Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

Monthly Archives: September 2015

for Christ sent me not to baptize, but to Preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect (I Cor. 1:17).

Several things are said in this very informative Passage. They are as follows:

1. “For Christ sent me not to baptize”: We learn here that Water Baptism is not to have the emphasis regarding the Gospel, and neither should any other Church Ordinance. The Cross of Christ is to have the emphasis.

Paul is not demeaning Water Baptism, but only requiring that it be placed in its proper perspective. It should be obvious to all that Water Baptism, as important as it is in its own way, is not essential to Salvation. If it is essential, then the Apostle thanked God that he saw so few saved. Nor is it essential to obedience, even as others claim, for, in that case, the Apostle thanked God that he had made so few obedient (I Cor. 1:14–16).

2. “But to Preach the Gospel”: In this particular Verse, we are emphatically told what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. In brief, the Gospel is “the Cross of Christ.” In other words, the Cross must be the foundation of all we believe, teach, and practice. If it is not, then whatever it is we are proclaiming, is, pure and simple, not the Gospel. This is extremely important, as should be overly obvious.

If our Message is right, we will get the results that a correct Message brings forth. If the Message is incorrect, there will be no favorable results, because there can be no favorable results. The entirety of the Christian Faith rests on the correct Message. If that Message is corrupted, diluted, or perverted in any way, this means that it is no longer the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but something else entirely.

The Message must be “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” This is where the emphasis must be, and in every capacity.

3. “Not with wisdom of words”: Paul here plainly says that intellectualism is not the Gospel. This means that humanistic psychology is not the Gospel. Once again, the Gospel is, and must be, the Cross of Christ. Preachers of the Gospel must “preach the Cross.”

4. “Lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect”: This tells us, in no uncertain terms, that the Cross of Christ must always be the emphasis of the Message. If it isn’t, all that Christ did will be to no avail.

This coming Sunday morning, how many Preachers are making the Cross of Christ of none effect, because they are preaching a false message?

Of course, only the Lord knows the answer to that; sadly, however, most fall into that category. This means that few people are truly being saved. Few are baptized with the Holy Spirit. Few are delivered, if any. As should be obvious, we should be very, very careful that we do nothing that makes “the Cross of Christ of none effect.”

Let No Man Put Asunder

By: Frances Swaggart

Matthew 19:4-6 – “And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Moments after the decision was announced, President Obama made a personal cell phone call to the lead plantiff in the case, Jim Obergefell.

After offering his congratulations and praising Obergefell’s leadership, the president told him: “Not only have you been a great example for people, but you’re also going to bring about lasting change in this country. It’s pretty rare when that happens, so I couldn’t be prouder of you and your husband, and God bless you.” 1

Ladies and gentlemen, God is not going to bless any part of this court’s decision because it was made in complete and utter disobedience to the Word of God.

NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE

In a message preached over the Fourth of July weekend at Family Worship Center, Donnie did an excellent job of dealing with this subject of same-sex marriage. He said, “It’s not a civil rights struggle. It is a moral problem. It’s not political. It’s not constitutional. It is a moral problem that defines who we are as a nation and how far we have sunk as a people.”

We don’t believe that it’s right for the U.S. Supreme Court or anybody else to try and redefine marriage as something other than what God says it is. In the book of Genesis, we see that marriage is the first institution that God ever created:

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept (records the first anesthesia): and He took one of his ribs (the word rib here actually means ‘side’), and closed up the flesh instead thereof (the woman is not merely of a rib, but actually of one side of man);

22 And the rib (side), which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman (the Hebrew says, ‘built He a woman’; Horton says, ‘When God created the man, the word form was used, which is the same word used of a potter forming a clay jar; but the word build here seems to mean God paid even more attention to the creation of the woman’), and brought her unto the man (presents a formal presentation, with God, in essence, performing the first wedding; thus He instituted the bonds of the marriage covenant, which is actually called the covenant of God [Prov. 2:17], indicating that God is the Author of this sacred institution; this is the marriage model and was instituted by God; any other model, such as homosexual marriages, so-called, can be constituted as none other than an abomination in the eyes of God [Rom. 1:24-28])” (Gen. 2:21-22, The Expositor’s ).

MAIN SOURCE OF SUPPORT

This is what the Word of God says, but it’s not what people want to believe, especially America’s young people. Just weeks before the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage, we sent a TV crew from SonLife Broadcasting Network to the streets of Baton Rouge to ask random people for their definition of marriage.

Nearly all of the people we interviewed — middle-aged and up — said that they believed marriage was between a man and a woman, but take a look at the responses we received from the younger set, roughly 25 years old and younger:

Q: How do you define marriage?

A: “I think marriage is love between two people, and it doesn’t matter what two people it is.”

A: “I’m open-minded. I have a lot of gay friends, and I’ve never seen anything wrong with it. Traditionally, I guess it’s the union of a man and a woman but to me, I think it’s just the union of two people that love each other.

A: “Our generation is known for doing things completely different and I think [traditional marriage] is out of date; [same-sex marriage] is a new thing that’s happening, and we should all accept it and not judge.”

