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Thursday, April 30, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

B. H. Obama is proclaimed as the New Messiah who will be crowned king of the One World Order.

Well, devotees, here is your time.

If there was ever an entry into Jerusalem for the Anointed One, it is when the globe drops prostrate before the pig flu.

Raise the palm branches. Let the shawls fling heavenward. The warblers are singing.

Obama, the mystic weaver, the mob hysteria creator, the Marxist Muslim claiming to be Pied Piper of the proletariat, come forth!

The Community Organizer can now go to it. The wordsmith to fool may position center stage. Time to spring forth as the Global Village Networker par excellence.

Biblical prophecy states that prior to the True Messiah Christ’s Second Advent, the spirit of antiChrist will settle upon several. Then upon one in particular.

Revelation 13:1-10 specifically lays out the symbolic detail. What is intriguing is to figure out the literalism behind the symbolism.

But for biblical believers, none of that is fanciful for it is the Christ vision afforded the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos circa AD 95.

In the meantime, biblical enthusiasts lay the Scriptures down alongside newsfeeds, praying for God’s gift of discernment.

But now in present-tense it, seems as if, even apart from the discernment gift, one with half a brain tied behind his carbuncles, The Boy is ripe for filling the shoes of the One World Governor—pig flu oinking loudly.



J. Grant Swank, Jr.

It is amazingly grotesque how liberals can compartmentalize their angst.

B. H. Obama proclaims that waterboarding is torture. He’s against it.

However, Obama does not even wince regarding abortion torture. Obama
instead pushes killing womb babies without his batting an eye.

That is typical liberal. Liberals work on moral relativism. There are no moral absolutes to them.

Moralists use divine revelation set forth in the Scriptures for their ethical profile. True moralists don’t budge. They do not dare for the Scriptures are from the God who stands at the Judgment Seat.

Liberals have no fear whatsoever of God or the Judgment Seat. They never think of either, actually. They have woven their lifestyles so much around their own egos being gods that the Bible’s God does not exist.

Obama abhors waterboarding and anything like unto. However, when it comes to spreading torture via HIV/AIDS, all okay when it’s spread by homosexual license. After all, moral relativism works on situation ethics. If that kind of ethic gropes for sodomy, approved.

Obama is typical political, religious, philosophical, pragmatic liberal to the nth. His followers are legion. That is why our nation is heading for the pits.

Obama compartmentalizes his sympathy. His own hunch dictates for whom
he will feel sympathy and to whom he X’s out.

Unfortunately, womb girls and boys are X’ed out without apology for the torture they have to endure just for sperm meeting egg.

Obama’s day will come, however.


Hebrews 9:27:

It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment.

Matthew 7:21-23: the words of Christ:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 12:36-37: the words of Christ:

But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Romans 2:6-11:

God who will render to every man according to his deed: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immorality, eternal life; But unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor and peace to every man that worked good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.

Romans 14:10-12:

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

I Corinthians 4:5:

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsel of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

II Corinthians 5:10:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Numbers 32:23:

Be sure your sin will find you out.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

When Crystal, our daughter, married Greg Miller, I was fortunate to be not only the father who represented her mother and myself but also the pastor who officiated at the wedding ceremony.

It was a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon in Maine. Nature blessed us with sunlight. Heaven smiled upon our gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary.

Crystal had come to know Greg because he was seeking God’s chosen one. He had been married before; that union ended in painful severance. Then Greg, in his mid-30s, found Christ by reading the Bible. There was no human intervention regarding his understanding the way of salvation; instead, it was in reading the Scriptures through that he discovered Jesus’ holy sacrifice for his sins.

Crystal had been reared in our parsonage. She knew the Lord as Savior when a youth. However, in her mid-30s she had not yet come upon God’s chosen partner. She too was praying for divine guidance.

The Lord crossed their paths—she living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while he resided in Portland, Maine. They met by way of worship in our church. What a way to decipher the divine chapter for their next journey.

It was not a hasty decision to become one. Both pleaded earnestly with God regarding His perfect will. These young adults were mature enough to understand marriage as a most significant institution set in place by the Creator Himself. Finally, they knew they were divinely meant for each other.

With that, invitations were sent out far and wide with friends and family gathering from across the county and Canada. Much excitement filled the air. Prayer in praise had preceded the wedding.

The ceremony included communion, encouraging hymn solos, the lighting of the unity candle and exchange of vows with rings. But the highlight was the commission offered the newlyweds as they stood before God’s holy altar.

When this commission was pronounced, then mailed to our extended spiritual family, so many responded with appreciation that we were overwhelmed. In other words, the message seemed to be that our spiritual community was truly encouraged by a young couple dedicating themselves to such spiritual depth. It was a commitment true to the Scriptures.

With that, I share with you this commission, praying that it will likewise be an encouragement to you and yours. . .


Greg and Crystal, Jesus is your Lord. He has forgiven you of your sins. He has planted the hope of heaven within your souls. He has provided you with your Christian lifestyle.

You found Jesus through the Bible message. That Bible continues to govern your thinking and choices. You witness that you would not trade that Bible treasure for any alternative.

As you individually committed yourselves to Jesus, now you commit your marriage and home to His direction. This is your joy. This is your fulfillment.

You serve Jesus, not out of obligation, but out of gratitude for His sacrifice upon the cross in order to rescue your souls from darkness unto His marvelous light. You serve Jesus because He has proven His love to you.

With such Jesus as the sole foundation in your personal lives, you now embark upon the creative excitement of crafting a Christian family and home. Naturally, being a part of a spiritually fallen world, there will be numerous attacks against your ambitious endeavors. They will come from all quarters—daily. You are already aware of this reality.

Nevertheless, you already know that the Spirit of Jesus within you is greater than all the foreboding threats. Therefore, you will determine to overcome every obstacle for Jesus’ sake. Nothing will deter you from your Christian principles. You have dedicated your lives to living out the divine plan.

Your Christian testimony in marriage then will witness to keeping the Lord’s Day holy. You already live out this joy. His day is given to faithful worship, Christian fellowship, deepening your understanding of Scripture and renewing your souls for another week’s labor.

Your Christian testimony in marriage then will witness to recreation and leisure that are pleasing to God. Nothing will taint your offering of entertainment and pleasure for God’s blessing and approval.

Your Christian testimony in marriage then will witness to daily prayer and Bible reading, seeking to instruct your children in the ways of God. You will teach them early the message of salvation, interceding that they will live for the same Christ who rescued you from despair and sin.

Your Christian testimony in marriage then will witness to giving and sharing, loving others and sacrificing for their good. You will delight in opening up your hearts and home to those in distress, those in need of a real friend. Instead of living for self, you will live for lifting others’ burdens in the name of Jesus—for this Jesus has lifted your burdens of hopelessness and waywardness.

Your Christian testimony in marriage then will witness to growing older gracefully in Jesus—growing in divine wisdom, being more perceptive to the divine will, seeking out ways to serve Jesus that are lowly and humbling. While the rest of the world wakes up each morning to gather for self, you will awaken to help someone in need of Jesus’ love. While others go to rest at night counting their moneys, you will go to rest counting your blessings in serving.

Your Christian home will be used of God as long as you yourselves are laid upon His altar of caring and compassion. Your Christian home will be lighted by heaven’s smile as long as you remain faithful to one another and loyal to God’s holy way.

Few have discovered this treasure. Few houses are homes. Few marriages know real
happiness and contentment. But yours will be different. Why? Because yours will be cupped in Father’s hands for you have willed Father to craft your love for one another and for your children.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

To begin with, learn how to surrender your thoughts to Jesus each day—during the day. And at nighttime when you wake up.

Surrender thoughts and let go.

That will fall in line with His counsel: “Take no thought for tomorrow. . .” He means that. He’s not speaking poetry. He’s speaking practically. Matthew 6:34

We spend too much time planning for future security when we should be living for Jesus’ plan in the moment. Forget your plan. Live for Jesus’ plan.

After all, that’s what Christian commitment is all about. “Submit yourselves a living sacrifice, holy. . .” Romans 12:1

As you surrender your mind to Jesus, He will speak to your head. Your thoughts will recess. His thoughts will take mortal thought patterns’ place.

That is what you want.

Isaiah promises that whoever keeps his mind stayed on God will experience “perfect peace.” Isaiah 26:3

Then live that peace by surrendering your thoughts to Jesus. This takes some discipline but after awhile it becomes a lifestyle. The more you faith those thoughts to Jesus, the more excited you become in realizing that Jesus is actually alive to work in your minutia.

But what do you do when Jesus says nothing?

You let the quiet remain. You rest in the nothingness. You permit Jesus to keep the rhythm of speaking and then not speaking.

You know that in music there are the black rectangular boxes on the lines of the music scale. Those boxes are called “rests.”

Rests are when the music is to stop for silence to take over. Our ears need the rest. Musicians need the rest. Our heads need the rest. The rests help make the melody balance.

It’s the same with surrendering your thoughts to Jesus. He plants the rests in the life music. Then let them stay right where He puts them. You need them. He knows that.

Do not think that Jesus has left you. He promised that He would never leave you or forsake you. He keeps His promises. Being quiet does not mean that He has taken off. He’s there, alongside you, but quietly so.

Jesus knows that one cannot take His divine input every second. That would be overload. In those silent segments, thank Him for the silence.

During those rest moments, praise Him. Lift up your soul in thanksgiving. “Bless His holy name,” as the Psalms advise us.

