A Sobering Look at Faith Healers

The following article was written by Bud Press as a comment to one of my readers. I felt the information he provided to be of great value in the need for sober thinking and study regarding those who come as “anointed” healers and prophets in the name of the Lord. It is indeed a growing sign of the times we have been warned about in advance.

Lucifer (who became Satan), is a created being and a former anointed cherubim angel. Prior to his fall, he was convinced he could “raise his throne above the stars of God” and make himself “like the Most High.” But his hopes of ruling over Almighty God and the universe was only a pipe dream. God clearly demonstrated Who was in charge and booted Lucifer and one-third of the angels out of heaven (Ezekiel chapter 28; Genesis chapter 3; Isaiah chapter 14; Revelation chapter 12).

Currently, Satan is the “prince of the power of the air,” who roams the earth like a roaring lion, seeking to kill and destroy (Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8). His future is doomed: “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Now, there is only one God, who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Again, God created Lucifer, who became Satan. Satan is not omnipotent (all- powerful), omnipresent (everywhere at one time), or omnicient (all-knowing). Only God has those attributes.

Satan is evil and wickedness personified (study John chapter 8). He hates God and His creation. As a created being, he and his demons do not have the power to heal, nor do they have the power to create. Also, heavenly angels do not have the power to heal or create.

Satan does, however, perform “lying wonders” and phoney miracles. Think of him as a master magician, who plays mind games on his audience, and uses trickery and slight-of-hand to make things appear and disappear. Satan works through false prophets and false teachers to accomplish his goals. He is the master deceiver.

Consider this: If Satan could heal, why are so many faith healers being exposed for false healings? Why are the sick and dying leaving the “healing” crusades the same way the came in? Why do faith healers make excuses when amputated arms and legs aren’t restored, or when children suffering from crippling diseases are still confined to wheelchairs?

If Satan could heal, he would be a great benefit to faith healers, false prophets, and false teachers. As such, many more people would be drawn into Satan’s web of deception.

When Jesus returns, every believer will be healed and transformed (1 Corinthians chapter 15; Romans chapter 8). Until then, pay no attention to people who claim to be “prophets of God”. Deuteronomy 18:19-22 teaches us not to be afraid of false prophets (study Ephesians chapter 5; Romans chapter 16; and Acts 20:27-31).

As for those who claim to be healed from all sorts of debilitations, diseases, and illnesses, let me just say that pain is real. When doctors give up hope, sometimes those in pain become desperate, and seek other ways to relieve their pain. Sometimes, they turn to faith healers, who welcome them with open arms, and provide “hope” and promises to be healed.

But, feelings, emotions, and anticipation are real too. Ask anyone who suffers from pain if they would like to be healed, and they will shout “YES!” And, if they are made to think they can be healed, then the faith healer’s scam is almost complete (the following articles will help you understand the mind-set of a faith healer, and what God says about false prophets):

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/Manasseh_Jordan3.htm

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/God&FalseProphets.htm

Keep in mind that adrenaline flowing through a person’s body plays a role in how they perceive things. For example, when a person in pain attends a “healing” crusade, their feelings, emotions, anticipation, and excitement of being healed causes adrenaline to flow, which generally provides temporary relief from pain.

Soldiers who have been wounded in combat do extraordinary things. Small people are able to lift heavy weights. People with legitimate physical problems are able to run and jump up-and-down. Adrenaline, coupled with feelings, emotions, and anticipation can cause the sick and dying to think and feel that they have been healed. But it is only temporary. When the crusade is over, and when the excitement has calmed down, the adrenaline stops flowing. It is then when the sick and dying realize they haven’t been healed.

Sadly, when faith healers say (or imply) that the sick and dying are healed, many stop taking their medicine and cancel their doctors’ appointments. They placed their faith in the faith healer. And, many paid the ultimate price.

Finally, what looks legitimate on the outside may be fake and deadly on the inside. Pray for those who are deceived, but stay away from them, or you will be drawn into their web of deception and turned away from the true and living God. I have seen it happen many times.

