Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grace, The Divine Influence

GRACE
WE MUST TALK ABOUT GRACE.
WE MUST UNDERSTAND GRACE.
WE MUST EXAMINE OURSELVES AND ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TEACH US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW TO HAVE THIS GRACE, THIS DIVINE INFLUENCE UPON EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIFE.

Do we understand grace? Do we have examples of saints of God who daily walk with God under His divine influence? Are we capable of judging our own selves and knowing whether or not we have sought after and allowed sufficient divine influence upon our daily life?

The Seventh Seal age is called the Laodicean time. It is described as a lukewarm, sleepy day in which the saints of God have been affected by the world. I firmly believe the visual indications, which we see existing in congregations today, is that people are lacking in grace, lacking in divine influence in their attitudes, conduct and decisions. The saints and ministers are lacking in divine influence in wisdom, administration, and operation. I also believe that this insufficiency of divine influence has affected our ability to manifest and act with brotherly love toward one another. This lack of grace, lack of divine influence, has affected me and it has affected you.

We can not do anything right without God’s help. In other words it is the divine influence of God which enables us to do the right thing, every time, all the time.

John 5:19-22
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

According to the words of Jesus Christ, He performs all acts by the influence of the Father. He does not do anything without the direction and influence of His Heavenly Father.

John 15:4-5
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Jesus tells us that we can do nothing without Him. You can not do anything right without the help of Jesus Christ. How many decisions and acts fill your days which are the sole results of your own will and desire?

Can you hear me?
Do you understand what I am saying? You probably do not fully know what I am saying? I am not calling you ignorant; and, I am not calling you a sinner. I am saying that I don’t see evidence of people who are being entirely led by the influence of the Holy Spirit. You are not doing all that you do by the influence of God. Too many times we have done what we thought was right and good without any influence of God. Too many times we do what we want to do without even thinking about asking God what He wants us to do. We have made choices and decisions based on our human experiencce and intelligence without the divine influence of God.

In a lukewarm, sleepy condition, a person will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit saying “this is the way, do it this way” and that spiritually lukewarm person will reason within himself and take a more convenient way, a less sacrificial way. In his mind, he will justify and excuse himself by saying “the Bible does not say I have to do it that way, right now.”

Are you asking God to give you understanding right now? Are you asking God to control and guide your thoughts and self-examination right now?
You will not seek after God unless God calls you to think and consider under His divine influence.

John 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

How does God “draw” men and women to come to Jesus and be saved? It is by His influence. The way to repentance begins with a call from God.

You are saved by grace.

Ephesians 2:1-9
2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We can do nothing right or good except by the divine influence of God.
Are you listening? Are you really listening?

Romans 1:1-7
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you will obey the Word and the Spirit, you will grow in grace. You will increase in the power of His divine influence.

In prayers and fastings, you will increase in the grace of God.
In temperance and crucifying the desires of the flesh, you will grow in grace.
In longsuffering and patience, you will grow in grace.
In obedience and faithful service, you will grow in grace.
In study and seeking for the perfect will of God, you will grow in grace.

But, if you are a forgetful hearer, you will be weak and grow weaker.
If you hear but fail to do the will of God you will be fall away from Him.
You can be religious and lost, if you fail to walk in the light of truth.
You can be faithful to church services and unfaithful to God who called you.
You can pray much within yourself and not submit to the voice of God.

Grace comes to us and increases by obedience to the Word and the Spirit.
Self love will push aside the divine influence of God.

1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Some people have heard this passage of scripture read so many times they think they are doing it the right way. They think that God is pleased with their obedience. But they have not obeyed. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are much more prevalent around the church of God than many people want to admit. Around the church of God, not in the church of God, people are doing what they want to do instead of the doing the will of God.

My message to you today is presented to you with the burden that you will seek after God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I can not give you grace. I can not produce the influence upon your life to cause you to be holy. But I can guide you to the source of that grace. Go to Jesus and get the grace you need.

Don’t let Satan stop you.
Don’t let the world stop you.
Don’t let self-love stop you.
Don’t let the comforts of the flesh stop you.
Don’t let the opinions of your family and friends stop you.

If God sees that you love Him and want Him more than any other thing in this world, He will bring to bear upon your life such a great divine influence that you will overcome every obstacle, every foe and every temptation.

In Genesis 6:8 we read, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Have you found grace in the eyes of the Lord?
Have you submitted everything in your life to the divine influence of God?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

PRAISE THE LORD

Psalms 9:1-2
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

What is the purpose of praise? It is to exalt and glorify God. It is part of our worship. We are indebted to praise God. We are His workmanship and we ought to praise our Creator and the one who has redeemed us from destruction.
We have a commandment to praise God. If we refuse to give God praise because we are afraid of what others may think of us, then we have submitted to men and not to God.

What kind of person will not praise God?
The atheist will not praise God.
The unbeliever and disobedient will not praise God.
The proud and worldly person will not praise God.
So what are people to think about you, if you do not praise God?
If you do not praise God, then how are we to know that you believe that He is the one who has blest you?

There is not a single method, a standard form or a “one-size-fits-all” way of praising the Lord. The important thing is to obey the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to do something, do it. Be careful and be sure you are not following the prompts of the wrong spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to "quench not the Spirit." Don't draw back from obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. Don't be ashamed of praising God or the Lord Jesus Christ will be ashamed of you. Don't be too bashful to give God praise. Overcome the timidity of your nature and give God praise. Conversely, overcome your tendency to talk too much which leads you to speak without Holy Ghost guidance.

Praise is appropriate and attractive for those who are obedient.
Psalms 33:1-3
33 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Praise is pleasant and peaceful; it is not abrasive or hurtful.
Psalms 147:1
147 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

It is not to exalt man:
John 12:39-43
39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Praise puts a stamp of approval upon that which is praised.
Paul could not praise some people because they were out of order in their conduct.

1 Corinthians 11:17-22
17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Praise is like a sweet smelling sacrifice to God.
Hebrews 13:14-16
14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Praise magnifies the works of God which He has done for us.
Ephesians 1:10-12
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
We are what we are in righteousness because of what God has done for us.
We have not changed ourselves by ourselves.
We love God because He first loved us.
We praise God because He has put praise in our hearts.

The power of praise.

Praise exalts God and moves Him to work in our behalf.
Psalms 50:22-23
22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
When you give God the praise for which He is worthy, He will show you the works of salvation. He will show the power of His grace.

The privilege of praise.

We have a great privilege to praise God and if we do not praise Him, he will replace us with someone or something.
All creation is the praise of God, but He wants men and women to praise Him.

Luke 19:37-40
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

God wants our praise to be verbal and to be heard in all the earth. He does not want you to just praise Him in your heart. Make a loud noise with your praise. But be sure it is not just a noise, not all noise is praise. Praise is given to God, it is for God and it must exalt God only.

Psalms 66:8-20
8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

We have a commandment and duty to praise God.
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Will you obey God and give Him the praise which He deserves?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Perfect Love - Entire Sanctification

The following post is extracted from the book titled "Perfect Love" by J.A. Wood, which was written in 1880. It is the common belief of the holiness movement of which the Evening Time Church of God in the Sixth and Seventh Seal are part. During the sixth and seventh seal, the evening time church of God was called out of and visibly separated from the religious institutions of men.

