Signs and Wonders?

Signs and wonders were an important part of the early church. The only way for many in those days to believe was to see sight restored to the blind and the lame to walk. In fact, Jesus promised His Apostles they would be able to do far greater things then He did (Mark 16:15-18). There are some Christians who believe that the Mark text, which is actually part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), is still applicable and anyone who believes is able to perform the same signs and wonders as Christ and the Apostles. Mark 16:15-18 ESV

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 

Pay attention to the fifth word in verse 15. It reads “them”. Who are the them Jesus was speaking to?  

Mark 16:14 ESV

Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.  

This verse is one which the signs and wonders folks pretend isn’t in there. Clearly Jesus was speaking to His eleven disciples. The signs and wonders people claim Jesus was speaking in general terms when the text is very specific and is completely contrary to their beliefs. If you aren’t one of the eleven then Jesus wasn’t speaking to you.  

The disciples didn’t believe the report that Jesus had risen from the dead. They had to see the miracle which in this case was the resurrected bodily form of Christ. If they didn’t believe, then why would the Jews and later the Gentiles believe unless the Apostles were able to perform the same miracles as Jesus? This is why they were able to do these things. We don’t need these signs today for reasons I will later describe. 

The signs and wonders folks don’t like verse 14 very much. Some will claim that those of us who actually read the bible and believe without needing a sign or wonder are powerless and deny the Sovereignty of God. The reality is that as hard as they try, they can’t explain away the word “them”. 

There’s another Scripture that the signs and wonders bunch don’t like to talk about. Let’s look at Mark 16:20 and see what it says; 

Mark 16:20 ESV

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]] 

The Lord worked with whom again? There’s that little word “them”. Who are them you ask? If you said the Apostles then you hit the jackpot! Far too many “thems” to explain away.  

I’ll bet the signs and wonders crowd will say “if Jesus was only talking to the eleven, then what about Paul”? Glad you asked. Paul was an Apostle called by Jesus Himself to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9). He met all the requirements for the Office and was fully equipped by the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus called Him to do (1Corinthians 15:1-11). 

Here’s a challenge for the signs and wonders crowd. Please show me the following using the Scriptures and not your personal experience. 

1). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle (or one who accompanied them) healed anyone? 

2). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle cast out a demon? 

Jesus was crystal clear about the deception that would take place;  Matthew 24:24 ESV

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 

Apparently Jesus was concerned enough to tell His disciples to be on the lookout for “false christs and “false prophet’s”. What did He say they would do? “Perform great signs and wonders” that would “lead astray, if possible, even the elect”. If many of the signs and wonders bunch are consistent, then Jesus was a false teacher also because that’s what they label ANYONE who speaks against their movement. 

Are there signs and wonders that follow those who believe? You bet there are and I’ll demonstrate this for you all. 

What about the alcoholic man who drinks himself into oblivion on a daily basis? He hears the Gospel, believes and repents. His life changes dramatically and everyone who knows him is amazed at the radical change in his life. Friends and family see his miraculous transformation and want what he has. He tells them that God changed his life the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. These are the signs that validate the Gospel message today. 

The Apostles were extraordinary men personally chosen by Jesus to preach the Gospel. For some to claim to have the same authority and supernatural gifts in my opinion, based on Scripture, is blasphemy. 

Related Posts;

 https://phillyflash.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/do-genuine-apostles-exist-today/  

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57 thoughts on “Signs and Wonders?

  1. “The coming (not the arrival) of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and LYING wonders and will all unrighteous DECEPTION among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. FOR THIS REASON God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie”- 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. Those that believe Mark 16 is for them have believed the lie. The audience in question was the disciples.

  2. Came to your blog via the discussion thread at Justin’s, and after having scoured through the posts the past coupla days, I must say I love your blog and all the honest discussion that’s going on!

    Great work, Phil. Keep up the great work you’re doing for the Lord our God!

    Shalom!

    p.s. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve added you to my blogroll so I’ll be visiting often. 🙂

    Phil: Hi Sicarii! Welcome to Theology Today!

    Thanks for the kind words and thanks for the link!

  3. “If you aren’t one of the eleven then Jesus wasn’t speaking to you.” -Phil

    This was spoken to the 11 apostles too: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:16].

    The apostles alone?

    However, we realize that the “he” that is mentioned here refers to those who hear the Gospel as mentioned in verse 15. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation”. That is to whom the Gospel was preached. If these to whom the Gospel was preached believed, they would be saved. AND [continuation of the previous verse] these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…

    “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”

    Let’s see the narratives to see how the Lord confirmed the Word with signs….

    -120 were gathered on the Day of Pentecost in the Upper Room, and ALL of them spoke in new tongues just as Jesus said they would.

    – Cornellius and his household believed the Gospel and THEY spoke in tongues. Emphasis, this sign followed them that believed.

    – 12 men in Ephesus spoke in new tongues after they believed and were baptized. Emphasis again, this sign followed them that believed again.

    Back to verse 20, just as Jesus said, these apostles went and preached the Gospel and those who believed had these signs follow them. Speaking in new tongues being one of them.

    83 disciples other than the 12 apostles cast out demons, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead….

    However, there were spectacular and unusual signs and wonders that followed apostles. This is different from the general signs that Jesus said would follow them that believe.

    Your interpretation is sloppy 😉

    Sidharth

    Phil: Ah, Sidharth. Here’s what I’m looking for. From the article once again;

    Here’s a challenge for the signs and wonders crowd. Please show me the following using the Scriptures and not your personal experience.

    1). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle (or one who accompanied them) healed anyone?

    2). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle cast out a demon?

  4. Emphasis added again, the book of Acts concentrates on the “acts of the Apostles”.

    Sidharth

    Phil: No ones disputing this however I wouldn’t center my belief on “signs and wonders” around a narrative.

  5. Reply to Phil:

    The book of Acts I say again is the Acts of the “Apostles”. But If you look into the Gospels, we see that signs followed all those whom Jesus sent on the mission [not just the 12 chosen apostles].

    Sidharth

  6. The only escape you have: no narratives please! =D So the narratives as you imply are against “Scriptures”. Hmm, according to you, God lacks integrity. His works disagree with His words…Or let’s say, God is all words, no doings.

    I already showed you one sign that Jesus said would follow all believers and it ABSOLUTELY DID. The others aren’t mentioned so we can’t speak about them. If Scripture however did say, these signs won’t follow “non-apostolic believers” we could say what you said. However, even the “non-narrative” parts dont say this.

    When you’re cornered, you have your escape, brother. And then pass comments such as “digging a hole for yourself”. I see the opposite, brother. But I don’t care if I am wrong or not. God be true and His works be praised. If you don’t the rocks in Greek will.

    Signing out,

    Sidharth

    Phil: I’m not cornered nor have I dug a “hole for myself”. Outside of the Book of Acts, you have no case. No where have I ever stated the Acts aren’t Scripture. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  7. Sidharth,

    Yea, I’m cornered.

    1). Signs were for the Jews (1Corinthians 1:20)

    2). Israel began with signs (Romans. 4:11; Exodus. 4:8 ,9, 17, 23, 28, 30; 7:3; 8:23; 10:1-2; 13:9; 31:13, 17; Deuteronomy. 4:34; 6:22)
    3). Israel demanded signs from Jesus (Matthew 12:38; 24:3)

    My friend, there are more Scriptures to support the doctrine of signs being for Israel than there is to support the Virgin Birth and the Inspiration of Scripture combined! Do you believe in the Virgin Birth and the Inspiration of Scripture? If you don’t understand these things then you shouldn’t be teaching, preaching, or writing anything about the Apostolic Signs.

    If you’ll take a look at Hebrews 2:3-4 you will see that the signs were used to CONFIRM the word of God, and you will also see that the signs are spoken of in the PAST TENSE. They are also spoken of in the past tense in 2Corinthians 12:12. That you teach we should practice the signs today because they were practiced throughout the New Testament means that you haven’t been reading (or believing) your Bible.

    4). Signs were not practiced throughout the New Testament (2Timothy 4:20, 1Timothy 5:23, 2Corinthians 11:30, 12:5-10) Why all the medical problems if they were still practicing the Sign Gifts? I reason they were only needed in the early ministry of the Apostles for the purpose of confirming the truth to Israel.

    5) Signs and wonders played a special role in authenticating the Apostolic Office (Romans 15:19)

    I think you’ve confused answered prayer with Apostolic Gifts. I absolutely believe in healing my friend…….I just don’t believe in healers. Jesus clearly and repeatedly warned of the false and how to spot them throughout Scripture.

