Are Faith Healers Real? Why Don’t They Often Visit Hospitals?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Are faith healers the real deal?  Is there such a thing as a miracle healer today?  If so, why don’t they go to the hospitals and empty them all?  What about the children’s cancer ward?  If they claim to have miraculous healing powers, why can’t they cure all the sick in the hospitals and the cancer wards?

Miracle Healings

Just about everyone has probably seen or heard about some preacher that claims to have the gift of healing and regularly performs miracle healings on TV.  We certainly do acknowledge and we also do know that God still heals in miraculous ways.  There are many stories of healings that can not be explained by medical science and must therefore be attributed to God’s divine healing, however God does not promise to heal everyone because even the Apostle Paul once asked God three times to be healed.  And what was God‘s answer?  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Cor 12:9).  Why didn’t God heal Paul?  Surely it was not that he had a lack of faith was it?   Paul and the other apostles were strong believers in miracles and participated in many of them in the New Testament, even raising the dead (Acts 3:3-16, Acts 5:16, Acts 8:6-7, 13, Acts 9:32-42, Acts 14:8-10, Acts 19:11-12, Acts 20:9-12, etc.).  But neither Jesus nor the apostles ever did these healings in front of large gatherings or promoted their powers of healing before others!

Are Faith Healers Real

“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me” (2 Cor 12:9)

Why Not Empty the Hospital and Cancer Wards?

If those who claim to have miraculous healing powers are for real, why don’t we see cameras rolling and recording these events?  And doctor’s backing them up as they empty the hospitals and cancer wards around the nation?  Then why don’t’ they go into Africa and cure all those who have AIDS?  Some will claim that if a sick person’s faith is not strong enough then they will not be healed, but that is not what is required according to the Bible records of these healings.  We do not see the many healings by Jesus Christ and by the apostles first require a person to have strong faith.  Here are some of Jesus healings where the person being healed had absolutely no faith requirements at all, even if they could!

  • The officials dying son
  • The ear of the High Priest’s servant (coming to take Jesus prisoner)
  • The madman in the synagogue (can someone not in their right mind have faith?)
  • Woman with the hemorrhage (she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment)
  • The madman and the Gardarene pigs (madman with faith?!)
  • The leper
  • The deaf and dumb man in Decapolis (how could he tell anyone about his faith?)
  • The epileptic boy (impossible to express faith in seizure’s is it not?)
  • The raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (hard to have faith if your dead!)

There are literally dozens more of such experiences but for lack of space, I could not cover them all in one article but the point is that these appeared to not have any faith to contribute at all to their miraculous healing.  How could dead corpses be raised to life by having faith, or the insane, or the blind, and those who didn’t even know who Jesus was!

What about Lazarus?  Surely he couldn’t exhibit any faith to be healed or raised from the dead could he?  Would we expect Jesus to say this?  Okay Lazarus, I’ll raise you to life but first you must show me that you have faith…or at least wiggle a finger or little toe!  Nope, nothing.  Lazarus had no way to express his faith to Jesus Christ who raised him from the dead. Yet some claim to have the power to not only heal but to also raise the dead!  But where is the evidence?  How can they claim to raise the dead based upon a dead person’s faith?  If any man or any woman claims that they have the power to raise the dead, don‘t believe it!  We must understand that God alone has the power to heal or raise from the dead.  No human can do this supernaturally.  God granted this power to the early church leaders like Paul, Peter, Stephen, and a few select others.  I am not saying that God still does not use people to help and heal the sick by their prayers and petitions, but it is still God and God alone who heals.  No human has this power in them or of themselves.

Gifts of Healing a Sign

It appears that the gift of miraculous healings and raising people from the dead in the New Testament church were intended to be a sign that the Holy Spirit was with them and that this was a God-ordained institution.  These healings were a testament to the Living God because there was no New Testament at the time for the church to read.  There were some early church letters from the apostles circulating but they had not been gathered into one book or collated yet, therefore the miracles that took place in the Book of Acts and in Jesus’ ministry seem to be showing unbelievers that this church – this work – is from God.  The Jewish religious leaders had no such testimony to the power of God but the Church that Christ built had the living and active hand of God in miraculous ways.

