Dr. W. Noble King
This document consists of
notes taken by students who attended Dr. King's class at Bethany Nazarene
College. The notes therefore reflect student response to Dr. King's lectures
and do not necessarily represent fully or accurately his thought in all
THE USE OF TERMS WITH REGARD TO CHRISTIAN PERFECTION.
There are many terms that refer to a second benefit, blessing, or experience in the Christian life. Some of those terms are biblical and some non-biblical. Some are definite in meaning and some are not definite in meaning. The definite terms may have an indefinite meaning read into them, and the indefinite terms may have definite meaning read into them. Some of the terms are:
"A second benefit"; "a deeper experience"; "the higher life"; "the life of faith"; "rest with God"; "full assurance"; "the fullness of the blessing"; "filled with the Spirit". These terms could refer to regeneration, to entire sanctification, to character development, or to achievement in the realm of faith beyond personal experience.
"Christian, or evangelical, holiness"; "entire sanctification"; "heart purity"; "perfect love"; "the Pentecostal baptism with the Spirit". These last five terms primarily refer to a second crisis that, as long as it is retained, leaves the heart and life completely changed. We are now going to deal with these five at this time.
(1) Christian, or Evangelical, Holiness.
When the term holy is used with regard to God, it embraces every attribute of His entire being. In this complete sense, God alone is holy: "Thou only art holy"; "Holy Father"; "Thy holy child Jesus"; "the Holy Spirit". Thus, the members of the Trinity are holy in their entire beings.
When the term holy is used with regard to the angels, it is used in a more restricted sense. They are not unlimited in wisdom, goodness, and power, etc. But, they are absolutely free from any taint of sin and live in a sinless order. In this sense, they are called "holy angels".
When the term holy is used with regard to redeemed men and women in heaven, it is used with a more restricted meaning than with regard to the Trinity and possibly also than with regard to angels. Those men and women are not perfect in knowledge, goodness, and power, etc. They are probably growing in grace and in character development, and are redeemed from sin. Those people are conceded by all to be holy beings.
When the term holy is used with regard to men and women on earth, it refers to freedom from sin in the heart. It is at heart a moral word. It thus has reference to a pure state of heart. All sin is removed from the heart, and the heart intentions are right in the sight of God: "holy brethren," "holy women". These are Bible applications. They are not holy, as God is holy, as angels and men in heaven, in a sinless environment, are holy; but they are holy in heart.
Thus, men are made holy in heart, and then they find themselves journeying to heaven on the highway of holiness. "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those, the wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there; nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon. It shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there" (Isa. 35:8f).
Undoubtedly, the lions and the ravenous beasts have reference to the carnal passions of the soul. These are all gone and the holy in heart journey to heaven on the holy way.
(2) Heart Purity.
Purity of heart does not refer to heart intention or heart motives merely. When one is saved, he has a new heart, or a new spiritual nature but his heart or spiritual nature is un-cleansed.
Heart purity refers to that definite cleansing of his heart or the "center and seat of his affectional nature". The center, or soul, or heart is cleansed from all moral defilement. Paul, in writing to Titus (2:14) said, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people." In writing to Timothy, Paul also said, "now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart" (1 Tim 1:5).
The prophecy was that Godís people were to be cleansed; "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver" (Mal. 3:3a,b). Peter states its fulfillment: "And God, which knoweth the heart, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9). Christian people are urged to obtain this heart experience: "Let us go on unto perfection."
(3) Perfect Love.
A vessel has first to be emptied and cleansed before it can be filled perfectly with another perfect element. Without that purging, there would be a mixed state. The vessel is first emptied, then filled.
This filling of the cleansed heart is the end of the commandment of God to man: "Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us ... herein is our love made perfect ... there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: ... He that feareth not is made perfect in love" (1 John 4:12-18).
This perfection of love casts out all fear relative to the judgment. Isaiah had a tormenting fear that drove him out of the presence of God before his lips were purged. After they were purged he moved into the very presence of God and was at home in that presence. We then have boldness in the Day of Judgment.
(4) Sanctification, or Entire Sanctification.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). A regenerated man is sanctified in part; but here those people were to be sanctified wholly or entirely. Paul uses entire sanctification and holiness synonymously: "To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints" (1 Thess. 3:13).
Although sanctification is a synonym for holiness and may be used interchangeably with it, yet it is more easily defined. The dictionary gives the following meaning: "To separate, to set apart, to appoint to a holy, sacred, or religious use. To purify, to prepare for divine service, and for partaking of divine things; to cleanse from affections from the world and its defilements and exalting them to a supreme love to God." There, you have cleansing, purity, and perfect love in the root meaning of the Greek word from which sanctification comes.
It takes all of those aspects to give us the full-orbed meaning of the word sanctification. To separate and set apart does not do it. They belong to regeneration, or partial sanctification. Add to the term cleansing, purity, and perfect love and you have the full-orbed Bible meaning of the term sanctification.
(5) The Baptism with the Spirit.
There are many possible baptisms and releases of the Spirit upon one. For example, some time after Pentecost, when the disciples were in dire need, they got together and prayed. This is what we read: "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they spake the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31). That had nothing to do with the Pentecostal baptism that cleansed the heart. It was not a crisis in heart-life.
The Pentecostal baptism that cleanses the heart is effected by the Holy Ghost; is procured [by] the blood, and we are the recipients. "Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 15:16); "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb 12:13). Believers are the ones thus baptized with water, this is according to prophecy: "For John truly baptized with water: But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence: (Acts 1:5; 19: 4). That prophecy was fulfilled: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:4a). "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9). That is what the Pentecostal Baptism with the Spirit does to the soul.
Thus, Christian Holiness, Heart Purity, Perfect Love, Entire Sanctification, and the Pentecostal Baptism with the Holy Ghost all refer to different aspects of the self-same work of grace in the heart of man.
To this experience
we are urged to go forward. The heart of man is then
JUSTIFICATION IN RELATION TO ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION.
"Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope and glory of God" (Rom 5:1-2).
The Bible (Old and New Testament alike) reveals the fact that every person, on reaching the age of responsible accountability, stands in need of the saving grace of God. Such cases as Jeremiah and John the Baptist do not necessarily form an exception.
God did say to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee ... I knew thee and before thou came forth ... I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer.1: 5). That does not mean that Jeremiah was an active prophet to the nations before he was born or even had existence. It means that in the foreknowledge of God he was to be a saved and sanctified prophet of God to the nations provided he obeyed God.
When the Bible says that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost before he was born, it does not mean he was regenerated with a cleansed heart and endued with power. It merely means that God was with him and was going to protect him in a special way until he reached the years of understanding so that he could get saved and sanctified by faith and then enter into his Holy Ghost ministry in a special way.
In this same sense Judas could be said to have been sanctified and ordained to be an apostle. He was called by Christ and called by God. That was Godís blueprint for his life. He disobeyed and failed the plan of God for his life. Jeremiah and John the Baptist could have done the same and forfeited the plan of God for their lives, but they obeyed and their sanctification became operative.
Thus at birth every one is a lost member of a lost race with his face turned away from God and his heart-bent set toward evil. The distance between himself and God tends to be increased and his heart bent towards evil tends to be confirmed.
Not until we are justified by faith do we have peace with God. "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God."
Justification is pardon or forgiveness. It is that governed mental act of Godís grace absolving the penitent sinner from all past guilt and removing the penalty of violated law. He is in a second, just at the throne of God having been made just by being justified by faith.
God pardons all of his sins and remits the punishment that they deserve in the eternal world and receives him into favor and fellowship with himself and treats him as though he had not sinned. He has peace with God.
As long as he retains that experience he cannot sin. That is, he cannot sin as a justified man. "Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God." That is, he cannot sin as a justified person when he sins consciously. Before the sin is committed, when he gives his consent to it, he loses his justification and sins as a sinner.
The moment we are made just in the sight of God, God adopts us into his family. The moment we are justified that moment we are adopted into Godís family.
Believers may then look up and say, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." We are then all brothers and sisters in Christ and God is our Father. That is the only kind of "brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God" that the Bible teaches.
Not only so but we are then heirs with Christ of all that God the Fatheróour Fatheróhas. "And if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and heirs with Christ" (Rom 8:17). "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son and if a son then an heir of God through Christ" (Gal. 4:7). Thus our adoption takes place in heaven simultaneously with our justification at the bar of judgment within the throne.
Not only are we justified and adopted in Heaven above, but we are regenerated within. We are born again, quickened by the spirit, and made new creatures in Christ Jesus. Regeneration is thus a work of grace upon or within our very souls. It takes place in us.
Regeneration does not consist in religious rites, ceremonies, Christian ethics, standards or doctrinal views. These may exist measurably in an unregenerated life. Life viewed externally may have a very slender margin between regeneration and non-regeneration.
Viewed internally however there is all the difference between death and the active life. Internally one is dead spiritually and the other is a living, loving, pulsating spiritual creature. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). Thus in the new birth we are regenerated within and adopted into the family of God and justified at the throne of grace.
The truly justified have peace with God, but they do not have settled peace within their hearts.
We do not get rid of "the old man," "indwelling sin," "the besetting sin." or the "root of bitterness" when we are born of the Spirit or regenerated. These are carry-overs from our original lost estate. To the Galatian church Paul wrote: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal 5:17). The physical does not war against the Spirit. Jesusí physical nature did not. The Flesh refers to the old carnal nature that does war against the spiritual nature within. In his Roman letter Paul expressed it thus: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that do I" (Rom. 7:19). (Dr. King further explains this under the carnal nature further along in this paper -- JR.)
This state of things creates a despair within for a something better. "Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24a). "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips" (Isa. 6:5b). "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5:6). Thus the truly regenerated heart longs to get rid of a something within.
Many incentives are held out to such a person: "Let us go on unto perfection". "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8), "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Rom. 6:6). ". . . put off . . . the old man" (Eph. 4:22). ". . . purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9). ". . . cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). ". . . made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom 8:2). "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph.5: 18). Thus the twin possibilities of heart cleansing and heart filling are held out in front of the regenerated as incentive to go on.
Now let us return to our starting point. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom, we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand . . . (Rom. 5:1.2). We entered into the experience of justification by Christ (by faith). Now by the same door, we enter into the second experience: " . . . By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand [this second experience of grace], and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Just as the wilderness was a stepping stone to Canaan, so regeneration is a stepping stone to the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
THE CARNAL NATURE.
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7; see vss. 6-10).
Physical pain is a misery that faces us. It forces us to acknowledge that there is something radically wrong with us and that causes us to seek a remedy if one can be procured.
Mental pain is a misery that drives many a hardened criminal to surrender himself to the law knowing that when he surrenders, death will be his just measure of punishment. That mental misery seems to be stronger than his love for life itself.
Spiritual misery or soul conviction is brought about in the heart of man by the operations of the Spirit of God. This spiritual misery seems to include and to eclipse both physical and mental misery. When the person in the process of redemption is forgiven, he then becomes keenly conscious of the fact that the cause of his soul misery lies deep within his own heart.
Hence let us notice that the carnal nature, the basic cause of this soul misery is a carry over from the old life of transgression into the new regenerated life.
In regeneration we are forgiven back to the innocence of childhood as far as actual transgressions are concerned and instantaneously with that forgiveness, we pass from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life. Regeneration is thus a perfect and a complete work of grace within its own God-appointed sphere. That is, we are forgiven for every sin ever committed and remade spiritually alive in Christ Jesus.
In the very instant of our regeneration all of the graces of the Spirit, necessary to our new life in God that we ever will have are implanted in us at once: "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23). In entire sanctification we necessarily receive numerically no more. Whoever receives one such grace relative to regeneration receives them all, for they are all linked together (we do not here refer to the special gift or the spirit such as healing, discerning of spirits, etc. These may be given at regeneration or after regeneration, at entire sanctification or after entire sanctification; they may be given for a special situation and lifted when that situation is removed, or they may be measurably retained after grace is lost altogether.
