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    PROLOGUE While faithfully preaching in Asia, the land of his nativity, the cradle of the human race, where Eden bloomed, Adam and Eve were created, and Satan invaded, eclipsing the fair hope of the world with his black wing, Paul has spent his life preaching the gospel, and now, transported with enthusiasm, enjoying the wide open door of all Asia, an inexhaustible evangelistic field, in a nightly vision looks far away over the great Aegean Sea, rolling between Asia and Europe. He sees a son of Japheth, the progenitor of the white races, standing on a lofty promontory, overlooking the Grecian Archipelago, and hears him shout, “Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” The call is decisive, and the “Holy Ghost forbids him to preach in Asia.” Therefore, accompanied by Luke, Timothy, and Silas, the heroic Asiatic quarto embark for Europe, landing on the Macedonian shore. Philippi, the Roman capital, is their first field of labor, finding an open door in the mission conducted by the daughters of Jerusalem on the bank of the Stryman. The roaring mob, the condemnation of the magistrates, the merciless thrashing, and the cruel old jail, would have upset the faith of many a modern evangelist, and precipitated the conclusion, “I was mistaken in the call to this place.” But not so with Paul and Silas, who hold a hallelujah prayer-meeting, stretched out flat on their bleeding backs, on the cold stone floor of the stenchy old dungeon, till the midnight earthquake answers their prayer, and the converted jailer charges and jumps like a racehorse over the house, upsetting chairs and smashing furniture. From Philippi they travel south to Thessalonica, where God wonderfully blesses their labors, giving them a sweeping revival, till they are compelled to retreat from their persecutors, who have come on their track from Philippi. Now they continue their journey toward the tropical sun, arriving at Berea, where they find a synagogue of unusually pious Jews and proselytes, assiduous, faithful, and honest students of God’s Word, who gladly received the apostles, and diligently searched the Scriptures to see “if these things are so.” Their persecutors follow them from Thessalonica, and super-induce a premature departure from Berea.

    Sending hack Timothy and Silas to preach in Macedonia, Paul, accompanied by Luke, continues to travel southwardly, arriving at Athens, the world’s literary emporium, the home of sages, philosophers, poets, orators, and artisans. When I was there in 1895, I climbed Mars’ Hill, and stood on the Areopagus, where Paul preached to the most learned audience the world had ever seen, opening his discourse, “I perceive that in all things you are very religious [not as in E.V., ‘too superstitious.’] Passing through and observing your temples and shrines, I observed one erected to the ‘Unknown God;’ whom you ignorantly worship, I now declare unto you.” Athens was full of the most magnificent and costly marble temples erected to their gods. The Temple of Jupiter Olympus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, still stands, the admiration of every traveler. The marble Temple of Minerva on the Acropolis, that of Theseus and others, stand this day. Paul very adroitly availed himself of the temple they had erected to the “Unknown God,” to preach him to them as revealed in the Bible and experienced in his heart. At Athens, however, his work was a failure, receiving no converts, but Dionysius and Damaris. Why? Too much learning at Athens. Learning is a citadel of power. When in the bands of Satan, it is difficult to overcome. It is easier to convert a hundred illiterate, ignorant men than a single infidel philosopher. The Churches are making a mistake in educating the heathen before they get them converted.

    The holiness people in all heathen lands go for conversion first, sanctification quickly following, and education afterward. Terrible maladministration prevails along this line in the Christian colleges of America and Europe. They all ought to do as at Asbury College, at Wilmore, Kentucky; press them right into a sky-blue conversion, and then gallop them into a red-hot sanctification, thus getting so much fire on them that they burn them either out or in. It is a bad business to educate people for the devil, as we only augment their torments in hell. If people are going to make their bed in hell, infinitely better give them no education. In the great tribulation now hastening, the proud, smart, educated infidels now ruling State and Church, and too cultured and egotistical to humble themselves at the feet of Jesus and get saved, will all evanesce, leaving the illiterate millions appreciative subjects of the millennial gospel. Paul and Luke continue their journey toward the south, eighty miles to the great city of Corinth, the Paris of the ancient world, arriving in the spring of A.

    D. 52, and staying till the fall of 54, favoring that wicked, idolatrous city with an eighteen months’ protracted-meeting, signally crowned with the blessing of God, and resulting in the largest Church of the Pauline ministry, and most wonderfully endued with the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost. At Corinth Paul writes both of the Thessalonian letters within six months after his arrival. (CHAPTER) - 1. “To the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ” How plain, explicit, and unmistakable is the New Testament! And what a contrast with the Churchism of the present day, in which we find dancers, card-players, theatergoers, horserace-goers, circus-goers, extortioners, swindlers, whisky-drinkers, and other sins too dark to mention! Common sense teaches the most stupid Bible-reader that none of these characters can possibly be members of God’s Church, the Ecclesia , who, responsive to the call of the Holy Ghost, have come out of the world, and separated themselves unto God. Here we see that all the members of the Thessalonian Church are “in God the Father and Jesus Christ.” Nothing but the genuine regeneration of the Holy Ghost can put the soul “in God the Father and Jesus Christ.” Yet we have preachers who stultify themselves by the assumption that these Thessalonians were not converted (in order to get rid of the second work of grace). O that they could only salute their own Churches “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!”

    ARGUMENT THESSALONIAN CONVERSION 2,3. “Incessantly remembering your work of faith and labor of love. ” All who have faith and love are Christians, these two fundamental graces constituting the beautiful globe of the new creation, Faith the human, and Love the Divine hemisphere. Soul-saving work is the legitimate and normal fruit of a genuine faith; so is love demonstrated by evangelistic labor These people proved their faith and love by their works. 4. “Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election. ” We are repeatedly informed in the Scripture that our election is through “sanctification of the Spirit.” In conversion we become candidates for heaven; in sanctification, we are elected. Though these people had not all been sanctified, God seeing it in the future recognizes it. 5. “Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but even in dynamite and in the Holy Ghost and in much full assurance. ” You see from these inspired statements that their conversion was no modern bogus, but was like a sunburst from the throne of God. It is utterly impossible for a candid mind to call in question the genuineness of their spiritual birth. 6. “Receiving the Word in much tribulation with joy of the Holy Ghost. ” No sinner has the joy of the Holy Ghost, but he has the sorrow and condemnation of conviction till he passes from death to life. 7. “So that you are an example to all those who believe in Macedonia and Achaia. ” Here we see Paul holds them up as paragon saints for the exemplification of all others. 8. “For from you the Word of the Lord has roared out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith, which is toward God, has gone forth. ” Here we see that they were not only themselves saved, but efficient and enthusiastic missionaries, scouring all the surrounding country, and preaching with stentorian voices. Good Lord, give us everywhere the Thessalonian type of conversion! 8. The Thessalonian saints are bold missionaries, proclaiming the gospel in Macedonia and Achaia with stentorian voices. They were none of your dumb professors. 9. …We find Paul, on his first visit to Thessalonica, rendered the second coming of Christ exceedingly prominent. The Christhood, in which his first coming to suffer and die, and his second coming to conquer and to reign, are the great salient points, constituted the burden of apostolic preaching. So it is today. When we cease to preach Christ, we would better travel. “To await his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from the dead, delivering us from the wrath to come.Christ is our great Deliverer, over all and in all. (CHAPTER) - 1,2. Despite their cruel treatment in Philippi, and the hot and bloody pursuit of their enemies to Thessalonica, they were bold as lions, exposing the futility of the heathen gods, and the impertinency of the defunct Judaism; they fearlessly hold Jesus Christ as the only Savior of a lost world, the Holy Ghost attesting the truth of their testimony.

