Saturday, November 12, 2016

Who Is Offended?

Words have specific and definite meaning. We need to know the definition of the words we use. If we credit a word with a certain meaning and it really does not mean what we think, it can lead us into the snare of accusations and condemnation.

The English language is a “living language” in that it is evolving and changing with customs, traditions and ideologies. This is why it is very important to study the Bible with a good Merriam-Webster Dictionary and the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance with the Hebrew and Greek definitions provided for each word in the Bible. The Bible definition of being “offended” is more than having a personal disagreement or having your feelings hurt. The general intent in the Holy Bible when the words offend and offended are used implies that a person is guilty of transgressing the moral or divine law; or, causing another person to transgress the moral or divine law.

Proverbs 18:19
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

The word “offended” as it is used in this text is defined in the SEC: OT:6586 to break away (from just authority), i.e. trespass, apostatize. Again, I repeat, this is more than a disagreement or a matter of hurt feelings. This is teaching us that a person has been caused to apostatize.

It is true that if you offend a person who was a brother in Christ Jesus; if you cause that person to break away from the authority of the gospel of Jesus Christ and commit apostasy, then you will find that it is very difficult to win that person back to the Lord Jesus Christ. You have destroyed his confidence in the saving grace of salvation.

Matthew 11:4-6
4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not be offended in me.” The definition of the word “offended” in this verse is given in the SEC: offended: NT:4624 to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure).

We should not ever be offended, fall into sin or be enticed to be guilty of apostasy. We should not offend or be offended. We must not fall into sin or cause another to fall into sin. If we love God with all our heart, we will be determined to not be offended or to cause another to be offended.

Matthew 13:20-21
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

When the trials and test and persecutions come, those who have a shallow experience will become offended and fall away into apostasy.

Matthew 13:54-58
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

As we stand for the truth and live a holy life, we may experience loved ones who reject the truth and the way of holiness. They will be offended at our relationship with God and the righteousness God works in our life. They will fall away into lawlessness.

Matthew 15:10-12
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

When people hear truth and they do not want truth, they will be offended. We are not talking about disagreements and hurt feelings; we are talking about opposition, strife and rejection. People who are offended break away from relationships.

James 3:1-2
3 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Myself, as a minister of God and each of you who live a holy life in this world, we will find that people are often offended by the holiness in our life and the confidence we have in our relationship with God. You will be accused of being proud and arrogant when in reality you are being steadfast and confident in your faith. If we are careful to listen to the Holy Spirit and be guided in our conversations, we will not be the cause of offense in any person. If they are offended, it is their own choice and they do so unjustly and without a right cause.

Matthew 15:10-14
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

The Pharisees were so offended that they rejected Jesus. Jesus said that they were blind leaders of the blind. Jesus told His disciples to leave them alone. When we tell people the truth and they are offended by the truth, then we know that they are not seeking after God. We should leave them alone until God, in His mercy, would draw them to Himself.

Romans 14:19-23
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

As Christians we endeavor to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in love and tender kindness. However, if they are not wanting to do right and seek truth, they will be offended. As Christians, we do not get offended at others. We have the grace of God to keep ourselves from falling away from the authority and righteousness of God.

Matthew 18:15
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

If a person who claims to be saved commits a trespass against you, don't be offended. Don't let the trespass of another person cause you to fall away and be separated. Go to the person who has done wrong and share with him what you believe has happened. Then in patience, longsuffering and kindness ask the Holy Spirit to guide both of you into reconciliation.

Matthew 18:16-17
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

It is a serious matter if two people who claim to be justified by faith and grace can not be reconciled. One or both persons must possess an unrighteous attitude and heart condition.

Two people or any group of people who have a true experience of salvation should be able to talk and resolve any issue which arises to cause division and offense.

THERE IS NONE GOOD

Romans 3:10-18
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
This verse is one of the favorite verses of the false preachers and hypocritical Christian professors. They zealously insist that this verse applies to every person in the world. They hate holiness and truth and they love their sins. They want to believe that God is such a loving God that He will excuse their sins and allow them to go to heaven. They love their sins and ungodliness and shout from the house-top that “There is none righteous, no, not one.” They do not want to understand what the Apostle Paul was writing about. They do not look up the reference which Paul gave when he said “As it is written...”

