By Mark W Swarbrick
What follows below is an answer to someone who follows Swaggart…
I will summarize what I understand your points to be:
- You believe Swaggart does not claim his teaching is new, it is only new to the Church at this moment in time.
- That by the word “revelation” Swaggart only means he saw something in scripture that the Holy Spirit helped him understand.
- That the apostles taught Jimmy’s cross doctrine but the church got away from it after the apostles.
- Jimmy Swaggart is not claiming that his message was hidden in the Bible and that he is the only one in two thousand years to see this in the Bible
To begin, let me reiterate – Please read the articles and watch the videos on my website:
What I am writing to you is duplicate effort. I am happy to do it if I can help you. What I say here is also on the site, so please read that and be sure to watch the video, The Swaggart Seduction. I suggest you begin with a prayer for the Lord to lead you into all truth. Mishel McCumber, former web master for Swaggart, tells how her journey out of delusion came about…
“My journey out of deception began with a prayer, an innocuous prayer that hardly seemed life changing in its scope. In fact, at the time, it hardly seemed much of anything at all. ‘Dear Lord,” I prayed, “if I am believing any lies in my life, or am deceived in any areas of my Christian life and what I believe, can you show me? I want your Truth at all costs, even if knowing it destroys my entire world. Oh, and I mean it Lord, even if part of me doesn’t and is scarred.’ That was the prayer; the prayer that changed my world and set me free. In retrospect, it was a silly child-like prayer, but God honored it.”
Her website has good information on these topics as well, http://deceptionbytes.com/category/jsm/
You allege that Swaggart doesn’t claim to get his revelation from God, but that he merely got it from the reading the scripture and received enlightenment from the Holy Spirit as any Christian does. There are several problems with that premise, as follows:
- Swaggart’s revelation is not in the Bible, so how could he have gotten that out of the Bible? Swaggart’s message is basically, put your faith in the cross, rather than in Jesus, as the rest of the church does. When you boil it down that is the difference. And the message, “Put your faith in the cross alone” as Swaggart teaches, is not in the Bible at all.
- How could Swaggart’s revelation be in the Bible when Paul lived sinfully because he did not understand the cross? That is what Swaggart teaches. Here are the quotes again: “the Apostle Paul couldn’t live for God…he failed again and again…not understanding the cross of Christ…no one else at that time understood the cross.” (Expositor’s Study Bible, Commentary on Romans Chapter 7). Open up your Jimmy Swaggart Bible and read it. He specifically says that Paul did not understand the cross and neither did anyone else at that time. What a nutty thing to say. But the fact remains, that is what Jimmy says. Now Romans was written ten years after Paul started planting churches. If Swaggart believes that Paul didn’t understand the cross when he wrote Romans, then how could Swaggart get his message of the cross from Paul? He could not have.Your interpretation of Chapter 7 is correct, that Paul was just saying he was not perfect, that we all must bring our bodies under subjection as Paul taught and press on toward the mark of our high calling in Jesus. However Swaggart makes more out of that than there is. Swaggart claims that Paul lived a defeated sinful life because he did not understand the cross.
- If Swaggart’s message is in the Bible, then where is that teaching in Church history? It is not there. I have read widely of the early church fathers and down through the ages. Swaggart’s message is not there. So Swaggart is the only one in two thousand years to discover what is in the Bible? Swaggart says his cross teaching “is the gospel.” Well then, so Swaggart is the only one in two thousand years to understand the gospel? Come one! That is just insane arrogance. Surely you don’t want to let yourself believe something so cockeyed.
- Swaggart does not claim to have gotten it from Scripture. His wife claims that for him. Jimmy says he got it from God. That said, I do not doubt that he also often claims he got it from the Bible. The problem is that he also says he got it as a word from God by divine special revelation. He just claims that the Bible happens to agree with his revelation. This is the double-speak I mentioned before. Why do you think that cult watch groups all over the country are taking issue with his statements?
- If the true gospel was lost after the 1st century, which seems to be what you allege, then why would he choose as a last-day apostle a man who spent twenty years chasing prostitutes while at the same time hypocritically preaching the gospel? Even after his public repentance he was caught again with prostitutes in ‘91 and ‘95. The Bible says a minister must be above reproach by those in and outside of the church. “And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church…” (2 Tim 3:7). Swaggart no longer has a good reputation. Like Esau, Swaggart has sold his birthright. He can be saved if he has repented, (I emphasis ‘IF’ because repentance means turning from your sin) but he no longer has the qualifications to be a deacon or pastor as specified in scripture. Do you really know Swaggart’s history? Watch the video, The Swaggart Seduction. It is here: http://www.christiananswerman.com/christian-answer-man-videos/
Jesus warned that false prophets would be known by their fruits. (M’t 7:16) Have you put Swaggart to the test that Jesus commands? Have you examined his fruits? Do you know of his arrogant attacks against others? Do you know of the shady land deals, the law suits, the fraud, the printing of demonic and gang material, the plagiarism and defamation he was found guilty of in a court of law? Have you studied his background? Do you think God would choose a man who wanted to have sex with a 12 year old girl? Are you aware Frances was only 15 when they married? No 15 year-old child is ready for marriage. Don’t you think God would choose someone with more self-discipline? Do you really think God would choose someone who is a multi-millionaire? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. I also remind you of the scriptural admonitions, “I wrote to you not to associatewith any so-called brother if he is an immoral person…not even to eat with such a one…Do you not judge those who are within the church?” (1Co 56:11-12). Listening to their teaching is worse than eating with them.
