“So also Christ
glorified not himself to be made an high priest; … Who in the days of his
flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying
and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in
that he feared; THOUGH HE WERE A SON, YET LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE BY THE
THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED;” (Hebrews 5:5,7-8)
The Bible says that
Jesus, even though He was the only begotten Son of the Almighty, learned
obedience to the will of His Father by the things which He suffered while
He was on the Earth.
The Bible also says that Jesus is our example in
suffering and that we are to follow in His footsteps. (1Peter )
Whether we choose to
ignore it or not, if we desire to see the perfect will of the Almighty for
our own lives, suffering is the very thing which will make us or break
I am a strong
believer in the Word of Faith message. I believe that the message of
faith is the most important message in all of Scripture. Without faith there is absolutely no way in the
world that anybody anywhere anyhow is going to please the Almighty.
But I have discovered in my travels that there are
many “faith” people who are building on the unscriptural idea that we can
actually reach the place where life on this Earth is to be free of tests,
trials and sufferings. I have also discovered that those who believe
such an unscriptural idea have absolutely no Bible verses to support their
through the same program. Jesus learned obedience through what He
suffered. His Disciples learned obedience through what they
suffered. The Apostle Paul learned obedience through what he
suffered. Every man or woman who has ever been used by the Almighty
in demonstrations of His Spirit has suffered on the way to power with the
Just throw a name out there:
Kenneth E. Hagin, Lester Sumrall, Oral Roberts,
Smith Wigglesworth, John Osteen, Billy Graham, Maria Woodworth-Etter,
Aimee Semple-McPherson, Reinhard Bonnke, etc. You may never hear
them talk about it but they have all learned obedience by the things they
We all learn obedience by the things that we
What we will
establish in this study is the fact that there are different types of
suffering. There are types of suffering which are not ordained of the
Almighty and there are types of suffering which are ordained of the
The type of suffering which is ordained of the Almighty
produces perfection in the life of the Believer.
Before looking at
the type of suffering that produces perfection, let us look at the types of
suffering that do not produce perfection.
for Sin Will Not Produce Perfection
”For WHAT GLORY IS IT, IF, WHEN YE BE BUFFETED FOR YOUR FAULTS, YE SHALL
TAKE IT PATIENTLY? but if, when ye do well, and
suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” (1 Peter
The Greek word for
“fault” in this verse is “hamartano,” which
means, “To miss the mark, to not share in the prize, to sin.”
There is absolutely
no glory at all that comes as a result of suffering for committing
sin. No one has to suffer for committing sin although everyone,
including myself, has.
This type of suffering is a result of one of
First, when we are
ignorant of what the Bible says concerning all the affairs of life, we are
going to suffer for it. Acquiring knowledge of the Bible can readily
cure suffering because of ignorance of the Bible.
The second reason
we suffer because of sin is because of stupidity. When we are not
ignorant of what the Bible says and we flat disobey what we know, we suffer
Of course, the remedy for this kind of suffering is
repentance and obedience.
It is never the will of the Almighty that
His children suffer unnecessary humiliation, rejection or punishment for
being evildoers. (1Peter )
Sickness Will Not Produce Perfection
“But he was wounded
for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and WITH HIS
STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.” (Isaiah 53:5)
The Hebrew word for
“healed” in this verse is “rapha,” which means,
“to cure, to heal, to mend, to stitch up as a
Anyone who chooses
to believe that the Almighty would perfect His children with sickness just
needs a little lesson from the Bible. What earthly parent in their
right mind would use sickness and disease to perfect their children?
Earthly parents would do no such thing because they are created in the
image and the likeness of the Almighty and He would do no such thing.
The Bible clearly
reveals that human sickness and disease are a direct result of sin.
It is the penalty for sin. It is just one of the many curses for
disobeying the law of the Almighty. (Deuteronomy 28:1-68)
Jesus bore our sins in His body at Calvary,
we now bear His righteousness
and no longer need to bear the penalty for our sins. Because He bore
our sins, we can receive physical healing for our sicknesses. (1Peter )
This is not a
license to sin. It is a license to repent and receive healing when we
Christ has redeemed
us from the curse of sickness. (Galatians 3:13-14,29)
is Satanic in origin and never sent by the Almighty. (John 10:10; Acts
There is no way in the world that the Almighty would allow His
Son to bear the penalty for our sins, only to turn around and penalize us
for them regardless. This would make God a hypocrite.
would mean that the Almighty is divided against Himself. Jesus said a
divided kingdom would soon come crashing down. (Matthew 12:25)
not a hypocrite and His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom. (Luke
“ALL SCRIPTURE is
given by inspiration of God, and IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF,
FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY
BE PERFECT, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy -17)
It does not take a
degree in theology to realize that the Bible says that the Almighty has
given Scripture, not sickness, to reprove, correct and instruct in
righteousness that the family of God may be perfected by it.
