Does God Give and Take Away?

Job 1:21 explained

The whole Bible is good for you, but to understand the written word, you need to know the Living Word.

Try to read the Bible without an appreciation of Jesus – who he is and what he has done – and you may end up taking someone else’s medicine. Some verses will appear to contradict others and you will get confused.

In an earlier article, I looked at a lady who mistakenly believed that God gives us bad gifts like death and poverty. Today I want to look at a man who had a different problem. He believed that God gives us good gifts only to take them away again.

You can probably guess that I’m talking about Job. Job had this one really bad week when his livestock were stolen, his servants were slain, and his kids were killed when a house fell on them. For some reason, Job thought God was behind his loss:

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. (Job 1:21)

If there was ever a scripture that has led to screwy notions about God’s character, it’s this one.

Anyone who has suffered loss has probably heard this verse. It’s quoted at funerals. We sing songs about it. For some strange reason people seem to find comfort in believing that God is responsible for their loss.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Job’s attitude. He’s saying that whatever happens in life, he’s going to praise the name of the Lord. But Job said some dumb things about God. Later on Job would come to regret his choice of words. “I spoke of things I did not understand” (Job 42:3).

But the question stands: Does God give and take away?

Not according to Jesus. Can you imagine Jesus stealing or killing? Of course not. So how is it that some people think that God was responsible for Job’s loss?

“It’s in the Bible, it’s right there in black and white.”

Let me put it another way. If you want the best insight into God’s character, are you better off looking at:

(a)    Jesus, who said “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), or
(b)    Job, who had only heard of God but did not actually know him  (see Job 42:5)?

Jesus is the better choice. Jesus came to reveal God the Giver. Have you been given something good? Then see God as your source:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (Jas 1:17)

God does not give and take away

When you suffer loss the temptation may be to blame God for your loss, as if God had a change of heart. But God is not fickle. He does not change like shifting shadows. He is an extraordinary giver who never takes back his gifts.

God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded. (Romans 11:29, MSG)

So if God is doing the giving, who is doing the taking? Again, Jesus provides the answer:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

We ought not to be confused about these two different roles. One is a giver, the other is a taker. If you have been given something good, give thanks to God. But if you’ve been robbed, don’t blame God. He’s not behind your loss. And Satan is not his sheepdog.

Humans are spectacularly slow learners. From the beginning of human history the devil has been trying to steal or ruin everything God gave us and yet there are still some who think that God is the thief.

God gave us authority over a planet and the devil took it.

God gave us freedom and the devil somehow got us to choose the way of slavery.

God gave us eternal life, health and glory, and we lost it all. But thank God for Jesus who took back what the devil stole.

Karma vs grace

Does God give and take away? If you think he does, you’ve missed the point of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal a generous Father and to destroy the work of the thief (1 John 3:8). Jesus came that we might have life to the full, not to the half.

If you think God gives and takes away, you have more faith in karma than grace. Karma says what goes around comes around. If you’re healthy now, you’ll be sick tomorrow. If you’re prospering now, poverty’s waiting around the next corner. When disappointments and hardships come, you won’t be surprised. You’ll just throw in the towel and say, “I knew it was too good to last.”

The world works according to the principle of give and take, but God just gives. The only thing he’ll take off you is your sin, your shame, your sickness, your worries, and your fears. He takes away those things that harm us and gives us good things that bless us.

Are you Job or David?

Both Job and David were robbed. Both were greatly distressed and surrounded by foolish men who gave bad advice. But unlike Job, David did a Jesusy-thing and took back what was stolen.

Why did David fight back when Job quit?

Because David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam 30:6). In his pain David considered God’s goodness and realized that God was not behind his loss. He understood that it was not God’s will for him to suffer and, so strengthened, he fought back and prevailed.

I wish I could go back in time and get to Job before his friends did. I would say, “God didn’t kill your kids! He didn’t steal your livestock and make you sick. You’ve been robbed! The devil is having a go at you. Don’t sit there in the ashes and cry about it, get up and fight!”

The church will never see victory if we think God is behind our suffering. If we think God is robbing us we won’t even resist. We’ll let the devil waltz in and plunder our families all the while singing “He gives and takes away.”

Funny, but I can’t imagine Jesus or David doing that.

Image source


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141 Comments on Does God Give and Take Away?

  1. Here are my thoughts on healing and suffering.
    James 5:13-17
    “13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses[e] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

    I think that this passage of scripture answers any question to whether God wants us well or sick. People try this and when it doesn’t work, its easy to say it must not be God’s will to heal every time. its easier to “credit” it to God and His sovereignty than it is to realize the missing element in us- faith. The scripture clearly says it must be a prayer said with faith, because “without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).” Hebrews 11:6. It’s not God’s will that people don’t get healed. It’s our lack of faith. The Bible also gives instances where Jesus could not do miracles because of people’s lack of faith. If God is sovereign (and He is), why would the Bible say He could not do something? Because our lack of faith limits Him. It’s not His desire (or lack thereof) that controls every little thing. He has given us authority over the earth, and over our choices. We can choose to believe or not to believe… For the salvation of our souls, and our lives. 🙂

    • I had not read the cystic fibrosis comment when I wrote my comment. My comment wasn’t aimed at preaching toward it. But the passage of scripture I quoted can be helpful in that situation. Definitely praying for that precious baby and loved ones.

    • its not that Jesus couldn’t heal them – its that some people’s unbelief prevented them from actually taking the step in faith to go to Him for the healing He had to give them – He couldn’t heal people who wouldn’t come… because everyone who came to Jesus for healing was healed – even if their faith was little, they used what little they had to go to Him – if they wanted to believe, then He helped their unbelief. even people who technically didn’t come to Him – but rather Jesus came to them – either believed or wanted to believe that Jesus could and would heal them. 😉

    • brandonhutzell // June 29, 2013 at 2:01 am // Reply

      Amber, I’m sorry but your theology does not mesh with clear examples in scripture like the story of Job.

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 30, 2013 at 12:33 am // Reply

      Hi Amber
      It is our lack of faith in what we already have that leads us to believe that sickness could have any power over us when it sees this lack of faith opportunity for oppression is seen.

      • Jennie and Chris, I’m not 100% sure on what you are saying. But I think both of the subjects you talked about are the same things I believe, and that you were saying the same things I was saying. 🙂
        Brandon, I have enjoyed reading the discussion between you and Paul on here. You have raised a lot of thought provoking points, some of the same questions I’ve had. So I have really appreciated being able to read everyone’s discussions and know I’m not alone in my desire to get answers and ask hard questions. I’m on a mission to figure out the truth according to the Bible. I will read one thing in the Bible and it seems to lead me to believe God wants us well all the time every time. Then about the time I’m firm in that belief, I read something else, and begin to question that theology. That is why I’m here, looking on this site, reading everyone’s thoughts.
        The scripture I quoted (James 5:13-16) is an example of what I’ve read that leads me to the conclusion that God wants us healed always. I don’t see any other way around that one.
        But then I read something like the verse someone quoted out of Ecclesiastes and I question everything again. I have a hard time meshing different scriptures. Some of them I can’t get to harmonize with each other. : / I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be double-minded, tossing back and forth like the waves in the sea (as talked about in scripture). I want to figure out the truth and have it set me free!
        I do agree with Paul and this article. That theology seems to be more in line with the Bible. But I do wish I had answers for some other verses that don’t seem to quite fit that theology (like the one mentioned earlier in Ecclesiastes).
        Paul, maybe you could help? Or anyone else God is leading to respond to my questioning. Thanks. 🙂

      • pdavis1958 // July 3, 2013 at 10:00 am //

        There is absolutely one model and that is Jesus. He is the only “perfect” new covenant model. No one, not even Paul the apostle “did only what he saw His Father doing” all the time and without fail. He alone is the only one who ever walked in perfect obedience to the father. When we do, we see amazing fruit in our lives and those God has placed in our lives. I totally agree that any power shortage lies on our side and not His. the Job argument, Ecclesiastes etc are not only under the old covenant, but also a very poor view of God at the time written by the authors. It has pretty well been determined that Job didn’t even have an awareness of Satan. I love your passion and you will never go wrong with believing God to heal them all. I believe as we see more and more of a revelation on God’s heart for these things we will see more people healed and men will no longer play the sovereignty card because God will show them what that truly means. I believe that God’s sovereign reign is in partnership with man. He uses men and women to fulfill His purpose. He probably could do so without us, but chose not to. It is part of His covenant.