    As far as tongues go, I refuse to discuss this with someone that claims to have received his “gift” from a woman laying on hands to impart said gift. It isn’t Scriptural.

    I’m wary of you Sidharth (2Corinthians. 11:13-15; Matthew 7:15; 24:11; 1Timothy 4:1-2).

    Tell ya what Sidharth; why don’t you go to the following site and tell her all about Apostolic Gifts. I’m sure she’ll be really happy to receive your teachings; http://sis359.blogspot.com/

    Benny Hinn claims to do the VERY things that you claim the ability to do (healing via the laying on of hands). He also quotes Scripture just like you. He claims to be of God yet is a proven fraud. What makes you any different from him and the host of others that make claims similar to the ones you make here and elsewhere?

  8. Well said Phil……….the confusion of sign gifts with answered prayer is ubiquitous among the Signs and Wonders crowd.

    I would challenge our brother Sidharth to produce evidence that he practices what he preaches. He is a believer, and he claims that these signs follow ALL who believe through all Ages. Prove it.

    Let’s take a look-see at some of the signs we see in the Text.

    We see the blind given sight. Done that Sid??

    We see the lame from birth walk. How is your track record there??

    We see folks hearing their native tongues spoken by those who had never learned it while proclaiming the Gospel. 0 for 3??

    We see folks dropping dead for lying. Let’s not go there.

    We see the dead raised to life………

    As for the verse in Acts you quoted, you have to exegete, not eisegete.

    Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Now……..why do you insist on reading these verses THIS way:

    And ALL these signs shall follow EVERYONE who believes. It doesn’t say that. “Them” that believe does not state that every sign will follow every believer. Paul makes it clear, for example, that not everyone will speak in tongues (1 Cor 12). Obviously, not everyone in the church who was ever prayed for by a believer got well (Timothy). Not everyone who ever drank anything poisonous as a believer in church history was unharmed.

    These signs follow the church as a whole, not every individual, and only as the Lord wills. Not only do you not replicate the signs of the Apostles, you cannot even replicate the signs given in Mark 16.

    Do others hear you in their native language when you speak in tongues?? Have you ever seen a devil flee from a person as it is recorded in Scripture?? Taken up any serpents, or sucked down any Drano lately?? Why not??

  9. This is in response to Gary V.

    We see the blind given sight. Done that Sid?? We see the lame from birth walk. How is your track record there??

    Did Jesus say that these would follow those who believe? I don’t see Him mention these in that list.

    Do you have faith, Gary? Do you know that faith is a gift [Gk: dorea] from God? How is this different from the gift [Gk: charisma] of faith? Does it mean that if you don’t have the Gift of faith, you don’t have faith? Have you seen people healed by you praying for them? Does that mean you have the gifts of healings? Have you shared the Gospel with someone and got them saved? If so, do you become an evangelist?

    Are signs [mark 16:17-19] the same as manifestations or gifts and callings of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Cor 12-14?

    Why would Hebrews 2:4 mention signs and gifts of the Spirit separately?

    Signs in Mark 16:17 weren’t products of unbelief, but signs of faith. I believe the faith of God is completely practical, and not just a theory.

    Why would ALL speak in new tongues wherever they received the Holy Spirit? The sign of speaking in tongues is according to a divine principle that when you’re filled, the infilling overflows through utterance. This does not mean that all who spoke in tongues when they received the Holy Spirit had the Gift of tongues that is mentioned in 1 Cor 12 and 1 Cor 14. The gift serves for ministry, to profit withal. But this sign of speaking in new tongues is an evidence for the infilling of the Spirit.

    The gimmicks shown among many Pentecostals and Charismatics has made people run away and doubt the true experiences.

    About tongues: There is not an instance where people spoke in tongues to proclaim the Gospel. In Acts 2, Scripture clearly teaches that these people who were filled with the Holy Spirit and who spoke in tongues were declaring the wonders of God. There were those who understood the languages they spoke, and there were those who did not, for they said, “These are drunk with too much wine!”. However, after this miraculous event, Peter rises up and preaches the Gospel.

    Everyone who approached the Lord in faith got healed. There is no record of anyone denied healing. Timothy did have stomach illness, but do you think he lived with that all his life? In fact, Paul tells him to have wine as a cure.

    As Phil said, please do read that article I wrote on healing.

    Sidharth

  10. “Obviously, not everyone in the church who was ever prayed for by a believer got well (Timothy).”- Gary

    Healing can be received through natural means and supernatural means. Paul instructed Timothy to have wine. God has placed His healing virtue in nature and has given man the wisdom to extract it.

    Healing is not always instantaneous. The ten lepers did not get healed instantly, they were healed on their way. There are times when I’ve received healing over a time period. This does not mean God refused give healing. Trophimus was left sick in 2 Tim 4:20, does that mean God denied Trophimus healing?

    Phil’s claim is that Jesus died for our “spiritual healing”. “By His stripes we are healed” [Isaiah 53:5]. However, the Hebrew word “rapha” used here is a word for “physical healing”. Moreover, the verse above verse 5, was quoted in Matt 8:17 was used to refer to physical healing.

    Just because our day is filled with unbelief [just as Jesus said it would be] doesn’t mean the works of faith are void. Many such people have made Christianity into a theory- sweet talk in words only.

    Sidharth

  11. Hi All,

    I attempted to post the following comment in regards to Sidharths “and He healed them all”. He refused to post this comment because, as he claims “you are abusive and irreverent to the Scriptures”

    Interesting teaching Sidharth. For a minute I thought I was reading an article by Benny Hinn.

    Two fold atonement? Jesus died for our Spiritual diseases (sin). The Isaiah text says nothing of healing actual physical diseases.

    You said in regards to Isaiah 53: 4-5 “This verse is absolutely Universal”. Maybe in your universe it is, but not in Scripture. You have mastered eisegesis……I would advise you to learn exegeses and you wouldn’t continually make the same mistakes in your “teachings”.

    If you really had the “authority” to heal as you claim, have you walked into every hospital in your immediate area and used your “authority” to heal everyone? If you have please tell us all how that worked out for you. If you haven’t then you don’t practice what you preach.

    Why didn’t Paul just heal Timothy……or better yet, why didn’t Timothy heal himself (1Timothy 5:23)? According to your “universal promise” they had the authority to heal didn’t they?

    You said “This is going to offend many religious people who think it’s humility to ask God for healing than to command sickness to be healed”. Are you suggesting we shouldn’t pray for healing Sid? Why would Jesus instruct us to ask “thy will be done” when we pray? If we aren’t supposed to “ask for healing” why did Jesus even teach us how to pray in the first place?

    He doesn’t like to be questioned, does he?

    I have published EVERY single comment he has made here and on other posts. Guess he doesn’t feel the same way?

    Phil

  12. Hi Phil,

    Came across your blog at Sicarri’s website. Well, just to share with you and your dear readers, I’ve met other Sidharths including the one who posted here. (On a side note, I was surprised to see his comments here). Do ask him how to differentiate between the counterfeit miracles from the genuine ones, and he’ll sidestep this question with proof-texts and eisegesis. Perhaps we should pray for the many Sidharths out there.

  13. Hi Yongchun!

    Welcome to Theology Today!

    Yea, he’s something else. Very arrogant and puffed up. This little “debate” has been going on for a couple of weeks. I doubt he’ll be back and yes, we must pray for him. He doesn’t realize what’s he’s teaching is dangerous!

    Phil

  14. I haven’t done much study into whether our illnesses are healed as well when Christ died on the cross to atone for our sins, so I’ll refrain from adding to the debate here. All that I will and can say at this juncture is that I have not heard a sermon about this aspect before.

  15. 1). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle (or one who accompanied them) healed anyone?

    Acts 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

    2). Show me the Scriptures where anyone other then Jesus or an Apostle cast out a demon?

    Luke9: 49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

    Peace

  16. Dear Phil,

    The reason I didn’t put up your comment is, I have unbelievers and newly converted believers coming to my site. I do not want them to be exposed to talks where one Christian speaks ill of another Christian. You were disrespecting my views because you disagreed with me. As Justin said, any discussion is good as long as we learn to respect each other and be truthful. If you did notice on “….He healed them all”, I had people question what I believed from Scripture, and I did not block them because they respected what I believed at the same time stood their ground.

