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You Can Be Healthy!

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Word of Faith Month October 2009 – Tree of Life Church

God Wants You Well!

In this Biblical, passionate and very practical sermon Benjamin will show you how to enjoy and keeping enjoying divine health every day of your life. Taking the lessons learned in the first three sermons in this series and applying them to victory over sickness, this message is indispensable to anyone who wants to enjoy health and minister healing.

Again to those of you who do not know what thread you are in: this is NO DEBATE. Thanks for respecting the rules of the forum!

Does Sickness Glorify God? (Troy J. Edwards)

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Does Sickness Glorify God?

By Troy J. Edwards

Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. -John 11:3, 4

Taken out of it’s contextual setting, this Scripture would appear to teach that God gets glory out of the sickness of others. So many have used this passage irresponsibly. However, a careful study of this passage proves that it is not so much the sickness that brought Jesus the glory, but it was what Jesus did concerning the sickness that glorified Him.

Of course someone may believe that I am incorrect in my assumption. They may say, “But Troy, the passage plainly says that this sickness is for the glory of God that He may be glorified. It does not say anything about the end result.” It also says (if we keep it in context), “This sickness is not unto death…” Yet, several passages later, Jesus tells His disciples, ” Lazarus is dead.” (John 11:14). If He had done this in our day, the Lord would be accused of being a liar and a false prophet. He would be denounced on many of the present day “apologists'” radio shows and internet webpages.

What did Jesus mean here? He simply meant that Lazarus was saved and was not dead as in eternally separate from God. Jesus said that Lazarus was asleep (John 11:11). This is the same description given of every believer whose spirit has left their physical body to be with Jesus (1 Cor. 11:30; 15:6; 1 Thess. 4:13, 14). Therefore, we know that He did not lie. Yet, today’s critics would not bother to take the time to see exactly what Jesus is saying. On the contrary they would have attempted to destroy His public ministry.

Even in Jesus’ day, He had His fair share of critics, “And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” (John 11:37) Aaaah the critics. Jesus had to deal with them even in His day. Should not His present day followers expect the same treatment? Surely the servant is not above His master.

Therefore, I believe that I am quite justified in saying that the context of this passage proves that the end result of the sickness, or how Jesus demonstrated His authority even over death, is what brought God the glory. The fact that Lazarus was sick is not what brought God glory. It was what Jesus had done about it the sickness that glorified Him as we read the context of this passage.

In case anyone thinks otherwise please read John 11:37 again and see that the dead Lazarus was bringing Jesus criticism rather than glory. Those who insist that Jesus taught that the sickness was to the glory of God must also keep it in context by saying that the sickness was not unto death. Using this method of interpretation then a person would be accused of calling Christ a liar since Lazarus actually died. Yet, we know that if we read the whole chapter and other Bible passages, our Lord is vindicated from this horrendous accusation.

The fact that Lazarus was raised from the dead is what gave glory to God and not the sickness itself can be confirmed as we read further:

Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. – John 11:40-45

Jesus asked, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” Believe what? Believe what He said about Himself being the resurrection and the life? Jesus did not want them to see this as just some future event but He wanted them to take note that resurrection and life was available NOW!!! By placing their faith in this they would see the glory of God.

In verse 45 we are told that the Jews believed on Jesus. What caused the Jews to believe on Jesus? Was it the sickness and/or the death itself? No. The the fact that the sickness was not healed caused some to criticize the Lord (John 11:37). It caused Martha to limit the power of God when she said, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died” (John 11:32). It caused the Jews to weep and cry instead of rejoicing that their Savior was there in the midst of them. This caused the Lord Himself to groan (John 11:33). I do not believe that the sickness and subsequent death brought Jesus any glory.

Nevertheless, the sickness was for the glory of God in this manner: it was an opportunity to demonstrate the power of God over sickness, disease and death itself. The sickness and death brought doubt, sadness, criticism, and grieving. Yet, when Jesus demonstrated resurrection power, this in turn caused many of the Jews to believe on Him. The demonstration of the power of God brought Jesus glory. This same resurrection power is still available to give life to your mortal body:

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. – Rom. 8:11

Your healing is what brings glory to God. Resurrection power is available to you by faith to give life to your mortal body. What Jesus asked the sisters of Lazarus, He asks every sick person today, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” His resurrection power, that same power that raise Lazarus from the dead, that same power the raised our Lord from His grave, is available to those who will simply believe.

Martha did have enough faith to know that the Lord always received that which He prayed for, “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22). It was the answer to Jesus prayer for Lazarus resurrection that gave God the glory due to Him. Answered prayer glorifies God:

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. -John 14:13-14

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. – John 15:7-8

The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest translates John 15:7-8 this way: “If you maintain a living communion with me and my words are at home in you, I command you to ask, at once, something for yourself, whatever your heart desires, and it will become yours. In this my Father is glorified, namely that you are bearing much fruit.”

