The More Important Healing
1. How are God and Christ still active as Healers?
JEHOVAH God and Christ Jesus are still active as the great Healers. But how is that if the day of bestowing the gift of the spirit for curing the sick in body is about nineteen centuries in the past? How, too, has his health program for his Christian witnesses continued till this day? In what way is he accomplishing cures and healings now? The Scriptures answer that he is performing such marvels now in a greater way than in a physical or bodily way, namely, in a spiritual way.
2. In this respect what do advocates of divine healing overlook today? And why do not natural-minded people appreciate it?
2 Religionists who make miracles on the human body their outstanding tenet and their chief claim to being God’s people lay the main stress on what is physical or natural. They overlook God’s greater miracles which are accomplished in a spiritual way. The physical miracles in the apostolic days so long ago were merely secondary to the more wonderful and more important spiritual miracles. The physical healings passed away in due time as was foretold, but the works of spiritual transformation have continued on through the centuries down till now. Natural-minded people of this world will not be able to appreciate these greater and more vital wonders, and they will not care for them or attach any value to them or believe them real. On this the apostle says: “But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are examined spiritually.”—1 Cor. 2:14, NW.
3. How are the spiritual miracles more important and durable in effect?
3 But today hundreds of thousands of persons of good will are beginning to appreciate these wonder works which are more important for everlasting life in the new world than temporary physical cures in this world could ever be. The good effects physically on those who received miraculous bodily cures in apostolic times ended with their death. The good effects on those who have believed and experienced God’s power through Christ in a spiritual way continue, in that they will be with them when they are resurrected to life in the promised new world. So let us not claim to be Christians and yet be merely ‘physical men who do not receive the things of the spirit of God nor understand them’.
4. Which cure of blindness was more important, the natural or spiritual?
4 Jesus and his gifted disciples gave vision to the blind to see the natural world about them. There is, though, a deadly spiritual blindness, for which Satan the Devil is indeed responsible. “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:4, NW) Eyes of the mind or of understanding need to be opened to see the light of life, otherwise we shall stumble into destruction. The blind religious guides led the blind Jewish people to the pit where both tumbled in together to destruction. (Matt. 15:14, NW) So, which is it more vital to remove, the physical or the mental blindness? Which miracle is the greater, the physical or the spiritual?
5, 6. How did the physical miracles compare with the spiritual miracles of a corresponding kind?
5 Also, Jesus and his disciples with the gift of healing made the deaf to hear, the dumb to talk, the lame to walk, the lepers to be clean enough to enter into the temple with other worshipers of God. But those physical miracles do not compare with the spiritual miracles which cause people formerly deaf to God’s Word to hear it now with understanding. By spiritual miracles those whose tongues were dumb as far as praising God opened their mouths to declare his fame, to preach his Word and to witness to his kingdom. Those who were limping along uncertainly according to human moral standards and traditional self-righteousness and worldly respectability gained strength to walk unfalteringly in the path of God’s righteousness through Christ, uncompromisingly holding to the narrow path that leads to eternal life. Those who were infected with the leprosy of sin accepted true cleansing from the loathsome state of transgressors of God’s law, being washed in Jesus’ blood.
6 Jesus and his apostles raised the dead: Jairus’ daughter, the son of the widow of Nain, Lazarus, Dorcas, Eutychus. But these resuscitations of the physically dead only to die again in the flesh, were these miracles greater than raising people who were dead toward God in their sinful, alienated condition to live, act and serve Jehovah God? For the anointed Christians this means immortal life in the new world, glory with Jesus Christ in his heavenly kingdom. To those having this spiritual resurrection during this world it is written: “Furthermore, it is you God made alive though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, . . . God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with the Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses—by undeserved kindness you have been saved—and he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus.”—Eph. 2:1-6, NW.
7. What prophecies did Jesus quote referring to miracles of healing? And to what kind of healing?
7 When Jesus at Nazareth announced his commission as God’s Sent One, the Messiah, to those Jews in the synagogue he referred to the miracles of spiritual healing which he was to accomplish, saying: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” (Luke 4:16-19, NW) The need of spiritual cure as being foremost Jesus stressed again when he once more quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah, to explain why he was preaching to the people in parables: “This is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations, because, looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, neither do they get the sense of it; and toward them the prophecy of Isaiah is having fulfillment which says: ‘By hearing, you will hear but by no means get the sense of it; and, looking, you will look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown thick, and with their ears they have heard with annoyance, and they have shut their eyes; that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back, and I heal them.’”—Matt. 13:13-15, NW.
