God Heals All

There are many people that believe that it is not God’s will to heal all who come to Him for healing.  I would like to examine that position as well as the position that God indeed wants to heal everyone and determine from scripture which one is the truth.

God’s Will

The premise to each position presented here depends on the will of God.  Is it God’s will to heal all or is it God’s will to heal only some.  How can we know the will of God?  We can know the will of God by observing Jesus Christ.

  • Colossians 1:15 (NKJV) {15} He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NKJV) {4} whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
  • Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV) {3} who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

What we see in these passages is that Jesus Christ is the representation or exact expression of God.  Therefore, if we want to know what God is like then we only need know what Jesus was like.  Consider also the following scriptures.

  • John 14:7 (NKJV) {7} “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
  • John 14:9-11 (NKJV) {9} Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? {10} Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. {11} Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
  • John 8:19 (NKJV) {19} Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
  • John 10:30 (NKJV) {30} I and My Father are one.”

These scripture passages show us that Jesus and the Father are one.  Therefore, if you know Jesus then you know the father—Jesus reveals the Father.  What this tells us is that if it is God’s will to heal some then we would see Jesus only healing some.  If it is God’s will to heal all then we would see Jesus healing all. What Jesus did also revealed the Father.  With that said, what does the bible show about God’s will in healing people?

  • Matthew 8:16 (NKJV) {16} When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,
  • Acts 10:38 (NKJV) {38} 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.
  • Matthew 4:23-24 (NKJV) {23} And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. {24} Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
  • Matthew 9:35 (NKJV) {35} Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
  • Luke 6:19 (NKJV) {19} And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
  • Matthew 8:3 (NKJV) {3} Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Here we see several passages of scripture that shows us that Jesus healed all who came to him.  He disqualified none with regards to healing.  Anyone who came to Jesus for healing was healed.

There are no scripture passages that show us that God only wants to heal some people, i.e., that some for whatever reason are disqualified for healing.  Instead we see the bible painting the picture of God healing all not some.  During the ministry of Jesus Christ we see that anyone and everyone who came to him for healing was healed.

 

Argument: To the Glory of God

There are some who argue that the bible does show us an incident where a sickness was caused by God so that God would get glory—not from the sickness per se, but from the healing that Jesus would perform.  It is argued that John 9:1-5 describes a man who God had born blind so that years later Jesus would heal and bring glory to God.  Is that true?  Let’s examine the scripture to find out.

John 9:1-5 (NKJV) {1} Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. {2} And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” {3} Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. {4} I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. {5} As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

It is unlikely that God made this man blind so that Jesus would heal him and bring glory to God because Jesus went around doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).  This tells us that the ministry of Jesus opposed the works of the devil.  Jesus also told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25, Matthew 12:25).  So if God made this man blind so that Jesus would heal him later then God was going along with the works of the devil and Jesus was dividing the Kingdom of God because he was doing the opposite of the works of Satan.  Therefore, it is very unlikely that God made this man blind just so that Jesus would heal him especially if you consider all of the other people who were healed during Jesus’ ministry.

The bible doesn’t say why the man was born blind.  I suppose it could be the same reasons why someone would be born blind today.  Whatever the reason, the works of God would be manifested in that man by him being healed.  The works of God is healing not the distribution of sickness.  The glory of God here was the fact that Jesus healed the man who was oppressed by the devil.

 

Healing in the Atonement

Another aspect of healing is found in the redemptive act of Jesus itself as it pertains to salvation.  People typically think of being saved and being healed as mutually exclusive things.  However, the two are all covered under one act, namely the atonement.  This means that just as Jesus died for our sins so that we would be forgiven of those sins, Jesus also died for our health so that we would be in good health.  Consider the following verses of scripture.

  • Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) {21} And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
  • Matthew 8:25 (NKJV) {25} Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
  • Matthew 9:21 (NKJV) {21} For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”
  • 1 Timothy 2:4 (NKJV) {4} who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

In Matthew 1:21 the word “save” is translated from the Greek word “sozo.”  Sozo (pronounced sode zo) is translated as save, make whole, heal, be whole among other miscellaneous translations. The word sozo therefore can refer to physical well-being as well as spiritual well-being.  In Matthew 9:21 the phrase “made well” also comes from the Greek word “sozo” and could also be rendered “…I shall be saved.”

