Developing Character In Children

Note: The following is a continuation of the “Successful Home & Marriage” series by Jimmy Swaggart.

WORK

Children need to be taught to work. There are many problems facing our land and world today, and one of the basic causes of this is that a generation of children has been raised to believe that work is “undignified.” When I was a boy, work was taught as an ethic. It was a virtue. It was taught as the basic component of character development.

My mother and father taught me to work, and I’m grateful they did. As the depression gave way to opportunity, Americans had a real zeal for work. There was a vibrant urgency in America that helped immeasurably when we entered World War II. It would be a disaster to see another depression, but, at least in those days, whenever anyone was offered any work, he accepted it eagerly.

Today, children are no longer being taught to work. In numerous ways they are even being taught and encouraged not to work—by our government and other social forces. More often than not, labor organizations discourage hard work. It is a tragedy that many of the most influential elements in our society hinder the work ethic and encourage “feather-bedding” and more-and-more pay for less and- less work. Many labor groups want everything reduced to the lowest possible level of activity, and the result is a situation where an energetic individual is prevented from producing what he could.

Another tragic element in our society is government’s determination to pay individuals for not working, while the more ambitious element is penalized for working. For many, not working pays better than working pays. This destroys the fabric, the fiber, and the soul of a nation. Incredibly, it is being imposed by our own government.

Only people who are truly incapable of helping themselves should receive help. Able people ought to work, and society should intervene only to provide constructive work when it isn’t otherwise available. Today we reward laziness and slothfulness.

BEING ACCUSED OF LAZINESS WAS THE WORST KIND OF INSULT

It is common knowledge that many refuse to accept such work as washing dishes, pumping gas, or other menial jobs. In truth, it doesn’t matter how menial the task. If it’s honest labour, it’s worthy of respect. Everyone should work. Even the person without real financial needs should work because filling your days with hobbies, television, or similar non-productive time-fillers is spiritually corrosive.

Laziness will destroy a person’s character. Anyone who is able to work and chooses not to work is a parasite. He lacks the fundamentals of good character and doesn’t understand the first principles of God’s kingdom.

Moms and dads should teach their children the work ethic at an early age.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Children should be provided jobs and should then be compensated for the work they do. This is the foundation of a later understanding of what money is, where it comes from, and the value of it. My father never gave me an allowance. He gave me work to do, and I was then rewarded for that work. By the time I was 8 years old, I had started doing things to earn a little money. I would dig potatoes, chop wood, pick tomatoes, pick cotton, and pick all kinds of vegetables. My mother and daddy taught me the work ethic early, and I soon learned that money was something that was earned and not handed out. Being accused of laziness was the worst kind of insult in our house. I had a constant dread of anybody thinking I was lazy. My mother and dad instilled this in me.

Learning how to work when I was young has enabled me to work hard as an adult. Being involved in a ministry that circles the globe is a time-consuming task. I was taught responsibility and respect for work when I was a child, and it remains deeply ingrained in me today. I look back now with thankfulness as I can see how this has contributed to what success we have had. There are all kinds of little jobs that can be performed by children, such as mowing lawns and having responsibility for many household maintenance chores. Little girls should be taught to babysit. Boys can wash cars, work after school at a grocery store, deliver papers, or take responsibility for any of the other myriad jobs available to those who want to earn spending money.

SPEND OR SAVE?

Parents should also teach their children to spend wisely because they will need this ability as they grow through life. Lamentably, the majority of American adults have no concept of intelligent purchasing, and this is demonstrated in the fact that every credit crunch finds a large percentage of American families on the brink of bankruptcy.

Learning how to shop intelligently should be a part of every child’s training. In addition, children should be taught how to save. While this may sound old-fashioned, it is completely scriptural. Proverbs 6:6-8 says: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard: consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

The Lord is telling us that there are times when we should save for the future. I worked hard, doing all the jobs I previously mentioned. Many were not pleasant, such as picking cotton or curing cow hides. I was often dirty and, afterward, my back ached, but with the monies earned from these tasks, I opened a bank account. My first account was opened with something like $8, and it gave me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and responsibility. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and one of the finest lessons I ever learned.

Children should be taught thrift. They need not be encouraged to be misers or stingy, but they should be encouraged to save, and the value of thrift should be ingrained into them at an early age.

GIVING

Children should also be taught the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over (Lk. 6:38).

Children should be taught how to save. While this may sound old-fashioned, it is completely scriptural.

I was taught to pay my tithes at the age of 8. My parents instructed me that out of every dollar earned, a dime belongs to God. This was instilled in me from the very beginning of my life. They showed me where this could be found in the Word of God. I believed it, and I have practiced tithing from that moment on—and it has been one of the greatest lessons ever learned.

Children should not only be taught tithing, but the giving of offerings in addition. My parents taught me to be generous with God. They taught me kindness and generosity.

Children should be taught to give money. I don’t remember a Sunday as a child that I didn’t put my tithe in the Sunday offering plate. As I did so, I always felt happy because I knew it was the right thing to do within God’s sight.

Sometimes my grandfather would give me a dollar, or I would earn one. I was taught that I owed God a dime of that dollar. My mother and daddy practiced this before me as an example, and I think this was responsible for convincing me of the propriety of doing so.

COURTESY AND MANNERS

In addition to being taught how to handle money, children should be taught courtesy and manners. Manners and morals are closely aligned, and no person can be what he should be without courtesy.

Parents should teach their children to say “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am” to adults and supervisors. You don’t hear much of this today. There is a considerable lack of respect within our society. It goes back to a lack of authority in the home, which then radiates throughout society. Children should be taught courtesy and to say a simple “thank you” or “no, thank you.”

Children should also be taught to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. The simple act of saying, ‘I am sorry,’ involves some of the most difficult words in the English language.

Another principle that needs to be reestablished is that of living peacefully with others. Fighting should not be allowed. Respect should be taught for another’s possessions, and one should not take what isn’t his own. Children should be encouraged to share.

Children should also be taught to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. The simple act of saying, “I am sorry,” involves some of the most difficult words in the English language. The only phrase harder to say is, “I was wrong.” Teach both of these phrases to your children early in life, and they will be much better persons for it.

CHILDREN ARE TO HONOUR THEIR PARENTS

God’s commandment to honor mother and father should be taught to children.

This is the fifth commandment and is the first to deal with man’s relationship to man. It is the only one that carries with it a special promise. The first four commandments refer to man’s relationship with God, and the last six sum up all of man’s duties toward mankind.

The first of these relationships is, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” The promise— for compliance with this commandment— is that one will live “long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The implication in this seems to be that if one properly deals with his parents in honor, other duties will likely be observed also, resulting in a healthy and lengthy life.

Even though this basic command was given in the Old Testament, all commands regarding man’s relationship to man continue to be valid. There is no evidence that these commands, concerning man’s relationship to man, have been done away with by Christ.

The fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” is recorded in the New Testament, and it is also elaborated upon there, with its applications explained. In Matthew 15:3-9, Jesus preached a brief sermon on this text. He repeated and expounded upon this thought of honoring father and mother.

SET A HIGH STANDARD

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

In every area of life, parents are to set high standards. Agreeing with Joshua, we are to declare that, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). The home is the place of worship and training. This is where character is built and lives developed. Parents must set the example. The Word of God must be read and explained, and prayer must be engaged in.

Family worship and training of children is an urgent need in every Christian home. You should train up a child in the way he should go. If done properly and scripturally, with love, he will not depart from the godly way. 

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “NOVEMBER 2017 THE EVANGELIST”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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Jesus Christ Is the Source of all Things We Receive from God

by Jimmy Swaggart May 2014

As we begin the treatment of this most important subject, “The Message of the Cross,” we must begin with Christ, Who He is and What He has done for us.

WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?

““Everything that we receive from God the Father, and I mean everything, comes to us by and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s quickly state, “Jesus Christ is the son of the living god,” in reality, “God manifest in the flesh.” He is “the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the Saviour of man.

Were Jesus Christ a mere man, albeit ever so talented, ever so educated, ever so charismatic, and ever so intelligent, that would be one thing. However, if Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, and He most definitely is, then that’s something else altogether.

Please note the following:

»» The only way to God is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6 KJV).

»» The only way to Jesus Christ is by the Means of the Cross (Luke 14:27 KJV).

»» The only way to the Cross is a denial of self (Luke 9:23 KJV).

Jesus Personally stated, and unequivocally so:

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (proclaims in no uncertain terms exactly Who and What Jesus is): no man comes unto the Father, but by Me (He declares positively that this idea of God as Father, this approach to God for every man is through Him – through what He is and what He has done).” (John 14:6 KJV).The Expositor’s Study Bible

It is Jesus Christ Who paid the price at Calvary’s Cross for man’s Redemption. No one else paid that price simply because no one else could pay that price. He Alone paid it; therefore, to be Saved, one must accept Christ. There is no other way.

It must be understood, if any doctrine is wrong about Jesus, then whatever else it is they say and do is of no consequence. As stated, He Alone is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Let us say it again:

Everything that we receive from God the Father, and I mean everything, comes to us by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One Who paid the price that that door may be opened. No one else did because no one else could.

John the Beloved probably gave the greatest definition of Who Christ is of any writer in the Word of God. He did so as the Spirit of God moved upon him and in such a way that it defies all description. Let’s look at it phrase by phrase. It is taken directly from the First Chapter, even beginning with the First Verse of the Gospel that bears his name.

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD

The phrase, “In the beginning was the Word,” refers to the Incarnate Christ but speaks of His Existence before the Incarnation.

The word, “Beginning,” does not imply that He had a beginning because, as God, He had no beginning, but it refers to the time of Creation and corresponds with Genesis 1:1 KJV.

George Williams says, “As speech reveals mind, so Jesus as the Word reveals God. But to reveal God He must Himself be God, for only God could reveal God.1)George Williams, William’s Complete Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Kregel Publications, 1994, pg. 777.

It is extremely interesting that the Holy Spirit through John describes Jesus as the “Word,” i.e., “the Eternal Logos.” This can refer to an expression of thought but is never used by New Testament writers in that fashion. They always use it in the realm of “speech,” “utterance,” or “word,” or so the Greek scholars claim.

For instance, in the record of the Creation in Genesis, Chapter 1, the proclamation of Creation is described eight times by the expression, “And God said.” The “Word” which was uttered was so powerful that it could only come from the Omnipotent Word.

As an example, the Jewish translators and commentators had so thoroughly grasped the idea that they were accustomed to substituting the phrase, “Memar-Jah,” “The Word of the Lord,” for the Name of the Most High.

They seemed to feel that the Lord could be better understood in the form of this expression, which proclaimed, at least in their minds, His Eternal and Absolute Being.

THE ETERNAL WORD OR LOGOS

As well, the Eternal Word, or “Logos,” was not placed in suspension during the 33 and one-half years of the Incarnation of Christ. Even though He was Very Man, still, He was Very God. As someone has well said, “While Jesus laid aside the expression of His Deity, He never for a moment lost possession of His Deity.” Consequently, the “Word” He was and, therefore, gave before the Incarnation carried through the Incarnation, thus never ceasing to exercise the functions which belonged to His Eternal Glory.

The Rev. R. H. Reynolds said, “He was ‘in the beginning,’ and therefore existed before all Creation. He did not ‘become.’ He was not ‘made.’ He ‘was!’2)H.D.M. Spence, The Pulpit Commentary: Vol. 1, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978.

AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD

The phrase, “And the Word was with God,” expresses the idea of the Trinity.

This tells us that Jesus, i.e., “the Word,” ever-existed (was), and that He had a personal existence, for He was with God.

The Greek scholars say that this statement as given by John is difficult to translate. It is equivalent to, “Was in relationship with God,” or, “Stood over against,” not in space or time, but eternally and constitutionally. In other words, it is more than just merely being with God, as we think of such a term, but actually having the same relation, which the next phrase declares.

AND THE WORD WAS GOD

The phrase, “And the Word was God,” does not mean that before the Incarnation He was God, but ceased to be during the Incarnation, but rather the opposite. He “was” God before the Incarnation; He “was” God during the Incarnation; He “was” God after the Incarnation; and He “was” and “is” God from eternity past to eternity future.

Williams says, “In His Existence Eternal, in His Person Distinct, in His Nature Divine, so that His Personality was not of time, for prior to Creation He was with God (John 17:5 KJV; Col 1:17 KJV; Heb 1:2 KJV). Thus He existed before the world began to exist; and this existence – being a conscious Personal One as distinct from the Father – necessitated His Personal Glory as God, i.e., ‘Son of God’; and so being God, that relationship was in its nature eternal.3)George Williams, William’s Complete Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Kregel Publications, 1994, pg. 777.

THE SAME WAS IN THE BEGINNING WITH GOD

The same,” i.e., this very Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, was in eternity with God. The Holy Spirit emphasizes this in order to declare His Eternal Relationship as the Son with the Father.

““He stands over and against the Eternal God in mutual communion with the Absolute and the Eternal

R. H. Reynolds

However, there is no indication that the Logos was a second God or merely Divine or God-like, neither is He described as proceeding out of or from God, nor is He to be called “the God absolute,” as opposed to all His Manifestations; but the “Logos” is said to be “God” — God in His Nature and Being.

Reynolds said: “He stands over and against the Eternal God in mutual communion with the Absolute and the Eternal.4)H.D.M. Spence, The Pulpit Commentary: Vol. 1, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978.

To attempt to understand the Trinity:

• The “Father” is “God” but not “first God.”

• The “Son” is “God” but not “second God.”

• The “Holy Spirit” is “God” but not “third God.”

There is only One God but manifested in Three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

As God, They had no beginning and have no ending. As God, They are uncaused, unformed, and unmade. As God, They always were and always shall be. As God, They are self-sufficient and have need of nothing.

ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM

The phrase, “All things were made by Him,” tells us that all things came into being through Him and without Him, not one single thing came into being.

This denies the theory of the eternity of matter, which was held by some in ancient times and continues to be claimed by some.

An absolute distinction, therefore, exists between Jesus and Creation.

As well, the pronoun, “Him,” referring to Jesus, makes it distinct that the “Word” is a Person.

The two words, “All things,” refer to every item of Creation, one by one, rather than all things regarded in totality. This tells us, at least according to the limit of our comprehension, that Jesus painstakingly saw to the individual Creation of each being, plant, planet, star, etc. As Paul said, “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him(Col 1:16 KJV).

In Verse 1, we are also told how He did this. The “Logos,” or “Word,” is the organ or instrument by which everything, one by one, was made.

Paul wrote in Hebrews“Through Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (refers to Creation, along with everything that goes with Creation), so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (God began with nothing, thereby, speaking into existence the things needed to create the universe)” (Heb 11:3 KJV).

AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT WAS MADE

The phrase of our heading says the same thing as the first phrase but in an opposite manner in order to stress the emphasis of Jesus as Creator.

The words, “Without Him,” mean that independently of His Cooperation and Volition, nothing, not even one single thing, was made.

When one considers the order of Creation and how it functions according to set laws and never varies from these laws, continuing to fulfill the creative order, one cannot help but be totally awed.

Other than the absolute absurdity and stupidity which characterize the vapid philosophy of evolution, the sheer affront to God as Creator by the propagation of this lie, and a lie it is, is the greatest insult of all. Actually, evolution is an insult to intelligence in any capacity. The idea that something on its own can be brought out of nothing is the beginning of this lie. In other words, evolution has no explanation for the first cause.

We know what the first cause is, “In the beginning God …(Gen 1:1 KJV). As well, the thought that something can gradually come from disorganized matter into a well-ordered structure, which is the very heart of evolution, is the very opposite of that which really happens. If left unattended and uncultivated, there is always a regression instead of a progression. That is the reason the Lord told Adam and Eve, “… Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth(Gen 1:28 KJV).

In Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of men(John 1:4 KJV).

