Pastor Mark debates a follower of Jimmy Swaggart. Blue lettering is Pastor Mark and black letters are from a follower of Swaggart.
I really had decided not to take any further part in this debate, mainly due to time constraints and also due to the fact that I believe we will be just going round in circles. I think we have pretty much covered most things regarding this. However, there are just one or two points I want to come back on (there are so many more, but I will have to limit to a few).
1. I never converted to “Swaggartism” as you put it.
The reason I said “converted” was because Swaggart insists that all the churches are in error, of the devil, and don’t have the true Gospel, that he alone has the true Gospel revealed to him by God. That message is all through the Swaggart “Bible” and in many other places. For example, this is one of his many statements in that regard:
“This Ministry is of God. Accordingly, we have a mandate from the Lord. That mandate is World Evangelism and, as well, the proclamation of the True Gospel, the “Message of the Cross.”In other words, the Church must be brought back to the Cross. The Lord has mandated this Ministry to help carry this out. In fact, that’s at least one of the reasons that the Lord gave me this great Revelation of the Cross in 1997.” (From Me To You, The Evangelist, Jan 2004, Emphasis mine)
Thus, if you were saved other than under Swaggart’s ministry, to follow Swaggart’s logic, you were “saved” in or through a ministry that was not preaching the true Gospel. That is Swaggart’s interpretation. Since you seem to now believe his “True Gospel” and defend Swaggart against all facts and reason, it would appear that you converted to what he calls his “True Gospel” which, since it is another Gospel from what the Church preaches, you must have “converted” to Swaggartism, though it may have been gradual and unnoticed.
I have enjoyed his singing and preaching over the years. Like yourself, I was shocked when the scandal news broke, and in fact like many others I got rid of his music tapes etc, at the time and didn`t listen for many years afterwards. However, I have been interested in the Message of the Cross teaching, and am once again enjoying his singing and preaching. Actually the more I have studied the Message of the Cross over the last few days, it has been a blessing to my soul.
Stop drinking the cool-aide! “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27).Scripture teaches that demons are very interested in teaching false doctrine. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…” (1 Tim 4:1). I am convinced that there is a very subtle but powerful demonic deceiving influence that can come upon those listening to his message. This demonic influence blinds people from seeing the evil lifestyle and the false doctrines of the Swaggart cult. In the early stages the victim just likes the message and the music, but once it has taken root they absorb the Swaggart elitist prideful distain for the Church and become arrogant and argumentative to the point of alienating Christian friends and family. I have seen it before and it is demonic. “Do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”(James 3:14-18)
The Swaggart family leaders are very factious and contentious. Jimmy, Donnie, and Gabriel all rant against other ministries with a hateful venom. While claiming they are the only true ministry, they lash out at the Church for whom Christ died, saying it is of the devil and screaming that the Assemblies of God and other denominations are “going straight to hell.” (See The Swaggart Seduction video.) You can’t get more factious than that. Titus 3:10-11 speaks of those such as Swaggart and his ilk, telling us to reject them: “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11). This is the Swaggart family. They are perverted, sinning and condemned by their own actions.
Here is a picture of Pastor Gabriel’s wife. She is third from the left. Gabriel is Donny’s son, Jimmy’s grandson. He is a leader in their ministry, in charge of youth. All the girls in this picture are leaders in the Swaggart ministry.
Here they are in a bar. Note the wine bottle, the demonic signs. Whether they know it or not, one of those signs is the 666 signal used by musicians frequently, and the others are gang signs. Note the girl on the left with the short dress and her legs immodestly spread. Note the facial expressions and the dead demonic look in their eyes and the evil seductive poses of their bodies. Note the crouched immodest leg-spread pose of Pastor Gabriel’s wife (3rd from left).
Gabriel tried to dismiss it with, “They were just kidding around and having fun.” That does not excuse it. These are supposed to be leaders in the ministry. What kind of example does this set? Why isn’t the message of the cross getting these girls to live godly lives and set a proper example? Why is Jimmy’s magic formula not working?
These girls are, from the left to right:
Grace Larson – Daughter of World Evangelism Bible College President Loren Larson, Student at World Evangelism Bible College, Crossfire Worship Leader, Family Worship Center Worship Team singer, Family Worship Center Camp Meeting Singer
Jennifer Douglas – Sister in law of Gabriel Swaggart, Worship Team member of Crossfire, staff member of Front Office of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries
Jill Swaggart – Wife of Gabriel Swaggart, Family Worship Center Worship Team member; Crossfire Worship Team leader; Family Worship Center Camp Meeting singer
Alaina Simoneaux – Former worship leader for Crossfire Ministries and IYC.
What would the Apostle Paul say if he could see this picture? We don’t have to wonder. Look at his teaching. Study that picture and then ask yourself if these Swaggart Ministry leaders are obeying the spirit of these scriptures written by the Apostle Paul:
“I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing,modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” (1Timothy 2:9)
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Titus 2:3-5)
“There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” (Ephesians 5:4)
Are these girls acting “sensible,” as the scripture teaches? Clearly not and evidently disobedience is contagious though the ministry from the top down.
You say you find his message of the cross a blessing to your soul. His message of the cross is a panacea for a troubled conscience, but it is a deceitful potion. Swaggart concocted it to excuse his own past sins and Christians hearing it latch on to it as an excuse for their own failures. There is no excuse for sin, only forgiveness through genuine repentance and faith in Christ, faith that He will save you through His shed blood and that you can have the victory by adherence to the whole counsel of God found in Scripture.
2. On the whole area concerning his receiving of this message – you said that he describes it as something other than someone reading their Bible and being enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Here are his own words from his website….
Before we go into that, here is what he said: “In this Revelation, the Lord explained to me, even in graphic detail…He gave me more light than the Church has ever known.” As previously said, Swaggart uses double-speak to obfuscate his false teachings. So, no surprise if he says the opposite somewhere else. To be clear, he has already said that he got it as a revelation from God, but it doesn’t matter much if he claims to have got it as a revelation straight from God, or if he got it as he studied the Bible. Either way, revelations of new doctrine are not given. The canon of Holy Scripture is closed.
No matter what he claims in that regard, the fact remains that his teaching is a false doctrine not found in the Bible and not found in Church history. Nowhere does the Bible say that we are to put our faith in the cross. Nowhere. It is not there and you and Swaggart know it is not there or you would quote it. His strange doctrines – to put faith in the cross, that the Church is of the devil, that he alone has the true Gospel, that God the Father and the Holy Spirit each have non-omnipresent bodies, that God lives on a planet to the north, that you don’t have to use self-control, or suffer for Christ, that you are of little worth in the kingdom of God if you don’t speak in tongues – all of these are unbiblical doctrines of demons.
“After seeking the Lord day and night, so often with tears, for a period of some six years, suddenly and without warning, the Lord began to open up to me that for which I had so long sought. I honestly don’t remember the day or the month, but the year was 1997.