      • Thank you so much for your reply! And everyone else who replied! 🙂

      • You are very welcome! This is a very big deal to me. Our daughter has been fighting a battle for her health. I had a blood clot the first of the year and welcome the new year in the hospital. I had only been back a little over a month from Guatemala where I saw God open blind eyes, deaf ears, lame walk, emotional healings etc etc. I could easily play the will of God or sovereignty card, but why would I want to? I have been to Europe and Guatemala on healing ministry trips. We can go places no medical missions teams, construction teams etc can go. We are welcomed and accepted because we go in, heal the sick, train the locals on how to pray for the sick and then go into homes to demonstrate in that way and open the door for when we leave. Jesus came to bring healing. When I present a gospel that (is very well meaning) is intended to bring comfort because someone is not healed or not being healed; then I present a gospel that is not one of hope and is not as the very name implies, “The Good News.” Therefore, though it sounds good and also loving, it is really no gospel at all. It is a message of man that limits the limitless God we serve. Blessings

      • yes amber, i am agreeing with what you said… i just wanted to clarify why it says Jesus “couldn’t” – because the truth is that He can. 😉 Jesus is our hope – and hope is a confident and positive expectation of good. hope does not disappoint. when we read something that seems to “dash our hope” or contradict the new covenant message of grace, we only need to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into the Truth who is Christ – who He is and what His finished work accomplished. this is what rightly dividing the word means – paul calls this ‘filtering’ scripture through Jesus’ finished work of the cross. as believers under the new covenant we have something that the old covenant believers didnt have – the Spirit and Life of Christ IN us. the Holy Spirit – our Teacher – loves to answer our questions when we are seeking to know the Truth… because knowing the Truth – aka Jesus – is what sets us free! 🙂

    • chrisvanrooyen // July 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm // Reply

      Hi Amber
      Every verse in the bible is in some way connected to Jesus he should be your filter for everything this would be my advice.When it seems to contradict Jesus in character or otherwise pray for revelation. It is God,s will that you find the truth.
      This site is a valuable resource to learn from, even if you disagree with Paul he is graceful to agree to disagree.

    • chrisvanrooyen // July 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm // Reply

      HI Amber
      the book of Ecclesiastes is one of the greatest prophecies of Jesus it perfectly illustrates life without him , He is the perfect answer to the book understanding this and reading the book in this light is uplifting.

      • Pdavis- awesome that you’ve experienced that in Guatemala and other places! I wish there was more of that in the USA! Praying for your daughters health.
        Thank you Chris- I’ve never thought about it that way before. I will try to read it like that. I get depressed tryin to read Ecclesiastes and Job usually.

  2. Just a question Paul, as i wrestle with these things. The scripture says that it is appointed once for man to die, would you say satan appoints that time for us or God? Thanks for your input.

    • Now there’s an intriguing question. I would say neither. If Satan really got to choose when people die, don’t you think he’d kill us all as babies? He’d wipe out the human race as fast as he could. And to say God appoints the time of our death is akin to holding him responsible for murders, road-deaths, and abortions. God is Lord of all but he’s not responsible for all that happens to us. The word “appointed” in Heb 9:27 means “reserved,” as in a reserved dinner booking. The writer is saying we all have a reservation at the table of death and after that we face judgment.

  3. Mike Rosenau // August 10, 2013 at 9:48 am // Reply

    Have you ever considered who…

  4. Mike Rosenau // August 10, 2013 at 10:59 am // Reply

    Oops I should have read the E2R publishing policy first… 3 rules broken:

    Way to long, I continued in several posts and I cut and paste scriptures. . sorry

  5. Hi Paul!

    I just wanted to say you hit it out of the park on the subject of Job! So many read the words of Job 1:21, but never bother to consider the fact that Job was not speaking of events to come. He was speaking of what he had already experienced. In turn this should lead us to reading Job 1:1 through Job 1:20 and seeing for ourselves that God never took a single thing from Job. In fact, after disciplining Job based on his words of error and anger toward God, it was the Lord who actually gave to Job, but He never took a single thing.

    I am believing for many new doors to open for my book to get in front of many people in order that they will be able to see the truth of God’s true nature.

    Thanks again for posting an incredible article of truth!

  6. I have read your article and the comments with great interest. I am having difficultly making the jump to your worldview though and have many questions still. I’m not sure just because something is not found in Heaven means it is not God’s will on earth – this is earth, not Heaven and on earth we grow through pain but in Heaven we won’t need to grow in our character anymore because we’ll be perfect.
    Could God accomplish the good thing – ie. the growing closer than ever to Jesus and finding profound satisfaction in Him, the growth in character, etc. – some other way or is suffering the way to accomplish the greater good….could we draw so close and grow in character without bad things happening, if life was always easy and rosy?
    Did God just passively permit the bad thing and use it for good or did he actively cause the bad thing for good.I think the devil is on God’s leash and whether you say God permitted the devil to do something or whether you say God did it, either way, God could have stopped if He wanted to so He is still on the hook for it but He is happy to be on the hook for it because He has a plan in it all and somehow is amazingly and mysteriously working all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11).

  7. I think the matter of “giving and taking away” can be from God, and not just Satan. God’s goal is for us to have intimacy with Him and joy through Him. I think God does sometimes “take away” those things in our lives that are interfering with our relationship with Him. That is often painful for us, because they are the things that we have built our lives on. So, it’s a matter of perspective. God is taking away, but only from the goal of giving us Himself in replacement for those things.

    Having said that, clearly Satan does come to “steal, kill and destroy”, but not in the way you might think. Satan’s goal is to distract us from God and to distort our beliefs away from the Truth, not to remove our comfort. Our comfort *benefits* Satan.

    If you are suffering, ask yourself if what you’ve lost is really better than Christ.

    • Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”. He said so in error (Job 34:35). I have also said things in error, but I hope nobody formed a doctrinal system of beliefs out of my words of error..

      When all was said and done, God never took anything at all from Job. In fact, He only gave to Job. In addition, throughout all of scripture we do not see God taking good things from anyone for any reason.

      Why would we ever believe He does take good things other than ideas coming from circumstantial theology.

      God does not take things from us in order for us to learn. He has given us His written Word and the Holy Spirit to carry the load of our learning (2 Timothy 3:16 with John 14:26, and John 16:13).

      We must also factor in our free will. God does not over ride our choices at any time.

      • “When all was said and done, God never took anything at all from Job.”

        Read Job 1:12. I guess that I could tell my brother to take something precious away from my sister, and if he does it then I’m not responsible.

        Also, you might want to reconsider your Job 34:35 reference, the Lord himself said that Job’s friends didn’t speak of Him right- Job 42:7.

      • The words of Job 1:12 were simply God stating the obvious. Man had already given Satan power over Job’s life. God gave man control over the earth in Genesis 1:26. Man ended up giving that power over to the devil in Genesis chapter three, hence the words of Job 1:12. In addition, Satan had attempted to tempt God to steal from Job in Job 1:11. The words of Job 1:12 were God’s response to Satan.

