Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

Reasoning from the Scriptures Review “Healing” by Jason Wright

Image

TOPIC HEALING by Jason Wright

This is the first Reasoning from the Scriptures Book review and I must admit as I went through the topics, I found that as a conservative evangelical Christian, I could agree with many of the scriptural proofs presented[1].

However as we know well “terminology and context” is imperative because the use of similar words in WT vocabulary does not necessarily translate into the same orthodox Christian meaning. What the Reasoning Book provides the JW with is a quick-fire scriptural tool to answer (albeit often erroneous) everyday householder questions.

Let me explain how this may work in practice. Imagine being a confused nominal Christian who desperately sought answers to questions such as “Who is Jesus” or “What is the Trinity”. Who would you ask for the answers? The Vicar springs to mind! However you seek truthful answers to these critical questions but the Vicar does not adequately explain the doctrines and hence does not meet the needs of your inquisitive mind. You know the next part: “Knock, knock” the JW arrives just in time to help! Rising eagerly to the challenge and by employing the generic answers in the Reasoning Book the struggling householder is helped to understand the so-called “truth” of God’s word. You’ve been had!

This is no exaggeration; recently I spoke to an ex-JW born-again believer who had been asked to speak to a lady who was searching for answers to the big questions of life. She had gone to Church but not had her questions adequately answered. It turned out the lady had begun studying the Bible with the JW’s for about six months. Note at this stage in a students studies exuberance and joy are experienced as WT doctrine slowly becomes indoctrinated. The brother who tried to reach out to this lady was too late and received the parrot fashion JW rebuff. My point here is that the JW’s are having success because they know what they believe and can convincingly convey their beliefs. Christians must go beyond the subjective and engage the mind in defending doctrine and explaining biblical truths.

The Reasoning Book play’s a significant role in helping witnesses convey WT teachings. Additionally this publication is a useful apologetic tool for engaging atheist, and non-Christians. The Reasoning Book therefore provides the Watchtower evangelist with a powerful conversion tool. Always remember that cults and pseudo-Christians teach a mixture of truth and error and this is what we find the Reasoning Book.

In this review our topic is “Healing”. This is a difficult subject but I will do my best to present the main Christian perspectives in relation to the WT teachings. The Reasoning Book defines the doctrine of Healing thus:

“Definition: Causing a person who has been physically, mentally, or spiritually sick to gain good health. Some of the pre-Christian Hebrew prophets as well as Jesus Christ and certain members of the early Christian congregation were enabled by God’s spirit to perform miraculous healing.” Page 156-161.

To view the whole article visit: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989232 Interestingly the Watchtower has adopted from Christianity the doctrine of cessationism. This is defined on the CARM website as:

“Cessationism is the position within Christianity that the Charismatic Spiritual gifts (speaking in tongues, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, interpretation of tongues, healing, etc.) ceased with the closing of the Canon of scripture and/or the death of the last apostle.”[2]

For the cessationist Christian who reads the Reasoning Book article I’m sure they could agree with the Watchtower’s position on Healing, that is healing ended with the death of the last Apostle. However this is where any correlation between Christian theology and WT theology ends, for neither Christian cessationists nor continuationists would agree with the Watchtowers ultimate solution to sickness. What is the WT solution? The WT presents the solution to sickness as Gods earthly Kingdom or Paradise earth wherein all mankind, including the resurrected dead, will be offered a second chance. This second chance, offers each human the opportunity to prove obedient to Jehovah and thus be worthy of everlasting life. Sickness is ended through works! WT articles link improved health in the millennium with increased obedience! Sickness is not ended by Christ power but by man’s self-effort!

Under the heading “What hope is there for real healing from all sickness?” the Reasoning Book quotes three scriptures to support the position, that mans destiny, is everlasting life on earth. Please note when the WT says ‘everlasting life’ they mean conditional life and never unconditional immortal life.