    I have answered every question you have asked me, and never have I side-stepped any of them. I do not side-step questions as Yongchun said. I had a chat with him and he was judging God’s healing by the fakes and I asked him to set aside the fakery to know what God had to say about healing, which he was unwilling to do. He kept talking about the fakery again and again. I’m not concerned if Benny Hinn fakes or Oral Robert fakes, I am only concerned about what God has to say about healing and if it is practical or just a theory today.

    The Hebrew word for “By His stripes you are healed [isaiah 53:5] is rapha and that word refers to “physical healing”. Moreover, verse 4, speaks of Christ taking up our infirmities and carrying our diseases. This was quoted from Isaiah by Matthew in Matt 8:17 referring to physical disease and sickness. You can check that for yourself.

    I repeat what I said earlier….

    Healing can be received through natural means and supernatural means. Paul instructed Timothy to have wine. God has placed His healing virtue in nature and has given man the wisdom to extract it. Doctors do a great job in helping people receive healing.

    Healing is not always instantaneous. The ten lepers did not get healed instantly, they were healed on their way. There are times when I’ve received healing over a time period. This does not mean God refused give healing. Trophimus was left sick in 2 Tim 4:20, does that mean God denied Trophimus healing?

    Sidharth

  17. Hi Kingskid,

    Welcome to Theology Today!

    Paul was an Apostle and Barnabas accompanied Paul which confirmed my point.

    You got me on the second one! Bravo! I knew someone would bring that Scripture up. The Signs and Wonders crowd teach that ALL who are baptized and believe WILL be able to cast out demons. Most likely those who are being referred to weren’t baptized believers. I’m looking for baptized believers in Scripture, other then the Apostles or those accompanying them casting out demons.

    Thanks again Kingskid!

    ———————————————————————————————————
    Sidharth,

    Welcome back!

    (Sidharth) “The reason I didn’t put up your comment is, I have unbelievers and newly converted believers coming to my site. I do not want them to be exposed to talks where one Christian speaks ill of another Christian. You were disrespecting my views because you disagreed with me”.

    (Phil). Hmmm. I have newly converted believers and unbelievers as well. Most of us do. I also have people who have been burned by wolves who make the same claims as you do. Need I remind you of the following statement you made on your first post on this particular blog? “Your interpretation is sloppy” I posted your comment anyway.

    (Sidharth) “If you did notice on “….He healed them all”, I had people question what I believed from Scripture, and I did not block them because they respected what I believed at the same time stood their ground”.

    (Phil). Disagreements? Stood their ground? Really? I must’ve missed something.

    (Sidharth). “I have answered every question you have asked me, and never have I side-stepped any of them. I do not side-step questions as Yongchun said”.

    (Phil). Never? Now you are being disingenuous. I asked this question Monday;

    “Benny Hinn claims to do the VERY things that you claim the ability to do (healing via the laying on of hands). He also quotes Scripture just like you. He claims to be of God yet is a proven fraud. What makes you any different from him and the host of others that make claims similar to the ones you make here and elsewhere?

    Still waiting for an answer Sidharth…..

    .

  18. Sidharth wrote:
    “I have answered every question you have asked me, and never have I side-stepped any of them. I do not side-step questions as Yongchun said. I had a chat with him and he was judging God’s healing by the fakes and I asked him to set aside the fakery to know what God had to say about healing, which he was unwilling to do. He kept talking about the fakery again and again. I’m not concerned if Benny Hinn fakes or Oral Robert fakes, I am only concerned about what God has to say about healing and if it is practical or just a theory today.”

    > Hmmm… I see a need to defend myself here. If you followed my recent blog posts, I used the biblical description as *the* standard to judge all modern healings by. Even the Pharisees acknowledged Jesus’s miraculous healing abilities. Today, even respected theologians (Geisler, Macarthur, etc.) and doctors do not see anything miraculous about modern faith-healers. And about sidestepping questions, I too, am waiting for your answer to Phil’s question.

    Sidharth wrote:
    “Healing is not always instantaneous. The ten lepers did not get healed instantly, they were healed on their way. There are times when I’ve received healing over a time period. This does not mean God refused give healing. Trophimus was left sick in 2 Tim 4:20, does that mean God denied Trophimus healing?”

    > Dear Sidharth, I assume you’re referring to Luke 17:11-17. Although the healing wasn’t “instantaneous” according to Webster’s Dictionary, these men were healed on their way to see the priests. How long do you suppose it took these men to see the priest? More than a day? A few months?

    I doubt it took more than a few hours. And this healing was clearly miraculous because the lepers were completely healed of an organic disease in less than a few hours.

    If you were healed over a time period, is it possible that your body healed itself through its natural processes? How do you tell the difference between a natural process and a miraculous healing?

    Trophimus was probably left sick because the gift of healing was not meant to be exercised beyond the apostolic age. Anyway, this cuts into the cessationist/continuationist debate which I will not go into detail here, but do feel free to read up.

    Phil: Nice site Yongchun and great work on the healing series!

  19. I’ve been to many Benny Hinn meetings. I’ve never known him to have claimed to heal anyone. Also I’ve never known anyone to have proven him a fraud (just how would one go about that). Jesus heals today just like he saves…by the means of God’s extention through mankind. I think one of the problems with blogs like this is that everyone seems to be a little too blinded by their own light.
    Just a note about B.H. – as much as I respect him I’ve not watched him more than a couple of hours in the past 2 or 3 years. I have met him and sat on the platform with him at several cruades I just don’t go head over heels about anyone but Jesus and His Word. I think a lot of people are like that towards “big” ministries.
    Signs and Wonders are for today just as Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

  20. “Benny Hinn claims to do the VERY things that you claim the ability to do (healing via the laying on of hands). He also quotes Scripture just like you. He claims to be of God yet is a proven fraud. What makes you any different from him and the host of others that make claims similar to the ones you make here and elsewhere?”

    I’m not claiming I heal anybody, Phil. My claim is that Jesus heals today just as He healed then and He has given us the authority to impart healing. All the substance He needs is faith. If you believe all things are possible.

    Are you suggesting we shouldn’t pray for healing Sid? Why would Jesus instruct us to ask “thy will be done” when we pray? If we aren’t supposed to “ask for healing” why did Jesus even teach us how to pray in the first place?– Phil

    Do you ask God for His will concerning forgiveness of sins? Wow, thats unsure foundation then. How will you know if God wills to forgive you? “Lord, if you will, please forgive me!”

    Let me re-emphasize what I said on the post:

    Requirement for Healing

    Faith in action is the key to healing. Let me show you this from Scripture…There is one recorded instance where Christ could not heal, and there is one recorded instance where His disciples could not heal. Again notice, I did not say Christ would not heal. But let’s examine Scripture and find out why Jesus could not heal…

    “He[Jesus] could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” [Mark 6:5-6]

    “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

    “O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” [Mark 9:17-19]

    In both these places, God never withholds healing. In the latter case, Jesus could have dismissed the case by talking like many religious people today… “God sometimes doesn’t heal.” Instead He said, “O unbelieving generation!”. How many of us will hear those same words today from Jesus’ mouth?

    Again Jesus said this to His disciples before He ascended back to heaven…

    “And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” [Mark 16:17-18]

    “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up” [James 5:15]

    A person who is unsure whether the Lord will heal him or not, lacks faith. How can I say this? This is why: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” [Hebrews 11:1]. If you and I can’t be sure about something we hope for, then it’s not faith. The only way to have faith for healing is to be sure that you’ll receive the healing you are hoping for.

    I’d rather go out and do the works of the Lord than waste my time discussing on something people are not willing to believe.

    Sidharth

    Phil: Correct me if I’ve misunderstood you here but are you saying that all we need is faith that God will heal us? If we don’t receive our healing, does that mean we didn’t have enough faith?

  21. Thanks for the compliment, Phil. I hope you don’t mind me dropping by more often to read your other posts. You write well. Have a great weekend.

    Pastor Mark, you might want to check out the Trinity Foundation video “The Many Faces of Benny Hinn” or research James Randi.

    Or just do some googling and watch Benny Hinn’s videos (false prophecies, false teachings, etc.), and see if he takes bible verses out of context. I find it hard to believe that a true shepherd does not see any warning signs about Benny.

    Once again, Sidharth conveniently sidesteps the question on differentiating the genuine gift of healing from the fake. I rest my case.

    Phil: Thanks and I hope you keep coming back. Sidharth is a good object lesson which is why I let him post away.

