Leaves of Healing
The Life,Ministry, and Message of John Alexander Dowie
The following is a small sample of the sermons and the writings of Dr. Dowie as they first appeared in Leaves of Healing.
DO YOU KNOW GOD’S WAY OF HEALING?
By Rev. John Alex. Dowie
Let it be supposed that the following words are a conversation between the reader [A] and the writer [B].
A: What does this question mean? Do you really suppose that God has some one especial way of healing in these days of which men may know and avail themselves?
B: That is exactly my meaning, and I wish very much that you should know God’s Way of Healing, as I have done for many years.
A: What is the way, in your opinion?
B: You should rather ask, WHO is God’s way? For the Way is a Person, not a thing. I will answer your question in His own words, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” These words were spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, who is both Saviour and our Healer. (John 14:6)
A: But I always thought that these words only referred to Him as the Way of Salvation. How can you be sure that they refer to Him as the Way of Healing also?
B: Because He cannot change. He is “the same yesterday and today, yea and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8.) He said that He came to this earth not only to save us but to heal us (Luke 4:18), and He did this when in the flesh on earth. Being unchanged, He must be able and willing and desirous to heal now.
A: But is there not a difference, namely, that He is not with us now?
B: no; for He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”; and so He is with us now, in Spirit, just as much as when He was here in the flesh.
A: But did He not work these miracles of healing when on earth merely to prove that He was the Son of God?
B: No; there was still a greater purpose than that. He healed the sick who trusted in Him in order to show us that He came to die not only for our sins, but for our sicknesses, and to deliver us from both.
A: Then, if that is so, the atonement which He made on the Cross must have been for our sicknesses as well as our sins. Can you prove that is the fact from the Scriptures?
B: Yes, I can, and the passages are very numerous. I need quote two only. In Isaiah 53: 4,5 it is written of Him, “Surely He hath borne our griefs (Hebrew sicknesses), and carried our sorrows:…. And with his stripes we are healed.” Then in the Gospel according to Matthew, this passage is quoted and directly applied to the work of bodily healing, in chapter 8, 17th verse, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.”
A: But do you not think that sickness is often God’s will, and sent for our good, and therefore God may not wish us to be healed?
B: No, that cannot possibly be; for diseases of every kind are the Devil’s work, and his work can never be God’s will, since Christ came for the very purpose of destroying “the works of the Devil.” (1John 3:8.)
A: Do you mean to say that all disease is the work of Satan?
B: Yes, for if there had been no sin (which came through Satan) there never would have been any disease, and Jesus never in one single instance told any person that sickness was God’s work or will, but the very contrary.
A: Can you prove from Scripture that all forms of sickness and infirmity are the Devil’s work?
B: Yes, that can easily be done. You will see in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35 that when Jesus was here in the flesh, He healed “all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people.” Then if you will refer to Acts 10:38 you will see that the Apostle Peter declares that He [Jesus] “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil.” Notice that all whom He healed, no some, were suffering from Satan’s evil power.
A: But does disease ever come from God?
B: No, it cannot come from God, for He is pure, and disease is unclean; and it cannot come out of Heaven, for there is no disease there.
A: That is very different from the teachings which I have received all my life from ministers and in the churches. Do you really think that you are right, and that they are all wrong in this matter?
B: It is not a question as between myself and them. The only question is, What does God’s Word say? God has said in all ages to His Church, “I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26), and therefore it would be wicked to say that He is the defiler of His people. All true Christians must believe the Bible, and it is impossible to believe that good and evil, sickness and health, sin and holiness could have a common origin in God. If the Bible really taught that, it would be impossible to believe our Lord Jesus Christ when He says, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18.)
A: But even if I agree with all you say, is it not true that the Gifts of Healing were removed from the Church, and are not in it now?
B: No, the “Gifts of Healing” were never withdrawn, and can never be withdrawn, from the true Church of God: for it is written, “The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29.) There are nine gifts of God to the Church (enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:8 to 11), and all these are in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, so long as the Holy Spirit is in the Church, all the gifts must be there also. If they are not exercised, that does not prove that they do not exist, but that the faith to exercise them is lacking in God’s servants. The gifts are all perfectly preserved; for the Holy Spirit, not the Church, keeps them safely.
A: What should a Christian then do when overtaken with sickness?
B: A Christian should obey God’s command, and at once turn to Him for forgiveness of the sin which may have caused the sickness, and for immediate healing. Healing is obtained from God in one of four ways, namely: First, by the direct prayer of faith, without any aid from the officers of the Church, praying as the Centurion did in Matthew 8:5 to 12; second, by two faithful disciples praying in perfect agreement, in accordance with the Lord’s promise in Matthew 18:19; third, by the anointing of the elders and the prayer of faith, according to the instructions in James 5:14 and 15; fourth, by the laying on of hands of them who believe, and whom God calls to that ministry, as the Lord commands in Mark 16:18, and in other places.
A: But are people healed in this way in these days?
B: Yes, in thousands of cases. I have myself laid hands upon many hundreds of thousands of people, and have seen the Lord’s Power manifested in healing of great numbers, many of whom are living witnesses in many countries, who have testifies publicly before thousands, and who are prepared to testify at any time. This ministry is being exercised by devoted Christians in many parts of America, Europe, Australasia, and elsewhere.
A: Is it not the same as Christian Science, Mind Healing, etc?
B: No. Divine Healing is diametrically opposed to these diabolical counterfeits, which are utterly anti-Christian. These impostures are only seductive forms of Spiritualism. Trance Evangelism is also a more recent form of this delusion, and it deceives many.
A: But how shall I obtain the necessary faith to receive healing, which faith I am at present conscious I do not possess?
B: It is written, “Belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17.) Our Missions are held for the express purpose of teaching fully the Word of god on this matter, and I very heartily invite you to attend the meetings which are announced for Zion Tabernacle. All are welcome and there are no charges of any kind made, for all God’s gifts are free gifts. Salvation is the first of these, without which you cannot be healed through faith in Jesus. All the costs of this work are covered by free-will offerings of the people who attend these meetings, and others whom the Lord leads to help; but the poorest who have nothing to give are as heartily welcome as the richest.
A: Do you see the sick and lay hands upon them in this Mission?
B: Yes; after we feel satisfied that they are fully resting in the Lord alone for healing, we see privately, so far as time permits, those who attend; but under no circumstances do we claim the power to heal any; for “power belongeth unto God.”
A: Have you any writings upon this subject which can be purchased?
B: Yes; these can be obtained at the office of Zion Publishing House, 1207 Michigan Avenue, or at Zion Tabernacle, 1621-1633 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. But the best book on Divine Healing is the Bible itself, studied prayerfully and earnestly.
We extend to you a hearty invitation to attend these meetings, which are free for all. Our prayer is that you may be led to find in Christ Jesus our Lord and God, your present Saviour from sin, your Healer from sickness, your Cleanser from all evil, your Keeper in the way to Heaven, your Friend, and your All for Time and Eternity. We pray that these words may help many who read, and that our little conversation may bear fruit in leading many readers to look to Jesus only.
“The Healing of Christ’s seamless dress
Is by all beds on pain;
We touch Him in life’s throng and press,
And we are whole again.”
Chicago, January 5, 1901
THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL DECLARED.
Report of Meeting held in Divine Healing Home No. 1, October 17, 1894.
Morning Talk – “Healing Ever God’s Will.”
The eighth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew is an inexhaustible treasure-house of God’s freedom-giving truth, concerning the glorious teaching on Divine Healing. Day after day, month after month and year after year God’s Messenger to Zion has been searching out its riches and giving them to the hundreds of thousands who have heard his talks on Divine Healing.
God has blessed these gems of truth, and many, now serving God in fullness of health and strength, praise Him for healing received through His Word as proclaimed to them from this chapter.
The talk which we publish this week was delivered in the early days of Zion in Chicago, six years ago.
It contains very important truths concerning God’s willingness to heal, and closes with the most remarkable prophecy, which has since been so marvelously fulfilled, that Divine Healing, although at that time a “small thing,” would become one of the leading questions of the end of the Nineteenth Century.
There is scarcely a newspaper, secular or religious, or a pulpit in any denomination, today, which is not discussing the subject of Divine Healing, on one side or the other.
The General Overseer has not revised this report. We know that God blessed the words as they were spoken, in that little room in Diving Healing Home No. I and we pray and believe that He will bless them now as they enter the hearts of tens of thousands over all the earth.
HEALING EVER GOD’S WILL.
Divine Healing Home Number I, October 17, 1894
Dr. Dowie read from the eighth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
The Willingness of God to Heal Inseparable From a Right Conception of His Nature.
The willingness of God to heal is, upon reflection, absolutely inseparable from any right conception of God’s nature. We know it to be true, that “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.”
The analogy throughout all the Scripture demands that we shall consider God in the light of a father toward his children. It also demands, consequently, that we shall not have, for one single moment, any conception that a good kind father on earth would give evil things to his children. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself brought that out in His talk with the bad men around Him.
Wicked and evil these Pharisees and Sadducees were, cruel and hating the Lord for His purity and for His courage in smiting their impurity and uncleanness, there was not a Pharisee or Sadducee among them who, when he entered his home and took up his little baby in his arms, did not feel that he wanted to do for that baby every good thing.
Even the Wicked Desire Their Children to Become Good Men and Women
How often you will see these bad men carefully shield their children from bad influences. Most saloonkeepers do not want their wives and children to live over the saloon. The last place they want their children to come into is the saloon. Over and over you see them guard their offspring with the utmost care. Gamblers and saloonkeepers and men who live vile lives will keep their wives and children in the suburbs, in a nice cottage away from the contaminating influence of the city. They would be exceedingly angry if their children were allowed to come into any of these bad places.
The proprietor of a theater in Australia said to me, “I never permit my wife or children to enter the theater. It is demoralizing. I have been a theatrical proprietor and manager for thirty years, but never permit my wife and children to attend the plays.”
I was using his theater for my Sunday services. I was about to deliver two lectures against the theater. I asked him to call upon me, for I wanted a little conversation with him. I told him what lectures I intended to deliver.
I said, “Of course, if you desire to cancel my lease because of that, you are at liberty to do so; but if you do so for these two Sundays, you must do it altogether.”
“No, sir,” he said; “I wish you more power in fighting against the theater. It is demoralizing to the very depth. There is nothing good about it. I thought I did know one or two virtuous actresses, but I was mistaken. In all my life I have never found a virtuous actress, whether star or others. It is demoralizing. It aims to present life as it is, and life as it is for the masses of the people is essentially evil. I never permit my wife and children to enter the theater.”
God is More Willing to Give Good Gifts Than are Our Earthly Parents
Our Lord Jesus Christ took the analogy. If ever bad men would shield their children from bad influence; if they would not give their children a stone for bread, a serpent for a fish, a scorpion for an egg, how much more should your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him? Christ Himself puts that argument from the point of view of an ordinary earthly father who has no other desire than to save his children from disease of spirit, soul or body.
I have known of women who have lived the most infamous of lives, and on a large scale; have been keeping wicked houses and getting large revenues from them; but their children, who were carefully trained, never knew what their mother did.
I know of one girl in Scotland who was educated with the utmost care by a most pious person who lived in a little cottage with her outside of Edinburgh. She never knew what her mother was. She thought that her mother lived in a distant part of England; but her mother lived an infamous life in the neighboring city of Edinburgh. That child was trained up in all respects a modest, sweet, pure, virtuous girl. She was a true Christian. Only after her mother’s death, when she was twenty-five years of age, did she learn what her mother had been. Of course she was distracted with grief when she knew that the money which she had received had been badly acquired. She made good use of it.
If such love for their children is shown in the lives of the vilest people, how can we imagine for a single moment that the infinitely good and Eternal Father could ever be the author of vile disease which torments the life of His children and makes them to be miserable and wretched?
You cannot imagine it. There is the analogy given by God Himself:
Like as a father pitieth his children.
So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.
It is not reasonable to suppose that God could be the author of sickness and other evil.
God is Pure, Hence No Disease Can Come From Him.
God could not be the author of disease on this ground; there is no disease in God and disease cannot come out of God. If there is no disease in me it is impossible for me by any touch to convey disease to you.
It would be impossible for you to get disease from my hand if I had no disease in me. Is it not in like manner impossible for God to communicate disease if there is no disease in God? Is there any disease in God? Is there any corruption? Then it is impossible for God to communicate them.
Lady in audience – “All things are possible with God.”
Dr. Dowie – There are some things impossible with God.
It is Impossible for God to Do Any Evil
I say it is impossible for God to lie; it is impossible for God to do evil. All things are not possible with God. God is incapable of being a devil. God is incapable of being anything else but absolutely good. How could He be anything else and be God?
It is impossible for God to lie.
It is impossible for God to steal.
It is impossible for God to be filthy.
It is impossible for God to do evil.
It is impossible for God to be corrupt.
It impossible for God to be diseased, and it is not possible, therefore, for God to communicate disease.
Is that not reasonable?
There rests the whole argument concerning this matter. God must be willing to heal because He cannot communicate disease.
Disease is the consequence of sin and the work of the Devil and would not have been in this world had there been no Devil. When you come to think right into that, you see how it falls into everything else in Scripture.
It is Impossible for Disease to Enter Heaven; Hence It Cannot Come from Heaven.
If it were possible for disease to enter heaven, then it would be possible for God’s own dwelling place to be defiled.
I think you will read very plainly in the Word of God that it is impossible; for here is the revelation of God concerning the City of God. Here is a description of the City of God:
And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by the day (for there shall be no night there): and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it: and there shall no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they which are written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
Nothing which is unclean can enter into heaven; nothing that defiles.
Does not disease defile? Then it cannot enter heaven. Therefore it cannot come from heaven.
As it cannot come from God and cannot come from heaven, where does it come from. It comes from the opposite sources. It comes from Satan and hell.
These simple fundamental truths are things which you must get a good firm hold of and tenaciously keep as the foundation of your whole faith in these things.
If one of you can imagine for a single moment that disease is a beneficent and good thing, throw up your hands and let disease come down in floods you cannot contain until you sink beneath them The more disease you have, the better.
If disease is beneficent in its character, God forbid that I should want any of you to lose any of it. Oh God, here is a man with tuberculosis in his foot. If disease is beneficent in its nature, Lord, give him tuberculosis in the other foot.
Here is a dear brother who is blind. If disease is beneficent in its nature, O dear Lord, make him deaf, too.
Here is a sister who is deaf, and if it is a good thing to be deaf, O God, please make her blind, too. Of course that is right, if it is good and beneficent and works out good purposes.
Hallelujah! The more you get of it the better! Praise the Lord for what you have, and ask for more. That is logical.
The common sense of humanity as well as the Word of God is absolutely opposed to all this silly nonsense about disease being beneficial. People have tried to make themselves imagine that it would make them sweeter and better, but nobody was ever yet made sweeter by neuralgia or better by typhoid fever. No one ever realized how much sweeter the air was when they had lungs being eaten out by wretched little parasites.
Christ Came to Destroy the Works of the Devil.
The willingness of God to heal is absolute; because disease, as I have said before, is a consequence of sin and the work of Satan, and our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the Devil.
To this end was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil. – I John 3:8.
The great purpose of God in Christ is to go about as a Destroyer of sin and evil. Christ is a Deliverer of men from the power of the enemy and a Restorer of all that is wasted and destroyed by the evil one. He is the Giver of a power and life which will enable his people to carry out His blessed will; His redemption. If it were not for that, I could not claim the strength which I have to claim from day to day when truly weary and worn out with ceaseless toil. I have to claim it, and I do get it. I asked it and get it, and have gotten it all the years through.
God Desires His Children to Be Clean.
Turn to the story of the leper. Notice that the Lord said, “I will,” and took the “if” out of the leper’s prayer, saying, “Be thou clean.” Emphasize, please, these words: “Be thou clean.” It is very clear that God wishes you to be clean.
First of all, you must be clean in spirit. You must have a clean heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me.
We consist of spirit, soul and body. This soul is the animal life, the blood. The next thing is the cleansing of the blood.
Once a brother minister said to me, “I listened to you with great pleasure. Many things you teach are new to me; yet I see they are true. I think, however, that you go too far in saying that God is absolutely willing to purify the soul, in the sense in which you use the word, and I now think rightfully, the animal life. I do not believe it is anywhere said in the Scripture that the blood is to be cleansed by the Lord.”
“How long have you been a minister?” I asked.
“Thirty years,” he replied.
“Just thirty years too long, so far as this teaching is concerned; just thirty years of gross ignorance, I said.
“Pretty strong words, Doctor,” he said.
“You know you told me to talk candidly, and I am doing it,” I answered. “I told you I would not enter upon this conversation unless you would stand all I had to say.”
“Well,” he said, “I challenge your statement. I will give you all I have if you point to a single passage of Scripture which says that God will cleanse the blood.”
I said, “I believe you have spoken rashly.”
“No,” he said, “I have not.”
I said, “Either one of two things will happen; either in five minutes I will have a deed or some note in hand giving me all your possessions, or else you lie, and I believe you lie.”
‘Oh,’ he said, “That is worse than ever.”
I said, “You do not intend to give me all you have. If you do, I want your paper in five minutes. Turn to your Bible. I will put it all on one clear, straight passage, although we can find a hundred.”
He said, “The words I want are that the blood is to be cleansed by God. It isn’t there.
I said, “Stop. You do not know anything at all about it, Brother, was not Joel the prophet of the Holy Spirit dispensation, and therefore the prophet of this dispensation?”
“I agree to that,” he said.
God’s Promise to Cleanse the Blood of His People
I said, “Here is the word. The third chapter of the prophet Joel, and the last verse: “And I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.”
He looked at that passage and said, “I never saw that before.”
I said, “Hand over to me all your property, right off.”
He said, “I will not.”
I said, “I told you you would lie.”
He did lie, too. I did not covet his property. I would only have used it for good if I had gotten it. He erred, not knowing the Scripture nor the power of God.
What was the healing of the leper but the cleansing of his blood?
Divine Healing is in Most Cases the Cleansing of the Blood.
What else is Divine Healing but the cleansing of the blood?
Nineteen-twentieths of it, you might say the whole of it, is the cleansing of the blood.
Rheumatism is a blood disease.
Cancer is a blood disease.
Catarrh simply means an impoverishment and pollution of the blood.
This absolute cleansing of the blood has been promised. That is healing. Healing is the cleansing of the body, by the power of God, the impure thing which has caused the disease.
The spirit and soul and body of man have to be clean. You cannot have a clean body without clean blood.
It is only the power of the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Power of God Himself, that can cleanse the blood. When I pray for the healing of a rheumatic, I am praying for the cleansing of the blood; and I know there must flow through me some Power, the Power of the Spirit, which shall at once cleanse the blood.
The Purpose of Jesus is Sending the Healed Leper to the Priest.
I wish to point out to you something about the leper’s story which is not generally understood. When this man was cleansed, immediately Jesus said to him, fourth verse: “And Jesus said unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way; show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
I desire to point out to you two things. First, what Christ’s command was and the purpose of it; second, the disobedience of the leper and the very serious consequences of it.
Why did Christ tell the healed leper not to tell any man, but to go and show himself to the priest? Simply because the priest, under the Levitical law, was the proper sanitary officer. Under that law it was necessary for the man to report himself so that he could be officially cleansed and allowed to return to his family. In order to secure that official recognition of cleansing, a sacrifice had to be made.
The Ceremonial for a Cleansed Leper
Refer to the fourteenth chapter of Leviticus and you will see what the law required in connection with the healing of a leper.
Taking that whole requirement, you can see the great wisdom of the Lord in sending this man to the priest.
When a man was cleansed and sent to the priest, the priest quarantined him. He examined the man again and again to prove by the closest scrutiny that there was no leprosy. Then the priest, with the full responsibility of what he was doing, showing the bare skin of the man, brought him, in the presence of all the people, to the door of the Temple – in the tabernacle times it was the door of the Tabernacle. There, before the vast multitudes, the priest would declare that the man was cleansed.
These multitudes would know that man had been unclean until the hand of the Lord touched him and said, “Be thou clean.” You can see that symbolical touching, first, of the blood on the right thumb, on the ear, on the right big toe; the priest declaring that he was cleansed through the blood.
Then the oil, emblem of the Holy Spirit, was applied.
The oil is a type of the Spirit, and the blood typical of the sacrifice, Christ Himself, the Spotless Lamb.
The effect of that testimony in the presence of all the people would have been glorious. But the man did not do what Christ told him to do.
Perhaps the man said to himself, “What have I to do with the priest? He had nothing to do with my cleansing.”
Some people nowadays say, “Why should I stand up in my Church and say, ‘I am healed’? My minister had nothing to do with it.”
That is just the place to tell it, “for a testimony unto them.”
But this healed leper did not obey Christ.
The Serious Consequences of Disobedience.
Please refer to the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark, the forty-fourth and forty-fifth verses:
See thou say nothing to any man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing the things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to spread abroad the matter, insomuch that he (marginal reading) could no more openly enter into a city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
To prove that the marginal reading is correct, I refer you to the next verse, “When He (Jesus) entered again into Capernaum,” It was not Jesus who could not enter into the city. It was in the early part of Christ’s ministry. Jesus openly entered into the cities of Capernaum, Bethsaida, and went in and out of the Temple at Jerusalem openly. Even in the days preceding His crucifixion, He went in and out openly. As He said, “I have spoken openly to the world, I ever taught in synagogues and in the Temple, where all the Jews come together.” Why the translators put in the word “Jesus” I do not know. The correct reading is, “Insomuch that he (the leper, not Jesus) could no more openly enter into a city.” In the Greek Testament it is simply the personal pronoun, “he.”
Because of this man’s disobedience, he was driven out into desert places. He could not resume his position in the city. The priests said, “How dare you come into this city? We have not cleansed you. We have not pronounced you clean. You have never offered the ceremonial cleansing sacrifice.” They refused to believe that he was healed.
Loss to the Cause of Christ by the Healed Leper’s Disobedience
Not only did the man lose much by being out in the desert places, where they came to him from every quarter to see that he was healed; but his family lost much and the Church lost much. The spectacle of that man standing in the door of the synagogue, or perhaps the very door of the Temple itself, and being proclaimed to be clean by the priest, would have been a striking testimony to the Lord’s having healed him. Instead of that, his testimony was conveyed to the few people or the many who came to him from the various places from all quarters. O how much more powerful would that testimony have been had it been delivered in a place where multitudes could have heard it?
It does not pay to disobey the Lord.
Perhaps this man thought he could save a little money. Perhaps he thought, “I did not get cleansed by the priests. It will cost e so many dollars to buy the lamb, to pay the Temple fees, to buy the log of oil and to do this and that and the other thing,” and in order to save a few dollars he disobeyed the Lord; and the consequence of that disobedience was that he was shut out.
I think that there are a great many people under this present dispensation who forget to make their offering to the Lord. They forget that the power and the blessing and the healing which came to them have to be spread abroad, and they do not make their offering to the Lord. The consequences are that they miss the blessing and are without in desert places. They do not stand forth boldly in the Church of God and witness.
Loss of Blessing Through Failure to Testify.
Beloved friends, I have seen a great many people wondrously healed, who, instead of giving their testimony, were afraid of what the priests would say, afraid of what the parson would say, afraid of what somebody else would say. They have trembled, kept it back and waited for a better occasion. Of course it never came, and their testimony was stifled and people in their own churches did not know that they were healed, because they did not have the boldness to rise up and say it in the Church.
The very best thing a Roman Catholic could do on being healed would be to go back to the priests and tell them.
What a mighty opportunity that man lost. He never got it again.
Opportunities Come to Us But Once
I am never going to live inside this body a second time. I am never going to walk over the same road I am walking today, a second time. Hence the opportunities which I have today I must seize and use now, because they will never come again.
Some other opportunity may come, another day may dawn, but it will not be the same opportunity, nor the same day. Before this day is over, some one whom I might have helped will pass beyond the possibility of my helping. Hence I take this opportunity. I desire to fill up all the day. I wish you to fill it. That you can live this day, that you have an opportunity of saying something for Christ today, are privileges which will never come again.
O how many opportunities we have lost; how many words might have been spoken!
You hear that some man is dead and you think, “Did I ever speak to that man? Did I ever talk to that man about his salvation? I was his next door neighbor. I met him in business. I never spoke to him.
You may think, “Here is my neighbor sick. I went down and I heard all these teachings, and I am ashamed to confess that Christ is the Healer.”
Perhaps one of the reasons why the healed leper did not witness for Christ before the priest, was that he was afraid that these priests, whom he knew hated Christ, might take some steps to put him to death. It might have been fear, because he knew the priests hated Christ, which caused his disobedience.
These priests showed in their faces, and by their actions, that they were conspiring against Christ’s life; trying to entrap Him. The great mass of the people saw the priests were bent on Christ’s destruction just as soon as they could bring it about.
Whether it was of fear or whether meanness to save a little money and not make the sacrifice that Moses commanded, whatever it was, he lost the opportunity. It does not matter how you lose the opportunity, whether through fear or through meanness, you will never have it again.
I have an opportunity now of devoting every dollar I have and every dollar I get to the extension of the Kingdom of God. I have that opportunity now. I use it. I put every dollar on wheels to run around the world. I put dollars into type; I put them into Divine Healing Homes; I spread literature. I help some one.
This leper’s opportunity was lost, and this most glorious healing lost nine-tenths of its power because the man from meanness or cowardice or some other wrong motive was disobedient. God requires of us the consequences of lost opportunities.
I repent every lost opportunity; repent in dust and ashes.
I used to think that expedience was an excellent thing and it was a good thing not to talk. If I were to keep my life by expediency now, I would not talk some of the things I talked yesterday. I would not talk some of things I talk often. I have given expediency to the winds when it interferes with the plain, bold declaration of truth.
I have said:
I Will Declare the Whole Counsel of God, Regardless of What Man May Say, Do, Think, or Threaten.”
Witness to all the knowledge of God that you get. Some persons say, “I am not healed, how can I witness?”
Witness to what you know. Witness that others are healed. Witness that you know what the Bible teaches. If people turn around and say, “Why are you not healed?” confess that it was not God’s fault, but some imperfection in yourself. Then ask the brother putting that question, “Brother, may it not be because you do not help me? May it not be because my own friends hinder me a little?” That will be a question for them to think about, because they can hinder a great deal.
Witness to the truth that you are not healed. Witness that Christ is the Healer of the sick. Tell others that the reason you are not healed is because you have failed somewhere for do your duty. You notice I say comparatively little about my healing publicly, because I do not need to. I am sure I am healed. People do not need me to tell them I am healed. They can see me and hear me.
You know that my lungs are in good order, because I make you hear me. One brother minister said, “Doctor, if you go on and talk like that, delivering two or three discourses a day, you will not last five years.”
I said, “Brother, I will live to bury you, if I am in this country.”
“Do you not think that you hurt your lungs?” he asked.
“No. I expand them; I strengthen them,” I replied. “The way for a man to get good lungs is to use them; not to lie on a sofa. The way for a person to have a good strong arm is to use it. If you do not use it, you will lose it. If you keep your eyes shut, no matter if you have ever so good and bright eyes, by and by the eyelids will refuse to open.”
That is the way with some people. They shut their eyes against the truth until by and by they do not need any exercise of will to keep their eyes closed.
For this people’s heart is waxed gross,
And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed;
Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them.
Testify to what you have.
Use for God what he has given you.
Some one may say, “I am sick, I cannot preach the Gospel.”
I would preach the Gospel with the last lung power I had, if I were sick. I would fight the Devil with the last blow I could give. I would fight if I could only fight with my head or if I could only kick.
I Hate Sin and Disease and Death With Intense Hatred.
I hate sin. I will fight to the end of life; I will die fighting the Devil’s works.
I hate disease. That is one thing which keeps me up in the ministry. I hate tuberculosis; I hate to see a strong man’s lungs dug out by the Devil. I hate to see a full, active life wasted. I hate to see a dear old mother tortured with rheumatism in her last days, which should be so peaceful and happy. I hate disease. I hate it with my whole heart, I hate it with a perfect hatred. That hatred was put into my heart by God. God hates sin.
O ye that love the Lord, hate evil.
Hate evil with all the intensity of your nature. Your love for God will be in exact proportion to your hatred for sin.
These men about the world do not like to have you attack evil. They say, “Let it alone!” That proves they never learned to hate sin. If you have to deal with a fire and let it alone, it will burn down the house. Leave that little spark alone in the room and our house is gone. Sin is hell fire, and I will not leave it alone. God put me in this world to fight it. Did not His own Son come into the world to fight the works of the Devil?
I fight because I long to see you men and women free.
I have no weapons of war. I do not propose to use gunpowder or dynamite; but I propose to use the Word of God. I do not propose to use artillery to free men from sin; but let the enemy look out.
A Church Which Blocks God’s Way Will Die
Let the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and others who are blocking the way to the delivery of men from sin and disease, look out.
The Jewish Church blocked God’s way, and what did He do with it? He scattered it like the wind. The Jewish system has never been resurrected since that day. Christ said, “Your house is left unto you desolate.”
If the Church of the Living God today will not do right, the Almighty will spew it out of His mouth. There are churches in this city God has spewed out of His mouth already. They have no life. Some churches die when their leaders die.
When John Alexander Dowie is dead, Divine Healing will still live, because it lives now. It lives in every place where I have ever taught it. It lives in the homes, in the lives of tens of thousands. If I were not preaching a living, Everlasting Gospel, it would not live. Divine Healing has never been dead. The Gospel has never been dead, but the churches which fight it will be. Last year in the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church in this city influential persons asked the minister, “Why do you not ask Dr. Dowie to come and hold a mission in this church? This church would be full.”
The pastor refused.
I dare say there are 200,000 people within half a mile radius of that church. Sometimes the congregation can be counted by tens. The church has a high steeple, and has seats for a thousand people. It is as dead as a door nail. They rejected Divine Healing; shut the door against it.
Divine Healing has come back to the earth, and if Protestant churches will not accept it, they will suffer.
Divine Healing is a small thing today, but I believe it will be one of the great questions of the century.
TALKS WITH MINISTERS ON DIVINE HEALING.
Two Addresses Delivered by the Rev. John Alex. Dowie, and M rs. Dowie by Invitation of the Congregational Club, at their meeting. Held in the Parlors of the Y.M.C.A., San Francisco.
[SERMON REPORTED BY G.H. HAWKES.]
Mr. Dowie spoke as follows:—
“BELOVED FRIENDS: I am glad of this opportunity to speak to you. If I were to place before you the text most in my mind, it would be the words contained in the eighth chapter of Matthew, sixteenth and seventeenth verses: ‘When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our Infirmites, and bare our sicknesses.”
DIVINE HEALING NOT “MIND HEALING” NOR “CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.”
“I am glad this subject has been placed before you in the two words, ‘Divine Healing.’ I have nothing in common with what is called Mind Healing, nor that ‘opposition of science falsely so called,’ called Christian Science, and I do not like the term, Faith Healing. ‘We are saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves; it is the gift of God! We are kept by the power of God through faith.’ While faith is a very precious grace, yet it is only the medium of the communication of God’s infinite love and power, and we must never put it in the place of God Himself. Therefore I am glad the subject is expressed in the words ‘Divine Healing,’ or ‘Healing through Faith in Jesus;’ not healing BY faith, but THROUGH faith; through faith in Jesus, by the power of God. As this doctrine is presented by us in our teaching it covers a large field; and however diversely it may be put, and however variously it may be illustrated, it, after all comes to two points.
TWO CARDINAL DOCTRINES
“First— That ‘Jesus, the Christ, is the same yesterday, today and forever,’ and being so, He is unchanged in power and in will. If His words, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,’ are true, and they are, then He is as much present in power and in spirit to-day as when He stood in the flesh upon the earth. This being so, we have ever presented in our teaching that He is able, that He is willing, that He is present, and that He is longing to heal His people as in the days of His flesh.
“Second— That disease, like sin, is God’s enemy, and the devil’s work and can never be God’s will. Peter said in the household of the Centurion Cornelius, (Acts 10:38): ‘God anointed Jesus Christ with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good and HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL, for God was with Him. Nineteen centuries ago ‘all manner of sickness and disease’ was healed by Jesus, and as ‘all’ whom He healed ‘were oppressed of the devil,’ it follows logically that all sickness and disease is still the devil’s work. When Jesus heals He is not undoing the work of the Father, but the work of Satan. The will of God is to heal now, as it was nineteen centuries ago, all who believe. Now in teaching these two points.
CHRIST IS THE HEALER, SATAN IS THE DEFILER.
“We are accustomed at some considerable length to put them before the eyes and the minds of the people as effectively as we can. We do this with the aid of diagrams. Here is one which we call ‘The Two Chains.’
“The Chain of Good begins with Jesus— from all eternity the eternal Logus, who was God, and in the beginning with God; the ‘Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world.’ Then follow what He hath given to His people, Salvation, Health, Life, Heaven.
“Then the Chain of Evil is Satan, Sin, Disease, Death, Hell. Jesus and Satan are opposed; salvation and sin opposed; health and disease opposed; life and death opposed; heaven and hell opposed. The point is, Has Christ delivered us from ‘all the power’ of the enemy? We teach that He has, and, therefore, that salvation extends to the body, and that His ‘saving health’ is a Gospel of Salvation and Healing which must be proclaimed ‘among all nations.” Therefore we teach
‘THE REDEMPTION OF THE BODY’
(Romans 8:23) and that the ‘Life also of Jesus should be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’ (2 Cor. 4:11). We make the bold assertion of the Apostle Paul, namely: ‘If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.’ (Romans 8: 11). This ‘redemption of the body’ was never taught by Jesus as something belonging to the hereafter. He taught that this was to be the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in all the ages. How plain are His words, ‘He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow Rivers of Living Water.’ The Rivers were to flow from the Bodies of Believers, and they did. The Bodies were to be Fountains of Divine Life; for it is written, ‘This spake He of the Holy Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified,’ (John 7: 37-39). But the Holy Ghost having been given, the Body becomes the Temple of the Holy Ghost, and the Temple of God is to be clean. So that redemption extends not only to the spirit (pneuma), and the soul (psyche), but to the body (soma); Christ’s redeeming work extends to the entire being, spirit, soul and body. Therefore, Divine Healing, the restoration by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Jesus, so long as we ‘abide in Him’ is provided for us through all our earthly pilgrimage. When our pilgrimage ends, though we may be old and worn, we shall ‘lie down in peace and sleep,’ and neither Satan, nor sin, nor disease, nor death, nor hell, shall have any dominion over us, if we let Christ set us free.
“Now in presenting these truths if seems to us that we are
STANDING UPON THE ROCK OF ETERNAL POWER.
We have no teaching outside of the word of God in this matter. We do not present our theories. This ministry is continuously the ministry of the Word of Life. We hold fast to Jesus’ words: ‘It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.’ We believe that ‘Fools, because of their transgressions, and because of their iniquities are afflicted,’ not because God afflicts them with foul disease. There are many such to-day whose ‘soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.’ But we also believe, as God’s word teaches us, that when ‘they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, He saveth them out of their distresses.’ We do not believe that He does this by pills and potions and plasters, but “HE SENDETH [Revised Version] His word, and HEALETH THEM, and delivereth them from their destructions [or pits]. (Psalms 107: 17-20). These are four wonderful verses.
“And so the whole Mission is
FIRST OF ALL A TEACHING MISSION;
and the whole ministry, as we are enabled to present it, is based entirely upon the word of God. We therefore present that word as fully as we can, always remembering that this was the way in which Christ carried out His great earthly Mission. He did three things; He taught, He preached, He healed. Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 9:35 have exactly the same phraseology: ‘Jesus went about all the cities and villages, TEACHING in their synagogues and PREACHING the gospel of the kingdom, and HEALING every sickness and every disease among the people.’ Teaching came first, Preaching next, and Healing last. That is the divine order in which it was ever put, and the Kingdom of God can only be extended by that Three-fold Ministry. Alas, that preaching should be considered the beginning and end of the Christian ministry in these days! A true minister should not only be a divinely ordained preacher, but a divine teacher and healer, as in the church of the first century.
“We have found in connection with this, that as the beautiful Gospel of Divine Healing is placed after Salvation, we have
A BLESSED OPPORTUNITY OF PRESSING CHRIST’S SALVATION
upon the people who come to listen. We tell them they must not attempt to ‘touch the hem of His garment,’ and that they cannot get into contact with Him at all for physical healing until they have spiritually owned Him as their Lord and their God. We remind our readers that it is written, ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.’ (Psalm 103: 2,3)
“Forgiveness first, and Healing second. Jesus put it in the same manner: ‘Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee,’ preceded ‘Arise, take up thy bed and go unto thine house.’ (Matthew 9:1-7) The leper must first be a true worshiper at Jesus’ feet ere he can find in Him a merciful healer. (Matthew 8:2-4). So we have taught that God requires saving faith on the part of those who come to seek Him for healing. There must first be a surrender of the spirit, and a reception of Christ as the Saviour from sin, and that is the sine qua non; a condition without which we cannot ask the Lord acceptably for healing. We have nothing whatever to do with those who will not first receive Christ as their Saviour. Divine Healing is the Children’s Bread, and it cannot be given to those who are wilfully Children of the Devil, for those cannot exercise faith. We find in connection with this teaching that this is a very strong position. We show them the Beautiful Gate of Divine Healing; but we point them to Jesus, who has said, ‘I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP.’ (John 10:7). No goat can enter, much less any devouring wolf. Before they can reach the inner door of Healing, they must pass through the outer door of Salvation. They must receive Christ the Saviour ere they can partake of His blessing as Healer. We repeat it over and over again.
DIVINE HEALING IS THE CHILDREN’S BREAD
and it cannot be given to dogs. The Canaanitish woman must get beyond the recognition of Jesus as the Son of David. She must see in Him the God of Israel. When she worships Him, and throws herself at His feet, with the cry, ‘Lord, help me!’ then He can say, ‘O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt.’ (Matthew 15: 21-28.) The Unitarians’ creed, which denies Christ’s power and Godhead, can never lead men to Salvation or to Healing. We teach that in all the healings recorded in Scripture, where faith is not expressed it is always implied. Spiritual perception must come first; for ‘without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6.) How can one exercise a spiritual power, such as faith is, unless that person found that faith in Him who is its Author?
“Presenting that, we find too that Divine Healing points to
A STILL MORE BEAUTIFUL THING, – HOLINESS OF LIFE.
The thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah presents first Salvation in Christ; ‘He will come and save you.’ Healing comes next: ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water,’ etc. Then HOLINESS follows: for the beautiful Redemption song continues: ‘And an Highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called THE WAY OF HOLINESS; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not enter therein.’ How blessed are those who walk therein; for this then there is THE WAY OF LIVE: the time of the singing of birds has come; ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs [not with moanings] ‘and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
“We do not strain the prophecy by applying it thus, for our Lord Himself applied it so in His answer to John the Baptist, (Matthew 11:4,5) and it is a glorious presentation of the good time when the whole being of the redeemed is perfected in Christ; and there is no perfection out of Him.
“A great deal more might be said about this; but let me emphasize, that unless these points are first understood, there is no progress; the way must be clear. By faith, the sinner must see Jesus as the Saviour. Perceptive Faith must be followed by Receptive Faith; for it is written, ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God’ (John 1:12). And Receptive Faith must be followed by a Retentive Faith, a faith that holds fast to Christ. That is followed by Active Faith; a true Christian must work for Christ. Active Faith must be followed by Passive Faith, the highest, and yet the lowliest form— a strong Christian calmly rests in the Lord. It is not in our seeing, our
receiving, our holding fast, our working, that Power lies; Power comes to him who is fully resting in the Lord. From that center all the rest proceed. Having taught these things you will see what the effect is; the effect is that we call upon the Church of God to live a higher life. We inquire at once, and firmly, from Christians who seek healing.
ARE YOU DEFILING YOU BODY?
If are defile the body by any nicotine poison, by the filthy vice of smoking, or chewing tobacco, then you sin against God and your own soul. You sow nicotine and reap cancer; you sow nicotine and you reap paralysis; you sow poison in the flesh, and you reap corruptions. That is in exact accordance with the law of Sin and death. For disease is the offspring of Father Satan and Mother Sin, just as much as Death. Let the words ring out in the ears of the church of God—‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth that [exactly that same thing, not something else] shall he also reap; for he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.' (Galatians 6: 7, 8) I talk plainly in this ministry, and affirm that the defilement wilfully, by a Christian, of his body is sin, just as stealing or lying is sin, for it is written, ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God; and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man [be he minister, officer or church member] defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which temple are ye? (I Corinthians 3: 16, 17). No one can mistake God’s word in this matter who has an honest mind. The human body of the believer is God’s temple. It is written, ‘What? Know ye not that your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? We are the Lord’s purchased-possession, and when He bought us, He did not only buy our Spirits, but He paid the price for the redemption of our souls and bodies too. Hence the apostle says, ‘Ye are bought with a price [and, oh, what a price Jesus paid!] therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ (See 1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20). To disgrace God by defiling His temple is clearly to sin. To pollute the body with alcohol is sin, for it defiles and poisons the brain and all the body, and opens the door of God’s Temple to many unclean devils. And so with every form of defilement. Novel readers are, for the most part, ‘filthy dreamers, who defile the flesh;’ (Jude 8) and the pernicious poison of fictitious literature of every kind excites the sensual desires of multitudes who pollute themselves continually. ‘Abstain from all appearance [or every form] of Evil’ (1 Thessalonians 5 : 22), is the absolute command of God, and every Christian must, by God’s grace, obey it fully. Therefore, we have
MOTIVE POWER IN TEACHING THIS DOCTRINE,
which comes with great force to those who are sick, causing them to quit sin. They have to give up all secret as well as open sins. Excesses, also, in the conjugal relation, excesses in the exercise of any lawful power that God has given, must be abstained from. There must be a holding in subjection of the whole being. The body must be made the servant, and never once the master. [Amens]. Thus many are led to give up sin under the power of the teaching of the word of God in this ministry of Divine Healing, who otherwise would not do so.
“But, beloved friends, the Teaching comes first, as we have said—the elimination of truth from error. The minds of the people must first be delivered from the terrible thought that God can ever be the defiler of His people, and the glorious revelation must be made clear and plain that the hand of Christ is ever the hand of the Healer.
WE HAVE TO MEET AND ANSWER OBJECTIONS, of course, and Old Testament difficulties are brought to bear especially upon this matter. We are confronted with the words of Job, which a good many people forget are not the words of God. The Book of Job is an inspired record of events in which God and Satan and men take part. The words of Job are not always the message of God. When Job said, ‘Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me’ (Job 29: 21), it was not an inspired word, for the voice of God, reproving Job, rang out from the whirlwind, ‘Who is this that darkeneth counsel by word without knowledge?’ (Job 38: 2). And Job had to confess that he has spoken things that he ought not to have spoken; uttered things he ought not to have uttered, that he had used words without divine wisdom; that he had sinned. He said, ‘Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth’ (Job 40:4). Again he said, ‘I have uttered that I understand not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not; . . . . wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 42: 1-4). It was then that the hand of the Healer was manifested; for God healed Job, and delivered him also from the false accusations of his three friends who did was not see that this was not the hand of God. They thought it was the hand of God, and Job was in the same position. But God revealed that drama which we see now, which Job did not see at the time and did not understand (and sometimes we do not), that while he permits the existence of sin and suffering, and other forms of evil, he never can be the author of evil. Therefore when Job said, ‘What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ Job was not sinning with his lips willfully, but he was sinning in his mind ignorantly, and he was speaking that which was not right. It is written, ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (See James 1 : 13-16.) Stealing is evil, disease is evil; and when Job said, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,’ Job was wrong.’ He did not sin, willfully, nor charge God foolishly intentionally; but God proved to him that he had charged him wrongfully. Let us have the whole truth; the Lord gave, it is true; but it is equally positive that Satan took away; and poor Job ignorantly blessed God for what he afterward saw was Satan’s work. You surely do not make God the author of the stealing of Job’s sheep and camels and oxen and asses? You surely do not make God the author of the sin of Job’s children, who in their sinful gluttony, drunkness, and impenitence were in Satan’s power and perished. The family was a sinful one, so sinful that Job daily offered sacrifice for them; ‘For Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed (the Revised Version reads renounced)
God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.’ (See Job 1 : 4 and 5.) They were a continuous sorrow to him, and had a foolish mother. He knew they were evil; they perished in their sin; for they despised their godly father. We say that, then, what God’s word says, that it was the hand of Satan that ‘smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.’ (Job 2: 7.) It was not the hand of the Lord; and we should discern that while there is the divine permission there is not the commission.
PERMISSION AND COMMISSION ARE POLES ASUNDER,
and must never be confounded. I would like to say a word just here, namely, that a great deal of error arises from confounding these two things. God permitted the Jews to blaspheme his own Son; permitted Judas Iscariot to betray him; permitted Satan to enter his heart and make him a thief, a betrayer, and a liar; but for anyone to say God committed these crimes would be to make God the author of perjury, of stealing, of brutality and blasphemy. Christ submitted; God, the eternal Father, permitted; but it was the temporary triumph of the Evil One; for Jesus himself said at that awful time to those servants of Satan who arrested him at Gethsemane, ‘This is your hour, and the power of darkness.’ (Luke 22: 53.) He never once said it was the hand of God. There is a great deal of error in our hymnology. For instance, a well-known hymn says:
'Jehovah lifted up His rod,
O Christ, it fell on Thee;
Thou wast sore stricken of God,
There's not one stroke for me.’
That is based upon a misinterpretation of the Scriptures. A person once said to me that it was written in the word, ‘He was stricken of God and afflicted.’ I said, ‘That is not true.’ He said, ‘That is what it says.’ I said, ‘It does not, and if you look at the word, you have seriously misquoted. In Isa. 53: 4 it is written, ‘Surely He hath born our griefs [in the Revised Version instead of griefs the margin reads sicknesses] and carried our sorrows, yet WE DID ESTEEM HIM STRICKEN, smitten of God and afflicted.’ We Jews, we, the people of God, said, ‘Now, there you are on the cross; didn’t we tell you that you were a blasphemer, and would come to a bad end? And they reviled Him, derided Him, mocked Him, and wagged their heads and said, ‘You are stricken of God, and afflicted of God, you are a bad man.’ Oh, it is bitter shame that the Church of God should take this false accusation as a truth, and fashion it into a hymn. It is not true. He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities; but let us never forget what Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who put Him to death, ‘Him, being delivered by the determinate cousel and fore-knowledge of God, ye have taken, and BY WICKED HANDS have crucified and slain.’ (Acts 2: 23.) The hands which committed that crime were ‘wicked hands,’ doing the devil’s bidding. Christ with the Father agreed in the Divine Counsel, and with clear foreknowledge, to let Satan triumph for that bitter, awful hour; but it was that He might thereby provide for us salvation and healing, and every blessing we need, by that precious, atoning Sacrifice. The glorious words, therefore, follow: (Isa.53: 5) ‘The chastisement of our peace when upon Him, and His Stripes WE ARE HEALED.'
“You may say that further on the prophecy says, (verse 10.) ‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.’ I read these words, ‘to permit Him to be bruised,’ and for many good and sufficient reasons I cannot enter into the matter now and here, but we have entered into it very largely in our teaching. There has been a good deal of difference of opinion amongst eminent scholars upon this subject. I hold that all through the Old Testament there is a mistranslation of the permissive into the causative. If what Peter says, namely, that He was crucified ‘by the hands of wicked men,’ be true, then his crucifixion could not be the Father’s action in any sense, although it was His permission. But the awful guilt of that diabolical crime rests upon the Jews, for it was their sinful action, and Satan’s work, of whom they were the blind slaves, through the ‘envy of their deceitful rulers’.
“And so, throughout the whole of the Old Testament, I venture to say you can only rightly understand many passages by altering the causative into the permissive. For instance, ‘Shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?(Amos 3: 6.) Will any of you say that God creates, is the doer of, every iniquity in San Francisco? Again, ‘I make peace, and create evil.’ (Isa. 45: 7.) If God creates evil, then where is our responsibility, should we fall into sin? Again, ‘The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets.’ (I Kings 22: 23). Does God put a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophet? Then he would be a father of lies, like the devil; and I want to see where the responsibility is, if we are led astray by a false revelation. Change the verb from causing to permitting, and the difficulties in these and hundreds of passages in the Old Testament vanish in a moment, and God justified from one of the foulest charges brought by infidelity, namely, that He is the author of innumerable crimes. He permits the existence of evil, but permission is not commission. On the contrary, does He not say, (Isa. 5:20,) ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness, for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter?’ The New Testament is abundantly clear upon the matter, and I think that we, as ministers of the New Testament, ought to interpret the Old by the New, and not the New by the Old. I lay it down as a canon of interpretation that when we are listening to the Christ we should say, ‘A greater than Solomon is here.’ And we are not going to Isaiah or Moses or David in preference to Christ. When he says, ‘I say unto you,’ it settles the question. He says, ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt. 8:17). God is not a tree of good and evil. God is good, infinitely holy and infinitely pure, and nothing corrupt can ever come to us through His hands. Disease is evil, the product of Satan and sin, hence it can never come from God.
"So these are some of the points of the teaching,
AS TO THE PRACTICE,
we do not care that [indicating by gesture] in itself, about laying hands upon people or about anointing people. I should be very glad if everyone was healed as the Lord has graciously healed and kept me. For twenty-six years I have been delivered by Him alone in every time of trial, and kept in health and strength and in power of spirit, soul and body. I have been lecturing in your country continuously for six months, and before I left Australia had been for many years working up to my utmost strength. I have been speaking, I suppose on an average about three times a day for more than one hundred and eighty odd days, and I do not feel any weakness. I have written much, conducting a vast correspondence, and had interviews with hundreds of persons. I had all the work of yesterday, and I did not take Saturday to rest, but was at work from an early hour of that day until 11 o’clock at night, preparing my mail for Australia. I seldom know what it is to absolutely rest, except in sleep and in a change of employment. I find rest and joy in continuous service. So I speak, and so it is, all of the grace of God.
“We do not teach that it’s essential in Divine Healing to anoint with oil, or that there shall be laying on of hands. We say that all a true believer needs to do is to pray as the Centurion did, ‘Lord, speak the word only and Thy servant shall be healed.’ (Matt. 8:8.) But then you must have faith it shall be done, not merely that it can be done. We have been largely used by layings on of hands in this ministry; but we believe in the ministry of anointing by the elders, as set forth in Jas. 5:14, 15. ‘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.’ Look at the three shalls in that last verse. It is not perhaps, may or can, but God says “shall.” Christ says, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.’ (Luke 11:9.) He does not say these signs may follow them that believe, but He says clearly, ‘These signs shall follow them that believe: in My Name . . . they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16: 17, 18.)
“While we do not consider it essential in all cases to lay hands on the sick, yet we glorify God that He has used us in that wonderful ministry. In your city the blind have received their sight, the deaf have heard, the lame have walked, and their testimony is there [referring to ‘American First-Fruits’] and many have been blessed. But
SUPPOSING THERE WAS NO HEALING IN THIS CITY,
it would not alter the fact that Christ is the Healer. Now I would ask you as ministers, suppose there was not one man saved in the city, would it alter the fact that Christ is the Saviour? No; it would simply show there was no faith in San Francisco. That Christ is the Healer does not rest upon any human testimony, it rests upon the word of God, and not the testimony of man. We have not based it upon the testimony of men, and we shall never do so, God helping us. You do not base your belief that Jesus is the Saviour from sin upon the fact that somebody is saved, or says he is saved; but you base it upon the word of the living God; and there you stand. And there we stand, upon the Rock—resting on the God of Eternal Truth, whose Word we have.
“So this teaching is not new.
IF IT WERE NEW, IT WOULD NOT BE TRUE,
and what is true is not new. We want to get back to the old church lines, as laid down in the New Testament, to primitive lines; and if we are to get back primitive power, beloved, we will have to go a step further and get back primitive organization, primitive faith, primitive simplicity, primitive purity of life. Primitive power follows all that.
“Well, beloved friends, I am very thankful for the opportunity of talking to you. I think I have taken up more than my time.”
(The Chairman announced that seven minutes remained.)
A member of the Club said they would like to hear from the good lady, referring to Mrs. Dowie.
Mr. Dowie continued; “I thank you for your courtesy to Mrs. Dowie. Doubtless she will say a few Words.
“It is also remarkable how my dear wife has been kept in connection with the whole of this ministry. I suppose it would almost savor of egotism if I spoke at length of what we have undertaken in this work for the Lord, and I will not. I don’t want myself to be put in the front at all in this matter, yet to the glory of God let us say that during these last six years we have seen thousands and thousands of persons individually, and talked to hundreds of thousands, and through our pen to millions, and all in the strength which God supplies. We have had wondrous blessing. ‘The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.’ Mrs. Dowie has worked with me continuously through all the toil of long journeys by land and by sea, followed by meetings lasting frequently all the day from ten o’clock in the morning until very late at night, and sometimes till far on in the following morning. So it has gone on from year to year, and we have had ‘fresh oil’ every day, new power has continually been given. I have never known for a single day what it has been to be unable to minister to my Lord in all these long years. And in this I greatly rejoice; for we live to do the will of God.
“I desire to say that I esteem it a privilege to talk to Congregational ministers; I was one of you; I am one of you in many things still. I was ordained nearly seventeen years ago as the pastor of a Congregational church. I was born of the spirit in my native city, Edinburgh, Scotland, when I was a child seven years old, and was brought up in an “independent church,” as we used to call it. My father is a Congregationalist now, and most of my relatives are connected with Congregational churches.” A minister inquired,
“IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN BY PRIMITIVE CHURCH ORGANIZATION!”
“No, sir, I do not think so by any manner of means. My views upon that subject have been expressed in a recent lecture, entitled, ‘A Fact and a Question.’ The fact to which I refer is found in 1 Corinthians 12:28, ‘And God hath set (etheto—hath built into) some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily, Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that, Miracles, then Gifts of Healings, Helps, Governments, Diversities of Tongues.’ That is the fact according to the Holy Scriptures. The question is, ‘Where are they?’ and upon the right answer to that Question depends the whole truth as to the rightful organization of the Church of God.
“There is one more word I would like to add. I may say, brethren, I found it to be a very great blessing to myself to be able to keep very clearly in my own mind the primitive distinction between Spirit and Soul. I feel convinced that much error has crept into the Church, among which is the miserable doctrine of annihilation, in consequence of confounding the words Soul and Spirit. We have a lecture upon the subject, ‘'The Sanctification of Spirit, Soul and Body,’ which we illustrate by a diagram. That diagram is not here; but perhaps you will be able to understand what it is after I have represented it to you. We present in this diagram four circles; the innermost to represent the indwelling of the holy spirit; the next circle is the spirit (pneuma); the next Soul (soma); and the outside circle of the Body (psyche). The triparte nature is not often preached, and man is too often represented as a duality instead of a trinity, made ‘in the image of God.’ We teach the doctrine largely from 1 Thess. 5:23,24. The Holy Spirit is the sanctifier of spirit, soul and body. The difference between spirit and soul is essentially distinct, and, is so shown in the Scriptures. The first chapter of Genesis shows that beasts have souls; and the same word is used concerning Adam’s soul. But that expression has no reference to the spirit. Genesis 2:7 shows that man was constituted by God a triparte being—the Body of dust, the Spirit is the Breath of God’s Life, and the Living Soul is identical with that of the animals, birds, fishes in Genesis 1:20 and 30, where the same word is used for their life. All our light on this matter must come from God’s Word, which clearly points to a separation of Soul from Spirit. (See Hebrews 4:12.) ‘The Word of God . . . piercing even to the dividing asunder of Soul and Spirit.’ The soul can die, the spirit never. Christ ‘poured out his soul unto death,’ (Isaiah 53:12); but that was only His blood, not His Spirit, which could not die. The blood is the life. He poured it out (it was His soul) unto death. And so all the way through we have this distinction of Soul and Spirit in the testimony of God. It leads to many practical thoughts, and, has a far reaching importance not at first perceived—we have found it so in our ministry.
“As illustrating the rapidly growing interest in this ministry of Divine Healing, I may say that I have
RECEIVED FROM FIVE TO SIX THOUSAND PETITIONS FOR PRAYER
from all parts of your country, and also from many parts of the world during these six months. It is wonderful how God has guided the minds of the people to us from many lands, and the answers to prayer that have been given for many at great distances. It is needless that I should give instances of Divine Healing, for hundreds have publicly testified in our meeting in this State, and in this city. Many hundreds have also professed to find salvation in our meetings, and this is our highest joy. The Healings are going on all the time, and I glorify God for what he is doing. There is nothing done through my agency but what may be done through any of you.
I CLAIM NO EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGES OR POWERS.
“We teach what is recorded in the 12th chapter of First Corinthians, that ‘the gifts of healing are in the Holy Spirit,’ like all the other gifts of God. They are not under the control of a body called the Church, they are not controlled by any person, call him by what office or title you may; they are in the Holy Spirit; and, if the Holy Spirit be in you, He will divide to you severally as He wills. All the gifts are in the Holy Spirit, and, therefore, in the Church. The nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned in that chapter are a permanent possession of the Church, namely, the Word of Wisdom, the Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healings, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirit, Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. ‘All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.’ The gifts are permanent, for it is written (Romans 11:29),‘For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.’ They are not changed by the unbelief of men. Christ has bestowed the gifts and they are a permanent possession. The Church is His Bride, and the Bridegroom has endowed her with the gifts. He has not taken them away, and He does not mean to. Long have they lain in the Treasury of His Grace unused. May they be from henceforth fully exercised to bless humanity, and glorify God. May He grant a blessing on the word, and hasten the time when the Church will everywhere declare His ‘saving health among all nations.’ Amen.”
The Club cordially invited Mrs. Dowie to say a few words to them, which she did as follows:—
“'My Christian friends, I can simply confirm what Mr. Dowie has already told you about his doctrinal teachings; he has gone pretty well over the ground, in as short a space as he could get it into, and he has not missed many of the points. But there is just one passage I might mention which is often brought up by Christians, and that is the much misunderstood passage,
‘WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH.’
That passage is taken right out of its connection, and many people do not know anything at all about its surroundings, and take it that the, chastening, means sickness, and, therefore, when they are sick they say the Lord is chastening them, and they cannot pray in faith to have it taken away. Our explanation is this: In the twelfth chapter of Hebrews it says: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,’ and so on. There the parallel is drawn between Christ and the Christian. Now our Lord Jesus never suffered from disease. We are to have the same sufferings as He suffered; we are to suffer just as He suffered; the parallel there is complete. If Jesus Christ had suffered from disease He could not have been the Messiah, because He had to be the spotless Lamb of God. Therefore, we can clearly see that it could not have been disease with which He was chastened. But the proof that this passage does not refer to disease as God’s chastening is that the section closes with the words in the twelfth and thirteenth verses: ‘Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way: but let it rather be healed.’ Therefore Healing is God’s purpose for us in running our race, and it cannot be a chastisement of disease that we receive from the Lord.
“And, again, the parallel is also drawn between a child and his parents. When we chastise our children we would not give them disease. Our Lord asked (Luke 11: 11, 12), ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if
he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?’ No father would do this, and no father would chasten his child with disease more cruel than serpents or scorpions. ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.’ We cannot imagine a loving father chastising his children with deadly and painful disease.
“In regard to the practical working of this teaching, many Christians who come to our meetings tell us that when they receive this doctrine it brings them in touch with Jesus as if He stood before them. They now speak to Jesus as simply as a little child can speak to his earthly father; they feel Jesus is with them all the time, and they can bring all their little wants to Him and He sympathizes with them.
“We teach that
HE IS PRESENT WITH US ALWAYS,
and not an absent Lord. And so many thousands who have been suffering from every description of disease have been healed of the Lord. We have seen people come into our meetings bent with pain and scarcely able to drag themselves along; poor suffering women who sometimes tell us they have not had a day’s ease from pain for twenty or even thirty years, and in a moment they have seen the teachings, they understand it is not the Lord’s will that they shall suffer, and they just go to him in simple faith and ask for healing, and they have gone away healed and well.
“We have preached this now for more than six years. People have come to us afflicted with almost every description of disease that you can mention. We have had many of those who have been healed with us day after day for six years in Australia, and we and hundreds of witnesses can testify that they have been perfectly healed; and the Lord has kept them; for He is not only our Saviour, and our Healer, but our Keeper.”
The Chairman announced that fifteen minutes remained for questions. The Rev. Dr. Pond inquired: '”I have been greatly interested—greatly interested, and I would like to ask Brother Dowie, not in the spirit of disputation at all, but to hear what he has to say about it, in reference to certain cases of sickness met with in the New Testament, mentioned just as we would mention them, as being the visitation of God’s providence; take the case of Epaphroditus and others—I presume they are all familiar to him.”
Answer— “In the case of Epaphroditus, nothing is said by Paul as to his sickness being God’s providence. But his healing is joyfully recorded (Phil. 2:27): ‘Indeed he was sick nigh unto death, but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I should not have sorrow upon sorrow.’ Epaphroditus seems to me a good case of Divine Healing. As to the case of Trophemus, Paul simply says, ‘I left him at Miletum sick’ (2 Tim. 4:19). It does not say why he was left sick. He might not have been faithful; for at this time many of Paul’s companions were failing him. Indeed, he says, only five verses before this, ‘At my first answer, no man stood with me; for all men forsook me.’ Of course Paul had many companions who were not faithful; Phygellus, Hermogenes, Demas and others are named among those who forsook him. It does not follow that all of Paul’s companions were capable of healing—just as some of you here might be incapable of receiving Divine Healing because of unbelief.”
After many other questions by various ministers had been answered, the time having been extended for an additional fifteen minutes, the Club heartily gave a vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dowie for accepting their invitation to address them and for presenting the subject of Divine Healing to them.
“CHRIST IS ALL.”