Some Christians who need healing have said to me, “Maybe God put this sickness on me for some purpose.”
Did Jesus ever put sickness on anyone? When people came to Him for healing, did He ever turn even one away saying, “No, it’s not My will. Just suffer a little longer. You’re just not pious enough”?
No! Not once!
And the Scriptures tell us that to see God, we look at Jesus. Jesus Himself said:
9 . . . Have I [Jesus] been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
God at Work
Do you want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus. Do you want to see God at work? Look at Jesus. Do you want to know the will of God? Look at Jesus. Jesus is the will of God in action (John 6:38). Did Jesus go about making people sick? No! He went about doing good and healing!
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. . . .
From the natural standpoint, it is difficult for people to understand that most
of the laws governing this earth today came into being through the fall of man— when Adam sinned and the curse came upon the earth. Because people don’t understand this, they accuse God of accidents, sickness, and the death of loved ones. And God is not the author of any of these things.
People also blame God for the storms, catastrophes, earthquakes, and floods that occur. Even insurance policies call these “acts of God.” No, they are not acts of God. They are acts of the devil. Their author is Satan.
All of these natural laws as we understand them were set aside by Jesus,
whenever necessary, in order to bless humanity. Bear in mind that Jesus said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Well, we don’t see Jesus bringing any storms on people. We see Him calming the storms!
Rebuker of Storms
A storm had arisen on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was in the back of the ship asleep on a pillow. The disciples awoke Him and said, “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” They thought they were going down at sea. But Jesus arose and rebuked the wind. He wasn’t rebuking something God did. He was rebuking something the devil had stirred up.
You see, Adam was originally the god, so to speak, of this world. God made the world and the fullness thereof (Ps. 89:11). Then He made man, Adam. He said to Adam, “I give you the authority to rule this earth. You are the one who dominates.” But Adam sold us all out to the devil. (He didn’t have the moral right to do it, but he had the legal right, because the earth was his—God put it into his hands.)
Adam committed high treason and sold out to the devil. And the Bible tells us that now Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). When did Satan become the god of this world? After Adam sinned.
We need to get some of these things straight in our minds, because many in the church world are confused. People have all kinds of unscriptural ideas. Some think, Well, God’s got everything under control. But that may or may not be so, according to how you mean it. If you mean that God is ruling the earth right now
—no, He isn’t! He’s going to rule it again one of these days, but He’s not right now.
During the Korean conflict, I read an article by a well-known newspaper columnist. He said, in effect, “I don’t claim to be a Christian, but I’m not an atheist or an agnostic. The atheist says there is no God. I believe there is one. The agnostic says there may be a God; he doesn’t know. I believe there is.
“I don’t believe everything just happened into being,” he continued. “I believe some Supreme Being created everything. But what hinders me from being a Christian is what I hear preachers saying. I’m confused because they say God is running everything. And if He is, He sure has things in a mess.”
Then the man alluded to wars, children being killed, poverty, disease, and sickness, saying, “I believe that there is a Supreme Being somewhere and that
everything He made was beautiful and good. I just can’t believe those things are the work of God.”
Well, the truth is, those things came with the Fall when Adam sinned and Satan became the god of this world. When Satan is finally eliminated from the earth, there will be nothing that will hurt or destroy. And then it ought to be obvious where all those things came from.
Jesus’ statement, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” and His description of the Father make it impossible to accept the teaching that sickness and disease are from God. The very nature of God refutes such an idea, for God is love.
Let’s go back to Acts 10:38 for a moment. Who anointed Jesus of Nazareth? God did! And Jesus said, “. . . the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).
How did God do these works of healing through Jesus? By anointing Him with the Holy Ghost and with healing power. What did Jesus do with the anointing with which God had anointed Him? He went about doing good! What was the good that He did? Healing! So God was healing when Jesus healed, because it was God who anointed Him.
God is in the healing business, not in the sickness business! God is in the delivering business, not in the bondage business!
Jesus Healed All
Notice in Acts 10:38 who was healed by Jesus: “. . . ALL that were oppressed of the devil. . . .” Now, that’s a plain statement—all. A-l-l! That means everyone who was healed under the ministry of Jesus was oppressed of the devil. In other words, the devil had something to do with their sickness. That doesn’t mean an evil spirit was always present. It just means the devil was behind the whole situation. They were oppressed of the devil—every one of them.
Yet to hear some people talk nowadays, even ministers, you would be led to believe that God and the devil had swapped jobs for the last 2,000 years! You’d think God was putting sickness on people and the devil was healing them. No, the devil is the same devil he always was. And God is still the same God.
15 And he [Jesus] said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. . . .
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils. . . .
18 . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Let’s stop and analyze this. Which one of the sick did Jesus say to lay hands
on? He just said the sick, period. Well, if God were the author of sickness, if He did put sickness and disease on people, and if it were His will for some to be sick, then this statement would be confusing—because Jesus authorized us to lay hands on all the sick and said they would recover.