        IN reference to Job 42:7, Job had come to his senses after God chastised him for his words in Job 13:3, Job 23:3 and his rebellion against God as seen in Job 34:36-37. The words of Job 42:7 came after Job had humbled himself and come to understand that God was not the source of his problems (Job 42:3) which is exactly what we should do.

        If someone is determined to believe God is the source of their problems, that person should never resist an problem they face. Doing such would cause them to resist God.

      • “Man ended up giving that power over to the devil in Genesis chapter three, hence the words of Job 1:12. In addition, Satan had attempted to tempt God to steal from Job in Job 1:11. The words of Job 1:12 were God’s response to Satan.”

        So you’re saying that all the good things Job had before Satan had this meeting with God were good things that came from Satan, since he had power over all this since Genesis chapter 3? This seems like a strange thing for Satan to do, to bless Job in this manner. John 10:10 says that he only came to steal, kill and destroy. The first thought that comes to my mind is why would God create such a being in the first place?

        Who had the power to give Job all those blessings? Who had the power to remove them? Is this the message of Job, that we can only appreciate and understand God, through our sufferings?

      • God blessed Job. The devil took from Job. You missed my point completely. I hope God can open your eyes to truth some day, my friend. Nobody else is going to be able to do so.

        Have a nice day.

      • pdavis1958 // August 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm //

        Here’s the bottom line with this topic. If people believe that God takes away they will have things continue to be taken away. They will say it was God but the enemy will be the culprit because they partner with a lie from the enemy and he continues to rob them. People who believe God does not take away will see just the opposite. When the enemy comes to steal, kill or destroy, they will say no way to this destroyer and fight instead of accept which would otherwise be an attack from Slew-foot. He has been given that name for a reason. God gives and blesses. Satan steals and destroys and if possible will even kill. Maybe not always physically, but he kills in a whole lot of other ways. Peace and blessings to all my bro’s and sis’s in Christ.

      • From a human perspective, God *did* take from Job. From a heavenly perspective God was seeking to give Job of Himself. So, it totally depends on your point of view. Strictly speaking, Job is wrong, I guess, but I can’t fault him for thinking from an earthly perspective. The point is: God does seem to take away but only because we miss the point.

  8. humbleheart72 // August 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm // Reply

    This is not necessarily to T. Tompkins, but didn’t know where to reply in general.

    One thing I believe is true in all this misunderstanding is that if someone sincerely wants to know and understand, they can go straight to God and ask Him to reveal the truth to them about what He’s written in Scripture. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate teacher and until someone asks God for deeper understanding/revelation knowledge concerning a thing, it will not be known to that person. They can ask and ask and ask a human being all day long for clarity and they will not receive it unless they ask God for it with a humble attitude by faith.

  9. humbleheart72 // August 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    “Here’s the bottom line with this topic. If people believe that God takes away they will have things continue to be taken away. They will say it was God but the enemy will be the culprit because they partner with a lie from the enemy and he continues to rob them.”

    That’s so right on pdavis! everything you wrote is so very right on, but that opening statement rocks! Love how you put that. Peace and blessings to you too 🙂

    • So I guess another way to word it would be God doesn’t take away. Satan, whom God created, takes away.

      • I don’t buy that. God is sovereign. That means that he can stop even Satan’s actions, so in one sense he is allowing things to be “taken away”. The problem is that we view the “taking away” of earthly things as suffering rather than as an opportunity to replace the earthly with the heavenly. God is trying to give us Himself as a replacement for the lost earthly things. We only suffer because we fail to see that.

      • pdavis1958 // August 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm //

        Not fair to use the God created Satan card. He created us too, but we have a free will. So did Satan. He didn’t (in the words of Indiana Jones) choose wisely. But here is the heart of all of this to me. I am part of a healing ministry in our local church where almost all people we pray for are healed. The last night of a Guatemala trip last year; everyone who had something they could feel or see (about 100 or so) received a healing touch. My experience has been that people who talk about Job, Paul, Trophemis, man at the pool, Timothy etc rather than the glaring facts about Jesus’ healing ministry, don’t see people healed much if ever. That sounds arrogant Pat. Well, I don’t mean for it to. I simply want people to look at results. People who pray for God’s will, believe He heals some and others are destined to suffer for his glory, just don’t see the number of people healed as those who believe that it is always God’s will to heal and the power lack is on our side. Why do some churches see multitudes of healings and others little or even none? People say that God is sovereign and he chooses, gives, takes away etc. So here is a valid question. If God is not a respecter of persons (or let’s say even churches) why does He seem to “sovereignly” heal in mass in some places and “sovereignly” not heal in others? Answer: It has nothing to do with His sovereignty! He made a healing covenant with man and His sovereignty does not allow Him to break it or fight against what Jesus did on the cross. His sovereignty explodes in us as we partner with Him. We do our part and His sovereignty takes over and exponentially blesses it. He doesn’t do it without us. He could, but chose not too. I hope this makes more sense. So my final question in this response, is are people who believe God gives and takes away: 1) praying for the sick with an expectancy of healing and 2) how many people can you say you know for sure have been healed through your life touching theirs? My point is this. I don’t like to learn about riches from a pauper. I don’t like to get opinion on God’s blessings from people who don’t believe God always wants to bless. I am fortunate to have been a part of a church and mission trips that has witnessed 1000’s of healings including blind eyes, deaf ears, lame walking etc etc. God is good! He always gives and takes away from the enemy and gives some more and some more and NEVER TAKES AWAY!

      • Well Jim, sort of. I don’t believe that satan can come and take anything from me. Not unless I give him legal ground to do so. The only way I can do that is by getting in agreement with any lie he tells me; for example: satan says “God made His Word confusing because He doesn’t really want you to understand it. He’s just messing with everyone’s head.” Now, if I believe that lie, then I’m going to be always lost because I will not take God at His Word and just believe Him. Things are different now than what they were in Job’s days. After Yeshua (Jesus) came here to set us free, every one of us who walk in that freedom have power over ALL the power of the enemy (satan). There is NOTHING satan can do to us that we don’t allow him, knowingly or unknowingly, to do and Yahweh (God) will NEVER do anything bad to us because He loves us. On the other hand, satan hates us because he hates Yahweh. One other thing I’d like to point out here is that none of us have all the answers. We’re all growing and learning. Like I said in my earlier comment, if a person really wants to know the truth about something, go straight to the One Who knows everything. Ask Him to give you discernment. Seriously. Ask Him. He WILL give it to you, if you are His. He delights in giving His children the desires of their heart. If I’m wrong in any of this, Paul, please edit away. Shalom! Jim.

  10. Gordon Halford // September 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm // Reply

    Dear Paul, you are mistaken in your comments. They seem to have a ring of truth about them, but the REALITY is that they are plain wrong ! The truth is that by definition God is absolutely sovereign. Anything else means that God is not God ! Because God is absolutely sovereign, the devil can only take away when God allows him to do so. This is made quite clear in the story of Job. He cannot do _anything_ without God’s agreement. So the reality is that Job’s comment is actually true. God did give, and God did take away, even if it was by the Devil’s hand. God uses EVERYTHING for HIs own purposes ! Assyrian and Babylonian kings included. The cross is the ultimate example of this truth. There is a lesson here, and it relates to Paul’s comment in Ephesians 3… “I want to know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, so that by whatever means necessary, I might attain to the resurrection out from among the dead ones”.
    You need to get a hold of the truth of “sharing in Christ’s sufferings”, and understanding what it means to “come out from among the dead ones”.
    I trust that Father will reveal to you by the Spirit what this means.
    Blessings in Christ, Gordon H.

    • If I am mistaken, so is the Bible for 1 John 5:19 says God is not in control – he is not responsible for everything that happens. Fatalism preaches God is responsible for everything but the gospel declares God works for the good of those who love him.

      Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Why would we need to pray that if God’s will were already being done?

      • Warren (South Carolina, USA) // November 6, 2015 at 6:28 am //

        Great response Saint Paul.

        Also, if I am not mistaken, God tells us it’s NOT His will that ANYONE should perish. God has given man free will and authority on earth, and He will not violate that. When babies are murdered . . . is that God’s will? When someone lies, is that God’s will?

        Warren (South Carolina, USA)

    • i guess it depends on what you believe “sharing in Christ’s sufferings” means… the apostle paul was being persecuted for the name of Christ and was saying that He was willing to be persecuted unto a similar death on a cross if need be. suffering persecution on account of Christ’s name is the only kind of suffering we are called to share with Him.

  11. Thanks for the answers i was seeking.

  12. Two Scriptures I read recently reminded me of this debate, so I post them here; Ezekial 14:20 (NIV) “as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness”. Repeated twice v.14 & 20 – Job was one of the ‘Big 3’ in the Lord’s eyes as the Message version says it so well. I suggest we need to be more careful what we declare as wrong in Job’s reaction to his loss. Then I read Ezekial 24:15-16 “The word of the LORD came to me: (16) “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears”. Does God take away? Yes, He does.

  13. Ottanwa Gabby // October 22, 2013 at 7:04 am // Reply

    Good theological clearification there. More grace to ur spirit n ministry.

  14. Didn’t God allow the devil to do these things to Job? Doesn’t it say so in the bible? Check out the book of Job, chapter 2, verse 6. It says, “and the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” (KJV) No THING can happen without God knowing of it or even allowing it to happen. God also knew that Job was his faithful servant. Read the book of Job, chapter 2, verse 2. It says, “and the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth. a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (KJV) God knows the heart. God knew the heart of Job was faithful–albeit imperfect. Job was tested. Job, as would any human, reacted to the pain of his loss as humans do. In the final analysis, Job remained faithful to God–however clumsily, he remained faithful.

  15. Nisschala Evangeline Choppala // December 11, 2013 at 2:36 am // Reply

    wonderful truth – Thank you so much for sharing with us your thoughts – God bless your ministry !!

  16. Really? Did you read the Bible correctly? God gave his permission for the Devil to do what he did. Therefore, God is just as guility in all that happended to Job. (Everyone skips over this little fact). So God did “GIVE and TAKE away.” Job was correct in this thought.

    • It’s frightening that you’d reject the words of Jesus and embrace those of a superstitious man on the back of one poorly translated verse. It’s doubly frightening that you think God is complicit in the devil’s work. For more on Job 1:8, see this post.

  17. stefanie oehrke // April 14, 2014 at 6:09 am // Reply

    I totally believe gods heart is for all to be healed restored . Saved means sozo which means fully healed fully restored mind body and soul. I believe dieease is noy from god and dewth isnt either. Its from sin in the world. So i do agree with you. But i do have a question can yiu help me understand exodus when god killed the first born and sent plagues on pharioe and his people . Also ejst about book of revelation with the wrath of god. And jesus coming on a white hprse to slader all who took thmark along with all the demons and ones who didnt pick him. Rev 19:11-21. I just lost a friend this week to a bike accident. She . was a lover of god and only 24. Over 5 ,000 people were fighing in prayer for her life. God took her home. Would u say the emeny stole her life when we all were weeping in intercession for her life. And her life was in god.

  18. I totally believe that God does not cause us pain and suffering but I’m struggling to explain this to my 25 year old daughter who is suffering from alopecia. While this is not a fatal disease, it is nonetheless devastating to a young woman to have to live with the possibility of losing all her hair. My difficulty with Job isn’t what he said or did. It is the conversations between God and Satan that led to God giving permission to Satan to afflict Job. How do you explain that? The way Job is written, it seemed that God allowed Job to go through extreme suffering on a wager with Satan.

    • Yes, it does seem that way. But appearances can be deceiving. Satan most definitely did not ask, and does not need to ask, for God’s permission to steal from us. If he had permission, he wouldn’t be a thief now would he? More here.

  19. It is funny how so many believe God “gives and takes away” based on the words of Job. Yet Job spoke without knowledge and his words were without wisdom (Job 34:35-37 with Job 38:2). In addition, Jesus did not back up these words. He spoke of giving but not taking (John 10:10). Job eventually humbled himself and stopped blaming God (Job 42:3). Many Christians should follow this path as well.

  20. Is God omnipotent or not? If not, then we should be worshipping Satan because he’s more powerful than the god portrayed in this article! It’s very clear throughout the book of Job that God has all authority and calls all the shots. Satan had to seek permission to afflict Job. Yes, Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He would’ve killed Job if he could’ve but God said NO. Also, God rewarded Job for speaking of Him correctly (“he gives and takes away”) Job 42:7 “It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.”

    • Molly, Satan didn’t ask permission (as explained in this post). God is omnipotent but not sovereign in the sense that word is usually interpreted. In other words, and as the Bible clearly states, he is not in control of all that happens to us. (More in this post.) God’s comments about the rightness of Job’s words follow Job saying “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand… I despise myself and repent.” It’s because Job spoke so wrongly at the beginning of the book that he sent Elihu and then, when Job still wouldn’t shut up with the self-pitying, death wishes, and whining, God came himself. Then, and only then, did Job begin to speak rightly.

      It is a catastrophic mistake for a believer to think that Job at the beginning of the book is a good example for us to follow. He was a fear-filled, self-righteous, superstitious man who whined a lot and wished he was dead. But the good news is God gives grace to people like Job.

      • Thanks for your reply. I see what you’re saying. And I think that the book of Job is actually a good example of whom to blame – Satan. Job wasn’t given the luxury of knowing how his struggle came about, and God never explained it to him. I’m pretty sure that you used the words “Ultimate Causes”, though to explain God’s omnipotence in another post. (Notice I didn’t say sovereign! 🙂 ) And whether or not we believe God is in control of everything that happens, it’s never an excuse to roll over and play dead.

  21. To everyone that has tried to adress pauls doctrinal,theological, interpretational error, i can sum it up with two words. FAITH HEALER!! ive tried to get my brothers and sisters for years to c their error but its tough. I consider paul a brother and i agree with him on some of his theology theology. But not this one.

    • Dwayne man, how can you possibly object to these statements?

      • Hey lewis. I object because this theology is very damaging to the church AND to those who are not saved. it can leave them very confused about gods PERFECT will and sovereignty. Godly people full of faith hav went home by the millions by way of sickness. And many many! Family members hav been saved BECAUSE OF IT!!! tell me lewis was that the devils will???? One went to heaven and he lost more souls in the process… Hallelujah!! Thank u jesus!! it was GODS perfect will.. U c faith healers cant say that. They teach cofusion and false hope!! I hav much more to say i will address later. Got to go to work. God bless

  22. I hav a question mayby someone can help me with. Where in sripture does it say that it is gods will to heal all that are sick?

    • There are several in the gospels (eg: Mat 8:16) which indicate that Jesus healed ALL who came to him – he never left anyone unhealed, never said “God is using this sickness to teach you stuff.” Acts 10:38 tells us sickness is the devil’s doing and 1 John 3:8 says Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. God is not willing that any perish (2 Pet 3:9), and sickness is death in small bites. I could go on.

  23. Hey paul thanks for the response. I would like to address matt 8 and 2 peter 3:9 so i can keep it short. Scripture says and jesus healed all that were sick? Why?? Vs 17. To fullfil isaiah 53 to let the JEWS know that this is the messiah isaiah told us about. To fullfill scripture PERIOD. the context does not support that jesus is obligated to heal YOU. that is my interpretatio. /2 peter 3:9 the lord is not willing that any should PERISH. I think u interpret perish as meaning physical sickness and death. The context supports spiritual death. HELL!!. how do i know that? READ ON..But that all should come to REPENTANCE!!!! SALVATION!! TO BE BORN AGAIN. REGENERATION. SAVING FAITH!! PERIOD!!! Context does not support physical death or sickness. Also the vs By his stripes we are healed. What is healed? Thanks bro gimme ur thoughts wheen u get a chance.

