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Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church/Doctrines of Demons
Word of Faith/ Healing in The Atonement

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Is Physical Healing Included in The Atonement ... Part I

Carol Brooks

Part II HERE

 ON THIS PAGE

Three Points of View
God Can & Does Heal Today / No Longer Heals Today / Healing In An Integral Part of The Atonement / Healing Is An Integral Part of The Atonement

Healing Is A Part And Parcel of The Atonement
Some examples of statements made by those that consider that all believers should be healed.
"Thy Will" Doesn't Come Into It

If You Aren't Healed - It's Your Fault
What The Faith Healers Fail To Take Into Consideration
When Recovery Had Absolutely Nothing To Do With Whether They Believed Or Expected To Be Healed.

God Is Not The Only One That Can Heal
A miracle from the spirit realm is genuine, whether from God or Satan

Hypocrisy Unlimited

"Proof" Texts
1 Peter 2:24
Matthew 8:17
Isaiah 53:5
Hebrews 13:8

Whether Or Not Physical Healing Is Included in The Atonement
Is The Wrong Question.

When Are We Finally Saved?


Three Points of View
God Can & Does Heal Today / No Longer Heals Today / Healing In An Integral Part of The Atonement

In our world many consider belief in the supernatural as belonging to a more primitive and superstitious time - our beliefs should only be dictated by what we can prove scientifically. The miracles spoken of in the Scriptures either had perfectly natural scientific explanations or were myths told with the intent of providing a moral lesson.

However, there are differences of opinion even among those who who believe in God and consider the Bible to be His infallible word

1.) Miracles Have Ceased: Many conservative Christians sometimes known as Cessationists believe that Jesus only worked miracles to authenticate His person and mission (i.e. He was doing things that the prophets predicted would be accomplished by the Messiah). Also the signs and wonders worked through the apostles was for the purpose of confirming the truth of the gospel to multitudes of Jews and Gentiles.  Note: There is no question that both Jesus and the apostles also healed out of compassion.

Cessationists hold that although there aren't any verses that clearly and irrefutably point to the fact that most of the gifts have ceased, the combined weight of the evidence does. Thus it stands to reason that the church should soundly reject any and all claims to prophecy, miraculous healings, and other supernatural gifts of the spirit. See Cessationism

2.) Miracles Continue To Take Place In Our Day: On the other hand, most believers take verses like James 5:14-15 very seriously thus are firmly of the opinion that a sovereign God continues to heal people in our day. 

    Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15 NASB)

Note: Although the elders were specifically instructed to pray for the sick and anoint them with oil, James 5:14-15 cannot be taken in an absolute sense for the simple reason that if sick people unfailingly recover when prayed for by the elders, then no believer would ever die. Even Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead eventually died again. 

And then we have the third category which is the primary focus of this piece.

3.) Healing Is Part and Parcel Of The Atonement. Many Charismatics and Evangelicals believe that Christ's reconciling work on the cross guarantees believers physical healing just as much as it guarantees them spiritual healing and eternal life. Thus all Christians ought to be completely free of all sickness and disease.


Healing Is A Part And Parcel of The Atonement
Some examples of statements made by those that consider that all believers should be healed.

Kenneth Hagin 'father' of the Prosperity and Health doctrine, once said

    The best method by which you can be healed is to know for yourself from our text Scriptures (Isaiah 53:4,5, Matthew 8:17, and First Peter 2:24) that healing is in God's redemptive plan; it belongs to you; and by His stripes we are healed. We refuse to allow disease or sickness in our bodies, because we ARE healed... All believers should thoroughly understand that their healing was consummated in Christ. When they come to know that in their spirits - just as they know it in their heads - that will be the end of sickness and disease in their bodies." [01]

    More about Kenneth Hagin HERE Scroll down to How New Thought Made Its Way Into The Church

Rod Parsley claims that healing is as important as salvation (All Emphasis Added)

    Salvation and healing are two gifts wrapped up in the same package. For God, it is just as easy to forgive sin as it is to dissolve a cancerous growth. To Him, healing is just as important and necessary as Salvation." [02]

Paul Yonggi Cho The now disgraced pastor from South Korea emphatically tied physical healing and salvation together ...