The phrase, “In Him was Life,” presents Jesus, the Eternal Logos, as the First Cause.

While it is true that Creation exists in Him, still, to use the term only in that manner is error. Life exists in Him, which brought about the Creation. As well, this brought Him into relationship with a special part of His Creation, which is man, with whom was all His Delight.

Many men can create things, even as God, albeit on a much lower scale. However, inasmuch as man contains no life solely derived within himself, whatever he creates is dependent on the first cause, Who is God.

As an example, when man created the air-plane, or anything else for that matter, he had to power that invention by some type of source which only comes from God, and which is dependent, as well, on other laws created by God.

However, the “Life” which is in Christ is derived solely from Him, with Him dependent on nothing outside of Himself.

Actually, this is the reason for man’s terrible dilemma. At the Fall, he lost the “Life” imparted to him by God and has nothing left but death; consequently, man is born dying. As well, death inculcates itself in all of Creation in this world simply because of the Fall. The Life it had derived from God was lost; consequently, inasmuch as there is no other life, man must die, as well as all he touches.

AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN

The phrase, “And the Life was the Light of men,” proclaims two things:

1. Before the Fall, Jesus was the “Light of men,” which means there was no other life and no other light.

Reynolds said, “The Life which was in the Logos ‘was, has always been, is now, will ever be the Light of men.’5)Ibid.

When men fell from that Light Source, they had to fall into darkness because there was no other light; consequently, there could be no other “light.” The “Life” and “Light” are exclusively in Him.

2. When the “Light” at the Fall was lost due to the “Life” being rejected, God immediately set about to restore the “Life,” which would automatically bring the “Light.

There is “Life” in Creation, with men attempting to worship that “Life,” not realizing or believing that it is derived from God. That is why Paul said, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an  image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

He then said, “Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen(Rom 1:22-23, 25 KJV).

The phrase, “Light of men,” is an extremely interesting statement. This “Light” cannot be unless it is derived from the “Life” which is in Jesus. And yet, men attempt to find “Light” in various other places. This is because of the way that man fell.

Satan told man a lie and was successful in getting him to believe it. He told Adam and Eve, “… then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil(Gen 3:5 KJV). However, their eyes were not opened, but rather closed, i.e., the “Light” was gone!

BELIEVING A LIE

As well, by disobeying God and, in effect, rebelling against Him, they did not gain godhood as promised by Satan, but rather fell to the level of demon-hood. This is the reason that demon spirits make their abode in the bodies and minds of much of humanity, either through direct possession or through influence and oppression.

As well, the Fall was of such magnitude and to such a degree that there is no way man can fully comprehend its extent. He cannot tell how far he has fallen because he has no idea of his original state; consequently, there is no way to make a comparison. Man knows that something is wrong, but due to having no “light,” he does not know exactly what it is. He continues to think it can be corrected by education, money, or various different philosophies. Hence, he opts for modern psychology even though it does not work, and he knows it does not work.

He thinks he is only slightly maladjusted and can be quickly rehabilitated. Consequently, he talks about the “psychology of life,” which is man’s answer to man’s dilemma, or “the strength from within,” as if he can solve his own problems. However, this he cannot do, despite the fact of thousands of years of trying.

Into this torment of failure, God became Man and came into this world as the “Last Adam.” As such, He brought back “Life,” which the first Adam lost, and with it, the “Light.” Outside of Christ, there is no “light” of men.

THE INCARNATION

And the Light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not(John 1:5 KJV).

The phrase, “And the Light shines in darkness,” speaks of the Incarnation of Christ and His Coming into this world. Because it is derived from His “Life,” His “Light” drives out “darkness.” As we have repeatedly stated, that “Light” is Jesus. There is no other, not Joseph Smith, Buddha, Carl Marx, Confucius, Muhammad, etc. All others are false, and He Alone is the Light.

This is the reason that the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be taken to all points of the world, even as Jesus said, “… unto the uttermost part of the Earth(Acts 1:8 KJV). The reason is obvious; there is no other light.

If Jesus is presented, the Light will “shine”; if not, the darkness will remain.

That is the reason we plead, even to the point of begging for funds to air the television programming in every city in the world that will open its door to us.

We do this for two reasons:

1. This, “the taking of the Gospel to the world,” is the business of every Believer. He brought the “Light” down to this sin-cursed world, but it is our responsibility to carry forth that Light. I speak of every single Believer, irrespective as to who or where they are.

2. Above this burden and Call, which are incumbent upon every Believer, I, along with some few others, have a special Call from the Lord respecting television and radio. In other words, He has especially called me to do this thing; consequently, it is something I must do! I have no alternative or choice, and neither do I desire such. As a result, we have seen hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and I exaggerate not, brought to a Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ, for which we give the Lord all the praise and all the glory. To be frank, that is the reason Satan has fought so hard, attempting to get our telecast removed from the air. Regrettably, Satan has used the church in this effort of darkness even more than the world.

THE CHURCH

This means that most of that which calls itself “church,” may, in fact, be church, but not that which belongs to God. Satan has a “church” as well! It looks very similar to the real thing, which is Satan’s intention, but its real purpose is to stop the Gospel instead of proclaiming the Gospel.

Yes, there are some few good Churches, and thank God for those, but that number is few and, sadly and regrettably, getting less and less all the time. I personally feel that the modern church is in worse condition spiritually than it ever has been since the Reformation.

I believe that this is the reason the Holy Spirit is promoting the Message of the Cross at this particular time. In fact, the Church began with the Message of the Cross. This great Revelation, which is the meaning of the New Covenant, was given to the Apostle Paul, and he gave to us in his 14 Epistles.

After the original Apostles and those who knew them died off, little by little the Church began to go into spiritual declension. In about the year 600, it finally morphed into that which is now known as the Catholic church. I realize that the Catholic church claims that it started with Peter; however, the first man, the Bishop of Rome, to be referred to as “Pope” was in the early 600’s. Then, in the early 1600’s, the Reformation took place. It was basically based upon the great subject of “Justification by Faith.” This means that Justification is not in the church but only in Christ and what He did for us at the Cross.

That was followed in the late 1700’s and 1800’s by the great Holiness Message, which stressed Sanctification. At the turn of the 20th century, the Church experienced the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s Prophecy concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. The Pentecostal Message touched the world with the Gospel. I know because the Lord permitted us to have a part in this effort. In fact, in the 1980’s, our telecast was aired over a great part of the world, translated into several languages. We saw literally hundreds of thousands brought to a Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ.

However, sad to say, the Pentecostal denominations are little more preaching the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. In fact, many of them are denying that Tongues are the initial, physical evidence that one has been baptized with the Spirit. Now, into this comes the Message of the Cross, meaning that the Church has now come full circle. In fact, The Message of the Cross, I believe, is that which the Holy Spirit is presently saying to the Churches (Revelation Chapters 2-3 KJV).

The phrase, “And the darkness comprehended it not,” has reference to the fact that Satan did everything within Hell’s power to stop the “Light from shining,” but in that, he failed.

The Greek word for “comprehended” is “Katalambano,” and means, “To seize upon; to keep down or under; to stop.

As stated, the Evil One did everything he could to stop the shining of that Light, but in that, he failed. He did not overcome the Word, but, in truth, the Word overcame him and on the Cross spoiled all satanic powers (Col 2:14-17 KJV).

As well, this is not something to be done in the future, but something, in fact, which is already done. “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil(1 John 3:8 KJV).

From the time of Christ, the world has improved in many ways because of the entrance of the “Light,” which comes from His “Life.” Had it not been for the Dark Ages, which were brought about by Satan’s church, the advancement would have been made much sooner. I speak of the Catholic church, which, for hundreds of years, successfully hid the Bible, i.e., “Light,” from man. Regrettably, much of the Protestant world is likewise following in this train.

Even some Pentecostal denominations, who claim to know and have the Holy Spirit, have by and large turned their backs on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. As such, if, in fact, that is the case, they have become Satan’s church. They stop the Gospel instead of proclaiming the Gospel.

Nevertheless, wherever the “Light” shines, the powers of darkness are destroyed, and man is bettered in every conceivable way possible.

Through the years, I, as well as other Preachers, have seen multiple tens of thousands of people delivered from the vilest of sins and bondages by the mighty Power of God. I speak of acute alcoholism, with such bondage being broken. I’ve seen drug addicts delivered, even in the last stages. I speak, as well, of those delivered from the terrible bondage of religion, which, in many cases, is worse than all other bondages. Only Jesus Christ can do such a thing, not man or all his efforts, irrespective as to what they may be. Truly, Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross is the Answer, the Solution, and, in fact, the Only Answer.

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “The Message of the Cross.”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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References   [ + ]

1, 3. George Williams, William’s Complete Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Kregel Publications, 1994, pg. 777.
2, 4. H.D.M. Spence, The Pulpit Commentary: Vol. 1, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978.
5. Ibid.

What is the New Covenant? Part IV

by Jimmy Swaggart




But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:23 KJV

ONE WAY

The Lord has one way, and only one way, because only one way is needed. That one way is, Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 1:23 KJV).

Please allow me to repeat the following:

• Jesus Christ is the source of all things we receive from God (John 1:1 KJV; John 14:6 KJV; Col 2:10 KJV).

• The Cross of Christ is the means by which all of these things are given to us (Rom 6:3-5 KJV; 1 Cor 1:17-18, 23 KJV; 1 Cor 2:2 KJV).

• The Cross of Christ must be the object of our faith, and the Cross of Christ alone the object of our faith (Gal Chapter 5; Gal 6:14 KJV; Eph. 2:13-18 KJV; Col. 2:14-15 KJV).

• The Holy Spirit superintends all of this (Rom 8:1-2, 11 KJV; Eph 2:13-18 KJV).

LAW OR GRACE

Every human being in the world is either under law or grace. To break it down as follows, every unsaved person in the world is under the law of God, and we speak of the Ten Commandments. They may not understand that, but nevertheless, it is true. As well, they have broken that law countless times and are under its penalty of death, i.e., separation from God. The only way out is Jesus Christ.

THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE

Many Christians believe that because this is the dispensation of grace, and it most definitely is, then that means we are automatically under grace. That isn’t so!

For the grace of God to flow uninterrupted to the believer, the believer’s faith has to be in Christ and the Cross. The Cross of Christ is the means by which grace is given to us.

The truth is, the Lord has no more grace presently than He did 3,000 years ago or more. Due to the fact that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins, this meant the sin debt remained, which greatly hindered the Lord from giving good things to His children. In fact, grace is simply the goodness of God extended to undeserving saints.

If the believer has his faith in anything except the Cross of Christ, such a direction will “frustrate the Grace of God.

Paul said: “I do not frustrate the grace of God (if we make anything other than the Cross of Christ the object of our faith, we frustrate the grace of God, which means we stop its action, and the Holy Spirit will no longer help us): for if righteousness come by the law (any type of religious law), then Christ is dead in vain. (If I can successfully live for the Lord by any means other than faith in Christ and the Cross, then the death of Christ was a waste)” (Gal 2:21 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

As well, Paul said that if the grace of God continues to be frustrated, such a believer will “fall from grace.

The apostle said:

Christ is become of no effect unto you (this is a chilling statement, and refers to anyone who makes anything other than Christ and the Cross the object of his faith), whosoever of you are justified by the law (seek to be justified by the law); you are fallen from grace (fallen from the position of grace, which means the believer is trusting in something other than the Cross; it actually means, ‘to apostatize’)” (Gal 5:4 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

While the Lord doesn’t require very much of us, He does require one thing, and on that He will not bend. Our faith must be in Christ and the Cross, and our faith must be exclusively in Christ and the Cross (Rom 6:3-5 KJV; Rom 8:1-2, 11 KJV; 1 Cor 1:17-18, 21, 23 KJV; 1 Cor 2:2 KJV).

GRACE

What then? (This presents Paul going back to the first question he asked in this chapter) shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? (If we think such a thing, then we’re completely misunderstanding grace. The grace of God gives us the liberty to live a holy life, which we do through faith in Christ and the Cross, and not license to sin as some think.) God forbid (every true believer hates sin; so the idea of living under its dominion is abhorrent to say the least!)” (Rom 6:15 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

LICENSE?

The apostle is, in essence, saying, “Don’t get the idea that just because we are under grace, it’s alright to sin. Sin is deadly!” And to be sure, no one engages in this terrible malady without coming away adversely affected. As we said in the notes above, every true believer hates sin. While the flesh at times may want something that’s wrong, the mind of the believer wants to obey the law of God (Rom 7:25 KJV).

The only way, and I mean the only way, that one can have victory over sin—victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil—is for one to place one’s faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross and maintain it there. This is God’s way, and His only way, because it’s the only way that is needed.

SERVANTS

Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey (the believer is either a slave to Christ, for that’s what the word servant means, or else a slave to sin, which he will be if he doesn’t keep his faith in Christ and the Cross); whether of sin unto death (once again allow us to state the fact that if the believer attempts to live for God by any method other than faith in the finished work of Christ, the believer will fail, no matter how hard he otherwise tries), or of obedience unto righteousness? (The believer is required to obey the Word of the Lord. He cannot do that within his own strength, but only by understanding that he receives all things through what Christ did at the Cross and his continued faith in that finished work, even on a daily basis. Then the Holy Spirit, who alone can make us what we ought to be, can accomplish His work within our lives)” (Rom 6:16 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

SIN UNTO DEATH

All sin is linked with death in some way, as death is linked with sin in some way. At this moment, millions of marriages are dying simply because of sin. Talent and ability are being wasted and will never come to fruition because they are dying because of sin. Everything in this world is dying because of sin. There will come a day that there will be no more sin, and everything will then stay beautiful, new, and fresh forever.

John said, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth (‘new’ in the Greek is ‘kainos,’ and means ‘freshness with respect to age; when it is finished, it will be new, as is obvious, but the idea is it will remain new and fresh forever and forever because there is no more sin): for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away (refers to the original creation, which was marred by sin; ‘passed away’ in the Greek is ‘parerchomai,’ and means ‘to pass from one condition to another’; it never means annihilation)” (Rev 21:1 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS

The obedience mentioned here refers to obedience rendered to God, or rather obeying His Word.

What is that Word?

That Word is the “Cross.” That’s what the entirety of this sixth chapter of Romans is all about. Sin is the problem, and the Cross of Christ is the solution to that problem and, in fact, the only solution.

When the Lord began to open up to me the great Message of the Cross, actually that which had been given to the Apostle Paul, He said three things to me—three things which I will never forget. They are:

• The answer for which you seek is found in the Cross.

• The solution for which you seek is found in the Cross.

• The answer for which you seek is found only in the Cross.

The next verse tells us emphatically what that obedience is.

THE FORM OF DOCTRINE

But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin (slaves to the sin nature, what we were before we were saved), but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (Jesus Christ and Him crucified; understanding that all things come to the believer from God by the means of the Cross) which was delivered you (the Lord gave this ‘form of doctrine’ to Paul, and he gave it to us in his epistles)” (Rom 6:17 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THE DOCTRINE OF THE CROSS

The doctrine of the Cross is the foundation doctrine of all doctrine. It was established by the Godhead from before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:18-20 KJV). This means that every single doctrine in the Bible is built squarely upon the doctrine of the Cross. In fact, this is the way all false doctrine begins. If it’s false, it means that it is built upon a foundation other than the Cross of Christ.

When believers succumb to seducing spirits, it means they have shifted their faith from Christ and the Cross to something else.

FORM

The word form in the Greek is “tupos,” and means, “a stamp, a shape, a style, a model, a pattern.

As we have already stated, this form is a blueprint, and a blueprint designed by God. That form is the pattern of the Cross of Christ. If we deviate at all from the form, we have just added to or deleted from the Word of God. And what does the Bible say about that?

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book(Rev 22:19 KJV).

