When I ask the question, “Is healing for all?” I’m being very specific. I don’t mean this in the broad, religious sense. I’m not talking about when the preacher needs something that sounds smart and religious for the funeral of a child who left us too young, so he makes a blanket statement to try to defend God while simultaneously trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy. Sometimes the best answer is to love the ones who are hurting and not use this time to talk about something the speaker really does not know much about. I would venture to say that most poor theology about healing, lack of healing, premature death, the will of God concerning sickness, and belief about fate was passed down–not by those who studied the Bible deeply or who were taught by many generations of sound Bible teachers in their family–but by those grasping at straws at times like these. Famous sayings start at one time or another from someone making a statement that just stuck. It was passed along, and after decades, it became accepted to be almost as true as the Bible itself.
Have you ever heard these statements: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” or “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” or “God helps those who help themselves”? How about this one: “God will never put more on you than you can handle”? If you asked the average Christian how many of these statements were in the Bible, a large percentage would say they all are. I would be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 Christians that go to church every Sunday would tell you that at least one or more of these four statements are in the Bible. Entire messages have been preached on generational curses, yet the phrase generational curse is not even in the Bible. Would it surprise you to know that not a single one of those four statements that I asked about are in the Bible. In fact, they aren’t even true. It’s interesting how we will believe things just because it’s been passed down for generations.
There are many times I do know the answer to why a person died before their time when I’m preaching the funeral. Sometimes it is really clear, but I realize that a funeral is not always the time to share my belief that will go in the face of their long-standing incorrect beliefs about the will of God and God needing another angel in Heaven (That’s another strange thing people say. People don’t become angels when they die, but I don’t correct them when they are going through the pain. That is for another time). Even though I do not correct them at that time, I do not lie about it just to make them feel better. I find the middle ground. There is a real need to have covered a lot of these long-standing beliefs in order to answer the question of healing always being the will of God for every person. I believe God does want to heal everyone every time, but in order to teach this, I have to deal with the false teaching people have had shoved down their throats for generations.
At funerals, all kinds of lies are told. One person will talk about how good the corpse looks, knowing full well that the person in the casket doesn’t look at all like themselves. When I was just seventeen, I had the misfortune of seeing my grandfather in the casket. Up until that point, I had seen people lying in those boxes before, but not one that I knew like the back of my own hand. I knew everything about this man. The way his eyes sat away from his nose. I knew his skin tone. He always wore glass, and he wasn’t wearing them in the casket. It didn’t seem like they had his skin tone right. I studied him for a few minutes, and I had to take others’ word for it that my grandfather was indeed the man in that pine box. My grandfather, some of us called Diddy, had manly hands. His hands looked skinny and useless. You get the point. It was a lie. He didn’t look good at all. But one by one, people would walk up to Grandma Walker and say the same words, “He looks like he’s just sleeping peacefully. He looks great. He was a great man.” And on and on, they went. That’s human nature, of course. People aren’t really sure what to say, but they feel the need to say something.
My grandaddy was a great man, but I have been to other funerals where the preacher and everyone there would go on about how great a person was when everyone there knew he was a scoundrel. I have even been to the funeral of a wife-beating drunk who was as lost as a ball in high weeds, but the preacher tried to preach them straight into heaven. I don’t blame them. Who wants to be the preacher who gets up there and says, “Beloved, we are here to celebrate the life of this reprobate who lived his whole life for Satan, and now he’s getting what’s coming to him. He rejected Christ in this life, and now God has eternally rejected him. He died, and after that is the judgment. He heard the words that no one wants to hear, ‘Depart from me. You were of iniquity. Enter into hellfire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’” I have never said it like that, of course, but even as a young man, I vowed not to preach them into heaven as if there was no difference between the lost and the saved. I didn’t preach them into heaven. I focused on the good stuff they did on earth, told everyone that no one knows if a person got right before God except the person themselves, and used that opportunity to let folks get saved.
Why did I go into all of that? People are always looking for excuses for why bad things happen to good people. They often lie about bad people and preach them into Heaven. In the same way, well-meaning preachers in pulpits often lie about why good people get sick. I have heard it all–especially when a person dies of the illness: “God needed another angel in heaven.” Like that’s going to comfort some seven-year-old, telling them that God needed their loved one more than the seven-year-old did. No wonder the seven-year-old grows up with resentment to God for taking his dad! If a person gets cancer and dies, someone will say, “God needed them to go to Heaven and help take care of the flower beds in Heaven.” I hate to be crude, but even a little kid would know better than that. Doesn’t God have lots of angels that could do that? Plus, do flowers even die in Heaven? I thought there was no death in Heaven and no weeds? After all, there is no curse in Heaven. God doesn’t need my family members up there. I need them down here. Also, did he need them to suffer from cancer for two years before taking them to help with the garden? The theology just doesn’t make sense, so let’s talk about what the Bible actually says.