Sometimes conscientious believers conclude they have to be super spiritualizing their souls every second. Not so. We mortals cannot take such strenuous activity. And it’s not necessary.

Therefore, in the middle of the day when Jesus seems to have taken a short reprieve, let Him do just that. He is there, working beneath the surface, far more than you realize.

I say to friends that Jesus is always working in the disciples’ lives in the subterranean levels. We cannot imagine how intricately Jesus is moving, preparing, arranging. Only when we look back do we begin to understand how Jesus was programming certain variables that we had never thought possible.

Our minds are so limited that even then we do not pick up on all the dimensions Jesus has worked and is working. We miss much of what His love is performing. Eternity will provide us the span to take in that analysis.

However, in the silences Jesus is doing what needs to be done for you because He loves you.

Then He breaks the silences to give you another Jesus-thought. Take it. Live it out. And go on from there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

God’s mercy now is far more stretched than any mortal can imagine. Witness the biblical data.

There comes the time when mortals’ sin can go over the divine mercy line. Many biblical believers are concluding that the world is now experiencing God’s wrath.

Why would God’s wrath come at this particular time? Only the spiritually insensitive would ask that question. Nevertheless, obviously there are scores in that category or we would not be faced with the swine flu pandemic.

As I type, the level has moved from Phase 4 to 5, 6
being the highest.

America has a President who claims to be “Christian” who in fact is Marxist Muslim. Those who contest that can contest it against the facts all they want. Their conviction that he is “Christian” flies in the face of his anti-biblical ethics.

B. H. Obama says he is “Christian,” a member of the archliberal United Church of Christ. He falls right in line with that apostate Protestant denomination’s public proclamations.

The UCC’s headquarters’ doctrinal tenets are not in line with the Bible. They are morally relativistic and politically liberal.

Obama has been raised a Muslim, in a Muslim school, admiring publicly the Koran’s cadences, mothered by a woman who concluded all religions are the same, all gods the same. His relatives are Muslims in Kenya, one being an extremist politician who ran for the Kenyan presidency. When he did not win, carnage was set loose through the entire country.

Obama sat under Jeremiah Wright’s brainwashing cultic diatribes for two decades—anti-white anti-Jew pro-Muslim anti-American. Obama has been close friends with the Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. He hires Muslims on his DC staff as he did when campaigning.

When Obama does quote the Bible, it is usually politically opportunistic, not sincere. Obama finds it particularly helpful to refer to certain benign Scriptures when wooing evangelicals, many of the latter duped by his masquerade.

This Marxist Muslim advertises America ready for abortion on demand, including partial birth abortion.

He is an enthusiast for homosexual practice, a friend of sodomy lifestyles. Though saying he wants to combat diseases, Obama furthers sexually transmitted diseases as HIV/AIDs by his applause for expanding homosexual activity under the government’s blessing.

Now when the United States has that kind of diabolical leadership in the White House, God’s mercy is strained.

Further, Obama works laboriously to erase the Christian heritage to this Republic. He will do everything he can to eliminate Christianity and thereby replace it with secularism. Secularism is his god alongside Allah.

In his inaugural address, Obama elevated atheism to the level of Christianity. No prior President would have ever thought of doing that. Yet he was applauded by millions mesmerized by his cultic persona.

Is not America ripe for spiritual discipline? Yes.

Canada is at the same footing before heaven’s throne. Canada has gone godless some time ago. I live there. I know.

Europe has done everything possible to eliminate God from its culture. When the European Union was drafted, the pope asked the leaders to include the mentioning of God and the Christian backdrop in EU documents. They refused.

Is not Canada ripe for spiritual discipline? Is not Europe ripe for spiritual discipline?

The Second Person of the Trinity created this planet per the Bible. Christ is Alpha and Omega of this sphere. He has the first and final say concerning everything on the Earth.

Therefore, though mortals’ hubris spring forth to rule, they ultimately do not. They must answer to the Judge Christ. Non-Christians never take that into account.

Presently, in the U.S. the Democrat controlled Congress and B. H. Obama have no regard for God, the Bible and the Judgment Seat of Christ. They are consumed with their own conceits, the Oval Office mentoring how to do it.

The same is current in Europe.

It is so in England. Prince Charles said that he should not be called to endorse the Faith, namely, the Christian faith, but should be known as caretaker of the faithS, plural. That statement was made when Islam crept across Britain.

The Queen in her annual address to the world spoke highly of the Muslim killing cultic “faith.” When one does that, one cancels out Christianity.

It is Christianity’s Christ who claimed to be “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He said that no one goes to the Father but through Him, Christ. That is a particularizing of the Christian faith; it does not open the door to other routes to heaven’s graces.

Throughout the world, the apostate church is growing. This is the false religion within Christianity that is not Christian. Instead it is dominated by demons. These apostate sanctuaries espouse lifestyles totally contrary to the biblical moral base, e.g., abortion, sodomy.

Biblical believers are in daily war with these spiritual reneges, many of these anti-God personages standing in pulpits every Sunday. That does not set well with the divine.

Christ said that in the latter days prior to His Second Return the times would be like unto Noah’s generation. Read the Genesis account to discover that detail.

The age in which we live reads like Noah’s rebellious, stubborn, smart aleck clod. It appears we are now inhabiting a world on the verge of the flood, on the cliff edge of God’s wrath descending.

Hence the swine flu floodwaters increasing.

Read” Pharaoh Obama vs. Moses' God” at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Prov 20:l; 23:29-32; 3l:47; Isa 5:ll-l2; Isa 28:l,3,7, Hab 2:l5; Lk 2l:34; Rom l3:l3; l4:2l; Eph 5:l8; I Tim 3:l-3, Titus 2:3-4; I Pt 4:3-5.



In an age when medicines were not what they are today, wine in its diluted form could be prescribed as a medicine:

Prov 3l:6-7 (wine as a sedation prior to death); Mk l5:23 (Jesus near death); I Tim 5;23 (for bad stomach).



Gen 9:20-25 (Noah = setting; first mention of wine in Bible; the lesson in the Word would have us understand not to drink strong drink, that is, undiluted wine). Lot and his family: wine = trouble. King Belshazzar: wine = trouble. King Solomon: wine = trouble, loss of power, soul and standing before God.



When wine is presented in a positive light, it would be diluted wine, that is, grape juice, for God cannot contradict Himself in His Word. That is, when he gives warning not to drink wine, then when it is permitted, it is to be understood as diluted wine or grape juice. One cannot have God state a prohibition on the one hand and then make for an allowance on the other. Therefore, the defining wine drunk in a positive sense is to define wine as diluted or grape juice.

Gen l4:l8: Melchizedek (wine = diluted, as in ancient times, and used to purify water, as in ancient times; compare Homer (800-700 BC)).

Gen 27:28: Isaac's blessing; wine (Hebrew: tirosh = meaning "fresh grape juice") (interpretation same as above).

Ex 29:40: (wine = not consumed, but burnt off in whole burnt offering sacrifice at the temple).

Deut l4:26: (same as Gen l4:l8 interpretation).

Ps l04:l5: (wine = diluted, yet enjoyable; that is, grape juice) (compare Eccl l0:l7, l9).

Eccl l0:l7,l9: (wine = same as above; note that verse l7 is against drunkenness).



Lk 7:3l-35: (l) Jesus did NOT drink wine, but simply gave the supposed edge of the argument to his persistent enemies; or (2) Jesus DID drink wine, therefore, it would have had to have been DILUTED for WATER PURIFICATION for He could not contradict God's Word regarding such prohibitions.

Jn 2:l-ll: ("good wine" = DIVINE MIRACLE WINE: the first and last of its kind in history --which could not have produced drunkenness for it came from God and God cannot contradict His own Word).

Lk 22:l8: (Passover wine: Talmud (Jewish oral tradition of 200 BC = 200 AD) = 4 cups of Passover wine = 3 parts of water to l part wine, therefore DILUTED).

Mk l5:23: Jesus refused sedative at death: wine and myrrh.



* usually stored in pointed jugs, then poured into large bowls where it was MIXED WITH WATER, then poured into cups for drinking.

* ratio of water to wine varied:
(l) Homer: The Odyssey: 800-700BC: 20 parts of water to l part of wine
(2) Pliny: Natural History: AD 23-79: 8 parts of water to l part of wine
(3) Evenos: poet: 5th century BC: 3 parts of water to l part of wine

l part of water to l part of wine or less = "STRONG DRINK" AND WAS CONSIDERED A BARBARIAN PRACTICE.

* Question: Why water mixed with wine? Answer: Water often unsafe in those times; therefore, BOILING, METHODS OF FILTRATION OR WATER DILUTION were the safest and easiest routes to go; therefore, wine = purifying agent when necessary.

* Early Church Fathers (Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria) = wine in communion was to be mixed with water.

* In Roman Catholic Church, when priest partakes of wine in the Mass, he always mixes much water into the goblet in order to drink diluted wine. However, even with this public practice, there is much abuse of wine by Catholic clergy due to the wine being near them daily. There is much alcoholism among Catholic clergy--and always has been. It is a sad problem within the Roman Catholic Church, admitted by the clergy themselves.




J. Grant Swank, Jr.

As Marxist Muslim B. H. Obama strains to install his left-of-left secularization throughout America, he’s proud obviously of his “I won” proclamation.

So it goes with anti-God hubris.

Now DrudgeReport posts on April 28:

“Swine Flu Case at Orlando/DISNEY...

“Confirmed: Indiana...

“Cases in NYC rise to 45...

“Officials in Mexico City on Tuesday ordered all eateries closed to public...”

