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  • PROLOGUE TO VOLUME 3
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    Pursuant to the glory of full salvation, we are still steaming up the river, all of our predecessors having floated down.

    This volume contains only the Pauline writings. Hence we all sit at the feet of the world’s champion theologian, so celebrated for prolixity of sentences, profundity of thought, gigantic interpretation of intellect, and illimitable spiritual illumination.

    PROLOGUE TO EPHESIANS Ephesus, the New York of Asia Minor, the metropolis of Lydia, the kingdom of Croesus, the richest king of the ancient world, whose capital was Sardis, was celebrated as the commercial emporium of the great West, and the metropolis of polytheistic idolatry, and the location of the temple Diana, which occupied two hundred years in building, and was one of the Seven Wonders of the World; the other six being the Pyramids of Egypt, the Walls of Babylon, the Colossus at Rhodes, the Coliseum at Rome, the temple of Jupiter at Athens, and the Sphinx at Egypt. Apollos, the learned Alexandrine Jew, having been brought up under the auspices of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the celebrated patron of learning, who accumulated at Alexandria the largest library in the world, came all the way from Egypt to enjoy the wonderful preaching of John the Baptist. Gloriously converted, he became the most eloquent preacher of the age, traveling through Africa and Asia, everywhere holding the listening multitudes spellbound by his unparalleled oratorical power. He enjoyed the honor of planting the Gospel Church in Ephesus, organizing with twelve members. Fortunately in the good providence of God, Aquila and Priscilla, exiled Jews from Rome, having been gloriously sanctified under Paul’s ministry at Corinth, and called to preach the living Word, falling into Apollos’ meetings, though thrilled, spellbound, and edified by his transcendent eloquence, readily perceived his spiritual deficiency, and, inviting him home with them, availed themselves of the opportunity to teach him “the way of the Lord more perfectly.” Thus, a humble layman and his wife lead the most eloquent preacher in the world into the glorious experience of entire sanctification. Henceforth he added to his transcendent eloquence the infinitely greater enduement of spiritual dynamite, everywhere mightily proving to the Jews, by the Scriptures, that Jesus is the Christ. ( Acts 18:28.)

    Paul, in his peregrinations, comes to Ephesus, finds the little Church of twelve members, and interviews them straight, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” Receiving a negative answer, he proceeds at once to inaugurate a holiness meeting, preaching to them their glorious privilege in Christ, calling them to the altar to seek entire sanctification.

    While Paul exhorts, prays, and lays hands on them, the Holy Ghost comes on them, sanctifying, filling, and thrilling them so they speak fluently and prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:3: “He that prophesieth, speaketh unto people edification, exhortation, and comfort.”

    Now Paul was a bloodwashed and firebaptized band of twelve, enjoying the perfect freedom of speech, and ready for the most efficient cooperation in the salvation of souls. A modern wiseacre would have said: “Paul, why do you not preach to Sinners, who everywhere throng this city, going down to hell?” As Paul first preached sanctification to the little band till he got them filled with the Holy Ghost, he then had twelve heroic helpers to push the war to the gate of the enemy. Wonderfully did God bless their labors as they pushed the battle in a three years’ protractedmeeting, rolling out the wave till “all Asia heard the Word.” (CHAPTER) - 1. “Apostle” is a Greek word, and means “sent forth.” We see here that Christ sends the apostle, through the will of God.

    ARGUMENT THE HEAVENLIES AND SANCTIFICATION 3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us in all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. ” The Greek word is an adjective noun, and very infelicitously translated heavenly places. You see “places” is italicized in the English, showing that it is not in the original. Men always make a mistake when they undertake to help out God, as he does not need any help. Hence, in reading your English Bible, you would get better sense out of it if you omit all of the italicized words.

    Here we see what a limitation the added word “places” puts on the inspired word “heavenly,” restricting it to mere location; whereas it has a glorious, infinitesimal signification. It means heavenly peace, rest, comfort, happiness, submission, obedience, faith, joy, and victory. We are here in the kingdom of omnipotent grace, preparatory to a world of ineffable glory. This Greek word, heavenlies, occurs repeatedly in this epistle, ringing out the glorious battle-cry. Hence, it is the great salient truth of this wonderful letter, exhibiting the highest type of spirituality in the New Testament, a logical sequence from the glorious foundation laid by Paul in the sanctification of the twelve charter members whom he found on his arrival. Only the people having Heaven in them will ever pass the pearly portals. Equally true that the inmates of Hell all take their hell with them into the regions of endless woe. These heavenly graces are not reached in justification, but sanctification. Our Savior is the paragon Exemplar of Christian saintship. He never enjoyed the peace of pardon, from the simple fact that he had no sins to be pardoned. But he always enjoyed the peace of purity. Hence we must reach entire sanctification in order to enjoy our Savior’s peace, rest, submission, faith, obedience, joy, happiness, love, and victory. These constitute the heavenly experiences, only attainable in entire sanctification, and indispensable to our admission into heaven. 5-8. “In love having predestinated us unto sonship in himself through Jesus Christ. ” Here is a beautiful allusion to the Father’s love, which moved him to interpose the wonderful redemptive scheme. “O for this love let rocks and hills Their lasting silence break, And all harmonious human tongues Their Savior’s praises speak.

    Angels, assist our mighty joys; Strike all your harps of gold; But when you reach your highest notes, His love can ne’er be told. ” ARGUMENT ALL THINGS REHEADED IN CHRIST 10. “In the dispensation of the fullness of the seasons, to rehead all things in Christ, those things in the heavens and those things upon the earth. ” Where the English says, “gather together,” the Greek is anakephalaiosasthai , from ana , again, and kephalaion , the head. Hence, it means to rehead all things in Christ, both in the heavens and upon the earth. When God created this world, he constituted Adam and Eve the united head. When the devil succeeded in their abduction, he cut the head off of the world, thus leaving the poor, fallen world without a head. In the glorious restitution, Christ is going to glorify humanity, and restore him back to the headship of the world. In the fall, Satan destroyed spiritual life in humanity, thus cutting man’s head off. All the senses are in the head.

    Hence man, without a head, has no eyes to see hell open before him, no ears to hear the hideous groans of the damned and the dismal drumbeat of his own perdition, no nose to smell the brimstone, no tongue to taste the devil’s filthy tobacco which would nauseate a dog, and no nerves to feel the awful trepidation inspired by an eternity of woe. This is the reason why the millions of this poor, lost world are rushing at racehorse speed into hell. In regeneration the Lord restores back your head, which you lost in the fall; in sanctification radically exterminating the counterfeit head, which the devil has put on all sinners. Christ will also, in due time, rehead this fallen world, restoring its Edenic glory, sanctifying by fire and transforming it into a heaven, committing it to the glorified saints and unfallen angels, to shine and shout through all eternity. The English word, heaven, is heavens in the Greek, corroborating astronomy in the infinite multiplicity of celestial worlds, all of which were more or less affected by the fall of this world. ( Hebrews 9:23.) Hence, the work of Christ will not only restore this world to its perfect celestial loyalty, but so confirm all other worlds as to effectually fortify them against the liability of future apostasy. 11,12. Here, again, we have a beautiful allusion to the predestination of the saints in harmony with the sweet will of God, “who, beforehand, had hope in Christ. ” This is a beautiful allusion to the glorious millennial harvest, of which the saints, in the gospel dispensation, are the first fruits.

    ARGUMENT THE LETTER SEALED 13. “In which you also, having heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.Paul ( 2 Corinthians 3:3) tells us that we are God’s letters, “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.”

    Hence, we see that regeneration transforms us into God’s letters, to be read by this wicked world, who will not read the Bible. Hence God’s plan is to save the world through his saints. When a letter is written, the seeing becomes indispensable, in order to secure the contents against theft, as Satan is a great rogue, and is certain to steal out the letter and the money.

    Hence, you see by these beautiful similes that regeneration writes the letter, and sanctification seals it. When the letter is written, and sent out into this thievish world unsealed, it will not long retain its contents. Some thieving demon will surely spoliate it soon or late, leaving nothing but the old, empty envelope.

