Spiritual Origins of Disease

What is the root of sickness and disease? Is it natural or spiritual? 

Jesus didn't travel with a medical bag.

One of the primary impediments to healing is the lack of understanding that disease is spiritual, not physical, in origin. As human beings living and breathing in a material world, it's often difficult for us to understand the spiritual underpinnings of what appears to be just a natural phenomenon. The average Christian mind fails to appreciate the cause-and-effect relationship between the spiritual order and the natural world. Consequently, disease remains a mysterious killer and if it is "spiritualized" at all, God is ultimately held accountable. The Word, however, demonstrates in no uncertain terms that disease is not only the enemy of man, but also the enemy of God. It emanates from the spiritual state of sin and was set in motion by Adam's original trespass.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:6–7, KJV)

In the beginning, God created Adam sinless. He gave him just one command: Don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam defied God and ate. By this act, the earth became cursed (Genesis 3:17) and Satan became the "god" of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Adam not only ceded authority of the earth to Satan (Acts 26:16–18), his very own nature became infused with corruption. (Ephesians 2:2)

For this cause, Just as through one man sin into the world entered, And through sin, death, And so unto all men death [penetrated] (Romans 5:21, Rotherham)

Sin was the medium by which death penetrated through to Adam. Disease, being incipient death, consequently had its entry into mankind through a spiritual root. Because the root of disease is spiritual, its ultimate remedy is also spiritual. As one leading physician put it:

In back of all disease lies a cause which no remedy can reach. —Yeomans, Lillian, His Healing Power at 32.

Jesus obliterated all disease in his earthly ministry because his healings originated in the Spirit. He never provided a natural cure to those seeking healing.

How God anointed him with Holy Spirit and with power, Who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the adversary, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38, Rotherham)

Here, the word "oppressed" (καταδθναστεθομενους) is a compound in the Greek. It has κατα (kata) which means "down" or "under" and δυναστευομενος) (dunasteumenos) which means "I hold power" or "I dominate" (also in James 2:6). It is a present-tense participle that is better translated "being continuously dominated." By this we understand that all the diseases Jesus healed involved some kind of Satanic oppression or domination. This applies to healings such as blind Bartemaeus who was told only "Go thy way. Thy faith hath made thee whole" and Lazarus, whose account has been mishandled by those who say his sickness came upon him "for the glory of God." 

Surely he hath borne our sicknesses, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his bruise we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath made to light on him the inquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4–6, RV, marg.)

600 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah was given revelation of the crucifixion. His revelation didn't deal with a wooden cross, Roman guards, or even Jesus' spoken words while dying—the physical aspects of the crucifixion. His revelation dealt with the spiritual realities behind it. He saw Jesus "wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities," all of which concern sin, a spiritual thing. In the same breath he says Jesus bore our sicknesses. He didn't bear them by the physical "stripes" on his back, but by the "bruise" (singular) he sustained in the spirit. Isaiah demonstrates that sickness and disease are the true spiritual offspring of sin. His revelation also bears witness that Jesus bore them away in his redemptive work.

He sent his Word (Jesus) and healed them. (Psalm 107.1)

The Word shows us that disease's entry into man was through the means of sin. Sin's cure is our redemption in Christ. Disease's cure is the same.

Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. (Hebrews 2:14, Revised Version)


Photo Credit: "Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn - Christ with the Sick around Him, Receiving Little Children (The 'Hundred Guilder Print') - Google Art Project" by Rembrandt.

GospelPeter Smythe