Even when there were acts of disobedience, God chastened them and it brought awe and a fear of God to the people.  One example is when Peter told Ananias and Sapphira that they had lied to God the Holy Spirit in Acts 5.  When these two dropped dead, “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events (Acts 5:11).  That would tend to get your attention. In fact, “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people (Acts 5:12). Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, ties these things together:  The death of Ananias and Sapphira, the fear of the whole church, all (including those outside of the church) who heard about these events,” and these signs and wonders [done] among the people.“  It clearly validated that this was God’s church to both the members of the church and to those outside of the church.  It appeared to add greatly to the growth of the church.   What a testament to hear about all these miraculous healings, raising people from the dead, and people dropping dead when they lied to church leaders.  Surely we are glad that this still doesn’t happen or the churches would be empty, except for dead carcasses!

When we rightly divide the Word of God and see that the intention of the gifts of healings in the early church were to be a sign to believers and unbelievers…and that God still does heal in many cases, yet not all, we can see that those who claim to be faith healers are not the model that we see in the Bible.  To verify doctrines, we can not simply take one text and take it out of context and then make it a pretext.  If we do this, we are not rightly dividing the Word of God but we are twisting the Scriptures and to our own destruction if we do (2 Tim 2:15).   Peter warned about those who are “ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Pet 3:16b-18).

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

roger olson May 31, 2012 at 6:23 am

I just read this article. I for one was very lucky enough to be in some of John Wimber meetings years ago. And some of the best times of my Christian life. And he would not call himself a faith healer. But as He claimed only God heals. But i saw the power of God come in those meetings, no body is going to say i don,t know what i saw.

I think the author fails to understand spiritual gifts in the church today. They are still given to the Church. they are for anyone and that God is not a respector of person,s. Just seek God and say you want them. I see no where in scripture were Spiritual Gifts are done away with today, only the church will not need them when the Lord Jesus returns. As why would we need them then? It makes no sense.

Why doesn,t “faith healers” go into hospitals and heal those with cancer. Did not the Lord Jesus say he only did what he saw the Father doing? We are to listen for the still small voice of the Spirit to see what he wants for us.

And as far as i know i see no body from 2000 years ago still here. i think they all at some point in their lives got sick and passed away. Did Paul lay hands on Publius father and see him healed? yes , but in the letters of Paul he talks about on who he left sick. Do you really think Paul did not pray for him? Only God heals, But he still will heal through the prayers of his church.

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Jack Wellman May 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Amen, yes indeed, it is God alone that heals and yes, he does still heal today thru the prayers of the church. Very well stated Mr. Olson. Thank you so much sir. I do hope you will come back again soon to the website.

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phishing4men August 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

John Wimber the false prophet? Are you saying you cannot be deceived by what you see? Ever see someone do slight of hand. Satan is an angel of light and deceiver, think he could be involved in some of these services? “Why doesn,t “faith healers” go into hospitals and heal those with cancer. Did not the Lord Jesus say he only did what he saw the Father doing?” I thought the Word of Faith folks believe everyone who has enough faith can heal and be healed. God help you to see thru these false teachers.

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Marsha Roberson June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And any one who has committed sins will be forgiven. James 5:14,15. (NLT)
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22 (NLT)
Nothing is impossible with God. Last I checked He is large and in charge. His Word is living,just as relevant to me today, as it was to the early church. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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Johnson Chege June 4, 2012 at 6:29 am

Hi Pastor Jack.
The topic is a good and sensitive one which requires proper approach. I want only to refer you to John 4:12, Jesus said “I tell you the truth he whoever believes in me shall do the same works and greater works than these shall he do because I in to my father”. He we believe firmly in Jesus, strong walk with God with no hypocrisy, we can do miracles as Jesus did. The problem is only with our faith and not doing it for the glory of God but love for money coz ministers nowaday are doing for money. James 5:14 i wont quote it here but a believer can call elders and with prayers they anoint the pick and recieve healing.
My problem with faith healers is only when they do it for shows and not for the Glory of God, and pride begin to creep in.. The congregation too after seeing there miracles begin to worship the pastors instead of the Healer. Healing to of is real but only comes when the sick is well connected with the Trinity.

