This writing identifies and details that from which I was healed, and gives testimony to the current and present healing power, and benevolent nature, of Jesus Christ towards His followers. It also includes descriptions of and explanations for the four types of emotive responses received from people who have consumed my healing testimony over the last four years. And it offers apologetics to support the capacity of Jesus Christ to miraculously heal a human being on November 10, 2008.
Before my tenth birthday I had been attacked by three men or groups of men who were unrelated and had no knowledge of each other’s presence in my life. The first time I was attacked I knew but only a few words, the second time I was beginning to learn simple words, and the third time I had some words but not the right ones or enough of them to get help. I was voiceless and still because those attacks had knocked the breath of life out of me, and I could not get it back. I was dying and I knew it.
But when I was twelve years old I read the Holy Bible cover to cover, and the Word came to me and said, “Susan, ‘the Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach). For if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:8b, 9-10). I believed and spoke my confession of faith; and my life was saved for eternity by the grace poured out through the sacrificial shed blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who “was made Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness, by His resurrection from the dead. The grace of God, Jesus Christ, meets us in our faith at our level of understanding, then grows us from there. By His grace, through the faith of my Catholic Church family given to me at baptism, my level of understanding was He was meeting me at the dark, secret place in my heart where I had not yet forgiven my attackers, yet He stood there in the muck of my heart in the light of His glory and promised me eternal life with Him. And as a bonus, I now understood that by being born-again as His new creation I had been indwelled by His Spirit, the Wonderful Counselor (2 Cor. 1:20-22).
Yet after that moment as a 12 year old when my faith found an understanding of salvation in Jesus Christ, I still suffered for thirty-six more years with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was lost within the magnitude of my childhood trauma, and lacked sufficient words by which to understand and process those events, so due in part to those two variables I experienced frequent multi-sensory flashback hallucinations. The almost constant flicking of my memory back and forth between past and present knocked out the ability to keep track of time. I experienced serial nightmares that progressed for years. I looked at myself through a distorted body image and appeared thirty to forty pounds heavier than I actually was, which I reacted to by compulsively reducing my nutritional intake so that I would become healthier and not feel so fat. I responded to my overall sense of inadequacy and shame by avoiding people, particularly groups of people. One of those three attacks included experiencing ritual abuse which, to a child, looks just like organized religion; so even simply driving by a church triggered horrific splashes of memories of the abuse. I suffered with panic attacks. In order to cope with my dying I became addicted to alcohol and a prescription tranquilizer. I would cut myself sometimes to give myself ‘real’ physical pain that I could both feel and expect (control), which would calm and distract me from the ‘unreal’ unseen pain. Or sometimes I felt numb inside, and would cut myself to feel pain and therefore know I was still alive; because I believed as a Christian I will go to Heaven when I die, and there is no pain in Heaven (Rev. 21:4). I attempted suicide more than once, but once I was hospitalized and while I was there I attempted to kill myself again.
But although the paragraph above list the symptoms of my condition, and gives it a medical name that humans can recognize and treat according to their human understanding, from what I was actually healed was this: I knew the Word had made me by speaking, so therefore He could fix me the same way. But I refused to ask Him to heal me from what was killing me. I desired to be normal and fix me myself, and was rebellious towards God’s will to intervene in my life. So even though I sought out and received the best in medications and counseling, the effect of my rebellious turning away from Jesus Christ was that I suffered for thirty-six more years. Yet during that same time I continued to grow in Christ, and then one day I finally understood what it meant to face the providence of God.
I had grown enough in my faith to have become distraught at being limited by my mental illness in my worship and service to Jesus. And I began to delight in speaking to a new friend, a Christian, on the telephone. I asked for prayer regarding an upcoming counseling appointment. I asked another Christian I knew at work to pray for me, too. I do not know what they prayed about, or even if they prayed, but within a few days of asking them, on November 10, 2008, I came to a place in my mind where I realized I could not ever be healed through human means. Although I knew I had been outrageously rebellious toward Jesus for thirty-six years, I was yet hoping for a miracle: I was hoping that He would have mercy on me and not allow my mental illness to worsen. I was hoping that He would put a protective hedge around me and my mental illness so that I could go to church and worship Him with other Christians, and serve Him with less mental illness interruptions. Feeling somewhat defensive, I still never asked Him to heal me. I simply shrugged and repented to Jesus of my rebellion and idolatry, and admitted to Him that He would have to use me as I was or heal me Himself. And unexpectedly and abruptly the Word healed me, and my life was turned upside down.