If you would seek for the truth, compare these words with the Holy Scriptures and may the Holy Spirit give you understanding. These are the words of men who were not being strongly influenced by the lukewarm spiritual condition of the Laodicean church age.

Perfect Love

Section: 04 -- Regeneration And Entire Sanctification Not Identical


8. Do the Scriptures teach a distinction between regeneration and entire sanctification?

They do. "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?" "Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." "Sanctify them through thy truth thy word is truth." All these passages have reference to Christians in a regenerated state, but not entirely sanctified.

9. Does the Christian Church generally recognize this distinction?

It does. "By a consent almost universal," says Rev. Dr. Hodge, "the word regeneration is now used to designate, not the whole work of sanctification." -- According to the Scriptures, and the undeniable evidence of history, regeneration does not remove all sin." -- Systematic Theology, vol. iii p. 290.

Prof. Upham says: "The distinction which is made in the Scriptures between the two is regarded so obvious and incontrovertible by most writers, that it has naturally passed as an established truth into treatises on theology." -- Interior Life.

"That there is sin in the incipient believer," says Dr. John Dempster, "is a scriptural truth, sustained by many kinds of evidence. The denial of it is a position utterly novel. It is less than two centuries old. Till that modern date, no part of the Greek or Latin churches was ever infected with it. And in the Reformed churches it was never heard of only among a few raving Antinomians." -- Sermon at Biblical Institute.

10. Does the Methodist Church teach a distinction?

She does very clearly in her Discipline, Catechism, Hymn Book, and by all her standard authorities.

1. The Discipline recognizes a state of entire sanctification as attainable subsequent to regeneration and previous to death.

Every minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church has affirmed, by his ordination vows, that entire sanctification is a distinct work, subsequent to regeneration. In the Discipline, Part II sec. 11, are the following questions: "Have you faith in Christ? Are you going on unto perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you groaning after it?" These questions suppose that "perfection," or "perfect love," is distinct from and subsequent to regeneration.

2. The official Catechisms of the Methodist Church were revised by Bishop Hedding, Nathan Bangs. Stephen Olin, and Joseph Holdich, and then examined and indorsed by the General Conference in 1552. These Catechisms define Regeneration -- "The new birth of the soul in the image of Christ, whereby we become the children of God;" and Entire Sanctification -- "The state of being entirely cleansed from sin, so as to love God with all our heart and mind, and soul and strength."

3. The Hymn Book teaches a distinction. Every edition from the first, has contained a specific class of hymns on sanctification. These hymns, more numerous than those on any other subject, were written principally by the Wesleys, to define, defend, and promote entire sanctification, in early Methodism when it was greatly controverted. In the changes made in the Hymn Book from time to time during the past century, many sweet and clearly defined hymns on this subject have been left out; still our Hymnal contains a beautiful and choice selection upon it.

Speak the second time, 'Be clean.' Take away my inbred sin; Every stumblingblock remove; Cast it out by perfect love." -- Chas. Wesley --

The seed of sin's disease, Spirit of health, remove, Spirit of finished holiness, Spirit of perfect love." -- Chas. Wesley --

"Refining fire, go through my heart, Illuminate my soul Scatter thy life through every part, And sanctify the whole." -- Chas. Wesley --

4. All the leading writers and standard authorities of Methodism teach a distinction. Mr. Wesley might be quoted very largely; we will insert only a few lines from him. He says: "Sanctification begins in the moment a man is justified. Yet sin remains in him, yea, the seed of all sin, till he is sanctified throughout." -- Works, vol. vi. p. 496. See Plain Account- Sermons, vol. i. p. 124; also vol. i. p. 119.

1. Rev.. Richard Watson says: "That a distinction exists between a regenerate state and a state of entire and perfect holiness, will be generally allowed." -- Institutes, Part II. chap. 29.

2. Rev. John Fletcher says: "We do not deny that the remains of the carnal mind still cleave to imperfect Christians. "This fault, corruption or infection, doth remain in them who are regenerated." -- Last Check, p. 507-541.

3. Dr. Adam Clark said to a friend who had been misinformed in regard to his views of entire sanctification: "As to the words which you quote as mine, I totally disclaim them. I never said, I never intended to say them. I believe Justification and Sanctification to be widely distinct works." He used the term Justification as including regeneration. -- Etheridge's Life of Dr. A. Clark.

4. "Regeneration also, being the same as the new birth," says Bishop Hedding "is the beginning of sanctification, though not the completion of it, or not entire sanctification. Regeneration is the beginning of purification; entire sanctification is the finishing of that work." -- Address at N. J. Con.

5. Bishop Hamline says: "That this perfect love, or entire sanctification, is specifically a new state, and not the mere improvement of a former state, or of regeneration, is plainly inferred from the Bible." -- Beauty of Holiness, 1862, p. 264.

6. Bishop Foster says: "Regeneration is not entire sanctification; the merely regenerate are not sanctified; they are not entirely free from sin; they are not perfect in love." -- Christian Purity, p. 69.

7. Dr. George Peck says: "The doctrine of entire sanctification, as a DISTINCT WORK wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost, is the GREAT DISTINGUISHING DOCTRINE OF METHODISM. This given up, and we have little left which we do not told in common with other evangelical denominations." "The position that justification and entire sanctification take place at one and the same time, and that regeneration and entire sanctification are identical, is clearly contrary to the position taken by our standard theologians." -- Christian Perfection, p. 363.

8. Rev. Wm. McDonald: "Regeneration and entire sanctification are not received at one and the same time, except, perhaps, in a few extraordinary cases, if, indeed, the case ever occurs." -- New Testament Standard, p. 44.

9. Bishop Thomson, at the West Virginia Conference, in his last clerical address a few days before his death, said: "The justified and regenerate discover in themselves the remains of the carnal mind. If you accept the theory that you are sanctified when you are justified, if you find the remains of sin after you experience regeneration, you will be led to a melancholy conclusion. The opposite view, that we cannot be made pure, is equally pernicious."

10. Dr. Raymond, in his "Systematic Theology," says: "Entire sanctification is not usually, if ever, contemporary with regeneration. Regeneration is, in most cases of Christian experience, if not in all, initial sanctification, not complete, perfect renewal. The regenerated person is not, at the moment of regeneration, wholly sanctified." -- Article on Sanctification.

11. Rev. Dr. Lowry says: "The position is supportable, on Scripture grounds, that true believers, born of the Spirit, and loving God, may be, and ordinarily are, the subjects of a residuum of inherent sin." -- Positive Theology, p. 234.

12. Bishop M. Simpson says: "Sanctification is not regeneration." -- "Methodism differs from Moravianism in that it does not hold regeneration and entire sanctification to be identical." -- Christian Perfection, in Encyclopedia of Methodism.

These citations might be greatly multiplied; those given are sufficient to indicate the voice of the church on this question.

11. Does this distinction harmonize with Christian experience?

It does. All Christians are regenerated, while but few claim to be sanctified wholly. The penitent sinner seeks for pardon and acceptance, and is not concerned for the blessing of perfect love, or entire justification. After regeneration, the more clearly the light of justification shines, the more the converted soul will see its indwelling sin, and feel the necessity of entire sanctification.