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Jack Wellman June 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I agree my friend about the faith healers…but I also know that it must always be the express will of God for God alone heals. Paul prayed 3 times to be healed of his “thorn in the flesh” but never was because God said, “My grace is sufficient for you and my strength is perfected in your weakness” (paraphrasing). Timothy had stomach problems and I am sure Paul prayed for him too but he was never healed.

One of the greatest evangelists and preachers of the 19th Century, Charles Spurgeon, suffered from depression and there was not adequate treatment for his condition at that time. Would anyone accuse one of the greatest soul winners in history of lacking faith or having a weak moral attitude or of having a character weakness? Also C.S.Lewis, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, and tons of other godly men and women were never healed in their lifetimes.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, the scripture says, “And lest I (Apostle Paul) should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He (Jesus) said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

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Johnson Chege June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hello my good Pastor.
I 100% agree with you on the above response. I guess you want to mean that it is not guaranteed that the sick will get healed after prayers offered by faith healers. With support from the scriptures you quoted it is evident that God will heal and can withhold healing with a reason more so if its for spiritual advantage like that of Paul. God heals as He wills and He is the one who heals. Faith is a requirement if one is seeking prayers to get healed. He must believe that healing power comes from God and not from a person. When Jesus did by replacing the ear of the soldier where faith of the latter was not required was a demonstration that He had power and His death was not to be contested or through struggle.
God bless you pastor and thank you for that perspective.

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Jack Wellman June 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Well stated Mr. Chege. I like this example about faith healers for they do it for money by attracting many people and drawing in more donors and I believe as you do that the power is from God. Thank you so much my good friend. I always enjoy hearing from you sir.

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Johnson Chege June 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Thank you Pastor.
I request you to talk about prosperity gospel attributed to giving vs repentance gospel. The former is what is mostly preached today and to me I tend to think preaching now has become a business.

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Jack Wellman June 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Thank you again Mr. Chege. We actually have an article about the prosperity gospel at:

https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-choose-a-christian-ministry-to-support/

This article covers the wolves in sheeps clothing and talks about just what you said. Please check it out sir.

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Hexandra Holandaze June 12, 2012 at 4:16 am

Good Morning Pastor Jack, I am very impressed with your so much knowledge. I love to pick great brains.
I must tell you I feel I was healed 2 times. 1) I was in the hospital having a nuclear heart test. while the test was going on things started to go wrong, I didn’t feel very well. I felt I was going. I prayed insesently to God and Mother Mary. I insisted God help me, I ask Mother Mary, Please don’t let me die here alone. the test was done, they couldn’t explain the malfuntion, they had said this never happened before. They put me in a chair, I begged please no I don’t feel well. 2 days went by the current Dr said your heart is fine. Before I went in, I was told by a Dr. over 5 years ago that I had heart problems. Go figure, I said Thank you God and Mother Mary.
The same Dr. 5 years ago had said I had COPD, I suffer from Asthma so my current breathing Dr tested my lungs. She had said my lungs are working above normal. She said you don’t have COPD. So I Thank God again for healing me 2 times. I pray all the time to God and Mother Mary. I do suffer from a broken heart due to family stress. So I am praying all the time. Maybe it has something to do with me being able to blow a Shofar on the first try. I had purchased the Shofar from a Rabbi. A Shofar, in bibical times were blown to awaken people. I really cannot remember the books, or chapters in the bible. I love blowing the Shofar and I am not Jewish it is blown only on High Holy Days for them.

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Bern Zumpano June 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hello, Pastor:
Just some thoughts to share. In Mark 16:17,18 Jesus said “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak in new tongues. They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. ” Here, Jesus is saying “This is what believers do….they cast out demons and lay hands on the sick for their recovery (healing). Since I have personally done both and witnessed the fruit of the Holy Spirits’ ministry through me (and others) the timeless Scripture tells us that these things ARE for today. But I perceive in-the-Spirit that what is done in faith must be received in faith. Those who do get the healing or deliverance. It is difficult for many to have faith when we live in a “post-Christian” era where it is no longer fashionable for most to be a Christian anymore. Perhaps that, too, is why our hospitals are not empty and believers do not want to step out in faith and go into them to do the job. In those instances where I have gone to the sick in hospitals, I have seen healings many times over nearly 30 years, but I never did a one of them–the Holy Spirit on me, in me, and through me did everyone of them. Why, then, should we not see healings when Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever?
Blessings in Him,
Bern Zumpano

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Deceived August 16, 2012 at 5:48 am

Agree with the writer. These days miracle healers have become popular wth youtube. They set people up to act to show a blind person is receiving sight etc etc and the list goes on. Using magic illusion or trickery. So people run to that place where the healer is or the place where the miracles are taking place. Medjugorje is a sham. One does not need to have faith to be cured by god, just be a good person thats all. I hardly doubt there are any miracle healers left otherwise everyone in hospitals would be cured.