Swaggart says he received his revelation in 1997 after six years of praying for it night and day with tears. Let’s analyze that. He prayed from 1991 to 1997, day and night. But he was caught for the second time with a prostitute in 1991 and he was caught a third time in 1995 chasing prostitutes. It begs the question: How do you pray night and day when you are chasing prostitutes? One cannot seriously seek God when living in willful deliberate sin. Swaggart’s story does not hold water. He is “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
He had already pulled the repentance card on TV in 1988, so he knew that would not be believed again. He had to cook up some other excuse for his sin. Aha! – The Church is of the devil, the Gospel has been lost so poor Jimmy could not help looking at porn and going to prostitutes for years. It’s not his fault. But now God’s given him the True Gospel by a Divine Revelation. Voilà! An excuse for all his sinning! Now he will save the world!
I had spent some six years in concentrated prayer, seeking the Lord, imploring Him for guidance and direction…………. Very early, probably about 6 a.m., on the morning in question, I was in my office working on the Romans Commentary. In fact, I was working on the 6th Chapter of that great work given to us by the Apostle Paul, which actually is “The Theology of the Church.” I was studying some material written by the late Dr. Kenneth Wuest, a noted Greek Scholar and Brother, whose great love for the Lord was obvious in his writings. Dr. Wuest was explaining the “sin nature.”
“Dr.” Kenneth Wuest – It seems the doctorate may not have been earned but was honorary. He produced his own translation (WET) that was known for playing fast and loose with translation, inserting his own theological ideas in places where the Greek text did not support the rendering, such as in Galatians 6:16 where he changed the wording to try to support the false doctrine of “replacement theology.”
All of a sudden, the Spirit of the Lord came over me, and He began to reveal to my heart the meaning of this aspect of our Christian experience.
Note the dramatic description here, designed to get the reader to drop their discernment, get caught up in the drama and lure the unsuspecting into believing in whatever nonsense Swaggart is going to present.
In a moment’s time, I saw it, and I saw it clearly. I can remember getting up from behind my desk and pacing back and forth across my office, tears streaming down my cheeks.
Do we have violin music and orchestra to go with this melodrama? Jimmy Swaggart is not only a consummate actor on the stage, but in his writing as well! Let the gullible beware!
The Lord then spoke to my heart and said, “You have asked Me the cause of your problem. It is the sin nature, and your lack of understanding about how it works and how it is to be controlled.”
So God spoke with words to him. Very dramatic. Since his doctrines are unbiblical we know this is either Satan speaking to him, or he is making it up as he goes. Choose your poison.
“The cause of your problem.” That was not God talking or He would have said, “Your problem is disobedience!” Swaggart didn’t understand the sin nature? That is why he spent years going to prostitutes? What poppycock! Does the Bible ever say, “Wait for the coming revelation in future years about the sin nature!” No, never. I can tell you what Jimmy Swaggart’s problem was and why he went to prostitutes. HE HAD NO FEAR OF GOD!
The Bible speaks plainly and clearly that we have a fallen nature to be resisted, which, after we are born again we have the Holy Spirit’s help with. Swaggart didn’t need to wait six years to get the truth. It is right in the Bible in black and white and plain English. All you have to do is read and obey. Here is the simple truth from God’s word:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Titus 2:11-15)
Swaggart made shipwreck of his faith because he failed to heed God’s commandment. God does not command us to do something that we are not able to do.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1Co 10:13)
All temptations can be resisted. That is what the word of God says.
Jimmy Swaggart failed to “deny ungodliness and worldly desires and…live sensibly, righteously and godly…” That is why he sinned. Not because he didn’t know some hidden doctrine that no one else ever saw. How silly. Humans have this thing called free will. Swaggart had a choice about looking at porn, going to prostitutes, and lying to his wife and to the Church and being unfaithful to both. You don’t need some secret magic formula to not do that. If such was the case then God could judge no one for we would have no responsibility.
Swaggart thinks he is not responsible for his actions. He said, “If those prostitutes go to hell because of me I don’t know what God will do about that.” What?! He was the one most in danger of going to hell. He lacks the beginning of wisdom; the fear of God. If he had a healthy fear of God he would not have dared to go to prostitutes.
It is a matter of obedience, plain and simple. This false prophet is a silver tongued slippery snake! I continue to pray fervently that the demonic influence of his teaching will be broken in your life and others deceived by him. Think with your reason. What he says does not have the ring of truth. It is because of men like Swaggart that Scripture warns over and over about wolves in sheep’s clothing. They look and talk like men of God but by their deeds you may know them!
See also his Colossians Commentary p 252:
The Holy Spirit took me directly to Romans Chapter 6, and then began to open up these Passages to me — Passages, incidentally, which I suppose I had read 50 times through the years, but really did not understand. ”
Again, all I can say is, “What??!” He read it fifty times without understanding? Why then does he even consider himself called to preach? Go read Romans 6 yourself right now. There is nothing hard or mysterious about that chapter. I understood it the first time I read it after I got saved when I was fifteen years old. It’s plain as day. Here is an excerpt from Romans Chapter 6: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts…” (Ro 6:12). No hidden esoteric meaning there. Just do what it says. “Do not let sin reign…” It is a matter of obedience, plain and simple. How can people be bewitched by his babble? He is expert at prevarication! He disobeyed and is cooking up a doctrine to excuse his years of disobedience.
I have no problem with that. Has the Lord ever spoken to your heart and shown you something you never saw before? Regarding the Lord not giving doctrine directly to people today, I don`t see any contradiction here. It is not a new doctrine. It is opening one`s understanding to what is already in Scripture.
But his teaching is not already in Scripture. There is no scripture that says that thinking about the cross or putting your faith in the cross is the secret hidden mystery of sanctification, that you should not use self-control. If there is, show it to me. He himself said his teaching was “new to the church” and that he has “more light than the Church has ever known.” The scripture is clear: Christians have the power to obey. You have been deceived. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray that this demonic deception has no further power over you! It is a new doctrine, not found in the Bible, not found in Church history.
3a There is this whole seeming “confusion” between trusting in Jesus and trusting in the Cross. Trusting in Jesus involves trusting in what He did on the Cross.
Oh, it’s all the same. Great then. All Christians believe Swaggart’s cross doctrine already. All is well. Any Christian then is automatically doing what Swaggart wants. Christians trust in Jesus, so they are all trusting in the cross. You say it is the same thing. All is well with the world. But wait a minute. Why does Swaggart say, “The tragedy is almost all Christians think they know all about the Cross. The truth is this generation of Christians knows almost nothing about the Cross, especially about the Cross as it regards their Sanctification. These Christians can be set free only by the “Cross” being preached to them (I Cor. 1:18).” (From Me To You The Evangelist, January 2004)
So you see it is not as you say. Swaggart could not condemn the whole Church if he taught that “trusting in Jesus is trusting in the cross.” You are correct when you say that trusting in Jesus involves trusting in the cross. This article makes that very point: A Fundamental Flaw. Clearly, Swaggart does not teach the very thing you assert that he does.
You can only come boldly to the Throne of Grace because of what Jesus did on the Cross. When you believed on Jesus to be saved, it wasn`t just merely believing who He is, even the devils believe and tremble. It is more than that. It is believing in what He did on the Cross for you. I`m sorry, but I cannot separate the two, which you are trying to do. When I think of Jesus, I immediately think about what He did on the Cross for me.
“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…” (M’t 22:29) You can come to salvation without knowing about the cross. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…” (Romans 10:9). That is the Biblical formula for salvation. It does not mention the cross. You cannot add to it.
