Faith Healing

Scripture: Matthew 10:1, Leviticus 3:17, Acts 15:20
Some people who face ill health believe that they can be healed by faith and faith only. While it is good to pray and have faith, should we ignore other means of healing that God has put before us? What does the Bible say about health and sickness, prayer and healing? Also discussed is the question about taking blood transfusions.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, friends and welcome again to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and the Bible as it affects you. I'm John Bradshaw and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. It's good to be here and we are talking about some other important topics and why don't you tell our listeners what the topic is for today?

John: Well, we've been talking about this subject among ourselves because it is something that affects all of us - good health versus bad health. When you come to the Bible, the Bible's got a lot to say about health and being well, staying well and getting well. There are a lot of people today who have the idea that, "I don't want to go to a doctor. I'm only going to pray. I'm going to go and see the preacher. I'm going to be healed by faith and faith only."

Gary: That's where it really gets dangerous. You probably have heard, John, like I have...

John: Now, wait a minute. Usually you're the one finding fault with me. I'm going to find fault with you right now. What's dangerous about saying, "Well, I'm going to be healed by faith?"

Gary: Because if you say, "I'm going to be healed by faith only," and you ignore the remedies that God has put at our disposal through modern medicine or maybe through some natural remedies, they might be ignoring the very means God has provided.

John: Yeah, I'm not going to disagree with you any further than that. It's like the guy who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and says, "I'm just going to rely on the Lord to make we well, to heal my emphysema or my lung cancer or my shortness of breath. I eat all this junk food but God is going to help my circulation to improve."

Gary: You and I were talking earlier before the program about stories and people that we have heard of who've actually lost their lives or lives of their children. I remember one couple. They didn't believe in ever consulting modern medicine. They felt it was a denial of their faith in Jesus Christ, akin to casting incense before some Pagan God to take their children to a medical doctor.

John: A sin.

Gary: The absolute sin.

John: The prices that some of the doctors are charging because of whatever reason, I think some of that's a sin, but going to see them because you're ill and ailing.

Gary: And the problem with this family was their son was a diabetic and if a diabetic doesn't get their insulin, they're going to die.

John: Unless God intervenes and makes that diabetic well.

Gary: And that's what they were praying for but God did not intervene and their child died because of diabetic coma.

John: Listen; let's just get down right to it. Does God heal? Yes or no.

Gary: Definitely heals.

John: Does He heal miraculously?

Gary: He does. There are many stories in the Bible that still does.

John: As a minister of the Gospel, I'm certain that you have been part of miraculous healings. Would that be right?

Gary: Definitely.

John: All right.

Gary: Some people are healed of many different things through prayer and anointing just like the Bible says.

John: No question about that but here's something that I think we got to keep front and center. God sometimes gives the gift of healing miraculously. No question about it but what God has given everybody in every instance pretty well is the gift of a brain and if you've got angina, you ought to go see a physician. If you've got diabetes, you ought to be under medical care if at all possible unless somehow God speaks to you directly in an unmistakable way. Listen, it's common sense to be going and visiting the doctors, isn't that right?

Gary: That may be. But here's the Bible text that people take.

John: OK.

Gary: Matthew 10:1.

John: Right.

Gary: It says that when Jesus called to him, his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases.

John: No question.

Gary: So if you have the power of God in your life to heal these sicknesses, heal these diseases, then wouldn't it be a lack of faith to go to man to heal you?

John: Well, it could be lack of faith but no, it doesn't necessarily have to be a lack of faith. Listen, in the Bible, it says that Paul prayed to God on three different occasions that he would be healed of that thorn in the flesh. Many of us believe that was his bad eyesight that he had and whatever it was, he prayed that God would take it away but God didn't take it away. It's the Apostle Paul we're talking about here, the greatest preacher who walked the globe maybe after only Jesus himself. This great man of faith did not receive a miraculous healing even though he had prayed for it. Why? I do not know but God does not heal every illness miraculously all the time. It just doesn't happen.

Gary: Where do you think these people are coming from who teach this, though? There are huge groups of people who do this, that it is a lack of faith.

John: Well, they're coming from the same areas many mistaken people are coming from. If you take the Bible and isolate a text here or a text there, if you make a God out of a teaching or a thought or a theological point, then you can go off base. But when you look through the Bible and see that God didn't heal every one miraculously, that even Luke was a physician. Now, someone's going to say, "Luke was a convert. He was a Pagan once upon a time," but Luke was a physician and that doesn't seem to be looked down on at all in the Bible.

God gives certain talents. There can be nothing wrong with cooperating with the agencies of nature and the agencies of science for the betterment of humankind.

Gary: OK. Let me take you to another thought that's along this line, John. What about what the Bible says about blood transfusions? There are people who have not received a blood transfusion because they believe it's going against what the Bible says or in the Book of Leviticus chapter three and Leviticus 17, I believe it is.

John: OK. Hey, before you get there, let me say this, Gary. Here on Bible Talk, we only have a few short minutes and we can't cover every point that we want to cover. I don't want anybody to get the idea that to pray for healing is wrong nor do I want anyone to think that everything the medical profession does is right because there are some drugs you probably shouldn't take under some circumstances. There are some surgical procedures that may be are complete and utter waste of time. Not all doctors are as good as every other doctor, so we're not lambasting everything or praising everything else. You can see that, right?

Gary: That's right. In fact, when we pray, we always pray, "The Lord's will be done." We pray, "Lord, if you want to heal miraculously, you can do that. If you want to show us a treatment, bring that to our attention. Give us wisdom to discern what the right thing to do in this situation is and in either way, Your name will be praised."

