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Observations in Conclusion

Arthur PinkA few brief observations on our passage in conclusion.

Personal prayer (v. 13) is enjoined before ministerial (v. 14) and social (v. 16): individual responsibility cannot be shelved.

God is not indifferent to the sickness of His people (v. 14), but cares for their bodies as well as their souls.

Are not ministers too free in visiting the sick and praying over them, instead of waiting until they are sent for (v. 14)?

If none but “elders” (ministers) were to anoint with oil, surely they alone are eligible to administer baptism and the Lord’s supper!

All sickness is not occasioned by sin or the “if” of verse 15 would be meaningless.

Yet God does sometimes visit with physical chastisements as the “if” denotes.

The mutual confession of verse 16 refutes the Papish error of “auricular confession,” for the priest does not confess his sins to those revealing to him the secrets of their souls!

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Appendix on James 5:14-16 Pt 3-Edward Irving and the Pentecostals

Arthur PinkThird, rather more than a century ago, a certain Edward Irving, founder of the “Catholic Apostolic Church,” propounded the theory that the supernatural gifts which existed in the early Church had been lost through the unbelief and carnality of its members, and that if there was a return to primitive order and purity, they would again be available. Accordingly he appointed “apostles,” and “prophets” and “evangelists.” They claimed to speak in tongues, prophesy, interpret and work miracles. There is little doubt in our mind that this movement was inspired by Satan, and probably a certain amount of abnormal phenomena attended it, though much of it was explainable as issuing from a state of high nervous tension and hysteria. Irving’s theory, with some modifications and some additions has been popularized and promulgated by the more recent so-called ‘Pentecostal movement,” where a species of unintelligible jabbering and auto-suggestion cum mesmerism is styled “speaking in tongues,” and “faith healing.” Many of their devotees and dupes attempt to carry out James 5:14, 15, but with very meager and unsatisfactory results.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Appendix on James 5:14-16 Pt 1-Romanists

Arthur PinkA number of friends who appreciated our recent articles on this subject have written to us expressing the desire for a few words on James 5:14-16. We respond to their wish with a certain amount of diffidence, for we are not sure in our own mind either as to its interpretation or application. This is a passage which has long been an occasion of controversy and debate, and those who took part therein found—as is often the case—that it was easier to refute the arguments of their opponents than to establish their own position. When we are uncertain about the meaning of Scripture we usually remain silent thereon, but in this instance we will give the leading views which have been expressed, and state how we feel toward them.

First, Romanists insist that this “anointing with oil” is a standing ordinance in the church and James 5:14, 15 is the principal passage appealed to by them in support of their dogma and practice of “extreme unction.” But here as everywhere the papists go contrary to the Scriptures, for instead of anointing the sick as a healing ordinance, they only administer it to those at the point of death. We have no hesitation in denouncing their perversion as a mere hypocritical pageantry. The “unction” they use must be olive oil mixed with balsam, consecrated by a bishop, who must nine times bow the knee, saying thrice “Ave sanctum oleum” (Hail, holy oil), and thrice “Ave Sanctum chrisma” (Hail, holy chrism), and thrice more, “Ave, sanctum Balsamum” (Hail, holy balsam). The members anointed are the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and for the extremities, the reins and feet: in women, the navel. The design thereof is, the expulsion of the relics of sin and to equip the soul for its conflicts with the powers of evil in the moment of death. One has but to mention these things to reveal their absurdity.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Some bodily infirmities are produced by the devil, but we are to trust the Lord

Arthur PinkSome bodily infirmities are produced by the devil, probably more than are commonly suspected. Job’s boils were caused by him, and we read of a daughter of Abraham

“whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years” (Luke 13:16).

Certainly it is neither an honor to the Lord nor a credit to His child for one of them to be overcome by the Enemy. Nor need he be, for it is written

“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7),

to which should be added “whom resist steadfastly in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). Many years ago it was arranged that we should speak in a certain city church, and a few hours before the service we were suddenly attacked by a heavy cold and developed a high temperature. The friends with whom we were staying urged us to cancel the engagement and phone another preacher to deputize, for it was pouring with rain and a long walk was before us. But we realized that Satan was hindering and committed
ourselves into the hands of our Master, counting upon Him to protect us from any harm. He did so, and the next morning we were quite normal. On another occasion we lost our voice and could speak in only a hoarse whisper, but we trusted the Lord to undertake, and preached for an hour and a half without any inconvenience and could easily be heard in the remotest corners of the large building; yet as soon as we left the pulpit we could not speak at all. No, He never fails those who trust HIM.