Obama could not care a twig about “Christian heritage America.” In his inauguration speech he elevated atheists on the level of Christians. What prior President would have stated that? None.

His “Christian” claim is bogus for his ethic is totally opposite to biblical morality, e.g., pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-all-religions-the-same, any-god-okay, etc.

However, as God’s foes are warrior-lined up in DC—both executive and legislative—Moses’ deity proceeds with a plague.

Will Pharaoh Obama strut and prance before his throne, pointing to the “I won” seat of power dressing his Oval Office?

What will it take to convince anti-Bible God Obama that he is on a diabolical course warring against America’s Christian founders’ prayers and present-tense believers’ intercessions?

What is occurring in the Republic and indeed worldwide is the spiritual conflict described in the Book of Revelation—light versus darkness, God versus Beelzebub.

Genuine believers continue to watch daily the scene, reading newsfeeds alongside biblical prophecy.

Moses, stay the course. Yes! Pharaoh will beg for mercy in the end.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

". . .every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John l5:l2

When believers as branches continue to take in the daily life flow from trunk Jesus, then they bring forth fruitage to the Father's pleasing.

The more believers remain in close communication with Jesus, the more they are "purged." That is, they are refined in the way; they are matured in matters spiritual; they are tutored in the finer detail of the cross way.

Purging is not always pleasant. It is to bring forth a pleasant result; but the purging itself will be painful.

This is especially the case when purging focuses upon the egocentricity which forever seeks to return as center piece to the believers' very existence.

Jesus is a jealous God. He will not tolerate the human conceit to sit upon His throne. He is Lord God. The throne of the believer's inner room must be reserved only for the eternal royalty. Therefore, when Lord God Jesus insists that pride removes itself from the pivotal position, such will bring its own pain.

That pain will cause the sensitive soul to wince, even at times to cry out in excruciating agony. In that reaction is the telling of what choice believer will then make. Will believer give in to pride or oust pride on the spot? The former is extremely hurtful to King Jesus. The latter is most reassuring to King Jesus.

And so the purging must continue for the good of the branches, also for the producing of holy fruitage. In all situations, Father must be pleased. There is nothing which can detract from blessing Father God.

Consequently, indwelling Spirit of Jesus, having been true to Father's will while on earth, will continue to be true to Father's goal in believer's soul. There can be no compromise with deity. He must be true to His own integrity. His holy character demands it.

Therefore, cross carrier realizes from the start that when Jesus instructs to deny self-absorption, such commission is operative till the close of earthly sojourn. There can be no letting up for any reason. Self-surrender must be daily discipline in order to remain Christian.

In that course, cross bearer understands that on-going, in-depth purging will take place. Sometimes it will be extremely intense in order to see through the deeper works of purification.

When Paul wrote that he sought to live out Christ, he was confessing to coming under the personal purging. He was undergoing surgery of the human spirit. Paul, being particularly headstrong, ambitious, intelligent, and persistent, must have gone under the divine knife on numerous occasions in order to witness to the sanctification enjoyed. Through it all, Paul gave thanks to heaven for seeing through the severe work.

So it is with the cross carrier. The cross is meant to cut deeply, completing its surgery in order to lead to resurrection presence. It is the way of earth's travels when such are intersected by heavenly parenting. Father knows that we grace children must be governed in such a way of purification that nothing can deter the purging. Purging yields increased fruit, the most precious being the total obedience to the indwelling Christ King.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

There are those who are forever seeking to decipher the divine plan. What is God doing with my life? How does this situation fit into the plan? What should I do about that? Why did this drop into my day?

And so the questions continue for a lifetime. What fury.

It is not trying to figure out what God is doing with our days that should consume us at all. That is not our turf.

When one reads the personages of Scripture, one realizes that over and over God does this and that with a dedication which, at any one point in time, would have not been clear to that disciple.

Take John the Baptist, for instance. He was the warrior for evangelism. He was even biologically related to the Messiah. He had grown up with Him.

Yet when John was sitting in the dank prison cell with rats about his feet, he told his followers to inquire of Jesus as to Who exactly He was. In other words, John was trying to figure out the identity of his kinsman as well as the plan of deity for His life's work.

How close that sword blade came to John's psyche until one day it sliced off his head. Now how was such apprehension and final tragedy plugged into the "grand will of God"?

So it may be in your life. You wonder why you are in such straits. You have done your best. You have yielded your life for The Work. There are others who seem "to get ahead" while you languish in the dust--lost, tired, unrecognized.

Of course it is only in your private thoughts that you permit your confusion. Public anguish would be out of image for the happy-go-lucky evangelical of today. However, there is such pain at times in wondering
what is happening with your life.

The short of it is this: What is God doing with these weary days of mine? Why am I sitting in this jailhouse? Where did the rats come from? Is this the Super Plan promised. In other words, Who are you Jesus--the One you said you are or do we seek another?
Stop. Wrong track. Get off it.

The right track is this: realize that since you are serf and He is King, you have no right to know anything about an overall plan. That is the trouble with westernized thinking. Each thinks he is the Chief Executive Officer. No, not when it comes to the eternal Kingdom of the Almighty God.

God is God. We are love slaves. He is in charge--totally so. We take orders; He gives them. We bow down; He commands. He knows what He is doing for the "over-all"; we simply comply with the next directive.

Now when you size up life in those terms, you are starting to get back on track.

Consequently, that also brings you back to square-one regarding time. It is not your prerogative to spy into the future regarding anything, especially your personal grand scheme of things. The tomorrows are the property of God alone. That is why you cannot get into them. He alone can get into them.

As far as the past is concerned, you cannot get into it either. As soon as last minute's time frame vaporized before you, it left you for good. You will never return to a minute ago. It likewise belongs to God alone. Make certain then that it is under the blood of Jesus Christ.

So where does that leave you? Right now with this fleck of time. That's all you have. And even that, you do not have in the sense of ownership. It is on loan to you.

Why then are you fretting about your place in the sun? Being a success? Catching up with the others? Making it? Discovering God's secret scope for your existence?

Cease from such nonsense. It only yields more of the round-and-round of worry, self-introspection for self's sake and eventual exhaustion of soul.

Say to yourself: I do not own me. God owns me. His blood bought me. I am not in charge of anything except my consecration. Therefore, if my all is surrendered to the One in Charge, then that is all that is necessary. This fleck of time will fold into the next one and all of them strung together will eventually yield a plan. All will add up to "the will of God" for my life.

The bottom line then is this: you do not psyche out His will. When you surrender moment-by-moment to Him, YOU BECOME HIS WILL.

Imagine that! What a thrill that is! That is the concept you want to
implant in your head from here on out. When you surrender moment-by-moment to Him, YOU BECOME HIS WILL.

Your searching days are over. No more straining to figure out the divine hand. No more deciphering your biographical spectrum.

The journey ends and starts with total surrender to the Master--one moment at a time. This is His will. You become His will.

In that, you have come home. In that, you have peace. In that, you have joy: TO BE HIS WILL.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Governor Charlie Crist said he’s for it.

We have to find out what the state legislature says about Jesus and the cross on Florida license plates.

The plates read “I Believe” with an imprint of Calvary and Jesus on them, per AP.

If a person doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to go for it. If a person likes it, fine; he can get the Jesus plates. Freedom of choice. Right?

America has a Christian heritage—not Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, blah or animist. It’s a Christian heritage.

Let the plates slide on the vehicles. It’s right in keeping with this Republic’s backdrop.

When America dumps the God of the Bible, America will dump itself. Right now, it’s in the process of dumping with shovel help from the Oval Office’s Marxist Muslim and Dem Congress.

Florida Jesus plates might be the start of saving the nation’s soul. One never knows. From a seed a tree is born.

Read “Crist says he'd OK to Jesus, cross license plates” at

Monday, April 27, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

"We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand," B. H. Obama said. "We must build our house upon a rock."

Obama was speaking to an economics conclave at a Catholic campus. His house building was from the Sermon on the Mount, of course.

That’s how Obama tries to make himself appear “Christian.”

When campaigning in New Hampshire, the Marxist Muslim was asked about his position on sodomy. He told the inquirer to check out what the Sermon on the Mount had to say about that.

There is nothing in Mathew 5-7 about active homosexuality—or latent, for that matter.

Obama, like all liberals, delights in picking and choosing what Bible passages are opportunistically convenient. Therefore, these liberals say what they want the Bible to back up for their own purposes.

Attending a theologically liberal conference at arch-liberal Riverside Church in Manhattan during the 1980s, I heard the speakers wear out the Bible’s verse that God will make “all things new.”

They were intent at that time on molding American politics per their base. They were excited. They and liberal politicians were going to make “all things new” for the nation.

So far it hasn’t happened.

Actually, there are scores of evangelicals who fall for Obama’s game playing with Scripture. These are the airheads in pews who simply cannot get it that this man is The Enemy.

Actual biblical moralists know exactly what is going on in DC. It’s the spiritual war of God versus Satan, an old battle. But now it is in bold relief throughout the North American continent.

What would one call the espousal of “gay marriages” and abortion rights?

What would one label the secularizing of a Christian heritage nation?

What would one conclude concerning Obama discarding biblical ethics for moral relativism?

What would one say about hate speech leveled
against Christians telling Bible truth in public regarding God’s abhorrence concerning active homosexuality?

What would a genuine patriot conclude about the Fairness Doctrine out to mug conservative voices throughout the country?

Every generation has to live with the Devil. Now this present-tense is faced with the dark powers at every turn—education, religion, politics, arts, international relations, you name it.

