Word of Faith Healing Promises

This entry is part 9 of 23 in the series Wolves in Wool

Word of Faith Healing Promises

Another entire category of defective doctrines stemming from the Word of Faith movement are those doctrines concerning the guarantee of physical health. [flash http://www.returningking.com/video/wolf9.flv]
(Notes below are scrollable)
While most Christians believe God is capable of healing- and does heal, the WOF doctrine teaches that healing is a divine right of every believer in Christ; from the simple headache to heart disease, all are to be healed in the life of a Christian. In fact, the essence of the teaching is that a believer living rightly will not even encounter sickness and disease. If one does, it is the fault of the believer himself, for God has granted the ability for each believer to be free from such physical limitations.

Sickness does not belong to you. It has no part in the Body of Christ. Sickness does not belong to any of us. The Bible declares if the Word of God is in our life, there will be health, there will be healing – divine health and divine healing. There will be no sickness for the saint of God. If Moses could live such a healthy life, so can you… He promises to heal all – every one, any, any whatsoever, everything – all our diseases! That means not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache – nothing! No sickness should come your way.
Benny Hinn (Rise & Be Healed!, p. 14, 32)
The source of this doctrine is noted to come from two sources; the Bible itself, and the workings of one’s exercise of his “word of faith.”

Scriptural Healing according to WOF

As to the scriptural evidence of their doctrines, the most proclaimed passage supposing to teach that healing belongs to every believer is found in Isaiah 53.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Normally, using the KJV version of verse 5b, “by his stripes we are healed,” the WOF teacher asserts “healing” as a foundational element of the atonement of Christ. We are healed, they say, by the atoning work of Christ on the cross.
There is no debate that Isaiah 53 speaks of the coming Messiah, Jesus, nor is there any debate whether healing is fundamentally established in his atoning work. Christ is demonstrated as a healer clearly in verse 4, but it is verse 5 that WOF teachers profess ties such healing to the atonement as a guaranteed reality. The issue which must be addressed, however, is the definition of the term “healing” in Isaiah 53:5.
Healing is clearly established in the text. Verse 4 notes, “he took up our infirmities.” “Infirmities” comes from the Hebrew term, holî (kho-lee’), which can refer to sickness or calamity. The term “healed” in verse 5 comes from Hebrew, rapa (ra-fah’), which means healed or repaired. The question that needs to be answered is, “healed from what?” The answer, of course, is found in the context of the passage.
If one had a conversation concerning his athlete’s foot problem and noted that he had “been healed” by a certain product which was used, another would not for the reason of the statement “I’ve been healed” think that the person had unilaterally received healing from a cold which he may have had at the same time. The context of the reported healing is the limit of what the term was intended to refer to. Stated another way: if you’re discussing athletes foot and note that you’ve been healed, one would not presume you to also mean that you were healed of all other ailments. You were healed only from the ailment which you referred to within your context.
The context of Isaiah 53:5 specifically notes a healing or a cure of a specific item from its context. That item is sin. The healing of verse 5 affiliated with the atoning work of Christ is painfully obvious to one who takes time to read and understand the text!
Verse 5 makes four statements. Each statement is a parallel of the others. And, each statement contains the exact same subject matter.
He states in verse 5 a singular truth, using parallelism. Part one of the parallel notes that Jesus paid for our sins. Part two of the parallel stipulates that by his payment, we are free, or “healed.”
§ Jesus paid for our sins:
· “He was pierced for our transgressions”
· “He was crushed for our iniquities”