If these words “There is none righteous, no, not one” were intended to include the Christian as well as the sinner, then the context in which these words occur must also be true. Let us examine them and see if these false preachers are willing to say that they are all in this category.
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
So, if there is none righteous, no, not one; then there is also this condition “There is none that understandeth.” Are the “sin you will, sin you must” preachers willing to also admit that there is none that understands? Are they also willing to admit that there is “none that seeketh after God”?
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Are these false preachers also willing to admit that “They are all gone out of the way.” They are all lost and not walking in the way of holiness and righteousness. They are all “together become unprofitable.” “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Do you want to go to church and subject your one eternal soul to a preacher who would convince you that you are this kind of person identified by these statements of the Apostle Paul? I hope not.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Do you sit under the ministry of a preacher whose “throat is an open sepulchre”? Are you willing to trust a preacher whose tongue will deceive you and lead you into the bondage of a sinful life style? Are you not alarmed that “the poison of asps is under their lips”?
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
There are preachers “whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” and yet people are following them in the broad way that leads to destruction.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
In their haste to “steal, kill and destroy” they will compel you to follow them in the way of sin and all unrighteousness.
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Are you listening? Their way is the way of destruction and misery.
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
These false preachers who say “There is none righteous, no, not one” do not know the way of peace. They can not teach you the way of peace. They are of their father the Devil. They are heretics and ungodly men and women who have given themselves into the service of Satan.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
They are bold and they have no fear of God. Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not this knowledge and it is to your shame. The Psalmist and King of Israel who was a man chosen of God has told us who these ungodly people are. They are fools. Listen to King David's words.

Psalms 14:1-4
14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Yes, do you understand now? It is “the fool” who has said in his heart: “There is no God.” It is the fool who is corrupt and has done abominable works. It is the fool of whom it is said, “there is none that doeth good.”
2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
When God looked down upon the “children of men” He saw that there were none that doeth good. He was not looking down upon the “children of God.” The children of men are the same as the children of the world. They are the ones who have disobeyed and rejected the commandments of God. They will not submit themselves to do the righteous commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Yes, these foolish sinners and workers of wickedness “are all gone aside.” They are “all together become filthy.” “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?” There is none that understands because they do not have the mind of Christ and they do not listen to the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual things cannot be discerned by the natural and carnal mind. There must be first a godly sorrow, a true repentance and turning from evil and a conversion of the soul from disobedience to loving obedience. As long as people “call not upon the Lord” they will remain in their sinful bondage.

Do you want to live holy?
Would you live holy if Jesus gave you the grace to say no to every temptation to do evil?
Do you enjoy your sinful lifestyle?
Are you ready to face Jesus and His Heavenly Father at the Great Judgment and give an account for the deeds you have done in your body on this earth?

Today is the day of salvation, if you will repent with godly sorrow and a broken and contrite heart, you may be saved. I pray for you.

Friday, November 11, 2016

SANCTIFICATION - A Message from 1913

SANCTIFICATION
June 15,1913 Message by L.F. Robold

Probably there are people here who never heard the doctrine of sanctification preached as it is in the Word of God. Sanctification is a Bible doctrine, and many people believe that; but there are all kinds of beliefs about it in the world. Some believe one way and some believe another way. All seem to know the Bible teaches it, but all do not understand it.

In the 17th chapter of John, in the 16th and 17th verses we read Jesus’ prayer for the sanctification of his followers: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” In First Thessalonians 4:3 we hear the apostle say, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”

The two texts from Christ’s prayer are sufficient to prove that Jesus prayed for the sanctification of his followers and plainly declared it was the will of God for them to be sanctified. He prayed for those who were following him, those who stood around about him and followed him in his ministry. This gives us a good thought as to who are fit subjects for sanctification.

