Physical Evidence of the Gospel or Symbolic of the Gospel
by Dr. Ken Matto
Luke 4:40 (KJV) Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
Let’s face it, no matter who we are, when we get sick or injured we want to be made whole again. I don’t think there is one person reading this who would not like to be healed from an ailment or a chronic disease they may have now or will get. If our body’s immune system is functioning properly, it can fight off disease for a certain amount of years but even our immune system can become weakened and eventually unable to fight off disease and normally a disease is the way we slip into eternity. This is a reality we all must face, both believer and unbeliever.
BUT WAIT, there is an element within the Christian church known as charismatics who believe you do not have to succumb to disease, in fact, they believe and postulate that a person can actually take authority over a disease in Jesus name and be healed. They base this on the teachings from Scripture which deal with healings, especially the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ who executed His authority over disease, deformity, and death. Now as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ because of salvation by grace alone, do we have the same authority to heal diseases?
(Acts 5:14-16 KJV) And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) {15} Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. {16} There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Here in these verses we see the Apostle Peter with an amazing ability to heal people by the means of his shadow just passing over them. Do we have that same authority today as believers? Is healing a literal part of the gospel or is each healing in Scripture a narrative to teach us spiritual truths? Let us look into the matter. I wish to break this study up into sections to keep us from wandering. I am going to use the word disease as a general description of all kinds of maladies.
Who is the Author of Disease?
One of the cardinal teachings of the Charismatic movement is that Satan is the source of disease and that we need to take authority over him. This belief is based on the book of Job where Satan covered Job with boils from head to toe.
(Job 2:7 KJV) So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
One principle in the first few verses of Job 2 which is neglected by the Charismatic element, is that Satan had to ask permission before he could test Job with disease. This is important because I have not found anything in Scripture where Satan has the ability to create anything and that includes disease. Satan must always seek the Lord’s permission before he attempts to test one of God’s children. Some verses which we must look at will give us the insight that Satan is not the author of disease but God is.
(Exo 4:10-11 KJV) And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. {11} And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Here is Moses arguing with God about his ability to be a public speaker to Pharaoh. Moses was giving God all kinds of excuses as to why he could not do what God wanted him to do. So finally God questions Moses about who is the potter and who is the clay. Here we read that God has made the mouth of man and that He has full authority to make that man capable of doing whatever needs to be done. Then God reveals some interesting clues about some physical maladies. God is telling us that He takes responsibility for making the mouth which cannot speak, the ears which cannot hear, or the eyes which can see and the eyes which cannot see. God is boldly telling us that He has created them.
(Lam 3:38 KJV) Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
The word evil in the above verse carries with it the meaning of bad, general distress, or adversity. Here is another interesting verse in that God is telling us that He is the creator of adversity not Satan.
(Micah 4:6 KJV) In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;
Here is God giving us understanding that He has afflicted. The phrase "I have afflicted" carries with it the meaning of "I have brought disaster upon." God is taking responsibility for the disasters He brought upon certain people.
(Eccl 7:14 KJV) In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
Here we see another verse that God makes a day of prosperity but He also creates the antonym which is the day of adversity (ra’ah in Hebrew which means evil.) So when a business goes bankrupt or something happens which turns prosperity to depression, it is God who engineers the circumstances. We must always keep in mind that disease is also considered a circumstance.
(Isa 48:10 KJV) Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
God normally molds and shapes His children through the method of adversity. The word "affliction" may also be translated as "misery or trouble." History has proven that God has saved many of His elect through the rough times he engineers.
(Isa 45:7 KJV) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Here is another plain text verse in that God is telling us that not only does He create the light and darkness, He also creates peace and bad times. He also reveals to us that He does ALL these things and not just some of them. When Satan hinders a Christian, he only does it with the permission of God. God may use Satan in the execution of a test of the Christian but Satan is never the source of adversity.
(Job 31:23 KJV) For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
The word destruction may also be translated "ruin or calamity." It carries with the meaning of bending over in an oppressed state. Here Job is directly naming God as the one who authored his calamity. There is no shared responsibility here.