§ Because of his payment, we are free:
· “The punishment that brought us peace is upon him”
· “By his wounds we are healed.”
The entire context of this text relates to sin and Jesus’ coming atonement for sin. Other than the use of the term “healed,” there is nothing in the text which would make one consider sickness to be an element of what Jesus was to do for mankind by his death. However the term “healed” does not merely refer to sickness. One can be healed from a broken bone. One can be healed from an oppression. Likewise, one can be healed spiritually, as Isaiah 53 speaks of.
Hebrew parallelism is a poetic device whereby a statement is made twice to reaffirm its meaning in verse. In this parallel, “pierced” is equated with “crushed,” “transgressions” is equated with “iniquities,” “punishment” is equated with “wounds,” and “peace” is equated with “healed.”
The healing in the text speaks nothing about earthly illness, but rather a healing from the penalties of sin. Verse 6 confirms the context as it notes,
Isaiah 53:6 (NIV)
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
There is no question concerning Isaiah 53′s intended meaning to one who practices legitimate biblical interpretive method. In fact, in order to get the idea of “healing from sicknesses” from Isaiah 53, one must deliberately misrepresent the text to an audience which is ill-equipped to interpret it for themselves. Isaiah 53 tells one dynamic story from beginning to end: Messiah would come and pay the penalty of man’s sin, as verse 12 concludes the matter,
Isaiah 53:12 (NIV)
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus “bore the sin” of the world and made “intercession” for transgressors. The “healing” noted in verse 5 was a healing from sin. The healing was spiritual in nature, not physical. In fact, the penalty of sin is death. It has been death from the very beginning. God did not say to Adam and Eve “the day you eat of it you will surely get sick,” but “the day you eat of it you will surely die.” If this healing of sin were to be understood as physical in nature in Isaiah 53, one would expect that men would stop experiencing physical death! But they do not- because Isaiah 53 speaks of the healing of man’s spiritual condition. He is healed from sin, being given a substitutionary atonement through the stripes of Christ’s vicarious suffering.
Yet, according to WOF teachers, it is physical healing which Isaiah 53 speaks, and that healing is inherently available to all believers through the suffering of Christ on the cross. If you are a believer, then you have healing at your disposal.
“Salvation and healing are two gifts wrapped up in the same package. For God, healing is just as important and necessary as Salvation.”?
Rod Parsley (The Backside Of Calvary, Results Publishing, Columbus, OH, 1991, p. 55)
The “package” Parsley speaks of is that of atonement. He believes that the blood which brought spiritual restoration to mankind also brought healing to the bodies of believers in this lifetime.
Scripture does teach that all believers will receive a new, glorified body which will never get sick and die. But, scripture teaches that the reception of that body is upon the believer’s resurrection from this life, rather than upon one’s salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 (NIV)
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
According to Paul, mortality is the nature of the bodies in which we live. To that end, one must understand that the penalty of sin given at the garden of Eden, “the day you eat of it you will surely die,” is something which will endure until that time when one receives the immortal body. Sickness and death came together into existence in a package deal. Sickness is the state of this human body. To that end, one can say that Christ’s atonement will bring healing upon the completion of one’s life on earth. However, Isaiah 53 speaks nothing of the sort, but refers uniquely of the atonement for sin.
In the end, however, scripture is unnecessary for a WOF teacher to proclaim universal healing, for in their doctrine, whatever one wants, in fact, is accessible by one’s proclamation of one’s word of faith.

“Claiming” healing using the word of faith

The second way, then, one receives whatever one wants, it so use one’s inherent abilities via the force of faith to achieve one’s goals. If you don’t have what you think you need, such as healing, according to the WOF teacher, you can speak your creation into existence!
“Say to your body, ‘You’re whole, body! Why, you just function so beautifully and so well. Why, body, you never have any problems. You’re a strong, healthy body.’ Or speak to your leg, or speak to your foot, or speak to your neck, or speak to your back; and once you have spoken and believe that you have received, and don’t go back on it. Speak to your wife, speak to your husband, speak to your circumstances; and speak faith to them to create in them and God will create what you are speaking.”?
Marilyn Hickey (Claim Your Miracles audiotape, #186, side 2)
Hickey uses the exact same formula she uses for wealth, which will be examined in the next section. If you lack wealth, you speak to your wallet! If you lack healing, according to Hickey, you simply “speak to your circumstances.”
Likewise, WOF teachers teach the opposite formula is also true. If one claims to have a headache, for example, that headache will never leave! It is prolonged by the very “word of faith” which claims it to exist.
“The believer should never die before the age of 70. That is the minimum and then they should live to be 120 years. This is done by faith words If you keep talking death, that is what you are going to have. If you keep talking sickness and disease, that is what you are going to have, because you are going to create the reality of them with your own mouth. That is a divine law.”
Fredrick K.C. Price (Realm, 29)
Price contends that if one speaks of sickness and disease, “that is what you are going to have, because you are going to create the reality of them with your own mouth.” When all else fails, these teachers will go back to the rudiments of their theology and put the “word of faith” back in control of their circumstances; in spite of what scripture teaches on a subject. Whether healing, power or cold hard cash, the confession of one’s mouth is the end-all source of receiving according to this doctrine.
Even America’s star, Joel Osteen, has endorsed this bandwagon approach to doctrine.
“Start calling in divine health….You may have sickness in your body; you need to call in health. Words are like seeds; they have creative power.”
Joel Osteen (“Speaking Faith Filled Words”, Tape # 223, 2004)
Suffice it to say, that once one has endorsed the root premise concerning the “word of faith,” one can then assume anything he desires as attainable. In such cases, has not man become God himself? Is it not man, with this powerful force indeed in charge of his own destiny? Is man now God incarnate? This is indeed the synopsis of the WOF teaching.
“As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word.”
Kenneth Copeland (Our Covenant with God, 1987, p. 32)
“Yes! You are in control! So, if man has control, who no longer has it? God.”
Fredrick K.C. Price (“Prayer: Do You Know What Prayer Is … and How to Pray?” The Word Study Bible, 1990 p. 1178)
This leads to the most tragic of all possible doctrines regarding the physical healing of believers. For, according to the WOF teachers, your healing is entirely up to you! If you are not healed, then, there is a problem with your faith and it is entirely your own fault!
“The Bible declares that the work was done 2,000 years ago. God is not going to heal you now — he healed you 2,000 years ago. All you have to do today is receive your healing by faith”
Benny Hinn (Rise and Be Healed, p. 44).
“Sometimes people won’t receive their healing. Sometimes they’re full of fear or doubt or unbelief, and they can’t take what God is giving them.”
Kenneth Copeland (“Believer’s Voice Of Victory”, October 1999, pg. 23).
Thus, it is your faith which heals you. If you are not healed it is because of your own lack of faith. And, in that case, according to Fred Price, you are choosing to live in a body which is unfitting for God’s use!
“How can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn’t function right? How can you glorify God? How can He get glory when your body doesn’t even work? What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside a body where He can’t see out through the windows and He can’t hear with the ears? What makes you think the Holy Spirit wants to live inside of a physical body where the limbs and the organs and the cells do not function right?”
Fredrick K.C. Price (“Is God Glorified Through Sickness?” audiotape #FP605)
As offensive as it sounds, any doctrine which establishes fully that God will heal any sick person if they have enough faith, or if they ask correctly or if any other number of human-initiated scenarios is done “properly,” is a doctrine which makes the believer ultimately at fault for their own sicknesses.
How would one explain this truth to Joni Ericson Tada, Tony Melendez or any of thousands of believers who serve God faithfully in spite of a debilitating illness or injury? Is God not using their ministry? According to Price, the Holy Spirit would not want to live inside a body that does not function right! Does this, then, eliminate the possibility of salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for sick or injured people?
Luckily, a voice much louder, thoroughly tested and approved than the voices of Price, Copeland, Hinn, Osteen and all other human teachers exists to us in scripture itself.

