Biblical Truth about Sickness & other Infirmities

Biblical Truth about Sicknesses & other Infirmities
                                                                                                                              By Pastor F. M. Riley
                                                                                                                              December 5, 2013

     “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death.  And the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live,” 2 Kings 20:1. 
Introduction

Dear Pastor Riley,

     I know I am missing something, but this “gets me every time!”  You wrote, “This is why Satan and his fallen angels and demonic hordes dare not touch a true believer without the express permission of the Lord God, Job 1:6-12.” 
     What about sickness and the other afflictions that beset us here on Earth?  Are they not of Satan?  Even Satan was allowed to make Job sick.  Or are you saying that Satan has permission to make us sick? 
     Had to ask.  I am always troubled by this…..

__________
Biblical Answers

Dear beloved brother,

     Thank you for sending me this query.  I knew the minute I read it that it had to be answered honestly and Biblically.  I am sure that many other believers today are troubled with the same questions you are troubled with, and once more your email gives me the opportunity and incentive to share the great truths of God’s Word with His people and with lost seeking souls.  Thank you! 

False Assumptions

     I am well aware that it is commonly claimed and taught today that all sickness, disease, and other infirmities are from Satan and the direct result of Satan attacking people.  This claim, regardless of how many so-called “faith healers” are proclaiming it, and how many people have blindly accepted it as truth, is simply not so!   Now, by the grace of God, I am going to show our readers Scripturally why this is a false claim. There are three primary sources of sickness, disease, and other infirmities among mankind.  I list them as follows…..
     [1]   The Curse…..Let’s begin at the creation of mankind upon the earth.  When God created Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden, there was indeed nothing in that Garden or apparently upon the whole earth which would make them sick.  However, the Scriptures tell us that Eve was deceived by the serpent [Satan], and disobeyed God in eating of the forbidden fruit, and gave of the fruit to Adam, and Adam willfully and deliberately disobeyed God by hearkening “unto the voice of thy wife,” Genesis 3:17.  Because of Adam’s willful disobedience, the Lord God then cursed the earth, clearly stating to Adam, “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field,” Genesis 3:17-18.    
     From that day forward the earth began producing thorns, thistles, weeds, flowers, vines, and other noxious forms of vegetation which are detrimental to the health of anyone foolish enough to eat them, or in some cases, to even breath the fumes from them.   Thus sicknesses began among mankind. 
     It might be argued by some that such sicknesses were then the result of Satan’s deception worked out in the Garden of Eden.  While that may be true, that still removes Satan from being the direct
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source of all sickness upon the earth, and actually places more responsibility for their sicknesses uponmankind themselves.  It doesn’t take much intelligence to know that if one eats the berries from a poison ivy or poison oak vine they are going to become sick, and may even die. Why are those plants poisonous? Because there is a curse upon the earth!   Does Satan then cause such sickness, or is it the result of outright ignorance or just bad choices on the part of the person or persons exposing themselves to it?  Oh, how about the Arsenic plant?  There are some parts of this country where Arsenic plants grow prolifically unless they are killed out and kept under control.  I personally know of people who have ignorantly picked Arsenic leaves in the woods while out looking for some fresh “wild greens” to prepare for their spouse or family to eat.  The result was that their whole family had to be rushed to the hospital after eating the Arsenic “greens.” Why should this plant have made them sick?  Because there is a curse upon the earth!  Was this sickness then a direct attack from Satan, or was it just the result of ignorance and irresponsibility on the part of the person?   Well…??
     Oh, what about mushrooms?  Every Spring here in Missouri the woods fill up with people out looking for mushrooms to eat and serve to their family.  This is fine, if you know what kind of mushrooms to look for.  But every year without fail, some get sick and a few even die because they picked the wrong kind of mushrooms. Why are some mushrooms edible and some poisonous?  Because there is a curse upon the earth! Now was this a direct attack upon them by Satan, or was it simply a bad choice on their own part?  Well…??