    The ordinary Church member of the present day has nothing but an old, dirty envelope, carrying it round, a laughing-stock for devils, tickled over his silly delusion, thinking he has a letter of introduction to heaven, when he has nothing but an old, empty envelope. Now, reader, be sure that the Holy Ghost writes you a good letter in regeneration, and then seals it in sanctification.

    ARGUMENT THE HOLY GHOST AND REDEMPTION 14. “Who is the earnest of our inheritance unto the redemption of the possession, unto the praise of His glory. ” The Holy Ghost, personally received in sanctification, is the first installment of the heavenly fruition, destined to sweep on with everincreasing delight and eternally accumulating rapture through the flight of the heavenly ages. The indwelling God, in the person of the Holy Ghost, is the secret of heavenly bliss. We receive him as an indwelling Comforter in the experience of entire sanctification to abide forever.

    The “redemption” in this passage is the glorification of mind and spirit, and the transfiguration of the body at the second coming of Christ, transforming the saints of the bridehood into the similitude of his own glorious body, to shine and shout forever. 15. “Therefore I, hearing the faith with you in the Lord Jesus, and the Divine love toward all the saints, 16. “Do not cease giving thanks in your behalf, making mention of you in my prayers. ” The globe of salvation contains two hemispheres; i.e. , faith, which is the human side; and love, the Divine. Faith is the only human condition of salvation; it is the only hand competent to receive the things of God, — repentance on the part of the sinner, to put him on believing ground for justification by faith, while entire consecration is the sine qua non indispensable to put the Christian on believing ground, where he can be sanctified by faith. The sinner can not exercise faith for pardon unless he is on believing ground, which is the utter and eternal abnegation of all his sins; while it is equally true that no Christian can be sanctified by faith till he gets on believing ground, which is a radical and unequivocal consecration of all to God for time and eternity. “Love” here is agape , divine love, in contradistinction to philia , human love, which is peculiar to fallen humanity, and destitute of saving grace. The rich man had it in hell; so he wanted to send a missionary to his brothers, to keep them out of that awful doom. This love is the Divine nature ( 1 John 4:16), and is only native in the heart of God, transmitted to us by the Holy Ghost by regeneration. ( Romans 5:5.) Hence this love is exotic in the human heart, while the philia is indigenous. Popular religion stops with this human love, which is utterly destitute of salvation, and lets the people fall into hell like Dives. It is utterly impossible for any one to possess this Divine love till the Holy Ghost pours it out in the heart. 18. “The eyes of your heart having been enlightened. ” Man is a Trinity, consisting of spirit, soul, or heart, all of which are synonymous, and used interchangeably in common parlance. The rank and file of the preachers at the present day are dichotomists; i.e. , advocates of the two natures in humanity, confounding and identifying spirit and mind, and consequently preaching mentalities for spiritualities, and utterly heretical so far as gospel truth is concerned. The Bible everywhere teaches trichotomy; i.e. , the three natures of humanity, spirit, mind, and body. The spirit is the man himself, consisting of the conscience, the will, and the affections. The conscience survived the fall, and still rings out the voice of God in the soul.

    The will is the king of humanity, adroitly manipulated by Satan for the damnation of the sinner, but completely wrested out of his hands, and turned over to God by the Holy Ghost in regeneration. Still, a world survives in the profound regions of the affections till utterly eradicated and expurgated by the cleansing blood, applied through the Holy Ghost in the second work of grace; i.e. , entire sanctification.

    The heart has all the senses; i.e. , sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, like the body. But though a dead man have all these organs, he is utterly destitute of sensation. So it is with the heart of the sinner till quickened into life by the Holy Spirit. The human soul in the fall was utterly bereft of life. Hence total depravity applies only to the spiritual nature; the mental and physical suffering only partial depravity. Hence the wholesale delusion of the dualistic theology, which winks at the pure spirituality of humanity, substituting intellectualism, thus building up pompous Churches on the mental and physical elements, intermitting the spiritual, and thus letting the souls of their people slip through their fingers into hell. The Christian religion is not materialism nor intellectualism, but pure spirituality, inwrought by the Holy Ghost. 19,20,21. “Placing Him on his right hand in the heavenlies above all the government, authority, power, and lordship, and every name named not only in this age, but in that which is to come. ” The Greek aion, erroneously translated “world,” means age. Hence, we see that this is not the last age of this world, but it is to be followed by the glorious millennium, and afterward by the illimitable heavenly ages, sweeping on through all eternity.

    ARGUMENT THE CHURCH THE CLIMAX OF CREATION 22,23. “And He hath subordinated all things beneath his feet, and gave him head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who filleth all in all. ” We learn in the Pauline epistles that the personal Son created all the worlds throughout the celestial universe, as well as all the angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim. Hence, we find that Omnipotence becomes creative in the person of the Son. Ekklesia , from ek , out, and kaleo , to call, means Church throughout the Greek Testament. If you do not remember that definition, you will fall into utter bewilderment on the Church idea, led astray by the Churchism of the present day, which is utterly variant from, and antagonistical to the New Testament ekklesia , which consisted only of the souls called out of the world, and separated unto God. Hence all worldly Churches are simply Satan’s counterfeits.

    This Divine Ekklesia , the New Testament Church, is here affirmed to be the climax of all creation, the highest conception of the Divine mind, and the grandest culmination of all the stupendous works wrought by Omnipotence throughout the celestial universe, towering transcendently in the Divine estimation, not only above all the stupendous worlds that speed their precipitate flight through the void immense, chasing each other around the effulgent Throne, but actually transcending all the heavenly hierarchies, that flame and radiate through millions of immortal worlds. O the unutterable glory which God has in reservation for the Church of the First-born! The infinite possibilities in reservation for redeemed humanity beggar the flight of the most stalwart imagination! Glory to God in the highest!

    CHAPTER - TOTAL DEPRAVITY 1. Total depravity is most unequivocally taught in this verse. Depravity means being deprived. Total means altogether. “Hence, total depravity means utterly deprived of Divine life.” When God calls a man “dead,” rest assured there is no life in him. Spiritual life was lost by the fall, and is only regained in regeneration. Total depravity is only true of the human spirit, the mind and body being only partially depraved. Hence, Satan in all ages has been busy building up false religions on the residuum of mentality and materiality surviving in fallen humanity. 2. “...According to the age of this world, according to the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience. ” When the bright day of Eden went into eclipse, a dismal night of six thousand years supervened. We are still groping in Satan’s night, but anon cheered by inspiring rays of the glorious millennial dawn. Satan is generalissimo of hell’s belligerent armies, begirding the globe, and doing their utmost for the damnation of the world. These panoplied millions are all destined to retreat back into the bottomless pit, where the apocalyptic angel chains their commander-in-chief. ( Revelation 20:3.) 3. Here we have a vivid description of the unregenerate living in perpetual obedience to their fallen, sensual, and diabolical predilections. 4,5. We see here, in harmony with the great inspired curriculum, that the unutterable love of God for lost humanity superinduced the redemptive scheme. “Quicken” is suzoopoieo , from zoe , life, and poieo , to create.

    Therefore, the regeneration of a sinner by the Holy Ghost is an actual de novo creation, as literal and unequivocal as the creation of a world out of nothing. This is in harmony with the absolute total depravity of the sinner, everywhere revealed by the word “death,” which would be impertinent if there were a spark of life in the sinner’s soul. Hence, the human spirit of a sinner is as dead as a devil in hell, till Divine life is actually created in that spirit by the Holy Spirit. Hence, the radical trouble in the and holiness Churches is not the want of sanctification, but regeneration, which always reaches out for sanctification. The rosewater gospel of the popular Churches is utterly ignorant of the Bible type of regeneration, in which the Holy Ghost comes into the dead soul with the same de faco creative power which flung worlds from the creative fiat into ethereal space.

