could not last another 24 hours.
The third sleepless, foodless and waterless day was a
sweltering hot day in early August. Late that morning a neighbor
lady stopped in to see my wife.
"Mr. Armstrong," she asked, "would you object if I ask a man
and his wife to come and anoint and pray for Mrs. Armstrong's
That sounded a bit fanatical to me. Too embarrassed to object,
however, I said hesitantly, "Well, I suppose not." In two hours she
returned, saying they would come at about 7 that evening.
But I began to have misgivings. What if these people were Holy
Rollers or wild, shouting fanatics? What would our neighbors say?
I went to the neighbor lady and told her I believed we'd better not
have them come after all. She was nice. She would start immediately
and tell them not to come. I learned then she would have to walk
over a mile each way to contact them. It was now the heat of the
day, the hottest day of the year.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said. "I didn't realize you had to walk so
far. But I was afraid these people might yell and wail and shout,
and cause a neighborhood disturbance."
"Oh, they are very quiet people," she assured me. I backed
down. "Well, let them come, then," I concluded.
The Meaning of Faith
They proved to be simple and plain people, not highly
educated, yet of good natural intelligence.
"This is all rather new to me," I began, as soon as they were
seated at my wife's bedside. "Would you mind if I ask a few
He welcomed the questions. He had a Bible in his hands. One by
one he answered every question by reading his answer from the
Bible. I recognized every passage he read, but had not put them
together this way before. Now I saw them for the first time as
teachings, admonitions, explanations and, most important, PROMISES!
I began to understand -- and believe! And I knew well my wife did
I knelt with them beside her bed. The man anointed my wife
from a vial of oil he carried. Then he uttered a quiet but deeply
earnest, positive, believing prayer such as I had never heard
before. He actually dared to talk directly to God, quoting what God
had said in the Bible, quoting God's conditions and promises and
applying those promises to my wife, saying in boldness and
confidence that he was claiming and holding God to those promises.
Never had we heard a prayer like that! We knew God in His Word
had promised. We believed God. Mrs. Armstrong and I both KNEW she
was healed -- as this man had claimed -- from the top of her head to
the bottom of her feet.
As they rose to leave, the woman laid a hand on Mrs.
Armstrong's shoulder and said quietly, "You'll sleep tonight." I
thanked them gratefully.
As they left Mrs. Armstrong asked me to bring her a robe.
Without a word, she rose, and arm in arm we walked silently out to
the sidewalk and back.
My wife went immediately to sleep and didn't waken until 11
the next morning. She arose and dressed as if nothing had happened.
She was completely healed -- OF EVERYTHING!
We had learned a new lesson in FAITH! And that experience has
resulted in countless thousands of others learning that lesson! We
had learned that we can rely on God's Word! God's FAITHFULNESS is
A New Subject to Study
That awe-inspiring experience brought before me for study a
totally new subject -- HEALING -- and its accompanying subjects of
FAITH and PRAYER.
There was one real disappointment in this whole experience
with my wife's healing. I felt extremely grateful to the man and
wife who had brought this experience to us. I had learned a rather
shocking truth in the Bible: The resurrection of Christ was NOT on
Sunday, and the crucifixion was not on Friday. I had written in
manuscript form an article on the subject. This man's fervent
prayer not only saved my wife's life, it also opened my eyes to a
new biblical truth. Now I wanted to share with him the eye-opening
truth about the resurrection.
I took my typed manuscript along and offered it to him to
read, asking his opinion about the truth of it. I left it with him.
A few nights later, I called again on this man I looked to as a man
of God. I asked if he had read my manuscript.
"Well, yes, Brother," he replied. "I took it to our pastor and
we went over it together." He avoided giving an opinion as to its
"But did you find any error in what I wrote?" I persisted.
"Well, no, Brother," he admitted. "We couldn't find anything
wrong with it. But, Brother, we feel that studying that kind of
subject is likely to be dangerous. It might get you all mixed up.
We feel it would be better for you to just forget all about it. We
feel there are more important things for you to study. It's best to
just keep your mind on Christ."
God's Knowledge Rejected
I walked back home disillusioned, grieved, tremendously
disappointed. He admitted I had brought him a new truth. He was
unable to find any error in it. It was the pure teaching of the
Bible, yet he not only rejected the admitted Word of God, he
advised me, a newly converted man who had confidence in him, also
to accept tradition and false teaching and reject the Word of the
Arriving home, I happened to turn to Hosea 4:6 where God says
that because people have rejected God's knowledge, He will reject
them! It weighed heavily on my mind. A week later I walked back
down Sandy Boulevard to the old tabernacle formerly used by Billy
Sunday where this man and wife were caretakers. I hoped I might
even yet rescue this man from the consequences of rejecting truth.
I found him in the big auditorium, looking downcast and
dejected. "Brother!" he exclaimed on seeing me. "Brother, something
terrible has come over me. God has left me. He doesn't answer my
prayers anymore. Before, God used me in a special ministry praying
for the sick. He always heard and answered. People were
miraculously healed. But not anymore! Not one, anymore. I don't
Truth -- or Consequences
Poor man! I understood. I tried to explain, but he wouldn't
listen. He had been a trusting and deeply sincere, if simple and
uneducated man. God had used him as an instrument in performing
miracles, helping people.
I quoted to him from I John 3:22: "And whatsoever we ask we
receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those
things that are pleasing in his sight." But he could not see that
rejecting God's truth and refusing to keep His commandments had any
connection with his case.
I had to think of the radio-television show originated by
Ralph Edwards, Truth or Consequences. God had required him to
accept the TRUTH or receive the consequences. I haven't seen or
heard from that man since.
But Christ did continue to reveal His truth, as I diligently
continued studying His Word. Not only did He open my mind to reveal
His truth about healing, but also to understand the truth about His
gospel message -- the Kingdom of God. I saw the great commission to
His apostles: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel ..."
I saw that it was a worldwide ministry, not a local one, nor
even national to our own nation. It was now revealed to me how, in
the ministry of Jesus and His first-century apostles, miraculous
HEALING of the sick and diseased went hand in hand with the
preaching of the gospel.
What happened through Simon the Sorcerer to stop the worldwide
proclaiming of the true gospel and stop the miraculous healings was
not revealed to me until years later. But it was at that time
revealed to me how healing is for God's Church today (James
5:14-15), and also the prophecy revealing HOW the great commission
was to be carried out in this present END TIME of the twentieth
That prophecy is in the pivotal prophecy chapter of the New
Testament -- Matthew 24. Before I cover what the Bible teaches about
healing in both Old and New Testaments, it is vital that the reader
understand how that gospel message is today, after 19 centuries,
going out into ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS to all nations -- not
being proclaimed to all the billions of people in every nation, but
proclaimed in all the world-worldwide -- so that it becomes a witness
to or against every nation.
Jesus had been teaching in the Temple in Jerusalem. Leaving
the Temple, His disciples came to Him privately on the Mount of
Olives, asking: "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what
shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world
[age]?" (Verse 3.)
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man
deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I [Jesus] am
Christ; and shall deceive many" (verses 4-5). First, Jesus warned
them of the great deception, the false "Christianity" -- preaching
CHRIST to the world, preaching ABOUT the messenger, but not
proclaiming His message -- His gospel.
He did not give the sign by which we might know when we are at
the END of this present world and His coming is near until verse
14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the
world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
The very fact He gave the proclaiming of the true gospel of
the Kingdom as the sign we are at the end time shows it was not
preached to the world these past 19 centuries otherwise it could
not be the sign.
But notice, this prophecy says the great commission will be
going out again to the world, yet it says nothing about healing
accompanying it. Elsewhere biblical teaching shows healing is for
the Church. But it is NOT, today, an integral part of the
proclaiming of Christ's gospel to the world!
WHAT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS REVEAL
Many believe, today, that Jesus healed and performed miracles
only to demonstrate He was the Christ, but we read of miraculous
healings all through the Old Testament.
The Israelites, on their trek out of Egyptian slavery, came to
Marah. The water was too bitter to drink. Of course the people
griped and blamed Moses. Moses cried out to God, who performed a
miracle, making the waters sweet. Then God said: "If thou wilt
diligently hearken to the voice of the Eternal thy God, and wilt do
that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his
commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these
diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I
am the Eternal that healeth thee" (Exodus 15:26).
The God Who Heals
Those last five words are translated from the Hebrew name
Yahweh-Rapha, one of God's names, meaning the "healing God" or the
"God who heals."
In Exodus 23:25, God is quoted speaking to the children of
Israel: "... I will take sickness away from the midst of thee."
Again, in Deuteronomy 7:15: "And the Eternal will take away
from thee all sickness ..." In Deuteronomy 32:39, God is quoted:
"... I heal ..."
David prayed: "O Eternal my God, I cried unto thee, and thou
hast healed me" (Psalms 30:2). Psalm 41:4: "Lord, be merciful unto
me: heal my soul ..."
In Psalm 6:2, David prayed: "Have mercy upon me, O Eternal;
for I am weak: O Lord, heal me ..."
Psalm 103:3: "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth
all thy diseases." Is it God's will to heal? some ask. Or others
say, "I know He could heal me, IF it's His will." Is it His will to
forgive? Then, He says, it is also His will to HEAL -- all our
Psalm 107:17-20: "Fools because of their transgression, and
because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth
all manner of meat [food]; and they draw near unto the gates of
death. Then they cry unto the Eternal in their trouble, and he
saveth them out of their distresses.
"He [sendeth] his word, and [healeth] them, and [delivereth]
them from their destructions." (The original Hebrew signifies the
present tense.) This is a case of one who has been very foolish,
and brought the sickness upon himself. But, on repentance, God
forgives and has mercy and heals.
Specific Case History
God had said to ancient Israel, "I am Yahweh-Rapha" -- that is,
"I am the Eternal who heals you," or, "I am your healing God," or,
"I am your God-healer." He also said in the Ten Commandments: "Thou
shalt have no other gods before me."
Healing is the forgiveness of physical sin. None but God can
forgive sin. None but God heals! God is a jealous God. He is not
going to allow anyone else to heal. Medicines and drugs do not,
Notice, now, the case of King Asa of Judah. He turned to the
king of Syria for help and paid him money to become an ally. God
had said He would fight Judah's battles for them. This hiring of
allies God calls harlotry, in which the harlot pays instead of
But King Asa forsook God -- like a wife forsaking her husband
and hiring lovers -- and this, after having previously relied on God
for victories! God sent a prophet to remind Asa of what he was
doing. But Asa in hot anger had the prophet imprisoned.
Later Asa was stricken with a serious disease. Notice in 11
Chronicles 16:12-13: "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his
reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding
great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Eternal, but to the
physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and
fortieth year of his reign."
God wants His people to rely on Him, to TRUST Him. He wants to
do things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. He wants us to
learn the lesson of faith!
Now notice another case history, recorded in II Kings, first
chapter. King Ahaziah, king of Israel at Samaria, son of the evil
Ahab, "fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in
Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them,
Go, inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover
of this disease.
"But the angel of the Eternal said to Elijah the Tishbite,
Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say
unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye
go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus
saith the Eternal, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which
thou art gone up, but shalt surely die" (verses 2-4).
Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, was the patron deity of
medicine -- the medicine god of Ekron. The manner in which people
inquired of this god was through the medical doctors. Is it because
some of us do not know and rely on the true God that we rely
instead on medical doctors? God has said, "I am the God who heals
But now one other case history from the Old Testament. It's
the example of King Hezekiah. It is recorded in II Kings, the 20th
chapter, the first seven verses.
"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet
Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith
the Eternal, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not
"Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the
Eternal, saying, I beseech thee, O Eternal, remember now how I have
walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done
that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore."
He put his heart into his prayer. He OBEYED God. He had a
right attitude. He did not now turn to seek human help, but trusted
God alone. Continuing the passage in verse 5: "... Thus saith the
Eternal, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I
have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day
thou shalt go up unto the house of the Eternal. And I will add unto
thy days fifteen years."
New Testament Teaching
Earlier we saw that proclaiming the ANNOUNCEMENT of the
Kingdom of God and healing went hand in hand in Jesus' ministry.
One passage in Matthew summarizes it:
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing
all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people"
Jesus' ministry began in Galilee, not in Jerusalem. Matthew's
account shows that the so-called "Sermon on the Mount" (actually a
teaching to His disciples) followed (chapters 5 through 7).
Beginning in chapter 8: "When he was come down from the
mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a
leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst
make me clean" (verses 1-2).
Here again comes the answer to the frequently expressed doubt,
"Well, I know God could heal me, if it's His will-but how can we
know His will?" Here is the answer: "And Jesus put forth his hand,
and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his
leprosy was cleansed" (verse 3).
