Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1Cor 10:14)
We already knew about false brothers, false teachers, false prophets, blessed waters, anointing tombs, miraculous oils … now come blessed cloths . But… is this really new?
The AIMG (International Association of Healing Ministries), whose desire is to “see a greater manifestation of healing and the supernatural” provides “Blessed Cloths” for healing.
we invite everyone who receives prayer to take hold of the cloth we send with the same faith as the woman suffering from haemorrhages in Mark 5:28 “If only I can touch his clothes, I will be healed…”AIMG contact page
At first glance, one notices the more than questionable exegesis of Mark 5:28 quoted here to provide tissue:
The case of this woman appears to be a unique one, and there is no biblical teaching that allows us to generalize the touching of clothing, rather the opposite is true.
Here are the essential things in this text that enlighten us:
- The subjectivity of this woman who seeks healing as she can and according to what she believes is right, the beginning of the verse: “For she said: if only I can …” This part of the sentence is not quoted here by the AIMG.
- Christ’s reaction to seeing his faith: “Who touched my clothes?” calling for a response, a testimony, a direct relationship, a declaration and confession (Acts 19:18-19, John 10:27).
- The healing power is not in the garment, but in Jesus, as the rest of the passage attests: “Jesus immediately knew in himself that a power had gone out of him“.
- Jesus does not reproach her for her hidden, even secret approach, her loving response “My daughter” (Isaiah 9:6) culminates in the public proclamation of the good news.
- The “your faith has saved you” shows a healing / deliverance ( this time entire – Greek: sozo versus hugiēs) v.34 “…be delivered from your plague (darby)”, symbol of this fallen world in sin.
In this context, the veil [ of her garment ] is torn!
A personal relationship and faith is established “your faith has healed you / saved you “.
It is of great efficacy so long as it is wholly directed to Christ, and not to the object or another person. The Lord remains the only Lord, God and man all at once. If we are “born again” we are children of God, but we are not God! Let’s be honest, just because we shake someone’s hand (i.e. touch them) doesn’t mean that power comes out of us and sick people are immediately healed.
a concerned brother pointed out to AIMG:
“I’m surprised you got into the business of sending blessed cloth. It doesn’t seem biblical to me – despite your reference to the woman who touched Jesus’ garment. It sounds more like superstition of the sort you find among Catholics or shamans.”
AIMG kindly replied quoting [Acts 19:11-12 and Mark 5:28-30]:
… Here are two biblical testimonies of anointing-filled tissues that have resulted in the healing of diseases.These tissues are like a accumulator of power/anointing that God pours out on his children. They are a point of contact … So there is no superstition but just an application (and at least two verses speak of this in the Bible) of what has been experienced. Through these testimonies, we believe that God is still doing it today.
To our brother to rightly add:
In Mark 5:28-30 we have a woman taking the initiative to touch Jesus’ garment – not Jesus saying to her “touch my garment and you will be healed”. In Acts 19:11-12 it is the people who take the initiative to apply cloths or handkerchiefs to the sick – not Paul who says: “apply cloths or handkerchiefs to the sick who have touched my body, and the diseases will leave you, and the evil spirits will go out”.
On one point, the AIMG speaks the truth (!):
And nothing more. Another article in preparation will enlighten us on the danger of subjective “testimonies”, especially when they come from pagans seeking great powers (in a sometimes occult and idolatrous environment), cf. Acts 8:10.
How can the cloth be “an accumulator of power” that would be discharged on the recipient?
Is this the same doctrine as Bill Johnson of Bethel California who asks to go and retrieve the anointing of dead people by touching or lying on their graves? Is this an indirect encouragement to make a financial donation? I sincerely don’t know. The fact remains that putting one’s trust in objects to heal is clearly idolatry. More and more people put their trust in gris-gris, bracelets, necklaces, crucifixes, lucky charms, or healing stones, others put an amulet on the door of their house (mezuzas), ….
We note by this, that many evangelical movements adopt idolatrous practices derived either from paganism, or from myths or religious traditions. And yet, these are condemned in the first of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:3) and in the Scriptures of the Old Covenant (1Sam 15:23; Jeremiah 10:1-7) as well as those of the New Covenant:
“Out with the dogs, the enchanters, the fornicators, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying! (Revelation 22:15)
In Paul’s letters, it is the Church at Corinth, apparently the most charismatic, that seems most threatened by idolatry (1Cor 5:11; 1Cor 6:9; 1Cor 10:7-14).