That has been man’s problem from the dawn of time. He does not want to accept the Word of God at face value. In fact, ever since the dawn of time, man has been trying to invent another god, and regrettably and sadder still, the church has been trying to invent another sacrifice. Tragedy is the result of both accounts.

SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Being then made free from sin (being made free from the sin nature; it has no more power over the believer, but only as we continue to look to the Cross), you became the servants of righteousness (whereas you were formerly a slave to the sin nature, you are now a slave to righteousness; if faith is maintained in the Cross, there is a constant pull of the believer toward righteousness)” (Rom 6:18 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

FREE FROM THE DOMINATION OF THE SIN NATURE

There are millions of Christians right now around the world, people who truly love God, who long for freedom from the domination of the sin nature. Some of these individuals pastor large churches. Others are evangelists being used of God, but still, the sin nature dominates them in some way.

They understand the Cross as it regards salvation; however, as it regards sanctification, how we live for God, how we order our behavior, and how we live this life, the part the Cross of Christ plays in all of this, of that they have no knowledge. As a result, most simply do not know how to be free from the domination of the sin nature.

SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Irrespective of the knowledge or lack thereof as it regards the Cross of Christ respecting sanctification, if anyone wills righteousness, in other words, hungers and thirsts after righteousness, the Lord will see to such that righteousness in some way is imputed to them. Admittedly, it’s not a simple journey, an easy journey, or a quick journey. But, if the person truly wants righteousness, the Lord will see to it that that person comes in contact with the message given to us by the Apostle Paul as it regards the Cross of Christ respecting sanctification.

When the Lord said, “Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled,” He meant every word of it (Mat 5:6 KJV).

THE INFIRMITY OF THE FLESH

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh (‘the manner of men’ pertains to the fall, which has made the flesh weak; this speaks of our own personal strength and ability): for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness (which the believer will do, if the object of his faith is anything but the Cross) and to iniquity unto iniquity (without constant faith in the Cross, the believer’s situation regarding sin will get worse and worse); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (which, as repeatedly stated, can only be done through constant faith in the Cross; understanding that it is by and through the Cross that we receive all things, and that the Holy Spirit, who alone can develop righteousness and holiness in our lives, works exclusively through the Cross)” (Rom 6:19 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

INIQUITY UNTO INIQUITY

When the sin nature dominates an individual, as it does any and every person whose faith is not exclusively in Christ and the Cross, the situation will go from bad to worse, i.e., “iniquity unto iniquity.” Sin never remains static. It never improves itself. It always degenerates, with the ultimate idea of totally and completely destroying the individual involved.

When Paul said, “Now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness,” he was speaking of those who understood the Cross of Christ as it regards sanctification, which now gives them the help of the Holy Spirit, who will develop these great attributes within their hearts and lives. But, if the believer has his faith in something else other than the Cross of Christ, he may want to yield the members of his physical body to righteousness and holiness, but he will not be able to do so.

We must understand that living for God is serious business. The Devil doesn’t want us to make it through; consequently, he will do everything within his power to hinder or even stop us. If we do things God’s way, we will be the beneficiary of the power of the Holy Spirit, which Satan cannot overcome. Otherwise, the situation is hopeless!

DEATH

For when you were the servants of sin (slaves to sin), you were free from righteousness (speaking of our lives before conversion to Christ). What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? (This means that absolutely nothing of any value can come out of the sinful experience. It is impossible for there to be any good fruit.) for the end of those things is death (if the believer refuses to look to the Cross, but rather looks to something else regarding his sanctification, domination by the sin nature is going to be the result, and spiritual death will be the conclusion; the Cross is the only answer for sin!)” (Rom 6:20-21 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

As we’ve already stated, death is always attached to sin. In essence, Paul is taking the believers back to their unsaved experience. But yet, he is reminding them of the bondage of sin that held them in its death grip during those times. And, as well, he is saying that if the believer did not function according to God’s manner and way, then the believer, even though saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, will once again find himself doing things that will make him grossly ashamed.

A believer may read these words and claim that such could not happen to him or her; however, as we have repeatedly stated, God’s way, the way of the Cross, is the only way. Refuse that, and once again, the sin nature is going to dominate us and drag us down.

EVERLASTING LIFE

But now (since coming to Christ) being made free from sin (set free from the sin nature), and become servants (slaves) to God (but this yoke is a light yoke [Mat 11:28-30 KJV]), you have your fruit unto holiness (which the Holy Spirit will bring about, providing the Cross is ever the object of our faith), and the end everlasting life (so the believer has the choice of ‘death,’ which is the end result of trusting something other than Christ and the Cross, or ‘everlasting life,’ which is the result of trusting Christ and the Cross).

For the wages of sin is death (speaks of spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (as stated, all of this, without exception, comes to us by the means of what Christ did at the Cross, which demands that the Cross ever be the object of our faith, thus giving the Holy Spirit latitude to work within our lives and bring forth His fruit)” (Rom 6:22-23 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

(This message was derived from the book by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart: “Paul, The Apostle”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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What is the New Covenant? Part III

by Jimmy Swaggart




But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:23 KJV

DEAD WITH CHRIST

Now if we be dead with Christ (once again pertains to the Cross, and our being baptized into His death), we believe that we shall also live with Him (have resurrection life, which is more abundant life [John 10:10 KJV])” (Rom  6:8 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

When Jesus died on the Cross, and when we evidence faith in Him, whenever that was when we were born again, at that moment, we “died with Christ.” That’s the way that God looked at the situation. As we’ve already stated, the old man had to die, and that we died with Him.

Paul also said, “We believe that we shall also live with Him.” Actually, the eighth verse is very similar to the fifth verse. Resurrection life, for this is what it is speaking of, can be had by the believer and, in fact, is meant to be had by the believer, but, it can be had only by us understanding that the resurrection life is made possible by what Jesus did at the Cross and, in essence, our dying with Him. Unfortunately, far too many believers attempt to have resurrection life while ignoring the

Cross. Such is not to be, as such cannot be. It is the Cross of Christ that has made, and does make, all things possible.

DOMINION IS BROKEN

While the dominion of the sin nature is broken with the conversion of the believing sinner, still, for it to remain broken, the individual has to know and understand how it was broken to begin with. If believers understand anything about this at all—and most don’t—then they know that the dominion of sin was broken in their lives by virtue of the Cross. However, most of the time, if any thought is given to it at all, which it seldom is, most do not understand that what got them in keeps them in. Not understanding that, faith is transferred to something else. When that happens, the sin nature, as we have stated, begins to have a revival, and once again begins to dominate the child of God. And it doesn’t matter how consecrated that person might be or how much he loves the Lord, it is impossible for such a believer to properly live for God. They can be saved and can make heaven their eternal home; however, when it comes to victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil, when it comes to growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord, and when it comes to enjoying the “more abundant life,” which Christ spoke about, that they don’t have. And the sadness is, due to the paucity of preaching and teaching from the pulpit as it regards this all-important subject, these believers, and I speak of those who truly love the Lord, are left in a quandary. And sadder yet, this is not speaking or addressing one here and there but virtually the entirety of the present body of Christ. By not understanding the Cross—as it refers to sanctification and how we live for God—such an individual is programmed, so to speak, for failure. There are no exceptions!

While many aren’t controlled by vices, they are controlled by other types of sins. In fact, the Apostle Paul listed these “works of the flesh.

WORKS OF THE FLESH

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these (if one attempts to function by means of law of any nature, the ‘works of the flesh’ will be manifested in one’s life); adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (if one is walking after the flesh [Rom 8:1 KJV], one or more of these sins will manifest themselves in one’s life; the only way, and I mean the only way, one can walk in perpetual victory is to understand that everything we receive from God comes to us by means of the Cross; consequently, the Cross must ever be the object of our faith; this being the case, the Holy Spirit, who works exclusively within the confines of the sacrifice of Christ, will exert His mighty power on our behalf, which will enable us to live a holy life): of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past (refers to the fact that the apostle was not afraid to name specific sins), that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (This tells us in no uncertain terms that if our faith is not everlastingly in Christ and the Cross, we simply won’t make it. God doesn’t have two ways of salvation and victory, only one, and that is ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’)” (Gal 5:19-21 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

HERESIES

The word heresy means “a departure from revealed truth.” So, while many Christians may not be involved in the vices, although many are, some are most definitely involved in heresy or idolatry. In fact, idolatry is rampant in the church, with untold millions putting their faith in their church denomination, etc. So, the works of the flesh run the gamut from the proverbial A to Z.

The point is this: If the believer doesn’t have his faith anchored in Christ and the Cross, but rather in something else, without fail, one or more of the works of the flesh are going to manifest themselves in one’s life. The Cross of Christ is God’s way. Unfortunately, most do not see that or know that.

The unredeemed world has forever tried to manufacture another god. The church, sadly and regrettably, has ever tried to manufacture another sacrifice. The next verse gives us the answer to that.

DIED UNTO SINS ONCE AND LIVES UNTO GOD

For in that He died, He died unto sin (the sin nature) once (actually means, ‘He died unto the sin nature, once, for all’): but in that He lives (the resurrection), He lives unto God (refers to the fact that all life comes from God, and that we receive that life by virtue of the Cross and our faith in that finished work)” (Rom 6:10 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

ONE SACRIFICE FOR SIN

There was and there is only one sacrifice for sin, and because only one sacrifice was needed. The phrase, “For in that He died, He died unto sin once,” proclaims several things. Some of them are:

• He atoned for all sin—past, present, and future—at least for all who will believe (John 3:16 KJV).

• The word once means that it will never have to be repeated.

• It means, as well, that God accepted the sacrifice in totality.

• For someone, anyone, to propose another sacrifice is an insult to the Lord of the worst proportions.

LIFE

The phrase, “But in that He lives, He lives unto God,” tells us that Jesus Christ is the source of all life. But, it also tells us in the first phrase of this verse that the Cross is the means by which this life is given unto us. The idea is, Jesus Christ has already won the victory, and has done so in every capacity. He died, and He lives! Herein lies all life and living. Understand this and the pieces of life, so to speak, will fall into place. Ignore it, and there is no life.

FAITH

Likewise reckon (account) you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto (the) sin (while the sin nature is not dead, we are dead unto the sin nature by virtue of the Cross and our faith in that sacrifice, but only as long as our faith continues in the Cross), but alive unto God (living the resurrection life) through Jesus Christ our Lord (refers to what He did at the Cross, which is the means of this resurrection life)” (Rom 6:11 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

The idea is, considering that we died with Christ on the Cross of Calvary, spiritually speaking, and considering that that victory is just as valid today as it was when we first accepted the Lord, we are to reckon ourselves as “dead indeed unto the sin nature, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE KEY TO VICTORY

It is not doing, but rather believing. It sounds easy, but actually, it is the hardest thing for a person to do. As a human being, we want to do something, when the truth is, it has already been done. When we believe that we died with Him, were buried with Him, and were raised with Him in newness of life, and that this is the key to all victory, and I continue to speak of our simple faith in what He did at the Cross, the Holy Spirit, who alone can make us what we ought to be, can then work mightily within our hearts and lives. It is all “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” and what He did at the Cross.

SANCTIFICATION

Let not sin (the sin nature) therefore reign (rule) in your mortal body (showing that the sin nature can once again rule in the heart and life of the believer, if the believer doesn’t constantly look to Christ and the Cross; the ‘mortal body’ is neutral, which means it can be used for righteousness or unrighteousness), that you should obey it in the lusts thereof (ungodly lusts are carried out through the mortal body, if faith is not maintained in the Cross [1 Cor. 1:17-18 KJV])” (Rom 6:12 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THE ORIGINAL TEXTS

When Paul wrote this particular sentence, he actually said, “Let not (the) sin therefore reign in your mortal body.” The reason he wrote it that way is because he wasn’t speaking of acts of sin, but rather the sin nature, or as some may say, “the evil nature.

The subject of the “sin nature” is one of the least understood subjects in the entirety of the New Testament. And yet, it is one of the most important.

The following are some of the ways the sin nature is addressed in the modern church. We will be brief. (For a more expanded treatment of this most important subject, I would advise the reader to secure for yourself our Cross of Christ Series study guide titled, “The Sin Nature.)

I have coined some five words to describe the way this subject is addressed by the modern church. They are: Ignorance, denial, license, struggle, and grace. Of the five, grace is the only scriptural way to address this subject. We’ll look at ignorance first.

IGNORANCE

Actually the vast majority of the modern church world has no understanding whatsoever regarding the subject of the sin nature. Most have never heard a sermon preached on this subject, have never read any material about this subject and, therefore, have no knowledge whatsoever. In fact, I think one could probably say that most Christians have never even heard the term “sin nature.” And if they did, it was only in passing, with little or no explanation given.

But, please understand, ignorance is not bliss in this area of one’s life. In fact, what you don’t know about the sin nature can kill you.

The sin nature can be referred to as the “evil nature,” the “Adamic nature,” or the “carnal nature,” etc.

WHAT IS THE SIN NATURE?

Let us briefly state that the sin nature has to do with the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Before the fall, their human nature was controlled by the divine nature. But, once the fall took place, then their human nature was controlled in totality by the sin nature. In other words, their very nature became that of disobedience, sin, rebellion, iniquity, transgression, etc. In fact, they were ruled by the sin nature 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And like Adam, so it is with all who are born thereafter, for every one of us was born with the Adamic nature, i.e., the sin nature.

When the believing sinner comes to Christ, the sin nature is made dormant, meaning that it’s made ineffective. But when the believer begins to place his or her faith in something other than Christ and the Cross, and no matter how religious the other thing might be, that’s when the sin nature has a revival, and can become dominant in our lives, actually dominating us, which it is with most Believers. I say most simply because most Christians have no knowledge of the Cross of Christ relative to sanctification, which means they simply do not know how to live for God. As such, the sin nature rules most believers. It is tragic and sad, but true.

DENIAL

Some preachers claim that once the person comes to Christ, there is no more sin nature. My answer to that is simple: If it is true that the believer doesn’t have a sin nature, then I wonder why the Holy Spirit took up so much time explaining something that doesn’t exist? Almost the entirety of the sixth chapter of Romans deals with this very subject.

LICENSE

Some few believers have a modicum of knowledge regarding the sin nature, in other words, they know they have a sin nature. Having this smattering of knowledge, they conclude that because they have a sin nature, they have to sin a little bit every day, etc. The Holy Spirit answered this by saying, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom 6:1-2 KJV).

The Lord does not save us in sin, but rather from sin.

STRUGGLE

Oddly enough, some Christians think that the Christian life is simply a life lived in a constant struggle with sin. Please understand, Jesus defeated all sin 2,000 years ago at Calvary’s Cross. So, if the believer is fighting sin, he is fighting the wrong fight. It’s a fight that’s already been fought and won. The only fight we are called upon to engage is the “good fight of faith(1 Tim 6:12 KJV).

If the believer is struggling with sin, it is a struggle he is going to lose. While there is a struggle, as stated, it is with our faith. This is where Satan attacks the child of God, and where the real struggle commences.

GRACE

Out of all the things we’ve named, grace is the only scriptural way and means that we are to address the sin nature.

First of all, grace is simply the goodness of God extended to undeserving believers. Secondly, when we place our faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross, then the Holy Spirit can give us good things and can do good things for us, which amounts to the grace of God, i.e., good things given to us. While grace comes from our Lord, it is the Holy Spirit who superintends this. He doesn’t demand much of us, as previously stated, but He does demand that our faith be exclusively in Christ and the Cross. That being done, good things can be given to us, and to be sure, good things will be given unto us.

INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO GOD

Neither yield you your members (of your mortal body) as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (the sin nature): but yield yourselves unto God (we are to yield ourselves to Christ and the Cross; that alone guarantees victory over the sin nature), as those who are alive from the dead (we have been raised with Christ in ‘newness of life’), and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (this can be done only by virtue of the Cross and our faith in that finished work, and faith which continues in that finished work from day to day [Luke 9:23-24 KJV])” (Rom 6:13 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

CAN SATAN OVERRIDE THE WILL OF BELIEVERS, FORCING THEM TO DO SOMETHING THEY DO NOT DESIRE TO DO?

Yes, that is, if the believer has his faith in something other than Christ and the Cross, which then greatly hinders the Holy Spirit from helping us. Paul said as much in Romans 7:19 KJV, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” This plainly tells us that Satan can override the will of an individual if that, indeed, is what the believer is depending on. Satan is stronger than our will, as should be obvious. Some believers have the erroneous idea that the Lord gives believers superhuman wills when they get saved. That is not true! My will and your will are no stronger today than they were before we came to Christ. While the will is definitely important, the “will” is not God’s way of bringing about victory in our lives.

His Way is Christ and the Cross, and Christ and the Cross exclusively. Our faith placed in the finished work of Christ guarantees us victory, which then enables us to yield our body members to righteousness. However, the believer should understand, this is the only way it can be done.

SIN SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION

For sin shall not have dominion over you (the sin nature will not have dominion over us if we as believers continue to exercise faith in the Cross of Christ; otherwise, the sin nature most definitely will have dominion over the believer): for you are not under the law (means that if we try to live this life by any type of law, no matter how good that law might be in its own right, we will conclude by the sin nature having dominion over us), but under grace (the grace of God flows to the believer on an unending basis only as long as the believer exercises faith in Christ and what He did at the Cross; grace is merely the goodness of God exercised by and through the Holy Spirit, and given to undeserving saints)” (Rom 6:14 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

WHAT IS DOMINION?

While the Bible does not teach sinless perfection, it most definitely does teach that the sin nature is not to have dominion over the believer.

What is dominion?

It is when a particular sin dominates a person, with that person unable to throw it off, unable to quit, unable to stop, and in a sense, with it dominating his life. And please believe me, this will happen if the believer doesn’t have his or her faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross. Let the believer ever understand, our victory is in Christ and the Cross, and our victory is in Christ and the Cross alone!

Are we saying that if the Believer doesn’t have his faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross that sin in some way (the sin nature) is going to have dominion over that person?

That’s exactly what we are saying!

As I dictate these notes, there are millions upon millions of Christians around the world, and I speak of those who truly love the Lord, who are battling with some type of vice, or some type of sin and, in fact, are losing that battle. But if the truth be known, in any and every case, the problem is not getting better but rather worse. The church, regrettably, doesn’t have any solution to these problems, because the church doesn’t understand Christ and the Cross, at least as it regards our sanctification, i.e., how we live for God.

(This message was derived from the book by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart: “Paul, The Apostle”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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What is the New Covenant? Part II

by Jimmy Swaggart




But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” 1 Corinthians 1:23 KJV

THE PROBLEM IS SIN

Now, let’s go straight to our text in the sixth chapter of Romans:What shall we say then? (This is meant to direct attention to Rom 5:20 KJV.) Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Just because grace is greater than sin doesn’t mean that the believer has a license to sin.) God forbid (presents Paul’s answer to the question, ‘Away with the thought, let not such a thing occur’). How shall we, who are dead to sin (dead to the sin nature), live any longer therein? (This portrays what the believer is now in Christ)” (Rom 6:1-2 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

In the seeker sensitive churches, so-called, sin is never mentioned. The same can be said for the Purpose Driven Life church as well. It is said that if sin is mentioned, this will be an offense to people. So, to keep from offending anyone, sin is never mentioned.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Word of Faith doctrine, which in reality is no faith at all, claims that if sin is mentioned by the preacher, it will create a sin consciousness in the people, which will cause them to sin. So, according to what they say, if sin is never mentioned, then people won’t sin.

It’s strange that the Apostle Paul, and above all, the Holy Spirit, didn’t have access to this great information. In fact, Paul mentioned sin 17 times in Romans, Chapter 6, alone.

Let us say it again: the problem is sin! Denying it won’t solve the problem, and neither will ignoring it solve the problem. Man is a sinner. As such, he desperately needs a redeemer. There is only one Redeemer, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us put it in this fashion:

• The only way to God is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6 KJV).

• The only way to Jesus Christ is through the Cross (Rom 6:3-5 KJV).

• The only way to the Cross is a denial of self (Luke 9:23 KJV).

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ (plainly says that this baptism is into Christ and not water [1 Cor 1:17 KJV; 12:13 KJV; Gal 3:27 KJV; Eph 4:5 KJV; Col 2:11-13 KJV]) were baptized into His death? (When Christ died on the Cross, in the mind of God, we died with Him; in other words, He became our substitute, and our identification with Him in His death gives us all the benefits for which He died; the idea is that He did it all for us!)” (Rom 6:3 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

BAPTISM

Unfortunately, most Christians, even, by far, most preachers, think that Paul is speaking of water baptism in Romans 6:3 KJV; consequently, knowing they have already been baptized, most Christians discount this chapter, which means they little understand what Paul is really saying. That is tragic considering that one could say that Romans, Chapter 6, is the central chapter of the entirety of the Word of God.

Some 99 percent of the Bible or more is given over to telling believers how to live for God. And this sixth chapter of Romans brings it all together. But due to misunderstanding the word baptize, most never understand the phenomenal truth that is given to us in this particular chapter.

If one looks in Strong’s Concordance, one will see that the word baptize can be used in either a literal or figurative sense. Let me give you an example how the Word of God uses the word in both senses.

John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance (here, the word baptize is used in its literal sense): but He (Christ) who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you (here it is used in the figurative sense) with the Holy Spirit, and with fire(Mat 3:11 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

When the believing sinner accepts Christ, which is done by faith in Christ, at that moment, in the mind of God, such a person is placed in Christ “into His Death.” It is like the person dies with Christ. At least that’s the way the Lord sees it. This is the reason the Cross is so very, very important!

BURIED WITH HIM AND RAISED IN NEWNESS OF LIFE

Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death (not only did we die with Him, but we were buried with Him as well, which means that all the sin and transgression of the past were buried; when they put Him in the tomb, they put all of our sins into that tomb as well): that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (we died with Him, we were buried with Him, and His resurrection was our resurrection to a ‘newness of life’)” (Rom 6:4 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

LIVING FOR GOD

Whenever we accepted Christ, as stated, in the mind of God, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, and we were raised with Christ that “we also should walk in newness of life.

Even though we did not die physically on that Cross, and even though Jesus died in our place, still, faith exhibited in Him and what He did for us at the Cross, gives us all for which He died, which was and is the intention of the crucifixion. Now don’t misunderstand, Christ is not still on a Cross. As well, He is not dying again and again. In fact, He is seated presently at the right hand of the Father, and spiritually speaking, we are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6 KJV).

But the one sacrifice of Christ was of such magnitude that anyone and everyone who evidences faith in Him receives the benefits for which He died. One must ever understand that everything Christ did, He did it for us. He did not do it for Himself, because He did not need such. He did not do it for angels, or anything else, but only for sinners.

RESURRECTION LIFE

For if we have been planted together (with Christ) in the likeness of His death (Paul proclaims the Cross as the instrument through which all blessings come; consequently, the Cross must ever be the object of our faith, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work within our lives), we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection (we can have the ‘likeness of His resurrection,’ i.e., ‘live this resurrection life,’ only as long as we understand the ‘likeness of His death,’ which refers to the Cross as the means by which all of this is done)” (Rom 6:51 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY RESURRECTION LIFE?

Paul is not speaking here of the resurrection, which will take place when the trump sounds. He is speaking of the victory that we now have as a result of the death of Christ and our faith in His finished work. Every believer is meant to have “resurrection life,” but it must be understood, this can only be had if we first of all understand that it has been made possible by His death.

If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death,” meaning that we understand why He died, then “we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” However, this is all predicated on our understanding the veracity of the Cross of Christ.

Many Christians talk about resurrection life, but they don’t understand that it is predicated solely on the death of Christ. It is the Cross of Christ, and this we must ever understand, that makes everything possible.

THE SIN NATURE MADE INEFFECTIVE

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him (all that we were before conversion), that the body of sin might be destroyed (the power of sin broken), that henceforth we should not serve sin (the guilt of sin is removed at conversion, because the sin nature no longer rules within our hearts and lives)” (Rom 6:6 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

A BETTER TRANSLATION

The phrase, “that the body of sin might be destroyed,” would have been better translated, “that the body of sin might be made ineffective.

The Greek word for destroyed is katargeo, and means, “to destroy or to make of no effect.” We know from the way Paul addresses the sin nature in the balance of the chapter that it is not destroyed, but rather made ineffective at conversion. If it were destroyed, it would not be possible for it to be revived again; however, if it is made ineffective, it can be revived, which, of course, is what Paul teaches.

The “old man,” as Paul uses the term, is what we were, our life and living before we came to Christ. That old man was “crucified with Him.” In fact, it could be no other way.

The old man cannot be improved, it must die! The type of death it must die cannot be brought about by mankind, only by Christ, and only by what Christ did at the Cross. That’s what Paul was talking about when he said we “were baptized into His death.

Unfortunately, the greater pastime of modern America is self-improvement. It once was baseball, but now it’s an emphasis on self. While we are a self, and will ever be a self, and while it is obvious that self definitely needs improvement, the truth is, self cannot improve self. There is no such thing as moral evolution. And yet, man keeps trying, and religious man most of all! In fact, the most popular preachers presently over television are those who constantly acclaim the improvement of self. In other words, they claim to know how to improve self by eliminating bad habits and developing good habits. Unfortunately, the problem is far worse than that. The old man is totally and completely corrupted. That’s the reason when the believing sinner comes to Christ, “he is made a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new(2 Cor 5:17 KJV).

But even then, the believer finds the old man trying to come alive again, trying to usurp authority over the new man. The believer will find this is a constant struggle never-ending.

There is only one solution for it, and we mean only one.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

Jesus addressed this very thing by saying: If any man will come after Me (the criteria for discipleship), let him deny himself (not asceticism as many think, but rather that one denies one’s own willpower, self-will, strength, and ability, depending totally on Christ), and take up his cross (the benefits of the Cross, looking exclusively to what Jesus did there to meet our every need) daily (this is so important, our looking to the Cross; that we must renew our faith in what Christ has done for us, even on a daily basis, for Satan will ever try to move us away from the Cross as the object of our faith, which always spells disaster), and follow Me (Christ can be followed only by the believer looking to the Cross, understanding what it accomplished, and by that means alone [Rom 6:3-5, 11, 14 KJV; Rom 8:1-2, 11 KJV; 1 Cor 1:17-18, 21, 23 KJV; 1 Cor 2:2 KJV; Gal 6:14 KJV; Eph 2:13-18 KJV; Col 2:14-15 KJV]). For whosoever will save his life shall lose it (try to live one’s life outside of Christ and the Cross): but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it (when we place our faith entirely in Christ and the Cross, looking exclusively to Him, we have just found ‘more abundant life’ [John 10:10 KJV]) (Luke 9:23-24 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit alone can develop us, thereby, making us what we ought to be. And just because we are born again, meaning that the Holy Spirit now lives within our physical and spiritual lives, still, we hinder Him greatly, not understanding how He works.

The Holy Spirit works exclusively within the parameters of the finished work of Christ (Rom 8:2 KJV). In fact, He will not work outside of those parameters. He doesn’t demand very much of us, but He most definitely does demand one thing, and that is that our faith be exclusively in Christ and the Cross. This being done, it means that we understand that our source is the Lord Jesus Christ, while the means by which He gives us all things is the Cross. Only then can the Holy Spirit function as He desires to do within our hearts and lives, developing us as He so desires. It cannot be done any other way.

SERVING THE SIN NATURE

Paul said in Romans, Chapter 6, Verse 6, “That henceforth we should not serve sin.” This refers to serving the sin nature. What did he mean by that?

If we do not function God’s way, which means that we place our faith exclusively in Christ and the Cross, to be sure, the sin nature will have a revival in our lives, actually functioning somewhat as it did, or even worse, before we were saved. At this very moment, there are millions of Christians all over the world who are struggling with something in their lives, and they are losing the struggle.

As Paul said in Romans 7:15 KJV, they don’t really understand what is happening to them. Many of these believers are doing everything within their power to live for God to the best of their ability. But still, they are plagued by some vice over which they seemingly have no control. As someone once said, “They rebuke the Devil, but he don’t buke.

The reason is, they are trying to defeat this thing by their own strength. They do not understand that, considering they’re using the name of Jesus, are quoting Scriptures, and doing anything and everything else they know, but, if the truth be known, it is all to no avail. By placing their faith in something other than Christ and the Cross, this limits, as stated, the Holy Spirit as to what He can do in their lives, which means they are failing and will continue to fail. In fact, the situation in such circumstances will continue to get worse and worse, no matter how much they love the Lord.

TREATING THE SYMPTOMS OF SIN

The modern church little knows what to do with these situations. They recommend a psychologist, who can only make the matter worse, or they rather treat the symptoms. In other words, what the individual has done and is doing that is wrong, no doubt, terribly wrong, is not the real cause of the problem. It’s just a symptom of what the real problem is. And what is the real problem?

The real problem is a wrong object of faith. That object must be the Cross of Christ. And, as well, our faith must be maintained in the Cross of Christ. It must not move elsewhere.

And please believe me, Satan will do everything within his power to move your faith to other things. And he doesn’t too very much care what the other things are, just as long as it’s not the Cross of Christ.

The reader must understand that everything we receive from the Lord, and I mean everything, comes from Christ as the source and the Cross as the means. If we divorce either one from the other, then we are left with “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4 KJV).

DEAD

For he who is dead (He was our substitute, and in the mind of God, we died with Him upon believing faith) is freed from sin (set free from the bondage of the sin nature)” (Rom 6:7 KJV).The Expositor’s Study Bible

As we have stated, the old man cannot be improved. He had to die, and die he did, on the Cross of Calvary. Of course, and as is understood, this was all by faith. This means it is not a physical thing, as should be obvious, but rather that which is spiritual. The moment the old man died, he was set free from the dominion of the sin nature.

In fact, before anyone gives his heart to Christ, looking back to his unsaved state, he was ruled by the sin nature 24 hours a day. But now, as stated, that dominion is broken. As long as we keep our faith in Christ and the Cross, the dominion of the sin nature will remain broken. Now, this doesn’t mean that Satan will cease all of his temptation, nor does it mean we’ll never have another problem. Such as that does not exist.

Satan is going to continue, trying his best to come up with new means and ways to trip us up, but, above all, to get us to transfer our faith from the Cross of Christ to other things.

This is where the good fight of faith comes in. Admittedly, it is a fight, but it is a good fight, because it is the right fight (1 Tim 6:12 KJV). Most Christians, sad to say, are fighting the wrong fight.

FIGHTING SIN?

There’s really nothing in the Bible that tells us to fight sin per se. While it is a fight and, as well, war, still, as stated, the fight and the war are with our faith. This is the battleground! If we are trying to fight sin, we are fighting a battle that’s already been fought and won at the Cross of Calvary (Col 2:14-15 KJV). Now that’s a phenomenal truth, and one that we need to learn, seemingly, all over again.

When Paul said, “He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it,(Col. 2:15 KJV) he meant exactly what he said. Jesus triumphed over Satan, over every fallen angel, and over every demon spirit. This means that by atoning for all sin, he took away Satan’s legal right to hold man captive.