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Jack Wellman August 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Amen my friend. Great point about there being empty hospitals otherwise. I believe the greatest miracle is that of human conversion. Instead of so called faith healers maybe they should be faith-sharers, because even if someone is healed, they will die again, but if we share the gospel with others, they have eternal life.

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prophetic voice September 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

so wonderful site

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paige May 3, 2013 at 2:45 am

only God knows and only he is able to heal he uses us humans as his tools the problem is we forget that its not about us and we use what he has given us for our own desires to say miracles dont exist is being blind they do when we believe that he can heal u

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phishing4men May 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

Author: paige
Comment:
only God knows and only he is able to heal he uses us humans as his tools the problem is we forget that its not about us and we use what he has given us for our own desires to say miracles dont exist is being blind they do when we believe that he can heal u
So was Paul blind and lacking in faith when God did not heal him, what about Timothy and some of the others that were reported as being sick. Did Paul need a Benny Hinn or one like him to pray for him since God did not heal him. God even healed some as seen in the Bible that did not believe nor have any faith at all. You seem to be hanging on to some things about God that are hearsay, what you have heard from men who pervert the truth for their sordid gain rather than the God of the Bible. Be careful what you believe about God that you hear from most TV preachers and some “faith healer” preachers in various churches around the globe. There are three kinds of sickness mentioned in the Bible. 1 Sickness unto death, as found throughout scripture, God will not heal that one. 2 Sickness unto chastisement, as found in James God can heal that one upon confession of sin and anointing of oil of the elders of the local church 3 Sickness unto the glory of God as with Paul and his thorn. . You are correct in saying God can and does heal today, but the “faith healers’ you see on TV today are for the most part heretics who are out for fame and gain. They date back to Simon the sorcerer in his desire for the power of God for self advancement. God speed paige may God give you and all his people discernment to know truth from lie

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Ken Lyneham May 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I find it interesting where you wrote, “These healings were a testament to the Living God because there was no New Testament at the time for the church to read. There were some early church letters from the apostles circulating but they had not been gathered into one book or collated yet,,,”

There WAS no collated observations of what we now see in the NT. There WERE ‘Followers of Jesus or Christ’ at the time, they were the Judeo Christians, the first people who worshiped Jesus and they wrote many letters to Paul and he to them. Much of Paul’s writings in the NT are these letters. Paul wrote of the love of Jesus, his sanctity and fellowship and grace but I have failed to find in any of his writings, mention of all those miracles Jesus was reported to have performed in the first 4 books of the NT.
YOU mentioned some & would have mentioned more, but for the lack of space. Why didn’t Paul?

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Jack Wellman May 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

Thank you Mr. Lyneham. I apologize, but I am not sure what you are asking sir. Can you clarify what you mean by why didn’t Paul mention the miracles of Jesus? Is that what you mean sir. Please forgive me lack of understanding.

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Chris June 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

I have read the article through, as well as the comments, but I still can not find an answer to the main question relating to cancer wards, hospitals, etc. I work in anesthesia in the operating rooms, and I often wonder why indeed faith healers do not use their talents on the many who suffer on earth. We can have great rewards in heaven, but I struggle seeing people suffer with such illnesses here. I don’t want to think or believe some people are born to live a life of pain and suffering here. Can somebody please offer me some insight?? Thank you.

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Jack Wellman June 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Chris, I do know that this is a difficult thing to understand, even for Christians. John Piper has some very great insights into this. The greatest act of liberation that has ever happened in the history of the world was the Son of God suffering the agony of the cross to deliver us from death and sin and Hell,” Piper said. “The greatest act of freeing happened when Jesus died in our place and paid our debt.”