  22. Oh Sid PLEEEEEEZE. Errr, please point us to the Scriptures that tell us Timothy was healed by the wine, or that his “often infirmities” were over by drinking wine. How far beyond the text are you willing to go??

    You answered precisely none of the salient points. Where are YOUR signs Sid?? You faithless thing you LOL!!

    Oh, BTW…….not everyone who got saved in Acts spoke in tongues,and there is a REASON for tongues in the Bible. Read up.

  23. Andrew Clarkson said the very same thing. He said the power of the Holy Spirit is for witnessing, that signs and wonders like Jesus and the apostles did are for another time.

  24. Jeremiah17,

    Welcome to Theology Today!

    I agree with you and the late Andrew Clarkson. More importantly, I agree with the Word of God.

    The Holy Spirit speaks of Christ…..that’s His main role. Many in the signs and wonders crowd speak about “power” and “authority” but not too much about Christ!

  25. I never said I agreed with him, but I hope he is in heaven

    Phil: I agree with him and I agree with the guys at SPM. Clearly you don’t. Thanks again for the comments!

  26. It is amusing that Sidharth keeps saying things like:

    However, the Hebrew word “rapha” used here is a word for “physical healing”.

    Pray, tell us the Hebrew word for “spiritual healing” (if there is any).

    Phil: I’m sure if you give him some time, he will!

  27. Let’s say, your friend [let’s call him gary] is sick, Phil. Now I don’t know if you will pray for him to receive healing. But let’s just assume that you go and pray for him. And nothing happens.

    The normal response to it would be, “Gary, God wills you to be sick. He won’t heal you.”

    I wonder if the disciples did come up with this statement when they couldn’t heal the boy with epilepsy. But just imagine….now Gary goes to Jesus and says, “Lord, I went to your disciple and he couldn’t heal me. If you can do anything, have pity on me!”.

    What would Jesus say? What did He say when His early disciples were unable to heal? What did He say when the early disciples got afraid when the storm rose? What did He say when the disciples were worried about what they’d eat?

    “O you unbelieving generation!”, “You of little faith!”

    And what did Jesus tell the boys father? “If you can believe, ALL things are possible for him that believes”.

    To many that would be a harsh response. But will the Son of Man find faith when He comes back?

    For those of you who don’t know, I come from the hindu faith and it was through faith that I was healed of cancer of the bones and muscles.

    My friends, I am not interested in debating with you about healing. I have seen the Fathers heart concerning this when He healed me of cancer.

    For 1500 years the message of salvation wasn’t being preached. There were very less people who believed in salvation by grace. A false Gospel of works and idol worship was what prevailed. Anyone who believed something contrary to this was burned or put to death. But let me ask you….Did their unbelief nullify God’s salvation? Did someone come saying, “God doesn’t save like He once did”? “This is what I believe and I won’t move my finger to change my belief”. And in your mind you think, “I’m believing right. Tradition will prove me right. All these are just heretics saying that mass is wrong and preaching about some salvation by grace”. How many of us would have stood for the truth?

    Build your faith through prayers and fastings. Jesus said to His disciples who couldn’t heal the boy with epilepsy, “This kind goeth not except by prayer and fasting”.

    I have seen the sick healed, and I’m not here to prove. I have seen too miraculous healings to doubt, however, I would be lying if I said I have seen all those who approached the Lord healed.

    I am building my faith and I do believe a time will reach when the Church will have the truth about healing restored fully and the ministry of Jesus. The doing will precede teaching.

    Sidharth

    Phil: Sidharth, why do you keep insisting that we don’t believe in healing? You’re continual building of stawmen is becoming rather tiresome.

  28. “Once again, Sidharth conveniently sidesteps the question on differentiating the genuine gift of healing from the fake. I rest my case.”- Yongchun

    So what do you want me to say…”Benny Hinn fakes and all the faith-healers are fakes. Hence Jesus doesn’t heal today”? Well, I would be lying then, because I have seen TOO MANY MIRACULOUS healings in my life.

    Well I started writing down all the miracles and healings and started directing you to links on my site where I testify of healings. But why the hell should I prove this to you? If you wont believe the Bible, you wont believe me! And even if I shared with you all the great things God has done in my life and in the life of others I know, you will push it away as false.

    My purpose is to see the sick and hurting healed, not to prove to anyone that God can heal. Jesus never healed to prove His divinity. He healed because He was compassionate, He couldn’t stand to see people diseased and hurting. And He healed them ALL. My faith is high because I have seen Him heal and I dont have a single doubt.

    Sidharth

    Phil: ‘Why the hell” is not acceptable here young man.

  29. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. Lk4:27
    I am still looking for that 125 year old disciple of the faith movement who is a millionare in Tulsa or Dallas. If God has healed you then give him praise, however those that preach such never do so will out passing the plate. Benny Hinn would do well to read about Elisha’s servant.

  30. I think I stated somewhere before that I never studied this myself. So if I’m going to be honest with myself, then I must be honest with you. I already have a bias in favor of us NOT being able to do miracles but that is based on my not ever witnessing them or doing them. That doesn’t mean that I’m firm in this belief, it means that I already have a presupposition that is not based on study which is not good. So…I printed this article and I’m going to study the Bible for myself. I’m going to pray that He remove those biases I have and that I read with fresh eyes. I’ve done this before and I came out of a false belief as a result. (i.e. pre-trib – now I”m post trib) I don’t know anyone’s beliefs on that but that’s another can o’ worms.

    So I’m hoping the same thing will happen and that I know once and for all His truth. I’m not going to read with the intention of findings verses to support my bias – that is not the right way to study. I want the truth period. My being right or wrong is irrelevant and is not a concern – I want the truth. When I’m finished, I’ll put my findings on my blog but I have no idea how long this will take.

    This is such a HUGE study and honestly, I’m kind of dreading it because I KNOW it will be exhausting! But I’ve got to do this.

    So thank you all for your input above because I’m going to seriously consider everyone’s POV in light of Scripture.

    Blessings,
    Carol

    Phil: Hi Carol! Let us know what you discovered when you finish your study.

  31. Sid, God’s mercy to heal me is not dependent upon ANY man. I know God heals. BTW, Jesus stepped over likely hundreds of people at the pool of Bethesda to heal ONLY ONE man, who never as much as asked Jesus to heal him. In fact, when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be whole, the man STILL didn’t look to Christ (a very famous healer) but yammered on about getting dunked in the pool.

    No faith in Christ……..

    Then,Jesus stepped right over the hundreds or thousands of sick and lame and dying folks on His way out,never touching ANY of them even though they ALL believed exactly as this man did, in the healing waters . Yup,left a “great multitude” there at the pool just as sick and infirm and dying as He found them (“Great Multitude” is described in MT 15 as well over 5,000 people, so a LOT of people were at the pool).

    Now, it seems pretty logical to assume that when a man lame for 38 years suddenly gets up and starts walking through that sea of crippled and dying folks without going into the water, but just at the Word of this famous teacher, it might have caused just a BIT of a stir. I imagine word spread pretty quickly that Jesus had done this, and that faith in Jesus for healing was at an all time high around the Pool.

    But only this man was healed while possibly thousands were left just as they were before. In fact, Jesus never made a return trip to the Pool to heal anyone else.

    Where was His compassion?? Why didn’t He “heal them all” as you claim He ALWAYS did ?? The fact is, SOMETIMES Jesus DID heal all, and SOMETIMES he didn’t.

    JUST………….LIKE…………….TODAY.

  32. Where does it say faith was at an all time high? The only people that really noticed were the religious leaders. They didn’t see the healing as much as they did the mat he was carrying around on the sabbath. This religious bunch wanted to kill Jesus over this because he said he was doing the work of his Father.

    I thought it was a lesson on stepping out of the box and recieving from God by acting in obedience towards the Word of the Lord. The people were trained to respond to the angel stirring the waters. The first one in got the miracle. It’s almost like they were playing a healing lotto. Now Jesus will heal all who respond to him in faith.

    So what about when Jesus healed them all? Sounds like God to me. I like to simply believe that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever.

    The danger in stating something like “The fact is, SOMETIMES Jesus DID heal all, and SOMETIMES he didn’t” is that it takes Jesus out of character. How would you like to be in an altar call and the preacher say now you can come down and accept Jesus as Savior but you know sometimes he save and some times he doesn’t. That sounds…well unsound.

