God is not the author of sin, sickness and disease.
The following passages reveal that providence is working toward the final end and that there is a special providence for saints that is not enjoyed by sinners (Ps. 34:7-10; 37:1-12, 23-28; Prov. 3:6; Mt. 6:33; Rom. 8:28). Saints so often take sickness, accidents, financial loss, and other adversities as manifestations of providence, but the fact is that these things are never the direct will of God and are never caused directly by God. They are caused by the evil forces that more or less control the world social order in this period of rebellion against God on the Earth.
The only glory God gets out of these things caused by the devil is in the deliverance of God's people from the satanic forces that cause them. God's will is that saints should take a stand against these evils and cooperate with Him to work out all these things for His glory. Thus, God develops faith and patience in His people and gets the opportunity to demonstrate His power over His enemies. Saints must realize that they are now on enemy territory in a rebellious world. They must also realize that if rebels had no power to take any action in their realm that would affect God's people for their hurt, then God could never take vengeance on them or defeat their common enemy and work out all things for their good and His glory. It is only when saints quit blaming God for everything that happens and instead have faith in Him for their deliverance, that God will be pleased with them. It is only when they recognize the works of Satan that they can take a stand against him and defeat him through the help of God.
To say that God directly willed the sin and fall of man—for Cain to slay Abel, for Enos to begin idolatry, for men to become wicked, for Noah to get drunk and the race to rebel in every dispensation until He had to bring judgment—is saying too much. To teach that God directly wills and is the cause of civil wars, strifes, sicknesses, diseases, accidents, curses, and calamities to come upon men is to be unscriptural to say the least. To blame God as being the cause of the millions of evil things that have happened to men through the ages is putting the blame on the wrong person.
God is absolutely holy and just in all His dealings. All of His acts are for the betterment of the race and for the good of each individual concerned. He has a plan for each person in life, and He tries to get each person to follow the highest will of God, but if some do not, and they get into trouble, then He is not to blame. Sin, stubbornness, and rebellion among free moral agents, and the conditions that sin has caused, plus the direct and untiring efforts of millions of evil spirits among men to get them to step aside from God's highest will for their life, cause certain events that are beyond the control of God.
The Bible reveals hundreds of instances showing that men have deviated from truth and have transgressed some detail of God's will and have broken some law. These transgressions have caused certain troubles to come to the individual, but not once does it reveal that God was directly to blame for any evil that came upon even one person. God has allowed Satan to test men in order to purify and refine them and to teach certain lessons in their training for the future life, but God has always delivered these men when the test was ended. God has always been the deliverer of His people in any trouble, regardless of the cause of the trouble. God is not the kind of person to deliberately bring afflictions upon His people just to have a chance to deliver them. God, however, takes pleasure in delivering His people from the hand of the enemy.
In other words, divine providence is not the cause of these troubles in life, but it is the deliverer from all these troubles. Providence works everything out for the best to all concerned. Only an infinite God could cause the fall of man, personal troubles, accidents, etc., to work for the good of the persons involved and for the glory of Himself. Providence so works out everything for God's glory and for the good of men until all believers can conscientiously say, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28-30).
We can truthfully say that providence does this in spite of the accident, the sin, the rebellion, or the trouble, not because of it. We have seen and will yet more fully see that sickness is not caused by God, but by the devil. It is God's will to heal every sickness for His glory. He has made provision on Calvary for this purpose and has provided all means of healing for the sick one; so if one does not appropriate the benefits of Calvary and get healed, the failure is not God's fault.
The Bible is very clear that Christ “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” on the cross (Mt. 8:16-17; 1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4-6), and all one must do to be healed is to have the same simple faith in healing in the atonement as one has for forgiveness in the atonement. Healing would come as simply and as quickly as forgiveness if the same simple faith would be exercised in sickness as with sins. Paul told the Corinthians that for failure to appropriate healing through the broken body and shed blood of Christ, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”; that is, many have died when they should still have been alive (1 Cor. 11:25-34). If God's will were done on Earth as it is in Heaven, we would not have sin or sickness.
The same is true of accidents, financial losses, and other troubles among men. God desires to help man, and it is His highest will for man to prosper and be blessed with all good things of life, and in the final restitution of all things, when Satan and all evil forces have been destroyed and the Earth rid of all rebellion, there will not be any of these troubles. This demonstrates the highest will of God. It is only now by the permissive will of God that these things continue until the time of the final removal of them in the New Earth. God wants man now to learn that sin and rebellion does not pay, so that when all things are restored as before the Fall, man will not sin any more.