A: “Anybody who wants to have same-sex marriage or anything, I feel like that’s your choice, and I don’t think anyone should judge somebody for that. I think whatever you feel like you want to do, you should do.”

The responses of these young people are not surprising. In June of this year, a Pew Research Center’s report pointed to youth as a major source of support for same-sex marriage.

The report states: “A key component of the shifting attitudes on this issue is the strong support for gay rights among younger Americans. Younger generations have long been more accepting of homosexuality and of same-sex marriage than older generations, and as millennials (who are currently ages 18-34) have entered adulthood, those views have influenced overall public opinion.” 2

CHANGE OF HEART

At 31 years old, Heather Barwick qualifies as a millennial and, as the daughter of lesbian parents, she grew up as an advocate and supporter of gay marriage. But somewhere into her 20s, she said she could no longer be a supporter because “of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.”

Barwick, now a wife and mother of four, is a children’s rights activist. In March, she wrote an open letter entitled, “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting,” to explain her change of heart. “It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me,” Barwick wrote. “And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting. Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.” 3

For other children of same-sex couples, the damage is even greater.

Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, B. N. Klein was one of four adult children of gay parents who testified against same-sex marriage at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and reportedly argued that “government-sanctioned homosexual unions could lead to disaster for thousands of kids.” 4

In her brief to the court Klein wrote, “While I do not believe all gays would be de facto bad parents, I know that the gay community has never in my lifetime put children first as anything other than a piece of property, a past mistake, or a political tool to be dressed up and taken out as part of a dog-and-pony show to impress the well-meaning.”

Klein’s brief also stated that as a child of a lesbian mother, she was pressured to pay “constant homage and attention” to her mother’s gay identity, taught that “some Jews and most Christians are stupid and hate gays and are violent,” and told that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic because they are not repressed and are naturally more feeling.” 5

Katy Faust was another one of these four adult children who testified. She said, “The label of bigot or hater has become very powerful and effective tools to silence those of us who choose not to endorse the marriage platform of many gay lobbyists. For much of my adult life, I was content to keep my opinions on the subject of marriage to myself. I was (and still am) sickened by the accusation that I was bigoted and anti-gay for my belief in natural marriage.” Faust said she was speaking out now because she believes that a child has the right to a mother and a father.

“When we institutionalize same-sex marriage … we move from permitting citizens the freedom to live as they choose, to promoting same-sex headed households,” Faust wrote. “Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.” 6

Dawn Stefanowicz, who was raised by a homosexual father who later died of AIDS, testified against same-sex marriage in her native Canada, which legalized gay marriage in July 2005. According to Stefanowicz, Canada has changed a lot in those 10 years. She said that as soon as same-sex marriage passed in her country, parenting was immediately redefined. Stefanowicz writes, “Necessary parental rights to teach children your beliefs, express your opinions, and practice your personal faith are infringed upon by the state when your beliefs, opinions, and or faith practices are in opposition to what is taught and promoted at school. In fact, in Ontario, Canada, the Human Rights Commission regulations permeate and surround all public education.” 7 Think of that.

I thank the Lord that these people were brave enough to come forward and speak out on this issue. Their testimonies illustrate the impact that same-sex marriage is having on our children, schools, and our nation.

REPETITION REDUCES RESISTANCE

Still, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community remains unsatisfied and continues their fight for what they call “civil rights.” We see their agenda unfolding every day in the news: the Boy Scouts welcoming openly gay men and boys; Baylor University–a prominent Christian college in this country—dropping the phrase “homosexual acts” from its sexual misconduct policy; an Oregon labor commissioner ordering Christian bakers to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

On Frances & Friends, Mike Muzzerall commented on this type of progression. He said, “What happens is, if we’re in a situation where we’re tolerant–we’re not abusive toward the person, but we don’t acknowledge it–that’s no longer good enough. Now they want us to accept. Repetition reduces resistance. We’re seeing it everywhere, and it’s wearing us down as a church, and we need to stand on what the Word of God says.” Pastor Mike is absolutely right.

The Bible says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

What authority does the U.S. Supreme Court have to change the definition of marriage? They don’t. Four of the justices disagreed with the majority on that historic ruling, including Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who offered America a warning.

In his dissent Alito wrote, “Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.” 8

JUDGMENT AND THE CROSS

On the same night of this ruling, President Obama decided to illuminate the White House in rainbow colors, symbolizing gay pride. Outraged by this demonstration, Rev. Franklin Graham wrote, “God is the one who gave the rainbow, and it was associated with His judgment. God sent a flood to wipe out the entire world because mankind had become so wicked and violent.” 9

Ladies and gentlemen, as my husband has said so many times, “The only thing holding back that judgment and wrath of Almighty God is the Cross of Christ.” If the church is not preaching the Cross, then judgment comes.