The Healing Experience
Immediately: The flashback hallucinations ceased, and a linear memory replaced the circumstantial one, and time took on meaning. I slept and had no more nightmares. The panic halted. The distorted body image vanished; and for the first time in my adult life I saw what I actually looked like and began to eat without remorse. There were no longer any reasons to harm myself. The medications had a toxic effect on me; so in fear that I might reach into my medicine cupboard and take one by mistake and therefore inadvertently kill myself, I dumped them all down the toilet. Hastened by the magnitude of my gratefulness to God, I cast out idol after idol; for now I shall have no other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3). I had hoped for a miracle and He gave me one: I had hoped for mercy, and He gave me grace.
For two weeks after my healing I was in shock and I knew it. So, I asked Jesus to confirm my healing and He obliged and brought me to a church service. I went with calm anticipation. I entered the church and sat down in the center of the center of the congregation without experiencing a single panic attack or hallucination: and therefore irrevocably knew that Jesus Christ had divinely healed me. I was prompted our of my worship (is there no stronger word?) by the Pastor who seemed to be speaking directly to me while emphatically saying, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17b-19).
“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving” (Psalm 62:11-12). “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. They keep saying to me, ‘Where is the Word of the Lord?’ Let it now be fulfilled!”(Jer. 17:14-15).
The Word of The Lord
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities -His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for (idols).
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator -who is forever praised. Amen” (Romans 1:18-25, paraphrased).
The Four Emotive Responses of People When They Meet Jesus Christ
People initially respond to the divine nature and eternal power of Jesus in one of four ways. The most common way is in confusion, such as the confusion Saul (Paul) experienced while on his way to Damascus. Paul did not suppress the truth about God, that is to say, he believed in the God Almighty, the Creator of the universe. And he had heard about Jesus, and yet after being knocked onto the ground by a flash of light from heaven which was followed by a loud, unseen, divine questioning voice that his companions also heard, he still laid there with his eyes closed and asked that voice, “Who are you, Lord?” It took the Living Word responding, “I am Jesus…” before Paul stirred and realized he was totally blind, and dependent on the Word for his life (Acts 9:1-22).
The second way a person responds to the divine nature and eternal power of Jesus is in the most humble gratefulness expressed as the most gushing and glorifying worship. An example of that is the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume, after she had washed His feet with her tears and kisses and dried them with her hair (Luke 7:36-38).
The third way a person may respond is in terror. Scripture tells about a man possessed by a legion of demons, and who would stay in the tombs outside of town and scream and cut himself with stones. He could not be bound even with chains on his hands and feet, because ‘he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet’. Jesus cast the demons out into a herd of two-thousand pigs, and the pigs rushed down into a lake and drowned. Word of this got to the town, and the people came to see what had happened and ‘they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed, and in his right mind’. The people were afraid and ‘began to plead with Jesus to leave their region’ (Mark 5:1-20).
And the final way a person may respond is in rage. After Paul was blinded by the light, his companions took him into the town Jesus had directed him to go, and he stayed there three days and nights without eating or drinking anything. Then a faithful servant of Jesus was obedient and healed Paul’s vision. Although Paul had been aggressively persecuting Christians, as soon as he had been given his vision, “Paul began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’ Yet Paul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him…” (Act 9:20-23).
Everybody Knows The Truth About God By Seeing What He Has Made
Curiously, I witness those same four emotive responses from both Christians and non-Christians alike when I share my testimony with them and joyfully conclude, “Jesus healed me!” That gives evidence of the truth that ‘everybody knows about God -his divine nature and eternal power- by seeing what He has made’ (Romans 1:19-20, paraphrased). Because even people who have not yet consumed the Bread of Life (the Word and testimony of Jesus Christ) through scripture, can see that my healing is the direct result of a divine power with a benevolent nature who ‘made’ me into a new creation by healing me of my condition (Romans 1:19-20). Jesus supports our believing in the evidence of miracles born in His name to validate His eternal power and divine nature, when He says, “Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John 10:36b-39). It is also recorded that Jesus answered (Phillip): “How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” (John 14:8-14).
People who experience the emotive responses of confusion, terror or rage upon hearing my testimony do so because the Word is either not understood or not believed by them. My understanding of that comes from a parable Jesus tells about a rich man and a sick beggar who both die. The beggar goes to heaven and is comforted at the side of Abraham, and the rich man goes to hell and is in torment. The rich man begs that his living brothers be warned so that they do not also end up in hell. The man is told by Abraham, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” The man persists by saying that if someone rises from the dead and goes to his brothers, his brothers will then do what is right and follow the true path. The final reply from Abraham in heaven is, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31). It seems that story must have been told somewhat tongue-in-cheek by Jesus, because He places Abraham, who is the father of our faith and who came before Moses and the Prophets, as the person speaking from Heaven to the man in hell. Abraham was made righteous by his faith that was based on the Word spoken to him in a vision. The truth of the Word was validated by the divine nature and eternal power of God -Abraham followed the leading of the voice in the vision, went outside and looked up at the stars and tried to count them, and then believed the truth in the eternal power behind the voice based on the evidence of seeing what God had made (Gen. 15:1-6). The greatest miracle God ever performed is described in Genesis 1:1:31 thru 2:1-3, and is the creation of the universe.
