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
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter One: Healing in Our Time?
Chapter Two: Learning to Believe
Chapter Three: What the Old and New
Chapter Four: What Is Faith?
Chapter Five: Is Healing Always God's Will?
Chapter Six: Claiming God's
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
Yes, people say!
But what does GOD say?
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
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 Malachi
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
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 their day.
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
Power of the Holy Spirit Given
God miraculously 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.
Two 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).
They 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.
To the 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" (verses 13-15).
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.
When the 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.
The 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.
Thus the 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 centuries.
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!
And 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?