Christian perfection, entire sanctification or heart holiness has its beginning in the work of regeneration. This is what Paul meant when he said: "perfecting holiness in the fear of God". 2 Cor. 7:1b. That is, it was begun in regeneration. Thus regeneration is the commencement of purification and entire sanctification is the completion of purification.
The old carnal nature is thus a carry-over from the old life of transgression into the new life of grace. Lazarus was called from death and stepped forth alive, but bound. In a second crisis his fetters were removed and he was fully free. At first he was partially free and then later he was fully free.
Regeneration is thus a mixed state of heart. There is the carnal nature and the new spiritual nature in it. They exist in the same soul without combination for there is no such thing as adulterated holiness. One nature pulls down and the other nature pulls up. They have no fellowship and nothing in common, save their places of abodeóthe human heart. Ishmael and Isaac were in the same house and forever antagonistic in that home. In this sense the heart-state is mixed.
Although there are two natures in the regenerated heart, yet the carnal does not reign. Wesley declared "Inbred Sin may exist where it does not reign." This mixed state of heart in regeneration is the tenor of the Scriptures and the voice of theology with few and weak exceptions.
The carnal nature is not only a carry-over from the old life of transgression but in essence it is enmity against God. "Because the carnal nature is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). Enmity against God is the carnal nature and the carnal nature is enmity against God.
It is called "the old man," but that is a figurative expression. It is not a person that can be cast out like Jesus cast devils out; neither is it a personal faculty that may be amputated like a leg may be amputated. Rather it is an uncleanness, a disease, that contaminates every faculty of personality including the self or soul.
This is what we call total depravity, no one faculty is completely ruined by it, but every faculty is diseased to the extent that it has a natural bias against God. It is then an inward spiritual pollution that must be purified, cleansed, or purged by the refining fire of the Holy Ghost.
A cancer may smite certain faculties and leave some unimpaired. This octopus-like disease fastens itself on every faculty of the soul including the soul itself. It is thus a positive operative principle, pervading manís entire moral nature.
It is not subject to the law of God. The law of God is pure love out of a cleansed heart. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, mind and strength and thy neighbor as thyself." That is the summation of the whole moral law of God to man. The carnal nature is not subject to that law. That is, it crosses it in one stroke. Elsewhere the Bible says: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty [in the whole law] of all." The carnal nature so offends by crossing the law of love. Hence the carnal soul is in a condemned state.
The old carnal nature is not only a carry-over from the life of transgression, and is in essence enmity against God, but its abode is in the human soul.
Sometimes the word "flesh" is used in the New Testament to refer to the physical body, sometimes to the desire of the physical body and of the mind (legitimate or otherwise), and sometimes to the carnal mind. When Paul said, "but ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:9), he self-evidently meant the old carnal nature. They were in the physical but not possessed of the carnal nature. Hence Paul said that they were not in the flesh but in the Spirit. Elsewhere he said: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh" (Gal. 5:17). There you have the warfare, between the two natures in the soul of man. The regenerated life exists in a carnal soul and then after entire sanctification that new life exists in a purified soul, the soul or heart is the abode of both natures.
The Old and New Testaments place the abode of the carnal nature in the heart of man.
In Matt 15:19-20a, Jesus places the trouble in the heart of man: "For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man".
In Gal 5:19-21, Paul places the trouble in the heart of man: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like."
In the Old Testament,
Jeremiah 17:9,10 placed the trouble in the heart of man. "The heart
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according
to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." The heart
of course refers to the seat and center of the affectional nature or the
The fact, to which we referred at the beginning of this study, creates the soul misery. Isaiah gave expression to that soul pain when he said: "Woe is me! For I am undone" (Isa. 6:5). Paul voiced it when he wrote: "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?"
The devil himself is the show-window product of what the carnal nature or that body of death will do in a created spirit, when given opportunity to express itself and given time to develop. The result is a character irrevocably vile and desperately wicked and doomed to eternal woe.
From a faith like that God reaches down through the riven vale or the torn side of Christ to rescue us.
"If we walk in the light [just as we have it] the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin."
LIFE-LINE CONTAMINATION. Read Ps. 51:1-2.
Ps. 51:2: "Wash me
throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin."
The purpose and aim of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring unsaved men and women to Christ, to repentance for pardon. Then later to cleanse their hearts from all moral defilement by the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. After these two works of redemptive power have been effected in their hearts, they are to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).
Parents who have already entered into those two experiences of grace and are growing in grace therein have children born to them that are unsaved. This fact is true according to the Scriptures and human experiences. Some people wonder how it is that some parents do not have children born to them with pure hearts, as the hearts of their parents are pure. We are now to deal with that very problem.
First, therefore, let us notice that we are smitten in our hearts (the centers and seat of our affectional natures) by this moral evil at the very moment of the beginning of our individual lives. "Behold, I was formed in iniquity, and in sin was I given Being."
Physical death entered the racial life-line by sin. We read "where as in Adam all died". Undoubtedly, physical death is primarily referred to here. Adamís desire for that which was denied him terminated in death. "Then lust when it hath conceived bringeth forth sin and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death" (spiritual as well as physical).
Furthermore, sanctified parents are not removed from this world the moment they are sanctified. Sanctified people are to live sanctified lives in a sin-cursed social order. ". . . we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life" (Luke 1:74b-75). In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus prayed that his disciples be sanctified and then left in the world.
Furthermore, when one enters into the "fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ", physical death is not lifted. The sanctified child of God in the normal flow of events will die; is liable to pain and sickness and the accompanying evils. The blessings of heart purity do not remove such; no one expects it to.
Being smitten with this moral evil at the very beginning of our individual lives we find it vitally and immediately connected with the social life stream or the life-line itself.
Moral evil in the heart enters the heart from a contaminated racial blood stream or life-line. From this contaminated life-line physical death originated. Thus physical death and racial moral evil both lie as deeply implanted in the race as the principle of life itself.
To the end of time that life-line will not be purged of that contamination that eventuates in physical death and heart defilement.
As each individual buds on that racial life-line, he is smitten with that double malady, physical death and spiritual death. As a result, we have moral heart evil.
When the individual seeks God he is made alive spiritually, then when he seeks God for heart purity and secures it, the principle of spiritual death is removed from his soul, but not physical death and its accompaniments.
This life-line of which we have been speaking is in a measure synonymous with our modern term heredity. The term life-line is more embracing than the term heredity, but they are similar.
Here, we shall say, is a man and woman who have been married ten years, during which time three children were born to them; then both were saved, and immediately thereafter were sanctified; then afterward three other children were born to them.
Now, no one expects the second three children to differ from the first three as far as hereditary characteristics are concerned. Neither do we expect the second three to escape physical death and its accompanying evils.
Why then should anyone expect the second three to be born with pure hearts, as far as the carnal nature is concerned? Carnality buds from the contaminated life-line. If moral contamination were removed from the life-line, physical death and its accompanying evils would also be removed. If we do not expect one to be removed (physical death) why should we expect the other to be removed (i.e., carnal nature in the heart of man)?
Adam incurred the guilt of the whole law of God in that he did something that he knew he should not do. He became carnal by an act of disobedience. We incur the guilt of the whole law of God in that we retain something that we know we should not retain. Both alike are guilty before God as each stands for himself. Why blame Adam? What was lost in Adam was made up in Christ; so no one can blame anyone but himself if the principle of death is still in his soul.
Now permit me to summarize:
Physical death is the fruit of racial sin and is a type of spiritual death which is also a result of racial sins.
Both racial death and racial sin spring from a contaminated life-line and are a matter of hereditary beyond the influence of the actions of any person.
Thus, when parents are sanctified wholly, that does not lift hereditary or racial characteristics. Hence their children will die physically and will have to be made alive spiritually.
The man Christ Jesus made up for us what we lost in Adamís fall. Each therefore stands for himself and for himself alone in this respect. God said to Adam, "thou shalt not eat of it." He disobeyed and became a carnal sinner. God says to us: "If you walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin." Adam became by disobeying, we remain by disobeying.
REGENERATION AND SANCTIFICATION ARE NOT IDENTICAL WORKS OF GRACE.
1 Cor 3:11: "For other foundation can no man lay than which is lain which is Jesus Christ."
John 17:19: "And for their sakes I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truth."
Terms relative to Christian experience.
It is regrettable that there is misunderstanding with regard to the meaning of the great redemptive words of the Bible dealing with man's personal salvation. This misunderstanding of terms prevails in certain quarters with regard to all Bible terms and doctrine but especially with regard to regeneration and entire sanctification.
Within the Bible there are those groups of textural statements that cannot possibly refer to the same group at the same time; nor yet to the same individual at the same time. Let us notice the three groups in order.
The first group deals with rebels against God. Rebels, who if they do not repent in heart and turn from their wicked ways are doomed to destruction. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5). "He that being often reproved and hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy" (Prov 29:1). "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:2-3).
The second group of scriptures does not refer to the unrepentant who are doomed to destruction but to those who have repented who are in Christ but are declared to be babes in Christ. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Cor 3:1-3). "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe" (Heb. 5:12-13). "But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of" (Luke 9:55). Thus we have carnal-hearted babes in Christ who are going backwards in heart because they have an un-Christ-like spirit.
The third group of scriptures does not refer to carnal-hearted babes in Christ, but to spiritual-hearted men and women in Christ. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1); "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (1 Thess. 4:7). The call is to holiness and holy brethren are partakers of that call. "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us" (John 17:17a); "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11); "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14). Thus we have holy brethren who have partaken of the call to holiness and are one in heart with each other, with Christ. and with God. This oneness is affected by the fact that the Sanctifier has sanctified them.
By no flight of the imagination or interpretation of scriptures can those three typical groups of scripture refer to one group of people or to one person at the same time or two groups or two persons at the same moment in time. They refer to three: the lost, the regenerated, and the sanctified holy. Not only are the meanings of terms sometimes confused, but the experiences themselves, in doctrinal statement at least, are often confused. For example, there are those who hold that at the very moment a person is regenerated he is also sanctified holy. As soon as any one is justified, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit dwell in his heart, and in that moment his heart is as pure as it ever will be, on earth or in heaven. (Zinzendorff -- Wesley, vol.3, p.222).
If people are both saved and sanctified holy in the act of regeneration, than two or three of the following conclusions would have to be correct:
The first is that the moment people are saved, they should testify that they are both saved and sanctified holy. That testimony would have to be correct for such would be their experience, this they cannot do with a clear conscience for they know that their hearts are impure. Hence that conclusion cannot be granted.
The second is that regeneration itself would have to be denied until the heart was purified, that is, regeneration would not be claimed until entire sanctification was experienced, for any stirring of the old carnal nature in the heart would prove that one is unsaved. Such is not the case, for the definitely saved man has the witness of the Spirit in his heart that he is saved. Hence, that second conclusion cannot be granted.
The third is that the
doctrine of entire sanctification would have to be denied altogether if
our hearts are made as pure as they ever will be in the act of regeneration.
Thus the old carnal nature would have to be carried into heaven itself
by the believers. This third conclusion will have to be denied.
The scriptures do set forth a second benefit for the child of God and urges the regenerated to press on to it.
It is the declared will of God and the expressed purpose of the atonement. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:3a; "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb. 13:12). Both of these verses were spoken with regard to Christian people, referring to a second benefit.
It is the commission of Christian ministers to urge people to go on and to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God" (Heb. 6:1); "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess 5:23). Again both of these verses were spoken with regard to Christian people, not merely stating a second benefit or crises, but urging them to go on and to possess it.
The limits of salvation and purification in regeneration were set by Jesus himself: "Except ye be converted and become as little children". "Now ye are clean through the word I have spoken unto you." There we are forgiven back to the innocency of childhood and a cleansing of the life and outward acts accompanies that forgiveness. These belong to regeneration.
Thus just before Pentecost Jesus prayed and said, "Sanctify them through thy truth and thy word is truth." Then after Pentecost, with regard to the answer of that prayer, Peter said, "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9).
