Word Study on Astheneo Sickness Weakness and Infirmity
In 1974 I first came into contact with the Faith Healing movement I was taught at the time that sickness is of the devil, and that God had healing and deliverance for the whole man body soul and spirit. In those days there was still a strong orientation left over from the ten revivals of the 1950’s of prayer lines. People go to a minister or ministry anointed with Healing and discernment be prayed for, anointed with oil and or have some demon cast out of them. And in those days I saw many that were healed and delivered. But over the next few years things really began to change. As these anointed ministers passed or their power waned due to grievous corruption a new gospel arose one that was not dependant on the anointing of the Lord and those who had received definite gifts of the Spirit but was dependant on the words of the recipients. This new doctrine advocated speaking words and fragments of scripture over and over and by force of ones will they would receive healing deliverance or wealth.
I recently read a well-written article on the origin of the
modern faith healing movement. The author cited EW Kenyon (Essek
William Kenyon 1867 – 1948) as the father of the movement. This is not true on several levels: First
John Alexander Dowey was the father of the modern
Faith Movement (1847-1907) He taught faith and healing had the demonstration of
the gifts of the Spirit and the gift of Healing and prophecy, Dowie had opened the doors to the city of
Dowie suffered much persecution from those that opposed him, from newspaper reporters, other ministers, the medical field and police officers. (He was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records with the most arrests in a year because he went daily into the Chicago worlds fair of 1880 and preached the gospel and healed the sick.)
Unfortunately Dowie like too many others before him and after him became exalted with his gifts and proclaimed himself to be Elijah so his life an ministry have become much maligned.
Secondly if Kenyon were alive today he would rail against and cry out with all his might against the greed and moral bankruptcy of the faith movement has become in our day.
Third as hard as it is to believe E.W. Kenyon was a Baptist and died a Baptist . Whether he did or did not personally believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit I cannot say. But because E.W.Kenyon was a Baptist and the movement was officially at odds with Pentecostalism since 1910 Kenyon had to walk a fine doctrinal line between what he taught and the healings that occurred in his meetings and what the rest of the Baptist denominations beliefs.
EW Kenyon converted to Methodism and then later again to being a Baptist He left the Methodist denomination so that in his own words he could “trust the Lord completely for his finances,” Kenyon was unhappy with the ways money was raised (The passing of offering plates and preachers talking up how God’s blessing were tied into what one gave in offerings [This was before the era of tithing becoming the central doctrine of offerings given to bible believing denominations) in the churches. He wanted instead to follow the pattern he had seen modeled by George Muller in trusting God for everything and taking no offerings whatsoever in his services.
Around the turn of the century, he opened the Bethel Bible
Institute. Many young people came to learn the Word of God and the life of
faith. It was entirely a faith work. No tuition was charged and the teachers
were not paid a salary. Everything was done through prayer. Well-educated
Bible teachers gave up good positions to join Kenyon in training young people
and live the life of faith. Missionaries were trained and sent from the
Institute around the world and around the
I firmly believe that the faith movement of today has been hijacked by carnal men that seek to promote their own names their ministries names and the names of fellow ministers. I firmly believe that in light of God lifting his hand from the movement and withholding healers these men have substituted for the power of God a cult of confession, tithes and power offerings in its place. And that by ordering about every aspect of a church service lining up everything they can by the flesh they have successfully circled the wagons and been able to support their bloated egocentric ministries and royal lifestyles.
With that said I firmly believe in salvation by the blood of Christ, I believe that his atonement on the cross was full and complete and that when Jesus said it is finished and bowed his head the way of salvation for all those that might believe in him was opened for once and for all.
With all that we have said concerning EW Kenyon and the faith message he preached and walked in, EW Kenyon has some very evil and perverse doctrine concerning the blood of Christ and the atonement of Christ which his pseudo disciples Kenneth Hagan and Kenneth Copeland plagiarized in their writings and claimed as their own revelation. – These things are extremely important to expose because these things go to the foundation of the false faith message these men and their clone ministries preach and teach.
