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A Great Awakening is Needed

last days

Our situation is not yet hopeless, but it is quickly approaching that point.

Oh?   I’m supposed to be preaching “Positive Mental Attitude”?

Funny…That is NOT what God told me to preach.  I was instructed, as was every other preacher who was actually commissioned by God, to preach His Scriptural truths, not what man wants to hear. (Unless that man actually desires to hear from God.)

If you do not like it, then you may call “1-800- TELL GOD” and see what that gets you.

(Be forewarned: you might not like His response, but He is God; you ain’t.)

J.C. Ryle listed seven characteristics of the messengers during the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century:

  1. They taught the supremacy of Holy Scripture.
  2. They preached the total corruption of human nature.
  3. They taught that Christ’s death upon the cross was the only satisfaction for man’s sin.
  4. They preached the doctrine of justification by faith.
  5. They taught the universal necessity of heart conversion and new creation by the Holy Spirit.
  6. They spoke of God’s eternal hatred against sin and of God’s love for sinners.
  7. They preached that there was an inseparable connection between true faith and personal holiness.  They never allowed for a moment that any church membership or religious profession was the least bit of proof of a man being a Christian if he lived an ungodly life.

These awakeners continually cried, “No fruit, no grace.”

We must learn that God is holy.  If we are to experience the manifest presence of God’s glory; we must repent.  When Isaiah saw the glory of God in the Temple, he was driven to brokenness, confession, and repentance.  Too many in the West desire to know the manifest love of God without the manifest holiness of God.  We have lost the message of true repentance.  Now the church in the West is the sleeping Giant.  Alarms have been sounded but there seems to be no great or even general awakening; if it doesn’t begin soon the giant may die in its sleep.

Let us pray

Satanic weapon

Pastor Ward Clinton

Those who are hostile to God will not be allowed into His Heaven

Although God invites everyone to be part of His forever family, those who are hostile to God and His ways will not be allowed to enter in to His heaven.  Ladies and gentlemen that includes militant homosexuals and antagonistic atheists as well as many who call themselves Christian.

It is actually somewhat understandable why many people mistrust certain Christians; however, there are other Christians whom it is quite dangerous to despise.  Those Christians and their way of living may make you feel a bit uncomfortable regarding life-choices you may have made or may currently be making but if they are actually embarking upon the spirit-walk we are all called to travel in then it is wise to take note and, perhaps, move in the same direction and along the pathway and in the same manner they are.

There is a Christian doctrine which holds that the soul of the fully committed Christian may attain a high degree of virtue and holiness and become Entirely Sanctified with the help of the divine grace of Jesus.  That term is not to be confused with Dr. Charles Stanley’s erroneous accusations that those who believe Entire Sanctification is a present possibility in this life are actually claiming to have attained “Ultimate Sanctification.”  The Reverend Doctor may have merely misunderstood and not been guilty of maliciously maligning that grace of Jesus which he couldn’t quite comprehend.  In some of his sermons I heard him come so close to teaching and embracing Entire Sanctification, often while using slightly different terminology that means the same thing, and then, just as it seemed like he was about to have his “eureka” moment, suddenly he was running back away from it.  Why is he afraid of it?

I can remember at least a couple of times, sitting in front of the television saying, “C’mon Doc, you’re only a hair’s breadth away from your breakthrough.”  Unfortunately, every time I heard Charles Stanley speak of Entire Sanctification correctly and get really close to actually comprehending the command from God for us to be holy in this life I would hear him turn around and run back toward hyper-Calvinism much like Gollum seeking out his “Precious.”  Please understand, I do not lump together all those who hold John Calvin in high regard.  I tend to see it as something along the line of:  Hyper-Calvinist … Calvinist … Wesleyan-Calvinist.  An example of the latter might be Charles H. Spurgeon who said, “There is a point of grace as much above the ordinary Christian as the ordinary Christian is above the world.”  He also said of them, who are enjoying that grace, “They are rejoicing Christians, holy and devout men doing service for their Master all over the world, and everywhere conquerors through Him that loved them.”

Now the concept of Entire Sanctification may initially come from the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine of theosis.  The critic may pounce at this point and loudly proclaim, “Aha!  It’s not a biblical thing!”  My response is, “Sorry, charlie; go back and reread the paragraph above which starts with ‘There is a Christian doctrine…Jesus.’ because the foundation of that doctrine is God’s command to be holy.”

