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VerticalReality
Jul 1st 2008, 09:21 PM
you often times see folks criticizing those who don't have 100% success when praying for someone to be healed as Jesus did. Many have this notion that if healing were indeed for today then they wouldn't always see these difficult cases, such as those in wheel chairs, not being healed (although this does indeed still happen today). Then you have another group that instead of doing away with healing all together they will say that God just doesn't want to heal all the time, and that the folks in those wheel chairs that aren't being healed just weren't in God's right timing (although I don't really know where in the Scriptures that would be located). We have those who put the "timing" for healing all on God and absolutely refuse to accept the notion that the "timing" may be on them even though Jesus made statements such as the following . . .



Mark 9:21-23
So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”


Looks to me that in this passage of Scripture the father of the boy tried to put the responsibility on Jesus to "have compassion" and Jesus sort of flipped the script and said, "If you can believe . . ."

I wonder how many people go to the Lord in prayer today saying, "Lord have compassion on me . . . " or, "Have mercy on me . . . "

And all the while the Lord is saying in His Word, "If you can believe . . . "

As for those who are not being healed like many of those in those wheel chairs, one of the main problems I believe is this . . .



Romans 12:6-8
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.


People have gifts that are given them by the Lord, and these gifts need to operate in proportion to the faith we have. The problem, IMO, stems mainly from the fact that many people try to operate in gifts unproportional to the faith they have. If you can't believe God to work His power through you to raise a person out of a wheel chair then it is best to not do it at all. All that is done in such a situation is a hindering of faith. Folks will see this and then they will start doubting and compromising their faith as we have witnessed so much over the years. We must operate in the gifts proportional to the faith that we have. The problem seems to be, IMO, that so many Christians are double-minded and allow doubt to creep into their minds. James tells us that a man who doubts is a double-minded man and he can receive nothing from God. Yet, many will lie and say, "It isn't my faith that's the problem!"

"It's all in God's timing!"

or in other words . . .

"It's God that doesn't want to heal me!"

I know this may ruffle some feathers, but I'm just a little worn out by so many always blaming God for why they aren't receiving something.

fewarechosen
Jul 1st 2008, 09:32 PM
The problem, IMO, stems mainly from the fact that many people try to operate in gifts unproportional to the faith they have..

i agree completely

christ had no misfires in healing he just did it

i think also there is a difference between praying to be healed or have someone healed and the "gift" of healing

we can be of weak faith and pray for healing - to which god might answer

but i think thats different than the gift

Kahtar
Jul 1st 2008, 10:30 PM
There is another element that you did not speak to.
Not only is the healing, or any other miracle, dependant upon one's gifting and level of faith, but the person being prayed for has part also.
Case in point:
Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Sold Out
Jul 1st 2008, 10:33 PM
People have gifts that are given them by the Lord, and these gifts need to operate in proportion to the faith we have. The problem, IMO, stems mainly from the fact that many people try to operate in gifts unproportional to the faith they have. If you can't believe God to work His power through you to raise a person out of a wheel chair then it is best to not do it at all. All that is done in such a situation is a hindering of faith. Folks will see this and then they will start doubting and compromising their faith as we have witnessed so much over the years. We must operate in the gifts proportional to the faith that we have.
.

I love this! You have presented a great truth.

Kahtar
Jul 1st 2008, 10:36 PM
And then there is the case of Lazarus. Jesus was informed that Lazarus was sick, and they requested He come and heal him. But what did Jesus do?
John 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
He waited a couple extra days. By the time he got there, poor Lazarus was already dead 4 days.
Reason for Jesus' waiting? That He may be glorified.
So here is a case where God's timing was directly involved.

VerticalReality
Jul 1st 2008, 11:42 PM
There is another element that you did not speak to.
Not only is the healing, or any other miracle, dependant upon one's gifting and level of faith, but the person being prayed for has part also.
Case in point:
Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

I touched on it a little bit, but I agree with you. Doubt and unbelief is the same in my book. Both those who pray doubt at times and those who need healing as well. We are in agreement here.

VerticalReality
Jul 1st 2008, 11:47 PM
And then there is the case of Lazarus. Jesus was informed that Lazarus was sick, and they requested He come and heal him. But what did Jesus do?
John 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
He waited a couple extra days. By the time he got there, poor Lazarus was already dead 4 days.
Reason for Jesus' waiting? That He may be glorified.
So here is a case where God's timing was directly involved.

I believe this is a very rare circumstance that was used to show who Jesus was. On no occasion throughout the Word do I know of where a person came to Jesus in faith only to be told,"This isn't the best time . . . come back next week."

Everyone who came to Jesus in faith received what they came for, and none of them were told that it wasn't in His timing. In fact, the kingdom of God was and is at hand, and their deliverance from those bondages were part of that arrival.

Kahtar
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:40 AM
True, very rare. Probably the only instance in the Word. But yet, that possibility exists, regardless how rare it was in the Word.
I think also it depends on whether it's time for that person to go home. A person dying is not a bad thing, if you are a Christian, and a brand new body is a guarantee.
I know that my life is in His hands, belongs to Him. I know that I will not die physically until He says it's time, and, I know there is no power on earth that will prevent it when that time comes.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:49 AM
I used to work at a high school with special needs students. One of them had a debilitating disease that caused him to have complete loss of his motor skills. Because it was progressive, eventually it would overtake him and cause his heart to cease movement, along with other organs.

He prayed all the time for healing. While praying, however, he would witness to fellow students. He was able to get away with it too - what teacher or student is going to stop listening to a disabled kid in a wheelchair that is loved by all? What principle is going to tell him to stop? He was able to say things about Christ in circumstances that would have gotten other students in trouble. Furthermore, people listened and many came to Christ.

Two months before his graduation he laid down for the last time and slipped quietly into the arms of Christ. He never received his healing on this earth. Does this mean he didn't believe?

A person that unabashedly shared the Gospel like he did obviously has faith, thus it couldn't have been that He didn't believe. Instead, the most plausible explanation is that God allowed Him to suffer through that disease and eventually took Him home.

Paul had a similar situation where he had a physical thorn in the flesh that, though he prayed, God would not remove.

God has purposes. Though we should have faith that He will heal us, if it isn't in His Will than He won't. We should instead ask for grace if He chooses not to heal us and for Him to reveal His purpose. God simply doesn't heal everyone - this is evidenced by some of the greatest men and women of God dying from diseases.

Kate
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:04 AM
A lack of faith is not always the reason for healing prayers not working. If we pray anything according to God's will (with faith) He will do it. God often chooses not to heal someone because it isn't His will. It's this way with everything we pray for. I've seen sincere people truly believing God was going to heal them and God did not.

For years I prayed for a baby. My husband and I tried every imaginable treatment for 6 years and I believed with all my heart God would heal my womb and give me a child. He did not. This wasn't from a lack of faith. I still believe He could do it, but have a beautiful adopted girl now.

In my experience God seems to move in healings with non-believers more than He does with believers. Often He is demonstrating His power to someone who doesn't know Him. My sister was dying from leukemia and He healed her through prayer. She now knows Christ as a result of how God worked in her life, how He revaealed Himself, and God performed a great miracle n her life.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:12 AM
I used to work at a high school with special needs students. One of them had a debilitating disease that caused him to have complete loss of his motor skills. Because it was progressive, eventually it would overtake him and cause his heart to cease movement, along with other organs.

He prayed all the time for healing. While praying, however, he would witness to fellow students. He was able to get away with it too - what teacher or student is going to stop listening to a disabled kid in a wheelchair that is loved by all? What principle is going to tell him to stop? He was able to say things about Christ in circumstances that would have gotten other students in trouble. Furthermore, people listened and many came to Christ.

Two months before his graduation he laid down for the last time and slipped quietly into the arms of Christ. He never received his healing on this earth. Does this mean he didn't believe?

A person that unabashedly shared the Gospel like he did obviously has faith, thus it couldn't have been that He didn't believe. Instead, the most plausible explanation is that God allowed Him to suffer through that disease and eventually took Him home.

Paul had a similar situation where he had a physical thorn in the flesh that, though he prayed, God would not remove.

God has purposes. Though we should have faith that He will heal us, if it isn't in His Will than He won't. We should instead ask for grace if He chooses not to heal us and for Him to reveal His purpose. God simply doesn't heal everyone - this is evidenced by some of the greatest men and women of God dying from diseases.

And yet not one example from the Word of God that declares that God just doesn't want to heal some . . . even that boy with the debilitating disease. Where in the Word do folks come up with this stuff? Can you give me just one example? Just one?

Additionally, the Word does not declare that Paul's thorn in the flesh was some disease. In fact, it says it's not a disease. His thorn was persecution.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:15 AM
True, very rare. Probably the only instance in the Word. But yet, that possibility exists, regardless how rare it was in the Word.
I think also it depends on whether it's time for that person to go home. A person dying is not a bad thing, if you are a Christian, and a brand new body is a guarantee.
I know that my life is in His hands, belongs to Him. I know that I will not die physically until He says it's time, and, I know there is no power on earth that will prevent it when that time comes.

True. It could be a person's time to die. However, that still does not negate the fact that every single last person that came to the Lord in faith got what they were seeking. Every single one of them. Not one was turned away. Not one didn't receive. Not one was told, "It's not time." Not one was told, "It's not my will." Not one was told, "You staying sick brings Me glory."

None of those things happen one single time in all of the Word of God. Yet, it's so easy for Christians these days to proclaim this to be the case without a shred of biblical support. It's all compromise.

cross crusader
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:16 AM
A lack of faith is not always the reason for healing prayers not working. If we pray anything according to God's will (with faith) He will do it. God often chooses not to heal someone because it isn't His will. It's this way with everything we pray for. I've seen sincere people truly believing God was going to heal them and God did not.

For years I prayed for a baby. My husband and I tried every imaginable treatment for 6 years and I believed with all my heart God would heal my womb and give me a child. He did not. This wasn't from a lack of faith. I still believe He could do it, but have a beautiful adopted girl now.

In my experience God seems to move in healings with non-believers more than He does with believers. Often He is demonstrating His power to someone who doesn't know Him. My sister was dying from leukemia and He healed her through prayer. She now knows Christ as a result of how God worked in her life, how He revaealed Himself, and God performed a great miracle n her life.
where does it say that God heals unbelievers more than believers? All of Gods promises are to believers, to the unbeliever the wrath of God abides on them. AS per the BIBLE, anything we ask in the name of Jesus we will receive. Jesus has authority over all flesh

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:17 AM
A lack of faith is not always the reason for healing prayers not working. If we pray anything according to God's will (with faith) He will do it. God often chooses not to heal someone because it isn't His will. It's this way with everything we pray for. I've seen sincere people truly believing God was going to heal them and God did not.

And again I challenge you, give one passage of Scripture that declares this to be the case. Name me one person being oppressed by the enemy that came to the Lord in faith that did not receive what they came for. Just one . . .

cross crusader
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:17 AM
I used to work at a high school with special needs students. One of them had a debilitating disease that caused him to have complete loss of his motor skills. Because it was progressive, eventually it would overtake him and cause his heart to cease movement, along with other organs.

He prayed all the time for healing. While praying, however, he would witness to fellow students. He was able to get away with it too - what teacher or student is going to stop listening to a disabled kid in a wheelchair that is loved by all? What principle is going to tell him to stop? He was able to say things about Christ in circumstances that would have gotten other students in trouble. Furthermore, people listened and many came to Christ.

Two months before his graduation he laid down for the last time and slipped quietly into the arms of Christ. He never received his healing on this earth. Does this mean he didn't believe?

A person that unabashedly shared the Gospel like he did obviously has faith, thus it couldn't have been that He didn't believe. Instead, the most plausible explanation is that God allowed Him to suffer through that disease and eventually took Him home.

Paul had a similar situation where he had a physical thorn in the flesh that, though he prayed, God would not remove.

God has purposes. Though we should have faith that He will heal us, if it isn't in His Will than He won't. We should instead ask for grace if He chooses not to heal us and for Him to reveal His purpose. God simply doesn't heal everyone - this is evidenced by some of the greatest men and women of God dying from diseases.
It is never Gods will for a believer to suffer.

cross crusader
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:21 AM
God has purposes. Though we should have faith that He will heal us, if it isn't in His Will than He won't. We should instead ask for grace if He chooses not to heal us and for Him to reveal His purpose. God simply doesn't heal everyone - this is evidenced by some of the greatest men and women of God dying from diseases.
as for that, these men and women of God may not have had the faith that God was gonna heal them, they may have been fooled by the same heresy that we are trying to prove wrong in this thread. Not one time was anyone turned away by Jesus who came in faith.

fewarechosen
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:23 AM
It is never Gods will for a believer to suffer.

Luke 22:42 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=22&verse=42&version=9&context=verse)
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done

it appears it was gods will that christ suffers

and if christ didnt believe no one does

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:24 AM
Another question . . .

How can you have faith for God to heal you if you don't know if it's His will to heal you?

How can you pray without doubting if you're not even sure God wants you well?

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:26 AM
Luke 22:42 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=22&verse=42&version=9&context=verse)
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done

it appears it was gods will that christ suffers

and if christ didnt believe no one does

And just like our Savior, God the Father has never promised us freedom from persecution. In fact, our Lord has informed us that we will be persecuted. This is why the Lord would not take Paul's thorn, and He responded to Him with, "My grace is sufficient . . . "

God's grace never included us being free from persecution. Sickness and disease, on the other hand, is oppression of the devil that our Savior has delivered us from if we would believe.

davidandme
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:32 AM
you often times see folks criticizing those who don't have 100% success when praying for someone to be healed as Jesus did. Many have this notion that if healing were indeed for today then they wouldn't always see these difficult cases, such as those in wheel chairs, not being healed (although this does indeed still happen today). Then you have another group that instead of doing away with healing all together they will say that God just doesn't want to heal all the time, and that the folks in those wheel chairs that aren't being healed just weren't in God's right timing (although I don't really know where in the Scriptures that would be located). We have those who put the "timing" for healing all on God and absolutely refuse to accept the notion that the "timing" may be on them even though Jesus made statements such as the following . . .



Looks to me that in this passage of Scripture the father of the boy tried to put the responsibility on Jesus to "have compassion" and Jesus sort of flipped the script and said, "If you can believe . . ."

I wonder how many people go to the Lord in prayer today saying, "Lord have compassion on me . . . " or, "Have mercy on me . . . "

And all the while the Lord is saying in His Word, "If you can believe . . . "

As for those who are not being healed like many of those in those wheel chairs, one of the main problems I believe is this . . .



People have gifts that are given them by the Lord, and these gifts need to operate in proportion to the faith we have. The problem, IMO, stems mainly from the fact that many people try to operate in gifts unproportional to the faith they have. If you can't believe God to work His power through you to raise a person out of a wheel chair then it is best to not do it at all. All that is done in such a situation is a hindering of faith. Folks will see this and then they will start doubting and compromising their faith as we have witnessed so much over the years. We must operate in the gifts proportional to the faith that we have. The problem seems to be, IMO, that so many Christians are double-minded and allow doubt to creep into their minds. James tells us that a man who doubts is a double-minded man and he can receive nothing from God. Yet, many will lie and say, "It isn't my faith that's the problem!"

"It's all in God's timing!"

or in other words . . .

"It's God that doesn't want to heal me!"

I know this may ruffle some feathers, but I'm just a little worn out by so many always blaming God for why they aren't receiving something.
When all these healings happen upon request. We will naturaly link God with an automatic healing. Or even worst, make healing a faith criteria, a god or an idol. You can't manipulate God. He knows the why of things. He will heel when He wants to. No matter how much faith do you have.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:35 AM
When all these healings happen upon request. We will naturaly link God with an automatic healing. Or even worst, make healing a god. or an idol. You can't manipulate God. He knows the why of things. He will heel when He wants to. No matter how much faith do you have.

I'm really unsure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that God sometimes won't heal because people are trying to make an idol out of healing? I'm not sure I follow what it is you're saying and just where in the Word of God you are getting it from.

fewarechosen
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:37 AM
Another question . . .

How can you have faith for God to heal you if you don't know if it's His will to heal you?

How can you pray without doubting if you're not even sure God wants you well?

well said thats what i was trying to say lol

cross crusader
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:38 AM
When all these healings happen upon request. We will naturaly link God with an automatic healing. Or even worst, make healing a faith criteria, a god or an idol. You can't manipulate God. He knows the why of things. He will heel when He wants to. No matter how much faith do you have.
An we having the spirit of truth and being able to know all things will know the why of things, as you say, we will know why someone is sick and we will know how to minister to them and heal them in Jesus name like the Bible says we can. God wants to heal all the time, God will heal all the time given it is in faith when we are asking. or better yet when we are commanding sickness and disease to leave.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:16 AM
And yet not one example from the Word of God that declares that God just doesn't want to heal some . . . even that boy with the debilitating disease. Where in the Word do folks come up with this stuff? Can you give me just one example? Just one?

Additionally, the Word does not declare that Paul's thorn in the flesh was some disease. In fact, it says it's not a disease. His thorn was persecution.


It is never Gods will for a believer to suffer.


as for that, these men and women of God may not have had the faith that God was gonna heal them, they may have been fooled by the same heresy that we are trying to prove wrong in this thread. Not one time was anyone turned away by Jesus who came in faith.

I sometimes wonder how much study people have actually put into this issue.

First and foremost - medically, no one really dies of old age. They generally die of physical ailments that come on in old age due to a weakened immune system (caused by years and years of use and wearing down). This is why older people are more susceptible to debilitating diseases than younger people - their immune systems, after so many years, have worn down.

With this in mind, some medical doctors have theorized that everyone actually dies of some type of disease - no one really dies of old age where everything just shuts down. Something causes it to shut down.

This would mean that all Christians who die (which is all Christians) lack faith to be healed. Do you realize how absurd this belief is?

As for a Biblical example, where in the world are you getting the idea that his thorn was persecution? Even more disturbing is you saying that "it says it was not disease" when it actually states quite clearly that it was.

The grammatical structure for "thorn in the flesh" in that verse is skolops te sarki which, translated literally into English, means "a bodily ailment on the body." Thorn, though the most accurate word that can be used in English, conceptually refers to either an actual thorn or piece of wood, or a bodily ailment. In Koine Greek, often times a constant pain was referred to as a skolops. There is no doubt to the Greek reader - absolutely no doubt - that Paul is saying, "constant physical pain in the body."

He later uses the word kolaphizo which means "to strike." My memory is fuzzy, but when they had us read extra biblical sources in my Koine class we came across this word in a description of boxing. It was generally used to refer to a boxer striking his opponent in the face. Thus, we can theorize that Paul is referring to constant bodily pain somewhere in his face (most likely his eyes as I will address in a bit).

Further on down in the passage, however, it becomes quite clear that Paul is speaking of a disease. He says that he takes pleasure in astheneia, which means a constant sickness or ailment. It refers to a physical weakness or ailment, or a sickness.

Now, pray tell, why does Paul say that God denied Paul's request for healing if God wants to heal everyone and it's never His Will that someone should suffer?

For further proof, we can merely turn to Galatians 4:13-16 where Paul, once again, speaks of how his ailment of the flesh (meaning a disease of the body, which rules out a sickness of the soul). He clarifies that the Galatians were willing to gouge out their eyes and give them to him so that the ailment might be gone. This shows that Paul had a problem with his eyes that must have caused pain for him or, in the very least, made it difficult for him to see.

Finally, Isaiah 53:10 says that it was the Will of God to crush Jesus. Though this certainly doesn't prove it's God's Will to make us sick, it does show that He is capable of doing so without being evil - He has His own reasons for allowing and, in some instances, causing sickness.

In dealing with why Jesus healed - that was not why He came. His healing was to give people the taste of the kingdom to come. The people He healed eventually died - for some by disease (since that is how we all die). He didn't heal everyone on earth at that time, nor does He heal everyone now (we all die of disease).

The point is, God has a Will and sometimes our suffering is included in that Will. God DOES want us to suffer at times because suffering builds character, breaks down our pride, and forces us to rely on Him. Only a person that is immature in their faith would believe that God wants to free us from all forms of suffering.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:20 AM
One thing to add in addition to what I posted above:

Do you not realize that when a person dies and is a Christian, they have achieved ultimate victory? If I develop a disease I will fight for life, I will not go quite into that goodnight, but it will not leave me in despair at the thought that I might pass from the disease. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, free of ailments, free of suffering, and finally experiencing glorification - how is that not healing?

God is very mysterious and sometimes He calls on His children to suffer - sometimes permanently - for His sake. He gives us the grace to get through these sufferings. That is the healing He gives this side of eternity.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:47 AM
I sometimes wonder how much study people have actually put into this issue.

Perhaps you should wait to hear the other sides view before you are so quick to judgment. You may find that it is your side that isn't quite as solid as you think it is.



First and foremost - medically, no one really dies of old age. They generally die of physical ailments that come on in old age due to a weakened immune system (caused by years and years of use and wearing down). This is why older people are more susceptible to debilitating diseases than younger people - their immune systems, after so many years, have worn down.

With this in mind, some medical doctors have theorized that everyone actually dies of some type of disease - no one really dies of old age where everything just shuts down. Something causes it to shut down.


I will leave the secular reasoning to others. That's not my sort of thing. I stand on God's Word and His Word only.


As for a Biblical example, where in the world are you getting the idea that his thorn was persecution?

From the Scriptures . . .


Even more disturbing is you saying that "it says it was not disease" when it actually states quite clearly that it was.

Actually no . . . Paul says that he will rejoice in his infirmity, and in the Greek this term can either mean sickness or an "inadequacy". In this case Paul is talking about the inadequacy and weakness of his flesh due to all the persecutions he received.


Thorn, though the most accurate word that can be used in English, conceptually refers to either an actual thorn or piece of wood, or a bodily ailment. In Koine Greek, often times a constant pain was referred to as a skolops. There is no doubt to the Greek reader - absolutely no doubt - that Paul is saying, "constant physical pain in the body."

You can be assured that Paul did have pain in his body from persecutions.


He later uses the word kolaphizo which means "to strike." My memory is fuzzy, but when they had us read extra biblical sources in my Koine class we came across this word in a description of boxing. It was generally used to refer to a boxer striking his opponent in the face. Thus, we can theorize that Paul is referring to constant bodily pain somewhere in his face (most likely his eyes as I will address in a bit).

Yes, his body was being hit on numerous occasions.


Further on down in the passage, however, it becomes quite clear that Paul is speaking of a disease. He says that he takes pleasure in astheneia, which means a constant sickness or ailment. It refers to a physical weakness or ailment, or a sickness.

Yes, it does refer to a physical weakness, but not necessarily a disease.


Now, pray tell, why does Paul say that God denied Paul's request for healing if God wants to heal everyone and it's never His Will that someone should suffer?

Because as I already stated, God never promised anyone freedom from persecution. In fact, He stated the exact opposite and told us we are to expect such things.


For further proof, we can merely turn to Galatians 4:13-16 where Paul, once again, speaks of how his ailment of the flesh (meaning a disease of the body, which rules out a sickness of the soul). He clarifies that the Galatians were willing to gouge out their eyes and give them to him so that the ailment might be gone. This shows that Paul had a problem with his eyes that must have caused pain for him or, in the very least, made it difficult for him to see.

And if you will notice, Paul states that this physical weakness was "at the first" in this passage, which indicates to us that this condition was not something permanent, but only something he had to deal with at the beginning when he came to them.

Now that I'm done addressing your claims, let me give you Paul's very clear declaration of what his "infirmity" was that he talked about in 2 Corinthians 12. You can find it just one chapter prior in 2 Corinthians 11 . . .

2 Corinthians 11:22-30
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

The same word that Paul uses here in 2 Corinthians 11 to speak of "infirmity" is the same word he uses in the next chapter to speak of his thorn. Nowhere in this listing of "infirmities" does it talk about sickness or disease. It is speaking of Paul's persecutions for the gospel's sake. Paul's flesh was beaten from all the persecutions that he endured for preaching the gospel. He was stoned and beaten on numerous occasions. This "thorn in the flesh" was a demon that was sent from Satan to stir up opposition against Paul. It was not a disease. It was not some disease of the eyes as so many want to proclaim without any biblical support.

The passage of Scripture you referenced in Galatians 4 about Paul's eyes was not a disease but rather injuries he received from the stoning he just got in Lystra that is recorded in Acts. Lystra is a city of Galatia, and Paul was referencing this stoning when he wrote the Galatians . . .

Acts 14:19-20
Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city.

This stoning occurred in Lystra, which is a city of Galatia. So, when Paul came to the Galatians he had just been stoned almost to death. This also fits well with the fact that Paul indicates that his afflictions were not permanent, but rather something he had for a short time.


Finally, Isaiah 53:10 says that it was the Will of God to crush Jesus. Though this certainly doesn't prove it's God's Will to make us sick, it does show that He is capable of doing so without being evil - He has His own reasons for allowing and, in some instances, causing sickness.

Again, God never promises us freedom from persecution just like He didn't promise His Son freedom from persecution. This has nothing to do with sickness.


In dealing with why Jesus healed - that was not why He came. His healing was to give people the taste of the kingdom to come. The people He healed eventually died - for some by disease (since that is how we all die). He didn't heal everyone on earth at that time, nor does He heal everyone now (we all die of disease).

Where's your Scripture indicating that the only reason Jesus healed was to "give people the taste of the kingdom to come"? You speak as if He was only doing this to show folks what heaven was going to be like. This isn't in the Scriptures whatsoever. He healed because He had compassion on people. Do you think He no longer has this same compassion? He healed because people were in bondage to the devil. Do you seriously think people are no longer in bondage to the devil?


The point is, God has a Will and sometimes our suffering is included in that Will. God DOES want us to suffer at times because suffering builds character, breaks down our pride, and forces us to rely on Him. Only a person that is immature in their faith would believe that God wants to free us from all forms of suffering.

And again, you aren't addressing what is being said in this thread. This thread is not about persecutions or trials. This thread is about the oppression of the enemy. Jesus Christ never allowed those who came to Him in faith to carry on oppressed by the devil, and you can't provide one single example where He did. You can try to support your argument by throwing out ridiculous claims like calling others immature in faith and so on, but the fact of the matter here is that nothing that you are saying can be supported by the very Word of God that you claim to follow.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:49 AM
God is very mysterious and sometimes He calls on His children to suffer - sometimes permanently - for His sake. He gives us the grace to get through these sufferings. That is the healing He gives this side of eternity.

This being bible chat I would appreciate it if you would supply the Scriptures declaring these things you state. If you cannot provide them, why do you insist that you are right and others here are wrong? Let God be true and every man a liar.

Kate
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:58 AM
It is never Gods will for a believer to suffer.
[ where does it say that God heals unbelievers more than believers? All of Gods promises are to believers, to the unbeliever the wrath of God abides on them. AS per the BIBLE, anything we ask in the name of Jesus we will receive. Jesus has authority over all flesh ]

If you re-read my post you'll see that I said IN MY EXPERIENCE. By unbelievers I mean people who do not yet know Christ. Many gifts are and were done as signs to people who were not yet converted at the time preceding their healing. When reading the book of Acts (and the Gospel) you find that people came to faith BY the signs that Jesus did and the signs that the apostles did after Jesus was risen. One of the main reasons Jesus healed people was to show who He was. He does the same thing today. Of course, believers can and are healed, and you are right to say that all the promises are to believers. However, Jesus healed believers and unbelievers (many of whom were converted) alike when He was here ( I think of the lepers on the road He healed) but you are correct that He stressed the importance of having faith. Faith is essential. But God works through our faith, not our faith working itself as its own force.

