John of God is a fairly well known spiritual healer based out of Brazil. He has been interviewed by Oprah and featured on ABC News, Newsweek, and other international news outlets. He is a medium and spiritual healer that performs odd ‘surgeries’ that heal the individuals illness and spirit. He claims to be possessed by ‘entities’ such as dead saints and doctors. He claims that all his spiritual encounters and healings are done by God’s will. Given his region of the world is predominately catholic and mentions the ‘saints’ it would seem that the God he is referring to is The God of The Bible. BUT is he serving God’s will? Is allowing himself to be possessed by ‘entities’ God’s doing? Is he OF God?
The first major problem for John of God, to be actually ‘of God’, is when we read in God’s actual word, Deut. 18:10-12,14; he straight up contradicts The God of The Bible. Within the nation of Israel, the offense of medium or necromancer was punishable by death. Although that physical consequence is no longer required thanks to Jesus and his mercy, the spiritual death remains without repentance (Lev. 20:27). Despite explicitly contradicting God’s own word, which exposes him as a false prophet and teacher, people flock to him.
DOES HE ACTUALLY HEAL?
According to testimonies on his website and on the websites of his followers, of course, he does in fact heal. To validate some healings, the Australian 60 Minutes, followed 40 Australians who traveled to see John of God to be healed. They went through the healing process. John of God channeled an entity who then healed them. He would stick forceps deep into the nose of some and scrape the eye for others. Though none of their illnesses related to the nose or eyes, the ‘operation’ seemed to be conducted carefully. BUT, as James Randi and Joe Nickell who are investigators of such type of supernatural healings point out, these are nothing more than shock and awe acts. It only SEEMS hardcore when he uses knife to scrape someones eyeball or to stick surgical forceps deep in someones nose. The most extreme act that can be done by anyone to seem professionally surgical. The Australian 60 Minutes followed up with the 40 Australians who went to John of God to be healed, and found out that none of them were. In his interview with Oprah he then states that the healing is up to God, implying that some people he tries to heal, even after channeling spirits and scraping their eyes, still may not get healed. That’s an easy cop out considering all the time, money, and actions spent- only to have nothing happen. ABC News Primetime had a biased program special of John of God. They limited the skeptics time to just 19 seconds while boosting the time of Dr. Oz who was more sympathetic to John of God. There were 5 noted attempted healings. A man’s brain tumor shrank. BUT he also had medical treatments before going to see John of God. Why couldn’t the God of the universe make his brain tumor vanish? A second “healing” is someone who felt as though they suffered from chronic fatigue; who, after visiting John of God, feels better. Really? A third is of a man who HAS ALS; and he had no change. A fourth, an actress who had breast cancer, had no effect. A fifth is a paralyzed woman, who “walked” using braces to hold her self up. She can still not walk but “feels” something is improving, except her ability to walk. NOW let us consider the healings of THE SON of GOD and the Apostles.
Jesus fully healed people close to death (John 4:47-50) and raised people form the dead (John 7:11-17, 8:40-42, 49-56, 11:1-45). He instantly drove out possessed people (Matthew 15:21-28, 17:14-20; Luke 4:33-34; John 8:26-39). He healed those with high fevers, but not just any fever, it was high enough for it to be obvious and everyone to be concerned; not just a feeling (Luke 4:38-39). And these weren’t hurt feelings Jesus was curing, they were obvious DISEASES (Mark 1:32-34), like Leprosy (John 5:12-14; Luke 17:11-19) and blood diseases (John 8:42-48). He without a doubt, at that moment, healed people who were paralyzed (John 5:17-26, 7:1-10), literally and obviously blind (Matthew 9:27-31, 12:22-23; Mark 8:22-26; Luke 18:35-43; John 9:1-12), mute (Matthew 9:32-34), deaf (Mark 7:31-37), and crippled (Luke 13:10-17). Other OBVIOUS physical deformities undeniably instantly healed (John 6:6-11). The Apostle Peter heals a crippled person (Acts 3:1-11), Palsy (Acts 9:33-34) and raises people from the dead (Acts 9:36-41). The Apostle Paul heals a crippled person (Acts 14:8-10), casts out demons (Acts 16:16-18) and raises the dead (Acts 20:9-12).