Thus there is for the new creatures in Christ forgiveness back to the innocency of childhood and a cleansing relative to that forgiveness. These are connected with regeneration. Then there is the second cleansing confined to the heart in the second experience.
In as much as terms are often confused and doctrinal statements and definitions are often unclear, it might be well to notice a few fundamental and experimental differences between the two works of grace:
Justification is a regeneration in the heart of man, a reformation in the life of man, and a governmental act that takes place in heaven outwardly, and his name is written in the Lambís book of life up above.
Entire sanctification is a further definite cleansing in the heart of man. It can only take place after the spiritual nature has been made alive in Christ Jesus and this can only take place in the regenerated.
In Justification the matter of transgression is settled. Anyone who lives in the commission of sin is a sinner. for "He that committeth sin is of the Devil." It is not great sins, or small sins, many or few, but "He that committeth sin is of the Devil". "We know that whoever is born of God sinneth not," and "whosoever abideth in him sinneth not." In this, the committing of sin and the not committing of sin, those who are the children of God and those of the Devil are manifested.
In entire sanctification the root of sin or the original principle of sin in the heart is removed. Before conversion, transgressions flowed from that principle of evil. Now in entire sanctification, that principle of evil is itself destroyed. "All the duties of the Christian as they are written in the Bible are just as binding in the justified as they are on the entirely sanctified." (Wood, Purity and Maturity, p. 127). Hence in the external life there is no difference in the two experiences, but a world of difference in the heart. In one, the heart is unclean and in the other it is clean.
Justification assures our adoption into the Family of God and thus effects our son-ship and heir-ship. We are taken out of Egypt and out of the world. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
Entire sanctification takes the Egypt out of the heart and the world out of the heart and gives us a heart meekness or fitness for an eternal inheritance and fellowship with the saints in the eternal world.
Justification is an instantaneous work of grace. It is perfect and complete in its own field. All who are justified are fully and freely justified. Thus it has no degrees.
Sanctification has degrees. In justification we are partially sanctified and in entire sanctification we are fully sanctified as far as transgressions and original sin are concerned. Each work is a perfect work in its own sphere and both together constitute a perfect work as far as complete redemption from all sin is concerned. Thus each is a perfect work in its own field and each is an instantaneous work. The two experiences together constitute a perfect deliverance from the old man of sin, which is bound in the first work and cast out in the second. We then have:
"And heart in every
REGENERATION AND ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION ARE NOT IDENTICAL WORKS OF GRACE.
Reading: 1 Thess 1:1-9.
Heb 6:1 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God"
The command is to go on to perfection, not in the direction of it. The thought is to attain it, so that the foundation of Christian experience (repentance) will not have to be re-laid and regenerated faith reestablished. A person is commanded to go on so that the twin foundation -- heart repentance and heart faith -- does not have to be constantly repeated or reenacted.
Heart perfection or entire sanctification is not an experience that keeps one in jitters or on any high nervous tension for fear he has not got it (when tested by extreme standards) or will lose it, if he has got it or can not keep it if he has got it. It is a reaping and establishing grace that makes the Christian life a constant and victorious life.
Entire sanctification is an experience more easily lived than is the regenerated experience alone. The inward foe is gone. We can walk through the fiery furnace un-singed and enter the lionís den undaunted in heart, whereas in regeneration alone we might be pretty badly singed, and pretty well scarred.
The poet who did not believe in present heart purity gave voice to his belief in the following lines:
"And none O Lord have
The Bible takes issue with the poet rather sharply. "For we which have believed do enter into rest (Heb. 4:3). "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Heb.4:9). "How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? . . . Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, . . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Rom. 6: 2-22). There is rest in this life and there is freedom from the principle of sin in this life. The result is heart holiness and the end everlasting life.
" A heart in every
Let us trace this second work in the New Testament and hence observe that this second work is not identical with the first work. In doing so we shall leave the Apostle and Pentecost out, as we shall deal with them secondly.
It is presented by the Apostle immediately after Pentecost as a second work. Peter said, "Repent, . . . and ye shall [after you have repented and received remission of sins] receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise [of the purging Holy Ghost] is unto you [that generation] . . . and to all that are afar off [all following generations], even as many as the lord our God shall call [Called to regeneration and who have heeded the call]" (Acts 2:38-39).
The mongrel Samaritans rejected Jesus Christ in no uncertain way. After Pentecost Phillip went down and preached and many of them were converted, and the power of God was present to heal and to cast out devils (Acts 8:5-12). The Jerusalem Church heard about their conversion and sent down Peter and John to further preach to them, and they received the Holy Ghost as a Pentecostal Baptism as a second work.
Saul, the blasphemer, surrendered on the road to Damascus. He said," Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He was told, "Arise and go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do" (Acts 9:6a). "For I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a witness, both of those things which thou hast seen, and the things in which I shall appear unto thee" Acts 26:13-18). God does not address a sinner that way. Ananias later placed his hands upon him and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hast sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 9: 17). He was already a brother, and as a brother he was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Cornelius is described, as a genuinely converted man. He was a devout man. He feared God. He gave alms. He prayed to God always. Those four qualities were approved by God. "Thy prayers and thy alms are come up before as a memorial before God" (Acts 10:4b). When Peter arrived and preached the Holy Ghost fell. "And as I began to speak the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. . . . When they heard these things they held their peace, and glorified God saying, Then hath God also granted to the Gentiles repentance" (Acts 11:15-18). Later Peter said, "And God . . . put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8,9). Their State was the same, their need was the same, the gift was the same, and the results were the same -- heart purity.
Paul in opening his letter to the Romans addressed them as saved people. He said they were, "The called of Christ Jesus," and "Beloved of God." Yet they were not established in heart perfection, "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established" (Rom. 1:11). He wrote to them of the crucifixion of self and sin and said, "For to be carnally minded is death . . .; Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:6-7. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24). Later he wrote to them: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and perfect and acceptable will of God" (Rom. 12; 1-2). They already knew that "this is the will of God, even your Sanctification" (1 Thess.4:3).
The members of the Corinthian Church were "in Christ," and at the same time carnal-hearted. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [-hearted], but as carnal [-hearted]. even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men?" (1 Cor. 3:1-3). Paul then preached unto them the grace of heart holiness, or Christian perfection. "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness from the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1). A little further on he said, "And this we also wish, even your perfection" (2 Cor. 13:9).
The members of the Ephesian Church were also saved people. (1) They were called the saints at Ephesus; (2) The faithful in Christ Jesus; (3) Grace from God the father was said to be theirs; (4) They were blessed with blessings and in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:1-4). Paul later visited them and said, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" They informed him that they did not know that there was such a second experience. That is, what they actually meant by their statement, "We have not so much heard that there be a Holy Ghost. "Paul prayed for them and the Holy Ghost came as a second experience" (Acts 19:1-17).
The members of the Thessalonian Church were saved people. (1) They were in God the father; (2) They were in Christ the Son. Less than six months after they were converted, Paul urged them to go on into entire sanctification. "For this the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3). "Later he prayed and said, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:22-23).
The people described in the Hebrew letter were Christians, but spiritual babes: "For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe" (Heb. 5:13). Then said the writer, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God" (Heb. 6:1).
Thus Peterís post-pentecostal statement to the Hebrew world was two works of grace: repentance and then the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
Paulís commission from God, direct to the gentile world, was in two works of grace: "forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified" (Acts 26:18).
Two definite works of grace are revealed in the prayer life of both Jesus and Paul.
Jesus brought this out clearly in his high priestly prayer. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through the truth: thy word is truth. . . . Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:16-20). There Jesus prayed for his disciples and for all following believers, that they all be sanctified after they were saved believers.
Paul prayed with intense earnestness, that the believing Thessalonians, be sanctified wholly: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). Adam Clark informs us that all of the Pauline Epistles with the exception of one climaxes with an ardent prayer for the sanctification of the believers to whom the particular epistle is addressed.
Do you believe in God? Then you must believe in holiness, for He is a Holy God. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Then you must believe in holiness, for He is called Thy Holy Child Jesus. Do you believe in the Spirit of God? Then you must believe in holiness, for he is called the Holy Spirit. Do you believe in the Bible? Then you must believe in holiness, for it is called the Holy Bible. Do you believe that man fell into sin? Then you must believe in holiness, for that must have been the position from which he fell or else he did not fall at all. Do you believe that man can be redeemed? Then you must believe in holiness, for he is not redeemed from sin until such is his experience. Do you believe that God is stronger than the devil? Then you must believe in holiness, should they be able to destroy the works of the devil.
Heart Purity is definitely promised to those definitely seeking it. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt.5:6). "But my God shall supply all your need" (Phil. 4:19). When? "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13).
THE DISCIPLES BEFORE AND AFTER
The contents from chapter
13 to 18 of St. Johnís Gospel were uttered by Jesus Christ within a very
brief few hours of time. [In his sermon, The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus,
Dr. King said it was no more than five hours and probably not much less
Jesus, then arose from the table and laid aside his outer garment and then girded himself and washed His disciplesí feet.
Jesus then resumed His place at the table and taught them, as recorded in Chapters 13 to 16. He then lifted his eyes up to Heaven, and said, "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee." Then followed his high priestly prayer, as recorded in the 17th chapter of St. John.
That prayer naturally falls into two major divisions. From verse one through five it deals with the glorification of the Father, and of the Son. Then from verse six to the end of the chapter it deals with the sanctification of those then present, and those who would believe through their word. "And for their sakes, I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17;19-20). Thus Jesus prayed not only that his disciples be sanctified, but that all believers of all subsequent times be sanctified and made holy in heart.
Jesus prayed earnestly that a group of people be sanctified or be made holy in heart who showed every evidence of living clearly justified lives.
Their names were written down in Heaven itself, "Not withstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20).
They were not of the world and they were hated by the world. "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).
They belonged both to Christ and God in the special sense of redemption. "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them" (John 17:9-10).
Thus they were not lost; sinners are, but they are not. "Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them are lost, but the son of perdition" (John 17:12).
They had received a commission to preach throughout the entire world. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, . . . to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:19-20).
During their special ministry they had cast out demons, and the seventy returned again with joy saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name" (Luke 10:17).
They were continually in the temple, during the period between the ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were "praising and blessing God" (Luke 24:53).
They had prayed for ten days with one accord in an upper room while waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).
It is impossible to hold any other position than that those men were regenerated men -- saved men.
Any break in their relationship with Christ which might have occurred around the crucifixion was all fixed up, as they spent the intermission between the resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit in praising and blessing God and in prayer.
Notice further certain indications of heart-life that necessitated a second work of grace.
They were carnally sectarian in Spirit. "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followed not us" (Luke 9:49). That is not a vital reason for condemnation -- "because he followed not us." He was probably one of the seventy who had been commissioned by Christ. He did it in Christís name to the glory of God. Their real trouble appeared to have been jealousy.
They were vindictive in Spirit. "And when . . . James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them . . .? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what Spirit ye are of" (Luke 9:54-55). There was a carnal kickback in their hearts when they were repulsed.
They were possessed of a carnal self-seeking Spirit, to be in a position to lord it over others, "They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. . . And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John" (Mark 10:37-41).
They were also possessed
of a carnal compromising Spirit. "They all forsook him, and fled."
This attitude had back of it a man-fearing spirit.
They were a wonderful group of men and yet inconsistent in that those carnal weaknesses were constantly appearing. One moment they were giants and the next moment they were children.
After Pentecost all those carnal weaknesses were removed: carnal sectarianism, carnal vindictiveness in spirit, carnal self-seeking, carnal man -fearing, and carnal self-centered impetuosity.
Notice then what happened
to them at Pentecost of permanence in the sense that it remained with them
as a constant evidence of that Pentecostal baptism:
(2) Their cleansed hearts were filled with the person of the Holy Ghost. "He dwelleth with you [in regeneration], and shall be in you [after Pentecost] (John 14:17b). His Spirit "beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:16): a direct personal witness of Sprit to spirit, with nothing between.
(3) When the Spirit cleanses the heart and moves inside, that heart is filled with the unmixed love of God. "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, in and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. . . . Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:12-17). "That they may be all one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee" (John 17:21).
