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In 1528 a small collection of Spanish galleons arrived off the Gulf coast of Florida. On those ships were 300 men. They were professional soldiers, conquistadores. Second in command was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. His surname name means Head of the Cow. It’s not a name that I would want, but to him, it was an honor. The King of Spain had conferred it on one of his ancestors for bravery in battle. The goal of this military force in this strange, unknown world was to establish a Christian colony that would provide riches for the monarchs of Spain. In the process for the soldiers, it would be fine if they got rich themselves. These were hard men, seasoned war veterans, expecting danger and difficulty. Well, they found it.
The ships landed in what is now Tampa Bay. They got there purely by accident. The men with them who were supposed to be skilled pilots had no idea where they were going. Like many military leaders, the man in charge of this expedition was utterly incompetent, in fact, stupid in the extreme. Military stupidity gets people killed. I could tell you a lot about that from personal experience. This leader decided that most of the force should go on foot up the coast. The ships would meet them on the Florida panhandle. Exactly where that was they had no idea, but that was the plan. So the soldiers disembarked and the ships sailed away never to be seen again.
In that day there were no retirement communities or miles of fast food joints on the Florida gulf coast, just swamps, rivers, bogs, mosquitoes, disease, and very unfriendly tribes. The men slogged their way through it with no maps. Their guides didn’t know where they were going. The miserable journey took months and along the way, many of them died. When they reached the panhandle they were deep inland, starving and under constant attack by angry locals. Finally, they made it back to the gulf coast, where more of them died. They knew they had to escape this hellish land and it was clear that the ships weren’t coming. Their only hope was to get to New Spain on their own, that’s what they called Mexico. It’s a long way from the Florida panhandle to Mexico.
One of the men on this expedition was a carpenter. Under his direction, they cut down trees and built barge rafts. This took several months. During this time, they were constantly starving, bitten by millions of mosquitoes and fighting off tribal attacks. They ate the few horses they had left. The horses were in such bad shape they were of no use for anything but food. Finally, after months of preparation, they shoved off into the gulf. Of course, they had little food and almost no drinkable water. They tried to store water in horse hides, but the hides rotted. The horrible trip across the gulf took months. There were storms and the barges got separated. Ultimately every single man on the expedition died except four. Cabeza de Vaca’s barge finally came to shore probably on what is now Galveston Island in Texas. The men were in terrible shape, starving and exhausted.
You think things were bad up to that point? Well, then they got really bad.
Galveston Island wasn’t where they wanted to be. They weren’t in New Spain yet and they knew it. They needed to get back out into the Gulf. But their barge got stuck in the sand. They had to push it off, so to keep their clothes dry they stripped naked. With their clothes and weapons on the barge, they jumped into the water. When they started to push it off the sand, suddenly a giant wave came and swept it out to sea. They were left standing in the ocean stark naked. Watching them on the shore was a large and very unfriendly Indian tribe. These people were totally naked and starving too, but they had weapons. So the great conquistadores arrived in Texas. No clothes. No weapons. No way to defend themselves. The tribe took them prisoner and the conquerors became slaves.
Over several years that followed, all the things the Spanish were doing to the people of the New World were done to them. They were beaten, starved and forced to do hard labor. They slept naked without shelter in the cold and heat. Here is a strange reality. All of these men were Roman Catholic Christians. One of the goals of the Spanish conquest of the New World was to plant Christianity among the natives. This was done with brutality, raping, pillaging and forcing people to be baptized, which is the exact opposite of the way Jesus wanted it done. It was the way Satan wanted it done. Well, Cabeza de Vaca and his friends couldn’t do it in the typical Spanish manner. They didn’t know it, but in their suffering, they were becoming like Jesus Christ Himself, who long ago was beaten and hung naked on a cross.