Thousands of intelligent Christians, whose experience in regard to regeneration and sanctification has been clear, can testify to the following:--

1. They have had a clear evidence of justification and regeneration.

2. While in possession of this evidence, they have been convinced of inbred sin, or corruption.

3. They have sought and obtained a sensible purification of heart in which all sin was taken away, and they were enabled to love God with all the heart.

4. They have had as clear and distinct witness of the Spirit, to this "second blessing," as they ever had of justification and regeneration.

12. Does the Lord ever entirely sanctify the soul at justification and regeneration?

We do not know. Possibly this may be the case in some instances, but, certainly, is not the usual order of God. In all our acquaintance with many thousands of the purest and best Christians in all the various churches, we have yet to find a clear case of entire sanctification at conversion. While multitudes claim that their souls have been cleansed from all sin subsequent to their justification, we do not recollect a single instance of a distinct witness of entire sanctification at conversion.

Mr. Wesley says: "But we do not know a single instance, in any place, of a person's receiving in one and the same moment remission of sins, the abiding witness of the Spirit, and a new and a clean heart." -- Plain Account, p. 34.

In giving an account of Grace Paddy, who was convicted of sin, converted, and purified within twelve hours, he says: "Such an instance I never knew before; such an instance I never read a person convinced of sin, converted to God, and renewed in love within twelve hours Yet it is by no means incredible, seeing one day is with God as a thousand years." -- Works, vol. iv. p. 219.

Dr. Clarke says: "I have been twenty-three years a traveling preacher, and have been acquainted with some thousands of Christians during that time, who were in different states of grace; and I never, to my knowledge, met with a single instance where God both justified and sanctified at the same time." -- Etheridge's Life of Dr. A. Clarke.

13. How did Mr. Wesley view the idea that the soul is entirely sanctified at regeneration?

As a dangerous heresy. On its account after several long interviews with Count Zinzendorf a leading Moravian, he separated himself and his societies from all communion and fellowship with the Moravians.

"We may learn" (says Mr. Wesley) "the mischievousness of that opinion, that we are wholly sanctified when we are justified; that our hearts are then cleansed from all sin." -- Works, vol. i. p. 119.

I cannot therefore by any means receive this assertion, that there is no sin in a believer from the moment he is justified; --

"1. Because it is contrary to the whole tenor of Scripture."

"2. Because it is contrary to the experience of the children of God."

"3. Because it is absolutely new, never heard of in the world till yesterday."

"4. Because it is naturally attended with the most fatal consequences; not only grieving those whom God hath not grieved, but, perhaps, dragging them into everlasting perdition." -- Sermons, vol. i. p. 111.

Dr. George Peck says: "Would it not be a sad indication of the degeneracy of Methodism in this country, if what Mr. Wesley, under God our great founder, considered heresy, and opposed With All His Might, should be cherished as the very marrow of the gospel by the ministers and people of the Methodist Episcopal Church?" -- Christian, Perfection, p. 364.

Rev.. William Bramwell writes to a friend: "An idea is going forth, that when we are justified we are entirely sanctified," and "to feel evil nature after justification is to lose pardon," &c. You may depend upon it, this is the devil's great gun. We shall have much trouble with this, and I am afraid we cannot suppress it." -- Memoir.

14. What was the Moravian or Zinzendorf doctrine which Mr. Wesley opposed?

That the soul is entirely sanctified when it is justified; that regeneration, which takes place at the time of justification, is identical with entire sanctification.

Mr. Wesley gives Zinzendorf's statements:-- "The moment he," a believer, "is justified, he is sanctified wholly." -- "Entire sanctification and justification are in the same instant, and neither is increased or diminished." -- "As soon as any one is justified, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell in his heart; and in that moment his heart is as pure as it ever will be." -- Works, vol. iii. p. 222.

It was this error that occasioned the Writing and publication of his sermon on "Sin in Believers."

He says in his Journal: "I retired to Lewisham, and wrote the sermon on 'Sin in Believers,' in order to remove a mistake, which some were laboring to propagate -- that there is no sin in any that are justified." Works, vol. iv. p. 147.

This theory of entire sanctification is antagonistic to the universal experience of the Church, and to the standard writers of all Christendom for a thousand years.

15. Is the theory that the soul is entirely sanctified at regeneration, attended with serious difficulties?

It is. It involves the whole subject of Christian sanctification in inextricable difficulties. The following are some of them:

1. If sanctification is complete at justification, then every man who enjoys religion is entirely sanctified.

2. If sanctification is complete at conversion, then every Christian, to be truthful, should profess entire sanctification.

3. If all who are converted are entirely sanctified, then all the directions in the word of God, to seek holiness sanctification, or perfect love, are given exclusively to sinners.

4. If sanctification is complete at justification, then converts are not to seek for any further cleansing.

5. If sanctification is complete at justification, ministers have no right to urge Christians to "go on unto perfection," or to "cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

6. If justification and entire sanctification are inseparable, then all who feel the fruits of the flesh are in a state of condemnation.

7. If a state of entire sanctification is consistent with the struggles of pride, unbelief, impatience, jealousy, and anger (the common experience of newly justified believers), must we not infer that these must go with us to heaven? as it must be admitted that entire sanctification fits the soul for heaven.

8. If sanctification is complete at conversion then every man who is not entirely sanctified is a child of the devil.

9. If entire sanctification is complete at justification, it is so in opposition to the experience of the whole Church of God, and, with slight exceptions, the whole Christian world have been seriously mistaken during two thousand years.

10. If all that are regenerate are wholly sanctified, then, whoever is convicted for full salvation, and groaning after it, is at once to infer that he was never converted, or that he is now backslidden. Thus would this heresy, if received, perplex and harass with perpetual difficulties and discouragements the very members of the church who are most deeply concerned to possess all the mind that was in Christ.

A system involving such difficulties can not be received as the truth of God, and should be regarded as anti-scriptural, and avoided as dangerous heresy.

16. If regeneration is partial and not entire sanctification, where is the limit?

Dr. G. D. Watson answers this question:-- "The Scriptures teach that in conversion the believer is always sanctified or purified back to the moral cleanness of infancy. This is the exact limit of partial sanctification, which is fixed by the Saviour himself. "Except ye be converted and become as little children." Just as pardon removes all guilt resulting from actual transgressions, so 'the washing of regeneration' removes all the impurity acquired by actual transgression. The removal of remaining original impurity is the work of entire sanctification." -- Advocate of Holiness, September, 1879.

Rev.. B. W. Gorham: "The infant, and the man in a state of assured justification before God, are alike parties to the covenant of grace, which entitles them to holiness and heaven. Both are alike free from any voluntary antagonism to holiness; and should death come suddenly to both, our covenant-keeping Lord will surely perfect that which is locking in each, even in the very article of death." -- God's Method with Man, p. 57.

17. Does a state of justification involve a desire to be holy?

It does. If a man is a Christian, and in a justified state, he has the heart of a child of God, and desires to render Him a present, full, and unreserved obedience. This is implied in the very nature of true religion. A desire for holiness is a spontaneity of the regenerate heart, and the Christian who argues against holiness will get down on his knees and pray for a clean heart, -- his regenerated heart getting the better of his head.

