THE LIBERATING POWER OF TRUTH
By Rev. Richard C. Swift - 3-27-66
We pray for Dr. Swift who made a great effort this morning to be with us and deliver his message.... ‘The Bible is True.’ Our Father we pray that thou will make up for him the strength which he put forth to be here, and that thou will overcome this horrible Satanic poison attack which is still interfering with his full expression of mental and physical energy. Hasten that glad day when he will be made absolutely whole and free from the results of the attack of Satan upon him. So, Lord, bless his ministry and bless his message of this fact that the Bible is True. Be with us Father as we go forward with this service and we pray in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dr. Swift regrets the fact that he did not feel able to be here tonight. The strain of the afternoon message was a little too much for him so he is resting now, but expects to be here Friday night and next Lord’s day also.
I want to speak to you on the subject..... ‘The Liberating Power of Truth.’ Using the words of Jesus in John 8:32.
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
This afternoon Dr. Swift was speaking about the Bible and that it is true. He gave us some scriptures to prove that the Bible is the Inspired authorized Word of God. We are speaking about the liberating Word of God and this Bible is the Book of Truth, and we may know this by its effect on us. I Corinthians 2:14... “But the natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The Truth of the Word of God may not be recognized or admitted by one who is not a child of God, for they have not the capacity to understand nor to accept it. Nevertheless there are certain evidences by which even one who is not a child of God, can know that the Bible is the Word of God. They do not have the inside evidence of spiritual consciousness to receive great spiritual blessings from His Word, but there is something that the enemies of God cannot explain, that is the Mystery and Wonders of fulfilled prophecies. The prophecies that were foreseen hundreds and hundreds of years before Jesus came, were minutely fulfilled in every detail. Prophecies were fulfilled in the days of Jesus and are still being fulfilled even in our modern day.
However; they who are not Children of God, who do not know the great Truth’s of God cannot know and understand the great Truth’s being unfolded to us today. In order to understand, one must have the right picture to understand the Identity of Israel and of the Jew’s. You cannot make sense out of the prophecies of the Old Testament if you try to fit the Jew’s in the picture, for it will not work. But when you understand the Identity of Israel and all of the marvelous prophecies that applies to God, and to His purposes, and to His plans for Israel throughout all ages, then you can see how these prophecies have been fulfilled for the Israelites down through the ages...but never for the Jew’s. The only thing these prophecies have to do with the Jew’s is the promise of the day of their doom. That God will call time upon these great world enemies of Righteousness who are seeking to destroy the Kingdom of God on earth. The time is coming when there is to be Divine Intervention, when God will put an end to all this effort to destroy the Kingdom of God on this earth.
When we come to this statement of Jesus: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” ...now applying this statement not only to spiritual things but also to the realm of physical things, and material things....let me point out how this statement of truth has worked out. By applying this to the areas of knowledge effecting hard work...see how it has liberated man from the drudgery of manual labor and hard work, consider the washing machine for an example. You have many marvelous things in these days which have relieved you of hard work, and have set men free in many ways. Knowledge has increased in our times and now we are solving many problems by this element of Truth.
The spiritual realm is much more important because in this instance the Truth sets you free from many things. Men without this truth are slaves to sin, slaves to poverty, slaves of fear, and all these things burden the hearts and lives of us, apart from the knowledge of God, apart from the great and precious promises of God which open the way of marvelous new ways of light and truth.
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Free from the guilt of sin...this is a horrible work Satan is doing in his drive to destroy the Kingdom of God on earth. He enslaves men in the habits of vice, of evil, and the burdens of sin in the hearts and minds of people is awesome.
Jesus came, the Lamb of God, to take away the sins of the world, and men are set free from the guilt of sin. The Faith in the truth that Jesus went to the Cross...to set you free.
Next week we go into what is called ‘The Holy Week’, then we think particularly of how Christ suffered and died for us. How in the Garden He sweat great drops of blood in agony of soul, as the great burden of sin...yours and mine...rested on Him. Then came the agony of the Crown of Thorn’s and His sham trial, His death on the Cross. Through His word He had wonderfully assured us that He set us free...our sins were blotted out and forgotten.
In Isaiah the Lord is saying:... ‘Come now let us reason together, tho your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Tho they be red like crimson they shall be as wool. Then He says...I have blotted out as a thick cloud, thy transgressions. Thy sins return unto me, for I have redeemed thee.’
Here a few days ago I was talking to a dear and faithful woman from our Church here in Santiago. Several of us were in her home visiting here and she said:.. ‘I can’t get away from a terrible guilt complex.’ I couldn’t understand her words for everyone knew her to be such a wonderful Christian woman, and why she would have such a guilt complex I did not know. She said:.. ‘I admit as I listen to Dr. Swift I feel better but when I get home I feel guilty.’ I tried to help her but I didn’t have long to talks so I said:.. ‘I will send you a tape recording that I hope will remove this sense of guilt of sin that Jesus has already removed from you. He has washed them all away. I sent that tape and I had a wonderful letter from her telling that now she finally understood that her sins had been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.
Now; this wonderful process of washing away of our sins is a continual process. The context of the Greek words mean... ‘ a continual washing away just as tho you stood under a shower and a continuous spray keeps washing away so that no dirt can cling to your body. The idea is that we are God’s children and are always under a spiritual shower bath of the blood of Christ which keeps our soul’s clean. When Charles Wesley was celebrating his first Spiritual birthday he wrote a beautiful hymn that we all love so much:... ‘Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great redeemers praise. The Glories of My God and King, the honor of His Name.’ Then in the next verse He breaks the power of death and sin, and sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood avail’s for me.