The slavery of these men went on for several years. For years they lived naked, starved, brutalized, and constantly afraid that the tribes were going to murder them. When things couldn’t get any worse they did. Years ago I told a friend, it’s always darkest before it turns totally black. The tribe was stricken with disease. People were dying. The leaders came to them and said, “You are from far away. You know things. You heal us. And do it now or we will kill you.” How would you feel? I’m sure their response was, “This is insane. We’re powerless, naked with nothing, and we’re soldiers, not doctors. But if we don’t do something, we’re dead.” In their desperation, there was one thing they could do. They could pray. So they did that. They prayed. They laid hands on the sick, made the sign of the cross and breathed on them in Jesus’ Name. Doesn’t that sound foolish? What a waste of time.
Now we come to the truly strange part of the story.
All of the people they prayed for were healed. Needless to say, the word got out. Poor sick people began to flock to them from all over. They prayed. They kept on praying. And the sick kept on being healed. I don’t have to tell you that their status among the tribes changed radically. They weren’t slaves anymore. They were honored. But they were still half-starving and naked just like everybody else. And they longed for home. The only way to get home was to get to New Spain. But not by water. They had had enough of that. It would have to be overland. How far was it? They had no idea. They didn’t know that they would have to walk across all of Texas and New Mexico and down through Arizona.
So Cabeza de Vaca and his friends began one of the most amazing journeys of history. Totally naked, with no maps, no weapons, no guides, and almost no food or water, they started wandering through this new world. Wandering? No. I think they were being guided by an unseen hand. Do you know what those men did? They healed their way across the Southwest – the first Europeans ever to be there were healers. Often thousands of tribal people followed them. Runners would stream ahead. They would enter villages and the sick were waiting for them. The stripped conquerors from Spain had become the Healers from Heaven. In the process, they carried the message of Jesus Christ and His love, to people who had never heard His Name. In one tribe they asked the leaders who they worshipped. They replied that they worshipped a man in Heaven, but they didn’t know who he was. Cabeza de Vaca and his friends told them.
Their journey through the southwest was horrific. Many times they went for days without food or water. People from one tribe would lead them to the next, suffering deprivation with them along the way. They were loved and because they had the power to heal, they were feared. Cabeza de Vaca and his friends never took advantage of that power. When they were given gifts, they gave them away to people in need. Finally, they made it into Northern Mexico. There they met the Spaniards, their countrymen, who were burning, pillaging and enslaving the tribes. Cabeza de Vaca tried to stop them. He tried to make them treat the native people with kindness. His own people hated him for it.
Only a few of the Spaniards listened to him and changed their ways. Most did not. Even worse, these evil men did their best to get the tribes who were loyal to Cabeza de Vaca to turn against him by telling them that he was just like they were. The reply they got from the tribal leaders was amazing. They said to the Spaniards, “You came to us with horses and weapons. You attacked us taking what we have and making us your slaves. These men came naked, with nothing, just like us and they healed our sick. They gave back everything that was given to them. No, they are not the same as you.”
Cabeza de Vaca went back to Spain and wrote a military report for the king.
What was the heart of that message? “Please your majesty, treat the tribes with kindness. They are so poor. They have nothing. They’re in so much need. They are ready to hear about the Love of God. Kindness is the only way to victory.” In this, Cabeza de Vaca failed. But he and his friends, rough soldiers who had suffered so much, had planted the message of Jesus like seeds in a wilderness. And God had been with them, the God who heals.
How do we know about this story? We have the report that Cabeza de Vaca wrote to the king. It has been translated, published and is available to you to read. You can buy it on Amazon. In that report, he gives detailed information about the land and the people. It is of tremendous historical importance because it is the first such report of a European who traveled through the southwest. Yet rarely do you hear it mentioned? Why? To tell that story truthfully, you must tell about the supernatural power of God. Many people including many historians today, don’t want to hear that.
