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The 4 Reasons for Illness in the Bible

Gabriel Arruda


Why are Seventh-Day Adventists getting sick? After personally suffering with an autoimmune disease I found four Bible reasons why we’re getting sick, and what we need to do about it. If you or someone you know is suffering from an autoimmune disease find more info at https://reverseautoimmune.com


Gabriel Arruda

Speaker/Director for Freedom Health Ministries


  • April 25, 2017
    4:00 PM
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Father in heaven, we just ask that you would please bless and give power to your Word. Help us to glorify you with our health. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


The four (4) reasons for illness in the Bible and this is really a companion message with another sermon I've preached called Why Are So Many Adventists Getting Sick. And these are companion messages. So, I encourage you to listen to that one as well. It will be on Audioverse. And as I've shared in that previous message and other messages, my mom got sick in 2013 and passed away from an autoimmune disease. My grandma, prior to her, got sick from an autoimmune disease and passed away in 2002 and I got sick five months after my mom with an autoimmune disease.


But praise the Lord; he introduced me to an incredible auto immune treatment protocol that after doing faithfully for nine months I went to complete remission and all my blood work was showing that all my autoimmune information markers were coming up totally negative. And so I've just praising God. It is just wonderful. But, you know, I have a burden for the sick people who have an illness because I know what it's like to suffer with that. And my wife and I as we travel and preach and speak into evangelism, we meet sick Seventh Day Adventists everywhere. So we've put together a 100-page e-book that is backed by over seventy medical studies that has detailed all the treatments that I did that reversed my condition. And to help support our ministry, we've made that available on our website reverseautoimmune.com. That's reverseautoimmune.com.


And during this whole process, a certain thought occurred to me, there are a lot of Adventist getting sick. I wonder why. And you know not just autoimmune diseases but cancer, heart disease, even diabetes. And as I reflected on my own experience, I felt pretty certain why the sickness happened. But you know the natural question is begged, “aren't we the favorite people of God?” “Don't we have the health message?” Yet we're still getting sick. What is going on?


And as I studied, I found that there are four different types of sickness in the Bible - four different types.


The first is sickness due to general sin. So, there is no personal blame. This is sickness due to general sin. The second is sickness due to your sin. Sickness due to your sin. The third is sickness due to your guardian’s sins. And the fourth is sickness for God's glory.


Let me go over all four of these and let's start with the first one. Let’s get right into it.


No. 1. Point no. 1 - sickness due to general sin. Do we have a Bible example of this? We absolutely do. Turn your Bibles to John 9: 1- 3.


John chapter 9 verses 1 - 3. And it says, “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.” Verse 2. “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” What was the answer? “Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”


Okay, whose fault was it that this man was born blind? No one’s, right? It was no one's personal fault. It was simply a result of living in a sinful fallen world. And the fact is we live in a very broken and a very fallen world and things happen like Down syndrome where children are born with the wrong amount of chromosomes.


You may have heard of that nice young man Nick, will make sure I say his last name right – Vujicic – who has no arms and no legs. He has written that book, “Life without limits” - really popular speaker from Australia. And everything is perfectly fine with him except he has no arms and no legs and he has an incredible attitude, a great testimony and he speaks everywhere about being happy, not based on your circumstances but a good example, just simple world. And you know, we live in a world of mutations, every generation has more mutations than the prior one. That's a fact.


However, did you notice from the story that this could also result in God's glory. This could also result in God's glory. And these four categories that I've mentioned, they don't have to be isolated. They can be a combination. A case of sickness could be a result of a combination of these four categories. For instance, you could be sick due to general sin, but made worse by your own sin that will eventually result in God's glory. So, it could be a combination of things.


But this is the first category here. This is the first reason - sickness due to general sin because we live in a fallen broken sinful planet.


No. 2 - sickness due to your sin. This is the category that no one wants to talk about, but the Bible is very clear. Let’s see an example of this. We’ll look at a few.