You see, if we are having communion with God and His words are in us we will not ask for something that does not bring God any glory. Certain prayer requests for ourselves are not considered by God to be selfish and self centered. On the contrary, answered prayer brings glory to God. The Word of God has enough promises that gives us the surety that it is always God’s will to heal our bodies as well as our spirit and soul. To ask for healing and receive it brings glory to the Lord.

God gets glory as we pray in line with His Word and His promises. Not once has God ever denied a request that was presented to Him in conjunction with His revealed will. He says, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (2 Cor. 1:20). It would not bring God glory to deny a request when there is a clear promise for it in His Word.

Do not let unbelieving critics and Christian skeptics cheat you out of the blessings that God has clearly promised you. Healing is a promise from God. The Bible tells us “And the prayer offered in faith shall make the sick person well, and the Lord shall raise him up.” (James 5:15; The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest). There is no spiritualizing this passage. It is a clear cut promise of healing when conditions are met.

The Blind Man In John 9

John 9:1-3 is also used by some to teach that God gets glory out of our sicknesses. They also use this to teach that sickness is not necessarily the cause of sin. I agree with them wholeheartedly on the latter while disagreeing with them strongly on the former. Thank God for passages such as this one and the book of Job which teaches us that the rotten things in life that may come upon a Christian does not necessarily mean that he or she has sinned.

Yet, I cannot agree with my brethren that this passage teaches us that God sovereignly chooses some to suffer sickness for His glory. Let us read this passage:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. -John 9:1-4

It is unfortunate but true that so many stop reading right there. This along with John 11:3-4 are the proof texts used by some to teach that God gets glory from the person’s sickness. Just as we have shown the reader that John 11 does not teach this false doctrine, but in fact, teaches that God received the glory from Lazarus’s resurrection, the same truth applies here.

God did not sovereignly choose this man to be sick. So many have interpreted this passage to teach that the man was born blind as a result of “divine providence.” Due to the “period” placed after verse three in John chapter 9, this passage may seem to make a wonderful proof text to those who advocate sickness as a blessing from God.

However, every Bible student knows that the New Testament was not originally written in the English language. The English language was not in existence during the period that the New Testament was being written as the Spirit of God inspired the men who wrote it.

The controversial Open View Theologian, Pastor Gregory Boyd gives some wonderful insights into this passage:

the verse should not be interpreted as suggesting that God’s will is behind this man’s blindness in the first place, and this is my third point. The original verse does not say that “he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed.” The Greek simply has hina with the aorist subjunctive passive of phaneroo (“to manifest”) and can readily be translated as, “But let the works of God be manifested.” As is certainly the case in Mark 5:23, Ephesians 5:33,2 Corinthians 8:7; as is likely the case in Mark 2:10, 5:12, 10:51 and a host of other passages; and as is frequently the case in the Septuagint and later postapostolic writings, the hina here should be taken as forming an imperative, not a purposive, clause.

In this light, Jesus is simply saying that, in contrast to the misguided moralistic speculations of the disciples, the only thing that matters concerning this man’s blindness is that God can overcome it and thus be glorified through it. In the satanically ruled world in which he and his disciples ministered, and in which we ourselves still live, there is no discernible particular reason why this man was born blind. The disciples’ questions, like the many assertions of Job’s “friends,” were based on the false assumption that God is behind all things, and thus that there must be a good reason for such things as blindness and the demonic torturing of a little girl-punishing sin, building character or glorifying God, for example.

In this reading, however, Jesus is simply refuting (not modifying) this assumption. He is, in effect, saying that the only response to this man’s sorry condition is, “Let the works of God be manifested!” This obviously has monumental theological implications. [1]

To further drive his point home, Dr. Boyd references another scholar of the Greek languages named Nigel Turner. Turner’s remarks are well worth quoting here:

The hypothesis of the imperatival hina … releases the text from the fatalism which had obsessed it, and dissolves the picture which had become familiar through all our English versions, a man destined from birth to suffer for the sole purpose of glorifying God when he was healed.[2]

We can further add to the scholarship previously referenced that the Greek texts contain no punctuation so translators had to place them where they felt would be the proper place in the sentences. George Ricker Berry, in his introduction in the The Interlinear KJV Bible says this:

There is no authority anywhere for the punctuation. There are few or no points in the ancient copies, and editors naturally differ in their system of pointing. We have been obliged to punctuate for ourselves as we judged best.[3]

A.S. Worrell makes a similar observation in his translation of the New Testament:

It should be understood by the reader that the division of the different books of the New Testament into chapters and verses was the work of men; and it must be confessed, with deep regret, that the work, as a whole, was very poorly done; a chapter sometimes ending where perhaps a semicolon or even a comma should have been used; and a verse often ending where the slightest division was required. Such errors tend to obscure the sense.[4]