I still hold to the fact that you (as a fully saved believer) can pray with complete faith for healing and God may not answer with a healing because it isn't His will. This doesn't negate the necessity to pray and believe for a healing, because God can and does often heal.

I work in mercy ministries on the side as a chaplain at a hospital in my spare time. (I'm actually a full time Church Business Administrator). I've seen many sincere, believing Christians not be healed, and it isn't their "fault" because of a lack of faith. Going into a situation with a person who is gravely ill, you pray and you sincerely believe God can do it if He wills to do so because He can. He is sovereign.

I think of Joni Earekson-Tata who was injured and became a quadriplegic as a teen. I would recommend reading her autobiographical book. For the first years she was paralyzed she fully and completely believed God would heal her. She was sure and let everyone know what God was going to do. Her faith in God was and is unshakable. Despite her unshakable faith God chose not to heal her condition because of reasons only He knows.

Interesting topic.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:07 AM
I still hold to the fact that you (as a fully saved believer) can pray with complete faith for healing and God may not answer with a healing because it isn't His will.

If you cannot provide biblical support proving the above statement then it is far from "fact".


I work in mercy ministries on the side as a chaplain at a hospital in my spare time. (I'm actually a full time Church Business Administrator). I've seen many sincere, believing Christians not be healed, and it isn't their "fault" because of a lack of faith. Going into a situation with a person who is gravely ill, you pray and you sincerely believe God can do it if He wills to do so because He can. He is sovereign.

How can you declare that it "isn't their fault because of a lack of faith"? Can you see into their heart? Can you perceive whether or not they are doubting in their heart? No, you cannot. Therefore, we must base what we believe on the Word of God. Again, let God be true and every man a liar. Do you have Scriptures declaring your position?


I think of Joni Earekson-Tata who was injured and became a quadriplegic as a teen. I would recommend reading her autobiographical book. For the first years she was paralyzed she fully and completely believed God would heal her. She was sure and let everyone know what God was going to do. Her faith in God was and is unshakable. Despite her unshakable faith God chose not to heal her condition because of reasons only He knows.

You cannot declare here what "God chose" to do. You have no idea whether or not "God chose" something here. How can you make such statements and speak for God?

Ashley274
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:12 AM
VerticalR, Miepie has faith and prays to be healed...many have prayed for her too...for years from what I have seen all over the boards ..and yet...she is not healed. There has to be a why...I am thinking it's God's timing not lack of faith in most or many cases nowdays...Maybe when Jesus was here in the flesh He healed more to bring more people TO him...but I don't know...why....I just do know some people who have faith ...go to the Lord and are not healed


And again I challenge you, give one passage of Scripture that declares this to be the case. Name me one person being oppressed by the enemy that came to the Lord in faith that did not receive what they came for. Just one . . .

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:17 AM
VerticalR, Miepie has faith and prays to be healed...many have prayed for her too...for years from what I have seen all over the boards ..and yet...she is not healed. There has to be a why...I am thinking it's God's timing not lack of faith in most or many cases nowdays...Maybe when Jesus was here in the flesh He healed more to bring more people TO him...but I don't know...why....I just do know some people who have faith ...go to the Lord and are not healed

And again, we cannot base what we believe around the experiences of fallible people. I'm sure miepie is a very sweet lady, and I'm sure everyone that knows her loves her very much. However, I'm not going to base what I believe about God by looking at and evaluating other people. I'm going to go to God's Word and take it for the truth that it is, and in His Word you cannot find one single example where anyone came to the Lord in complete faith and was denied their deliverance. Not one single time can you find it. I'm going to take the Scriptures command and let God be true and every man a liar. I'm not going to base what I believe about God around the experiences of other people.

I certainly do not say this to offend anyone, and I'm surely not trying to make anyone feel bad. However, I cannot in good conscience compromise what I see in the Word of God just because it does not align with another person's experience.

Ashley274
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:32 AM
VerticalR...what I said also stated I do not know...I do know I have never seen Jesus not heal someone ...in the Bible ..when He walked the earth. But I did state I wonder or think or believe that MAYBE He did that then to bring people TO him and let them know he was the Savior. BUT the fact remains many do have faith ..nobody can know the heart of man BUT God..and wait on healing...maybe it is time....maybe they need to learn something..Only God knows.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:38 AM
Perhaps you should wait to hear the other sides view before you are so quick to judgment. You may find that it is your side that isn't quite as solid as you think it is.

The problem is that anyone who has done an actual study on the issue simply cannot come to the conclusion that God heals all believers of all diseases if they have faith unless that person is being intellectually dishonest.


I will leave the secular reasoning to others. That's not my sort of thing. I stand on God's Word and His Word only.

Then why are you on a computer? Do you believe that little angels turn your computer on and display the words on the screen? Do you believe that the internet is just "secular reasoning" and that it's actually the Holy Spirit displaying the messages on the screen?

The fact is, I just put a giant wrench in your belief that you don't know how to handle, so you throw up the big old fideism card and plead, "No" to secular reasoning. Yet, chances are, you bathe, put on deodorant, brush your teeth, go to the dentist, visit the doctor, and take medication when you have a cold. Furthermore, you probably wear a seatbelt when you're in the car, lock your doors when you leave the house (or lock your car doors), and have a job in order to bring in money.

Your faith isn't as big as it seems and, facts be told, you do trust in 'secular' reasoning (which isn't secular at all).

The bare medical facts of this situation is that we all die from disease. That is what "dying of old age" means - our immune systems collapse after years of use and we succumb to something.


Actually no . . . Paul says that he will rejoice in his infirmity, and in the Greek this term can either mean sickness or an "inadequacy". In this case Paul is talking about the inadequacy and weakness of his flesh due to all the persecutions he received.

Where in the world did you get that interpretation from? Inadequacy? Though it can mean physical weakness, it is best associated with "native weakness," or that which is apparent from birth. It doesn't mean a pain that was perpetual from an outside or foreign source. Instead it indicates a sickness or a pain that was natural to the person (present from birth).


Yes, his body was being hit on numerous occasions.

The passage specifically states that it was from a messenger of Satan - not from persecutions or from human beings. This negates your "persecution" idea.


Yes, it does refer to a physical weakness, but not necessarily a disease.

Yes it does - it refers to a physical weakness caused by something that is native to the body suffering from that weakness, or a disease. Either Paul's condition was from birth and not caused by persecutions, or it was a disease.


And if you will notice, Paul states that this physical weakness was "at the first" in this passage, which indicates to us that this condition was not something permanent, but only something he had to deal with at the beginning when he came to them.

Actually, this is a mistake on the King James translators' part. The Greek word, in its structure, is proteron, which means (only means) "formerly." It refers to a previous time when someone did something. A better translation is, "As you know, when I formerly preached to you, I was with an illness."

Thus, he is not referring to "the first time" but instead is simply noting the past tense nature of the statement, such as if we were to say, "You'll remember when I was formerly with you..." It seems superfluous in English, but in the Greek it is common to do this.


The same word that Paul uses here in 2 Corinthians 11 to speak of "infirmity" is the same word he uses in the next chapter to speak of his thorn. Nowhere in this listing of "infirmities" does it talk about sickness or disease. It is speaking of Paul's persecutions for the gospel's sake. Paul's flesh was beaten from all the persecutions that he endured for preaching the gospel. He was stoned and beaten on numerous occasions. This "thorn in the flesh" was a demon that was sent from Satan to stir up opposition against Paul. It was not a disease. It was not some disease of the eyes as so many want to proclaim without any biblical support.

The one lacking proper Biblical support here is yourself my friend. Your interpretation is questionable to say the least.

When the word is used in this context it will refer to a spiritual aspect of infirmities. It is only in this aspect can one refer to trials (this is simply a rule in the Greek). When used in this spiritual sense it refers to a spiritual weakness in bearing trials.

The problem that you run into is in the passages I quote Paul refers to the infirmity being in the flesh. When these two words are used together the spiritual side of the infirmity - the only one that allows for the 'persecution' aspect to be used - is removed from the interpretation. It then becomes a physical problem that must either be inherent with the person or a disease.


This stoning occurred in Lystra, which is a city of Galatia. So, when Paul came to the Galatians he had just been stoned almost to death. This also fits well with the fact that Paul indicates that his afflictions were not permanent, but rather something he had for a short time.

This has two problems. First, it ignores the proper interpretation of the passage I gave. Secondly, you just admitted that God didn't heal Paul from a physical malady. God will heal us if Satan persecutes us, but not if humans persecute us? You can't have it both ways - either God heals of us all problems (caused by persecution or not), or He doesn't.


Where's your Scripture indicating that the only reason Jesus healed was to "give people the taste of the kingdom to come"? You speak as if He was only doing this to show folks what heaven was going to be like.

So it's just coincidence that He happened to be talking about the coming Kingdom when He did these acts, and equated these acts with His lessons on the Kingdom?


He healed because people were in bondage to the devil. Do you seriously think people are no longer in bondage to the devil?

I don't think sick people are in the bondage of the Devil (give me scriptural proof that says they are, since you're big on that sort of thing).


This thread is about the oppression of the enemy. Jesus Christ never allowed those who came to Him in faith to carry on oppressed by the devil, and you can't provide one single example where He did.

Prove from scripture that all sickness is caused by the Devil. Then go on to prove that God won't heal us from persecution (which is influenced by the Devil and caused by him) but will somehow act illogical and heal us of sickness.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 07:05 AM
I would also like to add - though this will not convince some, but hopefully will convince those sitting on the fence - that Linda Fried at Johns Hopkins has stated that old age isn't what really kills people. What kills people is that the older they get the more susceptible to disease they become. The article (http://www.sagecrossroads.net/node/299) goes on to state that in an autopsy of 40 elderly people that had seemingly been healthy, but suddenly died (attributed to old age), in every single case they died of some type of disease.

In other words, no one dies of old age, but simply dies because aging made them extremely susceptible to a disease that killed them.

This, of course, has huge ramifications for the current discussion. If God heals all those who have faith, does this mean that as we reach the 80-100 year old mark, we begin to lose faith? Is it merely par for the course that people lose faith the older they get? Since it is shown that we die of disease in our old age and not from the age itself, shouldn't there be people alive in their 300's or even 1,000's?

Or is it more plausible to believe that, though God does sometimes heal us of our sickness, He sometimes chooses to let us go through disease, but gives us grace to endure? Considering all humans die from disease - even the most faithful ones - I tend to believe that though He heals us when He so chooses, He also allows us to endure disease.

The only way to argue against this point, of course, is to say that we actually die of old age - but this would be difficult to prove and explain, medically, how this occurs. Or one could say that such reasoning is 'secular' - but this buys into the hierarchical Platonic dualism that is central to Gnostic thought (you can't have Gnosticism without Platonism), thus elevating the spiritual above the physical. So a person doing this would then buy into, ironically enough, a secular philosophy.

As an addition that isn't related - Christ also raised people from the dead. People often appeal to the miracles of Christ and, in an unfortunately haughty manner ask, "Don't you believe that Christ heals this way today for those that have faith?" My question, in return, is, "Don't you believe Christ will raise the dead if that person's relatives have faith?" Why is it you never see these faith healers or proponents trying to raise the dead? Why is it that we claim Christ will heal us if we have faith, but if a person dies we leave it alone? If we are to be consistent, then we also need to advocate that Christ will raise people from the dead if their relatives have enough faith.
As you can see, defending the "God heals all who have faith" position brings up some greater ramifications that I believe need to be dealt with.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:20 PM
The problem is that anyone who has done an actual study on the issue simply cannot come to the conclusion that God heals all believers of all diseases if they have faith unless that person is being intellectually dishonest.

And why do you believe that you are the only one here who has "done an actual study" on this issue? That sort of comment just seems a tad arrogant to me. Do you believe that you are the only one who studies the Word of God?


Then why are you on a computer? Do you believe that little angels turn your computer on and display the words on the screen? Do you believe that the internet is just "secular reasoning" and that it's actually the Holy Spirit displaying the messages on the screen?

What does this have to do with the secular reasoning of why people die? According to your reasoning, how was is it that Moses died? What sickness or disease did he die of? Why does the Scriptures declare that his death did not consist of his body getting weak or disease ridden?


The fact is, I just put a giant wrench in your belief that you don't know how to handle, so you throw up the big old fideism card and plead, "No" to secular reasoning. Yet, chances are, you bathe, put on deodorant, brush your teeth, go to the dentist, visit the doctor, and take medication when you have a cold. Furthermore, you probably wear a seatbelt when you're in the car, lock your doors when you leave the house (or lock your car doors), and have a job in order to bring in money.

What wrench did you put in my belief?


Your faith isn't as big as it seems and, facts be told, you do trust in 'secular' reasoning (which isn't secular at all).

You seem awfully defensive right now. Why? My comment was on your secular reasoning regarding death. What does deoderant or seat belts have to do with that?


The bare medical facts of this situation is that we all die from disease. That is what "dying of old age" means - our immune systems collapse after years of use and we succumb to something.

What disease did Moses die of?


Where in the world did you get that interpretation from? Inadequacy? Though it can mean physical weakness, it is best associated with "native weakness," or that which is apparent from birth. It doesn't mean a pain that was perpetual from an outside or foreign source. Instead it indicates a sickness or a pain that was natural to the person (present from birth).


1) want of strength, weakness, infirmity
a) of the body
1) its native weakness and frailty
2) feebleness of health or sickness
b) of the soul
1) want of strength and capacity requisite
a) to understand a thing
b) to do things great and glorious
c) to restrain corrupt desires
d) to bear trials and troubles

All those definitions present an inadequacy of the flesh, and they all apply to astheneia. This is the same used in 2 Corinthians 11 where Paul describes his "infirmity".


The passage specifically states that it was from a messenger of Satan - not from persecutions or from human beings. This negates your "persecution" idea.

It doesn't negate anything. Why do you think Jesus was crucified? Were those people not being influenced and used by the spirit of this world? We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Why do you think the people of God are persecuted? It is because the devil and all those wicked spirits stir up unbelievers to violence and works of the flesh.


Yes it does - it refers to a physical weakness caused by something that is native to the body suffering from that weakness, or a disease. Either Paul's condition was from birth and not caused by persecutions, or it was a disease.

2 Corinthians 11 tells us what this term for infirmity relates to. Why do you ignore those clear Scriptures I gave you? Those Scriptures are clear in declaring that Paul had infirmity (astheneia) of the flesh that was not disease or sickness but rather persecution for the sake of the gospel.


Actually, this is a mistake on the King James translators' part. The Greek word, in its structure, is proteron, which means (only means) "formerly." It refers to a previous time when someone did something. A better translation is, "As you know, when I formerly preached to you, I was with an illness."

I don't see a mistake. In the beginning he preached to them through infirmity. In other words, when he first came to them he was preaching with infirmity of the flesh. What's the mistake?


The one lacking proper Biblical support here is yourself my friend. Your interpretation is questionable to say the least.

I have provided an abundant amount of Scripture giving a very good argument for what Paul's thorn was. You have provided only one verse out of Galatians 4 that you claim proves Paul's thorn was some eye disease. Your argument here is not very convincing. Paul gives a numerous amount of Scriptures relating his persecutions to physical infirmity. Nowhere in Scripture does he relate this infirmity to sickness or disease.


When the word is used in this context it will refer to a spiritual aspect of infirmities. It is only in this aspect can one refer to trials (this is simply a rule in the Greek). When used in this spiritual sense it refers to a spiritual weakness in bearing trials.

All of Paul's persecutions were spiritually rooted.


The problem that you run into is in the passages I quote Paul refers to the infirmity being in the flesh. When these two words are used together the spiritual side of the infirmity - the only one that allows for the 'persecution' aspect to be used - is removed from the interpretation. It then becomes a physical problem that must either be inherent with the person or a disease.

The infirmity was a physical problem. When folks, who are being stirred up by the spirits that lead them, beat on you there is a physical problem going on. The fact of the matter here is this . . . I can provide clear Scriptures indicating what sort of infirmity Paul dealt with, and none of it includes sickness or disease. You, on the other hand, cannot provide one single Scripture linking Paul's infirmity to sickness or disease. Not one . . .


This has two problems. First, it ignores the proper interpretation of the passage I gave. Secondly, you just admitted that God didn't heal Paul from a physical malady. God will heal us if Satan persecutes us, but not if humans persecute us? You can't have it both ways - either God heals of us all problems (caused by persecution or not), or He doesn't.

All persecution is from Satan, and yes, I've stated from the beginning that God has informed us that we can expect persecution. He can state that His grace is sufficient in such a case because freedom from persecution is not covered under His grace. He has never promised freedom from persecution. He has promised us salvation from the oppression of the enemy, however, and no person who ever came to the Lord in faith was denied victory over the enemy. Why can you not provide one single Scripture contrary to this?


So it's just coincidence that He happened to be talking about the coming Kingdom when He did these acts, and equated these acts with His lessons on the Kingdom?

There were many times Jesus healed where He wasn't speaking of the coming Kingdom.


I don't think sick people are in the bondage of the Devil (give me scriptural proof that says they are, since you're big on that sort of thing).

Did Jesus not heal a large number of sick people?

Acts 10:36-38
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus went about healing those who were oppressed by the devil. This includes all those sick people He healed.


Prove from scripture that all sickness is caused by the Devil.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I never said the devil causes all sickness.


Then go on to prove that God won't heal us from persecution (which is influenced by the Devil and caused by him) but will somehow act illogical and heal us of sickness.

I also didn't say God won't heal us from persecution. I'm saying that God has not promised us that we will be free or healed of persecution. In the case of Paul, the persecutions that he endured only to continue on preaching the gospel in power though his flesh was weak gave great glory to God.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:36 PM
I would also like to add - though this will not convince some, but hopefully will convince those sitting on the fence - that Linda Fried at Johns Hopkins has stated that old age isn't what really kills people. What kills people is that the older they get the more susceptible to disease they become. The article (http://www.sagecrossroads.net/node/299) goes on to state that in an autopsy of 40 elderly people that had seemingly been healthy, but suddenly died (attributed to old age), in every single case they died of some type of disease.

In other words, no one dies of old age, but simply dies because aging made them extremely susceptible to a disease that killed them.

Such will be the case for those who place their faith in secular articles as the one above. Linda Fried is not God and the article certainly cannot be equated with God's Word. Let God be true and every many a liar. Moses would certainly contend with the findings of that article. The Word declares that Moses was not weakened in the least at the time of his death. So, I believe the Word of God pretty much blows this fallible person's article right out of the water.


This, of course, has huge ramifications for the current discussion. If God heals all those who have faith, does this mean that as we reach the 80-100 year old mark, we begin to lose faith? Is it merely par for the course that people lose faith the older they get? Since it is shown that we die of disease in our old age and not from the age itself, shouldn't there be people alive in their 300's or even 1,000's?

It is shown by who that all people die of disease? You're talking about the fallible person above who is speaking in conflict to God's Word? Is that the source that we should put our faith in instead of God's Word?


Or is it more plausible to believe that, though God does sometimes heal us of our sickness, He sometimes chooses to let us go through disease, but gives us grace to endure? Considering all humans die from disease - even the most faithful ones - I tend to believe that though He heals us when He so chooses, He also allows us to endure disease.

Yet you have abolutely no Scripture declaring this to be the case. All you have shown is an article from some secular source that supports your secular viewpoint.


The only way to argue against this point, of course, is to say that we actually die of old age - but this would be difficult to prove and explain, medically, how this occurs. Or one could say that such reasoning is 'secular' - but this buys into the hierarchical Platonic dualism that is central to Gnostic thought (you can't have Gnosticism without Platonism), thus elevating the spiritual above the physical. So a person doing this would then buy into, ironically enough, a secular philosophy.

The Scriptures declare that Moses just died of this old age you speak down to here. It speaks against your argument that Moses had to have died from disease.


As an addition that isn't related - Christ also raised people from the dead. People often appeal to the miracles of Christ and, in an unfortunately haughty manner ask, "Don't you believe that Christ heals this way today for those that have faith?" My question, in return, is, "Don't you believe Christ will raise the dead if that person's relatives have faith?"

Sure.


Why is it you never see these faith healers or proponents trying to raise the dead?

Who are these "faith healers" or "proponents" you are referring to? There are numerous testimonies of folks being raised from the dead. I believe a good reason why we don't see it too often is because of the very reason I put in my initial post in this topic. Most people do not have faith for such a thing, which you sort of prove with your posts. Many people share your beliefs. Therefore, not many are going to see anyone raised from the dead because they just don't believe God is going to use them to do it.


Why is it that we claim Christ will heal us if we have faith, but if a person dies we leave it alone? If we are to be consistent, then we also need to advocate that Christ will raise people from the dead if their relatives have enough faith.

People have and will continue to be raised from the dead. However, this is really a moot point considering that God has not promised us that we will never die.


As you can see, defending the "God heals all who have faith" position brings up some greater ramifications that I believe need to be dealt with.

I think all your "ramifications" have been dealt with through the Word very convincingly.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:55 PM
Having read through this thread, I'd like to say that I really appreciate "apothanein kerdos" posts. If I were undecided on this issue, I'd side with this poster not only b/c his/her arguments are better, but because of the Christian manner in which he/she delivered them despite the style of argumentation being given on the other side of the debate.

I have plenty to say on this topic, but don't currently have time. Perhaps I'll comment later.

In Christ,
matthew

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:02 PM
despite the style of argumentation being given on the other side of the debate.

What sort of "argumentation" are you referring to? Are you accusing me of something here?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:19 PM
And why do you believe that you are the only one here who has "done an actual study" on this issue? That sort of comment just seems a tad arrogant to me. Do you believe that you are the only one who studies the Word of God?

I never said I'm the only one who did a study on it. I'm saying that those who old to the view that God heals all people who have enough faith and that He never allows suffering via disease generally haven't studied the issue in depth (i.e. have knowledge of the original languages and has read it in the Greek context, just an example). It's not an insult, just a generalized statement that is generally true.

Those who hold to such a position generally have to perform acrobatics, deny reasoning, ignore logic, and in the end twist the Scripture to say what they want. What I have seen in this thread hasn't come close to changing my mind that in order to believe in healing in all cases of faith, one must render up one's cognitive faculties.

This is not meant as an insult at all. It could be that I am wrong in relying on reason and that I have misinterpreted the Scriptures that I believe tell me to be reasonable. It could be that your viewpoint of the world and how reason functions is correct and that, when in Heaven, I will be proven to be a fool. Thus, the above isn't a condemnation whatsoever, but instead just stating that those who hold to the view of "faith healing" tend to hold to an extremely fideistic view of faith. It is in my opinion that such a view is anti-biblical and neoplatonic, but that is for another discussion.

What does this have to do with the secular reasoning of why people die? According to your reasoning, how was is it that Moses died? What sickness or disease did he die of? Why does the Scriptures declare that his death did not consist of his body getting weak or disease ridden?

For one, the Bible doesn't go into details on the deaths of people. Secondly, I don't know what disease he died of, but he most certainly died of some disease. As for why the Scripture doesn't declare what disease - probably because the authors didn't know that disease is what killed people in old age, mainly because they didn't know what the immune system was.

Just because the Bible is infallible doesn't mean the author's knowledge, or lack thereof in this case, doesn't play into the writing of the Bible.


What disease did Moses die of?

This is utterly irrelevant and a bit nit-picky. I have supplied ample evidence that when people get older their immune systems shut down or become weaker. This allows certain diseases (something as simple as the common cold) to come in and kill them. Though we don't know what disease killed Moses, we do know that it was a disease due to his old age and weakening immune system.

I know, the Bible doesn't say that exactly. Then again, the Bible never says that Paul or Peter died - so where are they? I can't say they died, the Bible doesn't say they died.


All those definitions present an inadequacy of the flesh, and they all apply to astheneia. This is the same used in 2 Corinthians 11 where Paul describes his "infirmity".

Mazel Tov on being able to use a dictionary, but my friend, this means nothing to me. This is the equivalent of a French speaker saying, "No, word X has multiple definitions, but with this case ending it only has one meaning" and you saying, "Oh yeah? Well I looked word X up in a French Dictionary and found these multiple meanings, and I'm going to pick this one right here, even though you say it's wrong."

Just because you looked in a dictionary and found multiple meanings it doesn't mean all of these can apply in the context. The case endings as well as the context and surrounding words will drastically affect the meaning of a word in Greek.

The same word is used in both chapters 11 and 12, but as I mentioned when atheneia is used with sarx it can only mean one of two things: the physical ailment has been present since birth or it is a disease that has caused a physical malady. The Greek in 2 Corinthians 12 is skolops te sarki, which literally means "a bodily ailment in my body."

This simply removes all doubt that the spiritual application of the word can be used in this context.


2 Corinthians 11 tells us what this term for infirmity relates to. Why do you ignore those clear Scriptures I gave you? Those Scriptures are clear in declaring that Paul had infirmity (astheneia) of the flesh that was not disease or sickness but rather persecution for the sake of the gospel.

The reason I'm ignoring it is because it doesn't apply. 2 Corinthians 11 mentions an ailment, but he does not mention that it is in the flesh - meaning it could be that he is worn down by persecution. Chapter 12, however, adds a quantifier ("in the flesh") which then negates the idea of persecution. The persecution aspect cannot be added to it - it is either a disease or an ailment that has been there since birth.


I don't see a mistake. In the beginning he preached to them through infirmity. In other words, when he first came to them he was preaching with infirmity of the flesh. What's the mistake?


You completely ignored what I said. He is not saying, "In the beginning." This is a mistranslation. The Greek word means, FORMERLY, not "in the beginning" or "first." He is referring to a past action. (All bolded and capitalized is merely for emphasis, not for yelling).


The infirmity was a physical problem. When folks, who are being stirred up by the spirits that lead them, beat on you there is a physical problem going on. The fact of the matter here is this . . . I can provide clear Scriptures indicating what sort of infirmity Paul dealt with, and none of it includes sickness or disease. You, on the other hand, cannot provide one single Scripture linking Paul's infirmity to sickness or disease. Not one . . .

Methinks you claim a bit more than you have actually done. I'm using Greek within the scripture itself to show that it was an actual disease. I don't need to find other Scriptures to prove it when the Scripture in question provides as an adequate interpretative sample.


He has promised us salvation from the oppression of the enemy, however, and no person who ever came to the Lord in faith was denied victory over the enemy.

Then if you die before 150, can I say you lacked faith?


Did Jesus not heal a large number of sick people?

Acts 10:36-38
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus went about healing those who were oppressed by the devil. This includes all those sick people He healed.

But how does this equate that all sick people are under bondage to the Devil? At best this would merely indicate that some[i] sickness is caused by spiritual persecution (such as with Job's boils). It doesn't, however, prove that all sickness is caused by the Devil.


Such will be the case for those who place their faith in secular articles as the one above. Linda Fried is not God and the article certainly cannot be equated with God's Word. Let God be true and every many a liar. Moses would certainly contend with the findings of that article. The Word declares that Moses was not weakened in the least at the time of his death. So, I believe the Word of God pretty much blows this fallible person's article right out of the water.

So is the flu caused by little demons running rampant in your body and not by the rhino virus? Is cancer a demonic snake that crushes your bones and not a group of cells that multiples and attacks your system?