Those three characteristics. i.e., heart cleansing, a heart filled with the Holy Spirit, and Spirit witness with spirit, must accompany every experience of Pentecostal baptism with the Holy Ghost.
Other characteristics of a less definite nature also occurred. They are:
(1) Boldness to speak the word of God and without fear and with no favor. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
(2) They were steadfast and grounded in life and doctrine. "And they continued steadfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
This was Pentecost for them and this is Pentecost for us, nothing short of those three first characteristics will do.
Pentecost stripped of its denominational setting, and its historic perceptiveness is just the same today -- heart purity, perfect love, spirit witness.
THE TIME ELEMENT IN THE TWO WORKS OF GRACE.
Reading; Acts 19:1-7.
Sin in the heart of man is the basic tragedy expressing itself externally in sinful actions called transgressions. Cut a tree down but, leave the stump and that stump will produce saplings yearly that have to be attended to. Remove the stump and there will be no more saplings.
Man is held responsible for those heart-shoots or saplings, such as cursing, lying, stealing, uncleanness, murder, etc. Such a person should pray "God be merciful to me a sinner." Both God and man hold him responsible for those actions.
Solomon further said: "The heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Eccl. 8:11b). Paul wrote the Corinthian Church or Christians and said: "Ye are yet carnal" (1 Cor. 3:3a). Jesus said to his disciples, after their names were written in heaven but before Pentecost, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of" (Luke 9:55).
There we have a heart set to do evil; a carnal heart, a heart possessed with a hateful spirit -- of all for that matter, possessed by Christian people. The first sapling is the work of man, the second, is the work of the devil. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1;29b). "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8b). Thus transgressions are the work of evil men and must be pardoned or forgiven. The carnal nature in the heart is the work of the devil and must be purged or destroyed.
The Bible never brings this heart-cleansing Spiritís baptism before regeneration, nor yet at regeneration, but after regeneration has been effected.
In Jesusí Upper Room and High Priestly prayer, this fact is revealed. He said: "I pray not for the world" (John 17:9b), that is, unsaved worldlings. Earlier in His address, when speaking of the Holy Spirit, He said: "Whom the world can not receive" (John 14:17). Hence unsaved people cannot receive this Spirit.
In the same address and prayer Jesus said: "I pray for them" (John 17:9), referring to His disciples. He also said that they were "out of the world" (John 17:6). And "not of the world" (John 17;16). "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20).
First they were to become saved believers and then they were to receive the Spirit in His fullness. This order was to continue until the end of time." But for them also that shall believe on me through their word."
First, therefore, let us notice that the Bible sets no time period that must elapse between the two experiences; other than that entire sanctification is after regeneration.
Regeneration and entire
sanctification are taught by symbol in the crossing of the Red Sea and
then the later crossing of the River Jordan
In the second place, therefore, let us notice that whatever time period there is, is necessitated by man and not by God.
Man cannot be in two places at once and meet two diametrically opposite conditions at once. The Israelites could not cross the sea and the Jordan at the same instant of time. They had to pass from one to the other. The disciples had to surrender to the person of the Christ before He could order them to the upper room.
A sinner is a rebel against God and must surrender of his own will unconditionally in faith before he is resurrected from a state of spiritual death, then that spiritually alive person consecrates himself unconditionally in faith for the blessing and he receives it. Before he can do the second he must be made alive, as a dead person cannot act. In the second the spiritually alive person dies to self. A dead person must be made alive before he can die again. This calls for at least some time.
There is a time period from conviction to regeneration necessitated by man as well as a time period from regeneration to entire sanctification. "Dead in trespasses and sins."
The Spirit of God operates on the soul that is "dead in trespasses and sins." The person thus awakened realizes that he must "flee the wrath to come." He breaks with the old associates and with sinful habits and thenceforth walks with God.
Nahum realized that he had to cooperate with God before he could be healed of his leprosy. The length of time in that process depended upon the light that he or they had and their willingness to walk in it.
There is also a human approach to the work of entire sanctification. We are told to "Shun the very appearance of evil, and to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We must also consecrate ourselves body soul and spirit forever. This takes time.
Again, the length of time between regeneration and entire sanctification depends on the light one has and his willingness to walk in that light. In fact, the length of time one prays at the altar for the experience depends more on his disobedience and unwillingness to believe, than it does on his obedience and willingness to believe God.
The Bible seems to infer that the shorter the time period between the two experiences the better.
In Mosesí day, when the Israelites transgressed, Moses offered the trespass offering and immediately thereafter offered the sin offering. Those two typify regeneration and entire sanctification.
In Peterís thinking after Pentecost the two experiences were not to be far apart:óthe remissions of sins and [then] . . . the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
In the thinking of the leaders of the early church at Jerusalem the two experiences were not to be far apart. When they heard that Samaria had received the word they at once sent down Peter and John that they might receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:5-15).
As soon as Paul reached the Ephesians believers he urged them to go on at once and did not ask them how long they had been believers (Acts 19:1-7).
The Thessalonian believers were saved from raw heathenism and within six months after, Paul was urging them in prayerful earnestness to go on at once into the second experience (1 Thess.3:3; 5:23-24).
[NOTE: Dr. King said, "I myself was saved on a Saturday night and the next day, mid-afternoon, I was sanctified wholly and have retained the experience ever sense."]
In the third place, therefore, let us notice that the moment a man crosses the necessary time period for him, that moment God sanctifies him wholly.
There is a gradual approach to physical death. In few persons is the time approach of the same length; one may die of old age, or be shot through the brain in youth In any case, the article of death is instantaneous in spite of the varied approach.
So also with the experience of entire sanctification. When a man crosses the time span for him, God instantly sanctifies. The entire Trinity and all the resources of redemption enter into the work.
The first cause is the Holy Father, "To them that are sanctified by God the father and preserved in Jesus Christ and called" (Jude 1).
The procuring cause is the Holy Son, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, That he might sanctify it and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Eph.5: 25-26).
The efficient cause is the Holy Spirit, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the father through sanctification of the Spirit" (1 Peter 1:2).
The determining cause is the Divine will, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:10).
The meritorious cause
is the sacrifice of Jesus: "that he might sanctify the people with his
own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb. 13:12).
The conditional cause is faith in Christ: "To open their eyes ,and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the powers of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18).
From a divine viewpoint God undoubtedly could save and sanctify a soul at one moment of time and in one work of grace. With regard to children dying in infancy he does that very thing.
From the human viewpoint that is impossible. The free moral agent must himself meet conditions and pass from the sea to the Jordan. When he does so God will instantly split the Jordan.
One should pass over Jordan as quickly as possible when his regeneration- love is arduous and glorious. This in part seems to be the Biblical emphasis with regard to the time-element.
Texts: 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 13:12.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calleth you who also will do it."
"Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered with out the gate."
The term sanctification and its derivatives are variously used in the Bible. However, the various uses of those terms are merely steps leading us unerringly to one great central meaning. We are now to deal with those steps and with the one central meaning.
First, let us notice the word "sanctify" as it is used ceremoniously and symbolically.
Creation-Sabbath was said to be sanctified. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it" (Gen.2:3). Redemptive-Sabbath was also sanctified: "in the seventh day there shall be there shall be an holy convocation to you (Exod. 12:16). "Therefore ye shall observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever" (Exod. 12:17).
The altar of sacrifice (Lev.8:15). The vessels connected with the altar and the sacrifice thereon (2 Chron. 29:19; Exod. 29:44, 40:10-13). The house of God itself and the gold connected with that house (1 Chron. 7:16, 29:17; Matt. 23:17,19) were all said to be sanctified.
The people who sanctified themselves were sanctified by their leaders (Exod. 19:14; Joshua 3:5). The first born in each family was sanctified in that he had to function as the priest of the family (Exod. 13:12). Later Aaron and his sons were chosen instead of the first born, and the Levites assisted them. These all were said to be sanctified (Lev. 8:1-36). The clothes and the vestments of the priest were also said to be sanctified. Thus we have sanctification used when things or persons were separated from what was considered common or usual, and dedicated to that which was considered not prominent and not usual.
In the second place let us notice ceremonial symbolic sanctification with a definite moral content.
We are told that the glory of God sanctified, but the glory of God reveals that which is vile, foul and filthy and condemns all such. We are also told that the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the believing wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the believing husband (1 Cor. 7:14). That is, the unbelieving helpmate is drawn away from the evils of the world and brought under the influence of the gospel by the believing helpmate.
Ceremonial sanctification included a washing of their clothes, and with regard to the priest a washing of their persons as well (Exod. 19;14, 40:31). Paul declared that the regenerated Corinthians were sanctified in the same sense that they were washed in the initial experience (1 Cor. 6:11). Jesus said to his disciples: "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in me" (John 13:8). Then later he said: "Now ye are clean through the word, which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3).
In the sanctification of the Temple they cleaned it by removing all of the rubble, etc. "And the priests went in unto the inner part of the house of the Lord [Jehovah], to cleanse it, and brought all the uncleanness that they had found in the Temple of the Lord [Jehovah] . . . . And the Levites took it [the rubble], to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord: so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days" (2 Chron. 29:16-17). The sanctification of the Temple included a thorough house cleaning that occupied eight days.
Thus ceremonial or positional sanctification refers generally to separation from the common or unclean and being dedicated to that which is being held sacred.
Sanctification with a definite content refers to inward cleaning of the heart by blood as symbolized by outward cleansing with water.
This moral import of sanctification was quite often accompanied by an anointing, "And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them" (Num.7:1; see Exod. 29:36). "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaronís head, and anointed him, to sanctify him" (Lev. 8:12; see Lev. 8:10-11.) His sanctification was completed by the anointing, that is, the anointing effected his sanctification. Aaron then represented all the priests.
In the third place, let us notice sanctification in its full orbed heart- meaning.
Those priests to whom we have already referred were already sanctified, in the sense that they were separated from worldly callings and dedicated to the service of God. This was effected by the shedding of blood and the cleansing of themselves with water. But before they could serve their two weeks each year they had to be ceremonially cleansed and purified on top of their initial cleansing with blood. This was also applied to the high priest before he could go into the Holy of Holies (Lev. 8:22f).
That ceremonial order was imperfect and passive and pointed forward to a perfect and permanent order made possible by the blood of Jesus Christ. "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14). "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Heb. 10:19).
Those who were to enter into the holiest by the blood were already brethren for the New Testament priesthood of believers corresponds to the Old Testament priesthood.
The Old Testament priesthood, or sons of Levi, were to be purified: "And he will set as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and as silver . . ." (Mal. 3:3).
Then in the old order the word sanctification meant separation dedication, consecration, and at least symbolic cleansing, accompanied by anointing. In the new order it cannot mean less than separation and dedication (which two are aspects of regeneration) and consecration and actual heart cleansing by the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Websterís definition of the word sanctification is in direct agreement with this: "To separate, to set apart, to appoint to a holy sacred or religious use, to purify, to prepare for divine service and for partaking of divine things, to cleanse from corruption, to purify from sin, to make holy by detaching the affections from the world and its defilements and exalting them as supreme love to God. To cleanse, to purify, to make holy."
It is not the office of the lexicographer to place his own meaning into a word, but to take out the original meaning latent in the word itself. Webster does this. The Greek word, Hagios, means pure, righteous, holy. Its Latin equivalent, sanctus,, from which sanctification is derived means to separate, to dedicate, to consecrate, to make pure.
John the Baptist, the forerunner and preparer of the way for Jesus, said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me . . . shall baptize you with fire and the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 3:11). Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized (with my baptism) shall be saved" [from all sin] (Mark 16:15-16).
To those Thessalonians who were already sanctified in regeneration Paul wrote: "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:3), meaning their heart-sanctification. Then he prayed and said, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly," a complete heart-sanctification beyond the incomplete sanctification of regeneration. The disciples were also initially sanctified before Pentecost, yet Jesus prayed and said, "Sanctify them through thy truth," referring to a heart-sanctification beyond that of regeneration. Referring to Pentecost Peter said that the Holy Ghost came upon them and purified their hearts by faith (Acts 15:8-9). Paul wrote: "That he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the word, That he might present it unto himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph.5: 26-27).