    ARGUMENT PAULINE MINISTRY 3,4. “Not pleasing men, but God, who proveth our hearts. ” A manpleasing gospel is Satan’s delusion. A preacher in a great metropolis said: “If we preach the Bible as it is, not one of us can hold our pulpit.” The whole country is cursed with a diluted, man-pleasing gospel. 5,6. “Not in pretext of covetousness, seeking glory from men. ” “God is our witness. ” Here Paul calls God to witness that money wielded no influence in the ministry of him and his comrades. 7-9. While they had a right to temporal support, they supplemented their income with manual labor. We must be true to the New Testament, and faithfully preach the Word, regardless of temporal support. 10. “You and God are witnesses, how holily, righteously, and blamelessly we were among you! ” Here Paul, in behalf of himself and comrades, boldly professes sanctification. Holily, the literal translation of the Greek, means in a holy manner. The adverb includes the adjective, and could be affirmed of none but holy people. 13. As it truly is the Word of God, who worketh in them that believe. ” This affirms a wonderful truth. When you believe convicting truth, God works conviction in you. When you believe converting truth, God works conversion in you. When you believe sanctifying truth, God works sanctification in you. Faith is the hand by which you receive everything from God. Your faith is the measuring-line of your experience. Faith is the human side of the plan of salvation. Silently and imperceptibly to mortal eyes, the Holy Ghost works in you according to your faith. Not only does he work in you according to your faith, but he actually inspires and augments your faith. This is the secret of wonderful experiences.

    ARGUMENT SIN ALWAYS FIGHTS 14-16. Sin, like its symbol, the rattlesnake, always fights for its life. The Christians in Palestine were cruelly persecuted by the Jews. The Thessalonian Gentiles were most malignantly persecuted by the Gentile tribes. Graceless always fight the grace of God, that seeks to save them.

    The Gentiles were the apostate Patriarchal Church; the Jews, the fallen Mosaic Church, having retrogressed into formality and hypocrisy. So the devil had them both, and they were ready to unite against God. Fallen Churchism has always been Satan’s organized opposition. “But wrath cometh on them in the extreme.” Paul’s prophetic eye saw the awful storm of Roman castigation coming on the Jews. Within a score of years from this writing, the army of Titus laid siege to Jerusalem. Josephus says that a sword suspended high in the air hung over Jerusalem a whole year preceding her destruction. The horrors of the siege beggar all description.

    A solid million perished by sword, pestilence, and famine, and a million were sold into slavery; while the scathed and peeled remnant were driven to the ends of the earth, prohibited, on pain of death, to return to the home of their race and the land of their love. The Roman emperors hated the religion, both of Jews and Christians. Therefore they did their utmost to obliterate the very memory of Jerusalem, the Emperor Adrian even dropping the name, and founding a Roman colony on the site under the name of Elia Capitolina. It retained this name two hundred years, till the conversion of Constantine, A.D. 325, when he and his royal mother, Queen Helena, went to Palestine, rebuilt Jerusalem, restoring the name after an interregnum of two hundred years. Still the curse of expatriation is on the Jews. Methinks I see the day dawning on the wandering children of Abraham. Certainly the signs of the times portend the speedy fulfillment of the wonderful latter-day prophecies in reference to the hope of Israel.

    Terrible has been their retribution. Correspondingly glorious will be their redemption when they shall come from their wanderings in the ends of the earth, and again take their place at the front of the world, to fall and wander no more. 17. We see here Paul’s “hour” indefinitely denoted simply a short period of time. 18. Satan is constantly maneuvering, especially through human instrumentality, to hinder God’s saints in their soul-saving enterprises.

    Blessed consolation amid all, God is infinitely stronger than the devil, and actually his assaults are a blessing to his true people. 19. The saints are Paul’s hope, joy, and crown, in presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. In this and all other epistles, Paul keeps the second coming of the Lord constantly before the people, thus inspiring them to get ready. Parousia , the Greek translated coming, is from para , along with, and ousa , being. Hence, it means to come and stay, perfectly harmonizing with the pre-millennial view of his glorious reign on the earth after his coming. It literally means his presence. (CHAPTER) - 1-4. Paul at Athens found a hard crowd; i .e ., the great philosophers of the earth, so fortified by human learning that he could not move them to repentance. No wonder he reduced his evangelistic force, sending Timothy and Silas back to help the Thessalonians, lest they be shaken by the bitter persecution everywhere confronting them. 5. Here we see Paul feared they would apostatize, and be lost. In that case his labor was in vain. 6,7. Much were they cheered by the favorable report which Timothy and Silas brought to Corinth relative to their faith and love, the essential graces of the Christian, the former the human side, and the latter the Divine. 8. “Now we live if you stand in the Lord;et vice versa , we die if you fall; a very delicate hyperbolic expression of the apostle’s exceeding tender love for them. 9. Paul’s gratitude to God on the reception of Timothy’s cheering report knows no bounds.

    ARGUMENT REGENERATION NOT FULL SALVATION 10. “Night and day exceedingly desiring to see your face, and to perfect the deficiencies of your faith. ” This letter sweeps the last possible vestige of the Zinzendorfian heresy forever from the field. Here we have a case of conversion beggaring all possible cavil, clear, demonstrative, giving the joy of the Holy Ghost and the fruits of the Spirit, even making them efficient missionaries and “examples to all the saints in Macedonia and Achaia.”

    Yet this epistle is written to “perfect the deficiencies of their faith.” Their faith for justification was certainly all right; but they did not have faith for sanctification. This was the deficiency no candid reader can deny that they were truly born from above. They were not sinners. Yet they did not enjoy full salvation. Their faith was not perfect. If so, their salvation would have been perfect, for Jesus says it is according to your faith. I have heard preachers stoutly contend that regeneration is full salvation. You see they differ from Paul. This, of itself, is an irrefutable argument for the sanctification of the ministry. Wholly sanctified people are gloriously saved from creedism, and even their own opinions. They want nothing but the truth. they are dead to all isms and schisms, sects, creeds, theologies, denominations, and organizations. We have to get there, in order to be taught by the Holy Ghost. God help you and me to be utterly dead to every authority but the Bible! Your creed will not be mentioned in the judgment-day. You must face the great white Throne, and be judged by the Bible alone.

