Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Critique of Pete Cabrera’s View on Sickness and Healing

At my church some members have recently had a discussion about Pete Cabrera Jr’s view of the sovereignty of God in healing. In a video entitled If God heals then why am I sick?, Cabrera seeks to explain why, if God is in control and loves us, bad things (like sickness) happen to Christians. Cabrera’s basic answer is that God has nothing to do with sickness; sickness is totally the work of the devil; and it is the job of every Christian to use the legal authority of Christ’s victory over the devil to command disease to leave our bodies whenever it affects us.

Cabrera’s teaching on healing is problematic. His analogy of a robber robbing a bank as a way of explaining that God does not allow or cause bad things to happen is unbiblical. God is not like a human government, and it is simply wrong to compare him to one in the way that Cabrera does. Human governments are limited in power, because they are made up of human beings, who have limited power. But God’s government is unlimited in power. God is not a human being (even if he subsequently becomes one in Jesus Christ)! God is all-powerful, and nothing is impossible for him (Dan 4:35; Luke 1:37). In using this analogy, Cabrera is giving expression to a low view of God’s sovereignty.

Cabrera teaches that Satan attacks our body with sickness and disease, not God. This also is unbiblical. The Bible teaches that all things (including bad things like sickness and disease) ultimately come from God. This stems from the fact that the effects of sin (such as hardship, pain, disease, and death) are punishments from God (Gen 3:16–19). These punishments are consistent with the way that God has structured the world. Genesis 1 indicates that God initially created a world that was formless and empty and covered in darkness; but Gen 1 also tells us that God’s word creates light where once there was darkness, order where once there was disorder, and life where once there was no life. The ethical implication of Gen 1 is that disobedience to the word of God takes the world back to the default situation of chaos and darkness. In other words, God has built darkness, disorder, and death into the very structure of the universe. Darkness, disorder, and death are the natural consequences of disobedience to God’s word. This moral structure of the universe is why the Bible views all things, even negative things like disease and death, as coming ultimately from the hand of God.

Understanding that God created the universe with a moral dimension, it comes as no surprise to find a large number of verses in the Bible that speak of God as causing diseases, disabilities, and disasters. When Moses was initially worried about becoming a prophet, God asked him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exod 4:11). According to God’s own words, he is the one who causes muteness, deafness, and blindness. Cabrera’s teaching completely contradicts God’s words in Exod 4:11.

That God can and does cause sickness and disease is also clear from the curses of the old covenant. The covenant curses are what God “will do to [Israel]” upon Israel’s violation of the covenant (Lev 26:16):

“if you … break my covenant … I will visit you … with wasting disease and fever … if you walk contrary to me, and disobey me, I will continue to strike you sevenfold for your sins” (Lev 26:15–16); “if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, your God … the Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat … the Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, from which you cannot be healed. The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind … the Lord will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head … the Lord will bring upon you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, severe and lasting afflictions, grievous and lasting sicknesses. And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt … and they will cling to you. Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in this book of the law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed” (Deut 28:15, 22, 27–28, 35, 59–61).
The curses of the old covenant were negative actions on God’s part, directed against Israel. According to the curses of the old covenant, clearly God can and does cause disease.

But punishments such as sickness and disease are not the sole domain of the old covenant. Sickness and disease also exist as curses within the new covenant. When Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount of money that they had donated to the church from the sale of their land, they were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1–10). In his discussion of abuses at the Lord’s Supper, the Apostle Paul wrote that many of the Corinthian Christians had become “weak and ill, and some [had] died” as a result of failing to value the unity of the body of Christ (1 Cor 11:29–30). The new covenant has curses, just as much as the old covenant does. This is why Christians are warned not to break covenant with God (e.g., Heb 10:26–31; 12:14–29). God’s character and the dynamics of his covenantal relations with humanity have not fundamentally changed in the crossover from the old covenant to the new.

Leaving covenant curses aside, there is plenty of alternate evidence in the Bible that shows that God sometimes allows bad things to happen to people. For example, God sometimes “allows” manslaughter. Exodus 21:13 speaks of the situation of a person who had no prior intention of killing anyone, but God allowed or caused the killing to happen (וְהָאֱלֹהִים אִנָּה לְיָדוֹ; literally: yet God causes it to happen to his hand). The illegitimate killing of a human being is always against God’s moral will. It is not something that God wants to happen from a moral point of view. But if it does happen, it does so according to God’s will that determines what happens in history. Thus, it is important, when speaking about God’s will, to distinguish between God’s moral will and God’s decretive will. God’s moral will determines what is morally right or wrong, but God’s decretive will determines what actually takes place in history. The stoning of Stephen was morally wrong, but God allowed it to happen as part of his plan for world history.

According to the Bible, God does not just allow bad things to happen; at times he actively does things that impact negatively on particular people. In Deut 32:39, in the context of divine judgment against Israel, God says: “There is no god besides me. I put to death, and I bring to life. I have wounded, and I will heal.” In 1 Sam 2:6–7, speaking more generally about the character of God, Hannah says: “The Lord brings death, and makes alive. He brings down to the grave, and raises up. The Lord makes poor, and makes rich. He humbles and exalts.” The only way that God can bring people back to life is if he first allows them to die. According to Hannah, life and death, wealth and poverty, exaltation and humiliation, all equally come from the hand of God. The Old Testament saints had an extremely high view of God’s sovereignty. They understood that God was the ultimate cause of any disaster that happens. The prophet Amos asks: “If evil comes upon a city, has not Yahweh done it?” (Amos 3:6). Reflecting on the terrible destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, the author of Lamentations asks the question: “Who can say it, and then it happens? Is it not the Lord who commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that bad things and goodness come?” (Lam 3:37–38). Reflecting on the exile and Israel’s eventual return from Babylon, God states that one of the reasons for the judgment and restoration of Israel is so that “people might know from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting that there is no one besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other” (Isa 45:6). But what does this knowledge of Yahweh involve? It includes what God pronounces about himself in the very next verse: “I form the light, and create darkness. I bring peace, and create evil. I, Yahweh, do all these things” (Isa 45:7). When Job’s wife called upon him to curse God, Job replied: “Shall we accept good from God, and not accept evil?” (Job 2:10). And the Bible states that “in all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10). Good things and bad things ultimately come from God. When bad things happen, we are to accept those things as God’s will for us while longing and praying (like Job) for God to restore his blessing to us as soon as possible according to his timetable. “‘Yahweh gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of Yahweh.’ In all this Job did not sin, and did not complain against God” (Job 1:21–22).

God, therefore, is the ultimate cause of all things, including the bad things that happen in our world. Satan obviously has a key role in bringing about evil; but, as the story of Job illustrates, Satan can only do what God allows him to do (Job 1:12; 2:6). Even when Satan requests God’s permission to harm Job, he does so knowing that it is ultimately God who will stretch out his hand and strike him. Satan did not ask for permission for himself to harm Job. He actually requested for God himself to harm Job (see Job 1:11; 2:5), and in response God permitted Satan to exercise a degree of authority over Job for the accomplishment of Satan’s plans for evil and God’s plans for good. Satan is simply an instrument in God’s hands through whom God displays his glory, as he works to bring good out of evil. According to the Apostle Paul, “God is faithful; he will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, but will also provide together with the temptation a way out, for you to be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13). God is intimately involved in our temptations. He does not tempt us, but he permits the temptations that come our way to come, while proscribing the limits to which Satan can go in tempting us. Cabrera’s view that God is totally good, and has nothing to do with evil, because evil is totally a work of Satan, is far from the biblical presentation on this issue. In effect, Cabrera has a dualistic theology where God and Satan are (for all intents and purposes) equal but opposite forces. The Bible never allows Satan that much power. Satan is always under God’s control. The only reason that Jesus can cast out demons is because he is stronger than Satan (Luke 11:22). God allowed the strong man, Satan, to take possession of the world; but the new covenant is the time in God’s good plan when the rule of God has come (Luke 11:20). The coming of God’s kingdom rule involves the stronger man, Jesus, coming to attack and overpower Satan, in order to put an end to the rule of evil over the world (Luke 11:22). God is stronger than Satan. Satan could only take over the world in the first place because God allowed him to. This is similar to what we see in Rev 20:1–3. With the coming of the new covenant in Christ, an angel was sent down from heaven to seize and bind Satan up for 1,000 years (i.e., the majority of the new covenant age), breaking the hold of Satan’s deceptive rule over the nations, and allowing the gospel of salvation to go out to the Gentile world. But after the 1,000 year period, “Satan will be released from his prison” (Rev 20:3, 7). This is not a case of jailbreak. It is a case of God giving the order for Satan to go free. But God will do this in order to give Satan the opportunity to deceive the nations once more (albeit briefly) with a view to God proving his power over Satan by completely defeating him and his forces in a final battle (Rev 20:8–10). Satan is merely a pawn in the sovereign purposes of God.