Kenneth Hagin: “The death of Jesus Christ was not a physical death alone. If it had been a physical death, Abel would have paid the price for mankind. He was the first man that died because of honoring God and His Word. If it had been a physical death only, it wouldn't have worked! And if He hadn't died spiritually, that body never would have died.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303)
How far has this man wandered from the truth in the word of
God? It is universally agreed that when God gave Adam and Eve coats of skins
that their nakedness before God was covered by the sacrifice of animals. Cain
and Able made offerings to God were these offerings to be understood as a tithe
or freewill offering? No they were making a sin offering to God. Did they
invent this offering from the text it would seem that not
only were they were familiar with it but they were not cited as having
been the first to do so. God made the first offering for sin and taught Adam to
make atonement and Adam did so and taught his sons to do so. God rejected
Cain’s bloodless offering. Cain and Abel
were not without sin they were born in the image and likeness of their father
Adam. Abel was murdered by his brother, he was not offered for sin and even if
he was because Able was born in sin and shapen in iniquity he was born in Adam
his father’s fallen likeness and image, Able was therefore unholy and impure
and therefore his death even in an offering would have done nothing for us in
the way of salvation. Abel was not the lamb of God
from the foundation of the world. Paul tells us that Christ was the second and
Last Adam Able was not the second Adam nor was Seth. Adam was pure holy and undefiled before God
and when Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary Christ was not of
Christ’s physical death on the cross the shedding of his physical blood did it all. The term spiritual death was ascribed by men to describe what happened in the garden when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit but did not die physically on the spot.
Nowhere does Paul the Apostle describe what happened in the
garden as “spiritual death” instead Paul says that by one man death was
introduced to the entire race. We see in the word of God that we have a body
soul and spirit – the bible doesn’t even say that Adam’s spirit died. Paul does
say that through the Spirit our spirit is made alive unto God – that indicates
that our spirit is indeed alive, whether we are saved or unsaved, but our
spirit through sin was cut off from God. So the issue of Christ dying
spiritually is not only unscriptural but leads to further errors about man’s
state, what salvation is and what Christ did on
Hagin’s assertion that if Christ died only physically we would not have salvation is really bad stuff.
Hagin’s assertion that if Christ did not die spiritually he would have not died in the flesh takes Christ out of the world of being a mortal man – it makes Christ no longer a common man and makes it that salvation could only be accomplished by His diety and if this were so – the work or Christ on the cross would have been made null and void – the devil would have cried you cheated and God by accepting such a thing would have committed fraud Christ would have done and as Paul said we of all men would be most miserable because all of this would be a lie and there would be no salvation.
Kenneth Hagin again states, “He (Jesus) tasted spiritual death for every man. And his spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? PHYSICAL DEATH WOULDN’T REMOVE YOUR SINS. He tasted death for every man. He’s talking about spiritual death.” (How Jesus obtained his name tape # 44HO1 side 1)
Kenneth Copeland also reiterates what his mentor says, “When His blood poured out it did not atone.” (Kenneth Copeland: From a personal letter to D.R.McConnell, dated 12/3/79 (Cited in A Different Gospel, p.120)
Just to be sure this is not misinterpreted he says the same to The Christian Research Institute requested a statement From Kenneth Copeland concerning Christ’s blood was not an atonement Kenneth Copland ministries responded with “...When His blood poured out, it did not atone. It did away with the handwriting of the ordinances that were against us.” (K. Copeland, Form letter, March 12, 1979 )
Kenneth Copeland further teaches, “Because his physical death was not enough for the payment of sins there was a another way for sins payment. Jesus put Himself into the hands of Satan when He went to that cross, and took that same nature that Adam did [when he sinned].” (Kenneth Copeland, The Incarnation (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0402) side 1.)
I utterly reject the notion that Christ on the cross was taken over by sin and was taken captive by Satan
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Philippians 2:8 He suffered only one death and it was on the cross, the death of his flesh. In this death he became obedient to the Father
Hebrew 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.