     While pastoring my first church, we had as a church member a dear sister in Christ.  Sadly, her husband was lost in sin and wanted nothing to do with her God, her Christ, or her Bible.  He was a confirmed alcoholic, and his idea of “fun” was to go on a binge and stay drunk for days or weeks at a time.  One day him and his drinking buddies ran out of beer and whiskey, so they made the choice to drink a little antifreeze.  Bad choice!  Shortly thereafter that dear, sweet sister in Christ buried, and was set free, from her drunken husband who wanted nothing to do with her Savior.  But why should the antifreeze have made him sick?  Because there is a curse upon the earth!   Now tell me, did Satan directly make that drunken man choose to drink himself into drunkenness in the first place, and then to add antifreeze to his choice of drinks?  Or was it his own stupid choice?
     Why are tobacco plants noxious and filled with nicotine?  Why are water lilies, so beautiful to look at on a pond or lake, deadly poison to eat?  And on and on and on!  Why?           
     Dear readers, we are living in a dangerous world, an earth that is laboring under the curse of sin, Romans 8:19-23.  Every single day there are thousands of things in this fallen world which are capable of making us very sick or even killing us.  They are often right before our eyes, and we have to make the choice to avoid those things for ourselves.  Satan, in each instance, is not always attacking us, or present to provoke us to make the wrong choice.  Many times we choose to make the wrong choices because we are fallen creatures and have our own flesh with which to contend.  Hello!
     Let’s not forget man’s own fallen “sin nature,” “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions,” Ecclesiastes 7:29.  It is an interesting truth that even today there are isolated peoples in various parts of the earth who have little contact with “modern society.”  These peoples living in primitive conditions, also have almost none of our modern diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, etc.  Yet when modern technology is forced upon these peoples, the diseases and sicknesses of modern mankind began showing up in their ranks.
     Today the entire Pacific Ocean and now the west coast of the United States is being contaminated with radiation from the Fukishima nuclear plant in Japan.  I am old enough to remember a time when plenty of electrical power was produced without a single nuclear power plant.  But the PTB decided they simply must have nuclear energy in the world.  Why?  Take a look around and see how many people in the world today have been sickened or even died from nuclear radiation.  An old saying down south is that if one chooses to play with a rattlesnake, sooner or later the snake will bite them.
     The curse the Lord God placed upon the earth in Genesis 3 is responsible for much of the sickness on the earth today.  This makes it obvious that Satan is not the source of all sickness and disease and other infirmities upon the earth.  Not by any means.
     [2]   The working of Satan…..This does not mean that I am  letting Satan and his fallen angels and demon hordes off the hook.  Not by any means.  There are many Scriptures in God’s Word, especially
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in the four gospels, where some illness or infimity is directly attributed to the powers of Satan and his followers, especially to “demon possession.”         
     Sadly, today we have such an “enlightened society” [so-called] that modern mankind almost totally rejects the idea of “demon possession,” and especially sicknesses and infirmities caused by demon possession.  Rather, they attribute such “foolish beliefs” to ancient times, and to Hollywood movies designed to frighten children and “the ignorant.”  Nevertheless, I will take what God’s Word has to say at face value over the word of any “PhD.”    
      I would challenge any reader to inquire of Christian missionaries working in third world countries steeped in paganism, whether “demon possession” is real or not.  They will tell you right quick about the reality of “demon possession.”  But why should they have to?
      “Professing Christians” who really believe God’s Word KNOW that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and His chosen Apostles, cast out demons who were causing blindness, deafness, and many other sicknesses.  See Matthew 4:23-24, 8:16-17, 8:28-34, 9:32-34, 12:22-32, Mark 1:29-34, 5:1-20, 6:7-13, 16:9, Luke 4:41, 8:26-39, 9:1, 10:17, and 13:31-32.  A question for any person claiming to be a true believer…..did all of Satan’s demons cease to exist at the first coming of Christ?  Or….is it possible that some of them are still “possessing” people today, and are still causing all kinds of physical problems in the bodies of unbelieving lost people, and still “oppressing” God’s people?    