Let's go to our first in John 5 and look at verses 5, 6 and then jump to 14. John 5 verses 5 and 6. And it says, “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” So this is the man at the pool of Bethesda. He had been crippled. Remember how long? – 38 years – 38 years the Bible said. That's a long time. And Jesus had special pity on him. Jesus- His heart went out to him. When he saw this man, leaned over him, and said, “wilt thou be made whole?” You know the story, the man, first he complains but then he said, “Yes.” Christ said, “Take up your bed and walk.” And he was healed. But notice what Christ says to him when he meets him later. Verse 14, same chapter- Chapter 5 verse 14, “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Is that a strange thing to say to someone right after healing them? Did Jesus say this to every person healed? Would that be kind of a strange scene - Jesus going around telling people, sin no more, sin no more, stop sinning, stop sinning. He did not say this to every person. But notice what did he say, “sin no more.” In order to stop - in order to do something no more, what does that imply? It implies you are doing it prior. Why then, to this man? Why did Jesus say this to this man? It was because this man’s situation was due to his sin. This man sickness was due to his sin. Notice what the book Desire of Ages says on this: “But the Savior saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for 38 years.” She says, “His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin and was looked upon as the judgment of God.” Desire of Ages, page 202. So this man's sin caused him to be a cripple. So, is it Biblical? Does Inspiration attest to the fact that we can be sick even crippled due to sin - the sin in our lives? Yes, absolutely.


We see another paralytic in Matthew chapter 9. Turn to Matthew chapter 9 starting at verse 1. Matthew 9:1, “And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Didn’t you think that was strange when you first read that story? This man is sick and why is Christ talking about his sin. It is because his sickness was as a result of his sin. Notice again book of Desire of Ages backs that up page 267, “Like the leper, this paralytic had lost all hope of recovery. His disease was the result of a life of sin and the suffering and his sufferings were embittered by remorse.” So this man in Matthew chapter 9, was he a cripple because of his sin? Was he palsy because of his sin? Did he have the palsy because of his sin? Yes. Inspiration attests to that. And we could talk a long time on this topic.


One more quote from the book Reflecting Christ page 142, “Heaven will not interfere to preserve men from the consequence of the violation of nature's laws. Let old and young remember that for every violation of the laws of life, nature will honor her protest.” And that protest friends is simply sickness. It's illness.


You know, there is a cause and effect. There is a cause and effect. And there are penalties for violating laws - health laws and therefore the Apostle says, “for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” We reap what we sow. And friends, for most Seventh Adventist to get sick it's because we have shunned plain light. And other stuff that's a tough pill to swallow. We've been given wonderful counsel in regards to health and as a church we are not living up to the half of it. That's the honest truth. We're not living up to the half of it as a church. The statistics bear that out. And as a result we are experiencing the sure results of disobedience - sickness.


You know if you live like the world's, you are going to get sick like the world. You know, if we're honest with ourselves, most of us are hopelessly addicted to bad habits. No, you're not a meth addict; you're not a heroin addict; but for the life of you, you cannot get to bed on time. You're not on crack cocaine, but you cannot stop over eating. You stress out. Snacking. You almost never exercise. You cannot get yourself off from media. The fact is most of us are hopelessly addicted to not - things that we would go to jail for or things that are socially unacceptable but we're addicted to lifestyle habits that are destroying us. They're not good for us.


But the good news is Jesus put to death your addictions on the cross. Praise the Lord. Amen. And if we, if we cry out to him when we're tempted, cry out to him specifically when we are being tempted in during that time if we choose his will. We tell ourselves, I know what God's will is; God's will is that I stop overeating. God's will is that I get to bed on time. God's will is that I stop watching this media. And admit our weakness. Claim a specific Bible promise and then move forward in faith trusting Him to provide power, you will overcome. Praise God.