    • Yes Dwayne, if COMPASSION is the way and the only motivation of Jesus to fulfill scriptures, it’s not about convincing the Jews or any body (the devils knew Jesus was the Messiah, and…?). God is love and His heart in fulfilling scripture is compassion. Healing from compassion is always God’s will.
      Healing is not a big deal, it is seeing a person within the finished work of the cross, fully restored as a son – as God sees. We can’t even say “it is God’s will to heal”, it’s the only way God sees us now: healed, delivered, prosperous as His glorious children, one with Him and co-participant of Divine Nature.
      My, what an unfathomable GIFT!
      Blessings brother!

      • dwayne // May 3, 2014 at 9:53 am //

        Hey claude. I think i understand ur post. Are u saying ( God wants usHOLY more than he wants us WHOLLY??

    • Dwayne Hi,
      Jesus said go heal the sick.
      It is therefore His WILL and WE are to do it.
      We can make our theology fit our experience or we can believe- it’s up to us.

      • Hey lewis. If WE are to do it then please take me with u to the nearest hospital and make me a believer that that gift is for today. Will u raise one dead person for me. Just one. I hope im not askin for to much. That is what jesus did and his disciples. Why??? So people would believe!! The jews seeked a sign and they got it. Thru miracles signs and wonders. We dont c that today. Why?? We hav gods holy word complete.. Question.. If u lay hands on someone and their not healed whose at fault? Is it due to a lack of faith? Jesus nvr misfired!! Not trying to b smart. Bless u brother..

    • Hi Dwayne,
      Can I retract that last comment as the command was given to the disciples and not necessarily to us today.
      I want to believe all sickness can be overcome and will believe for it.
      Salvation encompasses physical & emotional wellness as well as spiritual.
      I believe this but I won’t expect others to believe it.
      Thank you for your thoughts.
      Grace & peace brother.

      • dwayne // May 4, 2014 at 2:10 am //

        Lewis brother im with u!! I want to believe god will heone fthe sick but if he doesnt is it because of a lack of faith? Pls answer this question.. Brother i know u believe this wholeheartedly but u and others preach a confusing message to lost people. U hav a lot to defend the faith.. I know im tagged as a fatalist or faith killer but please let me giv u very common analogy ti c who is the real faith killer.. Lets say my kids are not saved and i preach to them that it is gods will always to heal the sick. I get diagnosed with terminal cancer and i preach to them GOD WILL HEAL ME!!! they watch me die a slow painful death.. What is my wife gonna tell them why god didnt heal their saved godly obedient faithfilled daddy??? Now who is the faith killer?? That could wreck any child of having any belief of a loving god..think about it.. Lewis, we still live in a sin cursed world. Our bodies get old and we are going to die!! If it is gods WILL to always heal sick people EVERY TIME then why arent people lving to b as old as Methuselah!! U c my point?? When we pray for that saved sick loved one for god to heal them and they die then u got ur prayer answered!!! COMPLETE HEALING IN THE ARMS OF JESUS AND WE CAN ALL SING “THE LORD GIVETH AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY, BLESSED B THE NAME OF THE LORD!!! AMEN.. LEWUS I LUV YA BRO.

    • dwayne, salvation doesn’t only mean saved from eternal death… it also means delivered, made whole, healed, and prospered 😉
      if you believe that the spiritual gift of healing was only for the apostles to bring the jews to salvation… well, they haven’t all been saved yet, have they?

    • Gerardo Jerry Grado // October 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm // Reply

      my mom was shot and was supposed to be an invalid forever and never have sis and i both serve a powerful God because we know the miracle of a walking mom even though her spinal cord is still severed from the waist down….When God healed her as a teenager, He healed her forever… wasn’t in the times of Jesus’ earthly ministry. just in case

  24. jennie. If salvation includes being made whole physicaly then tell that to all the SAVED handicaped, blind ,lame,sick , godly people full of saving faith. Ur theology makes them question their salvation!!! Ur belief just begs the question…. Well god? I know im saved but im not healed physically so am i really saved? Now of course i believe god still heals!! But that is based on HIS PERFECT WILL!! AND HE WILL USE SICKNESS PAIN AND SUFFERING TO BRING LOST SOULS TO HIM. Now to address ur last question. No. The jews havent all been saved..why???? Because they REJECT THE GOSPEL!! Jesus fullfilled all old testament prophecy concerning his coming that involved miracles, signs, and wonders and they reject it!!!2 tim 3:16-and we hav gods holy and perfect word that records it all!! 2 peter 3:9 not wiiling that any should perish(hellbound) but that all should come to repentance. (Heavenbound ) god wants u HOLY (saved)more than he wants us WHOLLY!! (Physicaly healed)

    • healing is included in salvation. communion represents this perfectly: His body the bread for our healing, His blood as the wine for the forgiveness of our sins. 2 elements – one complete transaction. Jesus was beaten physically so that we could be healed physically – while His life blood was poured out for our forgiveness.
      yes, it is better that a person is saved and sick than not saved… but even better still is a saved and healed person who is a testimony to the abundant and victorious life that only Jesus can give… one that can be seen in the physical and will draw people to Christ for salvation… including the jewish people! 🙂

    • dwayne, you said; “Question.. If u lay hands on someone and their not healed whose at fault? Is it due to a lack of faith? Jesus nvr misfired!! Not trying to b smart. Bless u brother.. “

      Here are a couple of scripture that might help you with this. Mark 6:5,6; “… And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief….”
      Then there is, 3 John 1:2
      “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”

      It is about faith and its our faith. We receive (prosper and be in health) only as our soul prospers. It is in direct proportion to how are faith is doing. The more we stay in the word the better, stronger our faith. Thanks!

  25. Paul,lewis,jennie i love you all as brothers and sisters in christ. If u preach phsical healing as part of the gospel then u hav watered down the gospel!! We should nvr use health, wealth, and prosperity as bait to evangelize!! The gospel is that we are sinners seperated from god and we are hellbound unless we respond to that convicting spirirt when god draws us and we say YES!! BY REPENTANCE AND FAITH!! JOHN 3:36 he who does not do this THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDES ON HIM!! if we get away from that message then we will fill the churchs full of FALSE CONVERTS!! (GOATS,TARES, BAD FISH, WAYSIDE HEARERS, THORNY GROUND, STONEY GROUND!! AMEN?? If phycisal healing is part of the gospel then why are the first couple rows of people at a benny hinn concert who by the way nvr get to go on stage are they NOT HEALED because their not saved? Or is it because they LACK FAITH?? What is your answer?? If u had enough faith to be saved then how much does it take to get healed?? Please answer. I know this sounds harsh but yall preach a confusing gospel.We dont need to escape from biblical reality!! Sorry paul no punt intended.. I love you all as brothers and sisters

    • Brother, you just are not sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. He healed then dealt with their soul constantly. We go on mission trips and watch God heal in mass and then we share the salvation message. You see the gospel and healing as two separate things. Psalm 103 makes it clear they are not. Who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. You have a lot of questions and I sense anger sometimes too, probably an offense for those you know who have lost loved ones to illness etc. The response from Jesus was basically, which is easier to do, say you are forgiven or healed. When we place the “perfect will” on God’s shoulders, we remove all responsibility of our own. One last thing. I always find this no matter where I go. People who preach that God always wants to heal witness tons more healings than those who don’t! Period! In fact, many people are the victim of a theology that leaves it up to God to decide on a case by case basis. We have to have experience and the Word not just one or the other. Jesus is the only perfect model of healing.