A Biblical Example of non-healing

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)
7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul notes the receiving of a “thorn in the flesh.” Paul clearly does not speak of a literal thorn, but a metaphorical one. He had an ailment of some sort. He notes this ailment to stem from a “messenger of Satan, to torment me.” “Messenger” is in fact the Greek term, angelos, which is frequently rendered “angel,” depending on the context. If a person sends an angelos to another, the term is usually rendered “messenger.” Yet, for this messenger to be from Satan, it could rightly be understood to represent a demonic affliction of illness, which is a biblical occurrence in several cases. (Matthew 12:22) While this is problematic for some, scripture teaches that God does allow demonic affliction at times, such as Job’s illnesses. Job was a righteous man, yet God allowed Satan to inflict his body with very painful sores. Paul, it appears, had such an illness, himself. It was a physical infirmity of some type, which he noted as coming from a messenger of Satan.
What is fascinating about Paul’s illness is that God chose to allow Paul to suffer with his ailment rather than healing him from it! This is clearly in denial of the WOF teaching that healing is a God-given right for every believer. In fact, God refused to heal Paul based on the premise that Paul could better serve God with his affliction! He stated, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Translation? God wanted Paul to have this particular ailment! For starters, Satan would have had to have obtained permission to afflict Paul, a believer (Luke 22:21, Job 1:8-12; 2:3-6), but more importantly, God indicated that even Paul’s affliction was something He (God) desired. As Paul notes, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Contrary to Fred Price’s false report, scripture teaches that God is actually glorified when a believer endures sickness or bodily malfunction by depending on Christ’s power to achieve that which their less than perfect bodies are unable to do for themselves. How dare Price to bring humility, accusation and disrespect to those temples of the Holy Spirit; some of which could be experiencing God’s grace in their suffering, as Paul did.
The sheer volume of flaw demonstrated by WOF theology only continues to assert the real purpose of its teachers.
Titus 1:11 (NIV)
11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
In the pursuit of that purpose, they have continually maligned God’s word and have ruined people who are physically hindered by sickness, injury or defect. How devastating to the legitimate body of Christ it is when its weak are destroyed for the sake of the wealthy pretenders among them.






Series Navigation<< Word of Faith Error: Jesus was “Born Again”Word of Faith Wealth Theology: Part One >>

8 Comment(s)

  1. It’s interesting that you left out Matthew’s rendition of Is. 53:4 (Matt. 8:17b). It’s also interesting to see both the context of Matthew 8 and how he uses the tense in vs. 17 throughout his gospel.