Thus positional sanctification refers to the separation from uncleanness; symbolic sanctification refers to symbolic heart-cleansing accompanied by anointing with oil, which refers to the outpoured Spirit. The experimental sanctification cleanses the heart of the regenerated.
The sin question must ever be the center of the Holiness Movement. "It is the damnable thing which God hates. Sin turned the angels out of heaven and wrecked the earth and murdered the Son of God and filled hell; for those whom Christ died" (Hills, Uttermost Salvation, p. 16). As the tree falls so shall it forever lie. There is a test that says, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). Hence it is little wonder that Paul prayed, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly."
THINGS THAT ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION DOES NOT IMPLY OR DO.
To read too much into a doctrine or statement will kill its real meaning and destroy its acceptability, just as readily as reading too little into a doctrine or statement. To say that sanctification means consecration alone is far too little and makes a word of no definite independent value. It is, however, just as unadvisable to read too much into it. Let us notice therefore a few things that entire sanctification does not imply and that it does not do for us in this life.
Entire sanctification does not imply perfection in all attributes, as God is perfect, etc. God is absolute and perfect in every attribute of Being. He is infinite and holy in every characteristic. This man does not become and never will become.
Entire sanctification does not imply angelic perfection. They are bodiless as far as the physical is concerned and are not subject to physical ills and limitations. They are bodiless as far as the physical is concerned and are not subject to physical ills or limitations. They are also unmarred by the effects of sin, as they remained sinless. They live wholly in a holy sphere where life is much different than it is for man. Man is thus not holy, as angels are holy.
Entire sanctification does not imply Adamic perfection. Adam was, until he sinned unmarred by the results of racial and personal sin. His mind, body and perception were unstained and he lived in an unstained atmosphere. The sanctified man does not become holy, as Adam was holy.
Entire sanctification does not imply a glorified perfection, as Moses and Elijah were perfect when they appeared on the mount of transfiguration. The scars of sin were removed from body, mind and soul as they were in a glorified state. Their social surroundings were sinless and holy and they could serve God, as we in this world and in this body cannot do. The disciples were to be sanctified and then left in this world in that sanctified state. "And now I am no more in the world, but theses are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are" (John 17:11). "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world but, that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. . . . Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world" (John 17:15-18). They were to be sanctified holy, then left in the world in their physical bodies, just as they were before as far as anyone could see from the physical.
Entire sanctification does not imply the cessation of spiritual warfare. We are to put on the whole armor of God and then we are to fight the good fight of faith.
Angels who fell must have been tempted in a holy state. Adam was tempted in a holy state. Jesus was thrice tempted in the wilderness and sorely tempted in garden of Gethsemane. "As he is, so are ye in this world." (The disciples are not above their Lord.)
Paul informs us that he kept his body under. He thus referred to his physical appetites. No sanctified person instinctively drops his fork and knife when he has eaten just enough. Christ does not propose to emancipate any person from the necessity of exercise or his judgement in regard to his innocent and necessary appetites. Innocent as long as they are kept in their proper place. This involves temptation.
Entire sanctification does not deliver us from physical infirmities. Physical propensities are not in themselves sinful. They are neither good nor bad in the spiritual sense. It is their proper use or their abuse that makes them good or bad.
Jesus had all the physical propensities that we have and he was sinless. Adam in his unfallen state had all the propensities that we have and these in his holy state were sinless.
Infirmities are scars of sin, the wounds have been healed as in the kingdom of nature, so in the kingdom of Grace. There is no medicine to remove the scars or the wounds of sins. None efficacious in the present life. A broken pitcher can be cemented to hold water but the ring is gone. The potter must pulverize it and refashion it and the ring returns. From the dust of the resurrection and refashioning, the ring will return (Daniel Steele, Love Enthroned, p. 83.) God uses time alone to heal some things and some things are never healed in time at all.
Lack of knowledge,
defective memory, fallible judgement, hours of apathy, and spiritual dullness
by reason of bodily organism, or the state of the nerves, are not necessarily
Thus with an infirmed mind we shall not always be thinking about God. In a world like this that is not possible and possible not desirable. Certain tasks demand all of our attention: a doctor performing a delicate situation under adverse circumstances; a barber shaving on a ship during a storm; a driver driving a car on icy roads during a windstorm.
Sudden trepidation when anything startling occurs like a crash of a thunderbolt or the presentation of a telegraph dispatch from the absent family. All this is instinctive. "An eminent Christian woman receiving a dispatch from her husband who was a hundred miles away, apologized to me, and asked forgiveness of God for the dishonor she had done to the cause of Christ by the emotion that her trembling hand indicated when the dispatch was suddenly brought before her eyes. The apology and prayer were needless, for there was no sin in this sudden agitation" (Steele, Love Enthroned, pp 87-88).
Unpleasant dreams and improper dreams. Let us again quote from Steele, with regards to dreams. "We must here disagree with President Edwards, who tells Christians to scrutinize their dreams in order to ascertain their real character and standing before God. So far as my observation goes, there is no law in our dreams but the law of contraries. The most peaceful quarrel; the most gentle and tender, commit murder; the most contented with life, plot suicide; the temperate, become drunken; and the pure, become impure. These conceptions, resulting from the dayís employment, the state of the digestion, the quality of bedding, and a thousand other causes, give no more indication of the moral and spiritual condition than they do of the personís ancestral pedigree (Ibid., pp. 86-87)."
It is not a state of constant ecstasy and joy. This too would be an undesirable state in a world of sorrow, sin and woe. We are to weep with those who weep and we are to rejoice with those who rejoice. Jeremiah wept. (Jer. 9:1). Paul was in great sorrow and heaviness because of his fellow countrymen (Rom. 9:3). Jesus appeared to have wept three times during his earthly ministry.
The impossibility of further sin is neither stated nor implied. Paul feared with a healthy fear lest he would become a castaway after he had preached to others. The word castaway means to be cast-a-way or out of Godís presence. This is the normal state of every sinner. Adam was created holy and for a time lived holy but he fell from the holy state and had to be redeemed by blood. The book of Hebrews was written to a group who had been sanctified, and threatened to return to Judaism. Why warn them if they could not fall away?
We shall be conscious possibly more of our inability and insufficiency with regard to serving God. We must be conscious of this as long as we are growing in grace, or have the possibility of growing in grace.
We do not necessarily escape physical death nor the evils and pains and separation and sorrows that accompany the visitation of that last enemy, death.
Readings: Phil 3:12-15; Matt. 5:43-48; 22:37-40.
From a moral viewpoint the messages of both the Old and New Testament alike may be put in one statement with two divisions -- perfect love to God and perfect love to man from a cleansed and purified human heart.
Moses so interpreted his own writings by summarizing them thus: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Duet. 6:5).
Joshua, the successor of Moses interpreted the Mosaic writings the same way. He said, "But take diligence heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses, the servant of Lord charged you, to love the lord your God, and . . . . to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Josh.22:2).
On one occasion Jesus asked a lawyer what he understood the law to teach. "What is written in the law, what readest thou?" In other words, what do you understand to be the heart of the law? He replied at once, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself" (Luke 10:27). Jesus commended him for his correct reply" "do this and thou shalt live."
On another occasion a lawyer asked Jesus a question, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt 22:36-37).
To love the Lord with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourself calls for a pure soul, a pure self, in short, a heart cleansed from all sin and possessed by the Spirit of God. To love God and man that way is the highest measure of Christian perfection.
In the first place let us notice a few prerequisites to Christian perfection.
We must be saved from our sins and in the experience of salvation. Living above the sin-life. "Whosoever" embraces all who are saved and all those who do not commit sin. Sin is a transgression of the Law. In this sinning and not sinning, the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest. That line was drawn by the inspired writers in obedience to the Spirit of God himself. This is not merely a moral reformation but a spiritual rebirth in the soul that takes a person out of the sinning business entirely.
Such a person must then consecrate himself entirely to God; body, soul, and spirit; past, present, and future; for time and for eternity. This can not be done by a spiritually dead person as it includes his new life and those spiritual gift that he received in that new spiritual existence.
The Bible uses such terms as " sanctify yourselves," "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Such expressions refer to the human process or to manís consecration of himself to God.
The work of consecration cannot be performed by man in his own strength alone. Consecration is diametrically opposed to the selfish carnal heart. The spirit of God must convict and help him turn himself to God.
Some may be able to consecrate "en toto" at once but the vast majority cannot. They must consecrate the major things individually and then the "unknown bundle."
As each thing is definitely turned over to God, the love that centered on that thing reverts back to God; hence our love for God grows stronger and our love for the world correspondingly weaker as heart consecration proceeds.
Man cannot tell, of himself when his consecration is complete. For the human heart "is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Hence the Spirit of God himself witnesses to our hearts when our consecration is complete.
When the last heart-idol is nailed to the cross, and the last thing is placed at the feet of Christ, the Spirit will instantly witness to that fact. That Spirit-witness to your complete consecration is your right or ground for exercising sanctifying faith.
This is not a gradual cleansing as you consecrate, but each object as it is turned over is conditionally accepted -- conditioned on the last thing being turned over and sanctifying faith being exercised.
This witness of the Spirit is a double safeguard.
It is your right at once to exercise sanctifying faith -- it is the go-ahead signal. There are some who tell you that you have to wait for him. He has been waiting for you now, go-ahead and claim the blessing by faith. "The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple." You have been seeking by consecration, now believe and he suddenly comes.
This Witness is your safeguard against presumption. Many try to believe without it and it does not work. Without it (the witness of the Spirit) it is folly to pretend to believe. With it a fearless faith never faileth.
Furthermore, your entire sanctification rests on a Spirit-witnessed complete consecration. Hence there is no room for a further or re-consecration of yourself to God in the entirely sanctified person. When there is you have lost the blessing, for when the Spirit no longer witnesses to your spirit; sanctifying faith is destroyed. The second witness rests on the first that my consecration is complete. The prerequisites being completed let us observe what Christian Perfection actually is when reduced to its lowest terms.
There is power connected with the experience as evidenced by the anointing with oil in the Old Testament: symbolic sanctification with regard to the priests and with regard to symbols of worship and with regard to the restored leper. Those anointings with oil refer to the outpoured Spirit at Pentecost in the sanctification of the 120 in the Upper Room. But Christian Perfection does not rest on evidences of power at all.
The basic evidence, however, must be purity, the soul or self cleansed and purged and made free from sin. When Paul said: "I keep my body under," he meant his natural and physical propensities. And when he said: "Not as though I had already attained either were already perfect," he meant resurrection- perfection. When he said: "knowing this that our old man is crucified" and "being made free from sin," he meant the Old Man or the carnal nature. When he said: "Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded," he meant heart purity as a result of crucifixion of the old carnal nature. This carnal state is also called "The works of the devil" and "the sin of the world." "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the World" (John 1:29). It is putting off of the Old Man (Eph. 4:22). It is an act of crucifixion of the Old Man (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2: 20). It is the work of destruction of the Old Man (Rom.6: 6). Thus purity of heart is basic; purifying their hearts by faith.
It is not holy actions primarily that makes the heart holy, but it is a holy heart that makes the heart holy in Godís sight. Thus perfection and imperfections may meet in the self-same life and be present at the same time. The heart may be perfect in Godís sight and the character far from perfect in manís sight. Furthermore, heart purity may exist where there is little evidence of spiritual power.
Thus the soul cleansed is not vacated. All the graces of the Spirit received in regeneration remain in it. The carnal opposite of each positive spiritual grace is gone and that spiritual grace develops unhindered. With hate gone, love develops unhindered. As he doubles up on his Bible reading and prayer and attending the means of grace, his growth is more rapid and his spiritual power becomes greater and more in evidence.