Cabrera has a simplistic view that God only brings blessing and never refuses anyone who asks him for healing. But contrary to what Cabrera implies, Jesus did not heal everyone who asked for healing straight away. A classic case in point is Lazarus. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus to ask him to come and heal their brother, Lazarus, who was sick (John 11:1–3). Jesus responded by saying that “this sickness … is for the glory of God, so that God’s Son might be glorified through it” (John 11:4). Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, “yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days” so that Lazarus would die (John 11:5–6). Jesus even told his disciples that he was “glad” for their sake that Lazarus had died, so that their faith in Jesus as the resurrection and the life might be established through them subsequently witnessing the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:15, 25). In a similar way, the man born blind was born that way so that God’s power and glory might be revealed through him, and not because of his own sin or his parents’ sin (John 9:2–3). God often allows sickness and death to happen in order to create the conditions against which he then subsequently acts in order to display his energy and power.

Cabrera teaches that every Christian legally has a right to healing, and that we can claim and experience the fullness of such healing in the world today. But the Bible’s view is that, while we legally have the right to healing in Christ, the degree of blessing that is realized for us in this world is dependent on God’s will and timetable. It should always be remembered that God’s will is for the fullness of blessing and healing to come when Jesus returns, not before. When Jesus returns, the final enemy of death will be totally defeated (1 Cor 15:26). Only when Jesus returns will the negative things of the world be totally removed (Rev 21:1–6). The fact that the right to partake of the tree of life in paradise is given to those who have overcome (Rev 2:7), and that the leaves of the tree of life will be for the healing of the nations (Rev 22:2), also suggest that full healing will not ordinarily be experienced by any of God’s people until the new Jerusalem has come.

To say that we can have full healing now while death will only be fully dealt with when Jesus returns is also scientifically problematic in that it denies the causal connection that exists between disease and death. Those who die a natural death do so because of aging or disease. Indeed many in the field of medical science today hold that aging is a disease, because it is caused by damage done over time to the DNA within our cells. Why then do Christians with views like Cabrera not pray for the DNA damage in people’s cells to stop so that the aging process might no longer continue?

Another issue with Cabrera’s teaching is that he teaches that all Christians have received authority from Jesus to heal the sick and to cast out demons. The problem with this is that the Bible only records that such authority was explicitly given to the twelve apostles (Matt 10:1; Mark 3:14–15; 6:7; Luke 9:1–2) and to the seventy (Luke 10:1, 9, 17, 19). Without any specific teaching to the effect that this authority was also given to every Christian, then it remains an assumption to say that all Christians have exactly the same authority as the twelve and the seventy. Apart from the twelve and the seventy, the only other healings that are recorded in the New Testament are linked to Philip (Acts 8:6–7), Paul (Acts 14:8–10; 19:11–12; 20:9–12; 28:8–9; see also Acts 16:16–18; 28:3–6), and possibly also Stephen (Acts 6:8) and Barnabas (Acts 14:3). A key principle of the interpretation of Scripture is that description is not necessarily prescription. The fact that the apostles and the seventy had authority to heal all sorts of diseases is not proof sufficient to establish the doctrine that all Christians have the ability to heal. The explicit teaching of Paul on the issue of healing strongly suggests otherwise. Paul teaches that the ability to heal in a miraculous way is a gift that is given to some Christians, but not all Christians: different gifts are distributed to different people according to God’s determination (1 Cor 12:9, 11, 28). Paul explicitly denies that every Christian will possess all of the gifts: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Do all perform miracles? Do all have gifts of healing?” (1 Cor 12:29–30). Paul, therefore, denies that every Christian can have the gift of healing. Finally, in 2 Cor 12:12, Paul speaks of “signs and wonders and miracles” as being “the signs of an apostle.” Miracles are not the sign of being a Christian; but a sign of being an apostle, or else simply a sign that one has been blessed by God with a particular spiritual gift.

How then should we understand Jesus’ statements that “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and he will do greater works than these” (John 14:12); that Jesus will do whatever we ask if we pray for it in his name (John 14:13–14); that if we have faith as little as a mustard seed, we can do anything, even commanding a mountain to move (Matt 17:20; Mark 11:23)? The term works in John’s Gospel denotes more than just miracles. Works are simply whatever someone does (e.g., John 3:19–21; 7:7; 8:39, 41). Jesus’ works are the things that God the Father has shown or given him to do (John 5:20, 36); and these included his miracles, his words (John 14:10), and also his death on the cross (John 19:30 read in the light of John 17:4). Jesus defines doing the works of God for us human beings primarily in terms of believing that Jesus has been sent by God to be the divine Messiah (John 6:28–29). So when Jesus said to the apostles that believers will do the works that he did, and even greater works than those that he did, we should not think of these works as being solely miraculous in nature. The phrase greater works also appears in John 5:20, where it seems to be a reference to resurrection and the giving of life (see John 5:21). The phrase works also occurs immediately prior to John 14:12 in John 14:10, where the term works includes “the words which [Jesus] speak[s].” Putting all of this together suggests that the greater works that Jesus speaks of in John 14:12 have to do primarily with accomplishment of God’s mission on earth, which involves the spread of the gospel, taking the possibility of eternal life out to the nations. In other words, Jesus has in mind the role of Christians in the task of world evangelism by way of contrast to his own work of evangelism which was primarily limited to Israel and unsuccessful in terms of the numbers of people who came to faith. Any miracles that take place in the process of believers co-operating with God in achieving his mission for the world are subservient to the bigger purpose of evangelism and building the kingdom of God. Regarding Jesus granting whatever we ask for in prayer, the prayer that Jesus has in mind in John 14:13 is prayer prayed in the name of Jesus. Jesus’ name is his title and his authority as Messiah, the Lord of all. Whatever we pray for must be respectful of Jesus’ authority and also consonant with his will and timetable. In John 14:13, Jesus simply says that he “will do” whatever we ask for in his name. There is a difference between will do and will do immediately. This point also applies to Jesus’ words about moving mountains in Matt 17:20; Mark 11:23. “For [those] who fear the name of the Lord, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2); but Malachi ties this time of healing in ultimately with the day of judgment, when “the wicked” will have become “ashes under the soles of your feet” (Mal 4:1, 3). We should understand, therefore, that our prayers for healing may not be fully realized until the day of resurrection.

In relation to the issue of doing greater works than Jesus, we need also to make sense of Jesus’ teaching in John 9:3–5, where Jesus speaks of a time when night will come, corresponding to when he is no longer in the world, during which “no one can work” (John 9:4–5). Given that Jesus was about to heal the man born blind, and that this was one of “the works of the one who ha[d] sent [him]” (John 9:4), the idea seems to be here that, after Jesus has left the world to go to the Father, no miracles will be able to be performed. The fact, however, that some miracles took place in the apostolic age after Jesus had ascended into heaven suggests that Jesus’ comment about the impossibility of work being done during his absence is a general statement rather than one that is intended to be taken as being historically precise in the strictest sense. Yet, at the very least, we can say that this statement on the part of Jesus suggests that miracles will not be as common during his absence as they were during the time that he was present in the world.

It is important to pray for healing where there is genuine need (Jas 5:14–16), but to promote healing by teaching that every Christian has received authority from Jesus to heal the sick is a weighty inference that is not supported by the wider teaching of Scripture. The passage that comes closest to supporting Cabrera’s view is Mark 16:17–18. The main problem with this passage is that most scholars consider the longer ending of Mark (i.e., Mark 16:9–20) to be a later addition to the text, dating from at least earlier than the middle of the second century. But even if the longer ending of Mark were considered to be genuine, the wording these signs will accompany those who have believed still falls short of being an explicit statement which proves that all Christians can or will perform miracles in Jesus’ name. If such authority had been given to all Christians as a key consequence of their identity in Christ, it is strange that this teaching was not emphasized in the letters of Paul, James, or Peter, or in the letter to the Hebrews. In fact, such a teaching is nowhere to be found. The emphasis in the New Testament is on love (our love for God and our love for each other) rather than on our identity in Christ and any supposed authority to perform miracles.

Overall, therefore, there are many problems with Cabrera’s teaching on sickness and healing from a biblical point of view. His view of God is too small; his view of Satan too big. The biblical position is that God is in control of all things (Satan included); and that God’s plan in world history involves a movement from darkness, disorder, and death to light, order, and life, in which God is intimately involved. Instead of listening to the totality of Scripture, Cabrera has picked out a few verses from the New Testament and sought to tie them together with the use of human logic. A selective reading according to human logic is not the proper way to treat God’s word. Respect for God’s revelation requires that every individual verse in Scripture needs to be interpreted in the light of the whole of Scripture. God is not merely a God of love. He is also the God who humbles and exalts. The true character of God is beautifully captured in the voice of the afflicted man of the book of Lamentations: “For the Lord does not reject forever. Even though he causes suffering, he will show compassion according to the abundance of his mercy. For he does not willingly [literally: מִלִּבּוֹ from his heart] afflict or cause human beings to suffer” (Lam 3:31–33). God does not enjoy seeing people suffer, but part of his plan for the world involves using suffering as the context for the revelation of his mercy and compassion. And this is exactly what we see at the cross. Jesus was afflicted, “stricken, smitten by God” (Isa 53:4); and “it was the will of the Lord to crush him” (Isa 53:10). Yet “out of the anguish of his soul he will see and be satisfied” (Isa 53:11), and “by his stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5). It is the will of God to bring healing out of affliction, and life out of death. To deny this is to deny the character of God as expressed through the cross of Christ.