Thomas Aquinas defined a perfect thing as one that “possesses that of which, by its nature, it is capable.”

“Perfection is that which it is better to have than not to have.” – Duns Scotus

Christian Perfection is another term used to speak of Entire Sanctification.  It is a doctrine that is chiefly associated with the followers and adherents of John Wesley’s theological understanding.  Sometimes the concept is referred to as “sinless perfection,” although a better and more accurate phrase would be “blamelessness before God.”

John Wesley, in his book, “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” wrote “…sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself.”  He also explained that he viewed it as “purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God” with “the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked.”  This assists in “loving God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.”

Wesley did not use the term “Christian perfection” to claim sinlessness nor did he advocate it as a state of being unable to sin but rather it is the being more readily capable of choosing not to sin through finding empowerment from the Spirit of God to abide in holiness of heart and life in accordance with our high calling.

Thereby we may experience a freedom from willful rebellion against God, as well as impure intentions and pride.  As we followers of Jesus function at that level of Christian living the world then sees the type of Christian that assures them that God still works in His followers in our day.

Entirely Sanctified Christians remain subject to temptations, and have a continued need to maintain a prayer life that keeps them connected to the One who empowers them to fulfill His command to “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”  Charles Stanley correctly understood we cannot attain Entire Sanctification in our own power, and as long as we try to do it that way we’ll never get it; when we understand that the Spirit of God empowers us to live that way then and only then we may be empowered to receive that point of grace.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. — Jesus

Now is the Time for all Christ-followers to Wake Up

One of the sad realities within the local church today centers on the fact that numerous born-again Christians have little or no knowledge of the spiritual warfare that takes place all around us. The Bible is crystal clear in proclaiming that there is a battle raging in the heavenlies as the forces of evil continue to wage war against not only the Creator, but also against all who trust in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. Islam is just one of the examples of that warfare.

As believers, we may often wonder if there is anything we can do to counter the attacks our spiritual enemy hurls at us. We might even ask, “Can we, as Christian couples and parents, stand in the gap for our marriages, our children, and our homes?” Let me say a resounding, “Yes, we can, and we must stand united in the victory Jesus has secured for us.”

As Genesis 3 shows us, Satan’s desire is not only to destroy our lives, but also to weaken and sever the relationships we hold dear. We might all agree that Adam and Eve were both at fault for their disobedience and rebellion against God’s commandments. But a careful reading of Genesis 3:12 shows that Adam blamed his sin not only on his wife, but also on his Creator by saying to the Lord, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

Without question, Satan is still using the same tactics against our marriages and homes today. He seeks to divide us from our spouses and our children as he plans his strategies to destroy the unity God has designed for us. Just as he was successful in breaking the unity Adam and Eve shared with their Creator, he is still achieving an alarming number of victories in the modern-day Christian home, as the sins of pride and selfishness are often all too prevalent.

I have often talked with numerous people who have had serious questions about the origins of evil and sin in the world. Many may wonder, “How and when, did sin begin?” As the Bible teaches, Satan sinned when he exercised his free will to rebel against his Creator.

Over my years in pastoral ministry, I have encountered far too many believers who lack the knowledge about who they are in Christ. I am completely convinced that unless we acquire a solid biblical understanding of our “in Christ” position, we will be unable to fully counter the attacks of our enemy as he tempts us to exercise our free will and rebel against the commandments of God. As believers, we have a tremendous responsibility to study God’s Word so we can be better able to stand firm with the knowledge and power our Lord has provided for us as we face the devil and his forces of evil.

Without a doubt, it is time that we, as the children of God, woke up and begin living as strong advocates of the cause of Christ Jesus.  May our awareness be so quickened that we will begin recognizing the attacks of the devil when they come our way but not be distracted or deterred by the superfluous stuff.

Would you agree that Satan has been achieving his victories for far too long?  Will you join with me as we literally claim the power of God Holy Spirit against the one who seeks to divide and destroy our marriages, our homes, our churches, and our country?  As the people of God, we can praise our Creator for all His abundant promises as we literally stand in the strength He provides.