Though, I personally appreciate the division of the Bible into chapters and verse for the fact that it is easier to reference, Dr. Worrell has made an interesting observation that can be applied to John 9:3 and 4. If we removed the period from the end of verse three, and replaced it with a comma or semicolon, and if we had not divided these two verses, we would have a better understanding of this text that is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Gordon Lindsay, founder of the Christ For The Nations Bible Institute made this statement in volume 3 of his series of books, The Life And Teachings of Christ:

There is no punctuation in the original Greek and the sentence could be punctuated as follows: “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.”[5]

Further in his book, Gordon Lindsay makes it clear that he does not claim to have the correct punctuation. Nevertheless, he does present another alternative that the majority of English translations do not provide. One of the few that do offer this alternative is Robert Young’s Literal translation of the Bible:

Jesus answered, `Neither did this one sin nor his parents, but that the works of God may be manifested in him; it behoveth me to be working the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night doth come, when no one is able to work: — when I am in the world, I am a light of the world.’ -John 9:3-5; Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible

Notice that Young places a semicolon where most other translations use a period. According to the Webster’s dictionary, a semicolon is used to indicate, “a degree of separation greater than that marked by the comma and less than that marked by the period.” It is also used “…to separate closely related clauses.”[6]

It seems to me that Dr. Young did not not see the man’s blindness as the “providence of God” or “for the Glory of God.” We should not read this man’s blindness as “divine providence” but rather as DIVINE OPPORTUNITY!!! If we read the passage carefully in the KJV, we will see that Jesus was not saying that God ensured that this man was born blind so that God could later heal him. What he was saying was that because this man was born blind, this provides a great opportunity to work the works of God. The Contemporary English version makes this distinction clearer:

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been born blind since birth. Jesus’ disciples asked, “Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?” “No, it wasn’t!” Jesus answered. “But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him. As long as it is day, we must do what the one who sent me wants me to do. When night comes, no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1-5; Contemporary English Version)

A controversial paraphrase of the New Testament by Eugene Peterson called “The Message” also brings the thought of divine opportunity rather than divine providence in this case:

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.” (John 9:1-5; The Message by Eugene Peterson)

Lawrence O. Richards in his Bible Background Commentary illustrates this point well in differentiating between “divine providence” and “divine opportunity:”

What is important here is not the answer Jesus gave – that the blindness was not a punishment for sin at all, but would serve as an occasion to glorify God. What is important is that when the disciples saw suffering – their curiosity rather than their compassion was aroused.

The light that Jesus brings, and in which we are to walk, must radically change our priorities. Solving theological puzzles, and even being “right” in our interpretations of Scripture, should be less important to us than displaying the compassion and concern for others that Jesus’ own actions constantly reveal.[7]

It is tempting to quote more scholarship on this but I believe that this will suffice in making our point. Nevertheless, there are several other teachers and commentators who convey the same thought that I am presenting, which we have placed in our footnotes for further study[8].

As we read further along in the chapter we will see again that it was the healing that brought glory to God, not this man’s sickness. The sickness was an opportunity for the power of God to be demonstrated. Verse 4 in most translations outside of the King James uses the personal pronoun “we” instead of “I” showing us that Jesus wants us to cooperate with Him in this work.

We must do the works of Jesus and even greater than these (John 14:11-13; Mark 16:15-20). We are not to look at others with disdain, concerning ourselves with the cause of their sin. If sin be the cause of their predicament, let us minister God’s forgiveness as well as healing (James 5:14-16). However, let’s not condemn them. If we truly want God to be glorified, we must do the same works that Jesus did and healing the sick is one of them (Matt. 10:1-8; Luke 9:1-3).

However, in our ministering, it is equally wrong to say that God is punishing someone for their sins by sickness as well as to tell someone that God has placed sickness on them to glorify His name. This has a tendency to cause some to become bitter with God. We must simply proclaim the promises of God concerning restoration and deliverance from sin and sickness.

Scriptural Proof That Healing Glorifies God

I want to present to the reader several Scriptures that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is divine healing, not sickness itself, that brings glory to God. I will not expound very much on these passages since I have already done so in my book, Divine Healing Guaranteed[9]

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. -Luke 5:24-26

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. -Luke 13:12-17

And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. -Luke 18:35-43

So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. -Acts 4:21-22

So far we have seen that the passages used by some to teach that God derives glory from our sicknesses can be refuted when we read the passages within their context and see what they are truly teaching. We have seen that the above passages are clear that the healings wrought in the ministry of Jesus caused the people to glorify God. Finis Dakes made this statement in his study Bible:

Miracles will always bring glory to God; but failure, sickness, and disease will not. It is held today that sickness glorifies God because one has opportunity to witness to souls, but why not look at it in this light – could not the same witnessing be carried on better in a well body? Is it not better, therefore, to think this – that God gets glory in spite of our sicknesses, not because of it? Would God have received the glory for all the healings recorded in the blind, the sick, and the lame had not been healed and the demons cast out? Would He have received glory if Lazarus had remained dead? Definitely not, so what is the source of God’s glory – to remain sick or be healed?[10]

In conclusion, I do not want to seem insensitive to those who are suffering a physical handicap or a sickness of any kind. It is not my intention to hurt anyone or to make them feel that they are any less of a child of God or that they are in sin. The purpose of this essay is to refute and destroy traditional ideas concerning sickness and God’s glory. It is my desire that God’s children always seek the provision that Christ has purchased for the healing of their bodies. Nevertheless, I do not think any less of anyone who, for one reason or another, has not received this provision or do not sense the necessity to do so.