    Accordingly, if we believe that Christ redeemed us from our sins, we should believe that He redeemed us from our sicknesses also. If we cannot believe in both kinds of redemption, we must not believe in any kind of redemption, for Jesus carried away both our sins and our sicknesses." [03]

Jesse Duplantis: "In his sermon Vision Creates Direction, Duplantis preached, "I never ask God for a need. What a waste of spiritual energy. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of in my life. [04]

Fred Price actually had the nerve to suggest that the Holy Spirit wouldn't want to inhabit a body that isn't functioning quite right

    "...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? ... And what makes you think He wants to live in a temple where He can't see out of the eyes, and He can't walk with the feet, and He can't move with the hand?" [05]

Note: Good health is one half of the so-called "health and wealth" gospel. The other half claims that all Christians should be materially well off and want for nothing. Fred Price was one of the more brazen proponents of the Prosperity Doctrine and, like the many others who preach the same message, lived a very extravagant lifestyle.

 See The Prosperity Gospel and Word-faith Movement

And Wealthy Celebrity Pastors With Deep Pockets And Self Serving Shallow Theology

"Thy Will" Doesn't Come Into It:
They further teach that the words "if it be Thy will" have no place in a prayer for healing because they indicate that the person praying doubts God's 'promises'. Prayers for healing should close with words of thanks (positive confession) that the healing has taken place, regardless of the fact that the physical symptoms still exist. In other words, faith has to rest on the supposed promises of God, not on the physical evidence.

In which case one has to wonder why the Son of God Himself, who I am sure knew perfectly well what God's will was, fell on his face in the garden of Gethsemae and prayed...

    "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39 NASB)


If You Aren't Healed - It's Your Fault
Unfortunately, the fact remains that some people are healed - most are not.

However, Word-faith teachers often lay the blame for the lack of healing squarely at the door of the sick person. In many cases, they leave people who are already hurting with the impression that they were not healed because they did not have the necessary faith. They would have been made well if they had had more faith and believed as they should have.

    "Healing always comes. The problem has been in our receiving, not in God's giving" [06].

What The Faith Healers Fail To Take Into Consideration
is that an absence of physical restoration indicates an absence of spiritual restoration (they're joined at the hip remember.) In other words, if you aren't healed - you aren't saved.

If, the person does not have enough faith to receive their healing, then how can we assume that they have enough faith to receive salvation - a much larger issue by far. 

However, if you actually read the New Testament hopefully you will notice that in at least two cases the person's recovery had absolutely nothing to do with whether they believed or expected to be healed.

The Man Beside The Pool in Bethesda
Jesus and the apostles were never known to have turned away any person who came to them for healing but, on the other hand, neither did they heal all the sick people they came into contact with.

For example in John 5:1-9 states that when Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews, He came to a pool called Bethesda where a "multitude" of blind, lame sick and feeble people lay waiting for the moving of the waters. However, as far as we know, Jesus only healed one person, a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

We are not told why Jesus picked this man to heal nor why He did not heal any of the other people gathered at the pool that day. Additionally it does not seem that the man knew who Jesus was. He simply answered the Savior's question of whether he wished to get well.

    Note: There seems to be more to the story of the pool at Bethesda than meets the eye. The events strongly indicates that God is not the only one that can heal. See Footnote I

The Beggar at The Gate
Acts 3 tells the story of a man crippled from birth who was daily carried to the door of the temple where he used to beg alms from people. On this particular day, he saw Peter and John entering the temple and asked them for money. When Peter told him to look at them, he paid attention expecting to receive some money from them.

However Peter had something very different in mind. His words to the beggar were "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Peter then took the man by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. He stood, and began to walk, then entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

Nothing in this text even remotely suggests that this man had "faith in Christ" or that he was even expecting to be healed! The text clearly shows that the only thing he expected was a monetary handout from Peter and John.

Because the man was a familiar figure to temple goers, all the people who saw him walking and praising God" were astonished and congregated in Solomon's porch. This gave Peter the perfect opportunity to preach the Gospel, telling them that the man had been healed by Jesus, the Prince of life whom they had killed. He then urged them to repent so that their sins may be blotted out and there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:9-26)

New Testament Believers Who Were NOT Healed
Additionally, there are several believers in the New Testament who were NOT healed. Paul and Timothy for example. One would be hard pressed to accuse either one of a lack of faith.

