THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT HEALING
by Herbert W. Armstrong
Is the day of miracles past? Does the living God heal
sickness and disease today upon believing prayer? Or was healing performed only
by Christ and the original apostles? Did God raise up medical science for our
day? What about modern faith healers and public healing services?
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Healing in Our Time?
Two: Learning to Believe
Three: What the Old and New Testaments Reveal
Four: What Is Faith?
Five: Is Healing Always God's Will?
Six: Claiming God's Blessings
HEALING IN OUR TIME?
You live in a world that
relies primarily on medical doctors to treat illness. Most professing Christians
today say: "God raised up medical science for our day. Jesus healed to prove He
was the Messiah. But the day of miracles is now past." Some, who think God heals
through self-professed faith healers, attend public healing shows. Some believe
in healing by one of the forms of "mental science" -- the power of mind over
matter. Others say: "Well, I think God can heal -- if it's His will. But how can
we know whether it's His will?"
Yes, people say!
But what does
Does He reveal whether He still heals, why He heals, how He
heals, whether and when it is His will? For the answers we go to the Bible.
Christ's Ministry Was Dual
Let's begin at the
beginning. Actually, there are two beginnings, so far as the subject of healing
is concerned -- one is in the New Testament, with Christ; the other in the Old
Testament, with the people of ancient Israel. We shall begin with the ministry
of Jesus. Later, many readers will be surprised to learn how much is recorded on
the subject throughout the Old Testament.
More than 1,900 years ago --
in A.D. 27-31 -- Jesus Christ appeared on earth as a messenger bearing history's
most important message from God to mankind. His mission was prophesied in
That message actually was a stupendous NEWS Announcement.
The news was the most transcendent GOOD NEWS! It was the GOSPEL (which means
"good news") of Jesus Christ.
But Jesus' ministry was a dual ministry.
And a miraculous ministry.
Jesus came also healing the sick by divine
POWER of God. It was not the power of human mind over matter. Few realize the
extent to which healing and casting out demons were an integral part of Jesus'
ministry. Later, the apostles proclaimed His same message and healed the sick.
Ministry of Healing Ceases
It comes as an astounding
shock to learn that long before the end of the first century, the proclamation
of Christ's gospel to the world and the ministry of physical healing ceased!
Christ's gospel was the glorious messianic announcement
of the coming world-ruling KINGDOM OF GOD. It was the announcement of the
wonderful WORLD Tomorrow! It was not a message of doom! -- except for explaining
the causes of the doom of this world's evils, sufferings and unhappiness. It was
a joyous announcement of coming world peace, universal happiness and well-being!
But the leaders of the people in Judea misunderstood and resented both
that good NEWS and Jesus' MIRACLES.
Jesus' miracles were public, but
they weren't healing shows. He simply healed the sick wherever He came to them
or they came to Him. But of course the miracles attracted enormous crowds. Many
began to believe on Him.
This alarmed the chief priests and the ruling
Pharisees. It stirred them to violent persecution. They totally misunderstood
Jesus' message! His news announcement was that of the yet-to-come Kingdom of
God, not -- as they supposed -- of the overthrow of the Roman government of
The Romans, then ruling the Western world, avoided most of
the details of government administration in Judea by allowing the Jews to rule
themselves at the lower levels.
The Pharisaic rulers loved their
position of authority. They viewed Jesus as an anti-Roman agitator proposing to
overthrow the Roman rule. They feared being imprisoned as seditionists if they
sided in any way with Jesus. They plotted to kill Him, and at God's set time
Jesus was crucified, making possible man's reconciliation with God.
Power of the Holy Spirit Given
raised Jesus from the dead, making possible eternal life for humanity. On the
50th day (called Pentecost) after His resurrection, the 120 converts of Jesus,
including the apostles, received the POWER of the Holy Spirit of God. In that
power they proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God. In the same divine
power from God by which Christ healed, they healed the sick wherever they went.
But, as with Jesus, so now with the apostles: The miracles drew
tremendous crowds. Without any pressured solicitations, thousands were converted
and baptized. But soon the persecution against them multiplied.
years after Jesus' resurrection, A.D. 33, Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8), the Pater
(father or Peter) of the Babylonian mystery religion in Samaria, after being
rejected by Peter, appropriated the name of Christ and applied it to his
Babylonian mystery religion, calling it "Christianity." Simon and his followers
began systematic opposition and persecution against the true Church of God,
founded in A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ. (How the Babylonian mystery religion was
moved into Samaria in 718 B.C. is explained in II Kings 17:18-24.)