Humans are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God places into each human knowledge of eternity (Ecc. 3:4), and a conscience (Romans 2:14-15, 9:1); and those make it possible for us to then know about God by seeing what He has made. Having the knowledge of eternity makes it possible to then recognize His eternal power when we see what He has made, and having a conscience allows us to recognize the divine nature of the God who created order out of chaos (Genesis 1:1-3). And what we initially know about God -His divine nature and eternal power- by seeing what He has made, is expanded on as we gain faith through understanding the promises of God. Those promises are often recorded in the Bread of Life as prophecies. The first promise of our faith was given to Abraham (Gen. 15:1-6), the father of our Christian faith (Gal.3:26-29). Much later in time an elderly devout and righteous man, whom the Holy Spirit had informed would not die until he had seen the Christ, held the baby Jesus, looked at him and “praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel'” (Luke 2:25-32). Approximately thirty-three years later, further prophesy would be fulfilled as Jesus Christ was crucified and buried, and then rises from the dead.
Who is Jesus Christ?
And who is this Jesus Christ? He is the Son of God (John 1:34); the Word (John 1:1-2). He was born into the physical realm through a virgin woman, and was named Jesus (Luke 1:31); “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17). He was born both fully God and fully human. Although He never sinned, He endured the opposition from sinful men, forgave us our sins, then took all human sin onto Himself, and in the hands of opposing men He willingly sacrificed His life on the cross and was crucified as the atonement for human sin (Luke 23:34, Romans 3:25-26, Hebrews 12:2-3): “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Cor.5:21). Therefore, He is also referred to as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29b). He died and was buried in a tomb, but after three days He resurrected, an event that Jesus had promised would occur and referred to as the “sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:38-41, Matt. 16:1-4): “and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4). “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2a). And the joy set before Him is His Church, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:24-26).
Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:15-20).
Jesus Christ Our Lord Makes All of Creation and Christians
And how did Jesus create all things? He made Creation by directly speaking it into existence (Gen. 1-2). But he creates His disciples one at a time by speaking indirectly into one’s hearts through another disciple’s sharing of the Bread of Life (John 6:41-64), which is the Word and testimony of Jesus Christ. And by grace through faith a Christian is made and grows. A person is first saved in Baptism by grace through the faith of the Church. It seems an adult initially comes to Christ in one of four ways. The first way is upon consuming the Bread of Life (“Bread of Life in this context is used in reference to the Word and testimony of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 4:12-13, John 6:35, Romans 10:9-10), the second way is upon consuming the Bread of Life through the truth filled testimony of a believer (John 4:39-42), the third way is upon witnessing a miraculous sign or wonder in combination with either consuming the Bread of Life, or with consuming the Bread of Life through the truth filled testimony of a believer (John 4:46-53), and the final way is by being healed in combination with consuming the Bread of Life (John 5:1-9). Regardless of which of those four ways one begins a relationship with Christ, it is clear that in all of those ways there is a dependency on the Bread of Life for eternal life. It makes sense then, that Jesus would simply say this, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seem Him” (John 14:6-7), for “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In that we are saved by grace through faith, it is true, then, that His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9).
In the above second and third ways of coming to Christ, people who acknowledge the existence of God by seeing what He has made, but who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, are able to come to know Christ through the truth filled testimonies of Christians. That understanding is supported in this scripture spoken by the apostle John, “We are from God and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1John 4:6). “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
The Four Emotive Responses to the Christ Who Heals
The rest of this writing is devoted to sharing the results of four years of study of those emotive responses to my healing testimony, and apologetics regarding the current and present healing power of Christ.
First Emotive Response: Confusion and the Four Questions
At least half of the emotive responses I am aware of after personally sharing my testimony are that of confusion. I have learned to be patient and allow people time to ask questions and process the details. I have to remind myself that even after I, myself, was healed I was in shock for a full two weeks; and the healing had happened to me! But even once the details of the healing are processed there can remain questions that propagate confusion. The four types of questions that are most typically asked of me are addressed below.
Confusion Question 1: Am I Confabulating My Story?