Sources:

1. Arlette Saenz, “Same-Sex Ruling: President Obama’s Historic Phone Call With Plaintiff Jim Obergefell,” ABC News, June 26, 2015.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sex-ruling-president-obamas-historic-phone-call-plaintiff/story?id=32051689

2. Pew Research Center, “Support for Same-Sex Marriage at Record High, but Key Segments Remain Opposed: 72 Percent Say Legal Recognition is ‘Inevitable,’” June 8, 2015.
http://www.people-press.org/files/2015/06/6-8-15-Same-sex-marriage-release1.pdf

3. Heather Barwick, “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting,” The Federalist, March 17, 2015.
http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/17/dear-gay-community-your-kids-are-hurting/.

4. Kirsten Andersen, “‘Quartet of Truth’: Adult Children Of Gay Parents Testify Against Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ at 5th Circuit,” Life Site, January 13, 2015.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/quartet-of-truth-adult-children-of-gay-parents-testify-against-same-sex-mar.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Dawn Stefanowicz, “My Father Was Gay. Why I Oppose Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage,” Daily Signal, April 13, 2015.
http://dailysignal.com/print/?post_id=182334.

Let No Man Put Asunder

Sept 2015

By: Frances Swaggart
Matthew 19:4-6 “And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Moments after the decision was announced, President Obama made a personal cell phone call to the lead plantiff in the case, Jim Obergefell.

After offering his congratulations and praising Obergefell’s leadership, the president told him: “Not only have you been a great example for people, but you’re also going to bring about lasting change in this country. It’s pretty rare when that happens, so I couldn’t be prouder of you and your husband, and God bless you.” 1

Ladies and gentlemen, God is not going to bless any part of this court’s decision because it was made in complete and utter disobedience to the Word of God.

NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE

In a message preached over the Fourth of July weekend at Family Worship Center, Donnie did an excellent job of dealing with this subject of same-sex marriage. He said, “It’s not a civil rights struggle. It is a moral problem. It’s not political. It’s not constitutional. It is a moral problem that defines who we are as a nation and how far we have sunk as a people.”

We don’t believe that it’s right for the U.S. Supreme Court or anybody else to try and redefine marriage as something other than what God says it is. In the book of Genesis, we see that marriage is the first institution that God ever created:

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept (records the first anesthesia): and He took one of his ribs (the word rib here actually means ‘side’), and closed up the flesh instead thereof (the woman is not merely of a rib, but actually of one side of man);

22 And the rib (side), which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman (the Hebrew says, ‘built He a woman’; Horton says, ‘When God created the man, the word form was used, which is the same word used of a potter forming a clay jar; but the word build here seems to mean God paid even more attention to the creation of the woman’), and brought her unto the man (presents a formal presentation, with God, in essence, performing the first wedding; thus He instituted the bonds of the marriage covenant, which is actually called the covenant of God [Prov. 2:17], indicating that God is the Author of this sacred institution; this is the marriage model and was instituted by God; any other model, such as homosexual marriages, so-called, can be constituted as none other than an abomination in the eyes of God [Rom. 1:24-28])” (Gen. 2:21-22, The Expositor’s Study Bible).

MAIN SOURCE OF SUPPORT

This is what the Word of God says, but it’s not what people want to believe, especially America’s young people. Just weeks before the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage, we sent a TV crew from SonLife Broadcasting Network to the streets of Baton Rouge to ask random people for their definition of marriage.

Nearly all of the people we interviewed — middle-aged and up — said that they believed marriage was between a man and a woman, but take a look at the responses we received from the younger set, roughly 25 years old and younger:

Q: How do you define marriage?

A: “I think marriage is love between two people, and it doesn’t matter what two people it is.”

A: “I’m open-minded. I have a lot of gay friends, and I’ve never seen anything wrong with it. Traditionally, I guess it’s the union of a man and a woman but to me, I think it’s just the union of two people that love each other.

A: “Our generation is known for doing things completely different and I think [traditional marriage] is out of date; [same-sex marriage] is a new thing that’s happening, and we should all accept it and not judge.”

A: “Anybody who wants to have same-sex marriage or anything, I feel like that’s your choice, and I don’t think anyone should judge somebody for that. I think whatever you feel like you want to do, you should do.”

The responses of these young people are not surprising. In June of this year, a Pew Research Center’s report pointed to youth as a major source of support for same-sex marriage.

The report states: “A key component of the shifting attitudes on this issue is the strong support for gay rights among younger Americans. Younger generations have long been more accepting of homosexuality and of same-sex marriage than older generations, and as millennials (who are currently ages 18-34) have entered adulthood, those views have influenced overall public opinion.” 2

CHANGE OF HEART

At 31 years old, Heather Barwick qualifies as a millennial and, as the daughter of lesbian parents, she grew up as an advocate and supporter of gay marriage. But somewhere into her 20s, she said she could no longer be a supporter because “of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.”

Barwick, now a wife and mother of four, is a children’s rights activist. In March, she wrote an open letter entitled, “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting,” to explain her change of heart. “It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me,” Barwick wrote. “And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting. Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.” 3

For other children of same-sex couples, the damage is even greater.

Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, B. N. Klein was one of four adult children of gay parents who testified against same-sex marriage at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and reportedly argued that “government-sanctioned homosexual unions could lead to disaster for thousands of kids.” 4

In her brief to the court Klein wrote, “While I do not believe all gays would be de facto bad parents, I know that the gay community has never in my lifetime put children first as anything other than a piece of property, a past mistake, or a political tool to be dressed up and taken out as part of a dog-and-pony show to impress the well-meaning.”