2nd Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  • Pastor Ward Clinton

Not everyone can be right

Suck it up, buttercup, two plus two equals four whether you like it or not.

Black Belt Apologetics

Here are some common things you might hear today;

“All religions lead to the same God.”

“There isn’t one true religion.”

“Every religion is right.”

Really?  Does that sound like good logical, common sense to anyone?  Lets look at these statements a little closer to see if this actually makes sense.

Can truth contradict itself?  No. You read this next paragraph and tell me if you see any contradictions…

     Buddhism is pantheistic and says there is no personal God, and everyone can reach “godlikeness” on his own. Islam says that Jesus was just a prophet and not the only way to God. Christianity says that there is a personal God and that the only way to Him is through Jesus (John 14:6).

If these three religions are “all true”, or just “different paths to the same place”, then why do they contradict each other? Does truth contradict itself?

Now is the Time for all Christ-followers to Wake Up

One of the sad realities within the local church today centers on the fact that numerous born-again Christians have little or no knowledge of the spiritual warfare that takes place all around us. The Bible is crystal clear in proclaiming that there is a battle raging in the heavenlies as the forces of evil continue to wage war against not only the Creator, but also against all who trust in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. Islam is just one of the examples of that warfare.

As believers, we may often wonder if there is anything we can do to counter the attacks our spiritual enemy hurls at us. We might even ask, “Can we, as Christian couples and parents, stand in the gap for our marriages, our children, and our homes?” Let me say a resounding, “Yes, we can, and we must stand united in the victory Jesus has secured for us.”

As Genesis 3 shows us, Satan’s desire is not only to destroy our lives, but also to weaken and sever the relationships we hold dear. We might all agree that Adam and Eve were both at fault for their disobedience and rebellion against God’s commandments. But a careful reading of Genesis 3:12 shows that Adam blamed his sin not only on his wife, but also on his Creator by saying to the Lord, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

Without question, Satan is still using the same tactics against our marriages and homes today. He seeks to divide us from our spouses and our children as he plans his strategies to destroy the unity God has designed for us. Just as he was successful in breaking the unity Adam and Eve shared with their Creator, he is still achieving an alarming number of victories in the modern-day Christian home, as the sins of pride and selfishness are often all too prevalent.

I have often talked with numerous people who have had serious questions about the origins of evil and sin in the world. Many may wonder, “How and when, did sin begin?” As the Bible teaches, Satan sinned when he exercised his free will to rebel against his Creator.

Over my years in pastoral ministry, I have encountered far too many believers who lack the knowledge about who they are in Christ. I am completely convinced that unless we acquire a solid biblical understanding of our “in Christ” position, we will be unable to fully counter the attacks of our enemy as he tempts us to exercise our free will and rebel against the commandments of God. As believers, we have a tremendous responsibility to study God’s Word so we can be better able to stand firm with the knowledge and power our Lord has provided for us as we face the devil and his forces of evil.

Without a doubt, it is time that we, as the children of God, woke up and begin living as strong advocates of the cause of Christ Jesus.  May our awareness be so quickened that we will begin recognizing the attacks of the devil when they come our way but not be distracted or deterred by the superfluous stuff.

Would you agree that Satan has been achieving his victories for far too long?  Will you join with me as we literally claim the power of God Holy Spirit against the one who seeks to divide and destroy our marriages, our homes, our churches, and our country?  As the people of God, we can praise our Creator for all His abundant promises as we literally stand in the strength He provides.

2nd Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  • Pastor Ward Clinton

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

 There are tens of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States, and millions do not participate in politics even though the Bible says that the civil magistrate is a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4). Millions of these Christians don’t participate in the political process because their pastors are either afraid to address political issues or they believe that Christians would not get mixed up in politics.

Either reason is contrary to the Bible and the history of this once-great nation. “To the pulpit, the PURITAN PULPIT, we owe the moral force which won our Independence,”John Wingate Thornton wrote in The Pulpit of the American Revolution. Too many Christians don’t believe or know this history.

Many Christians believe they can be neutral. But there is no neutrality. By not engaging culture at the political level, another worldview dominates and impacts all of us. We must then live under their standard, as we are doing today.

