The Message of the Cross
By: Frances Swaggart
Recently, I was asked if we could reprint my husband’s article from our December 2004, Evangelist, magazine. The article, entitled “The Vision Of Daniel,” contained a section entitled “The Cross Of Christ, The Last Great Push By The Holy Spirit.” He was sharing with the people “The Revelation of the Cross” that was given to him by God, as well as another word from the Lord given to him in 1992. It seems some are misrepresenting what was contained in his article; therefore, we feel it would be good to offer it to you again.
When my husband used the word “revelation,” some thought he was meaning a “revelation” outside of Scripture. Of course, this accusation is false. In his article, he states, “When the Revelation began to come, which, in effect, was not at all new, but rather was that which was originally given to the Apostle Paul, it totally revolutionized my life.” He states a few sentences later, “In this Revelation, the Lord explained to me, even in graphic detail, that which He had originally given to the Apostle Paul (Gal 1:12). But I honestly think, in His explaining this Revelation to me, that He gave me more light than the Church has previously known as it regards this all-important subject.” Notice he states that the Lord gave him “more light than the Church” had previously known; he DOES NOT SAY that the Lord gave him more light than Paul had known, or more light than God had given to Paul.
The indictment is against the church, not Paul or the Bible. He was putting the blame on the church world as a whole, including himself, for our inadequacy in understanding the fullness of the Message of the Cross. There was in no way any indication that God had not done His Part by leaving something out of His Word or that this Revelation was given to my husband exclusively. Anyone who has listened to my husband for any length of time knows that he would never even indicate, much less state, that the Word of God is by any means imperfect or incomplete, and he would never insinuate that God’s Truth was not readily available to any and all individuals who study His Word. This is not part of who he is. My husband has made it his life’s work to study this Book because he knew that, in it, God has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness . . .” (II Pet 1:3). This “Revelation of the Cross” was expressly written in the Bible, and copious Verses of Scripture both confirm and substantiate it!
When you look up the word, “revelation,” in the dictionary, it can be described as “an act of revealing or communicating divine truth or an enlightening or astonishing disclosure.” Another dictionary I looked at used the word “illumination.” Now, I’m sure all of you who read your Bible have had a verse or passage of Scripture just suddenly seem to jump off the page as you read it, and you felt like you were seeing it or better understanding it much more than ever before. You may have read that verse a thousand times, yet it had never fully sunk in until it was illuminated or revealed to you by the Spirit of God in a special, personal way. Some have called this experiencing a “rhema” word from God. It is as if you hear the Voice of God in your spirit (although not in an audible voice) teaching His Word to you.
It’s seriously sad to have to say that some wannabe apologists have written blogs and/or articles, accusing my husband of saying that “he was given a revelation greater than Paul’s.” As we have just explained, this was just not correct. No, my husband has not said that this Revelation of the New Covenant was greater than Paul’s. And no, his Revelation is not separate from the Bible. Unfortunately, when you begin to explain to someone, particularly many church leaders, that there has been something in Scripture he previously did not understand to its full extent, it often insults his pride, especially if he doesn’t want to accept the Truth that’s being accentuated by the Holy Spirit. Most do not take correction well, and if you accept the Scriptural Revelation of the Cross, you may have to accept the need for changes in your church programs, teachings, and activities. The Cross is the only Way for both Salvation and Sanctification, and any church activity that doesn’t strictly adhere to it must go.
In these last days, we true Christians know all too well that the enemy is working overtime to discredit the things of God and those working for Him. I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity to expose his evil activities by emphasizing this important teaching in my husband’s article and providing it to you to read for yourself:
THE CROSS OF CHRIST, THE LAST GREAT PUSH BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
I am going to divulge something, which I believe the Lord gave to me in 1992, to which I have seldom alluded.
It was either late winter or early spring when a few of us had gathered for prayer at 10 a.m. that particular morning, which was our custom. The Spirit of the Lord was to Move in a tremendous way in that prayer meeting. I was seeking the Lord for help as it regards my own person, and this Ministry, and was being greatly moved upon by the Holy Spirit to intercede on behalf of specific needs. Realizing and graphically seeing my own shortcomings, and crying to the Lord for help, the Lord spoke to me. In essence, He spoke graphically to my heart, certainly acknowledging my personal needs, to which I will direct more attention in a moment; but then, He began to speak to me as it regards the Church world as a whole. To do so, He took me to the statements of the Prophet Isaiah. The Prophet said: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
“Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they (the sores) have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isa. 1:4-6).