You refer to James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” That is not a reference to believing in Jesus as Lord or a description of how we get saved. That refers to demons that know there is one God and that believing in God’s existence does not save a person. Doesn’t really apply to the discussion. Note that the context is the importance of works and its relationship to faith. Read it in context:
“But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? …For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:18-20,26)
So the context is not “believing in what he did at the cross,” the context is that “faith without works is dead.”
You may not be able to separate the two in your thinking, and that may be normal for you if you already understood blood atonement when you got saved, but that does not make what you say Biblical. The Bible clearly teaches that one may come to saving grace through Christ Jesus without yet understanding the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and imputed righteousness. We are not saved by understanding correct doctrine, though doctrine is important. We are saved by our relationship with Jesus Christ which comes through repentance and faith in Christ. I will give you some Biblical examples.
“Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, Iwill give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house…’” (Luke 19:8-9) So here we have Zaccheus being saved even though he knew nothing yet of the cross, for Christ had not yet gone there.
In Acts Chapter 2, on the day of Pentecost, when they all spoke in tongues, the crowd came and Peter preached to them. You can read the whole sermon. There is nothing there explaining that Jesus’ blood was the propitiation for our sins. Nothing about substitutionary atonement or imputed righteousness. (As a side point, Swaggart claims that nobody at that time understood the cross.) The apostles certainly understood all that, but it is not mentioned in the text. But if it was required for salvation, why was it not mentioned? That is telling. Here is the formula for salvation given at that event. Note there is no mention that they must have faith in the cross –
“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38)
In Acts 11:14 we read that Cornelius was told to send for Peter because, “he will speak words to you by which you will be saved…” So let us look at those words and see if they contain the teaching that Jesus shed blood on the cross washes away our sins and that we must put our faith in that.
“And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, ‘Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?’ And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 10:43-48)
You can read the entire sermon in Acts 10. It mentions Jesus was killed on a cross. They would have thought that unremarkable as crucifixion was commonly the Roman method of execution. It mentions the Resurrection, but there is no teaching about sanctification through Jesus shed blood on the cross and certainly no statement such as “put your faith in the cross.”
They were immediately filled with the Holy Spirit, showing that God had saved them. How were they saved? Did they understand substitutionary atonement and imputed righteousness? No, but they heard this, “everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins,” and they received that with faith and were instantly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Do you see that the requirement for salvation does not include understanding the ramifications of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross? Even Swaggart says that after Paul got saved he did not understand the cross. So it seems you are even disagreeing with Swaggart on this point. Now in Paul’s case, the assertion that Paul didn’t understand the cross is ludicrous because Jesus revealed the Gospel to him nearly immediately after salvation. But in the case of the other examples from Scripture given above, they clearly had no knowledge of Christ’s atoning blood at the moment of salvation. The blood applied to them because it was something Christ did for us, something he gives to us, even before we understand it.
A man may be unconscious in a smoke filled burning house. The fire department may flood it with water and save him. He doesn’t know the water saved him, doesn’t know the firemen used the water to do that, but he is saved just the same and will later realize the roll that the water had in his salvation. It is the same with the blood of Christ shed on the cross. It saves, even when the recipient is not yet understanding that is how Christ saved them.
In Acts Chapter 16 when the jailer implored of Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They immediately answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”
I recently heard a pastor telling of how when he preached in another country, that his message was translated, but some there spoke a different dialect that was not translated. Nevertheless, many of those of the other dialect came forward at the altar call and many were filled with the Holy Spirit even as they came. Finding he could not communicate with them, he found a translator and he asked them, “If you could not understand my message, why have you come forward?” They answered, “Because we see the love and the joy and we want this Jesus too.” Certainly God accepts anyone who turns to Christ, even when their understanding is limited.
3b Related to 3a is my comment about people who go to church and have their “faith” in Jesus but not in what he did at the cross. You said I was mistaken, where did I get that idea, and that you thought I believed it simply because JS teaches so. Well, I saw that for myself long before I ever heard JS say it. My grandmother many years ago got saved and went to her minister (who never preached the gospel). He basically implied that she had lost her mind and told her she didn`t need to be saved!
There are churches all over the world, where people go in and out the doors, believing they are Christians just because they go to church. I meet them every day. These people believe in Jesus to the point that He was good and they believe if they follow His example, when they die, He will weigh up their good works against their bad works, and say “you weren`t really a bad person” and let them into Heaven. Yes they believe in Jesus – but they do not believe they need to be saved. They are religious. The Cross has no real meaning for them. It is just part of the Christian ritual.
There are others who go to church just at Easter, Christmas and christenings, and yet are buried by their minister “in the sure and certain hope” of the resurrection. I am shocked that as a pastor you have never met “Christians” who “believe” what I have described.
Oh yes, I agree with you there. I have met many people like that, but I have not met any Christians like that, for such people are not Christians. You are speaking of people that go to apostate mainline denominations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is one. I know all about it. Grew up in it. They now ordain homosexuals. They deny that you need to get saved. They even had an article about it in their magazine, The Lutheran, teaching against “being born again.” I wrote the editor and took him to task for his false teaching, to no avail. That is not a Christian Church, though they claim to be. They are an apostate church, a cult. There are those, yes.
But they are not lost because they don’t know about the cross or don’t put their faith in the cross. On the contrary many of those people do put their faith in the cross. They believe that Christ’s shed blood is going to save them. They believe that wholeheartedly and they take communion from the hand of the minister regularly. They think it will save them, but it will not. They are lost because they have not done what the Bible says. They do not surrender their will to God and come to Him through, “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21). That is the formula for being born again and beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ. You see believing in the blood or the cross is of no avail if one has not surrendered to Jesus and been born again.
But Christ’s Church is alive and well. The evangelical or fundamental churches are preaching the gospel and doing mighty works for God all over the world, especially in foreign countries where they are persecuted. Many Christians there are light-years ahead of us in America, spiritually speaking. They put their life on the line every day to serve Christ. Their souls have flourished under persecution.
When Swaggart condemns the entire Church world he is talking about Christian churches. All Christians pretty much understand that many of those old mainline churches have apostatized and they are more of a cult than a Christian Church. That’s old news. Swaggart is condemning the Christian churches and he has called many by name, Nazarene, Church of God, Assemblies of God, etc. Watch The Swaggart Seduction and hear Donnie Swaggart condemn the Assemblies of God to hell. Jimmy Swaggart continues to claim that the whole evangelical Church world is in demonic darkness, and that is utter nonsense.
Pastor Li Di Xian lives in China and pastors a large unground church that meets in secret in “house churches.” Pastor Xian has been arrested eighteen times. In Vietnam there are hundreds of thousands of new Christians but no church buildings are allowed. Vietnam Evangelist to Dinh Trung is in prison, torn away from his wife and children, yet he is winning hundreds to Christ in a communist prison. In Cuba Pastor Noble Alexander spent twenty years in prison and won more than three hundred people to the Lord. The Church is alive and well. These persecuted Christians live victoriously through danger and hardship, risking torture and death on a daily basis, while Jimmy Swaggart sits in his plush mansion, drives his new Mercedes to the country club where he has a $30,000 a year membership and all the while he blasts these Christians, insisting that they are living defeated lives in a devil’s church, all just because they don’t have his “message of the cross.” The shame!