    ARGUMENT SANCTIFICATION GOD’S WILL 11-13. “To establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

    Amen.” Paul is no low-standard preacher. He here holds high the banner of entire sanctification, inspired by the coming of the Lord with all his saints.

    Benjamin Abbott, than whom the world has not seen a more powerful preacher since the apostolic age, was a terrible reprobate, fist-fighter, chicken-fighter, blasphemer, etc., till he had passed his fortieth year.

    Bishop Asbury’s pioneer circuit-rider produced such a popular sensation in Maryland as to stir the people throughout the whole country, as they had never heard anything but dead preaching. Through sheer curiosity, Abbott rides twelve miles to hear him; finds the house and the yard full of spellbound auditors, the preacher greatly excited, voice roaring, and tears flowing, and the people crying all around him. It was an utter novelty to Mr. Abbott, as he had never before attended a Holy Ghost meeting.

    Conviction takes hold of him like a nightmare, he thought he was sick, went home, and told his wife that he was going to die. Next morning he goes out to mow his meadow; but his body is so weak he can hardly stand on his feet, much less wield the scythe. Meanwhile a soliloquy in his own breast: “Why am I torturing my body to mow this meadow when I will be dead and in hell before night?” At this he drops his scythe, and makes for the woods, where he wallows in awful agony, thinking he is dying. As the sun is going down, it seems that the bottom of heaven drops out, filling and flooding him with an unearthly rapture. He goes home shouting aloud, and tells his wife God has wonderfully saved his soul. She was a member of the Church, and thought she was a Christian. So she is much encouraged by her husband’s conversion, and the next morning sends him to see her pastor, that he might tell him his experience, and make arrangements to join the Church. The pastor receives him gladly, and, having listened patiently to his recital of his wonderful experience, groans and sighs, and tells him that he is under a powerful delusion of the devil. This, to Mr.

    Abbott, was like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky, filling him with gloom bordering on utter despair. As he goes home almost dead with trouble, an inward voice says, “Go out in the woods and ask God about it.” So again, in the lonely forest, he falls prostrate, and turns the vexed problem over to God. Again the heavens open, and a cataract pours on him even greater than that of the preceding day. He goes home shouting aloud, and tells his wife that her preacher has not a bit of religion. When Bishop Asbury’s circuit-rider comes around again, having heard of Mr. Abbott’s wonderful conversion, he visits him at his home, and hears him relate his Pauline experience. Then he says: “Brother, your conversion is all right, blessed and glorious; but God has for you a vastly greater and grander experience —entire sanctification.” This astonished Mr. Abbott unutterably, as he thought he had all he could possibly receive. The preacher proceeds to tell him about sanctification, and explain it to him; meanwhile his heart begins to reach out after it. So he says, “Well, I want this, too.” Pursuant to the directions of the circuit-rider, they fall on their knees, and proceed to pray for his sanctification. An hour has flown; their importunate prayers take hold of the Arm that shakes the world. Abbott falls prostrate on the floor, unable to move hand or foot. Satan tells him he is dying. He cries out, “O God, remove thy hand, or I die!” The physical disability passes off, his strength returns, and he gets up. Still the conversation is on sanctification, and he says, “I want it, and must have it.” The preacher says: “You were right at it awhile ago, and would have received it, if you had not asked God to remove his hand. Now, if you want it, you must pray through, letting God have his way.” Then he says, “I will have it, or die.” Again they get on their knees to pray for his sanctification. Erelong the agony supervenes, the power comes, he falls prostrate, unable to move hand or foot. But profiting by his former mistake, this time he sticks to the track, lying prostrate. After about two hours, he rises and testifies, “that he knows God has sanctified him.” I relate this wonderful experience of this noted pioneer Methodist preacher, as a striking corroboration of the Pauline ministry in the Thessalonian Church. After a conversion sky-blue, glorious, and exceedingly fruitful, not only of spiritual joy, hut efficient evangelistic work, Paul notifies them that their faith is deficient, and that they must be blameless in holiness as a qualification to meet their “coming Lord with all his saints.”

    CHAPTER - The reader doubtless knows that Paul and the Holy Ghost never put the chapter and verse divisions in the Bible. It was done about three centuries ago, by people so ignorant of the Scriptures that they have exceedingly marred the revelation by frequently putting the divisions in the wrong places. The paragraphs made by the inspired writers, and so helpful to Bible students, have long since disappeared in the translations. If the Lord lets me live to complete the Commentary (four more volumes after this), I expect to translate the New Testament, restoring the paragraphs as I have them in the Sinaitic manuscript, from which I write these pages. This wonderful paragraph on sanctification begins with the eleventh verse of the third chapter, and runs through the eighth verse of the fourth chapter, the chapter division importunately breaking it in two. You must also remember there are postscripts in the original, all having been added at a subsequent date by an uninspired hand, and full of errors. So learn, once for all, never to give any attention to the postscripts in E.V. 1. Finally, therefore, brethren, we entreat and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how it behooveth you to walk about and please God as you do also walk about, in order that you may abound more and more. ” The clause, “as you do also walk,” is not in E.V. It abundantly and triumphantly sweeps away the last possible refuge of the Zinzendorfian heresy; i .e ., the allegation that, admitting the conversion of the Thessalonians under Paul’s ministry, that they were back-slidden at the time of this writing, and that the sanctification urged on them by the apostle is but their reclamation. This clause, “as you do also walk” with God, which does not occur in E.V., hut is restored in R.V., forever obliterates the possibility of the conclusion that they are in a back-slidden state, as certainly backsliders do not walk with God. 2. “For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.Commandment and promise are translations of the same Greek word; hence, perfectly synonymous, the latter carrying with it all the force of a commandment for its due appreciation, and the former involving the promise of God to give you all needed grace in your faithful obedience to all of his commandments. 3. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification. ” “Even,” in E.V., is like all other italicized words, an interpolation by the translators for elucidation. But, unfortunately, these interpolations obscure, rather than elucidate. God made the Bible right. When men undertake to help him out, they always do bad business. Hence, in reading the Scriptures, you had better skip the italicized words, as God never put them there. The reason why the E.V. translators inserted “even,” an adverb of surprise in this verse, was because they were not sanctified. Hence, in their experimental ignorance, they regarded sanctification as a very extraordinary blessing, only conferred on a saint in an age. But the Bible, here and elsewhere, reveals it as the normal experience of God’s children indiscriminately, as a matter of our Heavenly Father’s will. Therefore, we have only to establish the heirship of regeneration, and claim it, in order to enter into the possession and enjoyment of this precious and extraordinary experience.

