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  • Why Are Godly People Sick?

    July 20, 2010 | 36 Comments

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    36 Responses to “Why Are Godly People Sick?”

    1. Pamela
      July 20th, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

      I could write much about today’s topic because there is, now upon us, a major revolution. I can foresee the healthcare system as we know today will not exist in the near future. Not for the lack of man’s innovation, but for the stupendous benefits that we can derive directly from the healing hands of God. This divinely guided momentous change is paramount for the coming of our Lord is at hand! Why? Read Matthew 22 in which it talks about a guest who had went to a marriage feast without a wedding garment on! That guest had angered the king who had arranged that wedding for His Son, and was thrown out!

      That Son is no other than Jesus Christ Himself, and the wedding guests are those chosen for eternal life! A perfected body free from all diseases and defects is a part of our wedding garment just as the sons of Aaron could not serve before the Lord in the temple if they had any blemishes upon them.

      Leviticus 21:21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD…

      What I see right now are labor-pains. Societies all around the world are in tremendous pain. It is very heart-breaking indeed to see the suffering that is now happening upon our earth. Incredibly, there exist today, people who have lived through and with extensive injuries to their bodies and/or are living with the most unusual birth-defects, diseases and disorders. It is almost unbelievable!

      THERE IS NO LACK ON GOD’S WILLINGNESS TO HEAL US WHETHER WE ARE GOOD OR BAD!!!

      The lack is due to our correct understanding of the BIBLE! God has a directive that He requires MUST happen for Him to move greatly upon us with His Divine Healings ~ PERIOD! The praise and the fame are to God’s Chosen People!

      Zephaniah 3:19 …and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

      It is through them – the Jews as well as the Israelites of Ephraim, their coming to faith that the world is to experience life from death!

      Romans 11:15 …what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

      The main problems are the Israelites not knowing or accepting this glorious role that they are to have in the world through faith in Jesus Christ as well as the Gentile church building upon a false foundation that they have replaced the Israelites as God’s Chosen in this present day. These two problematic situations have created a thirst for a greater showing of God’s Divine Healing upon us.

      Let me tell you one thing. God’s Divine Healing is to be like rain and sunshine for it is to be upon the good and the bad. It’s for the Saints and the Sinners alike. In my experiences, God heals the unbelieving almost without question, but He needs certain truths to be addressed with the Saints when requesting healing from Him such as informing them that it is someone of God’s Chosen who is intercepting to God for their healing if they are in possession of a mental capacity to comprehend. Every case is unique. I have found that if there is a blatant sin in a Saint’s life, God may require that it be addressed somehow. Nevertheless, believing Gentiles do have a limited role in Divine Healing, they are allowed to minister to God’s Chosen as some have done for me.

      Outrageous as this may have sounded, it is the truth! But Wait! There more! Read this…

      Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the “dead are raised up”, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

      There is a Divine answer for all the accidental deaths and unfortunate murders. God is very will and able, but the general public is not willing and ready to receive. I seem to me that maybe all these tragedies happening amongst God’s Saints occur because He wants to cause them to have great rejoicing if only they would receive His Blessings in His Method of His Own Designing.

      Psalm 67 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us… thy saving health among all nations… O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy… God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

      The problem facing Divine Healers in this country today is the lack of access to those who need it the most, those within medical faculties and hospitals. Divine Healers are already here to do the work of preparing the world for Our King’s return!

    2. George
      July 20th, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

      Pam,
      What you said is very true; however, God never promised that we will never be sick when we accept the Lord. The Bible even states that we will have tribulation. Also contrary to the popular belief about the pre-trib rapture, the bible actually says nothing about it. See Daniel 9, Matthew 24 and Rev. 7. In fact as you become stronger in the Lord, Satan will attack you even more.
      I have witnessed miracle healing as well as people forget that people are tools of the Lord for healing. Remember the story of the man on the roof of his house during a flood. First, a neighbor in a boat came by to help him and he said, no need the Lord will save me. Next a police boat came by and he stated again-No need the Lord will save me. Again, a helicopter came by and he repeated, once again he repeated-No need, the Lord will save me. He drowned and when he came before the Lord, he asked, I am a man of strong faith, why didn’t you save me? The Lord answered, ‘I sent a boat, a police boat and a helicopter and you refused them all.
      We may or may not be healed. Paul suffered with an affliction and was an apostle, yet he was not healed. He, as we all remember to glorify God in all circumstances.

    3. Ben
      July 21st, 2010 @ 5:55 am

      Healing. The one time where it works perfectly with prayer and by using the name of Jesus is in the exorcism of demons.

      If you had a man with cancer and a man with demons, I can with 100% conviction say that the man with the demon will be released. The cancer one, I’m not so sure.

    4. Ben
      July 21st, 2010 @ 5:56 am

      Healing. The one time where it works perfectly with prayer and by using the name of Jesus is in the exorcism of demons.