     Now that I have asked the question, I want to answer it.  In Matthew 12 the Lord Jesus healed a man who was both blind and dumb as a result of being possessed by a demon, 12:22.  The Jewish people on that occasion were amazed and cried out, “Is not this the [promised] Son of David?” 12:23.  But the religious leaders of the Jewish people and nation were having none of it.  Instead they accused Christ of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub.  Christ then explained that for a “season”  those same religious leaders of Israel had rejoiced in the preaching of John the Baptist and of the Lord himself, John 5:32-35.  In doing so, their “house” had been temporarily cleansed of the “unclean spirit” which had kept them as a people in unbelief and rebellion against the God of Israel.  But Christ explicitly stated that the same wicked [demon] “spirit” would take “seven other spirits more wicked than himself,” and they would reenter Israel’s “house,” thereby making the last state of that man [Israel] worse than the first,” Matthew 12:45.  Folks, modern, unbelieving, Christ rejecting, Israel is living proof of this truth. 
     Dear readers, I want it clearly understood that I love Israel and the Jewish people, and I earnestly pray for their redemption in Christ, yet I love my Lord and His Word even more and must be true to the Holy Scriptures.  The Jews today as a people and a nation are possessed and under the influence of eight extremely wicked demon spirits, [one plus seven makes eight, doesn’t it?] exactly as the Lord predicted in these Scriptures.  Therefore the religious Jewish people today are even more dead set against Christ Jesus than they were at His first coming.  There will be no way in which they will have a change of heart until Christ Himself appears in their midst in Petra as their Messiah King  as recorded in Ezekiel 20:33-38, Micah 2:12-13, Zechariah 12:10 and 13:6, and at that time drives the foul demons out from them, so that they are capable of believing on and receiving Christ as their Messiah and Savior.  Then the Lord Jesus will graciously receive them again to Himself as His chosen people and nation.  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  Pray for the Jewish people, and for “the peace of Jerusalem,” Psalm 122:6.  I could list and examine several other Scriptures in the gospels which plainly indicate that Satan does indeed cause sickness, disease, and if permitted, sometimes even death through demon possession. John 10:10 is still in the Bible! 
    [3]   The Will and Purpose of God Himself…..Any reader who truly believes God’s Word should already know that some people are sick or handicapped simply because the Lord God has sent such upon them for a purpose that He is working out in their life. 
     Probably the most glaring example of this truth in the entire Bible is found in John 9.  In this chapter the Lord gave sight to a man who had been born blind.  The Lord’s own disciples asked Him if the man had been born blind because of his own sin or the sin of his parents?  The Lord’s answer to them was that the sin of the man or his parents had nothing to do with the man’s condition, but rather he had been born that way “that the works of God should be made manifest in him,” John 9:3.  And so they were!  Carefully study the entire chapter.
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     I would remind our readers that the Lord God is still the Creator of mankind upon the earth.  The Lord God said unto Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations,” Jeremiah 1:5.  This Scripture states as clearly as it can be stated that the Lord God “formed” Jeremiah in the belly of his mother.  It is more than “coincidence” that the exact same Hebrew word translated as “formed” in this Scripture is also the word used in Genesis 2:7 when the Lord God “formed” the body of Adam.  Compare Psalm 22:9-10 and 127:3-5.  It is the Lord God who is still creating mankind in their mother’s womb.  Then is this statement to Jeremiah limited only to Jeremiah, or is it the Lord God who “forms” each child born into the world?  I think the answer is obvious!  The Lord God has a plan and a purpose for every human being brought into this world.  Sadly, many make the decision to  refuse to submit themselves to the Lord God and His plan for their life, and bring upon themselves  their own eternal sorrow and damnation, yet this does not change the truth that God has a plan and a purpose for every child born into the world. 
     Surely most of our readers should be familiar with the account of King Hezekiah, one of Judah’s most Godly kings.  Yet Hezekiah became “sick unto death,” 2 Kings 20:1.  The Lord God sent the prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah to tell him to set his house in order, because he was going to die.  Now did Satan bring this sickness upon Hezekiah?  Or…..was this sickness sent upon him by the Lord?  The Scriptures do not actually tell us the source of the sickness, but the implication in the context is that Hezekiah’s sickness was brought upon him by the Lord God.  Certainly, after Hezekiah had earnestly prayed, it was the Lord God who took away the sickness and extended Hezekiah’s life by fifteen more years.  Job 1:21 is still in the Bible!  It is the Lord God who is the giver and the taker of man’s life upon the earth. 
