Want Some Answers ???Pentecostalism
My view regarding healing are the same as all the special sign gifts given to the early church. The gift of healing was one. These miracle sign gifts served a purpose to get the attention of the Jewish people, that the gospel replaced the law. Israel "required a sign', so God gave special powers to the apostles as a sign He was speaking through them (1 Cor.12:9). After the sign gifts served their purpose and they were withdrawn.
Today, while God desires good for His children He does not give special gifts to (healers self proclaimed apostles/prophets). They get sick and die and not necessarily protected from accidents either. There are over 2000 diseases that relate to mutations in the DNA code. Christians are not protected from these. Poison can kill anyone. Not that God can't heal, but His purposes are changed. Millions die in infancy, never reach maturity and all die ultimately.
I do not limit God; He can heal when He will. But there is a big difference between healing in the bible and today. Today there is noisy, tension filled, dramatic gatherings; in fashionable Churches, making the sign of the Cross and pouring oil over the sick. Healers usually claim anyone can be healed of any disease but only by the conditions they outline. This results in - confusion, disappointment, depression, deceit, division among God's people, departure from the faith (in some cases), deranged minds and even death.
The bases of such claims are misapplied texts and the assumption Christ's work on Calvary paid for both sicknesses and sin. They say it's as easy to be healed of bodily infirmity as forgiven of sin.
1. What was the purpose of public healing in the NT?
"The Jews require a sign", (1 Cor.1:22). Signs were demanded of Christ when he claimed to be their Messiah (Jn.6:30 Mt.12:38-44)
Many healings were therefore performed by Him to prove that He was the Messiah and the Kingdom blessings were centered in Him.
(Mt.4:23-25, Mt.8:14-18, Mt.9:35, Mt.10:5-8 Mt.11:2-6).
When He claimed to be the Bread of Life [Jn:6] He fed the 5,000 as confirmation.
When He claimed to forgive sins, He healed a palsied man to prove it. Mt.9:6.
When He claimed to be the Light of the World, He immediately gave sight to a blind man as proof. Jn.9:5-7, 16, 17.
When He claimed to be the Resurrection and the Life, He raised Lazarus. (Jn 11:25, 26, 43, 44). When Israel rejected Christ the Apostles and the Holy Spirit signs, the nation was set aside and the signs were gradually withdrawn (Acts 28:25-28) written in AD 63 with some who lived later and were not healed; eg Epaphroditus, Phil, 2:24-30 (AD 64) Trophimus 2 Tim.4:20 (AD 66) Timothy, 1 Tim.5:23 (AD 65) Paul, 2 Cor.12:8-10 (AD 60). See other references to "signs" and their purpose in Mt.12:38-39 Mk.16:20, Heb.2:3,4. Note the word "confirming".
2. What were the characteristics of healings in the NT prior to acts 28?
(a) IMMEDIATE: Not gradual or delayed. Subjects were not put on a waiting list as in modern healing missions. Mt.8:3, "IMMEDIATELY his leprosy was cleansed". Acts 3:6,7. When Peter healed the lame man. "IMMEDIATELY his feet and ankle bones received strength and he leaping up, stood and walked.
(b) COMPLETE: Perfect - not partial. Mk.6:56, "As many as touched Him were made whole." Mt.12:13, A withered hand became instantly whole, like the other. Mt.9:30, The blind had their eyes opened. Mt,9:33, The dumb spoke. Acts 3:6-9, The lame man, now healed by Peter, entered the temple praising God.
(c) COMPREHENSIVE: Embracing all kinds of diseases and all sorts of people - none rejected. Mt.4:23, "He healed all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Lk.7:21, "Infirmities . . . plagues and evil spirits." Mt12:15, "Great multitudes and He healed them all."
Ears cut off were restored - organic diseases banished - dead raised. These don't happen with a modern healer.
(d) PERMANENT: There was no relapse.
(e) WITHOUT PREPARED ATMOSPHERE: Nothing worked up. A quiet calm dignity pervaded the scene - just the opposite of the clever hypnotic manipulations of today's healing meetings.