    ARGUMENT RACE ALONE AND FAITH ALONE ANTITHETICAL i.e. , the truth of the one is the confirmation of the other. Like Siamese twins, they live and die together. The buncombe gospel of the popular Churches is alike destitute of both of these cardinal truths. 7. “...In order that he may shew forth in coming ages the excellent riches of his grace in goodness toward us in Christ Jesus. ” Through the flight of eternal ages, while we soar from world to world amid the splendors of the boundless celestial empire, commingling with the bright unfallen intelligence’s from millions of immortal worlds, God will put us on commendatory exhibition as miracles of his grace and wonders of his love. 8. “For by grace ye have been saved, that not of yourselves, the gift of God; 9. “Not of works, in order that no one may boast. ” O the transcendent clearness and boldness of apostolic preaching and Christian testimony, in contrast with the indefinite supposititious ambiguity of modern Church members! These Ephesian Christians were not simply indulging a hope to be saved when they died, but they already enjoyed the assurance of a personal salvation as a positive experience received through simple faith as the gift of God, utterly independent of their own works. While a truly justifying and sanctifying faith is always operative and fruitful of good works, we are neither justified nor sanctified by the works, but by the faith alone.

    As our salvation throughout is the free and unmerited gift of God in Christ, it is essentially by grace alone on the Divine side, received and appropriated by faith alone, constituting the human counterpart of the gracious economy. When we surrender the doctrine of faith alone, we simultaneously, as a logical sequence, abnegate that of grace alone, and rob God of his glory. The Churches of the present day are full of legalism; i. e., salvation by works, which is Satan’s greased plank on which to slide the people into hell, as our works of righteousness are “filthy rags” in the sight of God, nothing but the work of his immaculate Son being competent to endure the severity of the Divine judgments. The modern maxim, “Church loyalty,” is delusive and dangerous, impressing the people that they will be saved if true to the human institutions of their poor, worldly Churches. Be loyal to God alone, and then you will be true to your Church and everything else that is right. Is faith the gift of God? Then, if he withholds it, I am hopelessly lost. “That not of yourselves, the gift of God.” In this Scripture “that” does not refer to faith (as the Greek positively reveals), but to salvation. Faith is not the gift of God in any practical sense, but the act of the creature. The simple solution is, God gives us all the power we need. to believe his word and trust his promises.

    Yet the act of believing is my own. I can believe, and be saved; or disbelieve, and be damned. ( Mark 16:16.) The power by which we believe is the Spirit, whom the Father gives to all more freely than we give good gifts to our children, if we only ask him. ( Luke 11:13.) If you have not the clear evidence of complete personal salvation, your faith is deficient. God gives you the power to believe in answer to your prayer.

    Hence, you have not prayed enough. Pray on till you reach believing ground, where you will be enabled to exercise faith for justification as a sinner, for sanctification as a Christian, and you will soon know assuredly that you enjoy the long-sought victory in your soul.

    ARGUMENT CREATED FOR THE END 10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared, that we may walk in them. ” We do not plant two trees simply for their own sake, but for the fruit they produce.

    Pursuant to this metaphor, God created us for the good works we will perform in this world, and others through the flight of eternal ages. While God’s plan is to save this lost world through human instrumentality, we must remember that this fleeting probation is but a drop when compared with the boundless ocean of eternity. When God takes me out of this world, I think it will be because he has more use for me in another sphere, where I shall adore his majesty, magnify his mercy and grace, and do his will through all eternity. Methinks he will send me away to preach to the newly-created inhabitants of newborn worlds, and thus fortify them against the liability of apostasy, and establish them in the Divine loyalty.

    Who would be more suitable for this great and important work than we who have passed through Satan’s flint-mills? This fleeting life disqualifies us for enterprises of illimitable magnitude. When once probation is passed, and immortality supervenes, we can deliberately launch enterprises sweeping on through myriads of ages, as we are assured of our own survival till their completion. 11,12. We now enter upon a beautiful paragraph expository of the Jewish and Gentile correlation to the gracious economy. The Christian Church began all Jews. In a century it underwent a radical somersault, the Jewish element evanescing, and the Gentile coming in, till the latter unanimously preponderated. “Having no hope and atheists in the world,” reveals the sad condition of the whole Gentile world before reached by the gospel. Where the English says, “without God,” the Greek is atheos , atheists. When we consider the fact that the Egyptians, Hindus, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans were all intensely religious, their cities radiant with the dazzling domes and glittering spires of the gorgeous temples erected to their gods, many of which stand this day, the wonder of the world (I saw them in 1895), a sad conclusion as to the spiritual condition of earth’s millions this day supervenes. All these Gentile worshipers in Paul’s day were the apostasy of the patriarchal dispensation of the Christian religion. So Romanism and many Protestant Churches are now the apostasy of the apostolic dispensation. The legitimate conclusion follows from these utterances of the Holy Ghost, that all the people who are not personally acquainted with the true God in the supernatural birth are in the gross darkness of practical atheism. 13-16. “...Destroying the enmity, the law of commandments in creeds:... slaying the enmity on it. ” These verses clearly set forth the fact that when Christ died on the cross, he swept all human authority from the field.

    ARGUMENT THE CROSS SETTLES EVERYTHING From these inspired statements we have the clear and unequivocal revelation that when Christ died on the cross, he utterly destroyed human depravity (i.e. , made ample provisions for its total extermination), eternally nullifying all human authority, as involved in the word “ordinances,” which does not mean Divine ordinances, but human creeds, decrees, opinions, and authorities, which have put a thousand heavy yokes of spiritual tyranny and despotism on the necks of all ages and nations.

    The cross of Christ not only redeems the world from all sin, which is the devil’s yoke of bondage, but from all human usurpations, institutions, and authorities, sweeping forever from the field of controversy every autocrat, whether human or diabolical, and thus completely and eternally emancipating every human being in every land and climate. Therefore, there is nothing left for the vilest reprobate and the most menial vassal of Satan’s drudgery and the most cringing servitor of ecclesiastical despotism, but to look up to the cross, claim your freedom, and raise the shout of victory. There is nothing left for you to do but shout, since your Omnipotent Christ has heroically done everything else. He has braved the storms of earth and hell, conquered sin, Satan, men, and devils, leaving nothing for you to do but accept the victory and raise the shout. 17,18. We see here that the Jews, though sunk deep in dead formality and hollow hypocrisy, were nearer God than the heathen world. Though the popular Churches of the present day are in the same awful dilemma, they are nearer God and more accessible to the truth than the infidel, pleasureseeking, worldly rabble. “Through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. ” The Holy Ghost is the Divine personality of God on the earth, sent forth by the Father sitting on the throne of the universe, and the Son encumbering the mediatorial kingdom. He alone can reveal the Son, and through him give us access to the Father. Hence, in the nature of the Divine economy, the rejection of the Holy Ghost is the awful finale, out of which there is no retreat; i.e. , the unpardonable sin.

    ARGUMENT THE CHURCH HOUSE OF THE HOLY GHOST 19,20. “Built upon the foundation of the apostle and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. ” These are the New Testament prophets; i.e ., the fire-baptized preachers who, along with the apostles, under God became the custodians of the apostolic Church. As we are living in the New Testament dispensation, Old Testament symbolism, types, and shadows, all fulfilled in Christ, having evanesced, are superseded by the glorious spiritual entities and transcendent experimental holiness of the full-orbed gospel dispensation. 21. “In whom the whole house jointed together groweth into a holy temple in the Lord. 22. “In whom you also are built up into a habitation of God in the Spirit. ” The Pauline eloquence here is sublime as he floats out on the wing of inspiration in his vivid and glorious description of the Divine Ekklesia; i.e. , the gospel Church, built upon the inspired Word of the New Testament writers, Jesus Christ, the central pillar, supporting the grand superstructure, destined to tower forever, the admiration of angels and archangels, the inspiring theme of cherubim and seraphim, the contemplative glory of God, to the eternal bewilderment of the heavenly hierarchies. This is the glorified Church of the First Born, “without spot or wrinkle.”

    The members of this Church are not joined in, but born into it by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Ghost.

