In the Word Of Faith, and Physical Healing movement, there’s strong teaching that gives the appearance that it’s part of the atonement.
Just one word debunks this teaching.
Let’s define the word “atonement.”
(Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary) h3722. כָּפַר ḵâp̱ar; a primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: — appease, make (an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile(-liation).
AV (102) – atonement 71, purge 7, reconciliation 4, reconcile 3, forgive 3, purge away 2, pacify 2, atonement…made 2, merciful 2, cleansed 1, disannulled 1, appease 1, put off 1, pardon 1, pitch 1;
to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch, (Qal) to coat or cover with pitch, (Piel) to cover over, pacify, propitiate to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for, to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
(Pual) to be covered overto make atonement for, (Hithpael) to be covered”
This reference is from the first time the Bible speaks of atonement in Exodus 29:33.
As you can see, in the OT, the word “healing” or any reference to physical healing is absent from Strong’s Concordance.
The argument is erroneously made when the Lord Jesus, ministering as the last Prophet in the OT before His death and resurrection, that His atonement covers physical healing in this Scripture.
Matthew 9:1-8 (NKJV) “So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.”
The paralytic man on the bed had his sins forgiven. It’s clear that it’s good to receive both. Forgiveness of sins and physical healing. However, the most important thing that the man needed was to have his sins forgiven.
Physical healing was of less importance. However, to declare (not prove) that the Son of Man had power to forgive sins, He commanded the man to take up his bed and walk.
Notice this Scripture in the book of James.
James 5:14-16 (NKJV) “Is anyone among you sick? 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 will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Sin is an impediment to physical healing. Sin could be the reason why a person received an illness.
John 5:1-9 (NKJV) “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”
John 5:14 (NKJV) “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
At first, the teaching sounded Scriptural but then you begin to see that the very definition of atonement can’t work. Atonement is about sin, not physical healing.
Now before you go off. Yes, I do believe that God heals and saves people from physical death. What I’ve stopped doing is accepting false doctrine to make what we believe plausible.
You’ve must have been disappointed to come to this conclusion. Disappointed in false doctrine that I could make God do what I want Him to do and force His hand.
God’s power and His willingness to heal is enough when we ask in faith in His Son’s name. God will grant and God will deny. Why? Because He’s God. He does as He pleases.
We all know that events in life happen, but when we sin against the Lord, it may very well have been the thing that led to a person’s illness.
1 Corinthians 11:27-32 (NKJV) “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
So it’s clear and conclusive that sin opens the door for sickness as chastisement from the Lord when we fail to judge ourselves.
John 9:1-5 (NKJV) “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Then there’s sickness or illnesses that come upon people that have not sinned.
Luke 13:10-17 (NKJV) “Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”
The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?
And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.”
So it’s also clear that physical healing from a spirit of infirmity is a separate issue as far as the atonement is concerned. Atonement is about covering a person’s sins in the OT, and physical healing is another issue.
To connect physical healing and atonement is a clear harmony of Scripture problem.
If physical healing is in the atonement, then all we need is to be forgiven of sins and then all of our physical maladies would go away. That Christ paid in full our sins and sicknesses.
Psalm 91 and 103:1-5 is also used.
Forgiveness of sins is a benefit. Healed of all our diseases is a benefit, etc, but if healing is in the atonement or covering of sin, why mention physical healing as a separate benefit?
Then there’s the statement of using salvation as an all inclusive word. Yes, healing saves you from physical death, but forgiveness of sins saves you from hell.
Did you see the distinction?
Now notice that the paralytic man came and the Lord Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven you,” but he remained in his bed.
It would have been a great connection of healing in the atonement if the paralytic man got off his bed and walked AFTER the Lord Jesus told him that his sins were forgiven. This would be an undeniable uncontroverted connection of physical healing in the atonement.
But to declare that the Lord Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins, He commanded the paralytic man to rise, take up his bed and walk.
With the reference to James chapter 5, we see that if anyone is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, come an anoint 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.
Then on a separate issue, if he committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Alluding to the fact that if he wasn’t raised up, the impediment of sin might be the issue. Especially after Paul’s reference in 1 Corinthians 11.
Finally, you have Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:24.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV) “Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
1 Peter 2:24-25 (NKJV) “…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
These references are metaphoric.
Psalms 41:4 (NKJV) “I said, “LORD, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
We all know that the spirit and soul of man is eternal. The physical man is the third and final part to man.
Let me point something out.
God does heal. And God heals whoever He wishes.
We must remember. God is God.
We’ve all have seen it when we’ve prayed earnestly for someone to get healed and it wasn’t to be. We always ask the question,
Why did they die?
We make declarations or confessions that healing is a part of the atonement. We say these things as a part of “faith confessions.” We’ve asked the Lord in faith. We’ve prayed the pray of faith. We’ve declared as kings in the earth that they’re healed. We invoke the name of the Lord Jesus. We’ve laid hands. We’ve anointed them with oil in the name of the Lord.
And nothing happens. Why didn’t God heal?
We don’t know. We don’t have the entire picture. We don’t have the answer.
Especially when people die prematurely.
There is a Biblical answer for those that die in Christ prematurely.
We must also remember that
Ecclesiastes 8:7-8 (NKJV) “For he does not know what will happen;
So who can tell him when it will occur?
No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit,
And no one has power in the day of death.
There is no release from that war,
And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.”
Also Hebrews 9:27 is clear.
But to declare that physical healing is a part of the atonement, you would have to find in the definition of atonement any connection to physical healing when atonement’s defined as covering for sin.
Let’s not add anything to His Word according to Proverbs 30:6.