The Lord was telling me that not only did I need help, but, as well, the entirety of the Church World fell into the same category. As stated, this was in 1992, approximately five years before the Lord would give to me the Revelation of the Cross. When that Revelation began to come, which, in effect, was not at all new, but, rather, was that which was originally given to the Apostle Paul, it totally revolutionized my life. In this Revelation, the Lord explained to me, even in graphic detail, that which He had originally given to the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:12). But I honestly think, in His explaining this Revelation to me, that He gave me more light than the Church has previously known as it regards this all-important subject. In effect, the Revelation of the Cross, for that’s what it was, is the understanding and explanation of the New Covenant; therefore, one could say that “The Story of the New Covenant is the Story of the Cross.” Consequently, it could also be said, “The Story of the Cross is the Story of the New Covenant.”
That which the Lord gave to me, which I believe sheds more light on what was originally given to Paul, pertains to the manner in which the Holy Spirit works within our hearts and lives.
To make it brief, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Source of all that we receive from God, with the Cross being the Means. It is this “Means” in which the Holy Spirit works; in other words, the death of Christ on the Cross was a legal Work, hence, it affording “Justification by Faith” (Rom. 5:1). The Holy Spirit works strictly within the legal parameters of this Finished Work. In fact, He works so strictly within these legal parameters of the Cross that His Work is referred to as “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2).
THE CROSS, OUR FAITH, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
Putting it all together, the Lord showed me, and as stated, that the Cross is the Means by which our Lord gives to us all things, and that He does this by and through the Person, Work, Ministry, and Office of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:7-15; Rom. 8:1-2, 11).
Every single thing done in our hearts and lives which is from the Lord is carried out completely by the Holy Spirit. As it regards the Believer, we, within ourselves, have no power to change anything. It is the Holy Spirit Who Alone does the changing, and Who does so by His mighty Power. That’s the reason that Paul said:
“For the preaching of the Cross is to them who perish foolishness, but to us who are Saved, it is the Power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
The “Preaching of the Cross” is the “Power of God,” because the Holy Spirit, Who Alone has the Power, works exclusively within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ. In other words, when the Preacher “preaches the Cross” and the people believe what is being preached, this opens the door for the Holy Spirit to work mightily on our behalf.
He demands of us very few things, but He definitely does demand that we understand that Christ is the Source, and the Cross is the Means, and that we, at all times, place our Faith and confidence in that Finished Work. Doing that, and I speak of our Faith ever having the Cross as its Object, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live a Holy life. In fact, that’s the only way that it can be accomplished (Gal. 2:20-21).
I have always preached the Cross; however, it was not until 1997 that I understood the Cross as it regards victorious living. To show me all of that, the Lord took me to Romans, Chapters 6, 7, and 8.
I grieve when I see preachers promoting one scheme after the other, claiming that such will bring about victorious living. There’s only one Message that can bring about such Victory, and it is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 1:23).
Sometime back, a preacher, with whom I was not acquainted, wrote me a lengthy letter, explaining one of these latest “fads.” I answered him by saying, “My Brother, the answer for which you seek, and the only answer, is the Cross of Christ.”
It is amazing, the modern church completely discounts sin, with many in its confines actually ignoring sin altogether, as if it doesn’t exist.
The truth is, as “sin” is the problem of the unredeemed, most definitely, it is also the problem of the Redeemed. Listen again to Paul:
“For what the Law (Law of Moses) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh (man, in his fallen condition, didn’t have, and doesn’t have, the ability, within himself, to properly obey the law), God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (the Incarnation, God becoming man; this doesn’t say that the humanity of Christ was sinful, but rather that the humanity of our Lord was in the likeness of sinful flesh), and for sin (meaning that sin is the very purpose and reason that God became man, was born of the Virgin Mary, and went to the Cross), condemned sin in the flesh (meaning that Christ made it possible, through the Cross, for us to live a victorious, overcoming life)” (Rom. 8:3).
In other words, the very reason that the Lord came to this world and went to the Cross, for that was ever His Mission (I Pet. 1:18-20), was that sin might be defeated in its entirety. In His Perfect Life, He perfectly kept the Law of God, all on our behalf. But then, at the Cross, He paid the penalty for sin, which was death, and did so by offering up His Perfect Life and Perfect Body, which completely made ineffective the sin nature, at least for those who will believe. Listen again to Paul:
“Knowing this, that our old man (what we were before Salvation) is crucified with Him (when He died on the Cross, in the Mind of God, we died with Him) that the body of sin (the sin nature, which came about as a result of the Fall) might be destroyed (made ineffective) that henceforth we should not serve sin (would not have to serve the sin nature)” (Rom. 6:3-6).