You know, I've put this formula to the test and the Lord has wonderfully miraculously delivered me through this formula. I'll say it one more time real quick. Cry out to Him when you're tempted. Choose His will. Admit your utter weakness. Claim a specific Bible promise regarding God's power to overcome this area. Move forward in faith trusting Him in power and you will overcome. I have a whole sermon on this topic called God's Five Step Formula for Victory. It's a wonderful, wonderful message and righteousness by faith is what it is.


But to sum it up, category no. 2 - sickness due to your sin. Category no. 1 was sickness and general sin by living in a sinful world. Category no. 2 is sickness due to your sin.


Category no. 3 - sickness due to your guardian’s sins. We have a Biblical example of this. Mark 9. Turn to Mark chapter 9 starting at verse 14. We’ll read through 21 and it says at verse 14, “And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?  And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (the child was demon-possessed) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, (It is of the father speaking) Of a child.”


Now in the Spirit of Prophecy it calls us young kid a boy. Spirit of Prophecy calls him a boy who prior to this. Prior to this time, when he met Christ, so he was really young then became possessed with a demon. And this isn't a mild case either. This is a severe case. You know, my wife and I have dealt with demon possession in our ministry and one thing we know is we know that possession only comes through doorways. Satan cannot do anything in this world without human permission. Now this brings up the question - what could a little child possibly do to get demon possessed? Well you know what one of those doorways can be? One of those doorways can be inheritance. You can actually inherit demons. It's terrible, isn't it, but it’s true. We actually personally know a young lady who inherited demons. Her mother was a witch and she inherited demons as a young girl. And this principle of inheriting something evil happens on a spiritual level but it could also happen on a physical level. This is what the Spirit of Prophecy calls inheriting a weak constitution. We know a young couple who has two kids. The first child- the mother was very good during her pregnancy. Lived a relatively clean lifestyle and the child came out fantastic. The second child, she went back to her caffeine drinking tendencies. She started drinking coffee. That second child did not come out healthy like the first one. They say that the child, I've seen it myself as a matter of fact, easily agitated, depressed-looking, depressed-acting, very crossed like he's got a little cloud over the head just not a good constitution, does not have a good character. And they told us themselves that they were they related; they attribute it specifically to coffee.


So you can inherit physical infirmities. We think of drug addict and alcoholic parents passing on those tendencies and even direct infirmities to their kids or perhaps your parents even just raised you unhealthy -just the food that was put on your table as a child.


My wife and I, we are staying actually right now at R.V. Park. And there is a little girl who can't be more than three years old and she is grossly obese. This little girl – she, you know those adults that are really grossly obese. They're like, you know, for 500 pounds. She looks like a three year old version of those people. She is very big. Just a tiny little girl. She doesn't know what's going on. She’s just eating what's put in front of her.


We can inherit these things and that's sad, but it's true. It's one of the casualties of living in the sinful world and one point I bring out in my e-book testimony that we have on our website is that there is a strong genetic link with people who suffer from autoimmune diseases. And there's actually a certain gene mutation that actually inhibits the body's ability to nourish your immune system and nervous system. And so this immediately triggers a whole host of issues - from neurological disorders to pain disorders; not being able to sleep properly; not being able to cleanse properly; mental cognition ability focusing; brain fog fatigue.


There's just a host of problems that come from a malnourished immune and nervous system. Those are major systems. And some physicians estimate that forty percent of the population has this gene mutation that gives us the tendency to not be able to nourish those systems properly. And based on the dozens of autoimmune sufferers that I have personally met, I'd say 90 to 100% of people autoimmune diseases have this genetic gene mutation. I have it. I have it myself and if my mom was around to get tested and my grandma I'm sure that they would have had it as well. And so this is the thing, you could be doing all the right things to heal your auto disease and yet still never fully healed because you have a problem at the genetic level that needs to be addressed.


Praise the Lord we found out how to work around that gene mutation. I talk about that in my e-book and it helped me tremendously. But, you know, it's an unfortunate and terrible fact of living in a messed up sinful world that we could be born at disadvantage with inherited tendencies to sin and evil and at a disadvantage.


