New Apostolic Reformation’s (NAR) teachers claim they alone preach a unique (different) gospel, the ‘gospel of The Kingdom’ and part of their gospel is that while living on earth all ‘physical healing‘ is included in the atonement.
First of all beloved, let us clarify that we believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit & believe that God heals today, but we also know the gospel of ‘salvation’ that the apostles preached was this:.
‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures‘ 1 Cor.15:1-6.
It says Jesus died for our sins not for our sicknesses. Christians are born again when they repent of their sins & believe in the redemptive sacrifice that the Son of God, Jesus Christ made on the cross. This faith is enough to be save or be born again & it is also about spiritual healing, eternal life, reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. If a person repents & believe in Jesus but doesn’t believe in physical healing as part of the atonement we wont find in the Bible anything saying this person isn’t really save. But this is what most NAR teachers are preaching.
For example, Bill Johnson (see video clip) says ‘I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness‘. Well, we consider that’s his right (even he allows himself to wear prescription glasses, got a surgery of the colon, his oldest son is 95% deaf, etc.), as well as it’s also his followers’ right to believe that, if they want to do so. But when he accuses publicly the rest of Christians that don’t agree with his theology to have a ‘false gospel’, misusing Gal. 1:8, then . . . this to me, is something very, very serious! Other NAR teachers prefer to say that we (the rest of Christians) have an incomplete gospel.
Johnson mentions our ‘misinterpretation’ of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor.12) & he thinks it wasn’t a physical alignment (but doesn’t explain what it was either). I don’t think anybody can be 100% certain of what exactly the apostle was referring to, but it was a physical problem since he said it’s in the flesh. I believe most probably it was about his eyes, after his blindness see Gal.4:13& 15, Gal.6:11. But in context Paul uses there (2 Cor.12:9-10) the Greek word G769=disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness; the same word used in Matt.8:17 : “He Himself took our infirmities (G769) And bore our sicknesses” who these same preachers use to support their all physical healing in the atonement. Furthermore we find that the Bible not only mentions Paul’s thorn in the flesh, or Paul stating that “. . our outward man is perishing. . .” 2 Cor. 4:16 , 1 Cor. 15:53, but it also mentions about Timothy ‘ frequent illnesses‘ 1Tim.5:23, & other saints getting sick (2 Tim.4:20). . . Why? if according to NAR all physical healing was in the atonement ?!
We also can notice that James 5:14 say to ‘pray’ for healing, and it doesn’t say to ‘Declare, Confess or Claim‘ your healing like NAR preachers teach us to do. The Scriptures also say we’ll have no more death, sorrow, pain in heaven Rev.21:4. It doesn’t mention that will happen here on earth.
We don’t agree with either of the two extremes, on one side the NAR, Word of Faith (both originated from Latter Rain movement/Third wave), etc. that teach that all healing is in the atonement & that all sickness is from sin/devil-since we know there is also sickness caused by mistakes, bacteria in the food, genetic modification, chemicals, different kinds of radiations in the environment, etc.- Nor we agree with the other side of the coin that teaches that all sickness comes from God & He always uses it to punish His children. If God causes blasphemers/slanderers to be mute or loose their voice, like some people in this last group teach, then we wouldn’t have so many false teachers, or false prophets today & there wouldn’t be any apostasy or any need for warning of wolves in sheep clothing, etc. Think about it!
I believe (and this is just my humble opinion according with what I read from the Scriptures) that any sickness or physical alignment caused by demonic influence because of our sin (spiritual problem), was paid by Jesus on the cross, when we repent that sickness is gone. But I also think that there are many diseases today that are caused by stress, contamination of our air, water, food chain (e.i. meats full of hormones & antibiotics, cows that aren’t fed with grass, pesticides & chemicals in our food, pathogens), etc. sickness not caused by sin, which we don’t necessarily have a ‘promise’ of healing, and that in any case we can & we should pray, or seek God for healing.