But I digress. Back to the nature of Swaggart’s revelation. Here is Frances’ quote:
“He was sharing with the people The Revelation of the Cross that was given to him by God, as well as another word from the Lord given to him in 1992. Notice he states that the Lord gave him ‘more light than the Church had previously known; he DOES NOT SAY that the Lord gave him more light than Paul had known, or more light than God had given to Paul. It’s seriously sad to have to say that some wannabe apologists have written blogs and/or articles, accusing my husband of saying that he was given a revelation greater than Paul’s. As we have just explained, this was just not correct. No, my husband has not said that this Revelation of the New Covenant was greater than Paul’s. And no, his Revelation is not separate from the Bible.”
That is what Frances said. Let’s look close. In reference to Jimmy’s revelation, she says, “…was given to him by God, as well as another word from the Lord given to him in 1992.” This is not how people talk if they understood something in scripture. They don’t say it was given to them by God. They say the saw it in the scripture and they can expound it or teach it, but to call it a “word from the Lord” and “given to him by God,” and “the Lord explained to me, even in graphic detail,” is language that implies that it was received by divine revelation. And as you know, Swaggart uses this kind of talk over and over in his writings. You want to say he only had an epiphany, a moment in which he understood something in the Bible in a very clear way, but that is not what Swaggart claims. He claims a revelation, not an epiphany. He does not use the word epiphany. He could have but he did not. He calls it a revelation again and again. He says he got it from God and his wife quotes his words. He is caught by his words and he tries very hard to squirm away from them, but he cannot escape what he has said.
More Light Statement
Frances says, “He DOES NOT SAY that the Lord gave him more light than Paul.” Well, he absolutely did say that and I quote, “But I honestly think, in His explaining this Revelation to me, that He gave me more light than the Church has previously known as it regards this all-important subject.” Notice he states that the Lord gave him “more light than the Church has previously known.” Study on that. The Church has been around for a couple thousand years. The Church is comprised of all saints living and dead. He specifically uses the word “previously.” He did not say the Church now, or the Church today, he said “than the Church has previously known.” So, that includes all Christians. More light than all Christian scholars and theologians and martyrs. More than all the apostles, thus more than Paul. Add to that Swaggart’s statements in the Expositor’s Bible that the Apostle Paul did not understand the cross and that really clinches it.
HIDDEN IN SCRIPTURE
You said that Jimmy Swaggart is not claiming that his message was hidden in the Bible and that Swaggart is not claiming that he is the only one in two thousand years to see this in the Bible. Well, who else in two thousand years saw it? Where is it in the history of the Church? It is not to be found. The only conclusion can be then is that Swaggart is claiming that no one since the first century discovered this. And of course, such a postition is preposterous. It is the same outlandish claim that all cults make.
Your summary statement, which you claim is Swaggart’s message, is a mixture of truth and error. Your statement, “Salvation is through what Christ did on the Cross for us – and nothing else. Not in our good works.” That is 99 percent correct. To say it more accurate it should be, “Salvation is through repentance and faith in Christ – and nothing else, not in our good works. He paid the price for our salvation with his shed blood and death on the cross.” The difference is subtle but important. We don’t put our primary faith in an action. An action is a thing, it is not a person. We put our primary faith in Christ. Jesus Christ is a person, our Lord, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We put our faith primarily in Him, and then what He did on the cross avails to us. The difference is between a Biblical and living relationship with the a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the main focus, or simply belief in a thing, a doctrine of man, being the central focus. The former is life giving salvation, the latter dead dogma.
Your next statement is not exactly correct: “That Sanctification is through what Christ did on the Cross for us – and nothing else. Not in our self-efforts…” Nowhere does the Bible teach that we are ONLY sanctified by Christ’s sacrifice. More accurately, the Bible teaches we are sanctified by Christ, not by faith in the cross alone: “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (1Co 6:11)
Being sanctified in Christ by faith in Him includes his shed blood on the cross. Christ encompasses the cross. The cross does not encompass Christ. It is Jesus who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Jesus, not the cross, not faith in the cross. It is faith in Jesus. When you have Jesus you have everything, including the cross. You cannot have the cross without first submitting to Jesus as Lord.
Sanctification has two parts. An immediate instantaneous sanctification occurs at the moment of salvation. Then we are imputed the righteousness of Christ and are born again with the Spirit of Christ in us. The second part of sanctification is progressive. It is a work of the Holy Spirit but it also requires our cooperation. The Bible teaches as we make effort to draw near to God he will draw near to us and our sanctification proceeds as we “work out or salvation in fear and trembling” through prayer, self-discipline, fellowship, Bible reading, etc.
I am repeating what I have already taught, so please take a look at my article on this subject at
That article explains sanctification further. I appreciate your well thought-out replies, though I don’t agree with your conclusions. If I could have your first name it would make praying for you a bit easier. God bless,