The legacy of a web of naivety
Some naive and heretical beliefs are mentioned in the book of Acts or in Paul’s epistles succinctly (and sometimes sarcastically) without becoming a predominant focus of attention, let alone a method to be followed. They are sometimes the result of a lack of knowledge on the fringes of a powerful event or authentic doctrine.
The “baptism for the dead“, for example, is cited in 1Cor 15:29. Now, baptism is the commitment of a good conscience to God (1 Peter 3:21) and can only concern the living! Paul does not at all support this deviance known to the Corinthians, but points it out because it does reflect a truth: The future resurrection of the dead (Cf. Titus 1:12)
Paul’s authority and anointing are confirmed by miracles in a dark region, at the laying on of his hands (Cf. Acts 8:18;19:6,11; 20:10; 28:8; 1Tim 4:14).
And God was working extraordinary miracles through Paul’s hands, so much so that on applied to the sick cloths or handkerchiefs that had touched his body, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits went out. Acts 19:11-12;
But who is this “on“? It is neither Paul nor the Apostles who encourage or command the use of cloths and handkerchiefs. The “to the point that” also shows the subjectivism of the people most recently touched by the Gospel. This was a phenomenon that is never heard of again afterwards, and which no apostolic teaching will follow up. Explanations may differ, but no idolatrous doctrine or practice arose from this episode.
The immediate occult context:
The region was in the darkness of the occult. Pagans “those who had practised the magic arts” (v.19) or Jews (the sons of Sceva, v.13) groped in the darkness and tried all sorts of ineffective methods to get out of it. People were healed (in a natural or divinely miraculous way) but only the message of the Gospel brings true healing to the soul, which is how they “heard the word of the Lord“, v10. God confirms the authority and anointing of his servant with miracles, but does not establish a supernatural law with the cloth. Neither the handkerchief nor the servant will be titled healers. (2Cor 12:8)
Coming out of paganism in the fear of the Lord (cf. 2Cor 6:17; Rev 18:4)
In the rest of chapter 19, in v.17 after the humiliation of the 7 sons of Sceva, it is mentioned that
“… This became known to all the Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus,fear came upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was glorified.… And a certain number of those who had practised the magic arts, having brought their books, burned them before everyone“
This is what happened in my family. After practicing “the magic arts,” we converted, then confessed, “declared” our deeds, “burned the books” as in Acts 19:18-19.
They were supposed to keep indefinitely, but smelled rotten. Immediately after our conversion, in “the fear of God”, we would not have dared to keep anything “magical” whatever its value, or even to return to the Catholic Church from which we had had our first lessons in occultism, for fear of falling back under the hell of the grip of the “evil spirit”.
Our apprenticeship in the Christian life has also had its youthful falls and mistakes, but the Christian life of an old Christian requires the same vigilance.
Similar forms of pseudo-Christian idolatry
… exist on every continent .
In Irian Jaya, a missionary reported that some churches only filled up at the end of worship, because that was the time for the final blessing.
In India, Christians all line up at the end of each service, to receive a personal prayer from the pastor. Praying is never in itself condemnable… but it resembles a visit to the Hindu temple, where you queue up (while discussing mundane things) the Hindu priest then puts his bronze bell on everyone’s head, and that’s it, the person is “blessed”, it lasts 3 seconds, and on to the next … Also, the systematic use of anointing oil to anoint and pray for each sick (or non-sick) person during worship is not done as the epistle of James recommends (with a visit from the elders and confession of sins). These worshippers may be genuine born-again Christians, but have not yet separated themselves from pagan baggage.
By thy ordinances I become intelligent,
Also I hate every way of lying.
The spiral of global charismatic paganism:
For many years, I have condemned certain occult deviances of charismatism, but without seeing the long-term effects on those close to me. Today I have done so, and what sadness!
One of my acquaintances, steeped in charismatism, experiences prophecies, visions (see hallucinations), demonic attacks and counter-attacks, sudden illnesses with sudden healings at the end, in her family on an almost daily basis, which strengthens her in new heresies (asking forgiveness for the sins of the fathers). It moves ever further along a path of incoherence and blindness (see in defamation). This so-called charismatic movement has no spiritual authority other than the transmission of blindness. The voice of its so-called holy spirit makes pastors seem possessed, tramps like holy teachers, and the most insulting books of the faith like tables of the law.