In the days before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ made some very important predictions about what would happen before His return to earth. Those predictions are found in the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21. One of His predictions was that the good news about Him, who He was and what He had come to do, would be told to all nations. He didn’t say to every single person. He said to all nations. It took a long time for that to happen, but in our day, that prophecy has been fulfilled. Cabeza de Vaca and his friends helped fulfill it when they landed in Texas and walked across the southwest, healing the sick and telling them about Jesus, how He had come to save people from their sins and give eternal life to all who believed in Him. Of course, living naked and healing people was not their original plan. God changed their plans because he wanted the message to go out. There were thousands of Spaniards, robbing and brutalizing the tribes. Those murderers and robbers claimed to be Christians. God wanted the world to see what real Christians look like.
But what are we to make of all this supernatural healing?
If you are a materialist you would say it was purely natural, what’s called the Placebo Effect. You would say these simple people were desperate. They wanted to believe the Spaniards could heal them, so their bodies responded to that intense belief and made them well. It had nothing to do with God and prayer at all. And there have been striking cases that would seem to support this hypothesis. Let me tell you one of the most famous of them. It took place in Long Beach, CA in the late 1950s and it is very well documented.
At that time there was a cancer patient who is called in the literature, Mr. Wright. This man was dying from advanced cancer in his lymph nodes. Tumors the size of oranges were all over his chest, neck, groin, and abdomen. His spleen and liver were massively swollen and the doctors reported that between 30 and 60 ounces of fluid had to be sucked out of his chest every other day just so he could breathe. This man was dying. It was obvious to everyone that he wouldn’t live much longer.
Then something happened. Mr. Wright got information that filled him with hope. His own cancer specialist was part of a team that was testing a new cancer drug called Krebiozen. Initial tests had been very promising. He pleaded with his doctor and convinced him to give him the drug. This specialist, named Dr. Philip West, thought, “What is there to lose? The man is going to be dead in weeks. Let’s let him have what he wants.” So on a Friday afternoon, he gave Mr. Wright an injection of Krebiozen. What happened was amazing.
On Monday morning, Dr. West came into the hospital and found his dying patient up and around, walking the corridors and joking with everyone. When West checked him, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The huge tumors were dissolving away. Over the next ten days, Mr. Wright received more treatments of Krebiozen until almost all signs of cancer were gone. They discharged him and he went back to his normal life.
Well, a couple of months later something terrible happened. Mr. Wright read a newspaper account about Krebiozen. It reported the next stage of research. Krebiozen wasn’t proving effective in the treatment of cancer. Almost immediately, the tumors came back and Mr. Wright went back to see Dr. West. West was horrified by the almost instantaneous return of the cancer. So he decided to do something that was unethical. He decided to lie. First, he told Wright that the news reports were not correct. Krebiozen was effective in curing cancer. The reason the cancer had returned was because the batch they had used had been sitting around in a pharmacy and had lost most of its strength. But West assured his patient that the hospital had just received a new “super-refined, double-strength” batch. He suggested that they start a new regimen of injections. Needless to say, Mr. Wright agreed.
So they started the treatments. Mr. Wright received injections of distilled water that he thought was Krebiozen. The results were just as amazing as they had been with the actual drug. The tumors disappeared. A few days later, Mr. Wright left the hospital symptom free. Everything went well for several more months. Then there was another news report. This one from the American Medical Association. The final test results were in and they were conclusive. Krebiozen was worthless, totally ineffective in curing cancer. A few days after reading that report, a very distraught Mr. Wright was readmitted to the hospital. Two days later, he died of cancer.
What is going on with our brains?
This is far from the only example of what researchers call the Placebo Effect. Truly believing that something is going to happen makes it actually happen in our bodies, when there is no other operative agent than belief. But I want to suggest to you that we’ve named it wrong. It isn’t the Placebo Effect. It is the Faith Effect. For some reason, placed within us is a tremendous power called Faith. It can do amazing things in our lives, but it works in two ways. It can heal you, as it did Mr. Wright for a period of time, or it can kill you.