Revelation 1:5 --To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
It is by Christ’s act of submission that we were redeemed and restored to fellowship.
Where did Kenneth Hagan and Kenneth Copeland get these notions did they hear it from God himself? The answer is emphatically no. They read much of their spirit filled revelation on healing from a non-spirit filled believer named E.W. Kenyon
E.W. Kenyon explains “When this happened, spiritual death, the nature of Satan, took possession of His Spirit (Christ’s).... He was to partake of Spiritual Death, the nature of the Adversary.... Jesus knew that the moment had come, and He was to be made Sin. He must partake of that dread nature of the Adversary. His body would become mortal. Satan would become His master.... He [Jesus] had been lifted up as a serpent. Serpent is Satan. Jesus knew He was going to be lifted up, united with the Adversary.” (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne Kenyon's Gospel Publishing Society, 1969, 20, 33, 44-45)
Creflo Dollar “He’s got to look like a sinner. Or they’re not going to receive Him into hell, you’ve got to be a sinner. He’s got to somehow look like that serpent on that stick in Moses’ day. He’s got to look like a serpent in order to be taken in. And Jesus who had never sinned, made an exchange with His covenant partner. He says “Let Me wear your coat of sin. It’ll make Me look like a sinner. I’ve never sinned, but if I can put your coat of sin on, when I get back I’m going to give you my coat of righteousness. So The bible says that He who had not sinned was made sin. (Our Equality with God Through Righteousness 1/21/2001)
Jesus had to “accept the sin nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, side 2.)
Benny Hinn agrees “Ladies and gentlemen, the serpent is a symbol of Satan. Jesus Christ knew the only way He would stop Satan is by becoming one in nature with him. You say, 'What did you say? What blasphemy is this?' No, you hear this! He did not take my sin; He became my sin. Sin is the nature of hell. Sin is what made Satan...It was sin that made Satan. Jesus said, 'I'll be sin! I'll go to the lowest place! I'll go to the origin of it! I won't just take part in it, I'll be the totality of it!' “ (Benny Hinn” program, TBN, 12/15/90 )
Where does the bible say the origin of sin was in Hell. Hell is a place, it does not have a nature. Hell is where sinner go for punishment. Nowhere in scripture does it say that the lambs offered for sin were sent down to hell in the visions of hell it was not described as a place filled with lambs. Christ descended to the lower regions on a rescue mission to liberate all those that had been held captive.
E.W. Kenyon wrote “We have sung `Nearer the cross' and we have prayed that we might be `Nearer the cross' but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure and defeat” (Advanced Bible Course, p.279)
“Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell” (Kenneth Copeland, Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition 1991 p.129) To put this statement in the bible as a commentary is very very bad
Copeland said “Jesus death on the cross was not enough to save us.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303), (Believer's Voice of Victory, September 1991)
We will now begin a through examination of the word Astheneo which in the Greek means weakness, sickness and infirmity – for all to measure up against what has been preached and teached to them under the auspices of the hyper faith message or so called Word of Faith Message of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland and all their mind numbed robot clones..
One of the main words for “sick” in the Greek is Astheneo. – The word literally means – weakness. This weakness can be understood to be a physical sickness or infirmity of the physical body , and in some cases the word is used figuratively of a malady of soul, mind, or spirit, it could also be understood as a moral weakness or sin.
Amazingly the word for “salvation” or Sozo in the Greek carries in it the same range of meaning healing for body, soul, spirit, and mind, and the cure for moral weakness of sin.
Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Matthew 25:35-36 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was ([Aorist tense] Continually) sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Here Christ declares that there will be those that will be continually sick among the brethren and that these are to be continually visited and their need to be seen to, this is simply not possible in according to Word of Faith teachings, and by their teachings such people are faithless, sinful and quite possibly rejected by God – but here Christ commands that all these are visited and cared for prayed with and encouraged in the lord on a regular basis.
