Note by Phil Scovell.
     I obtained the electronic text version of this sermon many years
     ago  by downloading it from  a bulletin board system (BBS)  long
     before the internet days.   The comments which follow  about the
     transcription of the text are not mine but those of the one  who
     did the translation work.  My rebuttal is also displayed on this
     website for those who are interested in reading both sides.  The
     transcribers contact information is at the end of  this document
     but I doubt it is valid after all these years.
     End Of Note.


                          DOES GOD STILL HEAL?

                                   By

                            John  MacArthur


          The following message was delivered  at Grace Community Church in
          Panorama    City, California,  By  John  MacArthur  Jr.   It  was
          transcribed from the  tape, GC 90-60, titled  "Charismatic Chaos"
          Part 9.  A copy of the tape  can be  obtained by writing, Word of
          Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412.

          I have made every effort to ensure that an accurate transcription
          of  the   original  tape was  made.   Please  note that  at times
          sentence structure  may   appear to  vary  from accepted  English
          conventions.  This  is due primarily to   the techniques involved
          in preaching and  the obvious choices I  had to make in   placing
          the correct punctuation in the article.

          It is my  intent and prayer  that the Holy  Spirit will use  this
          transcription   of  the sermon,  "Charismatic Chaos"  Part 9,  to
          strengthen and encourage the  true Church of Jesus Christ.
                                   Charismatic Chaos - Part 9



                         Does God Still Heal?"

                                   by

                             John MacArthur



           Well,  as  you  know,  we  are involved  in  a  study  of  the
          Charismatic  movement,  the contemporary movement, and tonight we
          come  to a section entitled, "Does  God Still Heal?"  Now, in the
          messages that  I have been giving  we have  intersected  with the
          thoughts about healing, and we have said  some things  about that
          in some of our prior studies and we are not going to repeat those
          things.  But there is much more that  needs to be said tonight as
          we evaluate   a  movement that  advocates healing.   In fact,  if
          there  is  anything  that  would    be  typically  Charismatic or
          typically  characteristic of  the modern    Pentecostal movement,
          Third  Wave movement,  or Charismatic  movement, it  would   be a
          major emphasis on healing, and we need to understand that.  
          Let me begin with some illustrations  that set the scene for  us.
          A familiar  name to  anybody who studies the Charismatic movement
          and  delves into the   issues  of healing is  the name  of a man,
          Hobart Freeman, a very interesting  man, at one  time a professor
          of Old Testament  at Grace Theological Seminary,   from which our
          own Dick Mayhue graduated.  And when he was a professor there  in
          Old Testament, he  was considered to be  the finest communicator,
          the finest  teacher there.  In  fact, Hobart Freeman wrote a very
          significant book  entitled, "An Introduction to the Old Testament
          Prophets" which, in 1969, was  published and printed by the Moody
          Bible Institute.   So he  was considered  by  everybody  to be  a
          mainline evangelical professor, one who  not only understood  but
          could adroitly teach the truth of Scripture.
          Somewhere  along the  line he  changed.  Hobart  Freeman believed
          that  God had    healed  him from  Polio.   Nonetheless,  one  of
          Freeman's legs was so much  shorter than the other that he had to
          wear corrective shoes and walked with  great difficulty.  Freeman
          became a pastor.   He began his ministry as a   Baptist and after
          he had written  and taught for  some years, in  the mid 60's   he
          became very  fascinated with  "faith healing,"  and it  moved him
          into the  Charismatic movement, and then it moved him further and
          further towards  the  fringes of  that movement.  He  started his
          own church in Claypool, Indiana; it   was known as Faith Assembly
          and it grew to more than 2,000 members.  Meetings  were held in a
          building which he  called the  "Glory Barn"  and Church  services
          were closed to non-members.  
          So it  was kind of a  secretive and cultic association.   Freeman
          and  the Faith    Assembly  congregation  utterly  disdained  all
          medical  treatment.   He believed   that  modern medicine  was an
          extension of ancient witchcraft and black magic.   To submit to a
          doctor's remedies,  Freeman believed,  was to  expose oneself  to
          demonic influence.   Expectant mothers in  Freeman's congregation
          were told  that they  must give birth at home with  the help only
          of  a church  sponsored   midwife  rather than  go to  a hospital
          delivery  room or  to  be treated  by  a   doctor.   By  the way,
          obedience to that teaching, cost a number of mothers and  infants
          their lives.  In fact, over the years, at least 90 church members
          died  as  a  result  of  ailments that  would  have  been  easily
          treatable.  No one  really knows what the actual death toll would
          be  if nationwide  figures could   be compiled  on all  the other
          people who followed Hobart Freeman's teaching.
          After a 15 year old girl  whose parents belong to Faith Assembly,
          died of a  medically treatable malady, the parents were convicted
          of  negligent homicide   and  sentenced to  ten years  in prison.
          Freeman himself  was charged with   aiding and  inducing reckless
          homicide in the case.   Shortly afterward, on  December  8, 1984,
          Freeman  himself  died,  interestingly  enough of  pneumonia  and
          heart failure complicated by a severely ulcerated leg.  
          Hobart Freeman's theology did  not allow him to  acknowledge that
          Polio had   left one of his legs disfigured  and lame.  Quote, he
          said, "I have my   healing."  And that is  all he would say  when
          anyone  pointed out the rather  conspicuous inconsistency between
          his physical  disabilities and  his theology.     Ultimately, his
          refusal to  acknowledge his  infirmities cost him  his life.   He
          had dutifully, according to his own theology, refused all medical
          treatment   for the maladies  that were killing him,  and medical
          science could easily have  prolonged his life, but in the  end he
          was a victim of his own teaching.
          Now, Hobart Freeman is a very familiar name to those  involved in
          Faith  Healing, but he is not the only one.  There is another one
          who succumbed  to   ailments and  that is  a man  by the  name of
          William  Brannom (sp.),  and if  you   study  anything about  the
          healing  movement  you are  going  to come  across the    name of
          William Brannom (sp.).   He would be the father of the post World
          War   II  healing revival.   He  was a  man reputed to  have been
          instrumental in some   of the most spectacular  healings that the
          Pentecostals have ever seen.  He   died, however, in 1965 at  age
          56,  after suffering for  six days from injuries   received in an
          automobile accident.  His theology was unbiblical and  heretical,
          and of course when applied to himself his theology of healing had
          no effect whatsoever, though his followers right to the end, were
          confident  God was going to raise him up.  And even after he died
          they believed that God  would raise him from the dead.
          As a boy, I  was brought to become aware of  another Faith Healer
          who became  very, very famous, a man by the name of A. A.  Allen.
          And A.  A. Allen,  about  whom  I read  and whom I  followed with
          curiosity, was a  famed "Tent  Evangelist."  He  took his healing
          meeting from place to place in a tent.   Interestingly enough, A.