Revelatio. 21:1-4: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away . . . ‘And he [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’” (NWT)

Isaiah 25:8: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.” (Also Revelation 22:1, 2) (NWT)

Isaiah. 33:24: “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”(NWT)

We have here three prophetic statements. I’m sure we can all agree that the Revelation quote refers to the eternal state i.e. “the new heavens and new earth[3] (individual eschatology). Those inheriting the New Heavens and New Earth according to the NT are NOT simply “good” human’s who earn the right to extended mortal life, as the WT teaches, but rather life in the eternal order is a gift of God through faith in Jesus, which secures immortality and glorification, a concept the JW’s have no understanding of (Romans 8:7, 30, Philippines 3:20-21, 1 Corinthians 15:35-57). You can see now how important it is uncover the true meaning behind WT terminology.

The WT applies the promises of Isaiah to resurrected humans inhabiting the millennial earth. We have seen above that the saints are not mere humans but experience glorification and are therefore a new creation. So then who does Isaiah 25:8 refer to? In Christian theology exegesis of the Isaiah verses depends upon the theological system employed:

1)   Isaiah 25:8 Amillennial position: Isaiah is speaking about spiritual realities fulfilled in the Church at Christ resurrection. The Kingdom of God is understood as a spiritual reality. Hence the verse refers to the glorified state of the saints in the New Heavens and New Earth.

2)   Isaiah 25:8 Premillennial position: In the context Isaiah is presenting a telescopic look at the earthly millennial kingdom in which Israel plays a central role. However in verse 8 the millennial kingdom gives way to the eternal kingdom of God i.e. the New Heavens and New Earth.

I would suggest an in-depth study into both positions before deciding which is for you! However both systems conclude that Isaiah 25:8 is referring to the eternal state of the glorified redeemed, NOT as the WT teaches a restored mortal humanity that must forever prove themselves to Jehovah.

The next Isaiah verse used by the WT to show the ultimate solution to sickness is Isaiah 33:24. In this verse the prophet is declaring a future time when “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” When is this time, and whom is Isaiah speaking about? Again the two Christian theological systems are below:

1)   Isaiah 33:24 Amillennial position: Isaiah is speaking about spiritual realities fulfilled in the Church at Christ resurrection. The residents who are no longer sick are those of heavenly Zion the saints. In this system we have only one group the redeemed that reside in heaven with Christ until the consummation of the age.

2)    Isaiah 33:24 premillennial positions: In the context of the chapter Isaiah is presenting a telescopic look at the earthly millennial kingdom in which Israel plays a central role. The residents who are no longer sick are NOT the redeemed but adamic humans who survive Christ return (tribulation survivors) and live through Christ millennial reign. This period of restoration will bring physical blessing to mankind as Isaiah foretold. (More info. Here: http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_millennium8.php). In this system we have two groups; 1) Humans who survive the tribulation into the Millennium 2) the redeemed who have new glorified bodies and rule alongside Christ in the Millennium.

The Reasoning Book has presented a solution to sickness, which is purely physical in nature. The proof text used are misapplied and used to support the WT idea that God’s ultimate plan is to resurrect ALL the dead. Through physical resurrection each individual gets a second chance to prove his or her loyalty to Jehovah in the Millennium. This logic is appealing to anyone who is sick now or anyone who has lost a loved one in death. I myself remember how wonderful I thought it was to never get sick in this life. The result of this teaching is that every JW is looking forward to an EVENT i.e. Armageddon, to bring salvation and healing. They do not look to Christ but to an event!

The NT does not present a second chance option for the dead. Instead the NT witness highlights the importance of saving Grace before death (Hebrews 9:27) See: http://www.gotquestions.org/second-chance-salvation.html The wonderful result of such faith is the gift of immortality to all who believe, not just a healthy body, but also a glorified body! Consequently the resting place of the saints is wherever Jesus resides be that in Heaven, on earth or in the New Heavens and New Earth.

Rev 22:17  “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”

Let us now return to the subject of Healing. I have deconstructed the Reasoning Book’s doctrine viz. the cure for sickness is a second chance in Paradise earth. I have also acknowledged that the WT arguments against modern-day healing are largely derived from Christian cessationism. I could just end the review here, but that would be unfair, so let us turn over the coin and look at the argumentation presented by those holding a continuationist position. I don’t want to get bogged down with this, as the subject is enormous. Lets begin by returning to the WT arguments.