Jesus preached first the gospel of repentance. John the Baptist also preached the gospel of repentance. Many people believed the Word of God and repented of their sins, and now, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus prayed for his followers, those who had repented. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee… I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” We can see readily what condition those disciples that he was praying for were in: they were not of the world; they were in the world but had been saved from the evils of the world. The Lord had preached to them repentance and they had become his followers, and now he prayed for them that were saved to be sanctified. He said, “I sanctify myself that they also may be sanctified.”

The thought he conveys to our minds in his sanctification is a setting apart unto death. He died on the cross that men and women might be sanctified through the truth. In Thessalonians Paul declares it to be the “will of God even your sanctification.” The Thessalonians were saved men. “This is the will of God even your sanctification.” You that are justified and yet have not been sanctified, it is the will of God that you be sanctified. But mark this one thing: Do not seek sanctification before you are justified. If you do, you will get ahead of the Spirit of God and will begin to seek an experience that you are not ready for; but if you are justified, if your life has been cleansed from sin, if the Lord has spoken pardon to your soul, you are ready for the second work of grace that is taught in the Word of God – sanctification.

HOLY GHOST RECEIVED IN SANCTIFICATION

In the Word of God we find other terms that signify the same experience. “Being made perfect in love,” signifies being filled with the Holy Spirit, or getting sanctified. To be sanctified and to be filled with the Holy Ghost are identical. It means the same thing. There are people in the world that are teaching that we must be justified first and then be sanctified and later on be filled with the Holy Ghost. Such is confusion and false doctrine. There are people on these grounds that have been taught that people must first be sanctified and then after that get the Holy Spirit. Ah, my brethren, the Bible does not teach that. But when you are sanctified you get the Holy Ghost, and when you get the Holy Ghost you are sanctified; for we read in Romans 16:16 that we are sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Another thing I have found by coming in contact with those who have been taught the doctrine of three works of grace, is that many of them do not get to where they are satisfied. They are seeking for something continually. There is such a thing as men and women becoming sanctified and getting satisfied. An experience that does not satisfy you is not an experience that the Bible teaches.

Some people claim that on the day of Pentecost the people got converted when the Holy Ghost was poured out. I met one man who said, “I tell you, when I got converted I got the Holy Ghost.” I told him that his experience was not according to the Bible. In the 14th chapter of John, 16th and 17th verses, it is recorded that Jesus said to his disciples: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” We find in this text two things; first, we find that the world can not receive the Holy Ghost, and that the disciples who were saved from the world could receive him, and that they had him with them, right then and there. It says, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” On the day of Pentecost, when the 120 were praying with one accord, the Holy Ghost came and filled the room in which they were sitting, falling on all of them. That was the fulfillment of the promise that they should have the Holy Spirit in them. It is the same way today. Men and women get saved from their sins, by repenting of them; they have the Spirit of God in their hearts, “Crying Abba, Father,” but not in his fullness; and the Holy Spirit helps them to overcome evil; but when the Holy Ghost comes in sanctifying power he abides in them in his fullness.

THE DISCIPLES BEFORE PENTECOST

We see by the lives of the disciples that they had a good experience of justification before Pentecost. Jesus sent them out to preach. In the 9th chapter of Luke we learn that he sent out the twelve, and in the 10th chapter we find he sent out the seventy, and he gave them power over unclean spirits, to heal the sick, to preach the gospel. Did you ever read in the word of God that Jesus sent a sinner to preach the gospel? Some preachers say they sin more or less every day. The preacher that says he sins has missed his calling. If your preacher is a sinning preacher, he has missed his calling. God called sinners to repent not to preach. He sent the twelve and he sent the seventy, and gave them power to heal the sick. Do you think the Lord would have sent them out and given them this power if they were sinners? Never, never! They went everywhere preaching the gospel.