Klein’s brief also stated that as a child of a lesbian mother, she was pressured to pay “constant homage and attention” to her mother’s gay identity, taught that “some Jews and most Christians are stupid and hate gays and are violent,” and told that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic because they are not repressed and are naturally more feeling.” 5

Katy Faust was another one of these four adult children who testified. She said, “The label of bigot or hater has become very powerful and effective tools to silence those of us who choose not to endorse the marriage platform of many gay lobbyists. For much of my adult life, I was content to keep my opinions on the subject of marriage to myself. I was (and still am) sickened by the accusation that I was bigoted and anti-gay for my belief in natural marriage.” Faust said she was speaking out now because she believes that a child has the right to a mother and a father.

“When we institutionalize same-sex marriage … we move from permitting citizens the freedom to live as they choose, to promoting same-sex headed households,” Faust wrote. “Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.” 6

Dawn Stefanowicz, who was raised by a homosexual father who later died of AIDS, testified against same-sex marriage in her native Canada, which legalized gay marriage in July 2005. According to Stefanowicz, Canada has changed a lot in those 10 years. She said that as soon as same-sex marriage passed in her country, parenting was immediately redefined. Stefanowicz writes, “Necessary parental rights to teach children your beliefs, express your opinions, and practice your personal faith are infringed upon by the state when your beliefs, opinions, and or faith practices are in opposition to what is taught and promoted at school. In fact, in Ontario, Canada, the Human Rights Commission regulations permeate and surround all public education.” 7 Think of that.

I thank the Lord that these people were brave enough to come forward and speak out on this issue. Their testimonies illustrate the impact that same-sex marriage is having on our children, schools, and our nation.

REPETITION REDUCES RESISTANCE

Still, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community remains unsatisfied and continues their fight for what they call “civil rights.” We see their agenda unfolding every day in the news: the Boy Scouts welcoming openly gay men and boys; Baylor University–a prominent Christian college in this country—dropping the phrase “homosexual acts” from its sexual misconduct policy; an Oregon labor commissioner ordering Christian bakers to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

On Frances & Friends, Mike Muzzerall commented on this type of progression. He said, “What happens is, if we’re in a situation where we’re tolerant–we’re not abusive toward the person, but we don’t acknowledge it–that’s no longer good enough. Now they want us to accept. Repetition reduces resistance. We’re seeing it everywhere, and it’s wearing us down as a church, and we need to stand on what the Word of God says.” Pastor Mike is absolutely right.

The Bible says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

What authority does the U.S. Supreme Court have to change the definition of marriage? They don’t. Four of the justices disagreed with the majority on that historic ruling, including Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who offered America a warning.

In his dissent Alito wrote, “Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.” 8

JUDGMENT AND THE CROSS

On the same night of this ruling, President Obama decided to illuminate the White House in rainbow colors, symbolizing gay pride. Outraged by this demonstration, Rev. Franklin Graham wrote, “God is the one who gave the rainbow, and it was associated with His judgment. God sent a flood to wipe out the entire world because mankind had become so wicked and violent.” 9

Ladies and gentlemen, as my husband has said so many times, “The only thing holding back that judgment and wrath of Almighty God is the Cross of Christ.” If the church is not preaching the Cross, then judgment comes.

 

September

16

brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s Righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the Righteousness of God (Rom. 10:1–3).

The main purpose of the Holy Spirit giving us, through Paul, Chapters 9 through 11 of Romans was not, as stated, for Prophetical analysis, even though that, in measure, was given, but rather to warn the Church. If the Church follows in Israel’s footsteps by being ignorant of God’s Righteousness or by refusing God’s Righteousness, attempting, as Israel, to establish its own righteousness, the Church will be cut off just as Israel was cut off.

Concerning this, Paul said, “For if God spared not the natural branches (Israel), take heed lest He also spare not you (refers to the Church, as is obvious). Behold, therefore the goodness and severity of God (don’t mistake the Goodness of God for license): on them which fell, severity (speaks of Judgment which came on Israel, God’s chosen People); but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His Goodness (proclaims the conditions; the continuing of that “Goodness” pertains to continued Faith in Christ and the Cross): otherwise you also shall be cut off” (Rom. 11:21–22).

God’s Righteousness” is that which is afforded by Jesus Christ, gained by and through the Cross. The only way that God’s Righteousness can be given to anyone is by virtue of the Cross, which demands Faith on the part of the recipient. If one attempts to gain righteousness by any other manner, the Lord refers to it as “self-righteousness,” and it is unacceptable—totally unacceptable!

I ask the following question:

How much is the modern Church preaching the Cross?

The answer screams back at us, “Precious little!

The Church has already apostatized. The Church Age opened with Christ standing in the midst of the candlesticks, in which the candlesticks represent the Church (Rev. 1:12–13). At the close of the Church Age, which pertains to the present time, we no longer find Christ in the midst of the Church, but rather outside, knocking on the door, trying to get it (Rev. 3:17–20). The Lord is, in fact, no longer dealing with the institutionalized Church as a whole, but rather with individuals only.