I want to suggest to you that God has placed the Faith Effect in us as part of His gift of free will. Now we can use free will, our free choices, for good or for bad, can’t we? The same is true for the Faith Effect. It can make us strong, or it can kill us. It can guide us toward life or toward destruction. And you are using the Faith Effect one way or the other every single day you live.
Think for a minute, what if Cabeza de Vaca and his friends had not had enough faith to pray for those suffering and dying people? They didn’t know what was going to happen the first time they did it. But they had enough faith to try. What if they had said, “Hey, sorry, we’re not doctors. We can’t help you.” No one would have been healed. They would not have been freed from their slavery. Very likely, they would have died hopelessly where they were. We wouldn’t have the record of their amazing journey. Most of all, thousands of people would never have heard about Jesus.
We don’t know how many people were healed by the prayers of Cabeza de Vaca and his friends. Certainly, it was many hundreds. It could have been thousands. He wasn’t concerned with such numbers in his report. But in an official report to the king, he was concerned about truthfulness. Reporting these healings didn’t get him any extra favor. There is no record that he did any healing when he was back in Spain.
One other thing. The Placebo Effect might account for a small percentage of those healings. In blind studies, percentages of placebo cures are not large. There is no way that the Placebo Effect could account for all of the healings that took place. It wasn’t the Placebo Effect, it was the Faith Effect. It was the faith of Cabeza de Vaca and his friends that made the difference. Your faith is essential in accomplishing what God wants to do in your life and in the world. How do we know that God insists on human faith being present for Him to work? The Bible says so. Look at these mysterious words in Mark 6:1-6. It’s about Jesus.
“Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.
A question: Did Jesus suddenly lose his power because people didn’t believe in Him? Not at all. Why didn’t He use His power? Jesus did only what His Father wanted Him to do, what He saw His Father doing. He says in John 5:19, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Because there was no faith in His Son, right there in Jesus’ home town, God the Father in Heaven refused to work in that place.
What is unbelief? Unbelief is a form of faith.
When you don’t believe one thing, it’s because you are believing something else. You may have convinced yourself that there is a body of evidence to support your belief, but the truth is almost all of that evidence was acquired second or third hand from what you consider to be reliable sources. That is faith. God insists on working hand-in-hand with our faith. But when we don’t want His involvement, there is another supernatural power waiting to work. It uses our faith as well. There are false teachers who will tell you that faith is like a bucket. If you don’t have enough faith in your bucket, God won’t work. So if you needed healing and it didn’t come, you just didn’t have enough faith. But Jesus said in Luke 17:6, all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed.
I don’t believe in professional faith healers. Anybody who announces that he or she has the gift of healing and wants crowds to come, well, automatically, I question who they really are. I have no respect or belief in the big “dog and pony show” faith healers, the ones who fly in private jets and perform on TV. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. However, I didn’t always feel this way.
Back about 1970 my wife, Carel, and I were living in the Chicago area. In our church was a man who was very ill with a degenerative disease. Medicine was not helping him and he was in need of a miracle. At the time, there was a major woman faith healer operating in the country. Our friend learned that she was going to be at Notre Dame University having one of her meetings and he wanted to go. I had an open mind about all of it. Anything we could do that might help him, we wanted to do. So a small group of us took him to Notre Dame.
I had never been to such a meeting before. It was held in the enclosed stadium at the university. When we got there, thousands of people were pouring in and many of them looked very unwell. On our way in, we met two elderly parents. With them was their beautiful daughter, a woman in her early 30’s, and she was in a wheelchair. They were spending their life savings following this faith healer across the country, from one city to the next, desperately hoping that their daughter would be healed. I felt tremendous compassion for them. But spending your life savings this way? What dark responsibility would fall on that faith healer to influence people to do such a thing?