    This is none of your worldly Churches, as the very word for Church, Ekklesia , means the called out of the world; while hagiadzoo , sanctify, means to take the world out of you. Hence, all the members of the New Testament Church have a double reason for being unworldly; the one because they have come out of the world, and left it; and the other, because the world has been taken out of them. Hence, there is a double divorcement between them and the world. Good Lord, open your eyes to see the difference between the devil’s worldly Churches and God’s Church outside of the world, and the world all taken out of it. The ostensible and universal peculiarity of this Church is, as Paul here says: “It is the habitation of God in the Spirit; i.e. , it is the house of the Holy Ghost, in which he constantly dwells. It is our privilege to enjoy that spiritual gift, denominated ( 1 Corinthians 12) “Discernment of spirits.” How awfully blind the masses of the Churches, and even preachers, at the present day!

    In these striking fulfillments of the latter-day prophecies, when the world is filled with fallen Churches, no honest soul enjoying spiritual discernment can fail to recognize the lamentable absence of the Holy Ghost in the Churches. No wonder; for he alone has a right to rule his own Church, his house, as you rule your own house. Hence, the rule is taken out of his hands when it is committed to a giggling choir and an unconverted Official Board, who insult God by refusing to bow the knee in his house.

    Of course, amid those sad environments the Holy Ghost quietly retreats away, leaving the devil, whose servants they are, to run the machinery on the ad libium line of socials, frolics, festivals, and fandangoes. The children of God are horrified at the hollow hypocrisy, dead formality, and worldly flippancy of the so-called Churchism of the present day. When you go to a church, and do not find the Holy Ghost, by his mournful absence you know of a surety it is not the Church of God; from the simple fact here stated that the Church of God is his “habitation in the spirit.” If you are walking in the light of God, and the merest tyro in the kingdom, you can not fail to recognize his presence or his absence in these meetings. The holiness movement represents the Church of God on the earth at the present day, pursuant to the test of the spiritual presence and rulership as here specified in the infallible Word. It is beautiful to contemplate the universal Church of the Triune God, this day “girdling the globe with salvation and holiness unto the Lord.” I have traveled in forty States in the Union, and in Europe, Asia, and Africa, everywhere recognizing the beautiful identity of God’s Church, simple, spiritual, Scriptural, winning victories for Christ on her knees, and shouting the battle-cry. Satan’s counterfeit Churches exhibit an endless diversity of creeds, forms, and ceremonies. God’s Church is one and the same beneath every sky, from the icy poles to the equatorial deserts; everywhere recognizable for New Testament simplicity, and the presence of the Holy Ghost. Lord, shine on us from above, that we may ever discern between God’s genuine and Satan’s counterfeit!

    CHAPTER - Paul dictated this letter to Luke, his faithful amanuensis, while preaching in his “hired house” in Rome, whither he arrived in the chains of his Jerusalem imprisonment in February, A.D. 61. He spent two years preaching in his city mission; meanwhile he wrote this epistle and those to Colossians and Philemon. 2-4. The word “mystery” leads the revelation in these verses. God’s work, like himself, is all a profound mystery, utterly inscrutable to aliens, however gifted and cultured. No sinner can have the vaguest conception of regeneration till he gets it; while sanctification is equally indissoluble mystery to all the unsanctified, even though they be clergymen of the highest rank. No living man has the slightest conception of what transfiguration is experimentally. We must content ourselves in utter ignorance of that transcendent grace till this mortal puts on immortality.

    Hence, the logical inconsistency of unsanctified people having the audacity to criticize that sweet grace of which they are ignorant as baboons. 5-7. Here we learn that this mystery can be revealed even to the holy apostles and prophets of the new dispensation only by the Holy Ghost.

    The omnipotent Spirit, the successor and revealer of the glorified Christ, alone is competent to reveal the unfathomable mysteries of regeneration to a sinner, and sanctification to a Christian. No human power nor ingenuity could ever eradicate the deep-seated prejudices alienating races, colors, sex, and nationalities, such as the impassable chasm between Jews and Samaritans. But the deep illuminations and radical revolutions of the Holy Ghost opened the Gentile world to Jewish evangelism.

    ARGUMENT PAUL LESS THAN THE LEAST 8. This statement of the apostle, involving the widest hyperbole, is to be understood purely experimentally. While Paul was doubtless intellectually, spiritually, educationally, heroically, and experimentally, the greatest saint on the earth, why did he say he was less than the least? He was not speaking exegetically, but experimentally. Humility is the fundamental and most important Christian grace. When John Fletcher was asked, “What is the most important grace?” he responded, “Humility.”

    Then they asked him what was next in importance. He answered, “Humility;” and likewise to the third question, he still said, “Humility.”

    Fletcher was so meek and lowly that he seemed more like an angel than a man. When John Wesley preached his funeral, he said: “There lies in that coffin the most saintly man I ever saw, neither expect to meet another such till I go to glory.” While Paul was great in learning, experience, labors, persecutions, and sufferings, he was proportionately great in humility, feeling as every truly humble saint that he was the least of all, and indulging the quaint Oriental hyperbole, “less than the least.” 9-12. Christ himself is the incarnation of the entire plan of salvation. His birth in Bethlehem is regeneration incarnate, and his death on the cross is sanctification. 11. “According to the plan of the ages, which he made in Christ Jesus our Lord.Eden was the first age, followed by the Antediluvian, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, the Messianic, and, finally, the Apostolic, all consecutively preparing the world for the millennial kingdom and the endless reign of Christ, unanimously illustrating the universally patent fact of man’s redemption under the most encouraging circumstances, and indisputably confirming the sad conclusion of man’s hopeless failure under most auspicious omens, and establishing beyond all possible controversy his absolute dependence on God. While man’s hopeless failure sends a mournful wail around the world, reverberating down the ages from Eden to the millennium, echo takes up the glad refrain, and roars round the world, “God is a success, and has never known failure.” 12. “In whom we have boldness and access in confidence through the faith of himself. ” In the justified experience we have faith in God more or less encumbered by doubt. In the sanctified experience, we have the faith of God perfectly free from doubt; i.e. , the faith of Jesus himself, which was never contaminated. 13. Paul here certifies that all of his persecutions and tribulations only added richer luster and glory to the Church of Christ. 14. We here see that Paul was a stickler for genuflection indefatigable in the knee-drill. In Hebrews 12:11, Apollos exhorts the people to bend their “paralyzed knees.” Satan’s knee-paralysis has just about robbed the popular Churches of the last vestige of Christian devotion. The angels in heaven not only bow the knee, but fall prostrate in delectable devotion to the great Jehovah. All whoever shall go up to live with God in heaven must reach the heavenly state in this life, which makes us worship, not like proud Pharisees, but adoring angels. 15. Here we find that the same cognomen designates God’s people in heaven and in earth, one unbroken family temporarily partitioned by the starry firmament. That name is given ( Isaiah 62:10): “They shall be called the holy people. ” It is wonderful how this blind, wicked world pertinaciously, though ignorantly, fulfills the prophecies. It is a significant fact that the “second-blessing people” alone are denominated in worldly parlance, the holiness people. Others may claim to be holy, but the world stubbornly refuses to call them “holy.” It is a striking and universal fulfillment of prophecy. 16. “In order that he may grant unto you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with dynamite by his Spirit in the inner man. ” This “inner man” is created in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration, the rival of the carnal man born in you by natural regeneration transmitted from Adam. God’s wonderful dynamite not only gives the “inner man” dominion over his old rival, but when utilized by sanctifying faith actually explodes him into smithereens.