Founding American ministers of the gospel confronted the issues of their day by appealing to the people in terms of the Bible. The annual “Election Sermon” still “bears witness that our fathers ever began their civil year and its responsibilities with an appeal to Heaven, and recognized Christian morality as the only basis of good laws.”In addition, the clergy were often consulted by the civil authorities in the colonies, “and not infrequently the suggestions from the pulpit, on election days and other special occasions, were enacted into laws. The statute-book, the reflex of the age, shows this influence. The State was developed out of the Church.”

The diminishing light of civil liberty in this land is linked directly to the lack of preaching on it in today’s pulpits…

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/19467/pastors-now-is-the-time-to-stand-against-tyranny/#U7bD2r3TsM4cGgOI.99

WHoly Christian, Wake up Call part two

Excerpt from my book “WHoly Christian”:

Pray for wisdom.  We are once again living in a time when it is not particularly popular for people to speak up for their faith in Christ Jesus or be so audacious as to say the Bible is true and it is God’s message to humanity.  Openly mock Jesus and His followers? No problem.  Dare to proclaim Jesus as the one who has changed you life and can positively change the lives of others?  “Houston, we have a problem.”

In his day, G. K. Chesterton commented on the prevailing attitude of that day regarding Christianity.  Middle aged and older Americans can remember when the pendulum had swung in favor of Christianity and the prevailing attitude had changed from Chesterton’s day because folks recognized they were reaping what they had sown by pushing God from the public square.  But the lesson has been forgotten and the old attitudes have returned, the pendulum is in the far left’s arena once again and they are trying to keep it there in spite of the consequences of their policies which we are already experiencing.  One may say: Ozzie and Harriett have moved out and Ozzie Osborn has moved in.  Most of us are longing for the return of Ozzie and Harriett even as some on the left are trying to erase the proof that those days ever existed.  “Houston, we have a problem;” of course, this metaphorical “Houston” is the command center of Heaven and we have been given permission fro God Himself to request wisdom at any time.  Actually, not only do we have permission but God is waiting for and encouraging us to look to Him because He alone has the knowledge, ability, and power to set at naught the Adversaries’ schemes.

  He who refuses to learn from history is forced to repeat its mistakes – George Santayana

All new news is old news happening to new people – Malcom Muggeridge

You are free in our time to say that God does not exist; you are free to say that He exists and is evil; you are free to say (like poor old Renan) that He would like to exist if He could.  You may talk of God as a metaphor or a mystification; you may water Him down with gallons of long words … and it is not merely that nobody punishes, but nobody protests.  But if you speak of God as a fact … as a reason for changing one’s conduct, then the modern world will stop you somehow if it can.  …it is now thought to be irreverent to be a believer. – G. K. Chesterton

The heights of Christian attainment are available to every person.  It’s a shame to live a life short of what God intended your life to be.  Despite appearances, everyone lives forever; the and the bad, the difference is the quality which is directly linked to the presence or absence of God.  Despite whatever protestations may be offered to the contrary; you do not believe what you do not live.

It is quite possible that improper activity and beliefs regarding the arena of politics may potentially have a profound effect on your forever as well as your now.  If a man’s religion and his politics don’t mix there is something wrong with his spiritual condition and his politics, to say the least.  Therefore, if a person chooses to support or refuses to condemn something God condemns then that one may count on enduring the consequences of that choice.  If that person is fortunate the consequences will be experienced in this life, thereby affording an opportunity to repent and begin making reparations.

There are “monsters” in our near future if we do not wake up soon and start taking action to stop evil in its tracks.

    Pray for wisdom

–Pastor Ward Clinton

Sibylline Oracles

There is the story of the Cumaean Sibyl who came to King Tarquin offering for sale nine books which she declared would be of great value to him in the government of Rome in that they held the destiny of the world.  She requested 300 pieces of gold which seemed an exorbitant price, and he would not buy them.  He did not recognize that she was a sibyl.  She left and in time she returned and offered him six books for the same price; 300 pieces of gold and again he refused.  She had also informed him at that time that she had burned three of the original nine.  After a time she returned, informed him that she had burned three more of them and 300 pieces of gold were required for the remaining three.  King Tarquin, the last of the Roman Kings was of a mind to forcefully expel her from his presence but his most trusted advisors prevailed upon him to purchase them lest she burn the remainder and in the off-chance that they were legit and contained that which she claimed.