      If you had a man with cancer and a man with demons, I can with 100% conviction say that the man with the demon will be released. The cancer one, I’m not so sure.

    5. Ray
      July 21st, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

      I know from the scriptures that Jesus healed by his word. He also told us of what happens when the sower sows the word.

      I was put on worker’s compensation because my back muscles had gone into spasm and it was too painful to lift much. I was encouraged to do this through a supervisor where I worked. All I wanted was a week off and maybe two if necessary, without pay of course, but the people where I worked seemed to think the state worker’s compensation to be the best course.

      I believe it was against my better judgment to do this. I had to fill out forms, tell how this “injury” happened (while sitting on my lunch box during lunch break.) and when.

      The powers that be referred me to a chiropractor,
      and though he adjusted me often there was no real improvement to the pain which by then was chronic.

      Then I saw a doctor, then was referred to physical therapists, and massage therapy, all of which was paid for by the state. I didn’t even want to do it all.

      Lots of these kind of pains are due to discs that tend to squash a bit and put pressure on what nerves are nearby.

      I sure it cost the state a lot of money and I think it was not necessary.

      If I continue in the word of Christ, I can have confidence toward God. Confidence always seems to be tested. We are told that such things are no strange thing to a Christian. As I honor God I can have faith in Christ. It’s a gift of his grace to do so. I can honor God in what I say and do. God gives us the holy spirit to lead us in these things and through the things we suffer. As I keep my eyes on God I know he will do some works of grace. His grace is always around me. His word strengthens me. His word upholds me.

      By the stripes of Jesus I am healed. He’s healed me many times before through the sacrifice of himself which he did for God and for my salvation.

      Jesus has healed me. He does heal me and I shall be healed. God’s goodness and mercy are behind me
      with me and in front of me.

      Now I tell my back to be right in Jesus’ name and it doesn’t cost anyone any money. Jesus paid it all.

      It seems to me that “godly” can be a relative term. Even the godly fall into temptations, snares, and traps. Even the godly may fall, but God is able to get them up again.

      Who can say that they are godly always? If I say that, I haven’t my eyes on God, do I?

      There are many reasons Christians get sick. God knows them all. Sometimes we are carried by his grace, so much so and we don’t really know where we are spiritually. Though a wise man judge himself, does he really know all that is in him?

      Yet we trust in God and he works things out in our lives.

      What troubles me sometimes is when I see someone with an illness or physical weakness and I know they need something supernatural from God, and at the same time I see them not walking spiritually as they should, as if they are not aware that their healing and health comes from God.

      We can’t earn healing, but we can either honor God or not when we are weak or when we are strong.

      Shouldn’t it be as easy to honor God when we are weak? For when a Christian is weak it is then that he should be strong.

      There may be spiritual reasons we became sick and with God we might not even have to make that very correction to be healed. God may want to deal with some other thing at that time, as a father will sometimes do with his children. If we continue with God he will lead us where we need to be, because of Jesus.

    6. Josh
      July 22nd, 2010 @ 10:36 am

      Ray, just finished reading your post. With such true, faith-filled words as you mentioned, you can be sure God will rise up in blessing for you. Just as a word of encouragement, I thought it would be good to remind you of our Lord’s words about those children of God who get their prayers answered–those humble, bold, chosen followers who stay connected to Him in prayer DAY AND NIGHT.

      In Luke 18:1-8 we read of the persistent widow who overcame injustice:

      >> Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
      “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ”

      And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, WHO CRY OUT TO HIM DAY AND NIGHT? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and QUICKLY. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

      You only need persistent faith. Remember your rights as a son and citizen of God’s Kingdom. “Healing/Deliverance is the children’s bread.”

      God bless,

      Josh

    7. S. Johnson
      July 22nd, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

      Dr. Brown

      I’m a little confused here. If I understand you, your position is that Scripture promises healing for today (assuming one is living a Godly life). Yet your real world experience appears to be that this is not the pattern we generally encounter. Your solution to the apparent contradiction is to call it a “mystery”. But at the heart of every contradiction is that the truth claim being made is not correct. Calling it a mystery does not make the contradiction go away. So either there must be a Scriptural basis for Godly people not being healed, else reality contradicts the Scripture. Can you clarify this point?

      Second question:
      I have been interested in claims of miraculous healing for some time. Unfortunately, when those making such claims are asked for evidence, none appears. For example Benny Hinn was asked to produce a handful of examples to support his claims. As far as I have heard, no such examples were offered.

      If healing stories are so abundant, why is there not more objective evidence? Would not such evidence glorify God and bring more people to Him?

    8. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 22nd, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

      S. Johnson,

      I do plan to take this up another broadcast, but a few quick responses.

      1) I base my theology on the Word, not experience, and I find the scriptural testimony about healing to be very clear.

