SMITH WIGGLESWORTH: EXALTED BY PENTECOSTALS
When one becomes a Christian, IF one has any “heroes of the faith” besides the Lord Jesus Christ, one should simply quit reading and researching. Otherwise, there’s a fairly good chance that one will have to confront with Scripture what these exalted men have said.
And there’s no reconciling the ungodly and the Word of God. Which is basically why this writer has had to throw away almost every book in his library which had the word “Christian” printed somewhere on the cover.
Looking through the books (we had every one) of Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), there’s no denying the many disturbing things the man–a hero to many Christians due to the numerous claimed healings and his slogan of “Only believe!”–said.
He was sometimes called the “Apostle of Faith” by his followers.
Having lately looked into the Plymouth Brethren and what issued forth from that movement, Wigglesworth came to mind. It was remembered that Smith Wigglesworth claimed a close fellowship and studied the Bible with the Plymouth Brethren.
Which might explain why Wiggleworth was so unBiblical in his pronouncements.
Of the hundreds of Wigglesworth declarations and statements that could be examined and compared to Scripture, let’s look at a few. These are not the worst nor are they the most egregious: they were merely the easiest to find.
THE “APOSTLE OF FAITH” ON FAITH
When asked how one was to achieve faith, Wigglesworth gave various answers.
None of them were Scriptural.
“Now, listen, here is the answer to that: First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Faith must grow by soil, moisture, and exercise.”
—Smith Wigglesworth (also quoted in Smith Wigglesworth – A Life Ablaze With The Power Of God, William Hacking, Harrison House, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1972)
“How is faith received? By acting on that which you have. If you act with what you have, your faith will be increased. You can never increase faith until you act.”
—Smith Wigglesworth – A Life Ablaze With The Power Of God, Hacking, p. 71
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
“I want you to understand that after the trials, after all the temptations and everything, Jesus comes out more full of God, more clothed in the Spirit, more ready for the fight.”
–‘The Place of Power’, June 1916, reprinted in ‘The Anointing of His Spirit’, p.146 – Quoted in Smith Wigglesworth: The Facts
“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
As with the faith healers of today, if a sick person did not receive a healing, it was their fault. The sick person not only remained sick, he or she was accused of having no faith, the wrong kind of faith or not enough faith.
On one occasion Wigglesworth declared to the sick “I’ll only pray for you once, to pray twice is unbelief.” The second night, a man approached the altar to receive prayer again and Wigglesworth, recognizing him, said “Didn’t I pray for you last night? You are full of unbelief, get off this platform!
–Julian Wilson, Wigglesworth The Complete Story: A New Biography Of The ‘Apostle Of Faith’ Smith Wigglesworth (Biblica, 2004) page 82-3.
Is “praying twice” a sign of “unbelief?”
Jesus prayed three times in Gethsemane over whether the “cup might not pass away from me.” [Matthew 26:38-44]
Was this a sign of unbelief? Paul prayed three times over a “thorn in the flesh.” [2 Corinthians 12:8-9] Was this unbelief? [NOTE: These were not rote prayers or “vain repetitions.”]
Jesus taught to importune (keep asking) God through prayer.
“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
—Luke 18:1-7 – (h/t:JP)
To one dear woman who came to him in the healing line for prayer, he [Wigglesworth] said, “What’s the matter with you?”
“It’s my heart,” she replied.
“Weren’t you here for prayer yesterday?”
“Well, what’s the matter now?”
Giving her a gentle push, he said, “Go away with you, woman, and believe God. There’s nothing the matter with your heart. It’s your faith.”
—Smith Wigglesworth – A Life Ablaze With The Power Of God, Hacking, p. 45
Yet Wigglesworth suffered from gallstones and Sciata.
It was claimed that Wigglesworth raised the dead more than once. Unfortunately for Wigglesworth’s adherents, this was never documented. Modern Word/Faith preachers also claim to raise the dead.
Again, it is never documented.
What has been documented:
His daughter was deaf from birth.
His son died of a childhood illness.
His wife died, while young, from illness.
Mary Boddy, the woman who laid hands on Wigglesworth when he was ‘baptized in the Spirit’ spent the last sixteen years of her life as an invalid.
Smith Wigglesworth has been called a prophet. About a 1936 Wigglesworth prophecy:
Wigglesworth prophesied a mighty restoration of the gifts of the Spirit and revival to start before the end of the twentieth Century
“Australia you have been chosen by God for a great move of the Holy Spirit. This move of God will be the greatest move of God ever known in mankind’s history and will start towards the end of the 20th century and move into the 21st century. This move of God will start a great revival in Australia, spread throughout the whole world and usher in the second coming of Jesus. This will be the final revival before the coming of the Lord.”
–Letter (on file) from ‘Catch the Fire Ministries’, 2011 – quoted in Smith Wigglesworth: The Facts
However, the Bible doesn’t speak of an end days revival. Quite the opposite.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
—2 Thessalonians 2:3
There’s more, much more. But the reader who is interested in knowing the truth; who has an hour or so and an Internet connection (or a collection of Wigglesworth books) can do their own digging. It does take some time. It’s suspected that not all will not be pleased with what they discover.
One consolation: once one gets started comparing the words of men with Scripture, the time goes faster.
Smith Wigglesworth was a man. Admittedly, he often claimed powers through his anointing or belief beyond normal men, but more often, others claimed these powers in his name. Much of what he preached is being preached today in the Word Faith movement. Smith Wigglesworth made many unscriptural claims and statements during his ministry.
His acolytes called him the “Apostle of Faith.”
Those who choose to look a little deeper into the ungodly statements the man made might have another label.
“Apostle of Apostasy.”
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
—2 Corinthians 11:13-15
[Much of this article originally appeared in End Times Prophecy Headlines: March 26, 2014.]
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
—1 Corinthians 1:18-19
- Religious Leaders, Religious Systems, Churches: What does the Bible Say?
- Do You Know if You are Going to Heaven? Be Sure!
- BEWARE: Deception in the Churches!
- Indignant and Offended: Real Christians do Not Dismiss God’s Word
- Satan and the Bible: The Dragon Tries to Discredit God’s Word
- Workers of Iniquity: Deceiving and Deceived
- Deceived and Deceiving, part 2
by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier
images: wikimedia commons/pd
© Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report, 2012-15. © Mondo Frazier and End Times Prophecy Report, DBKP 2007-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Link Disclaimer: inclusion of links to other blogs/websites is not necessarily an endorsement of all content posted in those blogs/websites.