I mean, since all medical knowledge is a lie, this must be what you believe.


It is shown by who that all people die of disease? You're talking about the fallible person above who is speaking in conflict to God's Word? Is that the source that we should put our faith in instead of God's Word?

Quote me scripture that says we don't die of disease when we're old. The problem is you have made the claim that all knowledge can only come from Scripture, whereas I have not. I have the liberty then to make claims outside of the Bible so long as they don't contradict the Bible. You, on the other hand, must now validate all claims by quoting a specific passage that says, "People die of old age and not disease caused by a weakened immune system in their old age."

Good luck. :hug:


Yet you have abolutely no Scripture declaring this to be the case.

You're right, I don't, I don't need it in this case.


The Scriptures declare the Moses just died of this old age you speak down to here. It speaks against your argument that Moses had to have died from disease.

The Biblical authors wouldn't have known that a person doesn't die of old age. In fact, this really wasn't even known 10 years ago. There's never been any proof that old age kills us (care to explain how it does?) other than the immune system gets severely weak when older. People can be fine one day and die in their sleep and we attribute it to old age, when in all reality they could have had a de-genitive heart condition that caused their heart to give out. It [i]appears to be old age and it would still be appropriate and factual to say, "old age killed him," but the medical diagnoses would be that the person had a disease that was brought on by old age.

Thus, the Bible is still true, but doesn't supply us a medical definition. I'm quite positive that if God intended to give us the medical prognoses of Moses' death, He would have.


People have and will continue to be raised from the dead. However, this is really a moot point considering that God has not promised us that we will never die.

Considering your claim that God heals everyone who has faith from disease, and it is a medical fact that disease kills us, you still need to answer the question - why don't we see people living into their 200th year?


I think all your "ramifications" have been dealt with through the Word very convincingly.

Maybe to an extreme fideist that simply refuses to use reasoning, logic, and the proper hermeneutical method. My intention isn't to convince you of anything - someone who holds to a Gnostic view of the world can hardly be convinced of a non-Gnostic belief. My goal is for those on the fence or who are struggling with relatives who died of a disease and wondering why God didn't heal them - I'm here to let them know it wasn't because the relative lacked faith, but that God has His own way.


My apologies if any of this came across offensive (as "speaking down," "elitist," or as a personal attack). That is not my intention. I readily admit that this topic does get me heated because I find it to be very wrong and improper in its view of the Bible and human ailment. It bothers me because I have seen people tell parents who had a child die of a disease - a disease the parents weren't aware of until after the autopsy, they thought they had a healthy baby - be told that because they lacked faith, their child died. Not only do I view this as extremely anti-Biblical, but it puts an unnecessary burden on the parents. Instead of being told their lack of faith killed their child, it would be better to tell them that, for whatever reason, God allowed their child to slip the bonds of this fallen world and enter into a perfect world embraced by Christ.

I think of Francis Schaeffer who believed to his death that God would heal him. No one can say he lacked faith either - he started L'Abri without soliciting funds or using his own funds. He merely prayed for God to bring in the money and God did. He lived his life purely by faith, more so than most people. Yet, he developed cancer in his old age and passed from it in 1984. He told his relatives before dying that if God wanted to, He could cure him. He had complete faith that God would do so. Yet he died. I cannot accept that a lack of faith killed Francis Schaeffer considering he lived his entire life by faith. The only explanation is that God finally called him home. To me, this is the ultimate healing (though tragic) - a person who suffered for 6 years from the effects of cancer was finally released to live a pain free life in the presence of Christ. If I am ever sick and it's true that a lack of faith in the healing power of Christ will put me in His presence through death in the disease, rest assured that I will lack faith that He will heal me, all the more in an attempt to get to be with Him in person. :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:31 PM
Just to add:

When Paul says that "to live is Christ, but to die is gain" in Philippians 1:21, though he is speaking about persecution, notice how he words it. He does not say "to die in persecution is gain." If dying from a disease is because of a lack of faith, how could such a death be a gain? Thus, if Paul thought we who are in faith couldn't die of a disease wouldn't he have at least taken the time to specify this?

Sold Out
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:36 PM
I used to work at a high school with special needs students. One of them had a debilitating disease that caused him to have complete loss of his motor skills. Because it was progressive, eventually it would overtake him and cause his heart to cease movement, along with other organs.

He prayed all the time for healing. While praying, however, he would witness to fellow students. He was able to get away with it too - what teacher or student is going to stop listening to a disabled kid in a wheelchair that is loved by all? What principle is going to tell him to stop? He was able to say things about Christ in circumstances that would have gotten other students in trouble. Furthermore, people listened and many came to Christ.

Two months before his graduation he laid down for the last time and slipped quietly into the arms of Christ. He never received his healing on this earth. Does this mean he didn't believe?

A person that unabashedly shared the Gospel like he did obviously has faith, thus it couldn't have been that He didn't believe. Instead, the most plausible explanation is that God allowed Him to suffer through that disease and eventually took Him home.

Paul had a similar situation where he had a physical thorn in the flesh that, though he prayed, God would not remove.

God has purposes. Though we should have faith that He will heal us, if it isn't in His Will than He won't. We should instead ask for grace if He chooses not to heal us and for Him to reveal His purpose. God simply doesn't heal everyone - this is evidenced by some of the greatest men and women of God dying from diseases.

What a beautiful story. What's even more encouraging is that we know he is completely restored in the arms of his Savior.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:40 PM
What a beautiful story. What's even more encouraging is that we know he is completely restored in the arms of his Savior.

Which is what I love. God does eventually heal us all when we are glorified. Even when He heals those on the earth, the healing is merely temporary (as all will go on to die from disease, if something else doesn't get them first). Yet, in the arms of Christ we will be free from our fallen bodies and when He establishes the new earth, we will be given glorified bodies. Imagine, our body and souls working in conjunction once again (they are separated now, in that they don't always operate together, like a driver in a faulty car), free of sin and the effects of sin.

As I said, if it is faith that prevents us from dying from a disease, I will go out of my way to lack faith if given a life threatening disease so that I can be present with Christ.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:18 PM
I never said I'm the only one who did a study on it. I'm saying that those who old to the view that God heals all people who have enough faith and that He never allows suffering via disease generally haven't studied the issue in depth (i.e. have knowledge of the original languages and has read it in the Greek context, just an example). It's not an insult, just a generalized statement that is generally true.

So what purpose does your generalized statement serve here if it isn't speaking to me? What point does this generalized statement serve in this conversation? Do you always make random comments such as this one that has no relation to the conversation you are having with another? I find that hard to believe, and it was more likely, IMO, meant as a veiled jab at those who believe differently than you.


Those who hold to such a position generally have to perform acrobatics, deny reasoning, ignore logic, and in the end twist the Scripture to say what they want. What I have seen in this thread hasn't come close to changing my mind that in order to believe in healing in all cases of faith, one must render up one's cognitive faculties.

To contrary, there are no acrobatics being made here. I'm basing my argument strictly from the Scriptures. Your argument currently is not.


It is in my opinion that such a view is anti-biblical and neoplatonic, but that is for another discussion.

What other discussion could you mean? That is exactly what this thread is about. I'm waiting for you to show your position biblically, which you have currently not done. That is exactly what is asked for here in bible chat. We are here to discuss the Scriptures. So, present your position from the Word.



For one, the Bible doesn't go into details on the deaths of people. Secondly, I don't know what disease he died of, but he most certainly died of some disease. As for why the Scripture doesn't declare what disease - probably because the authors didn't know that disease is what killed people in old age, mainly because they didn't know what the immune system was.

Just because the Bible is infallible doesn't mean the author's knowledge, or lack thereof in this case, doesn't play into the writing of the Bible.


I see the author as being God. God didn't know about disease? Was He not capable of conveying the idead that Moses died because his body got weak and disease-ridden? To state truth, the Scriptures declare the opposite about Moses. His body did not get weak and disease-ridden.


This is utterly irrelevant and a bit nit-picky. I have supplied ample evidence that when people get older their immune systems shut down or become weaker. This allows certain diseases (something as simple as the common cold) to come in and kill them. Though we don't know what disease killed Moses, we do know that it was a disease due to his old age and weakening immune system.

The only thing you have supplied is secular articles from folks who base their faith in their own wisdom and what they know of a world that is not believing God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, and those who put their faith in their own understanding and logic are not surrendered completely to Him. Lean not on your own understanding.

As to your claim that Moses died because of "weakening immune system", you are currently speaking against the Word of God . . .

Deuteronomy 34:7
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

This Scripture doesn't make it sound as if Moses was "weakened" or disease-ridden when he died. He just died.


The same word is used in both chapters 11 and 12, but as I mentioned when atheneia is used with sarx it can only mean one of two things: the physical ailment has been present since birth or it is a disease that has caused a physical malady. The Greek in 2 Corinthians 12 is skolops te sarki, which literally means "a bodily ailment in my body."

I have not argued against Paul having a bodily ailment. However, I believe you are wrong in your assumption it has to be a disease. It does not have to be a disease, and it certainly is not something from birth as Paul wouldn't have been exalted above measure as a baby, nor was he even a Christian receiving the revelation necessary for the thorn.


The reason I'm ignoring it is because it doesn't apply. 2 Corinthians 11 mentions an ailment, but he does not mention that it is in the flesh - meaning it could be that he is worn down by persecution. Chapter 12, however, adds a quantifier ("in the flesh") which then negates the idea of persecution. The persecution aspect cannot be added to it - it is either a disease or an ailment that has been there since birth.

It doesn't mention that it's in the flesh? Did you read the passage of Scripture I gave to you?

2 Corinthians 11:22-30
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

What about being beaten with stripes and being stoned is not in the flesh?


You completely ignored what I said. He is not saying, "In the beginning." This is a mistranslation. The Greek word means, FORMERLY, not "in the beginning" or "first." He is referring to a past action. (All bolded and capitalized is merely for emphasis, not for yelling).

I didn't ignore it at all. I'll go with the word you're using here . . .

"Formerly, I preached the gospel to you in infirmity."

What about your translation makes you think his infirmity was permanent? Doesn't sound like it to me.


Methinks you claim a bit more than you have actually done. I'm using Greek within the scripture itself to show that it was an actual disease. I don't need to find other Scriptures to prove it when the Scripture in question provides as an adequate interpretative sample.

I'm looking at the Greek just as you are. You are not showing anything here that says Paul's thorn was disease. In fact, just six or seven verses prior Paul is talking about his infirmity not being a disease but rather persecutions. Pretty close to not be linked, IMO. He talks at length about his infirmity through persecutions and then only six or so verses later goes into talking about his thorn in the flesh sent by Satan.


Then if you die before 150, can I say you lacked faith?

It is appointed unto each man to die . . .


But how does this equate that all sick people are under bondage to the Devil? At best this would merely indicate that some sickness is caused by spiritual persecution (such as with Job's boils). It doesn't, however, prove that all sickness is caused by the Devil.

Again, I never said "all" sick people, and again I never said "all" sickness is caused by the devil. You are again putting words in my mouth, and it would make this discussion go much easier if I didn't have to repeat myself over and over again.


So is the flu caused by little demons running rampant in your body and not by the rhino virus? Is cancer a demonic snake that crushes your bones and not a group of cells that multiples and attacks your system?

Those things are all of this world, and we can be free of them if we believe.


Quote me scripture that says we don't die of disease when we're old. The problem is you have made the claim that all knowledge can only come from Scripture, whereas I have not. I have the liberty then to make claims outside of the Bible so long as they don't contradict the Bible. You, on the other hand, must now validate all claims by quoting a specific passage that says, "People die of old age and not disease caused by a weakened immune system in their old age."

Where have I stated that people don't die of disease? I'm saying not all people have died from disease. You can look outside Scripture if you choose. However, you are then placing your faith in what goes on in fallible people rather than what is stated in God's infallible Word. I will choose to let God be true and every man a liar.


You're right, I don't, I don't need it in this case.

So, you are expecting Christians to accept your argument that is not based in the Word of God? Why would that be a wise thing to do?


[i]The Biblical authors wouldn't have known that a person doesn't die of old age. In fact, this really wasn't even known 10 years ago. There's never been any proof that old age kills us (care to explain how it does?) other than the immune system gets severely weak when older. People can be fine one day and die in their sleep and we attribute it to old age, when in all reality they could have had a de-genitive heart condition that caused their heart to give out. It [I]appears to be old age and it would still be appropriate and factual to say, "old age killed him," but the medical diagnoses would be that the person had a disease that was brought on by old age.

The author of Scripture is God and He knows all things.


Thus, the Bible is still true, but doesn't supply us a medical definition. I'm quite positive that if God intended to give us the medical prognoses of Moses' death, He would have.

God stated that Moses' natural vigor did not decrease. This would not be the case of one who is disease-ridden.


Considering your claim that God heals everyone who has faith from disease, and it is a medical fact that disease kills us, you still need to answer the question - why don't we see people living into their 200th year?

The Word does not declare the lifespan of a man to be 200 years.


Maybe to an extreme fideist that simply refuses to use reasoning, logic, and the proper hermeneutical method. My intention isn't to convince you of anything - someone who holds to a Gnostic view of the world can hardly be convinced of a non-Gnostic belief.

My belief is based on the Word of God, which I continue to supply evidence of whereas you have not shown anything of the Word to back your claims.


My goal is for those on the fence or who are struggling with relatives who died of a disease and wondering why God didn't heal them - I'm here to let them know it wasn't because the relative lacked faith, but that God has His own way.

So, in other words, you are here to conform what the Word says to something that will provide a comfortable explanation to those who are grieving the loss of loved ones? That doesn't sound entirely honest, IMO.


My apologies if any of this came across offensive (as "speaking down," "elitist," or as a personal attack). That is not my intention. I readily admit that this topic does get me heated because I find it to be very wrong and improper in its view of the Bible and human ailment. It bothers me because I have seen people tell parents who had a child die of a disease - a disease the parents weren't aware of until after the autopsy, they thought they had a healthy baby - be told that because they lacked faith, their child died. Not only do I view this as extremely anti-Biblical, but it puts an unnecessary burden on the parents. Instead of being told their lack of faith killed their child, it would be better to tell them that, for whatever reason, God allowed their child to slip the bonds of this fallen world and enter into a perfect world embraced by Christ.

Nobody is saying here that it is appropriate to tell people that it is because they lack faith that others die. However, it's also just as inappropriate to make people believe that their current faith is sufficient and they have no room for growth in that area. Jesus had no problem confronting folks about their faith. I can see it now . . .

Jesus: Oh ye of little faith . . .

2008 Christians: How dare you accuse me of not having enough faith, Jesus!!! Who are you to tell me I don't have faith? Who do you think you are!? My faith is fine, and it is You who doesn't want to heal me!!!

I think of Francis Schaeffer who believed to his death that God would heal him. No one can say he lacked faith either - he started L'Abri without soliciting funds or using his own funds. He merely prayed for God to bring in the money and God did. He lived his life purely by faith, more so than most people. Yet, he developed cancer in his old age and passed from it in 1984.

And neither can anyone say that he did have faith to be healed. You just don't know based upon works that this man did. Again, I will stand on the Word and not the experience of some other person.


He told his relatives before dying that if God wanted to, He could cure him. He had complete faith that God would do so.

If he had complete faith that God would heal him he would not have needed to say, "God could cure me if He wanted to." If he had faith that God would heal him he wouldn't have any doubt that God wanted to.


Yet he died. I cannot accept that a lack of faith killed Francis Schaeffer considering he lived his entire life by faith. The only explanation is that God finally called him home. To me, this is the ultimate healing (though tragic) - a person who suffered for 6 years from the effects of cancer was finally released to live a pain free life in the presence of Christ. If I am ever sick and it's true that a lack of faith in the healing power of Christ will put me in His presence through death in the disease, rest assured that I will lack faith that He will heal me, all the more in an attempt to get to be with Him in person.

Yet none of this is based around Scripture. What does the Word of God say? Does that not matter to anyone?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:30 PM
Your post is highly repetitive and I feel that my previous posts work as an adequate response to the discerning reader. Someone that is fair and partial, I believe, will side with my point of view on this issue based on the evidence I have given.

That being said, I do see two issues that I would like to address:


As to your claim that Moses died because of "weakening immune system", you are currently speaking against the Word of God . . .

Deuteronomy 34:7
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

This Scripture doesn't make it sound as if Moses was "weakened" or disease-ridden when he died. He just died.

I never said that a weakened immune system leads to being weakened in the body. There are ample cases (as mentioned in the study I provided) of people who were extremely healthy and active that died in their sleep, or died suddenly. This was caused by heart failure (from disease) brought on by 'old age' (a weakened immune system). Though they weren't weakened in their activity, their immune system was highly weakened.

Likewise, with Moses, he probably had all the appearances of health and was able to live an active life until the Lord decided to call Him home. Though it could have every well been that God stopped His heart free of disease, if Moses died a natural death (that is, without the intervention of God), it means he died of some form of a disease.


It doesn't mention that it's in the flesh? Did you read the passage of Scripture I gave to you?

2 Corinthians 11:22-30
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

What about being beaten with stripes and being stoned is not in the flesh?



I'm arguing about the linguistics. you're using English analysis of the text, which makes no sense considering it was written in Greek. Linguistically, because chapter 11 doesn't mention it with sarx we are free to use a more open ended interpretation of the word. Chapter 12, however, has it mentioned with sarx, which means "bodily deformity in my body." This is redundant in English, but in Greek it clarifies the point that it is not a spiritual problem or a problem brought on by outside beatings, but instead a disease or something that has been there for quite a while.

Those are the only two issues I saw that were worth addressing - the other stuff was repetative and, therefore, I believe answerable by my previous posts.

If, however, there are those that are undecided or need clarification, please feel free to ask.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:45 PM
As I see it, there are basically 3 views here (the opening poster even touched on them)

1. Charismatic View (Faith brings healing on demand)
2. Clusterist View (God chooses when to heal)
3. Cessationist View (God no longer miraculously heals)

I don't see anyone in this thread taking the 3rd view, so I won't discuss it. We do have, in this thread, people taking the first view and people taking the 2nd view. In my observation, every single argument for the first view is based on a mis-interpretation of key passages (like in Isaiah) or a lack of perspective on Jesus' ministry.

Regarding the former, some interpret every usage of 'disease' in the OT as talking about physical sickness/disease, but in many cases the context is clearly referring to our spiritual disease (sin). Regarding the latter, some people assume that b/c miracles are reported at a high rate in the Gospels, they should be occuring at a high rate in the world today. But this doesn't follow for a host of reasons. First, the Gospels contain the 'highlights' of Jesus' ministry. Second, the Gospels mention those who were healed, usually not those who weren't. Third, any careful study of the healing miracles of Jesus will reveal that while faith is a key theme, it wasn't always present in healing. Fourth, many fail to realize that miraculous healings were a 'sign' that Jesus was the Messiah. They were prophesied to cluster around His ministry. His Messiah-ship has now been established so we shouldn't expect the cluster to continue as was.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:55 PM
I never said that a weakened immune system leads to being weakened in the body. There are ample cases (as mentioned in the study I provided) of people who were extremely healthy and active that died in their sleep, or died suddenly. This was caused by heart failure (from disease) brought on by 'old age' (a weakened immune system). Though they weren't weakened in their activity, their immune system was highly weakened.

Yet, the Word declares that Moses lost none of his natural vigor. In other words, it sounds to me as if Moses' natural body functioned the way it was supposed to. He just died, and it wasn't from a cause of a "weakened immune system" or anything of the like.


Likewise, with Moses, he probably had all the appearances of health and was able to live an active life until the Lord decided to call Him home. Though it could have every well been that God stopped His heart free of disease, if Moses died a natural death (that is, without the intervention of God), it means he died of some form of a disease.

And, of course, this is one of the telling points of your posts thus far. You are basing everything you are stating around what is natural. There is no room in your logic for God to have complete control. Everything has to obey natural law with your point of view here.


I'm arguing about the linguistics. you're using English analysis of the text, which makes no sense considering it was written in Greek. Linguistically, because chapter 11 doesn't mention it with sarx we are free to use a more open ended interpretation of the word. Chapter 12, however, has it mentioned with sarx, which means "bodily deformity in my body." This is redundant in English, but in Greek it clarifies the point that it is not a spiritual problem or a problem brought on by outside beatings, but instead a disease or something that has been there for quite a while.

What about being beaten with rods or stoned doesn't cause "bodily deformity"? The fact of the matter here is that everything listed in 2 Corinthians 11 can definitely apply to the thorn listed just a few verses later in chapter 12. You are just not wanting to accept it. Nowhere does it indicate that Paul was dealing with sickness or disease.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:00 PM
First, the Gospels contain the 'highlights' of Jesus' ministry.

I sort of doubt that considering . . .



John 21:25
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.


The gospels don't even scratch the surface of all the works Jesus did, IMO.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:13 PM
What sort of "argumentation" are you referring to? Are you accusing me of something here?

It was just my opinion. I don't care for your style of argumentation. I thought your opening post was pretty good and balanced, but your replies since them have made it harder for me to appreciate your view. For example...


And yet not one example from the Word of God that declares that God just doesn't want to heal some . . . even that boy with the debilitating disease. Where in the Word do folks come up with this stuff? Can you give me just one example? Just one?

Just my opinion, but this style of discussion isn't my sort of thing. Nobody is arguing that God doesn't want to heal some people. He wants to heal everyone. What's be argued is whether faith provokes healing on the spot without exception. Your repetition of questions at the end comes across as too volatile in my opinion. But, of course, I'm reading some tone that might not be there (though the rest of the thread seems to affirm it is).


Perhaps you should wait to hear the other sides view before you are so quick to judgment.

Obviously the poster HAD read the thread. He/she did 'wait to hear the other sides view'. He/she wasn't judging, they were making a general statement of their opinion.


I will leave the secular reasoning to others. That's not my sort of thing. I stand on God's Word and His Word only.

I can't stand this style of argumentation. You just labeled his arguments as 'secular reasoning' and dismissed them out of hand w/o discussing the legitimate issues he/she brought up. You tried to paint a fellow Christian poster as NOT standing on God's Word and tried to paint yourself and completely faithful to it.


Why do you ignore those clear Scriptures I gave you?

As if he/she ignores the Scriptures you mentioned. They just understand them differently than you. So, yet again, an example of why I am not fond of your argumentation.

Even still, I'd rather not make this thread about you and your method of argumentation (I only responded since you asked).

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:15 PM
Feel free to refer to me as he...last time I checked, I'm a male. :)

Gotta love discussion boards.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:18 PM
It was just my opinion. I don't care for your style of argumentation. I thought your opening post was pretty good and balanced, but your replies since them have made it harder for me to appreciate your view. For example...



Just my opinion, but this style of discussion isn't my sort of thing. Nobody is arguing that God doesn't want to heal some people. He wants to heal everyone. What's be argued is whether faith provokes healing on the spot without exception. Your repetition of questions at the end comes across as too volatile in my opinion. But, of course, I'm reading some tone that might not be there (though the rest of the thread seems to affirm it is).


Obviously the poster HAD read the thread. He/she did 'wait to hear the other sides view'. He/she wasn't judging, they were making a general statement of their opinion.



I can't stand this style of argumentation. You just labeled his arguments as 'secular reasoning' and dismissed them out of hand w/o discussing the legitimate issues he/she brought up. You tried to paint a fellow Christian poster as NOT standing on God's Word and tried to paint yourself and completely faithful to it.


As if he/she ignores the Scriptures you mentioned. They just understand them differently than you. So, yet again, an example of why I am not fond of your argumentation.

Even still, I'd rather not make this thread about you and your method of argumentation (I only responded since you asked).

Now, should I go down the list of condescending remarks made by the other poster that you did not bother to comment on or find fault in? Are you sure it is just my argumentation that you do not like, or perhaps maybe there is prejudice involved in your conclusions?

You make the following statement . . .



If I were undecided on this issue, I'd side with this poster not only b/c his/her arguments are better, but because of the Christian manner in which he/she delivered them


The "Christian manner" you reference was filled with many condescending comments and attacks on other people's study of Scripture . . .

Yet, you find fault in my posts and praise the other. I find that to be highly suspect, and void of honest, objective judgment.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:22 PM
I sort of doubt that considering . . .



The gospels don't even scratch the surface of all the works Jesus did, IMO.

Obviously my point is NOT that every miracle Jesus did is contained in the 4 Gospels. My point is that the Gospels focus on a 3 year period of Jesus' life and, even then, highlight just a couple handfuls of days in that ministry period. We are told some of the most significant events.

Think of the man at Bethesda (John 5). There were a ton of sick people there. I'm sure many of them had faith that God could heal them. But of that crowd, this man seems to not have much faith (if any) at all. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well, he didn't respond "Yes, and I have faith that you can do it." He responded with a complaint (which word of faith teachers say is a big no no). And yet Jesus healed him on the spot. According to the passage, the man was cured at once (right after his complaint). You can't even argue that he had put his faith in Jesus and we just don't read about it b/c the man didn't even know who Jesus was afterwards!

So here's a story with seemingly no faith involved in healing
So here's a story with seemingly many people left w/o healing

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:23 PM
In fairness, I wrote:


This is not meant as an insult at all. It could be that I am wrong in relying on reason and that I have misinterpreted the Scriptures that I believe tell me to be reasonable. It could be that your viewpoint of the world and how reason functions is correct and that, when in Heaven, I will be proven to be a fool. Thus, the above isn't a condemnation whatsoever, but instead just stating that those who hold to the view of "faith healing" tend to hold to an extremely fideistic view of faith. It is in my opinion that such a view is anti-biblical and neoplatonic, but that is for another discussion.

In other words, the things I said about lack of study can only be taken as insulting if you agree with the standard of study I presented (the non-fideistic standard). However, if you agree with that, then you would tend to agree that most people from the "faith will always heal us" side do actually show a lack of study - thus it's not an insult, but instead a factual statement.

I do believe that, according to accepted standards, you have shown a lack of proper study on this issue. Now, that is only according to my perception and is not an insult - a lack of study does not necessitate you're wrong. It merely states that you are taking a more Fideistic approach to the Scriptures. That is hardly insulting.

Enough on that though - I also apologized if anything came across as offensive, so it should be left there and the issue picked back up.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:24 PM
Yet, you find fault in my posts and praise the other. I find that to be highly suspect, and void of honest, objective judgment.

It is, of course, quite possible, that I'm biased towards what I consider the better argument. But I find it interesting that you didn't defend your 'fault' but simply 'compared' your fault with others.

ProjectPeter
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:24 PM
Folks need to go ahead on and start chomping on one of those chill pills. ;)

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:26 PM
Feel free to refer to me as he...last time I checked, I'm a male. :)

Gotta love discussion boards.

Thanks. I always hate to assume. He you shall be :)

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:28 PM
It is, of course, quite possible, that I'm biased towards what I consider the better argument. But I find it interesting that you didn't defend your 'fault' but simply 'compared' your fault with others.

I don't need to defend accusations. I'm simply pointing out prejudice. I don't have a problem if you don't like my argument, which is why I never addressed your issues with me immediately following your statement. It's only upon further extrapolation that I point out the hypocrisy.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:29 PM
Folks need to go ahead on and start chomping on one of those chill pills. ;)

Cool beans, PP. :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:31 PM
Obviously my point is NOT that every miracle Jesus did is contained in the 4 Gospels. My point is that the Gospels focus on a 3 year period of Jesus' life and, even then, highlight just a couple handfuls of days in that ministry period. We are told some of the most significant events.

