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GRADUALLY, NOT SUDDENLY
Some evidently misunderstood our remarks in last issue relative to faith healing. We do not wish to be understood that during the Millennial age God will limit the methods of restoration to health, to prayer and anointing with oil. We are by no means sure that medicine and other agencies will be discarded. The methods of restitution will doubtless be as varied as were the methods employed by Jesus in healing diseases at his first advent. One secretly touched the hem of his garment; another stretched forth his withered hand; for another he prayed. Some were healed in answer to their own faith (Mark 5:34); some in answer to the faith of another (Matt. 8:5-13; Mark 5:23,42); some were healed instantly (Matt. 8:14,15), and some sent
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away unhealed were cured on the way (Luke 17:14); some were healed by means of an ointment and washing (John 9:7), some gradually (Mark 8:24,25). Likewise we may expect diversities in the operation of restitution now beginning.
Again, some get the idea that we expect that every one now healed by faith, prayer, and anointing with oil, in the name of the Lord, would be sick no more, but speedily attain to human perfection. By no means; we have repeatedly endeavored to show that the entire Millennial age will be a time of restitution, that the work will be very gradual, and that perfection will not be attained by the race until the close of that age. Those who now experience healing, will require healing for other ailments doubtless, and to some extent their freedom from sicknesses will depend upon their purity of life. (John 5:14, and James 5:15,16.) That none could possibly attain to perfection as men yet, is absolutely certain, for the same reason that none healed at Jesus’ first advent were made perfect. The sacrifice of the anointed was not yet completed. The body of Christ will not have filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, until the last member of that body has drunk to the dregs the cup of death. Until then, the „Body”
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will not be complete and perfected in spiritual nature, and hence the world’s restitution could only have a slight and illustrative beginning until then; for they without us shall not be made perfect. Heb. 11:40.
Others write, saying that though some of the present healings were undoubtedly of God, yet others were performed by Spiritists and were evidently of the devil. We answer, that even admitting this as claimed, it would be no argument against our acknowledging that which is of God as such. Satan has ever sought to counteract the force of truth by counterfeiting it. God sent out the gospel by Jesus and the Apostles, preaching peace and reconciliation by Jesus Christ and his ransom sacrifice, and straightway Satan sends out his ministers as messengers of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15), preaching „another gospel” and „perverting the gospel of Christ.” (Gal. 1:6,7). Jesus promised a kingdom and dominion to his faithful followers, and Satan grasping that promise perverted it, and establishing Papacy, taught that it was the kingdom of God promised, etc.
When the apostacy had done its worst, and truth was trampled under the feet of Babylon, and the time came for calling the saints out of Babylon to a higher realization of truth, and a closer communion with God under increasing light from his Word, Satan also began to call „come out,” and set snares for the truth hungry in what he is pleased to have called „Churches” also, chief among which are Spiritism and Swedenborgianism, whose bait is „new light.” Thus he ensnares some, while he alarms others so greatly that they will not even look outside the so-called „Orthodox” sects for food or light, and are thus kept in bondage and his object equally subserved. But shall we who have the light and food fear to show it because of Satan’s counterfeits? Satan is an old hand at counterfeiting and over three thousand years ago acting through Jannes and Jambres he withstood the truth at the hand of Moses, deceiving the people by his imitations. But did Moses stop, and say, Because others can do to some extent the same things, therefore I will cease? Nay, he did his part and presently the power of his opponents was swallowed up before him. Of a similar class „in the last days” of this age, having „a form of Godliness” Paul speaks (2 Tim. 3:1,5-8), saying that from such we should „turn away,” and he assures us that as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so shall these resist the TRUTH. „But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men as their’s also was.”
We are well aware that spirit-mediums have been creating a great „talk” about their healing of the sick and their successful diagnosing of disease, but we do not know of any actual healing of diseases by these. Satan has considerable of „the power of death,” including disease (Heb. 2:14 and Job 2:7), but we are not informed that he has the power of life, which includes health; and if he had the power (which Jesus’ words rather intimate—Luke 11:14,17,18), he surely has not the desire to do good and bless except as a means to delude and counteract by counterfeiting the truth.
With Jesus’ words before us, we may safely say, that if Satan has turned from being a destroyer to be a restorer, then evidently he is reduced to desperate efforts to maintain his power over mankind, and we may hail this as another sign of the end of his empire; for, If Satan casts out Satan, his kingdom cannot long stand and will the sooner fall.
If Satan and his angels will do good, and heal and bless mankind, we certainly will not cast a straw in their way. Let them do all the good works they will, and the more the better. Commend their good deeds, reprove their evil deeds and false doctrines with the word of the Spirit, the Word of God, and as the Apostle said, They will not proceed far before their folly and inconsistency will be manifest to all.
It is well that we should remember always Jesus’ words to the disciples. John said, „Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbade him, because he followeth not us.” And Jesus answered that they should not forbid or interfere with anyone doing good works. He does not approve the man’s method, etc., but states, as a general principle which none of us should lose sight of, that „He who is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9:38-40.
— June, 1885 —