by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXXII

April, 1953

Number 9

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

James speaks of the well-having of faith, 5:15. This seems to mean that in the matter of prayer, the faith of the one who is praying  may have the blessing sought, before the body or affairs have it. In other words, faith may claim the answer to the prayer before the thing that is being prayed for is manifested.

I render the expression, "the affirmation of faith", the faltering one is under consideration. It appears that this person is without courage. Evidently he is bothered with the thought of having committed sins. The elders of the church are praying for him, but he is so much discouraged with his sickness and his sins, that he cannot believe that there is any good for him. What he needs is for his faith to lay hold of the promises of God. Since he can do no better, let his belief take hold of the very blessing that is being sought. Let him affirm that the blessing is his. Jesus says that when we pray, if we believe that we have the blessing, we shall have it. It is just a case of our faith getting the graciousness of god and clinging to it while we wait for its manifestation in our body and affairs.

This is really the time to believe. After our prayer has been answered, we do not need faith in order to accept it. We then KNOW we have it. The time that faith is the most beautiful, is when there has not been, as yet, any manifestation of blessing. At that stage we have only the bare word of God to rely on. We have not seen, yet we believe. How God is pleased with such as this!

Prayer is a step toward well-having. Affirmation is faith asserting that God has heard and answered, when, as yet, there is no visible answer.


It is addressed to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. But is there anything in it that WE may adopt? Does it contain no lesson for us? There was a time when I pitted Paul against James, to the disadvantage of the latter. But I find that, in the very beginning of this epistle, James said what Paul said in Romans 5. He tells how endurance is achieved. He says it is by the testing of faith through trials. Paul says it is by afflictions.

James discusses the matter of being saved from a life of selfishness, and says that faith, alone, cannot achieve this salvation. There must be actual works---the actual giving of the necessities of life to those who are in need. He never discusses the phase of salvation that Paul insists on in Romans 5. He seeks to save the saints from a life of self-serving, and undertakes to lead them into a career of doing things for others. It is this phase of salvation that is dependent of faith and works. Paul, too, teaches a phase of salvation that is to be obtained by doing, for he says to Timothy, "Attend to yourself and to the teaching. Be persisting in them, for in doing this you will save yourself as well as those hearing you", I Tim. 4:16.

"Justification" has in it, the elements of righteousness. To be righteous is to be right. The phase of justification that Paul discusses refers to the work of God in making a person righteous. The phase to which James refers is right living. This is a practical righteousness. Paul also asks us to live right.

James and Paul have different formulas for the treatment of disease and calamity. Paul refers to prayer, alone, II Cor. 1. James recommends prayer by the elders of the church, and the use of olive oil. In both there is need for faith---indeed, neither is of any value without it. James says. "Is anyone suffering evil among you? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him play music. Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. And the affirmation of faith will be saving the faltering and the Lord will be raising him up, and if he should have done sins, it will be forgiven him. Then confess the sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed".

Paul's formula is stated in relating what actually took place. He says, II Cor. 1:9-11, "_____ that we may be having no confidence in ourselves, but in God, Who rouses the dead Who rescued us from a death of such proportions, and will be rescuing, on whom we rely that He will still be rescuing also; you also assisting by a petition for us in order that from many faces He may be thanked by many in our behalf for the gracious gift given to us". I usually use the formula of Paul---simple prayer and faith. But I would not refuse to do as James recommends if a patient should ask for it.


These two English words are represented by one Greek word, which means, "from letting". It is sometimes thought that there can be no forgiveness when there is justification.

Pardon is exercised by whatever authority is violated. None of us who are justified by faith can ever become guilty so far as our relationship to salvation from sin is concerned. But there are certain requirements and directions that we may violate, and in this case we need pardon. This is not in order that we might be saved from sin, but in order that we may have peace here. Pardon is merely, in the last analysis, becoming conscious that God holds nothing against us. It never affects God, but powerfully effects us.

The fact that James speaks of pardon does not put him out of line with Paul, for HE, too, mentions it. He says that we are in the kingdom of the Son of God's love, Col. 1:13. This is the kingdom of love. How often we violate its principle! So often we act and think in an unloving way! We need pardon for this. Paul says we are having it.

