“To another Faith (special Faith) by the same Spirit . . .” (I Cor. 12:9).
The “Faith” here addressed is not the same as Saving Faith spoken of in Romans 12:3. Neither is it Faith that is a “Fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22).
The “Faith” here listed as a Gift of the Spirit is a special Faith which, I believe, is given by the Holy Spirit to every person who has, at the same time, been assigned a particular task which, in the natural, is impossible.
As it regards this Ministry (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries), this special Faith is something that we have to use every single day. We almost never have the funds to do what God has called us to do, meaning that we have to believe Him even day-by-day. It’s not a one-time affair that happens once in a while, but, as stated, it is daily. We have to believe that the Lord is going to meet the need and see us through because He has called us to do what we are doing. However, it takes a special Faith to believe this.
When the Lord calls someone to do something, even as He has called this Evangelist for World Evangelism, I believe that He also calls a great number of people to join in this endeavor in order that it be carried out. In other words, I believe the people of our Church (Family Worship Center) are just as called of God as I am. I believe that those who support us are just as called of God as I am as it regards this Ministry. They may live many hundreds or even thousands of miles from Baton Rouge, yet, they are blessed and helped by our telecasts and/or the radio programs, as well as the publications and the music, etc. This includes many of you holding this book in your hands. Along with this Call, you have been given, as well, this special Faith to believe God with me.
YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY THE LORD
In other words, your place and position, as it regards this Work and Ministry, are not an accident. You have been placed here by the Lord. As we take this Gospel, this Message of the Cross, to a hurting, dying world, you will have a part in every soul that’s Saved, every life that is changed, every Believer baptized with the Spirit, every sick body healed, every bondage of darkness broken, etc. Furthermore, I believe we can say without fear of Scriptural contradiction that every single person in the world, who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit, has Gifts of the Spirit latent within their hearts and lives, waiting to be developed. In other words, the Lord wants to use you in particular Gifts, awaiting only your consecration regarding the matter. Therefore, you should tell the Lord that you want these Gifts to Operate in your life, that is, whatever Gifts He would desire to work through you. I don’t believe the Scripture teaches that these Gifts are only for a select few. I believe they are for every single Spirit-filled Believer.
I made mention to our congregation at Family Worship Center a short time ago that, considering the tremendous obstacles, which we have had to overcome as it regards this Ministry, we could not have done it were it not for Gifts which are Operating in the hearts and lives of many of our people. Some of these Gifts, like Faith, are not obvious to others; nevertheless, they are there, and they are working.
To be frank, as it regards many of the Gifts which are not vocal, I feel that many Spirit-filled Believers are used in these Gifts when, most of the time, they don’t even know or understand that these things are happening. Nevertheless, they are! One of the reasons that so little is understood about these Gifts is simply the fact that the subject matter is not taught as it ought to be. Once again, I remind the reader that the Holy Spirit has said, “I would not have you ignorant,” concerning these things which are so very important (I Cor. 12:1).
GIFTS OF HEALINGS
“. . . To another the Gifts of Healing(s) (prayer for the sick) by the same Spirit” (I Cor. 12:9).
If it is to be noticed, both words, “Gifts” and “Healings,” are in the plural. In the King James Version, “Healings” is not in the plural, but rather, in the singular. However, in the original Text, even as Paul wrote it, both words are plural.
One thing is certain. Whatever the Holy Spirit did was for a purpose and is very important. He did nothing and does nothing that can be construed as insignificant. And yet, I’ve read or heard precious little that attempted to define the plurality of these words. Momentarily, I will give what I feel the plurality means.
It should be understood that any Believer can pray for the sick. The Scripture clearly states, “And these signs shall follow them who believe . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mk. 16:17-18). So, every Believer is admonished to pray for the sick and expect the Lord to heal; however, the fact is, for those who definitely have “Gifts of Healing(s),” many more healings will be brought about than otherwise.