Is miraculous healing in our day done by means of the spirit of God? Can the ability to perform miracles come from a source other than the true God?

The Reasoning Book correctly identifies that healing’s can occur by a power other than the Holy Spirit. The article presents the magic-practicing priests in Egypt as an example (Exodus 7:8-12, see also Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The WT also states that non-Christian religions lay claim to miraculous healing’s, such as Voodoo, Witch Doctors and Psychic Healers. We can agree with these observations.

Next the Reasoning Book quotes Jesus warning at Matthew 24:24 and Matthew 7:15-23 wherein those claiming to perform miracles in the name of Christ, were told by Jesus “I never knew you”. Again we can agree with the WT that false healers employing the name of Jesus have arisen. Sadly such “signs and wonders” have become all too common a place in many Churches degenerating into chaos and carnality that makes a mockery of Christianity and obscures the Gospel message. However the Reasoning Book is basically saying that ALL healing’s are of the Devil. Jesus was not saying ALL healings are of the Devil but rather “Watch out” for false Healers. Jesus was calling his readers to discernment and sobriety emphasising that a relationship with him was far more important than works. The next question posited is:

Are the sensational cures of our day performed in the same way as the miraculous cures of Jesus and his early disciples?

The Reasoning Book quotes Matthew 10:8 where Jesus told his 70 disciples to “Cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons. You received free, give free.” The observation is made that many healing ministries receive money for healings. Again we cannot ignore the fact that many Faith Healers today are very rich men and women with huge houses, fleets of cars, private jets and body guards. I recommend a review of the “Prosperity Gospel” to see just how aberrant ‘Health and Wealth’ theology is. John Piper highlights the error here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s

More information here: http://www.gotquestions.org/televangelist-scandals.html Justin Peters also provides a thorough critic of the ‘Word of Faith’ movement and it’s aberrant Theology here: http://justinpeters.org/a-call-for-discernment/watch-an-overview/

The Reasoning Book also points out that Jesus healed all who came to him whereas modern Faith healers have limited success. Here we have to make a distinction between Jesus acting and working miracles as God in the flesh and humans who petition God for healing. The result is not dependent on our will, or our faith, but according to God’s sovereign will. Hence modern healings (if you accept them) cannot be demanded of God and prayer for healing is not guaranteed. Hence the WT has misunderstood the difference between Jesus absolute sovereignty over illness and human petitions. Next the Reasoning Book asks:

Does the way of life of members of the organisations of which “healers” are a part give evidence that they have God’s spirit?

We must be careful here because many examples of immoral “healers” can be cited as bad examples in the Christian Church. However what the WT is doing here is linking bad behaviour to evidence of God’s spirit. Clearly the Bible states that born-again believers should bear fruit by the Holy Spirit. If a Healer lives an immoral life then we should question wether they are truly born again. A good example of a fake healer is Marjoe Gortner, his 1972 expose which won an academy award is well worth a watch; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V252j868jTk

Ironically while the Reasoning Book identifies a connection between immorality and an absence of the Holy Spirit the WT itself has no concept of the Holy Spirit or His role in redemption. The WT teaches that the Holy Spirit is a force, a clearly heretical doctrine. So while condemning others as “not having the Holy Spirit” they themselves are void of the paraclete. Why can I say that? Because apart from the WT’s false pneumatology doctrine JW’s are simply not born-again of the spirit, thus are not sons of God. JW’s have no concept of Christian re-birth. For this reason JW’s remain dead in their sins. More information here: http://www.gotquestions.org/paraclete-Holy-Spirit.html

Our first clear exclusively Watchtower argument is now presented against modern day healing.

Are they truly “no part of the world,” shunning all involvement in the world’s political affairs? Have they remained clean of bloodguilt during wartime? Do they have a fine reputation because of avoiding the world’s immoral conduct?—John 17:16; Isa. 2:4; 1 Thessalonians. 4:3-8.