(Job 2:10 KJV) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Here Job at the outset of the book of Job quickly points out that we receive both good and bad from the hands of God. Isn’t it interesting to also note that Job had named God as the one who brought the adversity into His life and yet the Scriptures state that Job did not sin with his lips. If Job made a false accusation than he would have sinned with his mouth but the Bible says he didn’t. Let me just interject a thought at this time which we must keep in mind. Sometimes we cause our own problems and the Lord allows them to happen. For example, let’s say you go to the doctor and you have a slight ulcer which does not require surgery rather a change in diet. He says you cannot drink coffee anymore because the acid in the coffee will begin to attack the ulcer and deteriorate the stomach wall and then you will need surgery. We yes the doctor to death and tell him we will not drink coffee anymore. Guess what, a week after you leave the doctor’s office you start feeling good and you start drinking coffee again. Then your ulcer flares up, you need corrective surgery and then you ask why did God allow this to happen? Hey pal, did God pour the coffee in your cup or did you? Need I say more?
We have looked at 8 passages of Scripture and not once did we find that Satan was the source of disease or calamities which befell people. God Himself takes full responsibility for the situations which He engineers for each person. He engineers different circumstances for different people. Before we go to the next section, let us examine two passages which will come up regarding this issue of who the author of adversity is.
(Luke 13:11-13, 16 KJV) And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. {12} And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. {13} And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. {16} And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
Here we see a woman who was literally almost bent over for 18 years is called by Jesus on the Sabbath Day and is healed from her infirmity. The first thing she did was to glorify God that she received physical healing from her infirmity. "She was made straight" is a passive verb which means she received the healing and did nothing toward it but to receive. Do you remember the principle we saw in the book of Job? Satan can do nothing unless he gets permission to do so? That woman was a believer in Christ and therefore Satan could do nothing to her unless God had allowed it to happen. This is the case with Job as it was with this woman. Satan was allowed to bind her for these years so the woman’s situation was well known by many. In one day, the Lord Jesus Christ lays His hand on her and she became healed. What was her first act? She glorified God. I am going to leave it here for now and will pick up the meaning of this passage further along.
The Healings in Scripture
There are many healings in Scripture but I am going to focus in on only a few since there is a common theme which runs through all the healings done in Scripture.
(2 Ki 5:1, 10, 14-15 KJV) {1} Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. {10} And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. {14} Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. {15} And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
In Leviticus 13-15 we see that God devotes three full chapters to the disease of leprosy. Why leprosy? Is there something different about this disease than others?
From the Leprosy Mission Web Site - http://www.leprosymission.org/
Leprosy is characterized by multiple lesions alongside sensory loss in the affected areas. Usually, sensory loss begins in the extremities (toes, fingertips). In many advanced cases, gangrene sets in, causing parts of the body to "die" (necrosis) and become deformed.
Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacteria eprae. Most people have a natural immunity to the disease, and those that do develop leprosy can be cured with modern Multidrug Therapy treatment (MDT). The leprosy germ affects nerves which lie near the skin, and, untreated, this can lead to a loss of feeling in the affected parts of the body. Most at risk are the hands, feet and eyes/face. Because the person affected with the germ cannot feel, wounds or other injuries go unnoticed or untreated. Life-long care of anaesthetic limbs is one of the greatest challenges faced by people affected by leprosy, and neglect can cause damage so severe as to cause partial paralysis, such as clawed fingers or lagophthalmos (an inability to blink, resulting in corneal ulcers, and, if untreated, blindness).
Damaged nerves results not just in paralysis but also in loss of sensation. MDT cannot reverse nerve damage. Loss of sensation in hands, feet and eyes means that everyday activities are fraught with danger; - burns go unrecognized, wounds untended, stones in shoes, and grit in the eyes are both undetected and untreated. The end result can be loss of sight, fingers and feet.