The Dems as the death party have given themselves totally to desecrating the Bible and the Bible’s God. That is especially evident when so-called Congressional Catholics continue to take the sacrament while endorsing killing womb babies. They don’t care. They are used to telling God where
to go.

So it is with theological liberals in the nation’s churches and seminaries. Take Notre Dame, for instance. That hierarchy is more than willing to have abortion enthusiast Obama as their chief speaker. Devout Catholics of moral bases have clamored. But naturally that means nothing to the apostate.

Why should it?

After all, they have a President of the United States who quotes the Sermon on the Mount?


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Lisa Ashton said NO.

She walked off the job at BMI per TimesOnLine.

That Brit airlines told her to wear the full Muslim garb—head to toe—and walk behind men when serving the airlines going to Saudi Arabia.

Ashton told BMI that not even in Saudi Arabia is that law.

She is defending her rights as an individual. All free thinking persons should support her. BMI should apologize and hire her back with increase in salary.

Ashton should take the airlines to court and win, BMI paying court costs.

It is insane how some non-Muslims quarters are bowing and scraping toward Allah in order to make the devotees comfortable.

Muslims do not change one iota when non-Muslims enter their borders.

Muslims then should learn to live with non-Muslim cultures or stay within Muslim confines. It is in no way enhancing freedoms for non-Muslim countries to adopt Muslims demands.

BMI is making a worldwide fool of itself. Its powers-that-be should be fired. Ashton should be put in their places.

Read BMI told stewardess to wear Muslim robe at


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

I was in tenth grade. More than anything in the world, I wanted to know that I abided in the Lord. I needed to know that He was with me.

I had read testimonies of other Christians who related how near God was with them. He went with them to work. He directed them in their decisions. He was a real friend who could be counted upon.

I wanted that kind of relationship with God, too.

Therefore, to prove to Jesus how serious I was, I set my alarm for 3 o'clock in the morning. Then I would tiptoe out of my bedroom down the stairs into the family room. With a small light on, I would kneel by a large couch. In front of me was my Bible--open.

Alone--in the quiet--I beseeched God to abide within me. I needed to know for certain that He was taking complete charge of my life.

Night after night, I kept my vigil with the Lord. After an hour, I would return to my bed and fall back to sleep till morning.

During the school day, I would fast my lunch. While other students went to the cafeteria, I went to a storage closet on the second floor of our huge high school. Opening the door, I turned on the light. There was no chair in that room, just shelves upon shelves filled with supplies.

Retrieving a small New Testament from my pocket, I crouched down alongside a wall, preparing myself to fast and pray for the Lord's abiding presence.

Day after day, I kept faithful to my earnest desire to experience God within.

One day, my math teacher opened the door. Was I surprised!

"What are you doing in here?" she asked sternly.

I knew that I could not lie to her when seeking the fullness of God within. Therefore, I told her the simple truth.

"I am fasting and praying for the infilling of the Holy Spirit."

With that, she made a U-turn, shut the door and never bothered me again.

After awhile, I became frustrated. I wondered why I had to try so hard to know God
in His fullness.

Then I thought back to some of those saints' testimonies. They were glorious. They related how God was especially close--there in front of them, behind them, inside them.

Why was it so difficult for me to come upon that same real awareness?

Then it was that God spoke to me within my heart. It was without doubt that God said to me: "I was with you the first night you sought me. Do you not remember? I was there in that family room. You knew my peace and power in a very special way."

It was true. Immediately, I recalled how the room that first night seemed to fill with His holiness. There was a splendor in that space which had come from without. It had to have been the Lord Himself.

It then dawned upon me that I had been seeking others' experiences rather than allowing God to be personal with me.

He had not held me aloof. He had not kept His distance. He had been most faithful--punctual to the nighttime hour.

From that moment to this, I have thanked God for His abiding presence--heart to heart. It has been over 50 years since He proved Himself to me in that remarkable manner.

Now when others ask me how to know God within, I simply tell them to ask. He will answer if they are earnest. Time after time, they have returned to tell me that it has been true with them as it has been with me.

God keeps His word. He has promised to abide within us if we but ask.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

The violinist soothed us with soft melodies as we lazily wandered by,
dropping a bill into his crumpled hat tossed on wharf’s edge. Others stopped
to ponder his rendition. Soon a semicircle enclosed his offering to
evening's sky. Dusk began cautiously to settle down upon us.

We had spent our usual lingering in the metro's public gardens laden with
exotic rose bushes and winding walkways laid in order years ago.
Children, playing tag, dodged about our feet. Young parents pushed their
baby strollers, nodding pleasant greetings.

Halifax in any season is sheer delight—from downtown churches to
museums and ice cream stands perched near water's rim. Usual
tourist types gawked about as city dwellers wove in and out of
traffic, running their shopping errands.

We were particularly blessed in beginning our day at Peggy's Cove, climbing
over stark rock formations, then buying a choice, delicate bone china cup and
saucer from a nearby gift shop. From there we drove past cottages tucked
away, picturesquely dotting their paintbrush intrusions into trees and
bushes alongside water's keeping.

Traveling from that famous lighthouse site to city's heart was our
pleasurable intent. Doing so year after year, we have never been

So it was that while making a turn when walking that Nova Scotian wharf, we
spied a woman dressed in scanty shawl, drab clothing and scruffy
sneakers. She played her accordion as if the only person breathing.
Her gaze into the crowd was glazed, appearing not to see us at all.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once
was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see. . ."

I stopped. I was riveted. I was going to drink this in with whole soul.
After all, happily stunned, I had just come upon an unexpected treasure. And I know one when I see one. No way had I dreamt I would close out a vacationing day with such inspiring surprise handed me on an evening's platter.

I looked into her eyes. I studied her worn face. I etched into my mind's
sketch pad her profile, her leaning against the old shingled wall of an
abandoned shack, then opened my ear doors as wide as possible.

"’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!"

"Thank you, Jesus," I exclaimed within. Whew! Am I among the fortunate, or

Scripture warns us to note the angels attending us, though we usually
don't give that divine promise a passing thought from one hour to the next.
So cupped inside her gentle singing, I had to recall an angel's place among us.

I concluded one indeed had gifted us with a hymn of mercy. With that, my typically curious mind flicked off all sorts of questions: How did she come to know Jesus, when, what were the ins-and-outs, and what wonder had He presented her recently?

Yet such was out of order. I was not to query her. Instead, I was to admire her
witness and so thank heaven for her simply being there—unadorned except
for her divine message of hope.

"Thank you, Jesus."


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

“I didn’t have anything to do with it!” she cried.

Seated in my counseling room, her words crammed into one another. One jam session, for sure.

“I tell you. It’s true.”

Sobbing, Barbara attempted to set the record straight—true—factual—honest to the nth.

He didn’t buy it.

“They were screaming at one another. He lunged at the car. Bob yelled back. I was caught in the middle.” Sobbing uncontrollably, she leaned to right, then left. I thought she was going to fall onto the floor. “Why are you accusing me?”

Barbara was one of my clients. Her problem? Addiction. Well, actually with an “s”. In short, her life was one grand mess.

But Barbara was one of those individuals that you take to, that is, if you don’t have prejudices, particularly if you take to persons whose lives are so complicated that you wonder if the anyone can fix them.

That’s where my job came in. I thoroughly enjoyed it. “I leave work on a high,” I exclaimed to a friend. Why? Because I’m one of those loony fellas who gets an adrenaline rush out of helping people.

I knew Barbara. I trusted her. She’d been clean from drugs for a good long time and was making a Herculean attempt at being nice, decent, friendly-to-all and paying her bills without stealing a dime. Now with that I concluded, as her counselor, that she warranted an Emmy.

But my boss didn’t agree. He was sure that Barbara was one of the villains in the clinic’s parking lot who instigated a tussle that brought police and messed up staff’s morning coffee break.

Oh brother, was I ever caught between the devil and the deep blue sea; you can figure out who the devil was in that scene. (It wasn’t Barbara).

So I spoke up in her defense, loyal fool that I have proven myself to be on more than one occasion. That did not set well with boss. Not.

I persisted. I won’t budge when it comes to truth; it’s one of those ethical things that a few of us dimwits still give our lives to.

Presently, boss left room. Barbara was in shambles. My heart was beating out of my chest cavity. What in the name of God was going to happen next?

At 1:30, boss walked in to tell me I was done, over, up and out—“for insubordination”. Ever been there? Am sure there are a few out there who can ID on that one? Yep.

By 2, my coffee maker and I were in the auto trucking home for my last day at the clinic. My heart was torn in shreds. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I wondered where God had gone all of a sudden. Sometimes you pay a dear price for never giving up on a friend—and for standing alongside truth.

However, that was years ago. This evening I was thinking back over all that hellish glee that demons set loose. But, guess what, they didn’t win. Nope. They didn’t. They never do. God won. Yet that’s another story—grand and teaching and deepening and painful.

But my point is this: stay true to your real friends, glue yourself to God’s truth and let Him swing you wherever He deems. In the travels you will scan back to see He knew what He was doing; but more: His confidence in you going along for the ride is one boost that hardly has its equal.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

“Have some beans—fresh from my garden,” Ray offers upon entering worship.

On other occasions, he brings cukes and fresh eggs. Still other times he walks in with tomatoes and corn.

An offering? No doubt Ray looks at it that way—his giving to God, his sharing with believers. It is a part of his joyous summer ritual. And of course the recipients are particularly grateful for his generosity.