We found our seats and the stadium went dark. A large choir began to sing that great old hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” Suddenly, a single spotlight flashed on illuminating a woman dressed all in white. Her arms were raised and she was twirling, dancing down one of the aisles. For all the world, it sounded like the choir was singing to her. I had come with an open mind, but, quickly, it began closing. There was no way around it, I understood production values and the power of spectacle. This was the glorification of a woman through music and technology. Then the show got underway. A major element of it was this healer proving that she had spiritual power. This she did by what is called slaying people in the spirit. Groups were brought onto the platform. One by one, she would touch them and they would fall into the waiting arms of catchers, knocked out cold with a Holy Spirit punch.
There is a dangerous psychological vulnerability when humans are in large crowds.
A crowd mentality takes control and under the right circumstances, a skilled speaker with a powerful personality can get them to believe and do almost anything. All of the people who came forward to stand on that woman’s platform knew what was expected of them. She was going to knock them over with a touch of her hand. When everybody else is falling over in front of thousands of people, you’re going to do it too. And this was a crowd desperate to believe that she had real power.
To be honest, as the show progressed it was sickening and I grew furious. I had no faith at all in the healings that supposedly took place. And there weren’t any healings among the wheelchair folk who were gathered in a large group at the far side of the platform. Nowhere in the Bible do you find slaying in the spirit. Jesus didn’t do it. Neither did any of His apostles. When you see anyone slaying people in the spirit that is living proof that you are seeing a spiritual wolf, a charlatan, a false teacher. Any teacher or leader, healer or not, whose work focuses the glory on himself or herself and not on Jesus Christ is a servant of darkness.
I’m telling you this for a reason. Jesus predicted that in the days of the end just before His return, there would be many false teachers and false Christs. There would be people doing fake miracles. And they are everywhere right now. Needless to say, at the end of that woman’s dog and pony healing show at Notre Dame, my friend had not been healed. But I had received an important education. Do people get healed in meetings like this? Yes, some do. But that’s not because of the charlatan at the front collecting the big offering. It’s strictly because of God’s mercy and grace and His love for suffering people.
After saying all of that, I’m going to tell you about something that happened to me personally a few years ago that was very strange.
When it comes to the miraculous and the supernatural, I look at things from a somewhat skeptical frame of mind. Not disbelieving or believing until there are enough facts. I believe that God does heal people miraculously. It does happen. But it’s always been a rather theoretical belief for me. I pray for people who are sick and I am so glad when they are made well. God does miracles through medical science. As far as direct healing from prayer and the laying on of hands, I’ve always believed it is possible. Certainly, it’s taught in the New Testament. Jesus did it. His Apostles did it. And it’s happened since. It happened with Cabeza de Vaca. But once again my belief was theoretical not based on any personal experience. I had never seen it happen until one night in a private home.
When Carel and I moved to the mountains of California we began attending a local church. There we met some wonderful people. They invited us to be part of a little fellowship group that met each month. About twelve or fifteen people were in the group. We’d meet, share a meal, have a short Bible study and a few minutes of prayer together. The leader of this group was a retired pastor named Earl Kuester. He was a widower. For many years he had pastored an American Baptist church in southern CA. But when we met him, he had been retired from that position for quite a while. Upon retirement, he and several members of his church had all moved up to the mountains at the same time. Those people were in this little fellowship group.
As we got to know them all, we began to hear a strange story. In the late ‘50s and early 1960s, Earl was pastoring this church, when his wife came down with cancer. They had five small children so you can imagine the agony this brought not only to their family but to the entire congregation. Everyone was praying and back then medicine couldn’t do very much. Earl really didn’t know anything about miraculous healing. It wasn’t a subject taught at the seminary he had attended. In his desperation, he began to do serious research. He read, he prayed, he took courses at a local Christian graduate school. He began to believe that God was giving him the gift of healing. With real faith, over and over, he prayed for his wife. Well, she wasn’t healed. About 1962, she died.
