Do Faith Healers Help People?
I know and believe that the Lord still can miraculously heal physical bodies even today, but not in the way of that seen in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, which was still the time of the Old Testament under “the Law” with Israel as God’s focus. Sadly, many Pentecostals and Charismatics try to emulate an age that has fully past with the end of the book of Acts just as the Apostle Paul had said it would. “Charity [love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV). All the miraculous gifts have past with the end of the book of Acts because we today have something more intimate and powerful in our grace relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as our sustainer in the face of our sufferings. Today the genuine miraculous healing of sicknesses and bodily ailments by God’s hand are possible but also very rare.
My wife had an undeniable healing of her teeth and we had X-rays to prove the problem. But when the Dentist who took the X-rays then proceeded, he could not find the multiple cavities that showed on the X-rays in front of him. This truly was a miracle that helped build our faith as young Christians in the early 1970’s. In today’s age of “the grace of God” healing as this is only according to His mercy in His time … according to His will, independent of anything we can do.
Here are our Apostle Paul’s instructions and expectations regarding our prayer’s of need today;
“Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phili. 4:6-7 (KJV)
So. we of “the body of Christ” today do have a promise with reference to our prayers, but it does not say we will get what we desire. What is promised to us today is that if we pray and give it to God, to apply His will and wisdom in the matter, we will have “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds” even in the midst of our negative situation.
I myself was at one-time a Pentecostal/Charismatic for a short time, in the late 60’s and early 1970’s. I’ve had first-hand experience with some folks who seemed to be healed after we laid hands and prayed for them. But the ‘healing’ benefit disappeared in a day of two. I recall one woman whose eyes seemed healed after our prayer and so she threw away her eyeglasses. But the next day she was looking for her glasses again. I now realize this was the result of the hope of man’s soul-power of the mind that we call psychosomatic which can result in diminished symptom, temporarily, but never really able to heal needy bodies.
Today, as a dispensational Bible student of His word, I now know from Scripture that such miraculous healings are as a rule is undispensational and not available in this age of God’s sustaining grace, while these supposed healings are most often psychosomatic. You can read a more thorough explanation of the proper dispensational view of healing from my website article; http://artlicursi.com/articles/place-physical-healing-view-paul%E2%80%99s-post-acts-28-prayer-verses
From Jesus of Nazareth’s time during the Gospels saying the “Kingdom was at hand" and then when the Twelve Messianic Apostles actually offered the Kingdom to Israel in early Acts… God used their miracles only to give validity to the message they preaching – “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (not Paul’s grace gospel for today). They offered the long-promised “Kingdom come on earth” for Israel to receive. But after Israel rejected it God and Christ a third time by stoning Stephen in Acts 7:58, the miracles waned and fully stopped with the end of the book of Acts.
During the balance of the book of Acts, after the Twelve Apostles of Israel ceased miracle working, God gave that power to Pau, as “the Apostle to the Gentile” (Rom. 11:13). Paul then had the same ability to do miracles in order to give validity to his New “gospel of the grace of God” that he preached to ALL men without racial distinction… thereby forming “the body of Christ. That power for Paul ended with the end of the book of Acts.
Paul teaches us that today, rather than expecting miraculous healings we have Christ’s indwelling life and sustaining grace. We have the example of this as seen in the Apostle Paul who is our “pattern.”
“Howbeit for this cause I [Paul] obtained mercy, that IN ME [Paul] FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, ‘for a PATTERN’ to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:16 (KJV)
Paul’s testimony below reveals God’s real objective for us as grace believers today, we who are being trained to trust Him and His grace in all things, including our sufferings. Read here Paul’s testimony regarding his prayer for his healing;
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (KJV) 7And lest I [Paul] should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh [my body], the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he [the Lord] 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 [ to endure no matter what]. 10 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. (Emphasis added)
From this we see that while God is ever so capable of restoring decaying eyes and weakened sick physical bodies, He uses the negative in our lives to demonstrate the sustaining power of His grace. This then is part of our learning to trust the Lord in “all things” as our training for co-reigning with Him in heaven. The intelligized grace believer today can say;
“… we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be Conformed To The Image Of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.:” (Romans 8:28-29 (KJV)
“If we suffer [endure daily life by His grace], we shall also reign with him [in heaven]:” (2 Tim. 2:12 (KJV)
This below is from Pastor Ricky Kurth of the Berean Bible Society touches upon the same subject of ‘faith healing.’
“If God has withdrawn the gift of healing, how come some people seem to improve after going to see a healer?”
When I was in high school, I took an introductory course in psychology. In that class, the teacher claimed that 75 percent of all illnesses are psychosomatic. That is, they are real physical illnesses that are brought on by an entirely mental process. While there is no way to know if the percentage, she cited is accurate, it is hard to argue with her assessment. We know that stress is an entirely mental reaction to the challenges of life, but it can cause a very real, physical, heart attack. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that other illnesses are psychosomatic as well.
But if a real, valid, physical illness can be brought on by a purely mental process, then it stands to reason that it can likewise be remedied by a purely mental process, such as believing in a healer’s power to heal. We see evidence of this in what doctor’s call “the placebo effect.” When testing a drug, researchers give some of the people in the test group the drug being tested, but they give others a placebo, a sugar pill. They do this because they know that people sometimes feel better because they believe they are taking a drug that will help them.
It is easy to then transfer this thinking to what happens when someone with a real illness goes to see a healer. If a person really believes that a healer can help with real, physical illnesses, often he can!
We see the same kind of thing when Solomon declared that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Prov. 17:22). Doctors have known for years that a positive mental attitude aids in healing. Similarly, the positive mental attitude brought on by believing in a healer’s powers often enable people suffering from physical afflictions to know some short-term relief. But frequently those who are “healed” in this way must return again and again to the healer for more healing, while this is never said to be so of the people who were miraculously healed by men with the gift of healing in the Bible.”