God has promised many marvelous things to those who love Him, which will not manifest until we are made perfect at the rapture. Many have become shipwrecked because they cannot fathom the fact that God would make a promise that He does not immediately fulfill. Examining the attitudes of those who were most faithful in Scripture will shed light on the ‘not yet’ and how to properly await the yet future rapture. 
Hebrews chapter eleven has been called the chapter of the faithful, the hall of faithfulness, or many other names which indicate it includes many examples of the most faithful of the past. Great detail is provided about some, and brief descriptions are included about others. However, in this chapter, all of the faithful greats have this in common:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” 
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
Included in this last passage is the crux of this article, “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb 11:40b). Like these, we still await many promises which will not be obtained until we are made perfect, and this will not happen until we are, along with all former believers, changed at the rapture. Sadly, many are not content to wait for this change, and in their impatience, they have developed errant beliefs which imply this corruptible vessel can have that which is only available to the incorruptible:
1 Corinthians 15:50-57
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Included in the list of the most faithful is Abraham, who was indeed most faithful. In fact, he was so faithful that he was called the father of faith (Rom 4:16-17). Incredibly, this great man of faith is also a great example of what happens when one does not wait for the ‘not yet’ to pass and attempts to help God perform His promises which are, by the way, still in His prevue alone.
At an advanced age, when he was as good as dead (Heb 11:12), Abraham received a promise that he would have a son. In their impatience to have this son, he and Sarah, his wife, concocted a plan to help God, which provided a counterfeit because it involved working things out through fleshly means instead of waiting for God to manifest the authentic. This story is well known as it involves the son of promise, Isaac, and his brother Ishmael who was born after the flesh” (Gal 4:23). Unfortunately, Abraham’s impatience caused a great deal of grief which is still seen today in the Middle East, as those who are from the line of Ishmael still persecute those of the seed of promise, Isaac. But that story is for another day.
Abraham’s impatience is akin to the behavior of many today who simply want all of the promises of God now. The problem is, some promises are not available during the ‘not yet.’ Some of these future promises are: Divine health; prosperity; freedom from sorrow; freedom from pain; freedom from trials; and many other things which are only possible after the ‘not yet.’ The most incredible thing is that the discomfort from not having these things now is actually supposed to cause one to desire the completion of the ‘not yet’ even more. Instead, many decide they will, through the arm of the flesh, follow the example of Abraham and create one Ismael after another in their pursuit of the fulfillment of the impossible. This article will deal with the first of the promises mentioned here, divine health.
The belief that one can live now in divine health is both nonsensical and unscriptural. To the first point, all one needs to do is look around at any family past and present, and the reality of sickness and death is clearly on display. No one can point to one person who has lived forever here on earth. In fact, most live well for as many as seventy years, and then the body begins to break down and falter. The end result of this pattern is always death. This is clearly observable, which makes believing otherwise nonsensical.
Scripture deals with this in a very clear manner. The writer of Hebrews records this, “It is appointed unto man once to die…” (Heb 9:27a). The basis for this statement is derived from what God told man immediately after the fall in the Garden of Eden:
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Those who believe in divine health would argue that even though one must die, they should still be able to live without illness of any kind. The problem is, this also is nonsensical and unscriptural. This is nonsensical because no one has ever lived a full life without some type of ailment. Undoubtedly, the eyes begin to fade, and the aches and pains begin to add up as the body grows old. These things are not intended to cause one to panic about the coming end of life. Instead, they are intended to cause one to trust in Christ even more as they see the day approaching.
One additional, very important point should be made about the errant belief that corruptible humans can live in divine health. This belief system is actually saying that Christians are already glorified here on earth, and if this is so, men should never die. Therefore, since the latter is not true, then neither is the former. As a result, this faulty belief also causes great calamity to those who fall for it because, when sickness and death come knocking, faith in divine health is always shaken to the core and destroyed, as it should be. After all, true faith is believing that God is and that He is a rewarder of all who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6) (not divine health, wealth, or care-free living in general).
The unscriptural aspect of this faulty perception is made clear by the examples offered by the Apostle Paul. Paul prayed three times for the removal of a thorn in the flesh, to which God answered, “My grace is sufficient” (2 Cor 12:9). God wanted Paul to trust in Him rather than what He could do for him. But this is not all that is to be learned from this passage; here is more of the passage for context:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Paul was a man who had received incredible revelation from God. Because of this, God allowed this thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. The good news is, Paul chose to accept God’s will and proceeded in weakness, which made him strong in the Lord. Those who desire divine health now are moving in the opposite direction of Paul. They are unable to accept that they may be weakened by some type of malady and that their body may break down and die. Sadly, this causes disbelief in Scripture, which says this physical weakness can actually cause spiritual strength. The result is those who cannot accept this are steadily progressing toward a mindset that removes God from the equation and inserts man’s will as paramount.