Think of the man at Bethesda (John 5). There were a ton of sick people there. I'm sure many of them had faith that God could heal them. But of that crowd, this man seems to not have much faith (if any) at all. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well, he didn't respond "Yes, and I have faith that you can do it." He responded with a complaint (which word of faith teachers say is a big no no). And yet Jesus healed him on the spot. According to the passage, the man was cured at once (right after his complaint). You can't even argue that he had put his faith in Jesus and we just don't read about it b/c the man didn't even know who Jesus was afterwards!

So here's a story with seemingly no faith involved in healing
So here's a story with seemingly many people left w/o healing

This is an excellent observation.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:34 PM
Obviously my point is NOT that every miracle Jesus did is contained in the 4 Gospels. My point is that the Gospels focus on a 3 year period of Jesus' life and, even then, highlight just a couple handfuls of days in that ministry period. We are told some of the most significant events.

Think of the man at Bethesda (John 5). There were a ton of sick people there. I'm sure many of them had faith that God could heal them. But of that crowd, this man seems to not have much faith (if any) at all. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well, he didn't respond "Yes, and I have faith that you can do it." He responded with a complaint (which word of faith teachers say is a big no no). And yet Jesus healed him on the spot. According to the passage, the man was cured at once (right after his complaint). You can't even argue that he had put his faith in Jesus and we just don't read about it b/c the man didn't even know who Jesus was afterwards!

So here's a story with seemingly no faith involved in healing
So here's a story with seemingly many people left w/o healing

First of all, I'm not "Word of Faith". I just want to go ahead and end that speculation now.

Secondly, I find two examples of healing in the Scriptures. Healing those who have faith and healing those who are ignorant to the truth.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:37 PM
First of all, I'm not "Word of Faith". I just want to go ahead and end that speculation now.

Secondly, I find to examples of healing in the Scriptures. Healing those who have faith and healing those who are ignorant to the truth.

1. I wasn't saying you were word of faith. Sorry if it came across that way. I was just making as observation while typing.

2. So we agree that healing can occur regardless of faith. Now do you have a response to the idea that many others at Bethesda seem to have been left unhealed? Is your response that they were healed and we don't know about it? Is your response that they weren't healed b/c of their lack of faith? Were they not 'ignorant to the truth' and only this man was? I'm curious what you think of this.

ProjectPeter
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:55 PM
Tell me Matthew... saw you mention it a bit earlier. You mentioned the passage in Isaiah being misunderstood. How do you read that passage?

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:03 PM
2. So we agree that healing can occur regardless of faith. Now do you have a response to the idea that many others at Bethesda seem to have been left unhealed? Is your response that they were healed and we don't know about it? Is your response that they weren't healed b/c of their lack of faith? Were they not 'ignorant to the truth' and only this man was? I'm curious what you think of this.

I wouldn't say that healing can take place when faith is not present. Faith is always present from someone. Whether it be the one praying or the one receiving. Now, I will agree that faith doesn't always have to be present in the one being prayed for. However, I believe that it is a must that unbelief NOT be present in the one being prayed for. Ignorance is one thing, but one who flatout doesn't believe God is not going to receive anything. I believe that's the main hinderance to healing today. I believe folks are just downright double-minded, and such a one can receive nothing from God the Scriptures say. On one hand they believe God, but on the other they don't.

fewarechosen
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:17 PM
Obviously my point is NOT that every miracle Jesus did is contained in the 4 Gospels. My point is that the Gospels focus on a 3 year period of Jesus' life and, even then, highlight just a couple handfuls of days in that ministry period. We are told some of the most significant events.

Think of the man at Bethesda (John 5). There were a ton of sick people there. I'm sure many of them had faith that God could heal them. But of that crowd, this man seems to not have much faith (if any) at all. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well, he didn't respond "Yes, and I have faith that you can do it." He responded with a complaint (which word of faith teachers say is a big no no). And yet Jesus healed him on the spot. According to the passage, the man was cured at once (right after his complaint). You can't even argue that he had put his faith in Jesus and we just don't read about it b/c the man didn't even know who Jesus was afterwards!

So here's a story with seemingly no faith involved in healing
So here's a story with seemingly many people left w/o healing

christ had faith he could heal him

so faith was involved

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't say that healing can take place when faith is not present. Faith is always present from someone. Whether it be the one praying or the one receiving. Now, I will agree that faith doesn't always have to be present in the one being prayed for. However, I believe that it is a must that unbelief NOT be present in the one being prayed for. Ignorance is one thing, but one who flatout doesn't believe God is not going to receive anything. I believe that's the main hinderance to healing today. I believe folks are just downright double-minded, and such a one can receive nothing from God the Scriptures say. On one hand they believe God, but on the other they don't.

First, I should say again that I totally agree that 'faith' is a key issue when it comes to healing. I just don't want to put God into a box b/c the healings recorded in the gospels all have unique features and do not conform to any set formula.

Second, so you don't think the man at Bethesda's response was one of unbelief? What about the man who said he believed but needed help with his unbelief. There, we have a case of a mixed bowl. Certainly faith was present, but so was doubt. So the presence of unbelief is not an automatic negator that a miracle will occur. I suppose you'd say the presence of faith over-rides the presence of unbelief (or that Jesus first healed him of his unbelief and then was able to do the miracle).

But in any case, he was a double-minded man. And his son was healed.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:21 PM
christ had faith he could heal him

so faith was involved

With that logic, faith on the part of the sick person is completely unnecessary!

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:34 PM
Second, so you don't think the man at Bethesda's response was one of unbelief?

No, it doesn't really say he was given an option to believe or not believe on Jesus in that instance. Jesus simply asked him if he wanted to be well. However, if the man didn't have any faith I would imagine he wouldn't have bothered taking up his bed and walking when Jesus told him to. Regardless, it's sort of tough to draw anything conclusive from this example because there really isn't a ton of information.


What about the man who said he believed but needed help with his unbelief. There, we have a case of a mixed bowl. Certainly faith was present, but so was doubt. So the presence of unbelief is not an automatic negator that a miracle will occur. I suppose you'd say the presence of faith over-rides the presence of unbelief (or that Jesus first healed him of his unbelief and then was able to do the miracle).

Or you could say that Jesus was not going to hold that boy accountable for his father's lack of faith. However, if the man received regardless of having doubt then that would contradict other Scripture, so I have a difficult time believing that to be the case.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:35 PM
Tell me Matthew... saw you mention it a bit earlier. You mentioned the passage in Isaiah being misunderstood. How do you read that passage?


4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced 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.


Obviously, the passage has been used to declare that Jesus already took care of our physical sickness on the cross. If that is the case, then physical healing should be available 'on demand' just like forgiveness is available 'on demand' (so to speak).

It seems to me quite obvious that 53:4 is, indeed, referring to physical ailments. In fact, we know this b/c its fulfillment is quoted in Matthew 8:17. What is clear is that 53:4 was fulfilled by Jesus' healing ministry before the cross. In other words, it was prophesied in Isaiah that the Messiah would have a healing ministry and it was fulfilled in Jesus' life prior to the cross according to Matthew.

It seems to me quite obvious that 53:5 is not about physical diseases at all. In fact, we know this b/c its quoted in 1 Peter 2:24-25. What is clear is that 53:5 was fulfilled by Jesus dying on the cross. But notice that Peter is talking about the disease of sin, not physical diseases. The problem, even in Isaiah 53:5, is not physical, but spiritual. It's not cancer (and the like), but the fact that we all, like sheep, have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).

53:4 IS about physical diseases, but NOT applicable to now
53:5 is NOT about physical dieseases, but IS applicable to now

fewarechosen
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:36 PM
With that logic, faith on the part of the sick person is completely unnecessary!

did lazarus have faith he could be raised from the dead ?

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:38 PM
No, it doesn't really say he was given an option to believe or not believe on Jesus in that instance. Jesus simply asked him if he wanted to be well. However, if the man didn't have any faith I would imagine he wouldn't have bothered taking up his bed and walking when Jesus told him to. Regardless, it's sort of tough to draw anything conclusive from this example because there really isn't a ton of information.

The real problem I have with the position you seem to be taking is gleaned from your answer here. As I stated above, this man didn't even know who Jesus was! So you're arguing that he had a relevant 'faith' even if it wasn't placed in a known source. This makes 'faith' the central issue instead of who the faith is placed in! In my view, faith is only as strong as the object of that faith. There's nothing supernaturally affective about faith in and of itself.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:39 PM
did lazarus have faith he could be raised from the dead ?

You're making my point. Faith is not a necessary ingredient to healing. It's only a key theme. It makes a difference, but not the only difference, and not even a necessary difference.

ProjectPeter
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:41 PM
Obviously, the passage has been used to declare that Jesus already took care of our physical sickness on the cross. If that is the case, then physical healing should be available 'on demand' just like forgiveness is available 'on demand' (so to speak).

It seems to me quite obvious that 53:4 is, indeed, referring to physical ailments. In fact, we know this b/c its fulfillment is quoted in Matthew 8:17. What is clear is that 53:4 was fulfilled by Jesus' healing ministry before the cross. In other words, it was prophesied in Isaiah that the Messiah would have a healing ministry and it was fulfilled in Jesus' life prior to the cross according to Matthew.

It seems to me quite obvious that 53:5 is not about physical diseases at all. In fact, we know this b/c its quoted in 1 Peter 2:24-25. What is clear is that 53:5 was fulfilled by Jesus dying on the cross. But notice that Peter is talking about the disease of sin, not physical diseases. The problem, even in Isaiah 53:5, is not physical, but spiritual. It's not cancer (and the like), but the fact that we all, like sheep, have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).

53:4 IS about physical diseases, but NOT applicable to now
53:5 is NOT about physical dieseases, but IS applicable to now
Agree and tis why I asked. It is an important passage because folks often see them as speaking of the same thing but it isn't. The one verse is speaking of how he showed us the miracles and yet still... he was deemed stricken by God... even to the point that many thought he had a demon. The last verse is speaking of being healed of sin.

Not sure I'd go as far as to say that it isn't applicable now other than to agree with the fact that Jesus isn't physically on the earth healing folks. Now it can be done by proxy (for lace of a better way to describe it).

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:45 PM
Not sure I'd go as far as to say that it isn't applicable now other than to agree with the fact that Jesus isn't physically on the earth healing folks. Now it can be done by proxy (for lace of a better way to describe it).

I think we're in agreement. I am not a cessationist. I believe Jesus is still doing miracles today. I just think that specific verse was primarily fulfilled in Jesus' earthly ministry. I suppose my main point, here, is that forgiveness is available upon request and such a request will be granted at once b/c the work of the cross has been accomplished. But physical healing is not, in this passage, associated with the work of the cross. It was simply prophesied as being an aspect of the Messiah's ministry.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:49 PM
The real problem I have with the position you seem to be taking is gleaned from your answer here. As I stated above, this man didn't even know who Jesus was! So you're arguing that he had a relevant 'faith' even if it wasn't placed in a known source. This makes 'faith' the central issue instead of who the faith is placed in! In my view, faith is only as strong as the object of that faith. There's nothing supernaturally affective about faith in and of itself.

Actually, I'm not arguing anything in this example. I stated there really isn't a lot of information to state anything conclusive in this example. However, I do agree that he was ignorant as to who Jesus was, which is why I stated earlier that it appears healing can take place in the case of ignorance.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:19 PM
But physical healing is not, in this passage, associated with the work of the cross. It was simply prophesied as being an aspect of the Messiah's ministry.

But why can't the same application be true for healing? As a matter of fact, throughout the Scriptures the Greek for salvation and healing is used interchangeably. We can see this example in application throughout the Scriptures as well. Just as we have gone to Jesus in faith for salvation countless people have gone to Him in faith for healing using the same application. It's almost symbolic with the lady with the issue of blood. She reached out in faith to be saved from her situation.

matthew94
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:28 PM
Physical healing is part of salvation. I agree. Salvation is all encompassing. But that's a different issue than whether or not physical healing is guaranteed upon demand b/c of the work on the cross. In other words, all people of faith in Christ will be physically healed. But there's nothing in Isaiah 53 which mandates that we will experience it at the moment of request b/c of faith. Forgiveness is available upon request b/c of the cross. We don't have to wait to be forgiven. Our spiritual disease is covered by the cross. But our physical disease is something God will take care of in His own timing. It's not 'already' taken care of like our sins were by the cross.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:38 PM
Physical healing is part of salvation. I agree. Salvation is all encompassing. But that's a different issue than whether or not physical healing is guaranteed upon demand b/c of the work on the cross. In other words, all people of faith in Christ will be physically healed. But there's nothing in Isaiah 53 which mandates that we will experience it at the moment of request b/c of faith. Forgiveness is available upon request b/c of the cross. We don't have to wait to be forgiven. Our spiritual disease is covered by the cross. But our physical disease is something God will take care of in His own timing. It's not 'already' taken care of like our sins were by the cross.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that physical healing is guaranteed upon demand. However, I also wouldn't say that salvation is guaranteed upon demand either. For example, the Word of God declares that God will not forgive us our sins unless we forgive others their trespasses against us. Therefore, how can we stand and demand salvation from the Lord if we are unwilling to extend the same grace of forgiveness to others? Regardless of whether or not you truly have faith in the Lord for salvation you are still required to forgive others of their sins in order for yours to be forgiven as well.

However, I see nowhere in the Scriptures where anyone reached out for Jesus in faith and was denied their salvation (either spiritual or physical) or told to wait till another time. Surely we would find one example in the Scriptures where Jesus just didn't feel it was time to heal someone of the oppression of the enemy if such was the case . . .

cnw
Jul 2nd 2008, 07:43 PM
are you actually comparing the healings Christ did to anyone else??? I think that is absolutely ridiculous. I am not God, you are not God, even if I had the gift of healing, it is not me who heals, it is God. Christ healed anyone he chose, both believer and unbeliever- John 9 shows us that not only did the blind man not have faith, he didn't even know who Jesus was, nor did he worship him afterwards.
John 5:12-14 the guy didn't even know who healed him
I Cor 11:30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. =Paul said this after he told of being beaten, shipwrecked etc, he never said he was healed of any of these things, he would just glory in them.

If you are going to make your case, you need to use other people in Scripture that healed. Not just Jesus.
With that being said I believe I have been healed of 3 deseases immediately when my dh prayed over me. (no one else knew of 2 of these things) I had no faith and his "spiritual gift" is teaching not healing, but he has prayed for others with the same fervent prayers and nothing has happened, explain that. oh and he prayed for me to be healed of the cancer and I wasn't, though God allowed it to be removed.
We have to look at examples that are real and God said he loves us in Scripture, but nowhere does he promise that we will be healed on Earth.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 08:02 PM
are you actually comparing the healings Christ did to anyone else??? I think that is absolutely ridiculous.

Sure. Why not?

John 14:12-14
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.


I am not God, you are not God, even if I had the gift of healing, it is not me who heals, it is God.

I don't think anyone has argued that God is not the one who supplies the power.


Christ healed anyone he chose, both believer and unbeliever-

Actually, no He didn't. The Word says that there were many that Christ wanted to heal but couldn't because of unbelief.



John 9 shows us that not only did the blind man not have faith, he didn't even know who Jesus was, nor did he worship him afterwards.
John 5:12-14 the guy didn't even know who healed him


This sort of thing has been discussed in this thread.


I Cor 11:30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. =Paul said this after he told of being beaten, shipwrecked etc, he never said he was healed of any of these things, he would just glory in them.

Again, God never promised freedom from persecution.


If you are going to make your case, you need to use other people in Scripture that healed. Not just Jesus.

Like Peter, Paul, John, Stephen, Philip, etc.? There are a large number of folks besides Jesus who walked just as He did healing those who were oppressed by the devil.



With that being said I believe I have been healed of 3 deseases immediately when my dh prayed over me. (no one else knew of 2 of these things) I had no faith and his "spiritual gift" is teaching not healing, but he has prayed for others with the same fervent prayers and nothing has happened, explain that. oh and he prayed for me to be healed of the cancer and I wasn't, though God allowed it to be removed.
We have to look at examples that are real and God said he loves us in Scripture, but nowhere does he promise that we will be healed on Earth.


How am I to go into your personal testimonies if I was not there? I will not go diving off into that sort of thing because it is absolutely fruitless. I will stand on the Word of God and that alone in this medium.

Kate
Jul 2nd 2008, 08:36 PM
One thing you seem to be missing is the fact that disease and sickness are a result of the fall. Here's a question for you: As Christians (those redeemed by Christ) why do we die physically? I'll answer my own question: Because of the fall. "For it is appointed man once to die and after this the judgement". Now, biologically, why do we die? From sickness. Our bodies eventually give out and die. Period.

When Christ raised Lazarus from the dead he lived for only a time and then died again, presumably. Same thing for those Jesus healed at the time. The weightier matter is that we be healed from of our spiritual condition. Physical healing is temporary at best. Jesus healed as a sign of who He was. The apostles healed as a sign that they were of Jesus. Often, not always, the purpose of physical healings is often to set a person up for spiritual healing which can follow such an event. This is what Jesus did.

The Bible clearly states that "all our days are written in the book, when there were as yet none of them" (Pslam 139). God has appointed a time for our birth and death (Ecclesiastes).

What I'm getting at is that you do not know God's will for a person. Just because you pray something by faith doesn't mean God wil answer it in the way you want Him to. 1John 5:14 "If we ask anything according to His will He hears us".

It also says that as the heavens are high above the earth so My ways are above yours.

Also, consider this: Romans 8:18-22 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) clearly points out that illness in general is a result of the fall and the human sin condition. But Matthew 4:24 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1), 10:1 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) and 10:8 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) reveal that individual illnesses are not satanically inspired. Matthew makes a clear distinction between dealing with diseases and demon activity.

Paul himself said: "Concerning this ailment I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He has said unto me, "My grace is sufficint for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness". 2Cor 8:-9.
Were not the promises to Paul, as an apostle?? Your argument doesn't hold water.

I quote someone else here:
"God is not a magical genie that will obey our whims. I have faith that God will make me live to 150. I have faith that God will give me the continent of Australia. I have faith that God will give me super powers. What if I truly believe these things will come true? Faith is not another word for belief. Not even just another word for trust. It’s much more than that.

True faith is knowing, believing and doing God’s Word. How can we have faith in something we don’t know? That’s why God has given us his word. How can we have faith in something we don’t believe? And how can we have faith unless we act on what we know and believe?

JAS 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? [15] Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. [16] If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? [17] In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Faith is knowing, believing and doing God’s will. One can only have true faith in something God wants – or else it is a false faith. That is why I can’t have faith (true faith) that God will make me a monkey. No matter how much I believe it (a false faith) it won’t come to pass.

Having faith is – knowing, believing and doing God’s will – not ours. If it is not God’s will for someone to be healed we can still have faith in that this suffering will lead to something good (James 1:2-4).

Remember – faith is conforming to God’s will."

cnw
Jul 2nd 2008, 08:40 PM
Like Peter, Paul, John, Stephen, Philip, etc.? There are a large number of folks besides Jesus who walked just as He did healing those who were oppressed by the devil.

opression is different than healing. That is attack and demonic possesion, not sickness of the body

How am I to go into your personal testimonies if I was not there? I will not go diving off into that sort of thing because it is absolutely fruitless. I will stand on the Word of God and that alone in this medium.
because all you have to go by is personal Testimonies in todays time. That is how God works today. I just think you saying that God wants us all healed and we aren't because someone lacks faith is something I would like to understand and compare to your life. How did you come to that conclusion?
and you can't throw out the above verses. those men did not know Jesus.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 08:58 PM
One thing you seem to be missing is the fact that disease and sickness are a result of the fall. Here's a question for you: As Christians (those redeemed by Christ) why do we die physically? I'll answer my own question: Because of the fall. "For it is appointed man once to die and after this the judgement". Now, biologically, why do we die? From sickness. Our bodies eventually give out and die. Period.

Again, though, this is not always the case. Just look at the Moses example once again. Not everyone dies of sickness or disease or their body "giving out". Moses' health was fine when his life on this earth ended.


When Christ raised Lazarus from the dead he lived for only a time and then died again, presumably. Same thing for those Jesus healed at the time. The weightier matter is that we be healed from of our spiritual condition.

This is always the popular thing to say, but the fact of the matter is that Jesus brought both. He brought both physical and spiritual healing, so why not walk in both?


Physical healing is temporary at best. Jesus healed as a sign of who He was.

Again, another popular thing to say, but the fact of the matter is that the Scriptures show He healed for many more reasons than "showing a sign". He healed out of compassion, and this is the same compassion that He still has for us.


The apostles healed as a sign that they were of Jesus. Often, not always, the purpose of physical healings is often to set a person up for spiritual healing which can follow such an event. This is what Jesus did.

Cool. I have no problem with healing being a sign to help spread the gospel. However, it would be kind of difficult for an unbeliever to believe for healing of his breathing problems or something along those lines if the person praying for him is hacking up a lung himself. I know my faith would not be stirred up on such an occasion. I would not be inclined to believe a person's story if they themselves weren't even walking in it.


What I'm getting at is that you do not know God's will for a person.

Okay, so using this line of reasoning do you believe that the one who died from AIDS while not knowing Jesus as Savior was just fulfilling God's will? This "God's will" argument is so convenient when only speaking of healing. Why is healing always dependent upon God's will, yet when someone dies without salvation today's Christian is quick to jump up and say, "It's not God's fault. It was this person's free will!" That's mighty contradictory, IMO.


Just because you pray something by faith doesn't mean God wil answer it in the way you want Him to. 1John 5:14 "If we ask anything according to His will He hears us".

So again I ask you, how can a person ever pray in complete faith for healing if they have no clue as to whether or not God really wants to heal them? Why do you think God wants His will as far as healing is concerned to be such a large guessing game? Why should I even bother praying for the sick since according to this line of thinking I don't even know if God wants them well?


Also, consider this: Romans 8:18-22 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) clearly points out that illness in general is a result of the fall and the human sin condition.

I think everyone would agree with that. However, for the born again, Spirit-filled Christian this "sin condition" is no more. No longer will sin have dominion over a Spirit-filled believer (Romans 6:14).


But Matthew 4:24 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1), 10:1 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) and 10:8 (http://www.does-god-always-heal.com/#1) reveal that individual illnesses are not satanically inspired. Matthew makes a clear distinction between dealing with diseases and demon activity.

How do those Scriptures declare that individual illnesses are not satanically inspired?



Paul himself said: "Concerning this ailment I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He has said unto me, "My grace is sufficint for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness". 2Cor 8:-9.
Were not the promises to Paul, as an apostle?? Your argument doesn't hold water.


Promises of what? Again, nowhere does God ever promise anyone freedom from persecution. I've already gone through this extensively.



I quote someone else here:
"God is not a magical genie that will obey our whims. I have faith that God will make me live to 150. I have faith that God will give me the continent of Australia. I have faith that God will give me super powers. What if I truly believe these things will come true? Faith is not another word for belief. Not even just another word for trust. It’s much more than that.


What you speak of here is "Word of Faith" teachings and I do not subscribe to them. You are not understanding my position well if this is what you gather from my posts.


True faith is knowing, believing and doing God’s Word. How can we have faith in something we don’t know?

Exactly my point!!! How can you receive healing if you don't know and you are unsure of whether or not God even wants you well?


That’s why God has given us his word. How can we have faith in something we don’t believe? And how can we have faith unless we act on what we know and believe?

You are making my points for me here.


Having faith is – knowing, believing and doing God’s will – not ours. If it is not God’s will for someone to be healed we can still have faith in that this suffering will lead to something good (James 1:2-4).

So then by the very definition you give here, nobody is going to be able to receive healing from God unless they know He wants them well and is willing that they be healed. Why on earth do you think God would want this to be a large guessing game? Is that how firm faith is rooted? He reveals His will to us through His Word and it is now us who needs to allow that Word to take root and produce faith in us. If you are still guessing as to whether or not God wants people well then you aren't going to be very fruitful in the healing department.

VerticalReality
Jul 2nd 2008, 09:07 PM
opression is different than healing. That is attack and demonic possesion, not sickness of the body

Could you point that out biblically? Acts 10:38 states that Jesus Christ was anointed by God to go about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Jesus healed many who were sick, so it's apparent to me that this is included in the devil's oppression.


because all you have to go by is personal Testimonies in todays time.

That's not all I have to go on. I have God's Word. Thankfully I don't have to just go on testimonies because there are many out there who will tell you that they were healed by witches. Testimonies are worth a whole lot of nothing if they do not align with God's spoken Word.



That is how God works today. I just think you saying that God wants us all healed and we aren't because someone lacks faith is something I would like to understand and compare to your life. How did you come to that conclusion?


Well, since according to you God doesn't want everyone well then I guess we can expect to experience sickness in heaven as well, correct? Why do you think God wants His children sick? If sickness was God's perfect will then we would all remain in such a condition even in heaven. I came to this conclusion by reading His Word. If God had no problem with us being sick He certainly wouldn't have sent His Son to hang on a cross. God hates sickness and disease, and it is grieving to me that many Christians preach that God actually desires that His children go through that mess. Now don't get me wrong. I certainly believe God can use that which is evil for good, but in His perfect will He does not desire folks to be sick or disease-ridden. Jesus revealed as much.


and you can't throw out the above verses. those men did not know Jesus.

I'm not sure what you're addressing here.

cnw
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:00 AM
Well, since according to you God doesn't want everyone well then I guess we can expect to experience sickness in heaven as well, correct?

You know that is the only Scripture I can find to back up any of your theory...but it doesn't even say sickness

Rev 23: 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

If God didn't want his people to suffer, why would he take it away in Heaven and not on Earth? Also much sickness is given due to anger and bitterness etc. It affects individual body parts when we have these.
The Bible also talks about taking the Lords supper with unconfessed sin. He is talking to the saved here-

27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Until People repent of their sins God will allow them to continue to suffer no matter how much faith you have or they have to be healed.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 01:36 AM
If God didn't want his people to suffer, why would he take it away in Heaven and not on Earth?

That's the same as asking why doesn't God save everyone. The answer . . . it's not all up to God. God has placed everything at our fingertips. Now it is our choice by faith to reach out and take it. When people get saved Jesus doesn't have to come back and die on a cross again. Likewise, the same is true for healing. Like the woman with the issue of blood, God did not respond to her faith. Her faith responded to God and sought Him out.


Also much sickness is given due to anger and bitterness etc. It affects individual body parts when we have these.

I don't argue that at all. In fact, I agree with you 100%.


The Bible also talks about taking the Lords supper with unconfessed sin. He is talking to the saved here-

27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Until People repent of their sins God will allow them to continue to suffer no matter how much faith you have or they have to be healed.

I also agree 100% with this.

Kate
Jul 3rd 2008, 02:09 AM
:DYou're funny! I'm not in the "healing department". I assist in mercy ministries, often to the sick and dying. I've seen God perform some mighty miracles, and I've also seen him silent in situations. In situations like that, you have to learn to be extra sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When you feel prompted to pray for healing, you go for it. Whatever the case, you wait for the Holy Spirit to guide.

