The World Tomorrow--Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong--June 18, 1979--Healing and the Anointed Cloth
THE WORLD TOMORROW
Herbert W. Armstrong brings you the Plain Truth about today's world news and the prophecies of The World Tomorrow
Healing and the Anointed Cloth
...to a lot of people, because they've not, as a rule, the largest, most powerful, and most dignified sects and denominations. Very often, my friends, these things are done in a wrong manner that only heaps ridicule upon them. But, actually, you know, when we look back into the life and the experience of Jesus Christ, to see what He did, to see the example that He set, to see the things that He did say, to see what He taught, and how He commissioned His disciples, and when we look into the early Church to see just what the apostles and the elders and the leaders in the true Church, as it was led by the Spirit of God, did do in those early years of the true Church, we do receive some surprises.
Now, if you've never noticed it, you'll really be surprised to see what a large portion of the time of Jesus' ministry and He was setting the example for ministers and what a large portion of His time was spent in healing the sick. You know God made us physical. He made man of the dust of the ground. And He put us here for a purpose. And during this lifetime, God is concerned about our life and our lifetime and the whole purpose of our lives would be frustrated if God had no concern about our physical welfare and about our life while we are physical beings. He made us so that we can be transformed, that we can be changed, we can be converted from human to divine, from the animal kingdom into the very Kingdom of God, that we can be born again, born of God. But we're still of the animal kingdom at least that's the way we've classified man and regarded it and I think someday we're going to see that we should actually be classified as a separate human kingdom and differentiate between the human family and the rest of the animal kingdom. Nevertheless, I think that scientifically that's the way it's generally classified. And God is concerned about us in this material condition and this material state and about our material welfare as well as our spiritual welfare.
We've been going through the life of Jesus Christ through Matthew and Mark and Luke and John.
Now, in the preceding program, we were in this account where I was reading to you I believe from Luke the eighth chapter where Jesus had returned from across the lake and a "multitude welcomed him; for they were waiting for him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him to come into his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the multitudes thronged him." And then this woman that had been going to the doctors for twelve years, had spent all she had on the physicians, she wasn't any better, she had rather grown worse and they took all the money that she had and now she was completely broke but she said if she could only get to Jesus, He could heal her.
Well, it was impossible to get to Him, to even get up to where she could even touch Him because of the crowd there was such a great throng around Him. So she said if she could only touch the hem of His garment, she could be healed. Well, she did. And I devoted a good deal of the time in the preceding broadcast to that. Jesus turned around said, "Who touched me?" "And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
Now, the point I wanted to stress and I want to repeat it again today is that He said "THY FAITH"--YOUR FAITH has made you whole. He didn't say, "Daughter you're whole because I am Christ, because I am God incarnate in human flesh, because I have such great faith." He said, "Daughter, you had the faith to make you whole. Your faith has made you whole." And I want you to notice, my friends, that God requires you to have faith.
Now, people will come to me and they say, "Well, I just don't have the faith. I don't have the faith. But they'll say, Brother Armstrong, I know you have lots of faith, now, you get me healed." Well, I suppose this woman could have come to Jesus and said the same thing. Now, I represent Jesus Christ. I'm His minister. Jesus Himself has gone to Heaven. But He has sent His Spirit and He has called others to speak in His name and that means by His authority, that means they stand as His representative sort of as a proxy representing Him. And He works in and through His own representatives. And so, He set the example.
Now, this woman could have come and said, "I know you're the Christ, the Messiah. Now, I lack the faith, I just don't have the faith. I would like to be healed if I had the faith. But I know you have the faith. Now, you ask God to heal me." Because actually Jesus Himself didn't do it of or in Himself (any more than I can heal anyone myself which I can't do), Jesus said, "Of myself I can do nothing." And I say the same thing, "Of myself, I can't do anything." I have no human power to heal you or anybody. You have no such power and no human being on this earth has. But let me tell you something, God Almighty in Heaven has the Power. He has all the Power that there is. He has Power to heal people.
Now, Jesus said, "Of myself I can do nothing," "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." In other words, God Almighty the Father and it was the Power of God. But Jesus had the Spirit of God dwelling in Him and that was the Power, not Jesus, not anything that was human, but the Power of God and that was what did the healing.
Now, Jesus still had to get that Power from God and so the woman could have come and said, "I don't have the faith to be healed. And I wish I had the faith and if I only had the faith, I could be healed, but Jesus Christ I know you have the faith, now, you heal me." I want to tell you and I'm going to show you if we can get to it in today's program, I'm going to show you that you can't get healed that way and that Jesus would have turned her down if she had come like that. He turned to her and said, "Daughter, THY faith hath made thee whole." She had to have the faith to be healed.