8. What miracles were necessary for those religious Jews? Why?
8 What was necessary for those religious Jews was to have the spiritual miracles, to open their mental eyes, to unstop their ears of understanding, to remove the fatty encasement of selfishness from about their heart. Then first could they see through what God was doing and could identify the Messiah whom he had sent and turn back from their self-righteous worldly course and get spiritual healing from Jehovah God. With all the miracles that Jesus performed upon human bodies the majority of the Jews never did turn to him and his apostles and have their eyes, ears and hearts repaired spiritually and get the cure from sin and its consequences and be raised to life as the spiritual Israel of God. For this reason the nation of natural Israel, who would not believe without signs and wonders, were rejected by God. Their holy city and temple were destroyed, their nation was broken up and its members were scattered to the four winds as a people despised and cursed.
9, 10. On whom in this century has God wrought an outstanding miracle, and how did he foretell it by Jeremiah?
9 People who are fascinated by the thought of divine healing with physical miracles today are blind to the fact that Jehovah’s great health program is operating mightily today, that he is performing marvelous miracles of spiritual healing for us to live in that glorious new world which stands immediately before us. The outstanding miracle is the one he has wrought upon the remnant of his faithful witnesses who make up his visible theocratic organization. He foretold this miracle twenty-five centuries ago at the time that ancient Jerusalem was menaced with destruction by the Chaldean armies under Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. We read:
10 “For thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are broken down to make a defence against the mounds and against the sword; while men come to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my wrath, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city: Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal unto them abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And this city shall be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure unto it.”—Jer. 33:1-9, AS.
11. How did the remnant come into a condition needing healing?
11 During the years of the first world war, 1914 to 1918, the remnant of spiritual Israel came under Jehovah’s displeasure. His kingdom by his Christ had been born in the heavens in 1914, at the end of the “appointed times of the nations” that year; but, under the great stress of persecution, oppression and international opposition during those war years reaching a climax in 1918, God’s anointed witnesses failed and their organization experienced a breakup and they came under captivity to the world system of modern Babylon. But from 1919 on they came to a realization of their spiritual condition. They appealed for some divine restorative remedy. Their appeal was well worded by Jeremiah who foretold the captivity of spiritual Israel: “Heal me, O Jehovah, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of Jehovah? let it come now. As for me, I have not hastened from being a shepherd after thee.” (Jer. 17:14-16, AS) The hearts of the remnant were broken because of God’s apparent disfavor and because, through fear and improper understanding, they had been forced out of his service.
12. How did he heal and revitalize the remnant? With what response?
12 God heard the prayer of his repentant, brokenhearted remnant. He regathered them, repaired the breaches of their organization and reorganized them for more effective service than ever. He built them up on earth as the visible theocratic organization to represent his heavenly Jerusalem which was now radiant with Kingdom glory. Here, not physical cure of fleshly organisms, but spiritual cure of the remnant of his witnesses was needed, to recover them from unclean fear and from religious foolishness. “He sendeth his word, and healeth them, and delivereth them from their destructions.” (Ps. 107:17-20, AS) He opened their eyes and ears more fully to get Scriptural understanding. For a time they had been lying as dead under the world’s repressive laws and measures, but now they were revived by God’s spirit. Up they stood and engaged in free and fearless activity as his witnesses to tell all the nations the good news of His kingdom. A spiritual resurrection indeed! (Rev. 11:7-12) So they were delivered from their captivity and were assembled into an unbreakable unity of faith and action. By all this Scriptural understanding and these joyful service privileges they were greatly comforted. Their tongues were loosed to sing: “Praise ye Jehovah; for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely. Jehovah doth build up Jerusalem; he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”—Ps. 147:1-3, AS.
13. So how has Jehovah’s city or organization become a joy, praise and glory before all nations, and with what illumination?
13 In this way, by means of this restorative work of mercy to his anointed remnant, the great heavenly Physician performed a modern miracle of spiritual healing. It has astounded Christendom, but has also chagrined her. The restored organization of Jehovah’s people abounds with the peace, truth and spiritual prosperity with which he has filled it. By activating them in his witness work in all quarters of the earth He has made their organization become a praise and glory for him before all the nations, and the name of “Jehovah’s witnesses” has become a joy to numberless multitudes. For his visible theocratic organization this is a day of brightness amid the thickening gloom and darkness of the worldly nations. They have heavenly light day and night; and the light increases to the illumination of perfect day, the brightness of a week of days all concentrated into one. As it was predicted: “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the hurt of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.”—Isa. 30:26, AS.
