If you are like most Pentecostals / Charismatics uttering those words may seem like a betrayal of the faith. Believe or not, I have prayed for deaf, mute, and blind individual in an ICU unit, who was expected to die after a debilitating stroke which left him practically brain dead, to only see him regain full function following the prayer. But he eventually died. I prayed for someone so weakened by cancer that they arose and lived a practically normal life for the remainder of their time, to only see them several months down the road pass away from their initial diagnosis. And I prayed for my own dear dad who was racked by both prostrate cancer and bone cancer, to see his PSA levels return to normal but eventually pass away from the bone cancer several years later. And I am not ashamed to admit it, that is the norm for all faith healers. Even Lazarus whom Jesus rose from the dead still died once more. Healing as great as it is, is only a temporary reprieve from the decaying of the flesh, not a cure. Do I believe in the ultimate ressurection into a spiritual body that knows no decay, yes 1000x over! But walking by faith does not deter me from living in the natural. I just wish not to remain there in the end.
Believe it or not, there is no equivalent in the Greek that can be translated into to the English as supernatural. I once heard a traveling speaker saying that Bible is full of the supernatural, but then I looked it up and found that to be false. The unspoken theology is that if you do not see the supernatural in scripture than you lack faith. The reality is that God does not ask you to believe in something that does not exist.
The closest that some translators have come is the RSV:
- 1 Corinthians 10:2-4 RSV – 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same supernatural food 4 and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
The phrase supernatural is just as it sounds, a super version of the natural. The anthesis of the natural is the spiritual, not the supernatural, and refers in part to the ressurection:
- 1 Corinthians 15:44-47 ESV – 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
According to the inspired words of the Holy Spirit we are to walk out our lives in the natural before living out our lives in the resurrected spiritual. I envision this like one of those mall maps that boldly proclaim, “YOU ARE HERE.” You can’t get to where you are going unless you first know where you are in relation to where you are going.
The funeral I just did involved a woman who need a crutch wherever she went to maintain her balance. She was not buried with it because she boldly proclaimed, “I will not need that where I am going.” She understood where she was and where she was going. Many would say she lacked faith to be healed, but her life was a testament to the fact she knew she would be healed even if the physical evidence did not manifest itself in the present natural.
How did Jesus respond to Thomas?
- John 20:27-29 NASB95 – 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed [are] they who did not see, and [yet] believed.”
Scripture does acknowledge the validity of healing, but John closes out with the following as part of that teaching on Thomas:
- John 20:29-31 NASB95 – 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed [are] they who did not see, and [yet] believed.” 30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Her faith was so great that she did not need to live in the supernatural to believe. She chose to live in the spiritual, which is far greater life than a super-sized version of the natural. Her faith was not based upon the temporary pausing of the decaying of her flesh, but upon the God of the living who walked with her, even if she had a crutch. She lived to be 93 and walked with God throughout her life. What a testimony to not being afraid to live in the spiritual instead of the supernatural!
As always, love much my friends . . .