As it regards the plurality of the words “Gifts” and “Healings,” I believe that such was done by the Holy Spirit for the following reason.
Many times, those who have Gifts of Healing(s) will see more healings regarding certain types of diseases than they will other types. It’s as though the Lord gives them a special Faith for a certain disease, etc. In other words, they will see many more healings of that particular malady than anything else. Then, there are some to whom the Lord gives a greater anointing, it seems, and they will have Faith for several different types of diseases, which refers to the plurality of the words “Gifts” and “Healing(s).”
And yet, as it referred to our Lord, no disease or sickness stood in His way, not even death. The Scripture says of Him:
“For He Whom God has sent speaks the Words of God (refers to Christ Who always spoke the Mind of God and, thereby, the Word of God): for God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him(refers to the fact that all others, whomever they may have been and even the very greatest, while having the Holy Spirit, did so by ‘measure,’ which was not so with Jesus; He had the Spirit in totality, hence, the constant healings and miracles)” (Jn. 3:34).
This means that the Holy Spirit could function in Him as no Believer simply because Christ was Perfect, while all Believers are imperfect.
As well, the Scripture says of Christ, “You love Righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows” (Ps. 45:7).
All of this states that, whereas we are limited, irrespective as to how much the Lord may use one of us, the Lord of Glory, as is obvious, was unlimited.
A PERSONAL HEALING
When Frances and I first began in Evangelistic work in the mid-1950’s, the great Divine Healing Revivals were beginning to sweep the world. I remember that Gordon Lindsay, editor of the very influential Voice of Healing Magazine, wrote many books on this phenomenon that was taking place, with one of them being, “Bible Days Are Here Again”. Countless times I would look at that title, even after I had read the book, and weep for joy. Truly, the Lord was pouring out His Spirit all over the world. The Lord was using frail, imperfect, individuals to once again proclaim the Might and the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Giant tents were being constructed, actually the biggest in the world, and being filled to capacity with people who had “never seen it in this manner before.”
Frances and I were in a meeting in the Lindale Assembly Of God Church in Houston, Texas, pastored by James McKeehan. He was one of the Godliest men that I ever had the privilege to know.
We were at a breakfast of sorts one of the mornings while we were there. Brother McKeehan came up to me and said, “Brother Swaggart, there’s someone here I want you to meet.”
I looked up and standing before me was an elderly gentlemen, frail of build and short of stature. I stood to my feet to shake hands with him when Brother McKeehan said, “Brother Swaggart, this is Raymond T. Richey.”
I stood there for a few moments, unable to speak. This man had been used of God as possibly few men in history. The Lord most definitely gave him the Gifts of Healing(s), along with the Working of Miracles, and, no doubt, other Gifts as well. He had witnessed and experienced one of the mightiest Moves of God in the world. That’s the reason that my tongue would not speak when I stood before him. And yet, he was so very gracious and kind with such a humble demeanor, so much so, in fact, that I will never forget that moment.
A MIGHTY HEALING
I would like to relate just one incident from the thousands, which occurred under this man’s Ministry and scores of others like him. I had the privilege of knowing a particular preacher, some years older than I, who had been graciously used of the Lord.
He was of Italian descent, thereby, his entire family knew nothing but Catholicism as it regarded church. This was back in the 1940’s, and he found that his mother, although still young of years, was dying with cancer. In fact, her situation was terminal, having been sent home from the hospital to die.
One particular morning, the newspaper boy threw into their yard, by mistake, a newspaper. They did not subscribe to the newspaper in Houston, Texas, simply because they were too poor, he said, to afford the subscription.
At any rate, he picked up the paper, took it inside, and somewhere in the body of that paper he saw a big half page ad that stated, or words to this effect, “DIVINE HEALING REVIVAL.” It went on to state that blinded eyes were being opened and diseases were being healed, even cancer. When he and his mother saw those words, something leaped within their hearts.
Now, they were Catholic, and in those days Catholics did not go to protestant churches. In fact, they had never been in a protestant church in their lives; irrespective, he resolved somehow to get his mother to the meeting that was being conducted at the Richey Temple in Houston.