    • pdavis1958 // May 4, 2014 at 5:03 pm // Reply

      Brother, you just are not sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. He healed first then dealt with their soul constantly. We go on mission trips and watch God heal in mass and then we share the salvation message. You see the gospel and healing as two separate things. Psalm 103 makes it clear they are not. Who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. You have a lot of questions and I sense anger sometimes too, probably an offense for those you know who have lost loved ones to illness etc. The response from Jesus was basically, which is easier to do, say you are forgiven or healed. When we place the “perfect will” on God’s shoulders, we remove all responsibility of our own. I always find this no matter where I go. People who preach that God always wants to heal witness tons more healings than those who don’t! Period! In fact, many people are the victim of a theology that leaves it up to God to decide on a case by case basis. One last thing. If it is always up to God to decide, then why does He tell us to raise the dead? That would be working against His will because apparently His will was for them to die. We have to have experience and the Word not just one or the other. Jesus is the only perfect model of healing.

      • dwayne // May 5, 2014 at 9:58 am //

        Afternoon sister. I promise there is no anger here. I hav lost saved loved ones due to illness but they didnt go home due to a lack of faith!! If i believed what u teach then i would hav every right to b angry. Im glad u reference psalm 103 who by the way the author lost his firstborn child to SICKNESS BY THE WILL OF GOD TO BRING HIM TO REPENTANCE. Can god heal all sickness? Absolutely! Will he use sickness to discipline his children? Obviously.. King david prayed feverishly but i guess he didnt hav enough faith…yes pdavis i do hav a lot of questions that u cant answer but i can say ALL things(circumstances) work togerther for good to those who LOVE God. Rom 8:28 AMEN?? Just curious. How many dead people hav u raised and if they didnt come back to life then whose lack of faith was at fault then? Not his!! I knowthe sarcasm sounds thick but sister if ur gonna preach that gospel u hav some defending to do. Also Matt 10:8 u referenced heal the sick and raise the dead etc.. Ànd what else does the text say? Freely you hav received freely give. Vs 9 TAKE NO MONEY!! i suppose many filthy rich faithhealers sharpie that vs out of their bible. YES GOD CAN STILL HEAL!! U say for us not to raise the dead works against his will since were commanded to do it?? Guess what?? Were still gonna die physically and i dont care how much faith u hav it s not gonna change gods will!! The numbers are clear. 10 out of 10 die.. Excluding enoch and elijah. By the way if u hav enough fIth to bring me back from the dead i will not be a happy camper sister because ive been washed ive been justified ive been sanctified and i am a child of the living KING!! TILL HE RETURNS OR CALLS ME HOME HERE IN POWER OF CHRIST I WILL STAND!! I hope u sense im not an angry man. Luv ya sister..

      • pdavis1958 // May 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm //

        1st, I’m a man. Second, you are proving my thoughts perfectly by going back to the Old Testament for all your examples and not citing Jesus. He is the only perfect model of healing. Also, David lost the child because of judgment. Again, Old Covenant. The fact remains as I stated, that people who look for loopholes in healing because we haven’t arrived so to speak, will always see many people fall prey as victims to that theology. Trying to sort out every situation if God wills or doesn’t is a formula for disaster and we are playing with people’s lives. All the shortage of power faith lying on our side frees God from being the one who doesn’t wish to heal.

      • Hi pdavis,
        I think Dwayne was addressing Jennie as sister before he addressed you.
        Hi Dwayne,
        It is totally understandable when people hardly ever and some never see any healings or miracles to believe (if I can assume that you believe they do still occur today) that it is just God’s will ONLY WHEN they happen. But I agree with pdavis that where they are believed for they are seen more frequently.This takes some explanation.and I think the fact that their is a need for a lack of doubt on our part does this better than God’s sovereign will.
        I also understand your concern that lack of positive result could result in people,born again and not yet born again, becoming disenchanted.
        However we must make it clear to all that God doesn’t love them any less if they don’t get healed we just haven’t found the right way to work with God and we might not ever do in this life.
        Jesus said you will do the same and greater things than He did – while we can argue that He meant something other than the supernatural things I think this is contextually wrong aswell as not true to His heart.
        I don’t want to argue with a fellow brother unecessarily I just want to encourage people to keep an open mind despite the lack of evidence often seen.
        All God’s blessings brother.

  26. We are all healed of every sickness in Jesus, and have inherited eveything, it is irrelevant if you see it, feel it, or experience it,do you believe it. Even if you do not believe it it still remains true. So if you get a chance to see it , fell it , experience it, it is good, but nothing has changed. Why be fascinated by a drop of water when there is an ocean out there.

  27. Im so sorry MR. pdavis i did getconfused with who im responding to.. Forgive me. I dont want to b argumentative. I know i come off that way but i hav nothing but love for all. This is a very healthy debate over two biblical worldviews. Someone said david lost his child due to judgement? By whose hand exercised that judgement? GODS!! why did he exercise that judgement? His SIN!! what was the result of the judgement on him and his child?? Psalm 51!! N also someone interprets the vs greater things we shall do means quality and not quanity?? what hav u done that is greater than rasing a dead person?? I think the context supports quantity..due to the vs becUse i go to the father. Again we hav two different views of context and interpretation. But i know as brothers and sister n christ that were all going to die physically even if a healing Does occur in someones life. What matters is hav we been BORN AGAIN!! Praise god if he heals a loved one with terminal illness but it is appointed unto man to die once but after that the judgement heb:9. Can someone send me a link or information where here in america the dead are raised, paraplegics walk, official blind from birth see, amputees grow limbs back from laying of hands. Not arthritis, back pain,half blind, etc.. Im serious.. Im not mocking anyone.. Why js it almost always other countries these greater things We shall do(miracles,signs,wonders) and not here in america?? Educate me.. Pretend im not saved and im searching for answers.. lets say i just lost a saved loved one due to cancer claiming god was gonna heal him or her. Someone on here share the gospel with me and tell me why they died. Remember.. My hard heart is in your hands. Im waiting……..

    • pdavis1958 // May 6, 2014 at 9:22 am // Reply

      Myself and others I minister with have witnessed over 135 cancers healed, many with no treatment and several given short times to live, blind eyes, Alzheimer, lyme disease and many others. Why does it have to be in America? I have personally witnessed bones being reset, blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened, surgeries that were scheduled for knees etc canceled due to healings and multitudes others. Just myself and a friend (mainly him) have witnessed thousands of healings in several countries. You keep going back to David and I stress again, that is judgment in the Old Covenant that we no longer face as believers in the New. You are asking for people to give you answers that can’t be answered. But, teaching that God wants to heal all is what Jesus did, what we do and always will. Many times people die because people quit fighting for them and often the person them self quits because of the grief of families. I have seen that at times. But, the model for healing is clear to me and I never change that standard based on who does or does not get healed. God is the healer and we lack in understanding and walking in that. However, more and more people are becoming beneficiaries of the growth in understanding healing.

  28. Hi pdavis. Im not going to dispute the healings u witnessed. Im not going to dispute gods CHARACTER from old testament to new. I want to focus on what u would tell a grieving unsaved person who lost a saved faithfilled loved one who claimed on his deathbed that itis gods will to heal them.

    • pdavis1958 // May 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm // Reply

      You are still going after the situation that HAS TO have a faith address it that God wants to heal and is going to. The end result is we have had countless families and many unbelievers included in that who are still alive because we fought for them. If you are going to focus on the few then you miss the target which is to go after all. I don’t credit God for His wisdom not to heal. I apologize to the family the same way I would if I don’t have the power to see them set free from something in their life. Everyone who came to Jesus for healing was healed and those who were in bondage were ALL set free. He is my only model and as I grow in knowledge of Him and His works, I see more people win these battles.