Gentiles Not Excluded
Continuing in verse 5: "And when Jesus was entered into
Capernaum [where He lived (Matthew 4:13), apparently in His own
house], there came unto him a centurion [Gentile captain over 100
Roman soldiers], beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth
at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
"And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The
centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou
shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my
servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to
another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he
"When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that
followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith,
no, not in Israel ....And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way;
and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant
was healed in the self same hour" (Matthew 8:5-13).
How God Heals
Next we need to UNDERSTAND how God heals. And we need to see,
further, how both the gospel and healing tie together. Both operate
on the same principle -- one being spiritual, the other physical.
God is the CREATOR. But also He is the Great Designer,
Educator and Lawgiver. Whatever God does He does with purpose and
with order, according to the principles of His law. There can be no
law without a penalty for its transgression.
And God never compromises with His laws or their penalties.
Once a law is transgressed a penalty is incurred. Once a penalty is
incurred it must be paid. God never suspends the penalty.
The biblical definition of SIN is the transgression of LAW (I
John 3:4). In the spiritual sense, in connection with the gospel,
the basic law of the Kingdom of God is the spiritual law (Romans
7:14) set in inexorable, relentless motion -- the law of LOVE, the
"GIVE" way of life -- the principle of the Ten Commandments. The
penalty for transgression is DEATH (Romans 6:23) -- eternal death,
the absence of eternal life.
All have sinned. And sin sets up an impassable barrier between
the sinner and God. The penalty -- death -- must be paid! God will not
compromise a thousandth of an inch on that!
Then how do we get FREE from that penalty? How may we avoid
paying it? By the fact that Christ paid it for us. Christ never
committed sin. He never brought that penalty on Himself. But, being
the actual Maker of all mankind (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians
1:13-16), His life was greater than the sum total of ALL other
human lives. And when He died on the cross, He took our penalty on
Himself. He paid the death penalty for all mankind -- conditioned on
our repentance and faith; He paid the penalty FOR US, in our stead.
We may be healed by the same principle.
God made man of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). We are
composed of matter. He designed our bodies so that they function
according to definite physical laws.
In the human body are a number of systems -- for example, the
digestive system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system,
the reproductive system, etc. Each functions separately, yet all
work in perfect harmony with each other. They function according to
definite physical LAWS. Those laws, when transgressed, exact a
When a person is sick or has contracted a disease, he is
simply paying the PENALTY of transgressed physical law in his body.
One may not himself have broken a physical law. It could have
been an accident. It could have been from a contagious disease
contracted without his knowledge. In the case of Job (Job 2:6-7),
Satan was the cause of Job's ailments for a special purpose, by
God's permission. Nevertheless, sickness and disease are the
penalty being paid for broken physical law.
God, the great Lawgiver, demands that the penalty must be
paid! God never compromises that principle! No HEALING without the
penalty having been PAID!
Jesus Paid the Penalty
So now let's continue in the eighth chapter of Matthew: "When
the even was come [sunset, ending that Sabbath day], they brought
unto him many that were possessed with devils [demons]: and he cast
out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that
it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the
prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our
sicknesses" (Matthew 8:16-17).
Jesus paid the penalty in our stead.
Like the forgiveness of spiritual sin, God has paid the
penalty for us by sending His Son Jesus to suffer the penalty in
our stead. The penalty for physical transgression is physical
punishment -- sickness or disease, physical impairment, pain and
suffering or physical death.
Healing does not mean that God suspends the penalty so that no
penalty is paid. Instead, Jesus has already paid it for us.
Therefore God may legally remove the penalty from the human
sufferer. But it is nonetheless a MIRACLE!
The scripture above quoted says Jesus Himself took our
infirmities and bare our sicknesses -- but NOT ON THE CROSS. They
scourged Jesus, beat Him, breaking open the flesh of His body,
before taking Him to Golgotha to be nailed to the cross.
Matthew 27:24-26: "When Pilate saw that he could prevail
nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and
washed his hands before the multitude ... Then released he Barabbas
unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be
Mark 15:15: "And so Pilate, willing to content the people,
released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had
scourged him, to be crucified."
John 19:1: "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged
him." This was prior to turning Jesus over to be crucified, which
is not recorded until verse 16 of the same chapter: "Then delivered
he [Pilate] him [Jesus] therefore unto them to be crucified."
I think it vitally important that we realize, at this point,
1) What a TREMENDOUS price God Himself, through Christ, paid
in order that He might perform for us this MIRACLE OF HEALING. This
shows God's will. He is so willing, indeed so anxious, to relieve
us from the pain, suffering or affliction that He gave His only
begotten Son -- the One who is our very Maker -- to be beaten, to
suffer in our stead, so that, without violating any principle of
His LAW, we may be healed.
"The Eternal is merciful and gracious ... For as the heaven is
high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear
him ... Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Eternal pitieth
them that fear him" (Psalm 103:8-13).
We need to realize God's LOVE and compassion. Healing must not
be taken for granted or treated cheaply. THINK of Him who is the
Maker of all mankind -- One so GREAT -- submitting Himself to be beaten
as no man ever was so that He might perform this MIRACLE for us!
2) HOW IMPORTANT it is to God NEVER to compromise His law. We
might reason that it would be easier for God, in each case of
healing, to simply prevent the penalty from taking effect. But that
would VIOLATE HIS LAW! That is what Satan is trying to do -- make
God's laws inoperable; abolish the penalty; deal with the EFFECT,
ignoring the CAUSE.
Medical "science" operates primarily on that method -- trying,
with medicines, to prevent God's law from exacting its penalty.
That theory says, in effect, we can transgress God's law and
then prevent God's law from exacting its penalty. The theory is:
The sufferer has in his body one poison, so we add another poison
in the form of medicine. And one poison plus one more poison equals
God has gone to great lengths a) to bestow upon us His love
and mercy, and b) to be consistent with His law. God's arithmetic
is: One poison minus that one poison equals NO poison.
Now notice just how severely Jesus was beaten.
In Isaiah 52 and 53 it was foretold. Speaking of Christ in
Isaiah 52: "As many were astound at thee; his visage was so marred
more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall
he sprinkle [margin, "startle"] many nations; the kings shall shut
their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall
they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider"
In the Revised Standard Version this passage reads: "As many
were astonished at him his appearance was so marred beyond human
semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men -- so shall he
startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that
which they have not heard they shall understand." Notice the
tenses. Many were (when He was beaten with stripes) astonished -- His
body beaten and marred more than any man. So shall (at His coming
in supreme POWER and GLORY) many nations be startled at Him.
Then, in Isaiah 53 (RSV): "He was despised and rejected by
men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief ... Surely he has
borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him
stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for
our iniquities [transgressions of the law]; upon him was the
chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are
healed. All we like sheep have gone astray [How?]; we have turned
every one to his own way; and the Eternal has laid on him the
iniquity of us all" (verses 3-6).
This is affirmed in the New Testament: "Who did no sin ... by
whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:22, 24).
At the Passover Service
There is a very clear teaching in regard to Christ having paid
the physical penalty, as well as the spiritual penalty of death, in
connection with Passover service instruction.
It is in the apostle Paul's instruction to the Corinthians:
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto
you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed
took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
Take, eat: this is [represents] my body, which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of me [a memorial].
"After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do
ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye
eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death
till he come [the annual memorial of His death, on the actual
anniversary of His crucifixion].
"Wherefore," the instruction continues, "whosoever shall eat
this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily [that is, in
an unworthy manner], shall be guilty of the body and blood of the
Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that
bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh
unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not
discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly
among you, and many sleep [that is, are dead]" (I Corinthians
The Revised Standard Version translates that last sentence:
"That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" -- not
realizing Jesus Himself paid the penalty for physical
transgressions of the laws of the human body, by allowing His body
to be broken open by many stripes, and not relying on the living
Christ for their HEALING!
Is it His WILL to heal us? This passage, especially as
emphasized in the RSV, says we shall be judged if we NEGLECT (see
Hebrews 2:3) so great a price paid so that we might be kept whale!
Forgiveness of Physical Sin
Now back to Matthew's account of Jesus' ministry. We had last
covered the eighth chapter and 17th verse. We come now to the ninth
Jesus came again to His own city, where He then resided-
-Capernaum. "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the
palsy, lying on a bed ...."
Notice Mark's account of the same incident: "And again he
entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he
was in the house" (Mark 2:1).
I pause here for a slight digression. Today many represent
Jesus as a vagabond -- a hippie with long hair and no place to live,
having to sleep outdoors. In I Corinthians 11:14, it is plainly
stated it is a shame for a man to have long hair. Jesus was no
And the evidence is clear that Jesus had a home. In Matthew 4
we have seen that Jesus, leaving Nazareth, came and dwelt in
Capernaum. That assuredly implies a "dwelling place." He dwelt in
a house. In Matthew 9:1, Capernaum is called "his own city," a term
certainly implying His place of residence.
In Mark 2:1, quoted above, Jesus returned to Capernaum, His
own city, where He dwelt, and it was noised around that He was
"in-the house," certainly implying His own house. If He had entered
the house of any other person, it would have named the person into
whose house He came.
Now to continue, this time in Luke's account of this same
incident, because Luke gives more details: "And ... as he was
teaching ... men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy:
and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him
[Jesus]. And when they could not find by what way they might bring
him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and
let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst
before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man,
thy sins are forgiven thee.
"And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying,
Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but
"But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said
unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to
say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But
that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to
forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto
thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
"And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that
whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And
they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with
fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day" (Luke 5:17-26).
This incident, reported in all three books of Matthew, Mark
and Luke, confirms, in the words of Jesus Christ Himself, that
physical healing is indeed "the forgiveness of sin." Sin is defined
(I John 3:4) as "the transgression of LAW," as correctly
translated. Physical sin is the transgression of physical law
operating in the human body. To pay this penalty in our stead,
Jesus was scourged, chastised, beaten with stripes.
On the other hand, spiritual sin, which imposes the penalty of
the second death -- eternal death -- is the transgression of the
spiritual law (Romans 7:13-14), the law summed up by the Ten
Commandments. Jesus paid the penalty for both. Doctors, medicines,
and drugs can no more forgive physical sins than spiritual sins.
They cannot heal!
WHAT IS FAITH?
You can be healed! Jesus said so! But also He said, "According
to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29).
First, are you sure you know what faith is? Very few know. Yet
without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6):
"... For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Looking down into our latter half of the twentieth century,
Jesus said, "... When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on
the earth?" (Luke 18:8.) Yet you must have faith for salvation!
How, then, may you have it? You can't work it up. Yet if you can't
have the faith to be healed, how can you have the faith to be
saved? God said, "For by grace are ye saved through faith ..."
Jesus foresaw the near total absence of faith in our time. Few
today know what faith is or why they do not have it!
Certainly the world has almost lost sight of real FAITH. No
wonder so few have any -- no wonder so many say, "My faith isn't very
strong," or "I just can't seem to work up the faith." People today
do not know what faith is or why they do not possess it. Yet
without FAITH none can ever be saved!
Jesus Had Faith
When Jesus walked the earth in human flesh, He possessed
Yet He said plainly, "I can of mine own self DO NOTHING" (John
Few realize that what He did -- the miracles He performed -- He
did not do by any supernatural power of His own. Everything He did,
every miracle He performed, was done literally through FAITH,
setting us a beautiful example.
But how, then, did He perform His miracles, accomplish His
"... The FATHER that dwelleth in me," explained Jesus, "he
doeth the works" (John 14:10).
Yes, even as you and I may be, Jesus was filled with God's
Holy Spirit -- God's dynamic supernatural POWER! This power of God
Almighty, the Creator, was literally in Jesus; and the same
identical power of the same identical living God may be within you
All the apostles and evangelists of the first century true
Church of God did perform miracles, and even greater miracles than
Jesus had performed, until even Peter's shadow passing over the
sick and afflicted caused them to be healed!
Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul -- common, humble, ordinary men
themselves -- all had that power, the SAME identical power Jesus had,
because they lived and walked CLOSE TO GOD and were filled with the
And we seem to LACK that power today, NOT because God denies
us that power, but because we are so close to a modern,
materialistic world -- our minds are so filled with the material
interests of this life; our minds and our hearts are so far from
God; we are so out of touch with Him through lack of enough time
spent in the study of His Word and lack of enough of the right kind
of surrendered, submissive, earnest and heartrending PRAYER -- and,
consequently, we are not filled with the Holy Spirit which affords
us the power of God!
So now let's ask two questions:
First, what is faith?
And, second, how may we have it, and how may it be increased?