"And while he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's ...saying, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?"
Now, they came and said she is dead, she has died. So don't trouble Jesus to come and heal her, she's died. It was too late. While He turned around to speak to this woman, why, she died. And they probably wanted to criticize Jesus because He had lingered along the way and hadn't hurried. And they said why trouble Him any more, your daughter is dead.
"But Jesus, not heeding the word spoken, said unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe."
Now, here He didn't say I'm going to do the believing, He said, you believe--"only believe."
You know, God is working out a purpose here below in you and me and He wants you and me to believe, He wants us to have the faith. Of course God has it; of course, Christ has it; of course God has the Power but He wants us to learn these lessons. He wants us to receive these things and to exercise these things for our learning, for our good, for our development and our strengthening.
Now, He told this man to believe, this ruler of the synagogue.
And you know, by the way, now, in the religion of Judaism which is a religion that began really from Ezra and Nehemiah, it wasn't the religion of Moses at all, it was a degeneration, a deterioration of the original religion that the Israelites had received from Moses. And it was mixture of what they had received from Moses, mixing in with it a lot of pagan doctrines that the Jews got especially up in Babylon and...that they had acquired up there and that they got from other pagans around them and so they came to this mixture between what they had received out of the Bible and paganism and that was Judaism.
Now, my friends, most of you don't know it, but what is called Christianity today is about the same mixture. It's a mixture of what you find in the New Testament and paganism and leaving out a great deal of the Old Testament that was in the true Christianity of Jesus and was in the true Christianity of the early Church as it started out and I'm speaking too of those churches called the Gentile churches raised up by the apostle Paul. We have gotten so far away from the kind of Christianity they had from the belief that they had, the doctrines that they upheld and proclaimed, the practices and the customs that they observed and we have gotten into other things today and so far removed from what they had that really you wouldn't recognize the original Christianity if you saw it today. You would sneer at it; you would call it something else.
Now, how did it happen? God never ordained it. People have gotten that far away from God as they've gotten away from His Gospel and as they have gotten away from His Truth and from the customs that He gave us into customs of the pagans.
Well, let's hurry along with this.
Now, Jesus didn't heed what they said when they said she was dead. He said, "Fear not, only believe." In other words, don't let this thing concern you and worry your mind as He knew this man would do if he knew his daughter was dead. He says, "Only believe." And faith casts out fear and faith, well, it's a very happy thing to have as a matter of fact and God wants us to have faith.
"He suffered no man to follow with Him save Peter, James and John the brother of James..." He took these men that were His disciples. He took with Him only believers. He wouldn't let unbelievers and those who doubted come along. I want you get that point, now, notice it carefully.
And if you have a Bible, open it and read along with me, I'm in Mark, now, the fifth chapter and the thirty-eighth verse, now, Mark five verse thirty-eight.
"And they come to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; and he beholdeth a tumult..." They were wailing and weeping and moaning like pagans, yes, just like pagans.
"...he beholdeth a tumult, and many weeping and wailing greatly."
Now, you would have thought that weeping and wailing would have touched Jesus' heart and that He would have begun to shed some tears too just because they were. That's the way people would do today. And most religion today is nothing but a matter of sentiment and emotion and here were people emotionally unstrung because someone had died. Now, Jesus didn't start to weep and wail with them. I want you to notice what He did.
Jesus wasn't ever touched by a lot of, oh, maudlin sentimentality and a lot of emotion that had no purpose. Now, He had real genuine compassion; He had real mercy and compassion and real love but He didn't have this cheap imitation that we see so much of today. I want you to notice.
And when He beheld the tumult, "...and many weeping and wailing greatly. And when he was entered in, he saith unto them..." He didn't start to weep and wail with them and sympathize with them. "He said unto them, Why make ye a tumult, and weep?" He began to rebuke them for it.
"...the child is not dead, but sleepeth. And they..." Now, were they sincere in their wailing? Now, they turned around and "laughed him to scorn. [They laughed Him to scorn.] But he, having put them all forth..." What did He do? He put them out of the house. They weren't sincere. They weren't believers; they were doubters. They were scoffers and scorners and they could weep like the pagans one time and sneer and scoff the next second. They were hypocrites.
"But he, having put them all forth..." Now, why? Because Jesus Himself could not perform miracles where there was unbelief and where there were hypocrites.
Now, you go into these church meetings where they try to think they're following Jesus' example today and where they make healing a big part of the ministry. Now, I don't criticize them for making healing a big part of the ministry. Jesus Christ did that and so did the early Church--that part of it is right. But there is something to be said about the manner and the method of their doing and how they do it.
