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Frank W. Nelte

August 1995

Some Principles About the Subject of 'Healing'

At various times people have asked me about the subject of healing. What does God say? What is the right thing to do? Are there any guidelines?

Here are some thoughts on the subject.

1) I believe that the 72-page booklet Mr. Armstrong wrote in response to the "Healing Paper" in the S.T.P. of 1978 is the best guide available. Mr. Armstrong's discussion of this subject was first published as instalments in the WN and then later in booklet form with the title "The Plain Truth About Healing".

This booklet discusses probably most of the Scriptures that pertain to this subject. Mr. Armstrong expounded the key principles involved.

This was one of the first booklets done away with by Mr. Tkach's administration. It was replaced by a booklet with the same title, but which listed Mr. Tkach and Mr. Bernie Schnippert as the joint authors. The new booklet basically restored the teaching that had been presented in the 1978 S.T.P. "Healing Paper", of which Mr. Schnippert had been the basic author. So the Church has done a full circle on this subject, returning to exactly the approach that Mr. Armstrong had so strongly criticized.

2) Mr. Armstrong's emphasis in the booklet was that healing is a divine action that requires the forgiveness of sin. The approach was based on the premise that there are physical laws as well as spiritual laws. When we human beings break these physical laws, we don't necessarily have a wrong attitude towards God at all. We may be ignorant of the circumstances involved in breaking such physical laws (e.g. God created us so that we should not eat or drink cyanide poison), but if we break them, even unknowingly (e.g. drink a cup of coffee that contains cyanide), then we will pay the penalty.

3) Mr. Armstrong explained that "sin is the breaking of God's laws". Therefore: when we break God's SPIRITUAL LAWS, then that is SPIRITUAL SIN and the wages for that will be ETERNAL DEATH (i.e. unless repented of); when we break any of God's PHYSICAL LAWS, then that is PHYSICAL SIN and the ultimate penalty for that will be THE FIRST DEATH. The word "sin" simply means: "to miss the mark", and we can "miss the mark" both, physically and spiritually.

4) The reason this explanation from Mr. Armstrong was rejected by Mr. Tkach's administration is because it places the responsibility for sicknesses and diseases back on us ourselves ... and we prefer to think of ourselves as "victims" when ill-health strikes us. Such responsibility makes us feel uncomfortable.

Now the point is this: in Deuteronomy chapter 28 (blessings and cursings) God spelled out very clearly that sicknesses and ill-health were one of the penalties He would impose on us for disobedience to His laws. This is what Mr. Armstrong sought to explain ... that physical transgressions bring on physical penalties.

5) Now obviously: all of us have at one time or another become sick or been hurt without the slightest possibility of us ourselves actually having done anything wrong. This is the case for all people at some time.

The point about Mr. Armstrong's explanation we should remember is this: pain and suffering and sickness and disease are the result of SOMEBODY having broken some laws somewhere along the line. However, this does not mean that the person who actually becomes sick or is hurt was the one to break these laws. One person may break some laws (e.g. pollute the environment) and OTHER PEOPLE may suffer the penalty that this incurs (e.g. become sick).

This is also brought out in the second commandment in Exodus chapter 20.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHERS UPON THE CHILDREN UNTO THE THIRD AND FOURTH [GENERATION] OF THEM THAT HATE ME; (Exodus 20:5)

When physical laws are transgressed, in some cases the genetic consequences may adversely affect descendants up to the third and fourth generation. Implied is that the original transgression also affected the original offender in a noticeable way. This principle obviously does not apply to all physical transgressions, but merely states the maximum extremity of the potential penalties involved, as far as genetic inheritance is concerned.

And since it is known that today pretty well every human being is born with some (in most cases extremely minor) genetic defects, we are all the innocent victims of what our forebears have done. And God made us this way ... that we would carry in our bodies the evidence of what previous generations have done.

So: while there is always SOMEONE who is responsible for the pain, suffering, sickness and disease we may suffer from, it isn't necessarily that we ourselves are responsible in every case. And Mr. Armstrong did not intend to imply that we ourselves are responsible for everything we suffer from.

BUT: since someone somewhere along the line did something wrong (i.e. broke a law) to cause our sickness and disease, THEREFORE what is needed is the forgiveness of that original wrong action. The sickness was not the "sin" ... the wrong action was the sin. The sickness is only THE RESULT of the sin; the sickness is what the breaking of law PRODUCED. When the sin is forgiven, then it opens the way for the consequence of that sin to be removed.