Although highly gifted and brilliant, everything she has built is coming undone.
My experience as an ex-healer and ex-occultist, which cannot be prescriptive, allows me to affirm that the evil one draws our attention to objects/food and can make us sick and then heal while enslaving its victims ever more.
Jesus warned us about certain prophets and miracle workers (Mat 7:22):
“… have we not cast out demons by thy name? and have we not done many miracles by thy name?”
“I never knew you”
is the Lord’s earnest warning.
The false prophet Mohammed kissed a black stone, Roman Catholicism sells armies of Marian idols and holy water at Lourdes. Evangelicals have their different oils (with different levels of anointing), mezuzahs, protective supernatural elements and those blessed clothsas an anointing “accumulator.
The problem is not that God does not bless, heal or bless financially, … according to his will! Abraham was rich…
But rather that what the uncircumcised heart loves should be dangled: the magic formula quick and effective, the achievement of self and money (cf. 1Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5; Mark 8:35).
Even more serious is the fact that we betraythe will of God by no longer mentioning the sin, justice and judgment to comer:
I now rejoice in my sufferings . …exhorting every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that he may present to God every man, made perfect in Christ. (Col 1:24;28)
Prosperity and healing preachers reproduce after their kind:
They are false converts, preaching a false gospel and bringing about false conversions.
Let us not touch these so-called “objects of divine blessings”, on sale or offered in churches that are said to “bring healing and protection“.
Let us return to the only intermediary between God and Men, Jesus Christ. Let us serve Him in wealth as well as in poverty, in sickness as well as in health, in tears (2Cor 7:7 2Tim 1:4; Hebrews 11:37-40; James 4:9) as well as in joy, until the day when we shall be with Him in eternal joy.
Blessed are the people who know the sound of the trumpet; They walk in the brightness of your countenance, O LORD!…For the LORD is our shield, The Holy One of Israel is our king. Psalm 89:16-19
Muslims who boast that they are not idolaters do the same. How do they justify it? It is quite simply their ” Holy ” Prophet who told them, and everything becomes permissible. (to be continued)
Other AIMG indicators leave us concerned:
- The supernatural is inherently a controversial term within Christianity, … because “natural or naturalism” is by definition a view of a world in which God does not intervene: The “supernatural” seems to add to this natural only the very visible and spectacular actions of God, and therefore obscures the others, yet God upholds the world in his hand, even when we do not notice it (Romans 1:20).
- Moreover, the evil one also knows how to do the supernatural (cf. Pharaoh’s magicians, Simon the magician, the spirit of legion, hypnosis), although he is also the author of this “natural” Godless view of the world.
- The announcement of Evenings Miracles & Healings, as if we already knew what God was going to do or not do (he would have no will of his own and be at our mercy!). The arrogance of putting our will (as creatures) on a par with the will of the creator, only leads to disaster.
- The Jesus of the AIMG resembles the Jesus of Bethel California. He is sometimes (not always) presented as a simple man who, through faith and God’s help was able to perform so many miracles.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went from place to place doing good and healing all who were in the devil’s grip because God was with him. Acts 10:38AIMG
Jesus affirms his divine identity when he says ” I am “: John 4:26, 8:24, 28, 58; Luke 21:8, 22:70, etc …
- In this article, we see that links are made to Bethel Church encouraging Bethel students, among others, to go and collect anointings from graves. Occult practice, also taken up by New Age followers and a teacher at the School of the Supernatural” in Oron, at the AIMG
 According to certain religious traditions, you must fix a Mezuzah at the entrance to each room. You should place one at the entrance to corridors and dressing rooms, but not at the door to unclean areas and/or areas where you are not dressed decently, such as toilets and indoor swimming pools.
The “decent” Rabbi of Lubavitch “…. often asked people with health problems or other difficulties to have their mezuzas (and tefilin) checked to make sure that each parchment was still correct and properly attached to the upright.”
 In Acts 8:22 Peter does not know whether Simon the sorcerer will be able to repent and whether the thought of his heart will be forgiven, for these are very serious matters. In Acts 16:16-18, a demon-possessed servant girl can feign a pious attitude to dodge their loss, she seems to want to become a collaborator with Paul in the proclamation of Salvation but Paul discerns Satanic activity and casts out the demon after a few days (v.19).
 An experience must never become a source of teaching supplanting or opposing Scripture.