Is It God’s Will to Heal Everyone?

Is It God’s Will to Heal Everyone? April 11, 2018

Is it God’s will to heal everyone? This question is guaranteed to come up in almost every Christian’s life; our lives have been, or will be, touched by sickness at one time or another, either in our own bodies or in those whom we love. There are many who answer “yes,” but then say that the reason a sick person is not healed is because of a lack of faith, either in him or in the one praying for him. Yet, this answer is not at all obvious in the Bible – in fact, we have good reason to think otherwise (apart from the serious problems with the question itself which I have discussed here).

First, we must recognize that God often claims to be the ultimate cause for sickness in the Bible. In response to Moses’s unwillingness to return to Egypt as His spokesman, God said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11). Again, at the end of Deuteronomy God says that He brings both life and death, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39). After God grant’s Hannah’s request for a child (Samuel), she praises Him, saying, “The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.​The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.” (1 Samuel 2:6-7).

Lastly, in Isaiah God again makes the bold claim, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7). Clearly, we can at least say that in some cases God has actively willed sickness so it cannot be His will to heal everyone. We have an explicit example of this in Uzziah (Azariah), King of Judah. Although Uzziah was a good king (2 Chronicles 26:4) he became prideful and entered the temple in order to burn incense on the altar – a duty restricted to the Levitical priests (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Because of his pride, God struck him with leprosy until the day that he died (2 Kings 15:6, 2 Chronicles 26:19-21).

This is not only true in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus and the Apostles did not heal everyone they came into contact with. Jesus Himself only healed one man from among the “multitude of invalids” (πλῆθος τῶν ἀσθενούντων) at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). Likewise, He did not heal people in His hometown of Nazareth because they rejected Him (Matthew 13:58). It cannot be said, however, that Jesus’s healing was dependent on the faith of those whom He chose to heal (although there is a close connection) for the following reasons. First, those whom Jesus raised from the dead could not exercise faith. In the case of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Jesus simply had compassion on her and her son – their faith (or lack thereof) is not even mentioned. Second, Jesus healed those who obviously did not have faith. The prime example of this is when He cleansed the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19. Only one of the lepers returned to give thanks to Jesus, thereby showing his faith; the other nine did not even have the decency to thank the one who healed them.

Furthermore, there are examples of godly men in both the Old and New Testaments who had (as far as we know) unhealed sicknesses – or at least they were not healed in the miraculous way that many claim is God’s will. Job was a man singled out by God Himself as exemplary, yet he underwent all sorts of afflictions including illness. Elisha became sick with an illness that caused his death (2 Kings 13:14). Paul stopped at Galatia because he was sick (Galatians 4:13-14). Timothy had frequent illnesses (1 Timothy 5:23). Paul had to leave his companion, Trophimus, behind at Miletus on one of his journeys because he was ill (2 Timothy 4:20). These show that godly believers should not expect their lives to be characterized by perfect health. To be sure, God may grant special healing to some of His children, but He is under no obligation and has not promised it to all of us this side of eternity.[1]

There is one example that I have (so far) overlooked – Paul’s thorn in the flesh. I have left its mention until now because it deserves special treatment. Three factors merit commenting, first, the origin and purpose of the thorn, second, the nature of the thorn, and third, the result of Paul’s prayers. Paul discusses his thorn in the flesh in the context of his vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). It is important to note this, Paul says that the reason the thorn in the flesh was given to him was to keep him from being conceited because of the exalted nature of the revelations also given to him. The phrase “in order that I might not be conceited” (ἵνα μὴ ὑπεραίρωμαι) is so important that Paul includes it twice as a bracket for his first mention of the thorn in verse 7. This twice repeated phrase gives us the purpose for which the thorn was sent – that Paul might not become conceited. When this is taken into account, it becomes clear that the ultimate sender of the “messenger of Satan” must be God, for surely Satan wouldn’t have wanted to inhibit Paul’s sin![2]

Second, the nature of the thorn. While some interpreters have debated the nature of Paul’s “thorn,” the most natural identification of it is a physical ailment. The primary reason for this is that in the following verses, the thorn is identified as a “weakness” (ἀσθενεία, v.9-10) and distinguished from persecution (διογμός, v.10; the most common alternative interpretation). Pauline scholar Douglas Moo points out Paul uses the word “weakness” (ἀσθενεία) elsewhere to refer specifically to physical incapacities (Galatians 4:13, 1 Timothy 5:23).[3]

Third, the result of Paul’s prayers. Having seen that Paul’s thorn was ultimately sent by God, and that it was a physical ailment, the way Paul’s prayers are answered is even more significant. God responds, not by healing Paul, but by saying “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (v.9). God’s response to Paul is that in the midst of his suffering – God’s grace is sufficient. It is sufficient to carry Paul through his pain; it is sufficient to provide the strength needed for Paul’s mission. More than that, in relying on God’s grace in his weakness, Paul manifested the perfect power of God. This is why Paul responds by saying, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses” (v.10). If Paul had been healed, his response would be nonsensical.

In conclusion, we must recognize that sickness and disease are included in the sufferings that a Christian will undergo during their sojourn on this earth. Recognizing this give us the confidence that God will use these things to produce endurance, character, hope (Romans 5:4), and steadfastness (James 1:2-4). They are not random but rather are used for our good (Romans 8:28) and under the perfect control of God (Ephesians 1:11). This does not mean we do not pray, but rather fills our prayer with confidence. For if it were God’s will that everyone should be healed, and everyone is not healed, it must mean that there is something else (Satan, demons, ourselves) capable of frustrating the will of God and preventing Him from healing us. To be sure, God can, and does, chose to heal today, either miraculously or through the use of secondary means. Through it all, whether He chooses to heal us instantly, over a long period of time, or not until the resurrection, we can know that He is sovereign and working for our good and His glory.

[1] For a critique of the hermeneutic that prosperity preachers use to argue that God promises His people health, see my article, “Two Hermeneutical Errors of the Prosperity Gospel”.

[2] Moo, Douglas. “Divine Healing in the Health and Wealth Gospel.” Trinity Journal, 1988, p. 201.

[3] Ibid.

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  • Fallulah

    Why has god never healed an amputee??