In the sanctified state the consciousness of the graces of the Spirit may rise and fall, but they never fall below the sin-line or give place to their opposites. Hence when a sanctified man is at the end of his patience and love, he must fight to keep their opposites out of his heart from without. When the unsanctified man is at the end of his love and patience, he is at the beginning of their opposites, and must fight to keep them (impatience and hate) down within his heart.
Thus heart purity is basic and unchangeable in quality. As the heart grows and expands by the grace of God, the grace of the Spirit grows and expands with the constant enlarging. The tides of divine love in the expanding soul, expand and sweep one on, over moor and glen, crag and torrent, till night is gone. That pure love to God and man in a pure soul is the fulfilling of the Law. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all of thy mind. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
PENTECOST THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CHURCH.
Pentecost in occasion dates back to the giving of the Law at Sinai. In the third month when the Children of Israel were gone forth out of Egypt. "the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai . . . and there Israel encamped before the mount" (Exod. 19:1-2).
Pentecost was observed fifty days after the wave-offering sheaf was offered. "And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt- offering unto the Lord. . . . And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from that day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number the fifty days, and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord" (Lev. 23:11-16).
Pentecost was commanded to be perpetually observed: "and ye shall proclaim on the self same day, that it maybe an holy convocation unto you, and ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations" (Lev. 23:21).
It was known or called the following:
The feast of harvest.
" And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of thy labours, which thou
hast sown in thy field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end
of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field" (Exod.
The day of first fruits. "Also in the day of the first fruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein" (Num. 28:26).
The day of Pentecost (in the New Testament). "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:4a). Thus Jesus baptized the infant Church and sent her members forth to preach to all. They were to tarry until it happened and then they were to go. Thus they were to go. Thus this baptism set a norm for the New Testament message, experience, and the Church. Anything lower than this is subnormal for this age.
Pentecost in the Old Testament was:
A time of holy rejoicing in holy convocation (Deut. 16:10-2; Lev. 23:21).
It is also a time when the first fruits were offered and when sacrifices were given (Lev. 23:17-19).
The early church observed Pentecost (Acts 20; 1 Cor. 16:8). The New Testament bites deeply into the Old and the Old reads far into the New.
In dispensational beginnings there have always been special manifestations, which have not been uniformly carried into the dispensation proper. This is true in a small scale at the Noahic sacrifice, after the flood. It was especially true in the magnificence at Sinai. It will be also be true in a grand scale at the beginning of the Millennium. It was also true at Pentecost. After miracles were wrought by God through the disciples to convince the world that the Gospel was of God, then miracles were no longer needed for that purpose. There are still acts of God that manifest the presence of God but are not needed to establish the Gospel.
Certain things and manifestations do not, therefore have to be accurately repeated. Some of such are:
The specific location -- the ancient city of Jerusalem and an upper room large enough to hold at least 120.
A specific time of the year and time of the day -- sometime before nine in the morning.
A specific group of people -- about 120 mixed, composed of men and women in certain proportion.
After having sought and styled a definite time -- about ten days people sitting.
A rushing mighty wind preceding the experience, i.e. the sound as of a rushing, mighty wind filling the house where they were.
Cloven tongues like as of fire appearing and resting upon each one of themóand appearance of fire became visible and split and rested upon each individual. This made Pentecost and individual personal matter. Fire is regarded a purifying agency (Ezek. 10:2; Mal. 3:2-3).
A special gift of languages appeared, if not in the upper room at least when they started to carry out their Great Commission.
Over seventeen foreign languages were represented. This dispensed with interpretation, so that the gospel could be carried home with them, as they were about to go home.
When Jesus told his disciples in the Commission to preach the gospel to every creature, Peter, the least prejudiced of all, never got more than a step beyond that interpretation. Paul was the one who understood the commission properly. Languages were then given to drive home the great commission. They were to go and preach to those who spoke foreign languages as well.
Many other characteristics were also in evidence: such as the ability to point others to Christ; ability to do personal work; to have great revivals; a glorious countenance -- others knew that they had been with Jesus; and the ability to cut sinners to the heart. (These are all unusual abilities.) There are many other such evidences that are not distinct evidences.
In the Old Testament the people were not only cleansed, but were baptized with the Holy Ghost; representative men at least. In this sense they were types of the new age.
In the second chapter of Acts where would one draw the line between what we know occurred in the upper room and then what happened when preaching to the crowd? Are we dead sure where the line really is? At least the first three and maybe the fourth verse could have occurred in the upper room. The fourth verse is probably a restatement and then a continuation of what later happened.
Now what would we demand be in evidence when Pentecost would be repeated in the individualís heart today?
We would not demand a specific location, time, group a seeking length of time or as of a rushing might wind, or visible cleansing fire, nor yet languages. We would demand it to be preceded a few days by earthquakes and resurrected saints or followed from a few hours to a few days and with miracles and languages and tongues and thousands converted? If we demand one we would have to demand them all.
The witness of spiritual persons with outs an intermediary of any kind. "Ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost". "His spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God." The spirit is his own evidence of his presence in the heart.
Love perfected by God and man (1 John, chapter 4). These are stated as biblical evidences. Without them we do not the baptism with the Holy Spirit. With them we have and when we have, we have all three.
Lev. 11:44a: "For I
am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall
be holy; for I am Holy."
There is not a gifted father and mother who would not be pleased beyond measure to see their own best gifts and most pleasing graces and most persuasive powers reappearing in the developing and unfolding of their children.
The great singer places his little child on the chair on the platform before the people to whom he himself sings and has it sing to them
The great artist watches with breathless interest his own gift expressing itself in the nature of his child.
The great scholarís heart swells and beats fast with joy as he beholds the budding erudition of his own precious child.
The great statesmanís heart swells with pardonable pride when his own boy is selected to Parliament and thenceforth plays his part admirably in the debates of the House.
The great preacher possibly can experience few greater joys than that of sitting and listening to his own son preach the gospel under the unction of the Spirit.
Further, it is the expressed desire of God that His children be like Him. "Be ye holy, for I am Holy." " Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect." For this God sent and Jesus came and suffered without the gate, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood. How then are we to be holy as God is holy?
Let us consider the manner negatively.
We are not to be holy in the absolute sense as God is holy. In this sense God alone is holy. "Thou only art holy." God is absolutely holy in every attribute of his entire being. He is omnipotent (Powerful), omniscient, and omnipresent, etc. Those are qualities we do not possess in the absolute and never will. Hence we are not holy in our entire being.
We are not made holy by the imputation of the holiness of Christ to us.
Notice the biblical uses of the term imputation: "Blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among the people" (Lev. 17:4b). That is, after it was proved he was to be regarded as a shedder of blood. His act was to be recognized or imputed to his account.
"Blessed it the man unto whom the Lord imputed not iniquity, and in whose spirit is no guile" (Ps.32:2). That is, a guileless spirit has no iniquity reckoned against it; hence it is guileless.
"For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Rom. 5:13). Hence where no law exists, no transgression against it can be recognized, and charged against one.
When one takes ten dollars down to the bank and turns it in and has it entered in his bankbook, the entry of it is an act of recognition of what one has done. It is thus imputed to oneís account.
Let us secondly consider the matter positively.
We are to be holy as or like as God is holy. The holiness of God is inherent in Himself. Ours is derived. It is not the impartation of the holiness of God but the creation of holiness in us by the blood of Christ. It is thus our personal holiness as like God is personally holy.
When one becomes a regenerated child of God he is resurrected from the dead spiritually and made alive in Christ Jesus. It is the new birth. He is alive personally, so also with the second work of grace. He is cleansed personally and made holy within personally.
God does not take his Son and look through Him at the sinner and then the sinner appears justified and then look through His Son at a justified person and then the justified person is holy through the Son. (Just as one would look through a red glass and all would appear red.) The sinner is actually justified and the justified person is actually made personally holy. It is then a personal and positive holiness. We are thus like God in a moral sense or with regard to freedom from sin.
NOTE: the healthy physician leans over the dying man and says, "I am your physician and I am well and strong, therefore reckon yourself strong and well in me. Now get up and go to work." Let the well-fed person visit his starving neighbor and say," I am your neighbor, therefore, consider yourself well fed in me with your larders filled with vitamins -- good afternoon."
We are to profess His holiness and do the same. God never wearies of telling us that. He is holy; "be ye holy for I am holy." He commanded His prophets to tell of it and His Son told us of it and His holy apostles told us of it. It is not merely enough to testify of it by belonging to a certain church or by our lives -- those are good -- but we must give expression to it in a reasonable manner by word of mouth.
Not only is it personal holiness and professed holiness, but it is also practical holiness. It is livable, in fact it must be lived or else we are not holy, as God is holy. For every action of God man-ward is determined by His holy nature. Our holy hearts must determine all of our actions.
We are to eat drink and sleep to the glory of God.
We are to pray and read and study to the glory of God.
Our friendship and past times and money are formed and lived and spent to the glory of God.
Our hands, feet, eyes, ears, tongue -- in short, our whole body is to be used for the glory of God. This is not to be a highly tensioned life, but normal, natural life lived above sin to the glory of God.
If this heart holiness is not possessed, a hunger and thirst for it may be created in the heart or increased by reading holiness literature, listening to holiness sermons, studying it in the Bible and then praying or it. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
You could ask yourself a few pertinent questions with regard to it.
Do you clearly realize
you need a pure heart?
SUPPLEMENT TO THE PENTECOST SERMON:
The Bible and biblical writers have much to say about evidence.
"We know that we have passed from death unto life" (1 John 3:14). Life as used here refers to Johnís then-present experience -- the more abundant life. "I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10b).
"And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him" (1 John 319).
"And by this we do know that we know him" (1 John 2:3).
"By this know we that we are in him " (1 John 2:5).
"And hereby we know that we dwell in him and he in us" (1 John 4:13).
"And hereby we know that he abideth in us (1John 3:24).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which . . . hath begotten us again unto a lively hope" (1 Peter 1:3, 4).
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them" (Acts 15:8, 9a)
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor. 5:1).
"And because ye are
sons God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts" (Gal.
"Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who also hath sealed us (2 Cor. 1:21, 22).
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30).
The author of the book of Hebrews says: "Cast not away therefore your confidence which hath great recompense of reward" (Hebrews 10:35).
Now notice: six times John says that we know; Peter says that we have a lively hope, and the witness; Paul says that we are sealed, and have much assurance; the author of the Hebrews says that we have confidence. Thus we positively do know. Now the way we know must be as positively and clearly stated, as is the fact that we do know. We shall return to this later.
Let us now notice ten specific and stated outpourings with the Holy Spirit. In doing so we shall stay close to the New Testament area, although there is no difference between the evidences in the Old Testament and the New.
"And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice" (Luke 1:41b-42b).
"And his Father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied" (Luke 1:67).
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost, even from birth. We have no record of him speaking in more than one language, and he did no miracle (Luke 1:15).
Jesus himself was anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure. He went up and out to the wilderness to fast, to hunger, and to fight a taunting devil (Matt. 4:1-11).
At Pentecost the apostles and the disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and then spoke in the language of the people then present; the place was shaken; there were visible appearances of fire; they preached with power; many were saved (Acts 2:4-6).
In Acts 19, we are told of a little group who were baptized with the Holy Spirit. They spoke in the languages there and then understood without interpretation.
The members of the
group gathered at the home of Cornelius were all filled with the Holy Spirit,
and they spoke in languages there known without interpretation (Acts 10:44-47).
After the Samaritans had received the word under the preaching of Philip, the Church sent down Peter and John to pray for them. They did so, and they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. There was no external manifestation at all (Acts 8:15-17).
Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, and later received the Holy Spirit in the house of Judas in Damascus. There are no indications in the record that any external manifestation took place. Later Paul said that he spoke in languages more than them all, meaning acquired languages that he had learned and could speak at any time. In possibly a few minutes Paul spoke four languages in connection with his stairway address -- Latin to the centurion, Aramaic to the people, and later Greek and Hebrew (Acts 9:17; 22:2; 21:37). There is no indication that Paul ever spoke in an unknown tongue. When we demand facts, conjectures must be set aside. Paul did speak in many known languages. This fact must be accepted.