    ARGUMENT HAVING BEEN ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN DIVINE LOVE 17,18. Here we have a double metaphor, involving the two most common scenes of life; i.e. , trees and houses. The frugiculturist supplies his nurseries with seedlings, whose fruit is utterly worthless. In due time he cuts off the seedling, and grafts into the trunk the valuable fruit-bearing twig. After a time of development, he spades up the tree out of the nursery, trims it excessively, both branch and root, and plants it out in his orchard forty feet from its nearest comrade. In the nursery it only had lateral roots; now the tap root penetrates down into the deep interior of the earth, ‘winds around the great rocks, and holds the tree secure amid the raging storms, which only bend it hither and thither, circulating the sap and keeping it from getting bark-bound, bringing in contact with its leaves an abundance of carbonic acid, so essential to its rapid growth and healthy development, till soon it bends beneath its load of delicious fruits as the years go by. We are born of Adam’s race mere seedlings, bearing only the bitter crab-apples of depravity. The Holy Ghost cuts us down, and grafts in the Divine nature in regeneration, thus giving us a new heart. If we spend our lives crowded up in a nursery, we will never do any good, but all prove failures. The glorious work of entire sanctification must thoroughly trim us root and branch, take us out of the old nursery, and transplant us in the open field, where we will have ample room to grow and bear fruit forever. When I responded to the call of Brother N.H.

    Harriman, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington, and preached for him eighteen days amid the wonderful sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost; when I bade them adieu, he said “Brothers and sisters, we had a house before this brother came, but the foundation was indifferent and quite superficial; during the ministry of this brother we have gone down deep to the bedrock, and laid a great solid foundation on the eternal strata, which neither men nor devils will ever be able to shake. On this foundation, by the grace of God, we will build a superstructure which shall tower forever, the admiration of angels unfallen and the “spirits of just men made perfect.” In the language of the Holy Ghost, deep and high are synonymous and interchangeable. When Charlie Tillman, he sweet singer of the Sunny South, got sanctified, he shouted aloud, “I have sunk to the top of Pisgab.”

    ARGUMENT THE HYPERBOLE ECLIPSED “In order that you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: 19. “And to know the love of Christ which transcendeth knowledge, in order that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ” “Rooted and grounded” describe entire sanctification in a powerful double metaphor.

    Here a wonderful impetus of inspired eloquence fires the soul of Luke’s enraptured dictator. Rapt in heavenly visions, filled and thrilled with the Holy Ghost, he soars beyond the range of sun, moon, and stars; amid the bewilderment of Divine communion and contemplation he gives utterance to these transcendent hyperboles, and basks in the ineffable glory of the unseen world. Well does John Fletcher say that “filled with all the fullness of God” describes a state of grace infinitesimally beyond entire sanctification. We enter the sanctified experience from the negative hemisphere, realizing the utter elimination of the sin principle through the cleansing blood. Having passed the sin side of the experience, we enter the glorious hemisphere of incoming and super-abounding grace, which is illimitable in this life, and, superseded by the glory of heaven, sweeps on in a geometrical ratio through all eternity, ever and anon flooding the soul with fruitions, amplifications, beatifications, and rhapsodies, eclipsing the most ecstatic hyperboles. while ages and cycles wheel their precipitate flight. 20. “But to Him who is able exceedingly above all things which we ask or think, according to the dynamite which worketh in us. ” You may ask what you will, and lay under contribution all of your thinking powers, yet your omnipotent Sanctifier will flood you with ineffable surprises, doing for you infinitely beyond your asking or thinking. No wonder he surprises you when he has his own dynamite in you, which he manipulates ad libitum , blowing you up ever and anon into a higher, richer, and sweeter heavenly communion. The Lord inspire your faith to appropriate these wonderful promises, and get on shouting ground, world without end! (CHAPTER) - 1. Paul keeps us reminded of the chain on his hands and the soldier by his side, while he dictated this wonderful truth which is free as a bird of paradise. 2. Here we have humility, meekness, and long-suffering these three bottom-rock graces, all in the superlative degree, forever fortifying their possessor against the liability of falling. When you are down on the bottom, there is no place into which you can fall. Hence, the Calvinistic dogma is right if you put it where it belongs, and apply it to a soul invested with graces of perfect humility, meekness, and longsuffering.

    So long as you there abide, you can never fall. You must first imbibe Satan’s egotism, and climb up before you can fall and break your neck. 3. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ” Here we see that it is our imperative duty to make the needed effort to perpetuate the unity of the Christian brotherhood, which is in the Spirit.

    Hence, we must allow perfect liberty in non-essentials, such as creeds, forms, and ceremonies, seeking unification only in the Holy Ghost. A Baptist preacher, during a long run in the car, assaulted me for my heresies on sanctification, dealing his sledgehammer blows right and left without distinction or mercy; meanwhile I antagonized him not a word, but ever and anon endorsed his orthodox utterances. Finally, he desisted from his arguments, and requested me to speak. I told him my experience of a glorious conversion in a Baptist revival when sixteen years old, praising the goodness of God which had kept me from falling forty-six years. Then I alluded to the terrible spiritual conflict involving the new life in a desolating civil war with Adam, the first through a period of nineteen years, fifteen of which in my humble way I endeavored to preach the gospel; but culminating in such a victory as I never had dreamed of when the Savior baptized my soul with the Holy Ghost and fire; filling, thrilling, and flooding me, soul, mind, and body; taking me out of college, of which I was president, suddenly, unexpectedly, and forever; radically revolutionizing my ministerial character in every respect, and transforming me into a flaming revivalist, preparing me every minute to preach and to die. The shout came into my soul, and staid there twenty-seven years, getting sweeter and better.

    He broke down and wept, saying, “That is just what I have always wanted, and I will have it or die;” from that moment, while we rode together, becoming an earnest and appreciative inquirer after the experience against which he had hurled his logical thunderbolts. Lord, help us all to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!

    ARGUMENT THE HEAVENLY CHAIN 4-6. Here we have a beautiful golden chain, consisting of seven links, “one body,” which is the mystical spiritual body of Christ, the Church of the Firstborn, without spot or wrinkle. “One Spirit,” the blessed Holy Ghost, the Third Person in the adorable Trinity, the illuminator, convictor, regenerator, adopter, sanctifier, and glorifier of fallen humanity. “One hope,” the sweet anticipation of universal Christendom singing away the lugubrious clouds of human woe, and spanning the firmament with a thrilling prelibation of coming glory. “One faith,” the spiritual hand alone competent to receive the things of God, take Jesus by the hand, and turn over to him the battle of life, shouting victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. ‘One baptism;” we take it for granted that no one reading these pages will be so foggy as to see water here in this beautiful golden chain of seven links, which lifts humanity up to God; you would not be so inadvertent as to insert a water link, as in that case your chain would be weak as water, and lift no soul up to glory. This is most assuredly the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire ( Matthew 3:2), administered by our Savior to his own children exclusively. You must not mar the spiritual homogeneity of this beautiful gospel chain, by inserting a water link. Again, beware that you do not nullify the unity of Christian baptism by a baptism of fire, distinct from that of the Spirit. There is no danger of your having too much fire nor too much water; the latter the symbol, and the former concomitant of the spiritual baptism administered by the omnipotent Sanctifier. “One God;” we must beware of heresies on all lines, and not emphasize the three persons of the Trinity so forcibly as to drift into the dogma of three gods.

    There is but “one God,” of whom the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct persons, accommodatory to finite apprehension and the redemptive scheme. 7. “To each one of us grace has been given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. ” We should never measure other peoples corn by our halfbushel, as God will attend to measuring their corn as well as ours. We who have long enjoyed the experience of entire sanctification, should deal very tenderly with young converts and weak believers, if we discourage them, remembering that infinite diversity of spiritual idiosyncrasies and magnitude characterizes the kingdom of God.

    ARGUMENT THE DESCENSION AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST 8-10. The reader would do well here to exchange this book for Volume 2, and read the Commentary on 1 Peter 3:19. It takes in this whole subject, and corroboratively expounds this Scripture. When our Savior expired on the cross, his human soul descended into hell ( Acts 2:31); the herald of his own victory achieved on Mount Calvary having triumphed over the pandemonium, he crosses the chasm ( Luke 16:26) impassable to all finite beings, enters the intermediate paradise, called Abraham’s bosom, meets the thief according to promise ( Luke 23:43), and all the Old Testament saints there awaiting the verification of the Abrahamic covenant by the sufferings of Christ; on the third morning, abolishing the intermediate paradise, leads them all up, receives his body out of the sepulcher, all the mighty hosts of Old Testament saints accompanying him during his forty day on the earth, invisible because disembodied, and ascend with him into heaven from Mount Olivet; constituting his triumphal procession, as seen by the prophetic eye of David ( Psalm 24), they enter the glorified city of God amid the shouts of angels, archangels, and redeemed spirits. “Christ, the first-fruits of them that slept,” must lead the way into heaven, throwing wide the pearly gates for every disembodied saint in all coming ages to sweep with a shout.