Paul also said, “But this Man (this Priest, Christ Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever (speaks of the Cross), sat down on the right hand of God (refers to the great contrast with the priests under the Levitical system, who never sat down because their work was never completed; the work of Christ was a ‘finished work,’ and needed no repetition)” (Heb 10:12 KJV).The Expositor’s Study Bible

This tells us that our Lord offered up “one sacrifice for sins,” which was Himself in the shedding of His life’s blood. Likewise, the word forever means that there will never be a need for another sacrifice. It is done forever.

The phrase, “sat down on the right hand of God,” means that God accepted His sacrifice, meaning that all sin has been atoned, and that the sin nature need not any longer dominate any believer. So, fighting against sin of any nature is a fruitless exercise. It’s a wasted effort! As stated, we are to fight the good fight of faith, and never cease fighting that good fight of faith.

(This message was derived from the book by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart: “Paul, The Apostle”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.  
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What is the New Covenant? Part I

by Jimmy Swaggart




But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.1 Corinthians 1:23 KJV

In point of reference, the new covenant is Jesus Christ. More particularly, one might say it is “Jesus Christ and Him crucified(1 Cor 1:23 KJV). Furthermore, the new covenant, unlike any and every other covenant that God has ever made with man, cannot be broken. It is absolutely impossible for it to be marred, weakened, or broken. So, how is this possible?

A covenant, of necessity, is an agreement between two or more parties. In this case, it is between God and man. Every other covenant which God has made with man, we find that man has broken it almost before the proverbial ink is dry. So, how is it possible that the new covenant, which is a covenant between God and man, cannot be broken? We can certainly understand how that God always keeps His promises, but knowing the frailty of human flesh, the question looms large as to how this covenant, considering that man is a part of it, cannot be broken?

JESUS CHRIST

The answer to this question, as complicated as it might seem, is actually very simple. It cannot be broken simply because it is all in Jesus Christ. He is both God and man. Paul referred to him as the “last Adam,” and the “second Man.

In effect, Jesus Christ was and is our representative man. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. For instance, in His life and living, He kept the law perfectly in every respect, not sinning even one time in word, thought, or deed. He did it all for us! And then when it came time to address the broken law, of which all of us were guilty, He offered Himself as a sacrifice, in effect, a perfect sacrifice, on the Cross of Calvary, shedding His life’s blood, paying a price that we could not pay, and which was accepted in totality by God the Father. As it regards the broken law, for all who will believe, the slate was wiped clean.

THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY

Paul addressed this by saying: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit (anything that pulls the believer away from the Cross is not of God), after the tradition of men (anything that is not of the Cross if of men), after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (If it’s truly after Christ, then it’s after the Cross.) For in Him (Christdwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (This is Godhead as to essence. Christ is the completion and the fullness of deity, and in Him the believer is complete.)

HE IS THE HEAD OF ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER

And you are complete in Him (the satisfaction of every spiritual want is found in Christ, made possible by the Cross), which is the head of all principality and power (His headship extends not only over the church, which voluntarily serves Him, but over all forces that are opposed to Him as well [Phil 2:10-11 KJV]): In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (that which is brought about by the Cross [Rom 6:3-5 KJV]), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ (refers to the old carnal nature that is defeated by the believer placing his faith totally in the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work): Buried with Him in baptism (does not refer to water baptism, but rather to the believer baptized into the death of Christ, which refers to the crucifixion and Christ as our substitute [Rom 6:3-4 KJV]), wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead. (This does not refer to our future physical resurrection, but to that spiritual resurrection from a sinful state into divine life. We died with Him, we are buried with Him, and we rose with Him [Rom 6:3-5 KJV], and herein lies the secret to all spiritual victory.)

THE LAW WAS SATISFIED

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (speaks of spiritual death [i.e., ‘separation from God’], which sin does!), has He quickened together with Him (refers to being made spiritually alive, which is done through being born again), having forgiven you all trespasses (the Cross made it possible for all manner of sins to be forgiven and taken away); blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (pertains to the law of Moses, which was God’s standard of righteousness that man could not reach), which was contrary to us (law is against us, simply because we are unable to keep its precepts, no matter how hard we try), and took it out of the way (refers to the penalty of the law being removed), nailing it to His Cross (the law with its decrees was abolished in Christ’s death, as if crucified with Him); And having spoiled principalities and powers (Satan and all of his henchmen were defeated at the Cross by Christ atoning for all sin; sin was the legal right Satan had to hold man in captivity; with all sin atoned, he has no more legal right to hold anyone in bondage), He (Christ) made a show of them openly (what Jesus did at the Cross was in the face of the whole universe), triumphing over them in it. (The triumph is complete and it was all done for us, meaning we can walk in power and perpetual victory due to the Cross) (Col 2:8-15 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

WAS IT WHO HE WAS OR WHAT HE DID?

Generally those who ask the question, “Was it who He was or what He did?” are in some way denigrating the Cross of Christ. They are claiming that it is insignificant.

The answer to that question is simple: it was both who He was, and what He did.

There is no one else that could have carried out this great sacrifice but the Lord Jesus Christ. No human being who has ever been born could have done such a thing. Man, due to Adam’s fall in the garden of Eden, is born in original sin. He is born with the Adamic nature, which can be referred to as the “sin nature.” As such, he is polluted, to say the least. And, as such, our Lord said, if man is to be saved, he must be born again (John 3:3 KJV). Thus, man is shot down before he even begins. So, if man were to be saved, God would have to save man, because He alone could perform this task. Therefore, God became man, the Man—Christ Jesus—and did so for the purpose of going to the Cross.

WHO HE WAS

Please understand this: Jesus Christ is God and, in fact, always has been God. As God, He had no beginning, was not created, was not born, was not made, and was not formed, but has always been. Admittedly, that is beyond the comprehension of a human being. When God became man, the Lord Jesus Christ, He never ceased to be God. As someone has capably said:While Jesus Christ laid aside the expression of His deity, never for a moment did He lose possession of His deity.

He was very God and very man. But yet, as the Man, Jesus Christ, He never used His powers of deity, not even one time, in the performing of miracles and all the great things He did. He did all of these things by the power of the Holy Spirit. As God, no anointing was needed to do anything, but as a man, the Man, Christ Jesus, our Lord definitely needed the anointing to heal the sick, and to do all the great things that He did.

The Scripture says:How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power (as a man, Christ needed the Holy Spirit, as we certainly do as well! In fact, everything He did was by the power of the Spirit): who went about doing good (everything He did was good), and healing all who were oppressed of the Devil (only Christ could do this, and believers can do such only as Christ empowers them by the Spirit); for God was with Him (God is with us only as we are ‘with Him’)” (Acts 10:38 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

But, as we have stated, only as God, as glorious as that is, still, no souls were saved, no lives were changed, and no redemption was affected. To be sure, considering that God can do all things, He didn’t have to go to the Cross; however, the Godhead definitely determined that the Cross was the way in which man would be redeemed.

WHAT HE DID!

• While the deity of Christ was absolutely necessary, that is if man were to be redeemed, still, had it ended there, not a single soul would have ever been saved.

• While the conception of Christ in the womb of Mary, without the benefit of man and decreed by the Holy Spirit, was absolutely necessary, still, had it stopped there, not a single soul would have been saved.

• While the perfect life of Christ was absolutely necessary in that He did not sin one single time in word, thought, or deed, still, had it ended there, not a single soul would have been saved.

• While the miracles that Christ performed in healing all manner of diseases and even raising the dead were absolutely necessary, still, had it ended there, not a single soul would have been saved.

• For man to be saved, God had to become man, had to be born of the Virgin Mary, had to live a spotless, perfect life, and had to be a miracle worker, but for that which brought about redemption, that which made it possible for man to be redeemed from sin and death, Jesus Christ had to go to the Cross. It was at the Cross that the sin debt was forever paid. It was at the Cross that all sin was atoned. It was at the Cross where Satan, demon spirits, and fallen angels were totally and completely defeated, and done so by every sin being atoned. With sin being the legal means that Satan had to hold man captive, and with that legal means removed, which it was at the Cross, Satan has no more right to hold anyone in bondage.

All of this is why the Apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth, and to all of us as well:For I determined not to know anything among you (with purpose and design, Paul did not resort to the knowledge or philosophy of the world regarding the preaching of the gospel), save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (that and that alone is the message, which will save the sinner, set the captive free, and give the believer perpetual victory)” (1 Cor 2:2 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

So, while it was who He was, which was absolutely necessary, still, it was what He did, and we refer to the Cross, which set the captive free. Let me say it again: Jesus Christ is God and, in fact, has always been God and ever will be God; however, it took the Cross with the price paid there for man to be redeemed and, thereby, given eternal life. If we denigrate the Cross in any way, if we belittle the Cross in any way, or if we make it secondary in any way, we blaspheme!

THE CROSS OF CHRIST, THE VERY FIRST DOCTRINE

To begin with, it is perfectly proper to refer to the new covenant as a doctrine, inasmuch as it was referred to as such by the Holy Spirit.

Through Paul the Spirit said, “But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin (slaves to the sin nature, what we were before we were saved), but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (Jesus Christ and Him crucified; understanding that all things come to the believer from God by the means of the Cross) which was delivered you (the Lord gave this ‘form of doctrine’ to Paul, and he gave it to us in his epistles)” (Rom 6:17 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

FORM OF DOCTRINE

Incidentally, the word form in the Greek is “tupos” and means “a shape, a model, a fashion, a figure, a pattern.” To be sure, this is a pattern or form drawn off by the Holy

Spirit, which means that it must not be tampered with, must not be changed, and must not be added to or taken from. This means it is an exact doctrine, and in every respect.

In effect, it has to do with a blueprint. If the blueprint is followed, as it must be, the intended result will be achieved and done so 100 percent. The problem with the modern church, and actually, it is a problem that has always existed, man, and especially religious man, seeks to change the form, i.e., “deviate from the blueprint.” Momentarily we will deal with that which is the blueprint, relating as to exactly what it means.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST, THE VERY FIRST DOCTRINE

By the very first doctrine, we are referring to that which the Godhead has established first of all.

Peter gave us this information:

Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold (presents the fact that the most precious commodities [silver and gold] could not redeem fallen man), from your vain conversation (vain lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers (speaks of original sin that is passed on from father to child at conception);

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

But with the precious blood of Christ (presents the payment, which proclaims the poured out life of Christ on behalf of sinners), as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (speaks of the lambs offered as substitutes in the old Jewish economy; the death of Christ was not an execution or assassination, but rather a sacrifice; the offering of Himself presented a perfect sacrifice, for He was perfect in every respect [Ex 12:5 KJV]):

FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world (refers to the fact that God, in His omniscience, knew He would create man, man would fall, and man would be redeemed by Christ going to the Cross; this was all done before the universe was created; this means the Cross of Christ is the foundation doctrine of all doctrine, referring to the fact that all doctrine must be built upon that foundation, or else it is specious), but was manifest in these last times for you (refers to the invisible God who, in the person of the Son, was made visible to human eyesight by assuming a human body and human limitations)” (1 Pet 1:18-20 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

ALL FALSE DOCTRINE HAS ITS ORIGIN IN AN IMPROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE CROSS

Due to the fact that it is so important, let us state it again: Inasmuch, even as the Holy Spirit proclaimed through Peter, that the doctrine of the Cross was actually formed in the mind of the Godhead from before the foundation of the world, this tells us that as far as redemption of mankind is concerned, the doctrine of Christ crucified is the very first doctrine formed. That being the case, this means that it is the single most important doctrine in the entirety of the Word of God. It also means that every Bible doctrine is based squarely upon the foundation of the Cross of Christ.

If men come up with a doctrine, any kind of doctrine, that is not based squarely on the Cross, this means that doctrine is spurious. In fact, this is the way all false doctrine begins. It is because the doctrine of the Cross is ignored, or else denied, or else given an improper place. In other words, every false doctrine has its beginning because of a misinterpretation, a denial, or a misunderstanding of the Cross of Christ. Understanding that, we surely should understand how so very important this “form of doctrine” actually is.

THE MEANING OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE CROSS

We find the core meaning of the doctrine of the Cross in Romans, Chapter 6. In the first two verses, even as we shall see, the Holy Spirit through Paul tells us that the problem is sin. Whatever label may be attached, whatever other types of claims may be made, still, the Holy Spirit has said that the problem is sin. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the redeemed or the unredeemed, the problem is sin.

And then, in verses 3 through 5 of Romans, Chapter 6, we are given the solution to the sin problem, which is the Cross of Christ. But, more particularly, in these three verses, we are told how that we literally become a part of this form of doctrine, which is probably explained better than ever by the words “in Christ.

But it refers to being “in Christ” by virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection.

In these three particulars, we are placed in Christ in His death, in Christ in His burial, and in Christ in His resurrection. In fact, the entirety of Romans, Chapter 6, is given over by the Holy Spirit to inform us as believers as to how to live for God.

If one doesn’t understand this great sixth chapter, then simply put, one doesn’t understand how to live for the Lord. To be sure, such can cause all types of problems. 

(This message was derived from the book by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart: “Paul, The Apostle”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.  
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What are the Gifts of the Spirit? PART IV

by Jimmy Swaggart



DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

The Scripture says, “To another discerning of spirits” (1 Cor 12:10 KJV).

If you are going to embrace humanistic psychology, you cannot have at the same time the Holy Spirit.

Discerning of spirits refers to the following:

• Human spirits; • Demon spirits; and, • The Holy Spirit.

This is not the Gift of Discernment, but rather, the Gift of “discerning of spirits.” It is true that when a person comes to Christ, their capacity of discernment increases greatly, which it definitely should; however, this is not what the Holy Spirit is here addressing.

FALSE DOCTRINE

One of the reasons that so many modern Christians are falling for so much false doctrine is that there is so little “discerning of spirits” in Operation at this present time. As a Minister of the Gospel, oftentimes I will watch Christians fall for things that are so obviously wrong, yet, they seem to not know any better. The modern church, due to falling away from the Administration of the Holy Spirit, has come to the place that it little understands the difference in evil spirits and the Holy Spirit. That is tragic! But, it is true. Entire religious denominations are being led astray and, I might quickly add, denominations which once had the Flow and Moving of the Holy Spirit.

I read a letter the other day written by a leader in a Full Gospel denomination, so-called, who was castigating this Ministry (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries), and extolling the greatness of the Purpose Driven Life system. The tragedy is, this leader in that denomination didn’t even have enough spirituality to know and understand that the Purpose Driven Life scheme is totally of man, which means it is not at all of God. He did not have enough discernment to know that, much less the Gift of “discerning of spirits.” When Believers, so-called, begin to stray from the Word of God, which must be the criteria for all things, then the Working, Moving, and Operation of the Holy Spirit begins to fall by the wayside as well.

That’s the tragedy with modern Pentecostal denominations. For the most part, they have embraced humanistic psychology, which means they cannot at the same time have the Moving and Working of the Holy Spirit. Either one cancels out the other. If you are going to embrace humanistic psychology, you cannot have at the same time the Holy Spirit. If you follow the Ways of the Spirit, you will not want or desire the ways of humanistic psychology. The two are antithetical, meaning, “being in direct and unequivocal opposition.

AN EXAMPLE

Some years ago, Frances and I were in a particular city in a crusade. It was Saturday night. After the service ended, Frances motioned for me to come to where she was, as she was speaking with two people, a man and his wife. We walked over to a place to where we could have a little privacy, and Frances mentioned to me that this couple was having marriage difficulties. I did not know them and neither did Frances.

At any rate, as we were standing there listening to them, all of a sudden, the Lord spoke to my heart and told me what the problem was. I discerned the spirit of lying in the dear lady who stood before me. Now, the Lord does not reveal these kinds of things to me often, but that night, He did.

As we have already stated, many times these Gifts work in tandem with each other.