Erin, study your Bible, and never be afraid to ask questions. Stay close to those who care about you and your spiritual welfare. They will help you grow as a Christian.

God bless,
Bud Press

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26 thoughts on “A Sobering Look at Faith Healers

  1. What is frustrating is that the “faith healers” also teach some very good biblical concepts (or at least they used to). Like the Authority of the Word, Faith, the Power of your Words, giving, Healing, etc. It’s when they take it to the “extreme” when it becomes crazy. I hate having to sift through everything … that’s why I love the Word and use it as my “plumb line” for everything that I hear from the pulpit.

  2. I agree to a portion of this regarding ‘faith healers’ and the many saddened people who leave from their services unchanged. But I personally experienced a very miraculous healing in 1983.

    I had multiple colon tumors which I had personally seen on the MRI as the testing was being done. I was admitted to the hospital that night to undergo surgery the next a.m. As I lay there in bed, fear just totally took over. Sooooo I called The 700 Club to get someone to just pray with me that the fear would go away.

    The woman I spoke with began praying a very, very simple prayer about me overcoming my fear. But then she began calmly reading verse after verse about God’s healing and I remember feeling a warmth occur all over me. Prayer ended, goodnight.

    The next a.m. I was under a local anesthetic and remember hearing the surgeon angrily saying, “There’s nothing in here. Are you sure these are her films?!” And later, this same MD came into my room telling me he was perplexed as my colon was perfect and he didn’t understand why they’d sent me over for surgery. Of course I told him about what God had done…

    Anyway, I agree your average run of the mill faith healer really pulls some shenanigans but God is still in the healing business. Here I am 32 years later still healed because of Him. (Sorry to be so long on this)

  3. I agree that we see very few, if any genuine miracles at healing crusades.
    I do hospital visitation.
    I always pray for a miracle to happen.
    Every now and then God touches someone with an instant healing.
    A lot of times it is gradual and many times when I go back the next time, the person will say to me that they have been in hospital for weeks and since we prayed they have been getting better.
    There was a time when God used the revivalist of old but today he want’s to make it clear to everyone that the gift of healing is for His whole church, not just a few.
    If you treat people with compassion and a genuine love; you will see the power of God operate through you.
    It does not make me great, it only makes me someone who believes that God is great and that He wants to heal people.
    His gifts are not there for people to show how great they are, they are there to bring salvation to a sick and dying world.

  4. Annunk, healing from God, not a “follow me, I got the gift” (not) faith healer. What a difference to see God heal as He wills! :)

  5. Kevin, once we get into the word, we see the things that have been spoken by faith healers, the NAR, yeah – the sought after Elijah List prophets, etc. are nothing but lies. How often I heard certain scriptures taken out of context and repeated, related to those areas you mentioned. We must keep in mind it is God who is the creator and things play out according to His will, not some mumbo jumbo nice sounding words I claim as “prophetic”. Nor is faith something like a power that needs to be exercised to grow! Such a big difference, huh?

  6. I agree, people can speak the Truth of the Word, but have an impure motive … the prosperity/prophetic people are proof of that! As far as faith being something that needs exercised? Well, I’ve learned my faith grows (or ebbs) in strength depending on how much time I spend with God. If I don’t invest that time in the Word and prayer, I’m a hopeless case! But if I invest the time, I’m a lot more confident (faith) in God and where I stand. So could that be likened to a power that needs exercised? Possible. Maybe I’m wrong … but it’s a dynamic that I’ve seen in my life. Many blessings,

  7. Food for thought:

    I’m not so sure this issue is as cut and dried as some may think. In Exodus 7 we see Pharaoh’s magicians turning staffs into snakes mimicking Aaron’s staff:

    10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. [Exo 7:10-12 NIV 1984]

    It seems Satan has transformative powers.