What Faith Is
Now notice, faith is the substance -- the marginal rendering
says ASSURANCE of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). So FAITH comes
Once you have received the possession, you no longer hope for
it. But even before you receive it, you have it in SUBSTANCE; and
that ASSURANCE that you shall possess it is faith.
Then again, faith is an EVIDENCE -- the "evidence of things not
seen." Faith precedes the actual receiving of what you ask for. And
faith is the EVIDENCE you shall have it before you even SEE it. It
is the EVIDENCE of things not yet seen. You do not have it. You do
not see it or feel it -- yet faith is your EVIDENCE that you have, or
shall have, it. Faith is the assurance of receiving that which you
still HOPE for.
Proof of Healing
So I want you to notice that when you hope for things or ask
God for things, there is an EVIDENCE -- a proof, because where God is
involved, His evidence is proof -- that you shall receive what you
have asked. And what is that proof, that evidence? Is it the actual
receiving of the answer, so you see or feel or hear that you have
Suppose, for instance, you were ill -- taken with a disease. Now
Jesus healed the sick continually. And He said the works that He
did -- and this was one of them -- we should do also. Now suppose you
ask God to heal you. Naturally, you want some evidence that you are
going to be healed.
So what is that evidence, that proof? Is it the evidence of
the pain ceasing -- or the swelling going down -- something you can
feel and see? I know a man who said, "When I can see anyone healed
by direct prayer, then I'll believe in it." This man said he wanted
to BELIEVE in it -- he wanted to have FAITH in it! He was looking for
an EVIDENCE that he could SEE, and he died without ever seeing it!
Because what we SEE -- what we FEEL -- is not the true EVIDENCE.
Having the thing -- SEEING it -- is not faith. Faith precedes
possession because FAITH is confidence, ASSURANCE, you shall
The human mind, naturally, can receive KNOWLEDGE only through
five senses. These are five sole channels capable of transmitting
knowledge, by natural processes, to the human brain: the senses of
seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling.
Faith Is Spiritual
But that is not FAITH! Faith is a spiritual matter, and it has
nothing to do with the five senses, which are physical.
Prayer is a spiritual matter. God is a SPIRIT! And when we
ask, for instance, for healing, we do have an evidence -- proof
positive -- that the healing will be done. But that evidence is not
something seen or felt or heard -- it is not a physical evidence of
FAITH. FAITH is our evidence.
Let's understand plainly where your human nature has clouded
the issue and deceived you. God has told you in Exodus 15 that He
is your healer -- your God-healer -- that is one of His names, and God
is named what He is. God sent His Son into the world to be beaten
with stripes, to suffer the penalty of your transgressions of
nature's laws (which God set in motion) in your stead. His body was
broken for you, and by His stripes you are healed! God gave you His
word that it is His will to heal you. He commanded you to call the
elders of the Church, which you did. He promised to heal you. But
God has also made it a part of this contract, in His Word, that
"according to your faith be it unto you" -- in the very words of
Now FAITH is your evidence that God will do what He promised.
You can't see faith -- you can't feel it. What you see or feel has
nothing to do with faith. But the point your human nature -- under
the influence of Satan -- wants you to overlook is that God did not
promise WHEN or HOW He would heal you!
God's purpose in your life is to transform you from what
you've been into the very image of His Son -- into the very character
of God Himself. Part of this character is the learning of PATIENCE!
And God instructs you in James 1:3 that the trying of your faith
works PATIENCE into your character. God has revealed to you in this
and other scriptures that He will sometimes delay healing you in
order to TRY your faith and to teach you to be patient! Your
healing, God has promised, shall be according to your faith.
Faith is trusting God to do that which He has not yet done.
After the healing is completed you no longer need to exercise
faith. Faith is the ingredient you must exercise until God heals
you -- until you can see and feel that you are healed. It's the same
with spiritual salvation. You are not yet in the Kingdom of God,
but those of you in Christ have the ASSURANCE -- the faith -- that you
shall be. After God has healed you then you won't need FAITH in it
any longer. But your faith must remain firm and steadfast and
patient, regardless of what you see or feel, until God actually
heals you as He has promised to do.
Your human nature -- swayed by Satan -- wants you to believe that
faith is something you exercise in about 30 seconds, while you are
still praying, and then if God has not done what He promised as
soon as you expect, you are to find God guilty of lying. The
instant you yield to the devil's influence over your human nature
and render a verdict that God will not do what He promised just
because He has not done it yet, that moment you make God out a
liar -- you lose all FAITH in God. You thereupon break your part of
the agreement, which is to have faith and keep on having faith and
trusting God and relying upon Him UNTIL He performs what He
Simple Reliance on God
Faith is simple reliance upon God's Word. It is the evidence
of what you do not see or feel. Therefore Christ calls upon you to
have patience -- to keep on TRUSTING God until He heals you, and then
He will heal you!
You must render your verdict based upon the evidence.
Which, now, is the evidence you believe? That which you see
and filthy physical evidences that often are deceptive -- or your
faith that God's Word is true, that His promises are sure, that it
is impossible for God to lie?
If you BELIEVE this latter spiritual evidence and reject the
physical evidences of sight and of feeling, you pronounce sentence
that His Word has been VINDICATED by your verdict. You shall be
RELEASED from the disease and what He promised shall be carried
But, if you decide that the physical evidences of sight or
feeling are to be trusted over and above the Word of ALMIGHTY God,
and you reject His Word and His promise and refuse to believe in
it -- refuse, in other words, to accept and trust in the evidence of
FAITH until God completes it, then you yourself must render your
verdict, "NOT HEALED," and you will not be healed!
You see, God does not promise healing or anything else unless
we BELIEVE. According to your FAITH be it unto you, said Jesus. And
remember the FAITH must precede and, therefore, is a condition to
One man expressed it very well: "Faith is the assurance that
the things which God said in His Word are true and that God will
act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this
reliance on God's Word, this confidence, is FAITH!" And it is a
true Bible definition. This Work of God has been built by putting
it into actual practice.
Learning God's Will
God says, ... Be ye not unwise, but UNDERSTANDING what the will
of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). Remember, whatever your need, the
first thing to do to be sure of receiving an answer to your prayer
is to search the Scriptures to learn whether it is God's WILL
(Ephesians 5:17; II Timothy 3:14-17).
The Bible reveals God's will. We need never say, "Well, I know
God could heal me IF IT IS HIS WILL." You can know His will. And so
far as healing is concerned, I can tell you definitely that His
Word says plainly and emphatically that it is His will. The Bible
is full of promises -- literally FULL of them. If you need anything,
study to see whether God promised it, and if He has, HE CAN'T BREAK
Claiming a Promise
I remember one time a number of years ago when my two sons
came to me and asked me to do something for them -- I don't now
remember what. They were then around 7 and 9 years old. I do
remember I didn't want to do it.
"But, Daddy, you PROMISED," they said, "and you've GOT TO KEEP
And then I remembered I had promised. Well, what do you think?
Do you think I could break a promise when my two sons came to me
and put it like that? No, and if you'll just as boldly tell God He
has promised and then CLAIM that promise as applied to your case
and TRUST God to keep it and quit worrying about it -- quit trying to
work up faith -- just RELAX and let God take over from there -- leave
it with Him -- let Him do it -- He'll do it, every time!
I know whereof I speak, because I've put what I'm now telling
you to the test not once, but literally hundreds and thousands of
times, and God has never failed to keep His promise once. I've seen
the answers come so often and so frequently that I expect the
answer when I ask!
God promised to supply every need -- that if we'll seek first
the Kingdom of God and His RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is right doing, He
will provide every material need (Matthew 6:33).
Work a Living Example
Why, this very Work we conduct is a direct answer to prayer.
This Work of the Worldwide Church of God -- The World Tomorrow
broadcast, The Plain Truth magazine and AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, which
now has grown to national and international scope and
influence -- started as small as any work could start -- literally from
It has been from the start 100 percent a work of FAITH, and we
had to really learn this lesson of faith before it had even
Why People Lack Faith
And now, very briefly, WHY don't we have FAITH, how may we get
it, and how may it be increased? So many say, "Well, I have no
impression -- I have no feeling, no conviction -- that I shall get the
They want to wait until they get a certain CONVICTION, a
certain FEELING, a sort of ASSURANCE they can FEEL, before they
really believe they shall have the answer.
But THAT is not faith!
That is FEELING!
Your feeling, your convictions, your impressions, have
absolutely not one thing or the other to do with FAITH.
FAITH HAS ONLY TO DO WITH GOD'S WORD! The one question is, Has
God promised it in the Bible? If He has, then probabilities,
possibilities, feelings, convictions, impressions, have nothing
whatsoever to do with it. God has a thousand ways we know nothing
of, of answering and providing whatever He has promised. We don't
need to see HOW He is going to do it or even when!
And that's another thing: He almost never will do it the WAY
we expect. So don't try to figure out how it is possible for God to
do it. You are trusting SUPERNATURAL POWER! God works in mysterious
ways His wonders to perform. What He promised He will perform; but
He will do it His way and in His TIME. Leave all that to Him and
just TRUST HIM. Rely upon His Word.
And let us remember FAITH is the GIFT OF GOD.
So many think that everything else that comes from God is His
gift, but the FAITH REQUIRED to receive these things is something
we ourselves must somehow work up or strain and strive for. But we
have to just relax and TRUST God, even for the FAITH by which we
receive everything else! (Ephesians 2:8.)
In Revelation 14:12 is a description of the true Church of
THIS DAY. Those in this Church have the FAITH OF JESUS. Notice, the
FAITH OF JESUS! It is not just our faith in HIM, but His faith -- the
very faith with which He performed His miracles -- placed in us and
acting in us.
How can you get it? Draw closer to God. Get to know God.
Surrender all the way to Him and do His will. And then PRAY. You
get to know Him in PRAYER. We are too close to the material things.
Through PRAYER, much more prayer, you can come closer to God and
the spiritual things. And what a happy, joyous experience it is,
once you have really done it!
Faith Required for Salvation
No subject pertaining to Christian salvation is more generally
misunderstood than that of saving FAITH.
Just "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved" is the popular teaching today. And that statement is
absolutely true -- if you understand what kind of BELIEVING is
Unfortunately millions are being deceived -- led to trust in a
faith that will never save one single soul -- by a very popular and
very false teaching.
It is customary to quote only a PART of the scriptures on this
subject -- reading a false meaning into them -- and thus by subtle
half-truths, popular teachings, shackle most of Christendom to
spiritual blindness and deceptions.
Do These Scriptures Contradict?
God does not usually reveal all the truth respecting a
particular subject in any one passage alone. "Whom shall he teach
knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? ... precept
must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line
upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:9-10). To
understand any general subject in the Bible, it is necessary to
view all the scriptural evidence touching that particular subject.
And we cannot read our inherited or desired meaning into any
particular passage, for "no prophecy of the scripture is of any
private interpretation" (II Peter 1:20), but each passage is
interpreted by, and in light of, other texts.
For example, it is quite popular to quote Romans 3:20:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight ..." and from this passage alone assume that
salvation comes by faith, in disobedience to God's law! Those who
thus interpret this passage never tell you that in Romans 2:13 the
same apostle Paul was inspired to write: "... Not the hearers of the
law are just before God, but the DOERS of the law shall be
Is there a contradiction here? If the one scripture is
intended to reveal that we do not have to make an effort to obey
God's law to be justified and then saved -- but that we are saved by
faith without obedience to God's law -- then, indeed, God contradicts
Himself in His Word! And if you wish to make Romans 3:20 say that,
you must consistently acknowledge there is contradiction in the
Scriptures, and if this be true, you have no basis for your faith!
No Contradictions Here
Again, Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of
works, lest any man should boast." But those who quote this text so
freely to teach the doctrine of no works never tell you that the
same inspired Scripture says also: "For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them" (verse 10).
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath
faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... Even SO FAITH, if
it hath not works, IS DEAD, being alone ... I will shew thee my
faith BY my works. Thou BELIEVEST that there is one God; thou doest
well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O
vain man, that faith without works is DEAD? (James 2:14-20.)
There is no contradiction here!
Rather, by putting all the scriptures on the subject of saving
faith together, we learn that there are TWO KINDS of faith. And the
kind so blindly trusted in by the majority of this day is nothing
but a DEAD faith -- and a DEAD faith never will save one soul!
Notice! James 2:20: "... Faith without works is DEAD -- just a DEAD
James continues: "Was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED by
works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou
how FAITH wrought with his works, and BY Works WAS FAITH MADE
PERFECT? ... Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and
not by faith only" (James 2:21-24). Then are we saved by works
instead of faith? No, Never! We are saved by FAITH! But faith
functions with our works and BY WORKS our FAITH is MADE PERFECT!
