The Truth About Healing Revivals! Radio Church of God
Are the sick being healed in modern healing campaigns? Here are important facts about a diabolical counterfeit that is causing the world to sneer at God's healing power!
HERE IS a glaring headline that recently hit the front pages: "CANCER VICTIM, 'CURED' BY FAITH HEALER, DIES!" The article revealed the following amazing facts: A Colorado rancher traveled 1000 miles to Fresno, California, to be "cured" of cancer by a noted revivalist. The rancher's personal physician had already admitted that medical science could do nothing for him. While in Fresno, the rancher was pronounced "cured" as television cameras and flash cameras photographed the spectacle of "supernatural" healing. The 2000 spectators who watched the faith healer and revivalist "heal" the cancer victim were sure he must be healed. The revivalist had said so! That night, after the healing "show" was over, the cancer victim suffered from intense pains despite the "healing." Shortly after the Colorado rancher returned home he DIED OF CANCER. Why? Are highly advertised PUBLIC healing revivals really of God? Is this the way Jesus healed the sick? It is time you knew the TRUTH about modern "faith healers."
Behind the Scenes
Let us go back stage and examine some of the things that actually take place at some of these wildfire meetings where many mouths talk loud and long concerning divine miracles. Perhaps while attending what was supposed to have been a "Christian" meeting, you may have witnessed people yelling and screaming, others falling over backwards; still others writhing in horrifying convulsions; some roll on the floor; others "dance in the spirit" — some try climbing trees, some bark like dogs, crow like chickens, hiss like snakes, and flap their arms as though they were eagles ready to mount on high. Others of them jerk and thresh around as though they were imitating serpents, and some do obscene things which would not even bear repetition. This is to mention only a few of the many "capers" that take place at some of these meetings. The tragic part of it all is that most of those who do such things actually believe that it is the Holy Spirit in them causing them to do such! More than once people have lost their minds and have been committed to insane asylums after taking part in such meetings! Is such a spirit from God? Is such a spirit the Holy Spirit, or is it Satan's COUNTERFEIT, the demoniac spirit, that makes people act like that? Now can you honestly conceive of Jesus Christ or any of the apostles ever "cutting such capers" as those just mentioned? Obscene assemblies are not meetings of true brethren, fellowshipping through the Holy Spirit. The Bible very definitely tells us HOW we are to conduct ourselves in the House or Church of God. In God's church "all things (are to) be done decently and in order" (I Cor. 14:40). "For God is not the AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, but of peace, as in all churches of the SAINTS" (Verse 33). Certainly in the usual kind of miracle-working meetings of today all things are not done decently, neither are they kept in order as they should be. In these meetings there is usually much CONFUSION — many people babbling, praying, muttering, screaming and shouting all at once-contrary to Bible teaching. Of course, the great majority who witness such DEMONstrations actually believe they have seen a genuine healing. Many, after seeing one of these fake healings, think within themselves, "This is a great miracle. This man must be of God, otherwise how could he do these things?" The thing that quite naturally follows such a deception is for the person to say, "Well, I sure want to have a part in this great work of the Lord. I'm going to support this God-called man." Out comes the wallet, and into the collection plate goes five, ten, or perhaps a hundred or more dollars — the result of another HOAX. Yes, many have been deceived! Most have been led to believe that fake healing, counterfeit tongues speaking, and the many other Satanic COUNTERFEITS were genuine. In actuality they are such heinously inferior imitations that no sane person would ever want them if he really knew what he was getting. There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit, but, remember, Satan has a cheap COUNTERFEIT for every gift of the Holy Spirit as enumerated in I Corinthians 12:4-11. Don't forget that a counterfeit appears to be the genuine to an unskilled person. It usually takes a skilled counterfeit detector to discern the make-believe imitation.