Oh dear, the WT was doing so well! But now we have our first red herring. We are here introduced WT dualism, the world of the honest God fearing JW juxtapose to all non-JW’s who are “part of the world.” Note the Reasoning Book suggests ‘true Christians’ avoid Politics and war. You may have your own opinion on War but what on earth has War and Politics got to do with Healing? What the Reasoning book is doing is reinforcing the illusion that witnesses shun the world and avoid immorality and thus are the true religion. Oh dear what a lie! The Watchtower was an NGO of the United Nations, is that not being part of the World of Politics? They were also complicit in bribery of officials in Mexico to avoid conscription! Neither are the JW’s the only pacifists on earth. For more information on JW’s and War: http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/war.php

The question of immorality has been dealt with; the Reasoning Book by condemning others of immorality is suggesting that such things do not exist with their own ranks. WRONG! In my own experience in the JW’s I saw many couples divorce, adulterous relationships, pre-marital relations, and worst of all child abuse. For examples visit: http://www.silentlambs.org/education/index.cfm

Next the Reasoning Book asks:

Are true Christians today identified by the ability to do miraculous healing?

Firstly who are true Christians? The Reasoning Book silently assumes JW’s are the only ‘true Christians’ hence subliminally the language used here reinforces their worldview and sears a mark in the mind of the JW that they are the ONLY true Christians. Yet if orthodoxy is the litmus test JW’s are categorically NOT Christians. The Reasoning Book question is simply this “Does healing ID a true Christian” The simple answer is no. But then neither does being a Jehovah’s Witness! Everything about these healing article smacks of works oriented allegiance to the WT organisation.  This article is not concerned with discovering the truth of Healing in the NT but rather it’s a JW apologetic designed to promote WT ideology and condemn all who disagree – plain and simple mind control. Let us confirm this observation by looking at the scriptures used by the Reasoning Book under this next sub-section.

John 13:35: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (This is what Jesus said. If we really believe him, we look for love, not miraculous healing, as evidence of true Christianity.)

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have unconditional love among themselves? No! They have a unity formed by a religious system. Adhere to the system and you will receive a type of love. Disobey or worst still question the system and the velvet glove will come off and love will go out the window. Thousands of ex-JW’s can testify that this love the society claims to have is a façade, skin deep, and conditional upon abject obedience to men. The commentary in this section sickens me, to claim that witnesses believe in and truly love Jesus while simultaneously denying his deity and stripping his name from their “Kingdom hymn book” and demoting the son of God to a created angel is beyond comprehension, in fact it is the work of the devil.

They next quote Acts 1:8 referring to being “witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.” Who’s speaking here? Jesus Christ! Do the witnesses carry the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to the distant parts of the earth? No! They carry a false, Anti-Christ Gospel, hatched out by men in ivory towers. Again I ask what on earth has this to do with Healing? Like I said before the Healing topic hides a sinister mind control technique of repetitious core doctrines that reinforce WT ideology.

Finally in this section the Reasoning Book quotes 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 concluding:

So, the Bible clearly shows that not all true Christians would have the gift of healing.

We have already exposed the “true Christian, false Christian dichotomy. Does the Bible clearly show that modern day Christians would not have the gift of healing given? Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 is actually explaining to the congregation that the Holy Spirit DOES distribute gifts to those HE chooses for the edification of the body! Paul is not saying Healing has ended, but rather Paul is showing the Corinthians that the gift of Healing is according the will of the Holy Spirit.[4]

1Corinthians 12:7, 11  “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (ESV)

What the Reasoning Book question employs is reverse phycology, steps that lead to a false conclusion, viz.  Praying for or experiencing supernatural healing’s is false, conclusion: JW’s must be true Christians because they reject healing!

Next the Reasoning Book asks:

Does not Mark 16:17, 18 show that ability to heal the sick would be a sign identifying believers?…There is no record that early Christians either drank poison or handled serpents to prove they were believers.

In a pseudo-scholarly fashion the Reasoning Book quotes varies Christian sources to verify that Mark 16:17-18 is spurious. Again I ask what does that prove? That a scribe made a mistake? That a well-meaning scribe added an oral tradition proves absolutely nothing! The argument against healing using this verse is a red herring!