    It is sick and sad to blame a sick person for their illness. Saying they aren’t healed because of their lack of faith is victim blaming in the worst possible terms. I speak from experience. I used to have night terrors when I was a teen and still religious and the pastors prayed over my room, threw out my secular CDs, gave me scripture to read. I would call out to god for salvation and nothing helped. Soon my pastor started blaming me for my lack of faith and my mom suspected I was faking it cuz god hadn’t cured me yet. It was a vile time that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and contributed to me moving away from my belief in a higher power. Only when I started reading the medical research, finding out my triggers and training my brain did the symptoms dissipate. The only cure to illness is science and medicine, not superstition and voodoo hooey.

    I know you advocate for the opposite in their piece…to take illness and strife as a test from god to increase endurance, but how does that explain things like child cancer and baby rapes? I’m sorry but you can’t bypass the problem of evil.

    • I’m sorry that you had such an experience with people misrepresenting God. It’s a terrible thing to tell someone God has promised something that He has not.

      A full explanation of the problem of evil is too long for a comments section, suffice it to say that I think God can patiently allow evil in order to accomplish His purposes, storing up punishment for the ones who do it (Romans 2:1-11, Romans 9:22-23). I’ve written a longer and more complex response to the problem of evil here (https://servantofthesovereign.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/whats-wrong-with-the-problem-of-evil/) if you have to time to check it out.

      • Fallulah

        If your god uses child cancer and baby rape to accomplish his purposes…then your god is evil. Sorry. Not sorry.

        • According to what definition of evil? How does an atheistic worldview provide any standard for evil by which to argue against the existence of God. If God does not exist, then neither does good and evil, and then your objection carries no weight.

          • Fallulah

            An Atheist perspective is the same as yours, we all evolved socially over millenia to coexist in societies. Reciprocal altruism wasn’t invented by Christians.

            Notions of beneficial outcomes does not come from a god, sorry. If you don’t understand why baby rapes are considered evil by an atheist, I don’t know how to help you.

            Of course there is no “good or evil”. Those are highly simplistic terms. Do you assume the bible is the arbiter of good and evil? So because the bible says you can keep slaves and marry off your daughters to their rapists, you believe those actions are “good”?

            If god doesn’t exist (which all signs point to) then we need to rely on philosophy and sociology and other forms of examination of ethical matters. I recommend you read Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil”.

          • Your statements show you profoundly misunderstand Christianity. An atheists perspective is not the same as mine, is is diametrically opposed. I don’t think something is wrong because of socially evolved standards that allow coexistence.

            You imply that baby rapes are evil, then straight away deny the existence of evil. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, are they evil or are they not? And if evil is defined as what allows social coexistence, who is to say that I have to accept that as a standard? How is that supposed to trump my own personal preferences? Why can’t they be the standard of good and evil, at least for me?

            An atheist worldview can give no consistent argument for an objective moral standard, one by which we could actually judge some things as truly right or wrong.

          • Klapaucius

            “An atheist worldview can give no consistent argument for an objective moral standard”

            Has the Christian worldview had a “consistent” “moral standard” for the last two thousand years? Has the Christian worldview even managed a “consistent” “moral standard” for the last two _hundred_ years?

            How can something that changes as society’s standards change be called “consistent”?

          • My point was that there is no philosophical ground for an objective moral standard within atheism. Christianity provides such a ground. That does not mean that every Christian has always agreed upon every ethical issue, but Christianity has certainly not been blown about by the winds of societal change as you seem to claim.

          • Fallulah

            Of course there is philosophical ground for moral standards within atheism! Oh and christianity sure has been blown by the winds of whatever. One thing that annoys me the most about Christians is your denial of reality and what is as plain as the nose on your face for assertions of what you WANT to be true, not what is actual.

          • Thomas Loy Bumgarner

            Where are you from? Sounds like your name is Islamic. As a secularist, you shouldn’t care whether we are Christian or not. Why have you been bullied by Christians where you are? There are over 1,000 different Christian denominations, sects, and cults worldwide, and not every group believes the same thing.

          • Fallulah

            I am from Western Canada, far from Islamic hahahaI have been bullied by Christians where i am because they hold the majority of positions of power and they are bullies. No not all sects of Christianity believe the same thing, but there are certain theological ties otherwise why are they all called Christians?

          • R12.18

            There are atheists who agree with what you are saying in regards to there being no philosophical ground for an objective moral standard within atheism. They honestly admit it is an entirely subjective moral standard.

            I have had some atheists tell me they personally believe that their brain evolved from a mindless process. That their brains are basically responding to chemical stimuli. And that there are no moral facts.

          • Klapaucius

            “My point was that there is no philosophical ground for an objective moral standard within atheism.”

            And my point is that there is no philosophical ground for an objective moral standard within Christianity, regardless of how many times you claim there is. In fact, the concept of “objective” morality given by a god leads to its own set of philosophical problems – ever heard of the Euthyphro dilemma?

            “Christianity provides such a ground.”

            Never heard of Roy Moore then? Or Donald Trump?

            “That does not mean that every Christian has always agreed upon every ethical issue”

            Is this the No True Christian™ defence? Or does it show a lack of _consistency_ in Christian morality?

            “Christianity has certainly not been blown about by the winds of societal change”

            Still burning witches in your part of the world then? Or buying slaves? No divorces then? Disobedient children still being put to death? Etc, etc. You really should read some history.

          • Fallulah

            You didn’t answer my question. I assert that morality is not objective, not even Christian morality. I won’t answer any of your questions until you answer me about whether slavery and marrying your daughter to her rapist is evil, because those things are considered good to your bible and your god. Also note my use of the word “evil” is colloquial. Like I said, I don’t believe things are inherently good and evil…but it has more to do with consequences and outcomes. So when I say “evil” make that association.

            Fact of the matter, no matter how much you wish to deny reality, is that we do have the same standards for morality , and that includes reciprocal altruism which was evolved over millenia of conflict in the human species.

          • Fallulah

            Your statement shows your profound misunderstanding of atheism. Our perspectives on morality aren’t diametrically opposed at all! I used to be a Christian so I know both perspectives…something tells me they got you young lol Please talk to some atheists, so you can realize we don’t all have horns under our hats. Seriously.

          • R12.18

            I was an atheist for most of my life. I am now a Christian. I know both perspectives.

            Who do you think “got” him when he was young. And why is that funny?