This is what Mr. Armstrong meant when he said: there can be no healing without forgiveness of sins. If a sickness is taken away (i.e. "healed") but THE CAUSE for that sickness is not removed, then the sickness will simply recur, whether in the same person or in someone else. That's how God structured this physical creation we are a part of ... that every transgression of every law will hurt somebody, and it will CONTINUE to hurt somebody until the original transgression is forgiven. It is the transgression that caused the sickness which must be forgiven by God.

6) This principle is also implied in the instructions in the Book of James that discuss anointing.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; AND IF HE HAVE COMMITTED SINS, THEY SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM. (James 5:15)


James here most assuredly did NOT mean that when people are anointed for sicknesses, then God at the same time also forgives their sins of lusting, coveting, shading the truth, etc.. In this context James is not referring to any spiritual sins.

What James meant is: IF the sick individual himself had done something to bring on the sickness (a wrong lifestyle or some unwise and dangerous conduct, etc.) then, when the person requested anointing and acknowledged to God his own responsibility in the sickness, THEN God would forgive the sins involved in this sickness ... the CAUSE for this particular sickness. However, if the sick individual himself was not in any way responsible for the sickness or suffering (i.e. he was a genuine victim of the wrong actions of others ... other people may pollute our water supply and we suffer terrible consequences), then God would heal him, BUT the original sin involved (caused by another party) was not necessarily forgiven. This means that OTHER PEOPLE could still get sick or suffer as a result of that unforgiven sin, even though this one person (i.e. the one anointed) was healed by God.

7) This should help us to understand why it is so important for us to EXAMINE OURSELVES when we are sick! That is one of the reasons why God made us so that we would experience pain. God wants us to first of all always ask:


Most people don't want to face the possible responsibility we ourselves may have for our diseases. "It's just a virus or a germ or something like that" we prefer to think when we become sick. But it surely isn't something we ourselves have in some way caused, right?

If you are the victim in a car accident that was caused by a drunken driver, then it is easy to know that you are not the responsible party. But when there is no accident and we hurt inside somewhere and wonder from what disease we may possibly be suffering: then it behooves us to examine what we may have done, what we eat and to what we have expose ourselves. We may still be "innocent victims", but some genuine soul-searching on our knees before the Creator of this whole universe will never be held against us! It will ALWAYS be for our good, even when it turns out that we are indeed only "genuine victims". However, if such soul-searching reveals that we "have committed sins", then it opens the way for those sins to be forgiven.

8) Some transgressions are minor, relatively speaking, and only bring on minor penalties. For example, we repeatedly miss a lot of sleep and perhaps end up with a headache. Then we make a point of getting some extra sleep and the headache disappears. The penalty for transgressing this relatively minor principle is also relatively minor. No divine healing is needed. At times we get sick and the sickness runs its course and then we get well again. We have paid the penalty involved and again no divine healing was involved.

But the principle Mr. Armstrong expounded was that every law that is transgressed will exact a penalty, be it minor or be it major.

9) The application of Mr. Armstrong's teachings: Mr. Armstrong wanted to get across the principle that we need to look to God for healing and not to fellow man. He did not mean that we cannot utilize the services of other people to help us when we are suffering. But we should always keep in mind that true healing involves the forgiveness of sins. And that involves the sacrifice that Jesus Christ brought on our behalf.

Jesus Christ was beaten with many stripes (i.e. He suffered physically!) so that we could have access to divine healing and the forgiveness of physical sins. This we have always explained during the Passover service, when we would read 1 Peter 2:24.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED. (1 Peter 2:24)

Pasadena's claim that this refers to "SPIRITUAL healing" is patently absurd!

It is referring to the same physical healing that James chapter 5 is speaking about. It is speaking very much about PHYSICAL healing in Isaiah 53:3-5, where Peter was quoting from. This is very clearly explained in the Gospel of Matthew.

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with [his] word, AND HEALED ALL THAT WERE SICK: (Matthew 8:16)

The context of this verse is physical healing. Now notice the next verse ...