Let us look at some of the results of the disease of leprosy and see if we can make some spiritual applications:
1. Sensory Loss in the affected areas
When a person is living in sin and it is a certain sin they like, there is always a loss of senses. In fact we can get to the point that we love our sin and consider it our enjoyment. Sober assessment of sin is not acceptable.
2. Parts of the body begin to die
When a person lives in sin they are not only spiritually dead but sin can and does lead to physical death. All one needs to do is look at the physical consequences attached to individual sin. Cancer to smoking - Alcohol to Liver Complications - All kinds of disease to drugs - Aids and other STD’s to illicit sex, and so on. When a person smokes, their lungs begin to die from lack of oxygen.  When a person takes drugs it affects various parts of the body. Fornication and adultery carries penalties of sexually transmitted disease.  “Just because alcohol doesn’t actually kill brain cells, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect them,” warned Benjamin Springgate, MD, MPH, associate professor of clinical medicine, Louisiana State University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, New Orleans, LA. “Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can damage the ends of brain cells, which affect how they communicate with one another and how your brain works. Long term heavy drinking can not only shrink the size of brain cells and affect coordination, sleep, and memory, it can result in enough damage to result in coma and even death.” 
3. They cannot feel wounds or injuries
People who live in sin are so dead to the reality of the destructive nature of sin that they do not even realize they are placing themselves at risk. Tell a person about their sin and its consequences and you will be told to shut up and that they are fine.
4. Loss of Sensation in hands, feet and eyes
(Psa 26:9-10 KJV) Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: {10} In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
(Prov 1:15-16 KJV) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: {16} For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
(Psa 36:1-2 KJV) The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. {2} For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
5. Burns go unrecognized
(Psa 9:17 KJV) The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Hell becomes a thing of mockery to the unbeliever as they believe there are no penalties for their actions.
6. Untended Wounds
(Psa 38:5 KJV) My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
Sin leaves wounds all over our bodies but because we refuse to believe we are wounded by this world, we allow them to remain open so they can fester. By the time we tend to our spiritual and emotional wounds, we can become so hardened that we refuse to believe we are vulnerable to this world and its evil system believing we can master our own fate. The other description of untended wounds would be "pride."
7. Loss of Sight
(Zep 1:17 KJV) And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
Outside of Christ all the unsaved shall walk as blind men since the unbeliever will be unable to establish their own salvation plan which means according to the above verse we see that they shall suffer the second death. The ominous warnings in this verse speak of the judgment of God on the spiritually blind.
8. Loss of Hands
(Ezek 7:15-17 KJV) The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him. {16} But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. {17} All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
All those without Christ shall be judged and their hands will not be able to create any salvation program which will be accepted by God. The above verses speak of the judgment of God on those who are outside Christ and the covenant of salvation. Hands sometimes speaks of the strength and creativity of man but here in the presence of God the hands of man will become feeble like a diseased limb unable to hold strength. Man’s attempt at salvation will be futile.
9. Loss of Feet
(Deu 32:35 KJV) To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
The feet are used to walk so a person may go from place to place. When a person is walking opposite of God and in their sin, God promises that their day of calamity will happen. This is referring to Judgment day in the ultimate sense but God does intervene here on Earth and make judgments on evil and wicked ways. All one has to do is read the Books of Kings and Chronicles. One can hardly read the book of Zephaniah without coming across passages of searing judgment against Judah. So it is with anyone in any time period on Earth, who walks according to the ways of the world, they can expect to face the judgment of God, whether they believe it is coming or not.
Isaiah’s Assessment
(Isa 1:18 KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Many Christians take this passage to mean that God will take the sins of a person away and they will become white or pure as snow. As I was looking at the disease of leprosy I was seeing that it starts out as a small red patch on the skin. What God, through Isaiah is saying here, is that the sins of Israel were small as a red patch but if they continue in their sins, they will blossom into full rebellion which would be symbolized by fully involved leprosy with the whitened skin.