To be sure, the Lord has always dealt with individuals, but now it is only individuals.

If any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).

So, who presently is saved?

It is the same now as it was with Israel of old.

Paul said, “Even so then at this present time (Paul’s day) also there is a Remnant according to the election of Grace (definitely speaks of Predestination, but not as many think; it is the “Remnant” that is elected or predestined, not who will be in the Remnant).

And if by Grace (the Goodness of God, all made possible by the Cross), then is it no more of works (no one can point to their works as grounds for Salvation): otherwise Grace is no more Grace (if works are mixed with Grace, they nullify Grace). But if it be of works, then is it no more Grace (works can never produce Grace): otherwise work is no more work” (for example, Water Baptism, if acted upon wrongly, nullifies its true meaning; this also holds true for all other great Ordinances of the Lord) (Rom. 11:5–6).

As there was a “Remnant” in Israel who were saved, meaning that most were lost, likewise, there also is a “Remnant” in the modern Church who are saved, but only a Remnant. Israel had rejected much of that which was of the Lord, but when they rejected the Cross, there was nothing left. They were cut off. The modern Church has done the same thing. It has rejected much which is of the Lord, but now it is rejecting the Cross. As with Israel, if the Cross is rejected, that means the Righteousness of God is rejected, and that means the Church is also cut off—except for the “Remnant.”

Are you in the Remnant?

The only way that anyone can be in the Remnant is by accepting Christ and what Christ did at the Cross. There is no other way!

 

~J. Swaggart

September

14

no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Rom. 8:37).

If we follow what the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostle Paul, thereby ordering our lives accordingly, which refers to Faith being properly placed in Christ and the Cross (I Cor. 1:17–18, 23; 2:2; Gal. 6:14), then we are assured of the fact that we are not only “conquerors,” but also “more than conquerors.” We must, however, always remember that it is “through Him Who loved us.” We cannot be conquerors any other way.

Through Him” refers exclusively to His atoning Work at the Cross, which totally and completely defeated the Evil One, and did so by atoning for all sin (Col. 2:14–15). “More than conquerors” is what the Lord wants His People to be. But this modern generation of Christians represents, I’m afraid, the most defeated generation since the Reformation.

Why?

Although more books have been written on faith in the past several decades than possibly the balance of the Church Age put together, virtually all of these books and tapes are worthless, because they direct the faith of the Believer to something other than Christ and Cross. As a result, “more than conquerors” is not what is happening, but rather “more than conquered.” Satan has not only “conquered” this generation of Christians, but even “more than conquered” them, making abject slaves of them, which means that the sin nature runs wild.

Let me say it this way:

It is absolutely impossible for the Believer, be he the Pastor of the largest Church in the land or the Evangelist drawing the biggest crowds, to maintain victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil, if such a Believer doesn’t know God’s Prescribed Order of Victory.

That Prescribed Order is:

1. The Cross of Christ: Everything we receive from the Lord, irrespective as to what it is, comes to us strictly from Christ as the Source and the Cross as the means.

2. Our Faith: Every single Believer is to place his Faith exclusively in Christ and what Christ did at the Cross, never separating the two. And when we speak of the Cross, we are speaking of the benefits which come from that Finished Work, and which will never cease.

3. The Holy Spirit: Once our Faith is properly placed, the Holy Spirit, Who works exclusively within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ, will then make of us “more than conquerors.”

This is God’s Way. This is God’s only Way, because no other way is needed (Gen. 3:15; Lk. 9:23; Rom. 6:1–14; Gal. 6:14; I Cor. 1:17–18; 2:2).

~J. Swaggart Ministries

September

13

and we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

This Scripture is, without a doubt, one of the most quoted found in the entirety of the Word of God. It is an astounding Promise! There are, however, some conditions in this Promise, conditions which many Christians overlook. The Promise made here is not a blanket guarantee, as many think; but, if the conditions are met, then most definitely it is a guarantee.

What are those conditions?

First of all, to have all things working together for our good, we have to “love God.” As Believers, we might automatically think this is a simple requirement. But it’s not quite as simple as we would think. That is why Jesus, after His Resurrection and immediately before His Ascension, questioned Peter closely. The questions concerned Peter’s love for Christ (Jn. 21:15–17). It is very easy to loudly acclaim how much we love the Lord, but words oftentimes are hollow.

To make a lengthy subject brief, if we really love the Lord as we say we do, we will place our Faith exclusively in Him and what He did for us at the Cross. In a greater manner than anything else, that will show our love and will open the door for the consecration we need to make.

The second requirement is that we function in His Calling for our lives “according to His Purpose.” So many times, it is “our purpose” instead of “His Purpose”! Moreover, we cannot know that for which He truly has called us, or what His Purpose is for our lives, unless our Faith is properly anchored in the Cross.

The reason?

When our faith is anchored elsewhere, this means that we are functioning according to the flesh, which harks back to our own personal desires, and not at all what the Lord wants. In fact, faith anchored outside of the Cross can hardly achieve His Purpose at all. Accordingly, we have all kind of things, which are very obvious, not working for the good of Christians.