Let us please check the bible verses (Isaiah 53:5) they are using to support that healing is included in the atonement:
4 Surely He has borne (H5375=take away, carry off, forgive) our griefs (H2483=disease, sickness), And carried (H5445) our sorrows (H4341= pain, affliction physical or mental); Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed (H7495= Made whole, repaired, restored)” – Isaiah 53:4-5
If we read: ‘by His stripes we are made whole‘, or we are restored, then the meaning doesn’t sound as physical healing any more but spiritual restoration which is more in context with the passage (spiritual sickness= transgressions, iniquities, sin, etc). We also find a reference of this same prophecy of Isaiah 53 in the book of Matthew :
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took (G2983=1.b.1- to take away, to remove) our infirmities (G769= disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness), and bare our sicknesses (G3554= disease, sickness). Matthew 8:16-17
Isaiah 53:4 was fulfilled in Jesus healing ministry, that was done before the cross or atonement. Also verse 4 doesn’t say that He died for our infirmities and diseases but that He bore & carried them. He removed their sickness & healed them (before the atonement/cross).
It is also very important to consider that the Greek word used for ‘healing’ is not limited to physical healing: Luke 4:18 states that Jesus came “to heal the brokenhearted” which is not referring to the heart (physical organ) but the emotional wounded. Also the healing in Mt.13:15 is in reference to salvation (Jn.12:40; Acts28:27). Same word for healing G2390 used to refer salvation in those verses is the same word used in Matthew 8:16-17. & 1 Peter 2:24 .
Beloved, I would love to have (while on earth) all physical healing included in the atonement! I really do, but this isn’t about what I want or I prefer to interpret according with my needs, (that’s to have itchy ears, 2 Tim.4:3), but it is ALL about what the Word of God is really saying to us & about being faithful not adding words or promises He didn’t make.
The Bible doesn’t mention acquiring immortality while on earth, like this NAR Movement also teaches, but it is clear that believers have a blessed hope in a near future because we are told that those who are alive when He comes to take His Church, that our bodies will be transformed – replacing our corrupted mortal physical bodies with an eternal spiritual body (1 Cor 15:35-58 & 1 Thess. 4:16). Our physical bodies will be redeemed, restored or made whole at the rapture of the Church. We consist of body, soul & spirit (1 Thes,5:23), we were restored (past) spiritually when we were born again (Jn.3:5-7), then the soul-will/mind/heart (Matt.11:29, Psalm.23, Ro.12:2, Heb.4:12) is being restored & sanctified (present) also through the Word of God & the help of the Holy Spirit while living here on earth (1 Pt.1:22), but the last (future) to be restored is our physical body, when we are transformed to be with our Lord. (1 Cor.15, Ro.8:11 &23, Ph.3:19-21, 1 Pt.1:3-4, 1 Jn.3:2).
Sadly, this teaching about all physical healing included in the atonement while living here on earth, is causing many brethren to stumble, when they don’t get healed they think God doesn’t love them, or think they aren’t doing things right or don’t have enough faith. I know of some who got into Hebrew Roots movement thinking God wasn’t healing them because they weren’t obeying the Mosaic Law (& dietary laws) & for that reason were not receiving the promised blessings. Many Christians tired of this ‘Charismania’ (faking/abusing of the gifts) of these movements, have gone to the other extreme into the errors of Calvinism, Adventists, Hebrew Roots, etc.
We also see followers of the NAR & Word of Faith Movements going to the extremes of not even asking God for healing (or anything else), but claiming possession of everything they want, some even telling Almighty God what to do: “Lord we won’t take a NO for answer!” when holding unto that wrong ‘promise’ of healing in the atonement, prophesying & declaring publicly healing for a friend sick with cancer, (who sadly die later). These things only cause confusion & doubts to many in the faith & cause blasphemers to mock God!