Next the Reasoning Book asks:

Why were such gifts as the ability to do miraculous healing given to first-century Christians?

The WT quotes Hebrew 2:3-4 wherein the writer announces, “God joined in bearing witness with signs as well as portents and various powerful works” The WT interpretation is:

Here was convincing evidence, indeed, that the Christian congregation, which was then new, was truly of God. But once that was fully established, would it be necessary to prove it again and again?

What on earth are they talking about? The writer of Hebrews is here exhorting his readers to remember the Gospel, the message of who Jesus truly is. ‘Hebrews’ is exalting the superiority, deity, and Lordship of Christ. Hebrews 2:1 says:

Hebrews 2:1  “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

What was it that the Hebrews had heard and believed in? The Gospel of Jesus! It was the Gospel of Christ that was being emphasised! Forgiveness of Sins through faith in Christ, the gift of saving grace. The pericope here has nothing to do with cessationism or continuationism.

Hebrews 2:3b-4  It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

That signs and wonders occurred underscored the reality of the message that was declared, but to say this verse denies healing today is blatant eisegesis. Also remember the gift of healing was not just given to prove “God is with us” but as a gift to the body of Messiah for the edification of the saints.

Next the Reasoning Book quotes 1 Cor. 12:29, 30; 13:8, 13:

“Which speak of whether there are gifts of prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease . . . Now, however, there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

I am aware that cessationists use this verse to show how many gifts of the spirit ceased “when the perfect came” i.e. the Bible and that Love is the primary motivation in the Christian life now. I would agree that Christ-Love is the core eternal quality of humankind. However I personally do not believe that Paul was referring to the Bible as the “perfect” After all it is highly unlikely Paul believed his was writing Holy writ when addressing various congregational problems. Paul’s epistle was intended to bring order to a chaotic Corinthian Church. The emphasis on Love levelled those Christians who believed they were on a higher plain because they spoke in tongues, prophesied or healed.

What then is the perfect?

1Corinthians 13:9-10  “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” (ESV)

Various explanations have been put forth and as I’ve said before much depends on your theological system and presuppositions. However for me Paul’s statement is eschatological. The perfect refers to the eschaton, the final act in history before we enter the New Heavens and New Earth. Why do I conclude this? Paul continues:

1Corinthians 13:12  “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (ESV)

We look to Christ now, yet we do not see him fully, face to face. The day will arrive when we will enter that eternal realm and we shall “know fully” It could be at the rapture that the perfect comes, but I lean towards that final act of History when we enter The New Heavens and New Earth. The Church triumphant!

Our final Reasoning Book question is:

As long as a person is healed, is it really important how it is done?

This is a somewhat generic question and goes beyond Christian healing so in JW ministry the question would cover all types of healing. To confirm in the JW mind that healing today is actually ALL evil they quote 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

2 Thessalonians. 2:9, 10: “The lawless one’s presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work [“all kinds of miracles,” JB] and lying signs and portents and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved.” (NWT)

Paul is here forewarning of the “Lawless one” who by the power of Satan would perform powerful works. However who is this Lawless one? Dr. Constable’s notes on Thessalonians explains:

“The lawless one will be Satan’s instrument. Scripture also calls him the beast coming out of the sea (Rev. 13:1-10), the scarlet beast (Rev. 17:3), and simply the beast (Rev. 17:8, 16; 19:19-20; 20:10). Satan will empower him to deceive many people into thinking he is God by doing awe- inspiring, powerful miracles (cf. Rev. 13:2-4; 17:8).”

So the one performing miracles is an agent of the devil and those following him are those taken in by his lies and deception. Now whom I might ask is the REAL deceiver here in the Reasoning Book? In our analysis we have seen incorrect interpretation and application over and over again. This “proof” text is no different. Thus I submit to you could the REAL deceiver here be the Watchtower? Not that I’m suggesting they are the eschatological “Lawless one” but the society is certainly an instrument of Satan, designed to mislead innocent, honest, truth-seeking individuals and enslave them under the control of the Governing body whose words become truth.

