A BIBLICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CROSS AND SANCTIFICATION
AS PRESENTED BY JIMMY SWAGGART
In a time when men in the church are no longer enduring sound doctrine and are moving far away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This trying time in history that the Bible calls the great falling away before Jesus comes. It is at such a time that a vacuum is created spiritually and men sincerely desiring to serve the Lord seek truth to restore the church to right relationship with God. For the Believer this can be a time when something that sounds Biblical can be greatly appealing and can slip into the heart of the believer without careful examination.
What is more noble sounding than the message of the cross? What is more needful than sanctification in a time of compromise? Can the message of the cross be perverted into something that is fully man centered rather than centered in Jesus Christ and His Holy Word? Would this not be a very subtle invention? This position paper will examine this aspect of the teachings of Jimmy Swaggart concerning the cross and sanctification.
THE DEVIL’S GREATEST ATTACKS ALWAYS COMES THROUGH THE
PERVERSION OF THE WORD OF GOD
UPON PEOPLE ENDEAVORING TO FOLLOW GOD’S WORD IN SINCERITY
SATAN CAN OPEN EYES WITH A FALSE REVELATION THAT ULTIMATELY LEADS TO THE FLEEING FROM TRUTH AND THE SEWING OF APRONS
In the third chapter of Genesis we find Eve, who is endeavoring to keep God’s Word, being confronted by a subtle beast who engages her. The conversation that he has with her is strictly about her keeping God’s Word and the faith that she has in the Living God.
The serpent gives to her a revelation that is separate from
God’s Word; an extra revelation in which she will receive special revelation and
her eyes will be opened. This same struggle takes place in the church today as it did in
New Testament times. The Apostle Paul even addressed this in II Corinthians 11:3 as
concerning the New Testament church.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is
What I have seen constantly in over 33 years of full time
ministry is that there are always people who follow teachers that claim to have
something special that will elevate them. An extra revelation that makes them more anointed. The
more anointed special ones usually live very lavish lifestyles then fall into
immorality before the masses whose eyes they have opened. It seems the pattern of the subtle
beast even repeats to believers in our time.
Genesis 3:7: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Through the years I have watched the multitudes, with their eyes that have been opened by these teachers, sew fig leaves of excuses dismissing things that are anti-Biblical and even anti-christ flowing from the lips of those by whom they have been deceived. Many claim to have their eyes opened by Jimmy Swaggart’s teaching of the cross and sanctification. Are they having an experience separate from God’s Word or is the teaching balanced and Biblical? Is the teaching the poisonous fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or is it the eternal Tree of Life in which eternal words minister eternal life? Our source for the examination will be Jimmy Swaggart’s own writings mainly through his Expositors Bible. (On a personal note it really bothers me when any man puts his name on a Bible.)
RED LETTERS OF JESUS ARE NOW
THE RED LETTERS OF JIMMY SWAGGART
PAUL HAS LESS LIGHT THAN JIMMY SWAGGART BECAUSE HE DOESN’T
UNDERSTAND THE CROSS AND SANCTIFICATION AS JIMMY DOES
JS: "That which the Lord gave to me, which I believe sheds more light on that which was originally given to Paul, pertains to the manner in which the Holy Spirit works within our hearts and lives." (The Evangelist, From Me To You, December 2004)
When one examines the Jimmy Swaggart Expositors Bible it is impossible to ignore the fact that this man has not only put his name on the Bible but has also buried the Scriptures in his red letter notes. Some may say that is being picky and that is not the main thing that I will address, but frankly speaking I cannot imagine what would be in the mind of a man that would replace the Words of Jesus being in red letters with his own. Let us now look at the false teachings and the very words of Jimmy Swaggart in his Expositors Bible.
FALSE TEACHING #1
WHEN PAUL WAS A CHRISTIAN HE WAS POWERLESS
AGAINST SIN AND LIVING UNDER THE LAW
In referencing Romans chapter 7:7-25 Jimmy Swaggart states that his belief is that Paul is speaking of his condition as a born again believer. If one looks at verses 7 and 8 one can see that Paul is speaking of when he was an unconverted Jew living under the law.
Romans 7:7,8: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid, Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (8) But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.”
Jimmy Swaggart also believes that Paul was saved and living under the law. I know of no Bible commentator that agrees with his unusual view that the Apostle Paul was saved and living under the law. Please note what he has written in his notes for Romans Chapter 7:9 in his reference to Paul.
