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

Monthly Archives: November 2015

There have been many streams of error that have flowed into the church over the last several decades: “The Word of Faith Movement”, “The Shepherding Movement”, “The Purpose Driven Life Movement”, “The Government of Twelve Movement”, to name a few. Along side and in relation to these movements comes one that has subtly gained influence recently, “The Hebraic Roots Movement” (HRM).

Similar to the other movements “The Hebraic Roots Movement” goes beyond the revealed Word of God by claiming, “. . . the Scripture alone cannot show the meaning within.” Herein we find the first error of this and all false teaching. It always breeds doubt by claiming that its adherents need more than God’s Word to understand Him. Satan used this lie with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and he still uses this same fallacious tactic today on mankind. Genesis 3:5.

“For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

The sources of revelation and wisdom in the HRM come from the Talmud, Midrash, Halakhah, and Haggadah. It’s interesting to note that students of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, require an understanding of these resources prior to comprehending the deeper esoteric secret meanings of the universe and God, they claim.

What’s the danger with teaching Christian’s their foundation of faith is in their Hebraic Roots? Actually that is a false question. Before the Law was given to Israel and His Children, God gave a Promise to a Gentile man, Abraham. Abraham was justified by Faith and the Seed of Abraham are they which exercise like Faith. Galatians 3:7: “Know you therefore that they which are of Faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”

THE SACRIFICE

The Sacrificial system was ordained by God before the foundation of the world, I Peter 1:20, and was shown to Adam and Eve and then given to Abraham and then onto Isaac and Jacob. Israel was to honor the sacrifices because they represented the coming “One” Sacrifice that God would accept. The Law could not be fulfilled by man’s works and was never intended to be. It was always by Faith that God was to be apprehended with the sacrifice being the means that man could have fellowship with God. The penalty of the Law required the sacrifice of a perfect offering. Only Jesus Christ qualified to pay the debt and become the Sacrifice acceptable to God on man’s behalf. When Christ died on the Cross He satisfied the righteous demands of the Law. Romans 10:4 says,

“For Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to everyone who believes.”

ISRAEL

Paul would share with us the remembrance of Israel of old as they “. . . drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4). No instruction was given by Paul or any of the other New Testament writers to follow Jewish customs or traditions. The admonition to us in the next Verses should make it clear how we are to view Israel with regard to our Sanctification and unwillingness to follow God’s Prescribed Order and Way, Verses 5-12: “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things are our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to drink and eat, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition. . . .”

Our Lord Himself made it clear that during the time of His Visitation that the spiritual leadership of Israel was not following the Law of God but after their own traditions. Mark 7:7-9:

“Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the Commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men . . . Full well you reject the Commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.”

NOT SCRIPTURAL

The Mishnah and Talmud are not Biblical or Scriptural! Much of the Midrashic teaching changed the object of Israel’s faith right before the time of Jesus Christ. The leadership was broken into different sects. The Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s and their interpretation of the Law functioned like the differences of today’s modern political parties. The Mishnah precedes the Talmud and was/is considered to be comprised of oral tradition passed down throughout history since the time Moses received the Law from God. According to tradition Moses gave to Israel the Written Law from God but used the oral Law to apply the Written Law upon Israel. This unwritten oral tradition was said to have been passed down throughout Israel’s history. After the death of Jesus Christ, Rabbinical commentaries, called the Gemara, were added to the Mishnah and together they later became the Talmud.

MODERN TEACHERS SO-CALLED

Today’s modern HRM teachers mostly refer to Talmudic teaching to explain the deeper truths of the Bible. Hogwash! The Midrash and Midrashic interpretation tend to devalue and pervert the literal, historical interpretation of Bible Scripture and replace it with private, hidden, and even mystical interpretations. We must also recognize Judaism today has been altered and weakened by their so-called Sages, Rabbis, and Ravs that mixed oral traditional thought, the Pentateuch, and Greek philosophy together. What’s really behind the HRM are occult principles and themes. New Age concepts are found throughout the HRM teachings. They’re also found in “The Word of Faith”, “Purpose Driven Life”, and “G12” Movements, which have desensitized the church making them palatable for HRM teachers to gain success.

OLD TESTAMENT

In the meantime, I want to point out that teaching and explaining the Old Testament with all its wonderful types and shadows does not indicate a preacher has embraced the HRM agenda. However, if your church begins to see your Pastor wearing prayer shawls and yarmulkes that maybe a sign he/she may be going in the HRM direction. If the Jewish calendar holidays and the Sabbath’s are all of a sudden being followed and are prescribed upon everyone, it’s time to leave your church. In future articles I will explain the other dangers of the HRM and how they are harming the church. If it’s not Jesus Christ and Him Crucified it’s not the Gospel. (This article was originally printed in December, 2010.)

