Our Readers Ask
Is All Miraculous Healing From God?
There is no doubt that Jehovah God has the power to heal. Also, there is no doubt that he can give that power to his worshippers. For instance, during the time of the apostles, miraculous healing was one of the special gifts of his holy spirit. The apostle Paul writes: “The manifestation of the spirit is given to each one for a beneficial purpose. For example, to one there is given through the spirit speech of wisdom, . . . to another gifts of healings by that one spirit, . . . to another prophesying, . . . to another different tongues.”—1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
However, Paul also wrote in that same letter to the Corinthians that the miraculous gifts of God’s holy spirit would end. He said: “Whether there are gifts of prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will be done away with.”—1 Corinthians 13:8.
During the first century, miraculous healings were performed by Jesus Christ and his apostles. At that time in Christian history, the gifts of the spirit, including the ability to perform healings, were for the glory of God and were a sign of Jehovah’s approval and blessing on the young Christian congregation. But once mature or fully established, rather than pointing to special gifts, the Christian congregation would point to its display of unswerving faith, hope, and love as evidence of God’s approval. (John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 13:13) Thus, about the year 100 C.E., miraculous healings as a mark of God’s favor ceased.*
Yet, you may wonder, ‘Why do I still hear reports of miraculous cures?’ For example, one newspaper report told of a man who was purportedly afflicted with cancer. He had tumors on his head, on his kidneys, and even deep inside his bones. His future looked grim until the day that God “spoke” with him. A few days later, his cancer was gone, the report said.
When confronted with such a story, why not ask yourself: ‘Is this report factual? Is there documented, clinical evidence to support the claim? And even if there did seem to be a cure, does the Bible teach that God is responsible for all occurrences that appear to be miraculous healings?’
The answer to that last question is particularly important. Jesus cautioned his followers: “Be on the watch for the false prophets . . . Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works [miracles] in your name?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”—Matthew 7:15, 21-23.
Clearly, so-called miraculous healing can come from a source other than God. To avoid being deceived by those who claim to work miracles in God’s name, we need to gain accurate knowledge of God, to use our God-given ability to reason, and to learn how to identify those who are doing his will.—Matthew 7:16-19; John 17:3; Romans 12:1, 2.
Evidently, with the death of the apostles, the transmittal of the gifts ended, and the miraculous gifts of the spirit ceased altogether as those who had received these gifts died.