More Talk About Faith and My Complete Lack of It.

Someone very close to me recently told me that God spoke to her and told her that he wants to heal me.
She was afraid to tell me for fear that I’d laugh at her. Perhaps it’s because she knows that I do not do not have faith and if one does not have faith, how in the hell is one to believe that God told someone he wants to heal me?
I have thought about it ever since. What if God really did speak to her and what if he really does want to heal me? What if this is the part where I say “Okay, God. I believe you want to heal me and I have faith that you will?”
But that’s crazy, right? That’s crazy to say “I believe God spoke to someone about ME because he wants to heal ME?”
So, my question to you is this.
If someone told you that God spoke to them about you, would you believe it? Or would you laugh at them? Do you believe God truly speaks to people?
I would love to hear your answers.

133 thoughts on “More Talk About Faith and My Complete Lack of It.

  1. chanelireli

    oh my gosh! I get to be first! It’s kinda like winning the lottery or something :) Watch, someone is commenting at the same time as me and I’ll be bumped to like 8. But know that at this moment comments are 0!
    I don’t think I’d laugh at loud, but I might internally guffaw. I do think that God speaks to people, but I tend to think that God has lots more important things to deal with, geez, all those poor people in Ghana. But then look at Sara in the bible, God was thinking about her infertility constantly.
    So yes, I do, and I think that we should be open to let God work in us and through others.
    Hows that for number 1?

  2. Alannah

    I am a lurker around these parts but I had to jump in here. I was raised Pentecostal and was even married to a pentecostal pastor. Why wouldn’t god just tell YOU? C’mon, he’s god. Surely he could make you listen if he wanted to. So, why doesn’t he just heal you instead of conversing with someone else about it? Also, why does he keep sending messages in tongues when he knows we all speak english? I wouldn’t say I don’t believe in god but certainly not in the way I was raised to.

  3. Melissa

    I believe that God does speak to people – not in the Charleton Heston on a mountain with a burning bush kind of speaking – but more as a whispering in the mind. I also believe that if you have the faith to be healed, true faith, then it is possible if it comes from the right person with the right authority.
    Some random person you are acquainted with probably doesn’t have the ability to heal you – but maybe her purpose was just to get you thinking about the blessings of faith healing. Who are we to question the mysterious way in which God works?
    Good luck to you and continue searching your soul and heart for the faith I know is inside you some place.

  4. Jen

    I don’t believe in God myself so I guess I don’t believe that he speaks to people. Also, and I don’t want to sound disrespectful to your friend here but if God was going to tell anyone that he was going to heal you then why wouldn’t he tell you? Wouldn’t you be the person most in need of that information?

  5. becca

    Yes, I believe he definitely does speak to people. He has spoken to me many times. I don’t mean literal speaking, like I hear an actual voice or something, even though that’s possible too! It can be in a strong feeling, certain events, etc. Maybe this can help: http://www.gotquestions.org/God-still-speak.html
    God wants to heal all of us. I would accept the offer :)

  6. Headless Mom

    I do believe that He could have told her that. I know many people that hear God very clearly. Investigate for yourself. Ask her more questions. Even pray about it. God hears ALL prayers-he may not answer right away, or in the way you think he should, but he hears all requests, even of non-believers. All it takes is talking to Him-just like you might talk to yourself while doing housework, for example. On that note you can even ask Him to put the right people in your path that would be able to answer those questions in ‘language’ that you understand. Like Melissa said, God works in mysterious ways and can speak to you and your heart through many avenues.
    Bless you in this journey.

  7. elise

    Yep. I’d believe it. I mean, I DO believe it. And the fact that you’re thinking so much about it; can’t get it off your mind, etc tells me that you do, too :)

  8. Sasha

    I’d listen to what they have to say and go from there. In my experience if God is speaking to you either directly or indirectly there will be some parallels in what the person says and what you’ve been feeling (not like a psychic experience or anything.lol). It would reinforce an idea that’s been there. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be what you want to hear either. It might just be a nudge( or kick) to give some insight.

  9. becca

    I wanted to add something after reading some comments above.. Maybe he already tried speaking directly to you but it was missed, it happens all the time. Sometimes I’m really just not paying attention like I should be or too “busy” and I take my eyes off of him to later realize that wow.. this whole time he was trying to help me and I was ignoring him. So, he used a friend of yours to get the message across, it certainly has you thinking about it right? That’s one step closer to him than you were before.

  10. Marriage-101

    I think God speaks to people in different ways, like some of the others have said here. Maybe it’s a dream, maybe it’s thru something someone else says, maybe it’s a sign on a side of the road, maybe it’s a photograph, or a picture your child drew…I dunno. But God is all around. You just have to open your eyes. And keep praying.

  11. Faith

    It depends on the person, to be quite frank.
    If one of my very good friends told me, and they were someone that I trusted and knew, and who weren’t asking me to give them money in order to get the healing done, then yes. I’d be inclined to believe them.
    My mother once believed a “healer” had the power to heal my sister of her diabetes when we were about 11, I think it was. This woman told my mother not to give my sister her insulin, or else that would prove to God that she didn’t have faith.
    Thankfully, my mother couldn’t follow those specifications, and she felt soo, so guilty for not following through on the “healers” request! She thought she was showing she didn’t have faith. My poor mother…she had the weight of the world on her shoulders, I swear. Anyway, it was this Nora Lam chick, and while I’m sure she was very nice, I also think it’s not cool to guilt people into faith.
    So as long as you don’t feel like you’re being taken in any way, I say let it happen! I wish God would tell someone about his plans to make me skinny, dammit…

  12. Kandace

    I would totally ask the Internet!
    For Reals.
    Because it would eat at me the same as you because my faith is questionable at best and I’d always wonder if God really does talk to people about ME.
    I don’t know what to tell you maybe the believers can enlighten me as well.

  13. Dawn

    I do believe that God speaks to people and that He can and has healed many. I have had many times in my life when I think God directed my paths and used me to help others.
    However, I also believe that there are people that use religion and God to manipulate people and make them feel guilty. If someone said to me “God spoke to me and he wants to heal you, but you aren’t humble or you don’t have enough faith or you aren’t worthy or…” , I would have serious doubts as to whether that was from God.
    If I knew someone in need and felt they could be helped by receiving a blessing, I would simply ask them if they were willing to receive a blessing and I would coordinate it for them. After that, it’s between them and God. I would not make any assumptions on the type of faith they have, etc. if they were not healed.
    I do not believe that we get sick or get a disease because we have not been faithful, but I do believe that we can be given opportunities to grow in faith through our ordeals.

  14. Jenny

    Well, here is my stance on the whole “God spoke to me” thing. I don’t believe God speaks to people at all. I truly believe in God and all, but I just don’t think he works that way. I am also not of the christian faith either, so that may have something to do with it.

  15. Velma

    This is a brain buster, Y.
    I am unclear in my faith, and unsure whether I believe in God. If I were confronted with a burning bush on a mountain, I would speed right off to the ER to get checked for a stroke rather than thinking it was a sign from God.
    However, I’m not arrogant enough to think I know it all. If you asked me after experiencing childbirth for the first time whether I believed, I would have told you I believed in something. But that’s about as close to God as I’ve ever felt, and you know, I was kind of drugged up.
    I’ve never trusted any religion which says you must suffer and repent and thus be humbled and transformed and welcomed into the fold. I can understand with your background how difficult it must be for you to hear, “Maybe God spoke to you and you couldn’t hear because of your lack of faith.” I just don’t think all of the sad, bad things in the world are put here as some sort of cosmic pop-quiz, rigged for us to fail. I think people are the answer, good and bad. But I know that doesn’t help your thyroid.
    Helpful, aren’t I?

  16. anne nahm

    I believe that God has my unlisted number. I also believe that if God can help two people in one stroke, why not? So I guess my answer to your questions is this:
    If someone told me God spoke to them, I would believe that conversation had meaning… To the person with whom God spoke.
    Just because the conversation was about me would not mean it had any meaning to me. Perhaps it was a test of the other person’s faith, to see if they would tell me, and my name only came up as a minor character in someone else’s God play.
    On the other hand, if someone told me God had spoken to them, and I had a *zing!* feeling right through my chest, and I knew that *zing!* was God calling me, using that person as his personal phone? I would not deny that, even if it seemed crazy when I said it out loud. I think you already know iif this happened, just as surely as you know if it didn’t.
    That doesn’t mean I would close my eyes and never ask another question or that I would follow anything this person said, but it does mean I would follow the zing to see where it took me.
    Maybe you sent out a sonar question to the Universe: God are you there? And you are getting a response blip back on your screen. Keep asking and I imagine the blips will get stronger. If you are not ready to make a connection with this person but fear missing the boat, I’m betting God will send someone else.
    Good luck!

  17. Angella

    That is a huge question, my friend.
    I think God speaks to everybody. You included. The problem is, we often get to busy to be able to hear His still, small voice. :)

  18. Ashley

    Is this person trying to tell you that God wants to heal you but can’t because of your disbelief and/or distance from the church? If so, I would think this person is selfishly using your illness and misery as a way to get you to do what they feel you should. I can’t see “God” being too pleased with that.
    Otherwise, I would believe it. Why not? We have no proof that God doesn’t exist, or that he doesn’t express things to people who are willing to listen.
    Instincts, little nudges in a certain direction, maybe just an overwhelming feeling of gratitude or happiness… who’s to say these things are the work of “God”? Surely not me.
    Maybe your friend was really concerned, and she just needed to know that you’ve got people/things in all areas pulling for your health to improve. So maybe someone whispered it in her ear.
    Anyway, I guess all I’m saying is, no one can say if that’s real or not. It seems like 95% percent of people are really quick to assign things as being “all in your head.” It might do everyone some good to shrug their shoulders once in awhile and just say “It’s possible.”
    So I vote for go with it.

  19. Rebecca

    I would of course believe them. And yes I do believe that he speaks to people. It makes me sad that you no longer have fatih, and I dont even know you other then the blog. However, I know how when times get rough its hard to have faith. I really hope that you will listen to the person who told you this.

  20. Angel

    I am not really a believer…not really a non-believer, either. Not sure what I believe.
    But what I am sure of, is that there is something bigger than us, whether it is “God” or jut the forces of “Good.” And I do believe that miracles can happen, though I would rather call them something else…what I haven’t figured out yet, ha!
    Positive thinking can do wonderful things, so, what have you got to lose? If it doesn’t work, you are no worse off, and if it does, well, maybe even I will rethink my position on God. But, hey, no pressure, right? lol

  21. Carly

    I’m a believer. 100%
    I think the fact that she was afraid to tell you is a sign that she’s not joking around.
    Our God is a loving God. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Don’t let him steal your joy. Your life. Your time.
    Don’t let the bad experiences you’ve had with people from the church get in the way of you having a relationship with the one who matters.
    And just think, if you do show faith and you are healed, what an amazing testimony that will be to others.
    Mostly I just want you to be healed. And it never hurts to turn to God.

  22. Lisa Milton

    I’m in the the ‘it depends on the person’ camp.
    If someone very earnestly – without some crazy vibe – told me that I’d have to ponder it. I’m sure she believes it.
    Is that enough?
    Then again, I’ve got a crappy chronic health problems too and I don’t hold out for a miracle anymore. I’m just thankful when I’m feeling good and not in pain.
    (My religious upbringing says: Pray about it. Hard to do if you are agnostic…)
    Take care, Ms. Y. You are a delight, even when you are feeling like crap.

  23. jess

    Huh, this is a tough one. I managed to hang on to my faith though I was raised in a similar environment to you. I’ve rejected a lot of the things I was taught growing up but for whatever reason I was lucky enough to feel clearly (even when I didn’t want to) about the basics (there is a God, He loves me, He’s in control). It’s something I’ve been trying to write about on my own blog but it’s hard to work through.
    Having said that, I was taught growing up that if you’re not healed it’s because you don’t have enough faith, etc. I find this kind of funny since there were plenty of fine peoples in the Bible who weren’t healed. Hey, remember Paul? Wrote most of the NT, had that whole ‘road to Damascus’ thing? And also spent a fair amount of time talking about his ‘thorn in the flesh’ i.e. mysterious physical disability or illness.
    So I tend to suspect people who are super into the whole ‘healing’ thing but I also do believe that God is perfectly capable of healing people and that He does, all the time. I know you’ve been searching lately, maybe this is God trying to get your attention or maybe your friend is mistaken, either way I don’t think you should stop searching and asking. Just be open.
    p.s. It would be beyond great if you were healed. Ive been following your story, even though I mostly lurk, and praying for you as have (obviously) lots of other people. No matter what, you must know that you are loved, and that is the best place to start looking for God.

  24. Much More Than A Mom

    I think my conscience and instinct are both God “talking to me.” But not actually “talking.” That’s strange.
    I once got hired as a teacher at a Christian school (I was desperate for a job) because “Jesus told (the principal) that I was the right candidate for the job.” My mom said she was pretty sure Jesus was up there laughing his head off. I was SO not the right candidate! I would have had to lead choir (HA!) and teach bible study (double HA!). He was all “Do you KNOW Jesus?” My husband said I should have answered “Yea, we had him over for dinner last week and he fixed our kitchen cabinets. He’s one hell of a carpenter.” Heh. I am a very spiritual person but I think people get WAY carried away out of fear or whatever. To each his own, I suppose.

  25. Kyla

    Y, He does and He can. That’s what I believe, anyway, what I’ve experienced. Do I believe it always happens? No, of course not. But it can. And really, what is there to lose in believing that?
    And if someone cares enough about you to believe God has spoken to her on your behalf? That kind of care in itself has power, you know?

  26. Julie

    I am an agnostic at best, so no I don’t think God speaks to people. Usually when people hear voices, they need to up their meds a little. ;)

  27. Karen

    Frequent reader but I don’t believe I’ve commented here before, this seems like a good time.
    I think God speaks to people as much as I think I heard Santa on the roof when I was 5 years old. I don’t mean to sound harsh, yet that is how I feel. I feel the thought and belief of a higher power is comforting to people, it brings them peace and is a treasured aspect to their lives that should be respected (ditto for Santa).
    If someone told me that God spoke to them direct about my health, I probably wouldn’t inquire much about the “conversation”. I always fear that my questions and inquires on the subject could offend someone’s beliefs and I never want to do that.

  28. Maggie

    I would believe that they believe God spoke to them and I would take whatever good could come my way from it. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer many people told me they would pray for me and I said, “thank you, I appreciate that.” However, I don’t believe in a God that would pick and choose who gets better and who doesn’t based on prayers but I certainly wasn’t going to turn away what someone wished to do for me or deny their faith, if that makes sense.

  29. Michelle

    I would never laugh. But I don’t believe that God speaks to people. I think sometimes people hear what they need or want to hear – and where is the harm in that? I see nothing wrong in something that provides hope.