In the 10th chapter of Luke we read: “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” The devils were subject unto them through his name. Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Now, you may not understand why he said, “I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven.” I take it that at the rebuke of the disciples the power of Satan went as quick as lightning falls from heaven. The spirits were obedient to the disciples. They were sent forth under the power of God and by the authority of Jesus. The Lord said, “I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” When does God write the names of people in heaven? Is it not when they are converted? Is it not a fact that all souls that get saved have their names recorded in the glory world? If the disciples’ names were written in the glory world, then they were converted; and if they were converted before Pentecost, then on the day of Pentecost they were sanctified by being filled with the Holy Spirit. How glad I am that we can get out of the tangle if we take the Word of God for what it says. The Word of God is plain.

THE PENTECOSTAL POWER

Immediately after the Holy Ghost fell upon the people on the day of Pentecost, a revival broke out. They began to preach to the people in languages that were represented at that time. There were different nationalities gathered at Jerusalem from all the countries round about and there were many tongues represented on this occasion, and the Lord so ordained it that they began to preach the gospel to them in their tongues or language, so that every man that heard it understood. As a result about three thousand souls were saved.

When Peter and John were arrested some persecution was started. Sometimes that follows. When God begins to work, the devil begins to work, too. “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together.” Now listen closely to their prayer. “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” Oh, how much that meant under those circumstances! I often think about it. If the people of God today were in such a condition as that and undergoing similar trials, I fear a great many of them would say we ought to be a little more cautious about this. Some would probably say Peter and John were too bold or they would not have got into trouble. They should have been a little more careful. Sometimes it goes that way; but these disciples had nothing in them of the nature of backing down. They had a go-through in them. They were of the type of those who would rather lose their lives than to compromise, or to take things easy and fail to glorify God. The Holy Ghost will put boldness in us, will give us power with God and will make us able to do the will of God.

There is nothing that will give us success like being filled with the Spirit of God. I have noticed that if we keep filled with the Spirit of God and have faith in God, the sick are healed and wonders are done in Jesus’ name. It gets hold of the people. Merely the outside fixed up, even though it looks ever so nice, it will not work like this will work. If we want to see the people get stirred, if we want to see the world taken for Christ, let us pray the prayer that was prayed here, that signs may follow. Let us live so close to God that they will follow. I thank God for what has been done in this camp-meeting. The lame have been made to walk; the blind have been made to see; the sick have been healed, a great number, yet there are many sick. We can pray the prayer of faith for those who are not healed yet. This is what will get souls to Christ. I am glad that if we live where God wants us to live and keep the Holy Spirit in our hearts, these signs will follow us because we believe, and the signs following will convince others and people will believe. Let us have an increase in “signs following.”

AN INSTANCE OF HEALING

A few years ago when I had just started out in the ministry, I went to Kansas City. I had not fully decided whether God wanted me to preach or not. Sometimes the enemy had troubled me and almost made me believe I had no place in the body at all. But I got victory over it with the help of God just before Brother Peterman came to Kansas City. I had never been in the city before. Tent-meeting was going on. There were but a few saints in attendance. In this meeting I made a failure of one of my sermons. I felt I had made a failure and the saints felt that I had. I prayed almost all the night following, and the next morning I prayed up until meeting-time. We had a better meeting that morning. That evening I went out on the river bank and prevailed with God. That night we had a still better meeting, but the audience was small. On the third meeting we were sent for to pray for an old sister. I think she was eighty-four years old. She was all covered with poultices and looked as though she was ready to go into the other world. But by this time my faith had gotten to where I could “leap over a wall or run through a troop.” We began to talk to her and to read about Sister Cole’s healing. She said, “I was raised a Campbellite, and they don’t teach healing.” I told her, “Sister, it is the Bible anyhow,” to which she answered, “Yes, if he ever healed one individual he will heal another.” We then asked her, “Do you believe that God will heal you if we anoint and pray for you?” She said, “Yes.” And we anointed and prayed for her and she began to get out of the bed. God filled the room with his Spirit and helped that poor old soul. She got up and dressed.

The next day she sent for us. When we came she was rocking in the rocking-chair and singing. She asked us if the Lord could heal rupture. I told her, “God can heal a rupture or anything your faith takes in.” She said she had a rupture of eleven years’ standing. We anointed her and prayed for her. She jumped over that floor like a young girl, and began to tell what great things God had done for her. God began to work, we had a glorious meeting, and the effects are there yet.