To have our Faith properly placed doesn’t mean that Satan will cease his operation against us; however, it does mean that whatever he tries to do, the Lord will ultimately turn it to our good. We here have His Promise to that effect, and the Lord most definitely keeps His Promises, that is, if we meet His Conditions, which, in fact, can easily be met, if we get “self” out of the way.

~J. Swaggart Ministry

The Muslim World, the Antichrist, and Israel

When the Antichrist turns on Israel, actually, and as stated, defeating her, no doubt, the Muslim world will be aiding and abetting the man of sin in all of his efforts. As well, every evidence is, that the entirety of the Middle East, with all of its oil wealth, with the exception of Jordan, will now be in his control. In fact, Daniel 11:43, as previously quoted, in essence tells us this. So, he will have all the money he needs in order to do what he needs to do, which is to take over the entire world. He will not succeed, however, in doing that. The Scripture says:

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the Glorious Holy Mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (‘And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace,’ refers to him taking over the newly-built Temple in Jerusalem and stopping the Sacrifices as prophesied in Daniel 8:9–12. This speaks of the time when he will turn on Israel at the midpoint of the Great Tribulation.

“ ‘Between the seas and the Glorious Holy Mountain,’ refers to the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The ‘Glorious Holy Mountain’ is Mt. Moriah, where the Temple is located.

“ ‘Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him,’ is tied to the first part of this Verse, which speaks of him desecrating the Temple. This insures his destruction by the Lord, which will take place at the Second Coming)” (Dan. 11:45).

And yet the Muslim world, who will think the Antichrist is their champion, and because he has turned on Israel, will themselves be rudely awakened. The Word of God is clear concerning this.

The Antichrist Turns on the Muslims

The Scripture says concerning this: “And the king (the Antichrist) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (The phrase, ‘And the king shall do according to his will,’ refers to the Antichrist, who will pretty much have his way until the Second Advent of Christ.)

“ ‘And magnify himself above every god,’ actually refers to him deifying himself [II Thess. 2:4]. At this time, and according to Daniel 9:27, he will take over the newly-built Temple in Jerusalem, do away with the Jewish Sacrifices which have not long since begun, and will set up an image of himself [Rev. 13:15].

“ ‘And shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods,’ means that he will literally declare war on Christ. His campaign of declaring himself ‘god’ will, of necessity, demand that he blaspheme the True God as no one has ever blasphemed.

“ ‘And shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished,’ means that much of the world will accept his claims, joining with him in their hatred of the God of the Bible.)

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. (The phrase, ‘Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,’ no doubt refers to him being a Jew. He will not regard the God of ‘Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’

“ ‘Nor the desire of women,’ probably refers to him turning against the Catholic Church, and, thereby, the Virgin Mary.

“ ‘Nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all,’ refers to all the religions of the world, which will include Islam, all of which will be outlawed, at least where he has control, demanding that worship be centered up on him)” (Dan. 11:36–37).

Now the Muslims will find out, as did the Jews, that the Antichrist has no respect for anyone, and especially their religions, including Islam. While he most definitely will hate the Jews above all, still, he will have, as stated, “no regard for any god.” The Bible actually tells us what he will honor.

The Strange God

The Scripture says: “But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. (The phrase, ‘And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor,’ refers to a ‘strange god’ mentioned in the next verse, who is actually the Fallen Angel who empowered Alexander the Great. He is called ‘the Prince of Grecia,’ which does not refer to a mortal, but instead a Fallen Angel [Dan. 10:20]. This ‘god,’ his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know.)

Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. (The phrase, ‘Thus shall he do in the most strong holds,’ refers to the great financial centers of the world, which will be characterized by rebuilt Babylon or possibly even newly built Dubai. This ‘strange god,’ as stated, is a Fallen Angel; therefore, he will probably think he is giving praise and glory to himself, when in reality he is actually honoring this ‘Fallen Angel.’

“ ‘And he shall cause them to rule over many,’ refers to the many nations he will conquer because of the great power given to him by this Fallen Angel, instigated by Satan)” (Dan. 11:38–39).

~J. Swaggart

God’s Promise Concerning Ishmael

Some years before, Hagar, the bondwoman, and her son, Ishmael, were cast out of the home of Abraham, actually just before Isaac was born, the Lord said unto Abraham: “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (‘my princess,’ referring to the fact that she was Abraham’s princess alone), but Sarah shall her name be (simply means ‘princess;’ the idea is, whereas she was formerly Abraham’s princess only, she will now be recognized as a princess generally, and, in fact, in a sense, could be referred to as the ‘mother of the Church’).

And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her (this is the first time in all of God’s dealings with Abraham that He had mentioned the fact that the promised son would be of Sarah): yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her (her ‘blessing’ spoke of increase, which includes even the Church and, in a sense, the Lord Jesus Christ).

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto me who is an hundred years old (Abraham’s laughter was that of joy [Jn. 8:56]? and shall Sarah who is ninety years old bear (Paul said of him: ‘He considered not the deadness of Sarah’s womb’)?” (Rom. 4:19).