One thing we agree on - God can and does heal people. Faith is an essential component in the healing of believers and really, in every area of a believer's life. Where we differ is that I believe that God doesn't do everything we ask Him to do by faith. I DO believe, however, that we as a body, and as individuals in the Body of Christ could do abundantly above and beyond what we doin Christ if we had more faith. God honors the prayers of faiith. But I will never subscribe to the belief that if a believer is sick and they pray in faith that God will heal them that they will be healed. God has a say in these things.

I speak from personal experience in this area as well. I believed wholeheartedly that God would heal a condition in my own life. I believed it unwaveringly. He can, but has chosen not to for Hi own purposes. In that time I have grown more spiritually in my walk than from any other thing in my life. This disease I've carried has been the greatest, worst, blessing in my life. I would never have wished it on anyone, but God used it for His own glory, and I see that the wisdom of my own prayers of faith lack any wisdom at all. True faith is trusting. God's wisdom is far beyond what any one of us can comprehend.

My sister almost died of leukemia last year. She was pregnant with her third child when she was diagnosed and a beautiful, vibrant 36 year old. She was so close to death by the time she was diagnosed (it progresses very quickly) that she was life flighted off the island and taken to an emergency center, receiving major transfusions. She was forced to abort her baby, because she would die and so would the baby. I flew out to be with her and she was more than willing to die for her baby, which was her first choice. The doctor aid she wouldn't live long enough to give birth. It was during this time that I got to lead her to Christ and we began praying for healing. God has performed a huge miracle and she's a walking testimony of the power of God's healing. I praise Him for what He did in her life. Everyone knows it was Him. (And also, a thanks to my little sister who gave her bone marrow).

As you go on in life you'll witness events that may surprise you. When God moves, you know it. When His hand is silent, you know it. And you're right, only the Spirit knows what is in the heart of a man, and he person whose heart it is. I know what my own heart was, and I now see the wisdom in God's refusal of my healing prayers.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 02:59 AM
Where we differ is that I believe that God doesn't do everything we ask Him to do by faith.

Actually, we have a very fundamental difference that is a lot larger than you think. I don't believe God "will do" anything. I believe God already has done it. You seem to be approaching this discussion as if you're debating a Word of Faith believer. However, I am not a Word of Faith believer.

Word of Faith teachers teach that God responds to anything you ask for as long as you ask in faith. However, I do not believe God responds to our faith by giving us some new grace. I believe our faith responds to God and then we receive His grace that He has already prepared for us. There is a huge fundamental difference there.

For example, the Word of God says that it is by grace that I have been saved through faith. So, what does that mean? Does that mean that I am accepting Jesus by faith and He is coming down to earth to be crucified all over again so I can be saved? No. That's not what it means. What it means is that I am now walking in faith and receiving a gift from God that He has already provided. Jesus doesn't die for me again. I simply accept by faith the gift He has already offered to me.

God has provided every spiritual blessing for those who believe. This is by His grace, and it is our responsibilty to believe God. I believe healing is part of God's grace. I believe it is something that He has already provided for those who will believe.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:24 AM
Another interesting observation . . .

If it is God's will that some remain sick then why do so many of these people hinder God's will by taking medication? Shouldn't they stop taking this medication in order to fully experience God's will for their life? Why are they trying to hinder God's will for them with the sickness or disease in their body? Perhaps these folks should stop taking this medication so that they will have all that God wills for them.

(Of course I'm being a little sarcastic here, but that is basically what folks are saying with this "It's God's will that I'm sick" stuff)

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 04:37 AM
Another interesting observation . . .

If it is God's will that some remain sick then why do so many of these people hinder God's will by taking medication? Shouldn't they stop taking this medication in order to fully experience God's will for their life? Why are they trying to hinder God's will for them with the sickness or disease in their body? Perhaps these folks should stop taking this medication so that they will have all that God wills for them.

(Of course I'm being a little sarcastic here, but that is basically what folks are saying with this "It's God's will that I'm sick" stuff)

I'm glad you're being a 'little sarcastic.' I wish you were being a 'lot sarcastic' because this argument seems, to me, to be quite a reach. Those who argue that God may allow a sickness to linger for a good reason/purpose are, by no means, forced to conclude (from their own logic) that treatment of said sickness is to be avoided. In contrast, the argument is that God sometimes (even usually) allows the laws of nature (that He created) to take their course. Part of the laws of nature is the advancement of medicine and treatments throughout time. It is perfectly consistent for a person to accept sickness as an allowance of God AND to seek treatment.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 04:43 AM
Now let me ask you a question about the consistency of your arguments

A. Both sin and sickness were dealt with at the cross

Do you agree with point A?

B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

Do you agree with point B?

C. A believer who asks for healing in faith who is not healed didn't have enough (or the right kind of) faith.

Do you agree with point C?

In my opinion, if you agree with A, B & C, then you MUST conclude that such a person who fits point 3 is NOT EVEN SAVED. If they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sickness, then they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sin. In other words, if you agree with A, B & C, to be consistent, you'll have to say that all 'sick Christians' aren't Christians at all.

Where is the flaw in my logic?

Kate
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:44 AM
[God has provided every spiritual blessing for those who believe. This is by His grace, and it is our responsibilty to believe God. I believe healing is part of God's grace. I believe it is something that He has already provided for those who will believe.]
__________________

Yes, God has provided every spiritual blessng to those who believe. And yes, it is by grace and it is our responsibility to believe God (actually, however, it says that God gives each of us a measure of faith). You believe healing is a part of God's grace as a part of salvation? When you are saved you are not only healed spiritually but physical healing is part of the deal? This is a big stretch. Are all the sick Christians just not believing then? And are they in fact saved, if they (by your standard) don't have enough faith to be healed and therefore logically don't have enough faith to be saved, either? This is a dangerous and slippery slope. About the question I raised of sickness unto death for Christians: If physical healing goes hand in hand with spiritual healing, why do we Christians get sick and die at all? Is the only acceptable way for a true Christian to die by an accident or some other sudden situation? And if said Christian is hit by a semi and in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and close to death, will he be for sure healed if they pray by faith on the way? hmm. if so, why doesn't this happen more often? You believe God has already healed you physically. Well... it also says we are seated in the heavenlies. That's a completely different topic of discussion (and an interesting one).
Do you know any believers who have fully and totally dedicated their lives to ministry and to the Lord, such as missionaries? People who live and breathe the word and walk in the spirit as evidenced by their fruits? I do... I've seen one in particular through the disgnaoses of cancer in their two year old. I've witnessed genuine crying out to God on behalf of their child. And I've seen the child go to the Lord, despite the prayer of faith by these godly men and women. You say I can't look into their hearts but Jesus said a tree is known by its fruit and their fruit is real. Can all of these Christians who experience these things be as faithless as you make them out to be?

cross crusader
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:12 PM
Now let me ask you a question about the consistency of your arguments

A. Both sin and sickness were dealt with at the cross

Do you agree with point A?

B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

Do you agree with point B?

C. A believer who asks for healing in faith who is not healed didn't have enough (or the right kind of) faith.

Do you agree with point C?

In my opinion, if you agree with A, B & C, then you MUST conclude that such a person who fits point 3 is NOT EVEN SAVED. If they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sickness, then they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sin. In other words, if you agree with A, B & C, to be consistent, you'll have to say that all 'sick Christians' aren't Christians at all.

Where is the flaw in my logic?
not true at all.
An example of beliver A would be those who know that God will heal them.
An example of believer B is one who doesnt think it is always Gods will for them to be healthy. They are deceived, or they bought into some false doctrine, or all they have seen their whole life is defeated christians waiting til Heaven to walk in there blessings. Look if God promised the children of Israel divine health under the Law, why would he not do the same for us, the children of Abraham who are the children of Faith? And yes sin and sickness were handled at the cross.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:18 PM
I'm glad you're being a 'little sarcastic.' I wish you were being a 'lot sarcastic' because this argument seems, to me, to be quite a reach.

I think that if this topic were on something a little less controversial your opinion would be different. Let's take love, for example. We know that it is God's will that we love our neighbor as ourselves. What happens when you take away from that will of God? God doesn't say that it is His will that we love a little bit. In order to measure up to God we have to love all the time. Now we don't live up to that standard all the time, and thankfully we have a Lord who is faithful and just to forgive our sin if we make a mistake here or there. However, that still doesn't change the fact that we went against His will and didn't love all the time. Thankfully, I do not believe it's God's perfect will that we be sick. Therefore, I agree that the example is a bit of a stretch, which is why I stated I was being a little sarcastic. However, I also believe that the "It's God's will that I'm sick" point of view is a VERY LARGE stretch. So, if it truly is God's will that a person be sick then folks should not be going against His will and trying to thwart it by taking medication or getting treatment for their illness.


Those who argue that God may allow a sickness to linger for a good reason/purpose are, by no means, forced to conclude (from their own logic) that treatment of said sickness is to be avoided.

God allowing something and it being God's perfect will are certainly two different things. However, I'm not one to say that God will never use sickness for a good purpose. Take the Corinthians, for example. God used sickness in their case as judgment for sin. He used it to chasten them and show them that they were not walking in His will.


In contrast, the argument is that God sometimes (even usually) allows the laws of nature (that He created) to take their course. Part of the laws of nature is the advancement of medicine and treatments throughout time. It is perfectly consistent for a person to accept sickness as an allowance of God AND to seek treatment.

And, of course, you have Scriptures to support these conclusions, correct? I would also like to take this time to remind you that the "law of nature" that God created didn't include sickness and disease. It is mankind that allowed that nonsense in. It's funny how that part is never mentioned much.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:42 PM
A. Both sin and sickness were dealt with at the cross

Do you agree with point A?

The believer has been given authority over all the power of the enemy.



B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

Do you agree with point B?


No, I do not agree with point B.



C. A believer who asks for healing in faith who is not healed didn't have enough (or the right kind of) faith.

Do you agree with point C?


I believe if a person is asking for something that God has already provided then he is by default not walking in faith.


In my opinion, if you agree with A, B & C, then you MUST conclude that such a person who fits point 3 is NOT EVEN SAVED.

You think so? If a person does not walk in joy does that mean they are not saved as well? If they do not walk in joy does that mean that joy is not available to them at that point and they need to wait on God's timing in order for them to have joy?


If they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sickness, then they don't have enough faith to access previously accomplished deliverance from sin.

This could be true. Many Christians out there have hardly no faith at all for victory over sin, which is why they keep on sinning. There's no telling how many times I've seen on this forum someone say something along the lines of, "I just can't stop committing this sin because of this sin nature I got."



In other words, if you agree with A, B & C, to be consistent, you'll have to say that all 'sick Christians' aren't Christians at all.

Where is the flaw in my logic?


The flaw has already been pointed out. There are many blessings that God has already provided that a good portion of Christians do not walk in.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 01:44 PM
Yes, God has provided every spiritual blessng to those who believe. And yes, it is by grace and it is our responsibility to believe God (actually, however, it says that God gives each of us a measure of faith).

And faith the size of a mustard seed is large enough to move mountains. God's Word says that He has given us authority over the things of the enemy. Do you believe God just hasn't given some people faith to believe that biblical truth? Why do you think He would do that?


You believe healing is a part of God's grace as a part of salvation?

Yes.


When you are saved you are not only healed spiritually but physical healing is part of the deal?

If one believes . . . yes. If one doesn't . . . no.


This is a big stretch.

I don't believe it's a stretch at all. The Word declares that we are given every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. However, a good portion of Christians do not experience all these blessings at the point of conversion. Why? Lots of reasons. One reason is that they just don't know that some blessings have been given, and those without faith cannot receive from the spirit. This is one of the reasons why we are instructed to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in God's grace. A lot of Christians do not experience these blessings because they are not being taught them. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So if folks aren't teaching these truths then those they are teaching aren't going to walk in them.


Are all the sick Christians just not believing then?

In some form or another yes.


And are they in fact saved, if they (by your standard) don't have enough faith to be healed and therefore logically don't have enough faith to be saved, either?

There are many folks who have faith to be saved but do not have faith for much of anything else. Just because you walk in some of God's grace doesn't mean you walk in all of God's grace.


This is a dangerous and slippery slope.

There is much that God has provided that Christians do not walk in. I agree that it is dangerous, and Chrisians should strive to grow in God's grace and learn just what it is He has done for those who love Him.


About the question I raised of sickness unto death for Christians: If physical healing goes hand in hand with spiritual healing, why do we Christians get sick and die at all?

I never stated anything about if you get one you automatically get the other as if they are one and the same. We receive in the spirit many things at salvation that is availabe to us. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 are things that never leave us in the spirit. They are always there and they are always available to us. We simply have to walk by faith and accept it.


Is the only acceptable way for a true Christian to die by an accident or some other sudden situation?

Is there an "acceptable" way to die at all?


And if said Christian is hit by a semi and in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and close to death, will he be for sure healed if they pray by faith on the way? hmm. if so, why doesn't this happen more often?

Is there anyone in the Word of God who was denied healing if they believed? It doesn't happen more because a very large portion of people have a very hard time believing for something they cannot see.


Do you know any believers who have fully and totally dedicated their lives to ministry and to the Lord, such as missionaries? People who live and breathe the word and walk in the spirit as evidenced by their fruits?

Sure.


I do... I've seen one in particular through the disgnaoses of cancer in their two year old. I've witnessed genuine crying out to God on behalf of their child. And I've seen the child go to the Lord, despite the prayer of faith by these godly men and women.

Did Peter "cry out to God" when he approached the crippled beggar at the gate called Beautiful?


You say I can't look into their hearts but Jesus said a tree is known by its fruit and their fruit is real. Can all of these Christians who experience these things be as faithless as you make them out to be?

I never made them out to be "faithless". This is a misunderstanding on your part.

Kate
Jul 3rd 2008, 02:53 PM
Scenario:

Christian goes to the doctor and is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Doc says he has 6 months to live.

Christian, his family, church, and friends cry out to God, asking for healing.

(Already, by your standard, we have problems: #1, it seems (correct me if I'm wrong) that your line of thinking would first of all look at Christian as the problem. Why did he get the brain tumor? Is God punishing him? Then, problem #2 by your standard: Christian, his family, friends and church are going about this all wrong - they are crying out to God ASKING for healing. But wait, he's already healed. Forget the fact that his vision is being affected and he has constant headaches. All he has to do is claim the victory over the tumor and he's already healed. According to you, God never has a purpose (other than punishment) for sickness in a believer's life, so it is always his will we be well, until one day, God causes us to die in the manner Moses did.

On with the scenario: Christian continues to pray, thanking God in advance for what he believes He will do. Christian gets worse, and dies in the 6 month time. (By your standard, two conclusions are met here: #1, Christian was not exercising his faith. And since he was not delivered, there are one or both of these conclusions: Christian was practicing sin and God punished him with a brain tumor. And/or faith filled Christian did not exercise his faith and his death is a result of him not receiving the fact that he was already healed.

Is this right?

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:19 PM
(Already, by your standard, we have problems: #1, it seems (correct me if I'm wrong) that your line of thinking would first of all look at Christian as the problem.

Am I supposed to look at God as the problem?


Why did he get the brain tumor?

Too many variables to say for sure . . .


Is God punishing him?

Possibly. Those God loves He chastens in some form or another.


Christian, his family, friends and church are going about this all wrong - they are crying out to God ASKING for healing.

Why do you think God has and will continue to use sickness as a form of correction? I'm not saying that it is God that's caused this scenario you are giving here, but why do you believe God would cause sickness to chasten His children? The reason is because in such occasions we are to examine ourselves to see if all of our walk is in line with the will of God. Are we living in sin? Are we holding unforgiveness? Those are all reasons that God will chasten His children, and he will use sickness or wicked spirits as a method of correction. Now in some situations it is as the Word says and God's people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. When folks don't know or believe what God has done this gives the devil a door to come in and steal, kill and destroy. There are so many things here that are a possibility, and it is up to the believer to examine themselves to see what is going on.


But wait, he's already healed.

In the spirit . . . yes. However, if one doesn't believe for what they have then they are not going to experience it. The only way to manifest anything from the spirit into the physical is through faith. We'll use the joy example again. A person does not experience this joy of God that the Word declares them to have. So this person goes to God and asks God to give Him joy. Why is God going to now give what He has already given? He has given us the power over sickness and disease. He has given us the authority over all the power of the enemy. Why are we going to ask Him for something He has already given?


Forget the fact that his vision is being affected and he has constant headaches. All he has to do is claim the victory over the tumor and he's already healed. According to you, God never has a purpose (other than punishment) for sickness in a believer's life, so it is always his will we be well, until one day, God causes us to die in the manner Moses did.

Okay, forget the fact that the guy in my scenario isn't experiencing joy. Forget the fact that he is depressed and not feeling joyful. Does these physical situations now nullify what the Word of God proclaims? Does this man really not have joy?


On with the scenario: Christian continues to pray, thanking God in advance for what he believes He will do.

Thanking God in advance and believing Him to do what He has already done? How is that faith again?


Christian was practicing sin and God punished him with a brain tumor.

Possible . . . yes.


And/or faith filled Christian did not exercise his faith and his death is a result of him not receiving the fact that he was already healed.

Possible . . . yes.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:19 PM
No, I do not agree with point B.

I'm at a loss for understanding what position you're actually taking. At some points you seem to be saying that every who asks God in faith gets healed, but then you don't agree with point B that a believer who asks with faith for healing will be healed.

I suppose I can't comment anymore on your position w/o being able to understand what you're trying to communicate.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:26 PM
I'm at a loss for understanding what position you're actually taking. At some points you seem to be saying that every who asks God in faith gets healed, but then you don't agree with point B that a believer who asks with faith for healing will be healed.

I suppose I can't comment anymore on your position w/o being able to understand what you're trying to communicate.

I've already explained what I believe here in just the last couple of posts alone.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:36 PM
I've already explained what I believe here in just the last couple of posts alone.

Humor me, if you will...I am having trouble reconciling these 2 statements of yours:
Red ='s me


B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

Do you agree with point B?

No, I do not agree with point B.vs.


every single last person that came to the Lord in faith got what they were seeking. Every single one of them. Not one was turned away. Not one didn't receive.Please help so I can understand you

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:47 PM
Humor me, if you will...I am having trouble reconciling these 2 statements of yours:
Red ='s me

vs.

Please help so I can understand you

I believe this post answers what you are asking . . .

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1695435&postcount=86

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:54 PM
I believe this post answers what you are asking . . .

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1695435&postcount=86

Okay. So if I change my wording from

B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

to

B. A believer who comes in faith will get what they seek

You'd then agree with point B?

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 04:00 PM
Okay. So if I change my wording from

B. A believer who asks for healing in faith will be healed

to

B. A believer who comes in faith will get what they seek

You'd then agree with point B?


No, I would not agree with point B.

If you are a believer you have already come to Jesus and you have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. A "believer" who comes to God seeking something God has already given can't exactly be considered a believer.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 04:09 PM
Thank you for your patience. You said...


every single last person that came to the Lord in faith got what they were seekingSo you believe every such person in Scripture that came to the Lord seeking healing was not a believer. I gather this from you point...


A "believer" who comes to God seeking something God has already given can't exactly be considered a believer.I am, at least, now clear that you understand physical healing to be part of the atonement. I already discussed Isaiah 53. Is there some other passage you'd consider key in this belief? As I said earlier, if physical healing is part of the work of the cross, then you're position is certainly right. I just haven't seen any solid argument for this position yet. And, of course, if you are wrong and physical healing is not part of the atonement, you're entire position falls apart.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 04:53 PM
Thank you for your patience. You said...

So you believe every such person in Scripture that came to the Lord seeking healing was not a believer.

I'm not aware of anything in the Scriptures where a Spirit-filled Christian came to Lord seeking healing. I know of where Paul came to the Lord for deliverance from persecution in which the Lord replied, "My grace is sufficient . . ." But I don't recall anyplace where a Spirit-filled believer came to the Lord asking for healing.


I am, at least, now clear that you understand physical healing to be part of the atonement.

I do consider healing/health a spiritual blessing . . . yes.


Is there some other passage you'd consider key in this belief?

What . . . that God desires us to be well? It's basically an observance of the entire Word. I believe we can see from what God has revealed of Himself in His Word that He would like us to be well. I believe the Word also reveals circumstances where this won't be the case, but I don't believe this is God's fault or anything He can be blamed for. I don't believe God is keeping people guessing as to what His will is. I believe God has been very clear about what He has done and what He expects from His children.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:03 PM
In 2 Timothy 4:20 Paul mentions leaving Trophimus sick in Miletus
From all other accounts Trophimus seems to be a believer
Why was Trophimus left sick?

In Galatians 4:13 Paul menions a physical infirmity he had earlier as a believer
Why was Paul suffering physically at this time, as a Spirit-filled believer?

In 1 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says many Christians were weak and sick
Paul seems to indicate in 11:32 that this was from the Lord
In any case, these believers were sick b/c of their poor treatment of Lord's Supper
If they were still accessing atonement (still believers) why not healing?

I'm curious regarding your thoughts on each of these passages

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:16 PM
In 2 Timothy 4:20 Paul mentions leaving Trophimus sick in Miletus
From all other accounts Trophimus seems to be a believer
Why was Trophimus left sick?

I never stated that believers don't get sick, and the Word doesn't say why Trophimus was sick.



In Galatians 4:13 Paul menions a physical infirmity he had earlier as a believer
Why was Paul suffering physically at this time, as a Spirit-filled believer?


I went into these passages of Scripture about Paul extensively in this thread already.

You can see some of that in this post . . .

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1694146&postcount=26


In 1 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says many Christians were weak and sick

Indeed. Chastening of the Lord. I've addressed that in this thread also.



Paul seems to indicate in 11:32 that this was from the Lord
In any case, these believers were sick b/c of their poor treatment of Lord's Supper
If they were still accessing atonement (still believers) why not healing?


If they continued in those sins and did not repent would they still have salvation? If one lives in unrepentant sin they are in danger of losing salvation as well. The same applies for healing/health.

cnw
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:40 PM
wait a minute, I have been totally misunderstanding you...so if I have had ailments I have been with disease, I am not a believer? or if I am not healed I am not saved? or if I still have a disease I am not saved???

Well this will throw you. We prayed God would close my womb and weeks later I develop stage 2 cancer and end up with a hysterectomy. I truely believe God used cancer to close my womb....so how do you describe that. Oh and I know that I know that I am saved.



Possibly. Those God loves He chastens in some form or another.

this comment really is contradictory to many of your statements if above is true...doesn't God love everyone.

matthew94
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:44 PM
I think we have a very different writing style b/c your thoughts seem all over the map (I'll take the blame for that). So I'm still interested in hearing more from you:

In James 5:15 refers to believers offering up a prayer of faith for a fellow believer who is sick. How does this reconcile with your statement that "I'm not aware of anything in the Scriptures where a Spirit-filled Christian came to Lord seeking healing."

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:45 PM
wait a minute, I have been totally misunderstanding you...

Yes, I would agree that you are totally misunderstanding me . . . ;)


so if I have had ailments I have been with disease, I am not a believer?

If you're asking if you are a Christian that is between you and the Lord. If you are asking if it is possible for a genuine Christian to have a disease I will tell you yes . . . a born again Christian can have a disease.


Well this will throw you. We prayed God would close my womb and weeks later I develop stage 2 cancer and end up with a hysterectomy. I truely believe God used cancer to close my womb....so how do you describe that. Oh and I know that I know that I am saved.

I would describe it as your claim. I don't believe God is going to give anyone cancer because they asked their womb to be closed, but I'm not here to discuss individual testimonies and the like. I could have already provided my testimony here if that were the case.

VerticalReality
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:49 PM
I think we have a very different writing style b/c your thoughts seem all over the map (I'll take the blame for that). So I'm still interested in hearing more from you:

In James 5:15 refers to believers offering up a prayer of faith for a fellow believer who is sick. How does this reconcile with your statement that "I'm not aware of anything in the Scriptures where a Spirit-filled Christian came to Lord seeking healing."

I was speaking of individualized accounts of people being healed. I don't know of one Spirit-filled Christian that the Word speaks of specifically that asked the Lord to heal them.

SIG
Jul 4th 2008, 05:02 AM
Without wading through the entire thread, I feel compelled to ask a few questions:

Why do many assume that what Christ did serves as a model for us?

If He is a literal model for us, why aren't we trying to learn to walk on water?

I do not mean to minimize physical ailments; pain is very real indeed. But I propose that the healings (and indeed all miracles) that Christ did were symbolic of the only truly important healing--spiritual healing.

The Great Commission is about saving souls.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:04 AM
So if you get sick you're not saved? If you come down with the 24 hour flu, you don't have Christ?

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 05:16 AM
If He is a literal model for us, why aren't we trying to learn to walk on water?

He hasn't said to walk on water. He didn't say to go into all the world and walk on water.


The Great Commission is about saving souls.

Jesus put a little more in it than that . . .

Mark 16:14-18
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 05:17 AM
So if you get sick you're not saved? If you come down with the 24 hour flu, you don't have Christ?

This has already been discussed. I will defer you back to the other posts addressing this. I really don't want the thread turning circular, so if nothing is left to present then we might as well let it go.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:19 AM
Considering that I can't find it, I'm merely going to assume that you're saying that a person cannot be saved if they get sick. That is how you have it worded, so I believe I am warranted in such an assumption.

If this is the case, how are you not adding to the Gospel?

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 05:28 AM
Considering that I can't find it, I'm merely going to assume that you're saying that a person cannot be saved if they get sick. That is how you have it worded, so I believe I am warranted in such an assumption.

If this is the case, how are you not adding to the Gospel?

You are assuming incorrectly. It was discussed just a few posts back. Reading through them all would help to understand where others are coming from. Otherwise folks are just going to be repeating themselves over and over again.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:42 AM
You are assuming incorrectly. It was discussed just a few posts back. Reading through them all would help to understand where others are coming from. Otherwise folks are just going to be repeating themselves over and over again.

My question really does still stand. Where in the Bible does it say that "Spirit-filled" believers (as if there's any other kind) won't get sick or get disease?

SirTanTee
Jul 4th 2008, 06:23 AM
I'm sorry, but faith-healing is just a scam. Plain and simple. If you sincerely believe with all your heart that Jesus will turn your cancer back, then it will happen on its own, without the help of some babbling, arm-waving "prophet" who happens to televise it and make a couple thousand off of each supposed miracle. Let's face it - 9,999,999/10,000,000 of faith healers are false prophets and con artists who are clever enough to reap the profits of other people's faith and naivety. If you expect miracles to get done, go to Jesus, not to your local "faith" healer.

SIG
Jul 4th 2008, 07:17 AM
He hasn't said to walk on water. He didn't say to go into all the world and walk on water.



Jesus put a little more in it than that . . .

Mark 16:14-18
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


Again--are we to handle snakes? Drink poison? Is it possible these signs are symbolic?

Or--to occur in the fifty or so years after these words were spoken? (but that's for the cessationist thread)...

Hmmmmm....just learned something about Mark 16 I was not aware of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Commission

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 03:31 PM
Where in the Bible does it say that "Spirit-filled" believers (as if there's any other kind)

There are other kinds . . .


won't get sick or get disease?

Now perhaps you can point out in this thread where I have stated they won't get sick . . .

It seems to me you just aren't understanding much of what has been said here.