(Num 12:10 KJV) And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
(2 Ki 5:27 KJV) The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he [Gehazi] went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
Here are two passages which symbolize leprosy as sin against God. Miriam grumbled against Moses and God struck her with leprosy making her white as snow. Gehazi lied to Elisha about taking money for the healing of Namaan. God struck both of these individuals with visible consequences of their sin. Isn’t there an interesting parallel between the leprosy of Gehazi for taking money for a real healing God did and the modern Charismatic preachers on TV and radio who tell you to send them $10 and they will send you a prayer cloth for healing or some other type of healing gesture. These liars are spiritual lepers in end stage spiritual leprosy and will face the judgment of God for their avarice in trying to profit from the Word of God.
Therefore, the Isaiah passage does not look at salvation cleaning up a person, rather it looks upon the end stage sin of a person. The end stage of visible leprosy is the symbol of what a person looks like spiritually, without salvation, to a holy God. We have seen that physical leprosy is used by God to give a spiritual lesson concerning the aggression of sin in the life of a person.
Other Healings in Scripture and their Meanings
Elisha’s Last Miracle
(2 Ki 13:21 KJV) And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
Here we see an interesting verse about a funeral. The people were about ready to bury a man next to Elisha the prophet and in their haste to escape a band of men, threw the man into the sepulchre and he touched the bones of Elisha and was resurrected back to life. Now let us do an examination of this miracle and let us see if it has a spiritual meaning. The name "Elisha" means "salvation of God." Now here we have a dead man in contact with "the salvation of God" and he is resurrected and comes back to life. Now is there any other place in Scripture that we find this principle? The answer is yes and we find it in both the spiritual and physical realm.
(Eph 2:1 & 5 KJV) {1} And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
First, we see the spiritual resurrection of the believer from a state of spiritual death and we come to life when we receive our resurrected souls. (Rev 20:5-6 KJV) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. {6} Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. When once we were dead, God made us alive unto Him and now we serve Him in newness of life.
Secondly, we see the resurrection of this man as a foreshadow of the resurrection of all the true believers on the last day. (1 Th 4:16-17 KJV) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
So we see that the passage in 2 Kings 13:21, was not only a resurrection miracle, it was a miracle which had a meaning which was foreshadowing two great events. Salvation and the resurrection at the last day. These principles can also be attached to the three resurrections performed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
1) Jairus’s Daughter - Mark 5:22-43
2) Widow of Nain’s Son - Luke 7:11-15
3) Lazarus - John 11:1-46
The Woman with the infirmity for 18 years
(Luke 13:11-13, 16 KJV) And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. {12} And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. {13} And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. {16} And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
We briefly looked at this passage at the beginning of this study, so let us pick up where we left off. Satan does not have the ability to work independently of God’s permission. This principle we saw in the book of Job that Satan must obtain God’s permission to work in the lives of the saved. Notice that this lady was "bound." The word "bound" is the Greek word "deo" which means to "tie, bind, or forbid." In fact, in 1 Corinthians 7:27 & 39 the word is used to describe the marriage relationship.
Here we see that Satan had bound this woman for 18 years but the instant the Lord Jesus touched her, she became healed and walked straight. She immediately glorified God. Notice that the Lord Jesus called her a "daughter of Abraham." This gives us the insight that she was a child of God. Now if we look in Scripture, will we find a parallel meaning to this healing? The answer is an astounding yes!
(Isa 14:16-17 KJV) They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
Notice in this passage that Satan has the ability to spiritually bind people in the house of his prison. Of course, he does not have a literal prison, the prison is spiritual blindness to the things of God. Notice the next passage of Scripture:
(Luke 4:18 KJV) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Here we see a description of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever He saves one of His elect, He is freeing them from captivity, giving them spiritual sight and setting those at liberty who are bruised. The word "bruised" carries with it the meaning of "shattered or weakened." So the Lord Jesus Christ took the woman who was bent over with the disease, and when He touched her, she was made whole and received the strength to stand straight, for no doubt anyone that had a sickness for 18 years would be in a weakened condition.
