We are in receipt of information relative to some remarkable cures being performed in answer to prayers of faith in different sections of the country, among others, one recently received refers to several such cures at "Pink Cottage" Faith Cure. The writer (a brother) inquires our view of these curesare they of God, or by Satan's power? We answer: "He that hath the power of death, that is the devil," very seldom uses it to restore life and health, and never, we think, in answer to the earnest prayers of God's children. Unquestionably then we would regard every case of curing in which the instruments are the prayers of saints, as being of God.
Many have been led to question whether the power were of God, because many of those thus used are wonderfully in the dark regarding God's plan, the time of "harvest" and the presence of the Lord, but to thus judge would be much like the disciples, who said to Jesus: "We found one casting out devils in thy name and we forbade him because he followed not with us." But Jesus answered them, "Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us." Luke 9:50.
We must learn that in the school of Christ, there are various classes, and the exercises and instruction of each is under the direction of the principal teacher, Christ, who will lead each class as it may be able and willing to advance.
Seeing these classes we should earnestly desire the best giftsthe higher class, for though it be honorable to be used of the Lord in opening blind natural eyes, it is more honorable to be used in giving the spiritual sight and insight into God's word and plan and love. It is grand indeed to be an instrument in restoring and perfecting the old human body, but it is yet more grand to be used in building up and perfecting the new natureshowing them how they may sacrifice the human and obtain a divine nature and form. Both branches of service are well pleasing to God. Choose which you think the "most excellent," but "forbid no man because he follows not with us."
It is a little remarkable that very few of those who are used thus of the Lord in physical healing, are in any way identified with the nominal church; and they are generally out of all harmony and sympathy with its degenerated worldliness and faithlessness.
In this connection we might add that we have been agreeably surprised within the last six months to learn by meeting with some, and hearing from others, that in many cities and towns little companies of men and women meet regularly for the study of God's word. Though not so fully instructed in the plan of God and the times in which we live and the "harvest" separating, as we are, yet they have felt the cold deadness of the nominal church; they have felt that in it they were starving for "meat in due season," while the under shepherds acted like hirelings whose own the sheep are not, and preached to the "itching ears" of largely unconverted congregations.
These sheep are gathering in little bands to have the "chief Shepherd" himself feed them. Thus already consecrated and following his leadings, they are already out of Babylon and in this respect are in advance of some who have had more knowledge. These, so far as we have met them, seemed prepared for the very things we had to presentthe presence of the Reaper and the "harvest" work of separation now going on. Among such we are finding many of the faith-prayer-cure people.
In this connection, we are reminded of the prophecy by Joel which Peter quoted at Pentecost, viz: "It shall come to pass in the last days saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy."
Few perhaps have noted the double character of this prophecy, that one part relates to the servants and handmaidens [The literal rendering of the Greek here would be male and female slavesbounden personsthose who are bound to the Lord by a covenant.] and the other part of the same prophecy relates to all flesh: and again, one part is to take place in certain days [Gospel days] and the other part is to be fulfilled after those days.
By referring to the prophecy (Joel 2:28,29) you will see this distinction much more clearly. This prophecy began to have its fulfillment at Pentecost, where the servants and handmaids began to prophesy (or instruct) and all through this age it has continued to be so, and those who partake of the Spirit of truth are particularly the channels through whom truth and knowledge flows. As Jesus had said: "When he the Spirit of truth is come he shall guide you into all truth."
A further part of it will not have its fulfillment until the little flock is completethe sacrifice over and the full atonement price paid for all men. Then, the whole world of mankind will be no longer treated as sinners, but as forgiven human sons. [For remember that as the Bride of Adam was a sharer in the fall and curse, so the Bride of Christ is permitted to share in the redemption sacrifice, and blessing of all mankind.]
God usually does things gradually and we regard these powers of faith now being given to some, as a sort of preparation for the giving of such power to any one and every one who will use it"all flesh."
We doubt not that in this way, or in some such way, the healing of human ills will be performed during the Millennial age; a way which would [R227 : page 8] seem too, to show God's special favor and power, and teach men to exercise faith in Him.
The Spirit of God (God's power) operates differently at different times and for different works. Through the Prophets upon whom it came, its effects were to give utterance to truths not understood. During the Gospel Age, its object is to give us evidence through the Word, of our call to be spiritual beings like unto Christ's glorious bodyto be his Bride; causing us to understand "what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid;" (the sharing of the body with the Head both in the sufferings of this Gospel Age and also in the glory to follow)"This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Eph. 3:9, & 5:32. And when this mysterious work of the present age is ended and the Bride of Christ (and also the "great company""the virgins, her companions which follow her,") completed, then the Spirit is to do another and still different work. Being poured out "upon all flesh" it will lead the world to know of their justification as men; they shall dream dreams and see visions and prophesy (teach). They will come to understand the truths of God, and His plan concerning themtheir restitution to the perfection of humanity. And as already suggested, we doubt not, that the healing of earth's woes and pains will then be done in answer to prayers of faith; thus tending to bring the world into union, harmony and love with their Creator. In this work of restoration, the Bride will have some important partperhaps as yet, not fully understoodfor the Spirit and the Bride will give the invitation to "come" and then they that hear will say "come," until all who will may come to the fountain of life and drink freely and forever of life to which they are justified by the death of Christ.
We think then, that these healings are probably a beginning of the Millennial blessings to mankind, and that they will rather increasethat they will be mostly among the "poor of this world rich in faith," and probably after this fall, will only be granted through those who are outside of the nominal church; thus giving additional evidence that she is no longer recognized of God, and that those within her are "partakers of her sins" (Rev. 18:4) and cannot please him.