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 03:34 PM
I'm sorry, but faith-healing is just a scam. Plain and simple. If you sincerely believe with all your heart that Jesus will turn your cancer back, then it will happen on its own, without the help of some babbling, arm-waving "prophet" who happens to televise it and make a couple thousand off of each supposed miracle. Let's face it - 9,999,999/10,000,000 of faith healers are false prophets and con artists who are clever enough to reap the profits of other people's faith and naivety. If you expect miracles to get done, go to Jesus, not to your local "faith" healer.

This thread is not about "faith healers" or televangelists or anything else along those lines. However, the term "faith healer", in and of itself, is accurate. Jesus was a "faith healer". So were his disciples. Sure, there are scam artists. However, that doesn't nullify the real deal.

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 03:47 PM
Again--are we to handle snakes?

No, but are we to dance on them also?

Luke 10:19
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Was Jesus literally telling His disciples to run around jumping up and down on serpents and scorpions?

Serpents are symbolic throughout the Word of God as things used of the devil. They are symbolic as part of his power.


Drink poison?

The passage doesn't say to go around drinking poison. That's just a common exaggeration used by spiritual gift opponents to try and discredit or mock what Jesus said here. No, this passage says "if" you drink anything deadly it will not hurt you. You ever heard about how the one who started Islam, Mohammed, died? He was poisoned.

Jesus isn't saying here to run around like an idiot and drink all sorts of poisons to see if you are truly in the faith.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:18 PM
So everything in Mark 16 is symbolic and not to be taken literally except the healing portion? You can't have your cake and eat it too - immediate context must apply (as a general rule of thumb) broadly.

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 05:19 PM
So everything in Mark 16 is symbolic and not to be taken literally except the healing portion? You can't have your cake and eat it too - immediate context must apply (as a general rule of thumb) broadly.

Well, throughout the entire NT Jesus spoke of snakes in a figurative way but his healing was physical. To see his words in the same way in Mark 16 would be consistent with his entire ministry.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:20 PM
Now perhaps you can point out in this thread where I have stated they won't get sick . . .

It seems to me you just aren't understanding much of what has been said here.

There's a common denominator in this thread - those who are against your view have all been accused of not understanding you, or at least have admitted to not understanding you. This would most likely mean that you are writing in a cryptic (and I would argue, contradictory) manner. This makes it extremely difficult to understand your position.

You have argued that Christians can't ask God for something He has already given. This seems to indicate that a truly Spirit filled believer (again, as though there's a difference) cannot get sick. If they do get sick, how can they ask God for healing since you declare He's already given it?

Do you see why people are confused? Your writing is so cryptic and contradictory that it's hard to know what you're saying.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:23 PM
Well, throughout the entire NT Jesus spoke of snakes in a figurative way but his healing was physical. To see his words in the same way in Mark 16 would be consistent with his entire ministry.

Not necessarily so. If His call to go into all the world, to drink poison, to heal and be healed, and to baptize are all literal, then it would follow that the handling snakes would likewise be literal. The reason for this is that He never once spoke of "handling snakes," which would mean He is most likely talking about physically doing so in this instance.

This leaves us with three options:

1) The entire passage is literal
2) The entire passage is figurative, or an allusion to something bigger and He is using hyperbolic text
3) He was only referring to the immediate future

Which is it?

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 05:24 PM
Not necessarily so. If His call to go into all the world, to drink poison, to heal and be healed, and to baptize are all literal, then it would follow that the handling snakes would likewise be literal. The reason for this is that He never once spoke of "handling snakes," which would mean He is most likely talking about physically doing so in this instance.

This leaves us with three options:

1) The entire passage is literal
2) The entire passage is figurative, or an allusion to something bigger and He is using hyperbolic text
3) He was only referring to the immediate future

Which is it?

He spoke often of the Pharisees being snakes and a brood of vipers. He spoke often of physical healings and even performed them. In keeping with his pattern, the snakes are symbolic the healings physical.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:27 PM
He spoke often of the Pharisees being snakes and a brood of vipers. He spoke often of physical healings and even performed them. In keeping with his pattern, the snakes are symbolic the healings physical.


There is no pattern though. You're performing hermetical acrobatics in order to justify a faulty belief (that God heals the faithful all the time), but able to avoid the idea that you have to be a snake handler.

There's no previous pattern to refer to. You can only look to the immediate context in this passage because this is the first time He refers to handling snakes. Since everything surrounding it is to be taken literally (according to those who adhere to this faith-healing interpretation), it makes no sense to suddenly say, "Oh, this part is figurative."

If I say I came across a snake, a donkey, and a unicorn the other day, which part of the sentence would you believe?

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 05:40 PM
There is no pattern though. You're performing hermetical acrobatics in order to justify a faulty belief (that God heals the faithful all the time), but able to avoid the idea that you have to be a snake handler.

No. I didn't say God heals all the faithful all the time. God settled that for me with the example of Elisha who died with an illness and went out in the same glory as Elijah.


There's no previous pattern to refer to. You can only look to the immediate context in this passage because this is the first time He refers to handling snakes. Since everything surrounding it is to be taken literally (according to those who adhere to this faith-healing interpretation), it makes no sense to suddenly say, "Oh, this part is figurative."

If I say I came across a snake, a donkey, and a unicorn the other day, which part of the sentence would you believe?

I think the entire context of scripture is valid. When Jesus sent out the 70, they healed and cast out demons, or said another way, the healed and handled serpents. He is merely repeating the command again.

threebigrocks
Jul 4th 2008, 05:41 PM
There needs to be scripture to back up both sides here. If scripture is not supporting your view and this continues this thread will be closed.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 05:53 PM
No. I didn't say God heals all the faithful all the time. God settled that for me with the example of Elisha who died with an illness and went out in the same glory as Elijah.


Fair enough then. My apologies for making a generalized statement and lumping you in with the "faith-healing" crowd.


I think the entire context of scripture is valid. When Jesus sent out the 70, they healed and cast out demons, or said another way, the healed and handled serpents. He is merely repeating the command again.

These things were literally done among the 70 though. Thus, we are left at an impasse once again - wouldn't this mean the commands are literal?

I tend to think the entire ending of Mark is figurative in a literal way. In other words, He's using idioms, but these idioms apply to the healing as well to the snake handling and drinking poison.

Ultimately, from Scripture, I do believe there are certain Christians that have the gift of healing - they're called doctors. :)

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 05:57 PM
Fair enough then. My apologies for making a generalized statement and lumping you in with the "faith-healing" crowd.

Thanks. ;)


These things were literally done among the 70 though. Thus, we are left at an impasse once again - wouldn't this mean the commands are literal?

They didn't literally handle snakes though. They did literally deal with demons which I think we are to do today as well as commanded in Mark 16.


I tend to think the entire ending of Mark is figurative in a literal way. In other words, He's using idioms, but these idioms apply to the healing as well to the snake handling and drinking poison.

Perhaps. But I think the reading in Mark 16 is about handling demons and physical healing which I believe happens today.


Ultimately, from Scripture, I do believe there are certain Christians that have the gift of healing - they're called doctors. :)

Certainly doctors are used of God! We had a woman in our church last year that the doctors told had a month to live. She had cancer in the latter stages. God healed her completely and she is alive and kicking today.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 06:12 PM
So it seems you're saying that when Jesus refers to healing in Mark 16, He is simply stating that some will heal (not all), and that some will be healed (not all).

Is that what you're saying? I'm attempting to understand your position before going on, because it would be a most fruitless exercise (and idiotic on my part) to try to debate you on this issue if we, in the end, agree.

As for doctors, I'm glad you acknowledge them as part of God's plans. Even atheistic doctors who give no glory to God do not realize that it is only by God's grace and revealing knowledge that they are able to perform such surgeries.

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 06:15 PM
So it seems you're saying that when Jesus refers to healing in Mark 16, He is simply stating that some will heal (not all), and that some will be healed (not all).

That is what I am saying. Even Jesus didn't heal all he came in contact with. But I do believe that healings and deliverance should be a part of the ministry of those that are sent out by God.


As for doctors, I'm glad you acknowledge them as part of God's plans. Even atheistic doctors who give no glory to God do not realize that it is only by God's grace and revealing knowledge that they are able to perform such surgeries.

Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's sake. Indeed, I do believe that God enables doctors to help and that many healings ultimately comes because of the grace of God. Though I do believe the enemy will heal and cause great deception as a result.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 4th 2008, 06:17 PM
That is what I am saying. Even Jesus didn't heal all he came in contact with. But I do believe that healings and deliverance should be a part of the ministry of those that are sent out by God.



Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's sake. Indeed, I do believe that God enables doctors to help and that many healings ultimately comes because of the grace of God. Though I do believe the enemy will heal and cause great deception as a result.

My apologies for being hard headed and jumping into a debate with you before understanding your position. My arrogance and hot-headedness got the best of me. Turns out we actually agree. Again, my apologies.

Brother Mark
Jul 4th 2008, 06:21 PM
I don't like the whole "everyone is supposed to be healed' teaching either. Even if we look at folks like Job, the time for healing came later. But it is very hard for me to get past Elisha who died with an illness. The man's bones were so anointed, that a dead man was thrown on his bones and the dead man came back to life! Yet, God allowed this man to die of a disease. When he did die, the horseman of Israel came to get him just like they did Elijah.

Anyway, glad we can reach agreement.

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 10:05 PM
So everything in Mark 16 is symbolic and not to be taken literally except the healing portion? You can't have your cake and eat it too - immediate context must apply (as a general rule of thumb) broadly.

In this case, and in many more cases throughout Scripture, I can certainly have my cake and eat it too . . .

Let's just look at the passage I just presented out of Luke 10.

Luke 10:19
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Did Jesus not literally give authority over all the power of the enemy while at the same time speaking symbolically of serpents and scorpions? If one has studied the Word it is easy to notice that symbolic language and phrasing are used repeatedly. This a regular occurrence and should come as no surprise.

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 10:10 PM
There's a common denominator in this thread - those who are against your view have all been accused of not understanding you, or at least have admitted to not understanding you. This would most likely mean that you are writing in a cryptic (and I would argue, contradictory) manner. This makes it extremely difficult to understand your position.

Then point out the contradiction. It shouldn't be at all difficult if it is there.


You have argued that Christians can't ask God for something He has already given. This seems to indicate that a truly Spirit filled believer (again, as though there's a difference) cannot get sick. If they do get sick, how can they ask God for healing since you declare He's already given it?

It seems to me you are struggling with this because you are not understanding body, soul and spirit. You seem to be struggling with the fact that we can have something but not be experiencing it in our bodily or soulish realm. I'll again use the joy example. The Word of God declares that those who are born again and have God's Spirit possess in them joy that never leaves. It is always there in our spirit. The same can be said for righteousness and holiness. It is all there and never leaves regardless of what is going on in our body or soul. It's there regardless of how we feel, and it is simply by faith that we access what has been given.


Do you see why people are confused? Your writing is so cryptic and contradictory that it's hard to know what you're saying.

I know why you are confused. You seem to struggle with exactly what I stated above. You seem to struggle with the fact that God has given us every spiritual blessing and yet you do not experience them all the time. Just because you do not experience every spiritual blessing does not mean that they haven't been given. It simply means you aren't walking by faith in some area or another. There's no need to be offended at such a thought. Unless you are perfect I can assure you that there are many areas that you, and myself as well, can improve upon in the faith department.

VerticalReality
Jul 4th 2008, 10:44 PM
Throughout the ten pages of this thread this topic has sort of strayed from where it was originally intended. I want to present a question Jesus gave to the scribes who were accusing Him . . .

Mark 2:5-9
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?

Now, we obviously cannot forgive the sins of others, and that is God and God alone who can do that (which is something else that shows Jesus was, in fact, God in the flesh). However, I believe the principle Jesus is teaching here does apply to us. The obvious answer here is that it is easier to say that your sins are forgiven you as opposed to saying arise take up your bed and walk.

Why do you think Jesus made this statement?

Why do you think it is easier to say that someone's sins are forgiven them?

VerticalReality
Jul 5th 2008, 03:08 PM
Throughout the ten pages of this thread this topic has sort of strayed from where it was originally intended. I want to present a question Jesus gave to the scribes who were accusing Him . . .

Mark 2:5-9
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?

Now, we obviously cannot forgive the sins of others, and that is God and God alone who can do that (which is something else that shows Jesus was, in fact, God in the flesh). However, I believe the principle Jesus is teaching here does apply to us. The obvious answer here is that it is easier to say that your sins are forgiven you as opposed to saying arise take up your bed and walk.

Why do you think Jesus made this statement?

Why do you think it is easier to say that someone's sins are forgiven them?

No takers on this one?

Kate
Jul 5th 2008, 03:43 PM
In Mark 2: 5-9 Jesus is saying the exact opposite of what you said: He said it is easier to say "rise up and walk" rather than "your sins are forgive you". The reason he said to the man initially "Your sins are forgiven you" was because his need for spiritual healing was the weightier matter, not physical healing. Th greater healing was the healing of his spiritual condition. Jesus also healed him physically, but this verse is key because it demonstrates the greater need.

It seems that you're implying that this man's physical healing was a direct result of his spiritual healing which would be out of context. Physical and spiritual healing can go hand in hand but they just as often do not.

VerticalReality
Jul 5th 2008, 04:03 PM
In Mark 2: 5-9 Jesus is saying the exact opposite of what you said: He said it is easier to say "rise up and walk" rather than "your sins are forgive you". The reason he said to the man initially "Your sins are forgiven you" was because his need for spiritual healing was the weightier matter, not physical healing. Th greater healing was the healing of his spiritual condition. Jesus also healed him physically, but this verse is key because it demonstrates the greater need.

It seems that you're implying that this man's physical healing was a direct result of his spiritual healing which would be out of context. Physical and spiritual healing can go hand in hand but they just as often do not.

Your interpretation here would not make any sense. Jesus would not have given that example if it were easier to say rise up and walk. The reason Jesus stated this question was because the scribes were questioning how Jesus could have the authority to forgive this man's sins. Jesus' healing of the man was to serve as a confirmation that He did indeed have authority to do so. You all have stated yourself in this thread that Jesus also used healing to confirm His ministry. Therefore, the healing of the man was to serve as confirmation that He could indeed forgive sins. If it were easier to say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk" then that wouldn't serve as confirmation at all. The scribes could just respond with, "Well, it's easier to say arise take up your bed and walk than it is to say your sins are forgiven, so that doesn't prove anything, Jesus!"

The point being made here is that it is much easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven you" because there is no way to prove whether that is or is not the case. You cannot perceive with your natural eye whether or not a man's sins have truly been forgiven. However, when you say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk" there has to be a physical manifestation to prove that what was just spoken has actually taken place.

Therefore, it is much easier to say your sins are forgiven because there is nothing physical that would cause someone to doubt. The physical manifestation is much more difficult to say, and you can see that all the time with people when you pray for them. People have no problem at all believing for salvation because it is something they cannot physically see. But let it be something that has physical manifestation involved and immediately people begin to doubt whether or not it will happen and so forth.

Kate
Jul 5th 2008, 05:46 PM
I disagree. Forgiveness of sins is the weightier matter and I still think this is what Jesus was referring to. I'll look into it further, though, when I get a minute.

VerticalReality
Jul 5th 2008, 06:08 PM
I disagree. Forgiveness of sins is the weightier matter and I still think this is what Jesus was referring to. I'll look into it further, though, when I get a minute.

Whether forgiving sins is the weightier matter or not isn't the point. Of course having your sins forgiven is more important than receiving healing. That is not being debated here, nor is that the point of what is being said. What Jesus is saying here is that it is more difficult to say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk," and this is what confirms that what He says is accurate when He stated, "Your sins are forgiven you."

matthew94
Jul 5th 2008, 06:12 PM
Whether forgiving sins is the weightier matter or not isn't the point. Of course having your sins forgiven is more important than receiving healing. That is not being debated here, nor is that the point of what is being said. What Jesus is saying here is that it is more difficult to say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk," and this is what confirms that what He says is accurate when He stated, "Your sins are forgiven you."

I agree with you here. I recently taught this miracle and interpreted it as you have here.

SIG
Jul 5th 2008, 11:42 PM
It is more difficult to say (and have it be true) "Your sins are forgiven." Only Christ has the power to say that and mean it. By saying so, Christ equates Himself with God.

Jesus here shows a link between sin (the root cause) and illness (the symptom). Whenever someone is healed by faith, it is Christ doing the healing, certainly not the believer(s) present.

It is ALWAYS God's will that people be spiritually healed; this is clearly not so with physical healing. Salvation does not include physical healing--we know no saved souls who are not ill to some degree. (This of course does not preclude physical healings which DO occur in believers.) But Christ's healings did attest to His power over sin.


I just re-viewed the original post. The real problem I have with all this is the core focus. For me, it's not about what we do or don't receive in Christ. It seems to me to be an "us" focus I can no longer really get behind. It's not about what we do, but rather Who He is.

There is a huge focus in the 21st Century church on the power of Christ as it manifests in our lives. But it's not really supposed to be about us, you know. I can assure you that when we stand face-to-face with Him, we won't be thinking of ourselves, or what we can and can't do.

If that multitude that seeks after signs, desires to heal, wants to utter prophecies, wants to be latter-day apostles, etc, are genuinely bringing souls into the Kingdom, I have no quarrel with them. But if they are not...

Lars777
Jul 6th 2008, 12:20 AM
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:6-12)




It is evident from the words of Jesus that this paralysis was caused by some moral difficulty. Our Lord's insight is accurate and keen. He understood instantly what was wrong with this man.

Notice that he does not touch on the physical at first; he goes right to the heart of the problem: "Son, your sins are forgiven." In fact, Matthew tells us he said, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven," (Matthew 9:2 KJV).

This indicates that the paralysis was what doctors sometimes call "emotionally induced" illness. That is, something in this man's past or present, some attitude he harbored, some feeling he indulged, was causing the paralysis.

Doctors have said that 50 percent of all the illnesses they treat are emotionally caused. Not that they are not genuine -- the people who have them really are ill -- but they are caused by some emotional problem.

Many things can result in this type of illness: A bitter spirit, a lack of forgiveness, harboring a grudge against somebody, will, over a long span of years, turn the life sour and affect the body and mind to the point where it loses its capacity to function.

We know that ulcers are emotionally induced, primarily. Somebody has said that ulcers are caused not by what you eat, but by what is eating you! Guilt can affect us physically.

Perhaps this man had done injury to someone, and bore a heavy burden of guilt, was unable to forgive himself, and looked back upon the past and dwelt on it until it gripped his body, affected it so that it would not function.

Jesus, knowing that this man was paralyzed because of some moral problem, immediately went to the heart of the problem. He touched him and said, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

You see, if he had simply healed the paralysis, without having forgiven the sin, there is no doubt that the paralysis would have returned, sooner or later. This is what accounts for many of the so-called miracles of healing in the healing services we hear and read about today.

These involve emotionally induced problems -- physical, yes, but caused by some emotional problem. And the momentary atmosphere of excitement and faith generated by such a meeting is enough oftentimes to effect a temporary change.

People may be freed, for the moment, from their difficulty, and give witness to that effect. But medical investigators have proven again and again that within a matter of days those same illnesses return.

(You do not hear so much of that -- only of the healings!) But our Lord went to the heart of the matter and forgave this man's sins, so that the healing he received would last, and the paralysis never return.

This was a problem to the scribes sitting nearby. They were puzzled, and our Lord understood that. Notice how Mark puts this. These scribes were questioning "in their hearts."

They did not say anything; they did not even talk among themselves. Jesus read their thoughts, read their hearts. He knew in his spirit that they questioned within themselves. You can imagine the startled looks on their faces when our Lord turned to them and said, "Why are you fellows thinking that way? I know what you're thinking."

I know that some interpret this as evidence of what they call the omniscience of Jesus, and conclude that he was acting as God here. I do not think so.

We must never forget that there was an occasion when he said specifically that he, as a man, did not know something. He did not know the hour of his return; only the Father knew that.

No, this is not omniscience; this is, rather, the manifestation of the spiritual gift of discernment in its fullest degree. You see Peter doing the same thing when Ananias and Sapphira came to him.

He knew all about their fraud, even though no one had told him. When Paul was confronted on the island of Cyprus by a magician named Bar-Jesus, he knew what was going on in that man's life, knew his attitude of heart. This is the gift of discernment.

Our Lord knew what was going on in the minds of these scribes, and so he proposed to them a test: "Which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Take up your bed and walk?'" Notice how he put that.

He did not say, "Which is easier to do?" Because obviously it is much easier to heal a man physically than to forgive his sins. Only God can forgive sins; they are right about that.

Only the offended can remit the offense, and only God has the right to forgive sins. It is much easier to heal a body -- a physician can do that. But he said, "Which is easier to say?" Obviously any charlatan, any religious racketeer, can say to a man, "Your sins are forgiven," and no one could prove whether it happened or not.

So that is easier to say. Our Lord is saying to these men, "You question my ability to forgive sins. I'm going to demonstrate to you that I not only have the power to forgive sins, but the power to heal as well -- which is easier to do, but harder to say because you can verify that."

And turning to the paralyzed man, he said, "Rise, take up your bed and go home." And the man obeyed, instantly healed. Before their eyes he walked out of their midst. And all the people -- except for the scribes -- rejoiced and gave glory to God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

What amazed them? Not merely the healing. They had seen healing miracles before. What amazed them was Jesus' understanding of the problems of human nature.

What amazed them was the fact that he understood so clearly that physical and emotional problems are often caused by spiritual disease and maladjustment, that the center of security and deliverance and liberty lies in what goes on between a man and God. This is what amazed them.

VerticalReality
Jul 6th 2008, 04:27 AM
Jesus here shows a link between sin (the root cause) and illness (the symptom).

I found this part of your post to be most interesting. If the root of a problem is changed does that not also effect the fruit? Therefore, if the spiritual problem is the root and the physical problem is the fruit (symptom), wouldn't it also stand to reason that if the root is changed the fruit will be also?

I would say that by reading the accounts of the Word that this concept does indeed hold true.

VerticalReality
Jul 6th 2008, 04:28 AM
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:6-12)




It is evident from the words of Jesus that this paralysis was caused by some moral difficulty. Our Lord's insight is accurate and keen. He understood instantly what was wrong with this man.

Notice that he does not touch on the physical at first; he goes right to the heart of the problem: "Son, your sins are forgiven." In fact, Matthew tells us he said, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven," (Matthew 9:2 KJV).

This indicates that the paralysis was what doctors sometimes call "emotionally induced" illness. That is, something in this man's past or present, some attitude he harbored, some feeling he indulged, was causing the paralysis.

Doctors have said that 50 percent of all the illnesses they treat are emotionally caused. Not that they are not genuine -- the people who have them really are ill -- but they are caused by some emotional problem.

Many things can result in this type of illness: A bitter spirit, a lack of forgiveness, harboring a grudge against somebody, will, over a long span of years, turn the life sour and affect the body and mind to the point where it loses its capacity to function.

We know that ulcers are emotionally induced, primarily. Somebody has said that ulcers are caused not by what you eat, but by what is eating you! Guilt can affect us physically.

Perhaps this man had done injury to someone, and bore a heavy burden of guilt, was unable to forgive himself, and looked back upon the past and dwelt on it until it gripped his body, affected it so that it would not function.

Jesus, knowing that this man was paralyzed because of some moral problem, immediately went to the heart of the problem. He touched him and said, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

You see, if he had simply healed the paralysis, without having forgiven the sin, there is no doubt that the paralysis would have returned, sooner or later. This is what accounts for many of the so-called miracles of healing in the healing services we hear and read about today.

These involve emotionally induced problems -- physical, yes, but caused by some emotional problem. And the momentary atmosphere of excitement and faith generated by such a meeting is enough oftentimes to effect a temporary change.

People may be freed, for the moment, from their difficulty, and give witness to that effect. But medical investigators have proven again and again that within a matter of days those same illnesses return.

(You do not hear so much of that -- only of the healings!) But our Lord went to the heart of the matter and forgave this man's sins, so that the healing he received would last, and the paralysis never return.

This was a problem to the scribes sitting nearby. They were puzzled, and our Lord understood that. Notice how Mark puts this. These scribes were questioning "in their hearts."

They did not say anything; they did not even talk among themselves. Jesus read their thoughts, read their hearts. He knew in his spirit that they questioned within themselves. You can imagine the startled looks on their faces when our Lord turned to them and said, "Why are you fellows thinking that way? I know what you're thinking."

I know that some interpret this as evidence of what they call the omniscience of Jesus, and conclude that he was acting as God here. I do not think so.

We must never forget that there was an occasion when he said specifically that he, as a man, did not know something. He did not know the hour of his return; only the Father knew that.

No, this is not omniscience; this is, rather, the manifestation of the spiritual gift of discernment in its fullest degree. You see Peter doing the same thing when Ananias and Sapphira came to him.

He knew all about their fraud, even though no one had told him. When Paul was confronted on the island of Cyprus by a magician named Bar-Jesus, he knew what was going on in that man's life, knew his attitude of heart. This is the gift of discernment.

Our Lord knew what was going on in the minds of these scribes, and so he proposed to them a test: "Which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Take up your bed and walk?'" Notice how he put that.

He did not say, "Which is easier to do?" Because obviously it is much easier to heal a man physically than to forgive his sins. Only God can forgive sins; they are right about that.

Only the offended can remit the offense, and only God has the right to forgive sins. It is much easier to heal a body -- a physician can do that. But he said, "Which is easier to say?" Obviously any charlatan, any religious racketeer, can say to a man, "Your sins are forgiven," and no one could prove whether it happened or not.

So that is easier to say. Our Lord is saying to these men, "You question my ability to forgive sins. I'm going to demonstrate to you that I not only have the power to forgive sins, but the power to heal as well -- which is easier to do, but harder to say because you can verify that."

And turning to the paralyzed man, he said, "Rise, take up your bed and go home." And the man obeyed, instantly healed. Before their eyes he walked out of their midst. And all the people -- except for the scribes -- rejoiced and gave glory to God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

What amazed them? Not merely the healing. They had seen healing miracles before. What amazed them was Jesus' understanding of the problems of human nature.

What amazed them was the fact that he understood so clearly that physical and emotional problems are often caused by spiritual disease and maladjustment, that the center of security and deliverance and liberty lies in what goes on between a man and God. This is what amazed them.

Great post! I agree with you.

threebigrocks
Jul 6th 2008, 04:59 PM
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:6-12)




It is evident from the words of Jesus that this paralysis was caused by some moral difficulty. Our Lord's insight is accurate and keen. He understood instantly what was wrong with this man.

It was not the paralytic who doubted and saw blashpemy, it was the scribes. He used the faith in the paralytic to perform a miracle, and they still didn't see Him for who He was. Always perceiving but never believing.

SIG
Jul 6th 2008, 05:57 PM
I found this part of your post to be most interesting. If the root of a problem is changed does that not also effect the fruit? Therefore, if the spiritual problem is the root and the physical problem is the fruit (symptom), wouldn't it also stand to reason that if the root is changed the fruit will be also?

I would say that by reading the accounts of the Word that this concept does indeed hold true.

Changing the root will certainly affect the fruit. The question here is: How?

When I refer to the root of all dis-ease being sin, I refer to the Garden of Eden. Jesus, as the second Adam, did indeed reverse the curse.

How does that play out? Will we be disease free? Clearly not. Paul explains that a residue of sin in our fallen flesh remains. We will not be dis-ease free until we have new bodies.