Mark 6:55-56 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Luke 4:40-41 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
Luke 7:9-10 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)
Luke 9:1-2 Then he called
his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all
devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the
John 4:46-47 So Jesus came
again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a
certain nobleman, whose son was sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)at
John 11:1-2 Now a certain man was sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength), named Lazarus, of
Bethany, the town of
John 11:3-4 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Acts 5:14-16 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes
both of men and women.) Insomuch that
they brought forth the sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm,
of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)into
the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of
Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out
of the cities round about unto
Acts 9:37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Acts 19:11-12 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Philippians 2:25-27 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow-soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, (Sorrow) because that ye had heard that he had been sick (weakness). For indeed he was sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
We get the impression here that Epaphroditus was sick for quite some time as opposed to having a sudden event. And we read that the sickness only worsened until; that he became sick nigh unto death. In this passage Paul does not say he laid hands on him, Paul does not say he rebuked the spirit of infirmity from Epaphroditus. Nor does Paul speak of Epaphroditus confessing, claiming, or laying hold to victory.
Paul does not mention the prayer of faith, Paul does not mention his own faith nor Epaphroditus’s faith. Instead what Paul says is God had mercy on him and on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. This is not the talk of current faith Gospel, this is not the braggadocios bravado we hear as men trot up the healed for a public show. This is not a testament of Paul’s personal strength or Paul’s will prevailing with God. This is spoken from utter weakness and humility. Further it would indicate that the Apostle Paul did not possess mastery over the gift of healing as I have heard preached, in other words like Christ not even Paul the Apostle could dispense healing to whom he wanted, nor when he wanted.
The white-knuckled faith teachings of this day, with their confession mantras that are powered by men’s own strength and the sheer force of men’s wills is not the faith and confession that is spoken of in scripture.
Search the word of God and see if can find a passage in the Gospels or the book of Acts where Jesus or the Apostles tell anyone to confess their healing until they are made whole. Find a passage where Jesus or the Apostles tell anyone that by the word of their confession they were healed.
This message of Healing that is currently preached is a predatory message. It is one that plays the most on the fears of weakest elements in the body of Christ the poor the elderly, the weak, and the infirm. It is a message that by design brings the poor and needy into abject bondage to a specific set of men, who teach an extra-biblical set of conflicting rituals and traditions that in many cases go against the very words of Christ.
These preachers have to their shame made faith into a work of the flesh, and have set up toll booths all along the way of salvation demanding tribute in filthy lucre, tribute by words, and tribute by deeds. And every time someone gets healed in this tainted atmosphere instead these preachers bringing out it is only by the mercy and grace of God they instead use the person’s testimony to increase the heavy burden upon those who have not been healed.
2 Timothy 4:19-21 Salute Prisca and
Again in the face of the modern Gospel of Healing we find no less than Paul the Apostle telling Timothy. Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Again we have to ask how is it that Paul did not simply lay his hands on the man? How is it that Paul did not send a handkerchief or apron that he wore while preaching to this man to deliver him? We see that Timothy knew this man so that there was a history of this man traveling with Paul. Is it possible that he hoped that if he stayed with Paul that he would be healed? It is very possible.
Paul does not tell us that this man did not have faith, Paul does not accuse this man of any failings spiritually, morally or physically. The man is a true believer, and he is with a man that had one of the greatest healing ministries of all time. Despite all of that this man not only does not get healed, but he becomes sicker, his sickness rises to a level that Paul has to leave him behind.
Again by the casual way in which Paul discuses Trophimus and Epaphroditus being sick, we can see that this was not an uncommon event. Paul does not tell us that this was rare or isolated in the body of Christ. Paul does not tell us that he is perplexed that Trophimus was not healed. Paul does not admonish Timothy to not be stumbled by Trophimus not being healed. Because Paul did not have to exhort Timothy we can see that as with Paul people being sick and not getting healed was
not something that Timothy was unfamiliar with. There was nothing shameful about Trophimus being sick, it did not reflect poorly on his spirituality nor on his standing with God.