4. I think on 3 occasions you mentioned JS chasing prostitutes for 20 years. You actually used quotation marks around “chasing prostitutes in every city I held revivals.” I found the “I” reference very intriguing. You see, JS to my knowledge has never publicly spoken anything in detail regarding what happened in his past. What you are actually quoting is Marvin Gorman`s alleged recollections of a conversation between him and JS after he was “caught.”
“Caught”? Why the quotes? Apparently you are doubting that he was caught. He most certainly was caught and there are pictures to prove it. Why the denial? He has confessed. She told. Give it up. He was caught. And that wasn’t his first do-si-do. He didn’t just wake up one day and decide to go to a prostitute and got caught the first time. This went on for a long time before he was caught. It went on afterwards too and there are public police reports which prove it.
You have pointed out that JS has lied to congregations by preaching one thing and doing something else,
Swaggart lied by preaching the Gospel and living a lie when he was secretly visiting prostitutes. That is an established fact. He also lied on national television when a reporter asked if he had ever committed adultery. Watch the video, The Swaggart Seduction. It is all documented there. Until you watch it, you are intentionally burying your head in the sand.
Yet you are happy to take the word of Marvin Gorman whose capacity for the truth has been brought into question in a court of law regarding his past “affair” and his recollections over that.
On the contrary it is Gorman’s capacity for truth that won out in court over Swaggart’s lies. You have your facts all twisted up on that. Read the book, Let Us Prey: The Public Trial of Jimmy Swaggart by Hunter Lundy. Yes Swaggart tearfully confessed to Marvin Gorman, “I have chased prostitutes in every city I held revivals.” It is not his “recollection.” It is his testimony that Swaggart said that. It is in print and Gorman stands by it. If it is a lie, why has Swaggart not sued for defamation?
What Gorman testifies to is right in line with what Swaggart confessed to the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God and that did come out. Gorman won a ninety million dollar law suit against Swaggart for defamation. A court of law heard all the evidence and found Jimmy Swaggart guilty of bearing false witness and ordered him to pay ten million dollars to Gorman. Swaggart had tried to beat him in the television ratings war and spread lies to knock him off the air. Swaggart was proven in court to be a liar. As Gorman said after court, “It’s not about the money, it’s about the truth.” So when it comes to honesty I believe Gorman over Swaggart.
Apart from the fact that this is a man who was out for revenge over JS, and he could say anything!
He was not out for revenge. That is your characterization because you are enamored with Swaggart. Gorman was out for justice and he got it. Amazing the lengths Swaggarites will go to in order to justify, excuse and evade the wickedness which their false apostle committed. Just as Mormons won’t face up to the evil of lustful Mormon prophets, so also followers of Swaggart refuse to accept the facts of Swaggart’s sinful life.
You also take as “gospel” the word of a prostitute regarding JS and her daughter. But I just throw that in as a passing observation.
Hebrews 13:4, “Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”Yes, I will take the word of a whore (who is no longer one) over the word of a whoremonger. At least she had the decency not to allow sex with her daughter, which he so desired. So who is the guiltiest? Swaggart never denied her allegations concerning the daughter. He never sued for defamation. Why not, if it was a lie? This business about the prostitute and her daughter was all over television when he did his public televised repentance. He denied none of it, but said, “I have sinned,” and “I don’t blame the media.” Thus he confessed to it. His silence speaks volumes. Qui tacet consentire videtur. “He who is silent is taken to agree.”
According to the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God Jimmy Swaggart confessed to them that he had a “long standing sexual aberration,” and had “consorted with prostitutes for many, many years.” That is their official statement and if it were not true Swaggart would have sued them also long ago.
Give it up. You can’t win this one. Jimmy Swaggart is guilty of going to prostitutes for quite a while. It is an established fact. It is also an established fact, a matter of police record, that in 1991, three years after his tearful apology on television, that he was pulled over by police with pornography in the car, and a prostitute in his front seat, who said she was solicited for sex. Jimmy then told his church, “God told me it is flat none of your business.” Wow. God told him. I guess it was one of those great divine revelations from God we have heard tell about. Do you believe that one too?
5a. You said that “no-one besides Swaggart has ever suggested that the Apostle Paul sinned wilfully and blatantly while preaching the gospel.” I would like you to give me a quote (supplied with reference) where he has said that Paul sinned wilfully and blatantly. My understanding of it is that he is referring to Paul’s “what I want to do I don`t do it and what I don`t want to do, I do” remarks. This is not describing someone who is blatantly and wilfully sinning, but someone who is struggling with the sin nature, as we all do.
“He (Paul) failed to obey no matter how hard he tried…the Apostle Paul couldn’t live for God… he found he couldn’t…he failed… finds himself unable to stop; unfortunately, due to the fact of not understanding the Cross…” — The Expositor’s Study Bible, Commentary on Romans Chapter 7
It does not use the words willfully and blatantly but the text certainly suggest it. If you are failing to live for God you are sinning. The whole idea Swaggart has here, and it is clearly evident from his webpage about his message of the cross, is that Jimmy went to prostitutes because he didn’t understand the cross, thus he was in exactly the same boat that the Apostle Paul was in, that he could not live for God. Clearly going to prostitutes is willful continued sin. That goes without saying. Since Swaggart equates himself with Paul in that he was failing to live for God because he was not understanding the cross, the insinuation is that Paul was also sinning badly, not living for God and perhaps doing really bad stuff like Swaggart was. Swaggart says that if you don’t have his message of the cross “then works of the flesh are going to manifest themselves in one’s life.” That is from http://www.jsm.org/message-cross.html. Since Paul did not understand the cross, then Paul is going to have “works of the flesh” manifesting in his life also. That is what Swaggart teaches.
So, going to prostitutes is certainly willful blatant sin and would be classed as “works of the flesh,” and that is the sort of thing which Swaggart says you will do if you don’t understand the cross. Paul did not understand the cross, according to Swaggart, so Paul must have been committing “works of the flesh.” Thus, willful blatant sin. That is what is implied. Even if you take out the willful and blatant, I still say, no one but Swaggart has ever suggested that Paul “couldn’t live for God… he found he couldn’t…he failed.” That dog won’t hunt. You may as well face the truth. Jimmy Swaggart teaches false doctrine. The evidence is overwhelming.
5b. Regarding the Romans 7 passage, he believes that Paul is writing about a time after he was saved, because in Romans 7:15, Paul expresses his hatred of sin. No unbeliever hates sin.
Lots of unbelievers hate sin and want to live right. Many Jews were zealous to do right as they understood it and many Mormons today love righteousness. John 3:21 has Jesus saying, “He who practices the truth comes to the light.” So clearly there are unbelievers who hate sin, but that is neither here nor there. That passage in Romans 7 merely reports the human condition of the saved, that we always have a sin nature to fight against, but we do not reach perfection in this life, but that since we are forgiven there is no need to give in and give up, thus he concludes the discourse with, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Ro 8:1).
But nothing there says that Paul failed to live for God and lived in sin. On the contrary Paul continues the topic in Romans 8:6 saying, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Read it in context, and read Chapter 7, for that is part of the context of the discussion, and see that Paul is making a case for not sinning. His point is to not set your mind on the flesh (as Jimmy Swaggart did) but determine to set your mind upon the Spirit of God and His leading, as Paul did.