We shall now analyze those ten cases:
In three cases (Pentecost, Corneliusí home, and at Ephesus) they spoke in known languages, and had no need for interpreters. They were neither unknown tongues nor heavenly languages, but human and earthly languages used in every day speech.
In one case the record informs us that she (Elizabeth) spake in a loud voice.
In two cases the record informs us that they (Zacharias and the Ephesians) prophesied.
At Pentecost there were sounds as of a rushing wind, visible flames of fire in the upper room (if they were in the upper room). After they came down and a crowd had gathered, there were languages, great power to preach, and many added to the Church (see Acts 2:4b, 6).
After the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to meet a taunting and bargaining devil. He also fasted and prayed and hungered, and was ministered to by the angels.
The members of the home of Cornelius magnified God and spake in the common languages of those present.
Then in the other four
cases mentioned, nothing at all of an external nature happened.
If any one of the accompaniments were an evidence, without which evidence the blessing of the outpoured Spirit could not be claimed,, that one evidence would have to appear in all ten cases.
If all accompaniments were evidences, then all accompaniments would have to appear in all ten cases.
No one accompaniment appears in all ten and all accompaniments do not appear in one of the ten cases. Hence all accompaniments mentioned (and many more not mentioned) shall have to be dispensed with. There is not one statement in the Bible that declares that any one is an evidence.
Mere accompaniments are accidental to the setting, and may in themselves be hindrances rather than evidences:
There were about 120 present at the first Pentecost, possibly in an upper room, in the city of Jerusalem, about nine in the morning. They were probably all Hebrews from Galilee. At least eleven were ordained. The group was composed of men and women in unknown proportions. Now these accompaniments can never be repeated.
David is said to have been a man after Godís own heart. If an accompaniment is proof, then the murder of Uriah and the stealing of Bathsheba would be that proof.
Abraham is said to have been the father of the faithful. The proof: his marriage to a servant girl after he was already married.
Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. Proof: they ate the forbidden fruit, and became sinners, and had to be redeemed by the blood of the Christ. An accompaniment, no matter how closely related, proves nothing.
Let us now return to our starting point, and observe the biblical evidences. Those evidences must be as clearly stated, as are the acts that they evidence.
John was a ripe scholar and a ripe saint of God when he made his written contribution to Holy Writ. He had been called by the Christ, had been ordained by Christ, and had pillowed his head on the heart of the Christ. He had seen Him, and had heard Him, and had handled Him before and after the resurrection. He saw the empty tomb, saw Him ascend to heaven, and was at Pentecost where a visible flame had rested upon Him. He spoke with languages there and then known, and had preached with unction and healed with power. Now John relied on none of those things as evidence of grace, much less as an evidence of the baptism with the Spirit. This is what he said:
"We know that we have passed from death unto life [the more abundant life], because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14a). "He that loveth not his brother abideth in death" (1 John 3:14b). This evidence works both ways. Bible evidence must do this.
"Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know [if we love in deed and in truth] that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him" (1 John 3:18, 19).
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3). John is referring to the commands of the Christ: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34). "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12). John also refers to perfected love as the old and the new commandment (1 John 2:7, 8). The double evidence is again expressed (1 John 2:10a, 11a).
"But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby we know that we are in him" (1 John 2:5). The love of God perfected in the heart is it.
"Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit" (1 John 4:13). It is the Spirit with spirit -- the Divine and the human within: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself" (1 John 5:10a). Spiritual reality is not physically evidenced at all, but spiritually.
"And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us" (1 John 3:24b). It is thus an immediate witness within. Perfected love and the resident Holy Spirit within are Johnís evidences.
Peter was also a ripe saint of God before he passed to his eternal home. Peter knew the Christ before and after his resurrection. He was also called and ordained by him to preach the gospel. He was the spokesman for the group before and after Pentecost. He saw Christ ascend to heaven, was at Pentecost, spoke in languages, introduced the new age to Jews and Gentiles alike, preached with power, healed the sick, and raised the dead. Peter, however, relied on none of those things as evidence. This is, however, what Peter said:
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them [now, whatever follows is the witness] purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9). It is sometimes said that "purifying their hearts by faith" means "having previously purified their hearts by faith and now He gives them the Holy Ghost as a third work." This is not Peterís meaning. When Peter made the statement both referred to the past -- at Corneliusí home about twelve years in the past; at Jerusalem about 22 years in the past. Both aspects refer to one work at one time: their hearts were purified when they received the Holy Ghost, and heart purity was the evidence that they received the Holy Ghost.
The debate was about whether the Gentiles were savable. Peter proved that they received the baptism with the Holy Ghost, as evidenced by heart purity. The whole Church at Jerusalem accepted that evidence as proof that the Gentiles in Corneliusí home were already saved. Said they; "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). The baptism with the Spirit could only be received by saved people. This therefore proved that they were already saved. This is what is meant. The need was the same; the Gift was the same; the evidence was the same -- heart purity. The whole New Testament Church accepts heart purity as the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Ghost.
Paul was the apostle of the gentiles. He too saw the resurrected and glorified Christ, and received special revelations from God. He was caught up into heaven, and preached with power, healed the sick, and raised the dead. He referred to none of those things as an evidence. He did say:
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6). This is the Spirit witnessing with the spirit within.
"Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor. 1:21-22). This is Spirit with spirit again.
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye were sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). ". . . in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13b). This is Spirit with spirit again.
Paul points out that heart purity accompanies this Spirit-witness. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Rom. 6:6). Then in Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He is delivered by the baptism with the Spirit: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The evidence of this is the earnest of the Spirit within.
Paul deliberately throws many false witnesses out of the window (1 Cor. 13), and then states a vital witness. Read 1 Cor.13:1-3, 8, 11, and 13. Tongues are out; prophesy out; removing mountains out; self-imposed poverty out: a martyrís death out; wisdom out. As we leave childhood those things are to be put away. Charity or perfected love in a pure heart alone remains. Along with this put Jesusí startling statements in Matt. 7:15-23, especially verses 22 and 23. The prophesiers are out; the casters out of devils are out; the doers of wonderful works are out. They were workers of iniquity, and Jesus never knew them. No physical evidence can give us boldness in the Day of Judgment; but there is something that can; "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." "Herein is our love made perfect, That we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment" (1 John 4:16b, 17a). God and perfect love in a pure heart are it.
Thus John, Peter, and Paul are in accord that heart purity, perfected love, the indwelling Spirit are evidences of the baptism with the Spirit.
PHYSICAL DEMONSTRATIONS ARE NOT NECESSARILY EVIDENCES OF THE BAPTISM. WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Mere power, and mere demonstration, in the physical realm, are not necessarily evidences of the baptism with the Spirit at all. It is possible that every physical manifestation used by God has been accurately counterfeited by the devil.
When Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh, God through them turned a rod into a serpent, water into blood, and brought up frogs. The magicians of Egypt, Jannes and Jambres, turned many rods into serpents, and much water into blood, and also brought up frogs (Exodus 7:11, 12, 21, 22; 8:6, 7; 2 Tim. 3:8).
Elijah called fire down from heaven on Mount Carmel (1 kings 18:38). Satan also commanded fire to come down from heaven on Jobís sheep and attending servants (Job 1:16).
At Pentecost there were "as of a rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2:2). Satan commanded a wind to come from the desert that completely destroyed the family of Job (Job 1:19).
God inspires and possesses men and women to do His will (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16). Satan inspired and possessed the Sabeans to destroy the possessions of Job (Job 1:15, 17). The Satan may appear as an angel of light. And operate in the field of religion. He may perform miracles and lying wonders that "if it were possible the very elect would be deceived."
Apparent blessing and physical demonstration are possible in the non-salvation area.
The little animal upon which Balaam rode was in the non-salvation area, and it spoke with a language foreign to itself and saw visions of God. It was not a candidate for the baptism with the Spirit at all (Numbers 22:28-30) (All it proved was that the ass was still an ass -- the ass said so).
Two young heifers were blessed of God and went dancing and singing down the road as a result of the blessing of God. They too were in the non-salvation field, and were not candidates for the baptism with the Spirit.
Parrots can talk clearly and distinctly. Crows and magpies may talk with a slight operation under their tongue. Those birds are all in the non-salvation field and are not candidates for the baptism with the Spirit.
HOLINESS AND FALSE MEASURING REEDS:
Text: Rev.3: 11: "behold I come quickly, hold fast that which thou hast. Let no man take thy crown."
The Bible speaks of crowns of rejoicing, crowns of righteousness, crowns of glory, crowns incorruptible, and crowns of life: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him." "Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take your crown." How is it possible for one person to take another personís Christian experience? One way is by applying false measuring reeds to the other personís Christian experience.
By interchanging, while preaching or teaching, a standard of character development for that of heart purity. Heart purity is the same in a newly sanctified heathen as it is in a sanctified Paul. There are no degrees of purity with regard to entire sanctification. When one is sanctified wholly, his heart is pure, and that is all there is to it. Character development is different in all: in fact no two persons are in the same place with regard to it. As character development, or growth in grace, is progressive, it can therefore never be perfect. Paul repeatedly writes about growing in grace, and in the knowledge of God: but when writing to the Philippians, he also said: "let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus minded: And if any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." Paul thus recognizes that the two fields are different.
By using outstanding characters as measuring reeds for others. Paul was born into one of the highest sections of the human race. And into one of the best families of that section. From infancy his mind was soaked with Holy Writ, and his path was illuminated by the ethical light of the scriptures as his family understood them. Stephen had all the religious advantages that a religious nation could lay at his feet. He also was an outstanding character in an outstanding age. Wesley had a fine background, and was an outstanding character in the religious field, even before his heart conversion to Christ. It would not do to compare a newly sanctified heathen convert, ignorant of the scriptures and knowing little or nothing of the ethical standards of Christianity, with those men. His heart is free from sin, as were the hearts of Paul, Stephen, and Wesley, but he falls far below then in every other respect. It would not do to use their character as a measuring reed. To determine whether the heathen convert had the blessing of heart purity. By using mountain-top experiences in the lives of outstanding characters, or even outstanding experiences in oneís own life. Abraham was 125 years of age, and had been about fifty years in the land of Canaan, before God asked him to offer up Isaac. Daniel was about ninety years of age before God put him in the Lionís den. It is true that our "Isaacs" have to be given up before God will sanctify us wholly, but the calm faith and assurance that Abraham had that God would raise Isaac up again if his life actually were taken; and the faith that enabled Daniel to believe that God would put steel padlocks on the lionís jaws, can not be expected of a newly sanctified convert. The unfolding of certain things from the "unknown bundle" calls for more grace than a young convert has; therefore God does not unfold certain things until long after one has entered the sanctified experience. Why then use mountain-peak experiences of outstanding saints as measuring reeds to determine whether the young convert has the blessing?
By using the intellectual characteristics of one as a measuring reed for others. Oneís intellectual acumen or gifts might not have greatly improved when he was sanctified; while some others may have been greatly helped along those lines. Some can preach better, sing better, and testify better than they could before; with others there is no marked difference -- possibly some. The overly bold lose some of their "brass" and the overly timid get a little more "brass". Certainly there is a soul passion begotten of the Holy Ghost when he is resident within, that is absent when he is merely with one in regeneration. Special helps or gifts however cannot be used as measuring reeds on others. By considering that which is wrong for one is wrong for all. Certain things such as lying, stealing, swearing, and so forth are wrong in themselves. Being wrong in themselves they are always wrong. Other things are wrong only in relationship to life, or to the call of God. For example: It is wrong to farm if God says to preach, and wrong to preach if God says to farm. It is wrong to go to a university if God says to go out at once and preach; or wrong to preach full time if God says go to a university. It may be wrong for one person to go to a certain place, and not wrong for another person to go to the same place. It may be wrong for one girl to dress a certain way and not wrong for another to dress that very way. It may be (mark, I "said may be") wrong for a converted thief to accept the secretaryship of the church. It may be wrong for a converted drunkard to habitually pass a reeking saloon on his way home from work every day.