          A. Allen  claimed  thousands upon  thousands  of   healings,  and
          himself died of  sclerosis of the liver in  1967, having secretly
          been involved  with alcohol for many years while supposedly being
          able to heal  everybody else.  
          Perhaps a more familiar name in the healing movement would be the
          name  of one  who  is elevated almost to  the status of the Roman
          Catholic elevation of  Mary,  and that's  a woman by the  name of
          Kathryn Kuhlman.  Kathryn Kuhlman died of  heart failure in 1976,
          curiously  enough.   She had  battled heart  disease for   nearly
          twenty years, and that statement  is made by Jamie Buckingham who
          would  have been one of her disciples.  
          Another one  that comes to  mind, Ruth Carter Stapleton,  was the
          Faith Healing   sister of  former United States  President Jimmie
          Carter.  [She]  refused  medical treatment for  cancer because of
          her belief in faith healing.   She  died of the disease in  1983.
          And even John  Wimber, who would be probably  the  most prominent
          modern contemporary  Third Wave  healer,  struggles with  chronic
          angina  and heart problems.  He begins  his book on Power Healing
          with a    personal note.   This  is what  it  says; quoting  John
          Wimber, he says, 
                I  had  what  doctors  later  suspected  were  a series  of
          coronary           attacks.   When we  returned home a  series of
          medical tests          confirmed my worst fears,  I had a damaged
          heart, possibly         seriously damaged.   Tests indicated that
          my  heart was  not            functioning  properly,  a condition
          complicated and  possibly         caused by  high blood pressure.
          These problems  combined with  my           being  overweight and
          overworked meant that I could die at any        time.
          Wimber writes that  he sought God and  he says that God  told him
          that in the  same way Abraham waited for his child, I was to wait
          for my healing.  In the  meantime, he says, "He told me to follow
          my doctor's orders."   Wimber writes,  "I wish I could write that
          at this  time I  am completely  healed, that  I no   longer  have
          physical  problems, but if I did it  would not be true."  Now, it
          seems obvious, at  least a curiosity to  all of us, that  so many
          leading  advocates of faith healing are sick!  
          Annette  Capps (sp.), the daughter of  Faith Healer Charles Capps
          (sp.), and  herself a  Faith Healer, raised that question in  her
          book; her book is   entitled "Reverse the Curse in  Your Body and
          Emotions."  This is what she  writes, 
                People  have  stumbled  over the  fact  that  the so-called
          "Healing        Minister" later became ill or died.  They say, "I
          don't          understand this.   If the  Power of God  came into
          operation and          all those people were  healed, why did the
          evangelist get sick?          Why did he or she die?"  The reason
          is because healings that        take place  in meetings like that
          are  a special manifestation of         the Holy Spirit.  This is
          different  from using your own faith.          The evangelist who
          is being  used by God in the gifts  of         healings, is still
          required to  use his  own faith in  the Word of            God to
          receive divine health and divine healing for his own        body.
          Why?  Because the gifts of healings are not manifested        for
          the individual who is ministering, they are for the benefit      
          of the people.
          Now that  double-talk basically  means that  somebody could  have
          faith for  somebody else's healing but not enough faith for their
          own healing.   And  so,   sometimes without  faith for  their own
          healing  they  die, while  they  have    enough faith  for  other
          people's healings who live.  She goes on to say, 
                Over the years  I have seen  various manifestations of  the
          gifts        of healing in my own ministry, but I have always had
          to  use my        own  faith in God's word for my healing.  There
          have been times         that I have been attacked with illness in
          my body but as I        ministered many were healed even though I
          did not  feel well.  I         had  to receive my healing through
          faith and acting on God's        word.
          Thus, she  astonishingly concludes  that if  a Faith  Healer gets
          sick,  it  is   because  his or  her  personal  faith is  somehow
          deficient when  applied to his or  herself.   Now, to take that a
          step further, you must understand that these  people go so far as
          to say,  "That even  Jesus Himself  sometimes did  not have   the
          faith required for people to be healed."  
          Perspectives on Faith Healing often  seem as varied as the number
          of Faith   Healers around.  Some  say that God wants to  heal all
          sickness, others come  close to conceding that God's purposes may
          sometimes  be fulfilled  in our    illness and  infirmity.   Some
          equate sickness with sin; others  stop short of  that, but  still
          find it hard to explain why spiritually strong people get   sick.
          Some  people just "flat out"  blame the devil,  and they think if
          they  can tie the devil up in a knot and send him off to Tibet or
          something [then]  everybody will get well.
          Some  claim to have the "Gifts  of Healing;" others say they have
          no unusual  healing ability, they simply are used of God  to show
          people  the way of faith.   A  lot of people used to say they had
          the "Gift of  Healing" but the chicanery  they were using has for
          so many  years been exposed that nobody today  can get  away with
          that stuff anymore.   So now they just claim they  don't have the
          "Gift of Healing,"  they just sort of pray and have faith and God
          does what He   wants.   Some will say they  heal with a  physical
          touch; some will say you heal  through anointing with oil; others
          say they can speak forth  a healing, that  they can speak it into
          existence; some people say they can only pray for a  healing, and
          so  forth  and  so on.    And  there are  healers  who  just keep
          changing from  one approach to  another as the chicanery  and the
          charlatanism   of the  healing movement becomes  exposed and they
          have to change their  methodology.  
          Always a Faith Healer, the well known Oral Roberts used  to claim
          that he  could  heal.  He claimed great powers  of healing; he no
          longer claims that.   Oral Roberts claimed God had called him, in
          fact,  to build a  massive  hospital.   And He  said this massive
          hospital would blend  conventional  medicine with  Faith Healing.
          If you visit the  city of Tulsa, as  I did this  summer,  you are
          absolutely astonished at this facility.  It is mind boggling   to
          see  a sixty  story building rising  out of a  weed patch outside
          Tulsa,   Oklahoma, and next to it  a thirty story building rising
          as well, now  completely vacant and most of it unfinished  on the
          inside.   In the  face of   huge financial  losses apparently God
          changed His mind  and declared that  the  whole  thing should  be
          closed down.   It is a monument  to the unfulfilled   promises of
          Faith Healing.   Nonetheless, in  spite of  these bizarre  claims
          that never  come  to  pass,  Faith Healing  and  the  Charismatic
          movement keep  growing.  
          Charles Fox Pharham  (sp.) who is the father  of the contemporary
          Pentecostal  movement, came to the conviction originally (this is
          way  back  at  the turn  of    the century  when  the Charismatic
          movement was then known as  Pentecostalism  and just starting) he
          claimed that God desired all  believers to have complete  healing
          and he developed that into an entire Pentecostal system, and then
          it  began to flow through the leaders.  Amy Simple McPherson (who
          founded  the   Foursquare Church),  Angelus  Temple (sp.),  E. W.