That is LIVING FAITH!
Why Salvation Is Needed
Why do we even need salvation? Because we have SINNED, and the
penalty of sin is DEATH!
But how have we sinned? What is sin, anyhow? Sin is the
transgression of LAW -- that is God's answer (I John 3:4).
"Yes," answers the victim of modern fables, "but we are not
under the law today, but UNDER GRACE! Why certainly! "What then?"
asks the inspired Paul. "Shall we SIN [transgress the law] because
we are not under the law, but under grace?" And Paul's answer is,
"GOD FORBID" (Romans 6:15). And again, "... Shall we continue in SIN
[transgressing the law], that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. How
shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans
The law has a penalty -- DEATH. It claims the life of the one
who transgresses it. The law has power to take the life of the
transgressor. It therefore is more powerful than the sinner -- and is
OVER the sinner, holding a claim on his life. It is the SINNER who
is UNDER the law. But when the sinner REPENTS of his transgression
and accepts the sacrifice of Christ as payment for the penalty of
the law, then he is PARDONED -- UNDER GRACE -- the law no longer stands
OVER him, claiming his life. Those who are still sinning are still
UNDER the law! And those who, through repentance, obedience and
FAITH, have turned from disobedience and are, through faith,
KEEPING the law are the only ones who are UNDER GRACE!
God's Spiritual Mirror
Let us understand it! "... By the deeds of the law there shall
no flesh be justified in his sight ..." No, certainly not! That
scripture is 100 percent true, and there is no contradiction! You
cannot be justified BY the deeds of the law -- not at all!
Why? The last half of this same verse gives the answer. Why do
most preachers never quote it? "... For by the law is the KNOWLEDGE
of sin (Romans 3:20). THAT'S WHY!
The purpose of the law is not to forgive, to justify, to wash
away, to cleanse. Only THE BLOOD OF CHRIST can do that! The purpose
of the law is to tell us what sin is -- to define it, to REVEAL
it -- so we can quit it. Sin is the transgression of the law -- that's
what sin IS.
All women ought to understand this. In every woman's handbag
is a little mirror. She knows what it is for. Every little while
she takes out this mirror and steals a glance at her face.
Sometimes it reveals a speck of dirt. And we might truthfully say,
"By the use of these mirrors are no dirty faces washed clean." You
women understand what we mean! But do you throw your mirrors away
because by them your faces are not washed? Of course not -- what a
silly question it seems when applied to a MATERIAL case! And if we
ask you WHY your faces are not washed clean by your mirrors, you
answer: "Because by the mirror comes the KNOWLEDGE OF THE DIRT."
God's law is His spiritual mirror. We look into it and see the
dirt on our hearts! But by looking at the law or keeping it no dirt
is WASHED from our hearts -- only Christ's BLOOD can do that. By the
law comes the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN!
Listen to James explain it! "But be ye DOERS of the word, and
not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer
of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his
natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his
way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But
whoso looketh into the perfect LAW of liberty, and continueth
therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the work,
this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:22-25).
Faith Establishes Law
"But," argues the no-law deceiver, "no man can keep the
commandments. It is not humanly possible. Since FAITH has come, we
keep no law -- faith has made it VOID."
Thus even "... Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
LIGHT. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS also be
transformed as the ministers of righteousness .... For such are false
apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the
apostles of Christ" (II Corinthians 11:14-15, 13).
"Do we then make void the law through faith?" comes the
question in inspired Scripture -- and the answer: "God FORBID: yea,
we ESTABLISH THE LAW" (Romans 3:31).
Yes, faith establishes the law! By keeping it is faith made
Yet, can we keep the commandments? Is it possible? Satan's
no-law deceivers say NO! What is the PLAIN TRUTH? A man came to
Jesus and asked how to be saved. The Savior Himself replied, "... If
thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matthew 19:17).
When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying,
Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible"
There is Christ's own answer! With men it is impossible-
-utterly impossible to really KEEP His commandments. But -- here's
the blessed truth -- WITH GOD it is possible even to keep His
commandments. Do you begin to see? IT TAKES FAITH -- faith in the
power of God! And, just as your own diligent effort coupled with
faith makes faith perfect, so faith coupled with your effort makes
PERFECT OBEDIENCE! The two go hand in hand. And you cannot have the
one without the other.
A LIVING FAITH, the only kind that will SAVE, is an active
faith -- one that trusts God to make it possible to OBEY Him, to live
the true Christian life, to KEEP His blessed commandments!
Think! Could a just God command men to do what is IMPOSSIBLE
to do? Or can we conceive of Jesus as a smart-aleck young man who
knew more than His Father and who did away with His Father's
commandments? How absurd! Yet this is the popular conception today.
The Law Is Eternal
God's law is not a horrible monster! Just and right laws are
a terror only to the criminal -- they are made to PROTECT the good!
God's law is PERFECT (Psalm 19:7). It is a SPIRITUAL law (Romans
7:14), HOLY and just and good (Romans 7:12). ALL His commandments
are SURE and stand fast FOREVER AND EVER (Psalm 111:7-8). Don't you
believe it when men tell you differently!
God's law is, simply, LOVE! It is the perfect way of life.
Every particle of human suffering, unhappiness, misery and death
has come solely from its transgression. It was given to make man
HAPPY and is the only philosophy of life that can do so. It came
from a God of LOVE, and LOVE is the fulfilling of the law (Romans
But not YOUR own natural love! It requires "... the love of
God ... shed abroad in our hearts BY THE HOLY [SPIRIT] ..." (Romans
5:5). God has and will give you the love that will fulfill His law.
And so it is possible through FAITH and the GIFT of God's Holy
Spirit for man to keep His commandments! And whoever claims
differently God calls a plain LIAR (I John 2:4).
Faith Necessary for Obedience
The true commandment-keeper is forced to trust God to make
obedience possible. And thus faith does not void, but establishes,
the law! And to keep the law requires FAITH!
A thrilling example of this eternal truth is recorded in the
book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, erected a great
"Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people,
nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the
[band] ... ye fall down and worship the golden image ..." (Daniel
3:4-5). "And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same
hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (verse 6).
Set over the affairs of the province of Babylon were Daniel's
three young Jewish friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. One of
the commandments of God's eternal spiritual law forbids such
worship of images.
Had you been in their place, what would YOU have done? Would
you not have said: "Well, I have to bow down to this image. I have
to do it or be killed!" And perhaps you would have excused yourself
by reasoning thus: "I don't think God would be fair if He punished
me for this, when He knows I am FORCED to do it. Anyway, He tells
us to be subject to the power of state!" Yes, it is easy to use
reason to excuse disobedience to God. But God is not looking for
chances to punish us -- but rather for opportunities to SAVE US
THROUGH FAITH -- TO SAVE US FROM THE FOLLY OF SIN and the sad
consequence our own acts impose!
God's law is intended to protect us from suffering. Whatever
we sow we shall reap. It is not God who punishes us when we do
wrong; it is merely our own acts rebounding like a boomerang!
But these three young Jews knew the truth -- that we should OBEY
God rather than men; that through FAITH God makes it possible. When
they firmly REFUSED to bow down to worship the king's image,
Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded they be brought
before him (verse 13).
Listen to the quiet, trusting, unafraid answer of these lads.
"... O Nebuchadnezzar ... our God whom we serve is able to deliver us
from the burning fiery furnace ..." (verses 16-17).
A Test of Faith
Sometimes God tries our faith. He tried theirs. You might
think He failed them, but He only permitted their faith to be
"Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his
visage was changed ... therefore he spake, and commanded that they
should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be
heated ... Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and
their hats, and their other garments" -- surely the God whom they
trusted would have them released now? But no, there was no physical
evidence whatever that God so much as heard! -- "and were cast into
the midst of the burning fiery furnace" (verses 19-21).
The furnace was so hot the flames leaped out and "... slew
those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego." And they
fell down "... bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace"
God permitted them actually to be thrown in! Was He unmindful
of those who trusted in Him to make possible the keeping of His
commandments? Not God!
The king looked into the furnace and said, "... Lo, I see four
men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt;
and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (verse 25). So
Nebuchadnezzar came near the mouth of the furnace and called to
them. "... Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most
high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire ... these men, upon
whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head
singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had
passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the
God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel,
and DELIVERED his servants that TRUSTED IN HIM ... (Verses 26-28).
There was an example of living FAITH -- a faith that TRUSTED God
to make it possible to live the way of His law! Yes, WITH God it is
possible to keep all His commandments. Don't let any man deceive
you to the contrary.
Worshiping in Vain
When God's Word says, "... BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved ..." (Acts 16:31), it does not mean the DEAD
faith now popularly taught. The common teachings of this day
distort this to mean a mere belief in the FACTS of Christ's
existence, His sacrifice and His saving work. Just accept these
FACTS and accept HIM -- without any obedience to God's laws! But the
demons believe these things -- and they TREMBLE -- but they are not
Christ was the Messenger of the new covenant -- a Messenger sent
from God. You cannot BELIEVE on such a divine Messenger unless you
believe and obey the MESSAGE that He brought. "... If thou wilt
enter into LIFE," was His teaching, "KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS"
"REPENT", said the inspired Peter, "and ... ye SHALL RECEIVE the
gift of the Holy [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38). God gives His Holy Spirit
only to them that OBEY HIM (Acts 5:32). And His Holy Spirit is the
LOVE that God gives us to fulfill and to keep His commandments. And
it all comes BY FAITH!
Christ came to save us FROM, not in, our sins. To FREE us from
the enslavement of sin and unhappiness and wretchedness it
brings -- not to make us free to commit sin.
Is it possible to BELIEVE in Christ -- to worship Him in the
customary manner of the day -- and yet be lost? Christ Himself says
YES! "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father
which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
Hear Him again! "Howbeit IN vain do they worship me, teaching
for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the
commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men ..."(Mark 7:7-8).
There it is! From Jesus' own lips! Such a dead faith -- such
worship is IN VAIN. Those who trust in it, and in the men and
denominations who teach it, ARE LOST! And the quicker we come to
realize it, the better.
God's True Purpose
God's PURPOSE in salvation is to rescue men from SIN and its
resulting unhappiness, misery and death. To REPENT of sin is the
first step. Then the BLOOD OF CHRIST, upon acceptance and faith,
cleanses all past sins. And by FAITH we are kept from sin in the
future. Thus the resulting righteousness is of FAITH -- the
righteousness imparted from God.
We are not justified BY THE Law -- we are justified by the blood
of Jesus Christ. But this justification will be given only on the
condition that we REPENT of our transgressions of God's law. And so
it is, after all, only the DOERS of the law that shall be JUSTIFIED
How plain and how beautiful is God's Truth!
IS HEALING ALWAYS GOD'S WILL?
Some, it was explained in chapter one, say God raised up the
medical profession for our time. Some say they believe God could
heal, but they don't know whether it's His will. But what does GOD
say? To answer, we turned to the BIBLE.
Jesus came in person with a dual ministry. He went about the
cities and villages in Judea and Galilee preaching the good news of
the coming Kingdom of God. But also He healed the sick among the
public as He encountered them.
He trained His original apostles, and after His resurrection
they continued in the same dual ministry. The Church of God was
founded on the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 31.
But soon a fierce, violent and organized persecution set in.
Immediately after A.D. 33 the Babylonian mystery religion
appropriated the name Christianity, proclaimed a false Christ, and
by A.D. 59 the proclaiming of Christ's gospel was SUPPRESSED!
Another and counterfeit gospel was being accepted (Galatians
Neither the KINGDOM message nor healing of the sick had any
part in what from then became traditional Christianity. For 1,900
years the world has not heard Christ's gospel message. It has been
deceived by false gospels about a false Jesus.
But both Christ's true gospel message and miraculous healing
have today been restored in God's true Church. Only today healing
is within the Church -- not public healing of the sick as encountered
by God's apostles in the first century A. D.
In chapter two, I stated that I could best bring this truth to
the reader by relating my own personal EXPERIENCE in discovering
this truth about healing.
It was very shortly after my conversion, baptism, and
receiving God's Holy Spirit. This had occurred in the spring of
1927. In August of that same year I experienced a most miraculous
healing of my wife from four fatal simultaneous diseases. I then
KNEW God heals the sick, and thereupon I let the living Christ
teach me from His written Word the full scriptural UNDERSTANDING of
this vital subject. Hundreds have since been healed from my
Chapter three covered that biblical revelation of God's truth
from both Old and New Testaments. Chapter four covered FAITH.
What About Medicine?
But now, what about medicine?
Let's review briefly the teaching of the apostle Paul in his
instruction regarding the Passover to the Church at Corinth.