    Years ago I assisted a Methodist pastor in a Kentucky county-seat, the Lord favoring us with a glorious revival, converting one hundred and sanctifying about fifty. Walking out with the pastor to dine, in the joy and triumph of his newly-sanctified experience, he related to me an item in the history of his family. “My father was a well-to-do farmer, living in a magnificent mansion on a splendid farm. During the tempestuous annals of the Confederate war, he was suddenly and unexpectedly shot dead in the courtyard. My mother, unaccustomed to finances and business intrigues, almost crazy with trouble, was soon turned out of house and home by some sharpers, who bought up my father’s little debts, made a run on the farm, and captured it for a song. There were eight of us children, the eldest only twelve, and myself, eight years old, when we were all turned penniless out of house and home. Six awful years rolled away, spent in rickety tenements, interpenetrated by the wintry winds and scorched by the sultry summer sun, unrelieved by a solitary shade-tree; the starvationwolf ever and anon howling about the door. Frequently we had nothing hut bread and water, and sometimes utterly destitute. My mother’s raven locks had turned to hoary gray, while grieving incessantly she cried her eyes away. One bright summer day, a life-long friend of my father and mother rode up to our humble shanty. Dismounting and saluting us, he said, ‘Mrs. Boyd, looking over the land county register, I find that your home is willed to you and your heirs forever.’ ‘Why, surely you are mistaken; that is too good to be true.’ ‘I know I am correct, for I made special investigation for your benefit.’ ‘If that is so, I authorize you, as my agent, to go at once and bring suit for the recovery of our home, employing the best lawyer for the prosecution. Great is the excitement in the court. The false claimants, determined to hold the property, bring in a platoon of big lawyers. The case is called. The presiding judge opens the land register, and reads a plain warrantee deed to Mrs. Boyd and her heirs forever, observing, ‘It is unnecessary to waste time, as there is no possible defalcation; this land belongs to Mrs. Boyd and her heirs forever.’ Amid the consternation of the defendants, Mrs. Boyd’s lawyer brings in a claim of three thousand dollars for the six years back rent in her favor. So mother, with us children, returns home with three thousand dollars in her pocket, there to live in peace and prosperity.” God pity the millions of unsanctified Christians living amid poverty and peril in the old howling wilderness, ever and anon in full view of the green fields of Canaan, where a rich farm, with comfortable mansion and everything heart can wish, is already willed to them, and nothing to do but go over and take possession! “That you abstain from fornication.” Every deflection from God is spiritual fornication, for which sanctification is the only remedy. In the sanctified experience we have no lovers but Jesus; the love of the world, style, fashion, money, honor, emolument, aggrandizement, all dead and gone. 4. “Let each one of you know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor. ” “Vessel” means yourself. Sanctification is the indispensable qualification for self-government in perfect harmony with the law of God 6. “That no one overreach nor defraud his brother in a business transaction, because the Lord is the avenger concerning all these things, as indeed we before told you and now testify. ” Entire sanctification puts an end to all unfair dealing in business circles, making everybody perfectly transparent and as vigilant of another’s interest as his own, and for safety always taking the self-denial side of every doubtful case. 7. “For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but in sanctification. ” Here we see the Holy Ghost puts sanctification antithetical to uncleanness. Hence, there is no such thing as spiritual purity without sanctification. John Wesley well says justification saves us from evil habits and sanctification from evil tempers. So long as there is any evil temper in you liable to rise on provocation, you are not ready for heaven; because it might rise there, which is utterly incompatible with the heavenly state. As the great work of probationary grace is to get us ready for heaven, we must keep our eye incessantly on entire sanctification, which is the Bible standard of fitness for glory, remembering that God is our umpire, and we must all soon stand before him. He pronounces you unclean till you are sanctified wholly; so take timely warning, and govern yourself accordingly. Your preacher studies hard all the week to prepare a sermon to comfort you on Sunday. He makes a great mistake. He ought to preach to you the truth fearlessly of men and devils, till he gets you sanctified wholly. Then the Holy Ghost will comfort you, because you are ready for the judgment bar. God, in his great mercy, disturbs your comfort and satisfaction till you seek and obtain the needed preparation for heaven.

    We see from this verse that the gospel call is to sanctification. What a pity that every pulpit is not in harmony with the Holy Ghost! It is pertinent here to observe that holiness and sanctification in the New Testament are precisely anonymous. both being translations of the same Greek word. hagiasmos in the E.V. “holiness,” and in the R.V., sanctification. 8. “Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man but God, who indeed giveth unto you his Holy Spirit. ” This verse concludes this stalwart paragraph on sanctification, smashing all possible controversy with the irresistible Pauline sledgehammer logic. Having set forth sanctification as the great indispensable sine qua non , leaving all without excuse, since it is the will of God to all of his children without money and without price— nothing to do but take it, the Holy Ghost always present, and freely giving us all the help we need—he now thunders out the inevitable finale in the bold declaration that the rejecter of this grace inevitably commits spiritual suicide, sealing his doom world without end. Satan everywhere deludes Church people with the idea that sanctification is simply a matter of their own option; but the Bible in this very verse reveals that it is sanctification or damnation; as the rejecter does not simply reject the man who preaches it, “but God, who giveth unto you his Holy Spirit,” to sanctify you.

    Hence, you see that the rejecter of sanctification actually rejects God, who gives to all Christians his Holy Spirit to sanctify them. Could you uncap hell, and see the lost millions who once cherished a fair hope of heaven, but grieved the Holy Spirit. whom God gave to them to sanctify them— consequently the Heavenly Comforter retreated away. leaving them in The impurity of carnal appetites and evil temper to fail into a backslider’s hell—methinks you would make sanctification the great enterprise of your life. O the imminent danger of grieving away the Holy Spirit, settling down in hardness, darkness, and carnality, crossing the dead-line, and waking up in hell! The Holy Spirit, like his symbol, the gentle and amiable dove, is easily won and wooed, and equally easily grieved and alienated forever.

    This was the trouble with the scribes (the pastors off the popular Churches) and the Pharisees, the official members in the days of Christ.

    Having taken Church loyalty for religion, they grieved away the Holy Ghost till they were harder to save than the publicans and harlots. Their name is legion this day in every land in Christendom. Their false standard of religion has blinded their eyes to the great fact, “that without sanctification, no one shall see the Lord.” ( Hebrews 12:14.)

    Millions of poor, deluded Church members, led astray by blind preachers, are this day rejecting sanctification, vainly thinking that they are rejecting the holiness evangelist, blind to the fact that Paul here says, “He that rejecteth, rejecteth not man but God, who indeed giveth unto you his Holy Spirit. ” Hence, there is no getting away from the conclusion, if you reject sanctification, you reject God. Good Lord, have mercy on the deluded multitudes, thus blinded by the devil through false leaders, and walking into hell, vainly hugging the fond delusion that they are on their way to heaven!

    ARGUMENT UNIVERSAL PHILANTHROPY SUPERINDUCED BY HOLINESS TO THE LORD 9. “…For truly you are taught of God to love one another with Divine love. ” The boasted philanthropy of the world is an empty bogus, founded on sordid selfishness and clandestine carnality. This glorious uttermost salvation is the only abettor of true, genuine, and disinterested philanthropy. The Holy Ghost teaches all real Christians to love one another, not with carnal and selfish, but Divine love. The Greek word in this verse is philadelphia , the name of a beautiful Eastern metropolis.