          Kenyon,  William Brannom   (sp.), Kathryn Kuhlman,  Oral Roberts,
          Kenneth Hagan, Kenneth  Copeland,  Fredrick Price,  Jerry Seville
          (sp.), Charles Capps (sp.), Norval  Hayes,  Robert Tilton,  Benny
          Hinn, Larry Lee, and on and on it goes.  They have all  headlined
          their public meetings with healing.  
          There   are  even  Catholic  Charismatics  such  as  Father  John
          Bertilucci (sp.),   and Francis  McNutt (sp.)  who have  followed
          suit seeing that  the Charismatic  healing emphasis  is a natural
          extension of  Roman Catholic tradition.   And   then in the  last
          phase of  this so  called "The  Third Wave"  in  which we  talked
          about leaders  like John Wimber  and others, Paul Cane  (sp.) and
          the Kansas   City Prophets, et al.,  have made healing a  central
          element in  their  repertoire.   The claims and  methods of these
          Faith Healers range frankly from  the eccentric to the grotesque.
          A few years ago I received--I receive  everything in the mail; if
          they don't send it to me, somebody  who wants me to  see it does.
          And I have received bottles of healing oil  and healing water and
          all kinds of  things--but I received a miracle  prayer cloth, and
          in it the  message said, and I am quoting, 
                Take  this special  miracle prayer cloth  and put  it under
          your        pillow  and sleep on it tonight.  Or you may want  to
          place it on          your  body or on a  loved one.  Use  it as a
          release  point wherever           you hurt.   First thing  in the
          morning send it back to me  in the         "green" envelope.   Do
          not keep this prayer cloth, return it to        me.   I will take
          it, pray over it all night.  Miracle power will         flow like
          a  river.  God  has something better  for you,  a special        
          miracle to meet your needs.
          Now, these are the kinds of things that go on  all the time.  And
          of course in   the "green" envelope  you not only send  the cloth
          but you send  some "green"   money as well.   Green being a  good
          reminder of  what color they  would like to   see.  Interestingly
          enough,  the sender of  the prayer cloth  feels he has   biblical
          support for  doing this.  While Paul was in Ephesus, you remember
          God   performed extraordinary miracles through him, and according
          to Acts 19, it  says,  "Handkerchiefs or aprons were carried from
          his  body to the  sick and the   diseases left  them and the evil
          spirits went out of  them."  And as we  have  been seeing in  the
          series,  however, Paul  and the  other apostles  had been   given
          unique  power,  and we  talked  about Apostolic  Power  as unique
          power;   certainly  nothing  in the  New Testament  suggests that
          anybody  could send  out   handkerchiefs  and they  are going  to
          produce miracles.
          Kenneth  Hagan (sp.)  tells of one  Faith Healer he  heard of who
          used  a method  that I have  never personally witnessed.  Kenneth
          Hagen (sp.) writes, 
                He'd always  spit on them, every single  one of them.  He'd
          spit         in his hand and rub  it on them.  That's the  way he
          ministered.          If there was something wrong with your head,
          he'd spit in his        hand and rub it on your forehead.  If you
          had stomach trouble,         he'd spit in his  hand and rub it on
          your clothes and on your          stomach.  If you had  something
          wrong with your  knee, he'd spit        in his hand and rub it on
          your knee.  And all the people would        get healed.     
          Other  gimmicks,  not  quite  that  uncouth,  but  every  bit  as
          outlandish, also  can  be  visualized everyday as you  watch your
          television set.  Some ask for "Seed  Faith" money.   Oral Roberts
          often says that if you donate money to him, that  is  in effect a
          down  payment  on  your  own personal  healing.    Robert  Tilton
          regularly devises simple ploys; [he] pledges special healings and
          financial  miracles to people who send  him money; the larger the
          gift, the better the  miracle.  "It's in direct proportion to how
          much money you send," he says.   Pat Robertson will peer into the
          camera and as if he can see  into people's  living rooms describe
          people  who are  being  healed that  very moment.    Benny   Hinn
          recently healed  fellow  Faith Healer  and  Talk Show  Host  Paul
          Crouch    (sp.).   He healed  him  on the  live broadcast  of the
          Trinity Network.   After   Hinn had released  his anointing to  a
          roomful of people,  Crouch step forward   to testify that  he had
          been miraculously cured  of a persistent ringing in the   ears he
          had been  suffering from for years.  And  on and on it goes, this
          list  of fantastic claims, incredible stories of healings grow at
          a  frantic  pace,   but  real  evidence  of genuine  miracles  is
          conspicuously absent.
           And everywhere you go  people are asking questions about this.
          From all sides  comes  confusion, questions, contradictions.  Now
          as we study the Scripture,  we find there are three categories of
          spiritual gifts, if we  want to call  them that.   First would be
          the  category  we  could  say  are gifted  men  like    apostles,
          prophets, evangelists, and  teaching pastors.  These  are the men
          themselves given as gifts from Christ to the Church.  And then we
          could  say   there  are  the  permanent  edifying gifts  and  the
          temporary  sign gifts  (the   other  two categories).   Permanent
          edifying gifts would be gifts  related to  knowledge, and wisdom,
          and preaching,  and teaching,  and exhortation,  and   faith, and
          discernment, and  showing mercy, and  giving, and administration,
          and helps, and those things that have an  ongoing ministry in the
          Church.  
          And then  there are those  temporary sign gifts, in  other words,
          divine   enablements  given by  the Holy  Spirit for  a temporary
          period of time as a sign   for a very special purpose.  These are
          listed for us in Scripture; they are  miracles, healings, tongues
          (or languages), and  the interpretation or   translation of those
          languages.  
           Now, we  have noted  in our  study that  such sign  gifts had  a
          unique purpose:  very simple--they were to identify the authentic
          spokesman for God.   First of   all, Jesus  did miracles.   Jesus
          cast out  demons.    He  did  miracles  that  fall    into  three
          categories:  Miracles of  Physical Healing;  Miracles of  Demonic
          Deliverance; and Miracles  of Natural Phenomena, like  walking on
          water, or   stilling the  sea, feeding the people  by multiplying
          bread  and fish.    And   those miracles  were to  demonstrate to
          people that  Jesus was  not  a mere  man,   but that  He was  the
          Messiah of God.  It should be very clear to everyone who  saw Him
          that this was not a man, because no man could do what He did.  
          And so Christ had unique  capability to do supernatural things in
          order to   draw attention  to the  fact that He  was unique.   In
          fact, you  need to  remember   that up  until the  time of  Jesus
          Christ,  there was  nobody  who  could just  go   around  healing
          people.   There  were some  healings  in the  Old Testament,  and
          there were some miracles of  nature, and there were some powerful
          exhibitions   of  God's supernatural  work: in creation,  and the
          flood, and many  other  supernatural powerful things;  but as far
          as a  miracle, which  is a  subcategory   of the supernatural.  .
          .sometimes people  say, "Well, you  people always say   there are
          only  three eras of  miracles," (and that  would be:  the Time of
          Moses;  and then  Elijah  and  Elisha; and  then  Christ and  the
          Apostles, and   those  are the only  three periods  of miracles).