75 comments:

Randa said...

Hi Steven,

Randa here -
Thanks for the post, I appreciate your thoughts and effort; and thorough treatment of the topic from a solid scriptural basis.
I have attended in the past some presentations and teaching on healing (that was before I read the Bible in it's entirety) I admit probably my outlook would have been informed and tempered had I known the word of God better. My conviction is that we are exhorted in the scriptures to pray for the sick and God is able and surely does intervene with healing (Hezekiah's sickness and healing for instance)- but intervention is always in accordance with his plan and in his timing and indeed answering our requests may not be according to his plan.(I like your reflection on what will ultimately be achieved at the resurrection).
I've watched the clip by Pete Caberera. Just a comment on your statement that Caberera views God and Satan as opposite and 'equal' forces - while there is a strong dualistic flavour to Pete's assertions (in the teaching that Satan acts in opposition to God's plan - not accounting for instances such as when Paul was given a messenger from Satan to torment him! (2 Cor 12:7))- nevertheless, it's probably fair to say that he (Pete) would in fact assert that God is more powerful than Satan. I agree with you that his teaching regarding healing is simplistic and does not take into account the whole of scripture (including the New Covenant scriptures).
Your reflections on the aging process are interesting, I also thought of the pain experienced in childbirth - which women are subjected to even under the New Covenant. Pain is part of humanity's existence for now - physical and otherwise (Jesus uses the birth pains metaphorically in John 16, and the Apostle John in Rev 22) - looking forward to life and ultimately it's of great comfort that the scriptures point to a time where there will be no more pain. It's a blessing to be able to seek God in times of sickness or pain, as you said when there is genuine need - he is able to heal, or give the grace to withstand our current conditions. I have known people of faith ask of God and receive physical healing, and the same people ask and be satisfied with not receiving.

Regards, and many thanks -

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Randa! I think I agree with everything you’ve just written. Like you, I imagine that Pete Cabrera holds that God is stronger than Satan, so that is why I have the words “in effect” and “for all intents and purposes” in my post when commenting on his dualistic presentation of God and Satan. I assume that in theory Cabrera isn’t a classic dualist, but in practice he comes very close.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and many blessings in the Lord!

Anonymous said...

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Anonymous said...

James 5:14-16

Is anyone among you sick? 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 will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

Anonymous said...

John 14:13

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Steven Coxhead said...

Yes, but please explain to Christian brothers and sisters who have had righteous people lay hands on them and pray for healing yet still suffer from a disability. I know several brothers and sisters like that. What's your explanation for that?

Anonymous said...

I have performed healings in my work place at home, at friends.
With in an hour of teaching my 4 year old son about the Holy Spirit and that because he has the Holy Spirit he could now heal, I had just received a back injury from a head collision during a soccer match and by the time we got home (about 20min) I had taught him about the holy spirit and told him to pray for my back, he was about 2.5meters away and mumbled a prayer, and some of the pain went in my back, I then said to do it again three different pains in my back went each time he prayed. Over the past couple of years my son and I have seen various healings, I have taught very little on gifting but to believe, believe in Father Son and Holy Spirit and to not limit what God can do through him. Some times people are healed, sometime they just feel loved and blessed. sometimes they feel peace and comfort, sometime like weight has been taken off there shoulders, stop picking and go and do good any way you believe you can with God. Lets encourage one another in faith. Press on and don't give up, do everything in love.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the poor grammar

Steven Coxhead said...

That’s good. I do not doubt that God has the ability to heal, and that he can heal miraculously today if it is his will. That does not change the fact, however, that sometimes people are not healed straight away. I know a number of people who suffer from serious disabilities such as deafness and paraplegia. It is very discouraging to them to have people who claim to have the gift of healing pray for them to be healed only for nothing to happen. So who is discouraging whom? It is good to pray for immediate healing, but when it doesn’t happen, our hope needs to be directed toward the future, and most supremely to the day of resurrection when Christ returns. That is the day when finally there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev 21:4).

Anonymous said...

First stay in full power of true. This am I as a servant. Far beyond this is what to say after praeyer. In the moment stay firm be full of courage. Be only proudfull donkey of the King of kings. I pray for giving hope, not for shut down someones hope. This is try and discover how good is the Lord...

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven
This is Lewis. Thanks first of all for a scriptural approach to this subject.
I would like to make a few comments based on my own research on the topic of healing.
1. Thanks for pointing out the various scriptures noting that sickness, disease, pain
etc do sometimes come from God. People who teach that sickness etc can only come from
Satan seem oblivious to these scriptures.
2. I once extracted all healings (including deliverance from demonic oppression ) performed by Jesus recorded in the gospel of
Matthew and also just by memory it suggests the same by the other three that Jesus healed all who came to Him for healing / deliverance.
While I am fully aware that just because there was not a single case of Jesus rejecting the request recorded, it is not necessarily true He
never said to anyone sorry it is not the Father's will to heal you and therefore go in peace and stay strong in the faith despite the pain, the
oppression, the handicap etc.

Having said that IMO this is one of the areas that are ambiguous and while the argument may not be water tight I simply choose to
believe that Jesus never did reject anyone who went to Him for healing/deliverance and that's why no such incident was recorded. And when
I approach Him today for healing, He will not reject me. :)

Anonymous said...

3. You mentioned Paul informed us that all everyone's got the gift of healing. Quite true. However if you have time I encouraged you to
listen to Elijah Challenge's Pastor William. He is of the opinion that the authority to heal and the gift of healing are two different things. So
even if u don't have the gift of healing u still have the authority to heal.

Here's the link. There's a short audio teaching near the bottom.

http://theelijahchallenge.org/Flash%20Files%20for%20Basic%20Training/Basic%20Training%20Downloadable.html

Btw I think it's by the last bit of Matthew ie 'Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you' that people
believe they, like the 12 and subsequently the 70, also have been commissioned by Jesus to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead etc.

For me, again I choose to believe that I am one of the new disciples so I just do it.

Anonymous said...

Still from Lewis...

4. In response to Randa's comment. I sincerely hope that Randa will see my reply here. Women don't have to experience pain during childbirth anymore thanks to Lord Jesus

yes it was a curse from God but Jesus became a curse for us so we are no longer under the curse.

Check out YouTube videos by searching for supernatural childbirth and tell all our sisters in Christ to say no to the knife!!!

Anonymous said...

From Lewis

To Anonymous

I'm wondering if you have any resources (books , videos etc) on how to raise a child to walk the supernatural you can refer me to. I
have a son coming in a few months and I want to raise him the right way and to me that includes the supernatural. Thanks

Lewis

Anonymous said...

It is evident to me that some of your criticisms on Cabrera's views on healing are rooted mostly in doubt and skepticism, more so than in the evidence from scripture. You were very strong in your statements about the relationship between God and good and evil, and satan, but your interpretation of healing is problematic.

You have noted that verses where Jesus says to the disciples that they have been given authority to heal every disease and cast out demons, don't necessarily mean that ALL people have been given such authority. But this also does not necessarily mean that all people who believe in Christ were not given such authority. Had we been alive during that time, maybe he would be saying that to us. Our absence during Jesus' statements giving his disciples authority over such things does not prove that it was not intended for us. We could use the same logic concerning the Great Commission, and conclude that those words were meant only for the 12, and therefore it is not our command to go and make disciples, but rather to simply believe in Jesus and be saved. I also want to point out that Jesus was addressing his disciples because they were his disciples at that time. Are none of us Christians to become disciples? None of us are to pick up our cross and follow him? All of these things were spoken to people, calling them to be disciples, and the authority he gave to those disciples who followed him was not given selectively, but to all of the Apostles and all of the 72.

For the most part, I enjoyed reading this post, but I caution you not to be too arrogant in thinking you guessed correctly in what Jesus meant 2000 years ago. I also had an issue with what you said about miracles not taking place in Jesus' absence, not because I think miracles do occur in his absence, but rather because we have received His Spirit. Jesus went to the Father so that through Him we could have communion with the Father, and Jesus also sent the Holy Spirit as our Helper. In John 16, Jesus says it is to their advantage that he goes to the Father, because otherwise the Helper would not come to them. It seems as though Jesus may be absent in body, but the Holy SPirit is present in the world, and therefore miracles can happen. Works are frequently carried throughout the Bible by people overcome by the Holy SPirit of the Lord, and you yourself admit that miracles did occur at the hands of several people who were not supposedly included, by your interpretation, in Jesus' statements about His disciples receiving the authority to heal and cast out demons.