I called her to the side, out of earshot of her husband. I then said to her, “Sister, your marriage is in trouble, in serious trouble, because you are being unfaithful to your husband.” Her eyes grew wide in astonishment because she knew that I did not know her or anything about her. I said, “You are having an affair with another man.” She dropped her head and began to sob, admitting that it was true. I then said to her that she would have to tell her husband of this problem and repent before God, and that it must be broken off instantly.

We then went back to where Frances and the lady’s husband were standing. I said nothing to him, leaving it up to her and to her discretion. Frances and I prayed with them, and they left. I received a letter from her some weeks later. She told me how that she had done exactly what I said, repented before God, broke off the thing, and had related everything to her husband. She went on to tell me that it looked like their marriage was going to be saved.

Now, in that particular episode, not only was “discerning of spirits” in Operation, as I discerned a lying spirit in this dear lady, but also, a “Word of Knowledge,” which related the situation that had been happening and was happening then, and also a “Word of Wisdom,” which stated what she must do and how that it would turn out alright if she obeyed the Lord. As we have already stated, many times these Gifts work in tandem with each other.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES

To another diverse kinds of Tongues (1 Cor 12:10 KJV).

In fact, one might say for the sake of clarification, that there are two types of Tongues.

The “kinds of Tongues” refer to different languages but unknown by the speaker. This is proven, as we have already stated, from Acts 2:5-13 KJV. It must be understood that Paul is speaking here of the “Gift of Tongues,” and not the Tongues that are used in our everyday prayer language and worship. Many non-Believers get this confused, thinking that anytime a person speaks in Tongues, it’s supposed to be interpreted, and if it’s not interpreted, that proves it’s not real. They totally misunderstand the situation. In fact, one might say for the sake of clarification, that there are two types of Tongues.

They are:

• The Tongues that one receives when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit. They are to continue to use these Tongues, praying in the Spirit and worshipping in the Spirit, which they should do on a daily basis. However, even though anything and everything that God does for us is a “Gift,” still, Paul is speaking in this Twelfth Chapter of 1 Corinthians of the nine Gifts of the Spirit. In other words, he delineates these Gifts as it regards these particular nine Spiritual Gifts, one might say. What I’m saying is, our prayer language is not the Gift of Tongues of which Paul here speaks.

It’s not meant to be interpreted and, in fact, is not to be interpreted. It is simply worship of the Lord, which within itself, and as we also have explained in another Chapter, is extremely beneficial to the Child of God.

• The Gift of Tongues is that which Paul is here addressing. In fact, he goes into detail in the Fourteenth Chapter as to how this Gift is to be used. In other words, speaking with other Tongues, whether in worship or whether as a Gift, is explained in the Fourteenth Chapter of 1 Corinthians.

He says the following:

1. For the Gift of Tongues to be as helpful as the Gift of Prophecy, Interpretation of Tongues must be brought into play as well.

2. When it is time to preach to the congregation or to teach the congregation, one certainly should not try to do so in Tongues because, as would be obvious, the people would not understand what is being said. That’s the reason the Apostle said, “So likewise ye, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?(1 Cor. 14:9 KJV).

What was taking place was the following. Many of the Corinthians, not knowing or understanding how the Gifts should operate in the services, that is, when they came together to worship the Lord, were blurting out in Tongues, and doing so constantly, which hindered the service. Paul went on to say that while the one speaking may be blessed, no one else is (1 Cor 14:16-17 KJV).

3. Inasmuch as “the spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets,” meaning that no one is forced by the Lord to do anything, if one feels he has a message that is to be given to the Church, he should wait till the appropriate time (1 Cor 14:32 KJV).

4. And, when the utterance is given and properly interpreted, with both being from the Lord, it will “speak unto men to Edification, Exhortation, and Comfort(1 Cor 14:3 KJV).

“THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES”

Tongues and interpretation of Tongues equal Prophecy regarding significance. ”

Paul said, “To another the interpretation of Tongues” (1 Cor 12:10 KJV). As we’ve already stated, it’s only utterances that are given in Church Services, and given at the appropriate time, which are to be interpreted and, in fact, are meant by the Lord to be interpreted. And, we must remember, this is an interpretation and not a translation. These are two different things. It is the Gift of “interpretation of Tongues,” and not the gift of “translation of Tongues.

Concerning this Gift, the following should be noted: 

Tongues and interpretation of Tongues equal Prophecy regarding significance. Paul said: “I would that you all spoke with Tongues (refers here in this instance to one’s prayer and worship language), but rather that you Prophesied (now reverts to this particular Gift of the Spirit): for greater is he who Prophesies than he who speaks with Tongues, except he Interpret, that the Church may receive Edifying(1 Cor 14:5 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

• The one who has the Gift of Tongues, meant to be uttered in public services and interpreted, the Scripture says he should also “pray that he may interpret,” in other words, pray that the Lord would give him, as well, the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues (1 Cor 14:13 KJV). This is for the obvious reason. If it is a small assembly and the person with a Gift of Tongues has to depend on someone else, the other person being the interpreter, and that person is not present, this presents a problem.

“‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal(1 Cor 12:7 KJV).

So, the one with the Gift of Tongues should pray that the Lord would use him or her as well, as it regards the interpretation of Tongues. In fact, this is the ideal!

• In a public service, the Holy Spirit through Paul said that utterances should be limited “by two, or at the most by three,” meaning the individuals who are giving the utterances in Tongues, which are meant to be interpreted (1 Cor 14:27 KJV).

• If there is no interpreter present, the individual is to “keep silence in the Church; and let him speak to himself, and to God(1 Cor 14:28 KJV).

TO PROFIT WITHAL

Again we go back to the words of Paul as he introduced the Gifts. He said: “But the manifestation of the Spirit (pertains to that which the Gifts make manifest or reveal) is given to every man to profit withal. (If the Gifts are allowed to function properly, which they definitely will if the Holy Spirit has His Way, the entirety of the Church will profit, which of course, is the intention of the Holy Spirit)” (1 Cor 12:7 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

.

“The Master comes! He calls for thee,
“Go forth at His Almighty Word;
“Obedient to His last Command;
“And tell to those who never heard,
“Who sit in deepest shades of night,
“That Christ has come to give them light!”
“The Master calls! Arise and go;
“How blessed His Messenger to be!
“He Who has given you liberty,
“Now bids you set the captives free,
“Proclaim His mighty Power to save,
“Who for the world His Life-Blood gave.”
“The Master calls! Shall not the heart,
“In warm responsive love reply,
“Lord, here am I, send me, send me,
“Your willing slave, to live or die;
“And an instrument unfit indeed,
“Yet You will give me what I need.”
“And if you cannot go, yet bring,
“An offering of a willing heart;
“Then, though you tarry at home,
“Your God shall give you to your part.
“The messengers of peace upbear,
“In ceaseless and prevailing prayer.”
“Short is the time for service true,
“For soon shall dawn that glorious day,
“When, all the Harvest gathered in,
“Each faithful heart shall hear Him say,
“‘My Child, well done! Your toil is o’er;
“Enter My Joy forevermore.’”

.

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.
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What are the Gifts of the Spirit? PART I

by Jimmy Swaggart



One of the biggest sins of Believers is to intrude into the Office Work of the Holy Spirit, which is His Domain Alone.

The Gifts of the Spirit pertain to Gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 KJV. Only Spirit-filled people can have these Gifts, and we speak of those who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other Tongues. I have never heard of anyone exercising one of these Gifts who wasn’t baptized with the Holy Spirit.

In fact, most who do not subscribe to the Spirit Baptism claim that these Gifts stopped with the death of the original Apostles. And then those who do lend some type of idea that they exist today explain them totally in the natural realm.

In other words, the “Gifts of Healing(s)” pertain to doctors and nurses, with the gift of “the Word of Wisdom,” which they erroneously label as the “Gift of Wisdom,” as being possessed by elderly Christians who have a lot of experience. In other words, everything is explained in the natural, taking it out from the Domain of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, none of that is Scripturally correct. In this Chapter we hope to shed some light on what these Gifts are, and how they operate.

CAN PREACHERS BESTOW THESE GIFTS ON OTHERS?

No! Preachers cannot bestow Gifts of the Spirit on others. These are “Gifts of the Spirit,” and not gifts of man. He Alone can bestow these Gifts as He Alone can empower these Gifts.

The Word of God concerning this question plainly states: “But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit (refers to the fact that all the abilities and powers of the Gifts are produced and operated by the energy of the Spirit), dividing to every man severally as He (the Holy Spirit) will. (All the distribution is within the discretion of the Holy Spirit, which means that men or women cannot impart Gifts to other individuals. That is the domain of the Spirit Alone!)” (1 Cor 12:11 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

If it is to be noticed, the Scripture plainly says, “Dividing to every man severally as He (the Holy Spirit) will,” not as man wills. Unfortunately, in the last few decades there have been seminars and meetings of various types where it was claimed that certain preachers could bestow Gifts on others, etc.

One of the biggest sins of Believers is to intrude into the Office Work of the Holy Spirit, which is His Domain Alone. Neither in the Book of Acts nor the Epistles, which is the proclamation of the Early Church and the Doctrine by which the Early Church was founded, will you find any of the Apostles, even the Apostle Paul, bestowing Gifts of the Spirit on others. Some have tried to force Romans 1:11 into this arena; however, Paul is not there talking about Gifts of the Spirit as it pertains to the nine Gifts. What was he talking about?

THE ESTABLISHING OF BELIEVERS

“‘(Spiritual Gifts, as valuable as they are, do not establish anyone; it is the Truth of the Word which establishes, and that alone [John 8:32 KJV])’”

The great Apostle said: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your Faith is spoken of throughout the whole world (speaks of the Roman Empire). “For God is my witness, Whom I serve with my spirit (his human spirit) in the Gospel of His Son (Jesus Christ and Him Crucified), that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers (Paul had a strong prayer life); “Making request (has to do with seeking the Lord about a certain thing, in this case the privilege of ministering to the Church at Rome), if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the Will of God to come unto you (Acts, Chpts. 27 and 28, record that journey; it was very prosperous spiritually, but not prosperous in other ways). “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some Spiritual Gift (does not mean, as some think, that Paul could impart one or more of the nine Gifts of the Spirit, but rather speaks of explaining to them more perfectly the Word of God), to the end you may be established (Spiritual Gifts, as valuable as they are, do not establish anyone; it is the Truth of the Word which establishes, and that alone [John 8:32 KJV])” (Rom 1:8-11 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THREE GROUPS

REVEAL | DO | SAY

Even though we will explain these Gifts exactly as they are given in the Scripture, still, to help us understand them a little better, they can be sectioned in groups of three.

They are:

Three Gifts that: Reveal Something:

Three Gifts which: Do Something:

Three Gifts that: Say Something:

• The Word of Wisdom

• The Word of Knowledge

• Discerning of spirits

• Faith

• Gifts of Healing(s)

• Working of Miracles

• Prophecy

• Diverse kinds of Tongues

• Interpretation of Tongues

“I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT”

As well, we should quickly add that some of these Gifts work in tandem with each other.

It is clear and plain in the Word of God that the Lord wants us to understand these Gifts, what they are, how they function, how they operate, etc. That being the case, we should eagerly desire this information.

Concerning this, the Scripture says: Now concerning Spiritual Gifts, Brethren (in this case, this has to do with the nine Gifts of the Spirit outlined in Verses 8 through 10), I would not have you ignorant (proclaims the Spirit of God, through Paul, saying He wanted the entirety of the Church to know about these Gifts). “You know that you were Gentiles (meaning that, before their conversion, they had no knowledge of God), carried away unto these dumb idols, even as you were led. (They were primarily led by superstition and witchcraft.“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed (the True Spirit of God would never do such a thing; so those who did such were not of God): and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit. (Any other manner will be incorrect. It is the Holy Spirit Alone, Who reveals the Lordship of Christ to the Believer.)”

“DIVERSITIES” AND “DIFFERENCES”

“Now there are diversities of Gifts (different types of Gifts), but the same Spirit (all of this means the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself). “And there are differences of Administrations (different Services, Ministries, Offices), but the same Lord. (Christ is the One Who assigns the different Ministries, with the Holy Spirit then carrying out the function. As well, Christ never contradicts Himself.“And there are diversities of Operations (different ways the Gifts work), but it is the same God which works all in all (has reference to the fact it is God the Father Who energizes all things and all ways)” (1 Cor 12:1-6 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THESE GIFTS ARE A BLESSING

The Scripture says:

“But the manifestation of the Spirit (pertains to that which the Gifts make manifest or revealis given to every man to profit withal. (If the Gifts are allowed to function properly, which they definitely will if the Holy Spirit has His Way, all will profit)” (1 Cor 12:7 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

Now, let’s take the Gifts one by one, hopefully, to shed more light on these Blessings given to us by the Holy Spirit.

“THE WORD OF WISDOM”

“For to one is given by the Spirit (proclaims the Holy Spirit as being the One Who carries out the instructions of Christ, relative to who gets what) the Word of Wisdom (pertains to information concerning the future, whether of people, places, or things) . . .” (1 Cor 12:8 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

If it is to be noted, it is not the Gift of Wisdom, but rather, “the Word of Wisdom.” It means that the Lord gives us some information about a particular subject regarding the future, whether of people, places, or things, but only a small amount. As well, we should quickly add that some of these Gifts work in tandem with each other. In other words, several of the Gifts may be in Operation at one time about one particular subject, which, no doubt, happens many times. In fact, the illustration I’m about to give incorporated the “Word of Knowledge” and the “Word of Wisdom.” I could give many illustrations, but I think the one that we will now give will serve the purpose.

THE WHITE HOUSE

If I remember correctly, the year was 1987. At any rate, it was during the Reagan Administration. The White House called and asked if I would come to Washington where I would meet with two other preachers, only one with whom I was acquainted. The reason for the request pertained to two Baptist preachers in the State of Nebraska, I think it was, who had been put in jail because they refused to subject their private Christian school to certain demands made by the state, which they felt violated their conscience, etc.

I had read about the situation in the newspapers, but beyond that had no knowledge of the situation and was not acquainted with the preachers. At any rate, wondering how in the world that we could be of any help, I consented to go.

THE MEETING IN WASHINGTON

Mr. Baker spoke first, outlining the situation, making the statement that it was deplorable to see preachers of the Gospel put in jail for obeying their conscience.

The day of the meeting I arrived according to instructions and was taken to a particular room where the meeting would be held in the Old Executive Office Building, I believe it is called. Once again, if I remember correctly, it is situated near the Capitol. When I went into the room with the two other preachers, I found it packed to capacity. Most of the President’s Cabinet was there.

I was seated next to Ed Meese, the Attorney General of the United States. Directly across from me was Jim Baker, the Secretary of State. Next to him was Jim McFarland, the National Security Advisor. The balance of the room was filled with lawyers. In fact, at the table where we were seated, there must have been eight or ten lawyers, along with scores standing around the wall.

Mr. Baker spoke first, outlining the situation, making the statement that it was deplorable to see preachers of the Gospel put in jail for obeying their conscience. He then went on to say that the White House would do anything to help get these men released, providing it was legal and did not embarrass the President. The lawyers made some statements, as well as the other two preachers. At about that time, possibly about an hour into the meeting, Mr. Meese, the Attorney General, spoke up and made a statement concerning the legalities of the problem.

THE LORD SPOKE TO MY HEART

While the other two preachers had made some remarks, I had not said anything, wondering why they called us there and what help we might be, which, in my mind, was none at all. As Mr. Meese began to speak, the Lord, all of a sudden, began to speak to my heart. He told me exactly what to say which, if carried out, would immediately bring about the release from jail of these two preachers.

To say that I was nervous would be a gross understatement. Finally, Mr. Meese finished with his statement, and the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “Now is the time.” When Mr. Meese finished speaking, there was silence for a moment, and then I spoke up. Of course, every head turned toward me, wondering what I would say.