Ray Alley, long-time Windham resident and garden-grower, spends many hours weeding and caring. At 78, he can look back over years of plenty.

On Wednesdays he can be found at the Senior Center assisting with noon meals. Not a pushy fellow, he finds his most comfort in being a background doer. Doing he does best when it comes to Christian witness.

Of course, when needed, Ray can speak up for his Lord; but just as ably he acts out his service before God. Naturally his friends are especially thankful for his sensitivities to others' needs.

Ray’s particular unique worship style is sharing garden produce with others—at the outset of a gathering. The veggies are laid out for willing takers. Following the service, those who came in empty-handed leave with hands full. Delicious morsels are enjoyed at their next mealtime.

A tithe of Ray’s income is also a “bottomline” to his obedient Christian faith. A tenth of his income—and sacrificial offerings besides—has been his style since first beginning on The Way. Others may balk at the tithe; Ray quietly explains to new believers that he has found it an undeniable blessing.

Giving garden gifts to friends and offering tithes to God is part and parcel of Ray’s reason for believing.

Maine’s Lakes Region is replete with others who quietly go about their daily Christian testimony. This is the way Jesus commissioned His followers to give forth. He cautioned disciples not to blow their trumpets on street corners; instead He accented performing their good deeds for the Father alone to see.


Because giving can turn in on itself so as to become a selfish gesture for attention and applause. That’s when religion turns sour. Such doing cancels itself out. But when giving for heaven’s glory alone, God notes it for eternity.

I recall a fellow elsewhere who landscaped a striking summit acreage with statuary and religious plaques positioned among flowering gardens. At first glance, the view impressed others with awe. But over time, the outdoor architect revealed motives of self-pride. It became apparent that what he labored on was not really a gift to God but a showcase for his own ego. Sad. His yield bloated his conceit but it did nothing to please heaven’s smile.

That could never be said of Ray and his ilk. They do what they do simply to do for Jesus. That is reward enough. In that, they got hold of why believers are here. Also, they understand that our egos will flash off history’s pages soon enough; it is only what is done in Jesus’ name and for His sake that will outlast us.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

I positioned the fez atop my head, then climbed onto the camel’s back, imagining myself in control.

Typical American notion. So there!

Not really. A most cordial guide stood close to camel and me for
safe journeying across those Egyptian sands. It surely was a different power
play than setting my Acura’s cruise control.

When trekking a desert half the world away, one does want to get his travel
money’s worth. So it was with Priscilla and me as we set ourselves to gaze
upon the pyramids. We did not have to work up much of an aesthetic sweat to
bring it off. The specimens themselves elicited response truly beyond

Pyramids: “steps to heaven”, “kingdom tombs”. Whatever lingo fits your
fancy, they are burial wonders of the Egyptian ancients.

Inside those mysterious architectural extravaganzas were chambers,
galleries and corridors to protect the mummies from robbers. Tunnels also
held equipment for the next sphere once exiting this earthly realm.

Our evening offered us the “Sight and Sound” feature. We sat as audience to
sky and sand, taking in the phenomenal presentation accenting the
historic edifices mounded before us.

So it was when visiting the Cairo Museum we saw for our intensely
curious selves King Tut’s (Tutankhamun; ruled 1332-1322 BC) encasing.
When years later that prize made its North American tour, we recalled
the wonder impression it had made upon us.

Egyptians certainly believed in more than ‘now.’ ‘Then’ demanded its own
preparatory mandate, hence the pyramids.

I fondly remember a very dear Lakes Region friend, William A.
Tierney. A Christian, he thoroughly enjoyed the ‘now.’ With that, he also
wisely prepared for ‘then’ by keeping his life in order under God.

When chatting with his wife about his friendship imprint left upon our
hearts, we treasured especially various meanderings over Maine’s hill and
dale orchestrated by William’s inventive nature.

“Just get in and don’t ask any questions,” he would instruct passengers
boarding his vehicle for a day’s excursion. What a delight not to have to
manage trip logistics; just sit back and let William take the controls.

When it came to overseeing his journey beyond this sphere, William leaned
upon Scripture. One verse of particular comfort was II Corinthians 5:8: “.
. .absent from the body. . .present with the Lord.”

“It’s that simple,” he would witness.

In other words, God revealed to His own grace children the eternal secret.
The beyond is not a maze of unknowables nor an elusive mystery kept from
their questing spirits. The believer’s beyond is where the Lord
is-heaven, land of light. No wonder Jesus comforted His own with “Be not
afraid. . .Have I not told you? I go to prepare a place for you, that where
I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-5)

William counted on that baseline for his eternal future. Therefore, on
this, his first anniversary away from us, we too count on that revelation.
In that, we anticipate being reunited with him when we also “go through
the door.” Welcomed by Savior Jesus and angels, we will know even
as we are known, according to Scripture.

Fez in place? Yes. Camels behaving? Sure thing. Then keep moving, for the
Christian is already buoyed by the hope yet to realized.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

NOTE: Pastor Swank authored MOMENTS TO GO, A STUDY OF THE SECOND COMING, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1974, the book now out of print. However, a few copies are available via such venues as Amazon books.

Matthew 24:7: Jesus speaks:

World English Bible
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.

Young's Literal Translation
'For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Webster's Bible Translation
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.

Darby Bible Translation
For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places

King James Bible
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

American King James Version
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Thanks for above to at

Jesus’ literal End Times prophetic statements are found most clearly in the Gospels: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

Jesus’ symbolic End Times prophetic statements are found particularly in the Book of Revelation, the latter as a vision circa AD 95 given by Jesus to John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos off of Greece.

Plagues / pestilences are to be a part of the End Times signals prior to the Second Coming / Rapture.

We are experiencing such plagues now as I type. Note DrudgeReport’s headlines at the latter part of April 2009. Click onto


Positive: NYC students...
WHO: Swine flu could mutate to 'more dangerous' strain...
Flu fears prompt quarantine plans...
Mexico City residents staying at home...
Russia Suspends Imports of Meat From Mexico, Some U.S. States...
New swine flu likely widespread...
Asia on alert...
10 New Zealand students in scare...
Mideast First: Israeli man hospitalized on suspicions...
Spain announces 3 suspected cases.

Yet there are those who say that we have always had plagues. True.

However, put that plagues prediction alongside the other Gospel accounts’ predications. Then add to that data Ezekiel 36-39 regarding Israel becoming a Jewish nation.

You have the generic signs in the Gospels with the particularization sign of Israel as a nation on May 14, 1948. That combination is lethal when deciphering biblical Second Coming / Rapture predictions related to present-tense newsfeeds.

The generic signs have always occurred. However, the Ezekiel sign is only graphed as of 1948 and following. Generic signs plus Ezekiel sign conclude we are living in the End Times.

Now, today take note especially of the plagues/pestilences prophecy Jesus gave to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. (It will be to that Mount that Jesus’ two feet will touch down, causing the Mount to split in half from east to west, signifying His divine power to rule the planet.)

Read “Whose Turf Is The Earth?” at

Saturday, April 25, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Republicans and Independent conservatives can rant and rave all they want about B. H. Obama and the Dems. But if the Reps don’t come up with a young charismatic leader, it’s nix.

Rep leaders are getting older. That does not make for a win.

Spiritual leaders like James Dobson are leaving their previous posts. That means that unless Rep spiritual leaders into social issues are there on the front line, Reps are crippled.

Political leaders like Newt Gingrich are not appealing to those under 30.

Conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh are moving up the age scale.

Where are the replacements for James Dobon, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh? If they are “out there,” they had better move center stage soon.

B. H. Obama was put into the Oval Office by mob hysteria and liberal media.

He is not capable. He is not going to match up to the pressing problems. Nevertheless, those who put him in the White House are crazed by his presence. That’s what counts if he is to remain on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Reps must meet that challenge with a young talented personage who can win the eye as well as the head. He has to strike it hot on social and political issues that are genuinely conservative.

Where is that person? Reps are hard pressed to locate him.

Instead, Fox News’ stars are grappling with issues ad infinitum. And what they say most of the time is quite on target.

Now that kind of intelligent give-forth can continue till the cows come home; but unless there is the right individual to match up to the conservative intelligence, the diatribes will continue without producing anyone as United States President.

Right now conservatives are giving themselves totally to dissecting issues. Fine. These are usually brilliant dissertions.

Nevertheless, those must have a grabber face attached to them or it’s only so much Rep wind blowing to the whim and the willows.

Poor America. It’s conservative leadership is growing older and older, not replaced by a younger cadre capable of swinging to the crowds in a meaningful fashion.

Poor Republic. It is believed by the folk over 40. But what about the American voters 30 and under? They are not mesmerized by the Republican Party, sadly.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

The demons crawled the church walls. Now I knew what the missionaries were talking about. They said they were attacked by devils on the mission field. Sometimes it was a witchdoctor. Other times it was the invisible spirits. But devils they were. And those agents were after blood.

SINNERS was “painted” with shaving cream in letters 10-feet high across our American church parking lot. That’s what welcomed me when returning home from visiting a parishioner in the city hospital. SINNERS. That one word was meant for my parsonage family. We evidently were tagged as the “sinners.”

Another day my wife and I drove back from shopping. As we walked to the front door of the parsonage, we saw the bottles. An array of liquor bottles lined up in front of the door jam. We don’t drink. They weren’t our leftover liquor bottles. Somebody or some persons had lined them up where we had to pass in order to get into the house.

