138. Principles for Treating Illness
1. Mankind has been deeply corrupted by Satan. Prior to their salvation, it is not unusual for people to fall ill, and such illnesses should be faced correctly, without complaint.
2. The onset of illness is God’s love, it is God’s judgment, chastisement, and cleansing of man, and the key is whether people are able to seek the truth and obey God.
3. It is not by chance that people are beset by serious illness. Before God, they should look within themselves, see whether they have committed any transgressions, and confess and repent to God.
4. Do not blindly adhere to doctrine. Based on your stature and understanding, you can choose medical treatment or reliance on faith. But what’s important is whether or not you are cleansed.
Relevant Words of God:
Where did the pain of birth, death, illness and old age present throughout the life of man come from? Because of what did people first have these things? Man didn’t have these things when they were first created, did they? So where did these things come from? These things came after man was tempted by Satan and their flesh became degenerate, such as the pain of the flesh, the troubles and emptiness of the flesh and the extreme wretchedness of the world. Satan began to torment man after it had corrupted them. Man then became more and more degenerate, the illnesses of man were deepened, their suffering became more and more severe, and man felt more and more the emptiness, the tragedy and the inability to go on living of the world. Man felt less and less hope for the world, and these are all things that came about after Satan had corrupted man. So this suffering was brought on man by Satan, and it only came after man had been corrupted by Satan and became degenerate.
from “The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks
I shall tell you: From this day forward you shall have no more diseases of the body. If ever some part of you feels unwell do not busy yourselves by looking for an external cause. Instead, come before Me and seek to know My intention—will you remember this? This is My promise: From this day forward you shall completely walk away from your physical body and into the spiritual world, that is, no longer will your body be burdened with illness.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth. We shall often be close to Him, and come before Him in quietness; never shall we miss a single moment, and there are things to learn at all times. The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne. Do not have a complaining heart, or God will not bestow His grace upon you. When sickness happens it is due to God’s love and His good intentions are surely behind it. Even when your body endures suffering, take no ideas from Satan. Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light to you. How faithful was Job? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.
The life of the resurrected Christ is within us. We really lack faith in the presence of God, and may God put true faith within us. The word of God is sweet indeed! God’s word is potent medicine! Put to shame the devil and Satan! If we grasp God’s word we will have support and His word will quickly save our hearts! It dispels all things and sets all in peace. Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
1. How should one experience the suffering of illness? They should come before God to pray and try to feel God’s intentions, while also inspect what transgressions they have committed and which corruptions they have not yet resolved. It is unacceptable for the flesh to not endure suffering, and one must be tempered through suffering in order to not be dissolute and to be able to always live before God. If one’s heart is in pain, then they will always pray and inspect themselves to see if they have done anything wrong or offended God in any way. This is beneficial to them. It is certainly not a coincidence that the trial of great suffering can befall people.
2. God’s intentions are contained therein whether one is ill or not. If one does not understand God’s intentions when they fall ill, they will not know how to practice, thinking that it was caused by their own foolishness. Do they not know that God’s good intentions lie therein? It is never a coincidence when a major illness befalls you and makes you feel like you would rather be dead. During the period of God’s salvation, does the Holy Spirit accompany people’s lives to merely enlighten and illuminate them? God also has to try and refine people, and they must endure a lot of suffering in order to be cleansed and for their life disposition to change.
3. How does God try people? By refining them through making them endure suffering. To be tried is to suffer. When one is tried, suffering shall follow. How could there be suffering without trials? How can people change if they don’t suffer? If one is tried then they should suffer, and they will gain the work of the Holy Spirit. Mankind’s corruption is too deep. If they don’t suffer, they won’t know the immensity of heaven and earth. If they don’t suffer, their hearts will be without God. Resolving mankind’s corrupt disposition cannot only be done through communicating the truth—it must also rely on refining them through trials, and it must rely on refining them through suffering.
from “596. One Must Feel God’s Intentions When Illness Befalls Them” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs
The Man’s Fellowship:
What is the first issue that should be resolved, regardless of what illness people have? People must first understand that illness is normal; they must possess this knowledge. Do not, as soon as you fall ill, believe it to be the discipline or curse of God—that is not what’s going on. What do you say, is it a natural law for people to fall prey to various illnesses after eating all sorts of foods? It is. Some illnesses belong to natural law, and some are God’s discipline. In addition, some are refinement, and judgment, and chastisement. Some are one kind and others are another, and you must be able to tell the difference. Some people say, “I can’t tell the difference.” So let me tell you one principle: Do not be enshackled by your illness; believe in God and pursue the truth as best you can, and perform whatever duty you are able to. If you are incapable of performing your duty, eat and drink the words of God, draw closer to God in your heart, and do not complain. Is such practice not simple? At the very least, you should bear testimony: Even if you are ill, you stick by your belief in God; this is true faith, and this is the conscience and rationality that are the very least that ought to be possessed by people. Do not be constrained, do what you can, and make use of whatever strength you can. Are you capable of practicing in this way? If you can tell the difference, that’s even better. But if you can’t, then stick by your belief in God, without complaint, performing your duty as best you can, not affecting the progress of your life, and still believing in God during refinement. If you have such resolve that “Even if I’m sick my whole life, I’ll still believe in God and seek the truth. Ultimately, even lifelong illness will not affect my pursuit of the truth or the growth of my life,” is this not testimony? If you can practice in this way, then you’re doing well. You don’t always need to ask, What is this illness? Is it God’s discipline? Is it His curse? Is it chastisement? I need to be clear about this—if I’m not, then I can’t believe in God. In this, aren’t you being an idiot? Above all, you must stick to properly believing in God and pursuing the truth, without complaint. If you can avoid complaining about God, then you’re doing well.