            I don’t see anything that he said suggests that atheists have horns under their hats. He never said atheists can not be good.

          • Fallulah

            He said atheist morality and christian morality are diametrically opposed.

            I don’t think childhood indoctrination is funny at all, I laughed because it was clear he couldn’t put himself in our shoes.

          • R12.18

            He was talking about the basis of morally.

            Obviously atheists and theists share similar values.

            He never said you were inherently evil for being an atheist or that you or atheists had horns.

            I have had atheists suggest such things about me. Or insist I have been brainwashed or dangerously indoctrinated as a child.

            No atheist has ever been able to prove or provide compelling evidence that I am either of those, so it is a pretty easy concept to debunk.

          • Fallulah

            Do you not understand what insinuation means? No he didn’t outright say we had horns. No he was not referring to basis for morality. He was referring to moral perspectives. Atheists and Christians have very similar moral perspectives to say otherwise insinuates atheists aren’t moral.

            I really could care less if you were indoctrinated as a child, you say you were an atheist most of your life, I will take you on your word.

          • R12.18

            Sure.

            But you turned around an insinuated that he was dangerously indoctrinated for disagreeing with your beliefs. It seems hypocritical. I’m hypocritical often, too. It happens.

            And there are people who get indoctrinated into atheistic viewpoints. And I’m assuming you were not indoctrinated in such a manner. And the same with Taylor. That you and Taylor were allowed to decide for yourselves and make the best chose for yourselves.

          • Fallulah

            How do you know that Taylor converted later in life??? Most Christians were indoctrinated as children, very very very few atheists convert as adults. I said he was probably indoctrinated young BECAUSE he doesn’t seem to understand the atheist perspective. If he was once an atheist, he would have a better idea of how they think, that is where my inference comes from. It’s called logic.

          • R12.18

            There are a lot of Christians who convert as adults. Some do it in nations where it is very dangerous to do so, like in China and Iraq.

            Taylor seems to be a man like you. One who is free to make up his own mind and decide for himself what is best.

            If you were subject to dangerous indoctrination as a child, I’m sorry to hear that. That is not what Jesus Christ asks us to do. Most Christians I know were taught about Christianity along with other viewpoints, like philosophical materialism or Buddhism.

            I’m guessing you have no clue if Taylor has or has not been dangerously indoctrinated.

            I do believe that I was indoctrinated into some bad ideals, like consumerism, materialism and nationalism. Which came from my secular community. Part of waking up and seeing God in my life was to see how such things do not help me.

          • Fallulah

            You didn’t even read what I wrote did you?

            I made the assumption Taylor has never been an atheist (aka indoctrinated young) because he doesn’t understand the atheist viewpoint. That is it.

          • R12.18

            You must know Taylor better than I do.

            Who indoctrinated him? What methods did they use?

            I did not know that he was never an atheist. That doesn’t make his argument wrong, though. And there are atheists who agree with his premise.

            How do you know he doesn’t have family members he loves and knows well that are atheists? Not all atheists support the beliefs and opinions you hold. Some disagree with you.

            Atheism is a really broad term that doesn’t describe much. I know atheists who are devoutly religious (atheism is compatible with some religions), irreligious or very anti-religious. I know atheists who became that way after deep though, and others who are one because there parents were atheists. And some places people are indoctrinated into being atheists. I have a friend from China who still is paranoid after living in the US – because she is a China and people like her were oppressed in China. They had “re-education camps” that pushed atheistic doctrines.

          • Fallulah

            I don’t know Taylor. Once again….I used logic and reasoning to assume he has never been an atheist because he doesn’t understand us. You think there are atheists who would agree with him that atheists are less moral than Christians???? Ummm ok well there are self-loathing people of all sorts, but I doubt very many.

            No atheists are religious. That is an impossibility. All atheists don’t believe in god, all religions do. They are incompatible.

            Also people aren’t “indoctrinated” into atheism. I think maybe your church is brainwashing you with that crap about reeducation camps. I don’t doubt there are a few places in the world where a small amount of Christians are persecuted, but for the most part you enjoy tremendous privileged worldwide. It is the atheists being macheted in the streets and thrown into prisons for life due to blasphemy laws. Personally, I have been fired twice when my deeply conservative Christian employers found out secondhand that I am an atheist. Twice. In Canada.

          • R12.18

            You used logic and reason to determine that Taylor was indoctrinated?

            Good grief. Your conclusion can be wrong.

            He never said that atheists are less moral than Christians. He is saying he doesn’t agree with your unproven theories about the basis of morality.

            Using logic and reason I was able to conclude that he also admitted there have been some Christians who are less moral than some atheists.

            Since you misunderstand him, does that mean you were indoctrinated? No. That is unreasonable.

            “No atheists are religious. That is an impossibility. All atheists don’t believe in god, all religions do. They are incompatible.”

            Atheism is a lack of belief in God or gods. That is it.

            It is not a lack of belief in religion. There are religious people who are also atheists. There are atheistic religions; and there are mainstream religions like Buddhism and Hinduism that are compatible with atheism.

            I know atheists who identify as atheist. And they also identify as being religious.

            Church brainwashing me? No. Use some logic. And reason. Please. I know a person who witnessed the persecution.

            You want to jump to the silly notion I am being brainwashed? And then refuse to use logic and reason to determine the validity of the claim?

            Why not research before jumping to an idiotic conclusion that I’ve been brains

            One can be indoctrinated into atheistic beliefs. In China it is illegal to serve in the government unless you are an atheist.

            That sucks that you were persecuted for being an atheist. In my predominately Christian nation that is illegal. I would also call it stupid. But the same thing happens to others.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

            https://panampost.com/antonella-marty/2017/03/01/chinese-concentration-camps-talking-about/

            https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-briggs/study-rising-religious-ti_b_811665.html

            And don’t get me started on the League of Militant Atheists.

            Most atheists admit that there are terrible atheists doing terrible things. That doesn’t mean all atheists are terrible. Just like I can admit that theists do terrible things.

            One interesting note: I can find examples of good religious governments. Even Muslim ones. And plenty of terrible ones. There has never been a good anti-theist government. They have all been horrid.

          • Fallulah

            There are sooo many fallasies and assumptions in all of what you just wrote that I think it would be a waste of my time to continue addressing this with you over and over. Please educate yourself, read some more books other than the bible. Poke your head outside your insular Christian community and see what is really going on in your country and around the world, do yourself and those around you who bash their head against the table at how utterly ignorant you are a favor and do this. Take care

          • R12.18

            Talk about fallacies.