Iím not minimizing the up-building grace of God. I am merely pointing out that certain things are wrong in relationship to life. We some time hear someone say, "I can not do so and so, so I donít understand how other people can be Christians and do those things. "Those things" are not valid measuring reeds: when used as such they only create confusion.
When one surrenders and believes for salvation, God instantly saves him. When one consecrates his all and believes for heart purity, God at once sanctifies him wholly. As we then obey God, walk in the light, and believe, God keeps us sanctified. No one has a right to un-christianize us by the application of false measuring reeds.
OBJECTIONS TO HOLINESS:
Much of the difficulty results that from holiness teaching flows from a misunderstanding of the definition of sin. Willful transgression of known laws must ever be regarded as the fundamental measuring of transgression and the original inborn bent to evil must ever be regarded as depravity. The former is forgiven in pardon and the latter is washed away in entire sanctification and the cleansed of the heart is filled with the Holy Ghost, and the love of God.
The idea or teaching of the living without sin has shocked many a person. Jesus was the one sinless man and to put that crown on the head of others seem sacrilege. A sinless man and living without sin are two different things. One implies never having sinned or having never been tainted by sin. The other implies having been saved from and now living without committing known wrong in a negative or positive field.
What was the great errand of Jesus in this world? Was it not to save his people from their sins? So far then as he does not save from sin his mission is a dismal failure. The inspired Paul says, "Awake to righteousness and sin not." David says "Stand in awe and sin not." John says, "He that committeth sin is of the Devil." "He that is born of God doth not commit sin." Paul later said, "God forbid that we should continue in sin." To commit sin is to continue is sin. God hates sin, forbids sin and in the light of the Gospel provisions expects us to live without sin. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Did not Solomon in prayer at the dedication of the Temple tell Jehovah that there is no man that sinneth not (2 Chron. 6:36) and does he not repeat there is not a just man on earth that doeth good and sinneth not? We answer that Solomon, when correctly interpreted in the Vulgate, the Septuagint and most of the ancient versions, gives no countenance to sin. These all read "may not sin." The Hebrew language has no potential mood and uses the indicative future instead. The context must determine the real meaning. The context is nonsense if the King James Version using an if, when there is no room for a condition. "If any man sin for every man sins." But does not James 3:1,2. "For in many things we offend all." Who are "We", is it not St. James and then rest of the Apostles? If the "We" is used for men generally, then the difficulty vanishes. But the plea for continuing in sin proves another pretext. 1 John 1:8: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." Daniel said, "We have sinned," referring to the nation and not to himself as an individual, for he opposed the nation in its sin. Yet the "We" was a nation and that nation included himself. The St. John we have already quoted elsewhere said "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." There is no discrepancy when understood correctly. (Steele, Love Enthroned, pp.71-72).
If all sin were expelled from the heart the Christian warfare would cease.
Satan is not chained in the pit and evil spirits are here and evil men are here and injustice is here and good men can be a trial to good men. These are all external sources from which trials come. Our own faculties are faulty and imperfect. This also leads to severe trials. Thus we have warfare too.
To keep sin out of the heart by permitting a root or roots of bitterness from springing up after injustice and misunderstanding have come our way.
To keep our own natural shortcomings from allowing sin to come by discouragements, or provocation, etc.
To keep ourselves stirred up from falling into condemnation because of omissions of that which is our duty. We must push on and grow in grace. Jesus is again our final citation.
If we are fully sanctified, we would immediately be translated.
That makes sin a life necessity. How much blood is needed to keep one alive? Some think sin is not an evil, but a vital good. This it is not. The more wicked a man the longer would be his life. Nowhere does the Bible say or imply that the holier the heart, the shorter the life. Sin is not a life necessity, but a life destroyer.
Jesus was holy and lived in bodily form on earth. "Holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." And they were in bodily form. The disciples were to be sanctified and then left on the earth in bodily form to suffer, to preach and to die.
Were a soul to be entirely sanctified it would no longer need the blood of Christ.
It takes the same power to keep one as it takes to save one. The same light expels darkness, keeps darkness expelled. Were a man to tell you that he does not need the sin for light now that now that the sin arises, he would be saying as the above suggest.
Furthermore with no overpowering and cleansing blood our natural mistakes and shortcomings from the perfect will of God for our actions and services would be sin. Our mistakes are covered by the blood just as the Old Testament offering of ignorance.
Were men to be Entirely Sanctified there would be no room for improvement.
Jesus made himself of no reputation and was holy in heart. Perfect humility does not lead to pride any more than weakness leads to strength, darkness to light, sickness to health, poverty to wealth, carelessness to carefulness or vice to virtue. Pride is the opposite of humility hence self-pride can not lead to self-humility. That again would make a little sin a blessing. No man can be sinful in heart and humble in heart.
Deep humiliation caused
by sinful breaks with God and carnal pride in the heart are not necessary
for growth in grace. In fact, they hinder growth in grace.
"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth
good things: an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
The evil is not good and the good is not evil.
Occasionally there is fanaticism attached to the profession of the experience, but it is in spite of it and no way connected with it. Heart purity is the most sane thing in the world. To divorce the head from the heart is fanaticism as well as to divorce the heart from the head. Wild fire and icy coldness are both fanatical.
Could we see our world and cussing reeling immoral men and women from the vantagepoint of an angel, we would have some idea what fanaticism really was. Many have gone insane connected with religion, but holiness did not make them insane. The lack of it did so.
Sin weighing on the mind of the professor has driven some insane. It is not holiness that did it. Wood tells us of a student who at the time he went to college went insane, but no on said that it was education that did it. (Wood, Perfect Love, p. 236).
Some say that it sets aside repentance, indeed it itself is perfect repentance.
One must have repented and been forgiven of every sinful act that he has committed before he is on seeking ground. Thus it calls for a thorough repentance in life.
Others think that entire sanctification is far too great a blessing for them to attain. They forget that a sinful heart is to great a burden for them to carry for success. Heart holiness will just suit them.
Others think if the start to seek they will fail; they are certain to fail if thy never try. Heart holiness is Godís holiness when man has done the best he can. Consecration and faith will get one in and keep one in.
Others claim that some who did profess holiness did some things that were wrong. So did regenerated people and moral people and hypocrites. Only that which is of real value is counterfeited. Judas was a counterfeit. The other disciples did not walk out on Jesus on account of it. Such persons would be seriously mistaken in their own lives.
Some have obtained and lost it. That is true but not necessary. This is also true with regard to regeneration. Better to do that even a few times and ultimately to get established than never to try.
Others say, "If I seek holiness I shall have to exchange some items of my business and give up some of my habits." That is true in many cases, but such persons will have to change and give up in order to walk in the own light and remain regenerated. They have no claim in the promise of John 1:7.
Whatever known is keeping one out of holiness will also keep one out of heaven because it is a condemned thing already.
Others say, "if I were entirely sanctified ,I should be obliged to perform many duties from which I now excuse myself." If they are honest in this statement then they have no right to regard themselves as Christians at all. It is considered the same as the sixth consideration.
Others declare that if they seek and obtain this experience they shall have enemies. Without a doubt this is true, but they shall also have friends. Jesus had enemies and those who follow in his footsteps are to have the same. The man of character has enemies. Better to have the right kind of enemies than the wrong kind. "Hast thou found me, O thou mine enemy?" That was the wrong enemy to have.
The inconsistency of
some have prejudiced many against it. What about the inconsistencies
of the unsaved, of the regenerated. All unsaved professed to be decent.
How many fall from that standard and are inconsistent. Needless adornments
fill the sympathies, degrade the mind and indicate either a vitiated taste,
a shallow mind, or a vain and corrupt heart. Adornments serve to
engender pride, excite or hollowed passions, and love for the gilded trifles
of a deprived world. They not only cultivate and develop the passion
for display but also excite jealousy, evil speaking, and discontent (Ibid.,
Religious response is sanctioned by biblical example. Frequently the people praised the Lord. They said "Amen and Amen" as Ezra preached. Where there has been religious life there has always been more or less of it, and where there is religious life there will always be some of it. The greatest safeguard against delusion and imaginations is the Bible itself. Seldom are there real fanatics. Bible reading and a heart full of love on top of it will keep one steady in the strongest fanatical storm that is imaginable.
THE RESULTS OF NOT SEEKING HOLINESS.
To defer seeking holiness affords great advantage to the enemy of our souls -- the Devil. In the soul at least partially sanctified, the devil finds some tendency more or less to unbelief, to fear, to covetousness, and indeed to sin. It is like a fearful foe attacking the front from without who has a cunning and skillful accomplice within to help gain an entrance -- a heartless traitor within and a cruel foes without.
"But of all the foes
It is the occasion of frequent and humiliating defeats, and spiritual conflicts, sinning, and repenting, rising and falling, in and out, up and down are prominent Characteristics among those who are seeking the blessing of entire sanctification. The following stanza describes the lives of thousands of professing Christians.
"Here I repent and
That old form of grace at the table is very applicable here. "Gracious God, we have sinned against thee and are unworthy of thy mercies. Pardon our sin and bless these mercies for our use and help us to eat and drink to thy glory, for Christís sake, Amen."
Three times a day that dismal dirge is muttered. The real tragedy is it is often muttered in truth. Many believe that it is the best that God can do and stubbornly refuse to believe otherwise they sing such old songs as the following:
Bend the stubborn heart
and will, melt the frozen heart, etc.
Are these verses in keeping with such texts as Isa. 1:18; 1 John 3:9a, Phil. 3:15a; Rom. 12:1-2?
To cease going forward is to start going backwards. Bishop Peck to the early Methodist Church said, "In our judgement there are few cases of only partial sanctification in which every single day does not work in entire sanctification (PL, p 287). This statement is in full harmony with the statement in Heb, 6:1: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God." Backsliding and repenting is thus set forth as the result of not going forward to perfection. Final apostasy of the heart will result.
Growth in grace and increased knowledge of the truth are necessary in a sanctified state to retain entire sanctification. So also growth in grace and increased knowledge of the truth are necessary in the regenerated to retain regeneration. Such growth in regeneration is impossible without being brought face to face with the necessity of heart purity. Light must be brought in.
Arthur, William. The Tongue of Fire. New York: The Methodist Book Concern, 1866.
The Bible: King James Version; American Standard Version; Septuagint; Koine Greek New Testament.
Brockett, H. M. Scriptural Freedom from Sin. Chicago: The Christian Witness Co., 1909.
Campbell, L. M. Witnesses of the Doctrine of Holiness . Kansas City, Mo.: Nazarene Publishing House, 1915.
Chadwick, Samuel. The Call to Christian Perfection. Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press, 1944.
Clarkson, D. The Practical Works of Clarkson; ed. James Nichol. Edinburgh.
Fletcher, John. The Last Check to Antinomianism. Toronto: William Briggs, 1907.
Hills, A. M. Holiness and Power. Cincinnati: Revivalist Office, 1897.
-----. The Uttermost Salvation. Nazarene Publishing House, Kansas City, Missouri, 1945.
Jessop, Harry E. Foundations of Doctrine. Kansas City, Mo.: Nazarene Publishing House, 1940.
Kepp, A. C. Progress after Entire Sanctification. Chicago: The Christian Witness Co. 1909.
Lowery, Asbury. Possibilities of Grace. Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press, 1948.
Miller, B. W. Bible Readings on Holiness. Kansas City, Mo.: Nazarene Publishing House, 1931.
Steel, Daniel. Love Enthroned. New York: The Methodist Book Concern, 1908.
Watson, G. D. White Robes. Cincinnati: Godís Revivalist Press, 1883.
Wesley, John. Sermons II. London: Wesleyan Conference, 1868.
Wood, J. A. Perfect Love; or, Plain Things for Those Who Need Them. Chicago: The Christian Witness Co., 1880.
-----. Purity and Maturity; The Christian Witness Co., Chicago, 1913.
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