Paul did not speak of this man’s faith being defective or deficient in any way. We must ask ourselves how can this be? What did Paul believe that is different than what we currently believe about healing, deliverance, and salvation?
James 5:13-15 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him (imperfect tense) , 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.
The word Astheneo is not only translated as: sick, it is also translated as weak, weakness infirm and infirmaties as seen below.
Matthew 8:16-17 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 infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) and bare our sicknesses (Nosous Disease or Sickness).
Luke 5:15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)
Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength), Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
Luke 13:11-12 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength).
John 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) thirty and eight years.
By this point you have should have a feel for how the word Astheneo is used
As I mentioned above the word means weakness and has been translated sick, weak, infirm, (it is important to understand that all these words deal with physical maladies ) This Astheneo or weakness can be in one’s body, soul, spirit, mind, and in moral behavior. Kittles lists Dunamis as an antonym for Astheneo. We are now going to look at what Paul says regarding Astheneo; sickness, weakness and infirmity.
Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Here we see that in Romans 6:19 that Paul is speaking here to those that are in the Church of Rome that are sick weak and infirm in their flesh (Not spiritually). We have a clear statement by Paul the apostle that those that were in the Church of Rome were unholy, unrighteous and had not entered into a state of sanctification. So he instructs these that they are to press in to God in repentance and in deep cleansing that they might fully enter into a state of sanctification aka righteousness and holiness. -- So if all this was possible under the watchful eye of Paul and the other apostles, how much more do we need to consider the state of affairs of the church of this hour and the state of our own personal walk with God?
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Likewise the Spirit helpeth our sicknesses, our weaknesses, and our infirmities, for we know not how to pray for these as we ought – this is an indication of the word of faith movements insistence to pray these off, or cast it out in 100% of the cases which we have already seen in completely unscriptural. So that in sickness and weakness as in Job and others in the word of God, through the sickness God was humbling proving and testing their faith. So that here the Spirit makes righteous and holy intercession towards our sicknesses weaknesses and infirmities praying that the will of the father be accomplished and that we are lead to light and truth and the place that our soul are converted which is the entering in to sanctification)
Romans 15:1 We then that are strong (Dunamis) ought to bear (lift or carry) the infirmities (weakness) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (While speaking offering physical help to the weak, this verse seems to elude to the laying of laying hands for healing )
2 Corinthians 11:23-29 I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths (In imminent danger of death) oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness (Vexation) and painfulness (Wearisome labor) , in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, (In my) the care of all the churches. Who is weak (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength), and I am not weak (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)
A better rendering of 2 Corinthians 11:29 would read:
Who still is sick and infirm (among you)? Am I not sick and infirm (also)? Who has been offended (among you)? (And you think that) I burn not in anger (over what has happened to you)? If I feel urged (By the Spirit) to give impassioned rejoicing and exaltation (To the Lord) , I will give impassioned rejoicing and exaltation (To the Lord ) for the things that (He) has (Decreed in my behalf ) in causing these, my sickness and infirmities.
In the faith movement there are those who believe that Paul did not suffer any serious injuries from the beatings, stonings and shipwrecks he suffered. I have heard it proclaimed that Paul was healed instantly after every event and he was even raised from the dead after being stoned. How is it that Theophilus did not record these important signs and miracles that occurred to Paul in the book of Acts? And how is it that Paul failed to mention these miracles and signs in his Epistles as an attestation that God is with him?
John 20:25-27 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
How is it that God did not instantly heal Christ’s wounds as he was beaten and these people assert without scripture that God did that for Paul the Apostle? In this passage we see that even after being raised from the dead Christ still bore about his wounds.
How can anyone suggest contrary to the accounts given in the bible that God had granted to the Apostle Paul a special dispensation of grace wherein he received instantaneous healings from scourging, beatings, and stonings along with one or more resurrections to boot. Not only are these assertions declared to be so in the bible but we clearly see that
God did not grant a special dispensation to his only Son nor did He grant any special dispensation to Stephen, to Peter, or any of the other disciples.