Maybe Cabrera's theology on the nature of God, Satan, and sickness are not accurate with scripture, but your criticisms on his theology of healing are rooted in you skepticism on certain passages that you disagree with. Be careful not to twist the scriptures to fit your doubts based on experience, or lack thereof. I

f you want to put him on trial, test him by the works of his hands. If he does in fact heal in the name of Jesus, and only God has the power to heal, then he must be acting within the will of God in order to do such things. Maybe he has some things wrong, but if he does the works of the Father, then he must be getting something right in his theology on healing.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Lewis. The issue really is the timing of everything. I believe it is God’s will for believers to be fully healed from all of their ailments, but is it God’s will that all believers be healed immediately in every circumstance? Reality tells us that that is not the case, plus the Bible tells us that pain will only disappear from creation when Jesus returns. It’s not an issue of rejection but timing. Sometimes God allows believers to suffer in order for their faith to grow and in order for God’s power to be revealed by bringing relief or deliverance when he in his sovereign right determines to do so. The situation of Lazarus is a good example. Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead despite his sisters’ calls for Jesus to come straight away in order that he might be able to display through Lazarus his power to resurrect the dead. If Jesus had healed Lazarus straight away, we would not have seen the display of power that he exercised on that particular occasion when he raised Lazarus from the grave.

Regarding the authority to heal, Paul clearly parallels gifts with service and activity in 1 Cor 12:4–6. In other words, whatever we do for God is exercising the gifts of the Spirit that God has given us. To say that there is a kind of healing that Christians can perform which doesn’t come under the category of a spiritual gift is a convenient way of ignoring Paul’s teaching. Our spiritual gifts are simply the ways in which the Spirit moves us to serve God and to build up his kingdom. And Paul’s point in 1 Cor 12 is that the Spirit moves different individuals within God’s people to serve him in the power of the Spirit in different ways.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Anonymous. We determine what God said to the apostles as also applying to us if it is consistent with passages elsewhere in Scripture where believers in general are directly addressed. What Paul says in 1 Cor 12 is quite clear when he says that not everyone has the gift of healing. Jesus had lots of disciples following him during his public ministry, but (from what we can see recorded in the Gospels) we never see Jesus speaking to the total body of his disciples in the manner that he did to the Twelve and the Seventy-Two in regard to healing. That is consistent with what Paul teaches in 1 Cor 12.

Regarding the presence of the Spirit, having God’s Spirit is wonderful, but what’s the point of Jesus future return? If we have the total fullness of God’s presence through the Spirit already, then there’s no need for Christ’s return. But in fact, it is only when Christ returns to be physical present in the world that death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be no longer (Rev 21:4). In other words, before Christ’s physical return the possibility of total healing in this world is not possible in accordance with how God has chosen to structure salvation history. It is only with Christ’s second coming that the power of the Spirit will reach 100% capacity throughout the universe.

If Pete Cabrera is truly healing people in Jesus’ name, well and good. God be praised! But just because someone might have the gift of healing does not necessarily validate all aspects of their theology. In addition, I suspect that anyone who truly had the power to heal like Jesus would have great crowds following them and be famous on an international scale the way that Jesus was. There are still so many suffering people in the world, including some whom I know, who also happen to be believers. What do the advocates of ministries of power have to say to those believers who have sought healing but who haven’t yet been healed, some after many years? Are they stuck in their current situation because their faith isn’t strong enough? It’s actually easy to believe when God answers our prayers straightaway. But what do think Jesus might say about the faith of those who have not seen yet who still believe? Where is our sympathy and compassion for the weak?

Anonymous said...

Hi
I believe that GOD can grow new arms and legs for amputees BUT I have never seen any proof.
Are we limiting GOD to what is possible?.
We cut our self and does not worry about the wound not being healed it heals by itself over time.
Should we not have the same believe in ANY problem and disease we might encounter.
I struggle to have the faith of a mustard seed it is standing like a mountain infront of me. The bigger the problem the smaller my faith gets or shall I say the less I want to pray to GOD because it is his will?. I think GOD gave us free-will to decide otherwise what is the use of creating something that want to serve HIM or not to serve HIM. GOD wants love out of our free will not programmed love. If I was the creator I would create a human with choice to decide if it wants to truely loves me or not.
The woman with bloodflow illness choose to touch JESUS garment because she believed and out of faith she was healed , JESUS did not go to her to heal her.
We can get healed if we truly believe in HIM with all our heart and mind.

It happened to me after my brain anuerism and I was declared not going to make it by doctors to going to be a veggie by the same doctors after I've made it to be not normal after the veggie grew back into a human.
After 3 weeks in a coma
Another 3 weeks in hospital
Another 9 weeks of rehabilitation (could not walk,talk and cognetive skills was gone because of all the bleeding in my brain)
I am normal and better than before and yes people prayed for me but I did not wake up out of my coma when they prayed for me it happened in the early morning hours when I was alone by myself.
I prayed to JESUS when I realised I could not walk eat or talk.
HE healed me and answered the prayers of everybody who prayed for me while I was in a bad state.
PRAISE GOD JESUS HOLY GHOST.
gcooper_za@yahoo.com

Steven Coxhead said...

That's great that you were healed of that particular problem. Praise God! God is indeed our healer.

Yet at the same time we should also acknowledge that God's timetable for healing different people can differ, and that our current perishable bodies will not be fully free from the effects of decay and death until the day of resurrection (1 Cor 15:42-43, 52-54). Therefore, in this life, there is a limit to the amount of healing that a believer will experience.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it’s László here,
I have a comment on God’s timetable concerning healing. I’ll post the passage first from the Gospel of Matthew:

MAT.17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
MAT.17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
MAT.17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
MAT.17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
MAT.17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
MAT.17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
MAT.17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

There is a lot to say about this passage, but the point is that Jesus healed the boy; it was the will of God right there and then to heal. Jesus was the express image of God, so it’s safe to say this. Yet the disciples could not cure him. We’re talking about disciples who had healed and cast out devils earlier (Mat.10), so they should have known how to do it. It’s very interesting to see Jesus’ reaction: he called them perverse and faithless, and said “how long shall I suffer you”! He was obviously very displeased with their result. And He gives the answer right away why they could not cure him: because of their unbelief. If your faith wavers you will not receive anything of the Lord:
JAM.1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
JAM.1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
JAM.1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The disciples have healed before, they must have been in faith then. In this case they could not get it done, and Jesus told them why: because they were not in faith. Faith can waver.

MAR.11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, WHEN ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

You have to believe WHEN you pray, that’s what determines the outcome. Just because we pray for healing and it doesn’t get done right away or within a short time, that doesn’t mean that it’s not God’s will to heal right away. You get what you believe (according to you faith be it unto you). If you believe that God might not heal right away when you pray, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get. But it’s wrong to conclude that this is how God wanted it. Your faith determined the outcome. Just because we see a pattern how things are in reality, it doesn’t mean that God wants it that way; it could just be our consistent unbelief. Like in the case of this lunatic boy, it was God’s will to heal, yet God’s people couldn’t get it done.

Anonymous said...

I know a young kid (age 16) who is dying of cancer. HOW DO I PRAY FOR HIM TO BE HEALED??? I hear so many conflicting theories regarding the scriptures on healing, and now I'm not sure how this works anymore. I KNOW GOD IS SOVEREIGN AND ONLY HE ALONE CAN HEAL...but how do we ask? I know Pete Cabrera "teaches disciples" how to do this but I'm not sure I believe him. How can an unconverted person pray for the healing of others? I don't think that's correct nor biblical.
As of this moment, I know of a young teenager who needs healing or he will die very soon.

Anonymous said...

In reply to the previous comment:

If you are saved, you need to know that the Spirit of God lives inside of you. That gives you authority over sickness and disease, since they are subject to God. There is no set formula as to how to pray, you basically need to command the sickness to leave in Jesus’ name and tell the body to be healed in Jesus’ name.

If you have an urgent prayer request, you can get in contact with John G. Lake Ministries. They’ll pray right away, and if it’s a matter of life and death fairly soon, they’ll try to call and pray on the phone. It’s been done before, don’t despair! Here’s the link:

https://jglm.wufoo.com/forms/pw4-jglm-prayer-request/

Steven Coxhead said...

In reply to the comment about praying for the child with cancer:

Just pray in Jesus' name for the child to be healed. There is no special formula apart from that. Also, if you know anyone who truly has the gift of healing, then inform them of the child's need. Make use too of any appropriate medical treatment that is available, and ask other believers to pray for the child. If it is God's will for him to be healed from the cancer, then healing will take place. But even more important than that is the child's faith in Jesus for eternal salvation. Sadly most have been appointed to die a physical death (Heb 9:27); but if we have faith in Jesus, we will live eternally even though we die physically (John 11:25).

Please keep us informed of developments if you can. My prayers are with the boy in his struggle.

Anonymous said...

Jesus came to give us a perfect image of the Father, and He healed ALL. If it was not God's will for ALL to be healed, then Jesus gave us a false picture of the Father. But He did everything He saw His Father doing so we know the Father will heal ALL that come and believe in faith. Peter said in Acts 10:38, that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with Power, Who went about doing good, HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED BY THE DEVIL. It is the devil's work to steal, kill and destroy men's lives, but Jesus came to GIVE US LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY, AND TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL!

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Anonymous!