In Matthew 8, we read an interesting story. It’s the only place where anyone ever asked Jesus directly about God’s will. One of the most faith-killing prayers you can ever pray is “If it be thy will.” Jesus never prayed this way when He was praying about sickness, trouble, or pain. In fact, in Acts 10:38 Jesus is said to have “went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil.” We are told plainly here that Satan was oppressing people, and Jesus was removing the pain. Sickness is called the devil’s work in Acts 10:38, and Jesus treated sickness like his enemy. I have been trying to find a single verse anywhere where Jesus once ever treated sickness as his friend, like something he wanted to keep around in case he needed it for a good cause one day, but I simply cannot find it. In fact, EVERY SINGLE TIME sickness and Jesus had a confrontation (which is many times), Jesus talked mean to the sickness. He often called the sickness by name. Other times, He even named a demon spirit after a sickness. That doesn’t seem like something you would do if you intended to use the sickness later in a positive way. Why would you name demons after illnesses if you intended to use the sickness in a positive way later like to “teach someone a lesson” or “make them stronger” (things often attributed to God’s use of sickness). Typically He rebuked illness and disease, and He commanded it to leave people, and sometimes, he seemed quite angry at the illness.
Back to Matthew 8. . . there was a leper that begged Jesus for help. In Verses 1-3, he said to Jesus “IF YOU ARE WILLING, you can make me clean.” Isn’t this what most people ask today? No one would ask if God was able to heal, but they aren’t quite sure of God’s willingness to do so. Since we only have one place where someone asked Jesus about his will to heal, we should likely pay attention to His answer. Especially since God’s word itself says, “God is no respecter of persons.” What He does for one, it seems that He desires to do for all. The Bible says that God wants “all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth.” Interesting that no one would argue with that. The word “saved” here is the word sozo in the Greek. It always means “saved from sins, healed from diseases, delivered, protected, preserved and made whole in every way.” In fact, the word sozo is the Greek equivalent to the Old Testament word shalom which means ‘nothing missing and nothing broken. Total peace and prosperity.” So the Scriptures clearly say that God wants “all men to be saved, healed, delivered, protected, preserved, and made whole.” That’s right. He is clear that it is His desire for ALL men to be sozo’d. Nothing missing and nothing broken. He wants everyone to come into the knowledge of this wonderful truth. You know, I have been studying very closely ,and I can’t seem to find a single place where Jesus refused healing to someone who came to him in faith–whether they were Jew or Gentile. It’s man’s hellish doctrine that keeps people in the darkness and keeps them from the knowledge of the truth of what belongs to them in Jesus. Jesus wants us healed and whole. Hebrews 1:1-3 teaches that Jesus is the express image of the Father. He is the perfect picture of God, how the Father thinks and acts. This is why Jesus told Philip “When you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” If you want to know what the Father thinks about healing, ask Jesus! Look at Jesus’s life. Jesus said, “I never do anything that I don’t see my Father do. It is the Father that does the work!” WOW! Jesus was saying that it wasn’t even Him that healed the people in one sense. The heavenly Father through Jesus was healing the people and forever let His will be known forevermore.
In this series, we are looking at seven questions that if answered wrongly can be deadly because it can lead to disease, sickness, pain, and even premature death. In one of these teachings, I hope to share with you how getting these questions right and putting God’s word to work saved me from the death bed in full, but I will share pieces of my story as we go. I don’t have time for the entire story now, but I will tell you how important these questions are. Only 7 months ago, I was in ICU in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In Part One, I told you that I had an unknown disease. Another missionary had the exact same symptoms about two hours away after swimming in a lake. He had a rare disease called leptospirosis. Only about 1 in 100,000 contract it, but out of the ones who get it, less than 10% turn fatal. If it does turn fatal, it happens very quickly. They usually go into kidney failure and liver failure. This is what happened to me, and based on the identical symptoms, leptospirosis was the likely culprit. My oxygen was at 70%. They told me that if I went to 69%, I would have to go on a ventilator. I kept looking at the monitor. It would go up to 72%, then 71%, and then 70% again. I would speak to the machine, like a crazy person and say “In Jesus name, you will not go below 70%!” I battled this for two hours. It kept almost coming close, but it never dropped below 70%. Finally, it went up to 78%, and I went to sleep. Praise God! I Told you that I had a massive heart attack, a stroke, and meningitis developed in my brain, but I had also gone totally septic due to the liver and kidney failure. The doctor said it was too late to save me. Multiple specialists told me that. They said that the failure in my kidney and liver was so severe and had progressed so fast that they could not run the dye to see how much damage had been done to the heart. I could have been bleeding internally. There was nothing else to do except say my goodbyes.
I took hold of the principles I will share with you during this series of blog teachings, and I applied them to my life. With the little bit of faith I could muster up, I spoke God’s Word of healing over myself. At a later date, I will give you the insane details. I was left to die. They were giving me no life-saving measures, as they said I would be dead over the weekend. God’s Word brought me back to life. After declaring healing over my kidneys for three days, they suddenly jumped up to 86%. The poisons that were in my liver were at 14,000. On Day 4, they went to 10,000; Day 5, they went to 5,000, and Day 6, they went to 18, which is normal. The doctors could not find heart damage after three heart tests, including two echocardiograms. They could not find the evidence of the stroke that had shown days earlier. I walked out of the hospital in one week totally healed in Jesus’s name. It’s all documented. How you answer these questions can mean life or death for you! I didn’t wait until I got in this situation to find the answers, I already knew it. You need to know what God’s word says so that if you ever get in a life-or-death situation, you will know what to do.
I hope you are enjoying this series. More is coming very soon. God had led me to study about healing for a year before this situation arose, but maybe you are facing sickness and issues now. Maybe a life and death situation is happening right now. Don’t give up! Listen to what I am teaching here. Put it into practice, and God will step in, and your situation can change in Jesus’s name.
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President, Agape International
Until Every Tribe Has Heard