JS: “Having just been saved, and not understanding the cross of Christ, he tried to live for God by keeping the commandments through his own strength and power.”
By what authority does Jimmy Swaggart make this assumption. The idea that he was trying to live by keeping the commandments in his own strength and power is certainly not found in the Bible. Paul after being saved never lived under the law and he constantly opposed any attempt to bring the church under the law of Moses. The truth is quite the opposite the claims of Swaggart, for he even rebuked Peter to his face for separating the Jews and Gentiles at tables. One need not look any further than the book of Galatians to establish that well known fact. The entire book of Galatians has a theme of not living under the law but under grace. The Biblical record is that when we first encounter Paul in Acts chapter 9, We discover that immediately after his conversion and restoration of his sight he did not preach the law but Jesus Christ the Son of God in the synagogue. Those that were under the law actually wanted to kill him for proving that Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 9:20: “And straightway (immediately) he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
Again consider how Jimmy Swaggart’s commentary has no basis in Biblical facts as sited above. He states that Paul tried to serve God after being saved by keeping the law. That is simply not a fact, for the ones keeping the law tried to kill him after presenting Jesus Christ as the Son of God in the synagogue. ( Acts 9:23)
One must ask Swaggart where does he get the idea that Paul after being saved tried to live for God by keeping the Commandments. There is not one shred of evidence that can be found in the Scripture to support this outlandish claim. The truth being told, the opposite is true.
FALSE TEACHING #2
PAUL IS UNABLE TO STOP SINNING AS A CHRISTIAN
Consider what he has written in his commentary in Romans 7:15:
JS: “Refers to sin in his life which he doesn’t want to do, and in fact hates, but finds himself unable to stop; unfortunately, due to the fact of not understanding the cross as it refers to sanctification, this is the plight of most modern Christians.”
Dear reader, there is absolutely not one Scripture where Paul writes that he is in sin and unable to stop. From the time when his eyes were opened in the Book of Acts on the road to Damascus until the moments before he dies when he says in II Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”
Does that sound like a man that was overcome with sin and unable to stop? The fact is when we are delivered from sin we are cleansed from ALL sin and unrighteousness. If we sin it is because we yield our members to unrighteousness.
Romans 6:12-14 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
One cannot be overcome with sin as Jimmy Swaggart states Paul was and know the Lord. The Apostle John wrote in I John 2:5: “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.” You cannot be in the love of God with sin having a dominion over you. That is absurd. To further refute the ridiculous charge that Paul was unable to stop sinning, please consider with me I John 5:18.
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not: But he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”
To Jimmy Swaggart’s commentary on Paul not being able to stop sinning, I say let God’s Word be true and man’s word be a liar.
THE JIMMY SWAGGART - SILVIA PIERCE - JESSIE DUPLANTIS CONNECTION
A number of years ago a false teacher came through our town name Sylvia Pearce. In her book she proclaimed that the Apostle Paul was a liar. Jessie Duplantis claims that he went to heaven and met Paul in heaven. He said that Paul told him to tell the people in todays church that he was wrong about prosperity. Jessie Duplantis, your journey to heaven does not match the Scriptures. Have not these false teachers any fear of God? God picked the Apostle Paul to write much of the New Testament by the Holy Spirit and Paul responded by surrendering to his Lord as a yielded, sanctified vessel. He was sovereignly called of God. I am so tired of false teachers saying that Paul was in sin. Paul was a man who would not compromise the Gospel and was a hero in the faith, not a man who could not overcome sin. In II Corinthians 11:20-29 we learn that Paul as a minister of Christ was in labors more abundant, stripes above measure, prisons and deaths. Five times he received 40 stripes from the Jews keeping the law save one. Does that sound like Paul was overcome in sin and was keeping the law for salvation?
Three times he was beaten with rods and once stoned. Three times he suffered ship wreck and was a night and a day in the deep. He suffered constant perils from robbers, countrymen, heathen, and false brethren. He suffered weariness and pain watchings, hunger, thirst, and fastings often while in cold and nakedness. While in this state he took care of all the churches WITHOUT BEING OFFENDED. Does this sound like a man who is unable to stop sinning? Shame on you false teachers and shame on you Jimmy Swaggart for this false commentary.