Bishop Peck says: "Regeneration in its lowest state loves holiness, and pants to be filled with it."

Mr. Caughey says: "A hearty desire for purity is the brightest gem that sparkles in real justification. If it be genuine, this desire is always attached to it -- as weight to lead, as heat to fire, as fragrance to the rose, as greenness to a healthy leaf -- inseparable."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

THE HOLY TRINITY

I doubt that there is anyone here (in the congregation to whom I am speaking) who does not believe in the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, it is good to be reminded of these truths lest we forget them. We have a sure witness in the Word of God which confirms that there are three different personalities or three different persons in the Godhead of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We desire to share those scriptures which testify of this truth.
It is not only good that you understand this subject but be able to give an answer to anyone who should ask you about this subject.

God, the Father, made it so clear that there exists such perfect unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that it is recorded in the scriptures that they are “one”. Satan, being the master of deceit and the father of lies, used this expression of oneness and unity to confuse people and lead them to not recognize and give glory to each of these three persons of the Godhead.

First let us look at some scriptures which confirm and identify the existence of these three persons of the Godhead.

1 John 5:5-7
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Matthew 19:4-6
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Are you and your wife one flesh, or does God bind you together as one flesh in unity and oneness? You are not one body, but you ought to be of one mind and purpose. Your unity ought to be so strong that you are inseparable and when we hear the words of one, we hear the words of the other. Even if the wife disagrees in her mind with her husband, she ought to submit to his final decision so that unity is never broken. This unity can only exist in that relationship where both the husband and wife are in subjection to the commandments of God.

The words of the prophet Jeremiah has surely come to pass in our day: Jeremiah 31:22, “How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” This word “compass” is translated from the Hebrew word, OT:5437 cabab (saw-bab'); a primitive root; to revolve, surround, or border; used in various applications, literally and figuratively (as follows): bring, cast, fetch, lead, make, walk, whirl, round about, be about on every side.”

When Christ is not the head of the man, then the man is not qualified to be the head of the woman. Men and women have lost their head and are no longer in submission to the law of God. If you have lost your head, it may be difficult for you to fully understand the Godhead.

Matthew 7:21
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus speaks of His Father as someone separate from Himself. This fact is confirmed by many scriptures.

Matthew 18:18-20
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Jesus repeatedly refers to His Heavenly Father as someone who is a different person and as someone to whom He is in submission. Listen carefully to this next scripture.

Matthew 26:36-39
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Jesus is asking for permission to avoid drinking this bitter cup which He is about to drink at Calvary. He submits to the will of His Father. His will is submitted to the will of His Father. If He and the Father were the same person, then there could be no act of submission. The word “submit” means to yield to another’s authority.

If Jesus was talking to himself about himself we have a dichotomous (contradictory) conversation where appearance and fact are opposed to each other. That would be deception. Jesus is no deceiver.

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Jesus recognized His Heavenly Father; and His Heavenly Father recognized Him as His Beloved Son.

I am a father and I am a son; but I am not the father of myself.
Jesus was not His own Father.

Mark 9:2-8
2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

The disciples witnessed the presence of both the Father and the Son. They report that they were present at the conversation of two different persons.

2 Peter 1:16-18
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

The apostles did not forget what they witnessed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Many years later, they are recording the facts of that experience.

If we have successfully set before you firm evidence of the existence of the Father and the Son as separate persons, then we ought to be able to help you accept that there are also three persons in the Trinity of the divine Godhead. We have a clear statement in our opening text.

1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

These three are in perfect unity of thought and purpose. They never disagree on any subject or issue. The Holy Ghost has been given to us to teach and remind us of those things which the Father and the Son have commanded.

John 15:24-27
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The Holy Spirit is the comforter, whom we have received from the Father, whom was sent by the Son. If the English language has any meaning at all, if words have any consistent definitions, then it must be acknowledged that there is a Holy Trinity which consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

“Both” still means two; and these two sent another whom is called the Comforter. The Holy Spirit is sent by Christ, from the Father, to the children of God to bear witness of both the Father and the Son.

In conclusion:
Do you know the three persons of the Holy Trinity and do they know you?
If you are not living in obedience to their commands, they do not know you.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

THE TABERNACLE OF GOD - Part Six

Now let us look at the specific furniture which was found in the Tabernacle. God has revealed to us, in types and shadows, the principal and essential elements of His plan to redeem and purify a temple not made with hands.



OLD TESTAMENT TYPE: NEW TESTAMENT ANTI-TYPE:

Worldly sanctuary – Tabernacle The heart of man


2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Outer Court of the Tabernacle Congregation including sinners

Revelation 11:1-2 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The laws of God are not for sinners, but rather they are for saints. A sinner is not subject to the law of God. Romans 8:7-8, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” We preach the judgments of God for the benefit of those who desire to obey God. We do not measure the sinner. We measure the child of God, so that he may increase in knowledge and wisdom. By the “foolishness of preaching” the measure of holiness is set before the people to see and to seek after. The Holy Spirit will take the preached gospel and apply it to the heart and life of those who would seek after God. The “outer court” was an area where Gentiles, i.e. non-Jews, were allowed admission to hear and observe the worship of the one true God.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Brazen Altar Sinner’s sacrifice – repentance

Leviticus 4:25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.
Leviticus 6:30 And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.

Holy fire shall burn ever sin offering which is brought into the Holy Place to be offered upon the Golden Altar. The sin offering had been made holy on the Brazen Altar. When a portion of that offering with its blood was offered on the Golden Altar, it was consumed with fire. Likewise, the Holy Spirit will consume the fleshly, carnal nature of every sacrifice which is presented and consecrated for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:10-12 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Animal blood sacrifice Atonement – payment for sin

Hebrews 9:6-14
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

It is important to notice that the High Priest did not enter into the Holiest of Holies without first being cleansed by a “blood” sacrifice which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people. Likewise, we can not enter into the Holiest of Holies without a second application of the blood of our sin sacrifice which is Jesus Christ. The Holiest of Holies was the second room of the tabernacle where the Spirit of God communed with the High Priest. Under the Old Covenant, no other person but the High Priest had this privilege of communing with the Holy Ghost. Under the New Covenant, this privilege belongs to every sanctified believer who has been purged and filled with the Holy Ghost.

Brazen Laver Washing away of committed sin

Ephesians 5:25-27
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It is the will of God to cleanse the soul from all the acts of willful sin and then sanctify the believer by the purging fire of the Holy Ghost.

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

The provisions of salvation include the “washing of regeneration” whereby the soul that has died by sin is given new life, followed by the “renewing of the Holy Ghost” to bring us back to the holy state of unhindered communion which God first enjoyed with Adam.

Hebrews 10:11-14
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Hebrews 10:26-29
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Let us further examine the scriptures which teach us the pattern of the tabernacle. Exodus 25:9, “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”


Door of the Temple Jesus Christ


John 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.