THAT IT MIGHT BE FULFILLED WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY ESAIAS THE PROPHET, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare [our] sicknesses. (Matthew 8:17)

This makes very clear that Isaiah 53 is speaking about physical healing and that is the Scripture Peter quoted.

So Jesus Christ's sacrifice is pictured in two parts during the Passover service. His body was broken for the forgiveness of our physical sins and for our physical healing; and His blood was shed for the forgiveness of our spiritual sins, giving us access to the free gift of eternal life.

10) Coming back to healing: there is no question that it is perfectly acceptable to God for us to make use of the help and services of other human beings when we are sick and suffering. People can help us in various ways, depending on how we are suffering. But they cannot "heal" us.

The difference between "healing" and "the disappearance of all discernible symptoms" is that with divine healing "the cause" is removed when we ourselves were responsible for it, or it is removed from affecting us in any way if someone else was responsible for it. When medical science helps us to get rid of all the symptoms we experienced, then either we have paid the penalty in full (i.e. we have suffered) and therefore it no longer exists, or we have suppressed it (by means of drugs, etc.) and therefore it is not discernible, or the cause still exists in a non-manifesting state and it may afflict us again (or others) in the future.

The shortcoming of medical science is that it can never remove the cause of sickness. That is what Mr. Armstrong wanted us to understand.

11) When we utilize the services of people to ease our suffering, it is never a case of one form of help being more righteous than another. Specifically, over the years many people in God's Church have shunned going to medical doctors but instead have gone to people like chiropractors and homeopaths, feeling that treatment from these people was more "natural" in God's sight.

That is foolishness!

Don't misunderstand what I am saying. I have got nothing against chiropractors, etc. and I have nothing against medical doctors. At times I have utilized the services of both. But it is never a point that one is more acceptable before God than another. It is never a question of one being "more righteous" than another. But there are valid considerations in selecting who to go to for help.

12) First of all: it is a personal decision whether you chose to go to a doctor at all (be it medical, a homeopath, a chiropractor, etc.) or not when you are not well. That is your individual responsibility. As far as "healing" is concerned, you should certainly look to God for this. But looking to God does not mean that you cannot receive any help from any human being. You certainly CAN receive help!

But you should always be true to your own beliefs and convictions. Never make decisions based on the convictions of other people. Yes, accepting medical help may indeed be an indication of a lack of faith in God. But then again it may not be an indication of a lack of faith at all!

13) FAITH is not something we can see. It doesn't mean we have it when we say: "I really had a lot of faith that God would do this or that for me, but ...". In cases like that what we often had was nothing more than wishful hoping. Mr. Armstrong would explain that faith has to do with God's promises. Where God's promises are specific we can have faith in specific intervention from God. Where we don't have specific promises from God, we can (and should!) still beseech God for help and intervention, and we can have faith that God hears us and will intervene in a way that is best for our eternal well-being, but we will only be hoping for the specific intervention we have requested from God.

There is no such thing as "blind faith". Faith is not based on sight, but it must always be based on facts! The facts it must be based on are found in the Bible.

14) Healing is not necessarily evidence of great faith, nor is a lack of healing evidence of a lack of faith. There are other factors that also have an impact on this question. God never intended for us to reverse the equation ... i.e. since healing requires faith THEREFORE a lack of being healed is evidence of a lack of faith. That is not how God intended for us to reason.

What God DID intend for us to think about is this: when we ourselves are involved in this matter of not being healed after seeking God's help, then we should EXAMINE OURSELVES! Even when there is no lack of faith, such self-examination is always good for us. But doing such "examination" for other people would amount to judging other people, since we can never know all the factors involved in their specific circumstances. Therefore we should not do this for other people.

15) The degree of help that we are prepared to accept from doctors, etc. is also a very individual decision. Different people have different perceptions of what is acceptable in this regard without interfering with faith in God. For some people the only things that would not create a conflict with their consciences might be the examples Mr. Armstrong used to cite about "setting a broken bone" or "help with childbirth". For other people medical help in many other ways is also perfectly acceptable and compatible with faith in God.

Important is that we are always true to our own consciences. At times our consciences may need to be educated, but we should never compromise them. The principle Paul explained in the Book of Romans certainly applies.

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: FOR WHATSOEVER [IS] NOT OF FAITH IS SIN. (Romans 14:23)

This is clearly a very subjective definition of sin. Coupled with the objective definition in 1 John 3:4, it means that God also judges us according to our own understanding and convictions. Our convictions may be wrong before God ... but if we are willing to compromise them, then that is evidence of a lack of real character.

