Smith Wigglesworth?


Anyone heard of him? An evangelical friend of mine said he was going to give me a book of this man’s sermons and it would ‘change my life’. Apparently he was a ‘healing minister’ in the early-mid 1900’s and raised a person from the dead.

My friend believes he is being called as a healing minister and is looking to this man as a type of ‘spiritual mentor’.

I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on Wigglesworth if you’ve heard of him.


Hi Elzee

Smith Wigglesworth taught errors concerning santification. He believed in what today is called "permanent perfection"
which means one does live a perfect life like Jesus without commiting any sins at all. He had a methodist background among others and took christian perfection doctrine of John Wesley way too far. Two proof texts to expect are: 1 John 3: 9 and John 15:7,16

1 Jn 3:9

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth (permanently) in him (spirit, soul and body): and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

If you read better translations, the “cannot sin” part means simply one who is born of the Spirit does not make a practice of a sinful life style. It does not mean that one can not sin at all, otherwise I John 1:8-10 makes no sense at all.

Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947) was a famous Pentecostal evangelist and faith healer. Many books have been written about his unusual life. He was converted in a Methodist church, confirmed as an Anglican, and as a young man was associated with the Salvation Army and Plymouth Brethren. In 1907 he claimed that he was “baptised in the Holy Spirit” after hands were laid on him by Mary Boddy, who alleged to have had a Pentecostal experience only a month prior to that. Mrs. Boddy believed in the doctrine of healing in the atonement, but she spent the last sixteen years of her life as an invalid. Wigglesworth, too, believed that physical healing is guaranteed in the atonement of Christ. He taught against the use of all medicine. He believed that signs and wonders should always follow the preaching of the Gospel. He taught that a Christian can be justified and sanctified but still not have everything necessary from God. “People are never safe until they are baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Wigglesworth, “The Place of Power,” June 1916, reprinted in The Anointing of His Spirit, p. 151). He taught that handkerchiefs which are prayed over will bring life if carried in faith to the sick (The Anointing of His Spirit, p. 231). He taught:** “Jesus came to set us free from sin, to free us from sickness, so that we should go forth in the power of the Spirit and minister to the needy, sick, and afflicted”** (Wigglesworth, “Divine Life Brings Divine Health,” Pentecostal Evangel, Jan. 17, 1942). He claimed that the Christian has the power to speak things into existence: “God declares, ‘You have an anointing.’ Believe God and you will see this happen. What you say will come to pass. Speak the word and the bound shall be free, the sick shall be healed” (Wigglesworth, “Power from on High,” Pentecostal Evangel, May 27, 1944).

In spite of his teaching that God promises perfect physical wholeness and that the Christian can operate in the same sign gifts that Christ exhibited, very few of those who sought Wigglesworth’s healing ministrations were ever healed. His own wife died a mere six years after he became a Pentecostal, and his son died two years after that. His daughter, who assisted in his meetings, was never healed of her deafness. For three years Wigglesworth himself suffered with gallstones.

see link for more of his errors

also, he may have taught that Jesus had a sin nature and was reborn in hell between his death and resurrection. He may have been misquoted to support this view or may have taught it himself


For all his errors he was a good man and a man of prayer.

He used to say “I never pray for longer than 15 minutes but I never let 15 minutes pass without praying”.

And God moved through his ministry. Then again, many UK pentecostals do look at the man through very rose-tinted spectacles and over idolise (to use the word in a more secular sense) him.

Let’s face it, unless your teaching is 100% in line with the Catholic Church it contains error. But there can still be much good there.


Face this, God is going to judge you by the word of God that is written in the Bible, not man made docterines and traditions.


You are under the mistaken notion that the Word of God is written down in Scripture ONLY. Untrue, my friend. If you take the classical definition of the meaning of “Word” in relation to God, you’ll see that the “word” they’re describing is everything that God intended, created, desired, longed-for, in relations to His created beings, which is humankind.

For the prophets in the Old Testament, to John the Baptist, to Christ himself, yes, they relied on the Word of God, but not only in written form, but in the revelations given to him by God. Christ IS the Word, and He came to fulfill the Word of God. Christ entrusted God’s Word to men, in the form of His Church.

If you knock down and ignore the traditions HELD by man, but not created by them, but by God and Christ, you’re selling yourself short.


That’s another topic for another thread if you’d like to start one - and although it’s very tempting to respond - to keep from derailing my own thread - do you know anything about Smith Wigglesworth?

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