(see JS Colossians Commentary p 93). He then goes on to say “Romans 7 is an account of Paul’s experience IMMEDIATLEY following his conversion.”
Swaggart claims it was right after conversion, but then also says it was “at that time” when he wrote Romans, which was ten years or more after he got saved. Apparently Swaggart is confused about when Romans was written. Either way, Paul had the Gospel revealed in its fullness to him right after he got saved by a revelation from Jesus Christ. I have already proven that, thus it is not possible that Paul didn’t know about the cross and its significance as Swaggart teaches.
And no, that passage is not merely a description of Paul’s experience immediately after conversion, even though Swaggart claims that. The passage in Romans 7 is merely a description of the conflict between the two natures. In fact the heading of this passage in the New American Standard Bible is, “The Conflict of Two Natures.” That is how most commentators see it, that this describes the continuing battle between the Christ nature and the old fallen nature. That is why Paul says towards the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course…” (2 Timothy 4:7)
6. You said it is probably easier for him now to deceive, being around 70,
I was a bit off. He will be 80 in March. Now that the grave is only about a decade away for him, hopefully he has more fear of the Lord. For his sake, I hope so.
…he would no longer have the sex drive that got him in so much trouble before. I put to you a different scenario. I put before you a man who struggled with his besetting sin,
Going to prostitutes is not a “besetting sin.” It is mortal sin. Why do you continually want to whitewash the sin of Swaggart? The passage is: “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1) This refers to the common everyday temptations that come our way. Temptation to lose our temper, to lose patience, to be lazy or forget benevolence, to let our eyes drift to a temptation, to think wrong thoughts. These are the weights that entangle and diminish the glow of the Spirit in our lives that we need to not let entangle us. The word picture is of an athlete running a race while carrying weights. He might make it but not as well as he could have if he had laid aside the weight. That is a besetting sin, something that merely slows you down.
Going to a prostitute is another type of sin entirely. It doesn’t just slow you down. It brings you to a grinding halt. Its result is described here:
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10-:26-31)
Jimmy Swaggart was not a Christian dealing with a “besetting sin.” He was not a Christian, he was not saved, while he was going to prostitutes. As it is written, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators…will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Co 6:9)
“There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.” (1John 5:16). This is the mortal sin for which you cannot ask God to overlook in someone. God cannot give them life for it. Only true repentance on their part and turning to Jesus and trusting Him for forgiveness can expunge it.
and couldn`t get the victory, no matter how much he prayed, read the Bible, whatever.
No, of course prayer won’t give the victory if he does not obey. He needs to repent and obey. Obedience gives the victory. But he did not want the victory badly enough. He could get the victory. He had a choice. The way of escape was there. He chose not to take it. As God told Cain, “sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain could have mastered it. Swaggart could have mastered it. They both chose not to.
The Bible clearly teaches repeatedly that we have free will. It seems as if Swaggart denies that we have free will and that Christians have no choice when it comes to mortal sin. Such a belief may ease his tortured conscience but it is not Biblical. When Swaggart expressed his sorrow on television he said that the blame is only his, that he accepts the responsibility of his actions. Now he has changed his mind. Now he says that he couldn’t help himself. He had to commit sins of the flesh because the Church had not taught the message of the cross.
If it were as Swaggart suggests, then resisting sin would be futile and following this passage of Holy Scripture would be nothing but a moot point: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God…Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:4, 7-8)
The man was in agony praying over it for five or six years.
So he says. More likely he and his wife were worried about how to keep the millions rolling in and be respected as God’s chosen prophet. Before he fell he used to brag that God called him, and him alone, to reach the world with the Gospel. Arrogant prideful nonsense. One would think he would be humble now, but no, he is a megalomaniac demanding that he is the great end-time apostle to lead the lost Church back to righteousness. How can people be so gullible?
Then the light dawned on him. In 1997 he was 62. That is not “old” – no doubt still had his sex drive.
Yep, he sure did still have it. He got caught with prostitutes in 91 and 95.
But now he was getting the victory over sin. Can you not be happy for him?
Victory over sin? I don’t believe it and don’t see it. He may not be committing sexual sin, or he may be. I don’t’ know and don’t need to know. I see enough other sin right now. His wife fired one of the singers recently cause Jimmy and her were a bit too friendly with each other at practice. I know that if he would have had his way with the prostitute’s under age daughter the police would now have to give legal notification to people in Baton Rouge that a sex offender lives in their neighborhood.
I do know he is a pathological liar and has been guilty of bearing false witness. I know he is teaching false doctrine now. I know he is full of sinful pride and his factious arrogance infects his family. I know the ministry is full of people leading sinful double-minded lives. I know the Swaggarts abuse employees, live in rich luxury, have been guilty of begging money for starving kids and then spent most of it on themselves. Their account manager quit over that. They have printed demonic gang material for money. I could go on and on. Watch the video.
7. You said there is no evidence that JS repented. I say there is every evidence. I see a man struggling, in tears, in prayer, wanting and longing for victory.
Evidence? Why do you believe there is evidence? Because he says that he cried? Because he can work himself up emotionally on the platform? He is an actor. Hear his words: “God told me it is flat none of your business.” Those are his words in 1991 after getting caught by police with a prostitute again. That does not sound like repentance. Repentance means turning from your sin and turning to God. He did not turn from sin and that was proven. I did not see another television scene of repentance. Swaggart continued going to prostitutes for at least seven years after his supposed repentance. If he was longing for victory he would obey what Jesus told the rich man, “Go and sell all that you have…” Swaggart begs for money to feed his extravagant life style. $30,000 dollar per year membership in a country club! Does he need that? He has a facade of repentance and he is using it effectively to fool you and many others. Watch the video and see and hear the facts and then tell me you think he has repented. Listen to this short audio of testimony of how Swaggart can turn the tears on and off as the need arises:
Here he is writing in his Colossians commentary: p 225
“However, concerning the initial Salvation experience, I have always preached the Cross and preached it strongly. As a result, we have seen literally hundreds of thousands brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But during this time, as strongly as I preached the Cross regarding the initial Salvation experience, I had little knowledge as to the part the Cross plays in our everyday walk before God. As a result. I suffered greatly. When Paul speaks of frustrating the Grace of God by one`s own efforts and works (Gal.2:21), I know exactly what the Apostle means. It was not done deliberately; however, a wrong direction, no matter how sincere it may be travelled upon, is still a wrong direction and cannot come out to a right conclusion…………I cried to the Lord almost day and night asking Him to give me the answer to this dilemma. How can the Believer live an overcoming, victorious, Christian life?
OBEDIENCE! That is how! Don’t go to prostitutes!
How can we overcome sin in every capacity? How can we throw off the powers of darkness which seem to be so strong, so strong that we are not able to overcome them?” ………………………
Swaggart insists that as a Christian he found it impossible to overcome sin. That contradicts God’s word. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) and 1 Co 10:13 says that God, “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…”God’s Word says in many places that we can resist, that there is a way of escape, and that we are able to overcome. Swaggart says we are not able. Who will you believe, God or Swaggart?