  30. Jennifer (Et Tu?)

    Until recently I was a lifelong atheist, so I can see how her claim would sound strange.
    Even now, I’d say it’s impossible to know when God really speaks to other people. Shoot, it’s hard enough to tell when he’s speaking to *us* and when it’s just us telling ourselves things (or is that just me?). :)
    I’ve been reading up on theology regarding this kind of stuff lately, and I think if you were to ask a great theologian they’d say this: we have no idea if God really spoke to your friend. However, God can use all situations for good. So, in some ways, it doesn’t really matter whether he did or didn’t say that to your friend. If, in the end, this situation prompts you to turn your heart towards him and make more room for him in your life, to seek to know him better, that’s all that matters here. And, really, that’s all that matters at all.

  31. Katie

    I believe God speaks to us, typically not in actual words/burning bushes, but in feelings, thoughts, etc. As for Him speaking to this woman instead of you, I don’t know. I believe that God talks to people about themselves AND about those they have stewardship over. For example, he might talk to you about yourself, your husband, and your kids. If this is a good friend you confide in, maybe she does have stewardship over you in a way. If it’s your mom, I’d say she still has a little stewardship, even though you’re grown.

  32. maya

    it depends on the person. i know a few people who are very involved in their faith and spend lots of time in prayer. if they told me that, i would try to take what i could from it, but i would certainly believe that they believe it.
    on the other hand, if it came from some of my friends who aren’t quite so … godly, i would thank them for telling me. and then i’d take it with a grain of salt.
    either way, i don’t think that you have to believe that God will heal you for Him to heal you. but i also tend to think that it’s up to me to find the answers i’m looking for and to follow through with treatment. if i were healed from that, i wouldn’t discount that God had a hand in it.

  33. Jen

    I struggle with my faith every day. ‘Letting go and letting God’ has been a TOUGH thing for me. It is a work in progress, I guess.
    But then, I read things like this:
    http://girlfromflorida.blogspot.com/2008/05/black.html
    I guess I believe that he helps those who are open to it. He isn’t going to have you win the lottery, or make your team win every game. But on a much deeper level, I think he gives to those who are open to it, and who seek Him.
    *shrugs*
    I know that when my life went to shit, and I just threw my arms up in the air and said “Ok, I give!! Please HELP me!!” my life started to turn around. Good things started to happen. And they continue to happen, even now. Crappy stuff still happens, like the AC in my truck let go and was not covered under warranty, but that is just life and has nothing to do with God. And I think too many people expect things of that nature to change. They don’t, and won’t. But on a spiritual level, A LOT can change…

  34. Stephanie

    I wouldn’t laugh because I can appreciate the sincerity of someone who would offer that particular sentiment as comfort. I would try to be gracious and just thank the person for thinking of me. However, I do not believe in God and it follows that I don’t think a magical entity is going to try to heal me, no matter what someone believes to have heard.

  35. kellie

    I’d say that it absolutely depends on the person.
    I have a SIL that is super religious, born again, and she’s told a good number of people things that G*d has told her. Which may or may not be true. I would never presume it *isn’t* true but if it is, then I’m kind of concerned about the direction G*d wants for her and the world in general. Maybe His translation from Aramic to English is a bit fuzzy? ;) So, if she told me that G*d told her something about me, I’d say thank you and move on politely.
    However, there are people in my life who have had things happen to them, people who were not believers before or had fallen away from their faith, or in general are humble and gracious people, and if one of them told me that, I’d believe it in a heartbeat. I know that their motivations are pure, and they are honest, and also not suffering from delusions or hallucinations – so why wouldn’t I believe it?

  36. Nicki

    I actually don’t believe in God so obviously I don’t really believe that God speaks to people but what I do believe in is the power of our own belief systems so if someone were to tell me that, I would take it seriously. Even if its a total crock, I’d take it seriously because THEY believe it and that sort of collective energy simply can not be bad, no matter what your level of faith or belief system.

  37. Kami Huyse

    Okay, I am going to take a little risk and jump in here. Mostly because I have a personal story. First, let me give full disclosure and say that I am a practicing Christian (Episcopalian), so my bias is to believe that God spoke to your friend. Especially since it was risky for her to tell you that.
    Second, I want to relate a story. My Mom has 1/2 of a thyroid, she had a nodule on hers quite a few years ago when I was still a kid. She was tired and had many of the other symptoms of hperthyroidism. She also had trouble breathing.
    My grandparents (whom I am convinced have a direct line to God) had a prayer time with her before she went into surgery and prayed for the full restoration of her thyroid and voice. The main concern was that the surgery would affect her voice. She is a long-time musician and singer.
    When they opened her neck, the nodule literally fell out of her neck. It wasn’t cancerous and she has never needed medication, though they had feared she would.
    Today she is church organist and singer. She is convinced that God, using doctors and also supernaturally healed her.

  38. Bethany

    I believe in God. I believe that God talks to people. I also believe people don’t listen or they hear what they want to hear- just like with anyone else who speaks to them.

  39. Lottifish

    Personally, I don’t believe it but you know what? Why not have hope? You never know. It may not be faith but I think it can be just as good.

  40. Susan

    I think it depends.
    But, in this case, yes–I believe. I think God knew this would really get your attention, so that’s why He took this route to get to you.

  41. Laura

    I know God speaks to us, whether we hear Him or recognize His voice or not. He does!
    I also believe that He works through others to bless our lives. It’s not completely ridiculous to believe that He can heal you. It just might not be in the way you expect.

  42. Mary Watkins

    I do believe – of course I am also a believer in Marian apparations – not Mejugjore – I think those guys are profiting – but some – of the others are real.

  43. Dani

    I’m not even Christian and I talk to God every day. Me and the Saints get along quite well. While I don’t necessarily believe that God spends his time paying attention to what is going on down here, I do believe there are interventions from time to time.

  44. Amy Girl

    Do you love your children? Wouldn’t you do anything for them? Of course!
    So why is it so hard for us to remember we are all children of God and he loves us, perhaps even more than we can ever comprehend?

  45. TT

    Well, you asked for comments…Love you page by the way…your kids are gorgeous. I was raised Baptist…you can hit delete now if you want to!!!:))) After being preached to most of my life about God this God that…(I was saved at a fairly early age..due to fear of going to hell) which means I prayed the prayer and asked God to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart and lead my life. Then I grew up…I then led my life the way I wanted to no church…BUT God was always there with me through all of my rebellious period. I got married…my husband grew up Presbyterian and we were perfect or so we thought till we started pondering kids. God then spoke to me…I felt as if I had started having children before I put God in the center of our lives then it would not fair well. I told my husband this and he just about fell over….what happened to my wife????? We he agreed to visit all churches but not Baptist because you know the preachers they get up to the pulpit and scream and yell and spit and tell you that you are going to burn in Hell. I thought well that’s not “really” how I grew up but okay…BUT I’m not going to visit a Presbyterian church…Nanananana…..so we visited every church around and I really felt God pulling me and guiding me but wasn’t really praying or anything about this. So we were visited out and an older couple that we knew heard we were trying churches and asked us to go with them. ***it was a Baptist church*** didn’t tell him till he saw the sign driving in!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, when we sat down to that sermon…it was the most loving Pastor you could ever meet and almost the first words out of his mouth was I don’t care if you are Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc., I just care if you know Jesus and have Jesus in your heart. We have been going there for 14 years now. My husband along the way realized that he felt he had always known God but was baptized and I rededicated my life to GOD. I get choked up just writing this but it is from my heart and for some reason when I should be getting dinner on the table I’m sitting here typing a comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, through those years we have studied and read the Bible had 3 wonderful children and I feel that we are so close as a husband and wife can be because we are God centered. I know this sounds crazy to people that don’t even believe God exists but I think that you can talk to him and ask him for a sign…ask him for a BIG sign just be prepared for what you may get. I remember early on when we just getting back into church and my husband would tell me that we shouldn’t pray about “the little things” you know bills, friends, family” he thought that God needed to be with the starving people or abused people etc.. Well one day I lost my cell phone and it had been gone about a week and we were about to pay some ridiculous fee to get another and I was going to check mail one night and as I was going to check mail I prayed and said “God can you just please help me with my cell phone I lost it and it is causing some stress in our lives.” ********do you want to hear the rest???******** Well I checked mail and guess what was in the mailbox???????????????????????? Now laugh if you want and if you are like my brother he said “so God put your cell phone in the mailbox” I have since pondered on that and YES I believe he did!!! Not literally but that was enough to convince my husband and me that God is BIG…bigger than anyone can imagine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we have put him to many tests such as that and now we are to the point where we can be still and listen to God and YES HE DOES TALK TO US!!!!! I think you do have to have a personal relationship with GOD and BELIEVE before you can expect any major GOD TALK but he is there and he wants us all to talk to him. Although it took me years to get where I am…I am thankful for Jesus. As I tell my brother having Jesus doesn’t make it all good but it helps make the bad not so bad!!! Anyway, I hope you enjoy my comment…I’ll expect to be blocked anyday now::)). BTW, I have had thyroid issues since 2001 and finally had mine removed in 2005 and have never felt better!!!! TT

  46. Heather

    I do think that God speaks to people through others. But, I also believe that there are crack-pots out there who want to give unsolicited advice under the guise of “God”. Know what I mean?
    If you truly trust this person on a personal level, then I would listen to what he/she has to say. You’ll know deep in your heart whether or not the person is being used by God or just ACTING like God.

  47. tara

    wow, big questions.
    personally, i believe in god as described by the bible. i have to think that if god can create this complex beautiful world with all of the various creatures and systems working perfectly together, then he can do anything and i won’t be able to understand it all. basically, nothing is impossible and if your friend feels as though god “spoke” to her, then he did. i have no idea how god spoke to her, but i agree with the other commenters that it usually isn’t in an audible voice. in my personal experiences, it’s been something more like a thought or feeling flashing through someone’s mind while he/she was praying or something like that. it’s definitely worth asking her to tell you more about it.
    recently, i have hit somewhat of a valley in my faith and asked god (again) to help me trust in him. you don’t have to do it all alone and if you ask for help, he will help you (with your faith).
    and, although i wish it worked differently, i know that god does not promise to heal everyone physically who goes to him. i will never understand why some people suffer and others experience healing, but then again, i am only human.
    my apologies if this is jumbled, my 2 1/2 year old is making it almost impossible for me to complete a thought.

  48. Mrs. D

    As a child I was sexually abused by three different men on various occasions, my father was an alcoholic wife beater who cheated on mom.. The one thing I have never been without is God. My parents didn’t take us to church nor did I know how to pray, and without having direct spiritual influence I know that God loved me… It would be easy for me today to blame everyone including God for my nightmare of a childhood and yet I feel blessed.
    I can’t say that God spoke to your friend, but I can say that you should never doubt the great, mysterious power of faith.
    Y, you are a beautiful person who deserves the very best in life. I will pray to GOD that you may be strong to deal with what life may bring. NOT what the condition of your health but for peace of mind to not doubt simple miracles.
    >>> back to lurking

  49. Marcia

    I’ve always had faith in God, but have not gone to church since childhood (I’m 37). I never believed people who said God or the Holy Spirit speaks to them until last winter. I had gotten a grocery store gift card as a Christmas gift and a few weeks later, was cooking dinner and realized I was out of mushroom soup. I dashed to the store to get the soup and paid for it on with my gift card. I was totally focused on dinner and that was the only thing on my mind. On my way back out to the parking lot, I heard a voice very clearly say, “what would you do with that gift card if you saw a homeless person?” I dismissed the thought because I live in a middle Amercian college town. I rarely, if ever, see homeless persons. Well, on the way out of the parking lot guess who I saw? Yes, a homeless woman dressed in tattered rags standing on the corner. Of course I gave her the gift card. I will never again doubt someone who says God speaks to them, and I’m definitely trying to listen harder for when He speaks to me.

  50. christine Gill

    a man told me that God said we were gonna get married.
    nope.
    Many people told me that God was gonna heal my son and he would not die.
    nope.
    OK, I could go on, but I may start to sound bitter.
    God told me, I feel, very clearly that I was going to marry Jeff, a man that I… wasn’t seeing in THAT way at all! And we were in separate countries and had only spent time together a few times… I decided to not say anything to Jeff about this, but we did fall hopelessly in love (mostly through tons of letters and over the phone and we were married within 18 months of me getting that impression that God was saying I was gonna marry him…
    Did God talk to that lady about you?
    Maybe… maybe not…
    not much help am i?
    xx

  51. Katie

    Roman Catholic here and I do believe God speaks to some people. Plus I love me some Saints and He was always talking to them. Maybe He talks to all people and we just aren’t listening.
    I just wonder “how” your friend is suppose to heal you? I’d honestly be skeptical if it involved dragging you to elaborate services (or money!) but if she just wants to pray for you, what do you have to lose really? If it works, you are healed! If it doesn’t work, you aren’t any worse off. Well maybe your friend might feel a bit silly but like another poster said, anything is possible.

  52. bex

    I believe God can and does speak to people. Do you have to be a believer and person of faith for him to heal you. No, I don’t think so. Do people sometimes mistake other “noise” in their life for God’s voice? I think so, but this does not mean God cannot speak.
    Whatever the truth of the matter, I’m praying that he does heal you!

  53. Denise

    I’m a Christian, but I believe God speaks to us through His word, the Bible. I believe in the Holy Spirit, and I believe the Spirit guides us. But I had a very close friend die of cancer, and before she died she had a bunch of Christians telling her that God told them she would be healed. And she believed it fully. Guess whose fault it was when she didn’t get well? Hers, for her lack of faith. Um, no. Theirs for trying to speak for God by telling a very sick woman exactly what she so desperately wanted to hear. I am VERY wary of someone claiming to speak God’s words. If I want to know God’s words I read the bible. God is more concerned with the health of one’s soul than the health of their body. For one’s soul to be healthy I believe one needs to acknowledge they have sinned and seek God’s mercy and He will forgive and you will be His. That doesn’t mean you will be healthy or things will go well, but it means you will have peace regardless. He wants us to depend on Him because He knows what is best for us…the same way we want our children to depend on us because we know and desire what is best for them even though they often can’t see that or understand it.

  54. Becky

    I’m a weirdo (okay, when am I not?) and I wasn’t raised Christian or anything (my parents are stinky hippies. I am not. Thankfully), but I get a warm fuzzy anytime anyone says they’ll pray for me. It doesn’t matter why, but I always feel that way.
    And I guess I do believe that God speaks to people. It’s a nice comfort for me.