In regard to taking the bread -- symbol of Christ's body beaten
with stripes to pay for us the penalty for broken laws governing
physical health -- the inspired teaching is: "For he that eateth and
drinketh unworthily [the RSV translates it "in an unworthy
manner"], eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning
the Lord's body" -- that is, His body was broken or beaten with
stripes, paying the penalty we suffer in sickness or disease. "That
is why [RSV] many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" (I
Some in the Church lacked the FAITH to BELIEVE Christ paid for
us the physical penalty of sickness, disease -- or even the first
This is important; UNDERSTAND the meaning of what was written
here! Taking the broken unleavened bread means we ACCEPT Christ's
beaten and broken body (prior to being taken to the cross) that WE
MAY BE HEALED. How does His broken body make our healing possible?
It is IMPORTANT that you UNDERSTAND the answer to this-
-because some have been falsely teaching there is no such thing as
physical sin. I John 3:4, properly translated from the Greek, says,
"Sin is the transgression of LAW." It does not refer to -- or
say -- the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments. Yet it is referring
to LAWS INSTITUTED BY GOD -- not to transgressing man-made codes.
As made clear in chapter 3, GOD formed the human body out of
matter (Genesis 2:7). God so designed our physical bodies that they
function according to definite PHYSICAL LAWS. The digestive system,
the eliminative system and the circulatory system, for example,
were designed to function together and this functioning is a LAW OF
NATURE -- physical LAW. Eating improper food, neglecting elimination
or polluting the lungs with tobacco smoke prevents those laws from
perfect functioning definitely transgresses laws that God set in
motion and that operate in the human body. This definitely is
TRANSGRESSED PHYSICAL LAW! It is a law GOD designed and set in
motion. This TRANSGRESSION OF LAW, according to God's definition (I
John 3:4), is physical SIN! Its penalty is sickness, disease or
The RSV translates I John 3:4, "... sin is lawlessness"
-- without regard to WHAT law GOD instituted.
Now back to our important question -- although it was made clear
in chapter 3: How does Christ's broken body make our healing
possible? I answer with another question: How does Christ's shed
blood -- His DEATH -- make possible the forgiveness of spiritual
sin -- transgression of the spiritual law -- the Ten Commandments?
Simply by having PAID THE PENALTY IN OUR STEAD -- THAT'S HOW! His
beaten body paid in our stead the PENALTY we are suffering when the
physical laws in the human body have been transgressed and have
brought on the PENALTY of the sickness, disease or
whatever -- sometimes the first death!
To say there is no such thing as physical sin, as has been
said by self-professing intellectuals, is NOT intellectual -- it is
rank STUPIDITY, IGNORANCE or WILLFUL PERVERSION OF PLAIN SIMPLE
Some Lack the Faith
The important point here, however, is that some in the Church
of God at Corinth did lack the faith to be healed -- or else
carelessly took the broken bread at Passover in an unworthy manner.
And WHAT WAS THE RESULT? They were physically weak or sick or
had died. THAT WAS THE PENALTY. They did not in faith accept
Christ's broken body as payment of the penalty, which, if they had,
would have by a God-given miracle been removed from them, and they
would have been HEALED!
But now it is IMPORTANT that we note carefully that the RESULT
of this lack of sufficient faith DID NOT DISFELLOWSHIP them from
the Church! Disfellowshipping is the penalty for causing divisions
and offenses (Romans 16:17-18). That is important!
If one in the Church of God today lacks the FAITH that he
should have, the penalty is NOT disfellowshipping. The penalty is
that he still PAYS THE PENALTY in the form of sickness, disease or
even death. He himself pays it! Too bad -- when Christ already had
paid it FOR HIM. But he should be helped to receive faith -- not be
The Crackers-and-Cheese Diet
Back in 1927 or 1928, when I had only recently at the time
learned God's truth about healing, I heard a most apt example of
We did not yet cross the Atlantic in airplanes in those days.
A man was sailing to Europe in a transatlantic steamship. He felt
the meals aboard ship would be too expensive. So he packed in a
suitcase a full supply of crackers and cheese. After three days'
sailing, he was becoming truly fed up on crackers and cheese. A
steward had noticed that this passenger never went into the ship's
dining room and asked him about it.
"Oh, I can't afford to eat in there," replied the passenger.
Then he learned that MEALS WERE INCLUDED -- no extra charge!
How many in God's Church today are on a crackers-and-cheese
ration, when HEALING IS INCLUDED? JESUS CHRIST PAID FOR YOUR
Why do YOU go on PAYING THE PENALTY or else paying the DOCTOR
BILLS or probably BOTH, when Jesus Christ paid it all FOR You?
The Weak in Faith Helped, Not Condemned
Now notice the important teaching in Romans 14.
"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye" do not condemn or
disfellowship "but not to doubtful disputations." Or, "not for
disputes over opinions" (RSV).
Verse 2 (Romans 14): Although one believes (has faith) to eat
meats, another, weak in faith, eats only vegetables. But the very
fact he has not yet received FULL FAITH from God does not bar him
from God's Church. Rather this chapter in Romans teaches "RECEIVE
HIM" -- help the weak in faith. The ministers should teach him more
about the WAY to achieve more faith.
And so with the member of God's Church who has not as yet
achieved full FAITH to BELIEVE GOD'S PROMISES for the physical
healing. He should have that faith! He may pay himself the penalty
of the sickness or disease if he lacks faith to believe Christ paid
the penalty for him -- to rely on GOD'S PROMISE to heal.
So therefore, if a member has not yet grown in the FAITH OF
CHRIST to absolutely KNOW he can rely on God's PROMISE of
healing -- and if this member does call in the doctor or go to the
medical profession for help, God's Church does not condemn him -- but
rather, God's ministers should encourage such a one to GROW IN
FAITH until he can rely on God instead of relying on MAN.
Once more to the question, Did God raise up the medical
profession for our day?
Remember, God sentenced Adam's world to being CUT OFF from Him
for the 6,000 years now almost ended. God said, in effect: "You,
Adam, have made the choice for your human family. You have REJECTED
me. GO, therefore, and form your own governments, your own
religions, your own human concepts of the gods you will serve and
worship -- develop your own fund of knowledge." God, however,
reserved the prerogative of calling to His service such comparative
few as He should choose to carry out his special commission.
To those whom God has called, He has revealed IN HIS WORD to
them that HE is Yahweh-Rapha -- their HEALING God -- the God who HEALS
those who believe.
What Is the Medical Profession?
What, then, is the medical profession? Remember, it is only
one of several of the so-called healing arts DEVELOPED BY MAN. My
parents, when I was a young boy, used a homeopathic doctor. There
are osteopaths -- although they now also practice medicine and are
accepted by the medical profession. There are chiropractors -- and I
personally knew the founder of chiropractic, B.J. Palmer of
But the medical fraternity is by far the largest in number.
They have allotted a very huge sum of money to operate a LOBBY in
Washington, D.C., to influence government legislation. The medical
profession has become so powerful that an M.D. could quarantine
even the President of the United States and enforce his virtual
imprisonment in the White House. In such an instance, the medical
profession has even MORE POWER than the President of the United
It is well to UNDERSTAND this! The medical profession has the
GOVERNMENT on their side!
A well-meaning, Bible-believing man and wife (not members of
the Worldwide Church of God) had an 11-year-old son with diabetes.
They had been administering insulin as prescribed by medical
doctors. Then a "divine healer" came along. I know nothing of the
credibility of this healer except what I read in the newspapers -- he
certainly was not a minister of the Worldwide Church of God.
This "divine healer" anointed and prayed for the lad, and the
parents took him off the insulin. The parents, according to news
dispatches, were staunch in faith -- but after removing the insulin
the boy died. The parents were arrested and taken to jail, charged
with manslaughter. I did not learn of the final legal disposition
of this case in the courts.
I cite this, however, as a PRECAUTION! I might mention, too,
that insulin is not a drug or medicine, but a substance or hormone
that the human body should normally generate. Medical doctors
prescribe insulin in cases where the body is not of itself
generating the substance.
In the case of the illness of a child, God does heal -- but
remember Jesus said, "According to your FAITH be it unto you." If
faith is lacking -- or if in any case the child dies -- the parents
certainly run the risk of criminal prosecution if they have failed
to call in a doctor.
In the case history described above, I do not know all the
facts. Press reports indicated the parents had "supreme faith." But
was the healer a fake or a self-appointed healer uncalled and
unused by God?
Again, God says, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him,
because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are
pleasing in his sight" (I John 3:22). The press stories on this
case would indicate that the parents were not
"commandment-keepers." But, on the other hand, God says, "Therefore
to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin"
(James 4:17). If the parents had not known the command to keep
God's commandments, God would not have held this ignorance against
them. Also it is a question, in the case of administering insulin,
as to whether it was possibly not right in God's sight that it be
supplied -- since instead of being a drug, it was a substance
supplying what the body itself normally should generate and supply.
I do not judge in such a case as I have mentioned -- because I
do not know all the facts. I MERELY CAUTION THE READER: If a sick
child dies, and a doctor has not been called, the parents may find
themselves in trouble with the law!
What Is God's Will?
God's Church does not judge or condemn those who, through lack
of faith, utilize the services of the medical profession. God's
Church merely says to you, HEALING IS INCLUDED -- Christ already has
PAID for it-it is a PROMISE of God (with conditions of obedience
and faith), and it is one of God's BENEFITS which is INCLUDED in
the gift of His grace!
Speaking of God's BENEFITS reminds me of a case in point. I
had been called to the bedside of an elderly lady for anointing and
prayer for healing.
"If I anoint you and pray for God to heal you, will you
believe -- will you be sure that you will be healed?" I merely wanted
assurance that she BELIEVED GOD.
"Well," she replied, "I know God can heal me -- if it's His
will -- but I can't be sure of His will."
"Well," I responded, "it's too bad that you don't know whether
it is God's will to forgive all your sins so you might be saved."
"Oh, I know it's His will to forgive my sins and give me
salvation," she hastened to reply.
"Oh yes," I continued, "you know you can rely on God's promise
in Psalms 103 -- which I will read: 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and
forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ... '
You really KNOW He will from that scripture, do you?"
"Yes, I can rely on that promise with no doubts whatever!"
"Well," I pursued, "will you read, with your own eyes, the
rest of that SAME sentence? I handed to her my Bible, opened to
Psalm 103, verse 3, and she read aloud, "Who forgiveth all thine
iniquities; who health all thy diseases."
"How does it come," I asked with a smile, "that you really
believe the first half of that verse, but not the last half?"
"Well, I guess," she said, "I just never noticed that God's
promise to HEAL is given right alongside His promise of forgiving
The woman then believed. She was healed.
One of God's Benefits
Notice, HEALING is one of the BENEFITS God gives us along with
salvation. Like the meals on the steamship, IT IS INCLUDED -- no
extra charge. Jesus already PAID FOR IT!
And God wants His people to learn to rely on Him!
One intellectual writing on healing said, "It is quite evident
that God is not healing today in the same manner or to the same
degree that He did in early New Testament times."
That intellectual is simply IGNORANT of the Word of God, the
promises of God, the power and the will of God! He had had no
experience in healing. He was studying the subject carnally and
rationally, as a scholar -- as one, like Job, who said, "... Therefore
have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me,
which I knew not .... I have heard of thee by the hearing of the
ear" -- but Job had not yet come to really KNOW God (Job. 42:3, 5).
But when God revealed Himself to Job, he said, "... I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6).
This same scholarly and erroneous teaching continued, "It is
equally evident that the physiological and medical expertise of the
end of the 20th century is far advanced over that of the middle of
the first century."
The above was sent out to our ministers, UNAUTHORIZED, in an
attempt, craftily influenced and inspired by Satan, to DO AWAY WITH
THE BASIC TRUTHS JESUS CHRIST HAD PLACED IN GOD'S CHURCH! It was
sent out with the UNauthorized statement that this erroneous
teaching MUST BE PREACHED -- and that it superseded past teachings
and earlier understandings which Jesus Christ, the LIVING HEAD of
God's Church, had, through His apostle, made the very FOUNDATIONAL
TEACHINGS of Christ in God's CHURCH!
It is part of a whole new, erroneous and corrupt teaching
encouraging faith in MEN and doubt in God (Romans 14:23) -- subtly
prepared and distributed to ministers without the knowledge of
Christ's apostle -- though it was falsely represented to have had his
approval. The one responsible for this entire comprehensive effort
to replace CHRIST'S and GOD'S TRUTH with carnal pedantic
scholarship and FALSE TEACHING has been excommunicated -- and this
entire unauthorized teaching made null and void BY JESUS CHRIST
through His apostle!