    George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, preached entire sanctification in England a hundred years before John Wesley. William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was his convert. He and his sanctified Quaker followers met the Indians in council on the spot where Philadelphia now stands, provoking their unutterable surprise by the absence of firearms, as the savages had never before seen white men disencumbered of deadly weapons. Penn quickly informs them that he and his followers carry no arms, because they love everybody, and are not willing to hurt a solitary human being on the face of the whole earth, as they are all members of God’s universal brotherhood, as our Heavenly Father wants his children, regardless of nationality, race, or color, to live together in peace. This love talk of the sanctified Quaker melted the hearts of the bloodthirsty savages, till they broke down in tears, and stipulated a treaty of peace with Quakers, which they never broke, Penn selecting the ground on which they sat for the founding of his settlement, calling it Philadelphia, the very Greek word in this verse, then and there used designatively of the mutual love of the Quaker and the Indian. In after years, while other Colonial settlements were frequently depopulated by midnight conflagrations and assassinations, well does history say, “Not a drop of Quaker blood was ever shed by an Indian.” The Quakers were the sanctified people in the Colonial history of America. O what a contrast with all their neighbors, beleaguered and devastated with Indian wars, while the sanctified Quakers, unarmed, lived in peace and prosperity! Nothing but holiness to the Lord experienced in the heart and verified in the life, will ever girdle this world of sin and sorrow in the Briarean arms of Christian philanthropy. 10-12. “In order that you may walk about circumspectly toward aliens, and have need of nothing. ” The eye of the world is on the Lord’s people.

    Hence, it behooveth us to watch and pray and live irreproachable before them, as the faithful custodians of truth and righteousness. Here Paul exhorts us all to striveto be quiet, to do our own work and labor with our hands. ” Beggarism is utterly out of harmony with God’s kingdom. David says, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” is true of the body, as well as the soul. Get saved to the uttermost; be true to God, and he will take care of you, soul and body. If no one will give you wages, fall in with a good man, and work gratuitously. I assure you, he will feed you. John Wesley says, “Never be unemployed, and never triflingly employed.”

    Stephen Merritt, meeting a beggar on the streets of New York, just out of eleven years servitude in the Sing Sing Penitentiary, poured on him such a powerful exhortation to fly to Jesus and get saved, terrible conviction seizing him, preacher and beggar, both manipulated by the Holy Ghost, mutually forgot all about the solicited contribution, the beggar crying to God for salvation onward he tramps the pavement, uncaring whither he goes, receives into his soul such a heavenly flood as to make him leap and run like a racehorse, shouting away the fugitive hours of the passing night till day dawned. Then the sensation of hunger, after a three days’ fast, again constraining him to resume his hitherto fruitless effort to get work, observing a man open the door of his business house, he shouts after him, “Do you not want to hire a hand?” “Where is your recommendation?” The happy beggar, now honest, begins to confess, “I was eleven years in” “That will do; if you have followed any business eleven years I will take you in.” The man proves just the help he wants; now that he is well saved, and fortunately his employer is a Christian, they move along together like David and Jonathan, delighted either with the other. In due time he tells the man that he had begun to tell him that he was eleven years in the penitentiary; but he stopped him outright. “Yes,” says the man, “the Holy Ghost managed that; for if I had known that you were right out of the penitentiary, I would not have touched you with a forty-foot pole; now I want you to stay with me eleven years.” So the true salvation puts an end to all beggary. Give your heart to the Lord, and he will provide.

    ARGUMENT THE RAPTURE This wonderful argument opens with the thirteenth verse of the fourth chapter, and closes with the eleventh verse of the fifth chapter, unfortunately severed in twain in the middle by the insertion of the fifth chapter. Of course, by this time you know that the divisions into chapters and verses, and insertion of italicized words, and the postscripts, are all postapostolic, and without authority. 13. “But we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as those having no hope. ” The sleep here is that of the body, as the immortal soul never sleeps. This is confirmed by the allusion to the heathen, who have no doctrine of the resurrection to comfort them, burying their dead with no hope of ever seeing them. It can not refer to the soul, because the heathen all teach the soul’s immortality, but not that of the body, which is alone peculiar to Christianity. 14. “If we believe that Jesus died and is risen, so also God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. ” Of course, the souls of the saints will descend with Jesus in the rapture, and receive their risen bodies. But this same word “sleep,” here occurs as in preceding verse, referring to the body, as the souls of the saints do not sleep. This confirms the rapture, as he must come for them, in order to bring them with him when he descends on the throne of his glory. 15. “For I say this to you in the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain till the coming of the Lord, may not go before them that are asleep;i .e ., the buried saints will rise before we living saints shall be translated. This still confirms the reference to the body, as our bodies will be transfigured. 16. “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. and the dead in Christ shall rise first. ” The adverb, first, here has been misconstrued, contrastively with the second resurrection, which is untrue. The simple fact revealed is, that the sainted dead will rise before the living are translated. 17. “Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall be forever with the Lord. ” It does not state here that the Lord comes to the earth; but we, with all the risen of the bridehood, “will be caught up to meet him in the air. ” “Shout” is keleusma , defined as the shout of a hunter to his dogs, a sea captain to his sailors, and a general to his soldiers. Remember, the saints are sleeping in the dust on all sides of the globe. Hence, it He were to come very near, the mass of the earth would intervene between him and the saints on to other side. Hence, the probability that he will call from a great distance in the firmaments, thus obliterating the earth’s diameter, as they will simultaneously rise from all parts of the earth’s surface. Every member of the bridehood, living and dead, will hear that call, the latter rising promptly and flying up into the firmament, and the former waiting a short time. The rapture is the first great miracle in the revealed catalogue of latter-day wonders. This must take place preparatory to the descension of our Lord on the throne of his millennial glory, and before the great Tribulation. The prophecies have already been so fulfilled, that we need not be surprised at any moment to hear the trumpet of our Savior roar from the skies, summoning his saints to meet him in the air. Then the first resurrection will take place, including the members of the bridehood; i .e ., the sanctified. ( Romans 10:6). Modern theologians have obscured these Scriptures by explaining the first resurrection as spiritual, and thus doing away with it altogether. In that case, they are forced, by their logic, to do away with the second resurrection, thus spiritualizing and utterly doing away with the resurrection of the body. and plunging headlong into Swedenborgianism.