There is no formula for this. To glorify Himself, God may heal. Or, to glorify Himself, He may not. What we desire is not the issue.

threebigrocks
Jul 6th 2008, 06:32 PM
Changing the root will certainly affect the fruit. The question here is: How?

When I refer to the root of all dis-ease being sin, I refer to the Garden of Eden. Jesus, as the second Adam, did indeed reverse the curse.

How does that play out? Will we be disease free? Clearly not. Paul explains that a residue of sin in our fallen flesh remains. We will not be dis-ease free until we have new bodies.

There is no formula for this. To glorify Himself, God may heal. Or, to glorify Himself, He may not. What we desire is not the issue.

Simply and beautifully put, SIG! AMEN!

VerticalReality
Jul 6th 2008, 09:17 PM
Changing the root will certainly affect the fruit. The question here is: How?

When I refer to the root of all dis-ease being sin, I refer to the Garden of Eden. Jesus, as the second Adam, did indeed reverse the curse.

How does that play out? Will we be disease free? Clearly not. Paul explains that a residue of sin in our fallen flesh remains. We will not be dis-ease free until we have new bodies.

There is no formula for this. To glorify Himself, God may heal. Or, to glorify Himself, He may not. What we desire is not the issue.

Now the challenge presents itself for you to show where Jesus ever refused to deal with the fruit of the root . . .

People can exclaim things like, "Beautifully put . . . " and so on, but the fact of the matter here is that it can't be supported by the Word of God.

Why is it that so many are so willing to accept and even praise something that cannot be shown as truth by the Word? Does this make some feel better about the fact that not many today witness the power that those of the early church witnessed? I just don't get that whatsoever.

None of it is backed by the Word. Jesus flatout said that He didn't do anything of Himself but only what He saw the Father do, and yet people still want to question whether or not it's God's will to heal. Nobody was denied. Never did He turn away anyone. Coincidence? I highly doubt that.

SIG
Jul 7th 2008, 02:53 AM
3Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

4"We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

5"While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."

Christ's ministry during His incarnation was unique.



"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

2Cr 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
2Cr 4:8 {we are} afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
2Cr 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2Cr 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2Cr 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2Cr 4:12 So death works in us, but life in you.
2Cr 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak,
2Cr 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
2Cr 4:15 For all things {are} for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
2Cr 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

Note: My post above referenced Scripture (Garden of Eden, first and second Adam, etc), although it did not cite the specific passages. Teacher told me not to do the other kids' homework for them ...

VerticalReality
Jul 7th 2008, 03:26 AM
3Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

4"We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

5"While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."

Christ's ministry during His incarnation was unique.



"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

2Cr 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
2Cr 4:8 {we are} afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
2Cr 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2Cr 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2Cr 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2Cr 4:12 So death works in us, but life in you.
2Cr 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak,
2Cr 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
2Cr 4:15 For all things {are} for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
2Cr 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

Note: My post above referenced Scripture (Garden of Eden, first and second Adam, etc), although it did not cite the specific passages. Teacher told me not to do the other kids' homework for them ...

I'm uncertain as to what you are trying to say with these Scriptures. You are quoting one passage of Scripture where Jesus did indeed heal a man, and then you post two other passages of Scripture dealing with persecution. What are you trying to say?

SIG
Jul 7th 2008, 04:10 AM
"While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."

may explain that Jesus' ministry while He was incarnate was unique, and does not necessarily serve as a model for us. Even if we assume it is God's will that all who have faith be physically healed, that is clearly not what is occurring today.

The second citing gives an incident of someone (Paul) asked for healing but not receiving it. Knowing Paul, I would assume it was not for lack of faith on his part. A good reason was given as to why this dis-ease was not lifted. This occured post-resurrection, and we can perhaps assume that something has changed from the time of Christ's incarnate ministry.

The third Scripture cited may explain why, this side of Heaven, we continue to carry un-healed infirmities of all kinds.

A lot of assuming, I know--but this is a discussion...

VerticalReality
Jul 7th 2008, 04:19 AM
may explain that Jesus' ministry while He was incarnate was unique, and does not necessarily serve as a model for us. Even if we assume it is God's will that all who have faith be physically healed, that is clearly not what is occurring today.

It appears to me that it served as the same model for the apostles and early disciples such as Stephen and Philip. They all operated in the same power as Jesus. As for why you don't see it occurring much today, I think that says more about mankind than it does about God. It's the church who has gotten carnal and can't believe God for anything rather than God or His Word changing. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.


The second citing gives an incident of someone (Paul) asked for healing but not receiving it. Knowing Paul, I would assume it was not for lack of faith on his part.

No, it wasn't because of his faith at all. It was because he was asking for something that God has said we will just have to endure. God has never promised us freedom from persecution, and Paul was asking for something that God simply hasn't provided under His grace.


A good reason was given as to why this dis-ease was not lifted.

And the majority of the reason in this case is the fact that it wasn't a disease. It was persecution. This has already been gone over thoroughly in this thread.


This occured post-resurrection, and we can perhaps assume that something has changed from the time of Christ's incarnate ministry.

No, I don't believe anything has changed. I believe you aren't interpreting this passage of Scripture correctly. You are declaring Paul to have some sort of mysterious and unexplained disease when the Scriptures declare that it was persecution that was Paul's thorn.


The third Scripture cited may explain why, this side of Heaven, we continue to carry un-healed infirmities of all kinds.

The third Scripture was again talking about persecution. It has nothing to do with sickness or disease.

SIG
Jul 7th 2008, 04:34 AM
I did not write "disease," but dis-ease...(Note also that Paul uses the word "infirmities" twice. ??) (Note also that he says "our outer man is decaying"--this does not speak to me of persecution. As for exactly what the thorn in his flesh was--that is certainly not a closed matter.)

I have moved somewhat to the cessationist side, and see what happened in the early Church as unique also. The Apostles did indeed perform signs for a period; we do not see evidence of this continuing early on to any degree. Did the Church "get carnal" so early on? Or was God--Who indeed never changes--now operating more by faith than by sight?

Today, souls are being saved. If God wills people to dance out of wheelchairs, it is wonderful indeed. But it's not something I NEED.

VerticalReality
Jul 7th 2008, 01:55 PM
(Note also that he says "our outer man is decaying"--this does not speak to me of persecution.

Our outer man decaying happens everyday without sickness or disease. We age. It's going to happen. We do not age because we are sick. Even Jesus aged and I don't believe He ever got sick.


As for exactly what the thorn in his flesh was--that is certainly not a closed matter.)

I believe it is, and I've shown in this thread a tremendous amount of evidence that it was indeed persecution. Nobody in the "he had a disease" crowd can provide one single shred of biblical evidence that suggests such a thing.


The Apostles did indeed perform signs for a period;

More than just the apostles had the power of God working through them . . .

Neither Stephen nor Philip were apostles, and that is just to name two. There are more . . .


we do not see evidence of this continuing early on to any degree.

That depends on what you consider evidence. There is plenty of evidence that it has continued. I mean come on . . . they had to stop writing the bible at some point. Even the bible states that Jesus performed many miracles that were never even recorded. I've seen plenty of evidence, as has a good portion of others on this message forum. I guess it boils down to the fact that if you surround yourself with unbelief you will reap fruit of unbelief. Many folks today don't see the gifts in operation because they surround themselves with people who don't believe in the gifts. Being that it takes faith to operate in those gifts, surrounding yourself with folks who don't believe is automatically going to disqualify you from witnessing anything.


Did the Church "get carnal" so early on? Or was God--Who indeed never changes--now operating more by faith than by sight?

No, the early church operated in the power of God. There are an abundance of accounts recorded of the power of God manifesting in the lives of believers throughout church history.


Today, souls are being saved.

A few here and there . . . but the success rate is dwindling more and more as time goes on and the church falls away through unbelief. People today don't believe God for much of anything anymore. If they aren't seeing anyone healed, well . . . that must just mean that it isn't available anymore even though the Word of God makes no mention of that anywhere. So, in other words, they are allowing their experience to determine what they believe about the Word of God. IMO, that is very much walking by sight and not by faith. Since some don't see it they aren't going to believe it.


If God wills people to dance out of wheelchairs, it is wonderful indeed. But it's not something I NEED.

There are many who are in wheelchairs who would disagree. Some folks don't need that to believe. However, a good majority of people can't see far enough past their circumstances to worry or care about eternity. Some folks are suffering so greatly here that the thought of some hell that is far off in the future doesn't really concern them too greatly. Why do you believe that times are so greatly different between now and the time of the apostles that folks today don't need the gospel verified to them in some form or fashion? Paul spoke of the importance of him coming to the Corinthians with demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Why? So their faith would not be in the words or wisdom of men but in the power of God. That's all a good portion of the church today has is the words and wisdom of men. They say, "Here . . . this is the truth of God's Word and you should take my word for it." Now unbelievers aren't seeing anything to confirm the words being spoken. If the gospel needed to be confirmed then, why in the world do people believe it doesn't need to be confirmed now? If Jesus, the very Son of God, had to verify by the power of God who He was, why do so many today think they are good enough with their words to convince the unbeliever of the relevance of God's Word? The apostles, along with the other early church believers, knew they had to walk in that power of God in order to spread the gospel. Praise the Lord that He used them in such a way . . . otherwise those of us here today may have never experienced the salvation of the Lord that we have now. If the apostles and the early church believers needed that power to confirm what they preached, why on earth do people believe that almost 2,000 years later we aren't going to need it?

SIG
Jul 8th 2008, 03:56 AM
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

God is sovereign. He uses signs as He wills. But He is more than able to save without them. He does not need evidence, convincing speech, signs and wonders, our spiritual gifts--or anything but His Spirit.

You imply that the belief or unbelief of the Body of Christ affects how and when God performs signs. I disagree; He is sovereign.

I do not disbelieve that signs occur, but I do not seek after them. The sign of Jonah (the resurrection) is sufficient to save.

SIG: "Today, souls are being saved."
VR: "A few here and there"
SIG: Here, happily, you are mistaken. Check out the world statistics...

We are not likely to agree on these matters; that's OK, as long as we see each other in Heaven. For me, this has a lot to do with the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, which I take issue with. But that's just me...

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

VerticalReality
Jul 8th 2008, 12:39 PM
God is sovereign. He uses signs as He wills. But He is more than able to save without them. He does not need evidence, convincing speech, signs and wonders, our spiritual gifts--or anything but His Spirit.

You speak as if the signs, wonders and spiritual gifts excluded His Spirit. It's because they walked in the fullness of His Spirit that they had those things. Therefore, those who do walk by faith will have those things follow them as well. Those who don't have those things are not walking by faith in all that the Holy Spirit brings with Him. That's just the plain truth of the matter.


You imply that the belief or unbelief of the Body of Christ affects how and when God performs signs. I disagree; He is sovereign.

When you read the Word did God not use those of His body to perform those signs? How can you possibly say then that their belief or unbelief has/had no affect on it? That's just nowhere close to representing what the Word of God says.



SIG: "Today, souls are being saved."
VR: "A few here and there"
SIG: Here, happily, you are mistaken. Check out the world statistics...


World statistics state that about 80% or so of Americans believe themselves to be Christians. Would you say such statistics are accurate?


John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

And those who believe for what they do not see will have that which is unseen manifest in the physical. Before the heavens and the earth existed God believed. He believed that what He spoke forth would come to pass. He did not have anything visible to base anything on. He simply spoke things that were not as though they were. Many like to use that line, "blessed are they who did not see," as support that spiritual gifts are not for today, but the fact of the matter is that there were many of the early church disciples that had not seen Jesus face to face but still operated in the power of the Holy Spirit. So, this sort of comment also doesn't fit with the message of the gospel.

SIG
Jul 8th 2008, 09:00 PM
1. What we might have here is putting the cart before the horse. The Great Commission was to preach the Gospel; signs would follow the preaching. My problem is with the focus on the signs, rather than on the Gospel. This focus is rampant in the worldwide church today.

Signs surely occur in Acts, but there is a much greater focus on preaching.

I do not deny the existence of the cart, but I put the horse first.

2. "When you read the Word did God not use those of His body to perform those signs? How can you possibly say then that their belief or unbelief has/had no affect on it? That's just nowhere close to representing what the Word of God says."

God also can and does perform signs when no believers are around. Many testimonies confirm that. He is sovereign.

3. "World statistics state that about 80% or so of Americans believe themselves to be Christians. Would you say such statistics are accurate?"

I was referring to souls saved worldwide. Much of this is happening in Asia and Africa--not to mention in Muslim nations. Again, check the statistics; they are indeed encouraging.

4. "Before the heavens and the earth existed God believed."

Theologically, this is a loaded statement, and one that could get you in very hot water. Does God believe? Does God have faith, or is He the Author of it? Can you provide a verse?

5. "So, this sort of comment also doesn't fit with the message of the gospel."

What would you say, in the briefest way, is the message of the Gospel?


I sense that you might believe that in the Book of Acts, Christians "operated" in a super way (perhaps because they were closer to the source?), and that eventually things went a bit cold and dull--and perhaps belief waned. But perhaps, this being the Baby Church, God poured out His Spirit in a special way to attest to His power and give impetus. If signs and wonders continued to the same degree, 2nd- and 3rd- and 4th- Century history, even secular history, would attest to it.

But as I see it, the power of the Gospel has been active in every century, and still is. It is the WORD that saves--signs and wonders may or may not follow. The Gospel is sufficient.

By far the greatest sign is in the reformed and conformed lives of the saved. This is far more dramatic than healings, tongues, and whatever else some seek. It is the spiritual raising from the dead, the sign of Jonah.

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 02:17 AM
1. What we might have here is putting the cart before the horse. The Great Commission was to preach the Gospel; signs would follow the preaching. My problem is with the focus on the signs, rather than on the Gospel. This focus is rampant in the worldwide church today.

Signs surely occur in Acts, but there is a much greater focus on preaching.

I do not deny the existence of the cart, but I put the horse first.

I don't really have a problem with this statement. I think you are certainly correct that too many self-proclaimed Christians are running around talking about supernatural manifestation and not preaching the gospel at all. I think a prime example of that is a certain "revival" going on right now that doesn't have much of any preaching whatsoever.



2. "When you read the Word did God not use those of His body to perform those signs? How can you possibly say then that their belief or unbelief has/had no affect on it? That's just nowhere close to representing what the Word of God says."

God also can and does perform signs when no believers are around. Many testimonies confirm that. He is sovereign.


God of course can perform signs, but I'm specifically speaking of the signs and wonders that the disciples walked in. I'm not speaking of things like the parting of the Red Sea, which by the way I don't believe ever would have happened had Moses not walked by faith.



3. "World statistics state that about 80% or so of Americans believe themselves to be Christians. Would you say such statistics are accurate?"

I was referring to souls saved worldwide. Much of this is happening in Asia and Africa--not to mention in Muslim nations. Again, check the statistics; they are indeed encouraging.


And much of that which is happening in Asia and Africa is being accompanied by miracles, signs and wonders. It is countries like the U.S., which has basically abandoned faith in the power of God, that is currently seeing the fruit of being one of the most Godless cultures on the planet earth.



4. "Before the heavens and the earth existed God believed."

Theologically, this is a loaded statement, and one that could get you in very hot water. Does God believe? Does God have faith, or is He the Author of it? Can you provide a verse?


If you are the author of a book, do the words in it not come from in you? Therefore, the Lord is the Author of faith because faith is in Him. That is why no other religion or ritual can be considered of faith because the only true faith is found in its Author.



5. "So, this sort of comment also doesn't fit with the message of the gospel."

What would you say, in the briefest way, is the message of the Gospel?


In the briefest way?

Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

You'd also have to throw the resurrection in there and you have the gospel in its briefest way . . .


I sense that you might believe that in the Book of Acts, Christians "operated" in a super way (perhaps because they were closer to the source?), and that eventually things went a bit cold and dull--and perhaps belief waned. But perhaps, this being the Baby Church, God poured out His Spirit in a special way to attest to His power and give impetus. If signs and wonders continued to the same degree, 2nd- and 3rd- and 4th- Century history, even secular history, would attest to it.

Not quite. I think some of them went cold and dull. Not all of them. It's just gradually gotten further and further from the truth as time has gone by. God's gifts haven't gone anywhere, and they have been active throughout church history. Nowadays it's easier for some to believe they are gone mainly for two reasons . . .

1) Because they aren't experiencing them in their own walk.

and

2) Because many out there get goofy and abuse what they say are the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


But as I see it, the power of the Gospel has been active in every century, and still is. It is the WORD that saves--signs and wonders may or may not follow. The Gospel is sufficient.

I believe it is all-encompassing. I certainly believe the gospel is power, but I also believe that a mature ministry is going to have both the preaching and the power to follow confirming what the Word declares.

SIG
Jul 9th 2008, 02:46 AM
"The Gospel in a Nutshell
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, the apostle Paul summarizes the most basic ingredients of the gospel message, namely, the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of the resurrected Christ. Note the four clauses introduced by that in bold type in verses 3-5 below:

15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…"

This is one Bible definition of the Good News. John 3:16 is good, but does not include the resurrection; so I have chosen to quote this.

The reason I asked the question is because the only sign mentioned in the gospel is the resurrection. Signs may and sometimes do follow, but are not part of the message itself

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 02:52 AM
The reason I asked the question is because the only sign mentioned in the gospel is the resurrection. Signs may and sometimes do follow, but are not part of the message itself

Okay, but why should someone put their faith in this good news you speak? What makes what you claim valid, and why should this news trump the other news they may have been taught their entire life? What makes your words better than the muslim speaking his? I'm not descrediting the gospel in any way. I'm saying that God has given power to accompany it for a reason. What was the point of Jesus confirming His ministry with healing and so forth? Why did He need to do that?

SIG
Jul 9th 2008, 06:30 AM
Okay, but why should someone put their faith in this good news you speak? What makes what you claim valid, and why should this news trump the other news they may have been taught their entire life? What makes your words better than the muslim speaking his? I'm not descrediting the gospel in any way. I'm saying that God has given power to accompany it for a reason. What was the point of Jesus confirming His ministry with healing and so forth? Why did He need to do that?

This news trumps other news because it is the only full revelation of the one true God. People are saved because God draws them and the Holy Spirit speaks into their souls.

As for one reason Jesus did signs:

Jhn 4:48 So Jesus said to him, "Unless you {people} see signs and wonders, you {simply} will not believe."

But of course, this was before the ultimate sign--the resurrection. No one was yet indwelt by the Holy Spirit--a whole new ballgame...

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 02:52 PM
This news trumps other news because it is the only full revelation of the one true God.

And of course every other religion in the world says the same exact thing.


People are saved because God draws them and the Holy Spirit speaks into their souls.

No questioning that. However, there are numerous ways that God draws them, and if we aren't operating in all those ways then we are only hindering the work the Lord would like to do through His children. I mean hypothetically speaking would you want to go into a gunfight with one bullet or six? I believe we have many weapons at our disposal if we would only believe.



As for one reason Jesus did signs:

Jhn 4:48 So Jesus said to him, "Unless you {people} see signs and wonders, you {simply} will not believe."

But of course, this was before the ultimate sign--the resurrection. No one was yet indwelt by the Holy Spirit--a whole new ballgame...


If it were a "whole new ballgame" there wouldn't have been any need for the disciples to walk in such power after His resurrection. As a matter of fact, Jesus told them not to do anything until they received power . . .

Acts 1:4-8
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Why did the disciples need to be sent out with the same power that came upon Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist? Why did Jesus want them to wait for this power and not go out until they had it? It is because they would have been ineffective without it. So, obviously the Lord desires to use His children to spread His gospel that is confirmed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many preachers are going out today preaching without the power. I believe this is another reason why you have folks today who may accept for a short time the message being preached, but then they only fall away a short time later because there was no power confirming the message from those who preach it. These folks go out into the world and try to out intellectualize those who love nothing more than to tear apart anything having to do with our Lord. Those who are unskilled in the Word will especially be vulnerable, and many end up falling away because they were not prepared for the battle to come. I knew the Word was true because I saw with my own eyes the power that came with it from those who were obedient and walked by faith. I praise the Lord that He confirmed His gospel through those people, and when the day came when my faith was tested regarding the Scriptures, even though I was unskilled at the time in the Word I still stood on faith because I knew what I experienced was of the Lord and nobody could argue that away from me no matter what supposed contradiction they claimed. Witnessing that power rooted me in faith long enough to get firmly rooted in the Word so I could skillfully combat anything the unbelieving world would try and throw at me. We have a lot of young believers being thrown to the wolves today and they have nothing but the words of preachers (some of which aren't even grounded in the Word themselves) to survive on. We need more than just what we speak to go forward into the lives of those needing the good news. The reason it was the good news is because it was to break off from them the bondage that the devil had people in. Today we have an answer to the spiritual bondage that people have, but we don't give the answer to the physical problem that is dominating their mind. The devil gets people so focused on the flesh through worldly issues and illness that people can't see past it into the spiritual. We can pull from the spiritual realm the answer to both their physical need and their spiritual, and in the process confirm the truth of the gospel so others can be saved.

The Lord has equipped us with many weapons that unfortunately most Christians today just aren't using.

SIG
Jul 9th 2008, 06:23 PM
"The Lord has equipped us with many weapons that unfortunately most Christians today just aren't using."

Don't have time to fully reply right now, but will say that the Sword of the Spirit--which is the Word of God--is the only weapon mentioned in the full armor of God. But I'm a "Sola Scriptura" guy...

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 06:27 PM
"The Lord has equipped us with many weapons that unfortunately most Christians today just aren't using."

Don't have time to fully reply right now, but will say that the Sword of the Spirit--which is the Word of God--is the only weapon mentioned in the full armor of God. But I'm a "Sola Scriptura" guy...

No problem with the Word being the sword, but certianly you realize that what is contained in the Word is the sword, right? I mean you don't go to war with the enemy waving a book around. You have to have faith in what is contained within the book, and in that book is declarations of power through spiritual gifts and so forth. Therefore, faith in all the contents of that Word is a weapon. So, that would certainly mean that gifts of the Spirit are weapons that we can use.

Friend of I AM
Jul 9th 2008, 07:39 PM
Healing gifts aren't as prevelant as they were in biblical times. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that you have a lot of televangelist type faith healers nowadays, and I'm not sure if a lot of those guys are healing people using the Holy Spirit(or if they're healing them at all for that matter)

I think there's too much focus on momentary "signs" though nowadays, moreso on just doing God's will by being loving to one another. Christ himself stated to the Pharisees that the only sign they would get is that of Jonah, so we need to be careful in how we operate in regards to what gifts we think God has given us. I think it's good to be a bit cautious in going forward to anyone who proclaims they have some sort of spiritual gift - whether it be healing, prophesy, tongues, discernment, etc, etc.

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 07:48 PM
Healing gifts aren't as prevelant as they were in biblical times. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that you have a lot of televangelist type faith healers nowadays, and I'm not sure if a lot of those guys are healing people using the Holy Spirit(or if they're healing them at all for that matter)

I think there's too much focus on momentary "signs" though nowadays, moreso on just doing God's will by being loving to one another. Christ himself stated to the Pharisees that the only sign they would get is that of Jonah, so we need to be careful in how we operate in regards to what gifts we think God has given us. I think it's good to be a bit cautious in going forward to anyone who proclaims they have some sort of spiritual gift - whether it be healing, prophesy, tongues, discernment, etc, etc.

I believe that that passage of Scripture is one of most misinterpreted passages of Scripture in the entire Word of God. When Jesus told the Pharisees that the only sign they would get was the sign of the prophet Jonah it was their motive for the sign that caused Him to say that. They were not asking for a sign from Jesus to prove who He was. They already knew who He was and they knew that He was from God. They were not asking for a sign because they needed it. The situation with the Pharisees is not going to apply to most people these days in the context of this passage of Scripture. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was sent by God. They knew that everything He was doing could not have been done if He was not from God. They purposefully and wickedly sought to kill and persecute someone they knew for a fact was from God. Just look at what Nicodemus said about Jesus in the first couple of verses in John 3. Nicodemus was a leader of the Pharisees, and he admitted when coming to Jesus in the night that they all knew that He was sent by God. Yet they still sought to kill Him. Therefore, why on earth would Jesus give them a sign other that the sign of the prophet Jonah?

Jesus, and the disciples as well, had absolutely no problem at all with showing signs to others . . .

Friend of I AM
Jul 9th 2008, 07:57 PM
I believe that that passage of Scripture is one of most misinterpreted passages of Scripture in the entire Word of God. When Jesus told the Pharisees that the only sign they would get was the sign of the prophet Jonah it was their motive for the sign that caused Him to say that. They were not asking for a sign from Jesus to prove who He was. They already knew who He was and they knew that He was from God. They were not asking for a sign because they needed it. The situation with the Pharisees is not going to apply to most people these days in the context of this passage of Scripture. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was sent by God. They knew that everything He was doing could not have been done if He was not from God. They purposefully and wickedly sought to kill and persecute someone they knew for a fact was from God. Just look at what Nicodemus said about Jesus in the first couple of verses in John 3. Nicodemus was a leader of the Pharisees, and he admitted when coming to Jesus in the night that they all knew that He was sent by God. Yet they still sought to kill Him. Therefore, why on earth would Jesus give them a sign other that the sign of the prophet Jonah?

The Pharisees did not know who Jesus was, had they truly known they wouldn't have killed him. They were more worried about him being a threat to their power structure than they were about a sign. I'm sure they thought to themselves, how can this unlearned man, who knows very little about the Torah and comes from a humble background, know more about the scriptures than we do. I think this is the primary reason why he stated the only sign they will get is that of Jonah. Even after his death their pride made them refuse to acknowledge that he was God in the flesh - a belief system that has carried on to this day and lead so many of the Israelites astray, as many in the Jewish nation today still have not accepted the fact that Jesus Christ is/was the promised messiah.

VerticalReality
Jul 9th 2008, 08:40 PM
The Pharisees did not know who Jesus was, had they truly known they wouldn't have killed him.

I'm not talking about them knowing who He was as far as the Messiah is concerned. I'm talking about them knowing that He was from God. They knew that God sent Him. The Word declares in numerous places that they knew that God sent Him.


They were more worried about him being a threat to their power structure than they were about a sign. I'm sure they thought to themselves, how can this unlearned man, who knows very little about the Torah and comes from a humble background, know more about the scriptures than we do. I think this is the primary reason why he stated the only sign they will get is that of Jonah. Even after his death their pride made them refuse to acknowledge that he was God in the flesh - a belief system that has carried on to this day and lead so many of the Israelites astray, as many in the Jewish nation today still have not accepted the fact that Jesus Christ is/was the promised messiah.

So then by this standard above the passage of Scripture you are referencing wouldn't really apply to most people when it comes to the gifts of the Spirit. The power of God was used by many to confirm the gospel, and none of them seemed to have much issue with it at all. Those who needed healing received it. Nobody was told, "You cannot receive this healing because it's a sign, and the only sign you're going to get is the sign of the prophet Jonah."

SIG
Jul 10th 2008, 11:48 PM
VR--

Random replies (I won't quote you verbatim):

1. I have trouble seeing gifts of the Spirit as weapons. Tools, perhaps...

2. The fact that it was "a whole new ballgame" is the REASON they had the power they did; up until Pentecost, no person was Spirit-indwelt. My problem is with assuming the degree of signs they did was for all centuries. Clearly it was not. And I don't attribute a lack of faith or such as to why not. I see it as how God chooses to promote the Gospel.