Now, for us Christians, there is a moral to this story: The longer we refuse God’s overtures, the less these overtures contain, while the demand on us is still the same for the remainder.  Perhaps you are thinking, “C’mon, Pastor Ward, why are you bothering me with this old fable?”

Well, my reasoning goes a bit like this; have you ever stopped to wonder why the Romans treated the Jews a bit differently than most conquered people groups?  Well, it is a matter of record that after the King’s counselors studied the books and reported back to King Tarquin he offered the Cumaean Sibyl a very large sum of money if she would reproduce the other books, but she refused.  Those three books were venerated and studied carefully and kept in the Temple of Jove until its destruction by fire in 83 bc.  Those books had in them, among other things, a prophecy regarding the birth of Jesus The Christ.  Most of us Christians fail to realize that the Romans were expecting the arrival of The Messiah at about the time He did arrive.  Yes, I am trying to tell you the whole world was actually anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Holy one of God and yet the majority missed Him because He came God’s way, with God’s agenda, not ours.

It is not always easy to distinguish the truly pious from those who are destitute at the very core of the matter.  Then there is the illustration Jesus used regarding five who were wise and five who were foolish.  They all had lamps.  Outward form is one thing, inward life is quite another.

Every hour of the day and night there are souls going into eternity improperly prepared.  One lies at death’s door, he cannot get his light burning.  He comes up to the gate of heaven; he knocks, he cries:  “Let me in!”  He is not admitted.   He screams: “I want to see the bridegroom.”  The voices within say, “You cannot see the bridegroom, he is busy with His guests now.”  Pleads the man, “I must come in; my children are in there, my beloved mother is there.  I must come in.”  A voice from within says, “You refused the grace that would have brought you in where they are and now it is too late.”  The voice from within says to one outside, “You are twenty years too late;” to another, “You are a month too late;” to another, “You are a minute too late.”  As the outer darkness engulfs them, the mob outside takes up the anguished lament, “Too late, too late.”

pc vs morals

    The wise went wholly prepared.  The unwise probably didn’t want to seem to be too fanatical.  He who has the most religion has none to spare.  God calls everyone of us to be fully prepared by being completely consecrated Christians in this life.

The person who truly understands that he is an eternal being living a temporary human existence is the one who most understands his need to be fully prepared for when the transition from this world to the next is to take place.

— Pastor Ward Clinton

Sanctification by Beverly Carradine 19

CERTAIN OBJECTIONS TO SANCTIFICATION CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED

When St. Paul was in Rome the Jews residing there said to him, in regard to the Christianity he believed in and confessed: “We desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” The expression “this sect” meant Christianity. In spite of its greatness, fullness, and divinity it was, they said, everywhere spoken against.

Certainly, if the system itself be attacked, we may expect one of its doctrines to be roughly handled. That sanctification is everywhere spoken against is patent to all who listen and read. Indeed, as far as I can judge, it is now the most offensive of all the doctrines of our religion to the people. Many of us are familiar with the expression “offense of the cross.” Can anyone tell me where that offense resides today? You cannot have your attention directed to the matter without perceiving that the offense of the cross shifts as time moves on. It goes from doctrine to doctrine; it is now in one part of the cross and now in another.

In the first century the offense consisted in the being and acknowledging one’s self to be a Christian. But who sees any offense in that today? Is it not felt generally that it is a credit to be a Christian? In the time of Luther the offense of the cross moved again and settled in the doctrine of justification. The Church of that day arose and protested against such teaching. He that embraced it was made to feel his position keenly and bitterly. But who imagines for a moment that the offense of the cross is still to be found in the claim of pardon by faith? Who is made to suffer today by arising in the experience-meetings of the Church and saying that through faith in Christ he enjoys peace with God.

The offense has gone from that doctrine. Like a star it travels, and the next time it becomes stationary we find it abiding in the doctrine of the witness of the Spirit, as taught by our fathers. The reader knows well what reproach and contempt were heaped upon those who professed to enjoy the assurance of salvation. Those that affirmed that truth had to pay dearly for its possession. It was to the world and many in the Church a most objectionable doctrine. It was, in a word, the offense of the cross! But is the offense of the cross in that doctrine today? Who believes it for a moment? Accustomed as we are to hear it on all sides and at all times, in song, prayer, testimony, and sermon, it scarcely awakens a comment. The offense of the cross has moved once more.