          And then they will say,  "Well, that's not true, because creation
          was miracle, and  the flood  was a   miracle," and  they will  go
          right on through, "Jacob wrestled with  an angel  and that was  a
          miracle,  and God  was always  doing supernatural  things."   But
          they  fail to  make the  clear  distinction that  "miracle" is  a
          technical term:  it is a subcategory for the supernatural.  
          God is  always acting in a  supernatural way, even today.   Every
          time  someone    is  saved that  is  a  supernatural  work.   But
          "miracle" is a technical term to  describe an act of God which He
          does through a human  agency, and they are  very  rare.  And even
          when you go  back into the Old  Testament and you find   miracles
          where  God acts through  a human instrumentation  to authenticate
          his  messenger  and the message, they  are rare and nothing  like
          the healing    ministry  of  Jesus.   No  one  ever  just  roamed
          everywhere, healing everybody.
          So what  you have in  the case of  Jesus [is something]  you have
          never seen   before.  Nothing like this has  ever happened before
          in the  history of  the   world.  And  so this  is a  very unique
          thing.   And to assume  that it never   happened before  (to know
          that by Old Testament revelation) and it happened at  the time of
          Christ, uniquely, and  then it faded  out in the  end of the  New
          Testament era,  and now for some  strange reason it has  all come
          back at  the  same level  as once it  did and we are  supposed to
          have this massive kind of  healing going on as  it did in the day
          of  Christ, is  to  demonstrate  an   imbalanced  and an  unsound
          perspective of the purpose of the miracle ministry  of Jesus.  It
          was   to  authenticate  His  Messiahship,  and  it  is  therefore
          irreproducible and unrepeatable.
          And so  Jesus did  unique  things which  were unique  to His  own
          ministry.  Now,  it is true that Jesus passed on to  the Apostles
          power in  two of the three  categories.   Remember now, He healed
          diseases,  He had  power over  demons, and   He  did miracles  of
          nature  (natural  phenomenon).    The   first  two  he  gave  the
          Apostles.   They never did any  miracles of nature.  But "Peter,"
          you say,  "Walked on water!"  Yes, but that was  a miracle Christ
          was  performing and   that occurred  only in His  presence.  They
          never did  anything like  "Feed the   5,000"  or "Walk on  water"
          after that, or "Still a storm" or anything like  that.  The  only
          two things they were given power to do were "cast out demons  and
          heal the sick (including raising the dead)."  
          But  in their  case, again, these  were to  point to them  as the
          messengers of   God.  There was  no printed New Testament  and it
          was very essential that among  all  of the people who were saying
          that they spoke for God somebody  be able to  tell who  was real,
          and you could tell because they had power over demons and   power
          over disease.   And so they were  given that ability to  do those
          things.     And the  Apostles could  do them,  and those  closely
          associated with the  Apostles could do them.  
          Go back into Matthew 10:1, "Having summoned His twelve disciples,
          He gave   them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out,"
          (and  that  by the  way   is  the  Gift of  Miracles:  miracle is
          "dunamis (Greek)" power,  power over the  forces  of demons) "and
          He gave them the power to heal  every kind of disease  and  every
          kind of sickness."  And that was granted to the Twelve.  Later on
          you  find out  that that group  was expanded and  it included the
          Seventy.   Remember when He sent the Seventy, two-by-two and gave
          them the same power?   So it was a very small group.  "These were
          the signs," says  Paul, of a true   Apostle.  "Signs  and wonders
          and miracles," 2 Corinthians 12:12.  They were  limited in scope-
          -only casting  out demons  and  healing diseases,  and they  were
          limited in terms of who  received them--only the Apostles and the
          Seventy    commissioned  directly  by  Jesus,  those  who  worked
          alongside the Apostles.  It  never went beyond that.  
          It never became common for anybody and everybody in the Church to
          do this.   There is no  indication that the evangelists, that the
          prophets (with a few   exceptions: Barnabas, Philip, Stephen, and
          those very early men), never an  indication that teaching pastors
          could do this, and certainly  no indication  that members of  the
          Church, the Body  of Christ, could do  this.  These were   unique
          apostolic gifts.   When you study the epistles  of Paul--and Paul
          is  very  clear about  the fact  that if you  have problems  with
          Satan and  demons you   don't  find somebody  who can  chase them
          away: you put on your armor.  Right?   "We have spiritual weapons
          to battle against those forces," he said.  
          Now if  false teachers want  credibility it is very  obvious that
          they can sure   draw a crowd  and gain creditability if  they can
          heal.   And so that  is always   a kind of  ploy that is  used by
          false  teachers--it has  been so  in  history,   whether you  are
          talking about tribal witch doctors in Shamanism, in Animism,  and
          in Paganism, or  whether you are talking about  Occultic kinds of
          healings,   or New Age kind of mind  healings, or whether you are
          talking  about  the     charlatans  and  the  frauds  who  parade
          themselves even as Christian healers.   It is a great way to draw
          a crowd.  Why?  Because the  number one human  anxiety is illness
          and death.  
          Since the fall of  man in the Garden  of Eden disease has  been a
          terrible   reality,  and for  millennia the  search for  cures to
          alleviate illness  and   suffering has consumed  mankind.   And I
          will tell you that if I could choose  one gift, if God would give
          me one gift that I don't have and I could ask Him  for it and get
          it, I would ask Him for the gift of healing.  I mean,  if it  was
          available to me.  Can you  imagine what you could accomplish with
          it?    There are many  occasions when I have wished that I  could
          heal.  I have stood  in a room in a hospital watching a  precious
          child  die of Leukemia while the   parents wept.  I prayed with a
          dear friend as  inoperable cancer ate  at his   insides.  I  have
          stood  by helplessly  as a  young person  fought for  life in  an
          intensive care unit, the result  of a motorcycle or an automobile
          accident.  I  have seen teenagers crushed through those  kinds of
          things.  I have watched  their parents in agony.  
          I have seen people  in the hospital on the  edge of death with  a
          gunshot  wound.     I  have  watched  people lie  comatose  while
          machines try  to keep  their vital   signs alive,  at least  on a
          screen, if  not in reality.  I watched a close  friend weaken and
          die after an unsuccessful heart transplant.  I have seen  friends
          in terrible pain from surgery.  I know people who are permanently
          disabled with sickness and injury.   I see babies born with heart
          breaking  deformities.  I  have helped people learn to cope  with
          amputations and  other  tragic losses.  I  have been there when a
          mother was holding to her arms, in   the bedroom, a dead baby who
          had died of "crib death."