I asked the question exactly as the Lord had spoken to my heart. The question was, “Isn’t the President supposed to make a speech tonight that will cover the nation?” Mr. Baker immediately replied and said, “Well, yes, he is!” I then said, “Why not have the President mention this situation in Nebraska, which will call attention to the matter, and will probably shame the officials in this city to the extent that they will immediately release these preachers!”

The next morning they were released. It was all because of a Word of Knowledge linked with a Word of Wisdom.

When I finished, there was a silence that gripped the room. All of a sudden, one of the principal lawyers, actually a Constitutional lawyer who was seated at the head of the table, jumped up, slammed his fist on the table and said, “That will work.” He then added, “Why didn’t I think of that!” Mr. McFarland spoke up then and said, “Yes, the President is making a speech tonight, and I am writing the speech. I know exactly what to say.” With that, the meeting ended.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

That night President Reagan made the speech as scheduled and in the body of the speech mentioned the situation in Nebraska, as to the shame of preachers in America being put in jail for trying to obey their conscience. The next morning they were released. It was all because of a Word of Knowledge linked with a Word of Wisdom. The Word of Knowledge had to do with information needed then, and the Word of Wisdom came into play as it regarded what the future would hold, namely the next morning when they would be released.

HOW THESE GIFTS WORKED

Had I thought on this subject before this meeting? Not really because I knew next to nothing about the situation. In other words, what I spoke to these men that day, which resulted in the release of these preachers, had not entered my mind at all before the Lord began to speak to me at the exact time that He did. To be frank, I personally contributed absolutely nothing to that which was stated. The Lord, as simple as it turned out to be, but which no one else thought of, told me exactly what to say and how to say it.

I’ve had the Lord do that with me any number of times down through the years, but at the same time, there have been times that I pleaded for a Word from the Lord in this capacity, concerning needs that I thought were very important, but with nothing being given. It might be quickly added that these Gifts are not worked at will. In other words, the person cannot turn it on or turn it off. This is strictly the Domain of the Holy Spirit, Who will function as He so desires and when He so desires.

THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

. . . To another the Word of Knowledge (concerns the past or the present, relative to persons, places, or things; it is to be noted that it’s ‘the Word of,’ which means a small amount) by the same Spirit (it is the Holy Spirit Who functions in all of these Gifts)” (1 Cor 12:8 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

If it is to be noticed, the “Word of Wisdom” pertains to information concerning the future, while the “Word of Knowledge” pertains to information concerning the past or the present. Once again, I could give any number of illustrations, but I think the following will explain this Gift.

A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The first office we constructed in Baton Rouge relative to the Ministry was located in the south central part of the city. Our present offices are located on the south side. The year was probably about 1973 or 1974. The Ministry was growing by leaps and bounds, and we were adding an addition to our present structure. The engineers had drawn the plans for the addition, and the day before a big truck had delivered the concrete beams that would span the building, with a big crane brought out on this particular day to erect the beams in place.

There were several engineers there that morning with all of the equipment ready to go. One of the city engineers walked over to me at a given point in time, actually when the crane was about ready to put up the first beam. He said to me, “Reverend Swaggart, we’ve got a problem.” He then said, “We can’t put this beam up here as this building is now constructed. If we do, the wall on which one side will be placed could give way with the entire structure falling down.” I stood there looking at him for a few moments and then stated, “Well, I guess we’ll have to get the engineers to draw up another plan that will accommodate this of which you speak.” He then said, “Yes, you can do that; however, these concrete beams cannot remain where they are. In fact,” he went on to say, “they are designed with a particular type of stress, and if they are not placed in the position for which they are designed, they will probably crack, making them unusable.” I tried to absorb all that he said, knowing that tens of thousands of dollars of God’s money were at stake.

THE LORD SPOKE TO ME

Those engineers stood there a moment looking at me, and finally, one turned to the other one and said, ‘You know, I believe that will work.’”

He walked over, conferring with other engineers, and I walked to the back of the structure where I could hopefully pray for just a moment to try to get the Mind of the Lord as to what to do.

Let me make it perfectly clear that I have absolutely no experience whatsoever in construction. In other words, I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about the things he was telling me. I stood at the back of the building alone, asking the Lord what we could do. Instantly, it happened. The Lord told me to go back to the engineer and to propose to him the following solution. I walked over to where two or three of them were standing discussing the matter. At the opportune time I said to them, “If we put two by tens on top of that wall, bolt them securely to where they will spread out the weight, won’t that take care of the problem?” 

This was what the Lord had told me to ask. Now, please understand, as I’ve already stated, I know absolutely nothing about construction regarding engineering or anything else of this type. Those engineers stood there a moment looking at me, and finally, one turned to the other one and said, “You know, I believe that will work.” We had someone go to the hardware immediately and purchase the required two by tens. When he came back, they bolted them to the top of that wall. About an hour later, the big crane picked up the first one and laid it in place, followed by all the rest of them.

Once again I walked to the back of the building, and I was weeping. Of course, it was not for sorrow but for joy; however, at any rate, one of the engineers saw me and hastily walked over to where I was. He said, “Reverend Swaggart, don’t worry, everything is alright now. We’ve got it under control.” I didn’t say anything to him, but I was rejoicing over what the Lord had just done, which, of course, saved the Ministry tens of thousands of dollars.

What the Lord gave me that day was a “Word of Knowledge” concerning the problem. He didn’t give me a course on engineering. He didn’t give me any knowledge as it regarded what all of this was about, only that which He told me to do. Once again, it was so simple, and yet, the engineers, who work with these types of things all the time, did not at all think of what was suggested.

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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What are the Gifts of the Spirit? PART II

by Jimmy Swaggart



FAITH

To another Faith (special Faith) by the same Spirit . . . (1 Cor 12:9 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible 

In other words, your place and position, as it regards this Work and Ministry, are not an accident.

 

The “Faith” here addressed is not the same as Saving Faith spoken of in Romans 12:3 KJV. Neither is it Faith that is a “Fruit of the Spirit(Gal 5:22 KJV)The “Faith” here listed as a Gift of the Spirit is a special Faith which, I believe, is given by the Holy Spirit to every person who has, at the same time, been assigned a particular task which, in the natural, is impossible. As it regards this Ministry (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries), this special Faith is something that we have to use every single day. We almost never have the funds to do what God has called us to do, meaning that we have to believe Him even day-by-day. It’s not a one-time affair that happens once in a while, but, as stated, it is daily. We have to believe that the Lord is going to meet the need and see us through because He has called us to do what we are doing. However, it takes a special Faith to believe this.

When the Lord calls someone to do something, even as He has called this Evangelist for World Evangelism, I believe that He also calls a great number of people to join in this endeavor in order that it be carried out. In other words, I believe the people of our Church (Family Worship Center) are just as called of God as I am. I believe that those who support us are just as called of God as I am as it regards this Ministry. They may live many hundreds or even thousands of miles from Baton Rouge, yet, they are blessed and helped by our telecasts and/or the radio programs, as well as the publications and the music, etc. This includes many of you holding this book in your hands. Along with this Call, you have been given, as well, this special Faith to believe God with me.

YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY THE LORD

In other words, your place and position, as it regards this Work and Ministry, are not an accident. You have been placed here by the Lord. As we take this Gospel, this Message of the Cross, to a hurting, dying world, you will have a part in every soul that’s Saved, every life that is changed, every Believer baptized with the Spirit, every sick body healed, every bondage of darkness broken, etc. Furthermore, I believe we can say without fear of Scriptural contradiction that every single person in the world, who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit, has Gifts of the Spirit latent within their hearts and lives, waiting to be developed. In other words, the Lord wants to use you in particular Gifts, awaiting only your consecration regarding the matter. Therefore, you should tell the Lord that you want these Gifts to Operate in your life, that is, whatever Gifts He would desire to work through you. I don’t believe the Scripture teaches that these Gifts are only for a select few. I believe they are for every single Spirit-filled Believer.

I made mention to our congregation at Family Worship Center a short time ago that, considering the tremendous obstacles, which we have had to overcome as it regards this Ministry, we could not have done it were it not for Gifts which are Operating in the hearts and lives of many of our people. Some of these Gifts, like Faith, are not obvious to others; nevertheless, they are there, and they are working.

To be frank, as it regards many of the Gifts which are not vocal, I feel that many Spirit-filled Believers are used in these Gifts when, most of the time, they don’t even know or understand that these things are happening.

Nevertheless, they are! One of the reasons that so little is understood about these Gifts is simply the fact that the subject matter is not taught as it ought to be. Once again, I remind the reader that the Holy Spirit has said, “I would not have you ignorant,concerning these things which are so very important (1 Cor 12:1 KJV).

GIFTS OF HEALING’S

It should be understood that any Believer can pray for the sick.

. . . To another the Gifts of Healing(s) (prayer for the sick) by the same Spirit(1 Cor 12:9 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible 

If it is to be noticed, both words, “Gifts” and “Healing’s,” are in the plural. In the King James Version, “Healing’s” is not in the plural, but rather, in the singular. 

However, in the original Text, even as Paul wrote it, both words are plural. Why? One thing is certain.

Whatever the Holy Spirit did was for a purpose and is very important. He did nothing and does nothing that can be construed as insignificant. And yet, I’ve read or heard precious little that attempted to define the plurality of these words. Momentarily, I will give what I feel the plurality means. It should be understood that any Believer can pray for the sick.

The Scripture clearly states, “And these signs shall follow them who believe . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover(Mark 16:17-18 KJV). So, every Believer is admonished to pray for the sick and expect the Lord to heal; however, the fact is, for those who definitely have “Gifts of Healing(s),” many more healings will be brought about than otherwise. As it regards the plurality of the words “Gifts” and “Healings,” I believe that such was done by the Holy Spirit for the following reason.

VARIOUS HEALING’S

And yet, as it referred to our Lord, no disease or sickness stood in His way, not even death.

Many times, those who have Gifts of Healing(s) will see more healings regarding certain types of diseases than they will other types. It’s as though the Lord gives them a special Faith for a certain disease, etc. In other words, they will see many more healings of that particular malady than anything else. Then, there are some to whom the Lord gives a greater anointing, it seems, and they will have Faith for several different types of diseases, which refers to the plurality of the words “Gifts” and “Healing(s).”

And yet, as it referred to our Lord, no disease or sickness stood in His way, not even death. The Scripture says of Him: “For He Whom God has sent speaks the Words of God (refers to Christ Who always spoke the Mind of God and, thereby, the Word of God): for God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him (refers to the fact that all others, whomever they may have been and even the very greatest, while having the Holy Spirit, did so by ‘measure,’ which was not so with Jesus; He had the Spirit in totality, hence, the constant healings and miracles)” (John 3:34 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible 

This means that the Holy Spirit could function in Him as no Believer simply because Christ was Perfect, while all Believers are imperfect. As well, the Scripture says of Christ, “You love Righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows(Psalm 45:7 KJV). All of this states that, whereas we are limited, irrespective as to how much the Lord may use one of us, the Lord of Glory, as is obvious, was unlimited.

A PERSONAL HEALING

When Frances and I first began in Evangelistic work in the mid-1950’s, the great Divine Healing Revivals were beginning to sweep the world. I remember that Gordon Lindsay, editor of the very influential Voice of Healing Magazine, wrote many books on this phenomenon that was taking place, with one of them being, “Bible Days Are Here Again”. Countless times I would look at that title, even after I had read the book, and weep for joy. Truly, the Lord was pouring out His Spirit all over the world.

The Lord was using frail, imperfect, individuals to once again proclaim the Might and the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Giant tents were being constructed, actually the biggest in the world, and being filled to capacity with people who had “never seen it in this manner before.” Frances and I were in a meeting in the Lindale Assembly Of God Church in Houston, Texas, pastored by James McKeehan.

He was one of the Godliest men that I ever had the privilege to know. We were at a breakfast of sorts one of the mornings while we were there. Brother McKeehan came up to me and said, “Brother Swaggart, there’s someone here I want you to meet.” I looked up and standing before me was an elderly gentlemen, frail of build and short of stature. I stood to my feet to shake hands with him when Brother McKeehan said, “Brother Swaggart, this is Raymond T. Richey.

I stood there for a few moments, unable to speak. This man had been used of God as possibly few men in history. The Lord most definitely gave him the Gifts of Healing(s), along with the Working of Miracles, and, no doubt, other Gifts as well. He had witnessed and experienced one of the mightiest Moves of God in the world. That’s the reason that my tongue would not speak when I stood before him. And yet, he was so very gracious and kind with such a humble demeanour, so much so, in fact, that I will never forget that moment.

A MIGHTY HEALING

I would like to relate just one incident from the thousands, which occurred under this man’s Ministry and scores of others like him. I had the privilege of knowing a particular preacher, some years older than I, who had been graciously used of the Lord. He was of Italian descent, thereby, his entire family knew nothing but Catholicism as it regarded church. This was back in the 1940’s, and he found that his mother, although still young of years, was dying with cancer. In fact, her situation was terminal, having been sent home from the hospital to die.

She was so sick that she could little walk, but she somehow managed to get to the service.

One particular morning, the newspaper boy threw into their yard, by mistake, a newspaper. They did not subscribe to the newspaper in Houston, Texas, simply because they were too poor, he said, to afford the subscription.

At any rate, he picked up the paper, took it inside, and somewhere in the body of that paper he saw a big half page ad that stated, or words to this effect, “DIVINE HEALING REVIVAL.” It went on to state that blinded eyes were being opened and diseases were being healed, even cancer. When he and his mother saw those words, something leaped within their hearts.

Now, they were Catholic, and in those days Catholics did not go to protestant churches. In fact, they had never been in a protestant church in their lives; irrespective, he resolved somehow to get his mother to the meeting that was being conducted at the Richey Temple in Houston. She was so sick that she could little walk, but she somehow managed to get to the service. Sure enough, it was like something they had never been in in all of their lives.

If I remember the illustration correctly, they were singing and, oh, what singing it was. They had never heard anything like that in the Catholic Church. And then, all of a sudden, it happened!

A MIRACLE OF HEALING

At any rate, the day of my healing came, but my healing came in a very strange way.

His mother, even though she had never felt the Spirit of God in all of her life before now, all of a sudden stood to her feet and began to raise her hands and say, “I feel it, I feel it, I feel it.” That night she was gloriously and miraculously healed by the Power of God. In other words, when she went home that night, she was no longer a Catholic, no longer unsaved, and no longer sick. The young man in question, her son, became a preacher of the Gospel, and his mother lived many years thereafter. That was just one of the thousands of healings that took place under the Ministry of Raymond T. Richey.

Brother Roccaforte, for that was the Brother’s name whose mother was miraculously healed, preached a meeting at our Church in Ferriday, Louisiana. Under his Ministry, my mother and dad were brought to Christ, along with my grandfather and grandmother as well. In our little Church, he gave the testimony one particular night that I’ve just given to you.

PERSONAL HEALING

When I was ten years old, I came down with a certain type of sickness which the doctors could not diagnose. Even though I was taken to the doctor several times, and even though they ran all types of tests, they couldn’t find the problem. I stayed nauseous constantly and at times would just pass out, in other words, go unconscious. This happened several times while I was in school with the principal calling my parents each time to come and get me.

The last time it happened, the principal told my Dad, “If something isn’t done for Jimmy, you are going to have to take him out of school.” Then he said this, “We don’t want him dying on our hands.” I was prayed for many number of times by our Pastor, who had been influenced greatly, even in an indirect way, by the Ministry of Brother Richey. So, our Pastor and my parents, plus all in our Church, definitely believed in Divine Healing. In other words, they firmly believed that our Lord still heals the sick. Nevertheless, despite the fact of being prayed for again and again, I wasn’t healed, but rather grew worse.