Even though he had experienced such great sorrow and lack of success, Earl continued to believe that God had given him the gift of healing, the ability to pray for people, lay hands on them and see them made well. At his little church, they began having Sunday evening healing services. It was never a huge event. They didn’t start a TV show. A few people would come and there would be prayer. The people in our fellowship group who had been there said that real healings took place. But it wasn’t anything like you see with the big faith healers.
Here is how Earl told me it worked. On Sunday afternoon, he would spend time in prayer for the evening service. While he was in prayer, very frequently he would get a pain in some part of his body. He felt that God was telling him that someone in the service had a problem in that area. So during the service, he would stand up and ask, “Is anyone having a problem here?” and point to that place on his body. Apparently, many times it proved to be true, a person would come forward for prayer and would be healed.
Now all of this had happened many years in the past. By this time, we had been in his fellowship group for several years and nothing like this had happened there. My attitude was, I don’t need to make a determination about all of that. He is such a good man, so humble and giving, whatever happened back then, or what he thought happened, that’s fine. It doesn’t relate to now. So when he talked about it, I would just smile, nod and say, “Wonderful”. Then one fellowship group evening, something happened.
After dinner Earl said, “The Lord told me this afternoon that somebody here is having trouble with their foot.” He pointed to a specific place on his foot. “If there’s somebody like that let us know so we can pray for you and you can get your healing.” I looked around. Nobody responded. Suddenly, I got a very strange feeling. About 30 years before, something had happened to me. My wife and I and our little children were living in the Chicago area. I was finishing my undergraduate degree and working full time. One holiday we took our kids to Starved Rock State Park. We had a great time. There was a kids’ play area with a little merry-go-round, the kind an adult has to spin while the kids ride on it. I was spinning it with my little boys riding when suddenly, I stepped on a root that was sticking out of the ground. I felt terrible pain. I thought I had sprained my ankle. Actually, I had broken a bone in my foot, but I didn’t know it.
We didn’t have any money and no health insurance, so in spite of the pain, I didn’t get it checked out. I just wrapped it tightly with an ace bandage and hobbled on it. It hurt for months, but finally it got better. However, my foot was never the same. It didn’t bother me unless I walked for some distance on rough ground. Then it would really hurt. Thankfully, I’m a writer. I work in offices so I didn’t have to do a lot of walking. I would go for weeks without any pain at all. But eventually, it would come back, and I did have to be careful about the kind of shoes I wore. That night Earl Kuester pointed to his foot in the exact place where I had experienced pain for 30 years even though I wasn’t experiencing it at that moment.
My first thought was, okay this is crazy. Could he be talking about me? What am I going to do about this? No one else stepped forward, so rather sheepishly I said I’d had trouble there. I was a little embarrassed as he prayed for me in Jesus’ Name with his hand on my foot. How much faith did I have? Not a bit more than a mustard seed. I had acknowledged the problem and accepted the prayer, that’s all. But almost my first thoughts afterward were, “What am I gonna do when this doesn’t work and I still have the pain? I’ll just be very quiet and hope he doesn’t ask about it. He thinks he’s got the gift of healing and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” So much for my faith.
Well, that was fifteen years ago. The pain has never returned. Something happened and I guarantee it wasn’t caused by the Placebo Effect. Nothing like that ever happened again in that fellowship group. The odd thing? One of our friends in the group had been having serious problems with his feet for years. Over and over we had prayed for him. But the healing came to me. I would have been happy for him to get it instead. Earl Kuester and several other members of that little fellowship group are in Heaven now.
We rely on modern medicine and we should. I view it as one of God’s gifts to us. But in the dark time ahead that Jesus predicted is coming we may very well get to the point where modern medicine is no longer available or doesn’t work. So forget the big dog and pony show faith healers. When God chooses to give that gift, it will come because He wants to bring glory to His Son Jesus and it will come to humble people like Earl Kuester. And it isn’t going to be something they can control and use whenever they want. It will come in specific cases when God chooses to give it. It didn’t come when Earl prayed so desperately for his wife.
How much faith will you need?