~By John Rosenstern

Sidebar of 45 Communistic Goals

Extension of Remarks of HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR., of Florida in the House of Representatives on Thursday, January 10, 1963.

Mr. HERLONG: Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Florida, is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America. At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from The Naked Communist, by Cleon Skousen.

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up ‘as a one-world government’ with its own Independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward, and meaningless forms.”
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity, as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
29. Discredit the America Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the grounds that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture-education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric, which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks, and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use united force to solve economic, political, or social problems.
43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over nations and Individuals alike.

Sources Used:
1 Congressional Record Appendix, pp. A34-A35, January 10, 1963.
2 Ali Meyer, CNS News, “Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months,” January 13, 2015.
3 Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Feb. 1848, pg. 39.

~By F. Swaggart

By: F. Swaggart
On Thursday, January 10, 1963, Florida Congressman A. S. Herlong, Jr., stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and read a list of 45 “Current Communist Goals”—an excerpt, he said, from the book The Naked Communist.1

All of these goals are listed on page 17-18, but I would like to comment on just a few of them:

Number 3: “Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.” A simple comparison of the size and strength of our armed forces now to what they were just 30 years ago will show how the U.S. military has been cut down again and again.

Number 26: “Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as ‘normal, natural, healthy.’” The president of the United States just appointed the first openly transgender man who dresses as a woman to be a recruitment director in the White House.

Number 32: “Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.’” This goal was met more than 50 years ago. In 1962 and 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court banned state-sponsored prayer in schools.

I could go down the entire list of these communistic goals and show how each one has been accomplished—completely or in part—inside of one generation.

This infiltration of communistic ideals did not happen overnight. The change happened gradually—accelerating over the past 50 years as America shifted from her capitalist foundation to reach out for socialism and communitarianism, only to find herself completely conditioned for communism.

WHAT IS CAPITALISM, ANYWAY?

Webster’s dictionary defines capitalism as a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products—land, oil, factories, ships—are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government.

We see capitalism taught throughout the Bible, beginning with the book of Genesis:

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15).

God planted the garden, but He gave man the innovation, strength, and wisdom to work it. For Christians, this is capitalism in its truest form—believing in God’s provision while doing the work at hand.

A WORD ABOUT WORK

In Proverbs, Chapter 14, Verse 23, we read, “In all labor there is profit.” I believe that God expects all those who are able-bodied to work.

Having said that, I completely understand that some people—due to circumstances beyond their control or because of sickness or disability—simply cannot work. We sympathize with these precious people; they are the very ones our government absolutely should help and assist.

But there are millions of Americans out there who are capable of taking a job yet refuse to work.

Statistics show that of the 316 million people who live in the United States, 46 million receive food stamps. Think of that.

One news report claimed that the U.S. has more people dependent on food stamps than the total populations of Argentina, Columbia, Kenya, or Ukraine. The same report said, “Households on food stamps got an average benefit of $261.44 during the month, and total benefits for the month cost taxpayers $5,978,320,593.”2

So, basically, those who are working support those who either choose not to work or those who cannot work.

This dependency on government lines up with the communist agenda credited to Karl Marx.

His Manifesto of the Communist Party includes Frederick Engels’ “Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith,” which is written in a question-and-answer format. One question reads, “What will be your first measure once you have established democracy?”

The Marxist answer: “Guaranteeing the subsistence (amount of food, money needed to stay alive) of the proletariat (lowest social or economic class of a community).”3

WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT WORK?

When the Lord established the nation of Israel, He showed them how the nation was to be governed. He set their economy in motion with instruction on bartering, commerce, free enterprise, and trade. Provisions were also made for the poor:

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 19:9-10).

Notice that the landowner did not gather the food and hand it over to the poor. No, his part was to leave some of the harvest—some of the work—for the poor to do.

We see this “law of gleanings” carried out in the Bible story of Boaz and Ruth:

“And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley” (Ruth 2:15).

Gleaning barley is hard, physical work, yet we see Ruth out there from morning until night doing what she needed to do to feed herself and her mother-in-law.

Nowhere in the Word of God will you find laziness rewarded in any shape, form, or fashion. Instead, you will find Scripture after Scripture condemning slack hands and slothful living:

“He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Prov. 10:4).

“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute” (Prov. 12:24).

“He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” (Prov. 18:9).

“The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor” (Prov. 21:25).

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).