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” Psalm 51:17
We really need to be very careful about the doctrines (or teachings) that we are accepting in our life, because they will dictate our actions. Sound doctrine is very important for salvation & also for the spiritual health of the growing believer.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 1 John 4:1-2
A Litmus test to try the spirits (1 John 4:1-2) behind any teaching to see if they are from God, is to find out:
2/ The Gospel of salvation that is being preached (Gal.1:6-10). – (As we mentioned at the beginning, these group that add to the gospel that ‘healing is included in the atonement’ also preach the ‘‘Gospel of The Kingdom‘, which themselves say is a different gospel from the formally accepted gospel of Salvation).
The incarnation of Jesus Christ:
Jesus was both 100% God & 100% man in His earthly ministry. It is not a coincidence that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Hebrew Roots, etc. including the NAR & Word of Faith movements, teach Gnostic doctrines & attack the Divinity o Jesus Christ (our Rock & Foundation), NAR is just more subtle than the other ones, but they don’t believe either that Jesus was 100% God, but only 100% man while on earth (‘Kenosis’ Greek work for ’empty’, is a Gnostic doctrine taken from Phil. 2:7, that teaches Jesus was born only a man and remained so until his baptism. –See study notes of a NASB Study Bible).
Phil. 2:7 NKJV– ‘But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men’.
(Phil. 2:7) The Passion Translation (The NAR’s Bible).- ‘Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human!’
According to NAR teachers like Bill Johnson, God can limit or change His nature. He teaches that Jesus got the Spirit of God (the anointing) at His baptism, but He emptied himself of Divinity a misinterpretation of Philippians 2:7, or Kenosis, see more here), and did miracles as a man operating in the gifts of the Spirit, died as a man, & had to be born again at His resurrection
(This is plain heresy, check Video, notice also the hand signs of Ted White. This is taught by NAR teachers & Word of Faith teachers). Also like all teachers from New Apostolic Reformation & Word of Faith Movements, Todd White denies Jesus came as God!
If Jesus was not God in the flesh but a man that needed to be born again (then any man could do the sacrifice on the cross ), He couldn’t have been the spotless sacrificial Lamb whose precious blood atoned for our sins. The true God is eternal, always God, He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). In the incarnation, Jesus did not stop being God, but rather added human nature to His Divine nature.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the God head bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” Col. 2:9.
To twist that verse (Col.2:9) that contradicts their doctrine, Johnson says :
“Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means Anointed One or Messiah. It is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired. . . Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitation. He laid his divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: . . .The anointing is what linked Jesus, the man, to the divine enabling Him. . . – Bill Johnson,‘ When Heaven Invades Earth’, p. 78-79.
That experience Johnson refers to is Jesus’ baptism. But if we read Luke 2:11 Jesus is called Christ before birth or before His baptism experience “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord“. A title is something used for many people but Jesus is the Christ, the one & only promised Messiah of Israel, any other is a false christ (Antichrist). And we are also called ‘anointed‘ only because we are IN Him, not on our own. Jesus also is called Emmanuel ‘God with us’, Matthew 1:18-23; Isaiah 7:14. Jesus is called Mighty God in Isaiah 9:6.
Jesus is GOD made flesh! Christ is not a title or an experience, but a person! this brings to mind the Jehovah’s Witnesses (also Gnostics), who also claim that Jesus has many ‘titles’, but this is done in order to deny His Divinity. According with the Bible this is the spirit of Antichrist (1 John 2: 22-23).
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.. . . 8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; (Prov. 30:6,8)
Beloved is biblical to pray for physical healing, but please don’t demand your ‘supposedly rights’ or wishes to God, He is the King of the universe! Have reverence & respect, remember the Scriptures say:
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet.5:6-7).
Jesus cares so much for you that He die on the cross to rescue you!
To see articles related to this subject:
Sozo, Scientology and Kabbalah (Sozo is the inner healing -now also a financial- program of Bill Johnson)