            Why are you preaching at me to do things I do everyday?

            🙂

            I know atheists who agree with what I have said. Us theists and atheists will just have to agree to disagree with you!

          • Fallulah

            Right, keep dreaming.

          • R12.18

            No. It is a fact.

            Your wishful thinking tells you I’m some stereotype who only reads the Bible and you are the enlightened and highly intelligent one who needs to dictate to me what I should do.

            There are some religious people who do to me what you are trying to do, too! It is just as annoying when you do it with a lack of belief in God and no religion as when they do it with a belief in God and a religion.

            I need to poke my head out of my insular Christian community?

            That might be the most ignorant claim I have heard this year. Give me a break, if you honestly believe that is true – you could not be anymore wrong. The proof is not on your side for that one!

          • Fallulah

            Ok, sure, I am SURE you have coffee with atheists all the time.

          • R12.18

            Yes.

            And I’m related to and love atheists.

            And I work with them. I even volunteer in a charity group with some.

            I also belong to a church that invited atheists to serve with us when another church would not let them serve.

            But in your mind I’m being brainwashed, don’t read the right books and have an insular community.

            Which is just so terribly wrong. But I don’t live in your imagination, so that is your own ignorant theory.

          • Fallulah

            Well I am sorry that ALL your experience with atheists have not rendered you any more insight into how we think and believe. My assumptions about you come from analysis your own words.

          • R12.18

            I’m fine with most atheists.

            Most don’t do what you do.

            You dictated false things about me as if they were facts. I don’t care if you are an atheist or The Pope. If you do silly things like that, I won’t take you seriously.

          • Fallulah

            You don’t know anything about me, so spare me.

          • R12.18

            All I know about you is what you say.

            You have made personal digs at me that are empirically false.

            I’m glad most atheists do not do that.

          • Fallulah

            I thought you said there are no “most” atheists. Make up your mind.

          • R12.18

            You don’t know how all atheists think and believe.

            Just how you think and believe.

            You think an atheist can not also be religious.

            Obviously a lot of atheists don’t think that.

            All you have in common with atheists is a lack of belief in God or gods. That can be for millions of different reasons: from intellectual to convenience, from insight to peer pressure.

          • Fallulah

            We have different semantical ideas of religion, this is the most shallow argument in the world.
            When dealing with existential matters, it is incredibly difficult to go from believer to disbeliever, maybe someday you will find out. There is a reason religion is called a crutch. Going against the grain, going behind the curtain, with fear of reprisal hanging over your head. It requires courage of the sort i hope you enjoy some day.

          • Fallulah

            There is no “safe” indoctrination. All indoctrination is dangerous. Like you said yourself, people should allowed to choose when they reach the age of reason and are presented with all the options.

          • R12.18

            Sure.

            I was exposed to some bad teachings, but I guess it was not indoctrination. For example, for a long time I thought that Jesus Christ was created as a copy cat of mythological gods like Horus, Mythra, Krishna and Dionysus.

            That was just me accepting some really bad scholarship due to a biased person with an ax to grind. But when I was presented with better evidence I was able to let go of those absurd notions and embrace the truth.

          • Fallulah

            ……so how do you explain the parallels in those myth stories?

          • R12.18
      • Fallulah
    • R12.18

      Are you an amputee?

      • Fallulah

        No, are you?

        • R12.18

          Yes. And I love God.

          • Fallulah

            What the eff does that have to do with amputees?

          • R12.18

            You mentioned amputees. I thought you might be one, too.

            No biggie!

            I’ve had people ask me “Why does God hate amputees?”… …and God does not.

          • Fallulah

            Exactly. God only “heals” people psychosomatically aka it’s all in people’s heads. My point is….if god grew back someone’s missing limb when a faith healer touched them that would be concrete proof that god exists and heals people.

            Of course god has never done this, cuz he doesn’t exist.

          • R12.18

            I appreciate you sharing those beliefs with me. Even your belief that God doesn’t exit. I don’t agree with you, or your reasoning.

            If God followed your command, and caused a limb to grow back, you would believe in God?

            As an amputee, I know I’m not less of a person because I’m missing a limb. I’ve had some pretty fanatical anti-theists try to use amputees to justify their anti-theist theories and beliefs. But most amputees I know believe that God does exist.

            Again, thanks for sharing. Peace.

          • Fallulah

            Not my command….faith healers claim god works through them to cure people. It is their claim not mine. If a faith healer touched someone and their limb grew back it would definitely work in your favor for the argument a god exists.
            Again, my reasoning has nothing to do with amputees, the greater point is that faith healers are frauds.

          • R12.18

            Yea. I’ve never met a faith healer. I’ve just seen them on tv. Definitely in our media they are portrayed as frauds and scam artists.

            Fortunately God has other ways to let us know He exists. 🙂 But sure having a faith healer show he has command over God’s healing powers would be compelling.

            Did you know that those medical field really can’t heal people? They just provide an environment where healing can take place.

          • Fallulah

            Well I would take a surgeon cutting out my tumor before a religious person praying over me. But that’s just me.

          • R12.18

            Right. Go to a surgeon for surgery. And that surgeon may or not be a religious person. And most likely that hospital will have a name that reflects who supported the hospital (like Menorah Medical, or Providence Health, Or St Luke’s).

          • Fallulah

            Actually there isn’t a single religious hospital in my city. Thankfully. I don’t want nurses praying over me, or be denied reproductive services because of their deeply held beliefs, just do your damn job!

          • R12.18

            Most cities have hospitals that were founded by religious people. And filled with religious people who do things like surgery.

            But I’m sure there are also a few with the religious charictures you describe of a nurse praying over some person instead of doing her nursing duties.

            And I shake my fist at them with you. That’ll show them!

          • Fallulah

            Most highly educated people are nonbelievers, just the way it works, the more you know, the less susceptible to superstition you are, but I have no problem with my doctors of nurses believing in fairytales as long as it doesn’t affect their service. I am a secularist. I want everyone to be able to believe whatever they want in the privacy of their houses and churches, but in secular society and out in the streets where people believe all sorts of stuff, let’s be respectful and keep it neutral.