In America, we are guilty of rewarding laziness with our welfare programs. People who won’t work (but laugh) go out and buy their alcohol and drugs with money for which we have worked very hard and paid in taxes to the federal government. Then the federal government doles it out to people with no accountability for the money they receive. That’s a sin.

God had no welfare program for Israel. He made no provision for people who were lazy. In Bible times, people who refused to work were looked down upon; they were outcasts of society, and they didn’t exist for long.

God gives us the ability to work and expects us to work to provide, not only to help meet the needs of ourselves and our families, but also to have some left over to give to others.

In Ephesians 4:28 we read: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.”

Christians are instructed to give to the Lord. The Bible shows Israel giving to build the tabernacle so the presence of God could dwell among them. Then we see the temple constructed, again so that the people could experience the presence of the Lord. Today we have the tithe, which helps support the place we worship the Lord and finances the propagation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

America is a blessed nation because it has always been a Christian nation, a nation built on a strong work ethic – a capitalist nation. And it’s the capitalist countries, not the communist ones, that are producing and have overflow.

I’ve been on the docks in foreign countries where goods are shipped in – food, water, and medical supplies – in response to something like a natural disaster, and all the food that’s being brought in is coming from the United States of America. It’s a patriotic feeling to see that huge ship and know it’s from the United States of America. However, as patriotic as that may look or feel, goods and services are not this country’s greatest export.

As you’ve probably heard my husband say many times, “As long as the gospel of Jesus Christ is America’s greatest export, the jackbooted heels of foreign invaders will never walk on American soil.”

Karl Marx may be the founder of communism, but God the Father is the founder of capitalism, and we must hold fast to God’s way as outlined in His Word.

As Christians, we must continue to seek the face of the Lord and pray—especially heading into this most important election year – that America returns to her roots as a capitalist and a Christian nation.

 

~Frances Swaggart

2 Corinthians 5:2

(2) “AND YE ARE PUFFED UP, AND HAVE NOT RATHER MOURNED, THAT HE THAT HATH DONE THIS DEED MIGHT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM AMONG YOU.”

The Truth is, there are Christians in this “spiritual elitism” who have by and large abandoned the True Ways of God, and are constantly casting about for these spiritual tidbits. As well, there are Bible Teachers, so-called, who are ready and willing to supply all of the so-called clever insights. In fact, the land is full of them.

Even as Paul said, despite their claims, these people are by and large babies respecting spiritual maturity, in other words, they do not have any maturity. As well, their spiritual growth has come to a grinding halt, at least as long as they remain in this posture, with regression actually the case.

Such is Satan and such is deception!

The phrase, “And have not rather mourned,” presents that which should have been the attitude of the Corinthian Believers respecting what was taking place all around them and especially the situation addressed by Paul.

The phrase, “That he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you,” carries with it several powerful statements:

First of all, the idea is presented in the Text that such an individual should be immediately told to repent and cease such activity, and if not, he must be disfellowshiped. However, not only was there no demand for Repentance, there was seemingly no understanding as to how bad the situation really was. In fact, Verse 2 proclaims the thought that the perpetrator was “glorying” in his situation instead of seeing it for what it really was (vs. 6).

In this Chapter (vs. 5), the Holy Spirit through the Apostle informs us, that those who are involved in something of this nature must be given an opportunity to repent. If they in fact, humble themselves before the Lord in True Biblical Repentance, the matter should end there. True Repentance before God always stops Judgment of any nature. However, sin always brings negative consequences, irrespective as to what the sin may be. So, if anyone thinks that Repentance means that someone is getting by, that person is engaging in fantasy. The simple reason being, that all sin, irrespective of how much that Repentance is engaged, always exacts a terrible toll. However, that toll must be confined to the act itself, and must never be the result of fellow Believers. Always remember, that “with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Mat. 7:1–2).

SOME MATTERS MAY HAVE TO BE LOOKED AT DIFFERENTLY

If the sin is child molestation, or homosexuality, and even possibly other things one could name, even though Biblical Repentance may be truly enjoined, the individual who has repented, as sincere as it may be, should not desire to be placed in a position to where the same thing could easily happen again. Neither should Church Leaders desire to place one in such a position.

In other words, if a man was teaching a class of boys in the Church, and was found to be molesting one of these boys, even though he may sincerely repent of the action, he should not immediately be placed in this position again, nor should he desire to be. Notwithstanding the crime that has been committed other than the sin, such action should not at all be forthcoming.

However, there definitely can come a time, that is if the individual walks closely to the Lord and such is obvious, that he could be trusted again in whatever capacity. However, special care and wisdom would have to be exercised in such a case.