  55. anne nahm

    PS,
    I have been thinking about your post today, and I wanted to tell you I completely sympathize with the idea of not having faith. There is this terrific story (Mark 9:14-29) where a man is pleading with Jesus himself (holla, big J!) to heal his son. And the man says, ‘…help us if you can’.
    And Jesus is all, “What do you mean, ‘if I can’?” (v.23).
    And if that were me, right there, asking for help, and Jesus said that? I would have been so embarrassed. I probably would have lied and said I knew he could do it and not examine my lack of faith. But the father in this story says, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (v. 24)
    And when I read that, I was kind of amazed that a person could look in the face of Jesus and still have wobbly faith, and tell Jesus you had wobbly faith, and ask for help. And that Jesus would help them anyway.
    And I guess if Jesus has been dealing with the human condition of not knowing if we have faith since biblical times, he’s not going to be shocked by your ambivalent feelings about God now.
    At least, that is what got me out of the place where I was scared to have any faith at all because mine was so weak and wobbly.
    Whew. Hijack. Sorry. Hope this helps.

  56. Dianna

    I’m a long time lurker, but had to comment for this. I have no faith either, but I think it would be great if god really did speak to people. I want to believe, but with so much suffering & pain in the world, I just can’t.

  57. Assertagirl

    I am not a person of faith, but I believe it’s possible for a person to be spiritual without being religious, e.g. an athiest can be a spiritual person.
    If someone told me that God had spoken to her about me, I wouldn’t laugh. I would thank that person for her honesty, accept her prayers as good wishes, a positive “vibe” (for lack of a better word) coming at me from the universe. But I don’t think I’d accept the fact that I was meant at that time to embrace God. I can’t do that.
    Kudos for you for opening the floodgates to what can be such a controversial topic!

  58. Bethiclaus

    I consider myself very religious (I’m Nazarene, but I swear I am not crazy), but I’m pretty skeptical of mystical experience. I’ve never heard God speaking to me, but I’m trying to remain open to the idea that God might really be speaking to others. It worries me a little that God would be speaking about you to someone else rather than causing you to have some kind of direct revelation, but I suppose it isn’t outside the realm of possibility, if you believe in that sort of thing.
    In any case, it sounds to me like perhaps you want to believe it might be true. If that’s the case, I think you should. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t receive a faith healing you wouldn’t have had anyway?
    Easier said than done, I suppose. I’ve never asked God to heal me, so I’m a lot of talk.

  59. Suebob

    I have to be the weirdo: I believe God will speak to us very specifically to tell us what to do so that WE can change things. But I do not believe God interferes in the affairs of the world. It is up to work on it. We can, however, get advice.

  60. Lindy

    God works in mysterious ways. I’ve always been told that & I believe it. If it were me I’d get down on my knees & talk to God myself. He’s the person that could tell you for sure whether he spoke to someone else about you.

  61. Bri

    I think if she had told me straight out like she expected me to believe her, I would be suspicious or mock her, but the fact that she hestitated to tell you makes it more credible in my mind. How you take the information and what you do with it is up to you, but I would find it a comfort that there is someone who worries so much for my health and wellbeing that she prayed about it.

  62. Heather

    Took me a while to read through all that! ;) There’s a lot of contributions here and it’s really interesting and enlightening to hear what people think. So thanks, all.
    Now, here’s my two bits.
    I believe – most of the time. And even when I can’t “feel” God, I still talk to Him – sometimes yell at him. (Hey, He’s big enough to handle it :P)
    I think God is more forgiving of doubt than we sometimes give him credit for. Jesus didn’t turn Thomas away after the resurrection, right? He invited him to feel the holes. I think He understands us, and He knows your heart, Y. So please don’t feel bad about doubt, especially when it leads you to ask Him questions.
    I think for me, believing the friend would depend on the relationship, or just what I knew of that person and their, um, mental stability ;-) And their intentions motivations and yada yada. Which doesn’t help you at all.
    I hope God does heal you. Even not knowing you, it sucks to see how much this hurts you. If He doesn’t, and I don’t think that would be through any fault or anything like that, but I hope if he doesn’t, he gives you extra grace to get through it.
    I will pray for you. I hope it all works out for the best!

  63. i lurk a lot

    you have a lot of comments and i am way too tired to read through all of them!! i am sorry if this is repetitive.
    that said, i have faith and i do believe in God, but i am not a holy rolllin’, every sunday church attending christian.
    i truly believe God speaks to everyone of us everyday in ways that we don’t even pay attention to. maybe this was his way of saying….YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!! whether your friend really was spoken to, well…you may or may not find out.
    also, the word “heal” may be taken too literally. if you are lacking faith then your physical ailments are not the only thing HE may thinks needs healing.
    i have always been told that the pain and suffering we feel and experience on earth are not “from God”, but a result of all the sin in the world. this is not what He wants for us. this always brings me comfort-especially in the hard times.
    i hope you find the answers you are looking for and i think you are great!

  64. Jessica

    I believe He does speak to people. Yes, you can have great faith that you will be healed and you will be healed. But you can also have great faith and still struggle with being healed. But there can be great comfort in knowing that others are out there, praying and believing for you to be healed. Or maybe this is God’s way of reaching out to you, after you’ve been mislead in religion and don’t feel you have faith anymore.

  65. mrs darling

    Of course atheists think its ridiculous. If something doesnt exist it cant do anything. If I was an atheist I wouldnt believe God could speak to us either.
    But there is a God and he does speak to people. The biggest reason man was created in the first place was to commune with God. He walked and talked with Adam in the cool of the day, the Bible says. God wants to talk with man. Thats whats so wonderful about being a Christian. We talk to God and God talks to us. Thats what relationships are all about.

  66. Lauri

    I do believe…. now if she said ” God told me that you are supposed to give me all your money”…. then I would be leery
    I think God can talk to us in many ways…. and can use others as messengers.
    Hugs

  67. Lauri

    more on faith-
    I am infertile and people would tell me that if I just had ENOUGH faith that i would get pregnant, as if all I had to do was just believe and trust and wham it would happen. I just so happen to have a medical condition that no amount of faith will heal. I wanted it more than anything
    so I have a problem with the word healed… but I get that it can have many meanings- emotional, spiritual and not just physical
    I would liken that to telling a man with an amputated leg that if he had faith and prayed hard enough his leg would come back.
    interesting subject

  68. TT

    just have to respond to the “if you have enough faith” you will be healed. I believe in GOD, I believe that GOD sent his son to save the world. I ask anyone that doesn’t to just search for him if you feel like something is missing. I do believe there are people that will never know him and it is not for us to judge them. Anyway, back to my initial point. I think that GOD’s healing and our healing are 2 different things. For the post above that said someone died of cancer because she didn’t have enough faith to be healed…..if she believed in Jesus SHE WAS HEALED!!!! She was healed in a sense that we can’t even comprehend!!! If you are into reading I highly suggest the book “90 Minutes in Heaven”. I didn’t read this because I doubted God just an amazing account of someone who felt like he experienced Heaven. Yes, there are people that dispute it and make fun of it…but if you believe in GOD you really can feel him as you read this book and know that if you believe in Jesus someday all of this will be over and we will be in a place that we can only TRY to imagine and we still can’t come close!! You have opened up a huge topic here and I have to say I admire that people aren’t downing people for their beliefs no matter what they believe!! I really think that is because of you and the person you are…you really bring out the nice people in the world with your blogging!!! That says a whole lot if you can bring Christians and antheists together on the same page and there is no evil feelings toward each!!! I would say that if you ever let GOD in be prepared he will have HUGE things for you to do!!! TT

  69. wookie

    I believe that they believe it.
    If the persons live also reflects that they are faithful (gentle, humble, kind) then I am a lot more inclined to take it nicely. If the are one of the capital F faithful, proud, righteous etc. I am a lot less likely to take it kindly.
    To heal can have many, many meanings, and as to why God would speak to her and not to you? Well, you’re not listening right now, are you?
    I, like yourself, have been badly hurt by those capital F faithful who are there for the power. I am quite leery of just about anyone claiming to have spoken to or to be speaking for a higher power.
    Wether there really is a big G god up there who wants to heal you and spoke to your friend, or if your friend honestly just cares for you very much and wants you to be healed and is projecting this somehow… that’s not a question that is going to be answered in this lifetime in any definative way. We would be foolish to think, any of us, that we have the ultimate answer on that.

  70. Kristin

    I’ve always felt awkward around people who speak about God like he was their high school boyfriend… probably because I am Catholic and we are pretty formal… you know, we use a lot of intermideary folks… Saints, priests etc… we don’t really go to God directly.
    That being said, I think if someone told me what your friend said to you I’d cry like a baby because it’s really really sweet and loving and her faith is the kind of faith I think I’d like to have.
    If I weren’t such a cynical cow.

  71. Daisy

    Yes, I believe prayer does work and if He wants to heal you, He will.
    But, I also believe that He wants YOU to trust Him to do it.
    Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.

  72. Beth

    I don’t know if God spoke to your friend about healing. And honestly, she may not know for certain. This whole God-communicating-to-finite-us thing is a bit complicated.
    But I do strongly, strongly suspect that God is seeking you out (you’re having an awful lot of experiences that keep bringing him to the forefront of your life!), that He loves you and longs for you more than you can imagine. Think of your own kids, and magnify that love an infinite amount (which of course our brains, or at least mine! can’t quite do that), and you start to get a hint of how very much He longs to show Himself to you — the real, living God who loves you warts and all, and doesn’t condemn you for all the dumbass stuff that you may have been taught He condemned you for (sorry if I overstepped here).
    So to me, the point is more than the healing per se — it’s God truly longing to be a part of your life.
    My 2 cents! :)

  73. SarahDragon

    I believe God speaks to me through inspiration. There are two types of impulses described in the Bible, and I have found in my life that this is very true. Temptation is the impulse to sin. But there’s anther kind of impulse, to do things or say things that are kind, good & uplifting. I believe these are from God’s Holy Spirit. His Inspiration.
    In my daily prayers, I consistently remember people who I have not thought of or planned to pray for, and so include them in my prayers. I believe that God is speaking to me in these instances, willing me to look beyond my own concerns to others who are in need and to petition God on their behalf.
    My favorite passage at the moment is Matthew 21:21-22 And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. Jesus said this to his desciples when they reacted in amazement to his shriveling of the fig tree that did not produce fruit.
    It is a great comfort to me when I have doubts : ) God Bless You Y!

  74. Dan

    I would neither believe her nor laugh. People get to have whatever imaginary friends they want. But if she started trying to proselytize me, as several have, I would likely end the relationship.

  75. Alayna

    Okay, I definitely believe God speaks to people and heals people – I have absolutely no trouble believing that. I always read your posts about your faith and hurt for you. I didn’t have an abusive church experience growing up, in fact, my church gave me the only sanity from an abusive home. I just know you’re hurting, and that makes me sad for you. I know that the ulitmate benefit from a relationship with Jesus is peace & rest, and I know you want that. Maybe you could just tell God that you don’t have faith, and if he’s real, you want him to show you – then wait and see what happens. It can’t hurt.
    Now, while I say that I have no trouble believing God heals and speaks to people, I will also say that when our fourth child was born with cancer, I was FAR from having peace & rest – more like crying and worrying and dry-heaving in the bathroom. And when we checked into the hospital to start chemo on my 7 month old, I was praying for God to get us through it – not heal him. But I guess other people had more faith than I did because the next day we were released from the hospital without having to do chemo, and our very unbelieving doctor actually wrote “prayer” in his charts, because there was no other explanation for what happened. So, I think God can heal us even when we don’t have faith. And, then, just to be fair, there have been at least 3 kids that I have prayed constantly for and believed that God would heal them from their cancer, and they died. So, I guess there are no secret formulas that get the results we want every time. But I’ve learned to trust Him and his plan, whatever that may be, and my prayer is the next time I am faced with an awful circumstance that there will be less dry-heaving and more trusting. I am praying for you that you will start a conversation with God, whatever that looks like.

  76. Shana

    I don’t have faith that God would talk to someone else about me – why wouldn’t he just talk to me? Or just heal me without talking to anyone about it? I think it’s a nice thing that your friend believes, and I think the appropriate response is, “Thank you,” without laughing. She’s obviously concerned about you, and this is her way of helping.

  77. Amanda

    My first response was NO, I don’t think God speaks to people, but then again I don’t believe in God.
    What I can say is that coming from a long line of Christian Scientist (YES, it IS a cult, the one where they don’t go to doctors. No! You PRAY your cancer away! SCREW chemotherapy! It’s for the unfaithful!), I’ve learned a lot about POSITIVE THINKING. Whether it’s prayer or meditation or simply believing in yourself and that you’ll get better, IT WORKS. My grandparent’s generation proved that to me and it didn’t require any kind of God whatsoever. It’s a lot easier to heal if you BELIEVE you will.

  78. Liza's Eyeview

    Yes, I do believe that God speaks to people. And i do believe that God cares about you and for you more than you’ll know; but I am always careful about other people telling me that God spoke to them about you. If you’re really interested and you want to know if what she said is true, then talk to God yourself and ask Him to make it clear to you. Sometimes He’ll answer, sometimes he doesn’t answer clearly .. sometimes we need to listen more …
    Keep searching…

  79. Margaret

    First of all, I believe your friend believes she heard God tell her you should be healed. My personal faith is evolving a little bit, and I believe that the power of our own minds and spirits is pretty powerful and can go a long way in affecting our physical well-being. Is that God? Some religions believe it is.
    I have a friend who is a pretty devout Christian and she entreats everyone she knows, on a pretty regular basis, to read the Bible and come to her belief system (because reading the Bible and coming to a different conclusion than she has isn’t acceptable). And I respect her very much for wanting to save my soul ~ it’s very sweet. I think every Christian, if they really believe what conventional Christianity preaches, should be as passionate about what they believe to be Gospel.
    Your friend who is sharing what is important to her? I think it’s just as lovely. If nothing else, accept her love and concern for you as a gift.
    There is a lady in our town who presented me with a “power stick” to ward off the “invaders.” I thought that was lovely too. She just wanted me to be protected. Against what? I’m not super sure. But she believed in “it” just as much as my Christian friend. Is SHE crazy? I can’t speak to that either.
    But, what I can speak too? Listen in YOUR own heart. What does YOUR heart say? MY heart? Says that if there is an afterlife and I’m content and joyful to share it with my non-Christian friends, then how could I be more compassionate than the Creator? My head says the Bible is written and edited by men with political agendas, so its wisdom requires careful thought, not simplistic observation.
    My soul tells me there are more wonders in the world than I know and to stay open-minded and have faith in my own ability to adapt and grow and HEAL.