14. How does this healing prove Jehovah’s kingdom has been set up?
14 God’s restoration of his witnesses to his theocratic organization, his entrusting them with the ambassadorship of his kingdom to the people of all nations, fulfills Bible prophecy. It is a convincing evidence to his witnesses that the promised kingdom has been established in the heavens. Jehovah now reigns over the earth by his Christ whom he has enthroned as King of the new world. Just as long ago Job was restored from his captivity in Satan’s power and was healed of his deadly disease and was vindicated, so God’s faithful remnant have experienced restoration, pardon from sins, and spiritual healing. And just as the beggar Lazarus died to his diseased, hungry state at the rich man’s gate where the despised curs licked his ulcers, so the remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses have experienced a change of condition since 1918. Like Lazarus, they now find themselves in the bosom of favor of the greater Abraham, Jehovah God. (Luke 16:19-25) They no longer feel sick spiritually. They are in His theocratic organization, a city of radiant spiritual health. Once lamed by the enemy world, now they seize the prey from this world, the people of good will. Why is this so now? The prophetic answer comes: “For Jehovah is our judge, Jehovah, our lawgiver, Jehovah, our king: he will save us. . . . then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.”—Isa. 33:22-24, Da.
CHRISTENDOM REFUSES THE ONLY REMEDY
15. What have Christendom’s healers accomplished for her physical health?
15 Pitted against the remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses today is the great organization of Christendom, which boasts of an antiquity all the way back to the apostle Peter. After her centuries of existence, at least sixteen centuries since Emperor Constantine’s day, is she a picture of health physically, spiritually? Medical science within her has made great strides forward, but what has this accomplished for her? Persons who practice Christian Science or Jewish Science of faith healing, and those who advocate direct divine healing by prayer and laying on of hands, how much have all these accomplished for Christendom’s relief? Not even the elimination of the common cold, not to speak of those great killers: heart disease, cancer, arthritis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, kidney and liver diseases, peptic ulcers, etc.
16. What is her condition otherwise, and which healing does she need more?
16 But aside from that, look at Christendom’s worse condition socially, politically, economically, judicially, morally, and religiously. Her condition is well described by Isaiah when telling of her ancient prototype, Israel: “Ah! sinful nation, guiltladen people; brood of evildoers, children who deal corruptly; who have forsaken the LORD, and spurned the Holy One of Israel, and gone back in estrangement from him! Where will you still be smitten, that you continue in your defection? The whole head is ailing, and the whole heart sick; from the sole of the foot to the head there is no health in it—nought but blows and bruises and bleeding wounds, that have not been pressed nor bound up nor softened with oil.” Which, then, is it that Christendom needs more, the healing of her people’s physical organisms or their spiritual healing?
17. Why is this the more important healing? How does Isaiah prescribe it?
17 Admittedly there is serious need of physical healing. Yet this physical well-being would never spare her from the woes and destruction of the impending war of Armageddon. It is the spiritual healing that is the more urgent, the more important, the really vital healing. For it is only those who seek and gain the spiritual recovery who will survive the terrible desolations and destructions of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” and enter the healthy new world. Putting the spiritual therapy in the first place, the prophet Isaiah prescribed the course for Christendom to take and described the certain results: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD: ‘If your sins be like scarlet, can they become white as snow? If they be red like crimson, can they become as wool? If you prove willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall taste the sword’; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”—Isa. 1:4-6, 18-20, AT.
18. What do the physicians Christendom consults prove to be?
18 But Christendom is like Asa king of ancient Jerusalem at the time of his serious disease. Of him it is written: “Yet in his disease he sought not to Jehovah, but to the physicians.” (2 Chron. 16:12, AS) Today Christendom turns her back on the real remedy which Jehovah prescribes in his Word and summons her religious medics to the side of her deathbed. These, with their pagan philosophies, traditions of men, empty rites, ceremonies and holy years, and worldly-mindedness, turn out to be what Job said of his false friends, “forgers of lies” and “physicians of no value”.—Job 13:4.
19. How have these clergy physicians matched Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s descriptions of priests, prophets, and shepherds?
19 With Jeremiah we can fitly raise the question: “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jer. 8:22) The clergy physicians are quacks as far as the spiritual well-being of the people, the laity, is concerned. With two world wars already to their account and a third one menacing Christendom and, worst of all, Armageddon unavoidably threatening her, the clergy have matched Jeremiah’s description of the religious leaders who failed to avert Jerusalem’s destruction: “From the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:13, 14) The prophet Ezekiel (34:4) testifies that they have neglected the eternal spiritual interests of God’s sheep: “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” Hence God’s Word cries out woe to them, and their woe will come upon them in full at Armageddon to their destruction.