The first type of question I am commonly asked is: Am I confabulating my story? First of all, I have only lived in the United States, therefore, there is a healthcare paper or cyber-trail for ER visit notes, inpatient notes, Doctor’s outpatient records, insurance claim forms, and pharmacy records: there exists extensive ‘proof’ of my medical condition and treatment.
Secondly, I have also placed my testimony for public online viewing at thecommonlanguage.com. That testimony was produced online in November of 2011, sixteen months prior to this writing, and with no concept that today I would be using it as part of a defense of God’s power to do something simple, such as heal a human. And most of the events are yet verifiable.
But please understand that even if all of that information is laid bare, the people who question the truth in my story will still not believe. Because we are made alive by grace through faith; “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17). To believe that God healed me, one must not suppress the truth in knowing about God by seeing what He has made. To believe that Jesus healed me, one must not suppress the truth about God by seeing what He has made, and one must know and believe the Word.
Confusion Question 2: Could the Healing Be Attributed to Another Source?
The second type of question I am commonly asked is: Could the healing be attributed to another source? Neither medical science nor any other naturalistic cause can adequately explain why my chronic condition of thirty-eight years duration abruptly ended, and why the medications immediately became so toxic to me that in concern for my safety, less I take them in error, I dumped them down the toilet. That leaves a supernatural cause as the power behind the healing. But there exists only two supernatural forces, and they directly oppose each other; the force of God/Christ and Kingdom of Light, or the force of Satan/fallen human nature and the kingdom of darkness. Therefore, to dispute that God healed me leaves no other option than for Satan to have healed me. But Jesus well explains that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand -why, then, would Satan drive out my rebellion and suffering to leave me glorifying the name of Christ? Jesus strongly warns against allowing the growth of this deceptive kind of thinking that attributes the effects of His grace to some other cause as He explains, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:20-30). But hope for ending confusion is found in these verses, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:5-8).
Confusion Question 3: Does Jesus Have the Capacity to Heal Nowadays?
The third type of question I am commonly asked is: Does Jesus have the capacity to heal nowadays? Assuming that the person who asks that question believes that Jesus is God, then one of the ways of answering that question is like this: We were created in God’s image, which means we also are creators. We do not create by speaking, because only God can do that, but instead we create from the resources He gives us. An example of something a human can make would be a letter to be given to a friend. So, to create that letter one might start with a blank screen attached to a computer keyboard. On that screen one writes whatever one chooses to say. At any time, all or part of what is created can be deleted or changed, and when it is completed it can be saved and/or sent; and then we eagerly wait for the response. In other words, we have authority over that which we create -and so does Jesus Christ, and He made us. And His Father has given Him authority over us (Col. 1:15-20, Matt. 28:18).
The Three Deadly Lies
But another line of confused thinking that questions Jesus’ capacity to heal comes from believing the following kind of false teaching (deadly lie): When Jesus went back up to heaven to sit on the right hand of His Father, He took with Him His will and power to work miraculously on human life. Instead, He left His Church in the care of His Church, which includes the charge to “go and make disciples of all the nations…” as given in His Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). That misunderstanding can be unraveled by pulling out three lies as follows:
The First Deadly Lie: Jesus Has Left With His Power
The first lie to pull out is although it is true that Jesus ascended to heaven and sent His Spirit back to indwell His believers, Jesus did not take His will and power to work miraculously on a human life back up to heaven with Him (what good would it do Him there?) only to leave His Church under the care of His Church down here. Jesus is still the creator and the author of life (Acts 3:15), and has authority over all things, in fact, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). Acknowledging Christ only as the initial Creator would mean that creation would have perished at the end of each created thing’s life cycle, or when its life-force died. But since the creation of the world until now life has been sustained; which means that the living breath that caused Creation first to be is still present and accounting for our continuation and health. Therefore, the God who healed the sick and reconciled the dead to life two-thousand years ago is still with us today, or all of creation would have perished when His Son went back to heaven to be glorified.
The Second Deadly Lie: Jesus Gave His Power to Human Works
The second lie to pull out is that Jesus left His Church in the hands of His Church. It seems that false teaching may originate from a lack of understanding of how the word ‘salvation’ is used in the Bible. In the Bible the word ‘salvation’ is used to refer to two different but related events. It first means the salvation that occurs the instant one is saved by grace through faith and is born-again a new creation in Christ, but it can also refer to the salvation that occurs through the process of growth (sanctification) as described by Paul, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13). It seems that that double meaning of the word ‘salvation’ is not realized by some, which leaves some to falsely believe that after we are initially saved by grace through our work of repentance and acceptance of Christ, we then work our salvation out through the Spirit to become more like Christ as we do the work of the Church for the Church. The truth, instead, is that for both salvation events we are saved by His grace through our faith. Both the formation and the growth of the Church are completed in the Spirit by the grace of Jesus Christ through the faith of repentant believers who, out of a heart of gratitude and praise, are obedient to God’s leading. In that way, the Church is dependent on Christ to form and grow her, which supports a true theology based on the grace of God. The thinking that the Church is responsible for the Church by faith in the grace of Godly works makes Christ dependent on the Church, and supports a false theology based on works.