  80. Lori

    I’ve read a few of the notes, but had to stop. Some of them made me feel so queasy. I’m with Kristin (few notes above me), uncomfortable with all the gushy “longs for you more than you can imagine!” stuff. Um, LONGS for me, really? How do you know that? someone told y–oh, HE told you?? oh. ok. Skeeve. I don’t know, but you sound as if you’re in the somewhat damaged by church in the past crowd, and I am most definitely in that crowd, and all I feel is angry and bitter when people who sound like some of your noters tell me most earnestly that Jesus —whatever. Loves me with a love surpassing every love I could ever imagine with my tiny human brain. Adores me with all the passion of a bridegroom for his bride, only not all human-like, but more pure. yik. One woman, no lie, would sit there and go on and on about “and so I said, oh lord, take me in your arms and just love me, just love me lord, just hold me and stroke me and take this pain away. And he did, he just held me and whispered, oh Tina.” Of course, she would also sometimes sit there and go on about “and then the lord said, Tina, don’t eat that tuna fish sandwich, and i said, but lord, i want tuna fish, and the lord goes, tina, what did i say? and I said, okay lord, you’re the lord, i won’t eat the sandwich, and so then I had toast instead.” And she would laugh exasperatedly and everyone but me would giggle a bit, that crazy lord, who knows what his reasons are, alls they know is that you by gosh better listen! And I would edge ever further away. have completely skeeved myself out remembering these things.
    But although I THINK these things to myself, I do actually outwardly demonstrate respect for whatever other people hold near. I don’t laugh, unless it’s directed spitefully at me. Like when a church member you couldn’t babysit for pulls you aside at church the next time you go and says, “just wanted you to know the lord laid it on my heart to pray for you. So I did.” Angry-like, with a little eyebrow lift, like she and the Lord talked about you behind your back and the lord told her some things.
    Gosh, I’m still so bitter.

  81. Undomestic Diva

    A person without faith is usually only faithful – or attempting to be faithful – when it is convenient.
    (And I don’t mean that disrespectfully – I do not believe either, but when I’m desperate for something to go right, scared that someone I love is sick, etc. I pray to god and *try* to believe. But once things are ok and I have no serious worries, I tend to doubt the existence of god. I’m not faithful. And it’s not because I don’t want to believe, it’s because I just don’t.)

  82. mandy

    Yes, I believe it. I imagine it would be difficult to believe some random person saying something like this. However, it may be Somone upstairs trying to tell you something.
    I wouldn’t dismiss it, but maybe just think about it and pray about it. Maybe for confirmation of some sort, so you knew it was Him.

  83. Emily

    I’d respectfully say, “OK. I’m sure if God has a plan for me, it’ll work out just fine by itself. If there is a God.”

  84. Ginny

    I don’t believe in God, so I obviously do not believe that he speaks to anybody. I can understand why people with health crisis or other crisis would want to believe that God was going to help though. If that helps you through it, then heck go for it. I have thyroid issues myself, so I can understand your pain.

  85. Rachael

    Wow, what a tough question. I’ve had it sitting as new in my feed reader for a few days thinking about it. I have only been a Christian for about a year. Before that, I didn’t think I’d ever believe in God, be religious, or have that kind of faith. It literally happened in an instant, while attending a new members class at church. I had gone in thinking my husband would join, and I’d just learn a little more about the church, and came out a member and got baptized last year.
    My idea of God is still a little bit different. There is something big out there, but I’m not sure exactly what I believe yet. I do think that it’s legitimate for someone to say God spoke to them, although I don’t necessarily think it means they heard a voice or had an actual out loud conversation with God. Part of what I think God is is love and hope. So, as a non-believer, when someone said something like that to me, I’d view it more as them giving me positive energy and trying to help me to heal myself and become whole/happy in whatever way I could. I wouldn’t think they were crazy, something just made them feel that there’s a force in the world that wants you to be healed. Maybe that force is just the love and support of your friends and family.
    I think that if you are truly curious about what your friend meant, and if you feel like you are open to hearing what she has to say, you should just ask her! If she’s a true friend and a true Christian, she will be able to handle your lack of faith/skepticism and talk to you openly about what she meant and what it felt like for her. My best friend is Christian, and stood by me for five years while I was a complete nonbeliever. She listened to my arguments about why I didn’t believe, she let me ask questions, and when she told me that she would pray for me, I took that as a compliment, and as her caring about me.
    I guess that’s my two cents… I hope that we have somehow helped with all of these comments!

  86. Jenn

    I believe your friend believes it but I don’t believe it really happened. I don’t really believe in God either but I echo what a lot of other people say – if he wanted to tell you he wanted to heal you, why not just tell you? Or better yet, why not just go ahead and heal you? Who’s stopping him? If your non-belief is stopping him, then what better way to make you believe than to just go ahead and do it or speak to you or whatever?
    I find arguments for “proof” that there is a God very facile and insulting generally so I won’t try to argue the opposite but I’m sure your friend believes what she said and only wants the best for you, and so maybe you can at least feel good about that.

  87. Jamie

    I think that what you think is more important then what we think.
    I am a truster of persons whom I call friend. They got that label for a reason.

  88. Heather

    Y- Perhaps the reason God spoke to your friend is because He knew you would more readily listen to her. I beileve God gives you what you need when you need it, maybe this is a gentle nudge to reconsider your faith. You were moved to think about this and ask about it for a reason. Who are we to judge if your friend thinks that God spoke to her on your behalf? The effect is the same, your are thinking about it and considering the possibiity.

  89. Stephanie

    I am such a waffler on this issue. I was raised in a perfectly nice church with perfectly nice people and I consider myself a decent person. But I have such a hard time with the blind open faith that other people have. I just don’t know how they do it.
    In my mind, I think that if your friend wants to help you out and I would take it for that.

  90. The Other Laura

    Prayer can be pretty powerful stuff and believing that god will heal you will surely not make you feel any worse but riding your doctors like a birthday party pony until they figure out what’s going on is probably your best bet.

  91. Stimey

    I am not a person who believes in God. However I do believe that “God” lives in the minds of people. If your friend says God told her he wants to heal you, I think it means that she loves you very much and wants badly to help you. And that is a wonderful thing. Just my $.02.

  92. Laura in Michigan

    If you promise not to laugh….. Almost 8 years ago,I had lost my cat to old age and was thinking about adopting two black kittens. I was driving home, and clearly “heard” a voice in my head telling me that “my” cat was orange, a boy, and not born yet. I was told to wait until my vacation was over in July , and then to look for him. It was very strange. But I listened and my kitten found me after my vacation. And I have had him for 8 years. If you can have a connection with a cat, that’s what I have. So, I think it may have been God. And I am not a religious person, but I am a believer in God. Does that make sense? I think he can guide us into good decisions, and speaks to us. It never hurts to listen, as long as it doesn’t cost money!!

  93. Marsha

    I think the person who believes that God spoke to them about you is very arrogant. This is the reason I don’t go to church because it is filled with people who believe they are God’s chosen people and above all others.
    I do believe that God speaks to people and that we all have an inner voice that guides us and makes us feel bad when we are on the wrong path. But, we also have inner voices that come from our childhood and tell us we are fat, ugly and not worthy so be careful which voice you listen to.

  94. Sheila Gregoire

    When I was pregnant with our second child we found out that he had a serious heart defect that would eventually likely kill him.
    I was devastated. How are you supposed to watch your only son die?
    Then one day, about three weeks before he was born, I was at a March for Jesus rally in downtown Toronto. A woman I didn’t know asked me about the baby, and I spilled everything. She looked at me and said, “God has told me this baby will be healed.” And she prayed on the spot. And she said to me, “If you have faith he will be.”
    I think that is a very mean thing to do. I’ve written books about this since, and I speak at women’s conferences about it.
    But here’s the thing: I did have faith that God could heal Christopher. But did I have faith even if God didn’t? That’s the more relevant question. And this woman, who did not know me and who would never see me again, could feel great about herself because she pronounced healing on me, though she bears no responsibility should my son not be healed.
    And she so much as told me that if he weren’t healed it would be my fault.
    I don’t think God works that way. God does heal, but it’s rare. On the whole we have to walk through difficulties, but Jesus did, too. Suffering is not something He is indifferent to, or unfamiliar with. He watched his own earthly father die. He watched John the Baptist die. He saw people he loved die.
    That’s because the earth is messed up. So yes, we need faith that God can heal. But we also need faith even if he doesn’t. And that, I think, is ultimately more important.
    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  95. dj

    Personally, I would treat such a claim with a lot of skepticism – maybe that comes from being a pastor’s kid where my father never really demonstrated he, himself, was a Christian let alone someone who believed in faith healing.

  96. Tracey

    Yes, I do believe God talks to people and can use people to heal others. I don’t think I’d laugh at that person, but I would ask God what he wanted me to hear. God keeps calling people back to Him and will try different methods until He gets you to listen. Listen to your own heart…is He speaking to you…do you keep feeling a tug to maybe change what you’re doing or what you believe….Maybe He is using this person as a way to open your mind to the possibility. I don’t have the answers, but I do believe God speaks to us in whispers. Keep listening….

  97. Sherry

    If someone told you that God spoke to them about you, would you believe it? Or would you laugh at them? Do you believe God truly speaks to people?
    1 – depends on who it is.
    2 – see 1.
    3 -yes. yes I do.
    I don’t know if it’s audible to some (not ever to me), obvious (again, not to me), etc. But I do believe that He speaks to us. And that He greatly desires us to hear Him.

  98. The Over-Thinker

    Short answer: Yes
    Long answer: Yessssss
    Third answer: Why not?
    And fourthly, I love the fellow commenters here. It’s pretty cool how much they care :)
    I hope you’re doing well…or well-er.

  99. Kira

    Yes, I believe God does talk to people. I think it was a brave and loving thing for her to tell you that, given your difficulty with belief.
    If nothing else, you know that she cares and wants you to feel better. She’s got a lot of company in that.

  100. Maria

    I wouldn’t believe it, but I wouldn’t laugh at the person. I would believe, and respect, that s/he believes it. S/he believes it because they care.

  101. Casie

    When you were young, didn’t you believe in God? having as strong of a religious upbringing as you did, I imagine you’ve read the bible (many times) and know what God wants from and for us. Don’t let your parents behavior end your relationship with Him. Maybe now that you’re all grown up and foxay you should take a second look and develope an opinion based on your own interpretation of the Bible instead of the faith that your parents hold. God does love you and want to help you and I shall be praying for you!

  102. Leah

    I know God uses people to get a message through. I would consider it an honor if God talked to a friend of mine with a message. I pray that you can get ahold of God and that He does heal you because He loves you so much.

  103. Lar

    I do believe God speaks to people–both those who believe in him and those who do not. We must choose to listen, and sometimes even those who say they believe in him don’t listen.
    God has been nudging you. All these thoughts and doubts you’ve been having–he loves you and he wants you to just love him, too. I know you’re struggling with unbelief, and that’s okay–we ALL do. But I don’t think it would hurt anything, nor would it be “crazy”, to just say, “God, I’m listening,” and see what he has to say.
    The commenter Sheila, just above, had a wonderful point about healing. Just because we have faith doesn’t mean we’ll be healed or have money or a happy marriage. Life can be hard, because we live in an imperfect world and crap happens to all of us. But having faith is about believing that God loves us ALWAYS, no matter who we are or what we do, and that he’ll give us the strength and peace to face even the worst situations. And that if we love him and try our best to follow him, we’ll have a better, eternal life with him someday.

  104. Chas

    I absolutely would believe someone trustworthy if they told me that. I saw that someone else commented that why wouldn’t He just tell YOU, and that He can make you listen if He wants….but I think we have free will, and I don’t think He would MAKE you listen in the way your commenter meant it. I think He could be causing you to listen via your friend. I think it’s very important to listen to what she has to say right now.

  105. Danielle

    You know, the more I hear about this God person the less I like Him. He seems to be the nosy, gossipy sort.
    Okay but seriously. I was raised Methodist (I’m fairly sure) but I almost never went to church. When I did, I had absolutely no clue what was going on. As I grew, I lost a lot of appreciation for all the religious stuff in my life. At age 12 I embarked on a misguided and ultimately underwhelming 4 year stint as a Wiccan. I got sick of the drama, and since then I’ve become Theological Switzerland.
    I’m happy with my (lack of) faith, and the fact that it allows me to appreciate and enjoy the best facets of several different religions at my leisure, but it’s soured me toward Christianity and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Now, whenever I hear or read someone’s devotion to God and all that, I sort of…pity them.
    It’s the same with other religions, but it’s the worst with Christianity. I get this sense like, “Oh you poor thing, you really are delusional, aren’t you?” And I don’t really like feeling like that. I’ve found myself in this intensely logical state of mind where the instant I hear a declaration of faith, my mind races to all the locial, statistical and anthropolical reasons to think it’s complete BS.
    So no. I wouldn’t believe God talked to someone about me. Or anything. I’d ask them to seek professional help as I back away slowly. Very. Slowly. I’m incapable of seeing why the Christian God is more True than the Shinto Kami, the Hindu Gods, the Lakota Spirits or the Muslim Allah.
    Sure it frees me up to feel elitist and superior, but in all honesty it’s actually a very empty existance. Which is probably why in my writing I often create cultures with a rich religious heritage, to sort of appease my God-less soul.
    Though, I am getting sort of tight with Buddah and spending some quality time with Ganesh. ^.^

  106. Karla

    I remember sitting in an emergency room while miscarrying my second pregnancy when suddenly a woman came up to me, opened my hands and draped a pink rosary between my fingers. Holding my hands in hers, she looked me right in the eye and told me that one day I would have many many children, and then folded my hands around her prayer beads and left.
    At first I was appalled that she pushed her religion on me during such a vulnerable and fragility moment in my life. I am not religious. I used to be. I was born and raised Roman Catholic, but as I grew older, the idea of being bound to the teachings of one particular religion just didn’t sit right with me, so now I would say I am much more of a spiritual person.
    Anyhow, while I sat there miscarrying my baby with a rosary in my hand, I pondered what, exactly, spirituality really meant to me, and that’s when I realized that my definition of spirituality is one that is constantly changing and evolving as I grow and change with various life experiences. For me it’s a personal journey that I am able to mold, analyze, reshape, define and follow in a way that feeds my soul with the things that fulfill me most. And then it hit me that religion and spirituality are essentially the same thing, and that is the underlying fundamental human desire and need for hope. Hope that tomorrow is better than today.
    So yeah, that was a really long winded way to that people are innately inclined to seek hope, which comes in many ways, shapes and forms that makes the most sense to them. Including in the form of an ever-evolving, soul-feeding journey of spiritual growth or in the form of God that speaks to them.