GOD is still on His throne and Jesus Christ is there with
Him -- and THEY will not leave nor forsake the true CHURCH OF GOD!
As SHOWN BY THE QUOTE ABOVE, THE ENTIRE APPROACH to this false
teaching was the secular, carnal concept that perhaps God, like the
professor emeritus, may have once done splendid things, but now has
grown old, senile and lost His power. Poor God!
God Is the Same!
But God tells me He is THE SAME, yesterday, today and forever!
He is today the SAME GOD, with the same power He had in the first
century -- and has had eternally.
Today Christ does not lead His apostle or any in God's Church
to heal indiscriminately the sick encountered among the general
public -- as Jesus did, and the first apostles did until SUPPRESSED
by worldly powers.
The great commission and ministry for God's Church today is in
Jesus' prophecy concerning it in Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of
the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto
all nations; and then shall the end [of this age] come." The
proclamation worldwide of Christ's KINGDOM message was the sign
Jesus gave by which we might know when the end of the present world
was imminent. But He said nothing about healing going out to the
Rather, what we do find in the New Testament is in James
5:14-15: "Is any sick among you?" That is, among you brethren in
God's Church. "Let him call for the elders of the church; and let
them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of" -- meaning
saw AUTHORITY OF -- "the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the
sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed
sins, they shall be forgiven him."
God's Will Expressed
This carnal scholarly Systematic Theology Project mentioned
above attempts to refute this plain Word-of-God PROMISE of healing
in God's Church. With the very cunning inspired by Satan, this
comment is made to cause DOUBT in the definite WORD OF GOD:
"Although this one statement appears to be written without
qualification, the condition 'if it be God's will' was no doubt
On reading that, I was absolutely flabbergasted! NOWHERE IN
THE BIBLE DOES GOD SAY, "IF it be God's will! This very verse,
along with many others I have given you, EXPRESSES God's will!
Notice that sly, subtle IF. That is satanic! When Satan was
trying to overthrow Jesus Christ in his greatest temptation at
tempt -- after Jesus had fasted 40 days and 40 nights -- Satan said
twice to Jesus, TEMPTING Him, "IF thou be the Son of God." That
little two-letter word IF is just about the biggest little word in
the English language! It is intended to cause DOUBT in GOD'S WORD.
It was used by Satan in trying to overthrow Christ. Satan inspired
it in this Theology Project to try to overthrow faith within God's
ministers -- and within God's Church!
With all my being, I CONDEMN that kind of teaching -- and the
one responsible for handing it out to God's ministers (though
undoubtedly he himself did not write it) has been disfellowshipped
and is NO LONGER A MEMBER of God's Church. And that Satan-inspired
teaching is going out of God's Church as well!
Now that diabolical teaching about the passage in James
5:14-15 requires a complete refutation -- to make the true GOD
intended meaning clear beyond DOUBT.
As a result of this insidious attempt to cause DOUBT in the
Word of God, many have said, "This Theology Project teaches that
James 5:14-15 IS NOT A PROMISE!"
But it is a definite, plain, clear PROMISE from GOD! I pray
for God's mercy on those who allowed Satan to inspire them to cast
DOUBT on the holy, sacred WORD OF GOD!
Look at those words again. "And the prayer of faith shall save
the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed
sins [undoubtedly referring to physical sin], they shall be
If THAT IS NOT A PROMISE then we have NO PROMISE of the
forgiveness of sins or of salvation and the gift of eternal life!
Faith Is a Condition
The point is made in this now null-and-void teaching that
there are conditions. That is true -- but WHAT conditions? Within the
very statement in James 5:15, it plainly says "... the prayer of
FAITH .... Yes, FAITH is a condition.
In some instances where Jesus healed, the FAITH for healing
was supplied by the one healed -- like the woman who had spent all
she had on physicians and had grown worse. Jesus said to her,
"Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee whole." Again Jesus said
elsewhere, "According to your faith be it unto you."
But, in other cases the one healed did not supply the faith
Jesus Himself did! So what does this teach us? Definitely healing
is conditioned on FAITH either on the part of the one needing
healing or on the part of the minister of God who prays and
I have prayed for and anointed hundreds. There have been a
great many miraculous healings. Some with cancer in an advanced
stage were HEALED -- while others at this stage were relieved of the
intense pain, though they died and will have their healing IN THE
RESURRECTION. More on this a little later. One woman with leukemia
in the hospital with apparently less than 24 hours to live, and
with tubes in her ankles for blood transfusions, tubes in her
nostrils -- a horrible sight -- was healed instantly when I anointed
and prayed for her (after putting all nurses out of the room). She
left the hospital the next day.
On the other hand I have prayed for others where I myself had
the same faith, yet they were not healed -- because they lacked the
In James 5:14-15, the very scripture here gives a condition:
"the prayer of faith."
Keep His Commandments
Also, I John 3:22, mentioned before: "And whatsoever we ask,
we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those
things that are pleasing in his sight."
I personally know of a case of a man who wanted healing, but
stubbornly refused to keep God's commandments. He was NOT healed.
Oh yes, there are conditions -- but God tells those conditions.
But NEVER does the Bible say, "IF it's God's will." NEVER! Rather,
God's Word says, Be ye not unwise, but UNDERSTANDING what the will
of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). The Bible is His Word, where He
tells us what is His will!
NOW as to GOD'S PROMISES. The Bible is full of God's
PROMISES -- and God expects us to BELIEVE them.
Perhaps the outstanding example is the promises on which YOUR
very salvation and mine depend.
Notice: "Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for
the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers"
And who were the fathers to whom the promises were made? "The
God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our
fathers ..." (Acts 3:13).
YOUR SALVATION depends on those PROMISES made to Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob! Yet notice: "These all died in faith, not having
received the promises ... (Hebrews 11:13).
God's Promises Are Sure
WHAT, THEN? Does not God KEEP HIS PROMISES? Here in this very
FAITH CHAPTER of the Bible, all the way through, it shows Abraham's
FAITH, Noah's FAITH, Moses' faith, even the harlot Rahab's faith.
Then, "And these all, having obtained a good report through FAITH,
received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for
us, that they without us [born long since] should not be made
perfect" (verses 39-40)
In other words, GOD IS FAITHFUL! God's PROMISES are FIRM -- they
do mean what they say. The fathers will receive the PROMISES IN THE
RESURRECTION -- along with many of us born millennia later!
GOD'S PROMISES ARE SURE!
Although I have written this before, let me recount here how
I learned this lesson of FAITH.
My conversion and baptism had occurred in the spring of 1927.
By 1933 I had come to have strong faith -- there had been many
miraculous answers to prayer! Then my father was stricken, early
summer 1933, with a stroke. I prayed for his healing. I anointed
him. I BELIEVED! HE BELIEVED! I prayed all night -- yet at 9:40 the
next morning he died.
That was a terrible SHOCK to my faith -- but it most certainly
did not destroy my faith. But I had to UNDERSTAND! I had claimed
GOD'S PROMISE in James 5:14-15 and OTHER PROMISES for his healing.
To UNDERSTAND, I did not try to use human reason, as exemplified in
this Theology Project. I went to the faith chapter of the Bible for
And there I found it, in what I have written immediately
above. GOD DID NOT BREAK HIS PROMISE! His promise was
SURE -- unbreakable. As sure as the rising and setting of tomorrow's
sun. In Hebrews 11 God showed me that His PROMISE FOR MY FATHER'S
HEALING REMAINS SURE! He, like Abraham and the fathers, died BEFORE
receiving it. It is still SURE -- not IF it is God's will."
But there is LIFE AFTER this life.
And, in human consciousness, a fraction of a second after
losing consciousness in death, we shall wake up IN THE
RESURRECTION. God has planned that there be an interval of
UNCONSCIOUSNESS -- just as if it did not even exist -- until we LIVE in
the resurrection! I am still having patience -- and FAITH. My
father's healing is SURE! He shall receive the healing God
Rely on God
God has not promised that, by continual healing, we shall
never die. As in Adam all die -- "it is appointed unto men once to
die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
God has positively PROMISED to heal. And He names the
conditions -- OBEDIENCE and FAITH. But God has not told us how soon
or when He will heal. HE EXPECTS US TO TRUST HIM WITH THAT!
That most certainly should not weaken or destroy our faith IT
SHOULD MAKE OUR FAITH MORE SURE!
I know, in this deceived and evil world of Satan's, it seems
that the worst thing that can happen is death. Humans not knowing
God get to thinking that death ENDS ALL. That's why some commit
suicide -- supposing that the suicide PUTS AN END to their troubles.
But virtually in the same instant that they lose consciousness in
death, they wake up IN THE JUDGMENT -- their problems not ended -- but
with a MURDER of self-destruction now facing them!
Our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all died IN FAITH. My
own human father died IN FAITH. God's PROMISES to them are yet
Instead of causing us to lose faith, this wonderful knowledge
should STRENGTHEN our faith -- we know we may place ourselves in
GOD'S HANDS and RELY on Him for healing. The most remarkable and
supposedly impossible healings I have experienced, as a result of
my own prayers, have occurred after my father's death. God did not
let that experience weaken FAITH IN GOD AND HIS PROMISES!
God Alone Heals
I have been frankly aroused to indignation to learn of this
false, faith-shattering teaching in this supposedly scholarly
theological manual, wherein ministers were literally instructed to
encourage God's people to TRUST IN MAN -- in the "advanced expertise"
of the medical profession -- and to discourage them from having faith
in God. I realize that Satan is the real culprit that those who
prepared this manual did not intend harm -- and were misled and
deceived into supposing they were teaching truth.
Jesus Christ, through His apostle, teaches ministers to
ENCOURAGE RELIANCE ON THE LIVING CHRIST, rather than on man.
Medical practice may be the best thing that carnal MAN, cut
off from God and His revealed truth, has in 6,000 years come up
Do we ever need doctors? Yes we do -- but the true people of God
do not need them to compete with God as our GOD-HEALER (God's name
is also Yahweh-Rapha -- our GOD-HEALER)! God is a jealous God and
does not allow any other to do what He alone can do -- HEAL!
We do, in this modern degenerated day, need doctors for child
delivery. A doctor can render real help in the case of a broken arm
or leg -- but even then it is GOD who heals, though the doctor may
properly bind it up so that it may heal.
What about the ramifications of sickness and disease? As
stated, medical practice may be the best thing MAN without God has
been able to produce. If a Church member simply lacks the faith to
be healed by the living Christ -- if he has more faith in medical
"expertise" than in God and God's promises -- God's Church will not
judge or condemn him if he puts himself or his child under medical
treatment. If that is the best he has faith in, better let him have
what help MAN can give, RATHER THAN NO HELP AT ALL!
Healing Is a Miracle
God's ministers should NOT high-pressure any against medical
care -- but definitely they should encourage Christians to build and
receive FAITH in the living CHRIST.
But God's people should be taught that healing is a MIRACLE
and not to be considered lightly. The definition of a miracle is:
"An event beyond the power of any known physical laws to produce;
a supernatural occurrence produced by the power of God."
Healing definitely is a MIRACLE. But we must never forget our
God is a MIRACLE-WORKING GOD! He is the supernatural GOD-not man.
Yet He intended man to have a direct and intimate contact with Him
through Christ. Those called are called to become His begotten
children, and by growing in grace and Christ's knowledge in
spiritual character, to be BORN, by a resurrection, INTO THE VERY
GOD FAMILY. The human potential is that WE shall BECOME VERY GOD --
even as Christ -- firstborn of many brethren -- already IS!
And His people, whom He has called, must remember that
"without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that HE IS, and that he is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). And He is the GIVER of
CLAIMING GOD'S BLESSINGS
Let's see if we can pick up the loose ends and put them
together. We need clearly to understand HEALING as Christ put it in
His Church for us today.
Today the medical profession is a much greater factor than
when Jesus taught and healed. Correct UNDERSTANDING, as Christ
intends for God's Church today, necessitates openmindedly seeing it
in the light of God's revealed teaching for TODAY.
To clear the air we need to understand WHY this is not God's
world. We need to understand how this world has developed and
changed and WHY God has called His Church to come out of this world
and to be a separate and peculiar people -- GOD'S PEOPLE!
The Pre-Adamic World
We need to clear our minds of today's concepts and
confusion -- to UNDERSTAND the beginning of human life, the world
into which Jesus came, and the changed world out from which God
calls us today. We need to begin by refreshing our minds on what
led up to MAN'S creation.
God created angels before the existence of the physical
universe -- immortal spirit beings, each individually and separately
created. Then God created the heavens -- the vast material
universe -- and the earth.