And I want to tell you that Jesus Christ never put on a healing show. He didn't do it for a show and a circus. He didn't advertise a healing meeting and say, "Bring all your cripples and your people on crutches and the people in wheelchairs and bring 'em down to me and I'll heal 'em." He didn't say to this man, "I'll have a healing service next Thursday night. Bring your daughter." He went to this house...and He put the doubters and the scoffers out.
What do they do today? They have a meeting where there are all kinds of hypocrites and doubters and scoffers. In any great public meeting of hundreds or even thousands of people you can't prevent a few scoffers and doubters from coming in and so they have a healing show and make a circus of it and say, "Bring 'em." And they bring people and they throw away their crutches and call out, "Glory, Hallelujah." And they pronounce 'em healed and they take 'em off.
Now, there was such a healing show down in Los Angeles and of course we here in Pasadena are a neighboring city to Los Angeles and very close. It's only about fifteen minutes away down the freeway that we have, now. And two of our young minister students had gone down to this healing show and to see what was put on. And the one that they made over the greatest and was supposed to been proclaimed healed and it was such a great show making a spectacle and a show of it and some thousands of people there, our two young men had to help out and they questioned her very thoroughly to see whether she was really healed and she was not in any manner, shape or form healed, the whole thing was plain fake. And I tell you that kind of thing makes people lose faith in Jesus Christ and in the fact that God does heal the sick today just as much as He ever healed the sick.
Why, God healed the sick way back in the days of Moses. It isn't anything new. Turn in your Bible real quickly back to Exodus the fifteenth chapter and the children of Israel were being led out of Egypt and out in the wilderness under the direction of Moses and here in the twenty-third verse, Exodus fifteen.
They had come to Mara, they couldn't drink the waters of Mara because they were bitter and so the people murmured, they grumbled against Moses, they complained, they said, "What will we drink?" So, Moses cried to the Eternal and the Eternal showed him a tree and so on..." "And He said..." Now, notice what God said to them when they were grumbling and complaining.
"...the waters were made sweet: [and] there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there God proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the [ETERNAL] thy God [If you will obey Him. Notice.], and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to all of his commandments [...to His commandments--I want you to notice it--obeying God], and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians [Why?]: for I am the [ETERNAL] that healeth thee." And actually in the Hebrew language in which Moses wrote those words, "I am YHWH-Rapha..." Now, that is a name. And they have translated it, "I am the [ETERNAL] that healeth thee." But actually, YHWH--that is the ETERNAL that healeth thee--Rapha--which is a name and that's part of God's name, that's one of God's names, He has many names. And that means "God the healer"--"the healing God." That is one of the names of God--God the healer. Now, no man is a healer but God is a healer.
But I want you to notice that He said even to those Israelites, "if you will keep all of my commandments and statutes and ordinances--if you will obey me and surrender to me and yield to my Government and let me rule you and govern you then even if you start to catch these diseases of Egypt I will heal you and they won't come on you." Why do we have those diseases of Egypt today?
Now, over in the New Testament, you'll find over in John, "What [thing] soever we ask of him we receive [Why?] because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." You have to obey God and you have to believe. And I tell you when people (when the minister himself) don't obey God and says that God's Commandments were nailed to the cross and will not keep the Law of God but rather fights against it and thinks that it was something contrary to us and he certainly is contrary in his mind to the Law of God. He's a carnal minded man and the carnal mind is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be because it's carnal and he claims to put on a healing show; I tell you that's a plain fake--out and out.
They say that, "Imitation is the sincerest flattery and where there is a counterfeit there must be a genuine." And that is true.
And, my friends, Jesus Christ "is the same yesterday, today and forever." And just as Jesus Christ healed then, He will heal today. He has not changed, it's only the people. But there are terms and conditions. And Jesus said, "According to your faith, be it unto you." And again, we find, it is to those that obey Him, it is only those that obey Him that to them God gives His Holy Spirit and it is only those who are obeying God and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight that receive the answer. Now, God requires that of you. That's why some people are healed today and some are not.
But I wouldn't want to go to anyone that is not a servant of God and that God won't use and God will not use anyone who is not obedient to Him and who is not entirely surrendered to God and to keep His Commandments and all of them, otherwise, God just can't use the man.
I know there are many so-called great men in this world and men that are looked up to as great leaders. But God doesn't look on that. God doesn't look on people like humans do. God looks on the heart and He looks on those that are yielded and surrendered to Him.
Well, now, Jesus put all of these unbelievers out of the room. And then He took the father of the child and her mother "and them that were with Him [and that was just His own disciples, because He didn't let anyone else come, and they were believers] and goeth in where the child was." Now, He went into the room where the child was.
"And taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her...Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked..."