      2) In many cases it is obvious why godly people are sick — overworking; not taking proper care of their bodies; lack of faith — but we don’t always know why, and there are many mysteries from our current perspective.

      3) God’s goal is not to heal on network TV. Go to third world countries where no cameras have reached them — as I have — and hear and see the incredible testimonies. Multitudes are coming to faith around the world as a result of God’s healing power. (For a good academic reflection, read J. P. Moreland’s Kingdom Triangle.) Or visit a church that regularly prays for the sick and ask for congregational testimonies. They really do abound. As for people like Benny Hinn not being able to provide documented testimonies, sometimes people who are healed are not willing to be scrutinized by skeptical reporters, but in any case, I’m not pointing to his ministry for verification of healing. I’m pointing to the promises of the Word.

    9. Ray
      July 22nd, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

      Dr. Brown, I disagree with you about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. I do not believe he was speaking of people, but rather a spiritual enemy that was known to be against him. Such a thing he suffered
      for the sake of the gospel. Experiencing this kept him closer to God because of the faith he had. He learned to depend on God through such sufferings.
      I trust the spiritual realm became all the more real and relevant to him through that trial
      of faith. Going through such sufferings can keep a man keenly sharp on God, the scriptures, and the things of the spirit.

    10. s dean
      July 23rd, 2010 @ 12:03 am

      honestly this is all I can say, if I say more I go beyond the word.Praise God He is the King and Knows all.I cant wait to kiss his beautiful feet.

      Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
      Jas 5:15 {And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,}
      {and the Lord shall raise him up;}
      {and if he have committed sins,}
      { they shall be forgiven him.}

    11. s dean
      July 23rd, 2010 @ 12:33 am

      Healing is for the saves and unsaved. People who only heard of Jesus came to be healed. The centurion asked for his servant to be healed. Woman with issue of blood, a blind man, lepers. Man with legions was healed of possession , as for the saved, Ill only name Paul, he was healed from an asp bite and scales fell from his eyes. I too was healed from an issue of blood when I was unsaved, I became saved a few weeks later. I love you in Jesus Dr Brown. I know you will finish the work Jesus has given you to do and He will say to you well done my good and faithful servant.

    12. Ray
      July 23rd, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

      People can be funny when it comes to healing.

      Have you ever been sitting on the floor and then asked someone nearby to help you up while you extend your hand, but are really playing a joke on them because when they give you a hand so you can get up, you tense your ab’s and remain in the position you are in and refuse to move from it as you also tense up all the other muscles?

      They can pull and pull and can never get you up off the floor.

      I suppose you can then say something like, “You just don’t have the strength.” or something.

      Then I suppose there are the ones who extend their hand to help someone who really is willing to get up off the floor (and just would like a little help or support), but they don’t plant their feet and exert any force to help.

      We don’t have to shout to help someone up off the floor, but we do need to exert something to help.

    13. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 12:57 am

      I do not mean to be contentious, but I must ask you about the first part of your response:

      “1) I base my theology on the Word, not experience, and I find the scriptural testimony about healing to be very clear.”

      Do you not believe that all truth claims need to be verifiable and at least in principle falsifiable? And is not verifiability based in experience? When the prophets spoke, they were judged to be true or false prophets based on the experience that followed. Either their words came true or they did not.

      If we cannot verify truth claims based on our real world experience, then how are we to adjudicate between world views. All world views with sacred books can make the claim that they base their theology on what is written alone. This is a classic response from Mormons with whom I have dialoged. When one points out archeological contradictions, they still believe the Book of Mormon, in spite of the contradictory facts.
      So then if your study of the Word says that all Godly people should be healed (please correct me if I misstate your position), and this does not come to pass, then do how are we to make sense of that which appears contradictory to our experience?

    14. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 1:07 am

      Dr. Brown,

      One last point. If multitudes are coming to faith through God’s healing power, then why cannot this be documented beyond hearsay? We live in a time where technology that can record such events is plentiful. In a world where believers are labeled by the likes of Richard Dawkins as superstitious fools, would not such evidence refute such attacks and bring Glory to God?

    15. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 25th, 2010 @ 2:20 am

      S. Johnson,

      1) If God’s Word clearly teaches something, then I am bound in conscience to embrace that truth. If I don’t see that truth realized, then I need to seek God to find out why it is not being realized rather than changing my theology.

      2) Multitudes are coming to faith through God’s healing power, it is being documented, and you can travel yourself to different parts of the world where God is touching people and see the fruit for yourself. But the children of Israel saw miracles and didn’t believe; some of the Jewish leaders saw Jesus’ miracles and didn’t believe — and skeptics today see God’s power and some still don’t believe. God IS being glorified, but He does not put on a show for the cameras on command (for which I am grateful). But again, as stated, the miracles have been documented for decades and continue to be documented today. One of my friends is a medical doctor who traveled overseas for the sole purpose of documenting healings and miracles as they took place in meetings. God is moving wonderfully around the globe!