  107. Dee

    great post… i wanted to comment here with something insightful and witty, but, i got nothin. reading the comments here was very interesting. you have a varied group of readers with thoughts across the whole spectrum. how cool is that?
    if i offer anything, i’ll just say this… IMHO, we are all children of God with a spark of divinity within. if God and I are one, then God should be able to speak to me (and you and everyone else). sometimes it might be the booming voice from the clouds a la Joan of Arc, but i think it’s mostly the still small voice that comes through in subtle moments and dreams.
    who’s to say the God didn’t speak to your friend about you? perhaps that’s just another way that God gets through. either way, whether it’s God or it’s your friend, you should certainly be assured that you are loved.
    and that’s a beautiful thing!
    i love your blog… thanks so much for giving us so much of you. we’re lucky for it!

  108. Spirophita

    Yes, dependent on the person. If it’s someone you wouldn’t expect, someone who doesn’t routinely say these things or holds themselves above everyone else in their faith, I would believe them.
    Then again, I think it takes more courage to believe than not to as long as you are not using faith as a crutch. You put yourself out there with the possibility of being let down.

  109. Jennifer

    I’m a non-believer, so I wouldn’t think a god spoke to her, but I would be complimented that I am in this person’s thoughts and I would be happy that she wished me well. (Okay, a bit of me would be like, uh, yah, really? You really think God spoke to you, about me?” But I’d keep those thoughts to myself-oh, and my blog…)

  110. talda

    i am a believer and i do believe that God talks to people on behalf of other people. He finds ways to reach us, whether He can reach us when we pray, or in your case, moves through someone we know, like when your dad randomly showed up and prayed with you and again with your friend. because He knows about your wavering faith and may doubt the authenticity of a message, He uses others to get you to hear His words.
    it is God’s will that we are healed and i honestly do believe that He wants to heal you. it says a lot that even though you’re no longer active in church and sometimes question your own faith, He still loves you enough to want to heal you.
    i’ve had people from my church come to me and share a comforting word when i’ve been tossing around some things in my head. while i never outwardly show when i’m going through things, it says a lot that what they say God has told them to tell me hits me in just the right spot.
    but you know, whether you honestly believe or not, it never hurts to have someone praying on your behalf, or even want to pray for you. you’re very blessed to have such loving and caring people in your life.

  111. talda

    i forgot to mention that i don’t believe every tom, dick and sherry when they tell me that God spoke to them. if the person speaking is not known to me, i pray about it before accepting anything. but if they are known to me and i know their prayer life, then i am more comfortable accepting their word. my pastor always tells us to make sure you know the people speaking over you and to know the message. there are telltale signs to tell the difference between the word of God and some gibberish. i won’t clog your comments with it but i’d be happy to share if you’re at all interested.

  112. LivinNSoCal

    Y, I read your blog a alot and send lots of prayers up for you as you continue through your battles.
    I don’t know if you had heard of Monavie bur I think it could do wonders to making you feel better and possibly end your battle. Just google it. It contains the acai berry in it but it has done wonders for myself and many people I know. Email me if you have any questions.

  113. Redneck Mommy

    I wasn’t going to bother commenting as you already have a schwack of comments, but this post got to me.
    You see, doll, I lost my faith. The moment I walked out of that hospital with out my child, just clutching a kleenex in one hand and plastic bag in the other.
    I want to believe. I want to have strong faith, but I find it hard. Crushing, really.
    But I have been on the end of a lot of those type of comments, where people I know tell me God has spoken to them and it’s been about me.
    I just want to know why God has never spoken to me. Why he abandoned me.
    And if he wants me to heal, where the heck is he now, when I’m so desperate for reassurance.
    So I take it with a grain of salt. I nod my head and say thanks, and hope maybe it’s true, but still not really believing.
    Sigh.
    Faith is hard, friend.

  114. oceanbug

    I would NEVER laugh at anyones faith or words about God.
    I do beleive therefore, anything is possible.

  115. Stefanie

    I wouldn’t laugh at all, but I have a great deal of faith. And more importantly I have a relationship with Christ that grows stronger all the time.
    Years ago, I would’ve laughed. But now, God even speaks to me, through the Bible, through devotionals, through other Christians. He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
    But yea, it’s a bit overwhelming.

  116. kspin

    Still can’t believe it when people get comments in the hundreds…wow. Found you on Twitter from Sarcastic mom and just wanted to check your site out, but while I’m here I might as well comment, right?
    There have been many times that a friend out of the blue will call or email when I am at the end of my rope and I know they have been prompted by something to do so. Sometimes they even say that they have. I think that God uses every tool he can to make us feel loved and maybe sometimes it’s sending people into our lives. Just my two cents. Like your blog btw.

  117. Kenyatta

    Hey there. God is every where all at once. So, he can help the people in China and you too all at the same time. If God has spoken to someone about you, he will send you some sort of confirmation to know that it was truly him. Example: A lady at my church shared with me a vision that God showed her for my family. I am very skeptical about these things. I brushed her off until she quoted a scripture that God wanted her to share with me to let me know everything would be okay. Well the scripture she quoted just happened to be the exact same scripture that a friend of mine, in a totally different state, EMAILED me the week before. Now the Bible is big and there are thousands of scriptures in it. But for two different people, in two different state who don’t know each other, and the lady at church didn’t know me either, she just came up to me and shared what God had showed her, is not a coincident but a “God-incident.” God bless you….in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will lead your path. God bless you!

  118. jakob

    Wow, lot of comments out there, maybe you won’t even read this one but oh well. I don’t know your friend or if God spoke to her at all. But God can. I guess the real question is: are you at a point in your life where you think you need help? God will not change us, unless we want Him to. It comes down to a choice that we have to make. A simple choice of Yes or No. If we search for Him we will find Him. I’m not saying that He will suddenly appear and start doing laundry and other task around the house for us, but what I am saying is this: God is real whether we choose to believe or not. And He is a spirit. Just because you can’t see something with your eyes physically does not mean it does not exsist. Anyway. God did something great for all of us back in the day. Its up to us if we want a part of it. Spend some time checking things out for yourself. I doubt you will be dissapointed in what you find.

  119. SARAH

    Is mit possible that maybe God was trying to get your attention by speaking to someone else about you? You stated in your blog that you dont have the faith. If you had heard for yourself that God,
    (who you dont have the faith to believe in a miracle from) wanted to heal you, you would have just laughed it off & prolly say “where the heck that come from”. But because He spoke to someone else, who stepped out & spoke to you about it, now it has you on a path to at least questioning who God really wants to be in your life. A part of who God is, is a healer. Jesus healed MANY & told his disciples that they would do even greater exploits than he did. That means, not only can we tell someone that God wants to heal them, but we can lay hands on them & see them healed.
    the real thing I think God wants you to see is this… 1: someone was praying for you… that means they love you.
    2. God responded with His heart for you. HE loves you.
    3. there is healing for you.
    just a few thoughts…..

  120. Jane

    Take it in context. Who is the person? What is the message?
    I do believe God speaks through people. Sometimes I wish I heard Him more often through them, but we’re so afraid of looking like idiots we don’t speak when He prompts.

  121. chrystal

    Yes. Yes. and Yes.
    There have been plenty of times when I have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for someone. God is amazing… He can work miracles… and He IS real.
    I know what you non-beleivers are thinking, “Oh, another Jesus Freak”.. but let first assure you, I only have this amazing relationship with God *because* I reached out to “the unknown” at a very, very rough time in my life. I grew up being taught “Beleive what you want…” my parents don’t beleive, and I never went to church as a child, but I always knew “there was a God”.. I just didn’t understand what it all meant. The night that I reached out to God, out of pure faith- my hands were held [the presence of the Holy Spirit] and the most amazing warmth of peach and comfort came over me. I went from bawling my eyes out of pure depression…. to feeling so much peace and comfort. That day changed my life…..
    I have seen some amazing things in Church, I have expierenced amazing (and not so amazing) things since finding God. I’ve met 3 people, 2 of which are very close to me who have died and gone to Heaven, to be sent back here to share their testimonies. I know that it sounds weird to those who have never expeirenced the amazing gift of love from God, because trust me- before I “knew” him per se, I thought the same thing. The “unknown” to some poeple is just that… but when you open your heart to Him, you will find the most amazing love and comfort that you have ever felt. It saddens me when people are “on the fence” if they beleive or they don’t beleive….. my thoughts are this: If you haven’t reached out to Him.. with an open mind and an open heart.. out of pure faith– how do you know what’s on the other side? Why would one go through life always wondering, when all they have to do is reach out and ask Him into their life? The most important thing is finding a church that fits with YOU. There are *so* [so] many churches out there… there’s one in every flavor. So, if you’ve been burnt by one church or another church has left a bad taste in your mouth…. go to another one.. and another one, until you find the perfect fit for you. I go to an Assemby of God church- The Pastor is lead by the Holy Spirit and it’s such an amazing church. However, prior to that… I went to a Dicipiles of Christ which is very uniformed… very “by the books” and was just very [blah..boring]. It just showed me that not all churches are created equal.
    Most importantly… as long as you have God in your heart… read His word… pray [just talk to him... like you would a friend. Ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit before you pray]… and just see what happens.
    Sorry to ramble…. but God has changed me SO much in my life… He makes you want to be better – not perfect by any stretch of the measure- but BETTER. I just pray that you DO listen to your friend and reach out to Him for peace, comfort, and to start to rebuild your faith. I mean really, what do you have to lose?
    So… long winded answer: YES.. I beleive that God can speak to people… and I honestly beleive that if your friend, knowing where you are in your faith right now, stepped up and told you what she had told you….. that that says a lot right there. When God speaks to someone, you listen. I hope you listen and I hope you have the faith to reach out.
    ((sorry this was so long))….
    Chrystal

  122. chrystal

    [man, as if my post above wasn't long enough] :)
    To answer the question of “If God wants to tell you something, why does he go through your friend, and not just tell you”…. is pretty simple. [I know you didn't ask it, but another poster did]. If you don’t TALK to God, or have God in your heart… how do you expect God to reach out to you? We have free will… free will to turn TOWARDS God, or free will to turn AGAINST Him. God will use any tool He can to reach out to someone, this is why it’s so important if you DO pray and you DO have a relationship with God to LISTEN and to react to the message that He may have sent you. In this case, your friend. She is a beleiver. And what a better way to reach out to you then to go through one of his sources (your friend).
    I can’t tell you how many times during prayer, I will be praying [just talking away].. where someone who I haven’t even been thinking about will start to weigh heavy on my heart. I will start to pray for that person and certain things about them, or their health, will start coming out of my mouth in prayer. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit…. and it’s an amazing, amazing thing! So many people leave the Holy Spirit out of prayer, when He is simply “the messenger” to God.. He’s there to comfort us and guide us. He [The Holy Spirit] is Jesus’ gift to us… for comfort.
    So.. I hope that makes sense and answers that question or thought of ‘If God wanted to tell you, He would tell you Himself”… not true when you don’t pray, or you haven’t opened your heart up to Him.
    So, my challenge (and hope) to you, is that you consider to reach out to Him… I mean hey, you must be pretty darn special if God is trying to get ahold of ya! :)
    ((okay, I’ll shutup now… lucky you!)) :)

  123. -d

    If someone told me that… I’d believe her or him. I’m just not sure if I’d believe the healing part and I think 1/2 of the actually healing is in the believing.
    But seriously, would it hurt to let her try? Assuming she isn’t going to ask you to run around naked or deal with sacrificing animals… I say try it.
    -d