In reality, the Spirit indwells each of us to sanctify each of us -it’s the Spirit of the Bread of Life who saves and sanctifies others, just like we were saved and are sanctified. The Spirit sanctifies us so that our hearts soften and yield to Christ’s desire for us to share the Bread of Life with others, so that the Spirit in the Bread of Life may work in the receiver’s heart and save them for eternal life: “The Word of God is alive and active” (Heb. 4:12). It is idolatrous thinking that is behind the belief that God is dependent on us instead of our lives being dependent on Him. Jonah learned about the consequences of putting his own ideas before the truth about God: He was caught in a storm and then tossed into the sea by a bunch of sailors wanting to save their own lives, and once he was in the sea he was swallowed by a big fish. But while in the dark belly of the fish for three days and three nights, he had the opportunity to reconsider his thinking, and came to this conclusion in prayer: “‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.’ And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:9-10). Those believers must repent of that idolatrous thinking and pray so as to desire that “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
The Third Deadly Lie: Jesus Gave His Power to the Church
This third lie is connected to the second lie and is pulled out at this place: In order for Christ to be dependent on the Church to do His will, the Church would have to be more powerful than God. Therefore, the Church would have to be able to overpower the Word and subdue Him. Jesus gives His take on that thought when He says, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters” (Luke 11:23). So, a person who makes a seemingly innocuous statement like, ‘God no longer heals people, but Doctors can heal people because God gives them wisdom in their schooling about how to do that’, implies that the person expounding that false truth believes that humans are more powerful than God. The Word gives three severe warning to people who speak those kinds of lies. The first warning is, “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of eternal sin” (Mark 3:29). The second warning is, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). And the final warning is this, “if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck” (Mark 9:42).
Confusion Question 4: What Would Motivate Jesus to Heal a Person?
The final question I am commonly asked is also the question I had about my own healing: What would motivate Jesus to heal a person? After Jesus heals a person He sometimes makes a statement such as, ‘your sins are forgiven’. Accordingly, those healings are to give evidence so that “you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Luke 5:24), and to give evidence of salvation by grace through faith (Luke 7:48). He also may have saved an invalid from damnation by healing him and then rebuking him, “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (John 5:14b). He also heals to specifically end suffering, (Mark 5:34, Mark 8:22:26, Luke 13:10-13). There is an example of Jesus healing a child to increase the faith of the father, (Mark 5:36), and another example to increase the faith of His disciples (Matt. 17:19-21). Jesus healed to increase the faith of religious leaders, (Matt. 8:4b, Luke 17:12-14), and to show His authority over them (Mk. 3:1-5). Jesus rewarded the Centurion for his great faith by healing his servant (Matt. 8:13). Jesus heals to fulfill prophesy (Matt. 8:16-17, Mk. 6:53-56), and so that His name will be praised and glorified (Matt. 15:29-31, Luke 5:25, 26, Luke 13:13, Luke 14:16, Luke 18:43). He heals as an expression of His compassion (Matt. 20:34), and to increase human service to Him (Luke 4:39), and because He is faithful (Luke 4:38). And Jesus also heals so that “the work of God might be displayed” in the life of the healed (John 8:3).
But why does Jesus save and heal? I think that answer is found in this: “He reached down from high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:16-19).
However, we must not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather keep in mind that after Jesus had changed the water into wine, walked on water, healed scores of people, cast out multitudes of demons, fed thousands of people from next to nothing, and raised dead people back to life, He said this: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to my Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14).
Second Emotive Response: Worship
The second type of emotive response expressed when someone consumes my healing testimony is heartfelt worshiping of God. Sometimes the Spirit through me propels my story with the aim and prediction of a sent arrow. He shoots it with power from my mouth and it makes a perfect connection as a kiss from Him in the center of the heart of the listener. As I speak I watch this cataclysmic event erupting inside the listener through the progressive softening in their eyes. Their final response always reminds me of my experience in the church when my healing was gently confirmed by a lack of panic attacks or hallucinations. Those are Glory times.