But understand this basic truism. God's creating is a DUAL
process. In the physical universe, what God created was perfect as
far as the first stage of creation which had been produced. But God
placed angels on the earth to be used by Him in the finishing
stage -- to utilize the material already created -- working with its
elements to beautify and finish earth's creation in physical
splendor and glory.
This was merely the testing ground to qualify the angels to
finish the creation of the entire limitless universal other
As God's principle of creating is a dual process, so was the
creation of angels -- and so is it with man.
The finishing stage of angelic creation, as it is with MAN,
was creation of holy and righteous CHARACTER, which must emanate
from GOD. That is something which cannot be created instantaneously
by fiat. It requires a process of development in which the created
beings must MAKE THE CHOICE, acquiesce in and seek this
righteousness from God.
Angels, as was man afterward, were created in their initial
stage with MINDS with which to think, acquire knowledge, reason,
make choices and decisions. God first instructed them.
God's own holy and righteous CHARACTER is the WAY OF LIFE of
His SPIRITUAL LAW. It is the way, the principle and attitude of
LOVE -- outgoing toward God first of all, in reliance, faith and
obedience; and, secondly, outgoing concern for the welfare and good
of one's fellows. This LAW was made the basis of THE GOVERNMENT OF
GOD, which He first set over the angels that they might proceed in
what God purposed for them in harmony, unity, cooperation and
peace -- in united effort.
On the throne of the earth God set a cherub -- a super archangel
named Lucifer -- to administer God's GOVERNMENT.
But Lucifer defected. He led his angels into rebellion against
God and God's WAY OF LOVE, into the way of GET -- vanity, lust and
greed, jealousy and envy, competition and strife, rebellion against
Instead of CONSTRUCTION -- finishing earth's creation -- Lucifer's
way led to DESTRUCTION. Chaos and confusion and decay were the
Lucifer was DISqualified to rule God's GOVERNMENT. In his
state of perversion Lucifer's name was changed by God to Satan the
devil, and his angels became demons (that is, the third part of all
angels who had been under Lucifer).
Now (Psalm 104:30) in six days God RENEWED the face of the
earth for MAN.
God now had set out on the supreme act of
creation -- REPRODUCING HIMSELF through mortal and physical MAN.
Though composed of matter from the earth, man was formed in God's
own likeness -- form and shape.
The MAN and woman He created were the first stage in the
DUALITY of man's creation. This was the PHYSICAL state -- the
material with which to form and create the SPIRITUAL phase.
Man -- and God
As the physical stage of man's creation began with Adam, so
the spiritual phase began with Christ.
Adam was given an opportunity to qualify to succeed Satan on
earth's throne. But to qualify it was necessary that he reject
Satan's way of rebellion and GET, and accept God's way of GIVE and
As God had first thoroughly instructed Lucifer and his angels
before placing them on the earth, so God first instructed Adam and
Eve -- in His LOVE, His righteousness, His WAY, and His government.
In the Garden of Eden where God placed the man and woman were
two symbolic trees. One symbolized God's Holy Spirit and the gift
of eternal life upon obedience. The other, the tree of the
"knowledge of good and evil," represented -- IF they partook of its
forbidden fruit -- taking to themselves GOD'S prerogative of
determining the knowledge of good and of evil -- of deciding for
themselves the WAY of righteousness or of sin -- the way of
determining CHARACTER. And this, of course, meant REBELLION against
God's REVEALED knowledge.
Satan was not allowed to contact Adam until his Maker first
instructed him in THE WAY of righteous character. Then the wily
Satan got to Adam by deceiving his wife. But Adam was not deceived
and willfully REJECTED GOD AS THE SOURCE OF REVEALED BASIC
KNOWLEDGE as well as his God and Ruler.
Holy and righteous CHARACTER can come only by the free choice
of its recipient. Adam had made the decision for his HUMAN
FAMILY -- except those God should specially call to make their own
When God "drove out the man" from the Garden of Eden and
barred reentrance, "... LEST he put forth his hand, and take also of
the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever" (Genesis 3:22-24),
God said, in effect: "You have made the decision. You were
instructed personally by your Maker. You did not believe what He
said -- you rebelled against Him as Ruler and Revealer of basic
KNOWLEDGE. You have decided for the whole world that shall spring
from you, except such as I shall choose to specially call in
preparation for MY KINGDOM, which shall follow the day of MAN.
"Therefore I SENTENCE YOU and your world, which you shall
sire, to 6,000 years of being CUT OFF from me. Go, produce YOUR OWN
KNOWLEDGE, form your OWN RELIGIONS, your own GOVERNMENTS, your own
CIVILIZATION. And after the 6,000 years I have allotted to you for
YOUR civilization, I shall by my divine POWER restore my GOVERNMENT
and establish MY KINGDOM -- my serene FAMILY ruling the earth.
The World Cut Off
And so THIS WORLD'S CIVILIZATION was developed by MAN, cut off
from God and the revelation of God's KNOWLEDGE, yet craftily and
invisibly swayed and led by Satan in Satan's WAY.
Man has NOT BEEN FREE TO VOLUNTARILY SEEK AND GAIN CONTACT
with GOD. So said Jesus!
Look at the historic FACTS! Noah did not seek God -- God called
Noah for a definite project. Abraham did not seek God. God called
Abraham, and Abraham responded and obeyed without argument.
Moses did not seek God. And when God called him to lead the
Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, Moses protested: "I can't do
it. I have a speech impediment -- I stutter." Jonah did not seek
God -- and when God called him to a special assignment, he tried to
run away in a ship.
Isaiah did not seek God or the office of prophet -- he protested
he was a man of unclean lips, until God cleansed them. The same
with Jeremiah, who gave the excuse that he was too young. Did King
David seek God or the kingship? No, David was interested only in
Jesus came saying, "No MAN CAN come to me, except the Father
which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). And His 3 1/2 year public
ministry proved it. Of the many thousands who heard the Master
Himself, only 120 believed Him after 3 1/2 years.
Peter and his brother Andrew wanted to be fishermen -- and also
John and James. And Matthew wanted to be a tax collector. Jesus
said to His twelve, "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen
The apostle Paul did not seek Christ -- he was on a hate
campaign to imprison Christians until Christ struck him down blind
and revealed to him the GREAT COMMISSION he was to carry to the
Last and least, the very last thing I wanted to do was to
become a minister of Christ's gospel. I wanted to be an advertising
man in the business world -- until God CONQUERED me and after real
conversion committed to me the GREAT COMMISSION for our time.
It is important that we KEEP IN MIND that this is NOT God's
world -- it is MAN'S world, cut off from God and God's ways, yet
deceived and led by SATAN.
The people of China, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and many
populous areas of the world have been so completely cut off from
God, few in those countries know anything about Him.
God called ancient Israel out of Egypt to be His separate and
peculiar people -- under His REVEALED LAWS. Yet He offered only their
prophets His Holy Spirit. They were carnal-minded. They said to
Samuel they wanted to be like the people of this world and have a
king -- rejecting God as King (I Samuel 8:7).
Healing Arts in Jesus' Day
Into such a world Jesus came -- a world that did not accept Him
or His teachings.
Now the medical profession antedates the time of Christ by
many generations. However, man's development in the healing arts
and medicine was then quite elementary compared to its status
Let's UNDERSTAND and fix firmly in mind this TRUTH: The
medical profession is one of THIS WORLD'S humanly devised phases of
a man-made civilization -- CUT OFF from God, but swayed and deceived
Jesus had nothing to do with it. But I repeat, medical
practice (and I use the word practice significantly) was then crude
and undeveloped compared to the medical profession of the late
1970's. Jesus had compassion on the sick, the diseased, the blind
and crippled. MAN'S civilization had not as yet developed a healing
art that gave him much, if any, help. In His compassion and mercy
for the people of Judah -- God's chosen -- He healed people of the
general public as He came across them or they came to Him.
Jesus' ministry, as emphasized in the first chapter, was a
DUAL ministry. He proclaimed the good news of the future KINGDOM OF
GOD, and He healed the sick. Preaching and healing went hand in
hand as a DUAL ministry. So with the first apostles.
Jesus did not come on a soul-saving crusade, but He did make
forgiveness of spiritual sin possible by His SHED BLOOD on the
cross of DEATH -- and He did also PAY THE PENALTY IN OUR STEAD for
the broken laws that function in our physical bodies BY HIS
STRIPES. I devoted some considerable space to that fact in an
For emphasis I repeat: Jesus PAID THE PENALTY FOR us of both
physical and spiritual transgression. He reconciled us to God by
His shed blood and death (Romans 5:8-10), and by His stripes we are
HEALED (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24). "Stripes" biblically means
lashes given by a scourge or rod.
But now, when we come to the prophecy of the GREAT COMMISSION
in our day, Jesus gave the proclamation of the KINGDOM OF GOD as
the ONLY SIGN by which we might know when the end of this
world -- this DAY OF MAN -- would come and His KINGDOM be set up to
rule the earth. BUT, SIGNIFICANTLY, JESUS MENTIONED NOTHING ABOUT
HEALING BEING PART OF THE GOSPEL PROCLAMATION TO ALL THE WORLD.
Perhaps it is because we of Christ's ministry do not have the
faith of Peter, Paul, James and the early first-century apostles.
And of our time Jesus said, "... when the Son of man cometh, shall
he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8.) Or could it be because
man's world has developed a medical profession, which Jesus
foreknew, so that the people uncalled of God would be far better
cared for than those of the first century?
Our Day, Now
But what we do find is that healing today is FOR THE PEOPLE OF
GOD'S CHURCH, as per James 5:14-15.
I repeat, there are two conditions to healing: commandment
keeping (I John 3:22) and faith (James 5:15). Commandment keeping
has been restored to God's Church today. And we should have faith,
which is a gift of God, but we are almost out of faith today, and
when we're out of faith we're out from GOD!
It seems so much easier today to just go to a doctor and TRUST
IN MAN -- MAN CUT OFF FROM GOD -- than to RELY ON CHRIST and His
Especially when we are so well aware of the progress made by
the medical profession in our day.
Forty-five years ago I spoke of the use of medicines and drugs
as poisons. Written 32 years ago, the only booklet the Church had,
until now, published on healing spoke of it as prescribing an
opposite poison to counteract the poison of the body. Unlike all
our other booklets it was transcribed from the recording of an
adlibbed broadcast. I said that the medical arithmetic was that one
poison plus one more poison equals NO poison, and I remarked that
a student of second-grade arithmetic ought to know that one plus
one does not equal zero!
In the early days of Ambassador College in the late '40s, our
Dr. Ralph E. Merrill, M.D., and a pioneer member of the Church at
Pasadena, said, "We doctors have been kept so busy treating those
already sick that we haven't gotten around to much research into
diet and other causes of illnesses." But for the past 15 or 20
years the medical people have made considerable progress in this
Further, it is true that today most doctors prescribe
medicines that are NOT poisons but rather are designed to help
nature do its own healing.
However NO MEDICINE -- NO DOCTOR -- can HEAL! I have never heard
a medical doctor deny that statement. They do not claim to heal.
I am not saying that God's people should trust in doctors
instead of relying on God and His PROMISES. I shall have more to
say about those promises a little later before closing this
Understanding for Our Day
At this point we need to clear our UNDERSTANDING on two vital
1. God created MAN in His own image -- after His own likeness.
Man is wholly material flesh -- yet there is a spirit essence in each
human. Man was made to have a special relationship with God. Man's
potential is to be BORN INTO the GOD FAMILY -- changed from material
to spirit composition.
Consequently, when God made MAN after His own kind -- not after
the dumb animal kind -- God endowed man with near-creative powers. In
the sense of designing and making out of already existing
materials, man does have creative powers.
At the tower of Babel God said, "... and this they begin to do:
and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have
imagined to do" (Genesis 11:6). Therefore, to put the brakes on
man's misguided civilization development, God confounded their
Thereafter there was little progress in man's complicated
educational and industrial development until after the invention of
printing. Even then it took time for dissemination of knowledge by
the printed word until man began to narrow the language gap. For a
while French seemed to be making progress as the world's universal
language, but today English has overtaken it.
Most civilization development has occurred only in the last
125 years -- and technical knowledge and industrial development have
more than doubled in the last two or three decades.
This is especially true in the practice of medicine and
knowledge in that profession. The fact of man's ability and
capacity for development reflects, not the glory of MAN, but the
creative might of our Maker in creating man to have such abilities
Yet we must remember this development is not always progress
forward. Too often, under Satan's unrealized sway, with man CUT OFF
FROM God and His revealed knowledge, it has been progress in
reverse. As Isaiah 1:4 says of ancient Israel, "... they are gone
Satan has had access to deceive and sway man into Satan's
CHARACTER IMAGE, whereas we must acquire and develop GOD'S
CHARACTER IMAGE to be born into His Kingdom! It is vital that we
REMEMBER THAT, in considering healing vs. medical reliance TODAY!