  124. rafael

    shall begin by assuming that the issue of God’s existence is settled. We all believe that there is a God. As those who desire to know the truth, we must go one step further to find out what kind of God He is. God is the greatest Unknown. We must spend some time to find out about this unknown One. The next step now is to know what kind of a God He is. In the past few thousand years man has been inquiring about the nature of God. Is He kind or is He righteous? Is He indifferent towards us, or is He extremely interested in human affairs? These types of questions are the direct cause of all human religions. What is religion? Religion is man’s inquiry about God and his explanation of Him. Through these explanations, different men have arrived at different concepts about God. What kind of God is He? This is a big question. It is also a very serious question. We have all given our thought to this subject at one time or another. The question might even have occurred to our little mind when we were five years old. All men, educated or ignorant, have been intrigued by this question. It comes naturally after some contemplation and observation. But a person trying to speculate about God is like an ant attempting to understand a human being. It is extremely difficult for the little creature to try to realize our life, nature, and mind. In the same way it is impossible for us to try to comprehend God. For this reason, in the past few thousand years, all kinds of people, theologians and philosophers alike, have done much thinking about Him. What has God been doing all this time? Has He been indifferent to us or has He tried to reveal Himself to us? What is God’s attitude? Do you think He would say, “I am God and have nothing to do with human beings. I do not care what you think about me. I shall stay in heaven as God. Let the mortals be ignorant!” Or do you think He has a desire to reveal Himself to man and visit him? When I was in India, I saw some people lying naked on beds studded with nails. Some walked with bare feet on burning coals. These people devoted a great deal of energy to seeking after God. What has God done to them? Did He hide Himself and take no notice of them at all? Has He not kept Himself as a perpetual mystery? This is a great question. We have to consider it scientifically and objectively in order to find out what God is like. A few years ago I spoke on a similar subject to some medical students in an auditorium in Cheloo University. I said that man is an organism with a life. God also is a life. Man’s life is higher than that of the lower animals, and God’s life is even higher than that of man. I asked the students, “Since we realize that all living organisms have some common laws and express some common traits, can you name them?” Different ones then started to bring up different points. At the end we summed up the discussion in this way: all living organisms contain two common characteristics. You can call these characteristics their common expressions or their common laws. First, every life wants to preserve itself. It tends to reproduce itself. There is the ability to produce posterity, to continue its own life. Second, every life wants to have fellowship with other lives. It cannot stand being by itself. When a man cannot find fellowship with another human being, he goes to dogs, cats, fish, or birds and makes friends with animals. All living creatures desire fellowship. Based on these two characteristics of life, namely, the preservation of itself and fellowship with others, laws of human government are instituted. For example, the death penalty reflects a convict’s desire to preserve his own life; punishment comes in the form of taking away and terminating such a life. This is the way to inflict suffering on a life. Imprisonment, as a less serious punishment, cuts him off from having fellowship with others. This reversal of the life principle becomes then a suffering for him. From this we see that punishment is applied according to the principles of life. With these two chief characteristics in mind, let us turn to the life of God. God is an organism of a higher order than human beings. He is naturally governed by this law of life. We can know God by the characteristics and distinctive features of His life. From this we can deduce whether or not God wants to have fellowship with man. There are two kinds of religion: religion based on natural concepts and religion based on revelation. Natural religion starts with man as the center. He is the one that is seeking after God and studying about Him. What then is revelational religion? Revelational religion comes directly from God. He is the One who comes to reveal things to us. Man’s thoughts are often useless fancies. God’s revelation alone is trustworthy. Christianity is different from all other natural religions in that it is a religion that comes from revelation. Christianity begins from God. It is God who comes to seek out man, rather than man who seeks after God. I will not try to persuade you to believe in Christianity or to read the Bible. I will only make a few suppositions. We will treat the subject in the same way as if we were solving a problem in geometry. We will start from the suppositions and then deduce our arguments step by step. We will examine our reasoning’s to see if they are sound and if our conclusions are logical. As in mathematics, with some problems we work forwards, while with others we work backwards. At any rate, in the end we should be able to tell whether or not a supposition is justified. We have to make a few suppositions. The first one is that God exists. This in fact has been covered by us already. We have agreed that there is a God. He is a Being who has a purpose. Second, we assume that God has a desire to reveal Himself to man. If God wants to reveal Himself to man and if He wants us to know Him, how does He do it? In what manner can He be made known to us? If He speaks to us through thunder or writes to us through lightning, we will not be able to comprehend His message. How then does God make Himself known to us? If He is to reveal Himself and if He wants us to know Him, He necessarily must do it through human means. What then are the common ways that men communicate with one another? First, they do it through speaking and second through writing. All means of communication, whether telegraph, telephone, sign, or symbols, are all included in these two categories. If God is to manifest Himself, these are the only two means for Him to do so. For the present we set aside the aspect of speaking; we will see how God communicates with us through writing. If God reveals Himself through writing, of all the volumes written by different people throughout the centuries, there must be one book which is divinely inspired. This is a very crucial test. If such a book exists, it proves not only the existence of God, but it contains His written revelation to us as well. Is there then such a divinely written book? In the search for such a book, let us first mention a few basic principles. Suppose I want to order a book from a publisher. If I can tell him the name and author of the book, there will be no trouble getting it. If, however, I forget the name and author of the book, I can describe the characteristics of it to the publisher, such as the contents, size, color, binding, etc. The publisher will then search through all his books and locates the volume I want. God has one book in this universe. How do we find it? We have to know its characteristics first. If there is any book that has been written by God, it must meet certain conditions or have certain qualifications before one can say that it is from God. Let me put forth a few propositions. If there is a book written by God, it must first of all mention God. It must tell you that it is from God and that its author is God. This is the first qualification. Second, it must carry a moral tone that is higher than what we commonly know. If it is a fabrication, it can at the most be on the same level as man. Third, if there is such a divine book, it must tell us about the past and the future of this wor
    ld. Only God knows clearly what occurred in the past and what will happen in the future. Only by telling us these matters will we know Him as God. Fourth, this book must be simple and available so that all may be able to secure and understand it. If there were only one such book in the world, then only a very few people would be able to see it. It would not pass the test unless it is a book accessible to everyone. In the United States there is a group of people who claim to have a book from God. It is engraved in gold and contains only twelve pages. Such a book then would not be accessible to the Chinese. God would never write to us a book at which we could not look. Now the matter is simplified. Let us repeat these four conditions once more.
    (1) If such a book exists, it must tell us explicitly that its author is God.
    (2) It must carry a high tone of morality.
    (3) It must give a detailed description of the past and the future of the universe.
    (4) It must be available.
    Let us pick out some of the more important writings throughout human civilization and check them against these qualifications to see if any meets our requirements. We will start from books that are generally considered to be good. Let us take the Chinese classics of Confucius. They are immediately disqualified under the first requirement, for none of them claims to be written by God. They do have a high tone of morality, but they fail to give the origin and destiny of the world, the universe, and man. This does not mean that they are worthless books; it means that they do not contain the qualifications we want. They are not what we are looking for. Let us go to the classics of other cultures. There are numerous volumes of famous writings, but none of them passes the first test. They are all clearly written by man. They may be masterpieces in philosophy or morality, but they are not written by God, nor are they divinely inspired. We have to set them aside. There is a book in India called the Rig-Veda. It once dominated Hinduism. However, it does not claim to be written by God. Another book called the Avesta, written by a Persian named Zoroaster, is also extremely influential in the Middle East. It does not claim to be from God either. Moreover, its moral tone is not especially commendable. Let us come to the Koran of Mohammedanism. This is the closest one we can find. It tells us that it comes from God; it meets the first requirement. However, it does not fulfill the second requirement, for its moral tone is too low. The heaven it describes is full of lusts and flesh. God could never write a book with such licentiousness and immorality. Hence, this book does not pass the test of morality. After searching through all the books, you have to come finally to the Bible. If God desires to communicate with man, and if He does so through writing, then this is the only book that can pass the four tests. Hence, this must be the book God has for man. What does this book say? In the books of the law in the Old Testament, it says, “Thus saith the Lord,” at least five hundred times. Other books in the Old Testament repeat the phrase about seven hundred times. In addition to the references in the New Testament to the speaking of God, the Bible has more than two thousand claims of divine origin. If God has no intention of communicating with man, we can forget about this book. But if He does communicate with man through writing, then this book has to be of immense value. Can you find another book where God is claimed as its author that many times? We have to see if the Bible meets the second qualification. Let us take a look at its moral tone. Everyone who has studied this book confesses that it carries the highest moral standard. Even the sins of the noblest persons are recorded and condemned without mercy. Once a strong opposer of the Bible was asked by his son, “Why are you so strong against the Bible?” He answered, “If I do not condemn it, it will condemn me.” This book does not let us get by easily. The human concept is that all sexual acts outside marriage are considered as fornication. The Bible, however, says that even an evil thought is fornication. Human morality condemns an act of killing as murder, but the Bible condemns a slight hatred in the heart as murder. We consider a man who lets his enemy get by without paying vengeance as forgiving. But the Bible charges man to love his enemy. How high is its moral tone and how low we are before its standards! You cannot help but admit that it presents the best ethical code for humanity. Furthermore, this book describes in detail the past and future of the universe. Once a friend told me that he could believe in everything the Bible says except the parts in Genesis and Revelation where it talks about the origin and destiny of the heavens and earth. I told him that if this is indeed a book from God, it must, of necessity, contain these matters. If the Bible did not contain Genesis and Revelation, it would be the same as any other book, and we would have to look for another book; it would not be the one we want. But the past condition of the world and its future destiny are recorded here. Hence, the third qualification is also met. What is the circulation of such a book? Last year (1935), more than two hundred million copies were sold. Can you name another book that has such a high circulation rate? This statistic, moreover, is not limited to just last year; every year the number has remained approximately the same. In one sense this book is very popular. In another sense it is like a thorn in your hand; it pierces you. This book gives you a headache. It creates an unspeakable uneasiness within man. It even causes man to oppose it. In spite of this, its annual sales are still over two hundred million. Furthermore, this book is translated into more than seven hundred twenty languages. In every country and among every race, there is a translation of this unique book. It is extremely easy for anyone to obtain a Bible anywhere in the world. If the Rig-Veda were God’s book, then more than half of the world would perish due to a failure in obtaining it. Even if you put the Rig-Veda in my hand, I would still be unable to understand it. If only the educated ones can contact God, then I am destined to go to hell. If only the Indians have the opportunity, we Chinese, as well as other races, are out of hope. If God speaks through the Rig-Veda, then where can we find that book? Maybe we can only find the original copy in the London Museum. And even that may not contain the original meaning of God’s revelation to man. This is not all. The Bible contains sixty-six books and it is divided into the Old and New Testaments. It was written by no less than thirty people. The span from the time the first book was written to the time when the last book was finished is more than sixteen hundred years. The places where they were written are also different. Some were written in Babylon, some in Italy, some at one end of Asia Minor, others at the other end of the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the writers themselves differed in their backgrounds. Some were lawyers; some were fishermen. There were princes, and there were shepherds. All these writings by men of different backgrounds, languages, environments, and periods are put together. The amazing thing is that it is still a complete book. All those who have had some experience of editing know that in order to put together a few articles written by different authors, it is necessary for the authors to be of comparable level of academic achievements and viewpoints. Even when the academic standard and viewpoints are similar, there will still be conflicts and contradictions when you put five or six articles together. But the Bible, though complex in contents, contains history, poetry, laws, prophecies, biographies, and doctrines and was written by so many different ones at different times and under different circumstances, yet when you put them together, they surprisingly run as one continuous volume. There is no conflict or contradiction. They are written in one breath. If you read this book carefully, you have to admit that God’s hand is behind all the writings. More than thirty people of varied backgrounds and ideas in different times and places wrote these sixty-six books. When you group them up, they link together as if they were written by one individual. Genesis was written about fifteen hundred years before Christ, and Revelation was written ninety-five years after Christ. There is a time span of sixteen hundred years. One talks about the beginning while the other projects the end of the world. Yet whatever begins in Genesis is concluded in Revelation. This amazing feature cannot be explained in human terms. Every word of it has to be written by God through man. God is the motivating One behind the whole composition. There is another remarkable thing about this book. In itself it is a book that gives life. Yet countless numbers of people have lost their lives for its sake. There was a time when anyone who held this book in his hand would immediately be put to death. The most
    powerful empire in history was the Roman Empire. There was a time when this empire summoned all its forces to destroy this book. Everyone who possessed it would be inhumanly persecuted and later killed or burned. They wiped out thousands of people and burned countless copies of the Bible. They even set up a monument at a place where they killed Christians. On it was the inscription: “Christianity is buried here.” They thought that when they had burned all the Bibles and removed all the Christians, they would see Christianity lying there beneath their feet. But it was not long after that when the Bible came back again. Even in a country like England, which has already accepted Christianity as its state religion, you can still find tombs of martyrs for Christ if you visit different places there. Here and there you can find places where the Bible was once burned. Or you may come across a tombstone that tells you that such and such a person tried so hard and wrote so many books in his life to oppose the Bible. One place may tell you that the Bible was once burned there, and another place may tell you that Christians were once killed there. One signpost may point you to a statue of martyrdom, and another may point to a site of Bible burning. Why is it that so many people have tried so hard to oppose this book? Why is it that men would pass by other books, but would either oppose this book with every fiber of their being or would put their whole life to the stake for it? There must be something extraordinary here. Even if you do not believe that this is God’s word, you have to admit that there is something unusual about this book. This book seems to be very simple and easy. If you consider it from the historical point of view, it tells the origin of the universe, the earth, the plants, human beings, how they established their kingdoms, and how they will eventually end. This is all. There is nothing special about it. Yet it has been handed from generation to generation for centuries. Today it is still with us. Moreover, if you do not confess that it is truth, you have to conclude that it is false. You can disregard many books, but you cannot ignore this book. Nor will it ignore you. It will not let you go. It demands a verdict from you. It will not pass you by. Another remarkable thing about this book is that almost half of it is prophecy. Among the prophecies, almost half of them are fulfilled. The other half is for the future and await fulfillment. For example, it predicted the fate of the nations of Moab and Ammon and of the cities of Tyre and Sidon. Today when people talk about big cities, they mention London and Shanghai. Then it was Tyre and Sidon. They were two chief cities of the ancient world. The prophecies concerning these two cities were all fulfilled. Once I was in the Middle East. For some reason I did not visit those two places. However, I bought two pictures of those cities. It amazed me when I looked at those pictures. I could not help but believe in the Bible. It was prophesied that if these two metropolitan cities did not repent, they would be destroyed and devastated. Their land would become hills of rocks and pebbles where fishermen would come to dry their nets. In the pictures that I bought, there was nothing but fishing boats and open nets on the shore. This is only one small fact that proves the reliability of biblical prophecy. If you compare past events with the prophecies in the Bible, you will find that they all correspond one with another. For another example, take the birth of Christ. Isaiah prophesied concerning a virgin with child a few hundred years before Christ actually came. Later, He was born indeed of the Virgin Mary. The prophecy was accurately fulfilled. As the prophecies concerning the past have been fulfilled, so the prophecies concerning the future must also be fulfilled. If God desires to communicate with man, He must do so through common human channels of communication. He must use the human language or human writings. In other words, there must be a book in the world that is a direct revelation from God. If such a book does exist, it must contain the four criteria we mentioned. Now we can say that such a book is found. This book tells us that God desires to have fellowship with us. He speaks to us through this book. Through it God is no longer an unknown Being. We can now know Him. This book is the Bible. I hope all of you will read it.
