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The Worldly Message of Divine Healing

John Collins02/10/2014
Seek The Truth Blog

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John chapter nine tells a story we are all familiar with of Jesus healing the beggar blind from birth. If you were in the religious following of William Branham, there are many aspects of this story that you can relate to your past, but the point being made by the writer seems to be lost in translation by the "Message."

The "gospel of divine healing" was part of the Pentecostal foundation laid by John Alexander Dowie of Zion City, Illinois. It was the precursor to the "health and wealth gospels" that we see today, with men swinging coats, smacking heads with Bibles, and living lives of luxury. Until he fell to adultery, Dowie himself built wealth in the city founded on "divine healing," proving that this new gospel was a money-maker that would fund expensive mansions, dens, hunting trips, and more.

But this new gospel will tell you that living ascetic lives or "mind over matter faith" can bring healing to your body. It produces a following having chronic illness that they blame on themselves for their own "lack of faith" or their failures in life. It alters their viewpoint of God from the Loving God who loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us. That loving God changes into a god of wrath and punishment. The Work that God's Son did on the cross for us becomes of non-effect.

The disciples, having been trained in the Law of Moses, had a similar viewpoint. The man was blind, he must be cursed. His sins must have him bound, or he would have been able to see! The sins of his fathers must be his plague, or he would not have been born blind! His faith must be weak!

Jesus said, "No."

John chapter nine tells us that our afflictions are not as important as the soul of man. The trials that we endure are only temporary. Through our condition, others may come to know Christ. Whether in our healing or in our patience and longsuffering, we are a witness to others.

Jesus said that this man did not sin, nor did his fathers. He said that the man was born this way so that others might believe. And Jesus said that while He was in the world, as the Light to the world, these works would be done for all to believe. The night was coming, when no man can work.

Compare this to the man in Arizona that Branham said would one day "say the right thing" and rise out of his wheelchair to walk again. Though he never walked until the day of his death, this man's faith was in his own words for his healing -- not in Jesus Christ. As he died, I'm sure he must have wondered what he should have said to gain healing, and why he never said it. Instead of focusing on the patience and longsuffering that are the fruits of the spirit, this man focused on his own works.

The Apostle Paul said that "worldliness" was to focus on the things of this world and not of the things in the coming Kingdom. Did the "gospel of divine healing" teach us to focus on our mortal bodies, soon to fade away? Was this "gospel" focused on the world instead of the Kingdom of Heaven? Was Branham's "gospel" ... worldly?