Page 252 ……” I was crying to Him almost day and night, and continually with tears, “Lord, show me the way! Lord give me the answer!” 1 don’t know why it took so long, perhaps the reasons are many and varied. But irrespective, the answer did come, and when it came, it came in such a glorious way as to defy all description.”
Here comes the actor Jimmy Swaggart again with his tears. He tells a dramatic story and that’s all it is. He was excited to find another way to deceive and make people think he has found a great truth that will deliver him and the whole Church. I have news. The whole Church was not drowning in sin as he was and they are not now. They are obeying and that’s what he failed to do, but he could have.
p 337……….”In my own personal life, and this is so very, very important, I am observing the Holy Spirit working as never before. This is all because of this Revelation of the Cross, which has shown me where my Victory is, and in totality. Consequently, and by His Grace, I walk today in such a Victory as I have never known before, a Victory incidentally so glorious that it defies description; a Victory so all-encompassing that I really don’t have words to describe this of which I feel and which is happening; a Victory so complete that it could only be brought about by Christ; a Victory incidentally, which was purchased in full at the Cross of Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago. I can only shout “Oh happy day! “Oh happy day!” “Oh happy day!”
What an act! He has a “happy day!” Yes, a financial one! He has victory? So why then is he still bilking money from poor widows to support his rich lifestyle? Why is he teaching false doctrine? Why is he and his whole family so arrogant? Why are his ministry leaders setting such a poor example? Why did Donnie divorce his wife and marry a 5-time divorcee in the church, and then divorce her? Why is he saying the whole Church is of the devil and he alone has the true Gospel? Why did they print the demonic posters? Why did he object to going to Central America to preach and complain, “Oh, those people don’t have any money!” You need to stop listening to Swaggart’s lies and start researching the facts. Watch the video all the way through and get the facts!
I put it to you that here is a man, like I said, in tears, seeking an answer to his struggle with sin in his Christian life.
That is just his story. Tears, tears, tears. Show me righteous living and Biblical doctrine. It’s not there. Actions speak louder than words and his actions have not shown repentance.
Of course he has repented!
Why? Because he said he cried crocodile tears? Of course he has not repented! I have proven that.
And he is seeking answers! And he gets them,
He is seeking money and adoration. And he gets them!
and is experiencing victory in his life and is happy because he is doing so and wants to share what he has learned with others.
Sadly, no. He is not having victory. He is no doubt happy with his millions, but he is sinning. He is factious and self-condemned. He is a false prophet and we know him by his bad fruit. A good tree does not bear bad fruit. He does not share what he has learned. He sells at great profit what he has concocted from his own mind.
8. You mistakingly thought I was using the “touch not mine anointed” wildcard. I wasn`t. It was nothing to do with that, and I wouldn`t have done that.
I have not mistakenly thought it. We will have to agree to disagree on that. I am pointing out Jimmy’s false doctrine, that his deeds have not been in keeping with repentance and his lack of Biblical qualifications to be a minister of the Gospel. In the course of that you warn that by so doing I am insulting the blood of Christ and that I should be careful. That is pulling the touch not God’s anointed card, but in a very ingenious round-about way. I need have no fear for exposing false teaching and bad fruit in a false prophet’s life.
What I WAS saying was that if JS has repented (which I believe there is every evidence that he has, see above) and therefore the Blood of Jesus Christ has washed his every sin (as the Lord promised) then I would advise you to tread very carefully, because, as in the illustration I gave, the lady said that the woman was not on trial but the Blood of Christ.
You apparently have not read closely what I said. Go read it again. The woman was not going to be a minister, but a wife. She sinned before salvation. She was forgiven and there is no Biblical condition for her marrying the man. The people were in error to object. Swaggart, on the other hand, was saved, was a minister, and then went to prostitutes, and then did not repent after he said he did, but continued to go to prostitutes for seven more years and disobeyed the Church authority and rejected their discipline. I quoted the scriptures which show that he no longer is qualified to be a minister of the Gospel. That is the word of God that you are arguing with. To continue to listen to his teaching and accept him as a minister is disobedience to the Scripture.
So I have nothing to “tread careful” about. I am stating what the requirement of scripture is. I am not saying that Jesus can’t forgive Swaggart if he repents. I am not saying anything against the blood of Christ. He can be forgiven if, and only if, he is truly repentant. Not sorry, but repentant. There is a difference. Actually it is Swaggart who has sinned against the blood of Christ. When he went to prostitutes he was sinning willfully and thus he trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified (See Hebrews 10:26-31) It is Jimmy Swaggart and his followers who need to be concerned about treading carefully.
What I AM saying is, that if you are wrong, and if he HAS repented and the Lord HAS forgiven him, then be careful, for it has all been cleansed and removed as far as the east is from the west. I would not like to be the one to cast doubt upon what the Lord has done. That is all I am saying.
I hope he has repented, but the evidence is not there. If he has repented then he should be accepted as a Christian brother, but not as a minister, as he has disqualified himself for that roll. It is you who should be careful. God’s word has warned you that he is disqualified as a minister and that applies whether he has repented or not. Thus you should not sit under his teaching. The Word of God says such men need to be silenced. By listening and supporting and defending him you have put yourself in league with a false prophet. Tread careful my friend.
Please read Titus 1:5-11,16 and 1 Timothy 3:2-10.Jimmy Swaggart is not above reproach, is accused of rebellion, is pugnacious and factious, he is fond of sordid gain, he is teaching things he should not teach for the sake of sordid gain, he does not have a good reputation with those outside the Church, he is double-tongued, and he has been tested and failed. On many levels he fails to meet the scriptural requirements for being a pastor or deacon. His ministering has nothing to do with whether or not he has repented. He is not qualified Biblically and he teaches false doctrine. I pray for Jimmy Swaggart and hope he will be saved, but he cannot be a pastor, and I pray even more for the thousands he leads astray into confusion.
At the risk of being redundant, I remind you again that after his confession of repentance in 1988 he was caught again in 1991 and told his church “God told me it is flat none of your business.” He was caught again by the police in 1995. All the while he is playing preacher while going to prostitutes. Again and again. So when did he repent? After publically preaching and publically getting caught in a mortal sin for a second and third time, why did he not publicly confess his repentance as he did in 1988? It never happened.
Jimmy has proven he can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. He must show his repentance by his life and he has failed to do so. I am reminded of what John the Baptist said to the Pharisees who pretended repentance: “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” (Matthew 3:7) That is what Swaggart needs to do; bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
9. When I give a statement and quote JS that refutes what you have said, you then say, oh it`s double speak. Apparently JS can`t win either way! I put it to you that it is not double-speak but what he is saying consistently by television, radio and books.
If it was consistent you would have a point. When he says opposite things and different times, that is a concern. That is not consistency. That is the exact definition of double-speak or being double-tongued. If you could prove that he did not say what he says when I quote him, that would be one thing, or if you could show that he retracted his statement and corrected it, that would be substantive, but you have done none of that.
A perfect example: Donnie Swaggart said on television that if don’t speak in tongues you are not saved. The very next week he said that such is not the case. But what he did not do, was correct himself and say that he misspoke or was in error the previous week. He simply left both statements standing and his father does the exact same thing. Yes, you are right, he can’t win either way because he tries to have it both ways. He has to retract his false statements and clarify that those things he taught before he no longer supports. But he has not done that. When has Swaggart ever said that he was wrong for claiming “more light than the church has previously known,” and teaching the Church is of the devil and that the Holy Spirit and God the Father have a body and live on Planet Heaven somewhere to the North? No retractions, not once, not ever.