But there's good news for the Gospel is the power of God to release us from the bondage of both cultivated and inherited sins we're told. And so your heritage does not have to determine your destiny. That is good news. Your heritage does not have to determine your destiny. And Jesus Himself, if you think about it, inherited a corrupt nature and he conquered it. We look at closely at Christ's lineage. He's got harlots. He's got Moabites. He's got adulterers. Jesus had inherited from Mary very damaged genes. He inherited tendencies to sin and he overcame that and now he offers you His victory. And friends, it's free. Can you say, “Praise the Lord.” Amen.


So reason no. 3 - sickness due to your guardian's sins. Christ can overcome that.


Category no. 4, our last category, sickness for God's glory. And I have an entire message on this one point right here and the message I referred to earlier - Why Are So Many Adventist Getting Sick. We focus entirely on this point. It's a very important point. But what is this? What is this referring to? This is a sickness that appears to have no other reason but to result in God's glory. So evidence of this? Am I making this up or does this actually happen? And in the other message I just referred to - we look at the story of Lazarus. And Christ specifically says that the reason why Lazarus died was so that the Son could be glorified. It was a sickness that was so all intents and purposes to God's glory. The only reason was for God's glory.


We have other examples. Sister White, at the beginning of her ministry, she asked the Lord to humble her if she started to get proud due to her office. And she says, reading from Early Writings page 21 – “In my next vision, I earnestly beg of the Lord that if I must go and relate what He had shown to me, He would keep me from exaltation. Then He showed me that my prayer was answered. And if I should be in danger of exaltation, His hand would be laid upon me and I would be afflicted with sickness.” And you know what, from time to time, Sister White for no apparent reason would get sick. As a matter of fact, before she authored two of the most powerful books she has ever written, she got sick - Great Controversy and Desire of Ages. And for all appearances, it was allowed to bring her to a place where she could write the most powerful books in her ministry.


We see this with the Apostle Paul, “the thorn in his flesh.” In 2 Corinthians 12 verse 7 it says, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh...” Now he doesn't say exactly what this was but many scholars and I tend to agree with them believe that it was his eyesight. There are many clues that lead us to believe that Paul suffered from poor eyesight. And Paul, of his own expression, states that he knew the entire reason he was given this infirmity was to keep his pride down and to keep Christ up. That was the entire purpose, he knew.


Now there are probably very, very few Seventh Day Adventist that fit into this category exclusively. And I believe that there are many Seventh Day Adventist that are sick for all of the first three reasons that we discussed - general sin, your sin, your guardian sins. However, with all three of these categories, I believe God is trying to accomplish the purpose of this fourth category - to bring glory to Him. The beautiful thing is that no matter what category your illness may fall in, we know where God wants to get you. He wants to get you to category no. 4 so that this will somehow result in His glory.


And you know God specifically promised that He would do a refining work just before His coming. It says in Malachi chapter 3 verses 2 and 3, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”


God promised, before His coming for the great and dreadful day of the Lord, that God would do a purifying work of the sons of Levi, of His children - the kingdom of priests that’s established in the last days. And what was the reason? That they may offer offerings in righteousness. And for some people, the best way to do this, the best way to accomplish this purifying process, is to allow them to get sick or perhaps that sounds pretty harsh to some of you. But friend, think about it. What ever it takes for God to save us for eternity, isn't it worth it? What I mean - whatever we have to go through, if it results in us getting to live in perfect bliss in heaven forever with Jesus and all the saints, isn't it worth it?


A young lady, maybe you're suffering from an illness. Maybe it's not your fault, it probably is, but regardless, I guarantee you - God is making an effort to capitalize on the situation and the Lord is trying to take something bad and turn it into something good and to cause you to have a deeper, more abiding trust, to have an experience that you did not either to have.