3. Was faith always required on the part of the person healed?
In the NT there are 5 cases where faith was required. But when the disciples failed to cure in Mt.17:14-21, Christ didn't blame the sick but the disciples! Many were healed without mention of faith whatever, eg Peter's wife's mother, Mt.8:14, 15. The dumb man possessed with a demon, Mt.9:32. The man with the withered hand Mt.12:10. The man blind and dumb Mt.12:22. Three dead people were raised by Christ when obviously the exercise of faith was impossible!
So you should never let anyone cruelly blame or haunt you (as they do) with taunts of "lack of faith" on your part, as a reason for lack of healing.
4. IS SICKNESS ALWAYS THE RESULT OF SIN?
Adam alone of all earth's millions became a sinner by sinning - all others were born sinners. It was one specific sin of Adam that brought disease and death. So it is not true to say all sickness today is the result of personal sin. Also the case in Corinth, 1 Cor.11:30, but not the blind man, Jn.9:3, nor Job, who God called "a perfect and an upright man - one that fears God and hates evil." His sickness and loss was a challenge to God, from Satan, who claimed God received Job's love in exchange for blessings God gave him. The challenge had to be accepted and God allowed Satan to strip Job of his possessions in one day - his oxen, asses, sheep, camels, servants, Sons and daughters, and later on - his health. He was afflicted as few others, yet there was no cause of the sickness in him.
The important thing was Job kept a right attitude to God through it all and God blessed him for it Job 42:12, 13. Only the person involved knows if God is speaking to him through some incident and no-one else has the right (as they do) to insinuate or state that it must be personal sin.
5. Can Christians "claim" healing on the ground of Christ's atonement?
Did Christ die for my headaches as well as for my sins? The plain answer is NO. If this were the case no believer would ever be sick or die. If physical as well as spiritual healing is in the atonement, and faith in Christ brings me into the benefits of that atonement, then at conversion I must receive both. And failure would be proof I am not a child of God.
>>I have seen and known many Christians who are unbelievers and as a result they don't do what Jesus told them to do including: Matthew 5:21-26. So what prison do these Christians who ignore Jesus command and call another Christian a fool get thrown into if not sickness, disease, poverty, and lack?<<
I partly agree on Mt.5. A Christian can cause himself emotional pain and result in sickness by un-forgiveness. But some never ask forgiveness and "don't do what Jesus told them to do" yet don't suffer sickness at all. I have seen this.
We must remember when reading the gospels there are things spoken to Israel, but not to the church. Christianity was introduced later on, based on Christ's death and resurrection. He proclaimed the coming kingdom on earth and prepared Israel. Christians however, not only have Christ's teaching, but the exposition of His teaching - in the Epistles. We also have the writings of the prophets and law. But the church Epistles are specially written for us. So (Mt.5) Jesus is not threatening hell fire or prison to His Children (saved by grace) because of their failure (Rom.8:1-15). We have not received the "spirit of bondage" nor always punished for our sins. But the fact we can have sickness, disease, poverty and lack is not God's or our fault, but simply the state of the fallen world in which we live (Jn.16:33).
>>Not all sickness suffered by disobedient ones is physical or seen on the surface. Because God is a God of justice and he is fair those who disobey his word always pay for it because god is not to be mocked and whatsoever a man sows so shall he reap. And some have lost their salvation and just don't know it so why should they suffer physically when they have suffered the worst lost? 1 Cor.11:27-32<<
I don't believe God's children lose salvation, or born again a 3rd, 4th or 5th time. God's children maybe unworthy at times but God never disowns them, "He has said, I will never leave you or forsake you" (Heb.13.5). Jesus said, "I give to them eternal life; they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (Jn.10.28). If He allowed His Son to suffer and die for sinners, then His children should always live so they never "grieve the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph.4.30).
Salvation is received here and now, its certain - "He that believes on the Son has eternal life; but he that obeys not the Son (not born again) shall not see life, but God's wrath abides on him" (Jn.3.36). "He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but passed from death to life" (Jn.5.24). "There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom.8.1).
You talk about the Spirit's power yet lack the assurance of eternal life. Looks like God needs Wally to save Wally from himself and Wally's sin, or Wally is lost. Why don't you trust God (not yourself) what He has done for you on the cross, a finished work?