    THIS IS SERIOUS: WAS JESUS CRAZY? WAS HE A LUNATIC? OR THE BIGGEST LIAR?
    God desires to reveal Himself to us. He does so through means that are comprehensible to man. These are namely written and spoken language. We have seen how God reveals Himself through writing. Now we want to take a look at His revelation through speaking. Suppose that you have had correspondence with a person for many years; however, you have never seen him. Naturally, you would want to know him more by having some direct acquaintance with him. Full understanding of someone cannot be achieved merely through writing. Direct contact gives a better chance. It seems as if communication through speech is of a more intimate and thorough nature than writing. When spoken language is added to written language, communication becomes enhanced. If you take away either of the two, you have a gap. Of course, if you take away both, communication is completely voided. Effective communication is always carried out by these two means. If God’s intention is to reveal Himself to us, He must of necessity do so through speaking. But how does God speak? Does He trumpet from the heavens? If so, we would all be frightened to death. We would all run away. No one would dare to listen. There is a chasm between Him and us. He, being so high and great, would drive us away from His holiness. How then does He speak?
    THE WINTER ON THE MOUNTAIN
    Let me relate to you a story. One winter I was staying on the mountain Lu-shan, recovering from an illness. It was immediately after the war, and there was practically no one living on the mountain. In the vicinity of my dwelling, one could hardly see anyone all day long. I am a quiet person by nature. This kind of environment was very appealing to me. Not only was it quiet there, but the weather was cold as well. From morning till dusk, all I saw was a boy who came three times to deliver my meals. At the beginning I was quite at ease. But after a while, even a person like me began to feel lonely. One day after lunch I went to take a nap. There was a balcony outside my bedroom window. When I woke up I saw some little creatures gathering around the balcony. Bits of my meal had been dropped there, and the birds were busily chirping around them. As they hopped around, they chirped and made many cheerful noises. I said to myself, “All right. Since I cannot find any human beings, I will try to make friends with these little birds.”I rose up and went out to greet them. But in an instant they all flew away. An idea came to me. I took some of the leftover rice and began to arrange it in rows, with only a few grains in the first row and gradually increased them towards the entrance of the doorway. I hid behind the door and watched them coming. Soon they gathered around again. I said to me, “This is my chance.” I walked out and began to make friends with them. But the minute they saw me, they all scattered. Some perched on the branches of the tree across the balcony and stared at me, as if trying to determine what my intention was. Every time I approached them, they flew away, and every time I walked away, they came back. This went on a number of times. I wanted to preach to the birds. I wanted to tell them, “Little birds, I have no special intention in doing this. This is winter on the mountain, and food is scarce. I have enough food with me, and I just want to share it with you. Please be at peace and come down. I only ask that as you eat, I can sit among you. I want to listen to your songs and watch you playing. Come. Let us be friends…” But the birds would not come. They did not understand me. I had to give up. Later I had a certain realization within. I began to preach to myself. I said, “This body of mine is too big. If I could shrink from five feet eleven inches to the size of a bird, and even change myself into a bird, they would not be alarmed by my presence. I could then tell them my heart’s intention, and we could spend the winter on the mountain Lu-shan together.”We have a similar problem today. If God remained God, we could never understand Him. If He talked to us in His language, we would be altogether lost. If God wants to reveal Himself through speaking and have fellowship with man, He must shrink Himself to such a degree that He and we are the same. Only then would He be able to speak to us and tell us of Himself and of the mysteries of the universe. Only then would we be able to understand Him. Has God become a man to reveal Himself through His speaking? Let us again use the method of supposition. What if God revealed Himself through the human language? What if He became a man and fellowshipped with man? The implication is tremendous here! It would mean that in this world, among all the human beings throughout history, one person was not merely a man, but God as well! If it is granted that God became a man, there must be a mortal who was also divine. We need to find out about this One. This is a thorny task. But we will employ the effective method we have adopted—namely, setting down a few principles. Then we will search according to these qualifications and directions. We want to base our evaluation on what manner of life a person should possess and what qualifications he must have if he is God.
    The first condition that this person must fulfill is that he must claim to be God while he is on earth. He cannot be apologetic about it. He must declare boldly that he is God. Only then can we know who he is. Without this declaration, we have no way to guess his identity. Hence, a declaration is our first qualification.
    Second, the way this person came into the world must be different from ours. If I said that I am God and yet was born in the same manner as every other mortal, my words would carry no force. If on the other hand, I dropped down from heaven; my assertion would be taken seriously. The way this person comes into being must be extraordinary. He must come in an absolutely different fashion; otherwise, his words will not carry the necessary weight. Third, this man must bear a moral standard that is far above that of all other human beings. He must have God’s holiness, and his life must bear the mark of God’s righteousness. For example, if I became a bird and lived in exactly the same way as other birds, without showing them anything extraordinary, I could not convince them that I was actually a man. If God is to become a man, His moral behavior must be of the highest quality. This is the only way that we could identify Him as God. Furthermore, if a person is God, he must necessarily be able to perform things which no mortal can do. If he can achieve what we cannot achieve and know what we do not know, we can say that he is truly God. Lastly, this person must be able to tell us the divine purpose concerning man. What was God’s purpose in creating the universe and man? How does He take care of human pains and sorrows? What is the origin and ultimate solution of everything in the universe? What should our attitude towards God be? All these he must reveal to us. Unless this one shows us what we do not see, we cannot say that he has shown us any revelation. We will set down these five conditions and put the whole of humanity to the test. Let us find out if someone meets the five requirements. Such a person would surely be qualified to be God. The first person to put to the test should be yourself. Of course, you are not God, because you have never claimed to be God. Nor have I ever claimed to be. So that rules out you and me. Very well, now we will introduce Confucius. If you read his books, you will find that he did conduct a very moral and proper life. But he never claimed to be God either. Hence, he fails in the first step. What about Sakya Muni, the founder of Buddhism? Not only was there an absence of the claim of divinity, but his philosophy itself is void of deity. He did not believe in the existence of God. Since he had no God, he cannot be God either. Next, go to Mohammed. He believed in God. But he never claimed to be God. He called God Allah and himself the prophet of Allah. If you go through every person in history, you will discover that no one ever claimed to be God except One. That One was Jesus of Nazareth. He claimed to be the living God. No other person put forward such a claim. How can Jesus of Nazareth claim to be God? Before going on, we have to pause for a moment to seriously consider the matter. It is not a light thing to claim to be God. A person who makes such a claim falls into one of three categories. He must belong to one of these three categories; he cannot belong to all three. First, if he claims to be God and yet in fact is not, he has to be a madman or a lunatic. Second, if he is neither God nor a lunatic, he has to be a liar, deceiving others by his lie. Third, if he is neither of these, he must be God. You can only choose one of the three possibilities. If you do not believe that he is God, you have to consider him a madman. If you cannot take him for either of the two, you have to take him for a liar. There is no need for us to prove if Jesus of Nazareth is God or not. All we have to do is find out if He is a lunatic or a liar. If He is neither, He must be the Son of God. These are our three choices. There is no fourth. What did Jesus of Nazareth say about Himself? In John 10:30 He said, “I and the Father are one.” We need some explanation here. In the Bible the invisible God is called the Father. The Son manifests and expresses the Father. What is hidden is the Father, and what is expressed is the Son. The Son is the One who can be seen and touched. Behind, you have the Father. In front, you have the Son. The two are actually one. They are the two sides of the same reality. When we talk about two, we refer to the fact that one is hidden while the other is revealed. When we talk about one, we say that the revealed One is just the hidden One in manifestation. This is the biblical interpretation of the Father and the Son. Therefore, when Jesus of Nazareth one day said, “I and the Father are one,” it was a statement that no one else could make. This man was saying in reality that He and the invisible God are one entity. He is God and God is He. God is the invisible Father, and He is the manifested Son. The Father and the Son are one! Who can this One be that made such a claim? Is He a madman? Is He out to deceive us? After Jesus spoke such a word, what reaction do we see? “The Jews again took up stones that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these works are you stoning me? The Jews answered Him, We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, are making Yourself God” (vv. 31-33). The Jews understood very well that Jesus’ words meant that He claimed to be God. After hearing these words they wanted to stone Him to death. A claim was made by Jesus, and an accusation was charged by the Jews, both of which concerned His divinity. Was Jesus insane? Did He speak pure nonsense just to cause people to kill Him? Or was He a swindler setting up some kind of a scheme? If so, what was He trying to gain? Was He trying to gain death? Perhaps we will go back a little bit to the earlier parts in the Gospel of John and see what it says there. John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Why has no one seen God? It is because God is invisible. Jesus said that He was the only Begotten of the Father; He expressed the invisible Father. When you see the only Begotten, you see the Father. Again He spoke concerning Himself, “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven” (3:13). Have you ever heard anyone say such words? I cannot say, “No one has been to Shanghai, but he who comes from Shanghai to Tientsin, even I, Watchman Nee, who is in Shanghai.” If I say so, I would be gibbering nonsense. But Jesus was speaking a heavenly language. He said that He came out of heaven and is still in heaven. What can a person be if he can be in two places simultaneously? Either he is God or he is a lunatic or he is a liar. If you have not yet believed in Christ, please give a verdict to this issue. Who is this man? Let us read John 3:31-32: “He who comes from above is above all; he who is from the earth is of the earth and speaks out of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of this He testifies, and no one receives His testimony.” He said that He came out of heaven and was above all. After a while He said the same thing again. Let us see what the purpose behind these words is. He came to preach the things of heaven, but no one received His words. He mentioned words like “heaven,” “above all,” “out of heaven,” etc. What kind of man was He? Confucius never said this. Neither did Sakya Muni or Mohammed. Was Jesus of Nazareth a madman, a liar, or the Son of God? John 5:17 says, “But Jesus answered them, My Father is working until now, and I also am working.” He always put Himself in the same place as the Father. Verse 18 says, “Because of this therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath but also called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” When we read His words now, we may consider them to be ordinary remarks. But the Jews knew what He was saying. They knew that He was making Himself equal with God. The words in fact meant that God is His Father and He came to express God. The invisible One is God, and the visible One is He. Therefore, the Jews sought to kill Him. What should we do about such an unusual person? Jo
    hn 6:46 says, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except Him who is from God, He has seen the Father.” Here the word is clearer. He said that no one other than Himself has ever seen God. Only He knew what the Father is like. I can only say with soberness and reverence that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. Read John 8:18. What did He say? “I am one who testifies concerning me, and the Father who sent me testifies concerning me.” The question in verse 19 is most interesting: “They said then to Him, Where is Your Father? Jesus answered, You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” Have you seen what He was saying? They had seen Him, yet did not know Him. Of course they would not know the Father either, whom they had not seen. If men knew Him, they knew God. Who is He then? If knowing Him equals knowing God, is that not the same as saying that He is God and God is He? Read John 8:23: “And He said to them, You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” The preposition “from” in this verse is ek in Greek. It means “out of.” That is how it should be translated. He said, “You are out of this world, but I am not out of this world.” This man claimed to be from above; He did not come out of this world. Who can He be? The Jews were confused. They were totally bewildered. Who was this man? The ancestor of the Jews is Abraham. They boasted of being the descendants of Abraham in the same way the Chinese boast of being the offspring of Hwang-ti. The name Abraham was highly venerated among the Jews. Now they brought out Abraham. Please read John 8:53: “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too. Who are you making yourself? How did Jesus answer them? Was He greater or smaller than Abraham? In verse 56 Jesus said, “Your father Abraham exulted that he would see my day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” What is this? Even Abraham had to look forward to Jesus! Hence, verse 57: “The Jews then said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Now please pay your attention to Jesus’ answer in verse 58: “Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I am.” Tell me who this man is. If I told you that before Hwang-ti was, I, Watchman Nee am there, you would immediately write me off as a lunatic. Some of you would say that I am a liar. The words Jesus spoke made Him a madman, a liar, or God. There can be no fourth alternative. We have to read on. In John 10:37-38 Jesus said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may come to know and continue to know…” Know what? The clause following is very crucial. It is a big statement: “…that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father.” Who then is this man? He said that He was in God and God was in Him. Passages like the above are numerous in the Bible. I shall mention one more. Read carefully John 14:6-7: “Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.” It says clearly that if you know Jesus of Nazareth, you have known the invisible God. Why is this so? It is because He is God. One of the disciples was confused. John 14:8 says, “Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us.” Philip was asking to be shown the Father who had been mentioned again and again by Jesus. Verse 9 says, “Jesus said to him, have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how is it that you say, Show us the Father?” Here Jesus made it very plain that to see Him is to see God. He made no apology about it. He is God. There is no need to see the Father anymore. If you see Him, you see God! Who is Jesus of Nazareth? What would you say? Is He merely the founder of the Christian religion? Is He merely an example of self-sacrifice and humanitarianism? Is He a social reformer? Is He an advocate for universal love, peace, and freedom? Listen to what He said about Himself. He said that He is God. What is your conclusion? Is He a lunatic or a liar? Is He a hoax, or is He God? This is a vital question. Can He be a madman? If you read His biographies in the Gospels and observe His life and manner, you will realize that not only was He sane and sound, He was very sober and firm. If there is a perfectly sound person in this world, He has to be the One. His mind was clear, and His mentality was alert. If you study His deeds and words carefully, you have to confess that His thoughts are very logical and consistent, and His manners are most comely and appropriate. To opposing ones He only needed to reply a few sentences, and their arguments against Him were defeated. He did not have a trace of madness in Him. A madman could never have done what He did. Then is He a liar? A liar always lies for a profit. If there is no profit to be gained, what is the purpose of lying? Why was Jesus crucified? For no other reason than that He claimed to be God. At the last judgment, the hour when His release or crucifixion was to be deliberated, He was examined as to who He was. What was His answer? He said that the Son of Man would be seen sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high, descending on the clouds in glory (Matt. 26:64). Even then He claimed to be God. As a result, He was crucified on the cross. Is there a liar who would sacrifice his life for his lie? Once I met a person who wanted to talk with me about our faith. He read some books about Jesus and admitted that Jesus had a high standard of morality. He could consider Jesus as a perfect man, a model for humanity. But he could not believe that Jesus is God. I said, “If you admit that He has a high standard of morality, then He at least is not a liar. If you agree that He is not a liar, then you have to accept His claim of divinity as truth. He repeatedly asserted that He is God. If you admire His morality, you have to recognize His divinity as well. Jesus of Nazareth is God!”Please read John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.” What is the “Word” mentioned in verses 1 and 14? Verse 1 speaks of the relationship the Word has with God.
    In reference to when, the Word was there from the beginning.
    In reference to where, the Word was with God. In reference to what, the Word was God. Today the Word has become flesh; He has taken on a human body and dwelt among men. As to how He dwells, it says that He is “full of grace and reality,” and “we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father.” Who is this One? He is Jesus of Nazareth. Here we have only seen one of the five qualifications mentioned earlier. Only Jesus of Nazareth meets this first condition. This proves that He is God. We shall go on to see the four other conditions or qualifications. Jesus of Nazareth must meet all the other four qualifications before we can conclude that He is God.
    EXAMINE THE CLAIMS