Now, simply comparing, we see that John of God is NOT healing in the same way THE SON of God is healing or the Apostles. Its difficult to tell if he is actually healing anyone at all. IF John of God IS OF God, then why is he not able to heal like the Apostles? NOTICE, that he claims his healing powers come from other ‘entities’ that enter him. The Apostles’ healing power came from God himself.
IS HE ACTUALLY POSSESSED BY OTHER ENTITIES?
It is interesting to note that he does not drive out demons or people possessed by other spirits. That may have something to do with the fact that he claims himself to be possessed by other spirits. As we see in God’s Word, spirit possession does and can occur. The question is DO people gifted with the supernatural gift of healing need to be possessed by other entities (besides The Holy Spirit) in order to heal? There is ZERO accounts of angels possessing believers to perform miracles. So we can rule out godly angel possession. What does that leave us with now? Have you ever stopped to wonder why God forbid mediums in the first place? See, when people come to faith, and know the true living God, they are filled by HIS Spirit (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). Leaving no room for other spirit possession. Plus, why would you even need another spirit to enter you when you have GOD HIMSELF in you? BUT Hey, if John of God claims to be possessed by other entities besides The Holy Spirit (and can’t be godly angels either) than we can take his word for it because that is supported by God’s Word, just maybe not the kind of entities he thinks they are. In fact, we would concur that he is filled with non-godly entities because why else could he confidently contradict God’s Word and be deceived?
IS HE A CON-ARTIST?
There are some key points to consider. (1) He uses pseudo-medical operations unrelated to the area of issue and the same ‘operations’ used by previous exposed healing con-artists in the past. If he CAN heal AND is OF GOD, why not actually perform a real operation IF he is in fact OF GOD? The Apostles healed cripples and raised people from the dead; IF he is a supernatural healer of God, he should be able to as well? The major rhetorical question is, why doesn’t he? (2) He set up his own compound called the CASA where people from around the world spend thousands of dollars to go; if he is OF GOD, why doesn’t he heal from a distance like Jesus did or go to where the sick are, like hospitals? WHY does he have people spend thousands of dollars to travel and accept even more money from people once they get there (after spending thousands on traveling costs already)? Jesus not only healed while he was traveling but he ALSO went to places where the sick congregated; for free (same with the Apostles). Something interesting to point out here, there was a slave girl who told fortunes and made her master rich, but was possessed by demons (Acts 16:16-18). Have you heard of Simon Magus or Simon The Sorcerer? The people who followed this guy proclaimed “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God”, sounds familiar right? This guy was even baptized by Philip. BUT he did not have the Holy Spirit. Instead, he wanted to BUY the power and use it for material gain. But Peter sharply rebuked him (Acts 8:9-23). (3) The most obvious point to consider, if he is OF GOD, why does contradict God? (4) Satan, and demons have the abilities to do signs, wonders, and what seem to be miraculous things. Some who DID miracles in the name of Jesus, Jesus himself didn’t even know them (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus warns us of false people who can do great signs and wonders (Matthew 24:11,24). Even in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was warned about false people who can do amazing things (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). Thus, miracles are not proof that he is OF GOD.
WHAT MAKES HIM ANY DIFFERENT?
When considering the slave girl (Acts 16:16-18) and Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-23), what makes John of God any different? Nothing really. They all performed amazing acts and gained a following of believers that made them wealthy and they all were not OF GOD. Simply calling your self John of God does not make you of God. Well, maybe it does in a different way; it identifies him as of God and ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; John 12:31). The god who masquerades as an angel of light (2
Corinthians 11:14-15). But being OF GOD, the eternal creator of the universe, that is clearly a big no. And all one has to do is study The Bible to see.
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