She was so sick that she could little walk, but she somehow managed to get to the service. Sure enough, it was like something they had never been in in all of their lives.
If I remember the illustration correctly, they were singing and, oh, what singing it was. They had never heard anything like that in the Catholic Church. And then, all of a sudden, it happened!
A MIRACLE OF HEALING
His mother, even though she had never felt the Spirit of God in all of her life before now, all of a sudden stood to her feet and began to raise her hands and say, “I feel it, I feel it, I feel it.” That night she was gloriously and miraculously healed by the Power of God. In other words, when she went home that night, she was no longer a Catholic, no longer unsaved, and no longer sick.
The young man in question, her son, became a preacher of the Gospel, and his mother lived many years thereafter. That was just one of the thousands of healings that took place under the Ministry of Raymond T. Richey.
Brother Roccaforte, for that was the Brother’s name whose mother was miraculously healed, preached a meeting at our Church in Ferriday, Louisiana. Under his Ministry, my mother and dad were brought to Christ, along with my grandfather and grandmother as well. In our little Church, he gave the testimony one particular night that I’ve just given to you.
When I was ten years old, I came down with a certain type of sickness which the doctors could not diagnose. Even though I was taken to the doctor several times, and even though they ran all types of tests, they couldn’t find the problem.
I stayed nauseous constantly and at times would just pass out, in other words, go unconscious.
This happened several times while I was in school with the principal calling my parents each time to come and get me.
The last time it happened, the principal told my Dad, “If something isn’t done for Jimmy, you are going to have to take him out of school.” Then he said this, “We don’t want him dying on our hands.”
I was prayed for many number of times by our Pastor, who had been influenced greatly, even in an indirect way, by the Ministry of Brother Richey. So, our Pastor and my parents, plus all in our Church, definitely believed in Divine Healing. In other words, they firmly believed that our Lord still heals the sick. Nevertheless, despite the fact of being prayed for again and again, I wasn’t healed, but rather grew worse.
I look back now, and I believe that it was Satan who was trying to kill me, knowing that the Lord would use us to touch much of this world with the Gospel.
At any rate, the day of my healing came, but my healing came in a very strange way.
After the Sunday Service that day, my mother and dad were to take the Pastor and his wife out to lunch, but first, they would go by the home of one of the parishioners who was ill in order to pray for him.
I remember us walking into the small framed dwelling, going to the back room, and praying for the Brother in question. We all came back to the front room, and I was standing near the door with my Dad and the Pastor, Brother Culbreth, standing on the other side of the small room.
Brother Culbreth still had the bottle of oil in his hands, which he had just used in praying for our dear Brother. My Dad spoke up, saying, “Brother Culbreth, would you anoint Jimmy with oil and pray for him again,” and then he added, “If something isn’t done, we’re going to have to take him out of school.”
In my mind’s eye, I still see Brother Culbreth walking across the room with a smile on his face and quickly anointing me with oil. The moment he laid his hands on my head it happened.
I felt something like a ball of flame, actually about the size of a softball, that started at the top of my head and slowly went down my back and all through my body, and I knew, even beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I was healed.
I was never bothered with that problem again. And, in fact, I have been sick very little in my life since that day.
Now, I had been prayed for, as stated, many number of times by the Pastor, by my parents, and by others in our Church, all to no avail. Why did the Lord do it this way?
That I cannot answer; however, this I do know:
1. I’m so glad that my parents believed in Divine Healing. Were that not the case, I probably wouldn’t be alive today.
2. I’m glad they didn’t get discouraged and quit when they prayed for me many times previously, and I wasn’t healed. They kept believing, and they kept praying for me. Thank God for that!
3. I’m glad that Jesus Christ still heals today just exactly as He did that Sunday afternoon in 1945, and exactly as He did in His Earthly Ministry. It is, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
(This message was derived from the book, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit”.)