    Paul himself had what he called a 'thorn in his flesh which he beseeched the Lord to take away from him - a request that was not granted. This incident has more than one lesson that the more showy leaders some of whom claim visions and trips to heaven would be well advised to take heed of. More about this on Page 2

    Timothy: Paul did not heal Timothy of what seemed to be recurring stomach problems, but suggested that he take some wine for his ailments..

    No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments (Gk. astheneia)  (1 Timothy 5:23 NASB)

    Epaphroditus: Philippians 2:25-27 recounts the story of Epaphroditus who almost died but recovered without any help from Paul.

    Trophimus: In 2 Timothy 4:20 Paul wrote "Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus"

Very apparently, God has not promised us physical health and is under no obligation to heal anyone. When He does it is entirely at His discretion - for reasons we know nothing about.

And there is one additional factor that needs to be considered and that is...


God Is Not The Only One That Can Heal.
The following provide Scriptural proof that God is not the only one that can heal. To their detriment too many Christians ignore the words of our Lord,

    Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness. (Matthew 7:21-23. NASB)

    For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect (Matthew 24:24)

As said by the late Albert Dager

    It's not a question of counterfeit versus real; Satan's miracles are not counterfeits any more than foreign currency is a counterfeit of our own currency. Counterfeit "miracles" are those feats of legerdemain (sleight of hand) performed by professional magicians, and charlatans who create ruses to bilk people out of money.

    A miracle from the spirit realm is genuine, whether from God or Satan. Satan's healings are not illusory; they are real. That's what makes them dangerous. The reason people believe teachings when they are accompanied by signs and wonders is that they don't believe Satan or his demons can perform genuine miracles. Therefore they think that any teaching accompanied by signs and wonders must be from God.  [07] 

Also pay close attention to Deuteronomy 13: 1-3

    If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let's follow other gods (whom you have not known) and let's serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (NASB)

See  Prophets Or Deluded Charlatans
 (Charlatan - A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge)


Hypocrisy Unlimited
What boggles the minds is the fact that so many of the "faith" healers have themselves fallen ill and turned to traditional medicine for help. In fact, Jamie W. Buckingham was only 59 when he died of liver cancer.

    Fred Price's wife Betty had inoperable lymphoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer for which she received medical treatment. The headline of an article on Black Christian News dated October 19, 2023 is Pastors Fred and Betty Price Are Welcomed Back to the Dome After Being Away For Months Due to Health Problems' (Emphasis Added). [08]

    Kenneth Copeland has a pacemaker because of an irregular heartbeat. At the 2022 Southwest Believers Convention in Fort Worth, he announced that his wife Gloria would not be in attendance because of her health. [09]

    Joyce Meyer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, for which she had surgery.  [10]

    Jan Crouch was operated on for colon cancer in May of 2003 after which her cancer went into remission. Apparently none of the performers on TBN could help her.

    Rod Parsley's son Austin was diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome at the age of two and a half. Regardless of the spin they put on it now, this is what Joni, Rod Parsley's wife said a few years ago (Emphasis Added)

    Years of research and different therapies helped Austin make leaps and bounds but it happened step by step. He went from being completely non-verbal to talking and communicating, thanks to a team effort but due largely to his amazing speech therapist. God sent us many heroes over the years with teachers, tutors, therapists, doctors, family, friends, and prayer warriors. [11]


Proof Texts
In the quote mentioned earlier Kenneth Hagin mentioned Isaiah 53:4,5, Matthew 8:17, and First Peter 2:24 to validate his teaching "that healing is in God's redemptive plan; it belongs to you; and by His stripes we are healed". In fact, these verses are commonly used to substantiate 'healing included in the atonement' doctrine

What both apostles said was based on Isaiah 53:4-5.

1 Peter 2:24
Obviously paraphrasing Isaiah 53:5 Peter wrote

    and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24 NASB)

We cannot read the word "heal" and assume that Peter was talking about physical healing for the simple reason he didn't quote just one verse but two consecutive verses which He linked with the word "for" obviously intending them to be read and understood together. And when we do so together they clarify exactly what he meant. All underlining added.

