Q & A With Sister Swaggart - IV
As born-again Christians, do you believe that our words—what we speak and what we say—can change a situation?
For us to believe that we can change things just by what we say is not scriptural. If our words line up with God’s will, then it’s going to be so, but God is not obligated to honor a Christian’s words just because he or she speaks them. There is an element of truth—words are important—and what we say is tremendously important, but we need to make sure that what we’re saying comes from God and not from us.
God has given each person a tongue, which is fueled by the mind and the heart. Consequently, whatever we say shows where a believer’s faith actually is and the direction he’s heading.
Faith speaks; it does not remain silent. And what is it that faith says? Actually, it says two things: First, what the Word of God says. Second, how it applies to one’s particular need, which incorporates the will of God.
We must always understand that the Lord will never allow His Word to be used against Himself. For instance, the Word of Faith people teach that whatever a believer wants he can have. This completely denies the will of God, making the will of man the supreme objective, which is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve when they listened to the lie of Satan and disobeyed God. In seeking to become like God in an unlawful way, Adam and Eve became totally unlike Him. To be sure, their followers do the same.
Certain Scriptures, for instance, are pulled out of context, such as Mark 11:23-24, which says: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
This passage plus many others are used with the practitioner quoting them over and over again, which they teach will put these “laws” into effect. Ignoring the will of God and seeking to entertain only their personal will, they claim all sorts of things. And to be sure, all of this is very heady because it promises great riches and appeals to the pride of the individual, which is the greatest sin of all. The Word of God must, of necessity, ever be subject to the will of God.
Faith can move mountains, but the Lord will not allow a mountain to be moved in such a way that it would hurt or harm others. So the believer is to confess the Word of God and the will of God. If we are led by the Spirit, we will never confess anything but that which the Lord desires. A believer cannot move mountains by speaking doubt; he must speak that which he wants and believes to be the will of God.
Romans 4:17 is another verse favored by the extreme faith movement. It states, “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
But the point often overlooked is that Abraham was speaking that which God had already spoken. Abraham was just echoing what God had told him. So if the Lord has not given you a specific word, then the only prayer you can pray is, “Thy will be done.”
Why is this so important? Because when faced with some of life’s realities—discouragement, sickness, and death—believers struggle with what to say.
This email, for example, it’s from a dear lady whose father was in hospice. She went to go see him and found her sister and mother already there. “They had just finished praying,” she wrote, “and they decided that nobody was going to ‘speak death’ over my dad. They said, ‘We’re not having hospice or anyone else coming in here to speak death over dad.’ Anger rose up within me, and I said, ‘Well, Dad is dying.’ They didn’t like that at all, so I just left. And a few days later, dad did die.”
This is where sometimes it’s so hard for Christians—you love your family, you care about your friends, and when you see them facing a bleak situation, you want to say something that will keep them encouraged without offering blind reassurance. It’s a terrible thing to give somebody false hope.
While God can do anything—and I want to keep that at the forefront here: God is able to do anything—we know that many times He does not do what we desire when we desire it. That’s why it’s so important, especially in these types of situations, that believers acquiesce to the will of God. In doing so, the outcome—whatever it might be—will never be one of defeat, but rather victory.
This extreme faith teaching, which is so prevalent in the church today, claims—erroneously—that those with real faith will not confess anything negative. So if you’re sick, you can’t say you’re sick, or, as this email implies, you can’t say, “My dad is dying.”
This “confession” principle teaches that the use of scriptural formulas to “confess” results releases the forces of good on one’s behalf. But whether they realize it or not, advocates of such are taking control out of the hands of the Lord and placing it into their own hands.
The three Hebrew children saying, “But if not,” would have been considered a “bad confession.” This falls under the heading of words of Scripture being deified and collected into various laws.
They actually teach that whatever problem the child of God faces, he is to find two or three Scriptures that seem to fit that problem, memorize them, and then confess them over and over. This is supposed to bring some type of action in the spirit world, which will put God to work for that believer.
Christ and the cross are completely ignored, with the avenue of success being ensconced in the proper Scriptures being chosen and properly confessed.
In other words, if someone has a cold, and somebody else mentions that fact, they are to vehemently deny such. They say admitting to having a cold (or whatever) is a “bad confession.”
Pure and simple, these advocates of the confession principle have redefined lying, claiming it to be faith; however, irrespective as to what they may claim, God labels it as lying.
Confession constitutes a major element in this particular so-called ministry. Scriptural formulas, confessing results into existence, thereby releasing benevolent forces on our behalf, constitute a major force in this so-called gospel. Their “law of confession” is a routine quoting of certain Scriptures. The Word of God is seen as a self-energizing entity — a deity within itself. Specific Scriptures are utilized out of context most of the time, completely ignoring all related Scriptures addressing the same principles.
By using these Scriptures, God is supposedly obligated to perform certain actions. The verbalized confession becomes the total force. Of course, within this system the burden on the individual becomes almost too great to bear. Above all, he must not lose his confession; he must not weaken his confession; he must not err in his confession. No matter what happens, he is compelled to ignore reality and maintain his confession.
When a believer puts his faith in extreme faith, there are only two options: either God is not real, or it’s the believer’s fault because he did not have enough faith. Both are negative and can do enormous damage to people. Putting people on a guilt trip by saying things like, “Your relative died because you didn’t have enough faith,” is a terrible burden to make someone live with.
Faith does work, but it’s faith in Jesus Christ, and He will not share His glory with another.
That’s the problem: people who place their faith in extreme faith or confession, and if what they say comes to pass, they want to get some glory out of it. But placing our faith in Christ and Him crucified puts us in the position of accepting the will of God. And whatever His will is, that’s what we want. Can you say Amen?