BETHEL’S FALSE TEACHING ON HEALING

By Rick Becker   28 April 2022

Bethel Church are currently promoting their upcoming Healing School (May 10-13, 2022). “Activations, impartation, and miracles, miracles, miracles” don’t come cheap at Bethel. It beggars belief that Bethel have the audacity to charge $165 per individual for a slice of pie in the sky. Their “pie in the sky” is the false teaching that physical healing in this life is guaranteed in the atonement. The reality is that despite all their efforts, encounters, and impartations, their teaching has had no impact on their own lives. Some of Bethel’s leadership are suffering from minor or life threatening diseases, but dare point that out and you’ll be accused of being callous, insensitive, and cruel. Yet the most cruel thing to do, is to blame someone for their failure to be healed. Johnson’s forked tongue may fool some, but the contradiction is as clear as day. Regarding healing, on the one hand he writes: “There are no deficiencies on His end – neither the covenant is deficient, nor His compassion or promises. All lack is on our end of the equation.”
On the other hand he writes: “If someone isn’t healed, realize the problem isn’t God… It’s also not wise to blame the person who is sick.”
If all lack “is on our end of the equation” who else can we blame? This torturous teaching places a burden on the sick that adds to their physical suffering as they embark on a wild-goose chase in pursuit of physical healing.

 



A brief look at Bethel and their dismal healing performance.

Johnson: “Would satan like to inflict heaven with cancer? Of course he would. But he has no dominion there. He only has dominion here when and where man has come into agreement.” 1
The conclusion of Johnson’s statement is that Bethelites who are currently battling cancer, Parkinsons, and other diseases not found in heaven, have somehow come into agreement with Satan. Furthermore, Bethel’s declaration concerning cancer has proven to be ineffective: “Often we will receive a reality report and a fruit at the same time. For example, for a number of years now at Bethel Church, we have seen tremendous breakthroughs for physical healing. One ailment that we have intentionally targeted is cancer. In fact, we have declared our city a “cancer-free zone.2

Who can forget the tragic death and failed resurrection of Olive Heiligenthal – the two year old daughter of Bethel worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal? Despite all the prophetic words of a resurrection, and the decrees and declarations of Bethelites, the child never came back to life. Bethel’s teaching that healing is guaranteed in the atonement was possibly the motivating factor behind the false hope the child would be resurrected. At the time, Kalley Heiligenthal wrote: “Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.”

Bethel’s most recent awkward moment that made the headlines occurred in 2020. Bethel had to cancel their healing rooms in their sanctuary due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and shifted to online prayer. At the time, the head of the healing ministries Chris Gore said “We’re in impact mode. We’re going after this thing.” The opposite happened, that “thing” showed no respect for Bethelites or the 700 “healers” involved with the healing rooms. A local news publication carried the headline COVID-19 case spike in college-aged students partially attributed to Bethel. Approximately 123 students at Bethel’s school of supernatural ministry hosted the virus, thereby contributing to the spike in Shasta County.

Now one would imagine that this colossal failure would at least put a damper on the ministry, and open the eyes of deluded Bethelites who imagine that they have dominion over disease. However, delusion is strong – aside from biblical teaching, even logic and facts have failed to penetrate the fog of deception that envelops Bethel. The show must go on!



Before we examine two of Bethel’s posts on the subject of healing, let’s look at the core issues that necessitate Bethel’s belief on healing. Essentially, it boils down to two of Bethel’s teachings:

1. Whatever Jesus did during his earthly ministry as far as signs and wonders are concerned, we can emulate and even surpass.
Johnson’s twisted view is that Jesus came to model miracles for us. The scriptures teach that Jesus came to model suffering (1 Peter 2:19-21) and humility (Philippians 2:5-8), but Johnson’s interest lies in the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ life:
“FOR US TO BECOME all that God intended, we must remember that Jesus’ life was a model of what mankind could become if it were in right relationship with the Father. Through the shedding of His blood, it would be possible for everyone who believed on His name to do as He did and become as He was. This meant then that every true believer would have access to the realm of life that Jesus lived in. Jesus came as the light of the world. He then passed the baton to us, announcing that we are the light of the world. Jesus came as the miracle worker. He said that we would do “greater works” than He did (see John 14: 12).” 3

Apart from the fact that Christ’s miracles were unique in nature and purpose, Johnson ignores the fact that signs and wonders are not normative.
The scriptures include many accounts of miracles, signs and wonders, which cause some to believe that they are normative. This is false because the following is not taken into account:
• The scriptures span a period of approximately 4000 years.
• There were centuries that went by during this time, without any recorded miracles.
• The number of people who performed miracles were relatively few.
• The sign gifts were not given to all believers (1 Cor 12).
• The major reason for signs and wonders in the New Testament has been fulfilled – to authenticate the message and ministry of the apostles (2 Cor 12:12), and to authenticate the identity, message and ministry of the messiah (John 10:36-39).
If you believe greater works is referring to miracles, then you should at least be able to walk on water, calm a storm, feed 5000 with five loves and two fish, raise a four day old corpse from the grave (provide death certificate please), and raise yourself from the dead. Greater works is referring to what God would accomplish through believers who the preach the gospel (not performing miracles) throughout the earth. Johnson’s focus is on the physical and temporal, the gospel’s focus is on the spiritual and eternal.

Johnson’s rationale for healing all the sick: “Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. To accept any other standard is to bring the Bible down to our level of experience, and deny the nature of the One who changes not.” 4

Johnson’s wrong, what he’s doing is elevating man to Christ’s level of experience, and in fact nature – “it would be possible for everyone who believed on His name to do as He did and become as He was.”

Practically speaking, the result is that instead of praying for the sick as scripture instructs (James 5:14), Johnson & co believe that they have the same power and authority as Christ, and simply have to command the sick to be healed:
“For example, it’s common for believers to read Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons and think, “Well, I might be able to preach the Gospel. But God is the only one who does all those other things. I’ll pray for the sick, but I can’t heal them.” But Jesus didn’t say to pray for the sick. He said to heal them.
“A person with revelation takes authority over the sickness and commands the sick person’s body to be healed “on earth as it is in heaven.” 6

2. Without signs and wonders such as healing the preaching of the gospel is incomplete.

Johnson: “Jesus gave people the right to disbelieve it all if there was no demonstration of power upon his ministry. I hunger for the day when the church will make the same statement to the world – if we’re not doing the works that Jesus did, you don’t have to believe us” 7 

Vallotton: “A Church that does not demonstrate the miraculous works of Christ has failed to give the world this opportunity, and thus has no right to judge people for their lack of response. Without miracles, the kingdom of God is reduced to words, concepts and good works”

Johnson and Vallotton are incorrect of course. There were times when Paul displayed the signs of an apostle (which Johnson cannot emulate because the office of Apostle ended with Paul) but his custom was to “reason” from the scriptures. Athens was a city steeped in idolatry, this would have been a great opportunity for Paul to shift the atmosphere (Bethel terminology) by binding spirits and performing a few miracles. Instead, Paul delivered a sermon and the result was that some believed, and others mocked.
Once we understand the difference between descriptive and prescriptive texts, and acknowledge the unique callings and signs of Christ and his Apostles, it’s impossible to hold the belief that we can emulate either.
Miracles don’t save, the gospel does! In stark contrast to Vallotton, Paul believed that “words” in the form of the gospel, are powerful and sufficient:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16.
• “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,” 1 Corinthians 1:22.
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” Acts 17:2-3.

