[Update: a dear friend of mine has added her thoughts, informed by her first-hand experience in this area.]
Over the past two-and-a-half weeks or so, I have been in a conversation with Steve Wolf concerning a comment he made on a post I wrote about how I felt I was encountering God in an extreme illness I was facing several weeks age. He felt that it was an injustice to God to think that his Providence has any place in physical illness. I responded to his comment. He then replied to that post. I then gave my final official response to his perspective, with a promise that I would give him the last word and feature his reply as a full post.
Well, here it is. As you can see (if you’ve been following this), he doesn’t really respond to anything I actually said (in my opinion). But, nevertheless, I said he could have the final official word. Any more replying I do in this conversation will be in the comments. Here’s Steve:
Paul wrote the following:
“My Response: Steve, thanks for your response. First, to answer your questions (and give some clarifications): yes, I have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (as according to 1 Cor 12:13), I have received the gift of tongues, and I fully believe in the contemporary and ongoing healing ministry and gifting of the Holy Spirit.”
Well Paul, this really helps me understand much of your reasoning. I don’t believe you have received the true baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 1:8. It is a second and separate experience from salvation, and I can easily prove this in scripture.
Now I know why you haven’t found any “scholars” to share what I have always thought of as common beliefs. To prove the second experience: In Acts ch 8, Philip ministered to the people in Samaria with truth and much power. They believed and were water baptized. Then the apostles sent Peter and John (notice the second – separate experience) “who , when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized with the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:15-17).
Want another example? In Acts ch 19, Paul found some disciples in Ephesus, and asked them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They replied that they hadn’t ever heard that there was a Holy Spirit, and had only been baptized into John’s baptism. Acts 19:6 “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
You see Paul, its hard for you to wrap your mind around what I’ve been telling you, because you have no power- having not received the baptism. Furthermore, these “scholars” that you read, are actually disqualified for ministry if they haven’t received either.
Wow, calm down , those aren’t my words, that is what Jesus was telling His disciples when He told them to tarry in Jerusalem untill they received the promise of the Father- the Holy Spirit Baptism. They had just witnessed His resurrected body, and would naturally want to spread this good news, but Jesus commanded them not to depart until they had been endued with power. God does not want us to go out on by our own power to preach the gospel! If you don’t have the power, all you have is words. Jesus would never separate His ministry from the power.
In other words, If Jesus needed to show the power to validate His words, who do you think you are to just say whatever you want, and not have to back any of it up with the power of God? Jesus said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11). What do you do with this scripture, Paul? “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (Jn 14:12). He said “Because I go to My Father” meaning that the Father would send the Holy Spirit Baptism to empower them to do the works that He did.
Paul, I’m Spirit-filled (I pray in tongues) and you are not, so this debate could go on and on and on since we automatically will interpret many scriptures differently. However, don’t you at least believe in the Great Commission?
You know the whole “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel …” part. Did you notice what’s attached to it? “And these signs shall follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk 16:17-18).
I’m sure you read my last post: From Superficial to Supernatural, but doubt it did any good. You need the Holy Spirit Baptism my brother, and then you wouldn’t doubt that physical healing is our right under this New Covenant. If you’ve got a problem with my doctrine, then you have a problem with Jesus. I am simply advocating doing the works that He did (because I’m a believer, and it’s attached to the Great Commission). Acts 10:38- “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Why do you resist God? Jesus said that a kingdom divided would not stand. How could God be the Author of sickness when He sent Jesus to heal every sickness and every disease among the people? You won’t find one single instance where Jesus didn’t heal a person who came to Him to be healed. Jesus said He could only say what the Father told Him to say, and do what the Father told Him to do. Jesus was the literal physical manifestation of God’s will. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If Jesus were standing at the foot of your bed during the height of your sickness a few weeks ago- what would he do? Would He heal you ? Of course He would!!!
Why then do you get mad at me for healing the sick by the same Spirit on the inside of me? Should I apologize to every person that has received healing after I laid my hands on them and say, well, that doctrine doesn’t sit well with some people, so try to get sick again.
I watched Jim Hockaday heal at least 50 people last week by the power of God working through him right here in Bixby, Oklahoma. It was undeniable – which is exactly what Paul was always making reference to when he said the kingdom wasn’t in word only, but power. My heart goes out to your friend Jen due to her condition. If she lived near me, I would gladly prove to both of you that Jesus purchased our healing, and that it is God’s will for her to be healed.
By the way, I was speaking of Isaiah 53 and not 1 Peter 2:24 (which you saw the need to reference for me). Isaiah 53:4-5 prophesies of what Jesus’ atonement would accomplish for us. The word is confirmed in Matt 18:16-17 “And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” He bore our sicknesses- seriously man, quit bearing them!
Paul also wrote:
“The Finished Work of Christ: I think it is very dangerous to think and preach that ‘God wishes above all things that we prosper and be in good health’”
Ok Paul, once again, it’s not my doctrine you fight against. 3 Jn 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (KJV) My doctrine is not my own. I don’t believe in a sovereign devil like you say I do. Instead, I believe in a defeated devil (see my Devil is a Loser post). He can only devour those who are ignorant of the Word. We’ll just have to agree to disagree I suppose. I believe people not recognizing sickness and disease as NOT FROM GOD is what is actually very harmful to the body.
How else are we going to “resist the devil” so he can flee from us?(James 4:7) God wants you healed. you say you believe in the Spiritual gifts – how about the gift of healing? Wouldn’t such a person operating with that gift be actually fighting against God? -if God was the source of the sickness? The next time you get sick, don’t take any medication – no pain relievers at all, so that God can truly bring about whatever redemptive purpose – so that you could more fully learn whatever lesson He is trying to teach you!
But wait, I’m the one with the wrong beliefs =) To the guy that considers his Chrones disease a gift from God: would you give/wish that disease upon your son, or how about your mother? I hope not! But God would give that to you? Are you more compassionate than God? That is messed up.
[image credit: “Christ Healing the Sick” by Rembrandt]