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before You! (Abraham asked the Lord that Ishmael might have some place, and not be completely left out.)

And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac (the name Isaac means ‘laughter’): and I will establish My Covenant with him for an Everlasting Covenant, and with his seed after him. (The Covenant is to be established with Isaac and not Ishmael. This completely shoots down the contention of the Muslims that Ishmael was the chosen one, unless you don’t believe the Bible. Through Isaac, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, would ultimately come.)

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you, behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly (the Lord would bless Ishmael, but not as it regards the Covenant); twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation (the blessing here pronounced was not because of Ishmael, but because of Abraham, and Abraham alone).

But My Covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year (so now they knew when the child would be born).

And He (the Lord) left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Communion with the Lord is the most profitable exercise there is)” (Gen. 17:15–22).

The Word of God

This, which we have given, concerns the statement given by the Lord as it regards Isaac and Ishmael. Even though we have dealt with it in a spiritual sense, it can be likened to the flesh and the Spirit, even as Paul addressed it in Galatians 4:21–31. But yet, the information given is meant to proclaim what the Word of God says as it regards both Isaac and Ishmael, which completely refutes the claims of Islam. As stated, they claim that the Lord chose Ishmael instead, and not Isaac. This all came from the supposed revelation given to Muhammad in approximately the year 610.

Actually, the Lord foretold, even before the birth of Ishmael as to what type of man he would be. He said: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (These predictions describe the Arab people perfectly. They cannot get along with anyone in the world; they cannot even get along among themselves. The descendants of Ishmael dwell in the presence of all his brethren [Israel], but do not subdue them, and, in fact, never will subdue them!)” (Gen. 16:12).

The Last Days

There are some who claim that the Muslims will play a great part in the activity of the last days, and by the term “last days” we’re speaking of the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The Scripture says concerning this:

And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (a week of years—seven years) …” (Dan. 9:27).

In effect, the Antichrist will make his debut on the world scene by brokering a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians and the Arabs, and, no doubt, other nations of the world as well, and undoubtedly including the U.S.A. The Antichrist will receive instant recognition for his ability to do this, so much so, in fact, that Israel will acclaim him as their long awaited Messiah. In fact, this is what Jesus was talking about when He said concerning this very thing: “I am come in My Father’s Name, and you receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive” (Jn. 5:43).

As would be obvious, the Muslim Middle East will be tremendously involved in this. In fact, the situation, as it regards Israel and the balance of the Middle East, grows more difficult with each passing day. Iran is claiming, and publicly, that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth; so, anyone who can solve this problem will be heralded as a superman. And the Antichrist will solve it, at least for a short time. The moment this seven-year treaty is signed, will signal the beginning of the Great Tribulation referred to by Christ and the Prophets (Mat. 24:21).

The first three and one half years of that time, referred to, as well, as Daniel’s seventieth week, while the Judgment of God will begin to be poured out, yet, Israel will fare very well it seems. But then they will be rudely awakened and, in fact, will now face their most horrific time, even worse than the Holocaust of WWII. Concerning this, the Apostle Paul said:

For when they shall say, peace and safety (refers to Israel, but will as well characterize the world; it pertains to the Antichrist signing the seven-year pact with Israel and other nations [Dan. 9:27]); then sudden destruction comes upon them (at the mid-point of the seven-year period, the Antichrist will break his pact, actually invading Israel [Rev. 12:1–6]), as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thess. 5:3).

At the midpoint of that seven-year time frame, referred to as the “Great Tribulation,” the Antichrist will show his true colors, and will attack Israel. In fact, Israel will suffer her first military defeat since becoming a Nation in 1948. Actually, were it not for intervention by the Lord, Israel at that particular time would be completely destroyed, but thankfully, the Lord will intervene.

Daniel said, concerning this very time, and I continue to quote from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE:

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south (Egypt) push at him: and the king of the north (the Antichrist, Syria) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (The phrase, ‘And at the time of the end,’ refers to the time of the fulfillment of these Prophecies, which, in fact, is just ahead. It is known that ‘the king of the south’ refers to Egypt, because that’s who is referred to at the beginning of this Chapter, which spoke of the breakup of the Grecian Empire. As well, ‘the king of the north’ proves that the Antichrist will come from the Syrian division of the breakup of the Grecian Empire. So the Antichrist will more than likely be a Syrian Jew.)

He shall enter also into the glorious land (into Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown (those in the Middle East): but these shall escape out of his hand (escape out of the hand of the Antichrist), even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. (Edom, Moab, and Ammon comprise modern Jordan. His entering into the ‘glorious land’ refers to his invasion of Israel at the midpoint of his seven-year nonaggression pact with them, therefore, breaking his covenant [Dan. 9:27].

“The countries listed comprise modern Jordan, where ancient Petra is located, to which Israel will flee upon the Antichrist ‘entering into the Glorious Land’ [Rev. 12:6]).

He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. (‘Egypt’ refers to ‘the king of the south’ of Verse 40, as stated.)