My main objective is to teach the plain truth of God’s Word in these areas, not to belittle others who do not have the same understanding of the Scriptures that I have in these areas. Nevertheless, if one believes that sickness originates from God and is used to glorify Him, one must have something other than out of context Scripture passages and traditional interpretations. Our beliefs must have a solid grounding in the plain truth of Scripture.

As Andrew Murray once said, “Although many sick people may have glorified God by their patience in suffering. He can still be glorified by a health which He has sanctified.”[11]

Notes

  1. Boyd, Gregory A. God At War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1997), p. 233

  2. Turner, Nigel Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1965), p. 145. As quoted in Boyd, God At War, pp. 233, 234

  3. Berry, George Ricker The Interlinear KJV: Parallel New Testament In Greek And English (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) p. ii

  4. Worrell, A.S. The Worrell New Testament (Springfield, MS: Gospel Publishing House, 1980), p. v

  5. Lindsay, Gordon The Life & Teachings Of Christ Vol. 3 (Dallas, TX: Christ For The Nations, 1987), p. 46

  6. Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary (Macmillan, U.S.A., 1999)

  7. Richards, Lawrence O. The Victor Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1994), p. 241

  8. I did not want to put all of the quotes in the body of this essay nor did I not want to exclude them altogether. I believe that the below quotes will benfit those who desire further research and insight into how others see John 9:1-3:

    1. Simpson, A.B. The Christ In The Bible Commentary Vol. 4 (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993), On page 454 Simpson says, “What a blessing it would be if we would ever feel that our troubles have been permitted, not that we should sink under them, but that God might have an occasion to show what He can do in our deliverance. He definitely implies that his blindness was not the work of God, but of another hand. The works of God were to be manifested in his healing.”

    2. Dake, Finis Jennings Dakes Annotated Reference Bible (Lawrenceville, GA: Dake Bible Sales, Inc.), p. 105, note n: “This was not the cause of his blindness but a simple declaration that the works of God were to be manifest regardless of the cause. Jesus answered their question as to whether the man or his parents had sinned. He did not state the cause, but it is certain that God was not the cause. God was the healer and Satan was back of the cause (Mt. 12:22; Acts 10:38; Jn. 10:10; 1 Jn 3:8).”

    3. Guthrie, D.; Motyer, J.A.; Stibbs, A.M.; Wisemen, D.J. The New Bible Commentary: Revised (Carmel, NY: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970), p. 949, “But that the works of God might be made manifest in him. This was a possibility which was given little consideration in our Lord’s day. That suffering could be used for God’s glory was a difficult to believe, although it is inherent in the Christian approach to the problem. This miracle, however, is not concerned with the problem. It is aimed to show the illuminating power of Christ, not only in the physical but in the spiritual sphere. Restored sight led to a developing faith.”

    4. May, Herbert G and Metzger, Bruce M. The Oxford Annotated Bible (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 1298, notes on 9.1-41, “Suffering was attributed to sin, either of the parents or of the man prenatally. Jesus denies this and shifts attention from cause to purpose; this is an opportunity for God to act.”

    5. Meeks, Wayne A. The Harper Collins Study Bible (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1993), p. 2031, “He was born blind. These words are not actually in the Greek text of Jesus reply. The point seems to be not to find a cause or a purpose for the man’s blindness but to present it as an occasion for doing God’s works of healing (see 4.34; 5.17-21, 36; 10.32-38; 14. 10-12; 17.4)”

    6. Brown, Raymond E. The Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968), p. 443. Although the commentators believe that the sickness was the divine providence of God, they further state that Jesus, “…does not say that this is the entire explanation, but he does deny that human sinfulness is that explanation.

  1. Edwards, Troy J. Divine Healing: Guaranteed (Providence, RI: Victory Through The Word Ministries). In chapter 7, I expound more on the practical principles found in the Scriptures that show that God is glorified as His healing power is displayed in sick bodies. This book is now free and can be downloaded from the internet.

  2. Dakes, p. 82, note i

  3. Murray, Andrew Divine Healing (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1982), p. 74

Divine Healing (Troy J. Edwards)

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Divine Healing: Is It Physical Healing Or Just The Spirit

 

by Troy J. Edwards

 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53:4-5

 

Many of the opponents of healing in the atonement teach that the above Scripture does not refer to healing of our physical bodies. They believe that this is the healing of our souls or our spirits. Although I agree with this application, I do not believe that this passage is limited to that. I am convinced that this passage teaches us that the atonement Christ made on our behalf makes provision for the physical body as well as the spirit.