Divine Healing For All Ages
Don't think for one second that this is to deny or in any way try to refute divine healing. To the contrary, it merely points out that Satan has cheap, diabolical COUNTERFEITS for all of the true gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is most anxious to pawn these off on unsuspecting souls if they will only let him. Yes, the devil would like to give you the counterfeit so that you, too, will become perverted like he and his co-demons are in their miserable and rebellious state of lawlessness — so that you would be deprived of the real things that God has in store for all who love, serve and obey Him (I Cor. 2:9). Yet occasionally you may hear of a person who claims that he, or she, went in faith to one of these "healing" meetings, and actually was healed. How, these will ask, do you account for this? Notice, above, many have been deceived — to actually BELIEVE these counterfeits were genuine. A deceived person might have been perfectly sincere — might have had perfect faith IN GOD for healing. It is GOD, not any minister, who heals. Christ said it is "according to your FAITH." Even though God was not using the false minister, it could be possible that, in the ignorance of the sick person to this fact, God honored the faith of the one who was sick. We have heard from third parties claims of such cases, but never have verified any. However such a case at best would be rare, for God works through His own ministers who OBEY Him and whom He has chosen — never through these circus performers who reject God's WAY and His LAW. Recently a graduate of Ambassador College was staying in a hotel where one of these "healing hucksters" had stayed a short time before while holding a big tent campaign in that city. There it was learned that this "evangelist" had with him a number of ex-circus performers, who could perform many tricks. One was to make a large goiter seem to appear, and then gradually in the space of one or two minutes go down and disappear. Others could appear crippled-bend and twist themselves into revolting contortions, and then suddenly straighten out their spine or limbs when the "evangelist" shouts "BE HEALED!" Others pretend to have been deaf from birth. When the "healer" claps his hands on their ears with a violent jerk, and then says something in their ears, they jump violently as if startled at hearing a sound for the first time. Usually, however, they prove able to understand English words perfectly when the "healer" asks questions. You may have seen this on TV. One who had never heard any sound before would not understand a single word. If you have been attending such devil infested, den-of-demons meetings, then God's solemn command to you is to "... come out of her (this Babylonish confusion of Churchianity), MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).
Healing the Forgiveness of Sins
First of all, we must understand what healing really is! HEALING is the FORGIVENESS OF SINS — physical sins (Mark 2:9-11). Sin is the transgression of LAW (1 Jo. 3:4). There are TWO types or kinds of laws, (1) spiritual and (2) physical. The wages or penalty of sin is DEATH (Rom. 6:23). The penalty of breaking God's spiritual law is eternal death — the SECOND DEATH from which there will be no resurrection (Rev. 20:14; 21:8). The penalty of breaking God's physical laws is pain, suffering and the first or natural death that passes upon all mankind (Heb. 9:27). Then how is it possible for us to be healed — to have our (physical) sins forgiven? When Jesus Christ came to this earth and suffered and died on the cross, pouring out His very life blood, he paid the penalty for both our SPIRITUAL and PHYSICAL transgressions. Through the blood of Christ, our spiritual sins are forgiven; but it is through the SCOURGINGS and SUFFERINGS of Christ that our physical sins are pardoned. Jesus, on our behalf, paid for our PHYSICAL as well as our SPIRITUAL transgressions. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose STRIPES ye were HEALED" (I Pet. 2:24). Jesus lived a perfect life. He never once violated God's spiritual or physical laws. But He permitted Himself to be beaten and lashed with whips to pay the penalty of sickness and suffering which physical sins have brought on us.
Who Can Forgive Sins?
To prove to the Scribes that healing was nothing less than the FORGIVENESS of physical sins, Christ said, "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to FORGIVE SINS. (He saith to the sick of the palsy) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house" (Mark 2:9-11). After Jesus had healed another man, he commanded him, "Behold, thou art made whole: SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14). Christ knew that if this man again broke God's physical laws something worse might come upon him; therefore he gave him a solemn warning not to break the laws of God again. Since healing is the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, only God can heal, for none but God can forgive sins! Neither Satan nor his false ministers can heal!
Healing — A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that God has bestowed upon mankind for our benefit. Paul asks, "Have all the gifts of healing?" (I Cor. 12:30). No, but "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then GIFTS OF HEALING..." (I Cor. 12:28). It is through God's Holy Spirit that the different spiritual gifts are bestowed. "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit" (I Cor. 12:8-9). Since healing is a good and perfect gift, divine healing power can only come from God, for "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the FATHER..." (James 1:17). Therefore any man who is not of God (their fruits reveal them) but who claims to have the power of healing from God, is a liar; for God gives these powers to His TRUE SERVANTS ONLY.
Ministers Empowered to Heal
Christ commanded his ministers to "Go... into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)... And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils;... they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (verses 17, 18). In the book of James, Christians are commanded, "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: 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" (James 5:14-15). God heals through His true ministers. That is His conditional PROMISE: First, according to I John 5:14, "If we ask any thing according to His will, he heareth us." Secondly, "Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, and do those things that are PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT" (I John 3:22). Are we to wonder that some so-called ministers never receive answers to their prayers!
False Ministers Prophesied
Christ said, "Take heed that no man DECEIVE YOU. For MANY shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Mt. 24:4). We are told that "such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; (says the apostle Paul) 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; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Cor. 11:13-15). Notice, that these ministers come in Christ's name, and are transformed as the ministers of righteousness — but they are great deceivers!
