Divine Healing -- By: Merrill Frederick Unger

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 128:511 (Jul 1971)
Article: Divine Healing
Author: Merrill Frederick Unger

Divine Healing

Merrill F. Unger

[Merrill F. Unger, Professor of Semitics and Old Testament, Emeritus, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

[Editor’s Note: This article is an adaptation of a portion of a chapter entitled “Demonism and Physical Healing” in a book Demonism in Human Experience published by Tyndale House. This discussion is an introductory consideration of divine healing in general.]

The Word of God foretells that Satanic delusions will abound as the end of this age draws on. The Lord Himself predicted that false Christs and false prophets would arise and perform many demonic signs and wonders (Mark 13:22) and multitudes would be led astray by these false religionists. The Apostle Paul warned that “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess 2:7) would work throughout the age, but particularly at the end of it, when many would “give heed to seducing spirits” and, as a result, be ensnared by “doctrines of devils,” that is, teachings instigated by demon powers (1 Tim 4:1).

The Apostle John issued a clarion call warning against such a situation, that already exists today, when many of God’s own people do not see through Satan’s blandishment as he parades “as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14). Instead they are being duped by demonic delusions, especially in the realm of spiritual gifts and physical healing. “Loved ones, do not put faith in every spirit, but God, for many false prophets have been let out into the world” (1 John 4:1, Berkeley).

One is struck with the tragic irony of this predicament as one becomes aware of the prominence of healing and Satanic imitations of the gifts of the Spirit in occult literature and in the experiential aspects of demonism. Ability to heal diseases is a power

frequently manifested in spiritism, magic, and demon possession. The clairvoyant medium often makes the pretension that he can heal the body, as well as foretell the future, the result of insight into the spirit world. The magical charmer and mesmerizer not only can effect cures but cause diseases as well. The person afflicted with an evil spirit is often promised ability to effect physical cures, if he will submit to the dominating demon and serve it.

Because of the ready Satanic imitation of the genuine “gifts of healing” (1 Cor 12:9) and the power of healing in general as ministered by the Holy Spirit through a doctrinal...

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