from The Fellowship From the Above
When people are able to stand firm during trials, they rely on true faith in God and the true knowledge of God. For example, you’re ill, and this illness befalls you as a result of God’s discipline. Yet you don’t realize this, and so you begin to doubt: “Could this illness have befallen me because I am disobedient, and God is disciplining me? Perhaps it’s just a law of nature, an illness caused by my not looking after myself?” In your heart, you do not see clearly, and because you do not see clearly, you do not know how to practice. If you believe that God’s discipline has caused you to fall ill, then you must repent to God, pray to God, acknowledge your transgressions, and express repentance before God. If you do this, your illness will be resolved. If you do not believe that this illness is God’s discipline of you, and think that it is a law of nature, that it is because you haven’t paid attention to what you eat and drink, that the illness was caused by your wayward lifestyle, then you will not pray to God. You will try to resolve the illness by going to a doctor and taking medicine. One day, the sickness will be dispelled, but in your life, you will have lost the chance to be made perfect. You will have missed the chance to truly experience, you will not have gained the true faith in God, and, moreover, you will not have attained the true knowledge of the love of God through experiencing trials. As a result, you will have gained nothing, and borne testimony to nothing, during the trials of this illness. If you wish to stand firm in your testimony during trials, then you must first grasp God’s will and know why this has happened to you. What’s more, if you believe God, and believe that all that happens to you is authorized by God, then, regardless of the context, you must obey God, satisfy God, and stand firm in your testimony. This is of primary importance. If you have this faith, then there’s nothing you need examine, and so you should directly stand firm in your testimony and directly satisfy God. You need only put the truth into practice, and cannot abandon God.
from “The True Process by Which the Corrupt Are Saved” in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entry (III)
How do people who believe in God handle illness? In the Age of Grace people who suffered illness or misfortune prayed to God. God typically cured their illness or blocked their misfortune. But it is different in the Age of Kingdom. In order to change people, to save people from corruption, God typically uses illness and suffering to refine people and to discipline them. Under these circumstances we should learn how to feel out God’s intentions when we pray to Him and examine where we have revealed corruption or offended God. If we cannot understand where we have disobeyed Him, illness and suffering will not be removed. We must learn this lesson well. Only when a person has achieved a certain result will God answer their prayer. This is the principle of God’s work in the Age of Kingdom. So we should be well aware of how we should pray to God when faced with illness and what lessons we should learn. But we can take medicine while we are ill. This is proper, a question of individual choice and acceptance, and God’s house has no rules about this. When we are sick we can see physicians and take medicine, and still more we can pray to God and rely on our faith. Some illnesses arise from God’s discipline and pruning, and whether these illnesses take a turn for the better is in God’s hands. When we become ill, learning to feel out God’s intentions and learning our lesson well are most important, but do not forget the principle that you can go to be treated with medicine, and to delay medical treatment is a mistake.
We can describe this briefly below: People with experience know that nothing shows the corrupt nature of people better than when someone comes down with illness and misfortune. As the sayings go, “There are no filial sons when a parent suffers long-term illness,” and “Time reveals a person’s heart.” The saying “There are no filial sons when a parent suffers long-term illness” demonstrates how people do not have genuinely dutiful hearts. Only when a person has a protracted illness does the genuine filial devotion of their children become plain. That is the meaning of the saying, “Time reveals a person’s heart.” After some people fall ill they keep praying constantly for the first several days, full of faith. But when their illness does not get better they begin to complain about God and say, “Why hasn’t God cured me? I have spent everything for God and fulfilled my duty and I haven’t done anything to resist God. Why doesn’t He cure me?” The meaning of those words is that God is unfair, so look how this person’s faith has disappeared at this point! If they still aren’t cured after some more time has gone past then they will doubt the existence of God. Tell me, when God acts this way does it not reveal what is inside a person? Such a person has too little faith! If we are people truly obedient to God and God lets us die, can we still talk back defiantly to God? Even if we die, not to mention have an illness of several days, we should not hold a grudge; we should still thank God. Therefore, there are great benefits when we are refined through the illness and suffering, there are many lessons we can learn, and it is the greatest opportunity to enter the truth. It is when trials befall us that can reveal whether a person’s disposition has changed!
from “Supplementary Discussion of ‘Correct Pursuit and Practicing Principles Concerning Belief in God’” in Records of Christ’s Talks