Matthew presents Christ from one viewpoint, Mark from another, and Luke from another. John says, “These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” It is the same Christ that manifests Himself during the different periods, and you find when you come into the Epistles you are reading about the Lord Jesus Christ. Is this the same office?
He is the same yesterday, today and forever; but the Jehovah of the Old Testament is one manifestation of the same person. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but is not at the present time revealed to us in a body, but is revealed to the hearts of believers by faith. In the Old Testament He was predicted, in the Gospels He is present, and in the Epistles, He is possessed. Now then, of course, Jesus Christ is the same, but He doesn’t work the same in every period.
The fourth Scripture is James 5:14. Here again we see a failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
James addressed his Epistle to the 12 Tribes (Jas. 1:1), and when we read here, we are on Jewish ground. He is writing to Jewish believers who are passing through the transition period, and so we read of the synagogue, etc. God promised Israel immunity from disease if she obeyed. Sickness was always looked upon as a chastisement from God (see Ex. 15:26; Jas. 5:20). “Save a soul from death,” not eternal death, but death of the body. If this believer will confess his sin, God will heal him and his life will be saved.
As a further proof that this is on Jewish ground (Lev. 14:15-18; cf., with; Acts 21:24; and Col. 2:17-20). The Jewish elders were to be called. Where are they? The Jewish Christian knew. Whom are you going to call in? God gave the appointments. Who has been appointed by God to elect these elders today? Again, you are to call in the elders and they are to anoint with oil.
Galatians 3:13 is also used by these friends to prove their point. We read, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.” Then we are told to turn to Deuteronomy 28 where we find this curse that will fall upon those who will not hearken unto the voice of the Lord.
But I ask: what kind of Bible teaching is this that teaches that Gentiles have been delivered from the curse of the Law? When were Gentiles ever placed under the Law? The Lord said that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not in Me.” The Holy Spirit convicts of the sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sin that sends people to Hell.
Note also the transition period through which the New Testament Kingdom Church passed: Acts 1 to 9 deals with the Jews. Signs abound; over 3,000 are saved in one day. During these days those who lied were struck down. There are a great many people today who have lied to God regarding their offerings. We have the smiting of Herod, and we have Peter raising the dead, etc. The Holy Spirit convicts of the sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sin that sends people to Hell.
Paul is miraculously delivered from prison (Acts 16) but see him in 2 Timothy 4:13-19. As I have intimated before, the reason for the signs in the first chapters of Acts is that God is answering the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ, which He uttered from the Cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He is again offering the Kingdom to Israel, and proves the resurrection of Christ by the signs performed by His disciples. Paul has no visits from Heavenly hosts after he reaches Rome. He preformed no miracle in the presence of Agrippa, Felix or Festus.
Not one of the writers of the Epistles say anything about the miracles performed by the Son of Man. Whenever the death of Christ is mentioned, it is always for sin – never is sickness mentioned.
This Teaching is a Distortion of the Truth
1. It perverts the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-3). It cuts the very heart of the good news from glory. It places body healing foremost in the mind.
2. If physical healing is in the atonement, why wasn’t Paul cured (2 Cor. 10:10; 12:7; Gal. 4:15; 6:11)? Why wasn’t Timothy healed (1 Tim. 5:20)? How about Trophimus (2 Tim. 4:20)?
Why do these “professional healers” wear glasses, false teeth, etc.? Why do they go under the knife? And why do those who refuse to go under the knife come to an untimely end? Why aren’t all of them healed? Notice Acts 5:15-16: “And they were healed every one.”
Christ never condemned physicians. He said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Mt. 9:12). I mentioned this to a woman who came to me at the close of a service, and she replied, “Yes, but He did not say the sick need a surgeon.” Such insensate folly!
A Word to Suffering Saints
Remember, friend, that God is able. He can heal. But remember, too, that it is not always His will to heal. His will may be to heal you through herbs, medicines, change of diet, etc. Pray first, then call a doctor.
Above all, “Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
If God sees fit to raise you up, praise Him for it. If He does not see fit to raise you, then praise Him for the grace which He bestows. “Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
I beg to state that my only reason for getting out this study is to help some suffering one to see that his prolonged illness does not mean that God has not heard the cry from the heart. If He does not heal you, it is because He wants you to glorify Him by accepting His grace, mercy and patience so that you might show the world the wonders of His love. Many of these people who tell you that healing is in the atonement know differently.
What are we to say of these men and women who conduct healing campaigns? They must surely know that those for whom they prayed in one city and who amid the plaudits of the worshippers were declared healed, were never healed. Surely they must know that many for whom they prayed have since died, and of the same ailment for which prayer was made. But they continue to tell the people that all may be healed. The least we can say is, may God have mercy upon them.