    Nearly all of the heresies Originate either from spiritualizing the literal Scriptures or literalizing the spiritual. Do not tinker with God’s Word, but believe it as he gives it. The Bible teaches that the bodies of all will he raised. The New Testament declares a special resurrection, “out from among the dead.” ( Philippians 3:11.) This was the beau ideal for which Paul and his comrades were running, disencumbered of every burden, that they might take no risk. The translation, which will be the glorious privilege of all the sanctified who are living on the earth when he comes and calls his Bride to “meet him in the air,” will simply consist in the elimination of all ponderous matter out of our bodies, so we will not weigh anything (as nothing but the weight of our bodies keeps us on the earth now). This done, our bodies will rise, responsive to the impulses of our spirits, and of course fly away to meet our Savior. When the trumpet sounds, the glorified bodies of the rising saints all round the world will flood the firmament; the splendor which eclipsed the mortal eyes of Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration will illuminate the entire firmament with a glory so bewildering, that we who are alive would be lost in contemplation. In the midst of the unearthly glory, before we are aware, we will find ourselves flying and commingling with the enraptured millions of risen saints. We should not only have constant faith in justification and sanctification, but for translation, as we know not what moment our Lord will call. If we are sanctified wholly, we re ready for translation, responsive to our faith like Enoch ( Hebrews 11:5). The transfiguration of the Holy Ghost is the climax of mediatorial restitution. Glory to God I am looking for my Lord and the transfiguration. 18. “So exhort one another in these words. ” The Church has lost power and glory unutterable by the delinquency of the pulpit on this commandment. O how she needs this inspiring truth this day to raise her out of worldliness and apostasy, to plunge beneath the cleansing fountain, wash, and be clean, put on her white robes and get on her watchtowers, waiting with glowing expectancy for the coming of her Lord! (CHAPTER) - 1. “Concerning the periods and epochs you have no need that I write unto you. ” 2. “You know well that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night. ” Time is a parenthesis in eternity, interjected for the accommodation of the mediatorial kingdom, and divided up into periods and epochs. We are living in the sixth dispensation—i .e ., that of the Holy Ghost; the Edenic, Antediluvian, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Messianic have come and gone in their appointed times, each winding up with a signal revolutionary epoch.

    These times and seasons—i .e ., epochs and periods of revolution and development—are ordered and determined by the sovereign and discriminating wisdom of the Father only. Hence, since the inauguration of the Holy Ghost dispensation on the day of Pentecost, the Son has been sitting on the right hand of the Father, awaiting his time for his coronation King of the nations, having been crowned King of saints at his ascension.

    Meanwhile the Bride has been waiting in constant anticipation the return of the Bridegroom. A thief always comes suddenly and unexpectedly to the parties from whom he steals. As the coming of our Lord to the earth to steal away his Bride is unknown, both to the Church and her Divine Spouse, is known only to the Father, therefore it will be the greatest surprise that ever fell on a slumbering world and an apostate Church. 3. This describes the terrible anguish and awful pall that shall come to the godless millions of a fallen world and a slumbering Church, when awakened by the trump of the archangel and the shout of the descending Christ, calling all the members of his bridehood, living and dead, to meet him in the air. The institutions of the old dispensation all focalized in the first advent of Christ, like rivers flowing into the sea. That great and notable event was the exchange station, where all changed cars for the glorious new departure of the gospel dispensation. In a similar manner all the institutions of the new dispensations focalize and have their fulfillment in the second coming of Christ, when the gospel dispensation will wind up, and the glorious kingdom usher in, Satan, the present king of the nations, having been arrested, taken out of the world, and locked up in hell. ( Revelation 20.) 4. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day may overtake you as a thief. 5. “For all you are the sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night nor of darkness. 6. “Therefore let us not sleep as the rest, but watch and be sober.Sin is the only thing that ever made the human soul drunk. Entire sanctification is absolutely necessary to the complete sobriety of the soul. The smallest amount of sin intoxicates you to the extent of its power. The two great commandments prominent in the Pauline battle-cry are, “Watch, and be sober;” i .e ., be on the constant lookout for your coming King, and wholly sanctified as a qualification to receive him. His coming as a thief in the right is only applicable to the fallen world and slumbering Church, and not to his true people, who are watching and waiting his arrival. 7. Spiritual slumber and intoxication are peculiar to spiritual night. When the bright day of Eden passed under the eclipse of Satan’s black wing, the dismal night of sin supervened upon the whole world, and will continue till relieved by the glorious millennial day, whose auspicious dawn methinks I see in the present holiness movement, gilding every land with the fairfingered Aurora of the coming kingdom. 8. “But let us, being of the day, be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith an love, and the helmet, the hope of salvation. ” The apostle exhibits the powerful antithesis of a debauched world and a slumbering Church on the one hand, panic-stricken with the most terrible surprise in the world’s history, and the faithful few on the other, washed in the blood, filled with the Spirit, and on the tiptoe of thrilling anticipation, anxiously watching and waiting their Lord’s return, and consequently not taken in the surprise of the midnight cry, destined to come upon all the world as a “thief in the night.” 9,10. “That whether we may watch or sleep, we shall live along with Him. ” Here is evidently an allusion to the bodies of the saints, in (ontradistinction to their souls, as the great multitude sleep in the dust, and only the present generation are living upon the earth, and watching with mortal eyes to see their coming King. Hence, the admonition of the apostle that, whether we live to behold his glorious coming or fall asleep with our predecessors, we shall enjoy spiritual and eternal life with him. 11. “Therefore exhort one another and edify one another, as you also do.Paul had so faithfully preached to those people the Lord’s return to the earth, that he now affirms in their behalf that they are exhorting and edifying one another with these inspiring truths. How strange the contrast of the modern pulpit, silent on the Lord’s coming; with the apostle Paul so positive, explicit, and importunate, night and day, by speech and pen hammering this great truth into the minds of the people, so as to perfectly familiarize them with it, till they can all preach it to one another in their daily conversation. This verse closes that celebrated paragraph on the Lord’s second coming, which opens with the thirteenth verse of the preceding chapter, and so unfortunately interrupted by the division of the fifth chapter coming right in the middle. God help us all to be true to the commandments, winding up this memorable paragraph on the coming of the Lord and the rapture of the saints; i .e ., “exhort and edify one another by these inspiring truths. ” Let it be said of us, as of the Thessalonians, “as ye do.”

