AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED
This is just part of the passage of Isaiah 53:5, which is quoted over and over by the Word of Faith Movement to support their doctrine which claims physical healing, along with eternal life, is available to all believers because of the Atonement work of Messiah Yeshua. Here is the entire passage in Isaiah:
Isaiah 53:5 - But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
In this article I will answer the question which many have debated in times past: "is physical healing included in the Atonement?" The answer is...YES! Before you think that I have jumped on the Word of Faith bandwagon, let me explain, because there is basis in scripture to support this claim...however, it's not quite the same as the Word of Faith Movement teaches, in fact, it's the exact opposite of what Word of Faith teaches!
To really understand what is being stated in Isaiah 53:5, one needs only to look at the verse. It is obviously referring to Messiah and His atonement work of the cross. The question that must be asked: is Isaiah 53:5 speaking of our physical healing in this life when it says "and with his stripes we are healed?" Let's answer this question by going directly to the source...the scriptures themselves!
1 Peter 2:23-24 - When he was insulted, he didn't retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn't threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, o so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness - by his wounds you were healed
Peter is speaking of Yeshua in this verse. Notice how he emphasizes how Jesus bore our sins in His own body? Also note it refers to all of us being "dead to sins" can now "live for righteousness". Why? Peter answers this question by quoting Isaiah 53:5 "by whose stripes ye were healed". This by no means speaks of physical healing! It is very clear and evident this verse is speaking of spiritual healing. It is the sickness of sin in which by His stripes we have been healed...healed of the disease of sin!
Note the similarities in Isaiah 53:5..."wounded for our transgressions"..."bruised for our iniquities"..."with his stripes we are healed." Healed of what? Our transgressions and our iniquities, that's what! In other words, by His stripes we are healed from our SIN! To answer our initial question..." is Isaiah 53:5 speaking of our physical healing in this life when it says "and with his stripes we are healed?" The obvious answer is no. It speaks of the healing of our sin-sick souls! The Word of Faith proponents will use Matthew 8:16-17 to try to justify their doctrine of physical healing in the Atonement for the here and now:
Matthew 8:16-17 - When evening came, many people held in the power of demons were brought to him. He expelled the spirits with a word and healed all who were ill. This was done to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Yesha`yahu, "He himself took our weaknesses and bore our diseases".
They will say "see, it says Yeshua healed all that were sick, and took our infirmities and bore our sickness!" But as I have pointed out, SIN is our TRUE disease! The infirmities and sickness spoken of here in Matthew is spiritual. Physical sickness is just a symptom of this spiritually fatal disease of sin. Note that Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:16-17 and 1 Peter 2:23-24 all tie in together and speak of the very same thing. Not once do we see any reference to physical healing in these verses. When it comes to Bible study, consistency is important!
SOLA SCRIPTURA - THE SCRIPTURE ALONE!
Now I did say healing IS in the Atonement. This may sound like I am contradicting myself, but I am pleased to say there is no contradiction. Healing is in the Atonement, yes I mean PHYSICAL healing! However, the major difference between what I am saying and what the Word of Faith Movement teaches is total and complete physical healing is not for the here and now, but after we are gloriously resurrected and changed:
Romans 8:11 - And if the Spirit of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead is living in you, then the One who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
1 Corinthians 15:52-55 - It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed. For this material which can decay must be clothed with imperishability, this which is mortal must be clothed with immortality. When what decays puts on imperishability and what is mortal puts on immortality, then this passage in the Tanakh will be fulfilled: "Death is swallowed up in victory. "Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?"
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 - For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God's shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.
It is very clear from the evidence of scripture we will one day have a new and incorruptible, immortal glorified body (1 Corinthians 15:52-55). Then...AND ONLY THEN will we be forever free of sickness and disease, both physically and spiritually. There will be no aging, no pain and no suffering. We will never experience the aches and pains we have now in out mortal, corruptible physical bodies. This is all a result of the work of Messiah Yeshua in the Atonement! Because of what Messiah did for us, we have eternal life!
To be clear, I am not saying God cannot, nor does not heal people anymore. I truly believe God can and does heal people miraculously. However, God is sovereign in this, not man! I believe it is God's will if He should so choose to heal an individual. This is very evident from scripture:
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 - Three times I begged the Lord to take this thing away from me; but he told me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness." Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah's power will rest upon me. Yes, I am well pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties endured on behalf of the Messiah; for it is when I am weak that I am strong
Paul spoke of glorying in his infirmities, his weakness and hardships. If physical healing is in the Atonement for the here and now, why didn't God miraculously heal Paul? Consider this passage:
1 Timothy 5:23 - Stop drinking water; instead, use a little wine for the sake of your digestion and because of your frequent illnesses
Why didn't Paul simply heal Timothy of his stomach ailment instead of suggesting he drink a little wine to help ease his stomach?
2 Timothy 4:20 - Erastus has remained in Corinth, and Trophimus I left ill at Miletus
Why did Paul, whom God used mightily by healing people with his handkerchief and apron (see Acts 19:12), leave Trophimus sick? Why didn't God heal him if healing in the Atonement was for the here and now? These passages clearly shows God will do as He pleases without the intervention of man.
Another passage of scripture Word of Faith proponents point to is:
James 5:14-15 - Is someone among you ill? He should call for the elders of the congregation. They will pray for him and rub olive oil on him in the name of the Lord. The prayer offered with trust will heal the one who is ill - the Lord will restore his health; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
They will argue"see? It says the prayer of faith shall save the sick!" But what they do not consider is verse 14. If God were to unconditionally heal everyone that were brought to the elders, then verse 14 should have said something to the effect of the elders of the congregation command the sickness to leave, rather than praying to God and petitioning Him to heal the sick.
Word of Faith preachers have taught you can have total and complete healing now! That it is every believers right to be completely free of all sickness and no believer should ever be sick, because sickness is a curse that was removed by the Atonement work of Messiah Yeshua at the stake. As I have pointed out, the scripture provides no basis for this erroneous teaching.
The Word of Faith Movement cannot wait, they want to have it NOW! A perfect example is Benny Hinn, once quoted as saying: "I'm sick and tired about hearing about streets of gold [in heaven]. I don't need gold in heaven. I got to have it now."
If the Word of Faith Movement teaching is true, then there should be a record number of healings taking place in hospitals all over the world, so many healings even the secular media could not ignore. To date, this has not occurred.
Clearly, physical healing IS part of the Atonement, but not for this life, but in the life that is to come when we are with Yeshua in glory! Most believers would think this to be crazy, but I would be willing to suffer temporarily in my physical infirmities in this life, knowing I have the assurance of everlasting life which will last forever! What a joyous future we have to look forward to!
Search the Scripture for yourself! SOLA SCRIPTURA! The Scripture ALONE! May the Lord bless you!
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