Gentile and Jewish Opposition
The earliest opposition
against Christ's Church was Jewish, opposing the acceptance of Jesus as the
Messiah. Judaizers insisted on observing the temporary rituals of Mosaic law.
For this reason the early ministry of the apostles put prime emphasis on the
replacement of rituals by the Holy Spirit, and on the resurrection, infallible
proof of Christ's messiahship.
The apostles were personally with Jesus
for 3 1/2 years before His crucifixion and for 40 days after His resurrection --
so they were eyewitnesses to the resurrection.
After A.D. 33, as the
work of this Simon the Sorcerer spread, the opposition to the true Church became
Gentile. The writings of Paul, as well as I and II Peter, of James, of I, II and
III John and Jude show the Gentile opposition was primarily aimed against the
law of God. Simon appropriated the doctrine of grace from the teaching of the
apostles, but it was grace turned into license to disobey (Jude 4).
preached a false Jesus who, they said, did away with the basic spiritual law of
God. Simon and his followers preached a totally different gospel than the
apostles -- primarily that of their own Babylonian mystery religion with grace
and Christ's name added. Of course they got it to the Galatians.
Galatians, Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that
called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel" (Galatians 1:6).
To the Corinthians, Paul wrote: "For if he that cometh preacheth another
Jesus ... or another gospel ..." (II Corinthians 11:4). Of these Simon
Magus-type preachers, Paul wrote: "For such are false apostles, deceitful
workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for
Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great
thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness"
It was Satan -- the former cherub Lucifer (Isaiah
14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17) -- who originally rebelled against the GOVERNMENT OF
GOD and caused its removal from the earth. Satan is the god of this world (II
Corinthians 4:4). He has his churches and his ministers. They oppose the law of
God. Therefore they oppose the KINGDOM of God, since it is governed by the laws
of God. These apostles of Satan offered the world an easier religion. Obedience
Dark Age Begins
The opposition of
Simon's false church finally snuffed out the proclaiming of the MESSAGE of the
KINGDOM OF GOD. Before the end of the first century, the curtain was
systematically rung down on all records of true Church history.
curtain lifts, late in the second century, we behold a "Christianity" utterly
unlike that of Christ and His original apostles. Its doctrines, sacraments and
customs were those of the Babylonian mystery religion. It persecuted and
martyred those true Christians still holding to the teachings and customs of
Christ and His apostles. Christ's doctrines and customs were branded as
"Jewish." The term "Jewish" became a dirty word -- an epithet.
message God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ -- the true gospel Christ preached,
the announcement of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD was done away by expediently
calling THE CHURCH (Simon's) "the kingdom of God." Some, later, reduced the
KINGDOM OF GOD to an ethereal indescribable something "set up in men's hearts."
Thus, through manipulations of "the god of this world," Satan, by whom
ALL NATIONS HAVE BEEN DECEIVED (Revelation 12:9), the true GOSPEL MESSAGE CHRIST
BROUGHT was suppressed and not proclaimed to the world after the first century!
And healing the sick as a regular practice had ceased also.
DUAL ministry of Christ and the apostles was no part of what the world has
accepted as traditional Christianity.
But, persecuted over the
centuries, mostly unrecognized by the world, the true and original Church of God
has continued through all generations to the present.
In the book of
Revelation two churches are described. One, in the 12th chapter, the true and
original Church of God, small and persecuted, having to endure hardship,
persecution and martyrdom for survival; the other, in the 17th chapter, the
great politically popular church, ruling over kings and nations of this world,
drunk with the blood of saints and martyrs of Jesus.
For 18 1/2
centuries Christ's true gospel -- HIS MESSAGE from God of the coming KINGDOM OF
GOD -- had not been proclaimed to the world. It was only taught to the
comparative few -- secretly -- who kept the Church of God alive through the
The original one and only
true Church of God still lives! And still persecuted, maligned, misrepresented,
it is restoring the true gospel of Jesus Christ today! It is sending out that
good news worldwide -- as a witness for all nations, in real POWER!
Christ's doctrine of healing the sick is also being restored. There have been
multiple thousands of miraculous healings. But not, in our time, spectacular
public displays of sensational miracles to attract both crowds and added
persecutions. The REASONS for this and the truth about the whole subject of
healing will be made plain in this booklet.
There have been "gospel"
programs -- scores of them -- all over the world. But, as Paul described, they
have each been another gospel. Christ's MESSAGE was suppressed. Christ has been
preached to the world -- but a different Jesus.
But, what about healing
the sick today? How is it being restored in God's Church?