    ARGUMENT SUNDRY COMMANDMENTS 12. “We entreat you, brethren, to know those who labor among you, standing before you in the Lord, and admonishing you. ” This is a simple allusion to the preachers and teachers who stand before you, This being the attitude of a preacher, no allusion to ecclesiastical authority, as E.V. would indicate; but the people raised up by the Holy Ghost to instruct you in the truth of God, and correct all of your errors and mistakes. 13. “And esteem them exceedingly in Divine love on account of their work. ” This is a still further confirmation of the allusion purely to the people whom the Holy Ghost at the time uses for your instruction and admonition, and not, as E.V. would infer, the ecclesiastical officials. You see that you are not to appreciate them for any personal or official consideration, but simply for the sake of their work, and they are true to God, preaching and expounding to you the pure word of life, and warning you faithfully against all sin, error, and wrong-doing in every respect. In that case you are to “esteem them exceedingly in love;” i .e ., the Divine agape, which is poured out in the heart by the Holy Ghost. “Live in peace among yourselves.” If you will all get the “peace of God,” which comes only in entire sanctification, you will have no difficulty in living in peace. 14. “We exhort, you, brethren, admonish the disorderly. ” When God speaks of disorder, he means sin. How sad to see a preacher standing before a congregation of his own members, heterogeneously blackened with a vast diversity of sins, and all tangled up in the devil’s lassoes, and talk out his soft, delicate, smooth, little sermonette, ingeniously manufactured for the occasion, to pass over the heads, and hurt nobody, and let the people drop through his fingers into hell; instead of thundering against every damning sin like a messenger from heaven, and doing his utmost to bring the people to repentance! What an awful account when he meets his congregation, covered with shame and “everlasting contempt,” as they all stand before the great white Throne! “Comfort the small-souled. ” “Feeble-minded ” (E.V.) is incorrect and misleading, as if they were demented or the mind enfeebled in some way. The literal Greek is simply “small-souled” people. Multiplied millions of people in this world are the one talented class, having small souls. We should be very careful with them, lest we grieve and discourage them. Though their souls are ever so small, if we can squeeze them through the pearly gate, they will have all eternity in which to grow. If you meet them a million of years from now, you will find they have developed into giants. There is a maxim among swine-feeders, “that the runt will make the biggest hog;” but you must give him time to grow. “Assist the weak. ” This world abounds in people “weak,” physically, mentally, spiritually, influentially, and financially.

    They all deserve our sympathies, encouragement, and support. “Be longsuffering toward all. ” “Let patience have its perfect work. ” Our Savior suffered to the end of his life without the slightest resentment, and died praying for his murderers. He is our example. If we go to heaven, we must walk in his footprints. 15. “See that no one may render evil for evil, but always pursue good toward one another and toward all. ” Good is abundantly competent to conquer evil, if you will only give it a chance. In the day of Elisha the prophet, Benhadad, the king of Syria, finding all of his plans against Israel thoroughly anticipated and defeated, convening the magnates of the army in war council, tells them to look out for the spies who report all of his plans to the armies of Israel. A man stands up, and says, “O king, we are all true and loyal men! but there is a prophet in Israel who tells the king all of your counsels the moment you whisper them in your bedchamber.”

    Then says Benhadad: “Our first campaign must be to capture that man; who knows where he is?” “At Dothan,” is responded from a person present, claiming to have correct information as to his whereabouts. With all expedition the Syrian army is dispatched to Dothan, with orders not to return without the prophet Elisha, dead or alive. When Elisha and his boy preacher walk out of their chamber at day-dawn, Gehazi exclaims, “O Master, we die to day; do you not see we are surrounded on all sides by the Syrian army?” “Yes; but those on our side are many more than those who are against us.” “Why, there is not a single one on our side to fight for us.” Then Elisha asks the Lord to open Gehazi’s eyes. Then he looked around and saw the whole mountain covered with angels and war-chariots of fire, so that his fears all departed. Then Elisha dropped on the Syrian army such an optical illusion as to enable him to take complete command of them, mistaking him for their leader, and march them to Samaria, and turn them over to the king of Israel. When he thought he must kill them, the prophet said, “Not so; but give them all their dinners, and send them back to the king of Syria in peace.” This signal act of kindness made the Syrians ashamed, so they troubled Israel no more, but lived with them in peace. “When you undertake to overcome evil with evil, you make a great mistake, utilizing the weaker force and neglecting the stronger, as if a man would shoot a popgun, and neglect to fire off the loaded cannon at his disposal.

    ARGUMENT PAULINE AND WESLEYAN STANDARD OF SANCTIFICATION 16. “Rejoice ever more. 17. “Pray without ceasing. 18. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ” This beautiful and notable Scripture received great notoriety during the Wesleyan holiness movement as the shibboleth of the embattled host. It was everywhere rendered prominent as the Wesleyan standard of entire sanctification, insisted upon by the great founder of Methodism. While it is the standard of John Wesley and his followers, it is still more consolatory that it was the standard of Paul and the Apostolic Church. When you get the artesian well of entire sanctification in your soul, you will find this high standard of religion not only practicable, but easy, restful, and infinitely enjoyable. In the infancy of the experience, you will find it necessary to be exceedingly vigilant, probably involving a degree of care and labor which will soon obliviously evanesce, superseded by a delectable, unutterable rest in which to “rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, ” will become habitual, settled, and permanent, and almost as spontaneous as breathing, so as to transpire currently and uniformly without attracting attention or observably encumbering the will. Amid the sweet tranquillity of the soul’s imperturbable repose, constant joy, incessant prayer, along with holy gratitude, become the normal state of our spiritual life, natural and unconscious as breathing. 19. “Quench not the Spirit. ” The Greek word for quench means to put out fire by throwing water on it. Fire is the symbol of the Holy Ghost throughout the Bible. Hence, you are never to throw Satan’s cold water on the Lord’s fire. Popular Churches and fashionable preachers are avowedly and habitually Spirit quenchers, always ready to throw cold water on the fire of the Holy Ghost, thus keeping their Churches in a North Pole atmosphere, freezing out every spark of spiritual life. This is awfully wicked, and grievous to the Holy Spirit. Satan’s plan is to freeze people here, and burn them in hell through all eternity. A cold religion is the devil’s dumping-cart into hell. The scribes and Pharisees at the present day are awfully fearful of fanaticism. They would better fear hell-fire.

    Satan’s counterfeit religion in all ages has denounced God’s salvation as “fanaticism.” Dr. Clark says, “There is very apt to be some fox-fire where there is much true fire.” We certainly would better have religion with fanaticism, than none at all. The man who throws away all the wheat to get rid of the chaff, starves to death as the result of his blind folly. People who, through fear of fanaticism and excitement, let their Churches freeze out and die, are laughingstocks for devils in hell. 20. “Despise not prophecies. ” The Greek and Hebrew for prophecy means to boil up like an artesian well, flowing impetuously, incessantly, and forever. Prophecy is one of the nine Pauline spiritual gifts. ( Corinthians 12:10.) We have it defined ( 1 Corinthians 14:3): “He that prophesieth, speaketh to men edification, exhortation, and comfort.”