16) As a general statement and to give us some guidelines: the more invasive any medical treatment we accept is, the more we are inevitably required to put our trust in the person performing this invasive treatment. It is not a matter of saying, and never should be, that it is wrong and not acceptable for any member of God's Church to submit to a specific medical procedure or treatment. That is always a very personal decision. But we should also be prepared to acknowledge that submitting to such invasive procedures does indeed require us to have faith and trust in the person who performs this procedure on us. And the more trust we are forced by circumstances to put in the person who is performing this service for us and to us, the more it will detract from faith in God.

We should be aware of and avoid the extremes. Also, it is our job to judge ourselves and not to judge other people.

On the one extreme people may feel that the utilization of any medical services amounts to a lack of faith in God for divine healing. That isn't necessarily the case. On the other extreme people may talk themselves into feeling that they are totally looking to God for healing, when they are in fact submitting to the most invasive medical procedures imaginable, claiming that God is "working through the doctor to heal them". That isn't really how God works either.

When we are faced with a life-threatening situation, it is perfectly understandable that we may submit to the most invasive of medical procedures. Every member of God's Church has the full freedom to make such choices. Under identical circumstances we might very possibly all make the same decision. But the problem that comes up is when we then, at the same time, try to desperately convince ourselves that our actions are in fact based on great faith in God. They are not. They are based on faith in what we feel the medical fraternity can do for us. We need to be honest with ourselves. It is this reality that Mr. Armstrong wanted us to confront.

17) All forms of medical treatment inevitably carry with them the potential of "side effects". While one procedure or one form of treatment is not more righteous than another, it may involve a far higher risk of dangerous side effects than another. This is something every individual should examine for himself.

The point is this: if any form of treatment is absolutely and totally free from any adverse side effects, then the use of such a treatment certainly does not imply a lack of faith in God. This is the reason why members of God's Church gravitated towards all these "alternate health-care options". Even if they did not prove to be helpful, it was comforting to know that they would not cause any bad side effects.

However, while these "harmless" forms of treatment don't imply any lack of faith, neither does it mean that those who utilize these things automatically DO have faith in God. There is no guarantee that people may not superstitiously put their faith in "vitamin therapy", etc.. Vitamins are not more righteous than surgery, but they are potentially far less dangerous.

18) We need to realistically assess the known side effects of any medical procedure. The more dangerous the known side effects are, the more we are inevitably required to have faith that in our particular case they will not come upon us. Thus to submit to a procedure with known dangerous side effects requires us inevitably to place considerable faith in the human beings involved in the procedure; that they will perform the procedure for us in such a way that we escape the known side effects.

19) When we suffer from a non-emergency health problem, it is certainly advisable that we FIRST make a diligent enquiry to find out whether there is something we can do, whether there is a form of treatment that is totally and completely free of any side effects and which is also known to be effective in treating the problem we suffer from. This takes work. It also means taking full responsibility for our circumstances. It does not mean that we should gullibly accept the latest health fad as the answer to our problem. Rather, we need to engage in our own private and diligent research.

20) Many procedures have known adverse side effects. For example, x-rays and radiation are known to be carcinogenic. It is known that x-rays alter the genetic material in the nuclei of the cells they affect. Such damage to the genetic material is irreversible, even if such cells lie dormant for long periods of time ... and this is known. Similarly, certain drugs are known to adversely affect various internal organs (the liver, the kidneys, etc.).

Therefore it is always a personal and individual decision as to whether the risk from radiation or the risk from various drugs is acceptable or not. While many people, in pressured circumstances (i.e. they are suffering) will readily accept such risks in return for the prospect of relief from their present suffering, we should recognize that others may find the risks of drugs and of radiation, etc. as being unacceptable. They may perceive submitting to the potential of such side effects as a form of gambling and as such not compatible with faith in God. We should allow other people the latitude to reach decisions different from the ones we reach.

21) A relatively common problem that has come up is this: people with a health problem seek a form of treatment that is "natural" and which they can accept as compatible with faith in God for healing. Since their health problems are not resolved, they cycle through all the available forms of non-medical treatments (diets, vitamin therapies, exercise, chiropractors, homeopaths, etc., etc.). Meanwhile their problem (perhaps a form of cancer or heart disease) continues to get worse. In the end they present a medical emergency and then they submit to the invasive procedure which they initially tried desperately to avoid.

