“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.”
Suffering is the Greek word “kakopaqeo,” which means to suffer affliction or adversity. Here we have someone who has not fallen under judgment or divine discipline; we have a spiritually mature believer who knows how to handle suffering. First he goes to the Lord in prayer and continues to pray throughout the suffering. Once you reach spiritual maturity you are going to have times of adversity. Why? God wants to show you how He can bless you even in the greatest pressures of life. How are you going to express the happiness of God verbally? We have just seen the reversionist express himself verbally by criticism, slander, maligning, and gossiping. Now we see the overt expression of happiness by a spiritually mature person in adversity. A spiritually mature believer knows how to pray for himself. He has doctrine and he has the capacity of his priesthood to offer the proper prayer for himself at the proper time. Prayer is going to be used as the central expression of blessing and happiness in this passage. Therefore prayer is going to be seen as the great power in this passage. Once you reach spiritual maturity never again do you have to have someone else pray for you. You can pray for yourself in every circumstance of life. The spiritually mature life is a life of being spiritually self-sustaining, and it is the maximum expression of the priesthood of the believer. One of the functions of the priesthood is prayer. When prayer is used to stabilize a situation in the midst of pressure, disaster or catastrophe, that prayer is effective and powerful. When prayer becomes a means of helping others to recover from the sin unto death, from loss of health, or when prayer is used for the recovery of a nation, then that prayer becomes a great power in the hands of a mature believer. Prayer is a great weapon in time of adversity but in between we have prosperity as mature believers, and in prosperity you use singing. The vocal cords can express reversionism — gossip, maligning, judging, and criticizing, but on the other hand the vocal cords can be used to express spiritual maturity.
Cheerful is the Greek word “euqumeo,” which means great blessing or happiness in the soul. It refers to a spiritually mature believer who is happy regardless of the circumstances. Singing is an expression of the happiness in your soul. It is used to sing about things which are a blessing. God wants every believer to be happy with a happiness which is beyond human description, and the only way for that to occur is the perception and application of God’s Word leading to spiritual maturity. When we have capacity for happiness then God, Who anxiously waits for this moment to arrive in our lives, can shower upon us many wonderful things.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”
There is divine discipline, there is warning discipline and finally there is the sin unto death. In context we have verbal reversionism and monetary reversionism. Verbal reversionism is seeking happiness by putting down others. Monetary reversionism is putting money before God and His Word.
Is anyone among you sick means to be weak, to be sick, or to be disabled under conditions of apostasy and reversionism. The present tense indicates they are getting weaker all the time. The Greek word for sick is “asqeneo” and means to be hopeless, to be powerless and to lose what strength made you powerless so that you are even more powerless as you continue to live. So the word is a very excellent choice of word here because this means to be weak and yet still alive, but tomorrow to be weaker and closer to death, and to be more and more hopeless and helpless every second the person is alive because they are dying.
Let him call means to call someone in who has authority or has ability. We are going to see that the Greek word for call, “proskaleo” was used twice here. Once it was used to call in someone who had ability. That was a doctor in the medical profession. Then when the doctor said the situation was hopeless “proskaleo” means to call in someone who has spiritual authority, the pastor-teacher. Authority is the principle involved at this particular point and is the issue in dying the sin unto death. Why does God eventually take a believer and place him under the sin unto death? Because he has rejected every spiritual authority in life and must be removed from the earth. So under the principle of the grace of God the issue is authority.
The call for the pastor is the first sign of positive volition. When the pastor (elder) comes there is something he can do for this man. This person cannot be taught the whole realm of doctrine in a couple of minutes, so the pastor comes and prays for this person. This word means to offer a specific prayer. The pastor is summoned because this person finally wakes up and recognizes the authority of his right pastor. “Them” is plural because different people have different pastors. The content of this prayer is specifically for the dying reversionist.
The next verb, anointing, has nothing to do with the pastor, it is someone who has been there before him. It is the realization that this man was dying. The Greek word for anointing is “aleifo,” which means to use medication. It is so used in Luke 10:34, and in Mark 6:13. This is a specific reference to the function of medicine, not to the function of the pastor. In other words, the pastor never anoints anyone with oil. If it meant anointing with oil then it would have to be a different verb (xrio), from which we get the name Christ, the Anointed One.