If it were God’s will for some to remain sick, Jesus would have had to have said something like, “Lay your hands on those whom it is the will of God to heal, and they shall recover. And those whom it isn’t God’s will to heal, they won’t recover.” But that wasn’t the case. God set the Church against sickness, period!
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 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.
Verse 14 asks, “Is any sick among you?” Among whom? The Church. So it must be God’s will to heal any of the sick in the Church. Therefore, it can’t be the will of God for “any” in the Church to stay sick.
Suffering With Jesus
“De Edifier,” one individual said, “you’ve forgotten that the Bible said, ‘If we suffer with Him, we’ll reign with Him.’” No, I haven’t forgotten. Let’s look at that verse. “If we SUFFER, we shall also reign with Him . . .” (2 Tim. 2:12). Suffer what? Pneumonia? Cancer? Tuberculosis? No! What did Jesus suffer? Persecution! And you will too, if you live right.
You’ll suffer persecution if you preach divine healing, the gifts of the Spirit, and faith. I’ve suffered persecution for preaching the Word in these areas. But I haven’t suffered sickness and disease.
Another person said to me, “You’ve forgotten something else.” “What did I forget?” I asked.
“Why, in the Book of Hebrews it says, ‘Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth’” (Heb. 12:6).
No, I didn’t forget. That’s still in there. But it doesn’t say whom the Lord
loveth He makes sick. You see, people have just put their own interpretation on that verse.
The word “chasten” in the Greek means to child train or to educate. You train your children, don’t you? And you send them to school to be educated. But have you ever told a teacher, “If my child doesn’t do right, knock his eye out”? Have you ever said, “If he is disobedient, break his leg” or “Give him cancer”? No! That isn’t the way you discipline or train a child. And that’s not the way God does it.
God doesn’t use sickness and disease to teach His children a lesson. “But God made Job sick,” someone said.
No, He didn’t. The devil did.
“Yes, but God gave the devil permission.”
True, but God didn’t commission it. You see, God will permit you to rob a gas station, but He won’t commission you to do it.
No, the Bible is plain about why sickness came upon Job. Job had said, “. . . the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3:25). So he himself had opened the door to the devil by being afraid.
Bible scholars agree that the entire Book of Job took place in nine to eighteen months. And in chapter 42, you can read about the works of God! For example, Job 42:10 says that God turned Job’s “captivity.” That means when Job was sick, he was in captivity to the devil. When he was in poverty, he was in captivity to the devil.
But God turned Job’s captivity and gave him twice as much as he had to begin with (v. 10)! Job lived 140 years after he got healed! That’s God’s work!
Someone might say, “But, De Edifier, don’t you remember that Paul was sick all his life?”
No, I don’t remember that. And you don’t either. “But he had a thorn in the flesh.”
Where did you ever read in the Bible that a thorn in the flesh is sickness? Nowhere. Go back to the Scriptures and see how that term is used. In the Old
Testament, God said to Israel, “If you don’t kill those Canaanites when you possess the land, they will be thorns in your side. They will torment you” (Num.
33:55; Joshua 23:13; Judges 2:3).
Paul tells exactly what the thorn was—the messenger of Satan sent to buffet him (2 Cor. 12:7).
Everywhere Paul went to preach, this evil spirit stirred up everything he could. He buffeted Paul in the flesh. And Paul couldn’t command him to leave the earth, because he has a right to be here until Adam’s lease runs out.
You can’t separate sickness and disease from Satan. Disease came with the fall of man. The Fall was of the devil. Sickness and sin have the same origin—the devil.
Jesus’ attitude toward sickness was an uncompromising warfare with Satan. His attitude toward sin and sickness was identical. He dealt with sickness the same way He dealt with demons. Since sickness and disease are of the devil, we must follow in the footsteps and attitude of Jesus and deal with disease as Jesus dealt with it.
Healing Is God’s Provision
God always has been opposed to sickness, not in favor of it. Even in the Old Testament, He always made provision for His covenant people to be healed. If sickness was His will, He wouldn’t have made that provision.
When Israel crossed the Red Sea and started toward their homeland, the Lord said:
26 . . . If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord 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 [literal Hebrew, “I will permit”] none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought [permitted] upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Notice it isn’t the Lord who made them sick. He said, “I am the Lord that
healeth thee.” God didn’t put diseases upon Israel, nor upon the Egyptians. It is Satan, the god of this world, who makes man sick. Jehovah declares that He is Israel’s Healer.
25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I
As long as Israel walked in the Covenant, there was no sickness among them. There is no record of a premature death—no babies, young people, or middle- aged people dying. With sickness taken away from the midst of them, the children of Israel lived out their lives without disease. They just fell asleep. When the time came for them to go, they would lay hands on their children and pronounce blessings upon them. Then they would gather their feet up into bed, give up the ghost, and go home.
“What does that have to do with us?” someone asked. “That was back then.” Well, God is the same God now as He was then. The Bible says He doesn’t
change (Mal. 3:6). God was against sin in the Old Testament, and He is against
sin in the New Testament. He was against sickness in the Old Testament, and He is against sickness in the New Testament. He made provision for healing in the Old Testament, and He made provision for healing in the New Testament.