This is what Isaiah wrote

    (53) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (54) All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB)

And here is Peter's paraphrase of both verses

    (24) and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.  (25) For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25 NASB)

How could it get any more clear?


Matthew 8:17
is another widely used passage used to support the "healing in the atonement" teaching. Matthew also paraphrased Isaiah's words

    Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  (Isaiah 53:4 NASB)

I have included verse 16.

    When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill (Gk. kakos ). This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "He Himself took our infirmities (Gk. astheneia) and carried (Gk. nosos ) away our diseases." (Matthew 8:16-17 NASB)

There is no question that Matthew was applying Isaiah's words "borne our grief and carried our sorrows" to physical healing. The Greek words nosos and astheneia both mean illness. kakos - physically or morally miserable or diseased.

However, we should note that Matthew said people were being healed in order to "fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet". In other words, Isaiah's prophecy was being fulfilled right then and there - Jesus bore the sicknesses and infirmities of people at least one year before He was crucified and atonement took place. 

In fact, Matthew used this phrase seven or eight other times in his Gospel to illustrate that a particular prophecy was being fulfilled during Christ's time on earth. See Footnote II

Now for the source of what both Matthew and Peter said.


Isaiah 53:5
The passage in question reads...

    But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities (Heb. vn); The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NASB)

It is probably no exaggeration to say that this description of Christ's mission on earth is one of the most awe-inspiring and touching passages in the Scriptures. However, and I literally have no idea how many times I have said this - you simply neither use part of a verse nor a full verse wrenched from its context use it to justify what you believe or teach.

This because no Biblical author strung together a number of lofty sounding phrases disconnected from one another - Every verse is an integral part of a particular point the author was trying to make. Without taking the context into consideration no one can gain an accurate understanding of the point the author was making. In fact, very often, it is the overall message of the chapter that gives meaning to individual verses.

But, since this takes time, study and effort, all too many Christians are content with allowing stand-alone verses to be wrested from their context and used to convey whatever meaning the speaker/author wishes them to convey. This perversion of Scriptures is done in order to persuade people that whatsoever the false teacher says is based on Biblical truth. See Context Is Crucial.

Why Would Isaiah Change Horses Midstream?
Anyone who actually reads Isaiah 53 should pay attention to the immediate context.

    Surely our griefs (Heb. choly) He Himself bore (Hebrew nsh) , And our sorrows He carried (Hebrew sbal); Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions (Heb. pesha'), He was crushed for our iniquities (Heb. vn); The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity (Heb. vn) of us all to fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NASB)

All of which makes it is very unlikely that smack bang in the middle of his emphasis on the forgiveness of sins and spiritual healing, Isaiah suddenly changed horses in mid stream and threw in a few words about physical healing.

(More about the Hebrew words pesha and vn in Old Testament word study of the words used for sin. HERE)

Also to be noted is the fact that the two Hebrew words (nsh and sbal) used in verse 4 are again used in verses 11 and 12 in which we are told that the "grief" and "sorrow" that Jesus bore was sin and iniquity.

    As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear (Hebrew sbal) their iniquities (Heb. vn) Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore (Hebrew nsh) the sin (Heb. cht) of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:11-12 NASB)

It is true that the Hebrew word choly rendered griefs (verse 4) literally means "sickness" (See Deuteronomy 28:59-61). However, Isaiah does not always use it in terms of a physical sickness.  That the prophet was not speaking of a physical illness In chapter 1 verse 5  is made clear by the preceding verse (V.4) addressed to a "sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly".  Once again read it in context

    (4) Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him. (5) Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick And the whole heart is faint. (Isaiah 1:4-5 NASB)


Hebrews 13:8
One other verse often quoted by the health-wealth proponents

    "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever"

What they are implying is that, if Jesus healed during His time on earth He, being unchanging, has to continue the pattern and heal people today. But can this statement be applied to physical healing or is it yet another example of a verse being taken out of context? See Context Is Crucial.