Not the kind those wolves, the prosperity teachers, blather about. At one point Jesus stood in front of a man with a withered hand. He was having one of his regular confrontations with the Pharisees about healing people on the Sabbath. He told the man to stretch out his withered hand. As he stretched it out, it was healed. Jesus could have healed his hand while it dangled beside him, but He demanded that the man take the tiny step of obedience and faith and reach toward Him. If he had refused to do that, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been healed. If I had remained silent that evening, my foot would still be in pain.
But there is a much deeper step of faith. And those who follow Jesus are called to it. It is the willingness to say to God, “Your will be done even if it is not what I am praying for so desperately right now.” Earl Kuester came to that place with his wife. After her death, he went forward seeing other people healed, but not the one he loved most in this world.
What should we look for to prove that any supernatural manifestation is really from God? The first evidence of real spiritual power that comes from Heaven is a deep love for Jesus Christ and a desire to bring glory to His Name. If that is not present, no matter what supernatural power is being displayed it will be false. The second evidence is humility. I don’t mean the chest-beating public kind. I mean the kind that has humbled itself beneath the Mighty Hand of God. Usually, that kind of humility is the result of suffering. The third evidence is compassion that comes from a broken heart, a heart that knows the true meaning of repentance and the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. If these are not present, no matter what the miracle might be, even if you see a person raised from the dead, do not follow the one who has done it.
Let me conclude with another story. It is a strange case that happened in 1982 in Pakistan.
It was originally examined and reported by Dr. Rex Gardner who was a researcher and physician at Sunderland District General Hospital in England and it is recounted in Michael Talbot’s book, The Holographic Universe.
In 1982, in Pakistan, an English physician was working. Her name was Ruth Coggin. One day, as she was treating patients, a woman named Kamro came for help. She was 35 years old and eight months pregnant. For most of her pregnancy, she had been experiencing bleeding and frequent pain in her abdomen. It was clear to Dr. Coggin that something was very wrong. She told Kamro to go to a hospital right away. Well, the woman didn’t want to do it. But a couple of days later, she had no choice. The bleeding had greatly intensified. Coggin examined her again. She had lost a huge amount of blood and her feet and abdomen were dangerously swollen. The next day in the hospital there was an episode of bleeding that was even worse. There was no choice but to remove the baby immediately by Caesarian section.
When Kamro’s uterus was opened a large amount of dark blood flooded out and continued flowing. It was clear to Dr. Coggin that the woman’s body had no clotting ability. After the baby was delivered there were deep pools of blood filling the bed and the incision was still flowing. The situation was desperate. If something wasn’t done immediately, Kamro would die. Coggin managed to find two pints of blood for a transfusion, but it wasn’t nearly enough to replace the huge amount that had been lost. With that, all options were exhausted. Well, all but one. Prayer.
Here is what Dr. Coggin wrote in her journal. “We prayed with the patient after explaining to her about Jesus in whose Name we had prayed for her before the operation and who was a great healer. I also told her that we were not going to worry. I had seen Jesus heal this condition before and was sure He was going to heal her.”
After praying, there was nothing to do but wait. Kamro kept on bleeding but very strangely, her general condition didn’t get any worse. It stabilized. Dr. Coggin reported that she visited the patient that evening and prayed for her again. The bleeding continued just as heavy as before, but the woman didn’t seem affected by it. 48 hours after the surgery, the blood started clotting and she began a full recovery. Ten days later, Kamro and her baby girl went home. Dr. Coggin reported that, though she had no way of measuring how much blood had been lost during the surgery and afterward, she was certain that it was more than Kamro had in her whole body.
So if you don’t believe in Jesus and His ability to heal, this presents a serious problem for you. Humans can’t produce blood fast enough to replace such a catastrophic loss. If we could, nobody would ever bleed to death. So where did Kamro’s new blood come from with such incredible speed? The doctors who examined the case had only one answer. Her new blood came out of thin air.