          If I could wish for anything, I could certainly wish that I could
          do   that--heal all those  people.  Think how  thrilling it would
          be.   Think how  rewarding it would be  to have that gift.  Think
          of what  it would be like to   go into a hospital  among the sick
          and the  dying, walk up and  down the hall  and  touch people and
          heal them like Jesus  did.  Wouldn't it be wonderful  to  go into
          the Cancer Ward and the Heart Disease Ward and the Aids Ward, and
          all  the  other places and  just heal everybody.   And  somewhere
          along the  line you   want to ask  these Charismatic healers  why
          they don't assemble all of  themselves  and go down to that place
          and let's see if they have the  power to  heal!  Opportunities to
          heal the sick  are unlimited.   And if,  as Charismatics   claim,
          such  miracles are "Signs  and Wonders," (listen  carefully, they
          say  this)  if they are "Signs and  Wonders" designed to convince
          unbelievers that  the gospel  is true, then wouldn't that  be the
          way to really convince them?
          But strangely,  the healers  rarely, if ever,  come out  of their
          tents, rarely  ever come out of their buildings, rarely ever come
          out of their  television  studios.  I  have never seen them  in a
          hospital.   I have never seen  them  walking  down a ward  with a
          camera following them.  They always  seem to  exercise their gift
          in an  environment in which  they totally control, staged   their
          way, run  according to their  schedule.   Why don't  we see  them
          moving  out?  
          Paul Kane (sp.) with whom I met recently, personally, who is sort
          of the main  prophet in this new movement, has prophetically seen
          this, and I quote one  writing about him,
                Kane describes his vision of an army of children that will 
               parade down the streets healing whole hospital wards.  He   
             foresees news  broadcasts where  the "Anchors"  report no  bad
          news          because  everyone is in  sports arenas hearing  the
          gospel.  Over a         billion  will be saved, the dead will  be
          raised, limbs will be         restored, those with handicaps will
          jump from their  wheelchairs          and  crutches will be  cast
          aside, and those in the stadiums will         go for days without
          food or water and never notice.  
          Now I don't  know what kind  of a world that  is or how  they are
          going to make  it happen but I  think it is time to start if they
          have that ability.   Is this   happening?  No, because  those who
          claim to have the gift  of healing and the  power of healing, and
          claim  to be able to tap  into that power really  don't  have it.
          The  gift  of   healing  was  a  temporary  sign   gift  for  the
          authenticating of  those who wrote  the Scripture  and those  who
          preached  the   message  in that  first  century.   And  once the
          Scripture was completed  and that  authenticity  was established,
          the gift of healing ceased.  It is not anything  new to claim it.
          The original claimants were the Roman Catholics.  
          If you  read some  of Roman Catholic  history you will  be amazed
          probably.  They  boasted of healing people with the bones of John
          the Baptist,  healing people   with the  bones of  Peter, healing
          people  with pieces of the cross  (and  somebody said, "There are
          enough  pieces  of   the  cross  around  to  build   a  two-story
          building!").  They have said  that they, "Have healed people with
          the  vials of  Mary's breast milk."   There is  a place that  you
          know about in France  called  Lourdes, a Catholic shrine that has
          supposedly been the  sight of  countless miraculous  healings.  I
          have  been to  the largest  Catholic  cathedral   in the  Western
          Hemisphere  in Montreal,  San  Joseph,  where  people  climb  450
          stairs on their knees  and they go in and they kiss  a little box
          that has  the  heart of a  little friar in it, and  all along the
          walls   and  everywhere  are    crutches,  all  over  the  place.
          Supposedly  countless tens of thousands  have  been healed there.
          And now in Metajorie (sp.) in Yugoslavia (you have been   reading
          about it)  more than 50,000,000 people  have gone in  less than a
          decade.   Why?  They  are in search of  a miracle from the virgin
          Mary who  appeared in 1981 to  six little children.  If you  read
          carefully about that it  is bizarre.  
          It is very much like the occultic kind of healings you hear about
          in pagan   parts  of the world.   You  have the  oriental psychic
          healers who say they  can  do bloodless surgery.   They way their
          hands  over afflicted  organs  and say    incantations and  claim
          people are  cured.  Witch  Doctors, Shamans, claim to   raise the
          dead.  Occultist use  Black Magic and  Lying Wonders to do  their
          thing.   Mary  Baker Eddy,  [who] you remember  founded Christian
          Science,  claimed  to have healed people through  telepathy.  And
          she had buried  with her  in  her casket a telephone  because she
          was going to  come to life and  call  somebody  and tell them  to
          come and get her.  You see Satan has always   captivated people's
          hearts  through the promise of  healing.  Even  today the  people
          who promised that "Health, Wealth, Prosperity Gospel" are hooking
          people on this tremendous human  desire for physical healing  and
          the fear of  disease and death.
          This goes on and  on and on.  One pastor on a popular Charismatic
          television   show explained that  his gift of healing  works this
          way, quote,
                In the morning services the Lord tells me what healings are
                available.  The Lord will say, "I have got three cancers   
             available, I have got one bad back, I have got two headache   
             healings."  I announce that to the congregation and tell them 
               that anyone who comes at  night, with faith, can claim those
          that        are available for that evening.  
           Now if you take a closer  look at these healings you will find
          some very   interesting things.   The only documented  cases that
          you can find,  the only  actually documented cases  you can find,
          are  cases of  people  who didn't  get   healed.    The cases  of
          supposed   people  who  do   get  healed,  you   can't  find  any
          documentation.   One of the most telling studies of this was done
          by a  medical  doctor  by the name  of William Nolan  who decided
          that  he would  look into  the   healing ministry  of really  the
          prototype of all of it, Kathryn Kuhlman (sp.)  when she was still
          going  strong before  her  death.   And  he  wrote a  book  after
          studying her, called "Healing, a  doctor in search of a miracle."
          And  he went   beyond Kathryn  Kuhlman, but the  major section of
          interest to  me was the  section on Kathryn Kuhlman.  And he made
          the  point in  his book  that Miss   Kuhlman  did not  understand
          psychogenic disease.   She did not understand, that   is, disease
          related to the mind.  In simple terms a functional  disease might
          be a sore arm.  An organic disease  would be a withered arm or no
          arm at all.  
          Now Katherine would heal a sore arm but not give somebody one who
          didn't  have  one.  A  psychogenic disease would be thinking your
          arm  was sore  and Kathryn   could make  you think that  your arm
          wasn't sore.  Nolan wrote, 
                Search  the literature  as  I  have and  you  will find  no
          documented            cures, by  healers, of  gall stones,  heart
          disease, cancer,  or any          other serious  organic disease.
          Certainly you will find patients         temporarily relieved  of
          their upset  stomach, their chest pain,           their breathing
          problems.  You  will find healers and believers          who will
          interpret this interruption of symptoms  as evidence         that
          the disease is cured.  But when you track the patient down       
          and find out what happened later you will always find the cure   
             to have been purely symptomatic and transient.  The underlying
                disease remains.