One of Bethel’s proof texts for the belief that that signs and wonders must accompany the gospel is Romans 15:18-19: “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient – in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
If you just read the words in bold, you may come to the same conclusion as Bethel.

Debunking the proof text:
• Paul’s unique ministry is ignored.
There’s no doubt that signs and wonders accompanied Paul’s ministry. What Bethel ignore is that “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul” (Acts 19:11), and that certain signs were unique to the Apostles: “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” 2 Corinthians 12:12.
What this means is that one cannot view Paul’s unique ministry as normative.
God has not appointed a single Apostle since Paul – who was appointed directly by Christ (1 Cor 1:1). Apart from Matthias (Acts 1:20-26), the original apostles never appointed replacements. Scripture never instructs the church to appoint apostles, but overseers ( 1 Timothy 3:1) and elders (Titus 1:5). Besides, there were specific requirements to hold the office – one of them being an eyewitness to the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22). This is why Paul argued in defense of his apostleship: “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” (1 Cor 9:1).
• The context is ignored.
By changing the words in bold, and adding verse 20, the context becomes apparent:
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient – in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,” (see also 2 Tim 4:17).
Fully preaching the gospel is referring to a geographical area, not signs and wonders accompanying the message.

By examining two of Bethel’s posts on the subject of healing, we’ll be able to deactivate Bethel’s lies.




Context: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53: 4-6)

The healing referred to here is primarily spiritual – healing us from a disease called sin. Sin has caused us to go “astray,” it has separated us from God. Alluding to the messianic passage in Isaiah, Peter highlights spiritual healing, not physical:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25.
That’s not to say physical healing is excluded in Isaiah 53. Verse four is referring to physical healing: “borne our griefs.” The word “griefs” in Hebrew (חֳלָיֵ֙נוּ֙) is referring to sickness.
Matthew quotes this verse (Isaiah 53:4) in the context of physical healing: “That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:16-17.
This does not mean healing in this life is guaranteed in the atonement, it means that Christ was the fulfilment of the messianic passage in Isaiah. Matthew was making it clear that Jesus is the messiah, that only he could have performed these miracles. Two further incidents recorded in Matthew 8, indicate that Christ’s identity as the Son of God, were being confirmed:

“And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” – Matt 8:27.
“And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” – Matt 8:29.Jesus healed people because:
• He had compassion on people: “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matt 14:14.
• He was confirming his identity. Jesus performed signs in order for people to believe that he is God, not for them to believe they are little gods: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31.
He was God in the flesh, the messiah. He was more than a healer, or a man in right relationship with God. When Jesus healed people it was a sign of his identity – God in the flesh who could heal physical illness, but more importantly spiritual illness –

“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” Mark 2:9-11.




  Unpacking Bethel’s five arguments – Bethel’s comments that accompanied the post above in italics.

There are many myths in the world about healing that aren’t modeled in the life of Jesus, the standard for what is possible for those who believe in Him. Let’s unpack a few of the lies you may believe about biblical healing:

1. Sickness is sent from God.
One of the greatest lies that we believe about healing is that sickness is sent from God. Jesus said,”There is a thief, who comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” Stealing, killing, and destroying comes from the enemy. But when the enemy is in the midst of doing all of that, Jesus is present, bringing life and life more abundant.

There are various reasons for disease, the first won’t please Bethel:
• God sending sickness –
Old testament: “But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Exodus 4:10-11.
New testament: : “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” 1 Corinthians 11: 29-30.
It’s accurate to say that God allows sickness – even in the life of believers. New testament examples – Timothy (1 Tim 5:23), Trophimus (2 Tim 4:20) and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27). Paul never accused them of coming into agreement with Satan for their sickness, didn’t plead the blood of Jesus over their disease, and never instructed them to speak life over their bodies and lay hold of their healing that was guaranteed in the atonement.
• Satan can be the cause of some sickness (Luke 13:11-16).

• Poor lifestyle choices can result in disease.
• Living in a fallen world, in a fallen body (that is going to die) can result in various forms of disease or genetic disorders.

It’s ironic that Bethel quote John 10:10, because “the thief” that Jesus is referring to is false teachers.
The word of faith and prosperity doctrine which are inherent in New Apostolic Reformation teachings, interpret “abundant life” as health, wealth, and dominion. However, the abundant life that Jesus promised is eternal and spiritual in nature. Based on Bethel’s theology, Paul could not have experienced abundant life (2 Corinthians 11:23-29; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

2. I don’t have enough faith.
Another common lie that we believe about healing is that we don’t have enough faith to believe, either to see someone healed or see ourselves healed. Jesus commended people when they had faith. But He also healed people who had no faith. It’s not our faith that produces healing, it’s the power of Christ in us! Galatians 2:20 says, “I’ve been crucified with Christ and nevertheless I live. Not just I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Healing isn’t a function of our grace, it’s a function of His great faithfulness and His great love.

The first part is true. Jesus healed those who had faith (the woman with the issue of blood – Matthew 9:22; Bartimaeus, the blind beggar – Mark 10:52), and those who had no faith (Lazarus – John 11:43; the invalid at the pool of Bethesda – John 5:7-8).

The context of Galatians 2:20 is law vs grace, and has got absolutely nothing to do with physical healing: “But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:17-21.

If “healing isn’t a function of our grace,” why are they charging $165 to teach folk how to “cultivate and maintain an atmosphere conducive to healing.”
Here’s the clincher, if our faith has nothing to do with healing the sick, why does Bill Johnson write the following: “The effects of Heaven on earth are practical, gradual, and increasing wherever faith is exercised. Jesus often performed a miracle and then announced that His Kingdom was present or near. In other words, it was seen in the simple manifestation that brought an end to the devil’s work of death, loss, and destruction, followed by the abundant life that only Jesus can give. The sickness or torment that was an evidence of the works of darkness was changed into a testimony of the fulfillment of His prayer—“on earth as it is in heaven.” Simply put, there is no sickness there, so there is to be none here.9

3. Maybe it’s not my time to be healed.

Isaiah 49:8 says, “In the time of My favor, I heard You. In the day of salvation, I helped you…” Now is the time of God’s favor. Today is the day of salvation. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and under the New Covenant, Jesus has paved the way for healing, wholeness, and life abundant today!

Again – passages of scripture plucked out of context. These “deactivations” come too late for Paul who instructed Timothy to “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” Imagine that, the great Apostle giving Timothy practical advice for his frequent ailments instead of pointing him to Isaiah 49:8.

How does a prophetic word concerning the restoration of Israel prove that healing is guaranteed in the atonement?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) means that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. He is God, his nature and attributes cannot change. Although covenants change (hebrews 8), and the way God speaks to us has changed (Heb 1:1), God does not change (Many of the false teachings in the visible church occur because of the failure to recognise the two changes mentioned above).
While verse 8 is a truth that stands on it’s own, the immediate context contains an exhoration and a warning (which Bethelites would do well to heed).
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” Hebrews 13:7-9.
Do you see anything in the text that suggests it’s always God’s will to heal?