    ARGUMENT GIFTS FOR PERFECTING THE SAINTS 11. Here, we see, the ministerial curriculum of the gospel dispensation includes “apostles,” who are the pioneers sent out into every country under heaven; e.g. , Bishop Taylor in Africa, and Hudson Taylor in interior China, and many others exploring the heathen world at the present day. “Prophets,” ( 1 Corinthians 14:3) “He that prophesieth speaketh to men edification, exhortation, and comfort.”

    The Greek and Hebrew words for prophecy mean to boil up and flow out like an artesian well, never ceasing. On the day of Pentecost their tongues were split, each prong on fire, one to preach hellfire to sinners, and the other heavenly fire, to sanctify the Christians. It is the privilege of all sanctified people to receive the spirit of prophecy, which is the normal qualification for preaching the gospel. O how the world is perishing today for the spirit of prophecy! The Lord raise them up in platoons! Next “evangelists.” This word in Greek is the concrete of which gospel is the abstract. The evangelist travels to the end of the earth in the fulfillment of the latter-day prophecies. Daniel 12:4 “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

    In the last year I have traveled in twenty-one States, having more calls everywhere I went, and in many other places, than I knew what to do with. The evangelist has a message to the world, which he goes expeditiously to deliver. He is an auxiliary of apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers. How strange to find preachers and Churches clamorous against the very existence of a ministerial order which the Bible positively reveals, instituted and sent of God! The bitter opposition to evangelists reminds me of the old Latin proverb, “Quem Deus vit perdere primum dementat ,” — whom God wisheth to destroy, he first maketh mad. When preachers and laymen flatly contradict God Almighty, and audaciously oppose his revealed Word, the omens are appalling. “Pastors.” You see in this catalogue “bishop” does not occur, from the simple fact that the New Testament bishop is always synonymous with pastor; the latter Latin, and the former Greek. The pastor is the abiding custodian of the Lord’s flock, whose duty it is to “lead them beside the still waters, and have them lie down in green pastures.” Our Savior condemns the hireling shepherd, certifying that he can not be relied on when the robber attacks the flock, but he will skedaddle away, leaving them a prey to the enemy. The saddest phenomenon of the present day is to see the devil’s wolves and robbers making sad havoc of the flock of God, while the hireling shepherds are “drinking their milk, feasting on their flesh, and clothing themselves in their wool, reveling in their tents.” ( Ezekiel 44) “Teachers.” This office has long ago been dead and forgotten in the popular Churches. An old ex-missionary of Bishop Taylor from India told me that the heathen know more about the Bible than the Church members in America, because the missionaries teach a regular Bible school every day, which they are permitted to attend and enjoy. Sad to say, the Church is no longer the school of Christ; as the little degospelized, despiritualized sermonettes on Sunday morning and evening are not entitled to recognition in Biblical didactics. The Lord has long used your humble servant as the teacher of his people; but I have to go to the holiness movement for an appreciative audience. The Word of God is bread, meat, water, milk, honey, wine, grapes, pomegranates, and all the luxuries of the kingdom.

    But a dead man does not want his dinner. Hence, if you would turn a popular Church into a Christian school, you must first bring to them the resurrection power. 12. “For the perfecting of the saints in the work of the ministry, unto the edification of the body of Christ: 13. “Until we all arrive into the unity of faith and of the perfect knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. ” We see clearly in these Scriptures that these different ministerial orders are God’s provision for the perfecting of his saints. No wonder the Church of the present day is lamentably shorn of her power by the Delilahs of the world, and miserably enslaved in the mills of Dagon, when all these ministerial orders given for her perfection are practically abnegated with the single exception of the pastor, and he a poor hireling, who, Jesus said, could not be relied on.

    God has raised up the holiness people in every Church and country, to restore New Testament truth and simplicity, leading the people out of legal bondage into the glorious liberty of full salvation the Bible loved and appreciated as the only guide and authority.

    ARGUMENT NEEPIOS AND TELEIOS 14. “In order that we may be no longer infants, tossed by the waves and carried away by every wind of teaching in the stratagem of men, in their craft for the purpose of delusion; 15. “But speaking the truth in Divine love, let us grow up into him in all things who is the head, Christ.Neepios means an infant; Teleios means perfect. These two words, correlatively and contrastively, represent the two great works of grace in the plan of salvation. We have in this wonderful exegesis of Paul no allusion whatever to any other classes.

    Regeneration makes you a babe in Christ, and sanctification, winding up your minority, brings in your spiritual majority, constituting you an adult.

    Of course, following the analogy of the natural kingdom, we recognize a progressive development before the birth, and afterward culminating in full-grown manhood. He gives a reason here why we should get out of babyhood, because during our spiritual infancy, as in natural childhood, we need nurses and guardians; meanwhile, we are perilously subordinated to our environments, and liable to influence and capture by all sorts of intrigue, human and diabolical, ultimating in ruin, temporal and eternal. The only remedy for the spiritual feebleness, foibles, and caprices peculiar to the spiritual infancy following regeneration, is entire sanctification, which makes you a “perfect man.” Perfect is from facio , to make, and per, complete. Hence, it simply means made complete. Man was complete, man was perfect, when he emanated from the Creative fiat. Satan destroyed his equilibrium, put him out of kilter, thus rendering him imperfect. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. ( 1 John 3:8.)

    Nothing is the work of the devil but sin. When Christ destroys sin in you, he makes you complete in him, and what the Bible calls a perfect Christian. It is not maturity, but purity, as you will grow on through this life, and doubtless through all eternity. Carnal preachers in all ages, the pope at their head, have violently opposed entire sanctification, from the simple fact that it takes the people out of their hands, and puts them where none but God can rule them. A Roman Catholic commentator, Liguori, thus delivers on that subject: “That abominable doctrine of purity has given the Catholic Church more trouble than anything else.” Ahab said to Elijah, “Thou art he that troubleth Israel.” O how the holiness people are now troubling the carnal preachers and fallen Churches, because they recognize no authority hut God, revealed in his Word, Spirit, and providence! Spiritual babes are tossed about by every wind of teaching at the caprice of ecclesiastical demagogues. 15. “Speaking the truth in Divine love....

    Sanctified people are no longer tossed about by human creeds and cunningly manipulated by priestcraft; but, free as angels, they take the Bible for their only authority, and Jesus for their only companion, and, O how they “grow up in him, their living Head!” 16. We see from this verse the glorious unity of God’s people, regardless of sect, race, or color; the whole body joined and knitted together, and united to Christ by the Holy Spirit; the life-blood Circulating into every part, and vitalizing every fiber and tissue throughout the entire body.

    When the blood no longer circulates into any part of the body, it becomes paralyzed and dead. So with the Church of God and the Churches forsaken by the Holy Ghost, and now ghastly spiritual corpses. 17-19. These three verses give us an appalling description of the debauched heathen world, sunk deep, not only into brutality, but into diabolism. 20. “But you have not so learned Christ, if, indeed, you have heard him and been taught in him, as is true in Jesus; 22. “That you are to lay aside as to your former life the old man, who is corrupt as to the lusts of delusion. ” You see from these verses the positive and unequivocal fact that every regenerated person is taught by the Holy Ghost the reality and their need of entire sanctification, so that all of the true children of God actually hunger and thirst after it. This Scripture positively unchristianizes all anti-holiness people. If a man is a Christian, his soul longs to be perfectly whole. 23. “And to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and 24. “To put on the new man, who is created in harmony with God, in righteousness and holiness of the truth. ” Here we have an exegesis of our creation in the image and likeness of God.