The limitations that many “healing in the atonement” opponents believe is derived from the fact that two words in the Hebrew language, griefs and sorrows were translated differently in Isaiah 53:4 of the King James Version than they have been in any other part of this precious and beautiful Bible translation.

According to Stong’s Concordance, the word “griefs” in these passages of Scripture comes from the Hebrew word “kholee” (Strong’s number 2483). It is translated as “grief” or “griefs” in only three places in the KJV Bible (Isa. 53:3-4; Jer. 6:7; 10:19). On the other hand, it is translated as “sickness” or “sicknesses” in nine other places in the KJV (Deut. 7:15; 28:59, 61, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 13:14, 2 Chron. 21:15, 19; Ps 41:3; Isa. 38:9; Hos. 5:13). It is well to note that in almost every Scripture listed it is speaking of physical sickness.[1]

Also according to Strong’s, the Hebrew word word “kholee” is derived from another Hebrew word, chalah (Strong’s #2470) which is translated as sick in numerous places in the Old Testament, to numerous to list here.[2] The American Standard Version translates the word kholee in Jer. 6:7 as sickness. The Everyday Bible (New Century Version) translates the word kholee in Jer. 10:19 as sickness. These are just the translations I decided to reference. I am sure that there are more that translate the two passages in Jeremiah sickness vice grief.

Strong’s also tells us that the word “sorrows” in the Hebrew is “makob”. actually means pain and is translated this way in Job 33:19 and Jer. 51:8.[3] So actually Isaiah 53:4 should have been translated, “He hath borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.”

 

Alternative Bible Translations of Isaiah 53:4-5

 

Robert Young in his Young’s Literal Translation translates Isaiah 53:3-5 this way:

 

“He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.” -Isaiah 53:3-5; Young’s Literal Translation

 

The Amplified Bible also gives us an interesting translation of these passages:

 

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17] But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. -Isaiah 53:4-5; The Amplified Bible

 

The New International Version has an interesting translation of this verse:

 

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pieced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. -Isaiah 53:4-5; NIV

 

I really love the way the way the Contemporary English Version translates verse 5:

 

He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.

 

If the CEV has translated Isaiah 53:5 correctly, then “completely well” would cover all aspects of our being: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). Regardless, we have seen from the testimony of the well known Strong’s concordance and dictionary how the words “griefs” and “sorrows” are to be translated literally. We have seen it translated this way in at least three Bible translations.

 

A.R. Faussette: Some Scholarly Proof

 

However, there is more scholarly proof that an alternative translation of the words in Isaiah 53:4-5 are sickness and pains vice griefs and sorrows. A.R. Faussette says the following:

 

Surely . . . our griefs–literally, “But yet He hath taken (or borne) our sicknesses,” that is, they who despised Him because of His human infirmitiesought rather to have esteemed Him on account of them; for thereby “Himself took OUR infirmities” (bodily diseases). So Mat 8:17 quotes it. In the Hebrew for “borne,” or took, there is probably the double notion, He took on Himself vicariously (so Isa 53:5, 6, 8, 12 ), and so He took away; His perfect humanity whereby He was bodily afflicted for us, and in all our afflictions ( Isa 63:9; Hbr 4:15 ) was the ground on which He cured the sick; so that Matthew’s quotation is not a mere accommodation. See Note 42 of ARCHBISHOP MAGEE, Atonement. The Hebrew there may mean to overwhelm with darkness; Messiah’s time of darkness was temporary ( Mat 27:45 ), answering to the bruising of His heel; Satan’s is to be eternal, answering to the bruising of his head (compare Isa 50:10 ).

 

carried . . . sorrows–The notion of substitution strictly. “Carried,” namely, as a burden. “Sorrows,” that is, pains of the mind; as “griefs” refer to pains of the body ( Psa 32:10 38:17 ). Mat 8:17 might seem to oppose this: “And bare our sicknesses.” But he uses “sicknesses” figuratively for sins, the cause of them. Christ took on Himself all man’s “infirmities;” so as to remove them; the bodily by direct miracle, grounded on His participation in human infirmities; those of the soul by His vicarious suffering, which did away with the source of both. Sin and sickness are ethically connected as cause and effect (Isa 33:24 Psa 103:3 Mat 9:2 Jhn 5:14 Jam 5:15 ).

 

Dr. Faussette tells us that griefs and sorrows should actually be sicknesses and pains. You would think that this discovery would be a reason to rejoice. Nevertheless, so many people do just the opposite. They attempt to use scholarship to refute this very presentation we have given.