If we would have success in our ministry, we must prevail with God. No matter if we are of slow speech, if God is our strength, we will have success. “By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” They had all received the Holy Ghost in power; they had repented at Peter’s preaching before this.

When Philip preached Christ to the Samaritans and devils were cast out, and there was great joy in the city, and they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, and sent Peter and John. When they arrived they prayed for them and laid hands on them, and the Samaritans were filled with the Holy Ghost. This is another instance of great company’s receiving the Holy Spirit as a second work. The Holy Ghost was the sanctifier. They were sanctified after they had received the word and were baptized.

At the house of Cornelius the Holy Ghost was poured out on a company of believers. I would to God that people would get faith to receive the Holy Ghost now as they did then. I wonder why people have to agonize and pray and have to be talked to so much now to get sanctified. The Bible says he fell on them while Peter was yet speaking. Why could it not be that way today? I have seen a few cases of it. My friends, I am firmly convinced that if your justified life is clean and your faith is properly taught, you can receive sanctification in your seats. I believe that with all of my heart. I know there is a class of people in this world that claim you must tarry, and tarry, and tarry, but why the need of tarrying when he is already here? They will cite the fact that the apostles tarried at Jerusalem to be endued with power; but mark you, the fact is, the Holy Spirit was not in the world then as a sanctifier. They had to wait until the proper time came. We read about the multitude of them that were there praying, and it says they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Every one of them at Samaria and the household of Cornelius were also filled. While Peter yet spake to them, the Holy Spirit fell on them.

In a meeting at Winslow, Indiana, while the minister was preaching, the Holy Spirit fell on us, and a brother came up and asked, “Do I have to go to the altar after I get the experience?” He said, “I was listening to the preaching and the Holy Spirit came. I opened my heart and received him.” I have never known of this man doubting his sanctification. It can be that way, brethren, and when we consider that it is God’s will for you to have the experience, is it not reasonable to believe he will pour it out upon us? Peter said on the day of Pentecost, “Repent, every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is unto you.” Is that all? “And unto your children and to all that are afar off; even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” And the God of the Bible said, regarding the last days: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy.” I am glad that we are living in the last days when the Holy Spirit is being poured out. Open your heart, and let the Holy Spirit come in. Sometimes I think some people get it in their minds as something way up yonder, that they will have to work and stretch and pull and tarry for in order to receive. The better way is to have simple faith in God’s promises and you will get it, after you have met the conditions of the Word.

CONDITIONS TO BE MET

The consecration of your all to God is the condition upon which men and women receive the Holy Ghost, or get sanctified; but it ought not to take a justified man or woman long to make that consecration. After you have once tasted the good things of God in regeneration, there ought to be a hungering in your heart for the sanctified experience, and especially if you have gone far enough in the justified life that you have become conscious of the fact that there is something lacking in you that prevents your doing the will of God at all times as you ought to. I don’t think you will go very far until you will find that out. In the first good hard trial I got into after I was saved, I found something in me that pulled me hard towards sin. 

Have you ever had that experience?  Then, do not doubt you have.

I remember especially one experience. I had never heard a sermon on sanctification and did not know what it meant. One hot afternoon I was plowing in new ground with a mule team, and the team got contrary. I was getting tired. We came to a place where a stump had been dug out and the mules would not step over it, but all at once they jumped over it and pulled me with them. There was something in me, which, if I had obeyed its leadings, would have caused me to take up a root and beat the mule as hard as I could. I thought, O Lord, have I backslid?” That thing seemed to surprise me. I did not know what to do. I never heard anybody preach sanctification as a second work of grace. I got down on my knees and prayed to God that he would never let that thing come to pass again. But it did. Later on I heard some one preach on a second work of grace, and on being carnal, what the Holy Spirit would do, etc. I found out what was the thing that wanted to kill the mules; it was the old man, that carnal nature. I began to seek God for the experience of sanctification and never stopped until the Lord gave it to me. Oh, it was wonderful, the destruction of the old man and the crowning King of kings of the new man! Glory to God.