In their case it would obviously have been far better to have accepted the medical help that is available in the first place. Their chances of "side effects" would have been far less had they accepted treatment earlier.

So the point is this: if you DO decide that a certain form of treatment is unacceptable for you (and you have the right to make such a decision), then it should not be because the symptoms you currently experience are only minor ... but if the symptoms become more severe, then the "unacceptable" treatment will eventually also become "acceptable". That would only be a form of vacillating, a form of postponing an unpleasant decision. Such postponement can considerably decrease your chances of recovery. If something or some form of treatment is unacceptable to you, then stay with your conviction. God will take note of your faith and your convictions.

22) Many things ARE known to be beneficial in coping with health problems. There are laws that regulate health and well-being. We have a responsibility before God to not knowingly or carelessly transgress these. Watching our diet and nutrition, getting exercise and living balanced lives are important ... but they are not the same as "healing". However, when we have, for whatever reason, become sick, then the careful adherence to the laws of health will often help to minimize the penalty we are paying (which penalty may be caused by another person's actions, as I mentioned earlier).

Specifically, in a number of circumstances (though by no means in all cases!) the process of fasting can speed up the elimination of toxins from our bodies. In this process we are experiencing the penalty in full and when it has been exacted then we again feel well. Mr. Armstrong used to explain that fasting is NOT healing. Rather, fasting is paying the penalty in full in an accelerated way. The reason we were encouraged to fast when we were sick was because the fasting humbles us and helps us to draw close to God. Once we have drawn close to God, we are in a better position to receive an answer from God. However, in the process of drawing close to God through fasting, we also invoke the accelerated elimination of toxins. While this was not the primary motive for fasting, it nevertheless has a positive effect on our health. It is well-known that fasting has a rejuvenating effect on the body.

[Fasting is a topic by itself which I don't want to discuss in detail in this article. Briefly however, there is a difference between fasting for health reasons and fasting for spiritual reasons. When we decide to fast for health reasons, then we should basically abstain from all food but take in regular quantities of water. This will enable the body to eliminate released toxins through the kidneys. That is what the purpose of a health fast is ... to encourage the flushing of toxins out of the body in an accelerated way. When we fast for spiritual reasons, our purpose is to humble ourselves before God. This is in the Bible referred to as "afflicting our souls"(e..g. Leviticus 23:27). In this type of fast we abstain from all liquids as well, in accordance with biblical examples (Exodus 34:28; Esther 4:16; etc.). Thus in a spiritual fast we are actually putting a certain amount of stress on the kidneys by not ingesting any water to facilitate the removal of toxins. However, even in a spiritual fast there will in practice inevitably be the elimination of some toxins from the body, though this was not the main purpose of the fast, as I mentioned above.]

23) When we are anointed for a sickness, then God expects us to have faith that He will heal us. Having faith in God does not automatically preclude the possibility of all forms of medical help from fellow human beings. It is very much an individual decision that may vary from person to person.

Some forms of treatment may be more effective, some may have more negative side effects. For some people no forms of medical treatment may be acceptable when they look to God for healing. For other people there may be considerable scope of what they find acceptable and compatible with faith in God. God's intervention does not need human help; it neither depends on nor does it preclude medical assistance. It is really a very personal thing, according to your faith, understanding and convictions.

24) For people with major health problems I would suggest the following things:

A) Read again Mr. Armstrong's booklet on the subject. Carefully think about everything you read and form your own convictions.

B) Examine yourself. Are there things in your life that you should change? Have you yourself possibly in some way contributed to the health problem you now have? Is there perhaps a need for you to confess to God and to repent?

C) Ask to be anointed by a true minister of Jesus Christ.

D) Try to obtain as much information as you possibly can about your specific condition. Read widely and look into all the possible forms of remedies that are suggested. Don't accept any form gullibly, but carefully examine them all. Include in this the options medical science has to offer.

E) After all your research decide whether you want any form of treatment that may be available or not. You might not want any. Or there might be several options that you would consider pursuing.

F) If you want to pursue a specific "treatment", make sure your decision to do so is based on facts and not on some misguided idea that "natural treatment X" is much more acceptable to God than "surgery Y". The reasons for selecting "natural treatment X" should be factual, not wishful.