4. It may not be God’s will to heal me.
Jesus was the exact representation of the Father and healed all who came to Him. In Matthew 8:2-3, when the leper came to Him, he said, “Lord if You’re willing, You can make me whole.” He said, “I am willing.” Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He still willing—it’s His joy to heal you.

As an exact representation of the Father, Jesus overlooked “a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (John 5:3) and healed just one man.
Matthew 8:2-3 is a descriptive text of Christ’s earthly ministry. We’ve dealt with Hebrews 13:8. Like a sneaky squid, Bethel add to the text, and basically rewrite the verse! I hope you can see the extent to which they have to engage in theological gymnastics in order to justify their position on healing.

5. God’s allowing this so that I can learn something.
In the Covenant of the Law, we were required to make a sacrifice when we sinned. In the New Covenant, Jesus took on all sickness, sin, and death that we could walk in the fullness of life God created us for. John 10:10 reminds us that killing, stealing, and destruction are from the enemy, and that includes sickness. God does not send sickness to us, but desires to heal us from it completely!

If you are currently contending for breakthrough and healing in your body, we are believing for a touch from heaven right now, and declare the blood of Jesus over you. He paid for your healing, and we speak life over you today in Jesus’ name!

Rehashing John 10:10 is all Bethel can offer at this point. The scriptures remind us that believers should expect sufferings, not simply because they live in this fallen world, but because God uses various forms of afflictions to discipline us, test our faith, and cause us to have an eternal perspective: 
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Imagine the condemnation experienced by the sick who have fallen for Bethel’s lie that God never allows sickness, and that there’s nothing to learn when we experience illness. God allowed a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass Paul and prevent him from becoming conceited. Whatever it was, the affliction was by God’s design with a specific purpose.
In one instance an affliction experienced by Paul caused him to preach the gospel to the Galatians: “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” Galatians 4:13-14.”
A few years after this event, Paul penned these words: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28).
All things include all kinds of afflictions that God allows.
Bethel’s final sentence reveal their superficial and unbiblical theology – we are believing for a touch from heaven right now, and declare the blood of Jesus over you. He paid for your healing, and we speak life over you today in Jesus’ name!”
We are belieiving..
– How does that help/contribute towards healing?

and declare the blood of Jesus over you – where in the scriptures are believers taught to declare the blood of Jesus…over anything?
we speak life over you – this word of faith practice is as effective as attempting to blow away a category five hurricane with your breath. The idea that our words are causative, contain power, or needed by God in order to heal someone are heretical.

CONCLUSION

God allows various forms of suffering in the life of believers, suffering which may include sickness or physical disabilities. By demonising those who are sick (it can only be their fault according to Bethel’s theology), Bethel are responsible for two evils:
• Heaping condemnation and guilt on the sick.
• Capitalising on their pain by charging $165 for a “healing school” – which is nothing less than a scheme of Satan.
They are hypocrites, selling a cure which does not exist and has not worked for their own leadership.
Jesus didn’t come to earth to to create a sickness-free zones in Israel, he came to “seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10.
He didn’t say come and fill your bellies with loaves and fishes or come and let me deal with your diseases, he said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 4:17.
He didn’t come to release bodies bound by sickness, he came to purchase spirits bound by sin.
Bethel have nothing to offer the sick – apart from confusion, condemnation, and a costly wild goose chase.

Ultimately, every believer will be healed:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:18-23.

I must point out that the NAR teach that the glory revealed to us will be in this present age. They use verse 19 as a proof text: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”
The idea is that a new breed of Christian will walk in the authority and power of Christ, take dominion, and basically bring heaven to earth – which includes eradicating all sickness.

But the futility and corruption of this world will only end when Christ returns. Until then, the groaning will continue: we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (vs 22)
Verse 23 makes it clear that the deliverance we are waiting for is in the future, when our bodies will be glorified after the resurrection: “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
Philippians 3:20-21 makes this future aspect of our redemption clear: But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Until then, God sovereignly heals us according to his will:
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 John 5:14).


Endnotes

1. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.
2. Bill Johnson, Walking in the Supernatural.
3. Bill Johnson. When Heaven Invades Earth Expanded Edition: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.
4.
Ibid.
5. Bill Johnson, Release the Power of Jesus.
6. Bill Johnson; Kris Vallotton, The supernatural ways of royalty.
7. Bill Johnson,When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.
8. Kris Vallotton, Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power.
9. Bill Johnson, The Way of Life. 

   

 

 

26 thoughts on “BETHEL’S FALSE TEACHING ON HEALING”

  1. Gosh, this cessationist dogma is so far from the truth that it actually carries your focus from one extreme to another. At least you believe in healing when you quote James 5, but apart from this and a reference to the atonement, where you admit there was healing in Christ’s suffering according to Isaiah 53, you then say it’s fulfilled and therefore ended for this generation, in fact any generation after Paul. So His wounds had a finite application in your thinking.

    Maybe Bethel are, as you say, prone to excess in a charismatic, experimental way on some issues, and need to be brought to the reality of what the Word says in many aspects, but your cessationist view completely misses the road you attempt to guide your audience to, throwing everyone into the ditch on the other side of the Way. There’s too much anti-healing, anti-miracle false teaching here to be useful to the reader. I’m just sorry you have such a poor regard for what God has provided for the fallen world. I’ve seen too many people genuinely healed through Biblical principles in the name of Jeuss to trust what you say here.

    By the way, Philip the evangelist, a deacon in the church in Judaea, saw many mighty miracles as he preached in Samaria, yet he was not an apostle. Not sign gifts, then. Nor is there evidence that Paul was the final apostle. The Apostles were sent afterwards to receive the HolySpirit.

    Nor is there anything to back up your claim that healing was only for Jesus Aopostles as sign gifts. The scripture you plant in your piece is not actually contextual, but cherry picked to complement your proposal. There is no reference to healing and miracles being solely ‘sign gifts’ for Apostles. None. In fact, it was clearly the laity of the Church at Corinth that were being taught by Paul about the correct application of the manifestations of the Spirit, including the gifts of healings, and manifestations of miracles. They were very obviously not just for apostles. They were for church members as the Spirit led, and they were His gifts to distribute.

    I could go on, but I’m not sure it would serve any purpose with our thinking at this time. I just think you need to come back to the reality of what scripture actually teaches on healing, but your vision seems to be clouded by your disdain for Bethel.

    Said in love as a brother, so I hope you take it that way.

    1. Thank you for the comment, I’m always willing to engage with those who disagree – no problem.

      Philip was one of the seven deacons in the early church, and not the only deacon who performed miracles (Acts 6:8). But I’m glad you mention him, because there’s an event which highlights the difference between Philip and the Apostles. Despite the miracles performed by Philip, the Apostles had to go to Samaria for believers to “receive the Holy Spirit.” The fact is that there were certain signs that could only be performed by the apostles, hence the term “sign of an apostle.” There were qualifications for the office of an apostle, not a single apostle was appointed after Paul, if you want to dispute that, name the apostle and prove that he met the biblical qualifications.

      “I’m just sorry you have such a poor regard for what God has provided for the fallen world.” – what exactly has he provided?