My brothers and sisters, have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? 

Let us read in the 19th chapter of Acts. Here we are going to learn about a dozen men who were possibly in your condition, save they never had heard of the Holy Ghost. “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. They were saved, for they were disciples, or believers. The apostles said, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” I do not mean to believe with the head, for the Word says, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10.

Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” That is the question that is before you tonight. The Ephesian disciples did not receive him when they believed; they had not even heard that there was such an experience taught in the Word of God as a second work of grace. I want to know, Have you made an effort to receive him? These people had never heard of him, and on the first occasion of hearing of him they began to seek for him, and thank God, found him. “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.” After awhile they got ready by being taught how to get the Holy Ghost. Hands were laid on them and they received the Holy Ghost after they believed. Peter, and John, and Philip, and Paul, preached repentance, and people repented, and were saved; then afterward they were sanctified.

Maybe you have not felt the necessity of sanctification. I wish to say that if you have not, you will not go far from this camp-meeting until you will actually feel the necessity. If you have had some light heretofore on sanctification you will not stay saved very long unless you get sanctified; for people must walk in the light as he is in the light if they would stay clear before God. I beg of you not to leave this camp-meeting tonight until you know you are sanctified. You are going to need the experience when you go back to the duties of life. You will find trials too great for you to stand. The Lord help you tonight to realize that this is the perfecting of the saints of God; and that it is God’s will for you. The Lord give you understanding and make you hungry for this experience.

Brethren, pray for those who you know are not sanctified. Let us pray to God while we are talking, that men and women become sanctified; the people are going to need it. “This is the will of God even your sanctification.” The Lord said, “Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Have you felt the need of it in your own soul? Are you convinced that there is something that ought to be cleansed out by a second work of grace? It is the will of God that you have it cleansed out. Oh, the necessity of men and women seeking for this glorious experience!

What will it do for you? It will do wonders for you. It will simply deliver you from the last and least remains of the nature of sin in your moral being. It will do that. It will take out of your soul that old root of sin that you received through the fall of Adam, that thing that the Bible calls carnality, the old man. There are some folks who deny there is a cleansing in sanctification. They say they were made clean through justification. They are clean from committed sin in their outward life, but sanctification, thank God, will give them a clean heart. Hear what the prophet says of it: “Who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner and a purifier of silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.” This is just what the Holy Spirit will do, purge, purify the very soul of all the carnal nature until the very image of Jesus is reflected in us. God help us. People need this as surely as we are here. You will need it more from this time on.

We are sanctified through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Blood cleanses us from all sin, that is one thing it does for us. Another thing is, it gives us power; it gives us the ability to do the will of God. Somebody may get to thinking that that power means a good deal of noise in the way of shouting. It may come that way and it may come like a gentle rain. It may come with just an inner consciousness that the work is done. The power referred to is power to overcome sin and temptations; power to do the will of God. Notice the life of the disciples before and after the day of Pentecost, how much more power they had. Take Peter for instance, that fellow who was so impulsive and got into so much trouble through his weakness before Pentecost. After Pentecost he was strong and fearless. Peter, James, and John wanted God to rain fire down from heaven and destroy those who did not receive them; but after they got the Holy Ghost, how different they were! That is what it will do for you. Praise the Lord! It will also fill you with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The day I was converted was the best day I had ever experienced until the day I was sanctified; that was a better day. Yet I had all the glory I could stand when I was converted. You will be able to stand more when you are sanctified.

Thank God for the completeness through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray to God that he will help you to obtain sanctification in this meeting. Brethren and sisters, I say again in conclusion, you are going to need it when you leave here. God bless you; and if you do not get it, you are going to miss the best gift of God. Now, this is as good a time as you will ever have to get it, and the best time you sinners will ever have to get salvation; no better time than now. God help us now. Today is the day of salvation, and if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
 

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Confidence of Obedience

It is very important that we have confidence in our relationship with God. The critical key to that confidence is our obedience to all those things which the Holy Spirit teaches us is the will of God in our life. That confidence which is so necessary is not derived from knowledge of many things. It is derived from a firm faith and confidence in the fact that we have been obedient. You may have a Doctor of Divinity degree and numerous accolades in the academic studies of religion and religious books; but, if you do not have confidence in your faithful obedience to the revealed will of God, you will have very little victory in your life.