The word, “destroyed,” does not refer here to annihilation, but, rather, that the sin nature is made, as stated, “ineffective.” The secret is, we, as Believers, as a result of the Cross, are to be dead to the sin nature (Rom. 6:11). It doesn’t say that the sin nature is dead, but that we are to be dead unto that nature.
WHY IS THE SIN NATURE ITSELF NOT YET DEAD?
It is because our physical bodies are not yet redeemed. Paul said:
“And not only they (speaking of the creation) but ourselves also (all Believers), which have the Firstfruits of the Spirit (meaning that we do not have presently all that Jesus accomplished at the Atonement, but only the firstfruits), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (which will take place at the Resurrection, i.e., the Rapture of the Church)” (Rom. 8:23).
At that time, our physical bodies will be Glorified, and there will be no more sin nature. Paul also said:
“So when this corruptible (our present status) shall have put on incorruption (the Glorified Body), and this mortal (our physical bodies are now dying) shall have put on immortality (the Glorified Body will never die), then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory” (I Cor. 15:54).
The “corruptible” pertains to the sin nature, which is still within us, even the godliest of Believers. At the Rapture of the Church, there will be no more “corruptible” in the Glorified Body, which we will then receive.
But until then, the Lord has given us a means by which we can walk in Victory, in that the sin nature no longer rules or controls us in any fashion, which is done by our Faith exclusively in Christ and what Christ has done for us at the Cross (Rom. 6:14).
THE LAST PUSH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS IT REGARDS THE CHURCH
It is my belief that the Holy Spirit bringing the Church back to the Cross is the last great push that He will make before the Rapture. Those who look to Christ and the Cross, for Christ and the Cross must not be divided, will make up the “True Church.” Those who reject the Cross, even though they may claim Christ in some manner, will be those who make up the “apostate church.” In fact, to accept Christ without the Cross is to accept “another Jesus” (II Cor. 11:4).
The Lord spoke to my heart, and I speak of the prayer meeting, which I mentioned some paragraphs back, that He would begin a Move in our particular Church and Ministry (Family Worship Center), which would girdle the globe. Of course, the Lord will be using many others, as well, but this Ministry will definitely be a part of that which He is using.
He informed me that not only did I need, and desperately so, His Help and Grace, but, as well, the entirety of the Church World fell into the same category. He showed me that by giving me, as stated, the words of Isaiah, which I quoted many paragraphs back.
That Move began, at least as far as this Ministry is concerned, in 1997. It began with the Message of the Cross. The Church came in with the Cross, and the Church will go out with the Cross. This means that the Lord has changed nothing, and simply because nothing needs to be changed. The Message of the Cross is “The Everlasting Covenant” (Heb. 13:20).
THE HOLOCAUST AND BEYOND
World War II had a far stronger Spiritual connotation than most would know. Satan is privy to some information concerning the future (Job, Chpts. 1-2); consequently, he knew that God was going to use the United States to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world. Even though such began at the turn of the Twentieth Century, still, its greater thrust awaited the completion of World War II.
The Evil One raised up Germany and Japan to oppose this nation and, hopefully, to defeat it, which would stop that Spiritual onslaught all over the world. As is obvious, he did not succeed. In fact, this Ministry (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries) played a part in this thrust of the Gospel on a worldwide basis, and still does unto this hour. As well, and to which we have already alluded, Satan, knowing that the State of Israel must be restored, all of which the Prophets predicted, set about through Adolf Hitler to stop the fulfillment of these Prophecies. The slaughter of some six million Jews began in 1940, and continued throughout World War II. The sadness is, the world knew what was going on, even the Leadership of the United States. But the truth is, considering that these were Jews, most simply didn’t care.
As a microcosm of the events which transpired some few months before America entered the war, a ship, loaded with multiple thousands of Jews who had escaped Nazi Germany, sat in New York harbor for days, but was not allowed to dock. The ship traveled on to South America, but was refused there, as well. Ultimately, it went back to Europe, with most on board dying in the German concentration camps. The nations in question, including the United States, didn’t want to offend Herr Hitler.
(Taken from Jimmy Swaggart Bible Commentary, Daniel, Chapter 7.)