Holy Place – 1st room of Tabernacle Justification – made holy

Exodus 26:33-36
33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

▲Second Room - The Holiest of Holies; the Most Holy
35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
36 And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
▲First Room - The Holy Place
Revelation 1:5-6
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Romans 5:1-2
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Table of Shew Bread The Word as the Bread of Life

John 6:32-35
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread .
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Golden Candlestick The Word as spiritual light

Psalms 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Revelation 2:5
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Golden Altar Sacrifice – consecration

Revelation 8:1-5
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar , having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar , and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Acts 2:1-8
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Blood - Anointing Cleansing of the Holy Spirit

Leviticus 8:22-24
22 And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.
23 And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.
24 And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.



Holiest of Holies Sanctification
2nd room of Tabernacle Communion


Hebrews 9:6-9
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Mercy Seat/Ark of Covenant Intimate relationship with God

Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy , and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

It is very noteworthy that this “seat” upon which the Spirit of God rested when He entered the Holiest of Holies was called the “Mercy Seat.” There is great “mercy” in the relationship of God with mankind. It is because of His lovingkindness that we are not consumed for our sins, our human faults and weaknesses. We are so unworthy of His tender kindness.

There are some very important aspects of this Old Testament Sanctuary and Temple which must be acknowledged. It had two rooms; the Holy Place and the Holiest of Holies. Was one room more holy that the other? Yes, it was the “holiest of holies.” Is the sanctified believer in a more holy condition than the justified believer? Yes, he has been purged of that old carnal nature which is contrary to the will of God. Carnality is the “leaven” which remains in the soul of the believer. Sanctification, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, purges that corruptible nature and makes us partakers of God’s divine nature.

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.

Hebrews 8:6-8
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”

Opponents of sanctification as a second cleansing tend to present the “carnal nature” as equal to personal sin which carries guilt and personal responsibility. It is very important to understand that the carnal nature, which is inherited from our fathers, is not a personal sin or a willful sin. It is not a sin for which the affected person has personal guilt. It is not a sin to be repented of. It is a corrupted nature which is identified and referred to, by many ministers, as the “carnal nature”. It is not intended to be classified as “sin” which is imputed and chargeable against the individual. The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:3, Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” This inherited nature is never referred to as sin for which the affected person is charged with being sinful. Provisions for the cleansing of this carnal nature was never realized under the first covenant; thus is was faulty and resulted in frequent backsliding and sinful failure.

Full salvation is the combined work of justification and sanctification. Jesus Christ died on the cross so that you could be justified and sanctified. The hungry soul will not be satisfied with less than both works of grace.

“Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?”

THE TABERNACLE OF GOD - Part Five

TWO WORKS OF GRACE
AND
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES

We base our understanding of what the Bible teaches on several foundational stones. First, we base our understanding on the specific scriptures which deal with this subject. The scriptures are not silent on this essential doctrine. Secondly, we base our understanding on the types, shadows and parables of the Word of God which clearly guide us to the faith of two cleansing works of grace. Thirdly, we base our understanding on the historical witnesses of the apostles and prophets and holy men of God upon whom the anointing of God has been manifested.

The true church of God has always taught that full salvation is experienced in two definite cleansing works of grace. The apostles taught it in their New Testament writings. We have the testimony of many holy ministers teaching in the 4th, 5th and 6th Seal periods of time where the unfolding of the full gospel light is experienced in Justification, Sanctification and Unity. Martin Luther and other men of God in the 4th Seal taught that the “Just must live by faith.” This public proclamation broke the bondage of the Catholic Church which taught that you must obtain forgiveness of your sins by confession to their priests. John Wesley and other men of God in the 5th Seal taught that the Justified must be Sanctified. They taught that there remained in the new convert a corruptible nature which must be purged by the infilling of the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of promise, designed of God to make the believer wholly holy. D.S. Warner, F.G. Smith, H.M. Riggle, E.E. Byrum, R.R. Byrum, C.W. Gray and many other church of God ministers taught that Sanctification was an essential doctrine. These also taught that the unity of the believers would always be in danger of strife and division if the Christian convert did not become partakers of this divine second work of grace.

Conversely, we have evidence of the opposing work of Satan as he has influenced people to oppose this doctrine of sanctification. There have been those who taught one cleansing, three cleansings and many cleansings. There have been those who have confused and perverted the Pentecostal experience with false teachings concerning speaking in tongues. Each of these are but opposing spirits set in array against the truth.

When God chose to bring the doctrine of sanctification back into the light and understanding of the church, He used men like John Wesley. One of John Wesley’s closest friends, Count Zinzendorf, opposed him in the teaching of two works of grace.

Statements of writers of history:
”John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, [Note: John Wesley was not the founder of Methodism. Those who followed after him, founded this denominational division of Protestantism.] owed the Moravians much, both in his religious development and in the formation of his movement. Zinzendorf became the religious leader of an internationally known community congregation of Pietist Moravians at Herrnhut. John Wesley was so influenced by Peter Boehler, a Moravian missionary and bishop, that he visited the community. Wesley was so interested in Moravianism that he learned German and formed many of his religious positions in alignment with the Moravianism. Ultimately, John Wesley broke away from the Moravianism over the doctrine of Sanctification.”

The “one cleansing” doctrine is commonly credited to Count Zinzendorf, although he is not the first person, or the last, to oppose the will of God, even our sanctification. There have been ministers who have taught sanctification as a definite second cleaning for much of their ministry and then allowed some influence to turn them from the true doctrine to a false doctrine. One well known minister of the Church of God, was a man whom God used in a mighty way to preach the truth and win many souls to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He once stated in one of his messages that if he ever quit teaching sanctification as a second definite cleansing, that people should run from him. Sadly, when he changed, all the people did not run away from him. We have often observed that people do not run from someone who has won their trust and proven faithful over many years. People were convinced that this faithful man of God had received new light. This was a great tragedy which produced division among the saints in many local congregations.

Sanctification is a definite and instantaneous second work of grace which is the work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul of man for the entire perfection of his spirit and nature. I will give you scriptural proof of the necessity of two works of grace and the reason God has ordained this two-fold restoration of that relationship which God designed to enjoy between Himself and Adam and Eve before sin entered into their hearts. I will teach you from the scriptures how this two-fold cleansing is set forth in types, in parables and in New Testament examples.

Hebrews 2:1-4
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

The reader of this letter is instructed “to give the more earnest heed” because salvation and eternal life rest upon the instructions set forth in this book. We have set before us “so great salvation” through Jesus Christ. God has verified and born witness to these truths with signs and wonders. The child of God is encouraged to understand the signs which God has placed along our pathway to guide us into all truth. Please pay attention to the signs which are pointed out in this treatise. It is your privilege and duty to examine these words and compare the spiritual with spiritual and let the Holy Ghost give you wisdom and understanding.

Hebrews 2:10-11
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 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,

Jesus Christ came for the express purpose to sanctify the believer. A person could be justified and have fellowship with God under the Old Testament. Why then did Jesus need to come and give Himself as a blood sacrifice for our sins? God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind because Elijah was a holy man. Moses and Abraham surely had the approval of God and were sent from heaven to comfort Jesus and commune with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. If people could die and be acceptable with God under the Old Testament, why did Jesus need to suffer and become our sacrificial Lamb? What makes the New Covenant a better testament and a better covenant than the Old Covenant?