(Isa 61:1-2 KJV) The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Here we see two more passages of Scripture which convey the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice He came to open the prison of those who were bound. As we saw in our opening passage that the child of Abraham was bound for 18 years. The Lord Jesus touched her and her infirmity was gone. She was loosed from her prison. She then glorified God as the Scriptures said she would in Psalm 96:1. (Psa 96:1 KJV) O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. When the Lord Jesus touches a new convert, their sins, like her disease, are totally gone because they have been atoned for.
The spiritual application of this healing is simple. Those that the Lord Jesus Christ will save will be freed from the prison of Satan and will be free to serve and praise God. Satan can never again spiritually afflict any of God’s children since the elect are the victors because of Calvary and Satan is a defeated foe.
We see in this passage of Scripture that this healing has a profound spiritual meaning for the true believer and was not done as a miracle to be repeated by some signs and wonders liar on a stage in a $1500 Armani suit.
This healing conveyed the visible truth that when a person is saved, all their sins are forgiven and they are ready for heaven. False healings today, can never convey such spiritual truth. Each healing in Scripture portrayed an aspect of God’s salvation plan for His elect.
(Psa 146:7-8 KJV) Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: {8} The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
Blind Bartimaeus
(Mark 10:46-52 KJV) And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. {47} And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. {48} And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. {49} And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. {50} And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. {51} And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. {52} And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Here we see the familiar story of the determined Bartimaeus who was going to seen by Jesus so he may ask his request of Him. The road was no doubt packed with curiosity seekers and those who wanted to know of this Jesus a little better. Blind Bartimaeus kept calling until Jesus summoned him among the great throng. Jesus did summon him and granted his request to receive his eyesight and immediately he was able to see. This narrative has much spiritual meat in it but I want to focus in on the physical healing. Here we see a blindness being healed.
Let us see if we can find a spiritual lesson in this healing also. Whenever we see blindness in the Bible we see that it is a synonym for spiritual blindness and this can be seen in the following verses. Spiritual blindness is a characteristic of an unbeliever who tries to do God’s work in the flesh.
(Mat 15:14 KJV) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
In this passage we see the Lord Jesus making a spiritual assessment about the leaders of the nation of Israel. When Jesus came on the scene the truths of the Hebrew scriptures were so obscure that truth was literally buried and out of sight. This why the leaders of Israel were spiritually blind. (Isa 56:10 KJV) His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. But the question remains how does a person become so spiritually blind to truth?
(2 Cor 4:4 KJV) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Here we see a passage which details the reason that the unbeliever of himself cannot see the truth of the gospel. Satan blinds the mind of the unbeliever, no matter what their position is, whether they be in the church or some other area. He hides the truth of the Gospel until the Lord Jesus Christ opens the truth to a person which is plainly seen in the following passages.
(Luke 24:44-45 KJV) And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Only the Lord Jesus Christ can open the Scriptures to people but only to His elect. The unbeliever still remains in spiritual blindness or darkness and will continue to be blind to spiritual truths.
(Isa 29:18-19 KJV) And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. {19} The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
(Isa 42:16 KJV) And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Here are two passages which prophesy the coming of the Lord Jesus the first time and would then bring about the circumstances where the Scriptures would be known and understood by His elect. No longer will the elect grope around in darkness but will have the gospel of truth made known to them by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The blind will come by a way they knew not. At the time that Scripture was written the ceremonial law was still in effect but Judah was about ready to go into captivity. The way the blind knows not are the ways of free grace instead of keeping the ceremonial law. God promised to make the darkness light before them and He stated that He was going to do it and not someone else or through some type of ceremonial law keeping. The only law keeper was the Lord Jesus Christ who would come in about 700 years and satisfy all the demands of the Holy Law of God. With the demands of the law of God met, there would be many who now will go from spiritual blindness to see the glorious light of the gospel. So here we see in the healing of blind Bartimaeus, the glory of the truth that when a person becomes saved, they instantly receive their spiritual sight to be able to understand the Scriptures, and to see God and the Lord Jesus Christ in a new way.