    In Job chapters 1 & 2 we see Satan given permission to test Job bringing forth all manner of destruction inciting the Sabeans to steel his cattle and killed his servants [1:14-15]; causing the “fire of God fell from the sky” burning up the sheep and the servants [1:16]; inciting the Chaldeans to make off with his camels and killing his servants [1:17]; causing a “mighty wind” to collapse the house in which were his sons and daughter who perished as a result [1:18-19]; and, Satan afflicted Job with “painful sores” [2:7]. Satan directly incited others to do things against Job, manipulated weather (“mighty wind”) and caused sickness.

    While Satan could do none of this without God’s permission, the fact that he was able to do this at all is my point. And, given that Satan can cause sickness (with God’s permission), could he also ‘cause wellness’ either by reversing the effects of sickness he directly caused or even make someone well even if he didn’t cause the sickness in the first place (as the result of the brokenness post-Fall) with God’s permission?

    D. R. McConnell, in his book A Different Gospel: A Historical and Biblical Analysis of the Modern Faith Movement [1988, Hendrickson, Peabody, MA; pp 30, 40-48], an expose on W-F and its roots including E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth E. Hagin, etc., notes that metaphysical cults such as Christian Science, Unity, New Thought and Spiritism have been purported to effect healings according to Kenyon. “The ‘amazing growth’ of the metaphysical cults was ‘libel’ upon the reputation of an impotent church and a ‘challenge’ to the church to fulfill its healing ministry, a ministry that the cults had opportunistically usurped.” [p 47]

    We cannot ignore the amazing growth of Christian Science, Unity, New Thought and Spiritism. The people who are flocking to them are not the ignorant masses, but the most cultured and wealthy of the land, and their strongest appeal is the supernatural element of their so-called religions – the testimonies of healing are their strongest asset [McConnell citing E.W. Kenyon; p 46]

    I’m not sure we can discount the possibility of occult healing. And, my opinion is the “counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” of 2 Thessalonians 2:9 are not necessarily fake or bogus but that they are instead not from God (the commentaries of F.F. Bruce [WBC] and Charles Wannamaker [NIGTC] bear this out). Verse 11 shows that God Himself sends the strong delusion so that these people will believe the lie because they refused to love the truth [v 10] – the lie that the healings/miracles are from God when they are instead the works of Satan (with God’s permission).

  8. Craig, I just know with great certainty, the people who came for healing in my rooms were not healed. They often “felt better”, “felt something”, experienced sensations of varying degrees from mild heat to blazing fire, from tingling to zaps of powerful electrical current. They swayed, they fell, they could not get off the floor, they were often in states of euphoric drunkenness. They heard voices and singing, were given new tongues and new insight. Things certainly happen in these moments, things of great awe and power.

    I would pose a question to anyone seeking healing, at what great cost would that come? Would you be willing to allow Satan to heal you? There’s a lot at stake in who we follow, believe in and listen to. And since we know our enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to convince a believer those sensations and experiences are from God.

    I love the story of Moses and Pharaoh, in which the wicked enchanters were given power for a time to mimic and deceive. The snakes of the Most High God ate theirs, and after a few more tricks, they could no longer perform them. The day is coming when these wicked men and women who claim they have the power of God tucked in them will find the same end. I hope and pray many wake up and see the difference before they are counted as lost.

    Blessed be the name of the Lord .

  9. I have a side question to this conversation. Somewhere in the postings (can’t find it now) there was some comment that Jesus cannot appear to people in these days. Visiting missionaries have told us of a few such instances where Jesus appeared to unreached peoples/villages and told them how to connect with missionaries to hear the gospel. (Go out and wait by the road, go to such and such place and wait for a person who looks like such and such)

    The comment was made that this cannot happen anymore because Jesus is in heaven (or something along those lines).

    But these encounters have the ring of truth to them, and they were solely to reach people with the Gospel. As a biblical basis for this possibility I look to Acts 23 where Jesus appears to encourage Paul. What do you think?