Consider also the following passage.

1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV) {24} who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.

This verse does not specifically refer to physical healing or spiritual healing.  If you studied the entire chapter or even the entire book you will find that the statement is quite general.  If you are not careful you may assume that it refers to spiritual healing since it refers to the redemptive act of Jesus Christ.  However, consider other passages that shed some light on what the atonement involved.

  • Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV) {4} Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. {5} But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
  • Matthew 8:17 (NKJV) {17} that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

These two verses are amazing.  The first is the prophecy about Jesus Christ.  It says that we will be healed by the stripes (wounds, bruises) of Jesus Christ.  Jesus was beat and nailed to the cross so that we would be healed.  The great thing about this particular verse is that the commentary on it is given in another verse in the New Testament.  Matthew says that the Isaiah passage means that Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.  When Jesus was beaten and bruised by his crucifiers it was for our infirmities (weaknesses) and our sicknesses.  We have plain as a sunny day that Jesus not only died for the forgiveness of sins, but he was also wounded for the healing of the body.

Now when we get to 1 Peter 2:24 and study that entire chapter we will find that Peter is not specifically talking about salvation, but rather submission to masters and unjustified suffering.  Peter says in verse 24 that Jesus bore our sins in his own body while on the cross and by his stripes we were healed (made whole).  So what Jesus did on the cross and what happened to him in his body provided redemption for us in our spirits and healing for us in our bodies.  In other words Jesus Christ died for us to be completely saved.

This was important to my understanding because it meant that Jesus did not die so that we would merely go to heaven when we died.  It was as if salvation had no effect while we were living, but was merely something for the future.  The redemptive act of Jesus Christ (being beaten unjustly in his body and dying on the cross) was for us to be reconciled to God spiritually and healed physically.  After all, sicknesses and disease is a result of the works of the devil (Acts 10:38).

 

Looking at Jesus

If we were one of the disciples that walked with Jesus during his ministry in the 1st century on this earth we would learn the will of God pertaining to healing among other things.  We would see Jesus healing everyone who came to him.  We would see that he did not disqualify anyone and that the only qualification was that you came to him and believe.  Even if you had issues with your belief you could also receive healing.  The primary thing was that you came to Jesus and you were made whole.

The same is true today since Jesus is the same now as he was then.  Those who come to Jesus for healing are indeed healed.  We only need to believe and receive what God has already provided for us through Christ.  The bible says that by Jesus’ stripes (wounds) we were healed (during the crucifixion events).

It is very important that we realize that Jesus revealed the will of God.  If we took what Jesus did to develop our doctrine about healing then we would not come up with much of the nonsense that you hear today in churches.  You would instead fight sickness with all your might because you would know that God is against the sickness.  That is what Jesus did.  He opposed sickness and we should too—in ourselves and in others.

 

Does God Use Sickness

Some people declare that God may use sickness to teach us something or for some other divine purpose.  Let’s investigate that claim. 

First of all Jesus taught us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25, Matthew 12:25).  We also know that Jesus healed all those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).  In addition to that the bible also tells us that Jesus was manifest that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Another thing to consider is that Jesus reveals the Father.  If you want to know what the will of God is and how God operates then all you need do is look at Jesus Christ who is the express image of the Father. We have discussed this aspect earlier in this study (See Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:3).

What we see in these passages is that Jesus Christ is the representation or exact expression of God.  Therefore, if we want to know what God is like then we only need know what Jesus is like.  We have also discussed that Jesus reveals the Father in the “God’s Will” section above.

We have found that Jesus and the Father are one.  Therefore, if you know Jesus then you know the father.  What you see Jesus do in the Word of God is what the Father wants.  You will find no place in the ministry of Jesus where he used the devil to carry out his will.  As a matter of fact he even told us that saying such a thing was blasphemy when the Pharisees accused him of healing (delivering) people by the power of Satan.  Consider the following passage.