But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. (The ‘precious things of Egypt,’ no doubt, refer to the ancient mysteries of Egypt, regarding the tombs, the pyramids, etc. He will, no doubt, claim to unlock many of these mysteries; he very well could do so, regarding the supernatural powers given to him, and we continue to speak of the Antichrist, by the powers of darkness.)

But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. (After the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, actually ‘entering into the Glorious Land,’ he will be prevented from further destroying her by the ‘tidings of the east and out of the north’ that ‘shall trouble him.’ No doubt, these will be nations, probably led by Russia [north], Japan, and China [east], forming a union against him, but which will have no success)” (Dan. 11:40–44).

~J. Swaggart

What is the Relationship of Islam to the Bible?

Chapter One

In truth, none!

While the Muslims have misquoted the Bible, falsely interpreted the Bible, misapplied the Bible, and even changed the Bible, the truth is, Islam has absolutely no part in the Word of God. While the Koran contains illustrations from the Bible, generally those illustrations are twisted and perverted. In fact, while many religions have borrowed somewhat from the Bible, the Bible, the oldest Book in the world, has not borrowed from anything.

The Muslims claim that Ishmael is the promised seed, and not Isaac.

The Bible portrays Ishmael as a work of the flesh, and that he, along with his mother Hagar, were driven out of the household of Abraham.

The Scriptures say, and I quote from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE: “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken (despite all of Satan’s hindrances, Isaac, the progenitor and Type of the Messiah, is born).

For Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. (Referring back to the past Chapter, if it be objected that this whole occurrence is incredible, because no heathen prince would desire to marry a woman upwards of 90 years of age, or to conceive such a passion for her that to secure her, he would murder her husband—the very fate which Abraham feared for himself—it may be replied that God must have miraculously renewed her youth, so that she became sufficiently youthful in appearance to suitably be desirable. Three times in these first two verses, the clause points to the supernatural character of Isaac’s birth.)

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. (The name means ‘laughter.’ It speaks of blessing, increase, healing, life, and well-being [Jn. 10:10]. As Isaac was a Type of Christ, it would not be wrong to say that one of the names of Christ is ‘laughter.’)

And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him (this was a sign of the Covenant that God would ultimately send a Redeemer into this world).

And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him (this verse is placed in the Text so that all may know that Isaac’s birth was indeed miraculous).

And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me. (The mention of Sarah’s name some five times thus far in this Chapter is done for purpose and reason; the Holy Spirit is impressing the fact that Sarah was in truth the very mother of this miraculous child. Sarah had once laughed in unbelief; she now laughs in Faith, a laughter incidentally expressing joy, which will never end. It all pointed to Christ. Because of Christ, untold millions have laughed for joy.)

And she said, who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? For I have born him a son in his old age (this is a poem, and could very well have been a song, and probably was).

And the child grew, and was weaned (the custom in those days was to nurse children for two to three years before they were weaned; however, there is some indication that Isaac was approximately five years old when he was weaned): and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned (at this time, the boy was turned over to his father for training, at which time his education began).

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar (Ishmael) the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. (The effect of the birth of Isaac, a work of the Spirit was to make manifest the character of Ishmael, a work of the flesh. The end result of the ‘mocking’ was that Ishmael actually desired to murder Isaac [Gal. 4:29]. Ishmael was probably eighteen to twenty years old at this time, and Isaac was probably about five years old.)

Wherefore she said unto Abraham, cast out this bondwoman and her son: (Isaac and Ishmael symbolized the new and the old natures in the Believer. Hagar and Sarah typified the two Covenants of works and Grace, of bondage and liberty [Gal., Chpt. 4]. The birth of the new nature demands the expulsion of the old. It is impossible to improve the old nature. How foolish, therefore, appears the doctrine of moral evolution!) For the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. (Allowed to remain, Ishmael would murder Isaac; allowed to remain, the flesh will murder the Spirit. The Divine way of holiness is to ‘put off the old man,’ just as Abraham ‘put offIshmael. Man’s way of holiness is to improve the old man, that is, to improve Ishmael. The effort is both foolish and hopeless.)

And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. (It is always a struggle to cast out this element of bondage, that is, salvation by works, of which this is a type. For legalism is dear to the heart. Ishmael was the fruit, and, to Abraham, the fair fruit of his own energy and planning, which God can never accept.)

And God said unto Abraham, let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad, and because of your bondwoman; and all that Sarah has said unto you, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called. (It is labor lost to seek to make a crooked thing straight. Hence, all efforts after the improvement of nature are utterly futile, so far as God is concerned. The ‘flesh’ must go, which typifies the personal ability, strength, and efforts of the Believer. The Faith of the Believer must be entirely in Christ and what Christ has done at the Cross. Then, and then alone, can the Holy Spirit have latitude to work in our lives, bringing forth perpetual victory [Rom. 6:14]. It must ever be understood, ‘in Isaac [in Christ] shall your seed be called.’

And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is your seed (out of this ‘work of the flesh’ ultimately came the religion of Islam, which claims that Ishmael is the promised seed, and not Isaac)” (Gen. 21:1–13).

~J. Swaggart Ministry