If we truly believe that Jesus Christ delivers, and we certainly do, if in fact such a person is truly delivered, they must be treated as such. As well, such will be obvious.

IF NO REPENTANCE IS FORTHCOMING …

This 5th Chapter makes it very clear, if the individual refuses to repent and line up with the Word of God, then that person, as stated, is to be disfellowshiped.

Once again, we are speaking of scandalous sins, and not all types of wrongs which, in fact, every Church has.

All people must be dealt with patiently and kindly, showing great compassion, for this is the Way of the Lord. But a situation such as Paul addresses here, which is an extreme violation of the Word of God in just about every capacity, and being carried out openly, must be dealt with, or else it will destroy the Church.

LET ME GIVE AN EXAMPLE

A young man and a young lady who were members of our Church, Family Worship Center, were seeing each other, with both of them of course professing Salvation, etc. To make the story very brief, the young lady became pregnant.

As the Senior Pastor of the Church, I met with one of my Associate Pastors who was more acquainted with the situation than anyone else, and we discussed as to what should be done, in other words how we should handle the situation.

First of all, there was never a thought which entered our minds, that we should make these young people leave the Church, because they might be an embarrassment to the Church, etc. Those things were never even once thought of or spoken. Our every action was to salvage this young man and young lady, getting them back on track with God, putting this thing, as serious as it was, behind them.

My Associate went to them and addressed the problem. They immediately told him that they were going to be married, which was the right course in this situation.

This was done, with a beautiful little baby boy born to them a short time later, and now they have a second child. They are both in the Church serving God, closer to the Lord I think than they have ever been before, and to be frank with you, I personally am very proud of both of them.

Of course it was not right what they did. It was sin, and in a sense despite the Love of God and the Grace of God, there will always be some hurt between both of them because of this sin.

But yet, as the Pastor of this Church, it was my responsibility to love them, to help them, to pray with them, to get them back on track according to the Word of God, which we did, and thankfully to which they both acquiesced, and they were both beautifully and wondrously salvaged. That is True Bible Christianity.

HOWEVER!

To be kind and loving, even as Christ demands, does not mean that one condones the sin or the failure. It merely means that one knows and understands, that one is not morally qualified to point a finger at others. Knowing that all of us, even the best of us whomever that may be, are in constant need of the Grace of God, and knowing that, we should be very quick to judge ourselves harshly, but others very leniently.

However, if that young man and young lady had refused to do the right thing which was to marry, which in this case was possible, in other words if they had flagrantly ignored the Word of God and charted their own course whatever that may have been, I would have continued to love them and try to help them, but I would have told them to leave the Church, just as Paul here speaks. However, that would be done only as a matter of last resort, and only after we had exhausted every means to try to get them back on track. As stated, it is not the business of the Preacher or anyone else for that matter, to purify the Church, that being solely the Business of the Holy Spirit, and because He Alone is qualified to do so. But when people, purposely set themselves against the Word of God, refuse to repent, and, as stated, chart their own course which is in opposition to the Word, and blatantly so, even as Paul here addresses, there is no alternative but to disfellowship these individuals, which the Apostle here plainly proclaims.

WHY DID THE HOLY SPIRIT TREAT THIS SIN OF INCEST DIFFERENT THAN THE SIN DEALT WITH IN THE FIRST FOUR CHAPTERS?

It was the sin of pride which Paul dealt with in the first Four Chapters of this Book, and which was so severe that it threatened to destroy the Church. But yet, even though Paul did demand repentance (4:17–21), at no time did he speak of these being disfellowshiped as he did the one guilty of incest, as recorded in this 5th Chapter.

Why?

Some may answer that I Corinthians, Chapter 5 pertained to morals, while I Corinthians, Chapters 1 through 4 did not. However, that is incorrect.

The prideful factor of I Corinthians, Chapters 1 through 4 was moral in nature as was that in I Corinthians, Chapter 5. Actually, the word “moral” or “morals” simply means “principles of right and wrong pertaining to behavior.” Consequently, the behavior of those in Chapters 1 through 4 was morally wrong as was the one in Chapter 5. Actually, this is one of the problems of the Church.

It considers sins such as the incest of I Corinthians, Chapter 5 to be immoral, which it definitely is, but does not think of slander as immoral, or gossip, or a prideful attitude for that matter. However, they are all immoral in the Eyes of God, and should be in the eyes of all others as well.