    16. Ben.KC
      July 25th, 2010 @ 4:24 am

      S Johnson,

      You might have posted your views on this site which I probably missed but can you verify your doctrinal view on healing (a short version)?

    17. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

      Dr. Brown;

      I agree! And since as a GENERAL RULE, it seems that miraculous healing is not the norm, then it seems your interpretation that all Godly people should be healed (again correct me if I misstate your position) needs modification in order to harmonize with the Word. Are these promises conditional? Were they just of a certain period of time. I personally know people who have called upon what they believe are Biblical promises that they have taken personally, and when these promises were not realized began to question their faith. I am a believer, but I am also a realist. The truth of the reality I experience is what it is. If we start with the presupposition that the Word of God is literally true, and then we see what appears to be unfilled promises, then in order to avoid contradiction, an explanation is required. If their is not an alternative explanation then we are left with a contradiction, and contradictions point to an error in the truth claim being made. This in turn may impact the faith of the believer.

      So as an expert on the topic of Biblical healing, I am asking why as a GENERAL RULE Christians are not being healed of cancer and devastating life changing injuries. Why does one need to go to third world countries to see this, when we live in a country with millions of evangelical believers? I do not dispute with you the miracles happen, only that they should be expected as the norm for believers.

      As far as the decades of documentation goes, can you point me to resources? I have searched for such documentation and have found it to be less than robust. Part of the problem is defining what qualifies as miracle healing. If one has a psychosomatic disease, then one needs only a pyschological cure. (For example someone with chronic back pain that is pschological in nature rather than physical.) I recall listening to one of your teachings,where you had been involved in a healing ministry. If memory serves you saw some healings that night. However when you came home, your wife asked if anyone had gotton out of their wheelchairs that night. Perhaps curing migraine headaches is a miracle, but because the symptoms are subjective, it is difficult to prove objectively. Most of the healing stories I hear are of the subjective nature. I believe you to be a credible witness. Perhaps you could give examples of objectively measurable healings you have personally witnessed.

      The physician testimonies I have seen have been sparce and often poorly documented. Perhaps I have been looking in the wrong places. Did your doctor friend publish his findings?

      Let me say, that I am a fan of your Scholarly works. I have read many of your works (I am especially a fan of Answering Jewish Objections series). So I am not trying to be antagonistic or critical. I try only to understand how to make the Word align with the reality I see.

    18. Larry
      July 25th, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

      If it’s true that as a “general rule” believers should be free of sickness and disease, then by what manner should death come to a true believer in Jesus Christ?

    19. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 25th, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

      S. Johnson,

      You ask, “So as an expert on the topic of Biblical healing, I am asking why as a GENERAL RULE Christians are not being healed of cancer and devastating life changing injuries.”

      It is because is terribly wrong, because the Body in America is in a very poor condition, because we are full of unbelief and the world, because God’s glory will only rest so far in the midst of sin and corruption — among a host of other reasons. I would encourage you to read my 1991 book Whatever Happened to the Power of God for more on this.

      As for documentation, I encouraged to start reading J. P. Moreland’s book Kingdom Triangle, which will undergird some of these truths and point you in the right direction. The outstanding New Testament scholar Craig Keener has a book that will be out in a year or two on miracles in the NT, but he also includes documentation about contemporary miracles. There have been doctoral dissertations written that have documented people coming to faith in countries like India through God’s demonstrable power, and the meetings of men like Reinhard Bonnke (whose preaching ministry is now being taken up more and more by Dan Kolenda, one of our grads) in Africa regularly see people healed who were born blind. In Mozambique, through the ministry of Heidi Baker, more than 2,000 deaf ears have been opened, and I was told by Heidi that recently, two scientists from Harvard challenged her report, only to be allowed to go to Mozambique themselves and verify the miracles, which, she says, will all be published in a scientific or medical journal.

      Even the older books, like Kathryn Kuhlman’s I Believe in Miracles contain medical documentation.

      The bottom line is that God is moving miraculously around the world today, and you need to examine your heart to see if you are a believer with regard to this truth or a skeptic. I think it’s important for all of us to do that.

    20. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 25th, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

      Larry, that is not exactly what I stated. Rather, we should be seeing God’s miraculous power on a regular basis, on some level similar to what happened in the Book of Acts, both in terms of signs and wonders confirming the Word preached to the lost and in terms of gracious acts of healing among believers (as per 1 Cor 12 and Jam 5).

      That being said, I see no promise in the Bible that we will be free of aches and pain, and I see many reasons that we can be sick — including not caring our bodies properly; overwork; sin; etc.

      As for death, the Bible makes clear that we since we no longer have access to the tree of life, our bodies will ultimately wear out and decay, which will ultimately end in our deaths. But can we believe God to be spared from a long, agonizing, debilitating death? I see no reason why we cannot trust God for that.