The Old Testament sets forth a detailed description of the pattern which God gave to Moses concerning the material construction and the religious functions of the Tabernacle. The writer of the book to the Hebrews emphatically declares the pattern of the Tabernacle to be an “example and shadow of heavenly things.” These “heavenly things” are the spiritual elements, the foundational doctrines, of the New Testament Church of God. These heavenly things are the commandments, sacraments and works of grace which constitute the New Testament plan of salvation.

Hebrews 8:1-7
1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Will you believe what the scriptures say? Can we let the doctrines and traditions of men’s ideas and opinions be swept away whenever they do not agree with the Holy Scriptures? This is the sum! We have a better covenant which is the New Testament, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This “better covenant” was first revealed to mankind in types and shadows. God clearly chose to reveal His plan of salvation first in the types and shadows of material things; then afterwards, God revealed them unto us by His Son and the Holy Apostles of the New Testament. We intend to set before you these types and shadows which speak of heavenly things. Although people who lived under the Old Testament could be obedient and live holy, there was something that was faulty about their relationship with God under the Old Testament dispensation. What was faulty? They were justified only and did not have access to the spiritual washing of the Holy Spirit which purges the nature of man and restores him to that holy condition in which the first Adam was created.

A justified person is holy because he has obeyed God. Obedience to God makes that man holy. A justified person is approved of God and if that man should die, he will be received into heaven because he is a child of God. So was the condition of all those who lived under the Old Testament dispensation and kept the commandments of God. But God wanted a higher level of holiness. Will the Bible teach us that there are degrees of holiness? Are there degrees of grace, which is the divine influence of God upon the heart of man? Yes, there are not only degrees of grace; there are also two specific works of grace. We are justified by grace. We are sanctified by grace. And, we can also grow in grace. Consider the following scripture:


2 Peter 3:17-18
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

A child of God can grow in grace, or increase in grace, as he walks with God. God will add grace to grace. God will give more wisdom and more grace to those who are faithful to keep His commandments. With ever gift of the Holy Spirit, God gives grace to use that gift for His glory. Without that increase in grace, men would not endure and overcome the temptation to receive the glory which belongs only to God. Notice also that we are counseled to “beware lest ye also…fall from your own steadfastness.” A child of God can either stand by grace or fall by error and wickedness. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12).

Growing in grace is not equal to, nor is it synonymous with, being baptized with the Holy Spirit. All saints, both justified and sanctified, grow in knowledge, wisdom and grace. But there is a cleansing of the nature of man which brings the child of God into the fullest reality of holiness. This purging and cleansing of the nature of man is one of the essential works of the Holy Spirit. It is the eradication of the “old man” which is inherited, not genetically, but by divine decree. Every child is born with a corrupted nature. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” The curse of physical death accompanied by the curse of a carnal nature became the inheritance of all of Adam and Eve’s descendants. Thus, we need a Savior and a Redeemer for every soul born into this world.

It is not necessary that a child learn to do evil, he does it naturally. He must be taught to choose what is morally right, because he is inherently depraved in his selfishness. Remember, it is very important to distinguish the difference between imputed sin for rebellion against the law of God; and, those transgressions which are not imputed. This is true because where there is no knowledge of the law, there is no sin. Romans 5:13, “…but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Romans 6:6, “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.” Ephesians 4:22-23, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Colossians 3:9-10, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” These three passages of scripture teach us about the “Old Man.” This expression, which Paul has repeatedly used by the direction of the Holy Spirit, conveys to us the “antiquity” of the nature which is indwelling within each person born into this world. This “old man” nature goes all the way back to Adam.

It is our intention to set before you the great preponderance of evidence that the Old Testament Tabernacle and all of its furniture including the Outer Court, its curtains and gate are all directly and specifically related to the plan of New Testament Salvation.

It is good for you to be reminded that the numbers three, seven and twelve are special numbers with God. They imply perfection and completeness. They are like the fingerprints of God, bearing witness that the act is His handiwork and according to the His divine design. There are three areas of the Tabernacle. There are the seven lamps of the golden candlestick. There are twelve loaves of showbread. There were three articles in the Ark of the Covenant: 1. the golden pot that had manna (which represents the Bread of Life); 2. Aaron’s rod that budded (representing the power of God to resurrect life from death); and, 3. the stone tables of the Ten Commandments (representing the living and eternal Word of God.)

The symbolic analogy continues. The pattern of the Tabernacle is an analogous duplication of the atoning and cleansing works of salvation. There are two altars, two rooms, and two applications of the blood of the sin offering.

Hebrews 9:6-8
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

When was “the way into the holiest of all” made manifest and access given to the children of God? It began to be made possible with the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and the rending of the vale in the temple. It was concluded with the giving of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost which was reserved for the disciples only. The world, i.e. sinners, can not receive the Holy Ghost until their heart, the temple of God, is first purged of the sin of rebellion and disobedience. John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

If the sacrificial blood represents the atoning and cleansing of sin, why did the High Priest apply the sacrificial blood a second time upon the golden altar before entering into the Holiest of Holies? The answer is: There must be an atoning and cleansing of personal, willful sins; and also, an atoning and cleansing for the errors of the people resulting from the carnal nature which is called the “old man”.

THE TABERNACLE OF GOD - Part Four

Hebrews Chapter 10

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the Old Testament law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The Old Covenant was not the perfection of God’s plan. It was a progressive plan to bring us to perfection. The Old Covenant which God made with Israel, with its blood sacrifices and religious rites, could not make perfect the hearts of them who kept those laws and instructions. There is a certain error in the beliefs of some people who believe that God always does everything with complete and consummate perfection. In other words, they do not believe that God ever works in a gradual sense to bring something to perfection. And yet, some of these same people believe that sanctification is a gradual process of perfecting the child of God. They fail to recognize that every act of God is always just and perfect although it may be a mere step in the direction of His intended destination.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

If the cleansing power of the blood sacrifices under the Law could have been equal to the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, then they would not have needed to be offered continually, year after year. Because once the worshipper is cleansed as in the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no need of a repetitious repenting and cleansing of sin. For under this New Covenant we have access into a second benefit or grace wherein the heart of the believer is purged of the carnal nature. Under the Old Covenant there was no provision to purge the soul of the carnal nature which produces an ongoing consciousness of sin. The human nature (not the soul) was corrupted by the carnal nature which imposed an evil lust upon the natural affections and desires. Some people error in rightly dividing the scriptures by not recognizing this important distinction between the carnal nature and the human nature. We will possess our human nature as long as we are in this fleshly body. The carnal nature is the corruptible influence of an evil principal which has, by decree of God, passed upon all men born into this world since Adam and Eve. The blood of Jesus Christ provides a two-fold cleansing for the two-fold nature of sin, its captive power and it corruptible influence. Every child born into this world will come under the corruptible influence of the carnal nature. Those children who reach the “age of accountability” and willfully choose to rebel against God are then in bondage to the captive power of sin.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”

It is important to remember that the carnal nature is not imputed as sin in the person who has not yet been purged by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Under the Old Covenant the carnal nature always produced a remembrance and a consciousness of sin. Under the New Covenant, a second work of grace has been provided to remedy this fault in man’s relationship with God. Hebrews 8:7, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” If the carnal nature is not purged, it will produce envying, strife and division.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

We are to understand that under the Old Covenant there was not a complete and continual deliverance from the act of committing sin. The blood of bulls and goats was only acceptable as a temporary postponement of the required remittance for sin. The sacrifices made under the Old Covenant were merely the posting of bond until Jesus Christ came and made full payment by the sacrifice of His holy life. Romans 3:23-26, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

To what purpose were these sacrifices made, if not to take away sin? Was the law which God gave to Moses not perfect and complete? Did God do a partial work in providing salvation to them who lived under the Old Covenant? The scriptures tell us that God found fault with the first covenant, else there would have been no need for the second covenant. Who has been God’s counselor to say what He should have done? Who dares to wrestle with the scriptures to modify the testimony of His actions and purposes?