This is where many of the false doctrines that plague the church stem from. Such as, man has the authority to heal whomever, whenever so desired. While it is wonderful to desire healing for everyone, the result of this misperception of how God works results in a shift of focus from God to man, and since man is not God, the result will not be what God desires. Think of it this way: in a situation that requires divine intervention, who would you rather call on, man or God?
Before going on, it is very important to understand the point being made here is not that everyone must be sick in order to serve God. Instead, the hope is to provide understanding that God can and does sometimes allow discomfort for the fulfillment of His greater purpose. At this point, some are probably saying that it is always God’s will for us to be healed. The simple answer comes by way of a question, is it? Paul provides some clarity in this regard.
Paul also talked about two others in his sphere of influence that had physical ailments. He spoke of Trophimus, whom he left sick in Miletus (2 Tim 4:20), and he spoke of Timothy’s often infirmities (1 Tim 5:23). These men traveled with the Apostle Paul, and Timothy was one whom Paul could trust to send to churches in his stead (1 Cor 4:17; Phil 2:19). Timothy even went on to become the pastor of the church in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3).
The point is, these men were deeply involved with the Apostle Paul, who was so anointed that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were taken to the sick whose diseases and evil spirits departed (Acts 19:12). Paul was undoubtedly heavily anointed by God, yet he was unable to heal Trophimus or Timothy. This speaks to the aforementioned fact that God is in charge of the healing and or the weakness which results from the lack of said healing. Remember, this is the same Paul who prayed three times for the thorn in his own flesh to be removed. Clearly, God had greater plans for Paul than the mere removal of his thorn. One could actually argue that Paul’s thorn is what allowed him to have such great faith in God in the midst of all of the many storms, trials, and afflictions he persevered through.
The prophet Elisha was one of the most anointed men in all of the Old Testament as he received a double portion of the spirit that was on his mentor Elijah (2 Kings 2). Elisha performed marvelous exploits in the name of the Lord, yet he still fell sick and died (2 Kings 13:14-19). The reason for including Elisha is to prove that even with great anointing, one can become ill and die. Think not? Elisha was so anointed that even his bones had enough anointing in them after he died to cause a dead man to come back to life:
2 Kings 13:20-21
“And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.”
The point is, the most anointed of men will still succumb to the ravages of nature, even those who are called for special purposes. The disciples are a good example of this. They followed Jesus for over three years, and they were even commissioned by Him on various occasions to perform the miraculous. However, they were heavily persecuted, and most were martyred for their unwavering faith. Therefore, being a child of the King does not eliminate difficulty, sickness, or death. In fact, Scripture actually indicates otherwise:
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” (emphasis mine)
2 Timothy 3:11
“Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” (emphasis mine)
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
Imagine for a second that God desires to accomplish something through a particular person, and He approaches them about performing the task. However, the person has come to believe the misconception that they have full authority to do whatsoever they will, in the name of Jesus. When God attempts to engage this individual, they may be so engaged in fulfilling their own will that they cannot even hear the voice of the Father who would love to commune with them. The following example may help.
The boss shows up to the shop which he left in the care of his employees and finds them performing a task that he had not assigned them, a task that seems good at first glance, but the boss knows something the employees do not. The boss knows the task the employees are engaged in is actually counterproductive because those who would seemingly benefit from the completed task actually need something entirely different than what they will get from the employees who, though well-intentioned, had no way of knowing the true need of the recipient.
Perhaps, this is what God encounters when He visits His children who, believing they are on the appointed task, are running to and fro doing what they think is best. The chief problem is, the will of God is not necessarily considered. The reason for great concern is if God is not in control, who is? The best way to answer this question is to refer to another article, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: The Origin of all Lies.”  This article explores the idea that Satan convinced angels and man that they can be as god. Ultimately, believing that man can initiate anything divine is indicative of succumbing to this deception. This is because, until the ‘not yet’ reaches completion and the rapture is experienced, man will remain corruptible.
The ‘not yet’ is a difficult time because many of the promises made to man are unavailable in this corruptible body. This difficulty is actually intended by God as the catalyst to greater faith in Him. The problem is, the definition of faith has been so mutilated by the earthly powers that be (often the most prominent preachers and teachers) that many are confused about the true purpose of faith. Faith is simply believing that God is and, most importantly, He is in control.
Many have become shipwrecked because of the simple misunderstanding of what the ‘not yet’ is. The ‘not yet’ is the time in which every believer lives until the completion of their days, by way of death or the rapture. While waiting, the believer should mimic those inducted into the hall of faithfulness and look for a better heavenly country. With this in mind, the best way to navigate this time is to keep in mind that God is God and man is man, and God’s ways are much higher than man’s.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
P.S. Perhaps, as the bride of Christ, we should approach this life in the ‘not yet,’ the same way those who enter into marriage do and simply remain faithful, in sickness and in health, until death or the rapture.
P.P.S. Post rapture, see the article, “Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture” 
Website: In His Commission
May 11th, 2022
 For greater understanding, see the article “While We Wait.”
 “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: The Origin of All Lies.”
 If you find this article after the rapture, see the article “Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture.“