    What is that image and likeness? Here Paul answers the question. “The image of God is righteousness in harmony with God’s revealed truth. ” Hence, it is not human righteousness arising from our good works, as a corrupt clergy would vainly tell you, but the righteousness of God in Christ imputed unto the truly penitent sinner, who, in utter desperation and profound realization of his utter meekness for hellfire, casts himself on the mercy of God in Christ. Then God freely forgives him for Christ’s sake alone, imputing to him his own righteousness, procured by the perfect obedience of Christ, both active (ever keeping the law), and passive (paying its penalty for us). This is the image of God; i.e. , harmonization with the Divine character. Our conformity to the Divine law does not suffice; we must be in harmony with the character of God; i.e. , like God, if we spend eternity with him in heaven. It takes entire sanctification, not imputing, as in case of righteousness, but imparting the Divine nature to our hearts, thus investing us with the likeness of God.

    The true reading is, “righteousness and holiness of truth;” i.e., as expounded by the truth in contradistinction to all sorts of clerical and diabolical counterfeits, by which millions are deluded and cast into hell.

    The Bible is the only expositor of the “righteousness and holiness” pertinent to the restoration of the Divine image and likeness which we lost in the fall. The inspired Book is full of warnings against the counterfeits of men and devils, flooding us with the testimony of the Holy Ghost, assuring us that we must have the righteousness wrought in the expiation of Christ and the holiness of the cleansing blood applied by the Holy Spirit through faith alone.

    ARGUMENT PRACTICAL HOLINESS 26. “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down on your provocation. ” The Greek word translated angry, is the same we have in Luke, who says our Savior “looked on them with anger, being grieved on account of the hardness of their hearts,” revealing our Savior’s holy grief as the definition of orgidzoo , anger.

    Hence, we see that if you get angry, and sin not — i.e. , have no sin in it — there will be nothing indulged but holy grief in contemplation of wrong; i.e. , you will simply be angry in the sense in which God is angry. God sees all the evil in the world, and is infinitely grieved over it. The more holy we become, the more acutely we discern, disapprove, and grieve over all evil; i.e. , we are angry, but sin not; i.e. , there is no sin in our anger. The sun is going down every moment on some meridian of the earth.

    Hence, the going down of the sun signifies the daily current events of life, involving the idea that we are to receive no provocation at any time, lest the sun go down onit. Wicked men and devils are constantly offering us provocation. But entire sanctification is the investiture of true wisdom, incessantly fortifying us against the reception of evil, though ever so alluringly and importunately enforced on us by human and demoniacal agencies. An insult is a filthy, loathing stench in the nostrils of purity.

    Shall I be gumpish enough to receive it? God forbid! 28. The man who cheats or defrauds in any way, or endeavors to acquire ill-gotten gains, is a thief in the sight of God. If you cheat a man out of a dollar, God condemns you for stealing the dollar. The little rogues steal in the night,, and expiate their crimes in the penitentiary.

    The big rogues steal while looking you in the face. Then you honor them with a place on the judicial bench, where they condemn the little thieves. If a man can steal enough to become very rich, you will promote him to high offices of honor in Church and State. We see from this Scripture that a man is not justifiable for idleness because he is rich. It is his duty to labor with his own hands, that he may have to give to the needy. 29. Your mouth belongs to God. Hence, you can not let the devil use it for obscene, vain, trifling, or foolish utterances with impunity. 30. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you have been sealed unto the day of redemption. ” In regeneration, the Holy Spirit writes you up, and sends you into the world God’s letter, to be read by all men. ( <470301> Corinthians 3) In sanctification, the letter is sealed by the Holy Ghost, securing the contents against robbery. If this is not done, Satan will steal away your letter, leaving you the old, empty envelope to meet the “Judge of all the earth.” “Redemption” is the glorious transfiguration of your body,. when “this mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be swallowed up of life.” The day of “redemption” is the great day of all days when our glorious Lord shall return and call his saints to meet him in the air. The sealing of the Holy Ghost — i.e. entire sanctification — is the qualification for the momentous ordeal of meeting our descending Lord.

    Has the Holy Ghost written you into a letter of God to the world, and sealed you against all the intrigues of the devil? 31. Here we have a black catalogue of ugly things, which forever depart with the exit of sin and the ingress of the Holy Ghost. Lord, help us all to verify this commandment! 32. The saints of God are exceptions in the world for their goodness, kindness, and philanthropy, delighted with opportunities freely to forgive, and joyfully to confer benefactions. While Christ sitteth on the mediatorial throne, hidden beyond the glittering stars, his loving bride, exhibiting his image and likeness, still walks the earth, reflecting the loving kindness, tender mercies, and heavenly benefactions of her Divine Spouse. (CHAPTER) - 1,2. Like our ascended Lord, we are to be a perpetual sacrifice on God’s altar, emitting the sweet savor of holiness to the Lord. 3. Here we see covetousness, the crying sin of the popular Churches of this day, and so magnetic as to escape exposition and condemnation from the pulpit, here catalogued with fornication and impurity, and interdicted so much as a mention among the saints. 4. “And scandal or foolish talking or indecent jesting, which are unbecoming, but rather the giving of thanks. ” For many years a secular paper has not been permitted to enter my house, from the simple fact that they carry Satan’s carrion. You can not mention “scandal” with impunity.

    If you tamper with it, you will get polluted. You can not indulge in “foolish talk,” or even listen to it, without grieving the Holy Spirit; while “indecent jesting” is simply abominable in the sight of God and all good people. During the Confederate War, while General Grant was in his headquarters, surrounded by his military magnates, a Federal officer rushes in a great glee, looking around, says: “I believe there are no ladies present. I have something wonderfully good to tell.” At that moment the old General bluntly interjected, “But I will let you know there are gentlemen present.”

    The man took the hint, and never told the joke.

    At that time General Grant did not profess Christianity, but his manly decorum revolted at the thought of hearing anything too obscene for repetition in the presence of ladies. It is scandalous, diabolical, and barbaric for men to indulge in conversation incompatible with the presence of women. This verse ought to be written up in a motto, and rendered conspicuous in every home, church, and business circle. Scandal, foolish talking, and indecent jesting among the laity, and even the ministry, cause wholesale backsliding, as it is impossible to indulge in these vices and frivolities without grieving the Holy Spirit. Inadvertent participation in these vanities will grieve away the Holy Spirit, and superinduce backsliding before you are aware. Thousands fall in this way, and wake up to find the Heavenly Dove mournfully absent, and wonder why he ever retreated away. Thomas a Kempis, the Roman Catholic confessor of entire sanctification, has written clearly and beautifully on this subject, especially warning the preachers. 5. Here again the Holy Ghost not only catalogues the covetous man right along with the fornicator and the debaucher, but he denominates him an idolater, certifying that he “has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” This argument will bear the most logical scrutiny, as the covetous man piling up his hoarded self does not need it for sustenance, it follows, as a legitimate sequence, that he worships the sordid gold, and is therefore as base an idolater as ever bowed at the shrine of Jupiter. 6. Let no one deceive you “with empty discourses; for through these things the wrath of God cometh on the sons of disobedience. ” The sad verification of this warning everywhere nowadays proclaims the awful apostasy of the latter days. The gospel has well-nigh gone out of the popular Churches.

    Paul defines the gospel as ( Romans 1:16), “the dynamite of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”

    Hence, every discourse which is not charged with God’s dynamite to blow sin out of the heart, is “empty” and degospelized. Songs, prayers, testimonies, and sermons without the Holy Ghost are all “empty,” illusory, and susceptible of utilization by the devil, as greased planks on which to slide people into hell. No wonder our Savior forbade his own apostles to preach the gospel till after they received the Holy Ghost.