You obviously believe that God is all powerful, as I do. That's great, but I have a question:

If it is God's will for ALL to be healed, and if God is all powerful (which means that no one can effectively oppose his will), then please explain why it is that ALL people do not experience healing, and why it is that one day you will die a physical death like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it’s László here. The question was not directed to me, but I have a couple of thoughts on it.
Yes, God is all-powerful, but by His omnipotence He tied some of His will to the will of men. That’s the majesty of choice, God will not mess with that, because He put some limitations on Himself when He created man. It’s not really the question of “Can God do anything?”, but “Will He?” Some things are God’s will, but they won’t get done because the people are not willing. For example the administration of salvation and healing were given to men. God will not do it for us. When God saw that Cornelius and his household were ready for the gospel, an angel appeared to him, but did not tell him how to get saved. Instead he told him to get Peter to lead them to salvation. The preaching of the gospel was given to men. So was the administration of healing given to men! Some Christians don’t have a clue how to witness and lead somebody to salvation. Even though God wants someone to witness since He commanded us all to do it, if that person is not willing, He will have to find another capable Christian to get the witnessing done. Otherwise it will just simply not get done. It’s exactly the same with healing. Most Christians don’t know how to administer healing, and this is why not all people get healed. God has already done His part, healing is included in the atonement. It’s men’s part to administer it. And yes, so called “healers” would not even stand out so much if every Christian would know how to get healing for themselves, but they don’t. That’s why not every person experiences healing.

There are examples in the Bible when some things didn’t happen according to God’s will.

It’s not God’s will that people perish, yet many do. He wants all to get saved:
2PE.3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God’s people’s disobedience LIMITED (!!!)God:
PSA.78:40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
PSA.78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

It was God’s will to draw people to Himself, but the people were not willing, so it didn’t happen:
MAT.23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

God has left a lot up to us, and He won’t do everything for us. Like the people and the talents. (Mat.25.) He got mad at the guy who hid the talent and didn’t return it with profit. God wants to reap where He did not sow! The profit was His will, but He wanted the guy to get it.
I’m sure there are more examples, but that’s all that came to me right now.

And, why do we die a physical death? Because Adam and Eve bit into the apple.

1CO.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1CO.15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

ROM.5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Death is not necessarily tied to sickness at all times. It is possible to die a healthy man. (And I’m not talking about accidents, catastrophes, murder, or anything like this that can take a life).

Anonymous said...

People who are presently walking in a certain sin will not be healed of the ailment that caused the sickness until they have heartfelt remorse, and have the idea to go and sin no more. Many people do not even relate their sickness to any sin, and even if they were healed, they would soon loose the healing because the sin remains unabated.

Anonymous said...

Steven, The answer to your question as to why people do not get healed. As explained earlier, sin is the most prominent reason. Maybe even the sin of unbelief. Or the sin of a generational curse on the family line. Sin causing sickness is seldom taught, but there are over two dozen examples in the new testament alone.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks for the recent comments, but they do not explain the full story. Sure sin can prevent healing, but God can easily overcome sin through sending his Spirit to work in people’s hearts to transform them. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov 21:1). If God wants to change people’s hearts, who can resist his will (Rom 9:19, which is a statement with which Paul agrees)? Surely God’s power is greater than the power of sin and sickness. So why then does sin and sickness still exist in the world? Don’t tell me that God cannot overcome these things in an instant if he chose to do so.

Laszlo is closer to the mark when he argues that God has tied his will to the will of human beings. That is true enough in the sense that God does not always act immediately to prevent the outcomes of human decision making, but it’s not always going to be that way, is it? Will those who spend eternity in hell willingly want to go there? Maybe some deluded individuals, but definitely not all. In the end, on the day of judgment, God will send them there AGAINST their will. In the end, God will also destroy Satan AGAINST Satan’s will. So Laszlo needs to explain why it is that God is allowing sin and sickness to continue by not filling everyone with the fullness of his Spirit’s power NOW and acting to fully stop sin and Satan NOW. Surely God can stop all forms of evil in an instant NOW … if he wants to. Isn’t that the point of the return of Christ and the day of judgment? So there’s more to the story than what these recent comments have suggested. God’s timetable is also involved in these things. We need to acknowledge this fact.

“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Prov 16:4). God has a purpose for everything that happens.

Anonymous said...

Steven, You mentioned that people would flock to any person who had a gift of healing. Go see for yourself a person at (buttock cancer healed -T.B. Joshua). His headquarters has people all over the world visiting for healing.

You asked Laszio why God doesn't God stop sin and Satan now. He is going to stop them at the end, in His timing. They have a purpose in this life to teach us to choose love over hate. Basically, we get sick when we do not walk in love. We choose sin in our lives, and God gives us free will to choose sin, but we get sick if we do not confess it quickly and turn from it.

You mentioned that God could overcome sin. He did send His Son to do just that, but no one is automatically released from sin and it's consequences. He still lets us choose for ourselves to turn from our sin, or pay the price in sickness and disease.

You mentioned that God could change peoples hearts. He does do that when it is necessary for certain purposes, but if he always changed everyone's heart at random, we would be nothing but a robot with no choice. God wants a relationship with us out of our own free will.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a lot more to the story. It’s impossible to mention everything in a short comment. The reason God doesn’t stop sin right now (although He could) is because He is into something much greater in the long run.
When we get saved, we become sons of God. God, as a loving Father wants to teach us the things He does. We’re supposed to put on the „new man” and grow up to the „measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The purpose Jesus came for was to „destroy the works of the devil” and He wants to keep on doing this through us. Stopping sin now would surely work, but it has a much more powerful long-term result when people choose to do that voluntarily.
Forced obedience is not much of a victory for God. Any dictator can do that. God’s Spirit has to be received, it won’t force itself on people. I can only repeat what I said earlier: God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that they all come to repentance (2.Pet.3:9). But people have a choice in that, and if they don’t receive the spirit, that’s when they’ll be damned:

2TH.2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2TH.2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2TH.2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.



God is into changing our hearts, so we want to stop sin just as much as Him. That’s a much better way of living in harmony with God. That’s the whole point of grace: so that I obey out love because God had mercy on me and not because I’m afraid of some sort of punishment.
God obviously has a purpose for doing it this way, because He will even release the devil after the Millennium.

REV.20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
REV.20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

God has chosen to purge the universe from sin this way, instead of just stepping in and stopping it altogether. The ones who will stay standing will be the ones who chose to stand with God. These are the kind of sons God wants to have.

These questions are real deep. I mean, we could ask why did God put the tree of knowledge in the garden to begin with? So we can fall into sin? Why did it take thousands of years for Jesus to appear? He could have ended a lot of suffering sooner. I don’t know all the answers of course, but I agree there is a time factor. Some things just have to be this way.
But I have to add that God’s overall plan cannot be stopped or changed by anyone. His plans can be delayed by human factors, but God is the master of re-figuring things, and this way or another, His will comes to pass. The thing is that as long as God can employ a human to do His will, He will opt to do that. When all else fails and His prophets don’t speak, He will have a Balaam speak for Him. When Balaam fails, He will have a donkey speak for Him. If the donkeys fail, He will have the “rocks and hills cry out” and He’ll “raise up children for Abraham from the rocks”. In that sense I agree that no one can effectively stand against God’s will. But it can be delayed, like when Elijah was commanded to anoint Jehu to be king, but he didn’t do it, so Elisha had to do it several years later. In the meantime Ahab did a lot of evil which could have been avoided if Elijah had obeyed.

László

Anonymous said...

Great post. I also grew up on the side that instant healings were only for Jesus times and the 12 Disciples. I was not even aware of the 70 or 72 others until I started researching healing about a year ago. Pete and others have done a great job in keeping the focus not on them but on teaching that all Christian have the ability to heal in the name of Jesus.

About 3 months ago I finally told Jesus I am all in and will take Him at his word. Prior to this I was operation our of fear and disbelief. I was more focused on the what if they are not healed verses obeying God and serving Jesus in whatever capacity He needed for that day to include but not limited to physical healing. From the point I said I was all in amazing things have happened. Not because I was operating out of my authority but rather about of my Identify in Christ. As a Pastor myself and many other Pastors who don't / did not believe that instant healings were/are for today. In the past 3 months I have prayed for over 80 people and the majority less then 5 were healed instantly by Jesus. It is real easy to focus on the less then 5 people who did not receive an instant healing rather then the 75 plus who where healed instantly. If we focus on the why did we not see instant healings for this person than our focus is not on Jesus. It is heading back to the mindset of fear of why, and what if's. We are not God. Our job is to go and love people. Our job is to believe. Our job is to trust in Jesus. If we don't see something happen on the spot does not mean that Jesus will not heal them tomorrow. In the end our focus should not be on the healing happening or not happening in front of us, but rather just saying yes to Jesus and go and love people. Through showing love to others Jesus will show up.

I read some of your comments above and they are comments based on fear and your own lack of faith. Not lack of faith that makes you saved but rather your lack of faith that God can and will use all Christians who make themselves a vessel for Him. Yes healing is just one aspect of our identify in Christ and healing should not be our only focus, however healing for today should not be removed from your Christian walk either because of your last of belief.

God will give you whatever you need as a Christian at the time it is needed so long as you are walking in your identity in Christ and are completely open to being used by Him. Remember nothing is impossible for Christ who is in you. The second we say that is not possible you have just limited the power of God which is inside you. Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

It is God's will that all would be saved. Some don't want to die to self so not all are. We have too much natural knowledge and not enough belief in God's word.