Third and Fourth Emotive Responses: Terror or Rage (The Flight or Fight Responses)
Now the final two responses, terror and rage, will be addressed. When a person finds himself in a life-threatening situation, often a ‘flight or fight’ response will result. Because of the life-threatening nature of the situation, the person’s body may reflexively pump up to fight for its life, or speed up to flee from the perceived danger. But sometimes when a person is confronted with the divine nature and healing power of Christ a flight or fight response results.
After the responses of confusion and worship, about fifty-percent of the remaining responses are of terror: The person literally takes on the expression of one who has ‘seen a ghost’; their jaw drops, their face noticeably pales, they stop breathing and for a moment become motionless. Then they rapidly leave my presence. Any overt effort I have made to later humbly approach to check on that person has always been met with avoidance.
The other fifty-percent of the remaining responses are of rage: The person’s face progressively reddens, and an aggressive stance is assumed with the head cocked forward. The piercing eyes are unblinking as an adamant denial of Jesus’ healing of me is made and I am sometimes called, at best, a heretic. The message to me from that enraged person is defiant and clear: I am lying; God did not heal me.
If either a flight or fight response occurs, I have learned that it does no good to reason with the person because their ability to think logically has temporarily ceased due to their extreme anxiety. I have also learned that a gentle answer turns away wrath (Prov.15:1), at least temporarily. The best response from me is to humbly go on my way and allow them to observe me, if they so choose, and from the distance they determine is safe. By observing me over time they can see that I act in a relatively normal manner and appear to have a relatively normal life. I seem normal enough to them. They may consider that maybe God did heal me or maybe I was not that sick to begin with but, regardless, God has not hurt me so, therefore, He will probably not hurt them. Some of them have come back to have conversations with me, and the following paragraphs on the terror and rage responses are a summary of the information I have gleaned from observations and those conversations.
The Third Emotive Response: Terror (of Punishment) and the Truth (Accepting the Benevolent Character of His Divine Nature Towards His Children)
A person may be overly fearful of God because through my testimony they have noted that He is eternally powerful, but they have not grasped the benevolent character of His divine nature towards His Children. Because I suffered before I was healed, and then I was healed as a result of my submission to God, sometimes a person may think that my condition was a punishment for my rebellion. That thinking is only partially true: my condition was a result of my rebellion, however, it was not a punishment from God. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, He came to save it (John 3:17). Rather than God punishing me during those years of my rebellion and consequential suffering, this is what was happening: Jesus, through His Spirit whom my heart has been indwelled with since the moment of my initial salvation, was growing my heart towards His heart. I am the kind of person who can be extremely unyielding when I decide I will have something my way or else. Jesus was simply obliging and allowing me to have it my way, thus, He ‘gave me over’ to my sin of idolatry (Romans 1:24). That is said to explain that for the length of time that we turn away and stay turned away from God, we then “forfeit the grace that could be” ours (Jonah 2:8b). But when I saw my way was not going to get me where I wanted to go with God, I submitted to God, and then He healed me. “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Ex. 34:6b-7a). He does not ever condemn us, His children, He hovers over us and watches us, and in the timing of His providence, He offers us grace and saves us from ourselves.
I would like to also explain that I do not necessarily believe that all sickness is due to spiritual rebellion. And I would like to clarify that a mental illness is a physical illness because the mind and the brain are both in the skull: in fact, they are inseparable from one another; “and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).
Third Emotive Response: Terror (of Oppression) and the Truth (the Divine Dance)
Secondly, a person may fear that with His power He may usurp their will and make them into something they do not want to be, or take them some place they do not want to go. They are reticent to walk humbly with their Lord because they do not understand the loving and compassionate nature of Christ. The relationship between Christ towards His people is best understood when compared to the relationship between two lovers: between a bridegroom and His bride. Walking humbly with the Lord is like a beautiful close-dance wherein the bridegroom, Jesus, leads the dance, and the bride follows his leading and yet they arrive at the same place at the exact same time, and in a joyful and graceful way: “My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me'” (Song 2:10-13). And for as many times as we apologize for ‘stepping on His toes’, He forgives us! He does not long to oppress us; He longs to dance with us -His beautiful bride.
Terror or Rage in Defense of a Guilty Conscience and the Truth (Salvation Comes From The Lord)
Lastly, sometimes a person has a guilty conscience because they have followed their own deceptive thinking that convinced them that by not confessing their sin they have successfully hid from God. So when that person hears my testimony it sometimes comes as a surprise to suddenly be in the presence of the all-powerful God, who besides being all-knowing, is also everywhere at once. In effect, by hearing my testimony many a person has been rooted out of their dark hiding places to find the Light shining on them. Seeing no fig leaves to cover with, one is left in the awkward position of needing to make an immediate choice between confessing sin and entering back into the grace of God, or continuing to run from God as evidenced by arguing my testimony in rage or fleeing from my presence in terror. Instead of finding comfort in them, that willful person who still desires to leave the manifest presence of the Lord may actually be discouraged by these verses: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord” (Psalm 139:1-4).