          I remember  one of  A. A.  Allen's cures;  a man  threw away  his
          crutches and a  horrible result came from it, and  he was sued by
          a family for the  severe  injury that occurred to  that man, when
          under the  emotion of the  moment, he  was  sort of able  to prop
          himself momentarily  and brought  great harm to   himself.   When
          faith healers  try to  treat  serious organic  diseases they  are
          very  often responsible for very serious anguish and unhappiness,
          and   sometimes even life threatening things.  Dr. Nolan had Miss
          Kuhlman herself   send him a list  of the cancer victims  she had
          seen cured, and this is what  the doctor discovered, 
                I wrote to all the cancer victims  on her list and the only
          one        who offered cooperation was  a man who claimed that he
          had been         cured of cancer by  Miss Kuhlman.  He sent me  a
          complete report         of his  case.  He had prostatitis  cancer
          which is frequently         responsive to hormone  therapy, if it
          spreads it is also highly        responsive to radiation therapy.
          This man  had had  that and he            had also  had extensive
          treatment with surgery, radiation, and         hormones.   He had
          also dealt with  Kathryn Kuhlman.  He chose  to         attribute
          his cure  or remission,  as  the case  may be,  to Miss          
          Kuhlman.  But anyone who read his report, layman or doctor,      
          would see immediately that it is impossible to tell which kind   
             of treatment had actually done most to prolong his life.  If  
              Miss Kuhlman  had to  rely on  this case  to  prove the  Holy
          Spirit           cured cancer  through her, she  would be in very
          desperate        straits.
          Dr.  Nolan did  further work  on  82 cases  of Kathryn  Kuhlman's
          healings using  names that  she herself supplied.  His conclusion
          at the end of the  entire  investigation was that not one  of the
          so called healings was legitimate--not  one!  
          More recently, a very interesting man by the name of James Randy-
          -Have you  heard that?  He's called the "Amazing Randy"  (he gave
          himself  that  name).   He   is  a professional  magician.   As a
          professional magician he has written a book  in which he examines
          the  claims of "faith healers."  Why?   Because he knows  all the
          gimmicks.  He is the  man who exposed television evangelist Peter
          Poppoff's  (sp.) fakery  in 1986,  on  the "Tonight  Show."   You
          remember that   Peter Poppoff (sp.)  was one of  the healers that
          claimed to get "words  of  knowledge."  He would  stand there and
          he would  say, "Jesus is  telling me this   about you."   And the
          truth was he had a  little earphone and his wife was   giving him
          all this information  because everybody who  came to the  meeting
          had  to fill out a card.  And I don't know if  you know about how
          that works but   healers throughout the years have always had the
          "preservice" meeting, when   everybody who wants to  be cured and
          get in the "healing line" fills out a  very full card.  And there
          is a very simple way, by staggering  the cards,  that the guy can
          be holding up a card to his head and telling you all you  need to
          know about  yourself, to  convince you that  this man  speaks for
          God.     In the  case  of Peter  Poppoff (sp.)  he  was repeating
          information his  wife was   putting  in his  ear, from  the "crib
          sheets" assembled in the "pre-meeting."
          Now the  "Amazing Randy" is  really not so  amazing, he's just  a
          magician.  But  he is  openly antagonistic to Christianity.   His
          antagonism is  fed, I think,   continually by what he  finds out.
          But,  nevertheless,  he seems  to  have done    his investigation
          thoroughly.   He asks scores  of "faith healers"  to supply   him
          with direct,  examinable evidence  of true  healings.   Quote, he
          said,
                I  have been willing  to accept just one  case of a miracle
          cure,         so that I might  say in this book that at  least on
          one  occasion a           miracle occurred.   But not  one "faith
          healer" anywhere has given        him a  single case of medically
          confirmed healing that  couldn't         be  explained as natural
          convalescence,  psychosomatic  improvement            or outright
          fakery.
          What is Randy's conclusion?  I quote,
                Reduced to its  basics, "faith healing" today (as it always
          has             been)  is  simply magic!    Though the  preachers
          vehemently deny  any         connection with  the practice, their
          activities meet all the          requirements for the definition;
          all of  the elements  are  present            and  the intent  is
          identical.  
          Well,  I  don't  want  to  just  be  ungracious,  that's  not  my
          intention; but it is  very important that you know the  truth and
          that  you be warned.  And  if the  Apostle  John would even speak
          the  name  of  Diotrephes just  because  he  loved to    have the
          preeminence  in the  Church, and  that posed  a threat,  then how
          important it is for us to identify  these people who pose an even
          more severe  threat, as they say they represent the very voice of
          God and can prove it by  the fact they can do miracles.
          I  had  a meeting  with  a  man who  is  a  very bright,  a  very
          intelligent,  a very   academically trained, a  very intellectual
          man who understands the Bible, and  he said to me, 
                The  reason that  I am in  this movement is  because one of
          these         prophets stood up in a meeting and looked at me and
          told me the         name  of my mother--my mother's maiden  name!
          And not only that         he was able to tell me my father's real
          name, and my father goes        by a nickname and I knew that  he
          could only know that by direct        revelation.  
          Now, how utterly gullible  can a man be?  If I could find a full-
          fledged,  bonifide  theologian, first-ranked, teaching in  one of
          the  most respected    seminaries in  the world,  and if  I could
          convince him  of my being a prophet  of  God by  just finding out
          the name of his mother and his father's real name,  that wouldn't
          be too  tough if  that's all it  took, especially  if I  had been
          plying that kind  of trade for years.  It's  amazing how gullible
          people are.    We hear about  these healings, but there  is never
          any  evidence.   Not  one  of   today's  self-styled healers  has
          produced irrefutable proof of the  miracles  they claimed to have
          wrought.   Many of  them are transparently  fraudulent, and   the
          healings in many  cases aren't healings at all.   Many things can
          occur  by   the power  of  suggestion, like  people falling  over
          backwards and so forth.   But that can do the opposite of healing
          you as we  noted a few weeks ago  when  we reminded  you that one
          lady fell over in a Benny  Hinn meeting and killed  the  lady she
          fell on.  And now he is being sued.
          Now  we all know that  desperation accompanies disease.  Sickness
          drives    people to  do  frantic,  extreme things  they  normally
          wouldn't do.   People who   are clear-minded and  balanced become
          irrational.  Remember, Satan knows this.    That's why he said in
          Job 2:4,  "Skin for skin, yes, all  that a man has will   he give
          for his life."  The  most desperate, heart-breaking cases involve
          people who are incurably  organically ill.  Others  aren't really
          sick at  all.   You know,  if I may be very  personal, one of the
          real joys of  our church is   the dear precious people  that come
          here every Sunday in  wheelchairs.  I can't  tell you how many of
          those people have told me that people have said to them,  "If you
          had enough faith,  or if you  went to another church,  other than
          Grace  Church, you could get out of that wheelchair."  