The subject is many-sided and much has to be left unsaid. It is clear to us that many Christians are living below their privileges in this matter.

“Jehovah-Rophi” (“The Lord that healeth thee”: Exodus 15:26) is as truly one of His titles as “Jehovah-Tsidkneu”(“The Lord our righteousness”: Jeremiah 23:5), yet how few count upon Him as such,
having more confidence in human physicians and their medicines. Fewer still seem to know anything about trusting the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13). It is written

“the prayer of faith shall save the sick” (James 5:15),

yet the exercise of faith is not subject to a mere effort of the will. It is our duty to pray “Lord, increase our faith,” yet that prayer will not be answered unless we use what we already have (Luke 8:18). Broadly speaking, when sickness prevents the discharge of duty, it is our privilege to count upon the Lord to remove the hindrance.

Here let it be said, we are far from affirming that all who resort to material remedies are missing the Lord’s best, though in many instances that is probably the case; nor that God is always ready to heal if we trust Him. Rather is it His will that some should glorify Him “in the fires” (Isaiah 24:15). God sent an angel to deliver Peter from prison, but suffered Stephen to be stoned to death. Some plants thrive best in burning heat, whereas ferns flourish in the shade. Certain graces, like zeal and intrepidity, are exercised on the battlefield, whereas meekness and patience are developed under suffering. God does not intend that many should do such a work as Geo. Muller did and therefore He gives not faith for it, and those who imitate him fail. The privilege and duty of each Christian is defined in

“Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in Him, and He shall bring to pass” (Isaiah 37:5).

Bring what to pass? His way, the best way, though it may be the very opposite of what you wish. Commit thy case unto Him, trustfully, and leave Him to decide what will be most for His glory. If sickness persists, beg God to sanctify it to you.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Some illnesses are the result of misusing or not reverencing the Lord’s Supper

April 29, 2014 3 comments

Arthur Pink“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:29, 30).

The Corinthians had been guilty of profaning the Lord’s table, turning the holy Supper into a carnal feast. God would not tolerate such irreverence and impiety in this dispensation any more than He would under the Mosaic, and evidenced His sore displeasure by visiting them with a temporal judgment, smiting them in their bodies.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Sometimes God uses sickness to humble us

April 22, 2014 1 comment

Arthur PinkBut suppose after an honest and careful review of my ways conscience does not convict me of any particular sin, then what must I do? Prayerfully seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Get down before the Lord and cry
 
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24).
 
Though there may be nothing in my outward conduct for which the Lord is chastising me, yet it is likely there is something within against which He is intimating His displeasure and for which He requires me to humble myself. A spirit of selfishness, the allowing of pride, the workings of self-will, the stirrings of rebellion when Divine Providence crosses me, the exercise of self-righteousness, may be the plague-spot of my soul which needs purging. In the rush and pressure of every-day life the “little foxes which spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15) are apt to be neglected, and if we are careless then we must not be surprised if we are placed on our backs for a season, that there may be time for reflection and opportunity for closer dealings between the soul and God, that the hidden things of darkness may be brought out into the light and faithfully dealt with.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Many physical ailments are due to inattention unto the most simple and obvious rules of hygiene

April 8, 2014 1 comment

Arthur PinkWhat are the duties and privileges of the Christian when he falls ill? First, endeavor to ascertain the occasion and cause of his sickness. As intimated in the previous chapters, many physical ailments are due to inattention unto the most simple and obvious rules of hygiene. Much illness is brought about by our own carelessness and folly. Those guilty of gluttony are inviting trouble. But there are various forms of gluttony as well as degrees thereof. There is an intemperance of quality as well as of quantity. They who disdain plain and wholesome food, and who concentrate principally on fancy things and a rich diet must not be surprised if their systems become upset; in such cases a two or three days’ complete fast, followed by a return to a simpler and saner mode of living, is the best remedy. Those with weak chests should not needlessly expose themselves to the night air. Wet shoes are to be removed as soon as possible if colds are to be avoided. If we ignore the dictates common prudence then we may easily discover what has injured and how to correct it.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?