Deuteronomy 7:13 says, “And he [God] will love thee. . . .” Love thee! Love thee! Love thee!
But some people must not be reading the same Bible. They read, “And He will put sickness upon you and cause some of you to be stillborn and some of you to die when you’re babies and some of you to be sick and crippled all your life.”
No! No! No! That’s not the Holy Scriptures. Here is the Word of God:
13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put [permit] none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee. . . .
“But that promise is not for us today, De Edifier,” someone said.
Are you sure? First Corinthians is in the New Testament, isn’t it? Well, First Corinthians 10:11 says, “Now all these things happened unto them [Israel] for ensamples [examples or types]: and they are written FOR OUR ADMONITION .
Examples for Us
Glory! Deuteronomy 7:13-15 was written for my benefit! I think the Holy
Spirit knew there would be those who would jump up and say, “That’s just for the Jews. It’s not for us!” So He wrote that what happened to them happened as examples to us. Those things “written aforetime,” talking about the Old Covenant, were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4). Deuteronomy 7:13-15 was written for my admonition!
Do you think those people back then would be more blessed than the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you think they could be blessed financially and could prosper and be well, but the Church couldn’t? Do you think that the Church—the Body of Christ, the Body of the Son of God, the Body of the Beloved—would have to struggle through life poverty-stricken, sick and afflicted, emaciated, and wasted away with starvation, singing, “Here I wander like a beggar through the heat and the cold”? No! That’s not us!
We’re Not Beggars
The Bible says we are joint-heirs with Christ, sons of God! We’re not beggars! We’re new creatures, blessed above all people!
You can see from the Scriptures that it was God’s plan for everything connected with Israel to bear the stamp of prosperity and success.
Disease and sickness were not to be tolerated among the Israelites, so the Church shouldn’t tolerate sickness and disease either. Everything connected with the Body of Christ—the New Testament Church—should bear the stamp of prosperity, success, healing, surplus, and health.
What God said concerning Israel, He said in so many words concerning the Church. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation. . . .”
I don’t agree with all of Dr. Scofield’s notes in his Reference Bible. But he was a Greek and Hebrew scholar, and his footnote on this verse in reference to the word “salvation” is excellent. Dr. Scofield says, “The Greek and Hebrew words translated salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and health.”
Glory to God! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto deliverance! The Gospel is the power of God unto safety! It is the power of God unto preservation! And it is the power of God unto healing and health!
God Was Israel’s Healer
The Psalms were Israel’s prayer and song book, and they continually mention that God was Israel’s Healer. Psalm 103 is a classic example.
3 Who [the Lord] forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Disease came to Israel through disobedience of the Law. So forgiveness for their disobedience meant healing of their diseases.
After God told Israel that the reason for their sickness and disease was that they had rebelled against His words and against the counsel of the Most High (Ps. 107:11), He said:
17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
You see, the children of Israel took themselves out from under the protection of their covenant by wrongdoing. Well, we have a New Covenant. The Bible says that it’s better than the Old Covenant (Heb. 8:6). And we too have divine protection.
But it is possible to take ourselves out from under the protection of this covenant.
I’m not judging you. I’m judging me. I learned the truth years ago as a teenage boy on the bed of sickness. I was raised up after sixteen months of being bedfast: I was healed of two serious organic heart conditions, an incurable blood disease, and almost total paralysis. In the years following, the only time some physical disorder touched me was when I got out from under the protection— from under the cover. And, brother, I got back under it in a hurry!
When I say I got from under the cover, I don’t mean that I stole something or told a lie on somebody. I just wasn’t obeying God as I should. Perhaps He said to do something, or He told me to minister a certain way, and I went ahead and ministered the way I’d learned to minister instead of the way He said to minister. So I had to repent and get back in line. And the minute I did, I was immediately all right again physically.
For more than sixty-five years I haven’t even had a headache. I’ve walked in
health. And I’m not planning on being sick—I could be, but I’m planning on obeying God until I die. If Jesus tarries, I don’t mind telling you that I’ll live to a great age.
I’ll know before I go, and I’ll tell everyone good-bye before I leave. I’ll look over on the other side and say, “There it is, folks!” And then I’ll be gone! I want to leave everyone shouting and happy, because that’s the way I’m going.
“But, De Edifier, you can’t ever tell.”
Oh, yes, you can tell. You can have exactly what God said you can have!
We have a better covenant than Israel had. If it was God’s plan for the Israelites to live out their full length of time without sickness (who, by the way, were servants and not sons, under a covenant not as good as ours!), then imagine what His plan is for us, the sons of God! If God didn’t want His servants sick, I don’t believe He wants His sons to be sick.
I believe it is the plan of God that no believer should ever be sick. I believe every believer should live out his full length of time and, if Jesus tarries, actually wear out and then fall asleep in Him. It is not—and I state boldly,not—the will of God that we should suffer with cancer and other dreaded diseases which bring pain and anguish. No! It is God’s will that we be healed. How do I know? Because healing is provided for us under the New Covenant