    21. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

      Dr. Brown;

      I respect J.P. Moreland and will pick up a copy of his book. I have a copy of your book “Whatever happened to the Power of God”, but have not read it for several years. Perhaps I should read it again.
      Here are a couple of thoughts I have on miracles in general. I just got through watching the series “Against All Odds” which looks at miracles in Israel. For example, there is one account of a group of Israeli soldiers who found themselves in the middle of a mine field. A very strong wind came about and swept away the soil covering the mines enabling them to walk out. Now one can view this as a miracle or just a highly unusual event. Most of the accounts, were similar, involving the occurrence of very low probability events. There always seemed to be some “wiggle room” for not calling these events miracles.
      When I envision a world where all Christians never get sick or are always healed, I also envision that this would result in mass conversions. But at the heart of these conversions would be the question of motive. Yancey in his book “Where is God when it Hurts”, discusses the book of Job and believes Satan was really saying that Job did not find God to be intrinsically worthy, but only worthy because of what God provided. Was Job’s motive that he found God worthy in Himself or that Job was only following God for tangible benefits? When the crowds followed Jesus, He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26). So it appears that Jesus was also interested in the motive for following Him.
      Now the following is mere speculation from my layman’s perspective. Perhaps miracle healing does not happen to all Christians because it would encourage false followers; those who follow Jesus not for Who He is, but for what they can get out of it. As C.S. Lewis says “If you are approaching Him [God] not as the goal but as a road, not as an ends but as a means, you’re not really approaching Him at all” (A Grief Observed). Perhaps this is why the miracles in Israel are not definitive. Perhaps that’s why in spite of so many healing miracle stories, hard objective evidence beyond witness accounts is so hard to find. Perhaps the Lord leaves enough “wiggle room” for those who do not want to believe to find a way out. Perhaps this is all part of the “wooing” process of God.
      Further I wonder, what is a greater witness to the world, than the man who holds God up high in the very blackest of night, in the midst of the greatest depth of grief without yielding to despair? Is this not the man who truly says, Lord You are worthy in Your essence, in Yourself—above all You are worthy? Men who hold God up high, when the world is crashing around them, are instantly acquitted of ulterior motives. Do not such men make the world step back from its madness and ask, who is this God of such great value—who is this God that dwarfs pain in the blackest of nights simply because of who He is? Of course this is all but speculation on my part.

    22. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

      Dr. Brown;

      I respect J.P. Moreland and will pick up a copy of his book. I have a copy of your book “Whatever happened to the Power of God”, but have not read it for several years. Perhaps I should read it again.

      Here are a couple of thoughts I have on miracles in general. I just got through watching the series “Against All Odds” which looks at miracles in Israel. For example, there is one account of a group of Israeli soldiers who found themselves in the middle of a mine field. A very strong wind came about and swept away the soil covering the mines enabling them to walk out. Now one can view this as a miracle or just a highly unusual event. Most of the accounts, were similar, involving the occurrence of very low probability events. There always seemed to be some “wiggle room” for not calling these events miracles.

      When I envision a world where all Christians never get sick or are always healed, I also envision that this would result in mass conversions. But at the heart of these conversions would be the question of motive. Yancey in his book “Where is God when it Hurts”, discusses the book of Job and believes Satan was really saying that Job did not find God to be intrinsically worthy, but only worthy because of what God provided. Was Job’s motive that he found God worthy in Himself or that Job was only following God for tangible benefits? When the crowds followed Jesus, He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26). So it appears that Jesus was also interested in the motive for following Him.

      Now the following is mere speculation from my layman’s perspective. Perhaps miracle healing does not happen to all Christians because it would encourage false followers; those who follow Jesus not for Who He is, but for what they can get out of it. As C.S. Lewis says “If you are approaching Him [God] not as the goal but as a road, not as an ends but as a means, you’re not really approaching Him at all” (A Grief Observed). Perhaps this is why the miracles in Israel are not definitive. Perhaps that’s why in spite of so many healing miracle stories, hard objective evidence beyond witness accounts is so hard to find. Perhaps the Lord leaves enough “wiggle room” for those who do not want to believe to find a way out. Perhaps this is all part of the “wooing” process of God.

      Further I wonder, what is a greater witness to the world, than the man who holds God up high in the very blackest of night, in the midst of the greatest depth of grief without yielding to despair? Is this not the man who truly says, Lord You are worthy in Your essence, in Yourself—above all You are worthy? Men who hold God up high, when the world is crashing around them, are instantly acquitted of ulterior motives. Do not such men make the world step back from its madness and ask, who is this God of such great value—who is this God that dwarfs pain in the blackest of nights simply because of who He is? Of course this is all but speculation on my part.

    23. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 25th, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

      S. Johnson,

      Normally I’m not able to get into many threads on the site here, but I do want to try to weigh in here as time permits.