          • R12.18

            You sound a bit like a narrow-minded bigot. Fairy tales?

            You realize your own personal belief system can be easily mocked and ridiculed. Just look at how secular media outlets like South Park, The Onion and The Daily Show have made fun of fanatical atheists!

            I support a secular governing system. And I am glad I live in the United States where I have religious freedom from the state to impose on my freedoms.

            Some secularists act just like the religious people they profess to be superior to.

            I’m fine with you keeping these secularist ambitions to yourself in your own home and among any organized atheist groups you might belong to.

            In fact, I’m fine if you talk about it in the streets or work. Anywhere. Because I have that freedom. You should be to.

            There is not secularist manifesto for my nation. Thank God! I have freedom. And I take that freedom everywhere I go. Sometimes it causes some anti-theist folks to get hateful and threaten to sue or silence me.

            They can’t. We are free.

            There are plenty of superstitious atheists. They just remain superstitious while lacking a belief in God or gods.

            That is odd that you claim you want to keep things respectful and neutral.

          • Fallulah

            I am a bigot cuz I think the bible is full of fairytales? Well if you want to sling mud and make personal insults, go right ahead.

            You don’t have the first notion of what secular means. I am not going to educate you, please educate yourself cuz you sound like a moron. A Christian can also be a secularist. All it means is you believe the public domain should be open to everyone, no matter their beliefs.

            I never said atheists cannot be superstitious, you are putting words in my mouth.

            It isn’t odd that I claim to want to keep things respectful and neutral. You are the fuckhead who started slinging personal insults. You opened the floodgates now.

          • R12.18

            I did not say you are a bigot. You sound like a bigot when you use derogatory language like “fairy tales.” I would say the same thing to a Christian who made similar claims toward atheists. Which can easily be done.

            I know atheists who would back me up with my observation about your language and silly accusations about being brainwashed and indoctrinated.

            I know what secular means. In fact I have been a secularist myself. There are different types of secularists.

            I’m glad you know atheists can be superstitious. I’ve known some atheists who say they can not be.

          • Jeff

            Wow. Yet another disrespectful, nasty-mouthed atheist trolling a Christian site.

            You people are awfully insecure.

          • Fallulah

            Guess trying to have civil discussion is trolling now. Get fucked.

          • Jeff

            Get lost, creep.

          • Fallulah

            Eat shit and die, loser.

          • Jeff
          • Fallulah

            They will know you by your Christian love!!

          • Jeff

            They will know you by your relentless trolling, and out-of-control hatred-filled outbursts. Yep, yet another shallow atheist.

          • Fallulah

            Aren’t you supposed to be better than us though? Like show us love and compassion and all that? But nah better to spew more hatred and insults back at someone just trying to have a conversation. You are a piece o shit.

          • Jeff

            Conflicted little atheist troll just can’t shut up. Pretty typical.

          • Fallulah

            Projection at it’s finest. Pretty typical for a braindead xian.

          • Jeff

            As I said previously – you’re just another conflicted little atheist troll who can’t shut up. Yep, 100% typical.

            Feel free to have the last word. You’ve earned it.

          • Fallulah

            Ok, I will. Or is it you who cannot shut up?

          • Fallulah

            Also, it is not a caricature….you obviously haven’t read about what doctors, nurses and religious hospitals are trying to get away with in the States. A quick google search will show you Christians are mostly caricatures of themselves. Or read The Friendly Atheist blog, they discuss stories like this and the message boards are filled with first hand accounts of dealing with fundamentalists like Kim Davis’ and her ilk in professional environments as an atheist.

          • R12.18

            Most religious people fully embrace and support the medical field. There are a few who don’t. All groups, whether you identify as an atheist or theist; a Christian or a philosophical materialist, has to deal with that.

            Atheist blogs are kind of boring. I’d rather somebody blog about what they do believe in. Not what they lack a belief in. That would be like having a blog dedicated to not collecting stamps. Zzzzzz.

          • Fallulah

            Maybe instead of making empty assumptions about atheist blogs you could try reading some and seeing what they are actually about. It isn’t atheists talking about what they don’t believe in. It is more reactionary and a larger discussion of the harm religion is doing in the world and how we are battling against it.

          • R12.18

            I’ve been on plenty of atheist blogs. Some are ok. Some are not. I’m glad you found one you like with your friendly blogger.

            You are making empty accusations your self!

            And not all atheist blogs agree with your hatred of religion or pretend like what you are offering is any better.

            There are atheists who are religious. And blogs that exist to support that fact.

          • Fallulah

            You don’t understand what religion means.

          • R12.18

            You sure do like dictating things at me.

            I do know what religion means. I also have taken religious courses at institutes of higher learning and heard from professors who provide actual evidence that they DO KNOW what they are talking about.

            Forgive me if this offends you. But what people with credentials say is more convincing than what some anonymous guy on a blogger’s message board tells me he personally believes.

            I know for a fact that there are atheists who disagree with you.

            But I’m sure you are the correct one. And the other atheists and those professors are all wrong. Because you say so. And they all need to read books and get out of their insular communities.

            Oh, wait. Let me guess. Those atheists who are fine with being religious. They are not true scotsman atheists.

            The American Atheists website says:

            “While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example),….”

            But I’m sure they are wrong and brainwashed.

            Regardless of your unproven beliefs – I’m going to side with the American Atheists on that!

          • R12.18

            Eureka!

            I just read something other than The Bible. And I can prove it.

            I read this:

            https://www.thoughtco.com/can-atheists-be-religious-248394

            I already knew this. But you may not know this:

            1) Atheism and religion are often portrayed and treated as polar opposites; although there is a strong correlation between being an atheist and being irreligious, there is no necessary and inherent connection between the two.

            2) Atheism is not the same as being irreligious; theism is not the same as being religious. Atheists in the West tend not to belong to any religion, but atheism is quite compatible with religion.

            3) Theists in the West tend to be religious, but theism is compatible with irreligion.

            4) Atheism is nothing more than absence belief in the existence of gods. Atheism is not the absence of religion, the absence of belief in the supernatural, the absence of superstitions, the absence of irrational beliefs, or anything else along those lines.