3. You say preachers go out today without "the power." I say if they are Spirit-indwelt, the power they have is sufficient. Of course, if they are not saved, they shouldn't be preaching at all.

4. As to why people fall away after a short time, Jesus addressed that in the Parable of the Sower.


As I said earlier, we will have trouble agreeing. I see in your user profile that you spend some time with authors and ideas I would not. That's OK. I'm not sure why God has me spending this time with you; if you look at my posting history, you'll see that long posts or discussions are rare for me.

But I do encourage you to look at the history of the Pentecostal movement, the charismatic movement, and more recent movements in the church--especially ones that focus so heavily on spiritual gifts and signs. You may conclude that the worldwide church has moved farther from the pure Gospel and farther into the realm of personal experience.

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 03:17 AM
1. I have trouble seeing gifts of the Spirit as weapons. Tools, perhaps...

Okay . . . I feel you are simply nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking at the moment . . .

Is there really much of a difference in referring to gifts of the Spirit as weapons rather than tools? Is this really that big of an issue?


2. The fact that it was "a whole new ballgame" is the REASON they had the power they did; up until Pentecost, no person was Spirit-indwelt.

Why does that matter (although you are incorrect)? You just stated previously that the power wasn't needed after the resurrection . . . so which is it? Why did those after the resurrection need more than just preaching when according to you all the power they needed was in their preaching? If they needed this power to back their preaching why do you believe that 2,000 years later we will not? What makes us so different than the early church fathers? We don't preach better do we?


My problem is with assuming the degree of signs they did was for all centuries. Clearly it was not.

If it were that clear then you and I would not be having this discussion right now. The only thing that makes you state such a thing is your lack of experience in the gifts. The gifts have not gone anywhere, and they have been active throughout church history, so I'm not sure where you get this notion that they somehow haven't been active since the early church.


And I don't attribute a lack of faith or such as to why not. I see it as how God chooses to promote the Gospel.

Do you not find it troubling, though, that you don't have anything in the Word of God declaring that His gifts are no longer needed or somehow stopped being given sometime in the first century? What do you base your belief on other than your lack of experience in the gifts?


3. You say preachers go out today without "the power." I say if they are Spirit-indwelt, the power they have is sufficient. Of course, if they are not saved, they shouldn't be preaching at all.

The apostles were "Spirit-indwelt" before Pentecost (see John 20:22), but Jesus still commanded them to wait until they received power before they went out preaching the gospel. Why is that?


But I do encourage you to look at the history of the Pentecostal movement, the charismatic movement, and more recent movements in the church--especially ones that focus so heavily on spiritual gifts and signs. You may conclude that the worldwide church has moved farther from the pure Gospel and farther into the realm of personal experience.

I prefer not to put my focus on "movements" but rather the Word of God and what it says. Why should my focus be on men rather than His Word? Can you provide any biblical evidence for your position that says that the power of God through spiritual gifts is no longer for today?

SIG
Jul 11th 2008, 03:57 AM
"Okay . . . I feel you are simply nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking at the moment . . ."

OK. If so, I'm sorry.

"You just stated previously that the power wasn't needed after the resurrection..."

I don't believe I stated that. I said the Gospel alone is sufficient to save. Since God included signs, I guess you could see this as they were "needed."

"The only thing that makes you state such a thing is your lack of experience in the gifts."

Since you don't know me personally, you are assuming a lot.

"The gifts have not gone anywhere, and they have been active throughout church history, so I'm not sure where you get this notion that they somehow haven't been active since the early church."

I did not say the gifts disappeared, rather that the degree of signs clearly diminished.

"The apostles were "Spirit-indwelt" before Pentecost ..."

I don't believe they were yet--but that's another discussion.

"I prefer not to put my focus on "movements" but rather the Word of God and what it says. Why should my focus be on men rather than His Word?"

Because the church is made of people. Discerning sound doctrine--as Paul did--is essential.

"Can you provide any biblical evidence for your position that says that the power of God through spiritual gifts is no longer for today?"

I don't believe I have stated that. I have been rather speaking about a focus on signs and wonders.



I would be happy to continue--or be just as happy to back away now. I don't think we are communicating very well. But if you care to continue, and think it would edify, please do...

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 12:01 PM
I don't believe I stated that. I said the Gospel alone is sufficient to save. Since God included signs, I guess you could see this as they were "needed."

I'm sorry . . . perhaps I read too much into your comments.

When you stated . . .


As for one reason Jesus did signs:

Jhn 4:48 So Jesus said to him, "Unless you {people} see signs and wonders, you {simply} will not believe."

But of course, this was before the ultimate sign--the resurrection. No one was yet indwelt by the Holy Spirit--a whole new ballgame...

. . . I understood it as you saying that after the resurrection something changed and signs and wonders were no longer needed. I, of course, would disagree that this is the case, but I must have misunderstood.



"The only thing that makes you state such a thing is your lack of experience in the gifts."

Since you don't know me personally, you are assuming a lot.


Oh? So if you have experienced the true workings of our Lord's gifts then why would you still be questioning them here? Do you not define your views as being aligned with cessationist theology? The definition of a cessationist is one who believes that spiritual gifts are no longer active and for today's Christian. Is this or is this not the belief you hold?



"The gifts have not gone anywhere, and they have been active throughout church history, so I'm not sure where you get this notion that they somehow haven't been active since the early church."

I did not say the gifts disappeared, rather that the degree of signs clearly diminished.


So if you don't believe the gifts have disappeared then you aren't exactly a cessationist, correct?



"The apostles were "Spirit-indwelt" before Pentecost ..."

I don't believe they were yet--but that's another discussion.


So what do you believe happened in John 20:22 when Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit?



"I prefer not to put my focus on "movements" but rather the Word of God and what it says. Why should my focus be on men rather than His Word?"

Because the church is made of people. Discerning sound doctrine--as Paul did--is essential.


How do you discern sound doctrine? Is it not by the Word of God?



"Can you provide any biblical evidence for your position that says that the power of God through spiritual gifts is no longer for today?"

I don't believe I have stated that. I have been rather speaking about a focus on signs and wonders.


When you identify yourself as a cessationist you are saying that.

Friend of I AM
Jul 11th 2008, 03:13 PM
I'm not talking about them knowing who He was as far as the Messiah is concerned. I'm talking about them knowing that He was from God. They knew that God sent Him. The Word declares in numerous places that they knew that God sent Him.


Where? In fact everywhere in the scripture the exact opposite is demonstrated. They state that he is/was Belzubub on one occassion. They also state that he is an unlearned man, only a carpenters son. They call him crazy, etc, etc, etc. These men were completely spiritually blind. God made them this way though in order that they would have no excuse to justify their unrighteousnous/prideful acts before his coming. Remember he stated that hew was going to send prophets, etc etc in order that they could not justify themselves as not being sinful after they killed him for no reason.




So then by this standard above the passage of Scripture you are referencing wouldn't really apply to most people when it comes to the gifts of the Spirit. The power of God was used by many to confirm the gospel, and none of them seemed to have much issue with it at all. Those who needed healing received it. Nobody was told, "You cannot receive this healing because it's a sign, and the only sign you're going to get is the sign of the prophet Jonah."

I'm not understanding this one...the sign of Jonah basically meant that the only additional sign they would receive is one of condemnation. The Pharisees had been given all of the signs, and yet they still would not submit to the fact that Jesus was indeed the messiah.

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 03:57 PM
Where?

I already gave you one . . .

John 3:1-2
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews and a Pharisee. He knew what the Pharisees thought of Jesus, and he proclaimed it in this passage.


In fact everywhere in the scripture the exact opposite is demonstrated. They state that he is/was Belzubub on one occassion.

Which is exactly why it was blaphemy, which Jesus goes on to talk about. They were accusing Him of being of the devil when they knew for a fact that what He was doing was of God.


They also state that he is an unlearned man, only a carpenters son. They call him crazy, etc, etc, etc.

Of course they said that. Was it because they didn't know He was of God or was it because they didn't care that He was of God?


These men were completely spiritually blind.

I won't argue that at all.


I'm not understanding this one...the sign of Jonah basically meant that the only additional sign they would receive is one of condemnation. The Pharisees had been given all of the signs, and yet they still would not submit to the fact that Jesus was indeed the messiah.

Which is why I stated that it doesn't apply to anyone accept those who have the same heart as the Pharisee. People use that passage of Scripture like it proves that gifts of the Spirit are not for today. Using it in such a way is so far out of context it's ridiculous. That's my entire point here. That passage of Scripture was never given to those who needed healing. Therefore, nobody can proclaim to someone today that healing is not for today based upon that passage of Scripture. That passage of Scripture was given to those who were wicked at heart and had no desire for seeking after God. They were opposed to Jesus, and all they cared about was putting an end to His ministry that was calling into question their own man-made practices. Jesus made that statement to the Pharisee. He did not make that statement to the blind man who needed healing.

threebigrocks
Jul 11th 2008, 04:47 PM
1. What we might have here is putting the cart before the horse. The Great Commission was to preach the Gospel; signs would follow the preaching. My problem is with the focus on the signs, rather than on the Gospel. This focus is rampant in the worldwide church today.

It's submission and dying to self and living for Christ first and foremost. Being a servant to Him,of His will, and not our own desires. If we are rightly grounded in faith, God will use us how He sees fit in servitude to Him. Why would the Spirit work in someone who has not submitted their self to Christ? He wants to hear "I will" and not "I want". We can desire to be gifted, but with incorrect motive and lack of submission to His will can keep us from it.

Agreed SIG. Walk in the way of the Lord. Simple as that.


Okay, but why should someone put their faith in this good news you speak? What makes what you claim valid, and why should this news trump the other news they may have been taught their entire life? What makes your words better than the muslim speaking his? I'm not descrediting the gospel in any way. I'm saying that God has given power to accompany it for a reason. What was the point of Jesus confirming His ministry with healing and so forth? Why did He need to do that?

He was Jesus, He was God! Goodness, His doing miracles and signs and wonders was a part of who He was on earth. He was and is the Word. When He was tempted by satan for 40 days Christ simply spoke in rebuke to him with scripture. That is one of our main weapons, scripture, the Word of God.

The purpose of every gift isn't to go to spiritual war. Only scripture is effective there. Jesus did the signs and wonders so that people would believe and to reward faith they already had. Faith first, which can only come through the gospel.


The Lord has equipped us with many weapons that unfortunately most Christians today just aren't using.

Prayer is our other most powerful weapon. Spiritual gifts are given as the Lord sees fit, as He wills, and we are to remain in prayer without ceasing regardless of our gifts. Desire the good news, know God through prayer. The rest is up to Him.

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 05:17 PM
He was Jesus, He was God! Goodness, His doing miracles and signs and wonders was a part of who He was on earth.

I don't agree that it was part of "who He was on earth". I believe that is who He is regardless. And again, Jesus stated that everything He did was because it was what He saw His Father doing . . . not because it "was a part of who He was on earth".


He was and is the Word. When He was tempted by satan for 40 days Christ simply spoke in rebuke to him with scripture. That is one of our main weapons, scripture, the Word of God.

I don't argue this. However, what sort of things are included in these Scriptures? Are spiritual gifts not included in the same Word of God that Jesus used to combat the devil? Jesus wasn't just firing off verses of memorized Scripture at the devil. Those words were actually implanted in His heart, and He spoke what was in Him. He believed what He spoke, and the power of God through spiritual gifts, miracles, signs and wonders are part of His Word. All of those things are part of the sword. Not just spitting out memorized bible verses.


Only scripture is effective there. Jesus did the signs and wonders so that people would believe and to reward faith they already had. Faith first, which can only come through the gospel.

Okay. That's not the only reason He performed signs and wonders, but this seems to be the most popular argument used.


Prayer is our other most powerful weapon.

I will add prayer in faith is a powerful weapon.


Spiritual gifts are given as the Lord sees fit, as He wills, and we are to remain in prayer without ceasing regardless of our gifts.

I have no issue with this statement.


The rest is up to Him.

Why does such a statement only apply to things such as healing? You don't hear folks say things like, "Stay in prayer, the preaching is up to Him!"

Friend of I AM
Jul 11th 2008, 05:17 PM
I already gave you one . . .

John 3:1-2
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews and a Pharisee. He knew what the Pharisees thought of Jesus, and he proclaimed it in this passage.


I understand what you are saying, here are some verses from John 15 that might help explain what I meant a little better.


John 15:20 - 25.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Then you have Matthew 12. I'm going to post the entire passage of Matthew and highlight the verses that are the most important. You might want to read the entire thing though to get a better understanding of the verses.

Matthew 12


At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
And charged them that they should not make him known:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.


Based on the passages above, I think we have a fairly God understanding that these men did not know who Jesus had come from, or who had sent him - or even that he was of God for that matter. They were so pre-occupied with their power structure, that they didn't even pay attention to the signs he had given them. I'll have to do a bit more studying on Nicodemus to be honest with you. I'm of the impression that a lot of what most of the Scribes & Pharisees said to Jesus was done kind of tongue and cheek and mockingly. Often times they would use the term "Rabbi" in jest as well as use sarcasm when approaching him - while trying to convict him of some sort of lack of knowledge they assumed he didn't have of the scriptures.

Friend of I AM
Jul 11th 2008, 05:31 PM
Which is why I stated that it doesn't apply to anyone accept those who have the same heart as the Pharisee. People use that passage of Scripture like it proves that gifts of the Spirit are not for today. Using it in such a way is so far out of context it's ridiculous. That's my entire point here. That passage of Scripture was never given to those who needed healing. Therefore, nobody can proclaim to someone today that healing is not for today based upon that passage of Scripture. That passage of Scripture was given to those who were wicked at heart and had no desire for seeking after God. They were opposed to Jesus, and all they cared about was putting an end to His ministry that was calling into question their own man-made practices. Jesus made that statement to the Pharisee. He did not make that statement to the blind man who needed healing.


Jesus had given them many signs, and they were still asking for more. How can you agree with me that these men were spirituatully blind, and then believe at the same time that they knew that Jesus was sent from God? That is a contradiction unto itself. If they truly knew that Christ was sent from God, then they wouldn't be testifying that He was Belzubub, demon possessed, and what not. What blinded them from knowing/accepting the truth was pride.

In regards to the thread itself and the context in which the passage was used, I think it was used appropriately. We need to be careful not to become "sign/spiritual gifts" based Christians, and need to practice more on figuring out ways to edify the body through loving one another. Love is the most important sign that we need to show each other in our walks, despite whatever spiritual gifts we may think that we have.

If we focus too much on what perceived spiritual gifts we may think we have and their existence in this day and age, I think we lose some of the message of why we're here to begin with.

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 05:36 PM
I'll have to do a bit more studying on Nicodemus to be honest with you. I'm of the impression that a lot of what most of the Scribes & Pharisees said to Jesus was done kind of tongue and cheek and mockingly. Often times they would use the term "Rabbi" in jest as well as use sarcasm when approaching him - while trying to convict him of some sort of lack of knowledge they assumed he didn't have of the scriptures.

Nicodemus was a follower and supporter of Jesus Christ, and it seems he was a little conflicted between his position as a Pharisee and leader of the Jews and his feelings for Jesus.



John 19:38-40
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.


I agree with you that they did not know Him. However, I do believe they felt He was from God. I believe they tried to argue and suppress this knowledge in their wickedness because they wanted so badly for Him to not be from God, but I feel deep down they couldn't deny the fact that He was from God.

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 05:39 PM
How can you agree with me that these men were spirituatully blind, and then believe at the same time that they knew that Jesus was sent from God? That is a contradiction unto itself. If they truly knew that Christ was sent from God, then they wouldn't be testifying that He was Belzubub, demon possessed, and what not. What blinded them from knowing/accepting the truth was pride.

The same way that the folks in Romans 1 could have the knowledge of God but suppress that knowledge in their wickedness. This being the case, God gave them up to a debased mind.


In regards to the thread itself and the context in which the passage was used, I think it was used appropriately. We need to be careful not to become "sign/spiritual gifts" based Christians, and need to practice more on figuring out ways to edify the body through loving one another. Love is the most important sign that we need to show each other in our walks, despite whatever spiritual gifts we may think that we have.

Actually such an argument would be completely out of context in this thread because nobody is supporting or encouraging anyone to be "sign/spritual gifts" Christians.

Friend of I AM
Jul 11th 2008, 05:40 PM
Nicodemus was a follower and supporter of Jesus Christ, and it seems he was a little conflicted between his position as a Pharisee and leader of the Jews and his feelings for Jesus.


Okay. Thanks for that info. I think Nicodemus was a secret follower though..not an overt one..;) Most(if not all) of the Pharisees did not believe that he was the Christ.




I agree with you that they did not know Him. However, I do believe they felt He was from God. I believe they tried to argue and suppress this knowledge in their wickedness because they wanted so badly for Him to not be from God, but I feel deep down they couldn't deny the fact that He was from God.

So I guess by what you've posted above we can agree on the fact that they were blinded by "pride."

VerticalReality
Jul 11th 2008, 05:44 PM
Okay. Thanks for that info. I think Nicodemus was a secret follower though..not an overt one..;) Most(if not all) of the Pharisees did not believe that he was the Christ.

I wouldn't necessarily say he was a "secret" follower of Jesus. He actually tried to defend Jesus against the Pharisees' accusations in John 7. He may have not been the most outspoken supporter, and I think his coming to Jesus in the night was clear evidence that he was very timid and unsure of what he was doing. However, I think as time went on he began to see the truth for what it was. Eventually after the death of Jesus he was showing himself quite openly to be a follower of Jesus.



So I guess by what you've posted above we can agree on the fact that they were blinded by "pride."


Oh no doubt about it.

Brother Mark
Jul 11th 2008, 06:39 PM
I agree with you that they did not know Him. However, I do believe they felt He was from God. I believe they tried to argue and suppress this knowledge in their wickedness because they wanted so badly for Him to not be from God, but I feel deep down they couldn't deny the fact that He was from God.


It is interesting to see how much they knew. Here's a parable about them that Jesus taught. I think they knew who Jesus was but I am not convinced the Romans (authorities) knew.

Matt 21:33-40

33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey. 34 "And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35 "And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 "Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37 "But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38 "But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.' 39 "And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 "Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" 41 They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons." 42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,

'The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?

43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 And when they sought to seize Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.
NASB

Their reasons for rejecting Jesus had nothing to do with who Jesus was but instead with what they had.

John 11:47-49

47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
NASB

Just as Jesus said, they chose to kill him in order to keep for themselves God's vineyard. I think they knew who Jesus was but the Romans did not.

Friend of I AM
Jul 12th 2008, 03:04 PM
I wouldn't necessarily say he was a "secret" follower of Jesus. He actually tried to defend Jesus against the Pharisees' accusations in John 7. He may have not been the most outspoken supporter, and I think his coming to Jesus in the night was clear evidence that he was very timid and unsure of what he was doing. However, I think as time went on he began to see the truth for what it was. Eventually after the death of Jesus he was showing himself quite openly to be a follower of Jesus.


Just read John 7 45-53 this morning. I'll post it here.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"

"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards replied.
"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them."
Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, "Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?"
They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." [The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.]

Then they all went home,

So it would seem that we were both somewhat right on this one. I would say that based on that passage, Nicodemus was the only one who believed and knew he was the Christ. Of course the others really had no excuse to believe he wasn't based on the signs and miracles he performed. Definitely the others were blinded by pride.

Friend of I AM
Jul 12th 2008, 03:23 PM
It is interesting to see how much they knew. Here's a parable about them that Jesus taught. I think they knew who Jesus was but I am not convinced the Romans (authorities) knew.

Matt 21:33-40

33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey. 34 "And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35 "And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 "Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37 "But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38 "But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.' 39 "And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 "Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" 41 They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons." 42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,

'The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?

43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 And when they sought to seize Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.
NASB

Their reasons for rejecting Jesus had nothing to do with who Jesus was but instead with what they had.

John 11:47-49

47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
NASB

Just as Jesus said, they chose to kill him in order to keep for themselves God's vineyard. I think they knew who Jesus was but the Romans did not.

That's a very insightful and well thought out post Mark. I guess this is one of those issues where terminology/semantics can get a bit mixed into the fray. One thing is for certain, after seeing the signs/miracles that they knew he performed, as well as having received the testimony from John about him being the messiah, they had no excuse for their unbelief.

Brother Mark
Jul 12th 2008, 03:30 PM
That's a very insightful and well thought out post Mark. I guess this is one of those issues where terminology/semantics can get a bit mixed into the fray. One thing is for certain, after seeing the signs/miracles that they knew he performed, as well as having received the testimony from John about him being the messiah, they had no excuse for their unbelief.

Your right Stephen. They had no excuse. I was thinking as I was reading this thread how sometimes the word belief can be confusing. Many know their is a God but refuse to surrender to him. That is what James is getting at when he says even the demons believe and tremble. Belief without surrender is unbelief. The pharisees, I believe, knew Jesus to be from God but because they were unwilling to surrender, rejected Jesus. It's the old "believe in your heart instead of just your mind" thing many of us have heard for generations.

They were full of unbelief and were eventually completely blinded to who he was denying even the very miracles he performed were from God. They even went so far as to say those miracles were worked by the power of Satan. I think mentally, then knew him to be from God on some level and Jesus pointed it out to them in the parables I mentioned above. But their rebellion and greed and pride would not allow them to surrender. Thus, they stayed in their unbelief.

Friend of I AM
Jul 12th 2008, 03:32 PM
Actually such an argument would be completely out of context in this thread because nobody is supporting or encouraging anyone to be "sign/spritual gifts" Christians.


Okay. Well I wasn't trying to encourage others that spiritual gifts aren't present today, just saying that we should be weary of anyone who runs around every minute professing that they have them in this day and age. Healing is a gift that I'm sure is still present, and I do think it's wise for people to be very cautious around those who deem themselves prophets, faith-healers, teachers, and what not nowadays.

VerticalReality
Jul 12th 2008, 07:01 PM
Okay. Well I wasn't trying to encourage others that spiritual gifts aren't present today, just saying that we should be weary of anyone who runs around every minute professing that they have them in this day and age. Healing is a gift that I'm sure is still present, and I do think it's wise for people to be very cautious around those who deem themselves prophets, faith-healers, teachers, and what not nowadays.

I understand your concern. I also feel uneasy about those who run around going on and on about power and healing but they don't present any truths of God's Word to go along with it. I don't believe that God has any problem whatsoever with setting people free of the bondage that the devil puts on them. However, I believe God wants people to understand the root of the problem they are having. What good is it to help someone with a physical problem if they do not understand that a spiritual problem may have caused it? If you do not solve the root of the problem the fruit of it will just come back again, and even worse as Jesus proclaimed to the man at the pool of Bethesda. What happens if I just chop off a twig on a tree? Will it not just produce more twigs? The tree has to be uprooted in order for the fruit to be changed permanently.

I fear for folks who put all their focus on the "anointing" and running about with "supernatural power" and they don't bother to preach any of God's most holy Word. They are deceiving people. These people may indeed receive release or healing from a physical problem making them believe that everything else is fine and okay. They don't receive understanding on why such things have come upon them in the first place.

It is good that we be balanced in what we do. We must both preach the Word and be willing to operate in the power the Lord would have us use as He directs.

SIG
Jul 12th 2008, 07:51 PM
VR:. . . I understood it as you saying that after the resurrection something changed and signs and wonders were no longer needed. I, of course, would disagree that this is the case, but I must have misunderstood.

SIG: No one who has read the Bible could believe that, as signs and wonders were clearly occurring, and so we assume needed (or better, ordained by God). What changed after Pentecost was the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the saved. Along with that came the ability to preach the Gospel with power (note the difference between Peter before Pentecost and the sermon Peter preached after Pentecost). Signs and wonders sometimes followed, but were not essential (as with the Ethiopian eunuch). Whether or not they were "needed" was decided by God.

Again--I know signs still occur, but do they occur to the degree we saw in the earliest days of the Church? And if not, rather than assume it is man's fault, why not assume that as the faith took root, they were less needed? Perhaps the testimonies of the saints (which you seem to minimize) were adequate (don't forget the "cloud of witnesses"--Hebrews 12).


VR: Oh? So if you have experienced the true workings of our Lord's gifts then why would you still be questioning them here? Do you not define your views as being aligned with cessationist theology? The definition of a cessationist is one who believes that spiritual gifts are no longer active and for today's Christian. Is this or is this not the belief you hold?

SIG: What I am questioning is the recent focus on what some call "the five-fold ministries"--a focus that has generated some horrific theology. The less dramatic gifts--such as discernment or teaching--seem to get less (or no) attention from those who focus on the more dramatic gifts.


VR: So if you don't believe the gifts have disappeared then you aren't exactly a cessationist, correct?

SIG: My post, somewhere back on page 8, read:

"I have moved somewhat to the cessationist side, and see what happened in the early Church as unique also. The Apostles did indeed perform signs for a period; we do not see evidence of this continuing early on to any degree."


VR: So what do you believe happened in John 20:22 when Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit?

SIG: They were given courage to wait until Pentecost. But that, as I said, is best for another thread.


VR: How do you discern sound doctrine? Is it not by the Word of God?

SIG: Aside from being also a gift, discernment is foremost definitely by the Word of God--but the Word rightly divided (which is why this thread is happening).

VR: When you identify yourself as a cessationist you are saying that.

SIG: I believe some of the gifts occur with less frequency. And I still maintain that the Book of Acts is not meant in all ways to be a model for us (eg; they met in house churches only; are we meant to also?)

SIG
Jul 12th 2008, 07:58 PM
By the way, VR--you stated : "Why should my focus be on men rather than His Word?"

If that's the case, I recommend you re-think your signature--the quote from Dr. Neil T. Anderson.

Friend of I AM
Jul 12th 2008, 11:30 PM
I understand your concern. I also feel uneasy about those who run around going on and on about power and healing but they don't present any truths of God's Word to go along with it. I don't believe that God has any problem whatsoever with setting people free of the bondage that the devil puts on them. However, I believe God wants people to understand the root of the problem they are having. What good is it to help someone with a physical problem if they do not understand that a spiritual problem may have caused it? If you do not solve the root of the problem the fruit of it will just come back again, and even worse as Jesus proclaimed to the man at the pool of Bethesda. What happens if I just chop off a twig on a tree? Will it not just produce more twigs? The tree has to be uprooted in order for the fruit to be changed permanently.

I fear for folks who put all their focus on the "anointing" and running about with "supernatural power" and they don't bother to preach any of God's most holy Word. They are deceiving people. These people may indeed receive release or healing from a physical problem making them believe that everything else is fine and okay. They don't receive understanding on why such things have come upon them in the first place.

It is good that we be balanced in what we do. We must both preach the Word and be willing to operate in the power the Lord would have us use as He directs.

Yup. We must all be careful with whatever gifts God has given us, and make sure that we use them as best as we can to edify the body.

VerticalReality
Jul 13th 2008, 12:30 AM
By the way, VR--you stated : "Why should my focus be on men rather than His Word?"

If that's the case, I recommend you re-think your signature--the quote from Dr. Neil T. Anderson.

Why? I find the quote to be focused on the Word of God and the truth it declares. If it were something that I didn't believe had biblical grounding I wouldn't bother with it. In other words, the quote came out of Neil Anderson's mouth, but it's already stated in much grander fashion through God's Word.