      “I just think you need to come back to the reality of what scripture actually teaches on healing”
      What does it teach in your view – All can be healed IF they meet certain requirements or manage to find someone with the gift of healing..or God heals some and not others, yet all will be healed at the resurrection. (let me know if there’s a third alternative)

      1. Philip was a deacon, so healings and miracles not ‘sign gifts’ exclusive to Apostles, then. That was the point made.

        There is a reference to signs, including healing, at Mark 16, but they were to be signs following believers, not just apostles. That two of the Apostles went to Samaria to impart to converts the Holy Ghost isn’t evidence that imparting the baptism with the Spirit was exclusive to them, either. A bit of stretch to claim this as a sign gift. It is His gift to give through whosoever He chooses.

        The second point was that the gifts, or manifestations, of the Spirit include the gifts of healings, and manifestations of miracles, and are referenced as being for the Church community, not exclusive to Apostles. They are as the Spirit wills, so, therefore, healing in this context is as He wills, but He operates these manifestations through the members of the Body.

        The point you make that, in your view, Paul was the last Apostle mentioned in scripture, is not evidence of the end of apostleship. He also called himself a preacher, but he is not the last preacher.

        John, who outlived Paul, was the last recorded as having received prophetic revelation at Patmos, but there is no evidence that he became the last prophet of all because he is last mentioned in scripture, anymore than any of these followers of Christ were the last pastors of the Church because they are last mentioned in scripture, or Philip was the last evangelist.

        All we know for certain is that Jesus has appointed gifts to the Church that include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. There is no evidence that He has changed His mind on this. There were other apostles mentioned than the Twelve and Paul. Those other apostles are not credited with any scripture to my knowledge. They were appointed to pioneer the Church in certain ways and places.

        If you are going to plead the sufficiency of scripture you have to show where any of these gifts have ceased if you are going to take that view. It simply isn’t in scripture.

        1. Can we get back the question I asked – “I just think you need to come back to the reality of what scripture actually teaches on healing”
          What does it teach in your view – All can be healed IF they meet certain requirements or manage to find someone with the gift of healing..or God heals some and not others, yet all will be healed at the resurrection. (let me know if there’s a third alternative)

        2. Well I answered it. The gifts of healings are as the Spirit wills. No believer has the gift of healing per ce. There isn’t such a thing. The only healing we have is through natural means such as medicine or nursing. Even then, God has put the natural order of things in place. Supernatural hearing is of God alone. Only God can heal. But He will use people as He wills, to utter as the Spirit leads, or by laying on of hands, or by anointing with oil, as led by the Spirit.

          “They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” Mark 16. This is a sign that follows the preaching of the gospel. The Holy Spirit works with believers, confirming the Word through the accompanying signs. He is the Healer. He works through believers. Our role is to preach the gospel to all the world.

          It’s the gospel, the Word of Christ, that produces faith in the hearer when they believe the report. As Isaiah 53 says, “Who has believed our report?” Well, what is the report? The gospel, which includes provision for salvation, deliverance and healing through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was bruised, whipped and crucified for our redemption, and who was raised for our salvation. He was “a man of pains and acquainted with sickness.”

          The preached Word is necessary for salvation. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. People have to believe what Christ has done for them before they can believe and confess Him as Lord. Is there healing and deliverance in Isaiah 53? Undoubtedly. Is it still applicable. I say yes. Do we preach the full gospel? If we do not we are not truly preaching it.

          The signs follow the Word preached by the believer. The gospel is primarily for salvation, but there is also the provision for deliverance and for healing in those who can believe the report.

          But healing and deliverance are always through the Spirit of God in the name of Jesus by the authority of the Father. We are His vessels. He receives the glory.

          Now, were healing and miracles only through apostles as ‘sign gifts, and ceased to be, or does God heal today through believers by the leading of the Spirit?

          1. “Well, what is the report?” – repent, believe and be baptised…over and over in the NT. Your view (correct me if I’m mistaken) is that if the sick are not healed, it’s their fault somehow, unbelief etc – a horrible teaching.
            “Is there healing and deliverance in Isaiah 53? Undoubtedly. Is it still applicable. I say yes. Do we preach the full gospel? If we do not we are not truly preaching it.” As stated, physical healing will ultimately be realized in the resurrection. Some will be healed in this life, that’s God’s prerogative, all we can do is pray and ask.

          2. The report is about the death and resurrection of Christ. It includes salvation, deliverance and healing to those who believe the report. That is scripture. It is final. Do you not believe it in full?

            You said (ungraciously): ‘Your view (correct me if I’m mistaken) is that if the sick are not healed, it’s their fault somehow, unbelief etc.’

            Completely unworthy of this discussion, and regrettable. Nowhere did make that assumption. The problem with your presumption is that it reflects your own distorted view of others.

            There are many examples of a person’s faith being great enough to receive healing, and commended by Jesus Himself, and others of people receiving healing regardless of their faith, simply because Jesus had compassion on them. Tabitha was raised from death. How did her faith come into it? The centurion’s servant was healed through the Roman officer’s faith, not his own.

            You limit the power and will of God with this kind of false assertion.

            The report that we are to believe is of the immense substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this report it is stated that ‘with His stripes we are healed.’ I didn’t compose that. It is scripture. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement off our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.’

            ‘The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ He took it all on our behalf. Yes, our iniquity was on Him s that we could be set free, but we are not healed of our iniquity at the resurrection. We are set free now through faith in HIm. It is false doctrine to state that healing comes through death. Very catholic. Very wrong.

            We won’t need healing when we cross over. We will receive a glorified body. There’s nothing in scripture to back up that false notion of healing through death. Healing in scripture is of the natural body in the earth prior to the resurrection. Was Tabitha healed when she died, or when she was raised?

            Yes we repent. Who said we didn’t? Yes we believe. Yes we are baptised. But the order begins with the report. The gospel. The message of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for those who come to Him must believe that He is Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That is our repentance. To turn to Him from our own ways, and seek Him through faith.

            The only way to this faith is through the preached gospel. We have to hear the report. We are to believe the report. We have to accept the report. The report of His death and resurrection. Who will believe this report?

            The report of His substitutionary sacrifice for all who will believe. And, if you believe and confess Jesus as Lord you will be saved. But, yes, you do have to believe, and confess the Lord Jesus. Salvation by grace, through faith in Him.

            BTW: My wife put on some Bethel worship music half an hour ago. It is wonderful. Uplifting and godly. I think you should really try to think better of other people, and maybe review some of your doctrine.

          3. Altar:”You said (ungraciously): ‘Your view (correct me if I’m mistaken) is that if the sick are not healed, it’s their fault somehow, unbelief etc.’ Completely unworthy of this discussion, and regrettable. Nowhere did make that assumption. The problem with your presumption is that it reflects your own distorted view of others.”

            Actually, it’s the root of the article – the view that if the sick are not healed it’s their fault. I asked you plainly :
            “What does it teach in your view – All can be healed IF they meet certain requirements or manage to find someone with the gift of healing..or God heals some and not others, yet all will be healed at the resurrection. (let me know if there’s a third alternative)”
            and again: “Your view (correct me if I’m mistaken) is that if the sick are not healed, it’s their fault somehow, unbelief etc”
            Not sure what’s ungracious about getting a clear answer?
            If physical healing in this life is guaranteed in the atonement, and should be taught as it’s part of the gospel, when people are not healed, who do you blame?
            If the gospel is the forgiveness of sins alongside physical healing, why does physical healing not take place at the same time our sins are forgiven?