Where is it today, and in which truth or doctrine has it settled? Look where you will, and as long as you will, and you will be compelled to admit that it is today resident in the doctrine of entire sanctification. Fifty years from now it may be abiding in another part of the Christian field, but today it is to be found in the doctrine of holiness as obtained instantaneously by faith in the blood of the Son of God. Let a man arise and proclaim by tongue or pen that he is a Christian, that he is pardoned, that he enjoys the witness of the Spirit, and not a ripple of disturbance is created. But let him declare in assembly or in the columns of a religious newspaper that Christ has sanctified his soul, and then comes the storm. For making such a claim Madam Guyon was imprisoned. For asserting that we could be sanctified instantaneously by faith Mr. Wesley was assailed on every side. There is something about the doctrine that seems to arouse antagonism. Satan cannot endure it, nor does he propose that the Church shall come into the possession of the lost blessing of Pentecost.

It is a sweet, loving, blessed doctrine–one, it seems, that should delight and gladden every Christian heart–viz.: a doctrine that teaches the death of sin in the heart, and a perfect love to God and man indwelling and reigning there supreme. And yet its introduction and proclamation in Church and community is the signal of commotion. The reason is that the offense of the cross abides therein. Such are the separations, misunderstandings, and ecclesiastical ostracism that it produces that but one thing can account for a man’s openly testifying to its enjoyment, and that is the fact of its possession. In the face of the opposition and death that came to the disciples but one thing upheld them in preaching the resurrection of Jesus, and that thing was that they knew he had risen from the dead! And so most truly can this writer affirm that in view of what will surely come in the future to him who claims the blessing of sanctification but one fact on earth will enable him to go on preaching the doctrine and experience, and that fact is the enjoyment of the blessing itself.

As the Jews said to Paul: “It is everywhere spoken against.” Many are the objections urged against it. And yet not one but is easily met and explained. Let us notice a few of them.

First, men object to the psychology of the doctrine. The argument against us is that, if we claim that depravity is utterly taken out of the soul by sanctification, this blessing, being enjoyed by parents, will deliver their children from the curse of inbred sin. This deduction, we suppose, in the objector’s mind is that a pure nature is transmitted from father to son; that conversion would thereafter be unnecessary, and all subsequent sin would be like the fall of Adam. In reply we say, if this holds good against sanctification, it will also be valid against regeneration; and especially if the objector claims that in regeneration the heart is made holy. And if he admits that depravity is not taken out at the time of conversion, then does he grant what we contend for, the need of a second work of grace. Which horn of the dilemma will he take? The argument–at first sight formidable–goes to pieces under this simple statement: that depravity is general, coming upon the race judicially, but that salvation is an individual and personal matter. A man may reach up by faith out of this flood of universal evil and obtain the blessings of regeneration and sanctification; but he has done this only for himself–he cannot do it for his son. No one can inherit a holy heart. An individual, accepting deliverance from the curse of depravity, does not stop that dark flood-tide as it rolls down the ages upon and through the human race. A bird has escaped the storm. An individual has come forth from his fellows and obtained what each one must separately and distinctively find for himself.  Depravity will doubtless be coeval with the race of man on earth; it has come upon all by birth; but we escape from it not through our fathers, not as a race, but one by one, through faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second, that sanctification is not scriptural. In reply to this I direct the reader to turn to Chapters XIII., XIV., and XV. of this work, and see whether we have not a Biblical basis for the doctrine. Let him also turn to the prophets in the Old Testament and the Epistles in the New, and see if he does not discover there descriptions of, and facts stated about, a higher life to which we are urged to come.

Let him turn to the fourth chapter of Hebrews and after reading carefully and prayerfully ask himself what is this “rest” that Paul is there urging Christians to enter upon. It is not pardon or conversion, for he calls them brethren and addresses them as God’s people already. It is not heaven, for he tells them to enter in today; and adds: “We, which have believed, do enter in.” What is it but sanctification? the blessing whose marked and most blessed feature is a rest of soul that nothing can destroy. The writer heard a prominent evangelist say in the pulpit this year that regeneration was mentioned in the Bible about twenty-five times, but that sanctification was mentioned one hundred and twenty-five. He then added (and he was not a sanctified man) that if we believed in the first, we ought to believe in the second five times more than we did in the first, because it was taught five times as much.