This person was very ill and suspected that he was dying. He called in a doctor. The doctor came in and used medication — medical function at this point. However, the medical function did not succeed in this case because this person was under divine discipline. There are only two cases where medical function is not going to succeed: demon induced illness and disciplinary illness. Medicine could not help this person. Obviously he would seek that solution. He is under reversionism, he is antagonistic toward authority, toward doctrine; and once he realizes he is dying he becomes alert to the warning discipline. He is now alert to that, so he calls for his pastor. Instead of medical function, the pastor offers prayer. Reversionism is beyond the help of medicine but never beyond the help of prayer. As long as a believer is dying but still alive there is hope. This passage does not reject medicine..
Literally, this should read: “Anyone among you sick from hopeless disease, summon to yourself the pastor-elder from the church: and having received medical therapy (to no avail) the pastor-elder begins to pray for him in the name of the Lord.” In other words, there is nothing wrong with medicine, there is something wrong with a person who is beyond medicine. “In the name of the Lord” indicates the basis on which the pastor approaches the dying subject.
The sin unto death is the maximum punitive discipline for the reversionistic believer. The objective of this discipline is to get the reversionist to change his mind and begin living his spiritual life. The sin unto death includes maximum misery and maximum pressure, terminating in physical death. In the sin unto death the believer always dies without dying grace. (Psalm 118:17-18; I John 5:16) However, the sin unto death does not mean loss of salvation. (II Timothy 2:12-13)
Reversionism is always the cause for the sin unto death, not a specific sin. (Jeremiah 9:16; 44:12; Philippians 3:18-19; Revelation 3:16) There are four reasons why Christians die physically:
Scriptural examples of the sin unto death:
Recovery from reversionism and the sin unto death starts with Rebound which halts the divine discipline and removes all sins involved to that point. (II Corinthians 2:5-10; James 5:15, 20)
And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick uses the Greek word “pistis” for faith. However, “pistis”has a definite article which changes its meaning. “Pistis”with a definite article in this verse doesn’t refer to believing, it refers to what is believed; it refers to Bible doctrine. It refers to someone who has Bible doctrine in their soul and is using that doctrine to offer a doctrinal prayer. So it is literally, “the prayer from the source of the doctrinal one shall restore the one who is sick. Restore is the Greek word Sozo meaning to deliver. That is the basic meaning of the word; it only means salvation in a spiritual sense when referring to salvation by means the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. In other words, under conditions in which the reversionist calls for the pastor after having changed his mind about his spiritual condition, the pastor offers a doctrinal prayer, and that person is healed immediately. The prayer from the source of the doctrinal pastor produces the action, not the faith of the sick person, not the therapy from medicine. Therefore the sick person under divine discipline for reversionism is delivered.
The next phrase is very important: “and the Lord.” It is not the pastor-elder who delivers, but God respects the authority which He has given to the pastor. The pastor has the highest authority in the local church, therefore God respects that authority whereas the reversionist who is dying did not respect that authority; he rejected it and ended up near death. Now the reversionist has called for his pastor, the pastor prays to God, and God delivers because God respects the authority He has given the pastor under grace. Principle: A believer may not respect the authority of their pastor but God does.
The Lord is God the Father. He performs the miracle of healing over the restored reversionist — shall raise him [the reversionist] up, which means to be brought back from a desperate situation. This word is used for resurrection, for resuscitation, and in this case it is used for restoration from dying. The Lord shall restore him to health is what the Greek word means here.
You have sinned in reversionism. You have sinned without using Rebound, you have accumulated sin to the point of the sin unto death. You have sinned, deliberately from your own free will. All sin comes from your volition and it is always contrary to the will of God. In other words, there is an accumulation of sin under the sin unto death and “they shall be forgiven,” because part of the recovery when the reversionist uses Rebound. If the reversionist recovers he can know that his sins are forgiven and that he is starting over.