 

New Testament Proof

 

Matthew 8:17 New Testament proof that Isaiah 53:4-5 was teaching physical bodily healing in the atonement:

 

And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. -Matthew 8:14-17

 

This should have been enough to end all disputes against physical healing in the atonement. Nevertheless, those who oppose healing in the atonement have come up with an answer for this. They tell us that this passage does not refer to the work on the cross, but to Jesus earthly ministry. They tell us that this cannot apply to us and does not teach that healing is in the atonement.

I believe that they are completely wrong. No one will dispute that Matthew is quoting from Isaiah 53:4. No one will dispute the fact that Isaiah 53:3-10 is prophesying Christ’s death on the cross. Yet, they will take one portion of this that is quoted in Matthew and tell us that it was already fulfilled at that time and therefore it does not apply to the cross.

If we are to interpret Matthew 8:17 then we would have to interpret John 12:38-41 this way:

 

That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

 

This Scripture is telling us that the prophecy from Isaiah 53:1 was fulfilled on the during the time of Christ’s earthly ministry. If we were to interpret this passage as we do Matthew 8:17 then we might be justified. Nevertheless, we cannot say that this passage cannot apply to today’s believer due to the fact that Paul quotes it again in the epistle to the Romans:

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? -Romans 10:13-15

 

If Isaiah 53:1 is said to have been fulfilled in Jesus earthly ministry, yet Paul tells us that it is still applicable, and if Peter tells us that Isa. 53:5 is still applicable to the believer (1 Peter 2:24), then why wouldn’t Isa. 53:4 still be applicable to today’s believer? It appears to men that men had to go out of their way to “invent” teachings that would dispute the teaching of physical healing in Christ’s atonement due to their unbelief.

 

Mark 16:15-18

 

If we were to say that the healing portion of Matthew 8:14-17 then this would also negate the part that says, “they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word…” That would mean that those who say that this passage was fulfilled on earth rather than the cross would teach us that it is not necessarily God’s will that people are delivered from demonic oppression. Such a shame when the Bible makes it absolutely clear that our deliverance from Satan’s kingdom was purchased on the cross (Col. 1:12-13; 2:15; Heb. 2:14; James 4:7; 1 John 3:8).

Mark 16:15-18 shows us that both provisions (healing and deliverance) are still vital parts of the gospel message of Jesus Christ:

 

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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.

 

Notice that these signs are not to follow the apostles and prophets only. These signs were to follow those who believe. These miraculous demonstrations that Christ promised to the church are still available to the believer. All one needs to do is believe them. These are the very things that are covered in Matthew 8:14-17. Yet, Jesus promised the same occurrances after His death and ressurrection.

I’m quite familiar that some claim that Mark 16:15-20 are not in the original manuscripts, but there is plenty of proof that they are. Click here to read an outstanding article on this very subject.

 

John Gill: Proof from a Baptist

 

However, I am quite thankful to know that though many scholars might disagree that Matthew 8:17 applies to the believer today, there are enough who would agree with me. John Gill, the late Calvinist Baptist minister saw Matthew 8:17 as applying to the to the believer today:

 

himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses: very agreeable to the Hebrew text, (awh) , “he himself”, not another; (avn) , “took up”, upon himself voluntarily, freely, as a man lifts up a burden, and takes it on his shoulders; (wnylx) , “our infirmities”, diseases, sicknesses, whether of body or soul, (Mlbo wnybakmw) , “and bare”, or carried, as a man does a burden upon his back, “our sicknesses”, or diseases, which occasion pain and sorrow. And that these words are spoken of the Messiah, the Jews themselves own; for among the names they give to the Messiah, “a leper” is one; which they prove from this passage.

 

Hence it is manifest, that according to the mind of the ancient Jews, this passage belongs to the Messiah, and is rightly applied to him by the evangelist. But the difficulty is, how it had its accomplishment in Christ’s healing the bodily diseases of men; since Isaiah speaks not of his actions and miracles, but of his sufferings and death; and not of bearing the diseases of the body, as it should seem, but of the diseases of the mind, of sins, as the Apostle Peter interprets it, (1 Peter 2:24) . To remove which, let it be observed, that though the prophet chiefly designs to point out Christ taking upon him, and bearing the sins of his people, in order to make satisfaction for them, and to save them from them; yet so likewise, as to include his bearing, by way of sympathy, and taking away by his power, the bodily diseases of men, which arise from sin; and which was not only an emblem of his bearing and taking away sin, but a proof of his power and ability to do it: for since he could do the one, it was plain he could do the other.[5]

 

Here is proof from a man that was gone centuries before this present day debate over Matthew 8:17.

 

More Scholarship

 

Keith Bailey, in his ecellent book, Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread, shows us several several great leaders from the past believed that Matthew 8:17 is still applicable to today’s believer. Among them are A.B. Simpson, R. Kelso Carter, A.J. Gordon, R.A. Torrey, W.E. Boardman.