Satan's Ministers Perform Miracles
We have now seen, according to Scripture, that Satan's ministers, who come as ministers of righteousness, cannot perform divine miracles. The next question is, "Can they, through the power of the devil, do any miracles?" The answer is an emphatic YES! Demons, who are fallen angels or wicked spirits, unceasingly strive to deceive and lead astray the human race. The devil and his ministers certainly do have miraculous powers, but not divine powers! These demons often work through the false ministers. They have power to perform signs and lying wonders to deceive gullible mankind. "And I saw three unclean spirits... For they are the SPIRITS of DEVILS (or demons)' working miracles" (Rev. 16:13-14).
False Ministers Claim Gift of Healing
There are many preachers — ministers whom the Bible plainly shows to be the instruments of the devil — who profess to have divine healing powers from God. They, too, claim to be Christ's ministers even though they fight the law of God, and teach diametrically opposite to the cardinal points of the Bible. Such ministers are not of God! They are not faithfully teaching God's Word and His laws as revealed in the Bible! Then how is it POSSIBLE that God HEARS and ANSWERS their prayers? Do they really have power from God to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and perform other divine miracles? No! They are not ministers of Christ, and do not have power from Him to do the least miracle! Some ministers who might not know or teach the full truth at the start of their ministry have apparently received many answers to their prayers. Some have healed the sick and cast out demons. It seems, however, the very instant such a minister is presented with a new point of truth from God's Word, but will not accept and obey it, that from that very moment God departs from him just as God departed from King Saul after he refused to obey God's commands. If we reject knowledge, God will also reject us (Hosea 4:6). Let us remember, then, that a minister may be true to what he knows at the beginning of his ministry. But if he refuses to "grow in grace and knowledge" and to obey God's laws whenever revealed, God will reject that minister. But do not many who bear the FRUITS of the devil claim to heal? Yes! That is precisely what they will also tell Jesus Christ on the Judgment Day, but will He believe them? No!
What Will Christ Say?
Christ said, "MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have CAST OUT DEVILS? and in thy name done many wonderful WORKS? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY" (Matthew 7:22-23). What is iniquity? It is wicked doing. Healing the sick is certainly not iniquity, but here we are told that some will claim to heal — to do good in this way — but that Christ will tell them that they had done INIQUITY! Notice, that these false ministers CLAIM to work miracles, but didn't really do good — did not really heal — they worked iniquity.' To them Christ says, "DEPART FROM ME, ye that work INIQUITY." If a so-called minister fights the law of God, then the Bible brands such a minister as a preacher of unrighteousness — as a minister of the devil. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is NO LIGHT (truth) in them" (Isa. 8:20). "It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they (the false ministers) have MADE VOID THY LAW" (Psa. 119:126). That's just what Satan's false preachers of our day are doing! If we know of any man who claims to have power to perform miracles, but who refuses to believe and faithfully teach obedience to God and His LAWS, then we know that such a man is not of God — that he doesn't have any miraculous powers from the true God. If he has any apparent power, it must come from another source. That source must be Satan the devil! But how can one really know whether those claiming to have divine healing powers from God can really heal — whether they are really of God? Yes, just how can we know? Jesus gives the answer in Matthew 7:15-20. "... You shall KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS... Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit... Wherefore by THEIR FRUITS ye shall know them." False ministers may have very smooth, buttered tongues with which to deceive the unstable; but if you really know the Word of God as you should, you will not be deceived (Math. 24:24). You will KNOW by their fruits — not by their words — that such are not the ministers of Jesus Christ. You need to study your Bible to always be sure. It sometimes takes a bit of patient waiting to see what kind of fruit a man is going to bear. Each minister must be tested and weighed in the balances of the Word of God to see if the fruits of his life are good fruits or if he is just trying to impress you with his spirituality by religious sounding words. Let's look at facts. Is the "fruit" the product, the result of today's "churchianity" really good? WHY do so many ministers condone divorce and remarriage which Jesus called adultery (Mt. 10:1-12)? Do the "fruits" of such churches and ministers prove that they really belong to Christ? We must "PROVE ALL THINGS; (and) hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21).
To summarize, Satan has his ministers — many of them — and they can and do perform many great signs, and lying, counterfeit miracles and wonders. But there is no Bible example of them ever healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, or performing any divine miracles. If Satan and his ministers could heal, then how could we ever know whether God or the devil had healed us? God has not left us in doubt! Satan and his ministers cannot perform these DIVINE miracles though they have performed through trickery many IMITATIONS. Only God through His TRUE ministers can heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and perform DIVINE MIRACLES. Study your Bible and pray unceasingly that you may prove by the "fruits" whether or not a minister is totally yielded in faith and obedience as a servant of the true God and through whom He will work.