Now, this father believed and the mother and His disciples and Jesus did--there were only believers there. Now, that's another thing. If you go into a public service where there are a lot of doubters and scoffers that come to look on and to scoff and to hoot and to howl and to see whether there's anything to it or not, I tell you, my friends, Jesus couldn't heal anyone under those conditions. And if Jesus Christ couldn't do it, how can people today that claim to be His ministers? That is not the way healing is done and it never has been done like that.
He said, "I say unto thee, Arise. And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked; for she was twelve years old. And they were amazed and straightway with great amazement. And he charged them much that no man should know this: and he commanded that something should be given her to eat."
Now, He said don't go around spreading it. And it was because people disobeyed Him and did spread the news of these things and the miracles that the crowds followed Him. Jesus did not seek crowds. His miracles brought crowds but He even then performed His miracles usually in private and commanded people not to go and advertise it abroad. But, of course, the people wouldn't obey that, they always did it anyhow.
Now, we come to the time where Jesus healed a couple of blind men and the next thing following this. Now, Matthew had this same thing here in the ninth chapter ending in the twenty-sixth verse where Matthew's account and Matthew nine, verse twenty-six, "...the damsel arose. And the fame thereof went forth into all that land..." of Jesus because of it.
Now, continuing the next verse Matthew nine, verse twenty-seven, and Jesus passed by from there..."as he passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, and saying, Have mercy on us, thou son of David."
Now, here were two blind men and they were pleading with Him to have mercy on them.
"And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him..."
Now, He didn't turn around and heal those blind men right away. I want you to notice, He didn't do it right away. He went right on into the house. They yelled outside, "Have mercy on us, thou son of David."
He didn't pay any attention.
"And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him..." They followed Him. Now, they began to show a little faith by following Him. They persisted. They didn't give up.
Now, Jesus said something to them. He still didn't heal them. He asked them a question first. He said unto them, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" He had to know first whether they had the faith. He didn't just heal everybody indiscriminately.
"Believe ye that I am able to do this? And they said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes [after they showed their faith], saying, According to your faith be it done unto you."
Not according to my faith He said but according to your faith.
My friends, the apostle Paul healed many that were sick. As far as he was able he went to the sick. But his ministry became so enlarged and his time was so occupied and he became so busy he couldn't go to the sick people. And so finally he simply laid his hands on pieces of cloth and he anointed them by proxy and had those pieces of cloth sent to the people because he wasn't able to go and that went in his stead. And when they were laid on the people, the people were healed. You'll find that in the nineteenth chapter of Acts.
Now, in this ministry, I've had to do a great deal of that until sometimes it goes into the hundreds a week. And people from all over the United States and even many parts of the world...write in. Sometimes they call by long distance telephone, sometimes by telegraph when someone is sick. And do you know that there have been some of the most miraculous healings, people of cancer, people of leukemia in hospitals that were given up to die and have been healed; people of tuberculosis and many absolutely uncurable diseases. A man born blind from birth now sees.
On the other hand, my friends, there are other hundreds who write in and who have the same prayer of faith from me and are not healed. Now, why? Can you begin to see? Jesus required their faith and He said according to your faith be it unto you. And I am only acting as His agent, as His instrumentality, as His servant, and I ask Jesus and I ask God with the same faith for one that I do for another and yet some are healed and some are not.
"According to your faith be it unto you," said Jesus. "And their eyes were opened. And Jesus strictly charged them, saying, See that no man know it." He didn't want to drum up crowds. He didn't want to send them out with a lot of cheap advertising. He said, "See that no man know it. But they went forth, and spread abroad his fame in all the land." And so it went. They were just ordinary poor human beings. They couldn't obey Him even that far.
"And as they went forth, behold, there was brought to him a dumb man possessed with a demon. And when the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke [the demon had kept the man's mouth from speaking]: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so in Israel. But the Pharisees said, By the prince of the demons he cast out demons."
They had said that before and we've noticed that in going along. They saw the miracles, they couldn't deny it, so they had to blame it onto the Devil and claim He was a minister of the Devil and, you know, that's a good way to get into the unpardonable sin and we need to be careful about it.
Listen, my friends, once again, let me just say, if you want to understand this matter of healing and so much of Jesus' ministry was devoted to it, write in for our free booklet on healing and if you want to know why you don't have faith (and most of you don't have, millions lack the faith to receive any answer to their prayers), write in for our booklet, "What Is Faith?"
And now finally, my friends, let me remind you, if you want to really understand your Bible, if you're willing to set yourself to devote a half hour or more every day to Bible study, you may enroll now for the "Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course." We'll mail it to you. You can study it right in your own home. And we have decided to make no charge, no tuition, trusting God in faith.
And so, this is Herbert W. Armstrong saying, goodbye friends, until tomorrow.