The reason that the Holy Spirit did not instruct Paul to threaten disfellowship for those of I Corinthians, Chapters 1 through 4, is because in a sense this situation was a matter of Doctrine. Their Doctrine was terribly wrong, and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle called attention to this fact. Actually, had they continued in this vein, they stood in great danger of losing their souls. If error is not corrected, it only gets worse. But yet, to call attention to this situation and demand repentance was all that the Holy Spirit did. He did not demand disfellowship, as He did in I Corinthians, Chapter 5. The sin of Chapter 5 was a direct and flagrant breaking of the Fifth Commandment, “Honour thy Father and thy Mother,” of the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and the Tenth Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy … neighbour’s wife” (Ex. Chpt. 20). Of course all sin, and irrespective of its nature, is a breaking of the Ten Commandments in some manner. But yet, some are far more obvious, even as this sin of Chapter 5, and, consequently, must be dealt with accordingly.

~J. Swaggart

1 Corinthians 5:1

(1) “IT IS REPORTED COMMONLY THAT THERE IS FORNICATION AMONG YOU, AND SUCH FORNICATION AS IS NOT SO MUCH AS NAMED AMONG THE GENTILES, THAT ONE SHOULD HAVE HIS FATHER’S WIFE.”

The phrase, “It is reported commonly,” tells us three things:

1. In all the questions which the Believers at Corinth had for Paul to address, they had not mentioned, at least in their Letter, the problem of the party spirit or this problem of immorality. These two things were related to Paul by those “of the house of Chloe,” quite possibly those who had brought the Letter to Paul from Corinth (I Cor. 1:11).

2. The word “commonly” insinuates that the immorality was more widespread than just the problem addressed.

3. Paul selects the worst case of the lot, that being a situation involving incest.

The phrase, “That there is fornication among you,” speaks of all kinds of impurity, perversion, and immorality. As stated, immorality, and of all types, seemingly was widespread in the Church at this time.

WHAT IS FORNICATION?

The Greek word is porneia,” and as stated, means all kinds of impurity, perversion, and immorality. However, it is somewhat different than adultery.

For instance, it is commonly thought that adultery refers to those who are married, with fornication referring to those who are single. That is incorrect. Fornication or adultery has nothing to do with one’s marital or single status. The meaning of fornication is as follows:

1. First of all it means repeated adultery, going from one partner to the next (Mat. 5:32; 19:9; I Cor. 7:2; 10:8; I Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21).

All fornicators are adulterers, but all adulterers are not fornicators.

As bad as either sin is, an individual who has an affair with someone other than his or her wife or husband, is not a fornicator, but is definitely an adulterer.

For instance, David was an adulterer, but he was not a fornicator. By contrast, Esau was a fornicator (Heb. 12:16).

2. Incest is fornication (I Cor. 5:1; 10:8). Incest is sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry. So, this man living with his Stepmother even while his Father was alive (II Cor. 7:12) constituted incest.

3. Idolatry and adultery in honor of idol gods is fornication (II Chron. 21:11; Isa. 23:17; Ezek. 16:15, 26, 29; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; Rev. 2:14–21; 14:8; 17:2–4; 18:3–9; 19:2).

Temple prostitution in honor of idol gods was a common thing in Paul’s day and before. In fact, Corinth was filled with this vice, which in fact, made it one of the most debauched places in the world of that time.

4. Natural harlotry (prostitution) is fornication (Jn. 8:41; I Cor. 6:13–18).

5. Spiritual harlotry is also called fornication (Ezek. 16:15, 26, 29; Rev. 17:2–4; 18:3–9; 19:2).

This speaks of Believers, or those who are supposed to be Believers, forsaking the Lord and going after idols or false Doctrine. The Holy Spirit likens these to spiritual fornicators.

6. Sodomy (male homosexuality) and male prostitution come under the heading of fornication (Rom. 1:24–29; I Cor. 6:9–11; II Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; Heb. 12:16; Jude 6–7).

Adultery does not merely pertain to those who are married, but rather to any type of unlawful relationship between men and women, whether single or married. However, the term does not cover the wide scope as does fornication.

The phrase, “And such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles,” simply means that it was not common among the Gentiles, even though it definitely was at times committed. The idea is, that even the Gentiles who looked at most immorality with indifference, in fact, frowned severely on this particular sin.

The phrase, “That one should have his Father’s wife,” refers to his Stepmother. As stated, it seems from II Corinthians 7:12 that the Father was alive for it refers there to the one “that suffered wrong” as well as the one who had “done the wrong.”

Evidently, this man was ignoring what had been said regarding this sin in Leviticus 18:17 and Deuteronomy 27:20. As well, from the complete silence regarding the woman, it may be inferred that she was not a Believer.

In fact, Mosaic Law demanded death for such an act, and even Roman Law prohibited it.

