Would you mind a small discourse on God’s healing? I have to deal with this often and I would like your opinion. When the Bible says that “By his stripes, you were healed.” does this mean “Physically” unto death, or “Spiritually” unto everlasting life?
I struggle with this often as I believe God can and does heal people of all infirmities and sicknesses of life, but that couldn’t be the healing that He came to die for. Why would God come to earth in the form of a man to heal the sick? I struggle with question. It wasn’t to make the body whole, but to make the spirit whole. I believe a right relationship with Jesus Christ is the healing He came for. Is this backed up by scripture? Isa 53 seems to be talking topically about the spirit, and then, “..By His stripes, we are healed..”. How can that be reconciled?
The passage in mind says, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE WAS HE STRICKEN. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when THOU SHALT MAKE HIS SOUL AN OFFERING FOR SIN, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for HE SHALL BEAR THEIR INQUITIES.” (Isaiah 53:1-11).
The New Testament tells us the first part about the healing was fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry. Matthew 8:14-17 says, “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and HEALED ALL THAT WERE SICK: THAT IT MIGHT BE FULFILLED WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY ESAIAS THE PROPHET, SAYING, HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND BARE OUR SICKNESSES.”
So that part of the prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry — not in His death. The Bible there interprets Isaiah’s prophecy, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…” That is what Jesus did — in His earthly ministry — He tended to their griefs and sorrows, their infirmities and sicknesses. Then it goes on to say, “Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted…” The passage tells about how Jesus healed their physical infirmities and went about doing good for people — but then they turned right around and smote Him. Why did the Father allow it to happen? So that Jesus could heal us from our greatest need — spiritual healing from our sin. “But HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.”
So the first part of this prophecy deals with Jesus meeting the physical needs of the people in His earthly ministry — but still their overall rejection of Him. So the last part of the prophecy deals with Jesus meeting our greatest infirmity — our sin — our spiritual need. And so it goes on to describe His bearing our sin at His death on the cross. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
No where does this passage promise physical healing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ just for the asking, like it promises spiritual healing. The Charismatic crowd tries to say that the Bible promises healing to all who come to Christ in faith, just as it promises salvation to all who come to Him. They are not interpreting this passage for what it clearly says. And of course their own experiences prove that they are wrong. Not everyone that comes to them for healing is healed. I would encourage you to read the book by Alfred H. Pohl called, “17 Reasons Why I Left The Tongues Movement.” (You can order it from Way of Life Literature in Oak Habor, Washington.) He was in that movement, and truly believed in that type of healing, but as he saw it firsthand, he saw that it was all fake, and a money-making scheme. The whole Charismatic Movement is just preparing people for the one-world false church of the Tribulation Period, and whetting people’s appetites for the Antichrist and his lying wonders. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (II Thessalonians 2:9). They are seeking “signs,” but Jesus said, “AN EVIL AND ADULTEROUS GENERATION SEEKETH AFTER A SIGN; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39,40).
God can and does heal today, but He does not promise to heal every sickness and infirmity that we may have. Consider the great apostle Paul. “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me A THORN IN THE FLESH, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. FOR THIS THING I BESOUGHT THE LORD THRICE, THAT IT MIGHT DEPART FROM ME. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (II Corinthians 12:7-10).
Paul had a physical problem, and he went to the Lord in prayer about it. He asked the Lord to remove it from him and heal him. The Lord denied his three requests. The Lord DID NOT tell him, “Paul, when I died on the cross, I provided physical healing for everyone. Of course I will heal you, since you came to me asking for such.” That is not at all what the Lord told Paul. He told him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.” The Charismatics outright deny what God clearly said. The Charismatics say that it is God’s will that His children never have physical infirmities and sicknesses. They say that a sick person cannot glorify God, but a well person can. But the Lord told Paul just the opposite — when we are physically weak — that is when the Lord’s strength is seen the most.
When we are sick, we should go to the Lord about it. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:13-16). We practice this very thing, when people request it. Sometimes, God has healed people, and sometimes He has let it be known that His grace was sufficient for that person. That He could get more glory through their infirmities, than through their health. David knew this truth from personal experience. “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” (Psalm 119:67). In his health, he went astray, but in his afflictions, he drew nigh to God.
How many perfectly healthy people seek after God, compared to those who are sick and hurting? “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12,13). Those with the needs come to Christ.
Have you come to Christ and asked Him to be your personal Savior? After that, go to Him with every need, and trust that His will is best.