The Cessation of New Testament Supernatural Gifts - Part One
Study 5 - The Cessation of New Testament supernatural gifts - Part Two
Study 6 - The Errors of Tongue Speaking
Study 7 - The Error of Faith Healing - Part One
Study Eight - The Errors of Faith Healing - Part Two
1. Should a Christian ever be sick? There are some Charismatics who believe that sickness is not according to the will of God. They attribute sickness to two sources:
 It is the work of the devil generally, and the work of demons residing within us in particular. [We will deal with demon possession within Charismatic circles separately].
 It arises from sin in a believer's life. They make a strong connection between sickness and disobedience to God and argue that sickness is really a testimony that the sick person is knowingly engaging in some sin, that they need to repent off, if they are to see the sickness lifted.
With these two sources attributed as the root cause of all sickness, they believe that is wrong for a Christian to be sick.
However, this is a totally false understanding of the subject and a complete misrepresentation of the teaching of the Scriptures. Sickness does not come from the devil or sin.
Was Job afflicted because he sinned? The Bible argues that the opposite was the case. Job was a perfect and upright man, one that feared God, and eschewed evil, Job 1:1. The Lord spoke to Satan about Job: Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Job 1:8. This was the Lord's estimation of Job. It doesn't mean that he was sinless but it argues against the claim that sick comes from sin.
The Lord permitted Satan to afflict Job with awful boils. So much so that Job would gladly have died to ease his pain and discomfort. It was the Lord who permitted Satan to do this!
Was Paul's thorn in the flesh a result of sin in his life? Or was it something sent from God to keep him humble, as he acknowledges in 2 Corinthians 12:7: And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Sickness comes for a variety of reasons:
i. We live in a fallen world cursed by sin. There is corruption in the world and that means that people get sick, including Christians. If we followed this line of argument by the Charismatic through then no Christian would ever die! After all, death comes because of sickness in some form or other. Christians, like everyone else in the world, die because the principle of death works in our bodies. That principle of death will be seen in being sick and there are sicknesses that are life threatening.
ii. God sometimes gives sickness to His people so that they might know the Lord better and more deeply.
iii. God gives sickness so that through the grace shown by a Christian who is sick the Lord is more greatly glorified.
2. Does God not promise to heal our diseases? This is another line of argument by the Charismatics. They quote: Exodus 15:26: And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. Charismatics argue that because God promised to heal the Israelites and keep the diseases of Egypt from off them, that this is how it should be with every Christian.
This promise was given to Israel collectively as a nation and at this particular period of time. It cannot be inferred that it will apply to each and every Christian in New Testament times.
Paul did not receive healing for his thorn in the flesh which most commentators believe was an eye disease, Gal 4:15. However, Charismatics seek to get around the problem of Paul and others who did not receive healing, by saying that Paul's thorn in the flesh was not physical but spiritual; that it was those who opposed his teaching that he sought deliverance from. This is complete misinterpretation of the Scriptures.
3. Was healing not part of what Christ purchased in the atonement? Matthew 8:16,17 is quoted in this respect: When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. This is a quotation from Isaiah 53.
The argument is made by the Charismatics is that the New Testament Church should exercise a healing ministry because Christ died to 'bare our sicknesses'; that He died to bear away both the punishment and the consequences of sin which includes disease, suffering, misery and death.
It is true that Christ died to do this for His people and to redeem their bodies from sin and the curse. But it does not follow that deliverance from the physical consequences of sin is immediately known in this life. If that were true then no believer would ever die!
Rather the Bible teaches that the believer will know this at the time of resurrection from the grave. It is then that Christ will bring to us the benefits of His crosswork in our physical bodies.
The primary sickness that He delivers us from is the sickness of sin and what it does to our spiritual natures. This deliverance is immediate upon conversion.
4. Did the Saviour not tell His disciples to heal? Luke 9:1 is employed to make this point: Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases; Mark 16:17,18 is also used: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
These were temporary sign gifts as tongues were and did not last in the New Testament Church as explained before.