chook12You know when chookwatcher is obfuscating in his articles because he adds a question mark to what is actually a statement, claim or accusation.

I’m not sure why he does this, except to cover a possible error of judgement on his part, or suggest that he might actually be wrong about something but wants to put it out there anyway.

It would interesting to count the number of times chookwatcher adds a question mark to a statement in this way. It would be many times. That is because he invariably makes statements that are so dodgy he wants a way out if and when he is challenged to actually tell the truth.

Chookwatcher’s completely misleading claim

Anyway, here he goes again. The title of this latest misrepresentation is ‘Pringle claims Christ’s death was in vain?’, which answers its own question, because, no, Phil Pringle didn’t claim that Christ’s death was in vain at any time.

He was imploring his audience to not make Christ’s death be in vain for their own needs. That is entirely the context, and undeniable to the clear thinker. It is completely the reverse of the spin placed on it by chookwatcher.

Ps Phil is leading an altar call at the end of a message and reminding people who may need healing that Christ has given the provision for it in His own stripes when He was whipped and beaten before He went to the cross, which is orthodox doctrine for anyone who studies scripture with any seriousness.

However it is not orthodox for those who hold a cessationist position, which is often pushed by chookwatcher on his sites. This could explain why he makes his false claims, but it leaves him looking like a novice when it comes to understanding scripture.

The real question here, then, is whether chookwatcher himself rejects the healing power of Christ, and, of course, if he denounces scripture that points to the healing prophesied in Isaiah 53, he certainly does reject the power of Christ’s substitutionary death at the cross.

In fact, chookwatcher calls ‘delusional’ the idea of separating natural fact from Biblical truth. However, no-one is denying the facts. What is being pointed out is that there is a higher Biblical truth than is presented by natural facts in many cases.

Phil Pringle says the following:

“There’s a big difference between truth and fact. The facts are you might have a bad back but the truth is you’re healed. The facts are you might have continual illnesses through your body but the truth is you’re perfectly made whole by the power of Jesus dying on that cross.

Don’t let Him die in vain! Don’t let Him take thirty nine stripes across his back for nothing! Reach out and take a hold of all that He purchased for you from heaven.”

There was more to this than what was said in the altar call, which follows an entire teaching on the subject of faith for healing, and chookwatcher only uses a portion of the message, but it is clear from the rest of the message that Ps Pringle is referring to the difference between the problem and the solution, the natural, temporal reality and the spiritual, eternal promise, the fact and the truth, as he puts is.

Fact and truth explained in scripture

The fact was, as recorded in Mark chapter five, that the woman with the issue of blood was incurable, but the truth was that Jesus had the virtue to heal her if, as she said, she could only touch His garment, which was her own decision and confession.

Jesus, when He discovered who had touched Him, commended her faith, and she was made whole. The fact was, in the same chapter, that Jairus’ daughter was dead, but the truth Jesus gave Jairus was that she was sleeping – ‘only believe’ He told Jairus, as mourners came and told him his daughter was dead.

The fact, given in John chapter eleven, was that Jesus’ friend Lazarus had been dead for three days, but the truth was that Jesus had said, long before He arrived, and even after He had delayed, that Lazarus was alive, and, again, He told his disciples that he was only sleeping. Jesus even had to explain that Lazarus was dead, but that the truth was that he would live.

The reality is that miracles and healing often circumvent diagnosis and what we see, hear and feel. We walk not by sight, but by faith. Sight is what we know as fact. Faith is what we know to be true of the Word.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. 

The fact is that many in the world are not saved. The truth is that God, in Christ, has done everything that needs to be done for them to be saved. All they have to do is act on the promise God has made and call on the name of the Lord.

Abraham ignores the facts to embrace the truth

The fact, in Genesis, that Abraham faced was that he and Sarah could not have a son, but the truth was that God had promised  them a son who would be of the seed-line to Christ.

That is the essence of faith. Abraham was called the father of faith to those who believe. How did Abraham deal, in faith, with the dilemma he faced between the facts and the promised truth? Paul tells us.

Romans 4:16-25 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Abraham ‘did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb’.

The fact was that his own body was as good as dead, being 99 years old, and his wife was barren, but he focused on the truth, which was the promise that God gave him of an heir.

The  NKJV puts it this way, ‘not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ Did you see that? Abraham ‘did not consider his own body’.

This is more accurate to the Greek context. He didn’t fix his attention on the fact of his body and Sarah’s body being unable to produce a son. Rather, he gave his attention to the promise of God that they would have a son.

He did not allow the stark reality of the situation interfere with the faith, assurance and trust he had in the promise given by God of a son.

We were healed at the cross

What Phil Pringle says is accurate to the promises of God, and to the work of the cross, which was prophesied in Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Our salvation was in His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, and our healing was in the wounds He suffered when He was whipped, beaten, and received the crown of thorns upon His head.

Therefore, the fact may be that we are suffering from sickness and need healing, but the truth is also that with His stripes we were healed.

That is entirely the context of Phil Pringle’s message. It is also the context of scripture. Paul brings the same scripture into the New Testament in a startling way.

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

As the AV has it in Isaiah 53 ‘you are healed’, in 1 Peter 2:23, ‘you were healed’. The ESV, here, has, ‘you have been healed’. When were we healed? When Christ was bruised. It took place over 2,000 years ago. The truth is that Christ has already made the provision for our healing long before we needed it, just as He made provision for salvation whilst we were still sinners.

Fact and truth. While we were yet dead in our sins (fact), Christ made the provision for our salvation (truth). It was already there before we recieved it by faith.

Ephesians 2:4-5 God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)…

Christ did not die in vain

When Phil Pringle admonishes those who are in the crowd who need healing to not let Christ die in vain, he is referring to the work of the cross. He is not saying, at all, that Christ died in vain. He is imploring people to recognise this and not allow it to be in vain in their own situation.

That is why chookwatcher uses a question mark at the end of his statement. It is a dead giveaway. He knows he is crossing the line of decency with his suggestion, but he is desperate to keep up his obsessive and prolonged attack on sound ministries.

Any reasonable or decent Bible scholar would agree that what Phil Pringle says is accurate to scripture. The fact that chookwatcher misses the point of scripture promises and truth reveals his own inadequacy as a Bible critic.

The obvious conclusion we can make here is that chookwatcher is opposed to altar calls where people are given the opportunity to receive healing from sickness and disease through faith in the redemptive work of Christ during evangelistic meetings.

His desire must be to quench the Spirit and attempt to persuade people to avoid attending meetings or taking sick friends to places where the message of hope for healing is preached.

Acts 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

That was the ministry God gave His Son, and the same ministry, call and anointing was handed to the Church. This, then, is the Word we should acknowledge, and reject the antichristian ravings of chookwatcher and his coconspirators.