    Jesus came to save the world from their sins did he not? So why don’t we have record that all where saved while he was here on earth? Does this make him any less the savior? Then why would sickness in the church or the world make him any less the healer?
    It doesn’t. I really believe what we recieve and produce in God is a result of our operation of faith. How else could we recieve anything from God?

  33. Pastor Mark said:

    Jesus came to save the world from their sins did he not? So why don’t we have record that all where saved while he was here on earth? Does this make him any less the savior? Then why would sickness in the church or the world make him any less the healer?

    That statement pre-supposes that the Bible states that He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sicknesses of the world. Unfortunately, Scripture does not say that. He came to save from sin. Not from disease.

    Every act of healing is a sovereign act of God in mercy. Including those scenarios in which the healed individuals exercised faith in Him. Those healings (in His lifetime on earth, and in the ministry of the apostles) were proof that He was the expected Messiah. Well, its been proven. We have the records.

    Yes; Jesus heals. But He didn’t come as the Healer (except in respect of our dried up, cancer-ridden, and disfigured souls).

    You seem to have a problem with stating something like “The fact is, SOMETIMES Jesus DID heal all, and SOMETIMES he didn’t”. Well; He didn’t always heal, and He didn’t heal ALL; did He? Why should you have a problem with agreeing with Scripture?

    You said:

    I really believe what we recieve and produce in God is a result of our operation of faith.

    Exactly what do you mean by “produce in God”?

    You also said:

    How else could we recieve anything from God?

    Why do you guys keep thinking that we are the subject; when in reality God is. He gives. We don’t receive. When He gives, we get. How did the man at the pool receive from God? Even those who exercised faith could only do so because faith is not the product of the human mind or spirit, but a gift from God.

    I had a car crash last week, in which the car was totally wrecked. It all happened so fast, I didn’t have any time to receive anything from God. Yet; I walked out of that wreck miraculously with a few bruises, and they are mostly all healed now. According to your theology, I should be dead. Thankfully, God does not go by your theology.

  34. Fruit.

    If God works in our lives anyother way it would make him
    an unjust God. Anyone in hell would have a case against God.
    How did you get saved? You reached out just like all do and received the gift of salvation. Did this happen on it’s on or by some act of God. No. Faith came to get saved. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. How can they hear? By someone preaching (not just from a pulpit) how can they preach? They must be sent.

    All of us are a product of our faith. It makes me cringe at the thought by all will give an account and be rewarded for what they have done. We’ll need to have produced a little something. Even the story of the talents (money) should give some clue to us that we produce things by the operation of faith. I’m not sitting on my tongue talking, Spirit filled high horse in stating these things. I am more so like the disciples when Jesus repremanded them for their lack of faith. But the reality of what I’m taking about I see from page to page in the Word.

    I rather side with how God defines faith. “Now faith is…”

    How repulsive and offensive if you think anyone’s theology is the such like. That’s just harsh and over the top. I must defend myself on that note. You walked away thankfully I would bet like most of God’s children do…you’ve got a prayer life that shelters you from the hand of the enemy. You received even before you asked.

    I just don’t buy into the idea of “no fault theology” like you do.

    I did however like your piece on the prophetic operation. I’ll use some of it in my church.

  35. If God tells us that the prayer of faith will raise the sick and that those who believe shall lay hands on the sick and get them well. It is so. If Jesus called those who could not impart healing as “Unbelieving generation!”, it is so. God does not have double standards. Neither does He show favoritism. Jesus paid for our sickness’ just as much He paid for our sins. The question is :Do you believe?

    Now, Neither were you nor were I present at the scene of Bethseda. And so it would be wrong to come to any conclusion. However, if you have noticed…It is very rare that Jesus goes to a person and heals them. Wherever Scripture says that He healed them all, it is where people approached Him in faith, and He never cast aside even one who approached Him.

    In this case, Jesus obviously used His faith to heal this man. But it also seems to me that this man did have faith, for when Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”. He responded. However in Mark 6, where it says that Jesus couldn’t do any miracles, the difference is active refusal to believe and rejection of Jesus.

    You must also realize that as a pattern Jesus performed one to atmost two miracles on the Sabbath. I do not know why this was so. There are seven instances [which you can check for yourself: Mark 1:21-27; Mark 1:29-31; John 5:1-9; Mark 3:1-6 (and Matthew 12:8-14); Luke 13:10-17; Luke 14:1-6; John 9:1-14.] where He healed on a Sabbath.

    Sidharth

    Phil: I think it’s a fairly obvious conclusion that Jesus only healed the one man. You claim that “Jesus healed them all”. GaryV was correctly pointing out that Jesus didn’t “heal them all”.

  36. This is one of those exceptions where Jesus went ahead and healed someone without them approaching Him. The Lord sees the heart of men, you and I don’t. Why Jesus took an initiative to heal this man is not revealed to us in Scriptures. Probably this man had humbled himself and told God that he’d serve Him if He healed him. Probably thats why Jesus reminds him to go and sin no more. We do not know.

    If GaryV can show me an instant where Jesus refused to heal a person who approached Him in faith, we could come to this conclusion that Jesus sometimes did not heal. But in this case, it’s different because Jesus took the initiative unlike in the other cases.

    I re-emphasize this:

    And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. [James 5:15]

    Those who believe…..will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. [Mark 16:18]

    God does not contradict Himself.

    As Pastor Mark was emphasizing, would you come to the conclusion that it isn’t God’s will to save some one just because He does not respond to the Gospel? That is contrary to God’s nature. He desires all to repent and be saved.

    I’m sure Gary would come to the conclusion if he saw some one who disbelieved in Jesus and say, “God doesn’t will for everyone to be saved”. It’s sad how some of you don’t see the heart of God.

    Say Gary, if you’re married, and let’s suppose you have a child. And your child is sick and deformed. Let’s also assume that you can do something about it and you’re not doing it. You’d rather see your child suffer deformity and pain. Can I call you “good”?

    Or let’s take into consideration that you can’t do anything about it. And someone comes along and says, “You like seeing your child suffer like this. You willed it.”. What will be your response? If I were you, I’d kick that guy out!

    My Abba is much more good than you ever could be. He showed His heart to us in Jesus. He suffered for two things specifically on the Cross: for forgiveness of sin and fulness of healing.

    Sidharth

  37. Hi All,

    Carol has reached her conclusion! Please click the following link;

    http://thebiblethumperssoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/03/signs-and-wonders-snakes-and-fakes.html

    The comments are especially interesting! My last comment, in case it doesn’t appear, is;

    Hi Carol,

    I wasn’t asking any questions.

    There is an Acts 2:43. This as well as the fact you claim that Stephen was an “original apostle” shows me that discussing this with you may be fruitless.

    Have a nice day!

  38. In John chapter 5 we are given the story of the healing at the Pool of Bethesda. Please remember, the apostle John himself said that if everything Jesus did had been written down, the world could not contain the books. First, we are not told how many Jesus healed at the pool. We are simply told the details of one particular healing so that we can learn something from it. We are also not told that Jesus ONLY healed the one man. So any speculation is just that, speculation.

    I have heard preachers describe how Jesus stepped over this person and around another person just to get to that one man. All of that is made up and added to the Bible. The very Scripture people use to try to prove that God/Jesus picks and chooses who They will heal, proves just the opposite.

    At the beginning of John chapter 5, it points out that the Pool of Bethesda was a well-known place of healing and that at a certain season (most scholars believe that season to be the Passover Season which would line up with the Biblical doctrine of Healing in the Atonement) an angel would come down and “trouble” the water of the pool. When that happened, THE FIRST PERSON THAT GOT IN, GOT HEALED OF WHATSOEVER (disease/sickness/malady) THEY HAD.

    * This proves that God did not determine who got healed, when they got healed or of what they got healed from.
    * This proves God does not dictate the time of a person’s healing (There goes the “It’s not God’s timing” doctrine).
    * This proves that God did not determine that some people should keep their illness until they had learned something (There goes the “I’m sick because God’s trying to teach me something doctrine).
    * This proves that God does not will some to be healed and for others to stay sick (There goes the “It’s not God’s will to heal everybody” doctrine). Notice that there is no mention of repentance from sin. This story proves that the Passover (Jesus) is our total freedom from sickness and disease.