  29. Mrs. Godfearing Saved by Grace // June 12, 2014 at 3:35 am // Reply

    Yes, God always has our Best interest in mind and that is to Know HIM. Not simply know about HIM. Come what may by His Grace = His own Shed Blood I will praise the Lord! In Jesus Holy Blood Love amen!


  30. The realist // June 18, 2014 at 2:34 am // Reply

    This lesson is laughable! To say that God only does the good and none of the bad? Please. Supposedly, everything goes through Him! That is a ludacris statement. God is vindictive, vengeful, and jealous just like humans. It’s ridiculous to say he isn’t.

  31. Job is not saying that everything good that God gives HE will will take away, Job is saying that God gave all of the things that I lost to me and He allowed them to be taken away. Job realized what most of us do not, everything we have, is not ours. Its literally all God’s. He made it all, He just lets us be stewards of the things we have. So when Job said this, he’s saying: God wanted to me to be the steward of all this stuff, now he doesn’t, and I will continue to praise Him because I am still saved. If we believe the logic that you are saying most people believe in, then God takes away the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us that He would send another Comforter and that He would be with us always, even unto the ends of the earth, so if God takes this away, then He is lying. It is physically impossible for God to lie and from the logic that you present, God is lying. And that’s not possible. So Job isn’t saying God WILL take away all good things, he is saying He CAN take away all good things.

    • There are many instances in the old testament where the spirit was taken away, but none after the ressurection.

  32. The concept suggested that God takes away impurity is like the concept that he takes away what is missing. You cannot take something from nothing. I was wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. And the LORD gave me comfort, peace, provision for all my need, opened my eyes to see him and clothed me. You don’t take away darkness with a vacuum or a broom you add LIGHT. As Albert Einstein said, “Darkness does not exist. Darkness is merely the absence of LIGHT.” More goodness is the answer to everything missing, lacking in our experience.

  33. I understand Paul Ellis’ point regarding the truth that can be found in the gospel of John where Jesus gives life and it is the thief (understood as Satan and/or those influenced by him) who steals and kills, etc. The over arching theme of the Bible is God providing a way for man to be reconciled back to God. Thank God!

    I am sincerely sorry if I missed Paul’s adequate response to some people who included discussing another perspective in response to Paul Ellis’ title “Does God Give And Take Away?” They believe God is capable of of “taking away” or removing something from some one or some group. I understand their point as well. For example, Rev. 2:5 says, ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place—unless you repent.” Clearly God is capable of removing (or “taking away”) something for His purpose of discipline, maturity, devotion, worship, (etc.) in regard to our relationship to Him. The couple of Paul Ellis’ responses I found seemed to minimize this other aspect where God can “take away” or remove something.

    We should give each other grace realizing that it is difficult to write a completely exhaustive systematic theology covering every aspect relating to whether God can “take away” or remove something. There are valid points in this blog that are worth acknowledging courteously and adequately.

  34. I just re-read Paul Ellis’ title of this blog and recognize that there are several ways to interpret the theme. It appears that his thesis may be “If God gives a person something God will not take that ‘something’ away from that person. If that ‘something’ is taken away from that person then someone or something else (demonic related) is responsible for taking it away. In this case God can not and should not be blamed.” If this is Mr. Ellis’ message then he has presented provocative points. Are there exceptions? maybe. We might get every question answered in heaven. Until then may we continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Pet. 3:18).” I like what the German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius, wrote: In essentials unity (Eph. 4:3), in non-essentials liberty (Rom. 14), in all things charity (“caritas” (Latin) = “Christian love; or charity” (English)) (Col. 3:14).

  35. Why did Aaron & Moses didn’t physically touch the promise land ? Why did Israelites still doubted God even when they have Seen His power & sovereignty for 40 years ? .Mankind has a moral responsibility too.Who has to rebuke you then when you don’t listen ?

    Luke 22:31-33 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

    It is not blind fate,unbridled evil,man or devil,but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world,ruling it according to his own good pleasure and for his own eternal glory.

    It helps to ask for clarity in prayer as some things are a mystery that we are not able to understand.

    The God of Abraham,Isaac,Jacob is eternally in control & mankind have a moral responsibility which is to fix their eyes onto Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  36. Having had to experience parting with my precious son at a young age, who I believe GOD CHOSE to take to be with Him in Heaven, if you go down the route that the devil takes away our loved ones, then you totally deny God’s Sovereignty. NOTHING can happen in this world without God’s permission – even satan has no power without God allowing him. God chooses to ALLOW suffering, death and pain to come into our lives, as Christians, so that we may come to know Him more fully – sharing in the suffering of His dear son at Calvary.
    Stop giving satan credence! We have a power greater than the power that is in the world.
    God is eternally in control – He has not promised us a life without suffering (John 16:33) and even when we don’t understand what HE has ALLOWED to happen, then He simply says “Trust me” – only until that day when the great plan will be revealed and then our suffering will have been worth it all – when we see the One who suffered unbearably for our sin and guilt.

    The prosperity gospel is NOT the gospel of Scripture. Give unto God the honour, power, worship and authority which He is due.
    God can use our pain to His glory.

    • There should be no pain after the death of a child, on the loss or knowing your child will or is dying all you experience is grief for your temperal loss, for God there is no loss here.Being good is no issue for a small child being loved is everything and this saves a child, read Mark10:14-23 our riches become pur behavior , our behavior is important but it should not be out riches.

    • Tompsy, I’m very sorry for your loss and yes, God is a redemptive and loving Father who can turn our pain into good.

      However, if God’s sovereignty” means that God is responsible for all the suffering and death in the world, then this definition is at odds with scripture. The Bible never says God is in control, in this sense. In fact, it says the exact opposite.

      • Hey paul.. Was it gods will that 11 of the 12 apostles suffered a painful death for the sake of the gospel? If it wasnt then whos was it and what could they have done to change it?

      • It is not God’s will that any perish, yet people perish – including the apostles. If you ask me who’s will it was that they were persecuted and tortured – it was not their heavenly Father’s! More here and here.

  37. Yes brother paul it is not gods will that people should perish( hell) but that all should come to repentance (salvation). Are u sayin the apostles r in hell according to ur interpretation of 2peter 3:9? If perish means physical death then how do u interpret john 3:16( that whosoever belevith shall not PERISH but hav eternal life? Im confused on ur definition of perish in the text. Also if it wasnt gods will for them to die a marytrs death then why did he allow it to happen? Did it not bring him glory? Thanx for ur previous response..

    • No, I don’t think the apostles are in hell. God can take all the evils inflicted by men and redeem them for his glorious purposes (Rom 8:28), but that is not the same as saying it’s his will for men to be evil and to inflict evil upon others.

    • Hi Dwayne, the problem is we do not believe what we believe or speak, a man who has eternal life cannot die or get sick, this is just a part of the lie that still remains, it is an illusion, that deceives those that do not believe what they believe.We overcomplicate and spiritualize everything God says, when even he says that his words are plain and easy to those that believe.

  38. I agree with wholeheartedly with what u just said and i know u dont believe the apostles r in hell but do u understand why i made that statement when u referencened apostles perishing with 2 peter 3:9? U might b wondering what does this hav to do with does the lord taketh away.. My point is when we misinterpret scriture or read scripture out of context we can hav a false biblical worldview and i know u get that. I consider u to b a man of much wisdom and i respect ur convictions. Im just a firm believer thru scripture that health,wealth,prosperity adding physical healing with the gospel is false hope for christians.

  39. God giveth everything and then takes it away
    Humbug Scrub resident Alex Demchenko, whose home was destroyed in the fire

    Sunday Mail 4 January 2015

  40. Acts 9:16 says, ” For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

    The above verse seems to indicate that the suffering Paul experienced was a result of God’s will. Any comments please??