    What a pity that every preacher does not lie prostrate before God till he fills him with the Holy Ghost, before he assumes the awful responsibility of standing between the living and the dead. 7-9. God is original light, perfectly free from darkness. Satan has not a solitary ray to cheer the black midnight of his hapless soul. 10,11. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather convict them. ” “Convict” is the verb form of elegchos, which is the verdict of the criminal judge against the accused, condemning him to his merited retribution. We are all custodians and exponents of God’s law, revealed in the Bible. Therefore, it is our province, like the criminal judge, to know no favorites, giving the gospel trumpet no uncertain sound, lifting high the glittering sword, cutting right and left without distinction or mercy, never softening what God has made hard, nor smoothing what God has made rough; but ringing out the truth fearlessly of men and devils, though it condemn the priest, the prophet, the king, and the potentate. 12-14. As the sun illuminates the material world, investing every substance with his light, which is reflected indiscriminately, thus rendering visible the material world; so the great Sun of righteousness transmits his light to all of his saints, which by them is reflected throughout the spiritual world. Hence, we are all walking luminaries in the providence of God, sent forth to irradiate the globe. “Therefore, he says, awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine upon thee.Regeneration is the glorious resurrection of the human soul from the dead, rising out of Satan’s dreary kingdom, where black darkness and death eternally reign; the soul sweeps into the kingdom of God, opening his eyes to contemplate the glorious light pouring on him from the effulgent Christ, revealing to him the splendors, mysteries, and beauties of the spiritual world, which he never saw before. 15. This verse, in harmony with the Bible, denominates the people walking straight into hell “foolish,” and those who travel the heavenly highway as “wise.” 16. “Buying in the opportunity, because the days are evil. ” When bright den went into eclipse, Satan’s reign of darkness, sin, and death sadly supervened. It has swept along like a desolating avalanche, nearly six thousand years, during which the “saved are few;” only here and there a traveler on the King’s highway, while the pell-mell multitudes rush at racehorse speed into hell. Therefore, it stands us in hand wisely to snatch every fleeting moment, thus “buying in the opportunity” to rescue the perishing.

    ARGUMENT “FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT” 17. “Therefore be ye not foolish, but understand what is the will of the Lord. ” 18. “Be not drunk with wine, in which there is riot, but be ye filled with the Spirit. ” This verse is beautifully and lucidly expository of the preceding, warning us not to be “foolish,” but to understand the will of the Lord.

    Now, what is the will of the Lord? The eighteenth verse answers, “Be ye filled with the Spirit. ” Hence, we see that the will of the Lord is that we all “be filled with the Spirit, ” and in case ofdelinquency we are denominated “foolish.” O how few people in this ‘world are “filled with the Spirit” The virgins in the parable were called “foolish,” because they were not “filled with the Spirit.” We can well afford to let the people call us “foolish,” for that is no evidence that it is true. But we can not afford to have the Holy Ghost pronounce us “foolish,” for in that case we are fools to an absolute Certainty. Then let us all get “filled with the Spirit,” and keep full, as only in this way we can escape the imputation of folly by the Infallible One.

    Bear in mind, you must be completely emptied of sin before you can be “filled with the Holy Ghost.” Then expeditiously get under the blood, and trust for a radical emptying of your spirit from all evil. Then trust your Savior to fill you with the Holy Ghost, and there abide forever. 19,20. These verses establish the fact that the Holy Ghost not only fills the heart, but he opens the mouth and makes us sing, testify, and speak fluently and indefatigably for God. It is simply awful to spend an hour in a fashionable city church listening to Satan’s giggling choir squeal out a few operatic songs, utterly unintelligible to the congregation sitting dumb as tombstones. These graveyard Churches are the devil’s counterfeits. God’s Churches are like a graveyard on the resurrection morn, when the awful excitement of the archangel’s trump is bursting every tomb. Bishop FitzGerald well says, that “when the singing is confined to the choir, it is very inappropriate to sing anything except ‘Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound!’ as it is a funeral occasion; the Church is dead.” Rest assured the Holy Ghost always makes people sing. So when a congregation quits singing, they have already become a good missionary field.

    ARGUMENT SPIRITUAL WEDLOCK 21-24. Here the apostle gives the beautiful and instructive similitude of the matrimonial alliance, unifying husband and wife, and thus vividly illustrating the mysterious unity of our Lord and his bride. 25. “Husbands love your wives with Divine love, as Christ also loved the Church with Divine love, and gave himself for her. ” According to this Scripture, it is the duty of every man to get his soul saved before he takes a wife; as he is utterly incompetent to love her with Divine love till he receives it, poured out into his heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration.

    You must not confound the popular Church with the Church of God here described, consisting only of the souls having been called out from this wicked world by the Holy Ghost, and separated unto God. Mark it down, the Church of God does not contain a solitary sinner. Hence, these Churches professing and practicing a sinning religion are all Satan’s bogus. 26. “That he may sanctify her, and purify her by the washing of water through the Word. ” No honest Bible reader will fail to see the second work of grace here revealed beyond the possibility of doubt. The regeneration of the Holy Ghost takes sinners out of Satan’s kingdom, transforms them into saints, and constitutes the Divine Ecclesia here mentioned. The Lord does not sanctify this wicked world, but Ecciesia, i.e. , his own Church.

    Hence, no one can be so stupid as not to see that sanctification here revealed is a work distinct from regeneration, and subsequent to it. What is sanctification? The Holy Ghost here defines it a purification, illustrated by the “washing of water;” not literal water, as we here learn it is “through the Word.” The Bible teaches that we are sanctified by the Spirit, blood, faith, and Word. These are all in perfect harmony, either with other. The Holy Spirit is the omnipotent Agent who sanctifies us; the blood, the Divine elixir by which he effects the purgation; the Word, God’s appointed medium through which we are sanctified; and faith, the condition on which we receive it.

    Hence, the Spirit, blood, Word, and faith are but counterparts of the same great transaction. The instantaneity of our sanctification is here confirmed by two infallible witnesses in this short verse; i.e. , hagiasee, sanctify, and katharisas , purifying, are both in the aorist tense, which God put in the Greek language to reveal to all honest readers that he actually sanctifies in the twinkling of an eye. You may long approach the experience, but suddenly enter it, the gradualism always being on the human side, as Omnipotence needs but a moment to do his work. I write these pages in California, three thousand miles from home. I spent weeks on my westernbound tour, approaching the land of gold. But the time came when, in a moment, the iron horse leaped over the State line, and I found myself in the land of perennial fruits and fadeless flowers. 27. “That he may present to himself a glorious Church, having neither spot nor wrinkle nor any of such things, but she may be holy and blameless. ” “‘Tis a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the Lamb!” What a contrast this plain, simple, and unmistakable statement of the Holy Ghost affirming so positively and lucidly the purity of God’s Church, with the materialistic, skeptical, worldly, proud, pompous, money-loving ecclesiasticisms of the present day, not only utterly ignorant of the sweet and simple experience of heart-purity and the indwelling Comforter, but even waging an exterminating war in pulpit and pews against the very religion revealed throughout the New Testament as the blessed and happy experience of God’s children! 28. Here we have the love of Christ for his Church, which constrained him to shed his blood to sanctify her, held up as the example for every husband to emulate in his love for his wife, thus confirming the sanctity of Christian wedlock beyond the possibility of cavil. 29. This verse not only recognizes the mysterious problem of conjugal unity; but either is to esteem the other the better half, confirming their mutual fidelity by martyrdom, if necessary. 30. Because we are members of His body, as I freely use all of my members conservatively of my body, so Christ has a perfect right to use every saint in perfect harmony with his sovereign will and infinite wisdom conservatively of his glory. 31-33. No one can read these verses, and call in question the Bible doctrine of conjugal unity. It is not only repeatedly affirmed, but even enforced by the example of Christ and his bride. As we receive his nature, and become one with him in spirit, mind, life, purpose, and enterprise for time and eternity, so husband and wife are “no longer twain, but one flesh.” In harmony with this truth, we must receive the doctrine of literal and actual conjugal unity in the Divine institution of Christian matrimony. Hence, we should watch and pray, lest we infringe upon the rights and privileges of this God-given blessing to the world. It was instituted in Eden, and survived the fall, to bless mankind to the end of time. The social purity problem is not to be construed interconjugally so as to antagonize conjugal unity. Husband and wife are to walk in the clear light of God’s Word, Spirit, and providence, lest they deflect into fanaticism, and mar the beauty, chill the bliss, and darken the brightness of the Christian home.

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