(2) “AND YE ARE PUFFED UP, AND HAVE NOT RATHER MOURNED, THAT HE THAT HATH DONE THIS DEED MIGHT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM AMONG YOU.”

The phrase, “And ye are puffed up,” tells us that this action was not, on the surface, motivated by animal passion but by false religious philosophy; but this only made this conduct, example, and teaching the more deadly to the spiritual life and the more destructive to the Gospel.

This Chapter, therefore, uncovers something of the evil and folly of the natural heart even in a Christian; and also illustrates the depths of Satan in cunningly persuading Believers that grossly immoral conduct can be misconstrued as exalted Christian liberty (Williams).

A LEADER IN THE CHURCH?

There is some evidence in Paul’s statement, that this man was not merely a member of the Corinthian Church, but was rather one of its Leaders. The idea seems to be that the people in the Church seemed to think little about this situation, and if we are to interpret Verse 6 literally, were actually glorying in what was being done. In fact, and as stated, it seems that other types of immorality were taking place as well.

Unless they met in a cave or some such like place, the Churches in Paul’s day were normally made up of several groups, each group meeting in a house with its particular Leader. As stated, this man could have been one of those Leaders.

HOW COULD THE CHURCH COME TO THIS ERRONEOUS CONCLUSION?

Whatever the thinking in their minds, the real reason was that they had left the Word of God as is blatantly obvious, had become puffed up in their spiritual pride thinking they were spiritual giants, so much so they were denigrating Paul, all which made them easy targets for Satan.

A broken and contrite spirit, which speaks of humility, and which is actually a Christlike spirit, closes the door to Satan and keeps it open to the Holy Spirit. This is the reason that over and over again in the Bible, we are warned that brokenness and contrition are the spiritual qualities looked for by the Spirit of God, and in fact, the only qualities which God can bless (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 66:2; Mat. 5:3–5; Lk. 18:14).

Some Expositors claim that Paul using the words “puffed up” only pertains to the Church not taking action concerning this matter. While it is certainly true, that they did not take action, the entirety of the situation was of far greater magnitude than that.

As we have previously stated, this matter was not merely a sin of animal passion, as bad as that would have been, but was rather far deeper and of far greater consequence, in that it was motivated by false religious philosophy. In fact, this is why the Holy Spirit took up so much space respecting the first Four Chapters of this Epistle, in dealing with this problem. It was not a matter of merely preferring one Preacher over the other, or even exalting one out of proportion to reality. Again, it was deeper and of greater magnitude than that.

SPIRITUAL ELITISM

Once again, it was the sin of spiritual elitism, which makes one unteachable except by some designated individual. Consequently, they make up their own rules as they go along.

Through the years, I have seen people in my Church do the same thing, as I suppose has every other Pastor, etc. Exactly as they did Paul, they would begin to insinuate that I was not deep enough for their spiritual intelligence. Oftentimes, I would watch them attach themselves to a Preacher who I knew was not living right, or else was conducting himself improperly in other ways.

The Truth is, that these people whomever they may have been, even as those at Corinth, were spiritual babies regarding the Word and its understanding, even though they considered themselves to be spiritual giants.

This type of people become very big in their own eyes, spiritually speaking, and then begin to cast about for clever things which they are deluded into believing are the “deep things of God.” When they come to this stage, even as at Corinth, and sadly there are many in modern Churches, the Salvation of lost souls is now of little significance. Believers being Baptized with the Holy Spirit is not worth their attention. People being delivered from the powers of darkness do not raise an eyebrow in their thinking. They are looking for something “deep,” and these things mentioned, which is what Calvary is all about, are simply not deep enough in their thinking.

~JSM

October 8

but though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8–9).

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The word “accursed” in the Greek is “anathema,” which means “a person or thing devoted to destruction because it is hateful to God.” In a spiritual sense, it denotes one who is alienated from God by sin—the sin of rebellion against God’s Way, which is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” Other than blaspheming the Holy Spirit, this sin of rebellion is the worst sin one can commit. It is especially grievous when it involves Preachers, for, it is to Preachers that these words are directed.

In the words, “any other gospel,” we have in the original Text the idea, as before, that “the other gospel” was a message that went beyond that preached by Paul. It was not so much a perversion of Paul’s Gospel, but a message that was diametrically opposed to it. In character it was of an opposite nature to Paul’s Message.

When Paul uses the phrase, “Preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you,” he was not using terminology of ego. It was to Paul that the great Revelation of the Gospel of Grace was given. He said, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12). The reason his statements were so harsh was because he knew that any gospel “other than the message of the Cross” was fundamentally wrong! As such, if these wrong messages were followed, these perverted gospels, they would lead to destruction. One cannot have it both ways.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn. 14:6).