In this case the verse is best and most accurately understood not only considering the immediate context, but in the context of the entire book. This is actually an excellent thing to do with all the books of the New Testament because stepping back from the details and and focusing on the big picture gives us a far better understanding of the message the author meant to convey.

In this case, Hebrews was written to Jewish converts who seemed to be in danger of apostatizing from Christianity and re-embracing Judaism. As the late Dr. Walter Martin, once cleverly expressed it - the Book of Hebrews was written by a Hebrew to other Hebrews telling the Hebrews to stop acting like Hebrews.

For this reason the two dominant themes running through the entire book are

1) The Superiority of Christ
Hebrews can be divided into sections each of which details Jesus' superiority over various ancients, the temple sacrifices, and the Old Testament covenant itself. Note the points below have been condensed from an excellent and enlightening article entitled Hebrews: Introduction, Argument, and Outline by Daniel B. Wallace. The entire article is well worth reading.

    1) Christ is superior to the Prophets (1:1-4). The prophets were servants of spokes persons of the Lord. Christ is the Son of God.

    2) Christ is superior to the angels (1:52:18) inasmuch as He has inherited a more excellent name than the angels.

    3) Christ is superior to Moses (3:14:13). The faithful Moses was a servant of the Father. Christ was faithful as a Son over His house"

    4) Christ is superior to Aaron (4:147:28). The priesthood of Aaron is first mentioned (5:1-5), followed by scriptural proof (based especially on Psalm 110) for the priesthood of Christ (5:6-10) after the order of Melchizedek (5:6, 10) proof which is necessary since Jesus Christ was not from the tribe of Levi."

    5) Fifth, Christ's ministry is superior to the old covenant ministry (8:110:18). [12]

The author was attempting to discourage these new believers from re-embracing Judaism showing them how Jesus was eminently superior to every person in the Old Testament and His ministry was superior to the old covenant ministry. Under the old covenant the sacrifice for sin was offered once a year by a human high priest on Yom Kippur. The very fact that the ritual had to be repeated annually should tell us that it wasn't a final solution to sin. Under the new covenant the once and for all sacrifice for sin was offered by One superior to the angels, the prophets, Moses, and Aaron - the Son of God Himself.

Yom Kippur was a type - a shadow of the perfect sacrifice to come. See Typology Judaism's rituals and ceremonies were shadows of things to come symbolically pointing to the Messiah whose priesthood is permanent - He is "the same yesterday and today and forever".


2) The Changelessness of Christ
The subject of Jesus being unchanging begins right in chapter 1.

    And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end. (Hebrews 1:10-12)

And is reiterated several times in chapter 7:

    Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. (Hebrews 7:3 NASB)

    For it is attested of him, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.  (Hebrews 7:17 NASB]

    "... The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'"Hebrews 7:21 NASB)

    so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:22-25 NASB)

The statement "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" is extremely important. It not only repeats one of the main themes of the book ie Jesus' priesthood is permanent, but supports Jesus' claim to deity because only God does not ever change.

    Note: As an aside, the main theme of Hebrews was to exhort those Jews who were wavering in their faith to reject Jewish teaching for the superiority of Christ. The author describes faithful discipleship as a race that requires endurance (12:1) and encourages his readers to stand fast in the midst of their troubles so that they may receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken

    Perhaps more than any other New Testament book, Hebrews addresses the danger of failing to persevere to the end and drifting away (Hebrews 2:1-4), hardening one's heart (Hebrews 3:74:13), immaturity (5:116:12), the terrible consequences of final apostasy (Hebrews 10:26-31), refusing God (Hebrews 12:25-29) etc. etc. etc.

  
Whether Or Not Physical Healing Is Included in The Atonement
Is The Wrong Question.

We should not be asking whether physical healing is included in the atonement because it is. There an unbreakable connection between physical and spiritual healing - just not what is commonly taught today (God heals all believers in the here and now if they have enough faith).

The question we should be asking is whether the atonement took place at Jesus' death and resurrection.

Please make NO mistake. I know Jesus was the Messiah - the Son of God who came to earth to pay the price for our sins otherwise we would have to - the penalty being death. Christ also came to preach the good news of God's coming Kingdom and invited everyone who would follow him to be a part of that Kingdom. And He will return to judge the living and the dead.  See Jesus' Message

What I am disputing is the timing of the atonement. I.e. when exactly it happens.