Matthew 12:24-32 (NKJV) {24} Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” {25} But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. {26} If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? {27} And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. {28} But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. {29} Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. {30} He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. {31} “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. {32} Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

So if God used the devil to do his will then God would indeed be divided against himself.  The bible tells us, for example, that the Holy Spirit is our teacher not the devil (See 1 John 2:27).

What actually happens in our lives only looks as though God uses evil to do his will in our lives.  Unfortunately we humans respond to pain and suffering more than we do wisdom.  For example, there usually has to be some kind of catastrophe in our lives before we pursue God.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  There is nothing but ourselves that get in the way of us pursuing God with the same zeal after trouble than before trouble enters our lives.  We pursue God vehemently when trouble hits whereas we could have done the same thing long before trouble hits.

Trouble in our lives that come from the devil is not meant to teach us, guide us, mold us or anything like that.  The devil wants to kill you, steal from you, and destroy you (See John 10:10).  When I say “trouble” I am referring not to persecution as a result of our faith.  I am rather referring to those things from the enemy (Satan) that are designed to kill us, destroy us, and to make us ineffective in the Kingdom of God.  God is not the originator of those things—Satan is.

Just because we are attacked by the devil does not mean that God will abandon us.  This is where it looks like God is using the evil situation for our good and according to his will.  For example, the bible says “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).  That is the will of God.  It is the direct or indirect result of the devil that we do not prosper or are not in health.  However, when we do find ourselves in trouble and we call on God then he will proceed to rescue us.  After being rescued from our distress we may be stronger, wiser, and more sensitive to God because we pursued him during our troubles.  We may then say that God put that trouble on us so that we would seek him more and grow as a Christian.  That, my friend, is one of the biggest tricks of the devil.  He wants you to believe that his ways is God’s ways so that you would accept and not resist the devil when he attacks you.  The bible tells us to submit to God and to resist the devil (James 4:7).  We could not very well resist the devil if indeed God was using him for our good.  If that were true then we would be resisting God and submitting to the devil instead.  Do you see the enemy’s trick?

We get ourselves in trouble because we do not pursue God.  We do not seek God.  We go on with our day-to-day lives, go to church, give offerings, etc., but we don’t pursue God with the same zeal as when trouble comes.  That’s not God’s fault—it’s our fault.  Satan uses that against us and even makes it worse by getting us to believe that the trouble comes from God.  Would a parent harm their children to teach them something?  Would you take your son and burn him so that he would come to you more?  Of course not.  So why do we think that God would do something like that?  If we being evil know how to do good then how much more will our heavenly father?  Do you claim to be a better parent than God?

Some people believe that if certain bad or evil things hadn’t happened to them then they would not have sought the Lord for answers.  That is true, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have looked to God for answers before the trouble came.  If we didn’t have the trouble then we wouldn’t have needed those answers (at least not for ourselves).  We still could have pursued God just as diligently and more without the trouble.  Like I said previously, we for some strange reason respond to pain more than we do wisdom.  Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33), but we instead find ourselves in the class of living that Jesus described when he said that the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches come in and choke the word and we become unfruitful (Matthew 13:22), i.e., we are too busy to care if there is no urgency or dire situation.

One more point.  God gets our attention by his word and the Holy Spirit who talks to us all of the time. However, most of the time we are simply too busy with day-to-day activities to listen to God speaking to us.  He doesn’t need to use Satan to get our attention.  When I was a kid in church people use to say things like, “God gave me a heart attack so that I could be still while in the hospital so that he could talk to me.”  God is always talking to us, but we are not listening.  The heart attack came not because of God, but because a blood vessel was clogged either due to bad diet, ailments in the body, etc.  That person could have decided to have quiet time with the Lord so that he/she could hear him before a heart attack came..  Remember the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31?  Jesus said that Moses and the prophets were enough for the people to hear God.  If people didn’t hear the word of God then even if someone came from the dead they still wouldn’t listen.  God speaks to us now through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2).