And we might as well ask by what authority do these same people deny Paul the Apostles own words that he was broken in body sick and infirm?
2 Corinthians 11:29 Who still is sick and infirm (among you)? Am I not sick and infirm (also)? Who has been offended (among you)? (And you think that) I burn not in anger (over what has happened to you)? If I feel urged (By the Spirit) to give impassioned rejoicing and exaltation (To the Lord) , I will give impassioned rejoicing and exaltation (To the Lord ) for the things that (He) has (Decreed in my behalf ) in causing these, my sickness and infirmities.
Galations 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (The wounds from stonings, beatings other things he suffered for his uncompromising preaching of the Gospel – As with the Risen glorified Christ that His wounds did not disappear – So Paul the apostle wounds and injuries did not disappear and here he is saying that if any man questions him to this he has displayed them to bring them to silence.)
2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength)
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) and I am (Am I ) not weak (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) then am I strong. (Dunamis).
God has no use for our personal strengths, our natural talents, or charisma, because those who preach and minister through their own natural abilities and talents and strength – regardless of intent do so apart from the Lord and inevitably these like king Saul end up as men pleasers in order to receive the praise and approbation of men rather than from God. So here Paul tell us that God purposely made Paul weak and sickly and unable to carry on his ministry and calling in and of Himself so that God was manifesting himself through Paul so that all might see that it was God doing so and not Paul, So that sickness and weakness is not a curse but the stripping away of men’s natural abilities -- it is a divine gift if and is to be received and seen as a door through which one can enter effectual ministry and more importantly the door of sanctification or conversion that we need to enter through to come into full relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:12-13 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not
injured (wronged) me at all. Ye
know how through (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) of the flesh I preached
the gospel unto you at the first.
(Here Paul once again clearly Testifies of his sickness and infirmities of the flesh.)
1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often (Intense or frequent) infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength).
Again we remind the reader that here again and again and again Paul uses the specific word that was used over and over in the Gospels concerning the sick the lame the halt the blind and the woman that had the issue of blood Astheneo. And that Christ himself used the same word repeated when he charged both the apostles and the 70 to heal the Sick.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength); but was in all points tempted (tested) like as we are, yet without sin.
(Here in this passage we see that the writer of Hebrews is using the word Astheneo figuratively as Spiritual and Moral sickness [addictions], weakness, and infirmity [Damage or injuries])
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (Dunamis) is made perfect in weakness (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength) Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (A-Stheneo Without strength, Weakness, or Infirm, A Not of Without, Stheneo-Stenos Strength), that the power (Dunamis) of Christ may rest upon me.
So what all does this mean? It means that the claim that every Christian has to be fully healed and that those that are sick and afflicted are somehow less a child of God, that those who are healed is utterly false. It means that the claim that the sick are so because they have failings in their faith, they have failings in obedience they have failings in giving tithes and offerings or failings in doctrine or failings morally is not necessarily true. It means that you can be a true believer of good report and serving the Lord in righteousness and still be sick and afflicted.
God is not a
soda machine that you can pop a few quarter in and get
what you want. The faith healing
movement has taken the attitude over the last three decades that God owes
salvation, healing, deliverance, wealth and prosperity to every man. That the
completed work of
Why if Paul the Apostle had it all does he tell us he has not yet attained? Why does Paul call what we have a foretaste and a down payment? If Paul had it all now then why did he look forward to the resurrection where he said we would receive the fullness of our redemption?
If everyone was fully healed, living in dominion, and walking in the light as He is in the light in this life, then what need would there be of a resurrection? Being so good, so powerful, and so in the light, we would just live forever and in the end meet Christ in the air upon his return.
The truth is that these same ministries traffic the Gospel – they have made themselves into multi millionaires and use their gifts and ministries to glorify their own names