Brice Blackerby said...

I am a personal friend of Pete Cabrera Jr. and he would like to take the author of this post out with him for some street evangelism. please let me know and I will arrange it.

Brice Blackerby said...

From Pete's Facebook: Pete Cabrera Jr "Can anyone find this person I would love to bring them out with me on the streets. A to follow up his review I mean." Please contact me if the author is interested at bblackerby@earthlink.net

Anonymous said...

Faith working through love makes healing and all the spiritual gifts possible, it really is that simple. My advise would be to stop letting head knowledge get in the way and argue your way out of moving in the love and compassion of Jesus, as we would move forward in love and faith, Holy Spirit makes healing possible. This is why Paul spends so much time talking about love in 1 Cor and in 1 Cor 14:1 he says pursue love first and then second desire the spiritual gifts, love makes available through Holy Spirit whatever is needed right in front of you. Pursue love and pursue the simplicity of the Gospel.

Revel8ion Ministries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revel8ion Ministries said...

Legalism at its worst! This is nothing but an attack on Jesus/grace and truth.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-10‬ NKJV)

Dre'as Sanchez said...

Look at the fruits of Pete's ministry. Seems like God.

So why then would God allow this? Lol

Come on. Just be like Jesus and ur good

Anonymous said...

I think if we create theology or beliefs from people NOT getting healed then we've moved from Bible to a source of fear, and making excuses. God is good, and there are free wills in play but I strongly believe God no longer causes sickness as the entire curse and wrath was exhausted on Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Go contact Pete. He is wanting to take you out with him. He just posted on his Facebook page he would love to hang out with you. Love to see your next post after you walk with him and see Jesus work.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks for the comments.

Just posted this on Pete's Facebook page as a comment:

Steven, the blogger in question here. Glad to create some discussion around this topic. I live in Australia, but that shouldn't be any obstacle. A simple challenge: if Pete and other Christians can do what Jesus did regards healing the sick, then just like what we see in John 4:43-54, Pete shouldn't need to be physically present to heal someone. Jesus could perform long distance miracles. So to Pete and anyone else who claims to have that power, please pray for a six year old boy called Ryan whom I know personally. He was born with spina bifida and cannot walk. Please tell me when you start praying for him. If you can do what Jesus can do, he should be healed of this condition like the official's son was, at "the exact time" that you start praying for him. I'm happy though to give you 24 hours or however long you'd like to heal him. And by the way, I do believe in miracles and I do believe that some people have the gift of healing.

Anonymous said...

Dre'as Sanchez has a good point. The fruits of Pete's Ministry show folks being saved, delivered and healed on a very consistent basis. How often does that happen here at "Berith Road"?

Steven Coxhead said...

Not sure if the last comment was being cynical or if it was a genuine question, but I'll answer it all the same. I'd say "occasionally, according to God's will and timetable."

Robert Lott III said...

Steven, you might find this resource helpful: http://www.leadersource.org/resources/audio/Healing/

While I don't agree with everything you said, but I appreciate you bringing up some of the difficult passages where God is attributed to doing "negative" things. I personally believe it's always God's will to heal, but I have myself wondered about the timing question. After all, total healing = no death, which will only happen after the resurrection in the end.

Anonymous said...

Jesus taught us through the gospels what his will is and how to heal the sick and cast out demons.....the gospels is enough...paul and peter and what not.the epistles did not have to re write everything that jesus taught us in the gospels.the books after the gospels teach us more in depth on what it is to be a Christian. They add and explain more of our life in christ.in my opinion they had no need to go over again all the stuff we have in the gospels.thats why they dont spend very much time explaining healing and casting out devils and what not because jesus and gospels says enough about it.��if your wondering why didnt it get explained more after gospels.jesus did a great job the first time around.i also believe thatthe old testament is a shadow and type and that if theres anything in question.it has to line up with the life character and stand jesus takes.jesus is perfect theology. God dealt with man very differently in the old covenant.in which sin was imputed unto man.before the law god dealt with man differently.then the law came and boom how god dealt with man changed again. Then jesus came and here we stand.once again god dealing with man under grace.God Has not changed but how he deals with us has changed over time.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Robert. Thanks for your understanding.

Steven Coxhead said...

I can't let Pete get away with this though. I wish it were otherwise:

See “Pete Cabrera Jr: A False Prophet?”.

The Holy Spirit never ever lies.

Steven Coxhead said...

Where's Pete's post? Why has he deleted it? Is he trying to hide something or what?

Dave Poole, PhD said...

Steven Coxhead is a wonderful man of great integrity. Pete Cabrera strikes me as one of a long line of guys (usually American men, but females as well) for whom faith in the unseen is unsufficient. I have lectured at universities around the world, have served as an elected representative, and can vouch for the intellect and thoughtfulness of Steven Coxhead, as well as the existence of Ryan whom many of you seem to have prayed for and yet still has spina bifida. Don't ask Steven, who lives in Australia, to do street evangelism. Show me the merest hint of a scientific study that Christians in general, and particularly those who form part of the Cult of Cabrera, are healed in any greater numbers than in the general populace. You can't and you won't because it just doesn't happen. The bible says that you can move mountains with your prayer. Please post the video of the mountain moving! Did God heal Paul of his 'thorn in ths side'? Why are books like Job and Ecclesiastes in the Bible? And why did Jesus refuse to provide the 'evidence' that Satan directly asked him to provide? Because he told us that we had to have faith. Benny Himm, Pete Cabrera, the 'health and wealth gospel', Joel Osteen. There will always be large numbers of people looking for a saviour, but there is only one and the only time when we won't face the diseases and hurts of a fallen world is when we meet him face-to-face in the next.

Press on, Steven. You can only offer truth....

By the way, Americans, I strongly recommend a book entitled "How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World" since your dogma is smashed therein.

Dave

Anonymous said...

It’s very interesting to follow this dialogue, if you don’t mind I add my observations too.
First of all there is a place for signs and wonders in the gospel, but it’s not for the believers! It was meant for the unbelievers:

MAR.16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
MAR.16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

ACT.13:7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
ACT.13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
ACT.13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
ACT.13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
ACT.13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
ACT.13:12 Then the deputy, WHEN HE SAW WHAT WAS DONE, (!!!) believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.


Paul considered signs and wonders as part of „fully preaching the gospel”:

ROM.15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

I admit, there are some charismatic Christians who are a bit immature and they always need to have some sign, some manifestation from the Holy Spirit, otherwise they think the Lord is not present with them. They need some goose bump, or gold dust, or be slain in the Spirit, etc., but we’re not talking about this right now. Healing is completely different. It’s sign for the unbelievers, but it’s not that Pete Cabrera needs to experience this constantly to feed his faith. The reason someone is able to heal like Pete does is because they know that the Holy Spirit is CONSTANTLY present with them. Their identity lies in Christ, that’s the source of the signs and wonders. So it’s not for Pete, because his faith needs it; it’s because God wants to heal. It’s the Father’s heart to ease the suffering, and it’s this compassion from the Father that comes through when someone dares to step out and lay hands on the sick so that they’d recover!

On the other hand asking Pete to heal somebody just out of a challenge, or asking to post a mountain moving video, sounds a lot like what the Pharisees did with Jesus. No wonder Pete didn’t get into it:

MAT.12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
MAT.12:39 But he answered and said unto them, 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:

MAR.8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
MAR.8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

By this time Jesus had done a lot of miracles and everybody knew it. The Pharisees didn’t really want a sign. They were just picking on Jesus and wanted to see him fail. There is a big difference in why you want to see a sign. Your attitude matters a lot. It helps when an unbeliever sees a sign. A theology professor should produce a sign.

László

Anonymous said...

to continue:

I know that there have been excesses with the “health and wealth” gospel, but you can’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Healing is part of the atonement, so it’s always God’s will to heal, and the sooner the better. It’s up to us to enforce it. We’re allowed to do it because God has already decided to heal by including it in the atonement. The atonement is constant and unconditional for everyone, all the time. The ones who don’t partake in it are the ones who don’t want it, or just simply can’t believe it. The gospel doesn’t just mean “good news”. It’s the “too good to be true news”! That’s why many struggle with it.

László

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks, Laszlo, but this is a genuine case of need. I'm not asking for a sign. I'm asking that a young, disabled boy might be healed. I'm very disappointed in the way that Pete Cabrera has treated this boy and his parents.

Also, a theological question: How does God's will for universal healing fit in with the fact that "people are destined to die" (Heb 9:27)? The atonement doesn't just bring healing. It also brings life. Yet hasn't God destined (i.e., willed) that most people will physically die one day? How do you reconcile these things? Why do Christians still die if the fullness of healing is already ours?

Melissa SoBlessed Glorioso said...

www.jamn4god.org
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdNjd8oA-g2e0uJS5xsJQkDovZ5BoJPCY

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven,
I understand that this boy’s healing is a genuine need and I didn’t mean to come across judgmental, sorry for that. To me it seemed like your sincere intentions got a bit tainted by using this situation for a challenge. And also, I wouldn’t draw major conclusions about Pete Cabrera just from a short Facebook comment. But anyway, I don’t think we need to discuss this any further.