Luke 9:24-25 is the final pericope quoted in the Reasoning Book wherein Jesus says:

“Whoever wants to save his soul [“life,” RS, JB, TEV] will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake is the one that will save it. Really, what does a man benefit himself if he gains the whole world but loses his own self or suffers damage?” (NWT)

The WT is suggesting that a person who prays for healing is actually going against God’s will. In fact they are using this verse to portray a person who prays for healing as selfish and ungodly. Is Jesus really making a statement about healing? To understand the verse we must look at the context. Jesus preempts verses 24-25 with this statement:

Luke 9:23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

There we have it! The Reasoning Book has taken a verse from Luke to suggest that a Christian who prays for healing is weak, and committing a heinous crime! That praying for healing is wrong, forbidden by Jesus and that modern healing’s are from the devil. How terribly wrong the WT is. Jesus is not talking about healing! Prior to these verses Jesus has just miraculously fed five thousand people. This verse is not about miracles ceasing or teaching us to abstain from prayer for healing. NO! – The verses relate to denial of Jesus! That’s the crux of the matter! Jesus reminds those listening that to follow JESUS means sacrifice and potential hardship. Jesus asks his audiences “are you willing to suffer for me”? That’s Jesus big question! Will you FOLLOW JESUS and if necessary forfeit this life? Thus the pericope quoted in the Reasoning Book have nothing whatsoever to do with cessation of healing! This is just another terrible example of misuse of Holy writ to support Watchtower theology.

So then what are we to conclude concerning Healing? Does the Bible say we should pray for healing?

James 5:14  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

I think this verse is clear that we can pray for healing. The result depends upon the sovereign will of God. We must be careful not to slip in hyper-charismatic nonsense and demand healing’s or play the “lack of faith” card. No, we must act in faith but align our will with Gods will. Have you ever seen a miracle? One Bible teacher once told me the reason why Christians become cessationist is because they have never seen the real thing!

James 1:17  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (ESV)

I know this has been a very long article but I’d like to share with you one true story about an active Jehovah’s Witness couple that experienced a TRUE healing miracle. The witnesses were Charles and Gladys Trombley. Charles and his wife were blessed with a daughter named Darlene. Sadly she was born with “clubbed feet” (congenital talipes equinovarus). It is a terrible moment when parents are facing the prospect of having a handicapped child. The Doctor told Charles and Gladys “without proper care she’ll be crippled for life…we can begin some corrective surgery when she is four or five…in the meantime she will wear plaster casts two weeks at a time”

This is the account:

One evening I arrived home from work, more tired than usual. Trying to hide my weariness, I bounded into the house.

Hi Glady! I’m home!” I expected her to meet me with the usual greeting and kiss…I called “Glady, where are you?

Then I heard sobbing in the bedroom. Apprehensively, I walked across the living room and stooped at the doorway to the bedroom. Glad was standing over the bathinette, the baby lying in front of her. Her eyes were red from weeping.

What’s wrong, hon?” I asked.

Look at these feet,” she sobbed. “I just bought her back from the clinic and she isn’t any better

Standing at her side, I picked up the tiny feet…they hung loose and were turning inward to the point that the toes nearly touched the inside leg. Tenderly I pushed them to their normal position, but when I released the pressure they hung as limp as though they were broken.

What can we do?” I asked helplessly

Can’t we pray for her? We pray for many other things,” she replied. “Let’s pray that Jehovah will heal her!” Her voice took on a note of urgency, as though some new kind of hope was springing to life.

All right,” I replied, “we’ll pray!”

Tenderly we each laid a hand on her, as though directed by some inner instinct. Then holding on to each other like lost children, we prayed: “Jehovah, if it is your will, and if you can, will you heal our baby?”

It was a simple, childlike plea for help, even though my mind cried out with unanswered questions. After we said “Amen,” I slumped into my chair in the living room and tried to think it through.

For several years I had been brainwashed with the teaching that the days of miracles had ceased with the death of the apostles. IF a miracle should take place the Devil did it! This was the kind of indoctrination I had received from the Watchtower Society. Does God heal or doesn’t he? Is sickness the will of Jehovah? If Darlene’s deformity was his will, then it didn’t seem right for us to try to correct it.