    This gift was the crowning glory of the pentecostal experience. It fills with the Holy Ghost, imparts tongues of fire, split in twain, one prong to preach hell-fire to sinners, and the other heavenly fire to sanctify the Christians. It lets the tongue loose at both ends and in the middle, to speak red-hot words incessantly and forever; indiscriminately, regardless of race, rank, or color, administering edification, exhortation, and comfort to all you meet, whithersoever you go. God’s plan is to save the world by preaching, not the modern scientific sermonizing, which is unknown in the Bible; but this everlasting talking, exhorting, praying, entreating, and comforting. Dead pastors are opposed to all this, as they think the people would monopolize their business and take it out of their hands. Moses thought very differently when God laid the spirit of prophecy (this very thing) on the seventy, and they all broke out preaching with all their might, like a holiness camp-meeting under a pentecostal baptism, and the people running to him from all the seventy prophets in different parts of the encampment, telling him to stop them or they will take his business forever out of his hands. Moses, thus bewildered by their multitudinous clamor, leaps and shouts with stentorian voice, “Would God that every man in Israel did prophesy!” Here we have the positive commandment, “Despise not prophecies;” i. e., we are not only to permit every man, woman, and child to throw their mouths open, and talk freely for the Lord; but to encourage them. But the clerical wiseacre says, “They are incompetent, having neither intellect nor education.” Jesus says, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praises.” What a contrast with the dumb Churches of the present day! 21,22. “Abstain from every evil sight. ” Your eyes belong to God. If you give the devil the use of them in any way, he is certain to corrupt your heart. You should be constantly turning your eyes away from the devil’s advertisements, conspicuous throughout our cities, purposely to arouse lust and allure into his hell-dens. You should never permit yourself to look at anything evil, if you don’t want a fiend from the bottomless pit to creep into your heart.

    ARGUMENT SANCTIFICATION AND THE COMING OF THE LORD 23. “The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly. ” The sinner is a stranger to the God of peace; to him he is the God of wrath and retribution. Hence, sanctification is not for sinners. Repentance and justification are the gospel pertinent to them. The appeal here is to Christians only. Hagiasai , sanctify, is in the aorist tense, and means instantaneously take the world out of you; from alpha , not, and ge , the world. Regeneration takes you out of the world, and sanctification takes the world out of you. Hence, we must have a double divorcement from the world before we can go to heaven. Against the gradualistic theology, which everywhere curses the modern pulpit, the New Testament is outspoken and decisive from Alpha to Omega . The aorist tense in this passage and hundreds more admits of no gradualism. It positively means “sanctify you this moment. ” The gradualism in the plan of salvation is all on the human side. We gradually approach sanctification, suddenly enter it, and gradually progress indefinitely. The Greek for “wholly” is holoteleis , from holos , the whole, and telos , perfection. Hence, it means entirely unto perfection; i .e ., every constituency of your being sanctified unto Completion. Paul makes no provision for sin, and gives no place to the devil. In E.V. this word is an adverb, qualifying sanctify. In the Greek it is a compound adjective, with a double superlative signification. It does not occur in the classic Greek. Paul, a tiptop linguist, manufactured this wonderful compound superlative adjective to describe the people whose responsibility he must bear at the pearly portals. The word describes the pronoun you, in the text. Hence, you, yourself, must be complete in every constituency of your being if you ever enter heaven. Many adroit tergiversations are resorted to by Satan’s preachers to evade a clear and unequivocal revelation of God’s truth in this passage. But not one of them can stand before the white light radiated by the Holy Ghost from these inspired words, “May your whole spirit, mind, and body be preserved blamelessly at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The rank and file of the modern clergy are dichotomists—i.e., advocates of the two natures; i .e ., soul and body—unfortunately confounding spirit and mind, and preaching intellectualism and metaphysics, instead of spirituality. John Wesley was a trichotomist, like the apostle Paul, preaching the three constituencies of humanity—spirit, mind, and body. Total depravity applies to the human spirit only, not to the mind and body. Man in the fall became a spiritual corpse, retaining his intellectual and physical life, though terribly wrecked and dilapidated. A thousand systems of counterfeit religions prevail in the world this day, consisting of mentality and materiality, without a solitary vestige of spiritual life Satan’s illusory passports to hell, all competent to live and prosper without the Holy Ghost, who alone can quicken the dead human spirit into life, sanctifying it with our entire being for an eternity of bliss. The silly heresy somewhat prevalent among ignorant people, vindicating the theory that sin remains in the body after the soul is made pure, is utterly eradicated and annihilated by this passage, as we see here that sanctification includes spirit, mind, and body; i .e ., our entire being, leaving no pocket for the devil. Here you see also the peculiar prominence given to the Lord’s second coming by apostolic preaching, as in this powerful and importunate prayer for the entire sanctification of the Thessalonians, the petition involves their abiding in the experience till the Lord comes. Hence, we have the New Testament standard of religion here clear and unequivocal; i .e ., entire sanctification of spirit, soul, and body, and perseverance in the experience till the Lord comes. Hence, you see the glorious climax of the New Testament gospel culminating in these beautiful and transcendent truths; i .e ., and the Lord’s return to the earth to execute righteous judgments against the wicked nations and fallen Churches, and establish his kingdom from the heads of the rivers to the ends of the earth. 24. “Faithful is he who calleth you who also will do it. ” Your omnipotent Savior, who is infinitely abundantly able to do this work, Calls you to sanctification. Hence, it is wicked, rebellious, and blasphemous to say you can not get it. It is not your work, but that of the omnipotent God, who creates a world in a moment. Hence, you are left without excuse, as you have nothing to do but turn over your sanctification into his hands, raise the shout of faith, and be loyal to God. He does it without any help on your part. 26. “Salute all the brothers with a holy kiss. ” The word kiss is philema , from phileo , to love, and simply means a love token given—a literal kiss of the lips, or a cordial salutation in some other way. It is certainly our privilege to administer the kiss; however we should not sticklerize, lest we be brought under bondage. In this glorious full salvation the Lord breaks from our necks every yoke which Satan and men have put on us. So let us jealously conserve our perfect spiritual freedom, never permitting men or devils to lay the weight of a feather on our consciences, and see that we do not manufacture yokes with our own hands, and put them on our own necks. The world is in the devil’s bondage, and unsanctified Christians in legal bondage. Let us all watch and pray, lest men, devils or our own hands, ever interfere with this blessed, sweet, and glorious liberty, a prelibation of heavenly bliss. 27. “I adjure you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the brethren. ” This verse solves the problem of legal oaths, as here we see that Paul administers an oath to the brethren, that this letter should be read to all the saints. As these people had been so recently converted out of heathenism, it was a matter of the most vital importance that it should be read to every one of them; hence Paul adjures them in the name of the Lord, thus tightening up their obligations, and augmenting the certainty of the great end in view that every disciple should hear this letter. It was not enough simply to read it in the public audience, but they must make certain investigation, finding out every absentee, hunting him up, and reading this letter to him 28. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. ” This is simply an apostolic benediction, such as we find, in diversified forms and magnitudes, concluding every epistle. The popular superstition prevalent in the Churches, using only 2 Corinthians 13:13, in the dismission of a congregation, and restricting the privilege to an ordained clergyman, is by no means commendable. It is certainly the gracious privilege of every Christian conducting religious service to pronounce these benedictions pursuant to the light and leading of the Holy Spirit.

    APOLOGUE This epistle is one of the most lucid, clear, and beautiful of the Pauline series, thrilling, explicit, and forceful on Paul’s two favorite themes; i .e ., entire sanctification by a second work of grace after conversion, and the Lord’s return to the earth in judgment and glory.


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