Third, that it is an unnecessary work; that regeneration has done all for us that is needed. According to the Scriptures the objector has made a great mistake. If regeneration is all God does to the soul, why is it that regenerated people are urged in the word of God to become sanctified? Mind you that to be sanctified is not to grow in grace. “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly,” says Paul. Here is no development, no growth in grace, but a work of God solicited for the soul. The Bible plainly teaches in this and many other passages that there is another work to be done in the soul by divine power.

According to Christian experience the objector has made a mistake. The writer has yet to hear a regenerated person say that he felt that his heart was holy. If the reader doubts, let him institute a series of questions. He will find that the universal experience is that something is still lacking in the sou1–a something to be done by grace, a something to be taken away, a something to fill the nature, that finds descriptive expression in the words, a “clean heart,” a “holy heart.” In a visit to a neighboring State, at a meeting for holiness, a venerable minister arose, whom everybody in the town knew, loved, and esteemed. His had been a blameless life, and he had enjoyed religion for years. For the past three years he had quietly, yet firmly, opposed the holiness movement. Yet suddenly and unexpectedly he gave testimony in the meeting to which allusion has been made. Among a number of things he said he admitted this: “You all know me to be a Christian man, and so I am. I walk with God, and yet I feel that there is something here in my heart that needs to be taken away, a something that is not right.” The writer will never forget the solemnity of the face and attitude, and especially the way in which the old man of God placed his long bony finger over his breast, working it as he spoke, as if he would penetrate his heart and extract that dark, disturbing, worrying something within. Verily, let a man study the Bible and listen to Christian testimony, and look deep into his own soul, and he will never say that sanctification is an unnecessary work.

Fourth, that our best people do not profess it. This objection sweeps us back more than eighteen hundred years into the city of Jerusalem. We find ourselves in the temple. There is a babel of voices around us. The people are discussing Christ, and they are saying the identical thing that appears in the objection: “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?” In other words, do the best people, the prominent people, take to Christ and follow him? That they did not was sufficient with them to condemn the Son of God, unheard and untried. We grant that there are many most excellent; people in the Church who do not believe in the doctrine of sanctification, but that is no argument against it. If you insist that it is, then with that same argument we can overturn the doctrine of regeneration.

The writer knows some most excellent people in this city, people high-toned and moral, who do not believe in conversion; therefore, according to the objection above, there is no such thing as regeneration. The blessing of sanctification is received by a perfect consecration, and by a special and perfect faith in the blood of Christ to make holy. But suppose an excellent Christian will not thus consecrate, and will not thus believe, what will be the result? Simply this: that, although I may be the highest in the land, I will not obtain that blessing. It is not your excellence that obtains the precious gift of God, but your faith. On the other hand, one may be the weakest, the obscurest member of the Church, and yet, if he complies with the conditions mentioned, he will obtain the great blessing.

The writer has known an elegant woman of the world to be unconverted, while her cook was a devout Christian. And he has also known prominent: lady members of the Church knowing only the experience of regeneration, while their white servant girls were enjoying the blessings of sanctification. Peter said at Pentecost that it was for any and all, to them that were afar off and all that God called. Joel said that the blessing of sanctification would come upon the servants in the last days. The writer has seen this prophecy fulfilled repeatedly. Very humble people are obtaining this high blessing of God, even as once before the common people heard and followed Christ gladly.

It deeply offended many then; it offends many now. But in the midst of all Christ was glad. The Bible said he rejoiced in spirit, and said: “I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes.” “Ye see your calling, brethren,” said Paul; “how that not many wise, nor mighty, nor noble are called; but God hath chosen the weak, the base, the despised, and things which are not to bring to naught things that are.” Fifth, it leads to fanaticism. This is what many assert and are confident in the assertion. Even where they have not seen the fanatics made by sanctification, yet have they heard of them. They saw a man who saw another man who saw the fanatics. We are told of the “Come-outers,” in Mississippi; the “Body Healers,” *[See the Endnote by L. L. Pickett at the end of this chapter] in Kentucky, and the “Infallibility People,” in Texas.