2. God reveals knowledge -- to those called and having His
Spirit -- which man could not discover for himself.
God left it for Copernicus to make first discoveries about
astronomy, for Newton to discover the law of gravity, Galileo to
discover that the earth is round. Yet for UNDERSTANDING, bear in
mind that what was accepted as science yesterday is sometimes the
laughingstock of today -- especially in the speculative and
philosophical sciences. Revelation from GOD is the basis of real
The same principle pertains to what man can DO. The great
advances in the medical field enable man to do for his human family
many things he could not do 50 years ago, short of actual healing.
God does for us (often by miracle) that which we are unable to do.
God gave man talents, mind-power (physical) and abilities that He
intended us to use and develop under His guidance, and always for
His glory and toward our development in the holy, righteous
CHARACTER of God.
To this end, God intends man to excel and improve -- but never
in a way to inflate vanity or detract from reliance on and trust in
God. We must rely on GOD for guidance even in what we are made able
to do for ourselves.
Righteous Character Must Be Developed
But the very PURPOSE of human life (God reproducing Himself)
is this holy and righteous character development. AND IT IS
ACQUIRED, DEVELOPED and INCREASED primarily through OBEDIENCE AND
I said earlier that God creates by the principle of DUALITY.
UNDERSTAND THIS! I explained that the first stage of human creation
was the physical creation, starting from Adam. The second stage is
the SPIRITUAL CREATION, beginning with Christ.
But even in the conversion of one called of God in the present
age, that conversion is brought about by the DUALITY principle.
First, upon being called of God, granted real repentance and being
CONQUERED by Him, and having faith in Christ, with baptism we are
PROMISED the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the first stage.
There is a definite time when one receives God's Holy Spirit. But
only Jesus (John 3:34) was not given the Spirit by measure.
All other humans do receive initially only a certain measure
of God's Spirit. Then we must GROW in grace and the knowledge of
Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18). That is the second phase of the
The natural-born human has only the human spirit -- imparting
the power of intellect. Yet all such human minds are confined to
knowledge of the physical and material. And by the fact that Satan
is prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), he
broadcasts -- surcharges the air with his ATTITUDE of SELF -- vanity
and love only toward self. We call this attitude Satan instills
human nature. We acquire it from earliest childhood gradually.
Repentance is change from that attitude. Through God's Holy
Spirit joining with our spirit, we acquire -- become partakers of (II
Peter 1:4) -- the divine nature.
But this initial stage of conversion does not eradicate human
nature. Real repentance is a change of WILLFUL INTENTION to turn
from the attitude Satan had injected.
I don't know (for God does not reveal) what percentage of
human nature is driven out and the divine nature GIVEN through the
initial measure of the Holy Spirit at conversion.
But to illustrate, let us suppose one receives one percent of
complete full measure of the Holy Spirit. Such a one might be,
shall we suppose, 99 percent actuated by the selfish nature.
Possibly that may vary in different individuals.
Principle Illustrated by Parables
Jesus illustrated this principle by the parables of the pounds
and of the talents. In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus is pictured as giving
His ten servants one pound each. This unit of British money
symbolized a measure of the Holy Spirit. For sake of clarity let us
suppose it represents one percent of the full measure of God's
Spirit. When Christ returns from heaven as KING of kings and LORD
of lords, each of the ten is called to give account. The first had
GROWN in grace and Christ's knowledge ten times from where he
started. In the Kingdom of God -- in the next life -- He is given rule
over ten cities.
The second servant had increased his original spiritual stock-
in-trade five times. He was not saved by his works but rewarded
according to his works. He was given rule over five cities.
But the third had gained NOTHING. He thought his original
conversion would get him into God's Kingdom without any spiritual
growth. He had the one pound taken away from him. He lost out
totally. He did not make it into God's Kingdom! In other words, if
we do not GROW in God's spiritual character, we LOSE the salvation
we thought we were starting with.
We GROW in God's Spirit -- receiving increased measure-by
whatever extent we overcome the SELF and Satan-injected attitude,
and increase in God s LOVE, FAITH, OBEDIENCE -- and in PRAYER and
The means God has given His Church for this development is
primarily our part in loyally standing behind Christ's apostle in
supporting the GREAT COMMISSION. In fact that is the primary
PURPOSE of calling some to conversion NOW instead of after Christ
comes to rule and Satan is bound.
Means of Spiritual Growth
But another important means God gave His people of our time
for spiritual growth is RELYING ON HIM AND HIS PROMISES FOR
Let me help you UNDERSTAND. True, God does for us that which
we cannot do for ourselves. HEALING is something we cannot do for
ourselves -- something doctors, medicines or knives CANNOT do.
Do not misunderstand. Doctors may be a real HELP -- because they
have specialized in learning many things humans can do. Again I
refer, IN PRINCIPLE, to child delivery and binding and setting a
broken arm or leg. Today doctors can do for us many other things
possible for a human to do short of actual healing.
But the VERY FACT that two conditions to miraculous healing by
God are obedience and faith requires the exercise of, and therefore
GROWTH in, obedience and faith.
Jesus said, "... whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will
I do [a PROMISE], that the Father may be glorified in the Son"
But My Father Died
Finally, a most important matter to UNDERSTAND!
What if one relies on God for healing and DIES? I've heard so
many refer to this old bromide to justify lack of faith that I want
now finally to answer that DOUBT with God's TRUTH!
My conversion occurred in the spring of 1927. I first learned
about HEALING in August of 1927 -- through the miraculous healing of
my wife. I was learning rapidly in those days to TRUST GOD.
In the spring of 1933 I was visiting my father on his farm
near Oregon City, Oregon. That evening around sundown my father
told me he had repented and wanted Christ's salvation. I was to
baptize him next morning.
My father had been a solid church member all his life in a
respected Protestant denomination. He was what everyone called a
good man. He never used profanity, tobacco or strong drink. I knew
of no bad habits. He owed no man any money.
He had a deep bass voice -- had sung for years in a male
quartet. He could fill an auditorium with no amplification clear
down on lower C. I know of none who can do that today. When later
I came into possession of a personally autographed record by
Caruso, I was astonished to recognize the same voice color or tonal
quality, except in the higher range, that my father had -- although
he had but little voice training.
That night he sang out, with gleaming eye and joyous voice,
the old hymn "Praise Him, Praise Him." Then suddenly, a STROKE!
I had been ordained in 1931, about 3 1/2 years after
conversion. I anointed and prayed for my father. I BELIEVED! He
believed! I continued praying for him through the night in FAITH!
Yet at 9:40 the next morning, he died!
That was my first experience in seeing one anointed and prayed
over for healing die. Several astonishing healings had resulted
from my anointing and praying.
I cannot say I was not shaken -- and I can understand how others
may be in such a case. But it did not destroy my faith! I prayed,
asking God to give me HIS UNDERSTANDING!
He led me to the faith chapter in the Bible -- Hebrews 11 -- and
I prayerfully studied. There I found the answer. Faith is the
ASSURANCE -- the EVIDENCE -- of what is NOT SEEN! Faith precedes the
requested result. And faith is the ASSURANCE God gives us until the
petition is answered. Faith is BELIEVING WHAT GOD SAYS!
Adam did not believe what God told him face to face. Faith is
relying on the veracity of God -- trusting that what God has PROMISED
He will perform.
A promise I have often relied on is in Psalms 37:5, Moffatt
translation: "Leave all to him, rely on him, and he will see to
Believer Relies on God's Promises
The doubter denies God's PROMISES. The BELIEVER relies on
them -- UNTIL God performs them.
God has given us MANY PROMISES. God promises (Romans
5:10)"... we shall be saved by his [Jesus'] LIFE." God promised
salvation and eternal life through Abraham. "Now to Abraham and his
seed were the PROMISES [of eternal life] made" (Galatians 3:16).
They were repromised to Isaac and Jacob. Jesus Christ came to
CONFIRM the PROMISES made unto the fathers (Romans 15:8). And
Abraham, "... being not weak in faith [as so many are
today] ... staggered not at the PROMISE of God through unbelief [as
do many today]; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and
being FULLY PERSUADED that, what he [God] had PROMISED, he was able
also to perform" (Romans 4:19-21).
Yet Abraham, Isaac and Jacob "... all died in faith, not having
received the promises ..." (Hebrews 11:13).
A minister, apparently lacking either in faith or in
UNDERSTANDING, writes, "Case histories in the Bible, and especially
thousands of case histories in the present Church, show that faith
was present in the lives of people, and God did not heal."
I could not vouch for the fact that FAITH was present in all
such cases -- I cannot judge others; only God can. The same letter
gives the following, striking home to me, in contending against
God's PROMISES to heal on faith: "What about the many of our dead
we have buried -- Mrs. Loma Armstrong [the wife of my youth who died
at age 75 1/2], your son Dick ..." and four others.
My answer, in simple FAITH, is that they, like Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, all died IN FAITH, not having received the PROMISES-
-YET! But in the next fraction of a second from their loss of
consciousness in death, THEY SHALL WAKE UP HEALED -- in the
resurrection, and in GOD'S KINGDOM! I have faith that in the not
too -- distant future I shall SEE my father, my first wife, my son
Dick and others this minister named FULLY HEALED in the Kingdom of
Proclaiming the World's Only and Sure Hope!
God says through Paul, "If in this life ONLY we have hope in
Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (I Corinthians 15:19).
UNDERSTAND! God HAS PROMISED TO HEAL -- on faith and obedience!
But neither you nor I can dictate to God how or when He shall
do WHAT HE HAS PROMISED.
Nowhere has God promised that we shall be healed so repeatedly
that we shall never die. My wife and my son had been REPEATEDLY
HEALED! God says, "For as in Adam ALL DIE ... (I Corinthians 15:22).
But He also promises "... so in Christ shall all be made alive."
You who misunderstand or lack faith, but trust in medical
doctors, DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE
MILLIONS WHO DIE DIE UNDER THE MEDICAL DOCTORS' CARE? Yet you who
disbelieve still have faith in M.D.s.
Frankly, it makes me a little indignant, as I fully believe it
does the living CHRIST, to find people exalting the advances and
"expertise" of medical doctors, while at the same time denying that
God's PROMISES are promises -- discrediting faith in God, excusing
their lack of trusting GOD while they argue for trusting MAN!
God has PROMISED salvation and eternal life on the SAME
conditions He PROMISED healing -- obedience and faith. Jesus paid our
penalty, making possible eternal life by His shed blood on the
cross. He paid the penalty for physical broken law, making possible
our HEALING by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24).
"Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy
diseases" (Psalm 103:3). If you can't believe the one, how can you
believe the other?
The Eternal God called me and committed to me Christ's GREAT
COMMISSION -- to go into the whole world proclaiming the world's ONLY
and SURE HOPE -- the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD!
All whom God has called to come into His Church today -- coming
out from among those of the world -- have been CALLED to stand back
of this WORLDWIDE proclamation of the soon-coming KINGDOM -- the time
of LIFE after this life!
Look to the Glories Ahead
God wants our minds to be looking FORWARD to HIS KINGDOM and
the glories ahead! That's what is meant by Colossians 3:1.
WHY, then, should any of us be saying to God, "Do it RIGHT
NOW, Lord -- RIGHT NOW" or else we'll drop faith in God and trust in
God's PROMISE to those who died in faith, not YET having
received the PROMISES, STANDS SURE AND INVIOLATE! If we can't
believe that, we simply do not believe GOD!
I have made it plain that God's Church does not condemn
medical or other doctors -- nor sit in judgment of those who are weak
in faith and rely on MAN. There is much doctors can do for us
I have given the BASIC PRINCIPLE: God does for us what we
humans cannot do. One could get into endless arguments and
controversy on technical specific issues of what we may go to man
for and what to rely on GOD to do. I have given the broad
guidelines. The Church will encourage God's people to BELIEVE
GOD -- RELY ON GOD -- to say, with the apostles, ... Lord, INCREASE OUR
FAITH (Luke 17:5).
After writing the above lines, intending them to be the
conclusion, I turned on television for a moment's relaxation. A
medical drama was on. In a heated argument between two doctors --
actors taking the part of doctors -- one said to the other, angrily,
"You're not a miracle worker -- you're a doctor!"
God does not expect His ministers to make your decisions for
you -- and God's Church will not sit in judgment of you if you go to
a doctor. But GOD says one of His BENEFITS, for which He makes no
charge, is that He offers you the loving services of a MIRACLE
WORKER -- the living JESUS CHRIST!