10. Just out of interest. If someone came to you and said they are a Christian but are struggling to get the victory in their life, maybe over a besetting sin, what would be your advice to them?
Glad you asked. One thing I would not do is just tell them to go have faith in the cross and all will be well. As a pastor, I would encourage them to come to my office for some counseling on the matter. If it was a female, my wife would be there as well. My response would vary depending on what the sin was and I would follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in what I said or did not say. If it was a mortal sin, such as going to prostitutes, I would read them Hebrews 10:26-27, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment…” and James 4:8, “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded,” and other such scriptures. I would right the reference down for them and tell them to read those passages daily so that next time they are tempted they will remember to fear the Lord. I would lead them in a prayer of repentance to rededicate their life to Christ. I would point them to Psalms 51 and teach them to pray it: “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord…”
If it was, as you mentioned, a besetting sin, not a continual willful mortal sin, then my approach would be milder. I might begin as follows:
There is a great book that has many tips on how to deal with overcoming sin and I highly recommend it. It’s called the Bible. That book will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from that book. Read it daily. I would point out James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed,” and then I would lead them in a prayer of repentance and then assure them of forgiveness with 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I would probably lay hands on them and pray over them sometime during our talk. God may, at that time, give me a word of prophecy to help them, and if so I would share that insight with them.
After their prayer of confession and repentance, I would emphasize standing on the promise that God is going to “cleanse…from all unrighteousness,” that God is going to give them power to overcome. I would explain how faith is the key to unlocking all the promises and power of God in our lives. I might explain to them about the imputed righteous of Christ, how that God now sees them through the blood of Jesus as if they had never sinned. They are clean and holy in God’s eyes and now they can take heart and “go and sin no more,” and make every effort to stay clean and holy.
I would exhort them from Titus 2:3, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…” that they should exercise self-control and determine to do right. I would point out that the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:23 shows self-control as one of the fruits. I would show them James 1:22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
I would talk about the importance of obedience. Jesus taught if you commit sin you will be a slave to sin. But now, “present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” (Romans 6:19). Slaves don’t get to decide what they do. They do it whether they like it or not because they are a slave. Have the same mindset. Endeavor to persevere in doing good and resisting evil whether you feel like it or not. Determine to be a slave to righteousness! I would encourage them to read the book of James and not be like the man who looks in the mirror and walks away forgetting what he looks like; to heed the Scripture which warns not “become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer.” (James 1:25)
I would talk to them about walking after the Spirit, to listen to the Spirit’s prompting, not to dull their conscience by ignoring that inner voice of the Spirit. I would say this: One of the best ways to overcome sin is to obey the foremost commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (M’t 22:37). How do you do that? When counseling married couples who have lost the fire for each other, I teach them that love is not a feeling, it is action. If they will begin to do the things they would do if they were madly in love with each other, the feelings will follow the action. Buy the flowers, go out of your way to be sweet and do special things for each other. Act like a couple of love birds when you don’t even feel like it. By so doing their first love can be rekindled. Let feelings follow actions instead of letting your feelings determine your action.
I would say, do that same thing with God. You may not feel madly in love with God, but act as though were. Begin each day talking to him. Try to find something every day to do that God would love for you to do. Thrill the heart of God and take joy in pleasing God. If you don’t know what to do, ask Him. Let every day be an adventure in loving God. It won’t be long and the feelings of love for God will be fanned into flame. And being close to God brings a warmth and peace inside that makes your desire for sin evaporate. Then you will be walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Get to know Jesus. He is in you through the Holy Spirit. He wants a living vital relationship with you. Talk to him. Read his words. Walk with him. Pray without ceasing. Understand what He loves and what He hates. Yearn to find out what the will of the Lord is. Endeavor to be like Him and be pleasing to him. Worship Him. Be ready to suffer for Him and rejoice if that happens. Look forward to His return and being with Him in heaven. Contemplate your reward in heaven. It is there where moth and rust cannot take it away.
I would talk about the importance of obeying the scripture and not be “forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some…” (Hebrews 10:25). Church attendance is very important. Every Christian should be a part of a local church where you have a pastor and friends to help you, people you can sit and talk about the Lord with. Being in Sunday School and in the main church service and midweek Bible study are very important. I would mention the importance of good Christian friends. I would talk about how accountability helps. Perhaps set them up with a mentor in the church to meet regularly or perhaps a women’s or men’s group. They need Christian friends in the Church to help with their progress and they need to know that their mentor or friend may be asking how they are coming with their overcoming. Accountability really can help. If the person is married it might be good to get their spouse onboard with the situation.
I would recommend reading Proverbs, one chapter a day. There are 31 chapters, so on the 1st read Chapter one, and so forth. This will give them some common sense and wisdom to avoid ungodly friends and situations that can lead to temptation. I would remind them of the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation.” And tell them to pray that and really plead with God to lead them away from temptation and to do all in their power to cooperate with that and not make bad choices that lead to tempting situations.
I would point out that God often uses suffering to sanctify us. “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin…”(1 Peter 4:1). Also “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” (Hebrews 12:6) I would exhort that self-discipline is less painful that God’s discipline, so discipline thyself.
Now that all just came from the top of my head. The Holy Spirit would lead me to say more, or maybe less, or something different for each person and situation. Good pastors teach things such as these constantly and just by being in church a person will grow in grace if they listen and obey.
11. Why do some people reject the cross?
There are no Christians who reject the cross, though that is what Swaggart often claims. Christians understand Christ’s shed blood on the cross purchased our redemption. What they are rejecting is his false doctrine about the cross.
Here is a segment from the TV program The Message of the Cross” – aired on 5th August 2014. JS is the speaker: “You see, God looks at our faith. He knows that we are in sad shape, to be frank with you.
A Christian does not need to be in “sad shape.” The Word of God says, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1 John 5:18).
What you have now is a bunch of long discourses from sermons, sermonettes or commentary of Jimmy Swaggart where he tries to push his faith-in-the-cross doctrine he has cooked up. Since it is long and rambling and off topic we won’t list all that here, except for a couple of the many points that need correction.
we think when we get saved, we`ll never sin again, we`ll never fail the Lord again, but we find that we do
That is Swaggart’s erroneous statement. If you are in a good Bible believing church you won’t be thinking you will never sin again. The church will be teaching about the two natures and what to expect and how to fight the good fight and overcome “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…” (1 John 2:1)
and now to address the problem, we resort to flesh, every last one does it. We resort to flesh.
Oh nonsense. Every last one does not resort to the flesh. Not if they have been in Church and reading their Bible. If they have then they will know how to deal with temptation.
And if no-one is there to teach us what we are attempting to give you today,
No-one is there to teach? I know Jimmy wants Christians to quit their local church, and if they do, then perhaps no one would be there to teach. But don’t listen to Swaggart. Get into a good Bible believing church and take advantage of all the teaching. Jimmy thinks that if they don’t have him to teach or someone to teach his false doctrine then everyone will go into sin. That is both pompous and ridiculous.