      First, you speak of “a world where all Christians never get sick or are always healed.” I have never envisioned that world in this age, nor have I ever suggested that would be the norm.

      Second, remember that divine healing is an act of compassion and love, not just a sign. Often in the Gospels Jesus healed out of compassion. That compassion still flows today!

      Third, Jesus Himself pointed to His miracles as proof, and miracles were a major means of evangelizing in Acts and ever since. Why argue with God’s gracious method of making Himself known and demonstrating that Jesus has risen from dead?

      Fourth, healings are part of God’s kingdom advancing. Why not embrace that kingdom advance?

      Fifth, we will have more than enough opportunity for our faith to be tested and our devotion to the Lord to be tried. We need not remove God’s acts of healing love from this world to ensure that our loyalty is true.

      There’s much more I could say and write — much of the theology is laid out at length in Israel’s Divine Healer — but I do hope that these words get you to reexamine your views.

      I leave you with this thought: If I am convinced that God has promised something in His Word through careful and prayerful study and I cannot in good conscience deny that truth, then I would rather die seeking to believe and seeking to take hold of that truth than to change my theology based on my experience. (I’m not talking about going off medication to “prove” my faith or something foolish like that; I’m talking about taking a stance based on the Word.)

    24. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

      So, Paul lists healing among gifts given men, does he not? He also lists words of wisdom, knowledge, miraculous powers, prophecy, etc. Then, in I Cor 12, he says, “12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines”.

      He goes on to say that not all receive or have these various gifts, nor will they (vs. 30). To then conclude that healing is ever extant would be like saying one who exercises the gift of prophecy will always be prophecying. Even such a one would be subject to God’s determinations, as he determines them to apply (which would answer who, what , when , where, and maybe how). So, to determine a theology which demands such gifts from God when one says so, is to ignore that the giver determines the gifts administration, instance, application boundaries, time, etc.

      It simply is not justified in scripture that the gifts given by God and the Holy Spirit to people will be available on demand. The giver of gifts can be solicited, as with any prayer request, wher sometimes God says “wait,” other times he says “OK,” and still other times, because He is also Father God, he determines, “no.”

    25. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

      So, Paul lists healing among gifts given men, does he not? He also lists words of wisdom, knowledge, miraculous powers, prophecy, etc. Then, in I Cor 12, he says, “12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines”.

      He goes on to say that not all receive or have these various gifts, nor will they (vs. 30). To then conclude that healing is ever extant would be like saying one who exercises the gift of prophecy will always be prophecying. Even such a one would be subject to God’s determinations, as he determines them to apply (which would answer who, what , when , where, and maybe how). So, to determine a theology which demands such gifts from God when one says so, is to ignore that the giver determines the gifts administration, instance, application boundaries, time, etc.

      It simply is not justified in scripture that the gifts given by God and the Holy Spirit to people will be available on demand. The giver of gifts can be solicited, as with any prayer request, wher sometimes God says “wait,” other times he says “OK,” and still other times, because He is also Father God, he determines, “no.”

      Salvation is a universal gift, not healing.

    26. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

      So, Paul lists healing among gifts given men, does he not? He also lists words of wisdom, knowledge, miraculous powers, prophecy, etc. Then, in I Cor 12, he says, “12:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines”.

      He goes on to say that not all receive or have these various gifts, nor will they (vs. 30). To then conclude that healing is ever extant would be like saying one who exercises the gift of prophecy will always be prophecying. Even such a one would be subject to God’s determinations, as he determines them to apply (which would answer who, what , when , where, and maybe how). So, to determine a theology which demands such gifts from God when one says so, is to ignore that the giver determines the gifts administration, instance, application boundaries, time, etc.

      It simply is not justified in scripture that the gifts given by God and the Holy Spirit to people will be available on demand. The giver of gifts can be solicited, as with any prayer request, wher sometimes God says “wait,” other times he says “OK,” and still other times, because He is also Father God, he determines, “no.”

      Salvation is a universal gift, not healing.

    27. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

      Another obvious consideration being asserted here is that we are entitled to the gift of healing, for, “by his stripes we are healed.” Yes, in instances of his chosing to so heal, that would apply, not in all instances of demand for entitlement. This truth in no way detracts from any testimonies of when God chose to heal, as requested, or by the inspiration in certain contexts of a spoken word, the laying on of hands, by application of medicine or other intelligent processes of predictability, etc.

      It is a poor theology which determines that with all the ifs ands or buts applying in I Cor 12 as to God’s own considered determination of gifts, and so of healing,that these are to be ignored, and our demands–like those of a baby crying for milk–must be met all the time. Sometimes mother’s breasts have no milk, sometimes the shelves are empty at one location, while not so at another, sometimes there are limits on anyone who is a parent instantly providing milk to that obviously deserving child.