Surprising for me were some of the well known theologians that Bailey quoted such as A.A. Hodge, Joseph A. Alexander, and Melancthon Jacobus. Even the man who made cessationism popular, Benjamin B. Warfield could not dispute that Matthew 8:17 taught God’s provision for our bodies. The most interesting quote in Bailey’s excellent book comes from Franz Delitzch who is famous for his critical commentaries on the Old Testament:

 

Even here, where it is not the sins, but “our sicknesses”-and “our pains” that form the object, the meaning is that the Servant of God took upon himself the sufferings which we had to bear, and deserved to bear, and endured them in his own person, in order to deliver us from them.[6]

 

If these men can see that Matthew 8:17 is applicable today, why do today’s Christians have such a problem with it? It is obvious to me that Isaiah 53:4-5 and Matthew 8:17 teaches us that physical bodily healing is provided for us through the atonement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on our behalf.

 

Other Scriptures Affirm That God Provides Physical Healing

 

For to long some in the church have discourage God’s people from receiving healing. They have either taught that God no longer heals today because He has doctors to do this or they teach that it is not always God’s will to heal. To further support their cessationist doctrine, they interpret clear healing promises as applying only to spiritual healing.

It is best to read some of the promises concerning divine healing and health so that we can be sure that what God is promising is a healing provison for our bodies as well as for our spirits and souls:

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5

 

Psalms is clear that one of the benefits that we receive from God is the healing of ALL our diseases. Man may attempt to limit God’s healing provison to one or no area of our lives, yet God does not set these limitations. He has specificall told us that we are not to forget His benefits. One of those benefits is the healing of ALL, not some, diseases. I happen to take the Bible literally. If it says “all” then I don’t doubt it.

Proverbs makes it clear that the healing that God provides is a healing in the body, or rather, the flesh:

 

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. -Proverbs 4:20-22

 

Unless there be any doubt in the mind of the believer, let’s read Proverbs 4:20-22 from two other translations:

 

My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22; God’s Word To The Nations Translation

 

My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to what I say. 21 Don’t ever forget my words; keep them always in mind. They are the key to life for those who find them; they bring health to the whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22; The Everyday Bible

 

Now this should be sufficient that God makes provision for the body. Nevertheless, I have engaged in enough discussions concerning these matters to know that these passage are not enough to do away with sceptical arguments. I am often asked to provide examples from the New Testament.

It often bothers me that many Christians no longer accept the Old Testaments promises as valid for today’s believer. Paul told us that ALL the promises of God were yea and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Nevertheless, we will show the reader from the New Testament that Christ’s healing provision is indeed for the body as well as any other area of our being.

In Romans 8:11 we read:

 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

The quickening or life giving power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer is sufficient to give life to our mortal bodies. We should remember that the Bible teaches us that life is synonymous with health while death is synonymous with sickness (Deut. 30:15-19; Prov. 4:22). Therefore, the life giving power that comes through the Holy Spirit in our mortal bodies is a healing power.

Let’s read Phillips translation of Romans 8:11:

 

Once the Spirit of him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives within you he will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being, yes, even your mortal bodies, new strength and vitality. For he now lives in you. -Romans 8:11; The New Testament In Modern English by J.B. Phillips

 

It is God’s desire that we appropriate this strength and vitality in our mortal bodies. If we would just trust God and His promises instead of listening to men and their unbelief, we would see more of this bodily provision in our lives.

John, speaking by the inspiration of God (all Scripture is God-breathed – 2 Tim. 3:16), shows us God’s will desire for all of His children:

 

This letter is from John the Elder. F1 It is written to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is. -3 John2; New Living Translation

 

Some will say that this only a greeting to Gaius and this was meant only for him. It is such a shame that we interpret away the parts of the Bible that does not fit our theological system. If we do away with this “greeting” to Gaius then we must do away with the whole epistle because the whole thing was addressed to him only. We would have to then do away with Ephesians, Corinthians, Thessalonians, etc. since Paul was specifically addressing only those particular churches in His epistles.

I believe that all of the Epistles are addressed to today’s believer and that they are God’s Word. I have no doubts that what God inspired John to say to Gaius was meant for us as well. God wants our bodies to be in health commensurate with our souls. God makes provision for the body.

 

Conclusion

 

The Bible is very clear as to what is spiritual and what is physical (Rom. 1:11; 7:14; 15:27; 1 Cor. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3, 4; 12:1, 14:1, 12, 37, 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5). Jesus Himself made that distinction when He said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6).

If the Bible does not insert the word spiritual in the passages of Scripture that deal with the promises of divine healing then neither should we. If we do that then we are guilty to adding to the Word of God, and God does not take too kindly to that (Rev. 22:18-19).

 

  1. Strong, James The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984)

  2. Ibid

  3. Ibid

  4. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871) Available at Crosswalk.com

  5. Gill, John John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible (Paris, AR: The Baptist Standard Bearer), The New John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario. Available at Crosswalk.com

  6. Bailey, Keith M. Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1977), p. 53

Kenneth Hagin Prophetic Word (1980)

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You are right on the verge, right on the verge of the greatest move and manifestation of the Spirit of God that this world has ever seen.