            5) It would be incredibly ethnocentric if we allowed ourselves to define religion in general solely based on our encounters with a couple of specific (and closely related) religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

            6) Many forms of Buddhism are essentially atheistic. At most they regard the existence of gods as possible, but often they dismiss gods as simply irrelevant to the important task of overcoming suffering. As a consequence, many Buddhists not only dismiss the relevance of gods but also the existence of gods — they are atheists.

            That’s what I’m talking about.

            I can’t find anything that supports your beliefs. Not just your flat-out false personal claims. But your notions that you know more about religion and know what books I read.

          • Fallulah

            Try reading the fucking dictionary:
            re·li·gion
            rəˈlijən/Submit
            noun
            the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods

          • R12.18

            That is one definition.

            But the fact is your own government recognizes religions that don’t fit the dictionary definition.

            And those of greater authority (those with doctorate degrees) disagree with your confining of religion to just the Eurocentric understanding.

            And the fact still remains:

            An atheist can be religious.

            A theist can not be religious.

            Atheist is lack of belief in God or gods.

            Irreligious is a lack of belief in religion.

    • Rudy Schellekens

      Neither strife nor illness is a test from God. Strife is a result of people and their desires for power etc.

  • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

    I strongly oppose Prosperity Theology, and am glad that you oppose it, too. I am also glad that you have written here about God as a cause of malady, death, and other things which Prosperity Theologians attribute only to Satan.

    To my knowledge, no one who believes Prosperity Theology says that the Lord Jesus healed every sick person that He saw during His earthly ministry. They do say that He healed everyone who asked Him to be healed. The ten lepers mentioned in Luke 17:11-19 asked Him to have mercy on them before they were healed. I think we can assume that after the Lord told them “Go and show yourselves to the priests”, they believed that they were going to be healed–otherwise I would expect at least one of them to say something like: “We can’t–don’t you see that we are lepers?”.

    If I remember correctly, in the book Signs of the Apostles: Observations on Pentecostalism Old and New, Walter J. Chantry presents another idea about the nature of the “thorn in the flesh” which I find worth considering. Chantry understood the reference to “flesh” to be like other references in Paul, e.g. Romans 7:18 and II Corinthians 11:18. He believed that the “thorn” was a goad–like a spur. Thus the “thorn in the flesh” goaded Paul toward indulging his sinful nature. Consequently, Paul was more conscious of his need of the grace of God to resist temptation, and for forgiveness and sanctification.

    One can learn about Chantry’s book from the website of The Banner of Truth Trust.

    • I’m not familiar with Chantry’s position on the “thorn.” What does he way that it was? Was it not a physical illness? If not, what?

      • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

        Chantry says the following about it on pages 73-74 of his book:

        Nevertheless there was a vital lesson for the church to be drawn from Paul’s revelation experience. Verse 7 of chapter 12 [of II Corinthians] teaches us that the apostle’s surpassing revelation was followed by dreadful struggles with his own flesh and with Satan. A thorn in the flesh was given to Paul, a goad to stir up his remaining flesh. It was a messenger of the devil.
        Far from transporting Paul to a plane of victory and grand satisfaction, extraordinary revelation signalled the start of a more desperate struggle against sin and the flesh. God had permitted his apostle to fall into this time of grievous temptation lest he become proud. After Paul witnessed the glories of the ‘third heaven’, God would make him vividly aware of the flesh which remained in his own bosom. It would prevent a haughty spirit in the Lord’s servant.
        Verse 8 reminds us how wretched was Paul’s struggle after his extraordinary experience. He noted his temptation, and three times he assaulted the gates of heaven with determined petitions to have the cursed messenger of Satan taken from him. But it was not God’s will. Was the revelation given to Paul as a sign of special sanctification? No, the struggle with the flesh increased. Was Paul by his exotic experience a more forceful individual? To the contrary, more time had to be given to this personal battle against temptation. He saw more clearly his flesh and felt that he was weaker.

  • Kostya2

    I can agree with you about the errors of the Prosperity Gospel and and over-realised Eschatology, but the fact remains that people are healed in these churches.
    it is not because of or in spite of the theology but because they believe that Jesus heals and heals today, and they see it in scripture and they have simple faith to heal.
    It is sad that people reject healings and prayer for healings when they reject these theological (hermeneutical) errors. It is tragic to see a church that does not have a healing ministry, at least according to James 5.
    I believe healing was always meant to be a part of the church’s ministry, because it is part of Jesus’ ministry. It is also part of a suffering church’s ministry. Let the eschatalogical problems and why God does not heal everyone work themselves out.

    • It’s possible that some people are healed, but in my experience the healing is mainly of vague symptoms that can’t every be verified. I’ve seen stiff joints and minor problems with eyesight be “healed.” But the claims of many prosperity preachers are beyond that and some of them claim to even raise people from the dead! I think D. A. Carson has a much more balanced and biblical view of miracles, he’s got a good article here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-dont-we-see-miracles/

      I don’t think that means we shouldn’t pray for healing and accept prayer for healing – of course we should! God can and does heal today, but he doesn’t always do it miraculously and He might not do it at all.

      • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
      • Rudy Schellekens

        “Healing: A Doctor in Search of a Miracle” was written in 1976 by an internist, who seriously searched for healing in cases where the medical profession could only offer, “No hope.” And he found that indeed, ‘vague symptoms’ were ‘healed.’
        Years ago, I met a man who had double hearing aids,and had been almost totally deaf all his life. He worked for the Dutch version of T. L. Osborne, well-known faith healer. I asked my friend how come he was still deaf. Was he lacking in faith? And his answer was that indeed, he was told by Johan Maasbach himself that was the case.

    • Vanessa Loy

      Anything visually discernible, like an amputated limb growing back?

    • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
    • FRLBJ

      Jesus did not heal everyone in Israel. He does not ‘perform’ like a circus performer. He wants us to love Him for Himself and not for healings or miracles. The miracles and the hearings are just signs of God and His love. They are not God.

      • Kostya2

        Jesus healed everyone who came to Him, everyone. (Matthew 9:35). I certainly do not see Jesus as a circus performer. I would love Him and believe in Him even if I did not see any more miracles, but He wants us to believe in Him and the miracles He does.(John 10:38)
        I am sure you love Jesus not just for Himself, but because He is your Saviour. But we did not come to know Jesus until He was revealed to us as our Saviour. But He is also revealed as Adonai Rofecha, the Lord who heals you. (Exodus 15:26). That is how He came to Israel, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and performing signs of the Kingdom. The ‘performance’ idea you have is in your mind not mine.