Not only are we saved from the guilt of sin, but also from its power, so that we can triumph over all its power...its guilt...its temptations. Jesus conquered Satan and overcame all His temptations, and we are assured He did it for you and me. Paul said:.. ‘Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. In all of these things we are more than conqueror’s, through Him that loved us.’ The Lord knew how to deliver the righteous out of the way of temptation. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, draw near to God and He will draw near unto you. You can be sure that God will give you the victory when you trust Him.
It has been my career to work in Mission work a great deal in the past and I have had some wonderful experiences. At one time I was Pastor of a Sailor’s Mission for 2 1/2 years on a Barge in the East River at the foot of Gelaromer Street. I had some wonderful experiences while there. I saw many wonderful things happen to men who came in there enslaved by dope, drink and all kinds of sin, and how when they gave their lives to Christ they became new Creatures and were able to cope with their temptations.
This is a story of a man named Tom. He had a home, a wife, and several children, but Tom was a terrible drunkard and he used to come home drunk most of his time and was brutal to his family at those times. Finally he got so bad that he couldn’t keep a job so he used to pawn things from their home to satisfy his craving for drink. He even pawned the shoes off his children’s feet. One night going down the street he passed a building all lit up and inside were people singing. It was cold out on the street and Tom had, had several drinks; so he thought it was warm inside and he went into the Mission. The Minister used the text: Romans 10:13., and he kept using that text throughout his sermon. ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Somehow the Holy Spirit got hold of Tom and he did not know that at home his wife was also on her knees praying for him. But the Spirit of God made him turn into that Mission and Tom just couldn’t get away from that message of that verse in Romans 10:13. He thought of how he was enslaved to liquor, and through that enslavement he has become a brutal and useless man. When the Mission worker invited men to come forward...Tom went forward. He didn’t smell very good but he was at the altar and he kept saying ‘Oh, God save me.’ Then Tom went home and Mary gathered the children behind her as she heard him coming for fear of what condition he might be in and what he would do. Tom looked at his family and he said:... ‘Mary get out the family Bible.’ Mary said: ‘Oh Tom, no not that, you have taken everything I have that is precious but that is my mother’s Bible and you cannot have it.’ Mary thought he wanted to pawn it. But Tom said:.. ‘Oh no, Mary I don’t want you Bible for that, I want you to look in the Book and find where it says that for whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Mary knew her Bible well enough to find that passage and that promise. Holding the Bible away from Tom so he could not grab it and run....Mary read that verse over and over.... ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Then the children who had heard their daddy curse many times, now heard him praying. Light shown in that household that night. Then Tom got a job and he stayed away from the tavern’s, but those who now knew their`father had a happy home. Then the men at the tavern heard of this and they laughed and laughed saying... old Tom has got religion, how about that. Then they said, it won’t last long, he’ll be back soon.
Now Tom had to pass that saloon on his way home from work every day, so one day it was a warm day and the men of the saloon dumped sawdust on the sidewalk then poured a few bottles of beer upon it so the sun shinning on it would bring the fumes up, and here comes Tom. He smelled the fumes and before he knew it he was at the door of the saloon. A man handed Tom a glass of beer and Tom took it. Then he seemed to shake himself as from a deep sleep and he poured out that beer and walked out the door and home to Mary. He handed her his paycheck and said...Here Mary, quick take it, for I almost lost it on the way home.
But there are victories to be won through Christ and Tom had found that victory. In time he would find the strength to resist more and more temptations. Paul said:.. ‘All things become new...in Christ.’ I knew many of these stories from my work in the Mission and I saw many miracles as temptations were overcome.
One man I knew in the Mission used to come in every night, and every night he would raise his hand and ask for prayer, and we would pray with him for victory over his temptations. This went on for almost a year then one night there came a change and the next day this man had his hair combed, he was clean and he was different. I remembered that text in Revelations.... ‘I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hear and open the door, I will come in.’ God has a marvelous plan for your lives and mine and we if we let Him come in. He will give us victory over sin, this is the good news that sets us free. The Good News....the Truth that liberates and sets us free.
The story of Jesus is so wonderful. How he went around healing the sick. He never charged money for this work and He healed them for free, and He never failed. Remember how the 4 men let their friend down through the roof, because they believed their friend would be healed. I suppose that man on the cot was curious to know the Man Christ Jesus...but as he came face to face with Jesus his eyes must have dropped, and he must have felt the awful burden of his sins, and his afflictions and not worthy to look...This One...in the face. But Jesus said:...’Son thy sins are forgiven.’ He didn’t say he was healed, he said he was forgiven. That is the way He sets men free.
I leave with you the promise of Matthew 18:19., and of John 14:13. When you ask for healing in the Name of Christ, believe that He will do this. Stop begging and start praising.
This is the Book of Truth. It sets you free from fear itself. But if you are feeling low and want to get your battery charged then go into the Book of Isaiah to the 40th., chapter and to the 31st., verse. Then go to Philippians 4:13. If you want to know Christ better spend more time with Him....in This Book.
(From his speaking about the messages that Wesley is to give next...I wondered if this was his father. He sounded to be a man of pretty good age.)
(End of sermon)