The phone rang. I looked at the dresser’s lighted digital clock. It was 3:30 in the morning. I lifted the receiver. “You’re going to die.” Click. You’re going to die? It was a female voice.

I looked out my church study window. I saw the church custodian — a woman — running from the church to the fellowship hall. I thought nothing of it. She was simply in a hurry. Another day I walked by the same window. There she was again — running from the side door of the church toward the fellowship hall entrance. Running. She was simply in a hurry, I reasoned again.

I learned that Linda was not in a hurry when going from the church to the hall. She was running from me.

I noticed that when I was in the church, she was working in a directly opposite part of the building than I was. And when possible, she left the church for the hall. You see, she informed others that I was filled with the devil; therefore, she could not be near me. Not even my shadow.

Linda would come to worship. She sat with her husband. During the entire service, they glowered at me. As soon as the service was over, they left immediately, rushing for the door. She let others know that I was filled with the devil.

Another night, the phone rang. I looked at the digital clock. It was 2:30 in the morning. I lifted the receiver. Heavy breathing. More heavy breathing. Click.

We drove up northward to Wiscasset for the day, visiting another pastor and his wife. Upon our return, I noted black wires strewn across the parking lot between the parsonage and church. Hanging wires. Sure enough. When I lifted the phone inside the house, no connection. Someone or some ones had cut the phone wires. We had no way to communicate by phone to the outside.

One Sunday I had preached the sermon and pronounced the benediction. While walking down the sanctuary’s side aisle to shake hands with worshipers at the church’s front door, I saw Fran and his wife, Barbara. But what I noted in particular was that Fran was holding a tape recorder. Recorder? It was not customary for parishioners to bring tape recorders to worship.

I learned that Fran was recording my sermons in hopes of finding something demonic. He then could take the “evidence” to the district superintendent. How long he had hidden the recorder in his place in the pew I did not know.

I noted that after services, Jim clustered with a group of men around their cars parked alongside the church building. The men were part of the growing antagonists. Could one of them have sketched SINNERS on the parking lot hardtop? Could one of them have placed the liquor bottles at my front door? Could one of their wives called to my phone in the middle of the night? Could one or more of them have cut through the phone wires?

Of course, we had the phone company repairman put wires back in place. We had service. Then still another night, mid-morning actually, the phone rang. “You’re going to die.” Click. Not too original, I thought.

One day my wife and I were visiting an ill parishioner. When leaving her apartment, Jean, a neighbor who also went to our church, ran into her yard. I turned quickly in her direction, listened up and heard all sorts of nasty words. They were directed at us as we walked toward our car. She kept screaming. Then finally she walked back into her apartment, disappearing. But of course she and husband appeared once again Sundays in church.

Jeff had been quite the Bible student. I appreciated his intelligence. So it was with surprise when I got in the mail a caustic letter from his professing Christian father informing me that I was not of God. The father attended a companion congregation in our denomination. I had always thought him to be a friend. He had glowing remarks to make regarding the various seminars I conducted. He had been one of the most enthusiastic loyalists to those special gatherings.

With his father showing his real colors, Jeff and wife sent me their own caustic letter. Dominoes fall down together when pushed in the same direction.

Jim kept corralling the grumbling cluster after services — sometimes downstairs in the hallways, sometimes outside by their automobiles, other times in the back lot behind the church. Mike began joining the cluster. That was especially disappointing. I had thought more of Mike than giving into those making dissension.

The mid-morning phone calls kept dittoing themselves. Staccato staccato staccato. Like sharp sounds in the night season. Finally we had them traced. Sure enough, it was who we thought it was. Not good. We had the police visit her, warning her to discontinue the harassment.

Bob turned on us. But not until his wife discovered him in liaisons with other women. Interestingly enough, when his wife found out what was going on at work, in parking lots, on business trips, she bonded with him against us, the parsonage family that had worked alongside her throughout her investigative journey. Dysfunction can magnetize dysfunction on occasion.

All the while, we were dealing with an adopted teen son out of control: drugs, sex, runaway, then criminal acts that sentenced him to several years in federal prisons. He had finished off his relationships at the Christian school, the public school and left me with homeschooling him. But that obviously was not the cure to his yen for trouble.

Life was a bit stressed out throughout those several years. Finally, the ones who concluded I was of the devil logged their nonsense complaints with the district superintendent. This is the man who in 1991 was told by another pastor that I had said concerning the superintend, “We’ve got to get rid of him.” I had never said that. That was a lie manufactured by another minister. But the superintendent believed the lie, never finding out the truth by asking me about that statement.

From the lie-moment onward, the superintendent sought how to get rid of me. When he received the bogus complaints from parishioners, he filed them as ammunition. He left the district for another position out of state. But the pastor who followed him in the superintendency had disagreed with me about a matter. A young couple from my church asked to use his church facility for their wedding and reception because our building was not large enough. That pastor told them they would have to pay $400 rental. He then told me I had to support him in that figure.

I disagreed, telling him it was not realistic. The couple had little money. They could not afford that. Further, in our denomination it is a custom to share facilities without charge. Now this? That man never let me forget the fact that I would not bow down to his dictate. When he came into the superintendency , he followed through with my ousting. He and his district board showed up unannounced on a Sunday evening, interrupting me conducting a prayer meeting, to announce that I had 30 days to vacate the parsonage, lose my salary and health coverage and leave that pastorate.

The cluster had got its way. The devil had climbed the walls and outside the walls. My wife and I were left housing in an old trailer, substituting teaching without health coverage and paying over $500 a month for temporary health insurance. Our furniture was stored in friends’ houses, garages, basements, attics and backyard sheds.

Since that devilment, Jim was found dead in his camper bed one summer morning. Mike died. Jean died. Barbara died. Bob died. The woman who was the middle-of-the-night threatening caller as well as the one who cut the phone wires and deposited the beer bottles died. The one who spelled SINNERS on the parking lot died.

Many in the “men’s cluster” pulled out of faith altogether, their children having lost hope in anything Christian. Sunday mornings the church building is still begging for bodies — and that’s years after the devil set up shop to undercut my ministry.

Through all of those attacks, my teen daughter agonized, especially when seeing adults turn against God and her parents. I felt so sorry for her. She was born into the pastorate. She never asked to be a minister’s child. One by one, she was betrayed by those whom she once loved and thought they loved us. One by one, she saw the vacant sanctuary slots.

She cried. What was going on? Why were some of her close teen friends no longer close? How could adults hold church office, testify publicly in services, and act like they did? What was the men’s cluster all about? Why did Jean scream at her parents? Why did Linda say her father was filled with the devil? Why had the district superintendent held a lie as true for all those years without investigating what was real? Why had a pastor charged $400 for rental, then pressed her father to agree to such madness? Why? What was church all about if this was what it ended up to be? Who were Christians anyhow?

As my wife and I went off to the trailer in the woods—what I came to call “God’s Tin Can”—my daughter went off to college. It was good that she did. It gave her another place to be. But she went for counseling in order to deal with the betrayals. I kept praying for her, that she would keep the faith. Above all, we could not lose faith in God. After all, He had not brought on the betrayals. The demons had set up house in our church, as they have done so in many churches these days.

God proves Himself, sometimes immediately and sometimes over time. At this point in our lives, we have a beautiful cottage in Maine and a lovely country home in Nova Scotia. We have our health, especially our health of soul. We have a son who’s served his time, is married and the father of two precious children. We have our daughter, happily married and teaching in a Christian school. She kept the faith, wiser than prior.

It’s been a miracle over time.

Friday, April 24, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

You have been ousted from your pulpit. The enemy has taken advantage of you. They have bloodied you up.

Or perhaps you have quit. No one ousted you. You burned out. And there you sit, stunned and undone.

In any case, there is no ministry called “local pastorate” any more. You are gone, out, unpasted, unglued, no more.

Then with all that, tell the truth—and all the truth, so help you God.

Put away your pious mouth and start telling the bald truth about what happened.

At first, you will feel so ashamed in admitting that you were done in by the lunatics. That’s because you are a refined individual with standards.

But keep in mind that these slaughterings happen to the best of us. Take Jesus for example.

Therefore, put aside as quickly as possible your middle class self-assessment and start speaking the awful truth about what was done to you. Tell your clan what happened. Tell your trusting friends what happened.

But be careful to whom you speak when choosing fellow clergypersons to talk to. Remember that many of them are not on your side once you have been ousted. They are very much a part of the politic.

I know that they have shared coffee and do-nuts with you morning after morning, meeting after meeting. I know they have slapped you on the back and congratulated on this and that. I know they have bowed their heads in prayer with you and given their assembly reports alongside you and shook hands with you after one worship service after another.

I know all that.

But keep in mind that you are surrounded by opportunists in the ministry. The laity never know that. They have this nonsense opinion of fantasy weaving that all clergy are truly people of God. Many green horn clergy have the same fancy. They are new to the work, so why shouldn’t they have
that notion. After all, just a short time back they were creatures called “laity.”

Nevertheless, you should be seasoned enough by now to know that you just cannot confide in everyone—clergy included, in fact, clergy at the top of the suspicion list.

Ask any minister who has gone through the slaughtering how many fellow clergy have proven themselves to still keep in loving, caring contact after the slaughter. Ask any minister how many of the old guard were still there alongside the bloodied pastor. Ask. You will find that those ministers who have been so mistreated confess that very, very few of the so-called fellow clergy even admit that they once knew the bloodied pastor’s name. Truly.

That is an interesting phenomenon, isn’t it? But it is realistically true. It is fact.