    Rac

  39. If I may share,

    thought I post some things relating to the issue of praying for the sick/injured, as well as thoughts on what the WORD SAYS ABOUT FAITH and, specifically, the GIFT OF FAITH when it comes to healing…..epecially in light of the fact that the situation I raised regarding the disabled lady ties in directly with that (though, on a side note, by no means meaning she has let that be a disabilty to her WALK WITH CHRIST)

    The information I’m sharing comes from one of the books I studied when I WENT ON MY RECENT MISSION TRIP TO MEXICO LAST JUNE (the place, by the way, where we witnessed many amazing miracles/.healings also to the GLORY OF GOD!!! and got to experience what it truly means to pray for the sick and combines a solid biblical foundation and practical advice with first-hand illustrations of how healing, as well as other spiritual giftings, would be practically applied in today’s society

    The book is entitled A Beginners Guide to SPIRITUAL GIFTS, and it’s by SAM STORMS, who used to be a cessastionist and later came to believe in Spiritual Gifts and how healing is for today. He’s also a CALVANIST CHARISMATIC, or rather a REFORMED CHARISMATIC like myself who has been on both sides of the fence when it comes to studying the issues of HEALING/FAITH so we can relate (though of course he’ll never know that since I’VE NEVER MET HIM)

    Here it is….and hope everyone enjoys:

    Quote:
    Although the NT has much more to say about faith in general, it doesn’t explicitly refer to the charisma, or gift of faith outside this passage in I Corinthians 12.

    Therefore, the best way to identify and define the nature of this gift is to look briefly at how faith is potrayed elsewhere. Generally speaking, the NT mentions three kinds of fiath, or, better still, three distinct contexts or circumstances in which faith is exercised….CONVERSION FAITH, CONTINUING FAITH AND CHARISMATIC FAITH.

    CONVERSION FAITH is the faith through which we are justified. This is the faith identified in Scripture as that trust or confidence or belief in the atoning sacrifice of Christ that occurs at the moment of converion This s the faith Paul referred to in Ephesians 2:8-9…..(also see Romans 1:16-17, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1, etc). Unlike the charisma of faith, which is restricted to those believers to whom the Spirit wills to give it (I Corinthians 12:11)

    CONTINUING FAITH is the faith we exercise daily as we look confidently to God to do in and through our lives all that he has promised to do. This is the faith that is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). This is the faith of Hebrews 11 (compare with I Peter 1:8 and others). All believers have this faith, but in varying degrees of intensity. Some are more and others less confident in the goodness and greatness of God throughout the course of daily life.

    CHARISMATIC FAITH is the faith, noted in several texts, that appears to be spotaneous and functions as the divinly enabled condition on which the more overtly supernatural activities of God are suspended. This, I believe, is the “gift of faith” in I Corinthians 12:9.

    Consider these POSSIBLE EXAMPLES of the gift of faith:

    Quote:
    Mark 11:22-24

    22″Have[a] faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23″I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Matthew 17:20-21, Matthew 21:21-22)

    Quote:
    I Corinthians 13:2

    2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    Quote:

    James 5:15

    15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

    Charismatic faith, or the gift of faith, like the other charismata, is not given to every member of the body of Christ. However, it would appear that any member of the body of Christ is a potential candidate for the experience of this manifestation of the Spirit. The gift of faith should probably be regarded, more so than most other gifts of the Spirit, as occasional or spontaneous rather than pernament or residential.

    This is a special faith that “enables a believer to trust God to bring about certain things for which he or she cannot claim some divine promise recorded in Scripture, or some state of affairs grounded in the very structure of the Gospel.” In other words, it is the God-Given ability, without fakery or platitudnous exhortations, to believe what you do not really believe, to trust God for a certain blessing not promised in SCRIPTURE.

    The gift of faith is that mysterious surge of confidence that rises within a person in a paticular situation of need or challenge and which gives an extra-ordinary certainty and assurance that God is about to act through a word or an action.

    I believe that there is a close connection between gifts of healings (AS well as the gift of miracles) and the gift of faith, which immediately procedes them in Paul’s list of the charismata.

    The role of faith in healing is CRUCIAL AND IT IS MANIFEST IN A NUMBER OF WAYS.

    On occasion the faith of the person needing healing is instrumental (Matthew 9:22); while at other times it is the faith of a friend or family member (Matthew 15:28; Mark 2:2-12).

    Sometimes the focus of faith is on the faith of the person praying for the one who needs healing (Mark 9:17-24), and on certain occasions, faith apparently plays no part AT ALL IN THE HEALING ( John 5:1-9; indeed, in the Gospel of John, faith is never mentioned as a condition for healing; see also Matthew 8:14-17, and, from G2, especially John 9).

    The point is that on some occasions, GOD SIMPLY HEALS BY A SOVEREIGN ACT OF HIS WILL UNRELATED TO ANYTHING IN US.

    However, in the vast majority of cases, Jesus healed people because of someone’s faith.

    In the case of both Jairus and the woman suffering from bleeding (Mark 5), faith was directed toward Jesus as an expression of need. Again, in Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed ten lepers. When one returned to say thanks, JESUS said: “Your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19). When Bartimaeus asked Jesus to heal him of his blindness, Jesus said: “Go, your faith has healed you.” (Mark 10:52). In the famous story of the paralytic being lowered through the roof, Jesus healed him when he saw that the man’s friends had FAITH (Mark 2:5)

    The author then procedded to go on and describe how he believed that faith for healing operates at any one of five levels (and though there was more information on each of them, I didn’t have room or time, but I’ll give more info if ya’ll like), first of which being:
    Faith that God is your sole source for blessing, that he is your hope and he alone (Psalm 33:18-22, Psalm 147:10-11).
    Faith in God’s Ability to heal (Matthew 9:28-29, Matthew 8:1-5, Mark 5:34)

    Faith in God’s heart for healing, and in God’s Goodness and His desire to bless His Children (Psalm 103, Luke 11:11-13),, the faith or belief or confidence that it’s God’s character to build up, not tear down to bring unity and not disvision, and to create wholeness and complteness and not disintergration and disarray

    Faith not simply that God can heal, not simply that God delights to heal, but FAITH THAT GOD DOES HEAL….faith that healing is part of God’s purpose and plan for his people today

    And finally, Faith that it is His Will to HEAL RIGHT NOW.

    Continuing from that point,

    Quote:
    I have in mind the pyschological certainty that healing is what God is, in fact, going to do now. This is probably more of what Paul had in mind when he spoke of the gift of faith in I Corinthians 12:9. It may also be what James referred to as “the prayer offered in faith” (James 5:15)

    The prayer offered in faith isn’t one that we pray whenever we want to. It is a unique prayer, divinely energized only on those occasions when it is God’s sovereign purpose to impart a gift for healing. James was careful to place the definite article (translated the ) before both prayer and faith (hence, “the prayer of the faith”). One prays this prayer only when prompted by the Spirit wrought conviction that God intends to heal the one for whom the prayer is being offered. This is more than merely believing that God is able to heal; this appears to be faith that HE, in this paticular case, is not only willing to heal, but willing to heal RIGHT NOW.

    God sovereignly bestows this faith necessary for healing only when he wills. When God chooses to heal, He produces in the heart(s) of those praying the faith or confidence that healing is precisely his intent. The paticular kind of faith to which James refers, in response to which God heals, is not the kind that we may exercise at our will. It is the kind of faith that we exercise only when God wills.

    One Sunday afternoon, a couple came to me before the service and asked that the elders of our church anoint their infant son and pray for his healing. After the service we gathered in the back room and I anointed him with oil. I don’t recall the precise medical name for his condition, but at six months of age he had a serious liver disorder that could require immediate surgery if something didn’t change.

    As we prayed, something very unusual happened. As we laid hands on this young child, I found myself suddenly filled wth an over-whelming and inescapable confidence that he would be healed. It was totally unexpeted. Not wanting to be presumptous, I tried to doubt but couldn’
    t. I prayed confidently, filled with a faith unshakeable and undeniable. I said silently to God, “Lord, you are really going to heal him.”

    Although the family left the room unsure, I was absolutely certain God had healed him. The next morning the doctor agreed, for he was totally HEALED….. and is a healthy, happy, young boy today.

    If this were an example of the gift of faith working in conjunction with the gift of healing, there is no reason to think that had I prayed for another afflicated infant boy that day he would necessarily have been healed. The fact that I recieved a gift for healing on this one occasion did not GUARANTEE that I could pray with equal success on some other occasion

    ——————————————————————————–

    Continued from Previous Post….

