The national Assemblies of God may impose stricter penalties on television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart than those recommended by a local Louisiana church body, according to well-placed sources within the country's largest Pentecostal denomination. Swaggart, facing suspension from the church on morals charges, could be told to refrain from preaching for a year, rather than the three-month period suggested, according to these sources.

A statement released yesterday by the national organization left no doubt who Swaggart's earthly arbiter would be.

"We must emphasize," it said, "the final decisions regarding the credentials of Jimmy Swaggart will be made in accordance with our constitutional structure at the executive level here in Springfield {Mo.}."

The discipline recommended by the local committee, which could be reviewed by the national board of 13 ministers as early as tomorrow, surprised some ministers around the country. "I've never known such a light decision {on moral charges}," said the Rev. Karl Strader, pastor at the First Assembly of God in Lakeland, Fla., who in the past has had doctrinal disputes with Swaggart.

Several sources noted that at least three of the 19 members of thelocal disciplinary board have close ties to Swaggart's organization, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. The Revs. Cecil Janway, district superintendent, and Forrest Hall, district secretary-treasurer, sit on the ministries' board of directors. The local review board also includes the Rev. James E. Rentz II, a ministries vice president who will assume Swaggart's pastoral duties while he undergoes rehabilitation.

Nothing in the church's bylaws prevents these men from holding dual positions, church officials said.

After reviewing evidence that, according to sources, included a confession from the 52-year-old Swaggart that he paid a prostitute to perform pornographic acts, the local board recommended that Swaggart stop preaching in the United States for at least three months and complete a two-year counseling and rehabilitation program.

The board suggested allowing Swaggart to fulfill commitments to preach overseas, a vital part of his television program, which Swaggart officials say is seen by 510 million people in 145 countries.

Sources said the national review board is likely to look closely at whether Swaggart should be allowed to continue this foreign ministry, as well as whether he should be suspended from the pulpit for one year, the normal punishment for an Assemblies pastor charged with moral misconduct. Board members also will consider whether his TV ministry should be allowed to air reruns of his weekly show during his suspension, they said.

The Rev. Wayne Bentson, a pastor in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a national church leader, said the review board in Springfield will "act more objectively" than the local body "and without as much bias." Swaggart's ministries provide the national church with about $12 million a year, or slightly less than 10 percent of its budget. But, said Bentson, "We have a stake here that is far in excess of what goes into our mission program."

Swaggart has been praised for his cooperation and contrition, but a source close to the executive presbytery and the evangelical movement predicted yesterday that if Swaggart's suspension is extended to a year, "It ain't gonna fly."

This source said he had heard an "unparalleled grass-roots protest" over the three-month suspension. He predicted a stiffer sentence and said, "Then, if Frances {Swaggart} and Jimmy stay in the Assemblies after that, I'll be the most surprised man in America."

William D. Treeby, an attorney for Swaggart, said the evangelist "is cooperating fully" with the church investigation. Asked if that cooperation would continue if the national body exacted a stiffer discipline than what has been proposed, Treeby replied, "We have been going by the book."

Treeby, a member of the Swaggart Ministries' board, which determines Swaggart's salary, said "there is no provision for cutting off the salary" while Swaggart is suspended. Swaggart reported receiving a salary of $86,000 in 1987. He also lives in a house on 20 acres that is valued at $1.5 million and enjoys the use of a Palm Springs, Calif., condominium and a Gulfstream jet owned by the ministry.

Swaggart's absence clearly will be felt by his $150 million ministry, though by how much remained unclear yesterday. Three countries that have state-run broadcasting organizations, South Africa, Jamaica, and Trinidad, announced they were pulling his shows off the air following the recent allegations.

On Monday, Swaggart Ministries assured WDCA-TV, Channel 20, which airs Swaggart's daily and weekly shows in the Washington area, that it had six months of pretaped shows to sell to individual stations around the country. A spokeswoman for WDCA said the station planned to continue airing Swaggart's shows "through the term of the contract"; she declined to say how long the contract was valid.

Swaggart, who initiated the investigation of the sex scandal that removed Jim Bakker from his PTL pulpit, was said to have had a lifelong obsession with pornography and reportedly had been seen along a seedy strip of New Orleans motels known as havens for prostitutes.

The national review board, called the executive presbytery, can be expected to act decisively in the Swaggart case partly because allegations of pornography are painful to a denomination that has been among the leaders of a religious crusade to toughen this country's antipornography laws. Also, the denomination does not relish a repeat of last year's accusations that it moved slowly to discipline Bakker.

Statistics from Assemblies of God headquarters indicate the denomination is taking discipline increasingly seriously. At the end of last year, 55 ordained ministers were undergoing rehabilitation for a variety of offenses, according to the national office, up from 38 in 1986. The denomination has 17,600 ministers.

Fallout from the Swaggart scandal dogged Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson, who said yesterday that charges of Swaggart's sexual misconduct had been known for a few months, but somebody planned the scandal to embarrass him before the Super Tuesday primaries.

Swaggart has endorsed his fellow evangelist, and the two broadcasters have been colleagues and friends. But Robertson, who faced questions about Swaggart at nearly every stop on a bus tour through the South Carolina piedmont country Monday, tried hard to distance himself.

"Jimmy Swaggart's problems won't have any more impact on me than {former senator} Gary Hart had on {Sen.} Bob Dole," he said. After fending off questions about Swaggart all morning, Robertson got angry. "Ask George Bush!" he snapped. "Have you asked him yet about his reaction to it?"

Staff writers Art Harris and T.R. Reid contributed to this report.