One very important thing to understand before we get into the atonement, is that humans are a three part being.

1TH.5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, we have a spirit, a soul, and a body. I think we all know what our body is. Our spirit is what God breathed in us so we can live. Our soul is our mind, our thoughts, our will, our emotions. The atonement dealt with all three of our being.

The spirit:

„But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities” (ISA.53:5)


The soul:

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (ISA.53:4)
„the chastisement of our peace was upon him” (ISA.53:5)


The body:

„and with his stripes we are healed” (ISA.53:5)



With the entrance of sin through Adam, our spirit died. That’s why God forgave our sins, so we can live again. The way God atoned for our spirit is that He simply became one with our human spirit through His Holy Spirit at the moment of rebirth.

1CO.6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

So basically, when we get born again, our spirit gets born again right at that moment. That part of the atonement gets done and finished right then. Our spirit will live forever from that point on. The atonement has provided life. I already have eternal life, not just when I get to Heaven. I’m already in the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom is within me.

LUK.17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

A born again person is much different from anybody who has ever lived on Earth. Jesus said that from among all the prophets who lived, John the Baptist was the greatest, but even the smallest person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. How can that be? Because a born again person has the Kingdom of God inside of him, and nobody before was able to possess that. So, my spirit has become one with the Lord’s spirit; that’s taken care of.

Because the Kingdom of God is within me, I can exercise dominion over the other two parts of my being: my soul and my body. It’s my job to renew my mind and bring my will in alignment with the Word of God:
ROM.12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The devil can’t touch my spirit anymore, because it’s sealed:

EPH.1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

to be continued...

Anonymous said...

Since we still live in a corruptible world, the devil can attack my soul with thoughts, feelings, mental diseases, and my body with sicknesses. But I have been given authority over the devil’s power, since the source of all authority lives inside of me, and I can command deliverance and healing both to myself and others. It’s my heritage and right through the atonement that I can use the power of the Kingdom of God for help. Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom of God by healing people and casting out devils. This is the same Kingdom that is within me and wants to take dominion and destroy the works of the devil just as it did through Jesus. That’s what I meant in one of my previous comments when I said that God wants to reap where He did not sow. God sowed the seed in me, but He wants to see results elsewhere also. I don’t have to wait for Heaven till I can obtain total freedom and deliverance from sickness and mental anguish. I am allowed to have a foretaste already, since the Kingdom of God is already within me. I was delivered from this world already, not just the hell of the next.

GAL.1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

The perfection (fullness of healing – as you put it) will only come when I shed this earthly body, but I can already enjoy the benefits of the Kingdom AS MUCH AS MY FAITH ALLOWS ME. This is how the rest of the atonement is manifested in this earthly life. Paul explains the process of death very beautifully:


1CO.15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1CO.15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1CO.15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1CO.15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1CO.15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1CO.15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1CO.15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1CO.15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

There is nothing wrong with dying physically, the next model to wear will be much better. I’m looking forward to it. As Paul put it, for him dying was gain. Healing is for as long as we live here on earth, so we can be happy, productive, and pain-free. But there comes a point in age, when a person just wants to go. They’re filled and satisfied with life, they feel they’ve accomplished what they could, and that’s when and how a Christian should go. But you know, it will be done unto you according to your faith! Life is a fight, and there is such a thing as the “fight of faith”. A number of God’s generals of faith have been taken out by the devil, I know. I’m not denying that it happens, but I don’t think we should lower out faith and expectation just because that’s what we see happen to many people. When I go, I will not go out without a fight! I’m not gonna give the devil the satisfaction of surrender. I’m not going to let him take out my body, I will surrender my spirit willingly to Jesus alone. I might be shooting for the stars, but at least I’ll hit the moon. But if you set your faith on “one day I’ll just get sick and die with tubes sticking out of my body on a hospital bed”, then sure enough this will happen to you.


László

Anonymous said...

I didn’t want to make the last quote too long that’s why I left this part out, but I should have included it, so here it is:


1CO.15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1CO.15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1CO.15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1CO.15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1CO.15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1CO.15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1CO.15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

So the finishing touch of our atonement is when we finally receive our spiritual body, which is going to be just like Jesus’ was after his resurrection. He was able to go through walls, be touched physically, and I think he may have eaten with his disciples as well (although I’m sure he didn’t need to).


JOH.20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

JOH.20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.


JOH.21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
JOH.21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
JOH.21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
JOH.21:15 So when they had dined,...



László

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, he did eat:

LUK.24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
LUK.24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
LUK.24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
LUK.24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
LUK.24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

László

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks,László, for the time and effort put into your comments.

Another question though, if I may: The access to healing that the atonement gives us now, does that also include slowing, stopping, or reversing the biological aging process? If not, then why not?

Anonymous said...

The biological aging process was not supposed to be stopped or reversed due to the healing aspect of the atonement.
As we know “it is appointed unto men once to die” (HEB.9:27). In my previous comment I explained that at the moment Adam and Eve sinned, they became spiritually dead, and alienated from God, and this state got passed on to their offspring.

ROM.5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Paul even puts it this way that an unsaved person is an enemy of God:

ROM.5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

So, basically at the fall men became separated from God. Now here comes this next passage:

GEN.3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
GEN.3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
GEN.3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

What happens here practically is that God prevents men to live forever. I’m convinced it talks about their physical bodies here, since their spirit was already dead through sin. That could only revive again through the atonement which was only to manifest later in history. The tree of life was not going to redeem them from sin, only Jesus can do that. Essentially this is the point when God decides that the physical body has to die. I believe the Lord did this in His mercy toward humanity because He didn’t want men to live forever in their fallen state and never to be able to get rid of this sinful body. I believe this is the answer to your question, why healing doesn’t stop the aging process. There is something much more beautiful waiting for us in the afterlife and the Lord wanted us to participate in it, so I believe we actually die because of His mercy toward us.
I can honestly tell you, I don’t know if Adam and Eve’s bodies were going to live forever if they hadn’t sinned. But frankly that was not even an option really, because it was only a matter of time before they ate of the apple. God’s redemption plan through Jesus was foreordained.

2TI.1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

1PE.1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

After the Flood, life conditions have changed and gradually men lived shorter and shorter lives. As we read it in Psalms it settled around 80 years:


PSA.90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

to be continued…

Anonymous said...

Now, there is one important aspect of the divine healing doctrine. Instant healings get a lot of attention because of their nature; people are obviously curious and that’s why we talk about it so much. But the main and more important aspect of this doctrine is not instant healing but rather walking in divine health. Getting sick and getting healed over and over are fine, but it’s much better not to get sick at all. Somebody laying hands on a sick person and commanding healing into their bodies is great, because everyone may need help once in a while. But the goal is that people learn from the Word of God how to get healing for themselves and how to KEEP THAT HEALING AFTERWARDS, AND EVENTUALLY WALK IN DIVINE HEALTH.

There are plenty of Scriptures about prolonging life and being satisfied with long life, etc. Just to quote a couple:


PRO.3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
PRO.3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

PRO.9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
PRO.9:11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.


It even tells us the secret of prolonged life: live in harmony with God’s laws! The Word of God contains life in it:

JOH.6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

So, living according to and proclaiming the Word of God can lengthen one’s life. We might say that could slow down the natural aging process to a degree.

László

Anonymous said...

Laszlo
Thanks for you love and persistence. You are a son of God. True disciple of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

To Lewis:
I saw you asked for a book suggestion on teaching kids to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. An excellent book is: "Chidren and the Supernatural" by Jennifer Toledo. Published by Charisma House.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks,László!

The problem is that biological aging over time results in the suboptimal functioning of most organisms, eventually leading to physical death. Therefore, healing in the ultimate sense of bringing individuals to their optimum biological functioning means that the biological aging process needs to be reversed and/or stopped. Surely God can and will (eventually) undo the negative effects of biological aging. This, I believe, is something that the atonement has also won for us.

Mr Happy said...

You people have spent a lot of time arguing Pete Cabrera Jr and no time healing others. Jesus healed me Thursday, Jesus. The same way Pete teaches.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steven,

I appreciate your desire to have deep Biblical insight. I finished an MDiv with honors and working towards a PhD in theology now; I know four languages for academic purposes, etc., (English is my third language).

BUT, I got stroke with severe cancer six years ago, a specific type considered non-curable. It was on my blood, lymphatic system, bones, bone marrow, etc. I tried with the best medical science available in three continents, to no avail. Then the Lord healed me. Do I understand everything about it? No, but here is my point:

I suspect you are right about God's timetable, but I also suspect you are (unintentionally) outside his timetable. I think the main thing in his timetable now is to bring health, not to produce illness and keep people in suffering. How do we spend most of our time? Arguing or healing the ones in pain? Does that reflect the Lord's timetable? I have had two near-death experiences and have suffered too much emotional and physical pain, for months, day and night. I wonder if instead of a lengthy argument against Pete's faulty theology, you could join what the Lord is doing around bringing freedom to the oppressed (whether in terms of pain, poverty due to ridiculous medical bills, etc.) My opinion, as someone who along many other millions have been severely ill, is that that would be much more appreciated and fruitful.