It’s not that God can use anything he pleases to get his will done.  He uses his word to carry out his will (Isaiah 55:11) and that is all he needs to use.  Consider that it was by his word that the heavens and the earth were created, i.e., the universe.  Therefore, I’d say that his word is powerful enough to get anything done without the use of the devil.  We are the problem.  We disobey God and don’t know his word and therefore don’t do his word.  That gets us in trouble, which by God’s grace he doesn’t abandon us, but instead helps us to overcome the trouble, and we then do a very bad thing by giving the devil the credit for our growth. 

So again God does not use the devil to carry out his will in our lives or anywhere.  Doing so would make God’s kingdom divided, which it is not.  Doing so would also suggest that his word is not sufficient nor is Jesus Christ.

So rather than believe that God uses the devil, realize that the devil wants to destroy you.  Realize that your own disobedience or ignorance (Hosea 4:6) causes trouble in your life and God is always there to help you through the trouble. Sometimes trouble comes to us just because we live on planet earth.  Even then God is there to help us out of the trouble.  Saying that God uses the devil for his purposes is like saying a parent today would stab his child so that he could come to his rescue to get him well.

It is therefore apparent that God does not use sickness (the work of the devil) for any purpose when in fact his word is sufficient for our instruction. 

The Solution

Why would someone believe that our heavenly father would give us sickness for any reason?  Why would a minister of the gospel declare from the pulpit that God killed a loved one with cancer because God loved that person more than you?  Why would someone confess that their medical condition was a result of God’s divine intervention in their lives to teach them something or to slow them down so that God could talk to him or her?  These and other such beliefs come from the mouth of Christians as they describe the reasons for sickness and the deadly results of it.  In short, God is blamed for the sicknesses that we have.  It is also ironic that the same people who say that God gave them the sickness are the same people that would run to the doctor to be cured of the sickness, which according to their doctrine is against the will of God.  That double-mindedness has intrigued me for a long time.

I have presented to you in this document the basic premise that God wants you well and that he is not the one making you sick and trying to destroy you.  I hope that you recognize that it is the enemy, the devil, which is trying to destroy you and steal your life.  With that said, what is the solution to our sickness dilemma?

The solution is Jesus Christ.  How?  Here are some suggestions.

  • Be born again.  Once born again you can confidently put your faith in God to heal you.
  • Know what the word of God says.  We can confidently come to God for healing if we know what the word of God says about healing.  We can depend on God if we know that he wants us to depend on him for good health.
  • Meditate on the word of God.  It is one thing to know the word of God in your mind and another to know the word of God in your heart.  Get the word of God in your heart, your innermost being since that is where true faith will be able to securely stand.
  • Remove doubt.  One of the opponents of faith is doubt.  We actually don’t need much faith to accomplish great things.  However, doubt will counteract any faith that we do have.  So it would behoove us to eliminate doubt from ourselves in order to persist in faith.
  • Believe.  You have to believe what the word of God says in addition to knowing what it says.  Believe with your heart what is revealed to you in the word of God by the Spirit of God.
  • Confess and do what the word says.  It is very important that you say what you believe and then act on what you believe.

 

Conclusion

We have found in this study that God wants all people to be well in health as he does in spirit.  God wants all people to be saved and healed physically.  We can say this by looking at the ministry and activities of Jesus Christ who did the will of the Father and was the express image of the Father.  To know Jesus is to know God.  Since Jesus is the same now as he was then (Hebrews 13:8) we can confidently say that he still wants us saved and physically well today. God does not use sickness to teach us or for any other divine purpose.  However, even bad situations where we have been rescued from can work for our good. (Romans 8:28).  It is only an illusion that God uses sickness to teach us.  What really happens is that God is involved in the solution, but we instead give him credit for the problem.  You see nowhere in Jesus’ ministry where Jesus gave someone sickness for some type of object lesson or to strengthen them.  Sickness leads to destruction, which was the very thing Jesus was opposed to.

So know that God wants you well and that you can confidently call on him for healing in your body as well as salvation for your soul.  Know that God is not making you sick, but rather wants you to be well and has provided his Spirit for you to be well, born again, and prosperous.  Pursue him when you are well so that if sickness should attack then you will already be prepared to fight back knowing that God heals all!

 

Resources

The resources used to write this study comes partly from the following sources.

 


God Heals All
By William R. Cunningham
December 11, 2011

 

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