            Altar: “There are many examples of a person’s faith being great enough to receive healing, and commended by Jesus Himself, and others of people receiving healing regardless of their faith, simply because Jesus had compassion on them. Tabitha was raised from death. How did her faith come into it? The centurion’s servant was healed through the Roman officer’s faith, not his own. You limit the power and will of God with this kind of false assertion.”
            At this point, I’m not sure if you read the article, in which I clearly stated: “Jesus healed those who had faith (the woman with the issue of blood – Matthew 9:22; Bartimaeus, the blind beggar – Mark 10:52), and those who had no faith (Lazarus – John 11:43; the invalid at the pool of Bethesda – John 5:7-8).”
            The fact that Jesus healed both categories of people (during his unique ministry) has nothing to do with the issue at hand – which is that some believers are not healed, and so the question is this – what is the cause? If you say healing is guaranteed in the atonement, and all are not healed, the problem is not with God, it’s “at our end of the equation” as Johnson puts it. There’s no getting around this point.

            Altar: “‘The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ He took it all on our behalf. Yes, our iniquity was on Him s that we could be set free, but we are not healed of our iniquity at the resurrection. We are set free now through faith in HIm. It is false doctrine to state that healing comes through death. Very catholic. Very wrong.”
            You’re ignoring two points from the article – “healing” does not always refer to physical healing, some are healed in this life, others not. Ultimate healing comes after death when we receive our resurrected bodies, that’s not “catholic” or “wrong” – it’s scripture: “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” – Again, pointed out in the article.

            Altar: “Was Tabitha healed when she died, or when she was raised?” – Tabitha was raised from the dead, her spirit came back into a physical corruptible body…that would die again, and will ultimatley be healed when she receives her resurrection body.

            Altar: “I think you should really try to think better of other people, and maybe review some of your doctrine.” – this has nothing to do with what I think of people, and everything to do with comparing what people teach to scripture. I reviewed my doctrine after many years in the Charismatic movement, and falling under the influence of WOF teachers.
            If anything limits the power and will of of God it’s the view that physical healing in this life is guaranteed in the atonement – God is limited to heal and cannot perform his will to heal all because the sick have erred somewhere.

          4. Yes, you made an assumption that I blamed people for not being healed. I don’t see where blame comes into it. It was a crude assertion, and not worthy of an intelligent discussion. I answered your questions.

            There is no guarantee that people will be either saved or healed or delivered through the atonement. There is always a response to the report. It’s one of the most poignant questions in scripture. “Who will believe our report?” Faith, then, is essential to everything in the kingdom. “The just shall live by faith.” “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”

            Salvation is by grace through faith. This faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. No one is saved without a preacher. It is the gospel that is preached. “How shall they believe without a preacher?” (Rom.10)

            Still, this is a digression from my original point, that cessationist dogma is the antithesis of charismatic faith teaching. Your article very much teaches that healing and deliverance, through the Church, at least, have ended with the apparent last apostle. It simply isn’t true and is not true to scripture.

            I’m very surprised that you confirm and double down on your doctrine which claims that death is the ultimate healing. It is a catholic teaching, and a substitute for the reality of anointing the sick with oil in James 5, whereby they claim that the sick recovering is actually through the last rites at death. I don’t think that’s what James meant by recovery.

            “The redemption of our bodies” is not a healing reference. It is the buy-back. I is the ransom paid. It is the retrieval. We will not have these earthly bodies. We will be quickened, changed in an instant. We will put on the immortal having shed the mortal. Our bodies will be glorified and able to exist in heaven. That is not healing. That is a transfiguration, a complete change.

            Now we live in these earthly vessels, with all the corruption that is subject to this sinful world. It is vulnerable. Then, we will put on the incorruptible. Now we live in the finite, the corruptible. The healing of these bodies through God’s provision is temporal at best. But it is made available.

            No. No blame can be attached to those who are not healed, in this life. The essential is faith in Christ for salvation. Healing is a benefit.

            Bless the LORD, O my soul,
            And forget not all His benefits:
            Who forgives all your iniquities,
            Who heals all your diseases,
            Who redeems your life from destruction,
            Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
            Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
            So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
            Ps. 103:2-5

            Even Jesus did not heal everyone. In His own hometown He could not heal them, except a few minor ailments. Why? Because of their unbelief. Did He blame them? No. He didn’t come to condemn the world, but that world, through faith in Him, should be saved. He subsequently went about the villages teaching people, because they did not know the truth, they dd not believe, and faith can on.y come through the Word of Truth.

            In the end, whether we are physically or mentally healed or not, salvation is the only way to the Father, through faith in Jesus.

          5. “Your article very much teaches that healing and deliverance, through the Church, at least, have ended with the apparent last apostle.” – The article is about “Bethel’s false teaching” not a comprehensive paper on healing. I do believe God heals according to his will, instructs us to pray for the sick, and can perform any miracle he desires.
            You say: “No. No blame can be attached to those who are not healed, in this life.” but earlier you said: “The gospel is primarily for salvation, but there is also the provision for deliverance and for healing in those who can believe the report.”
            The only conclusion according to what you believe, is that those who are not healed did not “believe the report” or have sufficient faith. Maybe you don’t call it “blame,” but the fact is their failure to be healed lies at their end of the equation. Simple.

          6. You say, “The only conclusion according to what you believe, is that those who are not healed did not “believe the report” or have sufficient faith. Maybe you don’t call it “blame,” but the fact is their failure to be healed lies at their end of the equation. Simple.”

            Well, no, that’s not the ‘only conclusion.’ That’s your conclusion, and one of the reasons you slip over into the other ditch.

            In fact it’s you who make lack of healing a ‘failure.’ It’s you, then, who apportions blame. It’s the only conclusion you can come to, apparently.

            I do nw this, which you cannot deny: If a person doesn’t believe the report they can’t be saved. That is an issue. One can only be saved by grace through faith. There’s no other way. I’ve said this a few times now, but you’ve ignored it. If a person rejects the report he or she rejects Christ. The report is the gospel. If a person rejects the gospel they will be condemned.

            “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15.

            Faith for salvation is crucial to eternal life. You can’t know the Father without faith in Christ. As He said, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me!”

            That the report includes provision for salvation is indisputable. You would have to agree that the propitiation is the way into eternal life through faith in Christ and His work on the cross. That is the basis of the gospel.

            But the report also has provision for healing and deliverance. You can’t separate these out of the propitiation. It is written. But the individual has to believe the report for it to have effect, just as they have to believe the report for salvation.

            Your teaching says that the salvation part of the report still applies, but healing and deliverance are no longer part of that provision. I find that difficult to reconcile.

            Yet you say that healing and deliverance were exclusively sign gifts of the Apostles and ended when Paul passed over into glory, regardless the fact that there is no scriptural basis for your claim. That would negate part of the prophecy of Isaiah 53, even though it is reaffirmed in the New Testament.