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

A holy, blood sacrifice was required for the sins of mankind. None had been made. None could be found on earth. Jesus Christ volunteered to take on a body of flesh and blood and come into this world for the purpose of making Himself a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Praise the Lord for His love unto us.

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

God was not satisfied with the sufficiency of these sacrifices under the Old Covenant. These animals had no choice but to be used as a sacrifice. There was no intelligent decision which signified the free will offering of a holy sacrifice. These sacrifices were merely symbolic of what was truly required. Only Jesus, the Son of God, was able to make such a sacrifice.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

According to prophecy and according to the will of God, in the fullness of time, Jesus came and gave Himself as a holy sacrifice for our sins.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

These acts of the Old Covenant “Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings” were carried out by the decree of God and yet He had no pleasure in them. Why? They did not produce the righteousness of faith, hope and charity which things can not come by the law but by grace. Let it not be supposed that God made a mistake in His implementation of the law. Rather, He taught mankind that the perfection of grace and knowledge can not come from the law without the gift of grace which came by Jesus Christ.

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Jesus came to do the perfect will of His Father. What was that will? It was to replace the first covenant with a second covenant which is established upon better promises. What are the better promises? They are made manifest in this: that we might have access to the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was WITH the saints under the first covenant, but He is IN the saints under the New Covenant. This restoration of man’s relationship with God, lost in the Garden of Eden, gives us power to continually live free from sin. This is the meaning of the words of Christ when He told His disciples, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth WITH you, and shall be IN you.”

The Father does not give His Holy Spirit to sinners. The world (sinners) can not receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to those who have believed on Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, and have begun to keep His commandments.

Prior to the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was with the disciples as he had been with Noah, Moses, Abraham, and all the prophets and holy men of the Old Testament. But a New Covenant was established, whereby we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts; thus, “he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” For this is the will of God, even your sanctification. Satan has worked long and hard to confuse people concerning the will of God in bringing His people into this New Covenant relationship.

In my conversation with many dear brethren, I have discovered five conditions. 1.) First, there are those who understand the doctrine of two works of Grace with a divine cleansing in both works who not only understand the doctrine but possess the experience, the witness and the power of an endless life. 2.) There are others who do not understand the doctrine of two works of grace but who testify of its experience in a second definite awakening and consecration to the perfect will of God and the crucifixion of their flesh. 3.) A third class does not believe in the doctrine of two works of Grace and resist its teaching and its experience. 4.) Fourth, there are those who believe the doctrine and think they understand and possess the experience, but remain carnal and fleshly minded in their attitudes and conduct. The power of the love of God is not operational and does not bear fruit in their life. 5.) Finally, there are those who have not been taught the doctrine, neither do they comprehend its necessity or its purpose in the plan of salvation; and yet they are willing to study the doctrine because they desire a closer walk with God.

One who has truly been born again will absolutely be led by the Holy Spirit to embrace a second work of grace as they desire deliverance from the influence of the carnal nature which pulls at their heart tempting them to return to a selfish and sinful life. The searching heart of a justified soul will bring him to the knowledge and decision of his need to be sanctified; even though, he may not understand the spiritual terminology.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

By the will of God and through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, the way into the holiest of holies has been obtained once for all. Man has been given access into that same intimate relationship which Adam and Eve enjoyed before their rebellion and fall into sin. The last barrier to holiness (the carnal, fleshly, selfish, worldly nature of man) can now be removed. The veil in the tabernacle was rent from top to bottom, signifying that the way into the holiest of holies has been accomplished by the death of Christ on the cross. Old Testament saints arose from their graves and went into Jerusalem to testify of this great deliverance. Jesus paid the price once for all.

The death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of God’s plan of redemption and restoration. Following the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb and the ceremonial services of the Passover was the day of Pentecost. And in conformance to the pattern, the Holy Ghost was given on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover. Why was the administration and operation of New Testament salvation so firmly connected with these Old Testament holy days and the Tabernacle? It is because those things are a type of all those works of the New Testament. Every piece of furniture and ever ritual and ceremony has a corresponding anti-type in the New Testament. God ordained all these for a purpose and for a schoolmaster to teach us from a perfect pattern. He warned us not to take away from it or add to it. Many have not taken heed to this warning.

Pentecost was a celebration of the Israelite’s harvest. It was the end of their labors and a resting from their works. It was “the day of the firstfruits" (Numbers 28:26). From the sixteenth of the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it was to be kept is described in Leviticus 23:15-19; Numbers 28:27-29. Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering" (Deuteronomy 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering.” (Excerpt from Easton's Bible Dictionary.)

Leaven is used as a symbol to represent a permeating influence, either good or evil. It is most often used to represent a corruptible influence. Leaven in bread is the ingredient which makes the bread rise. Bread without leaven will not easily spoil; whereas, bread with leaven will spoil quickly. “A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump.” 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

The purposeful use of these analogous symbols and what they represent can not be denied. The honest, unbiased, faithful soul can recognize the clear teaching of these scriptures.

15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

The infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit removes that influence which resists the full surrender to the total control of God. The element of corruption is purged and the zeal of the Lord is a consuming fire. The commandments of God no longer appear as an authoritarian force; but rather as loving requests which are willingly enjoined. The inward foe has been replaced by a blood washed nature which finds great pleasure in obedience to God.

The sanctified person hates every evil way. He is zealous and faithful to resist and turn from every temptation. He is careful to not allow any spot or blemish to spoil his robe of righteousness. He is consecrated to always do the will of the Father. He will bear the fruit of the Spirit and increase the more as he grows in grace and knowledge. There is no inner foe to hinder his spiritual progress.

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

It is the perfect will of God that people repent, be forgiven and never return to those rebellious acts. It was not so under the Old Covenant. Under the Law of Moses, where there was no cure for the carnal nature, there was a remembrance of sin every year. The Israelite was required to offer a sin offering once each year. But Jesus Christ has purchased a better inheritance by the shedding of His blood. My sins have been forgiven and the inward foe has been conquered forever.

19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Praise the Lord! We have access into the “holiest” by the blood of Jesus. The common priest could only serve in the holy place. Only the High Priest could enter into the “holiest” once each year after he had applied the blood of the sin offering on the golden altar for his errors and the errors of the people.

Hebrews 9:7-8, “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:”

What does this mean, “the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.”? Did not the high priest enter into the holiest? It is apparent that some other access into a spiritual relationship with God was being reserved and fulfilled by the New Testament plan of salvation.