    Diane R | Nov 14, 2008 | Reply

  2. That’s a fair rebuttal, Diane. However, Matthew is only quoting the establishment of Jesus’ work of taking up infirmities and carrying diseases prior to the atonement, for Christ has not yet been crucified. Isaiah 53 speaks of the entire ministry of Christ, from birth to the atonement (upon his death).

    Isaiah 53:4 speaks of the physical work of Christ; the man “we considered…stricken by God…and afflicted.” Verse 5, then, speaks of the atoning work of Christ in that “he was pierced for our transgressions…crushed for our iniquities.” Verses 2-4 speak of Christ’s birth through his ministry work. Verse 5 speaks of his atoning work through his death which brings about the “healing” the WOF teach: a healing which they believe is inherent in the atonement itself.

    I do not question Jesus’ personal ministry of healing. I challenge the WOF assertion that healing is guaranteed through the atonement. The “healing” of verses 5-6 are a healing from sin. It is “the punishment that brought us peace.” It is him being “pierced for our transgressions.”

    We may agree to disagree, but my assertion is that “atonement” is spiritual in nature until the resurrection, at which point even the body will be redeemed. The WOF assertion is that atonement is physical and spiritual in nature while we live on the earth. If that is the case, men should not die at all; for death and sickness are of the same physical judgment of sin.

    kluttz | Nov 14, 2008 | Reply

  3. you really dont hardly know any thing about the Bible And I figured you were Babtist

    sharonvargo | Dec 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. “I figured you were Baptist?” Is that statement supposed to prove that I’m wrong?

    This site exists to illuminate scripture. The WoF does not do that, but greatly distorts it so the men who preach it can drive $200,000 cars. Every principle I tought in this series was approached by, through, and for the sake of scripture. There are no quotes from any Baptist organization anywhere in this series. Nor are there any denominationally divisive statements; but the illumination of false doctrines and teachers, which Jesus, Paul, Peter and others instructed us to do.

    I pray that in the future you will attempt to rebut teachings that you disagree with by using scripture rather than attempting to denominationalize a doctrine. Revealing scripture pleases the Lord. Division over raw denominationalism does not.

    Jeff Kluttz | Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

  5. you said in one of your comments that people the wof drive around in200,00 dollar cars i know they are people out there that do wrong and I cant speak for them I know that I am blessed to be a blessing at our church we won2000 people to the Lord in street ministry and we give to the poor and help build wells for peolple that dont have water and many other things so for you to say that all of wof are like that is not true I do study to show myself aprove and as I said before God takes me to His word if you think that God doesnt speak to people you are wrong Gods word says My sheep know My voice and they will not follow the voice of the stranger

    sharon | Dec 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. You state “i know they are people out there that do wrong and I cant speak for them (sic).” I really don’t understand why you can’t speak for them. If they are wrong – tell them they are wrong. I don’t know you, or your church, or your street ministry or any well you may or may not have dug. I have mentioned no such things. Why bring it up?

    If you are WoF, and desire to defend your WoF doctrine, then do so boldly – with scripture. Otherwise I would be very careful defending these impostors.

    Jeff Kluttz | Dec 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. you said you dont know my ministry or what it is about so why do you get on here and talk about it for preachers like you are more of a hurt than a help to the body of Christ………

    sharon | Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

  8. You obviously have taken my comments concerning OTHER TEACHERS very personally. Yet, I do not know you; nor have I spoken of “your ministry” at all.

    My encouragement to you remains the same. Let scripture trump the teacher – not the other way around.

    If I am not teaching the scripture – go on your way and do not listen to me. But, the same goes for all of those you so vehemently defend. They will pay dearly for their mishandling of God’s word, and you will be judged with them if you do not hold them accountable to the same standard.

    Please take no offense, but I will not post any further comments from you. We’re obviously not getting anywhere. If you’d like to email, I’ll be glad to answer any questions.

    Best wishes-

    Jeff Kluttz | Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

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  2. Dec 1, 2008: from Word of Faith Healing Promises: Does God want everyone to be healed? « How2BecomeAChristianInfoBLOG.com
  3. Feb 20, 2009: from Word of Faith Healing Promises: Does God want everyone to be healed? « THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a Group Blog)
  4. Feb 23, 2009: from Is The Emergent Church Defined By The Transcendental Meditation Of Maharishi Yogi? « Jesus Christology
  5. Mar 26, 2009: from WOLVES IN WOOL: The Great Falling Away « THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog)

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