           Somebody asked me recently if we get a lot of people here coming
          out of  healing  churches?  I say, "Yes, we get the people who go
          and don't  get  healed--no  question about  it."   What a  tragic
          thing;  multitudes go away  shattered, disconsolate, feeling they
          have either  failed God or God has  failed them.  Now, let me say
          this, people are going to say, "Well, are you  saying God doesn't
          heal?"   No, I'm not saying  that, if God wants  to heal, He  can
          heal.  That's  completely, obviously within His power,  and if it
          is in his  purpose [then]  He can heal.  He may heal  as a result
          of  prayer.   He  may  heal   through  simple processes,  through
          medical  assistance,  or he  may heal  in  a way   that  we can't
          explain medically.   God may  speedup the recovery  mechanism and
          restore a person  to health  in a  way that  medicine can't  even
          explain.     Sometimes He  may overrule  a medical  prognosis and
          allow someone to  recover  from a  normally debilitating disease.
          Healings  like that may come, He may do   them; He may do them in
          response to  prayer, He may do them just  because He  wants to do
          them.   But  the gift of  healing, and  the ability to  heal, and
          special anointings for healing, and  healings that can be claimed
          and    therefore realized,  and all  the typical  "faith healing"
          technique billed on   the idea that God wants  everybody well all
          the  time, has  no Biblical  sanction   whatsoever  in the  Post-
          Apostolic era.
            Now, backing  off a minute, if  we just said, "Let's  look at
          Jesus, and if   anybody is healing today,  and if Jesus' healings
          are the  pattern, and if  the  apostles  is the pattern,  how did
          they heal?"  And I will simply remind you of  it.  We will make a
          comparison and see if today it works like that.  
          1.  Jesus healed with a word or a touch.  
              That's all it  took.  He touched, He spoke, they were healed.
          2.  Jesus healed instantaneously.
              Never  in all  His  healings  does the  Bible  say He  healed
          somebody  and they        started getting better.   No, there was
          never a  process, because if there       was  a process the point
          wasn't made.  Right?  Because if there was a      process then it
          could be explained in another  way.  It was instantaneous.       
          "The Centurion's servant  was healed" (I love  it), Matthew 8:13,
          "that       very hour."  The woman with  the bleeding problem--it
          went  away             immediately.    Jesus  healed  ten  lepers
          instantaneously.   The crippled man      at the Pool of Bethesda,
          immediately became well.  
          3.  Jesus healed totally.
              When  someone was  healed they  were  totally and  completely
          healed--the only       kind of healing Jesus ever did.  He didn't
          partially heal.  He healed      totally.   
          4.  He healed anybody.
              You didn't have  to have a  long line  of people filling  out
          cards.  And He      certainly didn't have a whole group of people
          who  came into  the meeting          in wheelchairs  and  left in
          wheelchairs  (if  they had  wheelchairs, or          crutches, or
          whatever).  Luke 4:40  says, "While the Sun was setting, all     
          who had any  sick with various diseases brought them  to Him; and
          laying      His hands on everyone of them,  He was healing them."
          It's an incredible       thing.  He healed everybody.   He healed
          everybody instantaneously.  He      healed everybody  totally and
          He healed everybody with a word.  There      wasn't some falderal
          there was just a word!  
          5.  He healed organic disease.
              He didn't just go around  Palestine healing lower back  pain,
          heart       palpitations, headaches, and other  things like that.
          He  healed the most       obvious  organic disease; crippled bent
          legs, withered hands, blind eyes,      paralysis.
          6.  He raised the dead.
              He raised the dead.   He came up on  a funeral and he  raised
          the dead!   You         remember that?   Here  comes the  funeral
          procession; the  widow is going to        bury her son  and Jesus
          stops the  procession, touches the casket and  says,       "Young
          man, arise!" and the dead man sat up and began to speak.  Now, I 
             will tell you  something, people who tout the  gift of healing
          today don't      spend a lot of time  in funeral processions; the
          reason  is obvious.  And       you need to note, by the way, that
          Jesus did virtually all His healings      and raising the dead in
          public before vast crowds of people.  Why?       Because the gift
          of  healing was real and it was an authenticating  gift.       He
          used it to confirm the claim that He  was the Son of God in a way
          that      displayed His power and compassion.
          Then  we ask  the question,  "How did  the disciples  or apostles
          heal?   How did  they heal?  How did the Twelve, and the Seventy,
          and others who worked with   them, like Barnabas, and Philip, and
          Stephen?"   And those  are the  only ones;   it  didn't just  run
          rampant through  everybody in the Church.   But those people  who
          had that gift; how did they heal?  How did they do it?  Well, the
          same  way;  they healed with a word  or a touch.  We  see that in
          the  Book of  Acts:    they healed  instantaneously, immediately.
          Remember  the  temple  gate  with    Peter and  John?    The  man
          immediately  went to  his feet,  started leaping,   walking,  and
          praising God.   They  healed totally, not  partial, total.   They
          healed everybody.   In fact, people who got  under Peter's shadow
          got healed!    They healed organic disease,  not just functional,
          psychosomatic,  symptomatic    problems,  and the  apostles  even
          raised the dead.   Now, nobody is exhibiting  those six traits in
          a  healing ministry today.   So  if this is  supposed to  be  the
          recapturing  of the Apostolic era it is really "out of sync" with
          that.  
          And a final note; according to Scripture, those who possess those
          abilities  to heal could use their gift at will.  That's not true
          of the contemporary   healers because they don't  have that gift.
          They play games  with people's   minds--the power of  suggestion.
          They prey  upon people, making  them believe  things  that aren't
          really true  and they use deception.  Look  at the Apostle  Paul,
          in Philippians  2, he mentions that his  good friend Epaphroditus
          was   very sick.  Now, Paul  had previously displayed the ability
          to  heal, but he   doesn't heal  Epaphroditus.  It's  fair to say
          that, maybe, that gift  was  passing out of operation,  but it is
          sure  fair to  say that the  gift of  healing  was  never (listen
          carefully) intended  to keep Christians  happy and healthy!    In
          fact, you  look through the  New Testament and find  out how many
          healings   occurred to  believers--absolutely rare--Peter's  wife
          mother, Dorcas.  [But   there were] masses of unbelievers; masses
          of people who may or may not have  believed anything about Christ
          or the Apostles.  But it  surely wasn't given  to keep  everybody
          in the Church  healthy; and yet today  it is being portrayed   as
          something that is supposed to be done for believers to  keep them
          healthy,   to show them  that in the  atonement is their healing:
          totally foreign to  Scripture.
          Second Timothy  4:20, Paul  mentioned he  that he  left Trophimus
          sick at  Miletus; now, why leave a good friend sick?   Why did he
          leave his Christian  friend sick?  Why didn't he heal him?  Well,
          maybe he didn't have that   ability as the time passed on out  of
          the  Apostolic era, but for sure he   recognized that healing was
          not something you  run around doing for your   Christian friends.
          It  was never  intended as a  permanent way  to keep the   Church
          healthy;  yet today  Charismatics  teach  that  God  wants  every
          Christian   well all the time.  If that  is true, then why did He
          let them  get sick to   start with?   It seems a  basic question.