            I’m saddened that you attempted to apply a ‘gotcha’ claim by accusing me of ‘blaming’ sick people for not being healed, or considering them faithless when we both know they love the Lord Jesus Christ and have been saved by grace through faith. Healing is a benefit. Not everyone claims it, or even knows it. Salvation is an essential.

            Your ‘gotcha’ claim is a sad reflection of your approach towards those who believe that the full gospel remains as scripture presents it without compromise; in other words, that the gifts are still available, that people can still be healed and set free from being demonised, and God is still the same as He was yesterday, is today, and always will be.

            Faith is the substance of things hoped for. We mess with people’s hopes when we deny the promises of God.

          7. Altar: “Well, no, that’s not the ‘only conclusion.’ That’s your conclusion, and one of the reasons you slip over into the other ditch” – any reasonable person can see that’s the only conclusion of your theory.
            Altar: “In fact it’s you who make lack of healing a ‘failure.’ It’s you, then, who apportions blame. It’s the only conclusion you can come to, apparently.” – Ridiculous assumption, obviously untrue – it’s God’s prerogative to heal or not to heal, no blame is apportioned because healing in this life is not guaranteed in the atonement.
            Altar: “One can only be saved by grace through faith. There’s no other way. I’ve said this a few times now, but you’ve ignored it” – because we’re dealing with healing not regeneration, you’re trying to combine two different issues to suit your theory.
            Altar: “But the report also has provision for healing and deliverance. You can’t separate these out of the propitiation. It is written. But the individual has to believe the report for it to have effect, just as they have to believe the report for salvation.” – I’ll wait for one example from scripture where the disciples taught that physical healing is guaranteed for those who have been saved….if they believe the report.
            Altar: “Yet you say that healing and deliverance were exclusively sign gifts of the Apostles and ended when Paul passed over into glory, regardless the fact that there is no scriptural basis for your claim. That would negate part of the prophecy of Isaiah 53, even though it is reaffirmed in the New Testament” – Again, the article is in respose to Bethel’s false teaching, not a comprehensive paper on healing. The purpose for the unique sign gifts displayed by the Apostles has been fulfilled. Robert Bowman’s series of articles on healing deals with most of your arguments, this one in particular deals with Isaiah 53 – https://robertbowman.net/2018/04/10/jesus-healings-as-types-of-salvation-nabeel-qureshi-and-healing-part-6/

            Altar: “Healing is a benefit. Not everyone claims it” – there you go, classic WOF teaching, what a pity Paul didn’t tell his three sick compatriots to claim their healing.
            Altar: “Your ‘gotcha’ claim is a sad reflection of your approach towards those who believe that the full gospel remains as scripture presents it without compromise; in other words, that the gifts are still available, that people can still be healed and set free from being demonised, and God is still the same as He was yesterday, is today, and always will be.” – A true believer cannot be possessed, any other form of demonic oppression has been dealt with at the cross of Christ, and the believers responsibility is to renew their minds, stand on the word of God, and resist the Devil. Those who are not healed physically are not under any condemnation for “ignorance or failure to believe the report” – that’s the problem with your damaging theory which you simply fail to acknowledge, it condemns those who fail to be healed.

            “God is still the same as He was yesterday, is today, and always will be” is a text I dealt with in the article (have you read it?) and has nothing to do with healing.Excerpt from part 4 of Robert Bowman’s series: “The point here is that Hebrews 13:8 is affirming the constancy or permanence of Jesus Christ in some respects, but it does not do so in all respects as compared to his earthly, public ministry. In the context of the book of Hebrews as a whole, the significance of the affirmation is that as the resurrected, eternal, immortal one, he will remain forever the great, royal high priest and the mediator of the ultimate, “eternal covenant” between God and man (Heb. 1:8-13; 5:6; 6:20; 7:17-28; 13:20-21). It is fallacious to infer from this premise that whatever Jesus did during his earthly ministry he guarantees to do today.”

            Altar: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. We mess with people’s hopes when we deny the promises of God.” – Most WOF teachers throw this verse in to justify their false teaching on healing. Read Heb 10 & 11, read the context.
            We mess with people’s hopes when we distort the promises of God, which is what you are doing.

            Link to Dr Bowman’s series, a response to the passing of his friend Nabeel Qureshi
            https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/nabeel-qureshi-followup-on-healing/

          8. You say, “A true believer cannot be possessed, any other form of demonic oppression has been dealt with at the cross of Christ, and the believers responsibility is to renew their minds, stand on the word of God, and resist the Devil. ”

            Partly true. A believer cannot, or should not be possessed, although there are those who are oppressed. Maybe you’ve never met any. Or helped any.

            It would be true, though that some unsaved people are still oppressed or possessed by demons.

            Believers have been given authority to deliver those who are demon-possessed in the name of Jesus to expel demons. Maybe you’ve never seen a demonised person or ministered to them in the name of Jesus to see them freed from possession so that they can be saved. It’s very real.

            Unfortunately this conversation has degraded into a slug-fest. One giveaway though is your use of a the term ‘regenerated,’ which implies a Reformed view of salvation. I agree that people need to be regenerated, or what we Pentecostals would term the new birth, born again through faith in the Lord Jesus. But I’ll assume that we have different view on how this takes place. No point in going down that road.

            I’m not sure why you consider the benefit of healing to be a ‘Word of Faith’ thing. Maybe it is, but I actually quoted Psalm 103 to give it context. I didn’t know that the Psalmist was a Word of Faith adherent, but it makes sense. Are we now to forget all His benefits?

            I’ll let you get on with your criticism of all things faith, then. I don’t really have time for a tit-for-tat that serves no purpose.

          9. Regenerated implies new birth, it’s a term used in scripture, Titus 3:5 KJV: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”Barnes commentary: “The word rendered “regeneration” (παλιγγενεσία palingenesia) – occurs in the New Testament only here and in Matthew 19:28, – “in the regeneration when the Son of man,” etc. It means, properly, a new birth, reproduction, or renewal. It would properly be applied to one who should be begotten again in this sense, that a new life was commenced in him in some way corresponding to his being made to live at first.”
            Where did I say healing is exclusively a Word of Faith thing? I have made it clear that we should pray for the sick, and that God does heal according to his will. Once you make healing about our faith, our right to claim healing because it’s guaranteed in the atonement and we should believe the “report” – you have word of faith teaching.
            This is a robust debate, perhaps you’re not used to it: “I’ll let you get on with your criticism of all things faith, then.” I have been responding to your comments, if you don’t like the answers and are not prepared to dig deeper into the scriptures, that’s your choice.I would encourage you to read Dr Bowman’s series.

          10. One other thing, though, comes to mind in this discussion.

            You continually refer to a ‘guarantee’ of healing and deliverance through the atonement. But I believe I’ve already said that there is no ‘guarantee’ of anything. Suggesting a ‘guarantee’ is a clever device you’ve used that doesn’t paint the true picture.

            I have said there is provision. There is a vast difference between a guarantee and a provision.

            Jesus died for all, but there is no guarantee that all will be saved. To claim that there’s a ‘guarantee’ that all will be saved would be universalism, a false doctrine.