I rose wearily from the chair noticing that Glad had not wrapped her feet and legs with the bandages. I questioned her about it.

It just didn’t seem right,” she explained. “We asked Jehovah to heal her, didn’t we? Let’s wait!”

How would a Jehovah’s Witness respond?

 Three days later I was playing with the baby in the middle of the living room floor when something caught my eye. At first I thought I was imagining things. Perhaps my strong desires had burst the bonds of reality…but those feet looked normal! My immediate reaction was to call out for Glad, but I resisted the urge.

I’d better check and make sure” I said to myself.

I looked again…the limpness was definitely gone and instead of turning inwards the feet pointed straight ahead. Taking one of the delicate legs with my right hand, I gripped the foot, with my other hand I gently tried to turn it inward. It wouldn’t turn!

Almost frightened I released the foot “Gladys, come here quickly!”

Pushing past me, she knelt down and picked up Darlene.

“Take a look at those feet!

Even though we had prayed for the baby’s healing we had never witnessed a miracle before and the shock of it left us stunned.

“He did it!” I shouted, “Jehovah healed her! He still heals today!”

Charles and Gladys Trombley shared this miracle with their Jehovah’s Witness friends and family. There was no denying a miracle had taken place. There was no denying they had prayed to Jehovah. How would the elders react? Their callous response to Gods divine intervention was “The Devil did it” Charles and Gladys were essentially “Kicked out the Theocratic Kingdom” Charles had dared to question the societies teaching on Healing. As is so often the case he lost his JW friends and family as they deemed them “evil servants” but Charles and Gladys were gloriously born-again and went on to establish a large Pentecostal church in the USA.

So what can we conclude?  Certainly I personally believe that God does still heal as he wills as this account demonstrates. But I temper healing with the Gospel, for it is the Word of God and Spirit of God that lead a person to salvation, NOT miracles.

The Reasoning Book reflects a cessationist view of healing, but more than that the publication uses out of context verses to reiterate the various JW mantras such as “We are the true Christians” “We have the truth” etc… The Reasoning Book is not just a ministry tool for JW’s to engage the public with but the publication reinforces WT ideology and effectively nullifies critical thinking.

This review highlights how Healing is still a controversial subject in Christianity but whichever side of the fence you are on as Christians we know what true salvation is. We know that it is the Gospel of Christ crucified which brings sinners to saving grace. JW’s have no idea of what salvation is. This is proven by the pathetic carnal appeal to a paradise earth as the God’s ultimate solution to sickness. How JW’s need a touch from the King! How they need to hear the true Gospel!

I hope you have found this review helpful. Please continue to pray for all the JW’s you know. Our LORD is faithful, he knows his own and will bring them out. I would also appeal to my cessationist brethren not give up on the LORD. God does not change and he does still heal as he wills and the experience of Charles and Gladys Trombley confirms this truth.

God bless

Jason

 

 


[1] This should not be unexpected as the Watchtower was not formed in a void, by some mystic but rather the seeds of WT theology came as the result of 18th century revivalism, which was itself rooted in Baptist Protestantism (William Miller).

[2] There are variations within cessationism, wherein some accept Healing as very rare one off events normally associated with untouched mission fields. However the vast majority rejects supernatural healing.

[3] Some Christians believe the New Heavens and New Earth refer to a restored earth and restored cosmos. However my understanding is that following Christ Millennial reign and the fulfillment of Gods promises to Israel the New Heavens and New Earth will be completely new, that is the earth and cosmos that exists now will be burnt up and give way to a completely new creation. (cf. Zephaniah 3:8, Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2 Peter 3:7, Revelation 20:11)

[4] That gift of healing is not necessarily the continual possession of a single individual as many Faith Healers may claim. Rather the Holy Spirit chooses, individuals, as He desires directing the chosen person to pray for healing with a specific member of the congregation. The Holy Spirit’s gift of healing is different from generic prayers offered to God for healing that we all partake in.

Advertisements

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: