I have heard numerous times where people have stated that someone received “the final healing” after they died. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not scriptural. I’m not aware of a single place in the Bible where God said anything close to “I shalt kill thee, and thou shalt reap the harvest of healing blessings as my holy smiting smiteth thee. Yea, verily shalt it be so.” In the Old Testament death carried a lot of despair, pain, and grief with it. While that same despair is not expressed much in the New Testament, that is not because of a heaven-when-you-die reality, but due to the fact that through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have access to that same healing, saving, resurrection power. In other words, death as a form of healing is possibly one of the highest heresies out there, an anti-Christ doctrine in direct opposition to the sacrifice Jesus made through His blood on the cross.
So what does the Bible say about death and healing?
The Bible says a lot of things, but I’ll give you my translation of a favorite verse of mine from Romans 8. “The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will also quicken and bring life to your fleshly, mortal, and perishing body.” If the Holy Spirit is bringing life to our bodies, which are perishing and temporary, then why on earth do we believe that we have to die to get healed? Or worse yet, that those who died finally got healed because they died? I don’t know why we believe it on earth, because I can tell you that no one believes it in Heaven.
I recall a conversation I had with a massage therapist at a former Chiropractor’ office a few years back, and I believe God set me up for this one. This massage therapist is a believer, and I was talking about God healing people, and said something to the effect of “God can grow someone’s amputated leg back. If he could make the whole earth, a leg isn’t hard for him.” As I continued in conversation, I repeated this general statement about an amputated leg growing back at least one more time. Yeah, so as it turned out he had a prosthetic foot. And no, when I mentioned God growing legs back, twice, I was unaware of this, not to mention that this guy didn’t need the whole leg—just the foot. I’ll be honest, I was pretty stoked at this, which was clearly a God-setup. The therapist shared with me that he was looking forward to having a new foot, and my ears perked up at this, thinking that he’d already received a prophecy about God restoring his foot.
My response: “Really? That’s great! When do you think it’s going to happen?”
Therapist: “Oh, well in Heaven, of course!!
I’m not sure what my face looked like at the time, but I might have been just short of a visible facepalm.
Death is not a healing. It’s an entirely new spiritual body, which is not the same thing. I didn’t tell him that, but I did suggest to him that he didn’t need to wait until he got to heaven to have a new foot. After all, Jesus pretty much stated that God’s will was to be done on earth as it is now in heaven. If the therapist already knew he’ll have a new foot in heaven, then the next logical step should be to have one on earth, now, in the same way it is in heaven, now. Well, that’s what my bible says anyway. Furthermore, even if we die, eventually God is going to resurrect us all as it shows us in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 so we won’t be permitted to stay dead anyway.
The idea that death is a form of healing is a false belief that has lived quite comfortably in the church for centuries. There’s another teaching that goes along with it, the common belief that God kills people that he wants to be in heaven. “God must have needed them more than we did” is the common adage. I think we really need to get a new grip on who God is. Honestly. God created all of us out of His immense love. If we read just the first 5 chapters of the bible (chapters, not books), we see that the first man and woman walked with God. And another man, Enoch, did so even after the fall. God didn’t need to kill any of them to be with them. And even when God took Enoch to heaven, He didn’t kill the man—God simply translocated him straight into the heavens. One moment Enoch was on earth, the next he wasn’t, but there was no death involved.
If we want to be scriptural, the only way God is going to take people is if He does it without them dying. Interestingly enough, the last five chapters of the Bible are pretty similar to the first ones, in that man walks with God once more. Furthermore, there is no death there either. When God does things His way, no one dies—He just brings a new heaven and new earth to the present reality and we share it with him. Paul himself stated that “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Note how Paul said still alive, not dead.
Let me share a quote from a friend of mine, Praying Medic, that explains the concept quite clearly. “The centuries old teaching that God kills people that he dearly loves and redeems needs to die a quick death. The church has failed to demonstrate the power and authority Jesus gave to it and developed the teaching that God might have a reason for us to die young or suffer sickness.”
Because the Body of Christ, his Church, has failed on many many many many many many occasions to manifest the Kingdom on earth in the same way it currently is and always has existed in Heaven, we have developed finely crafted beliefs about death and healing to help us explain why people die sick. What we really need to be doing is pressing into a place in God’s heart, a place of faith, and a place of understanding who we are and what we have in Him that sickness, disease, and death no longer have the capacity to exist around us. We have heard stories of men and women of the faith such as John G. Lake, Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, and even older saints such as St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Francis of Assisi, and others, all of whom did great miracles, but they were no different from us. In fact, St. Joseph was known to have some form of mental retardation. The man was a total fool, but he did crazy miracles that have been done by few since.
Jesus said in John 14 that ‘He who believes in me will do what I am doing. He will do even greater because I am going to the Father.” He was pretty clear here. “I’m leaving, you’re staying. The stuff that I did, ALL of it, it is now your turn to do.” He didn’t make some special delineation of those special people with the special anointing, special gift, special faith, or special anything else. He just said “If you believe in me, then here is the list of what you will do: Everything I did and then some.”
Jesus was very consistent with what he said and did. He said that Lazarus would not remain dead and He raised him. Jesus was a problem solver, consistently defeating sickness, infirmity, and death wherever He went—so why do we as His followers think it is our job to give in easily when death comes our way? If we’re not going to heal people, and if we’re not going to raise the dead, the least we can do is recognize our shortcomings and not explain them away with spiritual-sounding words that have no basis in truth. Let’s call a spade a spade and just say that we failed instead of pretending as though the God of Light and Life is doing some special healing by killing people.
I choose a different option. I vote for pursuing the abundant life Jesus promised us in John 10:10 such that if someone is sick he can’t stay sick even if he wants to. I vote for living in such a way that death cannot have a hold on those around me, and even if they die, they can’t stay dead because I’m there. I vote that we change the way we think and speak to encourage the truth that death is an enemy to God and that because we are God’s heirs, it is our enemy as well. This isn’t because I am more special than anyone else, but because Christ in me doesn’t like death any more than I do, and He has promised to give us the power to do something about it. I haven’t arrived yet, but I’m on the journey. Care to come with me?
Oh, and Heresy, you can’t come.
If you want to learn more about the truth behind life and death and the provisions Jesus has made for us to destroy sickness and disease and raise the dead, pick up a copy of my book Faith to Raise the Dead.