John: That's good. Before you get to the blood transfusion, this is worth waiting for because some people have a real sticking point about that. God said this and this is something that many people ought to consider, all of us. He said to His people Israel many years ago, "If you would diligently hark into the voice of the Lord the God," now that was an "if" right there. You heard that "if," right? "And do that which is right in His sight and give in to His commandments and keep all of His statutes, then I will put none of these diseases upon you which I have brought upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord that healeth thee."

God will heal but there are some "ifs" involved sometimes. I bet you wouldn't need to pray of a healing sometimes if you ate less junk food and less fat. You wouldn't be praying, wearying the saints with your prayers if you took a walk everyday, if you got enough rest, got some fresh air and obeyed God and honored Him with your body. There'd be a whole lot less praying for healing because there'd be a whole lot less healing required.

Gary: You know, that text you're reading there in Exodus 15:26 talking about the diseases of the Egyptians, they've done autopsies, John, on those mummies from Egypt.

John: Right.

Gary: And they found that those mummies weren't mummies when they died. They became mummies after they died.

John: Right.

Gary: But those people died of the same diseases killing us today in First World countries.

John: Atherosclerosis, right?

Gary: Yes, diabetes, all these degenerative diseases.

John: Strokes, that's right. And God said if you would follow Him then you wouldn't end up suffering those degenerative diseases. All right, now blood transfusions. My baby boy is sick, let us say.

Gary: Yes.

John: And they say he needs a blood transfusion. What in the world is going to motivate me to say, "No, just let him lay there in the bed," or on the other hand they might take some of his blood out ahead of time and say, "No, we don't want this." Look, you talked about some text in the Bible that seemed to refer to this so this had better be good.

Gary: Leviticus 3:17 - "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."

John: That you do what?

Gary: Well, it says, "That ye eat neither fat nor blood."

John: All right, I don't want to eat any blood.

Gary: Yeah, I don't either but when you eat something, it gets turned into your blood, so what's the difference of having somebody else's blood pumped into you?

John: Correct, but God wasn't addressing a nation of cannibals. He was addressing a nation of people who ate animals not folks and if you read in Leviticus chapter seven, I believe you'll find that this prohibition applied only to animal blood and maybe chickens or birds or things that flew. It doesn't apply to humans because people don't eat people; at least or not eat people.

Gary: We hope not.

John: Right.

Gary: There'll be a lot of problems if they do.

John: Absolutely. You're taking that out of context to suggest that this has got anything to do with people blood. And God didn't say, "No blood transfusions." He said, "Don't eat the stuff."

Gary: There's a way they kill. If you're going to follow this, you don't want to eat meat that has the blood in it. That's what the text is really saying.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: That's where the term 'kosher' comes from, too. There's a certain way to kill the animal and drain the blood out. I've been to a slaughterhouse and a kosher killed the animal besides having a Rabbi there, may be pulling a trigger or blessing it when the trigger is pulled, the animal's throat is slit and hung upside down and the blood actually drains out of the animal.

John: Oh, yeah.

Gary: That's what he was really talking about there, wasn't it?

John: How about that meat, the kosher meat? I mean they tell me and I haven't eaten the stuff but the blood is all drained out. I think most people know the blood is largely what gives the flavor. They tell me it's like chewing on the bottom of a shoe, pretty tasteless stuff.

Gary: That doesn't sound it's worth eating, does it?

John: No, but hey now, let me take this to the next level here and shock... And shock the people listening to Bible Talk. Get ready here. Here's a shock. God said back in Leviticus. He did not say and boy, I hope this is clear today. God did not say, "Thou shall not get a blood transfusion." I believe that if you choose not to do that, hey, that's not for me but if that's your thing, then OK.

Gary: But it really has saved a lot of lives. I mean people who would die otherwise, I can name half a dozen people I've known the last year or two. Their lives have been saved because of blood transfusion.

John: Oh, listen, my brother's wife just a couple of months ago would be dead if she hadn't received blood. Oh, she's well and alive and kicking. It was just a freak thing and they found out, "Man, you need blood," or "Woman you need blood." What God said back there is, "Don't eat blood." Oh, I don't want to eat blood. Let those people who get it out of the chickens and drink it straight down, hang on a minute.

Gary: Are you going to shock us? Is this anything we need to be concerned with today?

John: Acts 15, firmly in the New Testament. Are you ready in this age of mad cow's disease? Are you ready in this age of E coli? You're going to think John and Gary and Bible Talk after you come down from hearing this. Acts 15:20, the Jerusalem council, here's what we're telling the heathens that convert to Christianity, "Tell them to abstain from pollutions of idols." Are you ready Christian friends - from fornication, from things strangled and from blood? So in the New Testament, God said we shouldn't eat it.

Gary: We shouldn't eat blood.

John: We just shouldn't eat it.

Gary: But does anybody say, "Don't drink blood?"

John: Medium rare?

Gary: OK.

John: These old T-bone steaks that are just being carried past the grill come to your plate. All they did was cut of the horns.

Gary: It almost says, "Moo" there.

John: It's still mooing on your plate. It might get up and walk off, blood everywhere. Does the Bible say don't eat it or what?

Gary: But that's where it's more tasty. That's what people say.

John: Yeah, man, that's where the heart attack is.

Gary: The flavor's in the blood.

John: The heart attack is in the blood, in the fat, all that stuff.

Gary: What do you think, John, was the practical reason for not eating blood?

John: The blood carries away all the impurities out of the animal, all the disease and filth and sickness. It's just as well like drinking something out of the sewer. It's just not good and God knows what's good for us. [music]

Gary: It doesn't sound like anything I want.

John: No and it's not what God wants. He wants the very best for us. What a program today. We're out of time but please be sure and join us for more next time. Thanks for joining us today on Bible Talk.

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