    Quote:

    We should take careful note of the example of Elijah (see James 5:17-18)…..the point of verses 17-18 is to counter the argument that ELIJAH was somehow unique (i.e. that Elijah or Elisha, for example were special, extraordinary, unique individuals who cannot serve as models for us when we pray) or that because of the period in which he lived he could pray with miraculous success but we cannot.

    James wanted readers to know that Elijah was just like you and me. He was a human being with weaknesses, fears, doubts, failures—-no less than we. In other words, James said “Don’t let anyone tell you Elijah was in a class by Himself. He wasn’t, for he was just like you. You are just like him. Therefore pray like he did!!”

    Don’t forget the context: James appealed to the example of Elijah to encourage us when we pray for the SICK!! The point is that we should pray for the miraculous healing with the same faith and expectation with which Elijah prayed for the end of a three-year drought.

    This brings us back to my earlier asserrtion that there is no such thing as a gift of healing. There is no such thing as a gift of healing. I said this both because of the way Paul described this spiritual phenomenon and the misconception surrounding it. The significant thing about I Corinthians 12:9, I Corinthians 12:28 is that both gift and healing are plural and lack the definate article, hence the translation: “Gifts of healings.” Evidently Paul did not envision that a person would be endowned with one healing gift operative at ALL times for ALL DISEASES. His language suggests either nmany different gifts or powers of healing, each appropiate to and effective for it’s related illness, or each occurence of healing constituting a distinct gift in it’s own right.

    I’ve had the opportunity on numerous occasions to meet people who have what appears to be a healing anointing for one paticular afflication. Some are able to pray more effectively for those with back problems while others see more success when praying for migraine headaches. This may be what Paul had in mind when he spoke of “gifts of healings”

    One of the principal obstacles to a proper understanding of healing is the erroneous assumption that if anyone could ever heal, he could always heal. But in view of the lingering illness of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), Timothy (I Timothy 5:23), Trophimus (II Timothy 4:20), and perhaps Paul himself (II Corinthians 12:7-10, Galatians 4:13), it’s better to view this gift as subject to the WILL OF GOD, not the WILL OF PEOPLE.

    Therefore, a person may be gifted to heal MANY PEOPLE, but not all. Another may be gifted to heal only one paticular person of one paticular disease….

    There is no such thing as the gift of healing, especially if it is envisioned as a God-Given ability to heal everyone of every disease on every occasion

    Rather, The Spirit sovereignly distributes a charisma of healing for a particular occasion, even though previous prayers for physical restoration under similar circumstances may not have been answered, and even though subsequent prayers for the same afflication may not be answered. In sum, gifts of healings” are occasional and subject to the Sovereign Purposes of God

    Few doubt that Paul had a gift of healing, but his prayers for Epaphroditus weren’t answered, at least not at first (Philippians 2:25-30). Clearly, Paul could not heal (note from G2: or for that matter, DEMAND HEALING) at will. Aside from Jesus, no one else could either! And there is no doubt if even Jesus could (John 5:19, Mark 6:5-6). Some would conclude from Pauls FAILURE to heal his friend that the gift of healing was dying out at this juncture in the life of the church.(in spite of the fact that late in his ministry, in Acts 28:9, Paul healed everyone on the island of MALTA who came to him).

    It seems better to conclude that healing, whenever and wherever it occured, was subject not to the will of man, but to the will of God. No one, not even Paul, could always heal all diseases. Paul understood the occasional nature of gifts of healings…..

    The fact that healing is an expressin of divine mercy Philippians 2:27) means that it should NEVER be viewed as a RIGHT. Healing is not the PAYMENT OF A DEBT….AND GOD DOES NOT OWE US HEALING. WE DON’T DESERVE HEALING.

    I believe we should have faith for healing. But there is a vast difference between faith in divine mercy and presumption based on an alleged right.

    The Word mercy is the same one used in the gospels to descibe why Jesus healed people while He was on Eathh. God’s motive for healing hasnt’t changed! The primary reason God healed through Jesus prior to Pentecost was because He is a Merciful and Compassionate God. God is no less MERCIFUL, NO LESS COMPASSIONATE, NO LESS CARING WHEN IT COMES TO THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF HIS PEOPLE AFTER PENTECOST than He was BEFORE PENTECOST…..

    One of reasons some in the Church today DISREGARD healing is because they disregard the physical body. They believe that to focus on the health and well-being of the body (at least to the degree that you would regularly pray for its’ healing….NOTE FROM G2: This is something that those within WOF truly do have right and that we should as Christians be about as well) is misguided. Our attention is to be more spiritual as we focus on the condition of our souls….but this is little more than a modern version of ancient Gnosticism, for among many of the beliefs of ancient Gnosticism was that the physical body is not the creation of God, It was considered evil. They believed the body is a temporary prisonhouse of the soul, from which all of us will be delievered from death.

    Gnostics tended to go to two extremes as a result of this belief. Some were inclined to deprive the body, to punish it, to treat it harshly through ascetic disciplines such as extended fasting and self-flagellation, while others went the opposite extreme by indulging the body in ALL FORMS of sensual pleasure such as promiscuous sex and excessive food and drink.

    The biblical view of the body, on the other hand, is QUITE POSITIVE. God created us as physical beings. We are both material and immaterial (Genesis 2:7). The importance of the body is seen in the fact that our bodies were redeemed by the blood no less than our souls (I Corinthians 6:20). Our bodies are the temple of the HOLY SPIRIT (I Corinthians 6:19). Our bodies are designed “for the Lord” (I Corinthians 6:13). Our bodies are members of Christ himself (I Corinthians 6:15). Our bodies are capable of being sinned against (I Corinthians 6:18). Our bodies are to be used to honor God (I Corinthians 6:20). Our bodies will be resurrected and glorified, and we’l spend eternity as physically glorified beings (Romans 8:11, Romans 8:23, I Corinthians 15:35-49)…..and at the Judgement Seat, we’ll have to give account for what we have done in our bodies.

    There’s no escaping the fact that SPIRITUALITY IS PHYSICAL. Although God is Spirit, HE INDEED created the PHYSICAL, Material World and pronounced it Good (Genesis 1:4-25)….AND WHEN GOD CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE, HE GAVE US BODIES. These truths can be seen nowhere better than in the Biblical emphaisis on “the laying on of hands”, for though on several occasions Jesus healed people with the spoken Word alone….in most instances HE DID SO BY LAYING HIS HANDS ON THEM or by TOUCHING THEM OR BY MAKING PHYSICAL CONTACT. Perhaps the most amazing text if all is Luke 4:40, where it is said that Jesus laid hands on “every one” of those in a VAST MULTITUDE who had come to him for aid. It must have been physically exhausting and time-intensive for him to do so, but Jesus took the opportunity to lay his hands on EVERY PERSON who cmae ot him for prayer.

    Important obsevations that I hope will encourage you to take your hands out of your pockets, fix your faith on the grace and power of God, and pray regularly for the sick…….

    First, HEALTH AND HEALING are always portrayed in Scripture as the BLESSING OF GOD. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise sickness or disease as a blessing for his obediant children. Whereas it is true that God can use sickness to discipline us and instruct us (Psalm 6:2-3, Psalm 6:6-7, Psalm 32:1-7, Psalm 38, Psalm 41:1-4, Psalm 88:1-9, Psalm 88:15-18, Psalm 102:1-5, Psalm 102:8-11, Psalm 119:67, Psalm 119:71-75, etc), sickness in an of itself is never PORTRAYED AS GOOD.

    Secondly, Whereas all sickness is suffering, not all suffering is sickness. Jesus promised that all who followed Him would suffer persecutio, slander, rejection, and oppression. But He never said that about sickness. Nowhere in the Bible are obediant children of God told to EXPECT SICKNESS AND disease as part of their calling in life. Sickness is not a part of the cross we are called to bear (Note from G2: This is the reason why I believe we can pray for others to be healed and see them healed, as I’ve witnessed, for though not all will be healed, HEALING IS AN OPTION and is POSSIBLE FOR ALL BELIEVERS TO EXPERIENCE)

    Thirdly,Contrary to popular thought, SICKNESS AND DISEASE, in and of themselves, DO NOT GLORIFY GOD. Our unwavering faith and loyalty and love for God in spite of sickness and disease do glorify God.

    Fourth, We must leave room for mystery in God’s ways. Some things will always remain unexplained, We can’t always expect to understand why some are sick and others are not, or why some are healed and others are not. But most important of all, the fact that many, perhaps even most, are not healed should never be used to justify our disobediance to God’s Word when it comes to praying for them.