This means that Jesus and what He did at the Cross is the only answer for hurting humanity. As we’ve said before, we say again:

1. The only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6).

2. The only way to Jesus is through the Cross (Lk. 9:23).

3. The only way to the Cross is by a denial of self, i.e., self’s ability, which spawns self-efforts (Lk. 9:23).

Judaizers were Jews from Jerusalem and Judaea who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but did not accept the Cross. These Judaizers were coming into the Churches in Galatia and preaching “another gospel,” which was the gospel of “law” and “works.” Paul preached that works and the Law had no place in Christianity; by Law, he was speaking of the Law of Moses, which had been fulfilled in Christ. The way to Salvation and the way to Sanctification were solely through Faith in Christ and what Christ did at the Cross. If “works” entered into this, it perverted the message, and that’s exactly what these Judaizers were doing.

So the Holy Spirit through the Apostle said that all who preach “another gospel” would be excommunicated, cursed, cast out, etc. In closing, I ask the following question:

Where does that put most modern Preachers?

J. Swaggart Ministries

Removed From Christ

OCTOBER 7

I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him Who called you into the Grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some who trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6–7).

God, in His Love, has given man the Gospel and suited it to his needs. Satan, in opposition, degrades it to the level of man’s corrupt nature and proud will, and fashions it into a religion that suits man, as man, in the flesh.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ condemns man, as man, to death, and so puts an end to him and all his religion, and it reveals a “new man” born of the spirit and not of nature. The impotency of man to serve, please, and obey God was made manifest under the Law. Satan’s aim during the present day of Grace is to unite the religion of the flesh with that of the Spirit; and the impossibility and wickedness of that union are plainly set out in the Epistle to the Galatians.

Christ gave Himself up as a Sin Offering in order to take His People out of the world (Gal. 1:4). In His Cross, man, his religion, and the world are judged. Every effort of man, therefore, as a man and by natural birth, to make himself religiously acceptable to God is rebellion, which is the greatest sin of man. In fact, that effort is no more than the energy of the “evil world,” out of which Christ redeems.

Paul was the founder of the Churches in Galatia; however, after he left, called by the Lord to other fields of endeavor, certain false teachers had interjected themselves into these Churches to attack both the Doctrine and the person of the Apostle, and did so by introducing a gospel of “works.”

In the writing of this Epistle to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul offered no commendation at the opening of this Epistle, as he did others, but at once an abrupt exclamation of amazement. How could these converts to the Lord, in fact, Paul’s converts, so quickly turn to a perverted gospel? As we have stated, it is not Satan’s aim to deny the Gospel, for that he cannot do, so he tries to corrupt it.

Anything other than the Message of the Cross, pure and simple, is “another gospel,” which, in fact, is “not another,” at least that will help anyone. Anything other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified is a “perversion of the Gospel of Christ.” And, to be certain, a “perverted gospel” will not save, will not heal, will not deliver, and will not bring about any positive results whatsoever. In truth, it will push the person deeper into bondage and deception. There is no deliverance in a perverted gospel; there is no power in a perverted gospel; there is no Salvation in a perverted gospel! The only thing there is in a perverted gospel is “trouble,” hence, the Apostle saying, “there be some who trouble you.” To be sure, it’s “trouble” with a capital “T.”

It is my belief that the Church presently is in worse spiritual condition than at any time since the Reformation. To be sure, it is richer than ever, and with greater numbers of people; however, Jesus said, “And knowest not, that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).

Any gospel, so-called, which doesn’t have the Cross of Christ as its foundation, and its only foundation, is, pure and simple, a “perverted gospel.” And the world is rife with such presently!
At approximately the turn of the Twentieth Century, the great “latter rain” outpouring of the Holy Spirit began. The “former rain” took place during the time of the Early Church, as recorded in the Book of Acts. Both were prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:23). Most, if not all, of the mainline Denominations rejected this latter rain outpouring. As a result, some of them attempted to preach the Cross without the Holy Spirit, which presented a “perverted gospel,” which the Lord could never accept. As a result, they are no longer preaching the Cross or the Holy Spirit.

The Full Gospel Churches, which were born out of this great latter rain outpouring, tried to preach the Holy Spirit without the Cross. As the former would not suffice, neither would the latter. Now, most Full Gospel Churches, so-called, are not preaching either. The Message of the Cross of Christ and the Holy Spirit are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate the two (Rev. 5:6; Jn. 7:37–39).