Well, haven’t you figured that out by now. Recall that above it was stated that more times than not clergy are more a part of the church politic than they are of the eternal kingdom. They are genuinely in league with what is visible, tangible, political. They are not that much in alliance with the invisible, eternal workings of the Lord God. Sad, isn’t it? But true, nevertheless.

Now all of us in ministry should have got hold of that postulate long before this. How come? Because we are supposed to be students of the Word. And in the Word we read that clergy were the very ones Jesus mistrusted the most. Jesus had the most trouble with the clergy of His day. Jesus was gossiped about, maligned, and eventually murdered by the clergy. It was the temple guard who did Him in. It was the High Priest who worked His demise.

Jesus did not have all that much trouble with the riff-raff. In fact, they allowed Him to save their eternal souls. But He had one daily mess-up with the scribes, Pharisees and political ward at Jerusalem’s center.

So. . . with that historical reality check in place, make a lateral time move to where you and I sit today. We are going to have to deal with the same devilment in the system. It is there with the spiritual leaders, so-called, beginning with those who rose to the supposed “top” of the ecclesiastical ladder. There they are in their splendor, preening themselves, guarding their turf and banding together to deny they ever knew the bloodied pastor.

Got it? Got it! Sad, isn’t it? But true, isn’t it? Yes, it is sadly true, friend.

Consequently, when you are determining to tell the truth about what has happened to you, you will tell it only to those who can trust truth. Watch out for clergy. They cannot. Now that sounds all-inclusive. And I mean it to sound that way for your immediate tendency, because you have been used to clergy comradeship, is to call a fellow minister and start spilling the beans.

Therefore, I am underlining in a bit extreme fashion to trust no clergy so that you will really get that stark message. Pick only those very few clergy you have trusted over much time to tell anything to. But choose others more earnestly—family, friends whom you have known for a long time, other pastors who have been “through the mill.”

I recall that some of the pastors emailed me about “What happened, Grant,” wanting every juicy detail. How soon they got in touch with me after the slaughter. I knew immediately by vibes that can’t be put into words that I was to tell those emailing pastors nothing. Nothing. Nothing, for certain.

And I didn’t.

I deleted their emails as fast as they came in. Those pastors had never communicated to me a trustworthy vibe. They were political to the nth. Therefore, when they lunged toward me wanting to know what had happened, I knew instinctively that they were after the data to spread it on their gossip chains—and that quite quickly.

Thank God I did what the gut told me to do. I was so anxious to get healing from a fellow friends. I wanted to gush out what had taken place—to anyone who had an ear. I would’ve talked to the lamppost.

So those who emailed me knew of my vulnerability at that moment and were more than ready to take advantage of that. But somehow grace slipped in to stop me from confiding in them. I will never have enough thanks to the divine grace for saving me from the vultures.

Please take to heart this counsel given you at this point. You are more vulnerable than you think because of the extreme anguish. You are very near collapse. You are crying out for posts to hold you up. You want friends to endear themselves close to your hurt.

But—remember—the last ones you need are those political fiends in the system who are not really your friends at all. They are going to turn on you. They are going to feed you to the gossip machine. Count on it.

Speak the truth. And in speaking the truth, keep the truth standard close to your own common sense factors. Use that truth gauge to keep you from further hurt.

Speak only the bald truth to those who are truly genuine in their friendship ties with you. They have gone the journey. They have matured over the years so as not to be green horns out for blood.

Then to those trusted comrades, let the cry go forth. Tell them all about it. Let them in on the deepest levels of betrayal. They can take it. They have no doubt suffered likewise and can thereby shake their heads knowingly, providing you with the sympathetic heart God’s has for you at this time.

Now take care of the family. Yes, please.

By that I mean the obvious. Take care of their emotions. Tend to their fears. Huddle.

I know that you yourself as the chief victim of this devilment are bleeding all over the place, but as mentioned in a previous chapter, most of the time there is family.

So take care of those close to you for they have suffered on a different level than you. You have suffered because you have been the focal point of the meanness. They have suffered in that they have not been the focal point of the meanness.

Instead, they have been on the sidelines. And in that is a very, very special anguish. It adds up to be this: spouse and children want to kill. They have the urge to slice through. They want to find justice. For whom? For you. There’s no doubt a better, more civil way to put it. But I’ll still stand with the “kill” and “slice through” for I cling to reality. I like truth.

Your spouse and children want to get even, not so much for their sake, as for your sake. But their tools are limited. They have not been the center of the madness and therefore they cannot lash out like you can. They must come to your defense, but that is not the same as being in the driver’s seat.

In other words, they want to check in first with you to see if what they do in defending you is going to make matters worse for you. They are confused at that point. They are worn out. They are upside down. They are inside out. They are not thinking at their clearest. And their emotions, too, are running ahead of their logic.

Yet through all this mayhem, they have this dreadful drive to get even—to carve out justice in their own ways. And that is laudable. Thank God that we have family so near and dear as to want to defend us to such lengths.

But that still does not diminish their pain. So you have to come to their rescue to some degree. The best way to do that is to huddle. Talk things out with spouse and children. Cry things out. Do this often. Do this impromptu, that is, when it needs to be, on the spot, right now, not waiting for a more convenient time for in this mess there probably will never be a convenient time.

Those precious ones close to you need to lend an ear, need to scream a mouth, need to lean on a shoulder, need to burst forth with whatever is on their tethered hearts. They need to be given permission to vent—say whatever without being judged or corrected. They need it just as you need it.

And when you as a family have these bombastic, healing, painful times together, you will find bonding taking place that you had never known was possible. You will also find some awful emotions exploding that you had never dreamt were there. But it is all in the mix. It all needs to be honored and let loose for what difference does it make finally?

What is worse? Penting up those emotions or letting them fling out in all directions. What is better? Cooping up the wildest notions or opening up the windows for them to fly thither and yon?

There are times, too, when you need to give permission to the children to worship somewhere else. You need also to tell them that they can forget ever seeing those “kind church folk” again, never answering their phone calls, never trusting those they thought were once friends. That’s hard. But that’s a permission that at least can be granted by you, the parent.

And at other times, those children need to go away for awhile, even changing residences and schools for a year if necessary. Let them find other turf to bleed on.

Do whatever is necessary to bring good health back to those bloodied in the parsonage family. The anguish may consume you daily; but there are others who have been tortured. They are those under your roof and they need protection, shelter and, if need be, a chance to get away.

Quit church buildings for awhile.

Yes, stop it. Stop going to church buildings. Church building now represents the devil in white clothes. It stands for politics in the pulpit and pew. It
looms up as the enemy.

Can you ever again look at a church bulletin, hear church announcements, listen to a sermon, bow your head during the benediction, and leave to shake hands with the speaker in the same way you did before the slaughter?

And that goes for your family.

So take a much-needed sabbatical from church buildings.

Now with our family, it was not all that difficult. I left the church building immediately, never to return. That meant that I worshiped in my living room or a friend’s living room—or outdoors on lawn chairs during summertime.

There was a small remnant that left the establishment with our family when the slaughter took place. That remnant covenanted to gather on the Lord’s Day for worship, but never to look back to the sanctuary of yesterday. That sanctuary was now inhabited by demons. We would never trust its environs. We considered it covered with a curse.

Nevertheless, in that August breeze we met together the next Sunday morning in God’s open air—sunlight and pleasant winds blowing across our faces. We sang. We prayed. We shook hands with one another. We listened to the Word. We gave thanks. We hoped for the future blessed with the divine smile.

And we got it.

With that there came the “church in a box.” That’s right. We put a few hymnals, an offering basket, a simple wooden cross, some chorus books and a Bible into a large plastic box. That was henceforth to be our church. To this day, it is our church.

We meet on Sundays in the mornings and evenings as well as mid-week in our own homes. We have no more mowing lawn expenses. No more plowing church parking lot expenses. No more heating and electric bills. No more church bulletins. No more church newsletters. No more copy machines. No more business meetings, elections, voting, membership rolls.

We meet for the basic reasons believers meet—something like the Early Church—to worship, pray, learn about God through the Bible, and then go forth to live for Jesus weekdays.

That’s it.

And for you? You must get over your drive to find your body in a church building every Sunday morning. I have talked with others who said that that was one drive that proved most difficult to overcome. They just felt guilty if they were not in a church building every Sunday morning.

But in further reflection, I have heard those same people say that if they had to do it over again, they would take the sabbatical. They would plan on a healthy breather from all that represented slaughterhouse. They would find a quiet place for worship on the Lord’s Day, but it would be far from any symbols of the old guard. They would find that which was fresh and unthreatening.

There is always a living room where you can meet. Even if two or three gather, Jesus has promised to be there with you. So how can you miss with that divine promise?

There is a seashore in summer. There is pasture in spring. There is the back
yard with lawn chairs in good weather. There are plenty of sanctuaries available for keeping the Lord’s Day holy.

Think long and hard before you strap yourself down to walking into a church building soon after the slaughter. But keep in mind that you are going to have to make some sort of plans for Lord’s Day worship for one-in-every-seven-days comes around once in every seven days. So you’ve got to have something in place when it comes to worshiping on His holy day, don’t you?

But it does not have to be the traditional church building. Does it?

Now it’s time to breathe in and breathe out. That’s right. Breathe in and breathe out.

These pages have dealt with a lot of emotion. Now it’s time to put these pages aside for some breathing exercises.

As you breathe in and breathe out, look to God. I know it is hard. God appears nasty and mean. God appears unfeeling. God does not seem near at all.