The Deaf Man of Decapolis
(Mark 7:32-35 KJV) And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. {33} And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; {34} And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. {35} And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
Here we see a double healing in the same man. He was deaf and along with the deafness he had difficulty in speaking. Here we see two spiritual principles being portrayed in one man. First, he was deaf which meant he could not hear anything. This is precisely the same situation with the spiritually deaf person who can physically hear the gospel but cannot spiritually hear it. Notice the following verse which is repeated many times in Scripture by the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Mat 13:9 KJV) "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Everyone has ears, whether they work or not, they still have ears. Notice the statement the Lord Jesus makes in response to the parables He was speaking in Matthew 13. Those in attendance heard the parables but only those whom the Lord Jesus would qualify to spiritually understand them would benefit from the true meanings of them.
(Isa 29:18 KJV) And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Now we read a passage from Isaiah concerning the deaf hearing the words of the book. How can a deaf man in any generation hear anything? If you look at the context of the Isaiah passage you will see it is a reference to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The book refers to the Scriptures which the qualified deaf man will be able to hear and understand through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The hearing in the above two verses has to do not with the physical hearing but has to do with the spiritual hearing of the words. The Bible is a spiritual book and the physical ears are the portals to hear it but the Holy Spirit is the giver of the understanding of the Scriptures. Here we see the healing of the deaf man is a spiritual truth linked to the hearing and understanding of the Scriptures.
Then this man was not only deaf but he had a serious speech impediment which caused him to be unable to communicate. If you have ever heard an unsaved preacher try to communicate spiritual truth, you will always hear them mix it with some type of worldly discipline like psychology, sociology, or something akin to that and to the spiritual ear. You will hear a sermon which is totally confusing because it is not based in total Scripture. When God opens or looses the tongue of the unbeliever and saves them, he places in them a new vocabulary which is void of the worldly encroachments on Scripture.
(Psa 49:3 KJV) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
(Psa 40:3 KJV) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Whenever God saves a person and they begin to speak of the things of the Lord in the right manner, it will allow those who are listening to the words of God in a pure manner to become saved if they are God’s elect. Only those whom God would qualify will fear the Lord and trust in Him. The tongue of the elect will no longer spew forth a confusing message but will send forth the truth of God’s message clearly. So we see with this healing of the tongue, it represents the salvation of a person who delivers the truth of God. Before salvation he delivered a confusing message, but afterwards a clear one.
We have consistently seen in this study that all the healings and resurrections in Scripture happened to teach a spiritual lesson. They were all true situations which were historical parables. The healings of today do not convey any spiritual messages, rather they just create self-centered preachers who advertise themselves as faith healers. It is interesting to note that when the four men let their friend down through the tiling in the roof, it was not the sick person’s faith Jesus saw but the faith of the friends.
(Luke 5:18-20 KJV) And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. {19} And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. {20} And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
The false healings that go on every day in these Charismatic churches are akin to Satan imitating the miracles of Moses in Exodus. Satan could only go so far and that was it. The false healers of today can only go so far and that is it. They do not convey any spiritual truth about healing as we have seen in the Scriptures. God did nothing in Scripture which did not have a salvation meaning attached to it. We may not see it at first glance but it is there. Healing in the Bible represents the before and after state of a person receiving salvation. Now do physical healings take place sometimes in these churches? The answer is yes but according to the following Scripture:
(2 Th 2:10-11 KJV) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
We see in these ominous verses that since people want to believe a lie, then God will send the great delusion so they go after the signs and wonders. In this manner, God is separating the wheat from the chaff in preparation for Judgment day. We may safely conclude that healing is not physical evidence of the gospel but it is symbolic of the gospel. He who has ears to hear!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Gospel's Healing Power" No. 720. Luke 5:17.
Come then with the blind eye of your understanding, come with the limping foot of your energy, come with the maimed hand of your faith, come just as you are, for he who is God can certainly heal you! The utmost length of your soul-