You’re right on the edge of it; and like on standing on the creek bank about to jump in. And if you’ll give the more earnest heed unto the things which you have heard, not only those things that you’ve heard about faith and those things that you’ve heard about healing, but also those things which you have heard about the Holy Spirit, and the things that you’ve heard about angels, and the things that you’ve heard about Divine Visitation, (for remember that it was prophesied of Joel of old that in the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, and upon My hand maidens will I pour out My Spirit, and they will prophecy), so not only will it be that the young men will prophecy, but the young women will prophecy, and the anointing and the out-flow of the Spirit of God shall be great and amazing in those days — for there shall be a visitation of angels.

Be not afraid, but yet take heed even in these areas, for Satan himself has at times come as an angel of light. But examine things in the light of the scriptures and walk in the light of the Word of God. And sometimes the angel will give you direction, and even in your finances, and the direction that would save you life, as in the case of the shipwreck of Paul, and direction concerning ministry, as the salvation of Cornelius and his household, and Philip as the angel spoke to him to go down to Gaza and the Ethiopian was converted. And so in these days there shall come a mighty manifestation of the Spirit, and the work that God intended should be done in these last days shall be accomplished. For the time is short and things must be speeded up.

And you’ll learn much faster spiritual things then those of yesteryear. And you’ll develop much faster and it’ll be said of some they just virtually matured overnight. And they shall go forth to speak in the name of the Lord, because they understood the principle of faith.

They’ll understand the principles of the Kingdom. And they’ll understand the laws of God. And they’ll operate and minister in that area. And nothing will be hid from them. And though there are some who stand here now and have operated in a measure in those areas in times passed, and because they’ve let these things slip, they themselves in ministry and in life have slipped. And they shall be restored.

Yea, they shall even be restored this night. And the manifestation shall come and the glory of the Lord shall rest upon it and rest upon thee. And His glory shall be seen round about and the cloud of God will come and fill the house. And, yea, it will seem as though the whole building is filled with smoke, because you see, the glory of God shall be in manifestation. And great, great shall be the noise thereof and praise and adoration that shall go up from His people. And it shall be noised abroad. And men from afar shall here it. And men from afar shall here of it. And men from afar shall come to behold it. For the Lord shall be in manifestation in those days in all ways that He ever manifested Himself, both in the Old Covenant and in the New Covenant, plus the multiplying of the Spirit in the power of God of these days.

For men, as men grow more wicked and more wicked, and as Satan, because he knows his time is short, and, all of his cohorts and evil spirits go about as never before to devour, so the power of God, the glory of God, shall be increased and shall be multiplied. And it will flow like a mighty river, flow like a mighty river. Yea, the Spirit of God will flow like a mighty river.

And many, not only hundreds, not only thousands, but millions will be swept into the flow of that river, and shall flow forth in praised and glory. For the glory, for the glory of the Lord is in manifestation. The glory of the Lord will be seen of the face of the saints. The glory of God shall shine forth until men will walk in a place of business and people will fall on their knees and cry out to God though be said nothing. And women will walk into a place of business and people will fall and their knees and cry out to God though she opened not her mouth . For the glory of God will shine through. Yea, the glory of God will shine through.

Yea, the glory of God will shine through. For the manifestation of His power, and the manifestation of His glory, is reserved until this hour! And if it could be told, if it could be told in a way that you could see it, even with the eyes of your spirit, if it could be displayed at this moment before you in a tangible form that you could see with your physical eye, it would be very difficult for you to believe that which shall shortly come to pass. It would be very difficult for you to accept it.

But as you walk with the Lord, as you prepare your heart, as you feed upon His word, as you listen to what the Spirit of God says, your heart shall be prepared, and your mind will be changed until you will flow in the supernatural as naturally as a bird flies through the air. And you’ll flow in the super natural as naturally as a fish will swim in the water. And you’ll flow in the supernatural as naturally as you breathe the very air. You’ll not be conscious of your faith.

You’ll not be conscious of what’s going on around you. But rather, you’ll be conscious of the flow of the Spirit God. And He will manifest Himself. And He will accomplish that which He desires. For you see, these are the last days, and this is the end time. And what is done must be done quickly. And it will be done. And the hearts of many will be cause to rejoice. So rejoice. Rejoice. Be glad and praise the Lord and prepare your hearts. And let Him prepare you for that which He has prepared for you.

And so walk in it. You shall walk in it. And you shall run. And you shall fly, literally, spiritually speaking. And you shall enjoy the fullness of that which is provided for you.

Niki Ochenski – Healing Testimony

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How would you like to watch a powerful testimony of a healing, and then listen to the anointed message that lead to the healing?

You can:

http://www.awmi.net/extra/healing/niki

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