The one, true God has a tough-love approach towards His wayward children, and His authority is sovereign and final. To repeat for emphasis: “‘Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.’ And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:9-10).
Fourth Emotive Response: Rage (the Two Reasons)
Our emotions are a response to our thinking, and the response of rage can seem to be the most dramatic evidence of that truth. After confusion has been abated, there seem to remain two main reasons why rage continues in a person towards the divine nature and current and present healing power of Christ.
The Difference Between the Anger of the Deceived and the Rage of the Deceiver
Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. He says that His sheep know His voice. He also warns about thieves and wolves in sheep clothing that come to steal, devour and scatter the flock (John10:1-21). When a person has been unwittingly following the wrong shepherd and suddenly hears the voice of the one true Shepherd, that person may express anger for having been misled.
The difference between the anger of the deceived, and the rage of the wolf or thief for having been found out is in this: the misled who feel angry at having been deceived, may also tend to feel somewhat dismayed or frightened upon perceiving their vulnerability. That person also may express feeling hurt upon realizing that there were people in their life that could have intervened and shown them the path of truth but who, instead, chose to remain silent. The misled Child will often feel a need to repent of their waywardness, and will seek comfort from their Lord.
Rage: The First Reason (the False Teacher)
On the other hand, rage is often the emotion of the self-entitled, opportunistic wolf or thief who perceives no such vulnerability, and exhibits no true remorse because they do not perceive having sinned. They aggressively, either overtly or covertly, oppose the truth in my testimony. They speak with the voice of the accuser. If cornered and exposed to the Light there may be an expression of regret for having been caught red-handed, which superficially may look like remorse, but there is no remorse and humbling to God’s authority for intentionally misleading God’s people. Jesus tells us to guard against the teaching of the false teachers (Matt. 16:12).
False Teachers Deny the Power of God
My life has taught me well that some people are intentionally wicked, and there are those who are willing tools, for whatever reasons, for the devil to use to destroy relationships between Christians and to create chaos in churches. Paul speaks of these: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God -having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
They are the kind that worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Tim. 3:1-7).
Peter describes the false teacher who ‘secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them’ as being ‘bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings…these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand…With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed…they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the sinful human nature, entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity -for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him’ (2 Peter 2:1-22, excerpts). It is important to note that in 2 Tim. 3:5, “having a form of godliness but denying its power”, and in 2 Peter 2:1 the word ‘sovereign’, both are regarding the false teachers questioning Jesus’ power. Those two verses, especially when backed up with Romans 1:4, “and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” reveal that is accurate to say that anyone who denies the power of the resurrection to identify the crucified Christ as God may ‘have a form of godliness but denies the power of Christ as God’ and is, therefore, a false teacher. There are several organized religions who view Jesus as a prophet, or a perfect human whom one should try to emulate, but yet who deny Christ as being God. And there are also false teachers in the mainstream Christian churches who deny the power of Jesus Christ to miraculously heal.
The truth is in this line of thinking: Many followers of Christ died by crucifixion; but were they God? The two men on either side of Jesus who died by crucifixion -were they God? The point is that anyone can say the words, “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), and then die by crucifixion, but does that mean that that person is God and can forgive sins? The answer is found in Romans 1:4 paraphrased; ‘through the Spirit of holiness Jesus Christ our Lord was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.’ And it is that same power to forgive sins that gives Him the power to heal. Jesus asked the Pharisees and teachers of the law, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…’ He said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God” (Luke 5:22-25).
Therefore, if Jesus Christ does not have the current and present power to heal a body, neither does He have the current and present power to save a soul. That understanding is best expressed in this verse, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the One I praise” (Jer. 17:14).
The Father of the False Teachers: Satan
Jesus explains who those false teachers are children of, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (John 8:42-47).
Ask False Teachers: Heal Through Works Instead of Faith?