    • God wanted Paul to know that he was chosen, hand-picked by God, to be his witness “to Gentiles and kings and to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). But God also wanted to know that this wasn’t going to be a cushy assignment – there would be suffering involved, partly because of people like himself! In 2 Corinthians Paul details some of the hardships he faced as he traveled the Mediterranean.

      “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Cor 11:23-27)

      Paul suffered much for preaching the gospel of God’s grace, but this suffering wasn’t brought about by the will of God. It was the will of wicked men. Jesus spoke much about this here.

      • The suffering may not have been brought about by god but the will of wicked men is governed by a sovereign god. Who then is ultimately responsible?

      • The people who did it are responsible, but if you must place further blame – and I see no point – then blame Adam who opened the door to sin, or the serpent who tempted him to do so.

      • Satan was created to fulfill the purposes of God. This did not change because he rebelled. what changed was his purpose to worship changed to stark comparison to God’s Love.

      • Why is there a Devil if God is responsible for everything then, including the will of Man? How would God not have more of a governing force on Angels then as well? If that’s the case then Lucifer would never have been able to use his will to go against God, including the angels that went with him (Lucifer). Why would not Satan have more of a Governing will on evil men, then a Good and Loving God?

      • I think josephs life clarifys that his struggles were not just from adams sin or satan. Sure- his brothers meant it for evil but the text doesnt say thatsatan meant it for good. God meant(purposed,willed,foreknew,predestined) it for good and its all to bring him glory. 1peter3:17 For it is better, if the will of god be so,that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

  41. woow…. thank you alot, i real use to think that Gods take but after reading that post… o wow i now know that suffering is from the devil and we have to fight in the name of jesus. may God bless you.

  42. In response to the comments about the apostles having died horrible deaths: This is church lore generated by an organization that ruled through fear tactics for over a thousand years, kept the Bible to themselves and away from the general public, used torture, and ushered in the Dark Ages. Besides what happened to James at the hands of Herod, which is recorded in the scriptures, how do we really know what happened to them? How do we know that they, or at least some of them, did not accomplish the dematerialization and spiritualization of thought necessary to follow their Lord through ascension?

  43. Pastor Jon // March 22, 2015 at 9:27 am // Reply

    Also, the book of Job makes clear that God doesn’t desolate Job, he allows the devil to do it to prove Job’s faithfulness even under those circumstances. God doesn’t take away, but he does bless Job in the end.

  44. Paul,
    Do you believe that when things we could classify as a curse- illness, poverty etc come in to our lives that it is a deficit of some sort on our part that either allows it or prevents it being removed?
    This isn’t intended to be a trap I just struggle with understanding in this area.

    • I definitely believe that we can reap what we sow. For instance, if you sign up for an internet scam, you’ll reap poverty. If you smoke two packs a day, you’ll reap coughing.

      • Thanks Paul,
        Thanks for your reply but may I ask a few supplementary questions please.

        Does anything bad happen to is that isn’t as a consequence of our actions or inactions?
        If so (or even if we were responsible) when it happens if we believe & live as we should In response to it would you always expect full resolution. If not why do you think full resolution does not always occur?
        Thanks again.

      • My grandmother’s sister was run over and killed by a drunk driver. She was standing on the footpath at the time. You could say her death wasn’t the consequence of her action.

      • Bless you man
        But your answers can be annoyingly evasive at times.
        I think your posts are excellent though.

      • Perhaps if you asked me what you really wanted to ask, in plain words with actual examples. 🙂

  45. Will do.
    A born again Christian friend developed a blood cancer. We prayed regularly together and talked about it a lot.
    He, his wife & I were confident God would heal him but He died with a complication of it after several months.
    Did we not believe right or what else could explain the outcome? – without resorting to “well He learned to trust God more through the process” kind of platitudes.
    Thanks Paul.

    • Now I see where you’re coming from. What could explain the outcome? My honest answer is, I don’t know. I too have buried friends that I prayed for. Miracles happen, but not every time. I don’t know why, and I don’t think it’s particularly healthy to speculate (as in, dig around in the person’s past looking for possible causes). There is much to learn (and in a few weeks I will be posting a review on two excellent books on healing that I have read), but I don’t think there is much to learn from digging around in our old sins and mistakes. Jesus never did that.

      • I will keep encouraging people to believe healing Is always what God wants despite the ire of fellow Christians.

    • If you want the truth about healing look into that persons future. And allways pray that the Kingdom come allways trust for the now.

      • Thanks Chris
        Do you think there MUST be situations of illness where no matter how we and the ill person believes, thinks, prays & acts where their health will not be restored?

    • No I do not believe there are any situations where in the future their health will not be restored.

  46. Paul,

    In the YLT Job 2:6 says “And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, `Lo, he [is] in thy hand; only his life take care of.’ How exactly is that not God giving Satan permission to test Job?

    • If the thief had permission, he wouldn’t be a thief. The author of Job was simply stating a fact, “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). More in this post.

      • Regarding 1 John 5:19, at least in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, it uses the word sway. Does the devil have control of the world or is he just able to sway our hearts? From my understanding, I thought God was always in control? You do make a very valid point about him being a thief though.

      • All works for the good of those that believe , and we share in the storms or sufferings if you will.

    • God is always in control he rebuked the storm at sea, and just as he did when we are one with him, we can also rebuke the storm.

    • Without the storm would there be any that would have faith, faith saves.

  47. Hi Paul.

    Could you explain this declaration from God?

    Deutornomy 32;39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.(KJV)

    Would not you believed that Job is correct?

  48. Hi Paul.
    I think you get it wrong on this one. Remember God sought to kill Moses on Exodus 4;24(KJV)
    24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

    Deu 32;39. Correct ,it is Moses words ,but the Lord was speaking through his servant. Moses was mere flesh, though a faithful servant of the Lord, he would be exalting himself above God if he made those claims.
    I, even I, am he… Who can make that authourity? Isa 43;25
    Who can kill and make alive?
    Deutornomy 32;22. For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
    Clearly its the Lord speaking through him. Hosea 6;1-2 , the Prophet says the Lord has smitten and he will heal us.
    “I know my reedemer liveth” Job kept the faith in the Lord.

  49. hey guys. I think the bone of contention is just that God’s will is whether or not for all to be healed. Looking at the story of Job and basing our judgements of God’s will on this account is a tad surprising cause if God’s word is true- I believe it is- then we should let it inform our ideas and beliefs. Most of our comments as I have read through the thread are based on our experiences but premised on God’s word. I understand that we have believed and disappointments have come as well. God is good and faithful to His word. If you believed and nothing happened perhaps you should just know that God’s still proud of you for standing on His word. You didn’t fail but you succeeded by God’s estimation

  50. Does God give and take away? That’s a question that just doesn’t need to get us all worked up and engaging in a game of scriptural soccer. God wouldn’t give you something only to take it with an unbelievable reason of you enjoying it too much or to teach you a lesson on endurance or since you made it an idol.God is a giver. He freely gives. In deut 30 God gives us the choice of life and death and in His lovingkindness instructs us to choose life. If He did that under an inferior covenant that was based on man’s performance what about now that the cross of Jesus has ushered in a new era? Have you believed for healing but never saw it come to pass, or seemed to take too long? Don’t despair even if that cancer dealt a blow to your loved one God dealt it a much bigger blow at the cross because there is a glorious new body in the hereafter. Am I saying it’s not God’s will to heal all the time? Not in the least because He already gave His Son for you to
    have you in His kingdom. The way we view success is not the way God may view it. Did your loved one die believing God heals? God calls that success(john 5:24) . Am not stating this as an escapist but am saying God heals and we just have to believe He does even when our situations scream of other things than what the word say. Our circumstances are true but His word is truth. Let the word settle it.
    Grace to you all

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