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

As the veil in the temple was rent, so was the body of Christ rent. The veil represented Christ who is the door through which all must enter. There were three identical veils associated with the tabernacle. The first was at the entrance to the Court. The second was at the entrance to the Holy Place. The third was at the entrance into the Holiest of Holies. There was no sacrifice required for any person to enter through the first veil. This veil represents the “call of God” for all to come into that heavenly place where they can be ministered to by hearing the Word of God. There was a blood sacrifice required at the second and third veil.

These are the steps to full salvation” 1) the call, 2) the forgiveness and pardon of personal sins, 3) the purging and sanctifying of the carnal nature. It is the perfect will of God to bring each believer into the Holiest of Holies, to the mercy seat, where He can commune with His child. It is here where the mysteries of the Kingdom of God are revealed. It is here where the anointing of the Holy Spirit is received to enable the child of God to be an instrument of righteousness in the hand of God.

Beyond the third veil was the second room of the tabernacle called the Holiest of Holies. It was holier than the Holy Place. It was were the high priest communed with God and received his instructions and counsel which he was to teach the people. The Holy Spirit was with the high priest in this room, but the Holy Spirit was not given to indwell the heart of the high priest. This gift and this promise were reserved for the day when Jesus Christ would provide a more excellent way. Although the Old Testament children of God were obedient and faithful, they did not enjoy this special privilege. Hebrews 11:39-40, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

Jesus Christ is our High Priest. There was never before any like Him. He was the perfect Lamb of God whose blood cleanses us from all iniquity. Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Having experienced the divine plan of salvation in its fullness, we are able to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Our hearts have been sprinkled with the blood of the sin offering. Our bodies have been washed from the filthiness of the flesh by our obedience and by the washing of the water by the word.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

It is our duty and our responsibility to hold fast to the grace of God which has been given to us through faith in Christ Jesus. He can not fail. If there is any failure, it will certainly be on the part of man and not God. Revelation 3:11, “…hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Satan will use false accusers to rob you of your confidence in your own salvation. Know yourself. Be honest with yourself. 1 John 3:21, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” Have faith in God and His faithful witness, regardless of what others may say falsely against you.

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We are commanded to love one another. We are exhorted to encourage, strengthen, help and do works of kindness. We are strongest when we are united in holy fellowship. We are weakest when we allow our burdens and trials to separate us from the body of saints.

The importance of this statement, in the context of these chapters, is the reality that the carnal nature is essentially self-love. Self-love is entirely opposed to divine love. Self-love will continually exert its influence until the Holy Spirit purges and replaces self-love with holy love. Without the “second benefit” we are in danger of losing the first.

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

There are many activities which help us grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of those is the experience of fellowship with other holy people. It is important that we come together in the unity of the Spirit and rehearse the blessings of God in our individual lives. The justified soul hungers for fellowship. It is the healthy desire of babes in Christ to feed upon the words of those who have won victories over the afflictions, temptations and persecutions of Satan. The spiritual successes of others are a great encouragement to our own faith.

In the communion of brotherly love we can exhort one another without that critical fault-finding spirit which is so common among the carnally minded. The sanctified, Spirit filled, children of God are much like their Heavenly Father; it is not their will that any should perish. They are quick to help, to teach and to set a loving example of how the believer fights the good fight of faith. They are obedient doers of the word, that others may see their conduct and follow their example.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Here is a sober warning against the dangers of spiritual death. If the child of God willfully and intentionally chooses to disobey the commandments of his Heavenly Father, then he is disinherited from the promises given to the children of God. Every person is the creation of God and all are made by Him and for Him to the glory of God; but, salvation is only to them that obey Him. The righteous shall inherit eternal life. The wicked, the rebellious, those who choose to sin willfully, will be cast into hell with the devil and his angels. We are clearly warned that if we sin willfully, our sacrifice for sin no longer remains in effect for us. To avoid this awful, spiritual tragedy, we must be sanctified and filled with that “standing grace” which enables us to stand against all the wiles of the devil.

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

If we sin willfully, we have no hope of salvation or a heavenly home; but rather, a “certain fearful looking for” the judgment and fiery indignation of our God. How shall we escape the wrath of God if we neglect so great a salvation?

28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Capital punishment always was accompanied by two or three witnesses and a preponderance of evidence. It is an awful deed to put an innocent person to death for sins he did not commit. Any time a minister or a saint charges and condemns an innocent person of sin, they are guilty of putting to death the reputation and influence of a child of God. Woe, Woe, Woe to that person who puts to death an innocent person. Matthew 18:6-7, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

Offences will come. Offences are part of Satan’s tactics to tempt and persecute the righteous. The grace provided by this “second grace” is the power of God which preserves His children in the fiery trial of controversy. Like their Lord and Master, they are merciful to those who stand in need of charity, to those who stand in need of instruction and to those who stand in need of correction. Their judgment is just and righteous. They are not hasty in their decisions. They submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit abiding in their hearts and regulating their relationships.

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

This is a comparison between a person who was justified under the Law of Moses and a person who was sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The relationship between God and man under the New Covenant was much improved over that of the Old Covenant. If a person could be condemned and put to death under the Old Covenant for his capital offense; then surely, it can be understood that a greater punishment is due that person who despises and rebels against the Holy Spirit who has been his constant companion to teach against every evil way.

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

The Holy Word of God states: “The Lord shall judge his people.” The man of God preaches the judgments of God; and, he refrains from judging and condemning the soul in those matters which are not made known to him. Romans 14:4, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” To condemn an innocent person is a great evil. We must exercise every righteous and charitable precaution to avoid such a terrible act. We must not join forces with the “accuser of the brethren” to rob the child of God of his crown of salvation.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Do not be deceived. God will punish, with an everlasting punishment, all those who despise His commandments. You ought to fear the wrath of God. God is love and He is full of kindness and mercy. However, He is angry with the wicked every day. Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” A proper fear and respect of God will turn your heart to seek after an understanding of righteousness. The fear of the Lord will guide you into the path of obedience unto salvation.

Proverbs 8:12-17, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

Seek God and the counsel of the Holy Spirit early in life, early in the battle and early in judgment. If you journey too far in your own way, you may not find Him who leads to eternal life. Many holy persons have run well and then run wrong. Humble yourself before God and man and the Lord will return you to the right path.

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Every child of God will be strengthened by acknowledging that salvation from sin does not mean deliverance from the common afflictions and hardships in this life. Neither does it prevent persecution or sickness. It is because all these things are common to every person that we need the grace of the Holy Spirit indwelling in our hearts to strengthen us for the battles which are sure to come. The apostle Paul reminded brother Timothy in his epistle 2 Timothy 3:12, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

When we exercise compassion on others as they are in their trial and hardship, then we will have a “great recompence of reward” when we go through our trial and hardship. When we do unto others as we would have God do for us, then God will do for us what we have done for others.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Patience is part of the “fruit of the Spirit.” It is a virtue which is not inherent with the natural man. Patience is the grace to endure hardship with joy. A sinner may be tolerant because of necessity or a perceived advantage. He does not do so with the joy of the Lord as part of his attitude and motivation. An unsanctified man will desire patience and endeavor to be patient; however, he will find that patience is an irritant to his inner man.

38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

There is no reward for the backslider. There is no prize for that person who quits the race. We must not entertain any desire to turn back to the beggarly elements of this world.