  • pud

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

    Yeah but cancer and childhood starvation are for you own good.

    You people are not only stupid, you are sick!

  • R12.18

    Everything I go through makes me stronger.

    I prayed like heck to get God to instantly fix medical issues and physical problems I have had, from an auto-immune disorder to other sicknesses and physical short-comings.

    I am a more useful person today for having gone through this all. A doctor who has not lived with an auto-immune disorder can not know what it all entails. He/she can be very knowledgeable on the physical aspect. But having myself been through it I can offer something that others can not.

    Today when I am in a storm, I remember all this. It helps me get though it, knowing that later I can help somebody else through it.

  • swbarnes2

    Recognizing this give us the confidence that God will use these things to produce endurance, character, hope (Romans 5:4), and steadfastness (James 1:2-4).

    When an baby dies of malaria, it gives the baby hope? Their parents hope?

    Or you meant that African babies die to give white people character?

    • R12.18

      Hu?

      He is saying that when we (regardless of race) face troubles – those troubles do not have the last word.

  • Good_Samaritan

    Clearly the answer is “no,” or everyone would be healed.

  • james warren

    As far as “God” wanting everyone to heal, I cannot conceive of or answer questions about the infinite.

    I can say that there is a marked difference between “healing” and “curing.”
    The people who were touched by Jesus were often healed.
    Their disease or their infirmity was not reversed.

    Instead, Jesus helped them to feel accepted and loved in the midst of a culture that counted them as sinful or throwaways,

    We all need to take on the healing we gave birth for.

    This is given by grace and when that healing comes, the response might be to be aware of one’s own gratefulness.

  • David

    Question: should we see our illnesses as being “directly from God” for the most part, or are they best understood as part and parcel of being human? Some persons seem to adopt a super-naturalist approach to illnesses, holding the view that God deliberately and directly intervenes and imposes illnesses/diseases on us to punish us or test us etc. And occasionally He supernaturally heals us too. I have no doubt that God can and probably does it occasionally, but i tend to see the average illnesses that besets any humans, including Christians, as being caused by normal aging, poor hygienic practices, various disease epidemic outbreaks etc. they are caused by some micro-organisms – either virus or bacteria etc and are often hereditary etc. They are often treated by trained health specialists, we recover and resume our normal functions . In all this we thank God and try to avoid catching whatever it was again. The same question could be asked for say, dreams and natural disasters. These three are often portrayed in the bible as being directly and specifically caused by God’s intervention and so many today see any and every dream as being a message orchestrated and initiated by God or any and every natural disaster as being a judgement or punishment from God. Yes God can and does use these things occasionally, but I tend to see the average natural disaster as simply being part of how the universe’s climatic pattern operates and dreams as being normal neurological events occurring naturally in the human brain

    • David, I think you’re right. I don’t want to over supernatualize sickness and healing. The vast majority of the time sickness is a result of living in a fallen world and healing comes through the use of ordinary means. My point that God has sent sickness directly at some points was just meant to show that it cannot always be His will to heal, because sometimes it was clearly His will for someone to be sick.

    • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
  • Rudy Schellekens

    No, it is not. It IS His will that we imitate Him – even when we are suffering. The whole idea that God wants us all “healthy” is a fallacy. And yes, natural disaster are a natural result of the world in which we live. When certain wind currents and temperatures get in each other’s way, storms will happen. We need moisture. But when there is an abundance of snow and frost, the melting snow cannot get into the ground – se we may end up with floods (Being from the Netherlands, I know a thing or two about floods. Living next to the Mississippi river, I have learned even more about floods! Niy floods can be a good thing for agriculture!
    We ARE a funny lot as people. When we do something stupid, like smoke, or play with matches, and something bad happens, we blame God! We fight and argue with the neighbors, a fight breaks out, we get hurt – and we blame God. Even on international scale…
    And yes, sometimes, things happen for which there is no explanation. Why does someone with ALS, like Hawkins, live to be 74, but a mother makes it 5 years at the most. Or a baby is born with malformations which make her the focal point of ridicule. Blame God?
    How about thanking God for the influence such people have in our lives, for so many reasons…

  • I think someone needs to prune the comments–a small group just go on and on and don’t even have any relevancy to the basic blog.
    I think God is always willing to heal although I haven’t had time to digest the arguments in the blog that God brings sickness–a position that I have opposed for decades.
    And then there seem to be comments that suggest Jesus ministry on earth did not actually bring physical healing–just psychosematic change of thinking–that goes contrary to the plain sense of the Gospels (assuming like me you believe them).

    • Rudy Schellekens

      I saw your name, and a shock went through me. A man for whom I have a tremendous respect is also named Thomas Schultz. Unfortunately, he passed away a number of years ago.
      Your note is appreciated. And you are right – God does not bring sickness on people – Unless there is sin involved, but then it is more a case of not taking the consequences away. People who smoke run a high risk of cancer. When that DOES hit, why is any one surprised, and why would God be blamed?
      Years ago, a professor had an interesting statement: God has one Son without sin, but no sons without suffering. If suffering was not withheld from His own son, what makes us so special that we even expect God to take suffering away from us>
      And for the man suffering from leprosy, or the dead who were raised – psychosomatic? A man is convinced he is dead. His friends are worried about him, and try to convince hi that he is actually totally alive! He goes to see a doctor, and even that did not help. Frustrated the doctor decides one last attempt: Sir, do dead people bleed? The man responds, and says, well of course not, doctor! The doctor takes a needle, prick the man in one of his fingers, blood comes out… “My stars, dead people DO bleed…”
      All of that to show that people will go a long way to argue against what has truly happened…

    • I wish there was a way to prune the comments! Unfortunately, all you or I can do is down vote them or flag them as inappropriate. I appreciate your willingness to read the article and engage on the topic – if there’s any questions you have or something I could clarify, I would be happy to do so.

      • Your article was thought-provoking and I have no complaints. It was as I read down the extensive comments that I began to realize that two or three names appeared repeatedly and went on attacking on another on topics that were nowhere near the topic of your post!

      • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
    • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
  • tovlogos

    Yes. There is no question about the fact that healing — spiritually — always takes precedence, since that is our reason for being, i.e., to be God-like.
    So, we are here to have the temporal experience limited by finite minds, which would require faith since our discernment is grossly limited
    until by our experience God opens our eyes to see the spiritually obvious, that there is God and He loves us. God will do whatever it takes
    to save someone — the sickness is not the point, it’s incidental; and like the suffering of our Savior, it was unavoidable as utter purity collided with the fallen state.
    The crucifixion was to illustrated the inability of mixing sinless purity with manifest sin.

    • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
    • The crucifixion was to pay the just penalty which our sins deserved (Matthew 20:28, 26:28; Romans 3:23, 25, 5:8-9; 1 John 2:2).

  • recovering

    I work with cancer patients and witness horrible suffering which I would take away in a minute if I only could. An omnipotent being who can watch this suffering and do nothing would not be worthy of worship even if he did exist

    • Thomas Loy Bumgarner
    • Rudy Schellekens

      And there we go again. It still amazes me how one can determine what an omnipotent being would and should do. An omnipotent being has the right and power to make decisions fitting the purposes of that being. And for a non-omnipotent being to criticize such is almost funny!

      • recovering

        Well my point is that there is absolutely no evidence that there is such a being and I was a devout Christian for years until I finally admitted this to myself. But for the sake of argument what purpose would an omnipotent being have for inflicting horrific suffering on its creation? Such a being can achieve its purposes through other means. To use suffering to do this is a sign of a cruel and sadistic being worth only of contempt. And before you say I am mad at God remember I pointed out there is no proof at all that God exists.

        • Rudy Schellekens

          Again a pre-supposition. You presuppose that an omnipotent being is the source of the suffering. I have a friend who is dying of lung cancer. He was a 2 – 3 pak a day smoker for most of his life. Who caused his lung cancer?
          A young kid died in an accident. He was holding on to a pickup truck whle on his skateboard. He lost his grip, and his head hit the concrete so hard, it killed him. Who caused this accident?
          I had a quadrupple bypass a few years ago. Arteries were so clogged, stents would not do the trick. Who is responsble?
          And yes, ypu pointed out there is no proof that God exists. I differ with you on that one. There is plenty of proof for the existence of God. But that’s a different direction.

          • recovering

            OK so by that logic-a woman decides against abortion and dies in childbirth, a congregation is killed one Sunday morning when a tornado strikes the church during services, a man slips on black ice while leaving his prayer meeting and dies of a head injury. I used the ”free will” argument for years to protect my faith but as you can see there are plenty of flip sides to this one. Sure a murderer is only using the ”free will” God gave him but what about the will of the victim to live. Why does the murderer have more rights in God’s grand design? I did headstands finding excuses to hold onto my faulty beliefs. Rudy, if you need this to get through your life that’s fine. I just do better without the craziness of any religion. And no I don’t fear hell

  • tovlogos

    John 3:27:
    “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him form heaven” The word “man”in this verse , “anthropos”,
    “man”, “human”, referring to any and every man ever born. There are numerous passages to back this text up.
    The question is finding out why — that’s an intrinsic part of what the biblical story is about. Often, people are
    ready to raise the fist at God, as if He wants man to suffer. He doesn’t.

  • DDRLSGC

    If God heals everything and anythings, would we have a need for medicine?

  • The Stormer

    Is it only limited to sickness? For example, I know many single Christians who would love to marry and raise children. Usually, the response from (married) church leaders is some trite statement about contentment.

  • John Kandhiraj Abraham

    God is God. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. To question whether is it God will heal to heal every one? has the answer in itself. “God’s will” is the answer. There are many occasions like the blind Bartholomew, the woman with the issue of blood, the widow’s son brought to life in Nain etc. only tells us that God can heal any sickness whatsoever. He said “I am the Lord the heath thee” Exodus 15:26 tells us that he wants to heal everyone. BUT? we fail to understand the basic reality or the fact that it is Satan who has total control over mankind and not God. For many Christians and believers it may be shocking and surprising. But that is the fact. If you want to know why I am so emphatic, you have to read my book “Who rules the world? God or Satan?” published by Christian Faith Publishing co. from Philadelphia. We have to take into consideration the over all truths and the happenings together recorded in the Bible to understand why God do not heal all in the same manner and likeness as we try to think and understand.

    • You say “it is Satan who has total control over mankind and not God.” What Biblical evidence do you have for that? That statement makes Satan out to be more powerful than God. Satan is clearly only allowed to do what God permits him to, as in the story of Job. It is God who works all things according the the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11), not Satan.

      • John Kandhiraj Abraham

        I never said Satan has more power than God. Again I repeat God is God. The entire universe except the mankind is under God’s control who is ruled by Satan. It may hard to comprehend, but it is the fact. The day Adam sinned and fell by the subtle deception of Satan he lost his dominion over all the world and Satan too it over from the very same day. But God retained the ruler ship of everything else except the ground and mankind. He cursed the ground and mankind and He has not reverted it until Jesus came and died on the cross. Consider John 12:31; 14:30; 16: 11 and 2 Corinthians 4:4. In this verse the original word used refers to a ruler. So it should be the ruler of this world. I was not sure about it until I found Jesus did not deny when Satan claimed that the power over the entire world is delivered to him. (Luke 4:6). Then consider the entire history of mankind until Jesus came as the Messiah! Satan always had the upper hand and kept the people of either under bondage or under sufferings. I don’t believe in what some preachers always say that Satan has to get permission from God to tempt anyone. He doesn’t need to get permission because they are already under his control. They always refer to the situation in the book of Job. Even if it is so, Satan did not know What God had in his mind to bless him with a double portion. Satan in fact regretted later for tempting Job. Peters ‘ case also was known to Jesus and He prayed for him to be protected. Satan is not going to go to God and ask permission to test or tempt everybody. That makes no sense. He has them all under his control and rule. Otherwise why should Jesus come and die on the cross such an excruciating death to deliver us from Satanic bondage. He came destroy the work of the devil and deliver us from him. (1 John 3:8) and deliver us from his bondage. All rulers of the nations of the world are Satanic appointees except kings like David. But one thing we have to remember that God is watching over every happening in the history of mankind. Nothing escapes His knowledge and attention. He knows what to do when? and that is exactly what He is doing. God is the controller of everything and Satan is the ruler of the mankind except those who are saved by the blood and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.