Let's do a summary of our four points here - the four reasons why people get sick biblically.

No. 1 - sickness due to general sin

No. 2 - sickness due to your sin

No. 3 - sickness due to your guardian's sins

No. 4 - four sickness or God's glory


If you are suffering with an illness and you've been praying and praying and are not finding the solutions or not finding the answers. You just don't understand. Before you blame God, before you blame your parents, I found it is very helpful to ask yourself a few questions. First, very important question, is this sickness due to my sin? Or before you say of course not, really, let's be honest with ourselves. I had to do this for myself. Are you following the eight Laws of health?


Just briefly go through them.


Nutrition - are you eating a plant based diet? High in fruits and vegetables, that's low in fat. Are you eating the original diet? Good question.


No. 2 – exercise. Are you doing activity where you work up a sweat and you breathe hard for at least thirty minutes, five times a week? That's the recommendation. Are you doing that?


About water - Do you make sure to get at least eight to ten glasses of water every day? That's what our body needs to operate on a good level.


Sunshine - Are you getting, are you exposing your skin to sunshine every day and proper amounts fifteen to thirty minutes to generate vitamin D in your body but yet not to burn your skin? Are you doing that spending time in the sunshine?


You know the good thing about these last three - if you exercise outside, take care of all these three in one, one swoop. You’re gonna get water, going to drink water, sunshine, exercise all in one. And also, you’re going to do others as well.


We’ll see. Temperance. Are you abstaining entirely from all that is harmful and using in moderation that which is healthful? Do you overeat? Do you eat meat or other animal products that we've been warned about in the Spirit of Prophecy?


These are good questions to ask, friends. We could be working against our own prayers.


Air - Are you getting outside in the fresh air every day for a walk or jog or something to facilitate deep breathing?


Rest - Do you stay up late? Do you make sure your lights are out by nine pm? Are you getting enough rest?


Then last, Trust in God. Do you still freak out when problems arise? Are your thoughts a negative? Are you putting God first- with Bible study and prayer every day? Have you surrendered your life completely to Jesus? Friends, if not how do we expect God to answer our prayers if we are actively working against them?


And you know, after you go through this list. We go back to that first question - Is the sickness due to my sin? I think we could all see areas where we have not lived up to God's basic laws of health and there is a cause and effect product in our lives.


And so I'd like to make an appeal - Will you make the decision right now to make some changes? Will you make a decision to bring yourself in line with the laws of health? You know maybe you're feeling overwhelmed or looking maybe you saw that ten things on that list that you're not doing. Just choose one, friends. Just choose one. And say you know let's work on that one and let's apply those five steps to victory that I referred to earlier. Just choose one.


Second appeal I'd like to make - Will you choose to believe because of your faith in the Word that God loves you and He desires this trial, whatever you're going through, to result in His glory? Do you choose to believe it? If that's your decision just. Right now in your heart say, “I make that decision. I make the decision to make some changes. I make the decision to believe God loves me and is working this to some greater good.”


Let’s bow our heads. Let's have a word of prayer together. Father in heaven, thank you so much for giving us insight into the four reasons why people get sick. And we thank you for having mercy on those reasons that we can't even help like due the general sin and due our guardian sins. And Lord, thank you for giving us a light in the areas that we have contributed to our own illnesses and sicknesses. Help us, Lord. Open our eyes. Help us to see what we've been doing to tear down your body. I know every single one of us has some area where we are not living up to the light we have, that we can do better. Please be with each and every one of us. Let us do it not to be saved, Lord, let us do it because we are saved. Let us not do it so that you love us, let us do it because you love us. And I pray that we would enjoy the rich promises that you have given for those who walk in the lights of your truth, that we will be a witness to this world. Please be with all those specifically who are suffering from illness, especially those who have been suffering a long time. And I pray that you would comfort them and give them light at the end of their tunnel and strengthen them in this pursuit of health and help us all to have a deeper experience with you. We love you we thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.




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