November 4, 2022
Many years ago, I talked with a man who told me a story about his experience with a “faith-healer.” His wife had been in her final stages of cancer. She was told by numerous physicians that she had only a few months to live. Realizing the medical profession could do no more for her, she asked her husband if he would take her to see a “faith-healer,” hoping to see a sign that she would be healed.
Upon arriving at the church building, they proceeded onto the stage where the faith-healer placed both of his hands on her head. Praying over her, he asked God for divine healing. During the process, she noticed a tingling sensation that seemed to be coming directly from the pastor’s hands. Immediately, she thought this “current” was surely a sign from God that her cancer would leave her body. Her “FAITH” began to grow far beyond anything she had ever experienced!
But, the story ended a little differently than what she thought it would. Sadly, sometime later, she apparently discovered that the “faith-healer” had deceived them about the tingle coming from his hands. It turned out that the tingling sensation she felt was not a sign from God after all. Allegedly, this pastor had some sort of wiring with a battery pack hidden under his coat. The battery produced the electrical current that was flowing down into his hands. It wasn’t a supernatural sign from God after all.
Once she realized that the pastor had deceived her, her level of “FAITH” fell to a virtual zero. Her faith was shattered. Later, as I understand, she died from the cancer. She now awaits her resurrection, and WILL be healed when God plans for her to be.
Very shortly after the family’s faith-healing experience, the man I spoke with began to realize that REAL FAITH wasn’t about believing in a “faith-healer.” Real faith had everything to do with Jesus Christ and a person’s relationship with God.
Later, God began to call this man (John 6:44) and he became a member of the Church of God. As a baptized member, he began to have a deeper understanding of the word “FAITH.”
As Mr. Armstrong wrote in the Good News magazine, April 1980, when referring to God’s will, “He [God] has promised to give us wisdom, to deliver us from every affliction, trouble or temptation, to fight our enemies for us and deliver us from their power, to guide and direct us in making right and wise decisions. He has promised to heal us when are sick.”
But, when it comes to real faith brethren, there’s more to the subject than just knowing God’s overall will. It’s also important that we obey Him and keep both His spiritual laws and His physical laws. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22). Psalm 34:15 also shows us: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”
An example of disobeying God’s physical laws comes to mind with thinking of our own human bodies. For instance, if a person treats their body with contempt through poor diet, then they’re going to reap a physical penalty, eventually. God’s people must realize that our bodies are a temple of God’s Holy Spirit and should not be held in contempt. “Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves” (I Corinthians 6:19).
Secondly, when it comes to real faith, we must BELIEVE God. God does not lie. He ALWAYS keeps His promises. “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29). Psalm 62:8 also shows us: “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Believing God is an essential part of true faith!
Next week I plan to finish this series of letters on the subject of FAITH. Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone!
Your Brother in Christ,