By Herbert W Armstrong
reprint article 1970
Never has the world known so much sickness and disease! New diseases unknown a generation ago afflict millions — WHY? How can you protect your HEALTH? What should you do when sick? Read, in this PERSONAL report, what so few understand! WE PRIDE OURSELVES on being the most advanced, enlightened, scientifically developed generation that ever lived.
We suppose that we are now on the doorstep of eradicating sickness and disease, due to the miraculous advances of medical science. We suppose the great advances in sanitary measures, in the new “wonder drugs,” in preventive serums, vaccines and inoculations are bringing modern civilization into a state of wonderful health.
WE COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!
Modern civilization is not bringing health nor abolishing disease.
While the medical profession works to reduce TB, cancer, and other diseases, modern civilization is CREATING NEW DISEASES NEVER HEARD OF A FEW GENERATIONS AGO. Sickness and disease are on an accelerating INCREASE!
It may seem incredible! We frantically brush our teeth and use toothpastes supposed to produce “fewer cavities,” yet there is more tooth trouble than was known in any past century. The more furiously we brush with “fewer cavities” brands of toothpaste, the more tooth troubles we suffer!
How can this BE?
I suppose many would ask: “But isn’t it NATURAL to be sick? Are we not made in such a way that we simply have to become sick and contract disease? And didn’t God raise up medical science to combat it?”
The answer is an EMPHATIC NO!
Sickness and disease are NOT natural! We were made to BE WELL!
When man invents and produces a fine mechanism — a fine watch, automobile, jet plane, washing machine — he expects the fine watch to keep good time for years; the first Rolls Royce automobile ever made is still running. The huge 707 jets made the “polar flight” every day from London to the west coast of the United States without motor failure. Of course I am not talking about a cheaply made watch, motor car or washing machine. But the most marvelous and perfectly made mechanism ever produced is the human body and mind.
The Almighty God made the human body so that — even though composed of material substance from the ground — its NORMAL CONDITION is one of robust, invigorating, radiant GOOD HEALTH!
Sickness and disease are ABNORMAL — they are the PENALTY of VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAWS. They are PHYSICAL SIN!
I knew the philosopher-author-lecturer-publisher Elbert Hubbard, who died when a German submarine sank the Lusitania before U.S. entry into World War I. He understood something of physical health. Once when I visited him at East Aurora, N. Y., other guests and I were herded out on the veranda of Roycroft Inn, for a vigorous round of heaving the “medicine ball” at each other. It was vigorous exercise. Hubbard kept fit — watched his diet, got in plenty of exercise, natural sleep, deep breathing in fresh air.
He said: “Of two things, being thrown in jail, or becoming sick, becoming sick is the GREATER DISGRACE!” One is thrown in jail for violation of a MAN-MADE law — it could be a nonsensical law — he could have been falsely accused. But when one is sick, a NATURAL law has been broken — and there was no false arrest.
One may break man-made civil laws and not get caught. But when you break GOD’S LAWS, the penalty is automatic!
And what does modern civilization do about it? It tries to deal with the effect — ignoring the CAUSE — attempting to remove the PENALTY which the Creator GOD imposed for physical violations. Treating the EFFECT, while ignoring the CAUSE, is to ENCOURAGE the violation which CAUSES the sickness — to encourage SIN! Only most people never thought of it that way.
It is God’s will that we be IN HEALTH (III John 2). God intended us to obey His laws — His physical laws that operate in our bodies for good health as well as His Spiritual Law. Yet He knew our weaknesses and rebellious nature. When we repent of breaking His Spiritual Law and transgressing against Him, our loving and merciful Father has provided a way for removing the penalty — through Jesus’ sacrifice, paying the penalty in our stead.
In like manner, when nature’s laws have been broken, this is God’s instruction to those who have become His begotten children:
“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and THE PRAYER OF FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).
Notice important specific points in that instruction. First, it is addressed to, and pertains to those who have become God’s own begotten children — those who ARE Christ’s — and in Romans 8:9 it is made plain that ONLY those who have, and are being LED BY, in daily living (verse 14) His Holy Spirit, are Christ’s. Next, it says the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick. But James also says (chapter 1:6-7) that if one’s faith wavers, he will not receive the answer. Yet also, in the “faith chapter” of the Bible, Hebrews 11, we read this: “he that cometh to God must BELIEVE that He IS, and that He is a REWARDER of them that diligently seek Him” (verse 6).
And again, what we ask of Him we receive BECAUSE we keep His Commandments, and do those things that please Him (I John 3:22).
So, although God DOES HEAL, there are conditions — we do have our part to perform.
Notice further: When the sick came to Jesus, He healed them “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Mat. 8:17) and that “by whose STRIPES ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24). Before Jesus was crucified, He was beaten with stripes — paying the penalty of our PHYSICAL transgressions in our stead.
This kind of healing — and nothing else IS actual HEALING — is a divine miracle, FORGIVING physical SIN — and removing its penalty. It is a MOST SERIOUS THING, not to be taken lightly — not to be made a mockery of by fanatical and wild public demonstrations in “healing meetings.” Jesus healed — the apostles healed — He gave AUTHORITY to His ministers to heal — but they did it quietly, without demonstration, as a ministry of LOVE — not as a highly publicized circus sideshow to attract crowds.
This sort of sensational “divine healing” is NOT the way of God. Such practices today have only brought ridicule and discredit, and in no sense do I advocate or approve them! The courts and law-enforcing agencies, as a result of these UNSCRIPTURAL, “divine healing” practices, are completely hostile to “divine healing.” But what Jesus did, and commissioned HIS true ministers to do, IS SOMETHING ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT.
Real healing by God’s power is a matter of FORGIVING SIN — sin against the physical body. Read Luke 5:18-26. None but GOD can forgive sin (verse 21). Doctors, therefore, CANNOT HEAL. They can work WITH nature’s laws — but that is not HEALING.
Do we, then, advise people AGAINST going to medical doctors? BY NO MEANS. Doctors have their place in this world. But the healing that God performs is NOT OF THIS WORLD.
I have answered the call of thousands, who have come to me for prayer for healing. Many HAVE been healed — miraculously — of even cancer and an advanced case, in a hospital, of leukemia. On the other hand, many HAVE NOT been healed. Yet I have prayed with the same faith for the one as the other.
WHY are many not healed? Jesus said it is ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH. Perhaps they did not fully believe. Perhaps they were not obedient. Perhaps they should read James 4:3, where it says: “Ye ask, and receive not, BECAUSE……” And you may read the answer yourself.
So let me make this plain.
I DO NOT SAY, don’t go to the doctor of medicine. I DO NOT KNOW whether YOU will be healed by God — because I cannot know whether you have the faith, are conforming to God’s conditions, have really repented and turned from violating God’s laws. I do not leave people without ANY help — for, if they do not have the faith, have not repented, are not keeping God’s commandments, they probably won’t be healed, and I cannot advise them against the only help they might have — that which this world’s society has set up. Healing by God is NOT a thing to experiment with!
But, why not solve this whole question by avoiding the CAUSE of sickness and disease — and KEEPING HEALTHY in the first place? Then there is NO PROBLEM, is there?
If you would like further information about how to stay in good health, read our reprint “The Seven Laws of Radiant Health.”