G) If you have selected a particular form of treatment (be it "natural" or be it "medical"), apply it in the way it is most likely to benefit you.

H) Don't focus on what other people in the Church may say or do regarding this particular health question. Be true to your conscience. And be confident!

I) Have confidence that God will answer your prayers and intervene for you. Unless God specifically tells you not to ask Him again (as He did to Paul, for example), feel free to approach God repeatedly for help with this health problem.

J) But if you DO approach God repeatedly for the same (unresolved) health problem, be sure that you also repeatedly examine yourself.

25) For my own individual circumstances and for those of my own family, I have tried and continue to try to learn as much as I can about "preventative" health care. We take every opportunity we get to learn more about nutrition and diet, about exercise, about physiotherapy, etc.. We study books and articles that examine the causes for any number of health problems. It is a never-ending quest for more understanding. But this cannot guarantee freedom from diseases. There are always many factors beyond our control. But this should not deter us from the quest for more understanding

For those who are affected by these things, there are countless books available that discuss anything from foot problems to back problems, from arthritis to heart disease, from high blood pressure to cancer, from developing the body to developing the mind.

In the event that I am sick: for me it is a matter of principle that I will not let someone else (be it a medical doctor or anyone else) make the final decision about what medical procedure is required to restore my health. The experts can make suggestions and recommendations for what is needed, but I always reserve the right to disagree with them about what needs to be done to get me back to health.

It is my body and I will one day have to give account to God for how I lived and what I did. If I give my consent to medical procedures or health care procedures that produced undesirable results, there is no one onto whom I can pass the blame. Solomon also talked about this in Ecclesiastes, that one day we will have to give account to God.

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: BUT KNOW THOU, THAT FOR ALL THESE [THINGS] GOD WILL BRING THEE INTO JUDGMENT. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

The Apostle Paul explained that we are to glorify God not only in our spirits, but also in the way we look after our bodies; i.e. in a responsible manner.

For ye are bought with a price: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

We don't have to be fanatics about "health foods", etc.. But neither should we be careless and irresponsible about the things that will cause us to get sick and become diseased. God holds us accountable for the things we know and understand.

Living responsibly does not guarantee that we will not become sick or get injured in some way. There are always many factors that are simply beyond our control. But this fact should never deter us from doing those things that we CAN do.

That about wraps up what I wanted to mention about the subject of health and healing.

I realize that Mr. Armstrong's booklet was withdrawn a long time ago. It hasn't been available for about 8 years or so. Many of you still have a copy of it. Read it. Study it. The reasoning Mr. Armstrong presents is clear and easy to follow. It makes sense.

Mr. Armstrong was the leader of an era of God's Church. It is through Mr. Armstrong that God restored the truth about divine healing to His Church. The last few verses in Matthew chapter 24 talk about the leaders of the last two eras of God's Church before the return of Jesus Christ. Verse 45 is something that seems to refer to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. You may never have considered it this way?

Who then is A FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT, whom his lord hath made RULER OVER HIS HOUSEHOLD, to give them meat in due season? (Matthew 24:45)

The expression "ruler over his household" is translated from the Greek expression "katestesen epi tes therapeias". "Katestesen" is a verb meaning "to make someone a ruler". But the Greek word "therapeia" does not mean "household"; it really means "HEALING"! It is the root for our English word "therapy". There are other words in the Greek language that mean "household" ... the main ones are "oikos" and words derived from "oikos". This Greek word "oikos" literally means "house" and it is the root word for our English word "economy".

It would be grammatically correct (but it certainly didn't make any sense to the translators and so they didn't do this) to translate this verse as:

who then is a faithful and wise servant whom his Lord has made RULER OVER HIS HEALING, to give them meat in due season?

Even if you chose to translate "therapeia" as "household" in this particular verse, it still carries the overtone of "healing". Healing is important to God and Mr. Armstrong was used to restore this truth into God's Church. God used him to explain this teaching to us. That is one reason why I suspect that Matthew 24:45 in some way applied to Mr. Armstrong.

Anyway, you would be well-advised to study this subject for yourself. And be understanding and wise in how you apply this knowledge. Be faithful and true and God will reward you with answers to your prayers.

Frank W. Nelte