     In Genesis 32 is recorded the account of Jacob wrestling with “a man” all night long.  That “man” was the Lord God Himself, 32:30.  Just before the night ended and dawn signaled the start of a new day, the Lord God touched “the hollow of his thigh,” putting Jacob’s thigh out of joint, and causing Jacob to be lame in that leg the remainder of his life, 32:25; 32:31-32.  Now did Satan cause Jacob’s lameness?  Absolutely not!  It was plainly the work of the Lord God!  Let this truth soak in!    
     Now let’s fast forward some 1,500 years to the first coming of Christ.  In John 5:1-18 is the account of a lame man lying helpless on one of the five porches near the pool of Bethesda.  This man had been lame for 38 years, John 5:5.  He was so lame and helpless that he could not get into the pool to be healed at the time of “the moving of the water.”  Why had this man been lame and helpless 38 years?  There is no other reason which even makes Scriptural or logical sense, other than that he was in that condition in view of the time when Christ would instantly heal him.  So was Satan the source of his lameness, or was it the Lord God who had a plan for his life?  Well…?? 
     Let’s now tie these two accounts together.  How many years did ancient Israel wander in the wilderness because of their disobedience and rebellion against God?  The Lord God pronounced upon them forty years of wilderness wanderings, Numbers 14:33-34.  However, the Lord God being a gracious God, gave Israel credit for the two years they had spent at Mt. Sinai, so that their wilderness wanderings after leaving Sinai were only thirty-eight yearsGlory to God!  Now it should be glaringly obvious that the physical healing of the man in John 5 who had been lame for thirty-eight years is a wonderful type of the future healing of presently unbelieving Israel.  Glory to God!  Satan obviously was not directly the source behind these events, but rather this was all arranged by the Lord God to fulfill the plan and purposes of God.  Glory!   
     I haven’t even mentioned the storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. that come upon mankind directly as judgments and warnings from the Lord God.  It might be possible that God permits Satan to bring some of these things upon mankind in view of Job 1:18-19, but in view of Nahum 1:3-5 the Lord God definitely brings such things upon mankind and uses such things for His own purposes. I personally am a living example of this truth. 
     I am thinking right now of Hurricane Katrina a few years back.  When I pointed out that the judgment of God had come upon America in that storm, I received two or three angry emails from fellow believers dogmatically informing me that we are living in “the age of grace,” and God does not do such things today.  Hogwash!  Hogwash!  That’s a double “hogwash” for those who have trouble
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reading and “rightly dividing” the Scriptures. 
     At that very time, under pressure from the United States of America, the Israeli government forcibly removed several hundred Israelis from their lands and homes in the Gaza Strip, and their lands and homes were turned over to their bitter enemies; the Palestinians.  The same day the forcible evacuation of the Gaza Strip began, a small very insignificant low pressure area began forming in the Atlantic Ocean.  Five days later that little low pressure area slammed into New Orleans, Lousiana and the Gulf Coast as one of the most violent hurricanes to ever hit the shores of America.  Thousands of American people were forced to flee from their homes and lands, many never to return.  Many deaths occurred as a result of Katrina.  Even as I write large areas in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have never been rebuilt or reoccupied by those who were forced to flee.  It is glaringly obvious that it was the Lord God who brought Hurricane Katrina upon this country as a judgment for the abuse and forcible evacuation of His chosen people from their land and homes given to them by title deed from the Lord God Himself, Genesis 15:18-21.  Folks, Genesis 12:3 is still in the Bible, and God is not mocked, Galatians 6:7-8.  I couldn’t care less about the opinions of those who refuse to believe God’s Word for what it actually and literally says.  Is this stated clearly enough? 
     It is or should then be obvious that Satan is not the source of all sickness, disease, infirmity, etc. among men.  Then when some “willingly ignorant” so-called “faith healer” arises proclaiming that all of man’s sicknesses and other physical problems are due to Satanic attack against the poor suffering soul that has come to them for help, that “faith healer” is lying right through their teeth and exposing their own ignorance of God’s Word.          
Summary