Almighty has given us the Bible to perfect us, not sickness and
Jesus said that we must absolutely have two or three
confirming Bible references for everything that we teach or we absolutely
should not be teaching it. (Matthew 18:16; 2Corinthians 13:1)
will notice that people who teach that the Almighty uses sickness to
perfect His family never have the confirming New Testament witnesses, in
context, to prove it.
God uses the Scripture to perfect His family
and nowhere in the Scripture is there even the most remote hint that He
uses sickness to teach.
says, “But what about Paul’s thorn in the flesh?” What
about it? Paul himself said that his thorn was “a messenger of
Satan,” not a messenger of the Almighty. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
sent this messenger to buffet Paul to keep him from exalting Biblical
teaching over religious teaching. Besides that, the “Paul’s thorn”
reference is only one Scriptural witness when Jesus said we need two or
three. Those two or three witnesses must never be taken out of
context the way unbelieving Bible teachers take “Paul’s thorn” out of
As if all of this
was not enough, where in Second Corinthians chapter twelve or anywhere else
in the Bible, does Paul ever talk about sickness as a means of being
The Apostle Paul never even remotely implies, in any of
his Epistles, that God uses sickness to perfect.
We will cover “Paul’s
Thorn” thoroughly in a separate study.
Poverty Does Not Produce Perfection
“For ye know the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your
sakes he became poor, THAT YE THROUGH HIS POVERTY MIGHT BE RICH.”
So many well
meaning Bible Teachers insist that Jesus lived a life of poverty, but no
matter how hard I have tried I just never did see it. It is just
impossible for me to believe that Jesus lived and traveled with a
twelve-man entourage, meeting not only all of their needs, but their
families’ needs as well.
Never once in the Bible do you ever see Jesus
broke any more than you ever see Him sick.
One day Jesus
actually told His Disciples to go to the grocery store and buy enough food
to feed 5,000 men, not to mention the women and children who were
The Disciples responded, in essence, “Do you actually want
us to go and spend 200 denarii on bread to feed
was the equivalent of one day’s wage for labor. Jesus had at least
200 times that in the treasury bag or the Disciples would not have asked
Him if He really wanted them to spend it. Two hundred days wages was
two-thirds of a laborer’s annual salary.
Do you know anyone who daily
walks around with the cash equivalent of two-thirds of their annual salary
in their pocket? Jesus did this because He was not a pauper and He
was not broke. He bore the curse of poverty on the Cross, but He did
not bear it in life.
Poverty is a curse
of the law, even as sickness is a curse of the law. (Deuteronomy
28:1-68) Poverty is a penalty for sin, even as sickness is a penalty
Jesus bore the curse of poverty on the Cross so that those
who receive His death penalty for the sins of the world as their own would
not have to bear the curse of poverty. (Galatians 3:13-14,29)
You will never find
the Almighty using poverty to perfect His servants even in the Old
God prospered His servants in the Old Testament when they
obeyed Him. He did not strip them of prosperity when they obeyed
Him. He prospered Joseph. (Genesis 39:2-3,23; 41:40-44) He
prospered Joshua. (Joshua 1:7; 12:1-24; 24:15) He prospered David.
(2Samuel ; Psalm
30:6) He prospered Solomon. (1Kings ; 4:1-34; 10:7) He prospered Uzziah. (2Chronicles 26:5) He prospered Hezekiah.
(2Chronicles 31:21; 32:30) He prospered Daniel. (Daniel 6:28)
The Old Testament even revealed that Jesus would prosper materially when He
came into the Earth. (Psalm 35:27; Isaiah 53:10; Jeremiah 23:4)
If the Almighty removed material prosperity from the
New Testament, it would not even be equal to the Old Testament let alone
better than the Old Testament.
Let us not find ourselves guilty of
falsely accusing the God of Providence of perfecting His children with
poverty.His will is
prosperity.Prosperity that comes
through the supernatural power of Holy tithes and
Damnation Doesn't Produce Perfection
“THE LORD IS not
slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is
longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL
SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Some teach that the
Almighty actually uses damnation or eternal separation from Him to
One of the world’s largest denominations actually teaches
that the Almighty confines certain individuals to a place called
“Purgatory” where the perfection process continues. Neither the word
“Purgatory” nor the Doctrine of Purgatory is even alluded to in the
It is my personal belief that the unscriptural Doctrine of
Purgatory has grown out of a gross perversion of the narrative concerning
the rich man and Lazarus found in Luke 16:19-31.
Eternal punishment for sin was borne by Jesus Christ on Calvary’s
Cross. Eternal punishment for sin is a curse of the law and Jesus has
redeemed all who believe in Him from the curse of the law. (Galatians
God is longsuffering towards the people of the world
because He desires that everyone have opportunity to repent and spend
Eternity in Heaven. This is why He has delayed for so long His
putting down of all earthly rebellion and the evil plans of man.
The Almighty does
not use suffering in or for sin to produce perfection. He does not
use sickness or disease to produce perfection. He does not use
poverty, Purgatory or eternal damnation to produce perfection.