            There is a provision for salvation. The offer of the free gift. It is by God’s grace through faith for those who believe the gospel, or the report.

            No one is saved without a preacher, because no one is saved without hearing the gospel, or the report, which is the report of the prophecy in Isaiah 53, which includes Christs sacrificial death and His bruising, and the chastisement of our peace upon Him.

            God designed that the gospel would be preached by His people. He authorised His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel making disciples and baptising them.

            The gospel of Christ is the choice the world is presented with. The gospel message is the provision. The only guarantee here is that they will be saved if they believe the gospel and confess Christ, or be condemned if they reject the gospel.

            The Holy Spirit works with His people as they preach the gospel. He confirms the gospel with signs following. All of this is scripturally demonstrable, as you should know.

            Provision, then, for salvation, healing and deliverance. Provision, though is not a guarantee until it is received and acted upon.

            Reformed theology actually champions God’s providence, so I’m not sure why you would oppose the notion of the provision through the atonement.

            But there is only one essential guarantee, and that is the guarantee of the Holy Spirit AFTER a person has turned to Christ and confessed Him as Lord and Saviour at the new birth, or, as you would put it, the regeneration. By grace through faith. There is no other way.

          11. Let’s sort out any misundertandings..
            “Altar: “There is a vast difference between a guarantee and a provision.”
            Let me clarify what I mean, when I say “healing is guaranteed in the atonement,” I’m referring to the belief that all believers can be healed in this life. This was stated in the intro to the article: “the false teaching that physical healing in this life is guaranteed in the atonement.”
            If the word guarantee is confusing you, let me describe the teaching another way – the atonement made provision for physical healing for
            every believer in this life.
            When you say “But I believe I’ve already said that there is no ‘guarantee’ of anything.” – I get you, but you are saying it in the sense that the sick believer won’t necessarily be healed, there’s no guarantee of their healing. This is where the issue lies – why are they not healed?
            If I uderstand your position correctly, your belief is that full provision for their physical healing was made, but not accessed – due to ignorance, lack of faith, or some other reason that they are accountable for.
            Altar:
            “People have to believe what Christ has done for them before they can believe and confess Him as Lord. Is there healing and deliverance in Isaiah 53? Undoubtedly. Is it still applicable. I say yes. Do we preach the full gospel? If we do not we are not truly preaching it.
            The signs follow the Word preached by the believer. The gospel is primarily for salvation, but there is also the provision for deliverance and for healing in those who can believe the report.”
            “The report is about the death and resurrection of Christ. It includes salvation, deliverance and healing to those who believe the report. That is scripture. It is final. Do you not believe it in full?”
            Your comments above indicate that healing is conditional upon belief. Nowhere do you state that it may not be God’s will to heal some in this life, so I gather by what you have said is that provision has been made for every believer’s healing.

            Which takes us back to square one – those who believe that the atonement made provision for their physical healing in this life, and are not healed, have not been healed because of something they lack. Ultimately, they are to blame for remaining sick.

          12. You said, “It is fallacious to infer from this premise that whatever Jesus did during his earthly ministry he guarantees to do today.””

            Wow! I almost missed that. And the quote from Robert Bowman. Again the use of the ‘guarantee,’ which I’ve covered. The reality is that Jesus passed on His ministry to His disciples.

            The idea that Christ’s work and His Apostle’s work were to authenticate His ministry limits the real reasons He came. He was sent to do the Father’s will. Therefore we know the Father’s will. Jesus said that He did nothing of Himself, but what the Father told Him. It’s not Jesus who is authenticated. It is the Father’s will.

            The obvious will of God is that people are saved, healed and delivered. To this end, Jesus showed His disciples the will of God in His ministry, went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him, then appointed His disciples to preach, heal and deliver in Israel.

            Then He sent out another seventy (not apostles, but disciples), who had power over sickness and demons as they preached the kingdom (Luke 9). In fact, they rejoiced over this. Jesus said it was better to celebrate that their names were written in the Book of Life. In other words, having authority over demons and sickness is nothing compared to salvation.

            But this doesn’t negate the authentication of the will of the Father. Or that the gospel is accompanied by healing and deliverance. It compounds it. That’s why He told His disciples that they would do the same works He did. The seventy and the twelve were sent in His name. Representing Him and His ministry to continue it.

            The greater work is clearly preaching the gospel and seeing people saved. But the works are still valid. He said Himself that what He did in His earthly ministry would continued by His disciples.

            You:
            “Altared: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. We mess with people’s hopes when we deny the promises of God.” – Most WOF teachers throw this verse in to justify their false teaching on healing. Read Heb 10 & 11, read the context.
            We mess with people’s hopes when we distort the promises of God, which is what you are doing.”

            Well, no, since I didn’t qualify the promises. I qualified people’s hopes. Two great chapters by the way. No one is justifying ‘false’ teaching on healing. Faith is faith. Nothing happens in the kingdom without faith, but faith is preceded by hope. If you tell people they can no longer be healed by the very apparent precepts in the New Testament you are stealing their hope.

            If you say they have ended, then you end hope, and negate faith.

            How does anyone distort the promise when they so clearly include provision for healing and deliverance? You only distort the promises when you deny them.

          13. Altar: “You said, “It is fallacious to infer from this premise that whatever Jesus did during his earthly ministry he guarantees to do today.” Wow! I almost missed that. And the quote from Robert Bowman. Again the use of the ‘guarantee,’ which I’ve covered. The reality is that Jesus passed on His ministry to His disciples.”
            You’re ignoring what was pointed out in my article – the unique ministry of Christ and his apostles pertaining to signs and wonders. The great commission: ” Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-30.

            If you think the sending of the seventy is a prescriptive text, I hope you obey the details when you go and evangelize: “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road” Luke 10:4.

            Altar: “That’s why He told His disciples that they would do the same works He did. The seventy and the twelve were sent in His name. Representing Him and His ministry to continue it.”
            Say again…who was Jesus speaking to????? – HIS DISCIPLES…THE SEVENTY.

            Altar: “Well, no, since I didn’t qualify the promises. I qualified people’s hopes.”
            Yup, you’re dodging the issue. If the atonement provided for the physical healing of every sick believer, and they are not healed – the fault lies with them.

            Altar: ” If you tell people they can no longer be healed by the very apparent precepts in the New Testament you are stealing their hope.”
            The opposite is true, God heals according to his will, we pray for the sick and ask God to heal them. If they are not healed, they are not hopeless because God works in all forms of sufferings including illness, and their hope of a body without disease will be realized after their resurrection. On the other hand, your view offers no hope for those who are not healed. They are the ignorant or faithless ones who have not taken hold of what was provided in the atonement.