I`ll say it again today, I know what it is……..to be on the other side of that fence, and love God supremely, but depending on self.
Nuts. He was not loving God supremely when he was visiting prostitutes.
And I look at what I have now in Christ,
Yes, let’s look. What does he have? Let’s talk about that. His own jet, which he had to sell after his 1988 sinful disaster.
Million dollar mansions, million dollar furnishings, golden faucets, loads of worldly wealth, a ruined reputation, a package of false doctrines that he sells. What kind of man begs for money from poor widows while wearing a $30,000 Rolex watch and spends $30,000 a year on a country club membership?
And whenever we begin to understand the cross…
One cannot help but notice that Jimmy Swaggart is more in love with his faith-in-the-cross doctrine than he is with Jesus. His personal relationship with Christ appears almost non-existent, if it is there at all. It is all the cross, the cross, the cross. Swaggarites say, “The cross has saved me, the cross has made all the difference, the cross has set me free.” How sad it must make Jesus when he is there wanting to have a relationship with them and they are hornswoggled into Swaggart’s manufactured cross teaching which glorifies the cross more than He who went to the cross.
13. Sanctification by Works – Jimmy Swaggart, Colossians Commentary , p 70
This means that if we attempt to become holy by doing good things, such as a stronger prayer life, faithfulness to Church, the giving of money to the Lord’s work, even though these things within themselves are very good and should be engaged by all Christians; still, if we try to use them to become holy, we in effect pervert their true use, and turn them into works, which God can never condone. By doing these things in this way, we frustrate the Grace of God even as Paul has said.
No, this doesn’t mean that the Christian shouldn’t pray, or fast, or give to the Lord’s work, not at all! It just means that he should not do such things in order to be holy or righteous. He must always understand, that the doing of such things never makes one righteous in any respect. But yet, I’m afraid that’s where most of the Church actually is at the present time — trying to earn something from God in some manner.”
More nonsense. The scripture says, “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous…” (1John 3:7). Jimmy Swaggart is trying to deceive. He says, “If we attempt to become holy by doing good things…we frustrate the grace of God…he should not do such things in order be holy or righteous…doing of such things never makes one righteous in any respect.” What? That begs the question: They why do them at all? Jimmy Swaggart’s teaching here contradicts scripture which says “the one who practices righteousness is righteous.” It is a sad thing that unsuspecting Christians turn to Swaggart for help in overcoming sin while he himself doesn’t have the slightest idea what the scripture really teaches on the matter. He is deceiving so many and I pray for his followers to be set free from his delusions.
Biblical theology on this subject is simply this: None of our good works can save us, only turning to God in repentance and putting faith in Christ saves. We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone. Saving faith changes us and results in works, for “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) We are commanded to do good works and be obedient. “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…” (1 John 2:4). However, it is important to remain humble. Jesus said, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (Luke 17:10). When we do good and stay humble God smiles upon us and we feel the joyful fellowship of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” (John 15:10). God calls us to be holy and that means doing. It means, according to the scripture, being a person who practices righteousness. The one who does that is righteous. That is not my teaching. That is the Word of the Lord.
14. The Cross after Salvation, Jimmy Swaggart, Colossians Commentary, p 92,93
“The fundamental flaw in the thinking of the modern Church is, that it has little understanding at all as to the part the Cross plays in our continued walk before the Lord, actually its involvement in every single thing we do and are in Christ.
Are you noticing that Swaggart likes his own words far more than Holy Scripture? This cross teaching right here is not supported in the Bible and that is why he doesn’t quote any passages to support it. There is nothing in the Bible which says that “faith in the cross” plays any part in overcoming sin. Notice also he blasts the “modern Church” again. It is “fundamentally flawed” in his mind. He hates the Church and is constantly deriding it as of the devil and in corruption. Only he has the true Gospel. How people swallow this malarkey is inconceivable.
In other words, the Church for the most part, presently parks the Cross at the Salvation experience, conducting itself as if its fundamentals are no longer needed after conversion. This is the great mistake, the great misunderstanding, and that which has caused and is causing so many problems in the modern Church.
The Church is right, Swaggart is wrong. He actually thinks he knows more than all the theologians and ministers of the Church of all time, while he, a defrocked preacher with no higher education knows all. Jesus’ shed blood on the cross is what saves us. His going to the cross is something He did. It is not something we do in our minds as Swaggart’s psychobabble says. His blood washes away our sins. “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev 1:5). After or at salvation we come to understand that His blood has cleansed us from all sin, as it is written, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The blood of Christ is a wonderful thing and the Bible mentions it much more than the cross, yet Swaggart barely mentions the blood in comparison to his constant harping about the cross, the cross, the cross. Who do we serve and who is our Lord? The cross of Christ or Christ of the cross? Is it Christianity or Crosstianity?
A lack of proper understanding as it regards the Cross as it pertains to our ongoing Christian experience, falls out to a lack of victory in hearts and lives, sin dominating the Believer, Christians resorting to Law, whether they understand such or not, in fact, the list is almost endless, but all leading to defeat. The only way the Believer can walk in victory, can live in victory, can have victory, which speaks of having this “more abundant life,” and this “rest” of which Jesus spoke (Jn.10:10; Mat. 11:28-30), is to understand the rudiments of the Cross and what it means in our everyday lives. ”
Unfortunately for Swaggart, his assertions do not constitute Biblical proof. He rambles on and on but does not give one scripture passage to support his cross theory. He says, “The only way the believer can walk in victory…is to understand the rudiments of the cross and what it means in our everyday lives.” What is “understanding the rudiments of the cross?” What is that actually supposed to mean anyway? Does anyone even know? Sounds like spiritualized mumbo-jumbo psychobabble. Not one scripture says that such a thing is the only way. There isn’t a scripture that even says that is one of the ways. It all sounds holy and righteous but it is not Biblical. As it is written, “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom…but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” (Col 2:23).
The evidence that his man-made theory does not work is mounting. His own life is full of arrogance and pride which infects others. He lives in sinful luxury while begging for money. He condemns the blood bought Church of our Lord and Savior. Those around him lead worldly lives. His own son, divorces, remarries and divorces and remarries all the while playing pastor just like his dad. Affairs and divorces are rampant in the Church, sinful posters from the print shop, shameful behavior from youth leaders and worship leaders, abuse of employees. I personally know followers of Swaggart, who once they converted to Swaggartism became mean, unloving, arrogant and offensive, insisting that other Christians must convert and “come to the cross.” They became little Jimmy Swaggarts. While imagining themselves finding victory over sin they actually become more sinful. Swaggart’s message of the cross is a failed ideology.
That is me finished. I will leave you, no doubt to reply. I hope I don`t be tempted to answer anymore because it will take too much time, but you never know!
Thank you for the amicable yet lively discussion. You are in my prayers. I pray I have not “become your enemy by telling you the truth.” (Galatians 4:16). I pray you find a good Bible preaching church and become established in it under the leadership of a good pastor. I pray Swaggart has not yet taken that away from you, but I fear he has. I hope to see you in heaven and I pray my words bear fruit in your life and do bring you to a closer walk with our Lord. I am here if I can help further. My desire is to bring people out of bondage and delusion into the marvelous light of Biblical truth.