    If God is to be a man, He must come into the world in a way that is very different from all other mortals. We come into the world through our parents and are conceived by our mothers. To ascertain whether Jesus of Nazareth is an ordinary person or the incarnated God, we need to examine His birth. If His birth was no different from ours, we have to conclude that He is nothing but a man. Not only does He have to pass the first qualification, but He needs to pass the second one. Do not hastily believe in a person simply because he claims to be God; we have to test him by our second criterion. If he is indeed God, he must be born in an extraordinary manner. If we study the birth of Jesus, we will find that it was very different from ours. He was born of a virgin. Both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament tell us this fact. Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. Before we go on, we have to realize that there are two ways to know God: by natural speculation or by revelation. According to natural speculation, one meditates and conjectures about God. In revelation, God speaks to man. We want to look at the revelation of God. We want to know what God says. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke show us that Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. This important fact enables us to conclude that He is no ordinary person, and it justifies our being a Christian. The natural mentality cannot readily accept this fact. Some years ago, a big debate was conducted in England. On one side were prominent leaders of modernistic schools of theology. On the other side was a famous Presbyterian pastor-theologian. Four major topics were raised. Twice a day, for four consecutive days, each side took turns delivering a long speech for a total of eight messages. One of the topics was related to our subject—the virgin birth. The modernistic theologians asserted that one reason alone was enough to disprove the virgin birth—the event was biologically impossible. According to the law of biology, it is impossible to have the virgin birth. On the same day, their opponent gave the rebuttal. Let me briefly mention a few of his arguments. He said, “Our friends have denied the possibility of such an event on the ground of biological law. I am here to ask whether such an event happened. They asked, ‘Can this happen?’ They referred you to academic principles. I am asking, ‘Has this happened?’ I point to a historical occurrence. It is one thing to be academically justified. It is another thing to be historically recorded.”As he was speaking, he drew out a newspaper from his pocket. In the paper was an article about an accident that had happened a few days earlier. A man was driving on a winding mountain road. Due to carelessness, the car slid and tumbled down a deep gorge. The car was totally wrecked. Not even a square foot of the vehicle was left untouched. It was thoroughly damaged. But the man on the ground was absolutely unhurt. Later, he rose up and walked away. The theologian read the passage aloud and said, “This car tumbled down a thousand feet into ruin. You cannot even find a square foot of whole metal, and yet the man was unharmed. My friends would ask, ‘Could this man live?’ But my question is, ‘Is this man alive?’ He is alive! If you consider the possibility, there is none. But if you consider the fact, there it is!”What we have is a historical fact. If we try to study the virgin birth from a scientific point of view, we may conclude that this is an impossible event. But my question is whether or not such an event occurred. The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus was born of a virgin. So does the Gospel of Luke. At least you have to say that these records have said such a thing and that such an event was recorded in history. At least you have to believe that there is a historical event. I am not asserting that Matthew and Luke were inspired by the Holy Spirit when they wrote their books. Whether these books were divinely inspired or not, we will set aside for a moment. We are saying that there were a few people who followed Jesus. They wrote His biography. Both Matthew and Luke were contemporaries of Jesus. Matthew followed Him for more than three years. Luke was not as close, but he “carefully investigated all things” (Luke 1:3). I believe that when he wrote his gospel, the mother of Jesus was still alive. What did they say about the birth of Jesus? They all testified that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. His birth was absolutely different from ours. Today, after almost two thousand years, some who never saw Jesus, never talked to Mary His mother, and never met Joseph His father; conclude that He was not born of a virgin. How can you say that He was not born in this manner? Are you ruling out the possibility of such an event and concluding that it did not happen because of some arguments you proposed in your study room or some theories you fashioned in the laboratory? Perhaps we should read the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. There are forty-two generations in the genealogy. Beginning from the first generation, it repeatedly says, “So-and-so begot So-and-so.” This phrase is used through verse 15, which says, “And Eliud begot Eleazar, and Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.” Verse 16 continues, “And Jacob begot Joseph.” The surprising thing is that the next part of the sentence does not continue with “Joseph begot Jesus.” Rather, it says, “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” When the line reaches Joseph, the pattern is dropped. This is because Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. His way of birth was very different from ours. We have seen that His method of coming into the world was an unusual one. Now we want to look at His way of departing from the world. As we shall see, this was also contrary to our ordinary deaths. No one can ever predict the place, time, and manner he or she is going to die. A hundred years from now, all of us here will be dead. But no one knows how we are going to die. Jesus of Nazareth, however, foresaw His own death. He knew exactly when, where, and how it was to happen. Once when someone told Him that He was going to be killed, He answered that it was not acceptable for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem (Luke 13:33). He knew that He was going to die in Jerusalem. One day, He told His disciples that the hour had come. Not only did He sense the imminence of His death; He told others that His death hour had come. He knew also how He would die. A number of times He mentioned that He would be crucified. This was recorded at least three times in Matthew. Not only was this man different in His way of entering into the world, but His manner of departure was no less extraordinary. Both His birth and His death were very unusual. Is this the Son of God? Let us consider the third qualification. What kind of morality did Jesus of Nazareth have? Was He the same as we are? Did He ever sin? I like the sentence Jesus spoke in John 8. Many were opposing Him at that time. They surrounded and cross-examined Him. In return He asked, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (v. 46). This was a tremendous challenge! Which one of us would dare to stand before everyone and challenge to be convicted of sin? Whoever dared do such a thing would be put to shame the minute his wife stood up to testify against him. Perhaps, in less than five minutes, seven or eight people would immediately rise up to expose his lies and unfaithfulness. But when Jesus made such a statement, no one was able to convict Him of sin. There has been a countless number of saints and sages throughout the ages, but none was bold enough to claim to be perfect and sinless. Why is it that Jesus alone dared to make such a claim? All I can say is that this man is either arrogant to the extreme or holy to the uttermost. A proud person may talk in an outlandish manner because he does not know himself; he has no realization of what kind of person he is. But when Jesus challenged, “Which of you convicts Me,” there was no way He could be humble or polite about it. He is without sin, and He is holy to the uttermost. Jesus
    of Nazareth is not like Confucius, who said that given some more time, he would be rid of big, moral flaws. Jesus is sinless. When He made such a statement, He made it before His enemies. If there had been a slight misconduct on His part, the Jews would have caught it right away. The Jews are not prolific writers; they have not produced many books other than the Holy Scripture. But after Jesus, many books were written by the Jews to contradict Him. All these books deny His divinity, but none touch His morality. Of all the opposing writings, none can prove that Jesus ever sinned. Every philosopher or founder of religion, at one time or another, has said, “I repent,” or “I regret such and such a matter. I will do better from now on.” But Jesus of Nazareth never repented. A sinner must of necessity repent. But what does a sinless man have to repent of? Jesus never apologized to anyone; He never did anyone any wrong. When I was in England, some British friends asked for my opinion concerning their people. I said, “Among you, once ever so often, I hear, ‘Excuse me’ and ‘I beg your pardon.’” To the English, anyone who does not know how to make these two remarks has to be an extremely base person, for he knows not his own mistakes. Anyone can make a mistake, but when one refuses to admit his mistakes, he makes himself vulgar. For this reason we have to say, “Excuse me” and “I beg your pardon” all the time. The amazing thing is that Jesus of Nazareth never said “sorry” to anyone. He never apologized. Could He be so evil as to ignore His conscience completely? Was He oblivious to His own errors? Or is He really sinless? If so, He cannot say, “sorry.” It is not a matter of humility or politeness to Him, but a matter of maintaining His standing. I love the story about Jesus once walking down a road. Many people were gathered around Him, hoping to see the resurrection of a dead person. It was so crowded that the people pressed upon each other. One woman, who suffered from an issue of blood for years, thought that Jesus would surely be able to heal her since He had performed all kinds of miracles. She did not come to the Lord directly. All that she did was touch the fringe of His garment, and the sickness was immediately healed (Mark 5:25-29).Jesus felt something, turned around, and asked, “Who touched Me?” How did the disciples respond? They said, “You see the crowd pressing upon You and You say, Who touched Me?” (v. 31). He should have asked, “Who pressed Me?” instead of “Who touched Me?” If I were Jesus, I would have said in a gentlemanly fashion, “Excuse me.” But Jesus did not need to say that. When He said that it was a touch, He meant that it was a touch and not a pressing against. The disciples only knew that many thronged around Him. But He knew that someone “touched” Him. He knew what He was doing. There was no need for apology. He knows no sin because He is without sin. Let me mention another story about Jesus. One day He came to the synagogue in His hometown. Someone handed Him the Scripture, and He started to read from a passage about Himself. The people there, however, despised Him. He remarked that a prophet is always despised in His own place. For this reason, God would not choose them but would rather go to someone else. After they heard this, they were very indignant. They carried Him outside and tried to throw Him down a cliff. I like very much what Jesus did then. He passed through their midst (Luke 4:16-30). If someone tried to push us over a cliff, we would struggle to escape. But He was no ordinary person. He simply passed through the persecutors’ midst. They could do nothing except let Him pass by! He is without sin. Again, you see the same Jesus preaching to a ruler at midnight in a house (John 3:2), while choosing to converse with a woman beside a well at midday (4:5-7). Everything He did was very proper. No one can say anything against Him. You cannot find fault in Him. Another time some opposers came to tempt Him. They asked whether or not it was lawful to pay tax to Caesar. The Jewish nation, as you know, no longer existed then, and Caesar of Rome was their king. If Jesus said “no” to the question, He would have been involved in a political issue, and the opposers would have had an excuse to condemn Him. If He said “yes,” all the Jews would have counted Him as siding with the Romans and hated Him. The result, of course, would have favored the opposers. This was a question that could not be answered “yes” or “no.”How did Jesus reply? He said, “Show Me the coin for the tribute” (Matt. 22:19). He was wise. He even had the opposing ones draw out the money from their own pockets. Then He asked, “Whose is this image and inscription?” (v. 20). They had to admit that it was Caesar’s. Jesus gave an excellent reply: “Render then the things that are Caesar’s to Caesar and the things that are God’s to God” (v. 21). With that He dismissed the whole case. This is where His majesty lies. He never made a mistake. You cannot get a case out of Him. I cannot enumerate all His deeds. Everything He did bears such a mark of nobility that there is absolutely no flaw in His behavior. I will briefly mention His betrayal as a final example. It was very late in the night, and men armed with torches, spears, and swords came to arrest this empty-handed Jesus. He asked them, “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus the Nazarene” (John 18:7). He replied, “I told you that I am” (v. 8). At that very word, the band of rogues whose minds were set on capturing Him fell back to the ground. If Jesus had not voluntarily given Himself over to them, they would never have been able to seize Him. Such calmness and majesty can only be seen in Him! As to the traitor, Jesus knew from the first day of his intention. Yet He allowed the same to follow Him and even let him be the keeper of the money. All the time Jesus knew that money was being stolen by him. Who can demonstrate such forbearance and uprightness? Here is a man who is absolutely different from all others. In every respect, He has been proven to be the Son of God. The fourth qualification we mentioned is that one who claims to be God incarnated must be able to perform what an ordinary person cannot. Has Jesus of Nazareth performed any supernatural acts? We are not His contemporaries; it was almost two thousand years ago that He walked on earth. Naturally, we cannot be His witnesses. But one thing is sure: the apostles who followed Jesus recorded, preached, and testified the things concerning Him. The four Gospels were all completed within thirty years after His departure. Most of the Jews who were then alive had seen Jesus. If the apostles’ records were false, they would have been repudiated long ago. However, the Jews only argued that Jesus is not the Son of God. They never denied His deeds, for the deeds were all facts. Today, when we read the four Gospels, we have no apprehension about their authenticity. If there had been a slight error when they were written, there would have been grave problems because many of the contemporaries had actually seen and heard Jesus. There was no chance for any fabrication. Hence, these books cannot be a hoax. If the Jews could not attack these books, there is even less of a basis for an attack today. Let us examine some of the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. Matthew 11:2 and 3 say, “Now when John heard in the prison of the works of the Christ, he sent word through his disciples and said to Him, Are You the Coming One, or should we expect another?” John wanted to make sure that Jesus was the Christ sent from God. If He was not, John would wait for another. Verses 4 and 5 say, “And Jesus answered and said to them, Go, report to John the things that you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; and the dead are raised and the poor have the gospel announced to them.” Jesus answered neither “yes” nor “no.” He only asked the messenger to tell John of the things heard and seen. He wanted John to think about them and decide for himself if Jesus was the Christ. Jesus proved His divinity by the miracles He performed. Here
    is a man who accomplished things that are impossible for human beings. You cannot help but confess that He is God. John 7:31 says, “But many out of the crowd believed into Him and said, Will the Christ, when He comes, do more signs than this man has done?” Many people testified that He performed all kinds of miracles which no man could do. John 10:24 says, “The Jews therefore surrounded Him and said to Him, How long will you hold our soul in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” On the one hand, the Jews hardened their hearts and refused to acknowledge His divinity, and on the other hand, they were puzzled by the many supernatural miracles that He performed. They gathered around Him and pressed for an answer. There is one thing in which Jesus never gave in: His claim to divinity. He performed what mortals could not. These acts testify to His divinity. He told the people clearly, “The works which I do in My Father’s name, these testify concerning Me” (v. 25). On the one hand, He made His claim, and on the other hand, He performed miracles to justify His claim. In John 14:11 He said to His disciples, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” This is the same as saying that He is the invisible Father. “But if not, believe because of the works themselves.” If He had not done anything impossible, this word would have had no value at all. If He had not performed any extraordinary acts, they would have asked back, “What works have you done? We do not know what you are talking about.” But the disciples knew of the acts He did. All these acts prove that He is the Son of God. We have to check Jesus of Nazareth against a fifth qualification. If He is God, He has to show us what He is. Is He kind, or is He severe? Is He gentle, or is He fierce? What kind of a God do we have? As a matter of fact, Jesus did show us what God is. This is a most wonderful thing. The eternal, invisible God is now seen by us. There is no need to conjure up an untouchable and far transcendent God or imagine what He is like; He has revealed Himself to us. He has dwelt in our midst and walked among us. Jesus of Nazareth is the very God dwelling among and with man. He has manifested God’s nature and attributes to us. There is no need to search for God anymore because He has revealed Himself. Our mentality is too limited. Our hands are too short, and our viewpoint too narrow. If we were left to ourselves to study and search for God, we could only conclude that He is the unknown One. Now we know that God desires to reveal Himself. In fact, He has revealed Himself to us already. We have said that the two means whereby God communicates with us are the written and spoken language. For this reason, the Bible and Jesus of Nazareth are the two indispensable factors in our faith. When you take away either one, God becomes the gravest problem in the world. Hebrews 1:1 says, “God, having spoken of old in many portions and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets.” These speaking constitute the Bible. “Has at the last of these days spoken to us in the Son” (v. 2). This is Jesus of Nazareth. Whoever is in Christ now may know Him. To have heard the words of Jesus of Nazareth is to have heard the words of God. Dear reader, what is your attitude towards Jesus of Nazareth? Thomas confessed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Peter proclaimed, “You are…the Son of the living God!” (Matt. 16:16). Martha said, “I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:27). Even a Roman centurion exclaimed at the sight of Jesus hanging on the cross, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:54b). I hope you will make the same confession
    WHO IS HE?
    Our Christian faith is based upon the revelation
    of God. It is different from all other religions which are attained through meditation, conjecture, and searching. We believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to us. In other words, it is His spoken word to us. We also believe that God has become a man, who is the very Jesus of Nazareth. God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ constitute the basis of our faith. Let us begin by looking at the position that Christ occupies in our faith, or we may say, in Christianity. However, Christianity has been altered and is not what it ought to be. At the present we will not mention what Christianity ought to be. Rather, we will only draw a comparison between Christianity and other religions in order to see the distinctiveness of our faith. We will not try purposely to exalt Christianity and debase other religions. We will only draw an objective comparison between them. First, let us consider Confucianism. Actually, followers of Confucius never formally assert that theirs is a religion. Confucianism merely exercises great influence on Chinese culture, education, ethics, and philosophy. One thing, however, is certain: the teachings and doctrines of Confucius are of foremost importance, while the person Confucius is not as crucial. I do not mean that Confucianism has no concern for Confucius. The man indeed was an extraordinary person. However, in order to be a part of Confucianism, one only need to understand the doctrines of Confucius, abide by his teachings, and be thoroughly acquainted with his books. It does not matter whether one understands the man Confucius or not. The principles, doctrines, and teachings of Confucius are the essence of the religion. Next let us consider Buddhism. The founder of Buddhism was Sakya Muni. Once he preached to his disciples about evil persons being reincarnated through the Wheel of Rebirth after death. This is something that attracts man’s attention. But in all of Buddhism, the point of emphasis is doctrines and theories. Concerning the man Sakya Muni, although he has a history and biography, they are something parenthetical. They do not form the crux of Buddhism. The center of the religion is not the man Sakya Muni. Whether there was such a person is unimportant to today’s Buddhism. All that is needed are the doctrines and teachings. Other religions such as Taoism and Mohammedanism are all of the same principle. After each founder set up a religion and left his teachings, doct

Comments are closed.