Tragically, all of this means that what is being presently presented, with some few exceptions, is little more than a “perverted gospel.” Jesus predicted this by saying, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the Earth?” (Lk. 18:8). In the original Greek Text, this reads, “Shall He find The Faith upon the Earth?” He is speaking of the same Faith which the Apostle Paul addressed in II Corinthians 13:5. It pertains solely to the Message of the Cross.

The question must be asked:
Are you in “The Faith,” or have you accepted “another gospel”?

Swaggart, J.

Ephesians 4:11-12

11 And He gave (our Lord does the calling) some, Apostles (has reference to the fact that not all who are called to be Ministers will be called to be Apostles; this applies to the other designations as well; “Apostles” serve as the de facto leaders of the Church, and do so through the particular Message given to them by the Lord for the Church); and some, Prophets (who stand in the Office of the Prophet, thereby, foretelling and forthtelling); and some, Evangelists (to gather the harvest); and some, Pastors (Shepherds) and Teachers (those with a special Ministry to teach the Word to the Body of Christ; “Apostles” can and do function in all of the callings);

PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS

12 For the perfecting of the Saints (to “equip for service”), for the work of the Ministry (to proclaim the Message of Redemption to the entirety of the world), for the edifying of the Body of Christ (for the spiritual building up of the Church):

THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS

The phrase, “For the perfecting of the Saints,” refers to helping the Saints understand the Word of God.

“Perfecting” in the Greek is kataritizo,” and means “to equip for service.” It also means “the restoring of anything to its proper place.” It is to “properly put things in order, to make complete.”

If the people are improperly taught, they will have an improper spiritual growth, which regrettably, is the case I think in many, if not most, Churches. Consequently, it is very, very important as to where the Saint attends Church. If they attend the wrong Church, they are going to receive what the Church gives, which can be extremely detrimental to their spiritual experience.

If the Believer attends a Church because it is of his particular Denomination, or because he likes the various different social or sports programs presented in that particular Church, or because this is where his friends go, or for any other reason similar, he is attending for all the wrong reasons.

The main purpose and reason that anyone should attend a particular Church, is because the Truth and all the Truth is preached behind the pulpit and there is a Moving and Operation of the Holy Spirit within that particular Church. Irrespective of the name on the door, or as to who attends that Church, these two things “Truth” and “Moving of the Spirit” should always be the criteria.

The old saying that the pew cannot rise any higher than the pulpit is true! Whatever is being taught behind the pulpit, is what the people are going to hear, receive, and live by. If it is error, to be sure it will have a negative effect on their lives. If it is Truth, it will have a positive effect and greatly so. The sadness is, Satan cloaks his error so subtly, with his method being “the barb embedded in Truth.” As someone has well said, “Error rides into the Church on the back of Truth.” The error then becomes palatable and digestible; however, it will wreak its intended result of destruction as always!

ERROR AND LEAVEN

The Word of God typifies error as leaven (Mat. 13:33). Leaven by its very nature if not rooted out, will ultimately take over the whole. In other words, the little barb of leaven in the whole kernel of Truth, will ultimately overrun the Truth, that is if it is not removed, with then nothing left but “leaven.” Unfortunately, millions are led astray by taking to themselves a small amount of leaven, which after a while corrupts the whole.

It is our business as Preachers of the Gospel to do exactly what the Holy Spirit said through Paul, “to perfect the Saints.” We can only do that as Ministers of the Gospel, by walking close to the Lord, properly understanding the Word ourselves, which means a lifetime devoted to the study of the Word, and at the same time having a strong prayer life. That’s exactly what the Apostles said in the earliest days of the Church, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the Ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). Blessed are the people who have such a Pastor.

THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY

The phrase, “For the work of the Ministry,” is tied directly to the “perfecting of the Saints.” If the Saints are not perfected, which means to be rooted and grounded in the Word, there will be little “Work of the Ministry.”

What should this “work” consist of?

The primary purpose, the actual “work” of the Church, is to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel throughout the entirety of the Earth, and to every single individual. That should be its primary focus, its foundation, its thrust, its purpose, its work. That must be foremost, and if it isn’t, the Church soon dies. For every single person who does not know of Christ, as far as that person is concerned, Jesus died in vain. There could be no higher travesty, no greater travesty than that!

When the Church is on fire for God, its work will be the propagation of the Gospel, which falls out to the Salvation of souls. 

THE EDIFICATION OF THE BODY

The phrase, “For the edifying of the Body of Christ,” refers to the building up of the Church, which can only come about if the Church is brought to maturity and engaging in the True Work of God. Otherwise there is no true edification.

If one is to notice, it is for the “edification of the Body,” instead of edification of one or two particular individuals.

~J. Swaggart