FALSE TEACHING #3
YOU CAN’T SAY NO TO SIN.
JS COMMENTARY ON ROMANS 7:18: “REGRETTABLY MOST MODERN CHRISTIANS ARE TRYING TO LIVE FOR GOD BY MEANS OF WILL POWER, THINKING FALSELY THAT SINCE THEY HAVE COME TO CHRIST, THEY ARE NOW FREE TO SAY NO TO SIN; THAT IS THE WRONG WAY TO LOOK AT THE SITUATION.”
What is wrong with saying no to sin and yielding your members to Christ? We can yield to God’s Spirit and refuse the devil. We are given a choice every day to submit our will to God’s will and satan cannot come and overcome us. We are told in the Scriptures that we are to submit our will to God. Consider what James wrote in James 4:7
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
THE CROSS AND SANCTIFICATION IT IS JESUS THAT IS OUR SANCTIFICATION, NOT THE CROSS
Jimmy Swaggart states that the only way for a Christian to stop sinning has to do with the cross as it refers to sanctification. It must be said that sanctification has to do with being separated unto God. It is true that when we pick up our cross daily we are set apart unto Him. However, there is far more to sanctification than following his doctrine which he claims will enable us to overcome sin. There is no direct Scriptural reference to the cross sanctifying the believer. We are sanctified by the truth of God’s Word, we are sanctified by faith, we are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, we are sanctified in the Name of Jesus, we are sanctified by the blood, and when we put on Jesus Christ, He is our sanctification. Everything that I have just stated has many Biblical references which I will not list here. The Lord Jesus is our sanctification. I think
it is most plainly stated by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 1:30: “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and SANCTIFICATION, and redemption.”
IS THE CROSS THE OBJECT OF OUR FAITH?
JS: “The believer is to ever make the Cross the object of his faith, and then the Holy Spirit can perform His work.”
One of the proclamations that Jimmy Swaggart makes constantly is that the cross is the object of our faith. Again, let us go to see what the Bible actually says. There is an entire chapter dedicated to faith. This chapter is Hebrews chapter 11. I would urge you to go and read and you will find that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith has to do with seeing the creative power of God, seeing the authority of God, seeing the atonement of God, seeing the translation of God, seeing the judgment of God, seeing the city of God, seeing the promises of God, seeing the resurrection power of God, seeing the revelation of the faith of God, seeing the prophetic faith of God, the fearless faith of God, and on and on and on. However, in Hebrews 11, you will find no reference that we are to put our faith in the cross.
THIS WRITER DOES NOT IN ANY WAY REJECT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
CALLS FOR THE FULL BALANCED TRUTH
THE CROSS HAS TO DO WITH BEING OF NO REPUTATION
DOES JIMMY SWAGGART QUALIFY TO SPEAK OF THE CROSS?
One of the things that bother me most about Jimmy Swaggart is his constantbragging. He has the most anointed music, the most anointed books, and the most anointed Bible. If you don’t buy his products within 6 months you are removed from his mailing list. What a policy from a man who lives in a multi-million dollar mansion. That is really sad. His boasting and continuous asking for money leaves me to wonder if he has any relationship to the cross at all. He claims to have preached more than Jesus. I guess the record of John’s Gospel in which we learn that all the volumes of creation could not have held what Jesus did and spoke does not require our attention. (John 21:25) Please note what a man bearing the cross is really all about. It is not about reputation but is about complete humility.
Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
THE CROSS IS NOT A NEW MESSAGE AND HASN’T BEEN GIVEN TO ANY MAN FOR THE CLAIMING OF SPECIAL REVELATION THE CROSS BEGINS WITH THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD
In his book, “Brother Swaggart Here is my Question About the Cross” The following statement can be found in the introduction of his book.
JS: “Especially considering that this message is new to the church one can readily understand the reason for the inquiries.”
Again we find the hint that he has been given an extra revelation beyond the Scripture. Jimmy Swaggart, perhaps you haven’t noticed that the cross and full counsel of God has been preached to every generation by the faithfulness of God in broken men. There is no new message to the church. The Gospel is everlasting for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.”
The teaching of the cross and sanctification as presented by Jimmy Swaggart should be rejected. If you have come under this teaching fall on your knees and ask the one true living God to guide you into all truth by the sacred Scriptures and the mighty Holy Spirit.
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