      I feel that our Father promises fatherhood, not constant gifting, as with any earthly father in any instance of considered provision (when examined from the perspective of the child mind involved alone). When God Father’s us we can go through what may seem to be undue suffering, losses, lack, and even some disillusionment. It is the relationship, and God’s character, that will last based on meeting conditions of the word–not wushed for entitlements.

    28. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

      Another consideration in the instance of miracles abroad, is God’s promise of signs following the sowing of his word. Once sown, signs need not continue over and over and over, or the need for requests for gifts, or inspriation for administering gifts, or extending a theology of entitlement{s}. God wants us to mature into the image of the Messiah, who was not at all times healing. He practiced many more attributes than healing, yet also practiced it. Not certainly so at all times, in all places, on demand, nor so without being wearied as a human being of divine anointing. We must not make the error of instance that God conform to our expectations when he has stated it is up to His administration of His gifts, to so give them, not up to us.

      Michael Brown mentioned a ministry yoke assumption here of one of his graduates. I have addressed this very question where that person wrote on this very subject in the Voice of Revolution on-line magazine under the Ask Dr. Brown umbrella. I believe my remarks are both beneficial to the body, and timely as to the questions and tensions being raised here.

      In instances of healing with big crowds present, we simply cannot discern signs following, from gifts given. Likely, where massive results occur it would be in the former instance, not the latter instance. And God is humble in heart, where human society and community has established constructs to deal with the daily challenges of healing–from say warts to sore throats, knee surgeries, etc.–He may be honoring our maturation toward being indeed, our brothers’ keeper in the arena of healing.

    29. S. Johnson
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

      Dr. Brown;

      I appreciate our interaction. I find you to be an interesting teacher. You have managed to merge a very scholarly approach that still allows for a strong subjective experience. Usually, people live in one camp at the expense of the other. As one trained in the empirical sciences, your scholarly approach to teaching while making a place for the subjective has influenced me greatly. I thank you for that. Your teaching has also given me a greater heart for Israel.

      When I talked about “a world where all Christians never get sick or are always healed”, I was not implying this was your viewpoint. I was simply reflecting on why this might not be an ideal world if this came to pass at this time. It would encourage false believers to come to the table for the wrong reasons. It just seemed like a plausible reason why God may heal some and not all. It would also explain the curious pattern of not proving miracles in an absolute sense.

      I won’t belabor my point further except to say we apparently have different world experiences. Your experience apparently aligns with the idea that healing is the general pattern for today, while my experience is that healing occurs but is the exception rather than the rule. While I agree with the majority of your teaching, on this point I think we will have to agree to disagree.

      P.S. I recently picked up your Jeremiah commentary–congrats–it is another nice work.

    30. Jabez H.
      July 25th, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

      Heb 2 states, This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

      This would represent the instance of signs following, which occupies the first half of verse 4, gifts occupying the second half of it. These are distinguished then from one another in scripture. If healing was a universal entitlement, applying at all times in all cases, and in both instances so cited above, we would not be subject to his will.

      We can ask, as others have here, why do we die, and often of realities like organ failure, cancer, illness, decay, and realization of the “body of death,” as Paul calls it. Even Lazarus had to die once more, and became, undoubtedly the object of displeasure of the controlling scribes, Priests, and Pharisees.

      Do we want their hangup of instance that God is only God when he does his administration our way, or that otherwise, in other conditions applying beyond our control, that it must not be God, and we must purge, crucify, or reject those who are not then molding to our insistant theology (of healing or whatever in application of the gifts)?

    31. Jabez H.
      July 26th, 2010 @ 12:06 am

      We must take what I have shared from the word as scripture. My interpretation too seems to answer prevalent questions raised of the blog here. It is for our sober consideration.

      So, in conclusion, on the bog theme subject asked, people get sick who are believers for the same reasons nonbelievers get sick. What is not asked too was addressed, i.e., possible reasons why healing may or may not occur. Further, just as modern medicine is both administered as to preventative medicine and curative medicine, we would be wise to pay attention to the great scholarship and reasons why people are well and sick.

    32. Dr Michael L Brown
      July 26th, 2010 @ 12:56 am

      S. Johnson,

      Thanks for the kind words, and yes, I think we have both expressed our views here. To be clear, however, in my own experience, especially here in America, miraculous healing is the exception to the rule, but again, I base my theology on the Word not my experience, trying to bring the latter up to the promises of the former.

    33. Jabez H.
      July 26th, 2010 @ 2:30 am

      #31. Yes, but consider signs and wonders following the administration and affirmation of the word of salvation through the Cross of the Messiah. This would represent a case of healing, most often affecting crowds where so preached. And a healing gift would represent another case of healing, likely on an individual basis, unless administered 1:1 as God determines in a larger context.