So where is your theology going in all this? Where is your doctrine flying through all this?

Nevertheless, as difficult as it is, breathe in and breathe out, looking to God, far away as He seems to you. That’s okay. God can handle it if you can handle it.

Time not so much to reason anything out. Put away the logic board for awhile. No more strategizing where you are going to live, how you’re going to pay the bills, how you’re going to tell your friends that you graduated with, and all the rest that is buzzing around in your weary brain.

Time not to make another phone call nor write another letter nor mail out another resume nor check another classified ad.

Time not to talk to anyone in the house.

Time to shut off the television and radio and CD.

Time to breathe in and breathe out, looking to God, far away as He seems to you. That’s okay. God can handle it if you can handle it.

Sit there for an hour breathing in and breathing out, looking to God. Maybe get up and walk around a bit and then sit down some more.

You might even get up long enough to walk around the house. Then go back to breathing in and breahing out, looking to God.

You can cry. You can yell. You can whimper. You can fall to the floor, hugging your knees. You can do all that. No problem.

Just let it go. Let your feelings run their course. God can handle it if you can handle it. Breathe in and breathe on, looking to God.

Tomorrow read over these pages again. And the next day do the same. Then
the next day read them again. When reading them, end the reading by putting these pages aside to look to God, cry, sit still, groan a bit, walk around the house another time, and breathe in and breathe out.

Do it.


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

We unpacked our suitcases and looked longingly at the motel pool. It would be pleasant after a long day's drive.

Later that evening we prepared for a sound sleep. Before turning off the light, I flicked on the television to catch the late news. On that channel were naked bodies in an orgy.

I turned the television off promptly; but I was left with such disgust, such anger at sin, that I was in on mood to rest. I was ready for battle.

How can a Christian stay pure in an impure world? Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8, KJV). If He said it, it must be possible.

In our own strength we cannot be holy. Therefore, His Spirit must empower us with such righteousness.

Jesus accented the heart. He went to the heart of the matter of holiness when He focused on the center of our longings. Our core of commitment must be so aligned with Jesus so that the impurity encircling us does not lodge in us.

We must furnish the heart's desires with Bible reading and prayer. We must fellowship with those who likewise hunger for more of Jesus.

Determining to know more of the Spirit of Jesus in practical holiness is to "see God," Jesus promised. That means seeing God now.

When we separate ourselves consciously from the evil in the world, we must likewise separate ourselves to the purity of Jesus. The more we walk and talk with Jesus, the more we see Him with the vision of our hearts.

Paul wrote: "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5, NKVJ).

Wickedness never takes a vacation; it was loose in the first century. It was necessary for Paul to preach about separation from evil to righteousness, the flesh warring against the spirit. Paul pointed to the victory one could gain by setting one's mind on things above. He joined the accent on the head with Jesus' accent on the heart.

Paul stressed the free will of the believer, instructing Christians to set their minds on the Spirit.

That means consciously working out personal salvation in fear and trembling by refusing to have anything to do with sin.

This underlines the need for developing holy habits. Being holy does not happen automatically. It results from a disciplined life, one rooted in the Scriptures and determined to pray through to triumph over evil.

Paul also wrote: "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but are in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:8,9, NKJV).

Paul contended with those who testified of the Spirit's presence but did not live up to the profession. Holiness is not only a testimony; it must be a daily reality.

Paul continued: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:24,25,NASB). Jesus calls us to live holy lives, even in an impure world. Believers must crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.

As we look about us at the decaying world, we give God thanks that we have hope in Jesus. Our ties are not here. But in the meantime, we have work to do. It is the work of purity.

God "chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him," (Ephesians l:4, NASB).

What a privilege to live today. We have the glorious opportunity to be God's salt in the earth, His lights of the world.

Place your heart in the Bible. Pray. Fellowship with the saints. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

With all that going for you, you need never fall.


J. Grant Swank, Jr,

For many, the Bible teaching regarding sanctification is difficult to understand. Perhaps it is the length and strange sound of the term itself. Maybe it is because it has not been defined simply enough.

Actually, its thrust is easily grasped if one does not take tedious detours.

Sanctification, simply stated, is sweet surrender.
When one becomes saved, he takes Christ's blood upon his soul. In that, he receives divine mercy. Sins are cleansed. This is a divine act beyond our fondest imaginations.

When the saved one then becomes sanctified, he yields his all to Christ. In salvation, one takes grace. In sanctification, one gives all to God.

Picture yourself now standing before God. In your hands are all that you have and are: wardrobe, vehicles, properties, family, friends, wallet, health or sickness, desires, reputation, abilities, dreams, future ambitions, finally death and eternal destiny.

Lift all of this to God. Give it all to Him without reservation. That is the surrender of sanctification. You received at salvation; you now yield at sanctification.

In that moment of submitting completely, the Holy Spirit accepted your all. He then cleansed it in order to return it as holy to you. Now what you submitted is ready for the kingdom's good.

Previously, it was used chiefly for your own self-focused "good."

At the time of sanctification, you are made pure by the Holy Spirit. He takes away your selfishness, stubbornness and stupidity which clung to things for your own welfare. In place of all that, He gives you grace to abandon to God. Now you no longer live for self but for the Savior alone.

When you were first saved, your sins were cleansed. Now that you are sanctified, your sin nature is cleansed. This is the "double cure" of which we sing in the hymn, "Amazing Grace."

How does the Christian remain sanctified? Simply put: remain surrendered to the Holy Spirit in everything. Do not take back anything that you yielded to God. Leave all with Him--everything old, everything new--past, present, future.

As long as your soul submits completely to the Lord, you are continually cleansed. This is all accomplished by His grace, not of works, lest anyone should boast of his own human achievements.

Grace saves us from our sins. Grace sanctifies us from our sin nature. Therefore, God receives all the glory.

Can one remain sanctified completely until death? Certainly. By an act of free will, one becomes saved and sanctified. One chooses these opportunities of divine grace. Likewise, the believer may exercise free will for holiness till death. The decision is always left with us.

Less than surrender is misery. It is a double-minded life--living for God, yet living secretly (and sometimes obviously) for one's self. This is evidently difficult and trying to the soul.

Total surrender is sweet in that it returns one's soul completely to God. Instead of straining to plot one's own benefits, one yields all such maneuvering to God. Therefore, there is a freedom from striving in everything.

The on-going life of sanctification then is perfecting the surrender. It is learning from the Holy Spirit how to consecrate the most practical items to God--life's minors and majors. It is being taught how to think with God ("the mind of Christ").

It is discovering that material less is spiritual more.

Sanctification in this life has no conclusion but "more." There is always more to come upon in God, more to precision, more to uncover of one's own self and of God's self. That is why it is such an exhilarating adventure.

How then does "the law" enter into this sanctifying grace? Is one at liberty to do as one pleases once one comes into this release? No. Instead, one finds that God's commandments are the key to freedom within. Therefore, the sanctified yearn for more of God's statutes.

The Bible speaks of the "law of liberty." This is one more aspect of the sweet surrender. It is experiencing being a slave to God in order to be free from sin and self-centeredness. These paradoxes are lived out dynamically in the sanctified walk.

When the sanctified read of God's expectations (laws) in the Word, they become as delicacies to be enjoyed. Before sanctification, the double-minded believer shunned God's laws for they appeared restrictive. After sanctification, the believer binds God's laws to his heart for they are indeed liberating.

Abiding by God's law releases one from being legalistic. Legalism is adhering to man-made laws.

Living by God's laws is not cold, sharp and unkind legalism; instead, it is gentle, understanding and patient.

Satan thrives on a legalistic religion. The Holy Spirit tutors the sanctified in the eternally true laws of God.

First century Judaism was founded upon legalism. Jesus offered the truth which would set one free from such humanly manufactured bondage. For that reason, Jesus was murdered by the religious system.

Live out the law of holy love and you yourself will be set free. Strap the commandments of God to your soul joyfully; in that you will be released from your chief enemy--stubborn self.

Sweet surrender not only includes yielding tangibles and inner drives. It also includes pain, confusion, tormented thinking, betrayals of the past, disappointments, ponderings of suicide, doubts and dreads.

The true sweetness of this surrender is realizing that the Father is willing to accept these hurts--for healing. Many have been made whole when they submitted those wounds of the heart which they thought they had to contend with till death. No. "Cast all your cares. . ." means all.

Frequently, Bible preachers and teachers request their hearers to yield tangibles and inner drives.

But it is not that frequently that such speakers get around to the awful burdens that many sincere grace-children carry all the time. Therapeutically, it is needful that we preach the "full gospel"--submit to Him the bleeding souls, too. He can soothe. And He does.

Sanctification is one of the most enticing dimensions of the gospel. It is sad that it is not set forth more often. Our souls are made for this opportunity of grace. To lack this experience is to remain partially bound in spirit.

When Jesus said that He came to set us free, He meant it. Sanctification is that wide, open door.

Have you come to God with your all? Have you stood before Him with everything? Then have you yielded all of this--pain and pleasure--to the One who formed you?

Let Him take this package for its cleansing. Satan will lie to you that God will rob you blind, leave you bankrupt. Do not believe the father of deceit.

The Holy Spirit will instead make your offering holy, returning it to you for heaven's sake.

From that moment onward, keep that package in God's plan. In that, you will experience in the depth of your soul the sweetness of your on-going surrender.

Such will continue, if you will it, till you see Him face to face when walking through the door of death.

Eternal life will be continuing the sanctification without threat of Satan's intrusion. It will in fact be "holiness forevermore."