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Joe Mcintyre

This paper was written by Joe Mcintyre.

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Joe McIntyre is the President of the International Fellowship of Ministries.


Originally published in Refleks 1-1 (2002). Included by permission.

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Articles > Charismatic Theology > Healing In Redemption

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[i] Bible Doctrine, P.C. Nelson, (Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Mo., Revised ed. 1962) p.123 Thomas Zimmerman points out in the introduction to the revised edition, that these beliefs have remained the same since they were adapted in 1916.

[ii] Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Guy P. Duffield and N.M. Van Cleave, (L.I.F.E. Bible College, Los Angeles, CA. 1983), p.338.

[iii] The Fourfold Gospel, A.B. Simpson, (Christian Publication, Camp Hill, Penn. Revised ed,, 1984) p. 47.

[iv] Surprised By the Power of the Spirit, Jack Deere (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. 1993) p. 101.

[v] Our Father Abraham, Marvin R. Wilson, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, Dayton, Ohio, 1989) p.167.

[vi] Wilson  p. 168,169

[vii] Timothy L. Smith, “Evanglical Christianity and American Culture.” In A Time to Speak: The Evangelical-Jewish Encounter, ed. A. James Rudin and Marvin R. Wilson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1987) p. 71, quoted in Wilson, p. 178,179.

[viii]  Israel’s Divine Healer, Michael L. Brown, (Zondervan, Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1995) p. 30-31.

[ix] The Pattern of New Testament Truth, George Eldon Ladd, (Willima B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1968)  p. 32.

[x] : Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, editors (Moody Press, Chicago, 1980) Two Volumes; Vol. I, p. 279. Hereafter: TWOT.

[xi] Ibid., p. 32.

[xii] Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter A. Elwell,ed. (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1984) p.464.

[xiii] Commentary on the Old Testament, Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. I,  The Pentateuch (Eerdman’s Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. 1983), p. 59.

[xiv] These references refer primarily to witnesses against someone when brought before the governing leaders for judgment. Paul seems to extend the principle to a broader application.

[xv]  It might be noted that Israel’s inability to walk consistently in covenant obedience and thus experience God’s provision does not in any way nullify the intent of God to keep his people healthy.  As he mournfully says in Duet. 5:29, “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear me and always keep My commandments, that it might be well with them and their children forever.”

[xvi]  Gleason L. Archer, Jr. comments, ”the covenant constituted a divine announcement of God’s holy will to extend the benefits of his unmerited grace to men who were willing to receive them, and who by entering into a personal commitment to God bound themselves to him by ties of absolute obligation… this signifies that God unreservedly gives himself to his people and they in turn give themselves to him and belong to him.” Art. “Covenant” in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, Everett F. Harrison, ed., (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich. , 1960) p. 144.

[xvii] : Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis,  William A. VanGemeren, ed., (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1997), 5 Volumes; Vol II, p. 575.

[xviii] TWOT, Vol.I, p. 287.

[xix] TWOT, Vol.I, p. 425.

[xx] Israel’s Divine Healer, Michael Brown, p.29.

[xxi]  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr. editors. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Camden, New York, 1985) Art. Iniquity, p.122.

[xxii] TWOT, Vol. II, p. 650.

[xxiii] The New Brown-Driver-Briggs Gesenius Hebrew-Aramaic Lexicon,(Christian Copyrights, Inc.[no city given] 1979) p. 730,731,

[xxiv] Delitzsch also argrees with this interpretation. “ How could He have made expiation for sin, if He has simply subjected Himself to its cosmical effects, and not to have directly subjected Himself to that wrath which is the invariable divine correlation of human sin? And what other reason could there be for God’s not rescuing Him… who had presented Himself to Him as though guilty Himself, to taste the punishment which they had deserved.” Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 7, Isaiah,  p. 321.

[xxv] Keil and Delitzsch, Isaiah,  p.315,316.

[xxvi]   First Peter: An Expository Commentary, D. Edmond Hiebert, (Moody Press, Chicago, 1984)P. 178

[xxvii] Charles H. Spurgeon, According To Promise, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1964) p.43.  The point so often raised in discussions of God’s promises and God’s sovereignty is that God’s sovereignty allows him to decide when and if he will keep his promises. After all, God is sovereign.  But is that a valid statement? Is the fact that God is sovereign his “exception clause” for not keeping his promises? Spurgeon well exposes the error of such an idea. The promises of God are an expression of his sovereignty and cannot be in conflict with his “sovereign” will. There are many reasons on the human side why men don’t receive the promises, and some we may not be able to fully understand. But to suggest that God enters into covenant with his people and then decides whether or not he will keep his covenant is to suggest that God’s sovereignty is a ‘higher law’ that his covenant integrity.  In fact this type of thinking actually strips believers of the basis to grow in faith. We are not thereby allowed to base our faith on God’s covenant word, but must have a special revelation from God concerning his will before we can boldly claim the promise of God for healing. We end up praying something like, “Lord, I know you promised healing in your word, but you are sovereign so you don’t have to keep your promises unless you feel inclined. So if you could send me a special revelation about my healing, please, I would appreciate it.”

The above (facetious) prayer is an example of a failure to appreciate the meaning attached to blood covenants in the scripture. God was under no constraint to promise all the things he has promised in his word. These promises are given so we might know with assurance what God does will to do for his people. Confident faith in God cannot be exercised where there is no clarity as to God’s will. The idea that God’s sovereignty can be in conflict with his covenant promises strips his promises of their ability to create a faith that receives God’s graciously offered provisions. It is no arrogance to expect one’s covenant partner to keep his covenant promises. It is faith in the truest sense of the word. There are many things that because of our human limitations, we may not understand. But the covenant promises are given by God with the intent of clarifying for us the things that God is committed to doing for his covenantally faithful children. As Moses says in Deut. 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children forever.”

After many years of reflecting on this issue I have become convinced that in addition to cessationist influences and Platonic dualism, a lack of understanding of the nature of covenant and an unhealthy view of God’s sovereignty are responsible for a tremendous amount of unbelief in the Church. Spurgeon, a Calvinist, apparently does not accept this widely taught idea, which I believe, undermines the faith of so many.

Sometimes it is said by healing advocates that we have a “right” to healing. Many react strongly to this idea. If by this we mean that we, because of who we are in ourselves, can demand God to do something for us that he hasn’t committed himself to do, the objection to this idea is valid. But if we mean that because God has committed in his freely chosen covenant revelation to offer us healing and we are coming to him to receive his freely offered covenant mercy, then it would be accurate to say we have a covenantal right to healing.

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User Contributed Comments

Julius k.Campbell
Saturday 06th of August 2005

Yourmessage on Divine healing is abousolutetly 100%right keep on the good of God the father and ourLORD JESUS CHRIST.Ithank God for giving you HIS Spirit of wisdom and revealation knowledge of Him. Keep on the good work for the LORD JESUSCHRST he reward in heaven . God bless you. AMEN! Your fellow worker in the LORD. Healing evangelist.


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