I look back now, and I believe that it was Satan who was trying to kill me, knowing that the Lord would use us to touch much of this world with the Gospel. At any rate, the day of my healing came, but my healing came in a very strange way.

After the Sunday Service that day, my mother and dad were to take the Pastor and his wife out to lunch, but first, they would go by the home of one of the parishioners who was ill in order to pray for him. I remember us walking into the small framed dwelling, going to the back room, and praying for the Brother in question. We all came back to the front room, and I was standing near the door with my Dad and the Pastor, Brother Culbreth, standing on the other side of the small room.

Brother Culbreth still had the bottle of oil in his hands, which he had just used in praying for our dear Brother. My Dad spoke up, saying, “Brother Culbreth, would you anoint Jimmy with oil and pray for him again,” and then he added, “If something isn’t done, we’re going to have to take him out of school.” In my mind’s eye, I still see Brother Culbreth walking across the room with a smile on his face and quickly anointing me with oil. The moment he laid his hands on my head it happened.

I felt something like a ball of flame, actually about the size of a softball, that started at the top of my head and slowly went down my back and all through my body, and I knew, even beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I was healed. I was never bothered with that problem again.

I’m so glad that my parents believed in Divine Healing. Were that not the case, I probably wouldn’t be alive today.

And, in fact, I have been sick very little in my life since that day. Now, I had been prayed for, as stated, many number of times by the Pastor, by my parents, and by others in our Church, all to no avail. Why did the Lord do it this way?

That I cannot answer; however, this I do know:

1. I’m so glad that my parents believed in Divine Healing. Were that not the case, I probably wouldn’t be alive today.

2. I’m glad they didn’t get discouraged and quit when they prayed for me many times previously, and I wasn’t healed. They kept believing, and they kept praying for me. Thank God for that!

3. I’m glad that Jesus Christ still heals today just exactly as He did that Sunday afternoon in 1945, and exactly as He did in His Earthly Ministry. It is, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8 KJV).

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)

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What are the Gifts of the Spirit? PART III

by Jimmy Swaggart



THE WORKING OF MIRACLES

To another the working of Miracles (1 Cor 12:10 KJV).

Many times we are prone to label something as a ‘Healing,’ when in reality it has been a ‘Miracle.’

As we have stated, many of these Gifts work in tandem. In other words, for one to have the Gift of “working of Miracles,” at the same time, one would have to have the Gift of “Faith,” as well as the “Gifts of Healing(s).” I personally believe that there are many more Miracles taking place presently than any of us dare realize. Anytime the Lord answers prayer for us, more than likely, He has to perform Miracles, even though they may not be seen by us, in order for that prayer to be answered.

As Believers, we should ask the Lord for Miracles, and we should believe for Miracles, whatever the need might be. Many times we are prone to label something as a “Healing,” when in reality it has been a “Miracle.” However, it is not that important that we properly define all that the Lord has done and is doing. The main thing is that we believe Him, have Faith in Him, and understand that all of these great things did not pass away with the Apostles but, are still active presently, at least for those who will believe.

I tell our people at Family Worship Center, and those who are a part of this Ministry by radio or by television, or by whatever means, and wherever they may be in this world, that we should be a people who expects God to do great and mighty things. We should get up every morning with a spirit of expectation as to what the Lord is going to wondrously do that particular day. We should go to bed at night with a spirit of expectation, believing Him for great and mighty things. I believe in a God of Might and Miracles. I believe in a God Who answers prayer.

I believe in a God Who still does great and mighty things. I believe in a God Who is waiting for His People to believe Him, to step out in Faith, and to claim the treasure-house of Heaven. What I’m about to give is from the Old Covenant; however, anything that the Lord promised under the Old Covenant, He will do even much more under the New Covenant, because our “Lord is the Mediator of a Better Covenant, which is established upon better Promises(Heb 8:6 KJV).

Below is what the Lord told Moses under the Old Covenant, and it goes for us presently as well. In other words, what I’m about to give, you as a Believer, can have, and ought to have, if you will simply believe God. He said, first of all, the condition.

THE CONDITION

And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the Voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all His Commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the Earth(Deut 28:1 KJV).

Now, all of us may look at this particular Passage and immediately understand that we haven’t done all “His Commandments,” which should be overly obvious. However, what is so wonderful under the New Covenant, which makes it so much better than the Old, is that our Lord Jesus Christ has, in fact, observed and done every single Commandment and has done them perfectly. And then, we must understand that He has done it all on our behalf.

In other words, my Faith and your Faith in Him and what He did for us at the Cross automatically gives us His Perfection. So, when the Lord looks at us, He looks at us in the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ and marks us down as “perfect.” By Faith, we are what He is, and because He has taken what we were, and I speak of our terrible fallen condition, and atoned for it all at Calvary’s Cross. What we were, we no longer are, and what He is, we now are, all by Faith. Now, the following is what we can have in Christ Jesus, and we can have it now.

ALL THESE BLESSINGS SHALL COME ON YOU, AND OVERTAKE YOU

When the Lord commands something, to be sure, it is going to happen.

The Scripture says: “And all these Blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall hearken unto the Voice of the LORD your God (the Blessings will be so abundant that they will literally chase down the people of God)” (Deut 28:2 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

This means that if you turn to the left, you will be blessed; if you turn to the right, you will be blessed; if you walk ahead, you will be blessed; and, if you lag behind, you will be blessed. And, you will be blessed so much that one Blessing won’t be used up until another Blessing overtakes you. One can only shout, “Hallelujah!”

“THE LORD SHALL COMMAND THE BLESSING UPON YOU”

“The LORD shall command the Blessing upon you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand unto; and He shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you (when the Command from the Lord is given, nothing can stop that Command)” (Deut 28:8 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

The Bible student must understand that having the Gift of Prophecy doesn’t mean that the person stands in the Office of the Prophet.

When the Lord commands something, to be sure, it is going to happen. You ought to say to yourself right now, and believe it with all of your heart, that “the Lord is right now commanding His Blessing upon me.” 

“AND THE LORD SHALL MAKE YOU PLENTIFUL IN GOODS” 

“And the LORD shall make you plentiful in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers to give you (everything will be bountiful)” (Deut 28:11 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

How much can we have? The answer is instant, “plenty!”

“THE LORD SHALL OPEN UNTO YOU HIS GOOD TREASURE”

“The LORD shall open unto you His good Treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in His season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend unto many nations, and you shall not borrow (the treasure-house of Heaven will be opened to you)” (Deut 28:12 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

I think we can imagine that the treasure-house of Heaven is bountiful indeed! And now He tells us that He will on our behalf, “open unto you His good Treasure.” Believe it and receive it! 

“AND THE LORD SHALL MAKE YOU THE HEAD, AND NOT THE TAIL” 

And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you hearken unto the Commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them (again, obedience is set before us as the condition)” (Deut 28:13 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

As we have stated, our Lord has already perfectly kept every single “Commandment,” and has done so all on our behalf. Our Faith in Him and what He did for us at the Cross gives us all of this, which was promised to Israel of old, and which Promise continues unto this very hour to Spiritual Israel, which pertains to all who will believe. I believe!

PROPHECY

To another Prophecy” (1 Cor 12:10 KJV). The Gift of Prophecy is for “Edification,” which means “to build up,” and “Exhortation,” which means “to implore,” and “Comfort,” which means “to console” (1 Cor 14:3 KJV).

The Bible student must understand that having the Gift of Prophecy doesn’t mean that the person stands in the Office of the Prophet. While all who stand in the Office of the Prophet have the Gift of “Prophecy,” as well as the Gifts of “Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge,” and “discerning of spirits,” still, those who have these particular Gifts do not at all stand in the Office of the Prophet. In other words, just because a Believer has these Gifts, he doesn’t automatically fill the Office of the Prophet.

THE OFFICE OF THE PROPHET

Paul said, ‘He who Prophesies edifies the Church(1 Cor 14:4 KJV).”

To be frank, there is no relationship whatsoever, in the pure sense of the word, of the Office of the Prophet and those who have the Gift of Prophecy, etc. The Office of the Prophet is one of the five-fold Ministry Gifts (Eph 4:11 KJV).

The one who stands in the Office of the Prophet is used by the Lord to “foretell” and “forthtell.” And yet, most of the Ministry of the God-called Prophet is to serve in the capacity of “forthtelling.” That means that the Prophet serves as a Preacher of Righteousness in order to call the Church to Repentance. Actually, John the Baptist, who Jesus referred to as the greatest Prophet born of woman, served precious little in the arena of “foretelling,” which speaks of dealing with the future. Almost all of his Ministry was in the realm of “forthtelling,” which was to call Israel to Repentance.

THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

Many times Believers get the Office of the Prophet and the Gift of Prophecy confused. They are two different things altogether. As we have stated, only a tiny few who have the Gift of Prophecy, at the same time, stand in the Office of the Prophet. Those who have the Gift of Prophecy are used of the Lord to edify the Body of Christ by their utterances, to exhort the Body of Christ to live right, and to comfort Believers.

When someone who claims to have the Gift of Prophecy pronounces doom and gloom on the congregation, such cannot be construed as being Scriptural. As would be obvious, such does not edify, does not exhort, and does not comfort. Paul said, “He who Prophesies edifies the Church (1 Cor 14:4 KJV). As well, Paul said, “The spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets(1 Cor 14:32 KJV). 

What did he mean by that? He meant that if an individual claims to be compelled to blurt out at any time whatever he thinks that God has given him, that person is out of order. The Holy Spirit works with the spirit of a person with both deciding when is the right time for an utterance to be given. As an example, if the Lord is anointing me to preach, He is not going to anoint somebody else to interrupt what I’m saying with a Word of Prophecy or Tongues, etc., as Scriptural and right as those things may be in their own capacity.

I thought in my mind and my spirit, how in the world could this be done, the Gospel of Jesus Christ going to every city, town, and village in the Soviet Union?

Down through the years, many times the Lord has been anointing me greatly to preach, with such registering powerfully with the congregation. And then, because of the anointing that was on me and, as well, on the entirety of the congregation, somebody would feel that they had to give out an utterance in Tongues or Prophecy at that particular time, which was not a help, but rather, a hindrance. Once again, “the spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets,” meaning that the Lord does not compel anyone to do anything.

Now, there have been times when I’ve been preaching that the Lord would move on someone to give an utterance in Tongues, which was meant to be interpreted, or a word of Prophecy, and it was right, Scriptural, and correct. But, once again, if a person who is used by the Lord in these capacities will ask the Lord to help them to be used at the right time, the Lord will honor that request.

These Gifts are a great blessing to the Church, if they are used correctly; however, to be used correctly, the person who has these Gifts must be consecrated to the Lord. I’m glad that I can say that virtually all of the Gifts are in Operation in Family Worship Center, for which we are so thankful to the Lord. At the same time, I cannot remember when one of the Gifts has been used out of place. Our people are led by the Spirit, and if one is led by the Spirit, one will conduct oneself correctly. In fact, the entirety of the Fourteenth Chapter of 1 Corinthians is given over by the Apostle Paul to instruct the Church as to how the three vocal gifts of Prophecy, Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues are to be used.

IS PREACHING PROPHECY?

In the truest sense of the word, no, preaching is not Prophecy! And yet, at the same time, at times during the body of preaching, there very definitely can be a word of Prophecy given. Let me give you an example.

THE FORMER SOVIET UNION

Frances and I, along with Jim Woolsey, who had set up the meetings, in 1985 were in what was then known as the Soviet Union for a series of meetings. I preached in Moscow, in Siberia, and in Minsk.

I ministered in a Pentecostal Church in Minsk on a Sunday morning. The place was filled to absolute capacity. In fact, it was right in the midst of the message, as the Spirit of God moved powerfully over that congregation, that my interpreter, a KGB agent, was wondrously Saved.

As I delivered a particular statement and then paused for him to interpret it, he said nothing. I turned around and looked at him, and tears were rolling down his cheeks. At that moment he gave his heart to Christ. Right in the middle of this message the Lord spoke through me by Prophecy, which was also a Word of Wisdom.

I made the statement that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was going to go into every city, every town, and every village in the Soviet Union. When I said those words, I knew they were from the Lord, but they were so powerful and so far sweeping that it scared me. When the Service ended and Frances and I and others were going back to the hotel, I mentioned to her about this incident. I thought in my mind and my spirit, how in the world could this be done, the Gospel of Jesus Christ going to every city, town, and village in the Soviet Union? This was an atheistic country that did not believe in God. But, I knew that it was of the Lord, and somehow He would bring it to pass.

JIM WOOLSEY

In the latter part of 1988, if I remember correctly, he was able to place the telecast, translated into Russian, on T.V.1 out of Moscow.

Jim Woolsey was in charge of placing our Telecast all over the world in country after country with it translated into various languages. He came into my office in the latter part of 1988 and said, “Brother Swaggart, I believe that it’s possible for us to go on television in Latvia.” This was one of the Soviet Republics. He went on to say that we would have to translate the program into Russian, but he thought it could be done. I told him to go ahead, but I will have to confess that I was somewhat skeptical in my spirit.

However, the Lord helped him to do just that, to get the program on in the capital city of Latvia, and the Lord used it mightily. A few weeks later he came into my office again, and again said, “Brother Swaggart, I believe I can get our telecast on T.V.1 out of Moscow.” Now, T.V.1 in Moscow was the world’s largest television network, incorporating over 7,000 stations, reaching every city, town, and village in the Soviet Union. Actually, it was the propaganda channel for Communism, which meant that it covered every nook and cranny of one-sixth of the world’s land surface. I will never forget my reaction when he told me that. I honestly didn’t believe he could do such a thing. But again, I told him to proceed. I did not know where we would find the money to pay for it, but I knew it was the Lord. In the latter part of 1988, if I remember correctly, he was able to place the telecast, translated into Russian, on T.V.1 out of Moscow. To say that it was a Miracle of the Lord would be a gross understatement. 

For over two years we broadcast over this network, covering the entirety of the Soviet Union, exactly that which the Lord had spoken in the midst of the message which I delivered that Sunday morning in Minsk.

A CONFIRMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

A particular religious denomination here in the States claimed that we were lying about being on television in what was then known as the Soviet Union. One brother who was supporting our work, which support we desperately needed, I might quickly add, believed this lie and quit supporting. 

But, as he told me later, he did not feel right in his spirit about what he had done. So, on one particular day he specifically asked the Lord to show him if Brother Swaggart were telling the truth, or if he were lying about being on television in the Soviet Union.

The very next day, if I remember correctly, he picked up the local newspaper and was thumbing through it and came upon an article that had been reprinted from the prestigious Washington Post. It was written by a lady reporter who worked for the Post, and who had travelled extensively in Russia and had done so for the purpose of writing this article about the changes which were taking place in that great country.

Down in the body of the article, which was quite long, and which had nothing to do with Jesus Christ, the lady wrote, “And by the way, I could not get away from Jimmy Swaggart. Everywhere I went, in every city, I saw his telecast.” When he read that statement, he said to me in a letter, or it was over the phone, I don’t remember which, “Brother Swaggart, I turned cold all over.” He went to the post office immediately and sent a gift, asking the Lord, as well, to forgive him.

When that Word was given in the midst of that message that Sunday morning in Minsk, it looked, for all practical purposes, to be absolutely impossible. How in the world, in the midst of monolithic Soviet Union, could the Gospel of Jesus Christ go into every city, town, and village? But it did, and it was because the Lord orchestrated every bit of it.

I will have to say one more thing regarding this. It was not my Faith that brought about this tremendous Miracle of God, but rather, the Faith of Jim Woolsey. He probably made forty trips to Moscow working on this project before he finally got the approval of the powers that be for us to go on the air. But, he knew what the Lord had said, and he persevered, which opened the door for one of the greatest Moves of God that the world has ever known, for which we give the Lord all the Praise and all the Glory.

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 
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