     In this study I have pointed out three different Scriptural sources of sickness, pain, disease,  suffering, and death, none of which happen without the permission or direct will of the Lord God.  This world is indeed in the present “legal” possession of Satan, but the Lord God is still watching over mankind and carrying out His own plan and will among men.  Hallelujah!  Glory to God! 
     When some of these preachers today get up on TV and put on a big performance of “casting out demons” and “healing the sick” and claiming that Satan is responsible for all the sickness and disease and hurt in the world today, they couldn’t be more wrong.  Certainly, Satan and his demonic hordes are responsible for some of it, but not all of it.  The very fact that the earth is still under the curse of sin accounts for much of the physical illnesses among mankind today.  The Lord God is also still working out His will in the lives of all mankind, just as illustrated in John 9.  And of course Satan is still warring against God by attacking men and women as God permits.  These are the three sources of sickness and infirmities in the world today. 
     But in…..
Conclusion

     There is only one “Great Physician” in the entire universe.  His precious name is “Jesus.”  Indeed, it is true that on Calvary “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:…..He was wounded for our transgressions, and he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:4-5. Therefore we can conclude from these inspired Scriptures that our spiritual and physical healing has already been paid for by the precious blood of Christ.  Then why isn’t every true believer healed of all of their pains, infirmities, physical handicaps, etc.?  I want to make it clear to every reader that if I did not believe in the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would not even ask Him to relieve the pain of a headache.  Jesus Christ is the one and only true “Divine Healer,” and it is to Him that we should earnestly cry out in prayer for His help and mercy in our need of healing, James 5:13-16.    
     These so-called “faith healers” today claim that it is because those coming to them “just don’t have the faith to believe” that they are not healed.  Not only is this a crock of hogwash, but it is a copout for the so-called “faith healers.”  It conveniently lets the “faith healer” off the hook when some poor suffering soul comes to them and receives no relief or benefit for having come.  Notice that it is never
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 the “faith healer” who is to blame.  The blame is always heaped on the poor suffering soul who came looking to the “faith healer” for help.
There are at least three Scriptural reasons that I know of why suffering people are not healed today. 
     [1]   Some who come for healing are not saved and want no part of God, Christ, or the Bible.  All they are looking for is relief from their physical suffering or handicap.  Throughout the Word of God, the Lord God has promised His blessings only upon those who will receive Him as their own personal Savior and Lord.  Some people enjoy serving sin, Satan, the flesh, and the world. Then such people need expect no blessing or healing from the Lord God.  PERIOD!
     [2]    I have already pointed out in this study that the Lord God has a plan and purpose for every life.  There obviously are cases where even believers would not serve the Lord if they were well and healthy, but having to look to Him daily for strength and in some cases even their next breath, keeps their hearts humble and grateful for every blessing and dedicated to the Lord.  The Lord God knows the heart of each one of us.  No one fools the Lord!  Think about it!  
     [3]    The Lord God has an “appointed time” to restore and heal every one of His children.  This is glaringly obvious to those who seriously study the Scriptures and believe them.  I suggest that every reader carefully study again Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.  Verse 1 explicitly states, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Read also Acts 17:26.   
     What I do know from plain observation is that there are sick, feeble, weak, and unhealthy people in every race and country in the world today.  Yet if we look back at the people of ancient Israel at the “time” when the Lord God brought them out of the land of Egypt, the inspired Scripture explicitly states, “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and  there was not one feeble person among their tribes,” Psalm 105:37.  The Lord knew that they had to flee from the land of Egypt, and He knew the “appointed time” when they were to flee.  He also knew that they would be fleeing by day and by night, and would need physical stamina to make the trip.  So when He brought them forth from Egypt, “there was not one feeble person among their tribes.”  There is an “appointed time” for the physical healing of any true believer, regardless of whether some have even considered this truth.    
     Has it every occurred to our readers that healing of any sickness, disease, infirmity, or handicap is only a temporary grace?  If such healing was permanent, then no believer would ever become sick and die. The fact is that every one of us, barring the soon coming of the Lord, will eventually grow old, weak, sick, and finally die.  In the process, we may lose our eyesight, our hearing, our teeth, and even our ability to walk and take care of ourselves.  This is just the way life works!  Let’s wake up to reality.    
     But, just as it was with ancient Israel, so there is coming an “appointed time” for every true New Covenant believer to be completely healed of whatever sickness or infirmity they are  presently having to deal with.  That “appointed time” is the coming of the Lord Jesus to resurrect and rapture His New Covenant believers to glory.  There are a number of good reasons why this event is referred to in the Scriptures as “the blessed hope,” Titus 2:11-15.  One of those reasons is obviously that every believer resurrected and raptured will be instantly restored to complete health, strength, and youth “forever.”   Read it for yourself in Job 33:25.  In fact, read the entire chapter of Job 33.  If you are a true believer it will bless your soul. 
     I am not fretting because I am now physically unable to work.  I can feel in my own body how that I am gradually growing weaker as the days and weeks pass, and I recognize it as a gracious warning from the Lord that my time to leave this body of death is approaching, Romans 7:24-25.  My hearing is growing dim, and my eyesight is gradually fading. I have few teeth left, and have difficulty chewing.  Do I spend time worrying about it?  Not at all!  Do I feel any need to go to some boasted “faith healer” to restore me to the peak of health?  That will happen when donkeys fly!  I can say with the beloved Apostle of old, “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day,” 2 Timothy 1:12.  Folks, when the Lord comes to resurrect and rapture His New Covenant believers to glory, I, and all other true believers, are going to receive a new wonderful “glorified” body like the “glorious body” of our Lord, Philippians 3:20-21.  No sickness, no sorrow, no growing old, no infirmity of any kind ever again for all eternity!  I can and do eagerly wait for the “appointed time” for the Lord God to bring this to pass.  “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.      
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     My prayer is that this study on this subject will be enlightening and helpful and a blessing to every reader; in Jesus Name. 
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     Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others. 
     As this present year swiftly moves towards a close, from my heart I thank each reader who has sent gifts of support for this ministry at any time through this year.  May our gracious Lord bless and restore your gifts back to you a hundredfold is my prayer.  
     Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to:  Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be reached by email at:
                                                                  fmr7sngn@centurylink.net

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