  2. These words of Jesus are interesting and instructive: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (MT. 7:21 – 23) The people who JESUS identified as false Christians were people who staked their claim to heaven on 1) prophesying “in his name”; 2) casting out demons “in his name”; and 3) doing mighty things “in his name”. Each of these examples are “sign gifts”. Dear ‘At the Altar’ — I hope this makes you ask, “Why only these things … why not giving in his name, or preaching in his name, or praying in his name? Like every other “word that proceeds from the mouth God,” these words MEAN something, and the meaning is important. What is it about “healing, casting out demons, and doing mighty things” that made God identify them with unsaved, eternally lost people? Jesus made it plain that, far from being evidence of the Holy Spirit at work, these actions will be the work of Satan in deeply deceived people. After watching my church (in the USA) disintegrate in Bethel-ism, I’ve made it a point to view many NAR services. I have friends who “lecture” me with the same argument those lost people will use to try to pry open to gates of heaven. After over two years of research, I have yet to hear a SINGLE word of warning from an NAR teacher about FALSE prophesy, FALSE teachers, FALSE prophets, doctrines of demons, deception, delusion, failure to correctly discern spirits, etc. Why is this? Worse is watching people who once prayed now skipping the Almighty altogether and fast forward to declaring and decreeing “in Jesus name”. I tremble in fear for their souls, for I love them.

    1. Humbledbygrace, you say, “What is it about “healing, casting out demons, and doing mighty things” that made God identify them with unsaved, eternally lost people? Jesus made it plain that, far from being evidence of the Holy Spirit at work, these actions will be the work of Satan in deeply deceived people.”

      Healing, deliverance and miracles are exclusively evidence of satan?

      So Jesus, who healed the sick, cast out demons and performed miracles was operating by what spirit, according to this assertion? The man being raised at the Gate Beautiful refers to which spirit? It was the man’s faith through faith in Jesus that raised him up, surely. ~What did satan have to do with it? Being healed with Jesus’ stripes refers to what spirit? The sick being raised up through anointing oil refers to which spirit (James 5).

      Of course we do all things in the name of Jesus. He sent us into all the world to make disciples and baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

      It seems strange that, if the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit (Cor.12), include gifts of healings, discernment of spirts and manifestation of miracles, these things, according to your claim, were not of the Holy Spirit at all, but of satan. How can this be?

      And the healing and miracles at the hands of the Apostles and evangelists, were they not in the name of Jesus by the leading of the Holy Spirit?

      Didn’t the Pharisees claim that Jesus cast out demons by Beelzebub? Didn’t He call this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, an unpardonable sin?

      I don’t think you can apply that passage in Matthew 7 to all healing or all deliverance, or all ministry by all ministers of the gospel. The context is doing the will of the Father, and not practicing lawlessness. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

      The question is, then, does the Father still provide healing today, and does He still use believers to cast out demons? You can use this scripture to cancel out healing, deliverance or God’s works in the earth today. Is healing God’s will? Is freedom from demonic oppression or possession God’s will?

      “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.” Acts 10:38. Has God changed His mind?

    2. Rather, it should say:

      The question is, then, does the Father still provide healing today, and does He still use believers to cast out demons? You can’t use this scripture to cancel out healing, deliverance or God’s works in the earth today. Is healing God’s will? Is freedom from demonic oppression or possession God’s will?

      By the way, I’m not for or against Bethel’s teaching. I’m not a member, or a sympathiser. I have seen some teaching that needs correction.

      I’m pointing out that the criticism of any false teaching is valid, but only where the critic produces sound doctrine as a valid defence of the gospel. The doctrine contained within the article contains many errors, which shifts the teaching from one ditch into the ditch on the other side.

  3. I am of the belief that the gifts were in use while the apostles were alive and were a testimony of Jesus and His promise to them that they would do great things after He was resurrected, with the Gospel going out to all the nations being the most important of all. If all the gifts were supposed to continue after the apostles died, why are there no written accounts of these gifts being manifested until the Azusa Street Revival? One would think that some record of these extraordinary occurrences would have been made and certainly news would travel quickly.

    I spent 8 years in an Assembly of God church and witnessed some pretty strange goings-on while I attended my local church. The “gift of tongues” was a major component of every service and was never used according to the precepts Paul set forth for the service. Everyone was encouraged to let go and not be concerned as to whether or not anyone could translate what was being said. During the worship, some folks would come to the front and dance and oftentimes would go into a frenzy with their eyes rolled back in their head and eventually fall over. A certain woman would always “prophecy” at any given time during the entire service and the pastor and the parishioners were to be quiet while she spoke. I could go on but the moment I realized that there was something wrong was when I was supposedly “slain in the Spirit.”

    I went up to the front for prayer and the guest speaker tried to push me backward but I stood in place. With extra force, he was able to knock me back and I lost consciousness. While I was “out”, I dreamed I saw men in robes with their faces hidden. As each one came closer, I knew they were phonies. When I came to the 7th person, I knew this was Jesus (His face was not that distinguishable but I sensed it was Him). He told me not to trust in any of these men but to follow only Him. Ironically, one of those men was our guest speaker. When I told him what I saw, he turned pale and he never spoke to me again, even though I saw him several times when he visited the church. Not long after that incident, I left the Pentecostal church and found a very good Bible-believing church that teaches the truths of the Word of God.

    I fully believe that God can and does heal His children today although the healing is done from the standpoint of His will being done with all the glory going to Him. I also believe that God can and does manifest Himself at times in ways that are supernatural but these are rare and again, used to glorify Himself. We have His Word to bring to the world and that is all that we need. These are just my thoughts and opinions and I love the folks at my former church but I felt I needed to share some things. May God bless you all as we seek to present the Gospel to a dying world and bring glory and honor to our most High God in all our efforts.

  4. Me:
    “No blame can be attached to those who are not healed, in this life. The essential is faith in Christ for salvation. Healing is a benefit.

    Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    And forget not all His benefits:
    Who forgives all your iniquities,
    Who heals all your diseases,
    Who redeems your life from destruction,
    Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
    Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
    So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
    Ps. 103:2-5”

    I was demonstrating a comparison between the essential and the optional. Salvation is essential. Healing is a provision. You don’t have to be healed to be saved. But it is provided for in scripture. I’ve explained the difference between a guarantee and provision. Healing, though, is a benefit. I don’t see any other way of looking at it. If you’re sick and God heals you, you have received a benefit. It won’t save you, though.

    You:
    ““Healing is a benefit. Not everyone claims it” – there you go, classic WOF teaching, what a pity Paul didn’t tell his three sick compatriots to claim their healing.”

    I’m not sure what this has to do with Psalm 103. Is Psalm 103 scripture or not? Why claim it as a classic WOF teaching? It should be classic Bible teaching, surely. On the other hand, Paul demonstrated the ‘Apostles’ sign gifts’ as you put it, and many were healed. Not everyone is healed because it’s not a guarantee. It’s a provision. It’s a benefit.

    Me:
    “I’m not sure why you consider the benefit of healing to be a ‘Word of Faith’ thing. Maybe it is, but I actually quoted Psalm 103 to give it context. I didn’t know that the Psalmist was a Word of Faith adherent, but it makes sense. Are we now to forget all His benefits?”

    You, later on:
    “Where did I say healing is exclusively a Word of Faith thing?”

    Well you didn’t use the term ‘exclusively,’ but, then, neither did I. You called it ‘classic’ WOF teaching. What does that even mean? It’s scripture, quoted earlier in full to give the context.

    1. I’m not referring to the passage in Psalms as calssic WOF teaching, I’m referring to the idea that we can “claim” “benefits” like healing:
      You said – “Healing is a benefit. Not everyone claims it”
      The issue is the “claiming” aspect, hence the phrase “name and claim” theology.

Comments are closed.