  10. I certainly would not want to seek overtly shamanistic/cultic/occultic healings if God chose not to heal me. Since the Apostle Paul was denied relief from his “thorn in the flesh” (whether or not this was sickness), then we can assume that it isn’t always God’s will to heal. We need to consider Hebrews 12:4-11 as well.

  11. Hi Ruthsongs!

    Matthew 24:26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

    Luke 22:69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.

    These are probably the scriptures you are thinking of. I think it is important to consider the message, the outcome and who is telling, and I know you are well aware! :)

    Acts 23:11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

    It is quite curious, but keeping in mind Paul had a mission to accomplish and his life was protected. This sounds like the work of the Holy Spirit, to come along side of, and I was hoping the Greek would connect that, but I didn’t really see it that way. Christ said He would not leave us alone, and here is a great example of that promise, His encouragement, which again is the work of the Holy Spirit and the protection of life for greater purpose – His will.

  12. Hi Craig, yes and also the latter part of verse 3 which gives great advice – “lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

  13. As to Ruthsongs comment, Acts 9:4-6 is a more compelling argument for her cause. Clearly, it was Jesus Himself who appeared before Saul (soon to be Paul). My NIV Study Bible is a ‘red letter edition’ indicating Jesus speaking again in 9:10-11, 15-16 as well as 23:11.

    I would take Jesus’ warning in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) as more one of caution against those who claim Jesus had actually returned the 2nd time [see also 2 Thess 2:1-3] since He will come visibly for all to see [24:25,30] rather than only a few [24:23-26].

    Now, having said all the above, I would be very cautious about proclaiming one has seen Jesus. How does one know for sure since we have no photo? And, of course, we know that Satan counterfeits.

  14. There are men today who claim they are Jesus, so I would think Matthew 24 applies and we often use it for those who claim to be anointed as He.

  15. Reply to Craig: Craig on December 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm said:

    I certainly would not want to seek overtly shamanistic/cultic/occultic healings if God chose
    not to heal me. Since the Apostle Paul was denied relief from his “thorn in the flesh” (whether or not this was sickness), then we can assume that it isn’t always God’s will to heal. We need to consider Hebrews 12:4-11 as well….

    Dear Craig, God chooses to heal all those who believe God will heal them. Pauls thorn in the flesh was people, messengers of Satan. Look at the first usages of “thorn” in the Bible. Look at the context when Paul said this, then look at 3 John 2… it is always Gods will to have his children healed, “he wishes it above all things”. I have seen over 300 people healed in the name of Jesus Christ since the beginning of 2012 and many more than that last year and in 2010, blind see, deaf hear, cancer gone, short limbs have grown back instantly, depression gone, spirits cast out, etc. medically documented in many cases.
    God Bless you,
    Scott

  16. ztonn, since I came out of a “healing ministry” with all kinds of “signs and wonders”; later being assured thru the Lord and His word these events were false, and by eye witness knowing most people were never really healed, I would love to see the medical documentation for the hundreds of people you claim have been healed. We will omit any who claim to have “felt better”, or “felt something”, or received a “portion of healing needing to come back for more prayer until the complete healing is manifested”.

    I would also like to know where in the bible it states God heals people who believe He will heal them. That word believesounds a lot like the word faithin which false teachers of the health-wealth-prosperity gospel claim has a power all of its own, and all we need to do is BELIEVE or stand in faith. Not sure I know of that particular scripture, so I am asking for biblical proof. I would also like to know WHY, if it is God’s will for His people to be healed, they continue to be sick. Seriously, as I am going into the medical profession, will I soon be out of a job?

    In addition, 2 John 3 states “be in health” which does not imply a PROMISE that God heals everyone. In addition, if you scan thru the NT, you will see quite a few instances in which people were sick! I would be quite careful of 2 John 3 because according to the words of Jim Bakker, this was also the scripture that made him believe it was God’s will for him to be rich.