          God  didn't  give  you an  HMO  in  your   salvation,  a  sort of
          supernatural HMO  that works automatically.   God heals   when He
          wants and when He wishes, but that's up to Him.
           Has God promised to heal everybody who has faith?   He doesn't
          promise that He  will always heal,  but I think the Christian can
          look to  heaven for healing.    Now, I  want to turn the  table a
          little  bit as I close in  the next couple of   minutes.  I think
          that we can  go to the  Lord for healing.   I think that we   can
          pray to Him for  deliverance from disease, and I  do believe that
          there are  times when God touches us.  Sometimes He heals through
          medicine, sometimes He  heals through surgery, sometimes He heals
          through natural  process working in   the body.   The body  is an
          amazing  self-healing thing.   And  sometimes He  may   just heal
          supernaturally because it is His will, and we can look to  heaven
          for that.   We can cry out to God in our sickness and ask for His
          healing.  I   would suggest that  there are three reasons  why we
          could expect that God might  heal:
          1.  He might heal because of His person.
              You remember  his Old  Testament name,  that wonderful  name:
          it's really      Yahweh Rapecca (sp.)--The Lord that Heals.   God
          heals  because of His       person.  "I the Lord am your healer,"
          He  told the Israelites.  And the       very fact that when Jesus
          came into the world He  could have done a lot of        different
          miracles.   I mean if He wanted to  convince people about His    
          Messiahship He  could have just  flown around, and He  could have
          said,      "See, I can do this, and who else can do this?"  Or He
          could have jumped        a building  at a single bound,  or flown
          faster than a  speeding bullet, or        He could have put  on a
          "Superman Show" and  everybody would have  been in        awe  of
          that.  But why did  he choose to heal people?  Because He was    
          demonstrating His compassion, and a compassionate God has a heart
          to      heal.  And I think that we have experienced that at times
          in our life;      God raises up someone from sickness.
          2.  God heals because of His promise.  
              He  says,  "Whatever  we  ask  in  His  name,  believing  and
          according  to His       will, He will do it."   And there must be
          times  when  He will  do  that.            There  is certainly  a
          description in James  5 of a broken, shattered,        devastated
          person, who goes in for prayer.  The elders gather around that   
           individual and while the pain  of that situation is spiritual it
          has       tremendous  physical ramifications, and through  prayer
          that person  is        restored.   "The effectual  fervent prayer
          avails much."  If in  God's will      He has designed that [then]
          He will do that because of His promise.  
          3.  God heals because that is His pattern.
              It  is true  that in  the  atonement God  bore our  diseases,
          Matthew 8 says        it.  Matthew  8 says, "He Himself  took our
          infirmities, and carried away       our diseases."  Now,  we have
          already  discussed 1 Peter 2:24 and I won't       do it again; it
          doesn't mean  that healing  for every  sickness is  in the       
          atonement for  now!  But  healing for  every sickness  is in  the
          atonement      for someday--isn't it?  And someday He will remove
          all  of those diseases.         Ultimately,  eternally we will be
          delivered from sickness and infirmity.        And it  may just be
          that He would chose  because of that pattern of       providing a
          salvation that  ultimately delivers us from bodily  infirmity    
          when we get  a glorified body, that maybe He will give us a taste
          of      "Glory Divine."  
          God may heal.  That poses the final question, "Should a Christian
          go to  the   doctor?"   And we come  all the  way back  to Hobart
          Freeman again.  We  would  never advocate such idiocy.   You say,
          "Well, does  the Bible  say anything   about this?"   Sure,  read
          Isaiah 38.  Not now.  I knew  that you would do that;  your heads
          just go  right down--that's good.   Pavlov's dogs!   Just instant
          response.   That's  not derogatory,  by the  way, that's  trained
          response.  In  Isaiah 38, King Hezekiah was deathly ill,  and you
          remember the king was  crying, and  he was crying tears, and then
          he was crying to the Lord, and God  answered his request.  And he
          says this,  "Let them take a  cake of figs  and  apply it  to the
          boil, that he  may recover."   Isn't that good?   That's what  we
          used to  call a poultice.   Right?   Now, God is  saying, "Do the
          medical thing."   In Matthew 9:12, Jesus confirmed the same  idea
          when He said this, "It is  not  those who are healthy who  need a
          physician, but those who are  sick."  And so  the Lord  has given
          us that instruction also.
          Now, in closing, I simply say, I want to reiterate that I believe
          that God  can heal.   God can do anything He  wants to do.  I  do
          not believe the gift  of  healing is for today because  it was to
          authenticate the  Biblical message  and  messenger.   That  is in
          place; it needs  no more authentication then the   authentication
          given to  it by the  Spirit of God to  the heart of  the reader. 
          But I do believe that God may in His grace chose to heal, and  we
          have every  right to pray for that, and at the same time seek the
          finest medical help  that we can because to Lord desires us to do
          that as well.  
          Let's pray.  Father,  thank you for letting us cover  all of this
          tonight.  Our   minds are full of these considerations.  Lord, we
          would  not at  all be    ungracious to  the many  people  who are
          victims of these kinds of things.   And  even Lord, there  may be
          some  in   these  movements  who   are  well  meaning   and  well
          intentioned, who  for  some reason  or other  believe that  these
          things really  are happening.  
          Lord,  we  would  pray for  those  who  have a  true  and  a pure
          intention, and  who  are  genuinely believing that this  is true,
          that You would show them the truth  of Your word and help them to
          see  the light.  And then  Lord, for those who   are just playing
          with the hearts  and minds and the  wallets of people, that   you
          would cause  them to be  struck with the  truth of what  they are
          doing.   To  be literally stopped in their  tracks by the fear of
          God, as they would  misrepresent You.
          Lord, we  pray for  Your Church to  be discerning,  clear minded.
          And then Lord,   even as we  close tonight, we would  remember to
          pray for  those in our   congregation who have  physical illness,
          disability,  physical pain  and   suffering,  some with  even the
          diagnosis of  a fatal disease, that Lord,  You  would be gracious
          to  them.  We know that You are  going to heal them someday,  and
          if it  would suit  Your glorious purpose  and bring honor  to the
          name of  Jesus Christ, we would ask that you heal them now;  that
          You  might receive  glory  for that.  But  if not, that You might
          give them the grace to  acknowledge Your perfect will.   And help
          us to know Lord that it is not  through these kinds of miraculous
          things that  people  are going  to believe  the   truth.   It  is
          through hearing about Jesus Christ and reading the Scripture  and
          having it presented to them, not only on the page but through the
          work of  the Holy Spirit in their hearts, that they shall come to
          the truth.   And so  may we  faithfully proclaim this word, which
          can authenticate itself by  the  Holy Spirit to the  heart of one
          who hears.  
          Thank You again  Father for the clear  word that You do  care and
          that there is  a day of healing coming for us all.  We rejoice in
          anticipation of it, in  Christ's name.  Amen.

          Transcribed by Tony Capoccia of
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