Virtually every Christian believes that our sins are already completely atoned for, and that this must have happened either on Calvary and/or when Jesus was resurrected and ascended to the Father. This may be in some measure due to the KJV version of Romans 5:10-11 that reads thus, (Emphasis Added)

    (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:10-11 KJV )

However, there are two things to be noted about these verses.

1.) Verse 11 DOES NOT say we have received the atonement.
Take a look at the Greek words used.

    (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled (Gr. katellagemen) to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled (Gr. katallagentes), we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (Gr. katallagen). (Romans 5:9-11 KJV)

    You can check the Greek words on an interlinear Bible. THIS one for example

All three of the words mean exactly the same thing (katallagen is a noun the other three are verbs.) However katallagen cannot mean atonement because the exact form was also used in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.

    Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation ( Gr. katallagen), namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (Gr. katallagen). (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NASB)

The atonement is completely out of human hands. All we can do is spread the message that we can be reconciled to God.

But, if Christ 'reconciled' us to the Father, doesn't it mean that we are already completely saved?

Unfortunately not!

Reconciliation Vs Atonement
There is a BIG difference between reconciliation and atonement. Atonement means satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury - to make amends. Reconciliation means the reestablishing of cordial relations. A reconciliation takes place when two people or groups become friendly again after an argument or disagreement. One gets a good sense of the word as it is used in 1 Corinthians

    But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled (Gk. katallageto) to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11 NASB) [https://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_corinthians/7-11.htm]

Also pay close attention to the tenses in Romans 5:10-11. Paul very clearly said having been reconciled, we shall be saved by Christ's life.

'Reconciled' is in the past tense. 'Saved' is future

Christ reconciled us with the Father - which made it possible for us to have a closer and more favorable relationship with Him. We can approach the Father Himself without the need for a human intermediary - which is behind the symbolism of the veil of the temple tearing two when Jesus was crucified. As the book of Hebrews says

    Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22 NASB)


When Are We Finally Saved?

If asked, believers will give you a wide variety of answers to the question of when a person is fully and finally saved.

Some will tell you that God's elect were saved in the dim mists of God's eternity. Others that a person is saved when he prays the sinners prayer, when he is baptized, or when he joins a church. Yet others will say that salvation comes when the person has received the Holy Spirit and spoken in tongues, or been born again. Perhaps the most popular answer is they are saved when they make a sincere confession of faith in Jesus ...when they "call upon the name of the Lord". (Romans 10:13)

None are accurate

However, those who are actually interested in what the Bible says on the subject (rather than parents, pastors, friends, or denomination) will run across some rather confusing statements regarding this extremely crucial matter. Many of them seem to severely contradict the others.

The tenses used in Romans (i.e. we "were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life") are not the only place in the NT with this kind of grammatical inconsistency.

For example, the New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality (past), is an ongoing process (present continuous), and even that it has yet to happen (future). Also note that these seeming contradictions are not limited to salvation alone but occur with bewildering regularity in statements about other crucially important topics - justification, redemption, glorification, and adoption.

Read an example of the relevant verses for yourself. There are many more in the article linked below.

Past: Ephesians 2:8-9 states that Christians have already been saved

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB)

Present: But 1 Corinthians 1:18 says the process is ongoing

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB)

    (Note: The KJV has this verse as "to us who are saved". However Young's literal translation and many others translate this verse as "to us who are being saved ", because it reflects a greater degree of accuracy and faithfulness to the Greek, which has both perishing and saved in present tense, continuous action verbs. Vincent's Word Studies also says the Greek reads "being saved: in process of salvation").

Future: While Matthew 10:22 and Romans 13:11 both say it is still in the future

    You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 10:22 NASB)

    Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (Romans 13:11 NASB)

So how do we account for the varying tenses? The answer flies in the face of everything we have been led to believe.

See The Two Phase Atonement


Continue on to Part II Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. The Many And Varied Reasons We Get Ill. The Less Spectacular Unrecognized Miracles. HERE


Footnote I
The story told in John 5:2-4, that forms the background for Jesus' healing of the man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years, is actually rather strange.

    Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] (John 5:2-4 NASB)

Several ancient manuscripts omit the words "of the Lord" simply stating that an angel would trouble the waters. And, on consideration, it makes more sense that the angel, whoever or whatever he was, would not have come from the Lord. For two reasons...

    1.) Only the person who could get into the pool first would be healed, which means that when the waters were stirred, pandemonium probably broke out, with a free for all scramble to get in the waters. It is very probable, that the person who could push, or shove others out of the way would be the first in. This comes across as more than barbaric, since the ones who were the most sick or feeble stood no chance of ever being healed. God never ever healed in this fashion, but very specifically.. He would not send an angel there to heal the one who could elbow all others out of the way, leaving all the others bitterly disappointed...

    2.) This stirring of the waters took place between the Old Testament and the New.. a period of 400 years of silence from God and the prophets. It was Jesus alone who broke this silence.

The man that Jesus healed had been infirm for 38 years and had been waiting by the pool for a long time. One has to wonder if Jesus healed him simply because he had been there the longest, which would have been just the opposite of how healings took place at the pool. Besides which Jesus healed the man, not by helping him onto the water, but by a word.

For these reasons one has to suspect that it was not one of God's angels "troubling" the waters, but either local superstition or something more sinister, considering that there are other angels besides God's angels. {PLACE IN TEXT}


Footnote II

    a) "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." (Matthew 1:21-23 NASB)

    b) So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Out Of Egypt I Called My Son." (Matthew 2:14-15 NASB)

    c) But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:22-23 NASB)

    d) Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles-- "the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned." (Matthew 4:12-16 NASB)

    e) But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My Soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. "He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. (Matthew 12:15-19 NASB)

    f) All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. This was to fulfill   what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world." (Matthew 13:34-35 NASB)

    g) This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "say to the daughter of Zion, 'behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" (Matthew 21:4-5 NASB)

    h) At that time Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. "But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets." Then all the disciples left Him and fled. (Matthew 26:55-56 NASB)   {PLACE IN TEXT}


End Notes
[01] Kenneth E. Hagin, Seven Things You Should Know About Divine Healing, (Tulsa: RHEMA Bible Church, 1983) Pg 54.

[02] Rod Parsley, The Backside Of Calvary, Results Publishing, Columbus, OH, 1991, Pg. 55.

[03] Paul Yonggi Cho, Salvation, Health & Prosperity Our Threefold Blessings in Christ,
(Altamonte Springs, Fl.: Creation House, 1897) Pg 132.

[04] As quoted in Televangelist Jesse Duplantis: $500 Million Is Not Enough by  Barry Bowen. https://trinityfi.org/lavish-lifestyles/televangelist-jesse-duplantis-500-million-is-not-enough/

[05] Frederick K.C. Price. founder and pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC), California. Is God Glorified Through Sickness?" (Los Angeles: Crenshaw Christian Center, n.d.), audiotape #FP605

[06] Kenneth Copeland, The Great Exchange, Believer's Voice of Victory, February, 1996, Pg. 7

[07] Albert Dager. An Examination of Kingdom Theology Part 1/3 https://www.apologeticsindex.org/l02.htm

[08] https://blackchristiannews.com/2016/06/pastors-fred-and-betty-price-are-welcomed-back-to-the-dome
-after-being-away-for-months-due-to-health-problems/

[09] Barry Bowen.  Trinity Foundation. After Preaching for Christians to Expect Divine Healing, Kenneth Copeland Admits Pacemaker. https://trinityfi.org/theology/after-preaching-for-christians-to-expect-divine-healing-kenneth-copeland-admits-pacemaker/

[10] Joyce Meyer. Remember Past Victories https://joycemeyer.org/study/Answers-to-Anxiety/Part-3#:~:text=
More%20than%2030%20years%20ago,needed%20to%20have%20a%20biopsy

[11] Joni Parsley. And a lot about my kids. http://joni.rodparsley.com/AboutMyKids.aspx. Link is no longer viable.

[12] Daniel B. Wallace.. 19. Hebrews: Introduction, Argument, and Outline.
 https://bible.org/seriespage/19-hebrews-introduction-argument-and-outline

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