    Scripture interprets itself. We cannot read into what is not there and create a doctrine around what we want it to say. If God wanted everyone healed, we would not be sick, our bodies would not wear out and there would be no more death. Now, a very false, but sought out prophet, Bob Jones, claims this is possible in and of ourselves. But the bible states this time comes after the rapture and will not be seen here on earth. See Revelation. :)

    Be careful who you listen to.

  17. “…look at 3 John 2… it is always Gods will to have his children healed, “he wishes it above all things”.”

    ztonn, Your use of 3John2….

    3Jn 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

    …is flat out wrong. How do you justify putting words in Gods mouth, that ain’t His? Clearly this is John speaking to Gaius, not God making a promise to all believers. And it is also just a typical greeting of the day, and not even a promise to Gaius. How do you justify your use of this scripture?

  18. ztonn (Scott):

    You wrote, “…short limbs have grown back instantly, depression gone, spirits cast out, etc. medically documented in many cases….”

    Uh huh. Were any of the “short limbs” that had “grown back instantly” verified medically? Certainly this would have been written up in medical journals. I don’t keep up with the news very much; but, I’m quite certain news of this sort would go international. Perhaps you can point us to such evidence.

    I suppose you’d say it’s also God’s will that all be saved using 1 Tim 2:4 / 2 Peter 3:9 as prooftexts? Yet, Scripture – Jesus’ own words – state that most will go by the ‘wide gate’ that leads to destruction [Matthew 7:13-14].

    Let’s apply a little logic to your assertion that God wants all to be healed – those who have enough faith. If one is always healed because of their faith in God (or never sick because of such ‘strong faith’), one would never die; and, even upon death, certainly such an individual would be ‘healed’ from their death, i.e. resurrected. Yet, not one of the 12 Apostles (the real ones from the 1st century, that is) were ‘healed’ of death. I guess they lacked sufficient faith.

    Look at the modern ‘Faith’ teachers such as Kenneth E. Hagin, E.W. Kenyon (the real father of Word of Faith), Hobart Freeman, etc. Every single one of these guys are deceased. I suppose they just didn’t have enough faith to overcome their sicknesses that resulted in death and even death itself.

    I recall seeing Kenneth Copeland ‘preaching’ with an obvious cold. (Gasp! What kind of an example for a ‘Faith’ teacher?!) How did he get sick in the first place? How long did it take for Copeland’s faith to ‘kick in’ so that he was healed from his cold? My bet is his cold lasted about as long as the average person has a cold. But then I’m probably just a little bit skeptical…

  19. Craig said “Uh huh. Were any of the “short limbs” that had “grown back instantly” verified medically? Certainly this would have been written up in medical journals. I don’t keep up with the news very much; but, I’m quite certain news of this sort would go international.”

    It happens all the time, search youtube for “healed of short leg” and you’ll see dozen’s, if not over 100, of these “miracles”. Bit it is not in medical journals because it is nothing more than an old parlor magic trick.

  20. I’ve seen this done while in the healing rooms. I never had my team get involved because it just didn’t sit with me. Give the mind a suggestion and the body will perform. No, the legs or arms do not actually lengthen, nor do they shorten, and a crooked spine will not straighten. I have also witnessed the person doing the praying actually CORRECT God because He caused an arm to grow too much.

    I would think this is a form of mild hypnosis, auto suggestion, etc. The people on the receiving end have been conditioned into believing this could actually happen and their subconscious minds cause the muscles to stretch or bend in performance. I once saw an elderly woman bend her back and hips into positions that were quite abnormal in response to this kind of prayer. Creepy. Afterward her pain became chronic and she was bedridden to the point that she needed help in daily living activities. Before the incident she was quite active. I don’t know if she got better because I didn’t keep in touch. I believe her experience with the pain was the result of demonic activity. When we do things in God’s name that are not of Him, we put ourselves and others in great danger. This should be a warning.

  21. There’s actually a good doco on point by British mentalist Derren Brown called Miracles for Sale or something like that. He teaches an average Joe to become a faith healer. I think its on YouTube.

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