Without that confidence, which comes from obedience, a person may be yet a sinner and believe that he is a saint. Being a saint is all about obedience. Being a sinner is all about disobedience. Which category are you in?

Hebrews 3:1-6
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Are you the “Builder” or the house? We are the temple and house of God. God is the Builder. We are the house and temple of God “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Where does confidence come from? Is it not from faithful obedience which makes you clear and innocent before God? Your confidence is not built upon your works for God; but rather confidence rests upon that peaceful harmony you possess in your soul when you talk to Jesus. When we examine ourselves and know that we can testify that we have done the perfect will of God, then we have confidence. Are you trying to build your own house of worship; or, are you letting the Holy Spirit build a life which God can use to reveal Himself. Are you trying to please yourself or God?

Hebrews 10:35-39
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
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.
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.

We cast away and throw away our confidence when we willingly and knowingly disobey God. Don't allow Satan to take away your confidence just because you made some mistake because you lacked the knowledge of how to do something the right way or the best way. When you make a mistake don't let the Accuser rob you of your confidence. God will not condemn you for not understanding a matter. The Devil will accuse you and condemn you for all manner of things which are not true.

1 John 2:27-29
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

How can someone have confidence in their relationship with Jesus Christ if they are ashamed to let people know that they are a Christian and believe in living a holy life according to the gospel of Jesus Christ? If you are ashamed of Jesus and His gospel, He will be ashamed of you at the Judgment when you stand before God to receive your eternal sentence. We must be zealous and active in sharing our testimony with others about the deliverance we experience in salvation.

1 John 3:17-23
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

You may be good at hiding things from other people; and, you may lie to yourself and deceive your own self; but, you can not hide anything from God. He knows the very thoughts and intents of your heart. He knows if you are innocent or guilty. He knows whether or not you know right from wrong. If you know that you are guilty of sin in your heart, God knows it more fully and clearly than you.

1 John 5:11-15
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

When you have confidence that you have faithfully obeyed God then you can have the faith to ask God for whatever you need and He will supply all your needs. He may answer some of your prayers with a “NO” or a “WAIT” if you don't need what you think you need. Let the Holy Spirit direct your desires and you will avoid praying and asking amiss. The reason there are so few miracles among those claiming to be saints is because many who claim to be saints do not inwardly have confidence in their privilege to ask and receive what they need.

Obedience produces confidence.

Hebrews 12:12-16
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

How might you “fail of the grace of God”? Answer: by letting any root of bitterness spring up in your heart toward another person. You cannot have confidence in your relationship with God and others if you have bitterness and an unforgiving spirit. If you have not forgiven someone who has asked for forgiveness or if you have bitterness or a grudge in your heart toward someone, your heart will condemn you and you will fail of the grace of God.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

We must be able to come boldly unto the throne of grace, doubting nothing. We can not exercise faith if we doubt our relationship with God. You cannot find help or be a help in time of need if you do not have the grace of God working in your life as the result of a clear conscience before God. Don't try to help someone if God has not equipped you with the grace to help. There have been people who have drowned trying to help someone who is drowning. If you are not qualified to do the job, you may injure someone if you try to help them.

It is important to know what God has called you to do and stay in order with your gift. Don't try to exercise a gift which the Holy Spirit has not given to you. As the saying goes: “Some people are called and sent; and some just got up and went.” Good men and women have gotten out of order and tried to fulfill the gift of pastoring without the anointing and call of God. They have failed and become discouraged, hurting themselves and others. The gift and the ability must come from God.

1 John 2:1-6
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

John used the expression “we know” 28 times in the gospel and in his letter 1st John. He had confidence that he knew the truth and he knew that he was called by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. How is your confidence? Do you know for sure what you should be doing and how you should be living in the present time? Talk to God and study His book. Learn to obey and do it.