WHAT is the believer's proper attitude, or what is God's purpose as to the healing of
believers in answer to prayer without the use of other means at the present time?
We are often told that "the healing of the body is in the atonement." There is
no doubt but that not only the healing of disease, but the resurrection and vivification
of the body are provided for in the work of Christ on Calvary. Yet the resurrection has
not yet taken place, even though it is ours in Him. In fact all blessing of every kind is
latent in the cross of Christ, yet all waits God's opportune and fitting time and place.
Isaiah, who prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem, tells them of the "Man of
Sorrows" that "Surely He bears our illnesses, And was burdened with our
pains" (Isa. 53:4). And that this really refers to bodily infirmity we are assured,
for "He cast out the spirits with a word, and all who are ill He cures" (Matt.
8:16). The first kingdom commission was given soon after this when He told His twelve
apostles to "be curing the infirm, be rousing the dead, be cleansing lepers."
This was repeated to the seventy and was given again in connection with the creation
commission at the end of Mark's gospel. The Acts gives us many cases of healing so that
Peter heals the lame man at the gate Beautiful, and the paralytic Aeneas, and restores
Dorcas to life. But Paul is not a whit behind the chief of the apostles. He heals the
Lystrian cripple, casts out the spirit of Python from the Philippian damsel, and restores
Eutychus to life. In fact he was blessed with extraordinary powers so that even
handkerchiefs from him drew diseases from the sick (Acts 19:11,12). As he progressed in
his course his ministry underwent a change. He himself was burdened with infirmities. He
delighted in infirmities, for whenever he was weak, then he was powerful (2 Cor.
12:10,11). The exalted nature of the revelations he received made this necessary. God's
grace was his alone sufficiency. Timothy, his genuine child in the faith (1 Tim. 1:2),
like whom there was no one (Phil. 2:20-22) was also afflicted with frequent infirmities (1
Tim. 5:23). Why did he not heal him? Why did he prescribe wine? Epaphroditus, while with
Paul, was sick, very nigh death, in fact, yet Paul did not even attempt to heal him.
Besides this he had left Trophimus at Miletum sick. Why did he not heal him?
The fact that all of these are grouped together in the final and culminating ministry of
the apostle, together with the entire absence of any healing at that time, is eloquent for
those who have ears to hear. So long as the apostle was proclaiming Christ according to
the flesh he was not outdone by any one in the gift of healing. But when the most glorious
administration of the mystery began to dawn, which had hitherto been a secret, he himself
suffered bodily infirmity and his closest friends suffered likewise. The reason was that
the transcendent spiritual blessing was best emptied into broken vessels, whose boast
would be humbled by physical infirmities. Israel will be blessed with every physical
blessing and this will overflow to the nations that share her bliss. But we are blessed
with every spiritual blessing which often demands physical infirmity for its
Let anyone get a grasp of present truth and the healing of the body will be seen in its
true place - earthly, soulish, pertaining to the kingdom of which the prophets and
apostles spoke. But our blessings transcend all this: in fact God is going to change our
very bodies into spiritual bodies in the resurrection and fit them for the heavenly
spheres. In the meanwhile it is our privilege not only to use remedies for our stomach's
sake (1 Tim. 5:23), but to enjoy that celestial nectar which cheers the heart of God and
man (Jud. 9:13), which is the best tonic until He comes to transfigure the body of our
humiliation, to conform it to His body glorious.