No one in the history of humanity has ever suffered like Jesus did. Have you ever seen Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ? I want you to do something for me Chris. Listen and watch this to see what He endured for us who deserved nothing but God’s wrath at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOIsjx2VwaM

Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will. In the process of producing Christian character and enhancing our testimony to others, suffering often opens up doors for ministry we could never have imagined. Paul’s imprisonment (chained daily to Roman soldiers in his own house) resulted in the spread of the gospel within the elite imperial praetorian guard. The Apostle was undoubtedly continuing to rejoice in the Lord, but if he had been complaining, sulking, and bitter, his witness would have been zero.

All that Jesus Christ is, and all that He did through His redemptive work, must be experienced – Redemption is to be experienced in Christ. Salvation happens all at once in a moment. But now you and I must work out our salvation – or, to put it another way, salvation in Christ must be worked out IN US. Jesus Christ must come be made manifest in and through us. This requires that we lose OUR lives. That will result in suffering. I pray this helps my friend.

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Herman February 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

The universe is the most complex thing we know , and we still have only found out how a small portion of what lies inside it works . How can we question the motives or try to understand the creator of are universe .

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Truth Seeker May 25, 2016 at 5:40 pm

I have a few thoughts to share about those who claim to heal physical ailments by means of faith alone. First of all I am not sure if we can really be sure that Mark 16: 9-20 can be used as supporting evidence of faith healers because of the fact that there is much debate among scholars about the authenticity of those particular scriputures…in other words, they may not have actually been inspired by God but added to Mark’s Gospel later. In addition, in James chapter 5 it mentions healing the sick, but the context of verses 13-16 seems to indicate that it is talking about spiritual healing not physical. I know that the bible often compares faith to health – a person can be sick physically and it will cause them to be sluggish or slow or even inactive, in the same way a person can be sick spiritually and could cause the same effects to their faith. A person spiritually sick could find that their faith is waning or maybe they are doing things in their life that they wouldn’t have done before if they were healthy. It seems that the scriptures in James are talking about spiritual sickness because it mentions forgiveness of sins. Sin as we know damages our relationship with God and the scripture says that confessing our sins and praying will heal us – or heal our relationship with God.

Another thing I want to mention is that the Bible does mention that these miracles will be done away with.1 Corinthians 13:3-13 talks about the advantage of having love. It defines what true love is. In verses 8 – 11 it mentions that the miracles will be done away with, but it also compares them to works of a child. He says in verse 11 that he has done away with the works of a child now that he has become a man. As was mentioned in the article these miracles were necessary for the foundation of the new church that Christ established. And since it was a new church – like a newborn child as it were – it functioned differently that it does today. In verse 13 he mentions faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love. It seems like love is heavily emphasized in this passage even as something greater than these works.
The last thing I thought was interesting is that Jesus said that an identifying part of true Christians was – not having these miraculous gifts – but was actually the love that Christians had for each other at John 13:35 which is in harmony with what was mentioned in Corinthians. There is more scriptural evidence that supports that these faith healing works will be done away with but I lack time at the moment. The important thing to look forward to is what is mentioned at Revelation 21:4 – 4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” I just thought it would be good to put this information out there.

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Jack Wellman May 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Spot on my friend. Very well said. Thank you for this nice exposition of solid, Scriptural support of your beliefs and yes, it is so. I agree.

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Mike December 31, 2016 at 10:27 pm

I enjoyed reading your post. Healings (through the means of man) dwindle in the book of Acts, and are found no where after it in the New Testament. Interestingly, we NEVER find a healing being performed in a New Testament church. Also, many healings were physically noticable … An ear was put back on by Jesus, a man who could not walk from birth does so after healing, and so on. We simply don’t find “todays” healers venturing into healing anything more than what the person being healed has said was their infirmity. Most healings of the NT didn’t require the “audience” to believe that there was a disease/sickness/abnormality … they could see it. And they saw when it was healed.

Thanks, Pastor … I loved your question about why they don’t visit hospitals. It’s because they were never chosen by God to heal.

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Jack Wellman January 1, 2017 at 8:54 am

Thank you Mike. I appreciate the encouragement. May God richly bless you sir for that.

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scott mac donald September 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm

you cannot be a intellectual or your own adjustment either //you must be reborn or you are usingmaterial ideas

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Jack Wellman September 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Thank you Mr. Mac Donald.

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