The argument is that this crankiness, practiced by a few people claiming holiness, proves the doctrine to be false. This argument, if accepted, proves too much, as we say in logic. If the fanaticism of a certain number of sanctified people proves sanctification to be false, then the fanaticism of certain converted people proves the doctrine of regeneration to be wrong. Does the reader know any “Come-outers” among regenerated people? I knew a good old converted brother who left the Church for ten years because an organ had been introduced in the public worship. Did that action of his prove that there was no such thing as conversion? Since the writer has been in New Orleans he has seen a dozen prominent members of the Church who were converted people get in a huff over a little matter and quit coming to church for years. They said they could worship God at home. The evangelist of Georgia has evidently met with some of these people, and he has named them ” Old Brother Quitter ” and “Old Sister Quitter.” Did anyone assail the doctrine of regeneration because of the crankiness of these individuals? In a certain neighboring State, in a community where the doctrine of sanctification was never preached, where only regeneration was taught and believed in, the writer met a man who fancied he was God, and therefore infallible. Who for a moment regarded this as a fruit of regeneration? As for “Body Healers,” there is a certain physician in Louisiana–a converted man–who has no patience with the doctrine of the second blessing, who solemnly affirms that he healed a paralytic man by the power of his own will.

If a man professing the experience of sanctification should say this, he would be assailed on all sides and dubbed a fanatic, and the doctrine of sanctification would be made to suffer. And yet this Christian physician states that he performed a case of healing by an exertion of his will, and nothing is said in ridicule, he remains highly honored, and the doctrine of regeneration is not assailed. The fact is that every religious movement and revival (we might add, every doctrine) is afflicted with some extremists, who are generally weak-minded, unbalanced, and ignorant people. To hold Christianity or any of its doctrines accountable for the erratic course of this class of people is a manifest and gross injustice. Nor is it always done. All recognize the folly of the “Millerites;” but, while we condemn their course, we do not the less believe in the second coming of Christ to judge the world. Simon Stylites, perched on a pillar for years, has excited the contemptuous smile of multitudes; but none the less did the smiling throng believe in the doctrine of self-denial and mortification of the body. Stylites was a fanatic, but the doctrine was divine. It was not the doctrine that made the man fanatical. The weakness was in himself, and would have as readily manifested itself in some other line.

So, when people enter upon the experience of sanctification, and not clearly understanding it, and being uninstructed or unbalanced in some respects, wander into lines of error, the whole occurrence proves but one thing, and that is that the erring brother or sister is simply ignorant, weak-minded, or misguided. When a steam-boat boiler explodes on the Mississippi River no one dreams of saying that the steam was at fault, but that something was the matter with the boiler. As truly there is no fault to be found with the doctrines of regeneration and sanctification, but there is oftentimes something serious the matter with people who profess them. For the sake of common sense and justice let us distinguish between steam and a weak boiler, between a doctrine and a weak human vessel. It is certainly significant that the objectors to the doctrine of sanctification, in leveling their shafts of ridicule, invariably call attention to the fanatical exponents of the doctrine.

Why is it that in opposing and denouncing it they point only to the cranks, and not to the grand men and women who, by countless thousands, are enjoying and adorning this doctrine of God our Saviour? With equal justice a guide might direct the attention of the traveler to the lepers of Palestine as the type of the Asiatic, or the dwarfs of Tyrol as a sample of the manhood of Europe. It is something more than significant–it is suspicious–that the objector only mentions the fanatic, and withholds the names of Wesley, Clark, Carvosso, Asbury, McKendree, Fletcher, Peck, Foster, Lovick Pierce, the saintly Inskip, the holy Finney, and thousands of others who have enjoyed and professed the blessing of sanctification.

*[As to the doctrine of divine healing, we think the beloved writer should not class it with “Come-outism,” “Infallibility People,” etc.; since many very able, earnest Christians believe heartily in it, both professors and non-professors of sanctification. They refer us to Exodus xv. 26, xxiii. 25; Deuteronomy vii. 15; 2 Chronicles xvi. 12; Psalm ciii. 3; Jeremiah xvii. 14; Matthew viii. 16, 17. –L. L. P.]

Pastor Ward  Clinton

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