      In America, the word is found long standing a couple of miles in church as seen in most directions in its historical settlements. Outside of America, sometimes so, sometimes no. Large mass healings seem to occur in those placements where 1) the word has been shared and signs and wonders follow, and 2) by a healing gift given, and so to a lesser degree en mass(that suject to God’s own determinations, and administrations (1 Cor. 12:30, and prior), 3) and to a lesser degree by a mature in place brother’s keeper healing system (such as a clinic or hospital)…where a well developed culture will have in place a mature healing system for brother’s keeper, indeed on demand, access. In this case there may indeed be a right of entitlement.

      E.g. two days ago my son, Joshua, age 9, had an asthma attack in a suburb of Oslo, Norway, where he is a dual citizen. His citizen number entitled him to on demand access to treatment, so, his mother picked up the phone and called an ambulance that took him to the ER, where he was administered increasingly large breathing doses of abuterol. The result was that two days of acute brochial day and night coughing ceased. I learned of this by phone consultation from Colorado, where he is also a citizen. It is good that mature developed culures in the arena of medical healing have the entitlement and on-demand opportunity to administer healing. It simply is not promised other than as a sign or wonder following the word sown in scripture.

      It seems immature to think that we should often and always get this kind of service directly from God. Most of us are born with something or other that we have to compensate for, including matters of healing, ongoing or not, and problem solve with the means God gave us to do so. It would then be exceptional to receive a gift of healing, especially if assumed as available by on demand entitlement. There is not a clear administration mechanism set up in scripture for this to be the case. There is a clear administration mechanism in scripture set up for atonement to be possible by meeting its terms in a relativley short and predictable time frame.

      As is stated in #s 25, 26, 27 and 29 there is cause to believe that we cannot demand healing based on a misunderstood theology asserting entitlement to healing. The written word on the subject simply does not say this is so. Massive healings seem to occur as signs following the sharing of the word of life. Individual gifts of healing seem to happen as God determines the need and deed (1 Cor 12:30)–where it is up to him and him alone. We would be presumptuous to demand otherwise. We can ask, especially if there is a need, but we cannot demand as say we might demand an oppressing spirit to leave.

      It may be Phariseedical to assert and assume that ministers of any listed NT calling have the ability to administer gifts of healing at all, for God alone, according to scripture, is the healer and determiner of the who, what, where, and perhaps how of healing. Does this mean that in the heat of preaching the word that a minister will not by inspiration or word of knowledge then announce that God will move now to heal? It does not, nor does it codify the administration of healing by anyone anytime (other than by brother’s keeper healthcare systems of access).

      It seems to me that there are instances of God also working in concert with brother’s keeper community healing systems, alone, and en mass. Sorting out why and wherefore is something I trust the answers he has given me may address.
      Even the phrase “brother’s keeper healthcare access” were given just now by inspiration, never prior read as a concept anywhere.

      Praise be to our Lord and Savior, the Son of God, Yeshua the Christ.

    34. Jabez H.
      July 26th, 2010 @ 2:56 am

      Another obvious case of promise is James’ statements on the laying on of hands, and requesting prayer by the elders of a fellowship, after confessing sin one to another. This is very specific in setting, requirements of administration, etc. However, this seems different than the subjects of big meeting results, highlighted from stages (with or without cameras recording the events), compared and contrasted in America vs. other places in this blog. Even in the case of calling for elders’ prayer it is not a demand situation, but a request situation, marked by the humility of mutual confession as a prerequisite.

      I recall risking the sacred trust of so confessing one to another many years ago and experiencing instead of recondiliation and inclusion for relational healing at that time, rejection and loss. There are no promises of the results of such confession as James requests, and MT. 5 and 18 highlight for reconciliation purposes. Part of why healing, mass conversions, and recondiliations happen seldom in our culture is because of the logs of its judgments, and the lack of soft and warm hearts administering the Law of Christ were such confession risked here.

      We likely will continue to experience some alienation, isolation, self doubt, and realised adoption in Christ lack because the body here seems to miss the mark regarding extending forgiveness and recociliation as being more vital than any entitlements of any misapprehended theology. Can we be insistant for healing without practicing what James and Mt. 5 and 18 require of us, thus operating among us?

    35. Larry
      July 26th, 2010 @ 4:50 am

      Dr. Brown,

      Thank you for addressing my question and may God continue to bless you, your family, and His ministry through you.

      Larry

    36. Sheila
      April 10th, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      With the recent campus knife attack today, the killings at Newtown and the suicide of Rick Warren’s son, talk of mental illness and those who suffer from it has come up again. Of course the talk will quickly die out, but I’d like to hear your thoughts and possibly any other Christian professionals on how we should understand mental illness as it affects our brothers and sisters in Christ too.

      Christian Psychiatrists are almost unheard of or they don’t advertise as such; seems most are left-leaning these days.

      I think a kinder and more rational treatment of the subject would help many within the Body of Christ. I hope you’ll consider discussing it.

      Thanks.

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