False teachers often want ‘proof’ of God, that is to say, they want to witness a healing or a miracle. It is important to point out, again, that the desire for the physical world to ‘prove’ the spiritual world supports a faith based on works, instead of a faith based on grace. If this position is noted in discussion, then one must look for other lies as well. When the Pharisees and teacher of the law came to Jesus and requested a miraculous sign from Him to prove that He is God, Jesus rebuked them by stating, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:39-40). At this point it may be insightful to recall the story Jesus told in Luke 16:19-31 regarding the rich man and the sick beggar who both die. The rich man is in torment in hell, and the formerly sick beggar is in heaven at Abraham’s side. In the end, the rich man’s request for someone to be raised from the dead and go to his living brothers as a warning to them, is refused by Abraham saying, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” -such as the Lord Jesus Christ. Now it is important to fully understand that although miracles give further evidence of the power of Christ (John 14:11), it is the Bread of Life that is the common denominator in every human being’s account of when they were first saved by grace: Miracles are works and have no power to save, in and of themselves, rather we are only saved and healed by His grace, through our faith.
Ask False Teachers: Heal Through Whose Faith?
And since healing comes through faith in God, then through whose faith would the one who denies the healing power of Christ expect a healing to occur? “In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk” (Acts 14:8-10).
Also, besides having faith to be healed, the person requesting assistance will be paying attention and expecting that they will be helped, “When he saw Peter and John (the crippled beggar laid there and) asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God” (Acts 3:3-8).
Ask False Teachers: Heal in Whose Name?
Secondly, in regards to asking for healing, Jesus is emphatic when He explains, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Therefore, besides being asked through whose faith the miracle is being requested, the false teacher, must also be asked to identify the name of the god being called on to perform that miracle: What god do they wish to glorify? If through their request for a miracle they prove their own power and not God’s, then they are the god who will be glorified, and not Jesus.
Asking to See a Miracle for Proof or Play is Testing the Holy Spirit
The bottom line is that a false teacher denies the current and present healing power of Christ. Therefore, the false teacher will ask for ‘proof’ of Jesus’ power. Although false teachers may be very convincing in their mannerisms and speech that this miracle must be performed and that their is righteousness in their hearts. The truth is that there is deception in their hearts, and they are actually using the person from whom the miracle is being requested to test the Holy Spirit to see if the Spirit does, indeed, see this deception in their hearts. Unfortunately, or so it may seem, the Spirit knows our hearts very well because He helped make them. That point was driven home in the early church when a man, with the full knowledge of his wife, sold some land with the expressed intention of giving all the money to the church. But he kept some of the money for himself, and his wife approved this lie. When each was separately asked if they had given the full amount to the church, each said, ‘Yes’, and each died on the spot (Acts 5:1-11). In that way, the Spirit ‘gave them over’ to their sin to show that lies that blaspheme the Spirit are deadly. When a false teacher demands a miracle be performed to ‘prove’ the Spiritual world, what they are actually wanting to validate is their own power to create a miracle at their spoken demand. What they would be validating, if that miracle would occur, is their own sense of opportunistic entitlement. They could care less about the Spiritual world. It is important to note that their requests for miracles should never be gratified, no matter what the cost is to the Christ follower. One only needs to note that the man who sold the land then lied had a wife who knew the truth -and they both died- to see why one must never participate in lies against the Holy Spirit.
I understand how one can know about God by seeing what He has made, and yet not know about Jesus Christ because there has been no consumption of the Bread of Life; but how can one say they know about Jesus, and yet not know about God?
“If the World Hates You…”
Jesus reminds His people, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master’. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:18-20).
Jesus also tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Rage: The Second Reason (the Hurting)
Besides the false teachers, there is one other group of people who have expressed rage upon consuming my healing testimony. That group consists of people who are suffering loss, such as the death of a loved one due to an illness or injury, and there is anger towards God for not healing that person. They are grieving and reacting out of their hurting. These people do not need Biblical teaching; they need to experience the love of Christ by people who have experienced the love of Christ. Those hurting people need His compassion and care. And I can offer that compassion and care, and yet not deny or minimize my healing. That is possible because the following paragraph is understood.
The Good News
The Good News is this: All believers are healed. Anyone who has been saved by grace through faith will be healed, if not in this life, then in the next, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true'” (Rev. 21:4-5).
Summary and Conclusion
This writing identified from what I was healed. It also gave evidence of the current and present healing power, and benevolent nature of Jesus Christ towards His followers. It included descriptions of and explanations for the four types of emotive responses received from people who have consumed my healing testimony. And it offered apologetics which support the capacity of Jesus Christ our Lord to miraculously and directly heal a human being on November 10, 2008.
To close there remains one final question to be asked, and it is this question that I now offer the heart of the reader: What do you believe -did Jesus heal me?
Coffey, J. (2011). Smooth Stones: Bringing down the giant questions of apologetics. Adelphi, MD: Cruciform Press.
“The Current and Present Healing Power of Christ” was written by Susan Moore, and produced for online publication March 4, 2013. Susan may be contacted at email@example.com