There are certain privileges we have in this kingdom, and Paul prays that we shall enjoy and exercise them. He wants us to be filled full with the realization of God's will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to walk worthily of the Lord for all pleasing, that we may be bearing fruit in every work and growing in the realization of God; that we shall be endued with all power in accord with the might of His glory, for all endurance with patience with joy; and that we shall give thanks to God Who has taken us out of the jurisdiction of darkness and transported us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. What privileges these are! I wonder if the reader has ever tried, for one day, to live in accord with the principles of this kingdom.

It is possible, in Christ, to so live. Is our heart and mind full of the realization of God's will? Do we regard this subject with wisdom and spiritual understanding? It is so easy to lie down on the job and think that whatever happens to us is the carrying out of the will of God. He does not will us bad. His will, Paul says, is good and mature and well-pleasing. Yet we malign God by imagining that He wills suffering and heartaches for us. It is only as we wisely and with spiritual understanding regard the will of God, that we can walk in a way that is pleasing to Him. This kind of walk is the bearing of fruit in every good work. This is the way to be growing in the realization of God.

This kind of life and service is the method of which we are endued with power that is in accord with the might of His glory. Instead of being poor, weak things that can so easily be blown about by evil, we are supposed to be powerful beings, exercising a power that is in accord with His own. Thus endurance and patience will come to us, and we will have joy. Also we will be thankful saints---thanking God for His grace that puts us in this kingdom.

If we do not do this, we violate the principles of the kingdom and daily need to be pardoned.


The only One Who can unerringly diagnose all cases of sickness, has no need to do so. He can heal one disease as easily as another. This is also true of those who serve Him and humanity by faith treatment. The man of faith does not have to know what is the matter with a sick person.

Even specialists disagree on the matter of diagnosis. One with a great reputation will pronounce an ailment one thing, and another, equally skilled will declare that it is something else. Often the country doctor who makes no claim to being a specialist can "hit the nail on the head" better than can a specialist. When the public becomes aware of this, if this ever takes place, there will be not such fees for specialists.

I am reminded of a story. A lady was reprimanding a physician for wrong diagnosis. "Why", she said, "often a doctor will be treating a man for pneumonia, and the patient will die of typhoid fever" "That is not so in my case", replied the medical man. "When I treat you for pneumonia, you will die of pneumonia".

The scriptures are pretty well filled up with instruction concerning the treatment and healing of disease through faith. Is it not astonishing that there should be so much teaching on this line, and yet, saint and sinner will think first, not of God, but of doctor? Those who depend on God to heal are so few that most of them are afraid to let their faith be known, because of ridicule.


Some think that Paul's affliction produced for him a great eonian weight of glory. Not so, Paul said that the Momentary Lightness of the affliction is what produced this glory. His afflictions were not heavy, neither were they long-lasting. Prayer and faith on his part and on the part of the saints caused healing, so that his life was not a continual experience of affliction which he characterized as light. The afflictions that he suffered were brief and light. I repeat, it was this that produced the glory.

We are not to think that Paul was speaking of a glory to be had later. He said that it was produced while he was noting, not that which is seen, but that which is not seen. To be noting is to be noticing. That which held his attention was not affliction, but the unseen powers of God that cancelled sickness and made him well again.

That which is seen is temporary. Visible means of healing are of short duration in their effects. The unseen powers are eonian. They have been here from the beginning of the first eon, and will be here while they are needed.


If your faith has the blessing for which you are praying, stop struggling for it. The affirmation of faith is your faith saying. "I believe I have it. There is no manifestation of it as yet, but I believe there will be."

When you reach this point where you can say this, assume that God has actually done what you have requested, and wait patiently for Him to manifest it to you.

You can do much harm to yourself and to others by spending time pining for the blessing to be manifested. If it is your own health or affairs that you are praying about, or if it is someone else and his affairs, much harm is done to you and to him, by being in a state of constant tension and impatience, wanting the manifestation to take place.

When the scripture says, "Wait on the Lord", it means just that.

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