Of course I am not perfect. Right now, as I am experiencing myself this liberation in my own body and life, as I keep doing my degree, I more and more heal others around. Less argumentation and more healing brokenness. I don't know God's specific will for you, but if you ever find yourself dying of a painful condition I guess, just my guess, you would understand my words better, or Pete's ministry for that matter. At that time you may give very little credit to your theological insight and wish someone in the power of the Risen Lord may heal you. Or maybe not, maybe you are different from I; I'm OK with that. I am just sharing from what happened to me and from what I have seen in some others.

Blessings brother.

Jose.

Steven Coxhead said...

Thanks for that, Jose.

Surely there is a place for critiquing everything against the teaching of Scripture. Jesus did a lot of healing, but it's not as if he didn't also spend time critiquing the views of others in the light of Scripture. Orthodoxy is just as important as orthopraxy.

That's all that I've sought to do in this case, and I do so because it is important. The implication of Pete's view is that someone like Ryan who has a disability, or his parents or others who have "unsuccessfully" prayed for his healing, are lacking in faith. It could be argued that believing in God is easy if he's always healing you and blessing you. What then should we say of the faith of a young man who still believes in God's power and love despite the fact that he is confined (at present) to crawling around on the ground or using a wheelchair when he needs to move about? That's a real case of living by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7) in my opinion.

The issue is this: Christian triumphalism often comes across as lacking in compassion for the person who is suffering. Shouldn't we also be weeping with those who weep at least for a moment before preaching to them with a big smile on our face about how God can heal them? Because Pete views all suffering and sickness as solely the work of the devil, he doesn't seem to be able to acknowledge that God can be present with a person even within the midst of suffering.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

It's great being in green pastures beside still waters, but sometimes we have to walk through dark valleys to get there.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Steven,

Pete Cabrera and Royal Family International will be in Queensland Australia in April-May 2017. Good oppourtunity to check it out in person.

Blessings.

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=xx6lx6vab&oeidk=a07ed63ngnuf80e7a38

Anonymous said...

It appears and seems that in your summation of God being responsible for or the "cause of all things, including the bad things that happen in our world," you ignore the very words of Jesus in John 9 when asked:

John 9:2,3
And his disciples asked him, saying, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

I am not contradicting your entire summary here of Mr. Cabrera.

JESUS DOES OUT OF HIS OWN MOUTH

Steven Coxhead said...

To quote from this post: ”the man born blind was born that way so that God’s power and glory might be revealed through him, and not because of his own sin or his parents’ sin (John 9:2–3). God often allows sickness and death to happen in order to create the conditions against which he then subsequently acts in order to display his energy and power.”

Does Pete Cabrera acknowledge that God allows sin and suffering to happen in the world as the backdrop for salvation and healing in Jesus? If not, then Jesus is contradicting Pete, not me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven,

God does not allow sin and suffering. God allowed Adam and Eve to decide if they will bring sin and suffering into the world.

ROM.5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

That is a big difference. God doesn’t directly decide about every pain in your life. Suffering is a natural occurrence that resulted from Adam’s sin. It was necessary for God to offer the option of death, so men could possess absolute free will. If you don’t get the full scope of choice, it’s not really a choice. So, that was necessary for free will’s sake. But even then we can see the heart of God through this, because the instruction He gave was: DON’T DO IT! Don’t eat of the apple! Don’t get into trouble, it will hurt you in the long run!

Sin and suffering entered the world by Adam and not by God. Death passes from one man to the next naturally and not by God’s individual orders. This has been set, it’s a law. Pain, suffering, sickness, depression, poverty, ruin and decay are all the natural results of sin and death.
There are laws laid down in this world that work for everybody all the time:

MAT.5:45 “…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust...”

The storm comes both for the wise and the foolish (Mat. 7.)

One thing to know about laws is that one can override another. Like the law of gravity and the law of lift. The airplane doesn’t fly because the law of gravity doesn’t work anymore, but because the law of lift under the right circumstances overrides it. The laws don’t change, they’re constant. It was man who had to figure out a way to use one against another!

Paul writes about some laws he discovered:

ROM.7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Sin is a law. It works if I give it a landing strip in my life. It works automatically if I activate it. God doens’t allow it, I can create the circumstances and it just happens naturally. But as we see, these laws are at war with each other. And Paul also offers the victory:

ROM.8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

It’s important to note that Jesus set the “law of the Spirit of life” in motion, and made it available for everyone. Again, it’s a law. It’s constant and unchanging. It works for everyone all the time if someone knows how to create the right circumstances. It’s not about God’s timing. It’s a law, it’s in motion. It’s about you figuring out how to work it and when. You time it.

Paul puts it in past tense: “…hath made me free…” I’m always free from the law of sin and death, not just sometimes when God wills it. He has made me free with one act, at one point in time. It’s done as far as God’s concerned. It’s in motion. There is no timing, it always works. Could man always fly? No, but he could have. The law of gravity and the law of lift were always in motion. Man took time to figure it out. Why do we always have to point the finger at God and say that “God, we don’t have something because you haven’t sent it”?

to be continued…

Anonymous said...

Continued from previous comment:

As Paul continues, he’s very clear about the answer:

ROM.8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
ROM.8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

(This doesn’t refer to eternal life or eternal damnation. Paul has been describing the daily struggle of a person. Romans 7 provides the context)

If I am after the flesh and mind the things of the flesh and if I am carnally minded, then I will set the effects of death in motion. But if I am after the Spirit and I’m spiritually minded, then I will set the effects of life and peace in motion, and reap the fruits of them. It’s up to me what I’m after: the flesh or the Spirit. That’s what my free will is for.

And the fruit of life is this: salvation, health, sound mind, wisdom, happiness, victory, prosperity (not the distorted hyper-prosperity). Also, the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, etc. You know those.

Sin is a law, but the actual act of sinning happens by people’s choice. If it happens by choice, it can also be reversed by choice. The law of the Spirit is warring against the law of sin, and one will override the other by me being carnally minded or spiritually minded.

László

John D said...

If the "fruit" of life includes prosperity, how do you explain Paul's imprisonment? How do you explain the thousands in the Middle East who are being persecuted for Christ and under horrible incarceration? Do they lack faith? Health? How do you explain that Paul did not heal Epaphroditus and Trophimus?

Anonymous said...

In reply to John D.

Prosperity doesn’t just mean having a lot of money. In fact I wouldn’t call that the primary meaning of the word. It can include money, but that’s not the main thing. Paul’s evangelistic work prospered tremendously. It’s basically because of him that Christianity spread entirely in the Roman Empire. I would call that prosperous. There is nothing wrong with prospering. In fact, this is what the Apostle John said:

3.JOHN.1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

And King David:
PSA.1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
PSA.1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

If you meditate on the word of God, you will prosper.

Paul writes of an example when one church helped another because they had plenty. There is nothing wrong with money if you know that it’s not for you to waste on your desires, but to give away and help:

2Cor. 8:13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
2Cor. 8:14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,
2Cor. 8:15 as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” [Exodus 16:18]

Being imprisoned doesn’t have anything to do with prosperity. Persecution was promised by Jesus.

MAR.10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
MAR.10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

In fact he said it was a blessing:
MAT.5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Paul knew it full well that godliness draws persecution:
2TI.3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

You can suffer because you don’t apply some aspects of the word of God on your life, or you can suffer persecution for the gospel’s sake. There is a big difference between the two. In the first case because you don’t understand the word of God fully, in the second because you live godly.

László

Anonymous said...

Besides Epaphroditus and Trophimus, there is also Job’s affliction, Timothy’s stomach, and Paul’s thorn. That’s about the five instances you can bring up if you don’t embrace faith healing. But I’m asking, what about the thousands who were healed by Jesus and the apostles?

MAT.12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;

ACT.5:16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Why are we focusing on a few rare cases when from the multitudes everyone was healed? It happens when somebody doesn’t get healed, but it’s never because God is withholding. When the disciples couldn’t heal a boy, Jesus healed him right away. The healing was God’s will, because Jesus did it, yet the disciples couldn’t get it done. Jesus even explained it later that they couldn’t do it because of their unbelief. And he got mad at them because of it, which means he was expecting them to heal the boy. Sometimes we just can’t get the will of God done, and this is why it’s not happening.

Healing is spiritual warfare, not some abracadabra. At one occasion, Jesus had to pray for someone twice:

MAR.8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
MAR.8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
MAR.8:25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

Jesus was God in the flesh. Why did it not work for him perfectly after the first time? Sometimes simply just virtue was coming out of him and whoever touched him got healed. Why was it easy sometimes and difficult at another? I don’t know. But if Jesus had to try two times at one occasion, let’s just accept that Paul left a person or two sick. Scripture never says, he wanted them sick. Perhaps he tried and he couldn’t. There are some logistics to healing which we need to learn and practice, so let’s just accept that some people don’t get healed, and not because God wants them sick.

László