It is God's desire that no man live in sin. To enable man to be forgiven and redeemed from the power, dominion, and life of sin He sent a Savior. His will is that no man should be sick. To accomplish this will He sent a Healer to deliver man from all his diseases and the oppression of the devil. His will is that every man should prosper in material things. To accomplish this purpose He created an abundance for all and gave man wisdom as to how to get his share of wealth without committing sin to get it. There are certain laws of prosperity which we shall note in future lessons, that if any man will follow them he can be prosperous. His will is that no man should have an accident. To accomplish this intention He gave man intelligence to prevent accidents, and if all would follow God's way we would not have them. He has made special provision for His own people to be helped out of such troubles. He sends His angels to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14). He has promised protection to them from trouble, to help in time of trouble (Ps. 34:7; 91:1-12; Rom. 8:28).
Providence will make these benefits a reality in the lives of all, if all men will submit to the whole will of God and consecrate themselves to the highest good of being and of the universe. Men who seek special providence and desire to be special recipients of providence have certain conditions to meet as plainly laid down in Scripture, as we shall see in connection with the provisions promised. If man wants salvation from sin let him give up the sin business and consecrate his life wholly to God and receive the divine new birth in his life. Let him continue in righteousness and true holiness as he is saved (Eph. 4:22-24; Gal. 5:24; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 2:6-7; 1 Jn. 1:7). If one wants healing let him appropriate the healing virtue of Calvary by faith in the atonement and God will supernaturally heal him. If one wants prosperity let him faithfully carry out the laws governing the divine supply. If he wants protection let him commit himself and all his ways to God and trust God daily, and He shall bring it to pass. How to attain to all known needs of life will be fully discussed in Lesson Twelve.
The free will of man is the only barrier that will ever stand in the way of his best interests. Divine providence, then, is limited and conditioned by a sinful free will. The only way God could prevent free moral agents from sin, accidents, rebellions, and other free acts of the will was by not creating them. For God to place one free will under irresistible divine restraint and compulsion would destroy free moral agency. If this were done, then not only all sin, but all virtue and holiness as attributes of the free will would be destroyed; for only such beings as can put forth free and holy volitions can put forth sinful volitions. The sinful and fallen race needs providence to guide them back to God and to develop holy character and the highest moral service for the good of being and of the universe.
Many happenings that befall God's children occur through the sins of others, the rebellion of men against God, the conditions caused by reaping what is sown, or by some demon power causing them to act contrary to the will of God. That good men suffer at the hands of evil men is a well-known fact. That Satan causes many of God's people to suffer is plainly stated in many Scriptures, as we have seen in Lesson Six. God may or may not prevent certain disasters that befall His people. His decision depends upon the time, place, and conditions of the times in which the people live.
Sometimes this is the only way God can work out His plan in certain individuals or classes of people. Sometimes God has overruled the workings of evil men against His children so that they were not destroyed. This was true of Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, Peter, and others. On the other hand, God has permitted certain ones to be destroyed so as to further his purpose. This is true of Abel, Jesus, Stephen, James, and others. The child of God must say with Paul if ever he is faced with like circumstances, “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” It was necessary that Christ should die for the sins of the world. Such was necessary in the working out of the divine plan. In the war on saints as in the early Church or in certain other periods of time, the cause of God was advanced much faster and the power of God was made more manifest by such war than if things had gone smoothly for the cause of God. Jesus taught that “except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone, but if it dies it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn. 12:24). Again, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” has been a true saying in many periods of history.
The purpose and final end of providence is to get all men to see their own need of guidance and care from an all-wise infinite Heavenly Father and to consecrate themselves to the same end to which God is consecrated—the highest good of being and of the universe. It is by God's longsuffering, His patience, mercy and goodness even to stubborn rebels that many free moral agents are becoming broken and willing to depend upon God and His infinite goodness and power to take them safely to the desired haven in the life to come. They are becoming willing to trust God as the only one who cares and provides for their every need in this life. They are learning by obedient and voluntary surrender to the will of God in all things that their lives are being enriched and blessed with those things that are worthy of their own creative makeup. They are learning that the highest glory of the creature is to live for the good of all concerned and to worship and serve God in true humility and harmony.