    Fifth, ‘God’s heart is for healing, , not hurting, My working assumption is that God’s heart is for healing unless I’m shown otherwise by divine revelation or death. What this measn in practical terms is that you should continue to pray for the sick until God tells you otherwise or they die!

    Sixth, we must be willing to bear the stigma of perceived failure. We have succedded when we have obeyed the Scriptures to pray for the sick. Whether ot not they are healed rests with God.

    Many in the church today say they believe that God still heals, but they live as functional diests who rarely if ever actually lay hands on the sick and pray with any degree of expectancy. One reason is that they often confuse praying expectantly with praying presumptously.

    Prayer is presumptious when the person claiming healing does so without revelatory warrant or on the unbiblical assumption that God always wills to heal then and there. Then they feel required to account for the absence of healing by appealing either to moral failure or deficiency of faith (usually in the one for whom prayer is offered..)(Note from G2: This is often the case with many in WOF)

    People pray EXPECTANTLY when they humbly petition a merciful God for something they don’t deserve but that he delights to give (Luke 11:9-13)(Matthew 9:27-31, Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 17:13-14). Expectant prayer flows from the recognition that JESUS HEALED PEOPLE because He loved them and felt COMPASSION for them (Matthew 14:13-14, Matthew 20:34, Mark 1:41-42, Luke 7:11-17), a disposition in the heart of God that nothing in Scripture has changed.

  40. Man,you’re hilarious!! The Bible CLEARLY states that ONE MAN was healed and then Jesus conveyed Himself away. You claim THAT is adding to the Text. THEN you claim the healings were likely around Passover, and that speaks of healing in the Atonement. Wanna give some verses for THAT??

    Not only the false premise of WHEN it took place with ZERO Scriptural evidence, but WHAT IT MEANS when you have NO IDEA from Scripture when it took place. A false premise sandwich.

    If it took place on Tabernacles, how are you going to shoehorn physical healing into that??

    Good grief.

    Then a ridiculous rant denying God’s Sovereignty. So, are you telling us SERIOUSLY that GOD did NOT determine WHO GOT INTO THE POOL??? Is THAT what you’re suggesting?? That the Sovereign of the UNIVERSE just waited up in Heaven like a spectator saying “GEE……..I wonder who is going to make it in the pool this time?? I hope it’s the guy in the blue robe. He has pretty eyes.”

    Let’s see what the BIBLE says, MMMMMMMMMMK??

    Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

    Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

    Psa 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

    Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am]God, and there is none like me,
    Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

    Of course, I could cite passages all night. Now,are you telling us that God is Sovereign and rules over EVERYTHING EXCEPT WHO GOT INTO THE POOL AT BETHESDA?? God had NOTHING to do with who did and did not get healed?? Please.

    Hey, does God stand around wondering who is going to get saved too?? Do you think He has a Salvation Pool going with the angels like we have for the SuperBowl in my office??

    It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. I hope fervently that your “revelations” about God are restricted to the internet.

  41. I find it interesting that the Egyptians could do all the miracles that Moses did except for one.

  42. That’s true, Scripture does not say that only one man was healed at the pool.

    Your belief of predestination is all messed up, Gary. I want to see some of you before the Throne saying things like, “God, You predetermined it!”. Wow, isn’t God unjust to judge those whom he sent to hell without giving them a choice to choose.

    Sidharth

    Phil: Building another strawman Sid? You are ridiculous. Maybe if you believe it, and have faith, maybe you will get to see us all stand before the throne, and hear words like “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.

  43. “I believe we should have faith for healing. But there is a vast difference between faith in divine mercy and presumption based on an alleged right.”- Emissary

    Where is this in Scripture that we must have faith in God’s mercy for healing?

    The prayer of faith will raise the sick…..

    Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. So since God’s mercy [according to you] keeps changing, there is no assurance for healing. Scripture is clear: it does not say, the prayer of faith may sometimes raise the sick. It is definite: it WILL.

    Sidharth

  44. Sidharth,

    How is GaryV’s belief of predestination “messed up”? You can’t have it both ways Sid. Either God is Sovereign in all things or he isn’t?

    The prayer of faith WILL raise the sick? Really? Can you honestly tell me that every single person you have personally prayed for in faith has been healed?

    Personally, I’ve grown tired of your wild assumptions based on your personal “experiences”. I’ve grown tired of your eisegesis and your “I know more then you” demeaner you’ve exhibited here. Mostly, I’ve grown tired of you insulting my readers, who BTW could carve you up like a Thanksgiving Turkey any day of the week in ANY true theological discussion. Your discussions are straw man arguments and horrible eisegesis and won’t be tolerated here any longer.

    Consider yourself banned from commenting on this thread.

  45. Excellent conversation. If I might simplify, I believe God “can” heal. Those of the WOF believe God “must” heal, therefore when healings don’t manifest, they blame it on the person who is seeking the healings faith. Those who have witnessed healings or have been involved in the prayers that lead to healings many times think that they have been given a special gift and sometimes turn this event into a marketing opportuntiy. Remember the eunuchs who threw Jezebel out the window, they were anointed by God to do his will?

  46. If I may add something, I did some posts on the issue awhile back that may be of benefit. One of them was on someone in our church (which believes in healing being available for today, as well as praying for miraculous things and we see them happen), but she was parlyzed from the neck down. Some people I remember hearing elsewhere “If we just had enough faith, she’d be healed”…..& that honestly bothered me a good bit.

    For more info, go here:

    http://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/god-always-heals-n-must-if-you-have-faith-an-wof-idea-bad-4-developing-true-lovemarriage/

    http://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/healing-in-the-church-today-is-it-a-right-or-privelage/

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL…s/BySeries/36/

  47. MY belief in Predestination, or the Bible’s clear teaching of predestination??
    We do NOT choose God,God chose us before the foundation of the world.Does your Bible have a Romans 8?? Or is it just mine??

    Phil: Don’t ya get it GaryV? In the eisegetical world of young Sidharth, there is double predestination. IOW he believes that God predestines us according to our choice. Check out this eisegetical masterpiece;

    http://imrah.org/2007/11/key-to-predestination.html

  48. Phil, I’ve always wondered how it is that God sees dead men who hate God choosing to become Christians. The natural man receives NOT the things of the Spirit, right?? So,before we wereborn again,we were natural men who could NOT receive the things of the Spirit. What is the GOSPEL?? A thing of the Spirit, which we could NOT receive unless we FIRST ceased to BE NATURAL MEN.

    How does that happen?? God MUST regenerate FIRST……….THEN your will (freed from death for the first time) chooses God. But NOT until God regenerates you first.

    What exactly is God supposed to see in the future?? Men who are natural, dead, and hate Him CHOOSING Him when the Bible says that’s impossible??

    Sorry, the Arminian heresy is founded on the rejection of Scripture. The entire history of the orthodox church has been Monergistic. It’s only the last approx 150 years that heretics and apostates like Finney and Parham and McPherson and Kuhlmann and Roberts and Hagin and Hinn and Copeland and White and the rest of that carnal lineage seduced the church to abandon the Bible and embrace the Pelagian heresy in various forms.

    Thank God there are still islands of doctrinal sanity like yours out here to fight against the tide of doctrinal excrement out there.

  49. GaryV,

    I agree. Finney started a big mess with the “altar calls” and absolutely horrible teaching on Salvation etc…

    I think you’re going to enjoy the next few posts my friend.

  50. Phil, Gary,

    If people would just get back to the subject of God’s sovereignty in all things, it would clear up a whole lot that’s keeping them back from knowing God properly.

    But, it is my observation that this truth of God’s sovereignty is the most contended issue in 21st century churchianity. The lack of understanding of this is at the root of much of the false gospels of our day.

  51. The sigsn and wonders Followed the One who called all things to be existing by the Word of His Power and that is Almighty God. You have to start at the Beginning , God. These signs and wonders are from God and God alone. And He gives these according to I Corinthains 12 and they only operate through love. As you can see in I Corinthians 13 and yes many have a time with I Corinthians 14 because of speaking in tongues. The only way to know the truth on all this is to study that concerning God and the things that He did and you begin to see the whole operation of God and then through Christ and then the Church. God controls the sigan and wonders. The devil and man can copy with lying signs and wonders but If you are a Believer in the Word of God, the Spirit of God lways, always will reveal to you the false from the real. Hope this helps yall out

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